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!
When you take a step back and look at the broad MMO genre, you see some common threads that run through most games. One of these is that pretty much every character we control is a humanoid, albeit in many shapes, sizes, and ear configurations. This makes sense, as we ourselves are human and have the easiest time strongly identifying with an avatar that correlates to our own bodies.
Yet there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, and I'm not just speaking of fantasy races that give you four legs instead of two or two heads instead of one. Some MMOs plop you into a nuts-and-bolts vehicle as your primary avatar, encouraging you to bond with this hunk of soulless machine over the course of incredible adventures.
Today we're going to count down -- or count up, or count sideways -- through 10 MMORPGs that stuffed your brain into a machine and then encouraged you to live your new life as a ship, car, or very violent automatic can opener.
Arrr, today be a good day to walk the plank o' public opinion and ask ye which is the best piratey MMORPG!
We'll leave the field wide-open for your opinion. Sure, you could go for a pure-blood swashbuckler MMO, such as Pirate101 or Pirates of the Burning Sea, but we'll also leave the possibility for answers outside of these walls. Perhaps there's a game that exudes the piratical lifestyle or has a terrific pirate presence. We'd even allow for answers that wander into the realm of letting you play in the pirate spirit, taking plunder and booty by force (you scoundrel you)!
So settle back with some grog and hardtack and tell us grand tales of the seven digital seas!
I have often thought it grossly unfair that a video game soundtrack is linked, for better and for worse, with the popularity of the game in which it appears. Sure, music is a crucial part of the experience and in many ways emblematic of it, but only recognizing an OST because the game has hit it big is a burr in my saddle.
Let me put it plainly: There are terrific MMOs with terrific soundtracks. There are great MMOs with subpar soundtracks. There are plenty of terrible MMOs with what I can only assume is a serial killer's recording of chalkboard scrapings for a score. And -- in light of today's topic -- there are quite a few incredibly good soundtracks that came from MMOs that are somewhat forgettable.
Maybe these games are far past their prime or only really took root in a certain region, but I keep coming across titles that have surprisingly robust soundtracks that get (pardon Rodney Dangerfield) no respect, no respect at all. Today I want to share with you six scores I've unearthed from games that have been all but forgotten by the modern MMO community.
No MMO can be in the spotlight eternally. Even some of the biggest names out there -- your World of Warcrafts, your Guild Wars 2s, your Star Stables -- wax and wane in the amount of press and attention they get depending on what they're doing and how well their PR department is functioning.
It doesn't take much for a title to fall off of practically everyone's radar. In some cases it's merely a matter of passing time and slipping popularity, but in others it's just that the game or its marketing team hasn't done anything of note in a long, long time. So that's when you get MMOs that, when mentioned, cause the listener to cock an eyebrow and say, "Huh. That's still around?"
Today we're going to look at 10 such titles -- not to demean them or laugh at some misfortune but to call attention to MMOs that are still humming along even though they're not headlining news or ripping up Steam charts.
Big (but not bad) news for Champions Online: The superhero title is relocating along with its team back to its original development studio.
Senior Game Designer Randy Mosiondz said that the team is leaving Seattle's Cryptic North and joining the rest of Cryptic Studios in Los Gatos, California with Mosiondz as the title's lead. Champions Online left Cryptic Studios for Cryptic North in 2013, when the latter was fashioned from the former team and efforts of Pirates of the Burning Sea's Flying Lab Software.
Mosiondz assauged fears on the forums by taking questions about the move from fans and said that the team is hard at work at Champions' future: "We've already started work on some new costumes including the Variable Robot set and Steel Arachnid set from the earlier fan-submitted costume contest, and [are] planning new content updates."
, forum thread
. Thanks to Psi, Mjcbarnes, and ItsBrou for the tip!]