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The Pulse

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

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Warhammer Online
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Champions Online (UP 15!)
  5. Star Trek Online (UP 13!)
  6. EverQuest 2 (UP 8!)
  7. Atlantica Online (UP 2)
  8. EVE Online (UP 1)
  9. City of Heroes
  10. Stargate Worlds

Biggest Sinkers and Floaters in the Top 20 this week

  1. Champions Online (UP 22 to no. 12)
  2. Lord of the Rings Online (down 7 to no. 17)
  3. Guild Wars 2 (down 7 to no. 19)

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The CME Kids donation drive continues. We're 4 days away and not even halfway to our goal. I know its a rough time of year, but please give if you can. Even $5 will make a difference.

Some gamers talk about microtransactions (MT) in apocalyptic terms, and I'm starting to see why. In terms of site policy we've worked hard to adopt whatever stance a developer has toward gold and item selling - for example, while we were leaning toward a ban of gold ads for some time, we finally removed them two years ago at Blizzard's request. Or was it more of a "we won't talk to you unless you trash the gold ads" ultimatum. Anyway, we complied, and it turned out to be a great move because it earned us a lot of instant respect across the industry and with players, not just with Blizzard.

But our recent interviews with John Smedley and Bruce Ferguson have sparked some harsh criticism on our forums and in the official forums over whether Station Cash is a good decision for EverQuest and EverQuest 2. Our own EQ2 forum poll shows a decidedly negative reaction to Station Cash to match the official boards, with several posters expressing disgust at the air of saccharine marketing they've perceived (with Legends of Norrath in-game announcements, for example) even before Station Cash. Still others are waiting to see how it plays, noting that the items currently available for purchase with Station Cash in the marketplace are far from game-breaking. But then the seeming announcement from Bioware that microtransactions would be part of Star Wars: The Old Republic threw more fuel on the fire.

I can understand the ire of blueblooded gamers towards MT because it seems like an insult. MT isn't just another way to monetize MMORPGs, it also places a discrete monetary value on the time it takes to acquire those items or the in-game currency to buy those items. It also impugns that that amount of time wasn't worthwhile anyway - there's no gaming enjoyment to be had, it's just a lot of pretend violence for a little pretend money and some negligable character development. In other words, MT confirms the grind, even when its just a buck for a few lookieloos for your character's house. As Drizzt Do'Urden would say, where's the sense of adventure and achievement? If it's mostly worthless junk I want, holiday-time at Walmart or a walk through Chinatown offers more of a life experience.

Still, I'm not naïeve enough to think that MT is going anywhere. We demand more and more from our games - more art and content, better performance, more painstakingly tuned raid encounters, faster costumer service - without wanting to pay more, and we shouldn't feign surprise when devs and publishers look for other value-added ways to make money. Every MMORPG is built and improved on the success of its forebearers and contemporaries, and whether we like it or not, a huge part of the world loves MT and has singlehandedly made F2P into big business.

And with Asia tapped for more and more programming and artistic talent, with more and more studios opening up in Singapore and Shanghai and with more and more MMORPGs localized for Asian countries, it seems natural that we'll trend somewhat towards MT. I just hope the cinematic quality of top-tier subscription MMORPGs - how grind is mostly washed away by story and mood, and by socializing and a comfortable sense of progress - doesn't continue to suffer for it.

Are microtransactions an insult to "pure" gamers? Join the discussion Loading forum, or my inbox is always open for comments.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our Gold Seller Hall of Shame Forum

newest gucci shoes,gucci bags,ED boot,Coach handbags,Fashion Lanvin shoes

day's a good day to work over a spammer, but today Shoes100 wandered
into the ol' Ten Ton Hammer spanking machine for a solid
thrashing...and not in the fun, leather riding crop, stiletto heals and
fur handcuffs kinda way.

Whoops! Have I said too much? Anyhow...

bids us "welcome to login our website" and purchase shoes like Nikes
and brand name clothes like POLO and Replay and NBA/NFL jerseys
and...baby? Did this spammer really say that there was some baby up for
grabs? Well, Gucci Gucci goo! Head on over and take a shot at today's spammer.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"Baby? This dude is selling BABY????? I was all ready to place an order for my juicy diesel hoodey coat (TM) until I realized this guy was hocking Baby! And it's not like he's offering you A baby or SOME babies; he's just selling 'baby,' like I would refer to a transaction for a quantity of 'meat.'"

- Kraill


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 77 in December! 3051 in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]




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

  1. SOE: John Smedley on Station Cash - "We aren't going Free-to-Play"
  2. SOE: EQ2 Station Cash with Producer Bruce Ferguson
  3. Outspark: Exclusive with Victor Wachter
  4. Give the Gift of Gaming
  5. Geeked: "Alternate Payment"
  6. Atari: Jack Emmert on the acquisition of Cryptic Studios
  7. Invitation to Interview the Developers of Darkfall
  8. The Agency: Advancement Q&A with Matt Staroscik
  9. Warhammer Online: 1.1 and You - A Look at the Next Patch
  10. Ten Ton Turnip #2 - Blizzard Buys Mythic!

Real World News

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network and have a great weekend!

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II 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.