music

The MOP Up: SamuTale’s massive new world (July 23, 2017)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from AstroneerHearthstoneOverwatchClosers OnlineDragon’s Dogma OnlineMu LegendRagnarok OnlineSoulworker OnlineOrbusVRSkyforgeAge of WushuSamuTale, and Crossout, all waiting for you after the break!

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Battle Bards Episode 101: Ragnarok Online

As the Battle Bards cruise into their second hundred episodes, it’s time to cover a very long-lived fantasy MMO from 2002, Ragnarok Online. The game has an… interesting soundtrack and a devoted following in some circles, but as the crew discovered on today’s show, the score is not without its criticisms. It’s time to kick summer vacation to the curb and trumpet another parade of MMO music!

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 101: Ragnarok Online (or download it) now:

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 127: EVE walks no more

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree recount the odd history of Walking in Stations, debate the Mordor pre-order, tackle a trio of MMO updates, talk with ARK’s soundtrack composer, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Conan Exiles might do a jungle biome after its next update

Funcom’s Joel Bylos answered another round of Conan Exiles’ questions over the weekend, several of them on the new biome and beyond. “We combined two biomes in this coming update (highlands and mountains) and we have plans for one or two more,” Bylos says. “Now depending on our assessment in August of what needs to be done for launch we might scale down or up our ambitions. For example, jungle requires a lot of foliage and 4.15 is supposed to have improved foliage optimizations. Assuming this all works out as planned, then it becomes more likely we do a jungle area next. But if foliage is a huge problem…we might try something else.” What else?

  • New music is coming with the new biome, along with at least one new “larger” dungeon.
  • Optimization work on the game continues.
  • The settlement update will arrive following the mounts and sorcery updates.
  • Instruments for both players and thralls will likely arrive with the thrall update.
  • Bears are coming, as are warpaints. Tattoos are a maybe.

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The MOP Up: Crash Force offers arena fun at a discount (July 16, 2017)

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 have stories and videos from TERAMaster X MasterEternal CrusadeWarfacePortal KnightsMapleStoryCrash ForceDroneNeverwinterElswordEVE OnlineWarframeFinal Fantasy XIVEverQuest IIWorld of WarshipsPath of Exile, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!

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FFXIV updates players on DDOS attacks, teases Tuesday patch content

A series of DDOS attacks on Final Fantasy XIV this summer kicked Square Enix into high gear to defend itself. As the studio seems to have gotten a handle on the situation, it provided an article to explain the situation and how the studio handled it. Long story short, situation normal, how are you?

Square Enix said that the attackers shifted from targeting game servers to upper-tier ISP. By partnering with these providers, defenses against the attacks were bolstered. The studio warns that it might not be out of the woods: “This implementation has already been effective; however, there is the possibility that the attacks could occur again. Therefore, we will seek to strengthen our cooperation with the upper-tier ISPs and continue observing our defenses.”

As players breathe a sigh of relief, they can turn their attention to the upcoming Patch 4.05 this Tuesday. This update will add The Lost Canals of Uznair, a hidden dungeon that contains both monsters and treasures. The team posted a sneak peek of some of the sights and said that new music will accompany the instance.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Mordor’s pre-order is flat-out ridiculous

Outrageous. Ridiculous. Exciting. Exploitative. Controversial.

This past week’s announcement of Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor’s launch date and pre-order packages set ablaze discussions and arguments among the community, both in-game and without. World chat was streaming by quickly as players debated the pros and cons of the reveal, while the forums blew up with huge posts defending and criticizing the pre-order packages.

While this is not the travesty that some are making it out to be, I definitely agree with those that say Standing Stone Games misstepped with this announcement and needs to take some action to rectify the confusion and value of the upcoming expansion. While LOTRO players seem united in their anticipation for Mordor, some of that enthusiasm has been dashed with how the dating and packages have been handled, and that is a shame.

Let’s break it all down and see what we’ve learned and what pre-order might be best for you!

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Get pumped for LOTRO: Mordor with wallpaper art and a soundtrack interview

While Lord of the Rings Online players are chewing over the Mordor pre-order packages, there are a few free ways that fans can get pumped up about the expansion. For starters, Composer Chance Thomas appeared on an episode of NPR’s Music Respawn to talk about his return to the game to score Mordor. He stresses that his contributions aren’t just an imitations of the soundtracks from Peter Jackson’s films.

“People assume all the time that I take the movie themes and re-work them,” Thomas said. “I went to the source! I took from the source material the feelings, the ideas, the colors, the themes, and the harmonies that are a reflection of that world.”

If music isn’t your bag, what about gorgeous concept art? This year, the studio has commissioned renowned Tolkien artist Ted Nasmith to create three pieces for Update 16, 20, and 21. The Mordor wallpaper in particular is drop-dead awesome, and you can download all of them to your computer for use. You can check them all out below.

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PlaneShift is an open-source MMO you might have missed

This past Saturday, we posted a column discussing open source MMORPGs — and specifically, how rare they are even after thousands of online games have been launched over the years. In providing examples, we overlooked one interesting title that might be one of the bigger open source graphical MMOs out there: PlaneShift.

PlaneShift is a multinationally developed MMORPG that’s been online since 2002 in several iterations. It may have a lot in common with other fantasy MMOs, but PlaneShift does differentiate itself with more of a focus on mysteries, exploration, death by aging, a death realm, and of course, the open source nature of the project. It is completely free to play, if that’s a consideration.

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The Game Archaeologist: Where are all of the open-source MMOs?

Recently we had an interesting question come in from reader and Patron Rasmus Praestholm, who asked me to do a little investigating: “What (if anything of substance) exists in the MMO field that’s not only free, but open source? The topic of open source came up briefly in a recent column, where Ryzom was noted to have gone open source at some point. But have any serious efforts actually gotten anywhere starting out as open source?”

As some graphical MMORPGs pass the two-decade mark in video game history and are being either cancelled or retired to maintenance mode, it’s an increasingly important topic when it comes to keeping these games alive. Not only that, the question of open source MMOs involves the community in continued development, with the studio handing over the keys to an aging car to see what can be done by resourceful fans.

But has anything much been done with open source projects in the realm of MMORPGs? Is this something that we should be demanding more of as online gaming starts using more accessible platforms such as SpatialOS? Let’s dig a bit into this topic and see what we turn up.

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The MOP Up: Warframe’s Chains of Harrow (July 2, 2017)

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 have stories and videos from Dota 2Destiny 2Battleground EuropeArcheAgeOrbus VRFinal Fantasy XIHearthstoneTERATibiaElsword OnlineOsiris New DawnLeague of LegendsAstroneerSMITEWarframeThe Black Death, and Gloria Victis, all waiting for you after the break!

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Camelot Unchained: Explosions, music, and death to getting one-shotted

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs helms this week’s studio update, with a peek into the team’s progress on shadows, archery and combat animations, siege engines, CUBE structures, inventory functionality and art, ability VFX, realm portals, mines, and terrain assets. Testers, make sure you practice explosives safety during the holiday:

“Happy Birthday, America: Gabe fixed an issue preventing our impact explosions from remaining in the scene. Doing so gave us the great idea of making our bow and siege abilities a bit more patriotic for the holiday weekend.”

Meanwhile, the studio’s latest newsletter features news on a fresh programmer hire, the game’s unique music system, and a positively massive segment on game speed by CSE’s Ben Pielstick. Specifically, he discusses the pacing of combat and the desire to avoid one-shot kills, no matter how logical, in order to keep new players and endgamers literally on the same playing field.

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Massively Overthinking: Do MMORPGs aspire to pro-social mechanics?

Massively OP reader and Patron Avaera has a thoughtful question for the team and readers this week. “I wish more virtual world games thought deeply about what impact they can have for the better,” he writes.

“It seems to me we are living in a time when tribalism, intolerance, and lack of empathy are increasing, with online trolling, harassment and simple nastiness on the rise even before considering where real-world politics seems to be heading. Yet research continues to show that immersive virtual worlds (including MMOs) have significant potential to change us through the type of experiences they offer, with recent examples being that a VR out-of-body experience can reduce fear of death and that social exclusion in a game environment carries a negative effect on real-world emotions. Do you think any MMOs are already using this incredible power to change us as people through pro-social mechanics, activities or narratives? Can you think of any examples where you have been moved or changed by game experiences, for better or worse, and do you think this was a deliberate act by developers? As our genre continues on a trajectory away from massively social roleplay towards cliquish competitive skirmishing, are there any signs that there are still companies willing to test whether virtual world games can be more than just moment-to-moment fun or entertainment?”

I posed Avaera’s question to the whole team for an intriguing Overthinking.

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