music

Camelot Unchained implements torches (bring your own pitchforks)

City State’s Mark Jacobs is back at the helm of the Camelot Unchained weekly update this round, with news of his team’s efforts on terrain, performance improvements, seamless zone transitions, the API server, the salvaging system, siege weapons, ambient sound and music tracks, knockback animations, and the pleasantly named wounds and trauma code.

“We’re revisiting the rough first pass of the wounds and trauma code to make use of new code written while we wrapped up encumbrance. At the same time, this pass will also fix several long-standing bugs in the system, like dummies not respawning, and issues with bleeding to death. No one likes issues with bleeding to death, amiright?”

There’s also the usual assortment of images, including a super-detailed look at the work-in-progress unitframes and… torches. A whole bunch of torches. What could go wrong, right? Pitchforks next week?

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EVE Online prepares players for summer cruiser rebalance

Ahoy space captains! EVE Online is working to get the word out about a “significant” rebalance patch for the game’s strategic cruiser line that’s coming on July 11th. As part of the preparation, the team posted a dev diary outlining some of the changes and announcing the formation of a focus group to gather feedback for them.

“Since these changes to strategic cruisers will be very significant in scope, existing ships and subsystems will go through a dramatic transformation on patch day. We want to start warning people now about the impacts of this transformation and will continue communicating it over the next two months to ensure that players are not caught by surprise.”

If you’re in the mood for a good space yarn, you might want to read this fascinating true story about how tenacious EVE players managed to overwhelm and outsmart an AI space station that was designed to counter players’ threats. As usual for this game, the answer involved “tons of small, disposable ships.”

Finally, you can listen to a new EVE track, Birth of the Capsuleer, after the break!

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LOTRO confirms Chance Thomas’ return to score Mordor, says it will be his ‘darkest’ work yet

It was perhaps the worst-kept secret for Lord of the Rings Online’s upcoming Mordor expansion, but now it’s officially confirmed: Composer Chance Thomas is returning to score the MMO.

Saying that “it was a long time coming,” the announcement marks a reunion between Thomas and LOTRO after many years apart. Thomas was one of the key composers who wrote music for the base game and its expansions up through Riders of Rohan, but he’s been absent from the project since 2012. In the livestream, Thomas said that the lawyers had to wrangle things out to make a way for his return.

The composer said that the Mordor expansion will be a “different feel” than what he’s done for the game in the past — and will be quite dark, indeed. He’s currently reading through the design document and looking at various pieces of Middle-earth art to help inspire his composition. Thomas has just now started writing the score but said that there will be live orchestral recording of at least some of it.

Thomas and Standing Stone teased a second special announcement that will come next week. You can watch the full interview after the break!

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Rootin’ tootin’ saloons confirmed for Wild West Online

What would a western MMORPG be like if it didn’t include the classic saloon? A darn poor game, that’s what. Fortunately, Wild West Online confirmed that these taverns will be part of the game, although it’s uncertain what features they will offer.

Wild West Online is going to have saloons,” the team said on Facebook. “Rootin’ tootin’ saloons. That much we all know. While we have our own ideas that we’re developing and working on for what actually goes on in those saloons, we want to know what the community at large wants to see. Will there be gambling, drinking, music, dames, brawling… what?”

Another small reveal this week was that Wild West Online will ship with three biomes, with more variety and larger maps to come as the game is expanded post-launch. Check out concept art of these saloons and biomes below!

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Battle Bards Episode 98: Perfect World International

Perfect World — it’s not just a massive games publisher, it’s also an MMORPG! The team at Battle Bards timidly tiptoe into this unknown soundtrack, not sure of what may lurk around the next bend. Is it a hot pile of suck? An undiscovered gem? Forgettable fluff? We’re not going to tell you in the intro here; you’ll have to listen along with us to find out!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 98: Perfect World International (or download it) now:

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Listen to Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s new opening theme

A new Final Fantasy XIV expansion means a new theme song for the game, and while we’ve had the new theme teased before, you can finally listen to the whole thing just below. As with the previous two themes, the song “Revolutions” was written by Nobuo Uematsu and sung by Susan Calloway; unlike the previous songs, however, this is not a mournful dirge or a lament. No, this is a call to action, to stand up and fight for liberation against a powerful enemy.

Of course, the accompanying video does include some scenes that one might construe as spoilers; if you want to avoid any visual hints of the expansion, you should probably put it on play and then switch to another tab. (The song itself has vague hints about the story, but don’t they all?) Stormblood releases for the PC and PlayStation 4 on June 20th, for those who have forgotten.

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Ashes of Creation answers questions on progression, music, and (setting) forest fires

Remember kids, only devs can prevent virtual forest fires! And it’s probably a good thing that they do because apparently there are some Ashes of Creation fans who actually want the ability to light acres of in-game property ablaze for… reasons.

The bizarre query to program in firebugs came out of a wild-and-woolly community Q&A session that Intrepid CEO Steven Sharif did yesterday. Sharif fielded all sorts of questions about the game including practical (nodes, progression) and goofy (metal band music, a troll class for trolling).

The session is a little difficult to follow, what with all of the Discord pings and rambling questions from the community, but there are some interesting nuggets of info in it concerning the weather system, wider possibilities for caravans, and the depth of the crafting system. Check it out for yourself below!

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Listen to these brand-new Guild Wars 2 and EVE Online music tracks

An odd but interesting connection between Guild Wars 2 and EVE Online is that both games use Soundcloud extensively to post their soundtrack pieces as each MMO continues to develop. Seriously, there are so many tunes for both games on that site, that if you wanted to spend an afternoon awash in great tunes, you certainly could.

However, we would be remiss if we didn’t point you to several brand-new tracks for these games that released this week. Starting with EVE Online, check out the MMO’s newest theme song, “The Luminous Eye:”

With this past week’s Flashpoint episode release, Guild Wars 2 added a trio of new tracks for its Living World season three soundtrack (you’ll need to scroll down on the list):

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Mark Hamill caps off Star Citizen’s latest Around the Verse

This week’s episode of Around the Verse sees Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookending the Austin studio update and tech check-in. The Austin branch is focused on major features for 3.0, Producer Jake Ross says, from commodity trading and the mission-giver experience to landing zones (yes with smuggling) and ship damage modeling. Work on Spectrum — that’s the huge in-game/out-of-game communication tool being custom-built for the game — continues as well.

The behind-the-scenes segment will be music to the ears of those of you who want to hear all about how the game and its builds are hosted.

The episode concludes with what is probably its best bit, a May the 4th tease that amounts to “a little glimpse of Mark Hamill in the cockpit of Squadron 42.” We’ve tucked it down below.

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The Elder Scrolls Online honors 15 years of Morrowind with a new trailer

Fifteen years ago this week, I was sitting down to play Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind for the first time, I’m guessing like many of you too. How convenient that The Elder Scrolls Online just so happens to have a Morrowind expansion coming out in just a month, right?

To celebrate the game’s anniversary and tease the upcoming ESO content, Bethsoft has a brand-new teaser video out this morning with gorgeous vistas bookended by geek gushing and dev team quotes. But that music is what gets me every time. Enjoy!

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LOTRO Legendarium: 10th anniversary interview with Standing Stone’s Rob Ciccolini

As Lord of the Rings Online players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.

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Battle Bards Episode 97: The sound of magic

“Magic can be ANYthing!”

The forces of magic run deep within MMORPGs, casting shadows of wonder wherever we look — and listen. In today’s show, Syl sparks a musical revolution as her fellow Bards struggle to rise to the challenge of defining what, exactly, constitutes a “magical” track and evokes that particular feeling. Did we nail it? You’ll have to join us for the journey to find out!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 97: The sound of magic (or download it) now:

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Join MOP in Paragon Chat for Friday’s City of Heroes anniversary bash

Beloved superhero MMORPG City of Heroes turns 13 years old tomorrow, and what better way to celebrate than in Paragon City? That’s exactly what we’ll be doing on Friday, and we invite you to join us.

The Hero Events Resource Committee over on the Titan Network puts together an annual event every year for the anniversary, stuffed full of races, costume contests, minigames, and trivia contests, all in coordination with The Cape Radio, to which you can listen even if you don’t want to or can’t attend.

This year’s event begins at 3 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 28th, and runs until 11 p.m. that evening. You might be wondering how exactly you’ll get to Paragon since the game is no more. It’s easy! The event takes place in Paragon Chat, which is basically a partial emulator of the game world. You can create characters, run around, use travel skills, map-hop, listen to the music, and talk to other people in areas of the game. (There’s no combat or questing, though, so it’s sort of like a visual chat client with costumes, plus that wonderful-awful happy-crying feeling of nostalgia.)

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