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Loading... September 16th, 2010 - Pin the Tail on the Release Date

Posted Thu, Sep 16, 2010 by Sardu

Loading... is the premiere daily MMOG newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer!

Welcome to the 1,420th edition of Loading...

As summer prepares for its annual slumber, we all know what season will soon be prancing around the northern hemisphere like a drunken fratboy in a fairy princess costume. If you're thinking autumn here, guess again. No, it's the holiday game release cycle that's all but breathing down our necks like an angry make-believe lover. And while we have a solid idea of exactly which new titles we can expect to see hitting the shelves over the next few months, it seems that speculation on a release date for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has finally kicked into high gear. A closer look at this plus much, much more will be blasting its way through your optic nerves today in Loading... Pin the Tail on the Release Date.

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Everquest 2 
  3. Lord of the Rings Online (UP 1)
  4. Guild Wars 2 (down 1) 
  5. EVE Online

Biggest movers today:

  1. Final Fantasy XIV
    - UP 7 to #17
  2. Rift: Planes of Telara
    - UP 4 to #11
  3. StarCraft II
    - down 2 to #13
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World of Warcraft PlayerScore

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Loading... where PC gaming isn't a myth, it's a way of life.


Last night I ducked my head into the local GameStop to see if I could snag a copy of R.U.S.E. which Ethec had recommended to me earlier in the day. Noting that the store has been completely remodeled for about the 100th time, I got to play the joyous game of guessing which dark corner of the store PC games were unceremoniously shoved into this time.

Sensing my confusion as I stumbled around the store like a drunken pirate seeking buried treasure, one of the employees eventually offered assistance. She had apparently been directly involved in the most recent shelf shuffling, and while proud of her efforts she was quick to note that the PC games section - which has dwindled down to near non-existence - was still in a state of total disarray.

She went on to offer up further assistance, letting me know that their newest PC game had just come in: Plants vs. Zombies. I didn’t ask but was seriously hoping that she was talking about a new box release version of some sort, because if the big new PC release for the store is a game that came out a year and a half ago then PC gaming truly is in dire straits as far as brick and mortar retail presence goes.

She also decided to play her pre-order suggestion card, letting me know that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is due out on November 2nd. I made sure to mention that the only confirmed MMOG release for that date is DC Universe Online, but thanked her all the same.

If you’re wondering why I’ve chosen to ramble on about my latest excursion into the Land Where PC Gaming is a Myth, there’s a very simple reason. On Monday, MMOChampion decided it was high time to declare November 2nd as the release date for Cataclysm as well – a date that’s been suggested via the awesome power of speculation more so than one derived from fact or any kind of official press release. Personally I think they may be drinking too much of GameStop’s Kool-Aid, but that’s beside the point.

Through a highly scientific process which involves analyzing facts and Blizzard’s release date history, plus a heavy dose of my super-happy-fun-time powers of divination, I’m going to go out on a limb here and boldly suggest that Cataclysm may or may not be released on November 2nd this year.

On the fact front, we’re right now seeing the beginnings of the pre-expansion patch cycle swing into motion. We also have access to the beta client so have at least some idea of how close to achieving its famed launch-day polish Blizzard is getting. There’s also been the recent collector’s edition announcement which indicates to me that an internal release candidate may not be too terribly far off.

However, BlizzCon takes place a little over a week prior to the proposed Nov. 2nd release date, and while WoW fans would certainly be whipped into a veritable frenzy during the event knowing that the new expansion is right around the corner, the relative closeness of the dates to me sounds like the kind of marketing department nightmare that Blizzard would want to avoid. Then again, you also have to factor in whether or not Activision-Blizzard has any other surefire holiday season hits to bank on this year.

To add further variables into the mix, a dash of MMOG history is worth adding here. If Nov. 2nd is indeed the planned release date for Cataclysm it wouldn’t be the first time that Blizzard has selectively gone head to head with the former MMOG heavyweight champ, SOE. The original game and The Burning Crusade were both released within weeks of 2 high-profile SOE titles, EverQuest II and Vanguard respectively. In fact, the first details for Cataclysm were conveniently “leaked” during a previous SOE Fan Faire. Perhaps those dates were mere coincidence, but if Cataclysm is released on the same date as the biggest SOE launch in years, DCUO, then that kind of pattern is hard to ignore.

At the end of the day we really won’t know when Cataclysm is going to be released until Blizzard makes an official announcement. Since they haven’t all we can really do is speculate. Do you think a November launch is feasible, or completely off the mark? Step through the Dark Portal and traverse the vast expanses of internet space to the Loading… forum and have your say!



Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day


From our /OOC (Off-topic) forum

Your worst game buys?

What's the worst game you've ever bought (it doesn't necessarily have to be an MMO)? Have you ever bought a game suspecting it would be amazing only to find out it really, really...wasn't? Hey, the box at least looked cool, right? Show off your embarrassing game purchases!

=====================================
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"I think I'm winning this thread with RF Online!"

- Beerkeg
=====================================


New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer


3 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 53 Ten Ton Hammer features in September! 1008 in 2010!

MEDIA

Craft of Gods Reveals The Caves of Tallion
http://www.tentonhammer.com/cog/preview/caves-of-tallion

Craft of Gods recently launched a new free-to-play server for players that are less fond of subscriptions. And new content is on the way for players of both the free and subscription-based servers to enjoy. The latest reveal from Kalicanthus offers a look at the Caves of Tallion, a huge dungeon with 14 new bosses and challenges for players to overcome.

FEATURES & GUIDES

Aion: Assault on Balaurea First Impressions
http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion/editorials/assault-on-balaurea-impressions

Aion's Assault on Balaurea has released and players are flooding Atreia to get a taste of the new content offered in this free expansion. Some players may might find the excitement they are looking for while others may be left just a little disappointed. Get the details on what the expansion has to offer, where NCsoft hit it out of the park, and where they may have come up short in our Assault on Balaurea first impressions.

WoW - Preparing Your Guild for Cataclysm
http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/prepare_for_cataclysm

Cataclysm is coming soon; raiding is winding down and Arena season 8 will soon come to an end. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you and your guild can prepare to hit the ground running in the upcoming expansion.

Today's Top 10

  1. Deeper into the Rift – A Q&A with Rift: Planes of Telara’s Scott Hartsman
  2. The Heart of Tyria - An Exclusive Interview on Personal Story and Progression in Guild Wars 2
  3. WoW Cataclysm – Deepholm Zone Preview
  4. Rift: Planes of Telara Class & Invasions Video Feature with Russ Brown
  5. Guild Wars 2 FAQ
  6. Aion: Assault on Balaurea First Impressions
  7. At Worlds' End - A Hands-On Look at End of Nations
  8. WoW - Preparing Your Guild for Cataclysm
  9. Skills, Traits and Builds - An Exclusive Guild Wars 2 Combat Interview
  10. Pre-Gaming For Piracy In EVE Online

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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

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