Welcome to the 1,067th Edition of Loading...

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

City of Heroes celebrates it's fifth birthday today, and we'll walk down memory lane and look at the many ways this innovative MMO franchise impacted not only men and women in tights, but also the entire MMORPG category. That plus links to some great new Ten Ton Hammer articles and guides and your daily real world news and epic thread fix in today's Loading... Five Year-Old Superheroes!

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. Aion: The Tower of Eternity (UP 21!! - Why?)
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (down 1)

And here are the biggest movers in the Top 20 this week:

  1. EVE Online (down 14 to #18)
  2. Champions Online (UP 3 to #8)
  3. Lego Universe (UP 3 to #13)

Loading... Daily

Five years ago today, NCsoft did what so many companies have tried to do - create a totally new MMO experience that grabs you from the moment that you log in. Though the developer's name on the box has changed to NCsoft’s Paragon Studios, City of Heroes continues to innovate - making user-generated content a significant part of the gameplay experience for the first time with Architect Edition.

CoH did more than show us MMORPGs could mean more than orcs, eleves, and the increasingly tired fantasy pastiche, it expanded what we all thought MMORPGs could do. Instead of the being born into the game world wearing a ragged novice tunic and a rusty sword, we had a complete costume put together from literally hundreds of options. We had a personality, background, and abilities to match. And soon enough we had extremely cool superpowers, like honest to goodness, not-on-rails flight for the first time in an MMO (it took the rest of the industry three years to match that feat, not counting Dark and Light).

Then, in lieu of a paid expansion, we got City of Villains introduced a slightly darker side of the game. The expansion boasted a business innovation, was that your CoH subscription covered what was essentially an entirely new game, and plenty of gameplay innovations too. "Recluse's Victory"was the only top-tier MMO sporting a zone that actually changes in appearance depending on which side is in control (the buzzword was "dynamic instancing" or "phasing" once upon a time) until Mythic insituted the approach for when cities changed sides and Blizzard used the approach for parts of Northrend and Ebon Hold.

Perhaps one of the few criticisms that ever stuck was that we were given too much at the start of City of Heroes; that one of the biggest ways MMOs keep you playing by making you earn your appearance. But Cryptic knew that there's no such thing as a newb-ish looking superhero (well, aside from Robin) and the number of costume options has continued to grow. And like any classic MMO, City of Heroes / City of Villains has plenty of deeply ingrained personality - Pocket D and the Ski Chalet are just two exampled of how the dev team has fostered that sense of uniqueness and charm.

Happy birthday, City of Heroes, and here's to many more under Paragon Studios. And it might be CoH's birthday but you get the gift: tune in for a special free reactivation week to check out all the latest changes.

And did City of Heroes or City of Villains make an impact on your gaming history? Share your memories in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW: News Discussion forum

WoW on the iPhone

get enough World of Warcraft? Maybe portable Warcrack on your iPhone
will scratch the itch for you. Our WoW writer, Xerin, pointed out a
YouTube video (the links to which seem to change status from viewable
to invisible daily, or perhaps even hourly) showing WoW on the iPhone.
(And if his links don't work, a YouTube search of "WoW iPhone" should
do the trick.)

"Personally I don't care," says Xerin. "I use the G1 and writing email, reading
websites and texting is all I want to do. I have an Nintendo DS, a PSP,
and a Zune to keep me entertained on the go. I don't need,  nor should
I ever need, to play WoW with a horribly limited interface and horrid lag . . ."

WoW for the iPhone fail to impress you? Or would it finally allow you
to leave your basement and perhaps take a bathroom break? (Sorry, WoW
addicts...it appears there's still no way to take Azeroth into the
shower. You're on your own there. Just stay up wind, please.) Got
thoughts? Post 'em here.

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread

"I'm sorry, but . . .

THAT IS AWESOME! [The video was] taken down but I got to watch it on the bus thanks to my iPhone

- Metal

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

3 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 127 in April! 514 in 2009!

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

  • World of Warcraft: UI Mods and Addons for the Paladin

    World of Warcraft provides an open architecture for mods unseen in most other MMOGs. The options are almost limitless, but coding mods can also be intimidating and time consuming. Luckily many coders and players have taken it upon themselves to provide us with mods and addons so we don't have to. Paladins have three very viable play style alternatives (with the three talent trees) which means there are plenty of mods to help us out. Healing, DPS and Tanking all have specific mods that will help Paladins in the Azeroth adventures and beyond.
  • World of Warcraft: UI Mods and Additions for the Hunter

    When it comes to selecting a mod or Addon for World of Warcraft there's no shortage of choices. there are many great mods out there, many aimed at specific classes. This week we take a look at some Addons that could benefit the hunter in combat and help make them more effective in battle.
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Your Guide to Playing Sauron's Minions - The Stalker

    Others can wave their swords, wave their staves, or draw their bows as much as they want, but you know that true power strikes from the heart of darkness. The Stalker is a terror to all Freeps on the battlefield, but it takes time and patience to get there. Fortunately for you, Dalmarus has put together a guide to make the journey a little easier.

    Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
  1. DC Universe Online VIP Interview - The Devs Answer Your Questions
  2. Global Agenda Official Fiction Exclusive: The Cure for Life
  3. Dungeons & Dragons Online: Module 9 Dev Chat - Q&A Transcript
  4. Loading... Live #13 Vooncast - DDO Module 9 Dev Chat with Kate Paiz
  5. Champions Online 'Swinging' Video
  6. geeked: 'Look, It's a Distraction!'
  7. DC Universe Online VIP Interview - The Devs Answer Your Questions (Exclusive Premium Content)
  8. Exclusive Preview: Free Realms is your next Guilty Pleasure
  9. Free Realms: Fun New Game, or Insidious World Domination Plot?
  10. Star Wars Galaxies: The Making of Update 8 - Extreme Make-Over Hits Player Cities

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 City of Villains 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.