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Welcome to the 1,386th edition of Loading...
Somewhere between the massive buzz surrounding the launch of StarCraft II, the release of the first Guild Wars 2 novel, and the announcement that EverQuest II would be adding a free-to-play option, another major announcement this week was all but completely overlooked. It seems another NCsoft title is about to face its grim fate as Exteel will be shutting down permanently. WeÂll take a closer look at each of these hot ticket items today in LoadingÂ Massively Morbid.
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HOT! Be sure to check out all of Ten Ton Hammer's San Diego Comic-Con 2010 event coverage!
HOT! Visit Ten Ton Hammer's StarCraft II Guides portal to gain that competitive multiplayer edge, or to read our Wings of Liberty single player campaign mission walkthroughs!
In an address to the community earlier this week titled ÂAll good things must come to an endÂ, NCsoft made the announcement that it would be permanently shutting down the servers for Exteel on September 1st during the normal maintenance time. While I could certainly never claim to have been a massive fan of the game, itÂs always a somewhat unsettling experience for me to read this kind of announcement nonetheless.
In many ways itÂs a reminder that not all virtual worlds are created equal, nor do they have that special spark that attracts and entertains a large enough audience to maintain service for years or even decades, regardless of their potential. ItÂs also interesting to note that even though some publishers are currently in the midst of receiving ten heaping tons of praise for opting to spread the free-to-play MMOG love, still others are unable to make ends meet and keep their free offerings afloat. Maybe free-to-play isnÂt the Âwave of the futureÂ and industry messiah that everyone claims it to be after all.
Either way, it looks like IÂll soon need to add another title to my makeshift MMOG graveyard alongside past fallen NCsoft titles Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners. LetÂs just hope that once the impending zombie apocalypse finally arrives, dead MMOGs donÂt rise up from their virtual graves and take over the world. DonÂt laugh, it could happen!
On a less gloomy NCsoft related note, though one still awesomely involving ghosts, the first Guild Wars 2 novel, Ghosts of Ascalon hit store shelves this Tuesday. I managed to snag the only available copy at my local bookstore right when they opened, but sadly havenÂt had time to dig into it as of yet. ItÂs been sitting here on my desk for the past few days seductively whispering Âread meÂ every time I look away, but alas that will have to wait until one of the many massive projects IÂm working on are closer to completion. Thankfully David ÂXerinÂ Piner from our Guild Wars 2 site is on the case and will be sharing his thoughts on the book in his full review next week.
Speaking of massive projects, by now IÂm sure many of you have already installed a brand spanking new copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The latest RTS title from genre masters Blizzard Entertainment is nothing short of spectacular, at least if youÂre into the hectic micro-management gameplay that SC2 provides. Resident SC2 expert Stow has been burning his way through the single player campaign at an impressive clip this week, and has already published walkthroughs for the Mar Sara mission chain. Be on the lookout for the next installment of our complete campaign walkthrough covering all four of the awesome Colonist missions which will be blasting its way onto the site later today.
As noted above, all good things must come to an end, so itÂs that time once again for me to scamper off into the aether. But before I go, IÂd love to hear your thoughts on the closure announcement for Exteel, the Ghosts of Ascalon novel and the StarCraft II single player campaign. So hop on the nearest enchanted broomstick and ride it on over to the LoadingÂ forum and have your say!
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day
From our Articles, News & Events Discussion Forum
Are We Jumping on The Free-to-play Bandwagon too Early?
Mattlow, our illustrious contributing writer, is an ornery ol' cuss. (Well, he's still younger than me, so, "Get off my lawn, kid!") His latest editorial let fly with his disdain for all things free-to-play, and he pulled no punches. The editorial was just published last night, but I'm waiting for this thread to go nuts. We need your help!
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread
"I've said for a long time that games should be judge on the game not it's business model."
New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer
5 new and exlcusive Ten Ton Hammer features today! 102 Ten Ton Hammer features in July! 816 in 2010!
Dev Talk: Top MMOG Devs Weigh in on Today's Trends
Trends--they can dictate what clothes we wear, what music we listen to, what TV shows and movies we watch, and whether we're using MySpace (so yesterday) or Facebook. When it comes to trends, no one seems to be immune, and the MMO gaming industry is no exception. As yesterday's innovations become today's standards, we asked our developer friends to talk to us about what trends they're spotting in MMOGs in 2010, and how their own games fit into the big picture. Check out what the developers had to say in this month's Dev Talk.
Are We Jumping on The Free-to-play Bandwagon too Early?
Mattlow takes a look at the current trend towards free -to- play games... and then rakes them over the coals. In this very opinionated article Mattlow has some harsh remarks for developers and the media where free to play is concerned.
FEATURES & GUIDES
EQ2 Enchanter Sample AA Specs
With unbelievable soloing power and huge group appeal the Enchanter classes, the Coercer and the Illusionist, can handle just about anything they take on. If you've decided to play one of these great classes then you may be looking for an equally great alternate advancement build. We've scoured the 'net and talked to our favorite Enchanter friends to get AA advice that you can use. Keep these AA specs as is, or just as easily tailor them to suit your personal needs, either way your starting point for an AA build is here!
StarCraft II Mission Guides: Mar Sara
We're finally here. StarCraft 2 has arrived in its oh-so-glorious beauty, and the single player is absolutely mind-blowing. If you're having trouble with, or want to step up your game, we have what you need. We've got the best guide on the internet for destroying Blizzard's latest campaign on Hard difficulty, and it starts with Raynor's departure from Mar Sara.
PvP Changes in Cataclysm
Cataclysm is coming and World of Warcraft PvP will never be the same again. Take a look at some of the changes to class balance and resilience that are coming as well as a preview of the two new Battlegrounds!
Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features
- WoW Cataclysm Closed Beta Key Giveaway
- StarCraft II Mission Guides: Mar Sara
- EverQuest II Goes Free-to-Play - A Q&A with Producer Dave Georgeson
the Gray: A Hands-On
Preview of City
Heroes: Going Rogue
- DC Universe Online Blur Trailer from San Diego Comic-Con 2010
Q&A with Chris Gyselinck about
- Exclusive LEGO Universe Video Interview on Factions, Reputation and More!
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning From 38 Studios Unveiled
- A Preview of TERA's New UI, Glyph System and More
Races of Guild
2: The Sylvari
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- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer team