Welcome to the 1,143rd Edition of Loading...

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

A short Loading... today as many of the Ten Ton Hammer staff is deployed across North America to bring you the good news. But first, we'll discuss some of the weirdest comments we've ever heard on an earnings call as the NCSoft CFO declares Aion better than Tabula Rasa but not as good as WoW. Sometimes it doesn't pay to compare. See why in Loading... Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

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 The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Aion
  3. Champions Online
  4. EverQuest 2
  5. Age of Conan (UP 4)

Biggest Movers today :

  1. Star Trek Online (UP 11 to #19)
  2. EVE Online (UP 4 to #6)
  3. Warhammer Online (UP 4 to #7)
Recent MMO Releases

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Loading... Daily

Short Loading... today, as I'm getting ready to board a connecting flight to Austin for The Syndicate World Conference in Austin after a few hours on a few trains to Philadelphia. So that's the planes and trains, and then it's pretty difficult to get around in Texas without an automobile, so I've heard. Shunning conventional modes of transportation, Cody rented a moose to get to BioWare's studios in Canada, and we'll have the latest from BioWare and SyndiCon this weekend through next week.

Shifting gears, here's an odd snippet from an NCSoft earnings call with CFO Jaeho Lee, as reported by GamaSutra:

"I believe the performance of Aion in the US and European markets will be very successful. ... We are guessing that Aion will be -- could be -- the second [most] successful MMO in the US market next to World of Warcraft." He said it would be "very hard" to match the success of World of Warcraft, "but Aion will be a very successful product. We are very confident in it."

We're number two! We're number two! If confidence, as Charlton Heston said, is very sexy, this conference call was a pink paisley muumuu two sizes too big. No one's saying that Aion or any other game is a WoW killer, but the average gamer wants the best possible experience for his or her money. The money people always get into trouble when they start drawing comparisons.

Speaking of black marks, Tabula Rasa was a poor performer financially speaking, but did it rate this kind of muckraking?

"Ok, um, it's very unfortunate to hear the name of Tabula Rasa at this conference call," Lee said above the nervous chuckle of the analyst. "And we all want to forget and erase that memory from our performance... We did a very poor job with Tabula Rasa, and we disappointed our retailers in US markets and also European markets. Because of that, our retailers may be very reluctant to take orders for Aion."

Snotty retailers aside (most of whom are so guffawed at direct distribution by etailers, that they'll never stack up the PC titles like they once did) , I don't see the point in pounding Tabula Rasa into a stepping stone for Aion. It was a decent, if not popular, MMO with an incredibly troubled provenance. NCSoft should probably have nipped the concept in the bud when the first few iterations failed to pan out, but the resulting product was a worthy experiment with a few interesting innovations. I think the cloning concept could have benefitted from having the game design choose when to clone your character, i.e. just before major branching decisions, rather than having players clone themselves whenever they wanted to. Thus cloning became just another game design case study in how players typically hate re-playing the same content.

Of course, I'm just as anxious to put Tabula Rasa to bed as NCSoft is. But let's talk about Aion, NCSoft, not WoW or Tabula Rasa. Or we can talk about WoW and Tabula Rasa or whatever you like in the Loading... forum, and my inbox is always available for your thoughts as well.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Members Only: Ten Ton Topics forum

Official "Interview a Staff Member or Guru" post

for reasons only he can fathom, posted a thread in which our premium
members would "interview" the Ten Ton Hammer staff. Seems a lot of our
members are interested in learning about what makes Ten Ton
Hammer...hammer. We've covered quite a few topics over the past day,
from whether we have a central office, to  how we handle travel to
events, to who's the outwardly lightsaber-wielding King of Badass and
who's the real Emperor manipulating everything behind the scenes.

If you want in on the fun, you've got to be a member. Anacche says so.

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

an April Fool's joke Ethec once put together a fairly convincing staff
memo telling us that Ten Ton Hammer had purchased an office building,
and we were all required to work in-office or find other employment.
Some of us were fooled for as long as 15 seconds.

- Shayalyn

"I thought the CrimeCraft concept of the 'nice neighborhood' we would now be located in was a nice touch, though."

- Ethec

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

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 42 in August! 902 in 2009!

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

  • World of Warcraft - New Expansion = New Tamable Pets?
    Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and eventually Cataclysm? Regardless of what the next expansion pack will be called it is almost certain that with World of Warcraft's continued popularity it will be released in the next few years. Keeping their audience entertained is something Blizzard is fairly good at. With that expansion pack tons of fresh content will probably be added to the game including new creatures to be tamed, and possibly changes to old creatures. This week Mem takes a look at what animals some Hunters would like tame.
  • Guild Wars - Rediscovering Tyria
    While the core of the gaming industry may revolve around a more transitory entertainment experience, MMOGs enjoy the rare distinction of being built to provide many years ’ worth of replayability. Certain titles, such as ArenaNet’s highly successful Guild Wars franchise, have done an excellent job of not only providing fans a constant stream of new content, but also finding ways of keeping older content perfectly viable far into the future. Reuben “Sardu” Waters recently brought his Ritualist out of hibernation for Guild Wars’ Wintersday in July celebration, and has been spamming a long trail of spirits across Tyria and beyond ever since:
  • Champions Online - Desert Disaster Survival Guide
    The crisis zones in Champions Online are like those fantastic five or six issue story-arcs from your favorite comic series of old. Last week we brought you the Crisis in Canada guide, and this week we're covering the Desert Disaster from the first steps out in the sands to the final confrontation with a radioactive super-villain.
  • World of Warcraft - Vanity Pet Collecting Checklist
    They're those cute and adorable creatures that follow your World of Warcraft character wherever they go. There are achievements that require you to collect a lot of these little guys, 50 and 75 of them. Not to mention more new pets that came with the 3.2 patch. Raptor Hatchlings! Here Yadiera has gathered an almost complete list of all the World of Warcraft pets that are available in game for Alliance or Horde. Pets obtained through a Quest or with high Reputation. Even all the pets dropped by specific mobs or bosses and seasonal pets. Listing costs, drop rate, who to get it from and how you get it.


Hottest Content:

  1. Guild Wars - Rediscovering Tyria
  2. Star Trek Online Closed Beta to Begin in October?
  3. Champions Online: Exclusive Interview on Sidekicks, Super Groups, and Supervillains
  4. World of Warcraft - New Expansion = New Tamable Pets?
  5. World of Warcraft - Vanity Pet Collecting Checklist
  6. Age of Conan - A Year Later, Part 2
  7. The Hollywood Cycle: Comparing the MMO Industry with the Silver Screen
  8. Flight or Fight: A Look at Advanced Flight and Combat in Aion
  9. The Co-Op PvE side of Global Agenda: A Q&A with Exec. Producer Todd Harris
  10. An Advanced Guide to Crafting in Aion

Real World News

Seen news you think I can mangle into a vaguely amusing snippet of text? Send it to me.

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 Aion 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.