Welcome to the 1,063rd Edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Loading... relays some bad news from the Shadowbane team and good news on the recent updates to Star Wars Galaxies. We'll also share the latest from Bioware, makers of Star Wars: The Old Republic, on their beta testing philosophy in today's variety grab bag Loading... We'll also link you in on a hilarious porn-stache inspired epic thread, some shockingly funny Real World News, and two Ten Ton Hammer articles, two guides, and a comic you won't want to miss in Loading... Good News, Bad News.

Need more newsletter? Play World of Warcraft? Jay "Medeor" Johnson's weekly WoW newsletter "The Overpull" comes out every Tuesday and keeps you entertained and informed on all the latest developments in WoW. Sign up!

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results for today:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest 2
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Warhammer Online (UP 2)
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Asheron's Call (UP 102 to #16)
  2. Lego Universe (UP 74 to #13)
  3. Ultima Online (UP 54 to #14)

Loading... Daily

After a six year run, Shadowbane is calling it quits. From an official announcement made yesterday: "As of May 1, 2009 the Shadowbane servers will be powered down once and for all." If you feel like you've read this story before, you have, sort of. In a cruel twist of fate, three years ago almost to the day Wolfpack Sudios closed its doors. Shadowbane reemerged in free-to-play form from new developer Stray Bullet Studios, but item imbalances associated with moving from subscription to free-to-play along with a host of other issues forced a top-down server reset in early 2008. The game limped on with a small but extremely devoted fanbase until yesterday's announcement.

Any time an MMO shuts down it's viewed as a failure. Let's not forget the fact that people were playing and buying into this game for six years - six years - at a time when the lifespan of the typical console game is, what, a month? If that. MMO games have always been in it for the long haul, though even some AAA titles don't see their second birthday. Kudos to Stray Bullet neé Wolfpack for keeping the doors open and the players happy for as long as they did.

Another longstanding title that sends a shiver up the collective spine of the gaming community with every update is Star Wars Galaxies, and in an exclusive SWG dev diary released today, we find out that Update 8 is nothing to worry about at all. This one shuns combat and major motion picture characters to offer some long anticipated improvements to housing and player cities. SWG's James ‘Millbarge’ Michener also tells us a little about Update 9 as well, which will have even more housing goodness, and how good it is to be talking about SWG in a positive light again. This is one game that had at least as much potential in the social / "worldy" category as in combat / adventure category, and it's nice to see SOE developing that side of things again.

It's a Star Wars kind of day. Rich Vogel of Bioware (makers of Star Wars: The Old Republic) stopped by to offer his answers to our standing beta question: how much, when, and why? He agreed with many of the devs in our Beta: Past, Present, and Future article, stating "[open beta] is more of a 'try before you buy' marketing push as well as a soft launch. You really don’t get much data from 'open' tests. It is really just making sure everything holds under stress and allows us to get people in the game early... We feel that limiting the [number of] beta testers is a good thing. We get better data with fewer, more dedicated players and we are able to focus test specific areas of the game. "

That's the how much and why, how about the when? "About 4 weeks before launch is a good time to open the game up to consumers. If you have done your job right, you will know if the game is ready before you open beta. If not, you don’t open it until it is." Good stuff from the folks behind what's sure to be an earthrending beta and launch, and you can read the rest of Rich Vogel's comments right here.

I never played, but maybe you have some Shadowbane memories to share? Does SOE do well to work on housing and cities in Star Wars Galaxies? How cool is it to hear at least a little something about the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum, or send me an email!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW: Rant Forum


Time for a little Wednesday WTF moment, compliments of WoW patch 3.1.

"I got a really rude welcome from my character selection sheet last
night after downloading the new patch," reports community member Raknor. "I sign on to find that Blizz has
added an ugly ass moustache to the draenei goatee option. It sucks. I
had two different toons with that goatee, and now they look like

Blizzard really intend to give draenei that classic 70s Ron Jeremy
look? Or was it all just a big mistake? Are you cheesed off about your
cheesy porn-stache? The denizens of our WoW forum have not only
compassion for the newly style challenged, but answers about this buggy
situation. Head on over!

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread

"I say go all the way and have some cheesy porn soundtrack music play every time you join a group."

- Stormbrjnger

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

5 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 109 in April! 496 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]

  • Star Wars Galaxies: The Making of Update 8 - Extreme Make-Over Hits Player Cities

    Ever wonder what kind of process developers go through to make their additions and changes to their game updates? Do the devs actually analyze and ask for input from the player base, or do they just go at it? In this very intriguing developer diary, Star Wars Galaxies' James Michener discusses the cycle he went through to developer the content that was made available to characters in SWG's Game Update 8. If you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely worth a look!
  • CrimeCraft NPC Video #4: Meet Sasha Redden

    Vogster Entertainment's upcoming P.W.N.S. (Persistent World Next-gen Shooter), CrimeCraft is continuing to provide tasty morsels of information for its fans. This week, they've released a new video, highlighting one of the key NPC's in the game, Sasha Redden. Sasha may be just one piece in the puzzle, but she'll be crucial in your quest to dominate the streets of Sunrise City.
  • World of Warcraft: Item Enchants for the Priest

    Let’s talk enchants! Enchants in WoW can take mediocre gear and make it good, and can take good gear and make it great. Enchants are one of biggest areas that new players tend to ignore. It can be difficult to know what enchants to use and when. Let’s face it, spending 1000 gold on an enchant when you are going to switch out in 2 weeks, probably doesn’t make much sense. But you shouldn’t be raiding without enchants; so what are you supposed to do? Well read on, and we will try to help you figure out the mysteries that are enchants.
  • World of Warcraft: Item Enchants for the Rogue

    You’re a rogue that’s going places. You’re wearing better gear, learned h
    ow to maximize your abilities (even if you had to relearn them after the latest patch changes), done a little raiding, and even perhaps a little PvP. So, what’s next? In your never-ending quest to raise your potential, enchantments are what separate the wheat from the chaff, or to put it more bluntly, those that suck from those that don’t suck.
  • geeked: A Simple Wish

    Ten Ton Hammer's very own satirical webcomic on all things geek-related is serving up a dose of medical care and lost hopes this week. Now, don't give Adam too hard of a time. If your friend had just butchered your car and gotten himself shot at a Gamestop, you'd probably be cursing his name too. Be sure to catch up on any issues of Geeked you've missed by visiting our Comics Portal. Don't forget to rate your favorites while you're at it!

    Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
  1. Loading... Live! #12: EQ2 Game Update 51 Dev Chat with Bruce Ferguson
  2. Lord of the Rings Online Anniversary Giveaway!
  3. The Rigors of Beta Testing: The Past, Present and Future (Released for Standard Members!)
  4. Star Wars: The Old Republic Developer Weighs in on Beta Testing
  5. Exclusive Carbine Studios Game Update Interview with Eric DeMilt
  6. Out of the Box Cartoon MMOGs
  7. Exclusive Alaganon Class Interview #2 - The Ranger
  8. EVE Online: Sins of a Solar Spymaster - Newbies in Space
  9. Swagdog Giveaway
  10. geeked: Scrub it Good

Real World News

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Wars Galaxies Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.