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

to the 1,339th
of Loading...

With the next patch, Blizzard is intentionally breaking one of the more controversial hand-holding mods to hit World of Warcraft. Are fun and accessibility at cross-purposes, as Blizzard surprisingly seems to contend? Have addons gone too far? We'll look at such questions in today's Loading... Game-Breaking Addons.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">

The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/" target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">EverQuest II
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aoc">Age of Conan (UP 1)
  4. EverQuest (UP 15!)
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons and
    Dragons Online (down 1)

movers this week

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/926">Global
    Agenda (UP 12 to #17)
  2. Runes of Magic (UP 5 to #14)
  3. Atlantica Online (UP 4 to #16)
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm">EverQuest
    2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81479"> LotRO:
    Oath of the
    Rangers (content update)
  • size="-1">4/5
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83086">Pocket
    Legends (iMMOG - release date) size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004">

  • size="-1">5/1
    - href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner">City
    of Heroes - Issue 17: Dark Mirror
  • size="-1">5/11
    - Age
    of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer


  • size="-1">May
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve">EVE
    Online: Tyrannis (expansion)
  • size="-1">May
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2422">Craft
    of Gods (release)
  • size="-1">June
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004">Mortal
    Online (release)
  • size="-1">June
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
    (US - July 2 in EU)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">Q2 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1801">Mytheon
  • size="-1">TBA
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - href="http://www.e3expo.com/">E3
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - href="http://www.lfgexpo.com/">Looking
    for Group
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">7/22 -
    7/25 - href="http://www.comic-con.org/">Comic-Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - href="http://events.station.sony.com/fanfaire/">SOE
    Fan Faire 2010
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/3 -
    9/6 - href="http://www.dragoncon.org/">DragonCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011)- href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/">CCP

Loading... Daily

Some of you might be old enough to remember the old Milton Bradley handheld called Simon. Four brightly colored buttons illuminated in a sequence, and you'd have to repeat the ever-growing sequence or be cruelly, humiliatingly buzzed for your leaky short-term memory.

More than a few addon versions of Simon have invaded our MMORPGs, though these mods won't test your memory by delivering their instructions in sequences - you need only follow their simple one-step instructions while not spilling Mountain Dew . World of Warcraft patch 3.3.5 will break one of them - a popular addon that provides visual cues in the game environment during raid encounters regarding movement, positioning, etc. Some say AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) makes the raid game too easy, while the other camp states that AVR makes raid encounters accessible to the casual audience.

This is just the latest flare-up in the long-running debate about just how accessibile raids should be, and what's interesting to me is that in the absence of a content update targetted at the raid crowd (it's been nearly six months since Icecrown Citadel was introduced in 3.3), Blizzard is finally seeing a real chasm develop between hardcore and casual playstyles.

Don't get me wrong: to date everyone in WoW could play in their own part of the playground, and that's still the case in-game. But out of game, in the official forums and discussion boards, the casual community has found it's feet enough to install addons like AVR and win at content previously reserved for skilled and coordinated guilds, getting in on loot and rewards previously accorded to the more elite crowd. No wonder the more hardcore felt their purples had faded to a light mauve, and Blizzard stepped in to restore the appropriate level of challenge and reward. Off topic, but would anyone be opposed to a "teaching mode" that integrated AVR concepts with scaled-down rewards?

AVR certainly isn't the only mod that's said to trivialize a game. WoW has at least a handful of mods that will, for example, level you from 1 to cap telling you which quest to do when and where to do it. Most MMOGs nowadays have one step short of such a system built-in to the original interface with flags, circles, and dots to guide you to your quest objectives. While I appreciate the convenience these mods offer, I can't help feeling that it's no longer a game, but a sort of online Simon says where a computer spoon feeds me instructions and I'm dumbly following along. I'm not sure what the opposite of immersive is (we'll invent a word because it's the Internet and we can: exmersive!), but following a set of instructions like a mindless drone is definitely exmersive.

Do you use handholding mods? If there were less pressure to level-up to catch up with friends, would you prefer not to? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum, and have a great weekend!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our Final Fantasy XIV General Discussion

Official Website Updated (all sneaky like)

our volunteer Final Fantasy XIV guru, has posted a truly epic thread
about the latest FFXIV updates, featuring Limsa Lominsa. If you have a
favorite game and you'd like to be one of our elite team of gurus,
check out the information thread.


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"A++ thread. Would read again."

- Ralsu

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell

and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

5 new Ten Ton Hammer
articles today! 76 Ten Ton Hammer
in May! 547
in 2010!


Aika Class Interview Series Part 4 - The Rifleman

gaming portal gPotato has recently brought another massive PvP game to
our shores. Aika features 1000 vs. 100 battles, 100's of quests and 6
unique classes. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Christina Kelly, Community
Manager from Gala-Net, Inc., to discuss those classes in a six part
interview series. Next up we have the first of the three male gender
locked classes, the Rifleman.


New FFXIV City-State Details and Screenshots Revealed
been a little while since our last update from Square Enix on Final
Fantasy XIV, but new images and details about the surrounding
city-state of Limsa Lominsa have recently been revealed.

Champions Online - The Serpent Lantern Video

Online will soon be getting its first Adventure Pack, The Serpent
Lantern, introducing new content and new scalable adventures and
storylines. The Serpent Lantern will feature enhancements to the Viper
paramilitary group and new content to explore. This week, Cryptic
Studios released a new video that offers a look into the upcoming
Adventure Pack and what new content will await players when it goes
live this June.


EQ2: Guide to Weapon Basics

you stab, smash, or slash your foe into submission in EverQuest II,
you're going to need to right weapon to do it with. Not all weapons are
created equal and we want to give you the tools to make wise choices by
spelling out the basics of EQ2 weapons. Take a look at our Weapon
Basics Guide to learn all you need to know to beat stuff up

STO: Starship Basics – Intro

combat is the main activity in Star Trek Online, but the game doesn’t
necessarily do the best job of defining what makes one ship better than
another in a specific category. Why is one weapon better than another?
What does crit severity mean? Why can’t I put tribbles in my impulse
slot? Do not fret, for Ten Ton Hammer is here to provide you the basic
knowledge of what you need to know about your starship.

Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. Aika Class Interview Series Part 4 - The Rifleman
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/forsaken-world/cbt">Forsaken
    Closed Beta Key Giveaway
  3. New FFXIV City-State Details and Screenshots Revealed
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/globalagenda/interviews/harris/patch1_3">Global
    Patch 1.3 Q&A
    with Todd Harris
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/gazillion/SHSO/preview">Greetings
    True Believers – Marvel
    Super Hero Squad Online
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/podcasts/live/7">Aika
    's Christina Kelly Comes
    to Visit
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84465">Dynamic
    Events in Guild Wars 2: Living
    in a Living World
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/reviews/nvidia/3d_vision/monitors">Acer
    vs Alienware: Who is King of the 3D Vision Monitors?
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/fallenearth/interviews/beyond-blood-sports">Achievements,
    Apps and Beyond - An Exclusive
    Fallen Earth
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/eve-tyrannis">EVE
    : Tyrannis Launch Day
    Prize Giveaway

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle
the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft 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.