Welcome to your Monday Loading..., which kicks off a week of guest writers for the world's best (read: "only") daily MMOG newsletter chock full of news, opinion, interviews, and features. You can read previously enjoyed editions of Loading... in the blog archive. (For the navigation impaired that means you click the link and then look in the right menu.)
It was a bright day in an otherwise dark series of months for Nicole when I threw a soda can tab into the empty Milli Vanilli poster box that she had crafted into a make-shift banjo in the local subway station. If she can play a cardboard banjo that well, then she will be perfect as a MMOG industry relations person I thought to myself, and just like that we had a new hire! We've had our disagreements, dueling banjos so to speak, but here she is, laptop balanced precariously on her cardboard banjo, filling in for me.
She has never given up on her dream to climb the recycled paper products banjo ladder, but for now at least she has found a home at TenTonHammer.com. Please welcome in my absence, Nicole "Awenalphabetsoup" Hamlett.
I'd like to write to you about the "Burning Itch." If visions of Lotramin or Monostat are dancing in your head, pull back and realize that while I do have a tendency to have no boundaries, that kind of itch isn't prevalent on my mind. If you're of those unfortunate people who have recently dropped $600 dollars on a fairly useless console system (read me) that doesn't quite understand the meaning of backwards compatible (read every game in my library) because you've gotten bored with the standard fare of MMO's, your angst may soon be ending.
You've seen some preview articles that our crack team of World of Warcraft experts have put up on our WoW community site. As someone in the Burning Crusade beta, I can tell you that you haven't seen a fraction of the new goodies that this bag carries.
Oh sure, some of you have been down on WoW. Here are a few of the more interesting quotes.
"I often wonder if World of Warcraft has ruined any chance that independant developers have of drawing gamers. There are entirely too many comparisons now to said game and frankly that is unfortunate. When all is said and done, the only thing that it has going for it is the ability to solo from start to finish with a pretty environment. People, the game is making us stupid."
Or how about this gem?
"The WoW expansionâ¦ please. Someone just shoot me in the head. Iâd rather spend forty dollars on a guinea pig and watch IT spin its wheelâs for three months."
Who was the jackass that said that? Yeah, insert foot into mouth now.
I still believe that World of Warcraft is at times too easy, but, with that said, Burning Crusade is proving to be a very entertaining experience. At first I had to grudgingly admit that I was playing the game. I used excuses like, "Oh I have to play it for work." Now, the excuses have evaporated. I really enjoy playing this expansion. I have a burning need to play you could say.
The new races are well done and even though I've been waiting months for the Blood Elves to shoot onto the scene, I actually enjoy playing my Draenei more. The quests are interesting, the land has a unique feeling and soloing isn't as grab you by the stones boring as it has been. My only complaint is that the rest of the Ten Ton Hammer team plays for the other team. Noâ¦ not that team. So, if you have any sympathy and you are lucky enough to be in the beta, send Awenyddion a tell on the non PVP server. Tell me that you heard it here and I'll pawn some of my new jewelry off on you.
In the meantime, check out the great new content that we have on this Burning Itch, including the new race intro videos and a special Hellfire Ramparts preview - it's our first Burning Crusade instance experience! Or if WoW isn't to your taste, we have exclusive interviews with Vanguard's Brad McQuaid and Chronicles of Spellborn's Marco van Haren.
Exclusive new TenTonHammer.com Content! Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
10.23.2006 Exclusive Content
Vanguard : Exclusive Interview with Brad McQuaid
"Do you want to know what the man behind Sigil and SOE's upcoming MMORPG Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has to say about end game content and expansions, the beta test, and marketing the game to non-fans? On October 6th and 7th, Shayalyn went to a Vanguard press even in San Diego. We've brought you a behind-the-scenes glimpse in Shayalyn's blog, and a complete tour of Vanguard's world of Telon as shown led by executive producers Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler. Now we're concluding our October coverage with Shayalyn's interview of Brad McQuaid."
Chronicles of Spellborn : An Exclusive Interview with Spellborn's Marco van Haren
"Marco "Freeze" van Haren discusses combat encounters and other player expectations surrounding the highly anticipated, storyline-centric fantasy MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn (from the Dutch development team Spellborn International). If you saw our latest batch of TCoS screens, you know that this game has a ton of personality. Van Haren, the PR Manager for Spellborn, was kind enough to bring some of that personality to our network and "spell" out some answers to our every question. "
World of Warcraft : The Burning Crusade - "Hellfire Ramparts" Preview
"We at Ten Ton Hammer encourage you to bring a reliable rogue for The Scoundrel's Run. This dungeon has some vicious fire traps that are not to be taken lightly. Once the rogue has done his job, you'd better have a good cleric, too.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Race Intro Videos
"We've recorded the starting cutscenes for both of the new races in the upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Each cutscene shows a tour of the new starting areas along with a brief introduction of each race. You can't play as the new races yet but you can enjoy some of this amazing in-game footage before the game's official release!"
Dungeons & Dragons Online : DDO Mailbag - On the Verge of Module 3
"In this DDO Mailbag, Ralsu discusses his two recent interviews with Turbine's biggest names behind Dungeons @ Dragons Online. He also fields some questions about DDO game mechanics and admits that he learns a lot from Ten Ton Hammer readers. Additionally, he previews the content you can expect to see in the month of November."
Vanguard : Video - "High Over the Sands of Qalia"
"SOE and Sigil today released a new video that takes you on a fly-over across the continent of Qalia. As loyal Vanguard followers know, Qalia has an Arabian Nights theme, with Middle Eastern style architecture, burning deserts, lush jungles, and more. Among the races of Qalia, you'll find the dark elves, gnomes, and the varathari barbarians. Qalia is also home to the cat race, the kurashasa. Check out the latest video goodness for a preview of what you'll discover in Qalia."
Warhammer Online : Empire Concept Art
"We now have a total of eight concept art pieces released for the Empire. These images vary from classes such as the Warrior Priest and Bright Wizard to the gothic style architecture of the Empire."
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - Vin Diesel can stop after eating only one Lays potato chip.
Now from the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
Serbian Man Needs Emergency Surgery After Sharing Intimacy with Hedghog (Thanks John)
The good news is: the witchdoctor was right about the practice "curing" premature ejaculation.
Roofer Misses Shingle, Shoots 4 Inch Nail Into Testicle (Thanks John)
Colloquiasm "balls to the wall" to be replaced with "balls to the roof"
Rival HS Cheerleaders Arrested After Removing "Dougl" from Douglass Valley Elem. School Sign
Teachers are confident that after correctly spelling "ass," the cheerleaders can learn four-letter words like "jail"and "fine".
Storm Brings Tree Limbs Down on Jesus Statue, Forming a Cross
Bidding for cross and statue combo to begin on Ebay shortly.
Airplane Toilet Ice Decimates Spare Bedroom
Further proof that the airline industry is crapping on us.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and special guest Nicole "Awen" Hamlett