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Loading... Bli$$Con 2009

Posted Fri, Aug 21, 2009 by Cody Bye

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Server queues are trouble enough, but when we get a chance to go to our version of Mecca, we’re hit with lines that make a Thessala Hydra look tame in comparison. But the majority of the lines are pointed into the various Blizzard swag shops, where items are bought and then resold on eBay for twice their actual worth. Has BlizzCon really become Bli$$Con? Read about this and more in today's Loading... Bli$$Con 2009.

The Pulse

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

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Champions Online
  3. Aion 
  4. Dragon Age Origins
  5. EverQuest 2

Biggest Movers today :

  1. Guild Wars 2 (UP 64 to #12)
  2. Jade Dynasty (UP 6 to #17)
  3. City of Heroes (down 4 to #18)
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Lines, lines, everywhere a line. Not that last year's BlizzCon didn't have it's own trouble with lines, but the problem is magnfied by 1/3rd more people this year, and Blizzard might have crossed a tipping point where the format becomes completely unwieldy. In typical game developer fashion, rather than solving the problem outright by, say, renting out the LA Convention Center and Staples Center, Blizzard chose to make the problem a little more bearable by taking up the entire basement of the Anaheim convention center (so at least the line is in dry, air conditioned comfort, rather than the harrowing 70 degree and sunny SoCal climate here), and apparently offering a mini-game to let people entertain themselves in line (though I didn't actually see anyone playing). The registration line moved admirably quickly, however, and we left in search of other lines.

Lines for The Guild meetup in the Hilton last night, lines for restaurants. The line to get into the convention wrapped all around the convention center before the doors opened this morning at 10am, inevitably creating another line to get into the Blizzard store. What's particularly troubling to the real fans here is how much is bought just to re-sell on Ebay. Of particular concern is the nutty little exclusive plushies - why not put one of these in the Swag Bag rather than the Starcraft 2 "noobz" figurine that most of us didn't really want? The problem isn't limited to the store, either. Someone mentioned that Summit ticket packages, those reeserved for prominent guild leaders and fansites, were going for $5k on eBay just before the event.

The rest of the swag bag was fairly disappointing too, leading to grumbles about how Blizzard had hiked the ticket price and cut back hugely on many of the big reasons to attend, namely with the DirectTV and Internet streaming video and the disappointing swag. BlizzCon seems to be becoming Bli$$Con in more ways than one. Even this year's lanyards are bits of silvery tight-wound giftwrap ribbon that seem likely to pop and send your badge flying should you snag it in a crowd.

But gamers are nothing if not good at complaining. One big, unexpected announcement would redress a hundred wrongs. Will BlizzCon's true cataclysm be nothing but Cataclysm? We'll find out in a few hours, so keep it tuned to Ten Ton Hammer and join the crowd in the forums or email me.

5 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 60 in August! 920 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

  • Exclusive Aion Screenshots - The Cleric
    Aion's final closed beta event wrapped up this past weekend, but that doesn't mean Ten Ton Hammer is going to leave you hanging out in the cold is you wait for the next stage in development. This set of exclusive screenshots focus on the Cleric class in all their glory.
  • Age of Conan a Year Later - Part Three
    Age of Conan has changed and grown a lot in the last year and Ten Ton Hammer dove back in game to see how these changes effected the game and community. We've covered technical improvements, server population, and gems in our first article. In the second, we touched upon combat, questing, and PvP gameplay. Now, we take a look at what could be the most important aspects of the game; classes, itemization, and crafting.
  • Aion Spell Lists: The Mage, Priest, and Scout
    The path to Ascension is fraught with danger at every turn. Only strength of will and an intimate knowledge of your abilities will allow you to complete the journey intact. In an effort to stave off defeat, Dalmarus has scribed the secrets of three archetype classes to aid you in your quest for immortality. 
  • World of Warcraft - Mage Changes in 3.2.2
    Patch 3.2.2 is coming soon to World of Warcraft and it's bringing Onyxia back and some changes to many of the classes, including the Mage. David "Xerin" Piner looks over the changes coming to Arcane in patch 3.2.2 for the Mage. Don't be shocked by these changes when they hit. Check our guide to the changes in 3.2.2 for the Mage.
  • World of Warcraft - Paladin Upgrades from Call of the Crusade
    The latest content patch for World of Warcraft, the Call of the Crusade, has brought more than 200 choices in gear for Paladins, and that is just the Plate armor! With so many options, where can you turn? Look no further friends. Today you are in luck as Medeor breaks down the best gear available for both fresh level 80s to those wanting to be "raid-ready."

Giveaways:

Hottest Content:

  1. World of Warcraft - Paladin Upgrades from Call of the Crusade
  2. Age of Conan a Year Later - Part Three
  3. The End of a Dragon in Dragon Age: Origins
  4. Guild Wars 2 Concept Art Revealed
  5. The Consequences of True Choice – A Look at Decisions in Dragon Age: Origins
  6. Exclusive Video Q&A - SOE's John Smedley Talks Better Support for Guilds
  7. Video - Richard Garriott on Space Travel and More from The Syndicate World Conference 2009
  8. Guild Wars - Rediscovering Tyria
  9. Star Trek Online Closed Beta to Begin in October?
  10. Champions Online: Exclusive Interview on Sidekicks, Super Groups, and Supervillains

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Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team


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