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

Two anniversaries are celebrated this week. One on its first,
another on its third. What makes these games worth celebrating? Check
it out in Loading...
Happy Anniversary


The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World
    of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest
  3. Age
    of Conan
  4. Dungeons
    Dragons Online
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38">Lord of
    the Rings Online 

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2035"> style="text-decoration: underline;">Rift:
    Planes of Telara (UP 95 to #17)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/34">City of
    Villains (UP 13 to #13)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/265">The
    Secret World (UP 6 to #19)
Recent Releases



  • April
    - 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
  • style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
    - Mytheon
  • Summer
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
  • TBA
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV


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

Loading... Daily

This week style="font-style: italic;">Free Realms
celebrates its first birthday. This free-to-play game from Sony Online
Entertainment kind of took the world by surprise last year. We knew the
game was coming, and we kinda' knew what it was about, but what we
didn't know was how successful it would be in such a short period of

I attended John Smedley's keynote at GDC VCON last month. VCON was an
all day event, presented by Live Gamer. It was an exploration
of how free-to-play games and virtual goods have changed the market
drastically. Anyway, keynotes were given by Dave Perry of Gaikai.com,
Nanea Reeves of EA and, of course, Smed of SOE.

Now we didn't report much from that particular event at GDC because it
really wasn't a panel for gamers. It was a business panel discussing
microtransactions and tricks and tips to making a successful game of
the type. When Smed took the stage he walked us through how the
marketplace in Free
has evolved and the amount of thought that went
into the entire process. Frankly, I was impressed. I hadn't given it
much thought until that day but as Smed was outlining the processes
that they have gone through with that game in particular, it was hard
not to be appreciative. Buttons are placed in specific areas for
specific reasons. Prices and products are thought out to a science and
adjusted accordingly. Heck, they even had sessions where they monitored
where players' eyes were going and made the appropriate tweaks. This
game wasn't haphazardly thrown together. It was, and still is,
carefully thought out, planned, re-planned, adjusted, tweaked, and
modified to maximize both player enjoyment and the microtransactions
that support it.

So I did gain a whole lot more appreciation for SOE's free-to-play
adroitness from that keynote. And I'm glad to see their efforts are
paying off as Free
its first birthday. Happy birthday, FR, and congrats SOE.

Someone else is celebrating their birthday this week too. A game that
needs no introduction, style="font-style: italic;">The Lord of the Rings Online
launched three years ago and continues to grow strong, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83711">celebrating
its third anniversary this week.

Turbine has gained a lot of news time over the past year mainly due to
their ingenious work with style="font-style: italic;">Dungeons and Dragons Online:
Eberron Unlimited
. But it's time to once again
take a look at their other hit title, LotRO, and celebrate the good
times. According to Jim Crowley, President and CEO of Turbine, Inc.
"The game's player base grew over 15% over the past year..." which in
itself is reason enough to celebrate. In such a tough market when a
game is able to continue to grow at that pace even in its third year,
something was done very right.

Congratulations Turbine and LotRO players. You deserve a party-filled
week in Middle-earth. Drop on by the forums to wish Free Realms and
LotRO a happy birthday!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=426">Loading...

Trion's Trifecta

not often that I re-pimp a Loading... column in the Epic Thread of the
Day, but I happen to be a little geeked out about Trion's renamed and
revitalized game in development, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/first_look">Rift:
Planes of Telara. I wouldn't have thought I'd see myself
swooning over a fantasy themed MMOG again, but...ya got me, Trion.
You had me at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83702">sentient
plant-like creature
screaming in through a rift from the Plane of Life to kill adventurers.
I fell hopelessly in like with just the irony alone. Has Rift reached
out its ferny fronds to grab you yet? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50964">Discuss!


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"I like
the beauty of Aion, FFXIV, and TERA, but I like that Trion is doing
something similar but darker and with a cool twist. The concept of
taking souls to get your abilities is so cool. This made my Monday,
Woot! I am in on the love fest

- Tregok


Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=32559">Tell

and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

11 new Ten Ton Hammer articles! 98 Ten Ton Hammer
in April! 457
in 2010!


End of Nations Dev Diary Video #1: What is an MMORTS?


the first End of Nations dev diary video, Petroglyph's Mike Legg, Ted
Morris, Steve Copeland, and Trion's Gary Wagner tag team to tell fans
what MMORTS means to them. You'll also get the flavor of the End of
Nations story, what a 24/7 global environment means to the game and
especially the endgame, the fundamentals of co-operative and solo play
in this six minute, chock-fully-of-gameplay-video dev diary #1 for End
of Nations - What Is An MMORTS?

Rift: Planes of Telara Dev Diary Video #1: Telara - Nexus of
the Planes


Designer Simon Finch calls Rift: Planes of Telara an "RPG MMO with a
twist, meaning that players will encounter the familiar and the
unfamiliar." That twist could mean anything from the game's unique
class system, where players will absorb the souls of their enemies to
customize their classes, or the rifts concept, which is perhaps the
next stage in the evolution of the public quests. Or maybe it means a
constantly progressing storyline, rich graphics, or all of the above.
Join Chief Creative Officer Scott Hartsman, Senior Designer Simon
Finch, and Art Director Darren Pattenden to learn a little more about
all of these potential twists in the first Rift: Planes of Telara dev
diary video: Telara - Nexus of the Planes.


Microcosms: Reinventing The Wheel – An Alganon Re-Launch Sneak Peak


couple weeks back we asked if it was possible for an MMOG to get a
second change to make a first impression, and judging from our forum
responses the verdict was split 50/50. In an effort to gain better
perspective and give a more educated opinion on the future of Alganon,
Ten Ton Hammer’s Jason “Medawky” Bolton sat down with the game’s Lead
Customer Service GM (among numerous other titles), Steven Kasparek, for
a one-on-one play session and tour of the new client. Join us as we put
the game through its paces in this exclusive early look.

EQ2: New Halas - Tour of the Frozen Wonderland


of the player's favorite EverQuest starting zones is finally making it
into EverQuest II. It isn't the Halas of old but this frozen wonderland
holds it's own charm, excitement, and danger. Taking on 20 levels of
new player fun, Ten Ton Hammer has ventured to these new lands and have
put together a tour complete with screenshots and descriptions that
lead you from the first startling steps to the victorious entrance into
the grand new city. Be one of the first to see the new lands in our
complete tour of New Halas!


Sins of a Solar Spymaster #43 - Rethinking Profit in EVE


Online has one of the most detailed economy operations of any MMOG and
making isk, the game's currency, can be a tricky thing at times. Some
players choose to measure their earnings using the isk/hr scale, but
The Mittani believes this a sorely ineffective method and has a few
tips for EVE players on how to earn their isk with minimal effort in
this week's Sins of a Solar Spymaster #43 - Rethinking Profit in EVE.

Flying The Raven In EVE Online


the Raven is the gateway for most players into the world of level four
missions. In this guide Space Junkie teaches us a thing or two about
flying this ship.

StarCraft II - The Protoss Forces, part I


you once loved about the Protoss army is back in StarCraft II. Zealots
charge into the fray, ripping up targets left and right. Dark Templar
are still slipping behind enemy lines and assassinating unsuspecting
workers. High Templar unleash Psionic Storms with 10000% better
graphics than the iconic lightning effect of our RTS
childhood. Now imagine that there are even more fun things to
torture your opponents with... and smile as you see what the new
Protoss forces bring to complement your favorites.

Cats that Play WoW and Bad People Too - WoW Weekly Report


WoW Weekly Report - The Overpull arrives again this week with another
look at the previous week. This week's editorial looks at cats that
play WoW, why WoW is truly the sequel to Pokemon, and why your
character is a terrible person

Your Daily Bread - WoW Fishing, Cooking, and Jewelcrafting


Quests are one of the best sources of income in World of Warcraft.
However, completing these quests can sometimes prove to be difficult
and a little confusing. Where exactly can you find a Bloodtooth Frenzy,
and why are you stealing Half Full Wine Glasses from across the city?
We here at Ten Ton Hammer realize that you the player work hard for
your in game money and so to help you on your way this week Mem
provides short explanations of the Northrend Daily Quests.

WoW Cataclysm to Redefine Raid Progression


just released a lot of new information on the direction they want to
take raiding in World of Warcraft when Cataclysm is released.
Nethaera's huge post on the official forums goes into a lot of detail
around Blizzard's plans. Join Byron "Messiah" Mudry as he looks over
the changes and describes some of the potential ramifications of those
changes for both casual and hardcore raiders alike.

Beginners Guide: Gear and Stats


you first start playing World of Warcraft there is a lot to learn, and
one of the items that confuses many new players is gear. If you're a
new player, do you know what a purple is? Do you know how much Attack
Power equals a point of DPS gain? Do you know which stats are best for
you? All this and more is explained in this guide to gear for

Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. Microcosms:
    Reinventing The Wheel – An Alganon Re-Launch Sneak
  2. A
    First Look at Rift: Planes of Telara
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/end_of_nations/video/devdiary1">End
    of Nations
    Dev Diary Video #1: What is an MMORTS?
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/video/devdiary1">Rift:
    Planes of Telara
    Dev Diary Video #1: Telara - Nexus of the
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/end_of_nations/reveal">Command
    & Conquer Creators Unveil Massively Military MMORTS: End
    of Nations
  6. Ten
    Ton Hammer Live Ep. 4 - Funcom's Erling Ellingsen Talks The
    Secret World
  7. Final
    Fantasy XIV
    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83664"> Playable
    Races Overview
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/reviews/Masseffect2_Kasumi_Memory">Kasumi-Stolen
    Memory Review (PC), and the Current State of DLC for Mass
    Effect 2
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/editorials/death-penalty">Till
    Death Do Its Part - Death Penalties and Difficulty Sliders in STO
  10. World
    of Warcraft
    Review Portal

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016