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Jukebox Heroes: Massively OP’s guide to grabbing 120+ MMO soundtracks

One of the most common questions that I’m asked from my adoring throngs on the street is, “Justin, where oh where can I get some of these marvelous MMO soundtracks that you talk about all of the time?” OK, that just never happens (on the street, that is), but people are often curious how they can go about starting to amass an MMO soundtrack collection or where to find their favorite album.

The sad truth is that so much music from these games is never officially released in any capacity, which is why I scour YouTube for fan rips of the music files. However, every so often I do discover a studio release somewhere, and I try to keep an up-to-date log on these to help others in their quest for video game scores.

So in the spirit of Christmas and sharing, today I’m going to show you how you can get your ears on more than 120 soundtracks and scores from MMOs, MOBAs, and other online titles — some of which are free and legal for the taking. You’re welcome; don’t mention it!

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EverQuesting: Preparing to play EverQuest II’s Kunark Ascending

When I first spoke about preparing for EverQuest II’s latest expansion, Kunark Ascending, I pretty much focused only on leveling. That’s because you can’t really participate in the expansion content unless you are level 100. You can still travel to and tour the zone — and die in it — if you are lower level, as I totally demonstrated on launch day, but you can’t really dig into the content. And who wants to hang out in an expansion if you can’t do anything? Well, unless you are like me. Unfortunately, if all you focus on is your level, you might still be pretty disappointed when you enter; you may not even be able to converse with any of the inhabitants to participate in the story or do quests! I found that out just trying to chat with a nice Sokakar trainer.

Beyond reaching the level cap, there’s plenty more you need to do before you can take advantage of Kunark Ascending. You may have completed many of these prerequisites already, or perhaps next to none (a very possible scenario if your current character just speed leveled like my Arasi Fury did). This guide that will help you cross everything off that checklist so you can experience all that the expansion has to offer.

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EVE Evolved: Getting started with EVE’s free-to-play

Just under two weeks ago, EVE Online launched its new free to play account option with the introduction of clone states. Subscribers are now given the new Omega clone state that allows access to everything the game has to offer just as before, while free players get a new Alpha clone state with a limited set of skills available and reduced skill training speed. The people this helps the most are new players, who previously had to get a 14-day free trial to check the game out but can now just sign up and take their time with it. The Ascension expansion also delivered a brand new fully voiced tutorial that developers hope will retain more players.

Thousands of new players have poured into EVE Online over the past two weeks, so many that last week’s peak concurrent user numbers reached over 51,000 players for the first time since 2014. The Rookie Help channel is now regularly packed with 6,000 to 8,000 players every night, indicating that over 15% of the active playerbase is currently composed new players. I’ve been playing on a new alpha character this week to explore the new tutorial and see what I could do solo within the alpha clone restrictions, and it’s been an extremely interesting experience.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at what new free-to-play players will experience in EVE, give my impressions of the new tutorial and alpha clone limitations, and deliver some important tips that should help all new players make the most of their time in EVE.

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Massively OP’s guide to MMO Thanksgiving 2016

As you’re gobble, gobbling up food today, rooting for your favorite football team, and enduring the uncomfortable political conversations at the dinner table, you might be tempted to take some time to play MMOs during this American holiday.

Thanksgiving isn’t as huge of an inspiration for MMORPG holidays, but they do exist and are perfect for players who want to get decked out in the latest Pilgrim fashion from 1621 and stock up on food buffs.

So if you’re looking for a way to complement the holiday in-game, here’s where you should go today!

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EVE Online preps for tomorrow’s F2P transition, requests patience and feedback

“We are ready to bring you clone states and Ascension tomorrow,” CCP’s Andie Nordgren tells EVE Online players in a dev update today on the — wait for it — eve of what is surely the biggest change to ever come to the sci-fi sandbox, that being its free-to-play transition.

“We’re also pretty sure that launch day will have some excitements that we didn’t expect,” she says. “Clone states is a huge change that impacts almost everything about EVE and all the services and processes that we run behind the scenes to make EVE work.” Consequently, the team has asked for patience if there are catastrophes and help pinpointing issues and reporting bugs. That goes for feedback on the EVE Portal app as well, which launched last week.

She does note that players who’ve written guides or other useful bits for new players should send them along to the dev team for inclusion in an upcoming blog post.

“It’s almost showtime,” she grins. “Let’s show some new people what it’s all about.”

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Massively OP’s guide to upcoming MMORPG expansions

If there is one consistent inconsistency among MMORPG studios, it is that teams keep swinging back and forth on pursuing the expansion model. How many times have we seen an MMO go from releasing regular expansions to attempting a monthly or quarterly content update schedule… and then abandon that after a while for more expansions? It is almost as if teams keep discovering how exciting and wonderful (and even profitable) expansions can be for the first time.

Believe it or not, right now we are in the middle of a major expansion boom in the MMO genre. Already this year we have enjoyed several expansion drops, including Destiny: Rise of Iron, EVE Online: Citadel, Trove: Mantle of Power, Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday, and of course, World of Warcraft: Legion.

We have even more on the horizon: More than a dozen MMOs and online ARPGs have expansions in the works, with five coming out this November alone. To help you keep all of these expansion projects straight, we’ve compiled a list of them, what each contains, and a rough timeline of when players might get to enjoy them.

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Chaos Theory: A guide to The Secret World’s Samhain 2016

Well, there you have it. After 12 months of anticipation, the 2016 Samhain event in The Secret World is here. And I most definitely have a few things I want to say about it… but right now is not the time. One, we have not quite reached the conclusion yet, so what happens between now and then could change things a bit. It would be fairer to reserve full judgment until the entire event unfolds. Two, the event is ending really soon, so to make sure everyone can take advantage of it, I have to get a guide out now! The Rider Cometh ends on November 8th, so you have less than a week to try to get all the loot and all the lore before it gallops off until next year.

And don’t forget during that time you can (and totally should!) do all the previous Samhain missions as well. We’ve got nifty guides to The Seven Silences, The Broadcast, Spooky Stories, and The Cat God to help you finish them up before they too are gone.

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Here’s everything you can expect from BlizzCon 2016 next week

Every year, BlizzCon arrives. And every year, Bree and I sit down and liveblog about the most pertinent event for our readers to follow along at home because we love you. We just don’t love you enough to put on pants and head to California. That’s expensive.

The part where we go to California, that is. Pants are not expensive. We both own at least one pair of pants. I own several, but I don’t want to presume to speak for Bree. [Do PJ pants count? -Bree]

Of course, all of this raises a rather important question: What can we expect from this year’s BlizzCon? Unlike last year, this year we don’t have a new World of Warcraft expansion coming down the pipe, and the game just received its first big post-launch patch. What new and exciting things will be revealed at BlizzCon? What should we keep our eyes on? What will have exciting new developments added into the comments as it happens? Why did we have to suffer through Metallica and Linkin Park in previous years when we could have had Weird Al all along? Read on for the answers to some of that as we look at what to expect from this year’s BlizzCon!

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EverQuesting: EverQuest II’s public quest event — fun or flop?

Last year when EverQuest II had a prelude event before the launch of its expansion, it was a two-parter. And thanks to logistics at the time, I ended up missing participating in the first half, a fact that bugged me all year. And still does honestly! I hate missing EQII events, especially one-off live events that will never return. So I was prepared and ready to go for this year’s pre-expansion event. I was excited to dive into these public quests that popped up over a variety of zones; I was going to fully participate this time around and not miss out on any of the things. Besides doing something that is new, you know it’s about collecting all the things! And I wanted All. The. Things.

It was fun… at the start. Sadly, after a short time the excitement ebbed away. Worse, it was replaced with disappointment. On the plus side it hasn’t morphed into apathy for me, and I haven’t written the entire event off yet. But many have. So what happened? This was meant to be a build up for Kunark Ascending. Was it a bad event, or was it just executed poorly? Did it perhaps just lack a special something to keep players invested and engaged? Or is it that players simply expect too much? What went wrong, and how can future events do better?

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Massively OP’s guide to MMO Halloween 2016

“Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year.”  ~ “All Hollows Night” by Lizette Woodworth Reese

Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.

With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he’s on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all — Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.

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Massively OP’s guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs, part three

Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn’t fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.

As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.

On with part three!

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Massively OP’s guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs, part two

Last week, we introduced the first part of our guide to the best upcoming, in-development indie MMORPGs — yes, the list was so long that we had to split it lest our CMS explode! So this week we’re back with the other half of our list, a quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: We’re not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.

On with part two!

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Massively OP’s guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs, part one

When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators’ moms don’t even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids’ names (after all, space is limited), but it’s nearly an impossible task. There’s just too much out there.

And lately I’ve noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into “state semi-regionals”). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it’s stressing us out.

Enhance your calm, citizen. Here’s the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It’s not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!

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