Welcome to the 1,104th Edition of Loading...

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SOE Fan Faire is less than a week away. What can we expect this year? All the SOE press releases point to Free Realms lately, but the spotlight will be elsewhere next weekend. We'll pour over the panel schedule and look at some other late-breaking news this week in Loading... Fan Faire '09 Preview.

Coyote comes at you daily with his trademark wit and off-color wisdom in It's All Geek to Me. Today's topic: The Left 4 Dead 2 Protests (Pssst! Shut UP!)

The Pulse

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

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results for today:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EVE Online (UP 8)
  3. EverQuest 2
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Aion

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 in the last seven days:

  1. Jumpgate Evolution (UP 10 to #13)
  2. Champions Online (down 6 to #12)
  3. Lineage 2 (UP 4 to #17)
Recent MMO Releases
  • 5/19 - Vanguard "Halls of Pantheon" (patch)
  • 6/12 - Neo Steam (release date)
  • 6/16 - EverQuest 2 GU 52 (patch)
  • 6/16 - WAR 1.3 "Rise of the Tomb Kings" (patch)
Upcoming Releases

Loading... Daily

We're less than a week from SOE Fan Faire 2009, and the panel schedule is now posted, and it gives a few hints as to what we can expect from the event. Aside from the annual John Smedley annual community address next Friday night, wherein the Smed will undoubtedly trumpet the next big thing(s) from SOE, Star Wars Galaxies (which perhaps has to drop a few more hints than other SOE games to draw an enthusiastic crowd) is hinting at a major new system and an escalation of the Galactic Civil War. Surprisingly, SWG carries almost the same number of panels this year as EQ and EQ2 - it's as if someone at SOE was watching the SWTOR feeding frenzy at E3 and said, 'Hey, we have a Star Wars thing too, don't we?' How about that.

SOE's current golden boy, Free Realms, whose "4 million registered" press release isn't yet upon us but is probably due next Tuesday or so, only gets one panel. Perhaps SOE Fan Faire isn't so child-safe, especially with Coyote there. SOE's future titles, The Agency and DC Universe Online, are still deep in development and lest these folks run out of ways to say 'No comment,' only get two panels each.

Fan Faire's always been my event El Dorado, the event I never had a budget to go see in person. It's been a few years since I've personally connected to an SOE game community, so I've been content to watch from afar rather than shell out my meager personal funds to see live. I did enough of that with the mandatory $40 cab ride anywhere at E3, and besides I can't help feeling I'm ruined on events in general. If I'm not at a panel or presentation where some kind of hype-bomb is about to go off, I should be at a laptop writing up the last bombshell announcement or grappling with hotel wifi to post the story. I actually feel guilty if I'm not networking, writing, interviewing, or taking notes on the "next big thing" (our equivalent of Melville's white whale), and forget attending a panel just for curiosity's sake.

I know the cure for games addiction, friends: get a job in games media. But personally, I'm looking forward to hearing more from the Pirates of the Burning Sea devs, who have gone to ground since PAX last year. Fortunately, our own Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell will be bringing us the latest from Bally's in Las Vegas next weekend.

In other news, WAR is coming... or going, depending on how you look at it. Continuing its Asian tour, Warhammer Online's next stop is a June 25th release in Taiwan. Imagine that: the US exporting something to Taiwan besides straw and scrap metal.

Headed to SOE Fan Faire? What are you excited to hear about? Speak your mind in the Loading... forum or feel free to email me. Have a great Aion preview weekend!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our /OOC (Off Topic) Forum

The "What are you listening to?" thread

Ten Ton Hammer's Infinite Playlist

know the drill. You're wearing headphones and toting an MP3 player, and
someone leans toward you and says, "What ya listening to?" That's what
Annache's done (virtually) with his thread in our off-topic forum.

Tell us what's on your MP3 player,
and find out what other gamers are jamming to. Who knows? You may
help us discover a  musical gem to listen to while we wait for the
next big MMOG launch...and you may find a few gems of your own.

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"I like to open the window and listen to nature. The crickets are performing a symphony right now. "

- AngryBeaver


- Mikes

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

4 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 87 in June! 724 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today


  • Unlimited Candor: Turbine Addresses Tough DDO Eberron Unlimited Questions
    *premium article* Dungeons & Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited will usher in a new era of free-to-play DDO along with content and items bought in the Turbine store, but for the present DDO Unlimited has simply ushered in a lot of cautious enthusiasm, righteous indignation, and a whole host of tough questions. Ten Ton Hammer posed a number of these questions to DDO Executive Producer Fernando Paiz, Senior Producer Kate Paiz, Turbine PR Director Adam Mersky about the edgier aspects of the upcoming re-release and received some candid answers in return.
  • Comic: Geeked - "Eternal Virgin"
    Even Luigi got some action from Daisy...Ten Ton Hammer's very own satirical webcomic on all things Geek is here with a heartfelt congratulations to Bill for his near-success (but still epic failure) with a cute brunette. And of course, it's more picking on Adam... because it's so easy!
  • Dead Frontier - New Screenshots
    The zombies are coming and it's up to you to stop them in the new horror MMORPG by Jagged Blade Games, Dead Frontier. Played exclusively in your browser, this 3rd person survival horror action game will have you struggling for survival in the decaying, zombie infested city of Fairview.


  • WoW: Mage FAQ
    Need to know the basics or figure out some tough questions for the Mage class in World of Warcraft? Well now you can with our new Mage FAQ. We've got many of the common (and some uncommon) questions new and seasoned Mages ask all the time. Abbrevations? PoM? TTW? FFB? All these things confuse you? Well no more! Come on down and check out our new Mage FAQ to brush up on some arcane knowledge about the Mage.
  • Free Realms Card Duelist Guide Update
    Danny "Ralsu" Gourley had a blast playing a card duelist in Free Realms. His complete leveling guide tells Ten Ton Hammer readers how to take this job to the level cap and gives them the strategies to win every duel.

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Jumpgate Evolution Exclusive Interview - Lore and History
  2. EverQuest 2 Monument and Might GU#52 Overview
  3. EVE Online: Sins of a Solar Spymaster #15: A History of the Second Great War, Part Two
  4. Champions Online Power Interview #3 - Fire, Ice and Electricity
  5. WoW - Boss Guide: Malygos
  6. E3 2009 Portal
  7. Paul Barnett Sums Up E3 2009 (video)
  8. Ether Saga Online: Launch Update Preview
  9. Atlantica Online State of the Game - June 2009 Q&A
  10. E3 2009: The Agency "Bergerbilder Estate" Preview Video

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Wars Galaxies Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.