runes of magic

Official Site: Runes of Magic
Studio: Runewaker/Gameforge
Launch Date: March 19, 2009
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

What ever happened to Darkfall, Fallen Earth, and Runes of Magic?

It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games -- so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what's happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there's never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it's been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.

When that happens to me, I'll often head off on a little fool's errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what's going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there's been a lack of news.

You ever caught yourself going, "What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?" I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let's catch up with these three games and see what is up!

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Battle Bards Episode 91: Forest Tales

Take a stroll through the trees and become totally lost in the foliage, drinking in the sounds of the forest with today’s show, as the Battle Bards go hiking through the woods to hear the music that they inspire. It’s an hour of forest tales on this week’s exploration of MMORPG soundtracks, so journey with us from Ultima X to Final Fantasy XI!

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.

We’ve got Episode 91: Forest Tales and the show notes for you after the break!

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Jukebox Heroes: Six MMOs that need official soundtrack releases

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.

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Battle Bards Episode 89: Nightfall

When the sun goes down, the Battle Bards’ work has just begun! In this week’s episode, the crew explores nighttime music cues in MMOs, chasing the ever-elusive feel of what that period between dusk and dawn sounds like in game. Don’t fall asleep!

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.

We’ve got Episode 89: Nightfall and the show notes for you after the break!

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Massively OP's guide to the 2016 MMORPG winter holidays

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!

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Partly crowdfunded Guardians of Ember is now in early access

After a brief headstart earlier this week, Guardians of Ember is live on Steam now in early access with a current on-sale base price of $16.99. Developed by European MMORPG studio Runewaker (which you might remember from Runes of Magic and Dragon's Prophet), the game is a hack-'n'-slash MMO expected to remain in early access for up to half a year before launch.

"Heroes all over the world gather today to save Olyndale from dark forces. Ater two technical tests the servers for ‘Guardians of Ember’, the unique combination of Hack’n’Slash and MMORPG, are live. [...] The game offers 4 races, 6 classes (one post launch) and 300 skills with the developer’s known 'Dual Class System.' The action packed combat is complemented by randomized dungeons, housing system and various PvP options."

Also worth pointing out is that the game ran a small ($10,000) Indiegogo campaign for German localization but actually secured $77,000 and put the extra money back into the game with a hardcore mode and what Runewaker is calling its "Iron Hero" launch event.

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Massively OP's guide to MMO Halloween 2016

"Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year."  ~ "All Hollows Night" by Lizette Woodworth Reese

Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.

With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he's on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all -- Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.

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Battle Bards Episode 83: Triumphant Victory!

Triumph and victory — are they the same thing? Sometimes, but not always. On today’s breathtaking episode of Battle Bards, the team tackles triumphant (and victorious!) themes from MMORPGs, trying to nail down what, exactly, makes a track fit in this category. Also, Syl totally breaks the rules of the show’s format and she doesn’t even apologize. That’s how much of a rebel she is.

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.

We’ve got Episode 83: Triumphant Victory and the show notes for you after the break!

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Battle Bards Episode 81: Goblins, Orcs, and Ogres!

They may be ugly. They may be smelly. And they may have no table manners whatsoever. What, we're not talking about the Battle Bards! No, it's actually a reference to the subject matter of today's episode: Goblins, Orcs, and Ogres. The most unglamorous of MMO races get their day in the spotlight, as the co-hosts scrounge through soundtracks to find music that best represents their various cultures. Oh, and apparently Ogres are the odd man out, because they get nothin' other than a sad place in the show marquee.

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.

We’ve got Episode 81: Goblins, Orcs, and Ogres! and the show notes for you after the break!

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Guardians of Ember hack'n'slash MMO launches early access next month

You might remember InselGames as the studio that tried to bring back L.A.W. as Trinium Wars, which didn't go well in the west and in fact sunsets this week. But now the company is touting a new MMORPG, Guardians of Ember, due out at the end of September for NA and EU fans - or at east those willing to shell out $19.99 to $49.99 for Steam early access.

InselGames is calling it a "unique combination of Hack’n’Slash and traditional MMORPG" with a dual class system, four races, randomized dungeons with difficulty settings, crafting and enchanting, housing, endgame missions, and several PvP gameplay types. It actually has an Indiegogo campaign running now to crowdfund the German localization:

"Guardians of Ember is a hack'n'slash game like grandmother's apple pie: You are missing it and you love it when it's on your plate! As a small publisher we initally decided to launch the new game from the developers of Runes of Magic and Dragon's Prophet in English only. But with your help we can start with the German localization right away."

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Jukebox Heroes: MMO music for epic fights

This week I'll be hijacking a question sent into the podcast that I thought was particularly apt for Jukebox Heroes to tackle. It comes from reader Chris, who has a rather interesting thought exercise to share.

Chris writes, "If you had to choreograph a fight scene in a movie (an EPIC one, of course), what MMO song would you pick? It's a practical question, actually. My kids are martial artists, and they regularly perform for audiences or compete in tournaments where music is expected. We've used lots of music over the years, and we are ALWAYS looking for new stuff. So, Justin, when you see yourself in an epic fight scene, what's the MMO song you hear? And, yes, you can pick your own weapon."

Obviously my weapon would be "giant death robots with kill-ray hand cannons," but as for the music? That's going to take some winnowing down! To help out Chris and perhaps entertain you, here are six MMORPG music tracks that I could see being used for the soundtrack of an epic fight scene.

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The Game Archaeologist: Myst Online Uru Live

The impact of Myst's launch in 1993 was akin to an atomic bomb going off in the PC gaming world. The leap forward in graphical fidelity (aided by the large storage capacity of a CD-ROM and all of the full-motion video and gorgeous images tucked into it) captured gamers' imaginations and made this adventure title the best-selling PC game of all time, at least for several years. Brothers Robyn and Rand Miller's story about a stranger who had to solve puzzles through a good-looking (if deserted) landscape was devilishly difficult, yet that challenge kept players coming back for months and even years.

The Myst franchise surged forward at that point, with several sequels, remakes, and ports selling like hotcakes through the final game's release in 2005. Yet something interesting happened along the way when an offshoot of the series -- Uru: Ages Beyond Myst -- evolved into an MMO. With a focus on multiplayer exploration and puzzle-solving instead of non-stop combat, it may be one of the very few MMOs out there that eschews fighting for brainpower.

It's an oddity, no doubt, and despite it being an incredibly niche title, it has fascinated me enough to pull me into a research rabbit hole. So let's take a look at Myst Online: Uru Live!

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Global Chat: Wrapping up 2015 across the MMORPG blogosphere

As the final pages turn on 2015, MMO bloggers engage in a favorite pastime of recalling their best and most notable gaming experiences of the year.

Light Falls Gracefully ranks the author's eight most-played MMOs of the year, starting with a gloomy prediction about WildStar. "I am still in love with WildStar," Mesmer posts. "With that said, it’s going to die in 2016 just as City of Heroes did in 2012."

Meanwhile, Clean Casuals said that there was only one game that ruled them all this past year: Final Fantasy XIV. "FFXIV has demanded most of my online gaming time and staved away other MMOs," Aywren wrote. "Part of this is due to the nature of the subscription game. Part of this is due to the efforts to foster a free company and a community that I wanted to be a part of."

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