The Daily Grind: Which MMO needs a better music system – or any music system?

If you ask any Star Wars Galaxies veteran about the game’s most amazing features, I guarantee that the music and dance system will make the list, even if that player never picked up a slitherhorn to join in. There was just nothing comparable to a 20-man band playing in harmony while dancers synchronized their routines, and everyone was grateful for a musician who could whip out a nalargon for a tune while we waited for the shuttle.

That’s why it breaks my heart when I see articles like these gushing about the – I’ll say it – rudimentary music systems in Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV. The performances and events are thrilling, and I’m glad to see other bloggers finding joy in stumbling upon them! But these systems can’t hold a candle to what was standard fare as long ago as 2003 – never mind what a game community like Lord of the Rings Online’s can and does deliver on a daily basis. Imagine how these folks’ minds would be utterly blown by Weatherstock!

I’m glad even rudimentary music systems still exist in MMORPGs, but they can be so much more. Which MMO needs a better music system – or any music system?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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22 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMO needs a better music system – or any music system?"

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Mailvaltar

Sadly my answer at the moment has to be ‘none’, since I don’t play any MMO and am not waiting for a specific one to come out either.
As a general rule, though, I’d say ‘all of them’.

@ Bree: Thanks for using my screenshot whenever SWG or great music systems come up. :-)

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Bruno Brito

Tibia C:

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Serrenity

Despite the fact that Blizzard hates things that are fun and not raiding, I think it would be a ton of fun to have music / musical instruments in WoW.

Additionally, I actually didn’t realize that FFXIV added a music system.

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Pandalulz

WoW is the obvious answer just because. Why not at this point?

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Jeffery Witman

The more time that passes the more clear it is how close to perfect SWG was. It may have been handled badly at times, but the game itself was full of complex, detailed, and enjoyable features that you just don’t get anymore. Entertainers were one of the most fun classes to jump into when you needed a break from combat or harvesting resources for your factories, or patrolling star systems for enemy activity, or asteroid mining, or running community faction events, or…

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Fervor Bliss

Once you experience Second Life letting you play your own music playlist in your own club or home, everyone else seems so lame.

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Bruno Brito

I need to ask, is this game really that fun?

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Crueltylizer

Still to this day I miss SWG. I miss the fact that the galaxy felt a live and you could do so many things without to many constraints. I seriously felt like living in a galaxy far far away.

Now I’m still hoping that one day that Disney and Lucasfilm will take away the license from EA, and another company will pop up and do something similar to SWG.

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Toy Clown

What I loved about SWG’s system is that anyone could make music with their system. You didn’t have to know how to read music, or how to run a program to convert music to be played in a game’s midi format.

I played an entertainer in SWG and loved it. It wasn’t just the simplicity of the music and dance; it was also all the props, entertainer emotes, clothing, ability to change hair and makeup, the ability to build huge stages with the storyteller feature, droids that added fog or lights, stage props for player housing, and the ability to automate an entire show with the use of aliases. We used to create not only performance troupes, cantina crawls, but also yearly festivals and plays in player-made theaters.

That’s what’s missing from other MMOs that have music: It’s not just the ability to perform for others, or even to play with others in a band; it’s all of it that Star Wars Galaxies had that no other MMO had, or has.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

A world rich with details small and big, this is what many MMOs should strive to be, so i would say most of them need a music system, but also they need to add more functions to places like inns and taverns or town squares, where people could hang out.

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Amorey

I have been playing music in LOTRO with my band for a long time. It is one of the reasons that keeps me engaged with the game. Our song/tunes playlist has grown considerably over the years. It is one of the best features in LOTRO. I saw FF14 has just introduced the first phase of a music system so I am curious to see how that turns out. In my opinion all MMOs would benefit by introducing player-made music, it helps build a strong community in game, however I believe it should be done early in the life of a game, like LOTRO. It takes many years for people to master how a music system works and for the community to build and create tools to help musicians .

Any MMO with a music system will definitely have my full attention .

Here is an old tune we adapted for LOTRO a few years ago for one of our events :)

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Utakata

Still awaiting for the Dance Studios (WoW) promised us back during the announcement of Wrath. :(

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Bryan Correll

Sorry, that would cost two raid bosses.

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Sashaa

Elder Scrolls Online deserves a proper music system. This has been a particular pet peeve of mine…

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Vincent Clark

The performance system in FFXIV was literally just released and it’s in the early stages. You have to give them credit for spending the resources to do it–and we’re getting updates and more instruments in the near future. The community is on board with it too and the hype appears real. And that’s the significant point, the music system in LotRO isn’t all that great, they haven’t even introduced a new instrument in YEARS. The community, however, does most of the work for them and deserves the credit (as is the case with most things in LotRO).

bereman99
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bereman99

I wonder if the music system in LOTRO would have the presence or positive feedback it has received if it didn’t allow for the automated play system.

Using it manually is a bit of a pain, to be honest.

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Zora

I thought I might had something to add, then I remembered by main jig is SWTOR and I lost the will to go talk about it…groan

If no less, for some reason, you play WoW, turn away before your day turns bitter. We were talking about mmorpg’s features anyway, nothing of interest to blizzard

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wratts

Something Black Desert could really benefit from. They deliver so many minor “life” type features/minigames that I’m surprised music hasn’t become part of it. Probably one reason is there isn’t an obvious way to link it to progression; while BDO has a lot of variety, absolutely everything fits into a “chase the next cookie” paradigm

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Zen Dadaist

Well… Warframe’s Mandachord could really, really do with an expansion so it can do more than a D minor pentatonic scale. How about a whole octave? For Octavia to actually make use of?

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

ESO’s is horrible. There is zero harmony to it. One person sounds fine but a second person joins in and its crap, Three or more is just cacophonous garbage.<-Hell yeah, I used 'cacophonous' today. BONUS POINTS!

As I understand it LOTRO has a great music system and so does Project Gorgon. Everything harmonizes in PG, no matter how many players you add.

So dancing cows and street jams are a thing there.

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Christofer Mogrey

problem with eso (at least last time i played and doubt it has changed) was that you couldn’t play what you wanted. you just /lute or whatever instrument you wanted and game was playing something random out of 4-5 elder scrolls melodies. in other words it was just there to leave your character afk doing something “fun” and nothing more.

on other hand lotro’s system create some in game bands writing their melodies and playing them afterwards (either play them manually or use the “macro” system or whatever it was called cause i don’t remember).

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Agreed. It appears it was just a emotey afterthought whereas Lotro’s and PG’s were created with intention to be a music system.

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