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Daily Column

Loading... Announcing Diablo IV, Starcraft III and World of Starcraft.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

If the Top 10 isn't enough, we also show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. World of Warcraft - 200 BPM
  2. Age of Conan - 133 BPM
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 67 BPM
  4. EverQuest II - 61 BPM
  5. Warhammer Online - 41 BPM
  6. Vanguard - 36 BPM
  7. Dungeon Runners - 33 BPM
  8. Guild Wars - 33 BPM
  9. EVE Online - 32 BPM
  10. Lineage II - 29 BPM

Perhaps more important than a Blizzard announcement is this announcement... Happy Birthday Coyote! Born on the same day as Oprah and Ellen Degenerate, his whimsical writing style has brought women and those who wish that they were to his blog every day yearning for more and usually leaving with a tear in their eye. Coyote is always abreast of the latest female angle on a story. Happy Birthday big guy!

The other major announcement was made by Blizzard, who have pulled back the curtain on their teaser image. Diablo III was the big announcement at the World Wide Invitational. My least favourite of the Blizzard franchises it meanders just outside of the massively multiplayer online game market. How many times are you going to read the line "Stay a while and listen" before this title launches?

[img_assist|nid=37228|title=Diablo III Splash|desc=Diablo III Splash Screen|link=node|align=right|width=160|height=120]

I'll start it off, stay a while and listen (or read, or watch) our coverage of the WWI '08 held in Paris this past weekend. Here is what we have posted so far!

Some highlights...

"As previously announced the biggest change will be the change from 25 man raiding to 10/25 man raiding, where all raid content will be available to both 10 and 25 man groups at the same time. Blizzard is doing this to open up content to a much larger audience than previously. However while it will be open to everyone they want to make the loot distinction very clear, therefore there will be a full tier of loot difference from the 10 to 25 man version of the raid. Blizzard also stated that the 25 man version of the raid will drop additional drops compared to previous 25 man content. This is so that more players in the raid get gear. Overall it is felt that having the raids available to both sizes Blizzard can create a lot more high quality content for many more players." -- Dungeon and Raid Presentation

I like this idea, though it doesn't solve the casual versus hardcore griping that currently exists. Would making the 25-man raid loot drops available in the 10-man raids at a very rare drop rate solve the problem? It might, and it would mean that the same loot is available to 'casual' players. It wouldn't change the time requirement to gain the gear, but it would make it accessible without being part of a 25-person chainsaw to cut through the content.

"Players and Blizzard alike feel that Naxx is one of the best raids ever maid by Blizzard and that it was released too late in the original games life cycle, therefore it is being brought back in the WotLK as a 10/25 man raid. Blizzard is extremely proud of the raid and feel they can tune this gigantic non-linear instance with over 15 bosses to be even better in the new environment. Its imagery and lore also fits Northrend Perfectly. As such it will most likely be the first raid instance in the expansion." -- Dungeon and Raid Presentation

This will give players without the 25-man chainsaw a chance to experience one of the most acclaimed dungeons in the game. That said, couldn't it have been taken, tweaked, nudged and cajoled until it was a new dungeon with the same feel?

"Instances and faction is being looked at for WotLK as well. While they liked the original system it sometimes felt like a chore. Therefore they are testing a new system called championing. What this system will ado is allow you to wear a tabard for a specific faction in any instance and gain that factions reputation in addition to the base instance faction. This would allow you to gain the faction you need no matter the instance you are running. The instance faction will have a representative outside of each instance and faction requirements to enter instances are being removed. This means that you can enter heroic versions having never entered the dungeon previously. They are also looking to fill in the faction rewards with many more choices including more PvP options, trade skills items and more." -- Dungeons and Raid Presentation

How can this be a bad thing? People will complain, but in the end, it makes the game more accessible.

"Yes we are planning to allow players to use flying mounts in Northrend. We want you to not necessarily have to re buy the mount from the beginning, so you might have to go through some process of attunement. We haven't exactly gone through the process of how we are going to give you the flying mount. So, yes you will have flying mounts in Northrend Their wings might just need to be defrosted a little bit. We do plan to allow players to use their flying mounts at level 77, and then new mounts at 80. Potentially mounts that allow passengers." -- Open Mic Q&A

Raise your hand if you are going to miss using your flying mount from level 70 to 77? I thought so. As for attunement, I think it's a terrible idea. Blizzard has backtracked on much of the attunement that was in the game, making content more accessible. Why change that stance and force players to attune just to fly their mount? I hope this doesn't come to fruition. In the good old days where MMOGs didn't have instances it made some sense to put players through an attunement process. It lengthened the time it took to progress through content and kept guild progression somewhat staggered so that they weren't all hammering away at a zone waiting for the boss to pop. Now that everything in instanced (or perhaps should be?) having guilds smashing into one another at the door to a zone is not a problem. If they have enough players of the appropriate level isn't that attunement enough?

One last bit of news before I leave you today. Blizzard also announced the Authenticator at WWI '08.

"The Blizzard Authenticator is an optional tool that offers World of Warcraft players an additional layer of security to help prevent unauthorized account access. The Authenticator itself is a physical “token” device that fits easily on a keyring." -- Official Blizzard Site

In a nutshell, if you are worried about keyloggers or some miscreant stealing your username and password then this dongle will give you an added layer of security. When you login to the game you will be asked for a digital code generated by the Authenticator. My suggestion, stop browsing the pr0n sites and cheat sites and you won't get a keylogger.

What's your take on Diablo III, the WotLK update and the Authenticator?

Do tell. The Loading Forums await you. Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.

--
[A big thanks to Phil Comeau for putting together the link and Real World News.]

10 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 282 in June! 1578 in 2008!

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Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com.

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.

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