Loading... Mountains of Mounts

Welcome to the 1,314th edition of Loading...

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

No matter which way you slice it, Blizzard’s loyal fan base has unflinchingly locked in the next link in the chain towards a more widespread acceptance of micro-transactions by core MMO gamers in North America. We’ll take a closer look at the Celestial Steed craze, a hopeful glance towards the long overdue expansion of Lord of the Rings Online’s player-created music into other titles, and a fanciful nod in favor of the Guild Wars War in Kryta event today in Loading… Mountains of Mounts

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 are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest II 
  3. Dungeons and Dragons Online
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Biggest movers this week:

  1. Guild Wars 2 (UP 26 to #13)
  2. City of Heroes (Down 4 to #18)
  3. Aion (UP 2 to #9)
Recent Releases

Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Events

Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Guild Wars and Win an In-Game Costume!

It's been five years since the launch of Guild Wars and it's time to celebrate with NCsoft and ArenaNet. Ten Ton Hammer has several codes for two costumes for the in-game event. Enter your email address, select your costume, and click Submit for your chance to win.

Visit our Guild Wars Giveaway page to win!

Loading... Daily

Back when the World of Warcraft TCG first hit store shelves, many players braved the sunlight just long enough to snatch up every full box of card packs they could get their hands on. Speaking with the manager at my local GameStop later that same day, he claimed to have sold the dozen boxes of cards the store got in to a single customer less than 5 minutes after cracking the UPS shipment open. The crazy thing was, that was far from an isolated incidence. Pretty much everywhere you went the card packs were snatched up in massive quantities, so gamers with a genuine interest in checking out the TCG but not a pile of expendable cash had to wait to see what all the fuss was about.

Whether or not the card game itself was anything to shake a stick at really was irrelevant at that point though. What people really wanted was the loot cards it contained, and they were obviously willing to fork over the cash to obtain them. Yet what few really stopped to consider was that the entire affair was simply a cleverly disguised form of indirect micro-transaction. As we all know, MT has been a dirty word in the vocabulary of many core MMO gamers, which was especially true a few years ago.

Flash forward to the present day, and one need look no further than Blizzard’s Celestial Cash Cow to realize how far the acceptance of MTs has come. If you had told me a week ago that a developer could make $4 million in sales from an in-game mount in a single day I’d have promptly told you that you’re nuts. Yet WoW fans have clearly spoken with their wallets on this one and proven me wrong. The new mounts and the flurry of reactions to them is the topic of today’s Epic Thread, so be sure to hit up the link below to add your own thoughts to the discussion.

In other, non 160,000 player long queue news…

When Lord of the Rings Online first launched, in this writer’s humble opinion one of the coolest and more unique features the game had to offer was the ability to produce simple midi sounds in-game by playing one of the various instruments available to players. Not only does it push the envelope for player-created content in a direction that had never been seen before, but it also has the added coolness of allowing players to provide live entertainment for one another. In an age when “live events” are still heavily planned and scripted affairs in most MMOGs, the notion of picking up a lute and playing a tune for nearby players whenever it strikes your fancy is a pretty powerful thing.

While simplistic, that system went on to birth a number of very skilled musical groups within the game complete with some excellent live performances, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before other developers realized what an awesome and powerful tool in-game music creation really is. Either that or my lifelong passion for all things audio was simply causing me to wish that would indeed end up being the case.

As it turns out my intuitions served me well, even if it took a few years to happen. As seen in our exclusive customization preview for All Points Bulletin during PAX East, that game will allow players to create simple midi clips and which can then be used or even sold to other players as a sort of ‘death theme’ that anyone you take down in-game will be forced to listen to. Then more recently, word came in to the Ten Ton HQ a couple of days ago that A Tale in the Desert would be kicking off The Test of the Orchestra, which will allow players to not only compose music in-game, but even craft the instruments for it to be played on. Call it what you will, but the musician in me loves hearing about this kind of stuff, so I plan on giving both the APB and A Tale in the Desert systems a thorough inspection as soon as I’m able.

That about wraps things up for this week folks, but be sure to hop, skip or jump on over to the Loading… forums and let us know what you think about the insanity that is WoW’s celestial steed and the concept of player-created live events via in-game musical performance. Otherwise, I hope you all have a Kick-Ass weekend!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW News Discussion forum

Celestial Steed & Mini-XT Available for Purchase

Once upon a time, I said that microtransactions were the wave of the future, and some Ten Ton Hammer rockstar (who shall remain nameless) suggested I get a clue, saying that the Western world wasn't ready for microtransactions. But as of last night, said rockstar acknowledged that the queue to buy Blizzard's $25 World of Warcraft mount was 160,000 (yes, count those zeroes again if you must) deep.

So, how about them microtransactions now, bitches?

Ahem. Anyhow. There'll be plenty of discussion of the glowing pony that's making Blizzard richer by the microtransaction (if you can call $25 micro anything) here on Ten Ton Hammer. Go join in the fun!

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"First it's promotional something-or-others that give mounts, then they sell pets and everyone has that annoying kung-fu panda, now it's $25 for a mount in a game where you get an achievement for mount-collecting..."

- Zeep

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

New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer

4 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 69 in April! 428 in 2010!


Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Guild Wars and Win an In-Game Costume

The War in Kryta is the first event in a series dubbed Guild Wars Beyond, which is an ongoing campaign that expands upon the original game's storyline and leads into Guild Wars 2. Experience the War in Kryta first hand, and come prepared with your very own in game costume. Ten Ton Hammer has several codes for both costumes. Enter your email address, select your costume, and click the Submit button for your chance to win.


WoW: Blizzard's Celestial Cash Cow

Today Blizzard released a $25 mount in their pet store, the Celestial Steed. Currently, as we publish this, the queue to buy such an epic mount is over 160,000 users and climbing. Is the mount worth the $25? What is the community's reaction so far? How will the industry react to Blizzard's take on microtransactions? All of these questions are answered in our latest look at Blizzard's Celestial Cash Cow.


Dungeons and Dragons Online Releases New Update 4 Screenshots

Turbine had more than their share of negative attention this week with the issues stemming from their Offer Wall, but things are settling down and getting back to normal for the Dungeons and Dragons Online community as the freshly launched Update 4 is providing a nice distraction with all its new content and the Sentinel's Adventure Pack. Turbine has even released a few new screenshots of the update that offers a look at some of the content that includes over-elaborately dressed kobolds, a pirate in a huge hat, and a flaming airship.


WoW: The Forsaken in Cataclysm - The Loremaster's Corner

This week we delve into the Forsaken, World of Warcraft's undead race, and look at their past, present, and future prospects in WoW. How will the race fare in Cataclysm? Take a look at this week's Loremaster's Corner to find out.

Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Guild Wars and Win and In-Game Costume
  2. WANTED: Your Questions for TERA's Developers
  3. WoW: Blizzard's Celestial Cash Cow
  4. Pure Artistic Vision - A Guild Wars 2 Concept Art Q&A with Daniel Dociu
  5. D-Mail with Sean Stalzer #1: You've Got D-Mail!
  6. Ten Ton Hammer Live Ep. 2 - A Fallen Earth Update with Project Manager Colin Dwan
  7. Borderlands: Add-On Pack Reviewed
  8. Champions Online: Vibora Bay Overview
  9. Starcraft II: Top Ten Newbie Mistakes
  10. Awakened Nostalgia - EverQuest Relived

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer team

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