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.
Last night's startling news that Daybreak plans to sunset Landmark abruptly in February (while forbidding player emulators) sent the MMORPG community into... I'll call it "resigned and weary outrage." At Massively OP, we just spent the last month reliving last year's EverQuest Next cancellation thanks to the fact that it "won" so many awards -- Biggest Disappointment and Biggest Story, the reader vote for Biggest Blunder -- and was our most-commented-on article of the year. Landmark's sunset is sadly just a capstone to a year already dominated by Daybreak's decisions.
(The bummer is Landmark also narrowly took our serious award for Best Crafting, which it probably deserved, but most MMO gamers will never get to try it to understand why.)
Our comments last night were filled with concern for Daybreak's remaining games. We counted around 14 games canceled, most of them in the last few years, with DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and the two H1Z1 halves being the only games left under the DBG banner (plus the mystery game they've been hiring for -- and it's now publishing Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online but doesn't actually own or develop them, so they're probably safe). Do you think Landmark was the last remnant of a bad business decision finally getting cleaned up, or are you concerned for Daybreak's other MMORPGs?
Following the announcement of LOTRO and DDO's new studio and the subsequent cancellation of the Asheron's Call games, you can better believe that the MMO blogosphere was alight with conversations and opinions on the subject.
Aywren said that the move is a "win-win" for the two MMOs, while Contains Moderate Peril thought that it "raises a lot of questions." GamingSF is "optimistic," Endgame Viable thinks that updates will slow down going forward, The Ancient Gaming Noob considers it "momentous news," and Ravalation doesn't see the point in "doom-and-glooming."
Battle Priestess has some advice for Standing Stone: "Stay true to the Lord of the Rings source and lore and write amazing storylines and engaging quests. Keep developing beautiful landscapes. For the love of all that is holy, please update the character models and hairstyles. Be more transparent with your players and listen to the community."
By hook of by crook, Massively OP's MJ is bound and determined to conquer EverQuest II's slippy slidey ice race this year! It's one Frostfell achievement that has eluded her (on all of her alts!), and with the holiday ending this, week time is running out. It's now or never. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. to watch as MJ throws herself into The Great Candy (Cane) Chase. Better yet, join in and try to beat her!
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
This year's new Frostfell quest in EverQuest II involves hunting down a little lost goblin. But things are far from easy was Massively OP's MJ follows the trail into a special new Kunark instance. And when the going gets tough, the tough get... snowballs? You betcha! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ tries to survive this adventure by snowball alone.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 27th, 2016
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for the MMORPG with the Best Holiday Event of 2016, which is yet another new award for us this year, and we have readers Agemyth and Mylicia to thank for suggesting it. The award is self-explanatory: It's meant for the MMORPG with the best holiday-themed event that took place during 2016 specifically, regardless of when the game itself was launched. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for MMORPG with the Best Holiday Event of 2016 is...
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG Player Housing of 2016, which is a new award for MOP and one proposed this year by Agemyth and Mylicia. MMORPGs eligible for this award can have launched in any year as long as they are still alive and still offer player housing; nominees should be judged based on the quality and depth of that feature and that feature alone. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMORPG Player Housing of 2016 is...
It's time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could "bah humbug!" your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We're not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!
Oh the real life outside is frightful
But Frostfell is so delightful
So who needs to work today?
Let us play, let us play, let us play!
There's holiday treats and questin'
And Glug's got some gifts he's givin'
It's here for just 30 days
Let us play, let us play, let us play!
The best kind of winter wonderland is an EverQuest II Frostfell Wonderland! Not only is the Frostfell Wonderland Village the home to the king of Norrath's holiday festivals, it possibly ranks at the very top of all-time favorite zones in EQII. It's full of the beauty of the season -- with ice and snow to frolic in -- without the worry of any actual cold or shoveling chores. And slipping on the ice here is an amusing antic you aim for as opposed to the painful accident you'd rather avoid in real life. Then there's the music. Some tunes are so iconic that they transport players to memories within just a few notes, and the Frostfell theme is one of them. Just try to listen to it without having images of McScroogle and goblins in Santa hats dancing in your head.
Welcome to Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards series.
Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). At the end of 2014, we broke with tradition and split our awards into smaller categories and individual posts so that we could consider them throughout the month of December, and it worked very well in 2015, so we'll be repeating that format once again here. We'll also continue providing our writers' nominations and rationales (in some cases, we allowed them to choose two games to make the final decision easier); we think that's helpful insight. And we'll include a just-for-fun reader's poll at the end. Let's see whether you agree with our picks!
Today's award is for the most underrated MMO of 2016, which was awarded to Trove last year. Once again, we've opted to include pre-2016 MMOs for many of these awards, including this one, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Underrated MMO of 2016 is...
Christmas time is here in the real world, and while we're decorating trees and decking halls, it's important that we get our winter holiday fix in games as well. EverQuest II understands this need and is addressing it with the newest round of the Frostfell event. Players can earn 15 items from Santa Glug, 7 of which are completely new to the game, meaning there are double the options for rewarding your festive spirit.
This year also features a new quest in which you lead a lost little goblin around, and crafters can also make new outfits while other players purchase cosmetic armor both new and old. The good news for players on the time-locked server is that Frostfell is arriving for you, too; some of the later content will be locked out, but you needn't miss out just because you're slowly working through the expansions one at a time.
If you are close to completing EverQuest II’s new Kunark Ascending Signature Quest line, you might want to hold off a bit. At the moment, a bug is temporarily flagging the rewarded Dread’s Visage of Greenmist dagger as no-zone, which means it will poof from your inventory the moment you switch zones -- along with any adornments that have been socketed. The sword, Fear’s Visage of Greenmist, appears unaffected. Devs are aware of the problem and are working to squash the bug as quickly as possible. Anyone who has already lost his or her reward will see it restored along with all adornments.
There's also been a change to Ascension system. The new system includes daily scrolls and a bonus pool that depletes as you use it. However, anyone who was stockpiling the Ascension XP scrolls will find their value halved, from one million down to 500K XP.
; thanks to anonymous for the tip.
Earlier this week, Daybreak told players it wanted to get back to time-limited events in DC Universe Online. "Events make logging in every day that much more special," the announcement quotes Jack "Jackster" Emmert, now ensconced as the Austin studio's CEO. "I know that I've got to complete that event before it ends!"
While the specific event Daybreak is cooking up actually sounds fairly fleshed out and nice -- a new zone, new quests, and a raid -- I start to fidget at the idea that the content will be time-limited or temporary. Sure, I understand why studios would want to funnel players to a central but dynamic content stream and get us all to pony up. But exploiting players' "fear of missing out" -- FOMO -- seems like a crappy way to design game content for the long-term, and it bugs me. Am I alone?
That's the topic I've posed to our writers for this week's Massively Overthinking. How do you feel about time-limited events in MMORPGs? Are they a waste of resources or a necessary evil? Who does them right, and who does them wrong?