Welcome to the 1,064th Edition of Loading...

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

A freemium and a free-to-play title are making waves across the Internet today as The Chronicles of Spellborn officially launches and SOE, maker of Free Realms, frees the media and fans to begin sharing their impressions. We'll offer our take on these two decidedly different MMO experiences, plus links to new Ten Ton Hammer guides and articles, real world news, and our daily epic forum thread in today's Loading... Spellborn Comes to America

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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
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Star Wars Galaxies (UP 4 to #7)
  2. EverQuest (down 3 to #10)
  3. Ultima Online (UP 3 to #13)

Loading... Daily

Two items especially worthy of note today. First up, David Perry said that Acclaim would launch Chronicles of Spellborn when it was ready, and the egg timer must have gone off yesterday. After a four month head start for Europe, The Chronicles of Spellborn has officially launched for North and South America, the UK, and a handful of micro markets including Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina - talk about some hardcore PvP action.

I'll echo the sentiments of this post dated from the Euro launch of Spellborn: "Low hype is a refreshing change. NO hype is scary." This is beyond a soft launch: no characters were wiped from any later stage of the NA beta, there's zero retail blitz, no interview series leading up to launch anywhere, no invitation to run previews and reviews concurrent with launch, no real evidence of an NDA for months, and no ads anywhere. Marketing costs money, of course, and it's easy to do too much, but marketing is also informational in nature and, compared to making the game, fairly easy to make money with.

Despite that, you have every reason to try Chronicles of Spellborn. And here's one reason that will appeal to everyone: TCoS is launching with a free two-week trial. The game itself is "freemium" with three zones of complete freedom (no level restrictions, guild restrictions, etc.) and your subscription buys you the rest of the game. Fears that Acclaim would transform the game into a true free-to-play in the style of all their other published titles (with micro-transactions, etc.) were never realized.

Fantasy die-hards and lore-lovers have plenty to enjoy in Spellborn if they can just break free of present conceptions of combat and the affinity for dwarves, elves, orcs, and so on as playable races. You'll have your choice of human and daevi races, with daevi being a demonoid race, and you'll find combat to be a good deal more active and positional than other MMOs. The world of Spellborn drew me in like no other MMO in recent memory - the setting is completely different than anything you've experienced but not in an uncomfortable (dare I say) post-apocalyptic way. Bottom line, if you want to try out a completely new MMO experience this weekend, you should give Spellborn a shot, especially since it'll cost you nothing.

Another title that's making waves is Free Realms, and with NDA drop yesterday we a preview and an opinion article just for you. By all accounts, SOE has created a lighthearted game for (though it's becoming a cliché) kids of all ages that nearly overwhelms you with fun mini-games and other things to do. We've all heard of this mythical game that husbands and boyfriends can play with their wives and girlfriends as well as with the kids, but it's our opinion that SOE has finally nailed it.

Why does Spellborn appeal (or not appeal) to you? How about Free Realms? The Loading... forum is your soapbox, or send me an email!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Articles, News and Events Discussion forum

Coyote Humor: Piracy and YOU

President Obama may be kicking Somali pirate ass,
but when it comes to software piracy the ass whoopin's are few and far
between. Ten Ton Hammer's resident humorist, Coyote, asserts that
it's really just too easy these days for assiduous and assertive
pirates to assemble vast assortments of illegally amassed goodies such
as software and movies. (And yes, I really was trying to see how many
times I could work "ass" into a single paragraph. I count 8. Coyote
would be so proud.)

Coyote claims that the ease of piracy is cutting into our geek
mystique."It used to be that your average geek had access to the
underground and could find things that most mortals never knew
he writes in Wednesday's It's All Geek to Me column. "And now just about anyone can simply turn on their computer, go to a
file sharing site, and without any skill or ability download the latest
movie, song or copy of a popular video game already cracked and ready
to go."

not only is piracy ruining what was once geek domain, Coyote believes
it's causing movie and development studios to make throw-away movies
and games, knowing that their stuff's going to be jacked soon
after it releases, anyhow.

Do you steal software and movies?
Do you believe studios have cut back on quality because piracy cuts
into their profits? If you've never taken part in a Coyote comments
thread, there's no better time to start. Share your thoughts and have a little fun!

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread

not piracy that's causing craptastic games and movies; we had
craptastic games and movies aplenty long long before piracy became an
issue. Ya, there's more nowadays, but if you want to blame something,
blame the easy money there is in DVD sales, and the generation that's
predominantly playing games now having the attention spans of gnats.

- Vaebn

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

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 115 in April! 502 in 2009!

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

  • DC Universe Online VIP Interview - The Devs Answer Your Questions (Exclusive Premium Content)

    Are you prepared to don your cape, slide on your tights, and adjust your mask? We sure hope you are because the Ten Ton Hammer staff recently received the answers to your DC Universe Online questions that a number of you posed in our Premium Member Forums. Specifically, the questions were answered by Wes Yanagi, Senior Producer for DC Universe Online, who took a few minutes from developing the game to make sure that there wasn't any confusion regarding the state of PvP play in DCUO, the formation of guilds, and a number of other inquiries that our DCUO fans came up with in our VIP interview thread.
  • Exclusive Preview: Free Realms is Your Next Guilty Pleasure

    Some people sneak down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to indulge in an extra snack. A few people sing at the top of their lungs in the shower. Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Danny "Ralsu" Gourley thinks Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms might just become the new guilty pleasure that appeals to MMO gamers.
  • Free Realms: Fun New Game, or Insidious World Domination Plot?

    Sony Online Entertainment has been hard at work on their latest endeavor with Free Realms, a free-to-play game geared towards the enjoyment of young children. That may have been their initial intent, but see why Dalmarus thinks their subtle plot has more far-reaching consequences in this week's edition of Forever Fantasy. Husbands around the world find themselves ignored, but could this signal the return of the elusive "free time" we've heard mentioned by our peers for generations? Read on to find out!
  • World of Warcraft: Shaman Gear Enhancement

    Tired of wearing the same old armor as all the other Shamans? Looking to stand apart from the crowd? Learn to be the envy of your fellow Shamans. BE the type Shaman that men want to be, and that women want to be with. (I'm not making any promises here folks) No more showing up at raids only to be scorned and ridiculed by your fellow raiders. Show them you mean business by coming prepared. Find the right way to socket, enchant, and enhance all your latest and greatest gear.
  • The Chronicles of Spellborn: Beginner's Guide to Personal Experience and State Ranks

    The Chronicles of Spellborn puts an interesting new twist on more standard MMO combat mechanics thanks in large part to the game’s rotating skill deck, but the title’s unique elements don’t end there. While not entirely new concepts, many core MMO gameplay elements have been reexamined, redesigned and ultimately transformed into something the developers at Spellborn can claim as uniquely their own.
  • EVE Online: Level 1 Mission Guides

    Missions are the best way for a new player to familiarize themselves with EVE Online's inner workings but even Level 1 missions are not without risk.  Save yourself the heartache of losing another ship to those nasty pirates and check out our Level 1 Mission Guides next time you are about to head out into the dangerous black.  My painful experiences are your helpful guide through an unforgiving universe!

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

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 The Chronicles of Spellborn 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.