aion

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Official Site: Aion
Studio: NCsoft West
Launch Date: September 22, 2009
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Jukebox Heroes: Six MMOs that need official soundtrack releases

For an avid fan of video game soundtracks, and of MMO soundtracks in particular, the most frustrating aspect of collecting and listening to these scores is how shabbily the OST is often treated. For every game like World of Warcraft or Aion that gives great respect to its music by creating and selling albums, there are two or three titles that have never seen a single official release at all.

This is such a shame and an aggravation that I need to call some of these titles out this week. I need to wag my fanboy finger in their direction and ask, "What gives?" There's so much great music that is put into these ever-expanding games... and the fact that only a fraction of it is ever made widely available to the public to purchase and enjoy outside of the game is a loss (moreso if the game shuts down). I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the composers to see their work bottled up in a product that might go offline forever at any time.

Here are six such MMOs that drive me nuts every time I think about how awesome it would be if their studios would ever consent to an official soundtrack release.

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Rumor: NCsoft might be working on Aion 2

So NCsoft is working on another MMORPG. This in and of itself isn't terribly surprising, since this is how the company makes money. You might not even think it's all that noteworthy, since thus far absolutely nothing has been announced about it. All that's known is the name: Project A2.

Except that that name actually implies something, because NCsoft has a specific way of naming its projects: They're usually named for the first letter of the upcoming title. But "Project A2" implies that it's not a new project, but a sequel... say, an Aion sequel?

Of course, nothing is written in stone yet; it's all speculation based on a name and might turn out to be something else altogether. But that "A2" sure is suspicious, and if you're hoping for another go at Aion, there's something to hang speculation about a sequel upon now.

Source: The Fact (Korean); thanks to Leilonii for the tip!

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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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The MOP Up: Gunjack 2 gets a launch date (November 13, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This past week, CCP announced a launch date for Gunjack 2: End of Shift. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Aion, Final Fantasy XI, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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NCsoft's Q3 2016 financials see declines for WildStar, Guild Wars 2, and Blade & Soul

NCsoft released its Q3 2016 financial results this morning. Here's a quick look at how the major MMORPGs are doing:

  • WildStar's sales have plummeted, half what they were last quarter and at their lowest mark for the entire year.
  • Guild Wars 2 saw a small dip but held mostly even with last quarter, but that's still its lowest for the year.
  • Blade & Soul has trailed off predictably since its western launch earlier this year ("stabilized," NCsoft says) but are still up 61% year-over-year thanks to that regional expansion.
  • Lineage I, usually NCsoft's key player, saw its "sales weakened slightly" quarter-over-quarter as a result of reduced "in-game item promotions." But it's still up 7% year-over-year.
  • Aion has dipped slightly to its lowest sales of the year.
  • Lineage II is the only game to have reported a small upsurge in sales since Q2.

Overall, NCsoft's operating profit and sales declined for the quarter ("due to less in-game item promotions by the major titles" is the refrain) but up for the year.

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Gameforge is hit with layoffs as the company turns away from mobile gaming

German company Gameforge was recently hit with a round of layoffs as the company shifts its development efforts away from mobile. Yes, you read that right; it seems more common for a company to fixate on mobile games, but Gameforge is shifting to be more laser-focused on PC gaming. That means about 90 employees laid off according to a report on MediaBiz (which is in German, so you'll need to translate it if you don't already read German).

The shift was explained by CEO Andrew Rösner as being born out of increased opportunity in the PC free-to-play marketplace. By contrast, the mobile market is clogged with an ever-growing amount of competition, and Gameforge has thus far been relatively unsuccessful in the space; losing employees is unfortunate, but a necessity in a competitive and evolving marketplace. Gameforge serves as the publisher for several games, including TERA and HEX, as well as the European publisher for Aion. Our condolences to all those affected by the layoffs.

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Aion Update 5.1 is now live on EU servers

It's time for you to look fabulous and attack furious in Aion, now that Update 5.1: The Tower Guardian is live on European servers.

The update allows players to incorporate elemental transformations on their characters. Once transformed, players will have a limited time window to do incredible damage before the clock strikes midnight and the coach turns back into a pumpkin. Other additions with 5.1 include six additional dungeons, the luna system, and the new magical crafting and magical morph techniques.

The team removed limited stigmas from the game with this update and will soon phase out arena tickets in favor of arena scrolls. If players had limited stigmas when the update happened, they can be exchanged for a bundle.

Need to get your fill of the update or simply want the devs to talk nerdy talk in your ears for nearly four hours about the update? We've got a livestream for that after the break.

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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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The MOP Up: Aima gets a death sentence (October 16, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we heard the sad news that Korean action MMO Aima will be shutting its doors next month. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Elder Scrolls OnlineConan Exiles, Aion, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Aion shows off the new instances for patch 5.1

The next European Aion patch is bringing some new instances for you to challenge. Not one, not two, not three, but six new instances will be unleashed upon the world for players to challenge, including one completely solo instance, the Rift of Oblivion. The other five instances can be challenged by any group of players from level 66 on upward, so that means you'll have plenty of time to jump in and fight all sorts of new enemies.

The Rift of Oblivion sends players back in time to witness the destruction of the Tower of Eternity, while Kruban Base pits players against enemies scavenging for the ruins of the tower. The Garden of Knowledge also spins off of the tower, the Balaur Marching Route pits you against the enemy faction while gathering machine parts, while the Ashunatal Dredgion also pits you up against the enemy faction in a deadly region. Last but not least, the Runatorium is a straightforward treasure hunt, something players will no doubt welcome when patch 5.1 arrives.

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The Stream Team: Aion's 7th anniversary includes mega XP birthday buffs

Has it really been seven years? Yes, it has! Aion, the game that brought MassivelyOP's MJ into this business, is celebrating its seventh anniversary today. And that means it's party time. With cake! Daevas Day includes the infamous Daeva’s Day Cake, which will give players a 200% bonus XP buff as well as increase drop rates by 50%. On top of that, there is a server XP buff active until Sunday, September 25, 11:59 p.m. server time that triples XP gain! MJ is totally going to take advantage of the buff and explore while inching higher in her levels. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to celebrate Daeva's Day and gorge on XP.

What: Aion
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

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One Shots: Overcompensating

Holy moley, the Massively OP community came out in force to respond to last week's "giant weapon" screenshot challenge. Most comments that I've seen in this column in quite a while! But can we top it?

Reader Tyler gets the honor of showing off his weapon that's certainly not compensating for anything: "I saw your challenge for the week was giant weapons, and I knew my hour had come. Ever since Wrath of the Lich King I've been fond of the 'fury rogue' look. These are the weapons I used at the end of that expansion, Liar's Tongue and the Bone Warden's Splitter. I couldn't bring myself to vendor them after Wrath, and from the moment transmog was introduced, they've been my go to weapon skins. It just fills my heart with joy to see my rogue whacking at enemies with an axe that's almost as big as she is."

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NCsoft previews Aion 5.1 for EU with new instances and battlefields

If you're thinking, hey, didn't Aion just put out a patch like 10 days ago, then congratulate your memory on retaining that information. Indeed, Aion's Lost Memories update launched on August 9th for the EU region, but NCsoft and Gameforge are already hyping 5.1.

At Gamescom this week, the company announced the upcoming patch with a teaser video. What's in the update? Two instances (Garden of Knowledge and Kroban Base), three battlefields (Runatorium Ruins, Balaur Marching Route, and Ashunatal Dredgion), new quests, new UI adjustments, magical crafting, and "fire, water, earth or air transformations to overcome your enemies."

Earlier this month, NCsoft called the revenue of its game franchises like Aion "stable," though sales for the game had fallen slightly.

Check out the Gamescom announcement trailer below.

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