It's a holiday in Canada! Today we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. She died in 1901, but we really, really like her.
Special and heartfelt thanks to Jeff Woleslagle for covering this column last week while I was unable to do so. Additional and equally fervent thanks to the rest of the TenTonHammer.com team that turned our E3 coverage into a tremendous success in my absence. Even more thanks to those that sent me their condolences last week. I couldn't get back to everyone, but please be assured that I appreciated each and every letter. Who's da man? You da man!
Although I had to fly home from E3 before the show officially started, I was there to see the team preparing (imbibing liberal amounts of caffeine) for the longest three-days of their media lives. Many of our editors had never been to an E3 before. The culture shock alone is sometimes enough to unnerve a new editor, but the team stood tall, had fun and diligently got their articles written, proofed and posted in what little time they were allotted.
At first glance, you might anticipate that a network like ours that covers massively multiplayer online games exclusively would have a straightforward time picking and choosing appointments. The truth is that even with 12 editors/support staff at the show we were hard pressed to cover the games and article angles that we dearly wished to incorporate into our E3 2006 agenda. The team did a tremendous job and though I wasn't there to share in the successes, I can live through them vicariously via our E3 2006 coverage section.
Pouring through the traffic statistics (in which we set some new network records) was engrossing. What staggered me was what I have been calling the "WoW Effect". Even at E3, surrounded by the most hype that any other MMOG publishers could produce the vast majority of traffic to our network was to read World of Warcraft related articles. A final look at the Top 50 referrers (sites that linked to our E3 articles sending their readers to us) showed that World of Warcraft related sites, including the official site sent well over 70% of our referred traffic. The idea that this would be the case was inconceivable prior to the show. Blizzard really didn't have much in the way of new content to show compared to some other big-name games.
Another statistic that was unimaginable prior to the show was that with the exception of our index page, our comics page and our booth babe photos, World of Warcraft coverage would take up every spot in the top 50 pages viewed on the network. No other game made it into the top 50 pages viewed; not because they did not have a large following, but because that large following was dwarfed by the multitude of World of Warcraft fans rabidly seeking out any information on the Burning Crusade and the new Alliance race, the Draenei.
Any game that can tap into even a small percentage of the World of Warcraft community will be a success.
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What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
Auto Assault: Mechanics - Tricks And Trims
"Vehicle customization in Auto Assault is pretty in-depth. There is lots of options for the various chassis in the game. The system in place to handle such customization is actually pretty simple, gather some materials and click a few options and voila! Customized rocket launcher on wheels."
Auto Assault: Clan Spotlight - Bronze
"There exists a clan for everyone out there, no matter how you play there is always someone out there who shares your playstyle. For instance if you enjoy a mature RP enviroment then there would be a clan just for you. That clan would be BRONZE on the Wasteland (RP) server. BRONZE is a clan dedicated to providing a fulfilling softcore RP experience in a mature enviroment. They host various clan events which range from hunting down enemies to helping our newbies!"
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Interview With Ex-DDO Players
"Turbine made some big announcements for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) earlier this month. Ralsu thinks these changes are an attempt to make DDO more appealing to a wider audience. He relays the stories of four players who tested the waters with DDO only decide that it wasn't for them."
EverQuest 2: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
"Eating and drinking are as much a part of gaming as having the Firefly DVDs going, or something other than 80âs music playing. Kiara takes a humorous look at what gamers eat, and what not to spill on your keyboard."
Everquest 2: Live Update 24 - The Players Speak
"Live Update 24 has been on the lips of many the last couple of weeks. How do ordinary players feel about these impending changes, and how will their class change? Kiara tracked down a few players, and with offers of pie and cake, persuaded them to share their feelings."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Interview with Nicole Hamlett
"Nicole may not be a vampire but she sure has some bite. Lady Sirse was able to interview Nicole "Awenyddion" Hamlett, Vanguard @ TenTonHammer.com's former Community Manager. She was able to get Nicole's views on how Sigil seemed to be doing at E3 as well as her impressions of the game itself"
World of Warcraft: Guide To Ahn'Qiraj - Section 2.3 Moam
"Moam is the third boss in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ20) and is a large Sphinx, very similar to the Obsidian Destroyer trash mobs. Moam is also a tremendously fun and easy fight if done correctly. The biggest trick with Moam is having enough mana drain. You must have at least 3 Warlocks, 3 Priests and any Hunters you have continuously mana-draining Moam"
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - Vin Diesel can hit a backhand in pong.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up. [Thanks Matt!]
U.S. Fears Chinese PCs May Be Bugged
You have nothing to fear, but fear itself and communist made computing devices.
Teacher Arrested For Touring Slovakian Cathedral
Opus Dei, Gilligan unavailable for comment.
Pirahnas Put On Diet
Have you eaten Jenny yet?
Trooper Shoots Man With Ax In Police Parking Lot
Still unclear how he got the ax to fit into the gun.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin