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Jukebox Heroes: Music from Destiny 2, LOTRO, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online

Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”

To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.

But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!

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LOTRO starts testing Mordor instance cluster, talks about its soundtrack and lore

Even though the doors leading into Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor were busted wide open, not all secrets — and features — were revealed. The developers said that both the Mordor instance cluster and the expansion’s raid would come after launch, and now it looks like that moment is almost here.

The team announced on Twitter yesterday that it has begun testing Update 21.2, which contains the aforementioned promised content: “Bullroarer is being updated with a preview of 21.2, including instances, Allegiance quests, and more!”

Speaking of the Allegiance system, one of the game’s writers posted a lore piece about the Battle of the Five Armies that ties into the Dwarf storyline of the expansion. Or if music is more your bag, hang out with Mordor Composer Chance Thomas for an AMA this afternoon! When asked by Massively OP as to when the Mordor OST would release, Thomas said that there is nothing official yet but the publisher is aware of the demand.

Source: LOTRO, Twitter, Reddit

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Battle Bards Episode 105: Uncharted Waters Online

Set sail for amazing adventure and an assortment of audio discoveries! This week, Cap’n Steff and her lackeys board Uncharted Waters Online to see what bounty this soundtrack holds. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but the sea is a fickle mistress that doesn’t appeal to everyone!

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 105: Uncharted Waters Online (or download it) now:

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Battle Bards Episode 104: Something wicked this way comes

And lo, as the Battle Bards walk through the zone of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil, but they will listen to evil’s soundtrack because that is what they do! In today’s episode, the crew looks at the darker side of MMORPG soundtracks, dwelling in the wicked, the profane, and the deliciously macabre. Also, Syp does his Cookie Monster voice.

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 104: Something wicked this way comes (or download it) now:

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Battle Bards Episode 103: Wurm Online

You think you’ve heard strange MMORPG soundtracks before, but Wurm Online is about to take you to the odd frontier. With two distinctive soundtracks that skew away from typical composition, Wurm baffles, amuses, and bewitches the Battle Bards in today’s show!

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 103: Wurm Online (or download it) now:

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Battle Bards Episode 102: Pure joy

Is it even possible for pure joy to be derived from MMORPG music? Whether or not, the Battle Bards are going to take a serious stab at it in today’s episode! Each piece is hand-picked and home-brewed to distill joy for the listener, coated in sparkling hopes and drizzled with fond memories. No matter what, you’re in for an uplifting show!

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 102: Pure joy (or download it) now:

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RuneScape sets three Guinness World Records, filches FFXIV’s music achievement

Earlier this year, Final Fantasy XIV received a series of Guinness World Records, including one for “most original pieces of music in a video game” for its then-384 tracks. This award didn’t sit right with the devs or community over at RuneScape, who subsequently and successfully petitioned that their game with its nearly 1,200 music tracks receive the nod instead.

In addition to grabbing the “most music” record, RuneScape has also set two other world records as recognized by Guinness: most users in an MMO video game (254,994,744) and most prolifically updated MMORPG video game (with 1,014 updates to date).

RuneScape has been enjoying a streak of positive publicity with its recent announcement of a mobile edition and its popularity as a streamed title over at Twitch.

Source: Reddit

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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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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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Path of Exile optimizes the crap out of its new beta build

Lag spikes and stuttering framerates may be a thing of the past in Path of Exile. The devs announced that with its next beta build for The Fall of Oriath, they are implementing changes that will keep FPS at a playable pace even when players are spamming the heck out of flashy skills.

“In Wave 3 of the Beta, we have significantly improved the speed of creating and destroying objects. This was the primary cause of spikes when using a lot of skills. We can now create thousands of skill effects per second without significantly slowing down the frame rate,” the studio reported. “We have also added a new feature called Dynamic Resolution. This is a feature that allows us to maintain high frame rates even as the amount of particles increase by decreasing the resolution of the 3-D scene temporarily.”

The team also devoted some screen space to sharing behind-the-scenes insights into the expansion’s soundtrack. You can listen to a little of that after the break!

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Jukebox Heroes: Six goofy RuneScape tunes

Over the past year I’ve nearly been bested by the unclimbable mountain that is the RuneScape soundtrack. With well over 1,200 tracks currently existing in the game, it’s sheer folly to try to listen to it all straight through. That, of course, is exactly what I’ve been attempting, yet with new tracks coming out all of the time, I feel that there’s no end in sight.

If I’m to be forever working my way through an MMO soundtrack, RuneScape is a great place to be. As I’ve been discovering, there is such a sheer variety of interesting and catchy tunes on display covering a wide swath of biomes, races, events, and situations. What I perhaps like best is how RuneScape’s score isn’t in the slightest self-conscious with being silly and bizarre. In fact, it seems to revel in it!

So today let’s take an odd musical interlude to listen to six goofy and weird RuneScape tracks before we all get serious again about our video games.

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

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 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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Hear Project Gorgon’s Bard healing like a rock star

We are still waiting for the full reveal of Project Gorgon’s promised Bard skill, but in the meantime we can enjoy a sneak peek at what the class has to offer. Or should we say, a sneak listen? That doesn’t rhyme. Oh well.

Project Gorgon Composer Conor Brace posted a new piece of music that demonstrates the Bard healing with tunes while playing alongside the combat theme. Check it out:

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