Welcome to the 1,138th Edition of Loading...

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

We promised that August would be the month of beta and prize giveaways, as many MMos in development head into the home stretch, we're starting to deliver. Read about our latest beta giveaways and our thoughts on why we make beta keys a priority in today's Loading... Beta Giveaway-o-rama.

Coyote's daily column explores all things geek with Coyote's trademark wit in It's All Geek to Me. Read it daily at Ten Ton Hammer! Today's topic: 4 Siege Weapons that STILL kick ye olde ass

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. Aion (UP 1)
  3. Champions Online (UP 1)
  4. EVE Online (UP 5)
  5. EverQuest 2

Biggest Movers this week :

  1. Jade Dynasty (UP 9 to #19)
  2. Dungeons & Dragons Online (down 2 to #10)
  3. City of Heroes (UP 2 to #15)
Recent MMO Releases
  • 7/7 - Darkfall Player Housing Expansion
  • 7/13 - Darkfall NA launch
  • 7/21- FFXI "Moogle Kupo d'Etat" Addon (release date)

Important Dates

Upcoming Releases

Loading... Daily

I was all set to exclaim the gloriousness of the Champions Online beta keys we have for you today. I posted the giveaway at around 7PM last night, went for a jog, and when I came back an hour later over half the keys had been assigned. By 2 AM all public keys were gone. We held onto a small number for our premium members (sign up!), and some of these keys still remain, but not many. If you want yours, better hurry! They'll be gone after today's premium newsletter goes out, for sure.

The last few giveaways have gone just like this, so I think it's safe to say that people are looking for a new MMO experience. Keys for our last DDO Unlimited giveaway went in just a few days, but thanks to the release date push Turbine offered us another batch of keys (get your DDO key here!). Players never abandoned the MMO category, but for a time a lot of good developers did. Blame WoW's dominance, blame the increasing demands of venture capitalists and the decreasing number of "angel" investors in this economic climate, we've been going through something of a dry spell through much of 2009. As the "Upcoming Releases" list above indicates, that's all starting to change this fall, with a host of good MMO games launching in September, with a few above-average MMOs slated for a spring release as well.

I like doing beta giveaways for a lot of reasons, some obvious, some not so obvious. Sure it's fun to get an influx of new forum posters every time we get our beta on, but I really do think that our rank-and-file readers make better testers than the horde of beta jumpers that are just out for a free fix. Better testers help make better games, and I don't necessary want a bunch of mercenary moochers spamming the "beta signups" box on the official site influencing games development. Thankfully, the games that have gone into beta have been much smarter as to who they let in when.

While you might not be as endlessly analytical as communities like Elitist Jerks or shamelessly critical as Fires of Heaven, Ten Ton Hammer viewers represent gamers that have lives outside of these games but enjoy them as a hobby and have played more than a few in your day. So we work to get beta keys through the constant stream of rejection emails and awkward cold calls, working into the wee hours on everyone else's timeline, for a fairly selfish reason: we want our type of gamer - the pure MMO enthusiast just out for a good time and never taking things way too seriously - well-represented in beta.

So DDO Unlimited and Champions Online beta keys next week, but that's just the start of our August giveaways. Look for two more mammoth giveaways next week! Do you agree that game developers have gotten much smarter about beta testing this year, with focused testing and measured doses of the right type of gamer at different times in the beta process?Your thoughts and opinions welcome in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Ethec's Epic Thread of the Day

(Shay's on a well deserved mini-vacation)

From the Contest Announcements forum

Champions Online beta keys now available from Ten Ton Hammer!

A super-sized response to a superhero MMOG!

It turns out that all you really need to do to trigger an epic-sized thread is give the wrong key entry URL. (I sent out 520 contrite emails with the correct URL last night when the error was discovered - sorry about that!)

But after some initial confusion about where to enter the key and how not to copy leading and trailing spaces when entering your key, we've now surreptiously planted thousands of Ten Ton Hammer agents in the Champions Online beta starting with tomorrow's playtest. Our people are now getting their feet wet in the preview forums and downloading the client as we speak - muhaha!


Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"Thanks and I do mean Thanks a TON ::dancing banana man:: " - RangerRic


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

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 16 in August! 876 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

  • Champions Online Beta Keys Available for Premium Members
    We might have exhausted our supply of beta keys for the general public in a matter of hours, but Ten Ton Hammer has reserved a few hundred just for Ten Ton Hammer Premium Members. Secure your opportunity to participate in one of the hottest MMORPG betas of the summer, then while you're waiting for the next playtest, power up your Champions Online experience by visiting the new players area of the Ten Ton Hammer Champions Online community site!
  • World of Warcraft - Trial of the Champion Instance Guide
    With the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King patch 3.2 entitled
    Call of the Crusade released, players are now able to enter the brand
    new 5 player dungeon called Trial of the Champion. This tiny instance
    is a great way for players to participate in the new Crusade content
    as well as earn better loot items than any other 5 player instance
    currently in the game. Our very own Byron "Messiah" Mudry brings you a
    guide that covers all you need to know to defeat the bosses in it.
  • Age of Conan - A Year Later
    It has been more than a year since the launch of Age of Conan and a lot has changed! Ten Ton Hammer is taking a long hard look at the evolution of AoC and sharing which game features have changed for the better and which are still in need of some work. Are these countless updates enough to lure players back? Come find out!
  • Champions Online - Crisis in Canada Survival Guide
    Think of the crisis zones in Champions Online as a cool story arc spanning a few issues of your favorite comic series, only instead of watching the action unfold with each turn of the page, you get to be part of the action and play the hero. This guide will provide a complete walkthrough of the Crisis in Canada, so snap on your show shoes and grab your best zombie-whacking stick.
  • World of Warcraft - The Ultimate Guide to Ulduar's Kologarn
    The next boss to fall to our collective might is Kologarn. This is the third required boss for zone progression so having a good strategy is key to his demise. Join us for our complete Kologarn Strategy, Loot, and Achievements Guide!
  • World of Warcraft - How to be a Huntard in Ten Easy Steps
    Stories about the legendary Huntard range far and wide across the World of Warcraft. Just the name alone causes mass panic and fear. The secrets of the Huntards have been rarely spoken about, until today. This week Mem throws open the door on how to master the art of the Huntard.

Hottest Content:

  1. Champions Online Beta Keys Available for Premium Members
  2. The Guild In-Depth Interview with Director Sean Becker
  3. World of Warcraft - Trial of the Champion Instance Guide
  4. Bringing MMOs to Consoles - A Discussion with Turbine
  5. A New Saga Begins - A Fresh Look at Vanguard
  6. Age of Conan - A Year Later
  7. Aion Prologue Videos
  8. Aion Class Guide - The Spiritmaster
  9. New Champions Online Comic: Zeroes - "Nothingman"
  10. EVE Online - Sins of a Solar Spymaster #22 - The Seven Types of Spy

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 Champions Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 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.