Welcome to the 1,072nd Edition of Loading...

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

Phishing schemes have grown nearly as sophisticated as the account security measures made to stop them. While Loading... isn't usually much in the way of a public service announcement, a recent surge in WoW and EVE Online phishing attempts coupled with a security breach on the Ten Ton Hammer team prompt me to put you on your guard - these phishers of accounts may be more clever than you think. We'll tell you what to watch out for, how to check out a mysterious email, and even what to do if you fall prey. Plus, we'll link you to an exclusive tour of Icarus Studios (makers of Fallen Earth), previews of Champions Online's core systems, and have new game guides for both EVE and WoW in today's Loading... Phishbait!

Need more newsletter? Play World of Warcraft? Jay "Medeor" Johnson's weekly WoW newsletter "The Overpull" comes out every Tuesday and keeps you entertained and informed on all the latest developments in WoW. Sign up!

The Pulse

First, you vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Hammer Pulse (What is Pulse?). Here's the top 5 this week:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest 2
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
  5. Warhammer Online

And here are the biggest movers in the Top 20 today:

  1. Guild Wars (UP 7 to #15)
  2. Champions Online (UP 6 to #10)
  3. Atlantica Online (down 4 to #16)

Loading... Daily

If you've ever subscribed to an MMO, chances are you've gotten a phishing email, saying something to the effect of, "Oh noe! Something horrible has happened to your account. Please go to this fake URL and 'login' to prevent your account from being suspended" - the intent being to steal your username and password when you attempt to log in. The problem has become something of a pandemic with World of Warcraft especially, no doubt prompting Blizzard to resort to an ancient Chinese secret, now available as an iPhone app. Still, the phishing attempts continue and are in fact on the rise. I get a half dozen each week, and this Wired blogger confirms I'm not the only one lately.

The quality of the phishing emails has improved along with the security measures. For the longest time the aping boilerplate plain text was almost laughable, but now we have a graphically skinned forgery of an officious Blizzard email, complete with "[email protected]" in the sender field. If click the link, a TinyURL redirect will take you to an address that isn't quite blizzard.com or worldofwarcraft.com or battle.net, but is close enough to slip your attention, especially if you're in an account-saving panic.

According to one of our staffers who fell victim (and the fake is so cunningly done there's really no shame in it), his account was picked clean between the time it took to have his username and password rejected and logging in to the real account website to change his password. Several annoying hours in the petition queue (in WoW, you'll need to /petition your friendly in-game GM for reimbursement - don't bother calling customer support) and everything was returned.

The problem isn't limited to World of Warcraft, either, as the call went out yesterday for EVE Online players to watch out for phishing emails. EVE, unlike WoW, sanctions limited conversion of real to virtual currency through a secondary market of out-of-game EVE Time Cards ETCs) and in-game PLEX items (Pilot License Extensions), so stolen money has potentially one fewer step to go through before being "laundered" by an exchange for legitimate goods.

If you get such an email, regardless of the game, and want to check it out, the only thing to do is open a new browser window and type your way to the official site, then navigate your way to the account management page - don't click any link on the questionable email.

But who are these masked men phishing for your account info? Since money is the most fluid means of exchange and virtual currency and items are worthless until exchanged for real money, you can be assured that a more intelligent, more unethical variant of the common goldseller is at the the other end of your phishing email.

Yet another reason not to support illicit RMT. Comment in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW News Discussion Forum

What would you do if...?

would you do if you mistakenly acquired an item [in World of Warcraft]
that made you a god by allowing you to one-shot any NPC in the game?"
Maegwynn asked in today's Epic Thread. "Would common sense prevail...or
would you use it?"

Would your strong sense of honor and morality
win, or would you put Ulduar on the top of your hit list and head out,
consequences be damned?  Maegwynn invites you to go here to see if you made the right choice, and I invite you to come back to our WoW forums to discuss.

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread

of a sudden you are Neo in the Matrix; are you telling me you wouldn't
like to try flying? You would have to at least give it a go!

thing is, you are always going to get caught. There is no way to get
away with it. You would have to give it a try and then report it to a

- Rahl

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

5 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 8 in May! 535 in 2009!

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

  • Fallen Earth - Exclusive: A Front Row Seat to the Apocalypse

    Taking a break from his usual “lost in space” approach to writing about all things sci-fi in MMOs, Reuben “Sardu” Waters recently journeyed to Icarus Studios to investigate a more earthbound phenomenon. Last month he had a golden opportunity to meet with members of the Fallen Earth development team to take a tour of the studio, see a bit of the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMO in action and discuss numerous aspects of what sets the game apart from the sci-fi crowd. In the second part of an exclusive two part feature, Sardu touches on factions and PvP in Fallen Earth.
  • Champions Online: Powers Preview

    Ten Ton Hammer was fortunate enough this weekend to get a sneak preview of Champions Online and we were dazzled by the dozens of super powers awaiting potential heroes. Like shopping in a candy store we saw everything you can imagine from elemental abilities to simple firearms. With the scrutinizing eye of a seasoned comic book geek RadarX looks at what can you expect this summer when the game finally hits shelves.
  • Champions Online: Character Creation System Preview

    This weekend members of the press were invited to get some hands on time with Cryptic Studios’ upcoming MMO Champions Online. Being a long time fan of the character creation tools originally shipped with City of Heroes, resident paranoid android Reuben “Sardu” Waters jumped at the chance to see just how immersive the process is shaping up to be in Cryptic’s newest entry into the super hero genre. Do the tools live up to the standards set by the studio’s own previous efforts? Read on and find out!
  • EVE Online: Patriotic Measures Mission Guide

    With the added stress of time limits and penalties for rejecting a few too many missions in EVE Online, knowing what you are getting yourself into before you hit accept is very helpful!  Ten Ton Hammer mission guides not only give you the details of the mission before you take it on, but we also walk you through it once you have it.
    Our latest edition to our mission guide list is the Patriotic Measures series.  This level 1 series will reward the new player with plenty of ISK and lots of loot and is a mission series not be missed.
  • World of Warcraft: Selecting Talents for the Priest

    We have recently updated our Talent guide for the Priest in WoW. The new information contains the changes made to the Priest with patch 3.1 and includes all three schools.

    Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
  1. Guild Wars: Fourth Anniversary Event Recap
  2. geeked: Make Love, Not Warcraft
  3. Perfect World International "Age of Spirits" Dev Preview
  4. geeked: Not Kid-Friendly
  5. IPs vs. Originality - Which is Better?
  6. Premium Content: Running the Marathon - Funcom's Journey of Change
  7. Free Realms to Become Everybody's Second Subscription?
  8. City of Heroes Fifth Anniversary Interview with Matt 'Positron' Miller
  9. Exclusive Image Gallery for Aion's Gladiator Class
  10. DC Universe Online VIP Interview - The Devs Answer Your Questions
  11. Global Agenda Official Fiction Exclusive: The Cure for Life
  12. Dungeons & Dragons Online: Module 9 Dev Chat - Q&A Transcript

Real World News

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 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.