Loading... September 21st, 2010 - Jumping the Gun

Posted Tue, Sep 21, 2010 by B. de la Durantaye

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

Welcome to the 1,423rd edition of Loading...

Head start programs have become a standard practice for  the launch of MMOGs over the past several years. Find out what Executive Editor, Ben, thinks of early access. He also reveals his true feelings about digital downloads vs. boxed copies today in Loading... Jumping the Gun.

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. Lord of the Rings Online (UP 1)
  3. Everquest 2 (down 1)
  4. Guild Wars 2 (UP 7)
  5. EVE Online (down 1)

Biggest movers today:

  1. Dungeons and Dragons Online
    - down 2 to #7
  2. StarCraft II
    - down 2 to #12
  3. Final Fantasy XIV
    - UP 2 to #15
Recent Releases
Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Events

World of Warcraft: Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest
October is just around the corner, so you know what that means. It’s that festive time once again when we get to raise or virtual tankards in World of Warcraft in celebration of the annual in-game Brewfest event! To help get you into the spirit (or should that be spirits?) of the event, we’ll be giving away not just one, but two signed Tankard O’ Terror’s from Taverncraft. For full contest details be sure to race your ram over to our Brewfest Tankard O’ Terror Contest page!

Enter now as the contest ends on Monday, September 27th at midnight!

World of Warcraft PlayerScore

What's your PlayerScore? World of Warcraft players, find out at

Loading... Wishing we lived in a Mad Max world so we could have a .50 cal machinegun on the hood of our car.

Final Fantasy XIV head start kicks off today. Players who have preordered the Collector's Edition will be taking the day off work, skipping class, and/or breaking up with their secondary others to get some time to dive into the world and get their game on.

Head starts are fun. I like to check them out when I can. For me it's not because it gives me a leg up on a lot of the competition. It's not really about super anticipation (though this is sometimes the case). No, for me, I like head starts because I get a feel for the community. The head starters tend to be some of the most dedicated fans and this group of people have a different flare in every game.

There are the sages, who have been playing the game since inception and have 28,000 posts on the official forums. There are the competitors who pull 22 hours a day until they reach max level. There are the veterans who form their guilds early and start recruiting out of the gate. There are the cheaters who have either found an exploit in beta or look around to find one as soon as they can to capitalize off it before it's discovered. There are the socialites who spend all day in public chat channels talking and befriending others. There are the instructors who, like the socialites, spend the day in public chat, but they only reply to newbie questions. There are the newbs who have never before played an MMOG but for one reason or another have enough interest in this particular title that they got into the head start. There are the fanbois who have sold all their earthly possessions to buy a great computer to run the game, and a build-it-yourself shed kit from the hardware depot to live in for the next eight months.

All of these people and more you will find in the head start programs. It's a whacky, zany adventure during head start, and it's a lot of fun. You get a feel for the server community early on and it's easy to be able to determine the tone of the experience you'll be having for the next few months as you play the game.

Even then, head starts do have down sides. Often the community can be separated between early access and standard access. Sometimes, too, redeemable items may not be able to be claimed during the head start, which can be frustrating, particularly if an item is designed to be of most use during the first few levels. Worse yet, sometimes some glaring bugs may still be present in some head start programs as the experience can be treated as a sort of final beta test before launch, depending on the devco's approach.

I won't be in the Final Fantasy XIV head start today. It's not because I don't want to be, but it's simply a matter of logistics. I buy all my games in digital format nowadays and the fact that there's no digital version available yet is a big turn off for me. A game needs to have wowed me to the extreme if I'm going to make a special trip to go downtown, preorder the game, and go back a few weeks or months later to pick it up. Call me lazy, but when I can buy almost every other PC game I could ever want through an online store of some sort, I feel a little more than inconvenienced if I have to set aside time out of my day to make a special trip to pick up the game.

So FF XIV early starters, have a great time today. I do wish I was there with you and all the other sages, competitors, veterans, cheaters, socialites, instructors, newbs and fanbois, but I won't be. There is an EB Games by my gym though, so I will make a point to stop by and pick up a copy come standard launch. But I still won't make a special trip just for that. Call me lazy, call me undedicated. I call it living in 2010.

Are you playing Final Fantasy XIV today? Which category of head-starter do you fit into? Want to tell me to swallow my pride and go buy the damn game already? Tell it all in the forums.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Tavern of the Ten Ton Hammer forum

Planet Michael: The true death blow to MMOs

What does the world need even more than a Hello Kitty MMOG? Obviously, we've been in dire need of a Michael Jackson MMOG; we just didn't know it yet. But SEE Global Entertainment has peered into our souls and determined our deepest desires. And I foresee your desire to talk about it.

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"Ooooooh! I bet the only gear that drops in this game is Jesus juice and your pants!"

- Annatar

New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer

9 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 71 Ten Ton Hammer features in September! 1026 in 2010!


HOT! World of Warcraft: Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest

October is just around the corner, so you know what that means. It’s that festive time once again when we get to raise or virtual tankards in World of Warcraft in celebration of the annual in-game Brewfest event!

Running through October 5th, Brewfest is all about kicking back and enjoying a few ales, testing your skills at ram racing and having an all-around good time with your friends in the game. To learn what’s changed for the event this year and how you can snag yourself some awesome event loot, be sure to take a gander at our complete Brewfest Guide.

To help get you into the spirit (or should that be spirits?) of the event, we’ll be giving away not just one, but two signed Tankard O’ Terror’s from Taverncraft. For full contest details be sure to race your ram over to our Brewfest Tankard O’ Terror Contest page!


HOT! Core Gameplay in Guild Wars 2 - A Ten Ton Hammer Exclusive Community Interview

As much as many of us here at Ten Ton Hammer enjoy getting the opportunity to speak with AreanNet about the development of Guild Wars 2, we also realize that our community members are equally curious to learn more details about the upcoming game. In fact, for our latest exclusive interview we gave our readers the opportunity to submit their Guild Wars 2 questions which we made sure to ask during our recent discussion with Game Designer Izzy Cartwright.

While certain aspects of the game remain under wraps for the time being, we presented as many of our readers’ questions as time would allow, with a few of our own thrown in for good measure. Will customizable party hats be the new guild capes? Will underwater gameplay alter the way our skills function in any way? Read on to find out the answers to these and many more questions in our exclusive community interview for Guild Wars 2!


SOE Strikes Back - A Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Review
When Star Wars and SOE are mentioned in the same breath the reaction from some gamers is downright scary. Undaunted by any lingering anger over the past, these two have once again partenered up to create a multiplayer world. This time using the Clone Wars era and a browser based delivery method, the new game looks to capture a younger market, similar to that of FreeRealms. Can they capture the magic of the Star Wars universe and can a browser based game deliver the level of gaming goodness that Star Wars fans demand? Join Jason "Medawky" Bolton this week as he progresses from Padwan to Jedi in our review of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.


War of 2012: Flames of Open Beta Burning

War of 2012 recently kicked off its open beta and players are waging war in the browser-based war game that fuels its conflict with the ancient Mayan Doomsday Prophecy. But what does this game have to offer players in a market full of free-to-play games? Check out the latest open beta feature from Playful Games Holdings to find out


WoW Weekly Report - An in-depth look at Deepholm, PVP, and Guild preparedness

The WoW Weekly Report is our newsletter dedicated to giving you a wrap-up of the previous week in news, stories, and more. This week we look at some great World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Previews including a look at the changes coming to Durotar, and the new zone of Deepholm. We also covered the new rated battlegrounds and how your guild can get ready for Cataclysm. In addition to all that great onsite content, check out all the news regarding World of Warcraft so you don't miss a thing. All this and more in our WoW Weekly Report every Tuesday.


Mythos Unveils Second Class with the Gadgeteer

Frogster has unveiled the second class for their upcoming Hack'n'Slash MMORPG, Mythos. The newest class revealed is the Gadgeteer, a class gifted in the art of making things go boom. Armed with traps, bombs and other mechanical devices, the Gadgeteer is adept at dealing damage from a distance and can expand into three fields of specialization: Marksman, Grenadiers, and Tinkerers. Each new class offers its own unique set of skills and you can check them all out complete with screenshots in the latest reveal.


Making ISK By Inventing Missiles In EVE Online (Part 2)

Ten Ton Hammer Contributing Writer, Space Junkie, loves making tech two missiles. He loves it so much that he writes guides about it so that other EVE Online players can share his joy. That doing so will make the reader gobs and gobs of ISK is purely secondary to this unusual fascination with missiles and missile-shaped objects.

The LotRO Store Arrives in Middle-Earth

The Lord of the Rings Online free-to-play has been up and running on all servers for about a week. With free-to-play games come microtransactions, and with microtransactions come online stores. The LotRO store offers everything from character slots to expansion packs to cosmetic items. Ten Ton Hammer has the goods on how to purchase your virtual goods.

Editorial - Lore Continuity Breakdown in WoW Cataclysm

The Lich King has been defeated and in a few short (or long depending on how impatient you happen to be) months the world of Azeroth will reflect this change as Cataclysm is released for the WoW fans across the world to enjoy. Quests are being tweaked, talents revamped, professions overhauled, all in an effort to make the initial play experience go off without a hitch. However despite all their careful planning and the huge amount of time Blizzard has invested in the Cataclysm project they seem to have overlooked one major problem; once players hit 70 and venture into wintery Northrend the Lich King kind of, sort of, isn’t dead anymore.

Today's Top 10

  1. World of Warcraft: Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest
  2. Core Gameplay in Guild Wars 2 - A Ten Ton Hammer Exclusive Community Interview
  3. LEGO Universe Preview
  4. Deeper into the Rift – A Q&A with Rift: Planes of Telara’s Scott Hartsman
  5. WoW: Brewfest Guide
  6. The Heart of Tyria - An Exclusive Interview on Personal Story and Progression in Guild Wars 2
  7. Reconstructing a Classic - A Candid Interview with SquareEnix's Sage Sundi
  8. The LotRO Store Arrives in Middle-Earth
  9. WoW Cataclysm – Deepholm Zone Preview
  10. GameCrush: Capitalizing On Your Girl Gamer Fetish

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Benjamin J. de la Durantaye and the Ten Ton Hammer team


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