Loading... September 10th, 2010 - Full Speed Ahead

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Hot on the heels of the
industry event double-whammy of gamescom and PAX Prime, the fall gaming
season is already beginning to kick into high gear. Between major
launches for upcoming new titles such as style="font-style: italic;">DC Universe Online
and LEGO
just around the
corner, the open beta for style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy XIV
leading up to that game’s launch later this month, the
free-to-play launch for style="font-style: italic;">Lord of the Rings Online
and the first full expansion for style="font-style: italic;">Aion,
it seems there’s a little something for everyone hitting
virtual and retail shelves this season. Today we’ll take a
brief look at a few of these titles and a whole lot more in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/10">Loading…
Full Steam Ahead

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2">Guild Wars 2
    (UP 1)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">Everquest
    2 (down 1)
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">Lord of the
    Rings Online
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons
    Dragons Online (UP 1)

movers today

  1. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2035">Rift:
    Planes of Telera

    - down 2
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto">Star Trek

    - down
    2  to #16
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2339">TERA

    - UP 2 to
size="-1">Recent Releases

  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free

  • size="-1">September
    30, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> src="http://images.tentonhammer.com/misc/PlayerScore/2010/PlayerScore_091010.jpg"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

Loading... Accident-free for
over 60 days!

Earlier this morning I was pleasantly surprised when going through our
Pulse charts for the day to see that href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2"> style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
has shot up to the number 2 position on the network. While MMO gamers
can often be fickle creatures when it comes to following upcoming
titles, it’s nice to see that I’m obviously not the
only person here that likes what ArenaNet has shown us of the game so
far. Rather than restate many of the things I find so engaging about
the gameplay and overall design philosophy for style="font-style: italic;">GW2
here, instead I’ll simply encourage you to check out parts href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/previews/pax2010/hands-on-part-one">one
and href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/previews/pax2010/hands-on-part-two">two
of our hands-on look at the game from href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxprime/2010">PAX

If that’s not enough, we also have an excellent href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/pax-combat">interview
focused on the combat in style="font-style: italic;">GW2
that you won’t want to miss. But in the immortal words (or at
least horrendously bad grammar) of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you
ain’t seen nothing yet. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on
our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2"> style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
community site early next week
for the next installment of our exclusive interview with Game Designer
Izzy Cartwright.

While I could easily wax poetic about style="font-style: italic;">GW2
until the virtual cows come home from wherever it is they scamper off
to when you’re not looking, there’s plenty of other
MMOGs that will soon be hitting a digital or physical retailer near you
that are worth taking a closer look at. In fact, today marks the
official free-to-play launch for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro"> style="font-style: italic;">Lord of the Rings Online.
As Ethec noted href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/9">yesterday
in Loading… it seems
Turbine has a pretty firm grasp on how to handle this type of re-launch
for an established title, so I expect the game will be seeing a hefty
upswing in server populations over the weekend.

If you plan on diving into Middle Earth either as a returning player or
for your very first time, you’ll want to be sure to check out
our completely rewritten guides for what is arguably the most popular
class in the game, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/hunter/overview">the
Hunter. It was written by the
newest member of our community site team, Gunky, and is hands down the
best class guide you’ll find for the game anywhere on the
‘net. If Hunters aren’t necessarily your first
pick, never fear because we’ll be rolling out all new
complete guides for each class in the game over the coming weeks.

The href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv"> style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy XIV
open beta is also well underway, and based on some of the reactions
I’ve been reading on our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=569">forums
there seems to be a pretty varied reaction to the game so far. Some
people seem to love the fact that style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
is a somewhat radical departure from the type of MMO gameplay most
North American gamers tend to take for granted as being the norm. Still
others have logged in, played for a few hours and were left with a
distinctly bad taste in their mouth for the same reason.

I’ve only managed to squeeze in a couple hours worth of
gameplay so far this week, so I’ll reserve judgment until
I’ve given it a proper amount of attention. One thing that
really stands out for me, however, is the fact that control scheme is
for all intents and purposes intended to work best on consoles, yet
there’s little or no real apparent consideration for the fact
that the game is launching on the PC first.

Call it what you will, but a part of why I loathed playing a game like style="font-style: italic;">Fable II
on a console is the simple fact that just about every single
interaction in the game sends you digging through menus – the
same kinds of interactions that would otherwise be as simple as
pressing a single hotkey on a keyboard. style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
unfortunately falls prey to this same control scheme clunkiness from
what I’ve seen of the game so far. Thankfully it also
doesn’t take all that long to figure out which part of the
menus things are stuffed in.

If neither the free-to-play version of style="font-style: italic;">LotRO
or upcoming launch of style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
floats your gaming boat, there are still a few more major MMOG releases
just around the corner. In the next two months we’ll get the
chance to step into two distinctly different universes, style="font-style: italic;">LEGO
and DC
to be exact. And while we don’t have a set release date just
yet, there’s also the mammoth third expansion for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow"> style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
drifting somewhere along the horizon. For those of you chomping at the
bit to get your hands on style="font-style: italic;">Cataclysm,
I thoroughly encourage you to head to href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">PlayerScore.com
to see how your characters rank against your peers in the meantime.

And thus concludes another exciting episode of Loading… for
this week. Have you been keeping a close eye on the latest details for style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2,
or plan on diving into style="font-style: italic;">LotRO
or the FFXIV
open beta this weekend? Hail a virtual taxi and ride that puppy on over
to the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=426">Loading…
forum and let us know! As for
myself, I plan on hitting my local theater later today to see the next
installment of the style="font-style: italic;">Resident Evil
series, for better or worse. Even if it ends up being wretchedly awful,
the promise of 3D zombie fun is hard to pass up!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=426">Loading...

Turbine's Secret Weapon

yesterday's daily newsletter from Ten Ton Hammer, Loading..., Jeff
"Ethec" Woleslagle talked about Turbine's approach to releasing its
formerly AAA games as free-to-play versus Sony Online Entertainment's.
What's the secret weapon Ethec claims that Turbine has? And do you
agree with him? Join the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53418">lively
discussion in the Loading...


Quotes from the Epic Thread

been plaing Lord of the Rings for 3 years and no one I know that we
play with is mad at the free to play move. We are all excited to see
new people come in and see the game. There is very little bitterness
because all the lifetimes get the same game anyways and those paying
subs can just keep paying subs with little to no changes. I know the
forum trolls rage on about how its the doom of everything but the
general long term lotro player I think is excited.

- href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showpost.php?p=441341&postcount=5">mckimmins


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

3 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 33 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 988 in 2010!

style="font-weight: bold;">Today's
Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

PAX 2010

Rift: Planes of Telara Class & Invasions Video Feature with
Russ Brown


Brown, VP of Development for Rift: Planes of Telara, showcases the
games classes and callings system, the seldom talked about focus gems
concept, and offers a detailed look at how footholds and invasions work
in this new 2-part video series from PAX 2010.


Goes Free-to-Play : An Interview with Producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon



recent release of Need for Speed World has had racing fanatics in a
tizzy, exploring the game world and putting on races like mad. Ten Ton
Hammer heard that big news was breaking this week about NFSW, so we
slipped into EA’s racing garages (warehouses filled with
high-end cars
and equipment!) to talk to Producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon about this
big news and what’s next for NFSW.


- Living La Vida LOCO


Mention MMOGs
and the average gamer envisions Orcs and Wizards. While
games filled with questing and leveling are still the norm, there is an
emerging trend toward unique games attempting to break the mold. Land
of Chaos Online is one such title, but can a blend of third-person
shooter, RTS and traditional MMOG combine into a tasty gaming treat?
Join Jason “Medawky” Bolton, who is fresh off an
action packed tour of
LOCO, this week in Microcosms to find out.

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/pax10">Rift:
    Planes of Telara Class & Invasions Video Feature with
    Russ Brown
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/pax-combat">Skills,
    Traits and Builds - An Exclusive Guild
    Wars 2
    Combat Interview
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/pax10">Rift:
    Planes of Telara
    Class & Invasions Video Feature with Russ Brown
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/previews/pax2010/hands-on-part-two"> style="font-weight: bold;">Guild
    Wars 2 - Hands-On at PAX
    Part 2
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/previews/pax2010/hands-on-part-one"> style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2
    Hands-On at PAX Prime Part 1
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tera/previews/pax-hands-on">A
    Tale of Two TERAs
    A Hands-On Look at style="font-weight: bold;">TERA's
    Group Play
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/torchlight2/previews/pax2010">PAX
    2010 Hands-On Preview of style="font-weight: bold;">Torchlight
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/firefall/previews/pax2010">A
    First Look at Red 5's Firefall
    at PAX 2010
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo/videos/update7-preview">Half
    Elves, Time Travel, and a Demonic Vultron? A PAX 2010 Video Preview
    of DDO Update 7
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/hands-on-preview-part-2"> style="font-weight: bold;">Rift: Planes of Telara
    First Hands On Preview – Part 2

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Reuben "Sardu" Waters
and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

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