soundtrack

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 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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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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LOTRO kicks off 10th anniversary celebration, more musical retrospectives

It might not be Lord of the Rings Online’s technical birthday quite yet, but the 10th anniversary celebrations are all ready underway as of today. Players can go on the first part of the brand-new scavenger hunt quest series right now and pick up their birthday gifts later in the day.

In response to concerns that the gift boxes didn’t initially impress, Standing Stone said that there’s more to this anniversary than meets the eye: “When developing for our 10th anniversary, we made a decision to focus on both items and content. What this means is that the 10th anniversary has far more playable content associated with it than any other anniversary we’ve had. We also have more than thirty items available in the scavenger hunt. We appreciate the feedback on the gift boxes themselves, though. I would caution that I’d wait until you see the fireworks before passing judgement, though, as they are pretty sweet.”

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Maclaine Diemer opens up about composing Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

Today we are sitting down with ArenaNet Lead Composer Maclaine Diemer, who players might best know from his work on Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and Living World Season 3. Diemer picked up the baton from Jeremy Soule, the original composer for the base game, and has been pumping out terrific music for the MMORPG ever since.

Massively OP: At this point in your career at ArenaNet, how many pieces of music have you composed for Guild Wars 2?

Maclaine Diemer: I think about this from time to time, but I honestly don’t know. I’d say it’s in the “several dozen” range, between all the holiday festivals, Living World content, Heart of Thorns, and other miscellaneous stuff like cinematics and marketing videos. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!

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The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance arrives on Steam with fresh PvE

The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance is sailing into a bold new world with its debut on Steam. Players can pick up a copy of this expanded multiplayer airship adventure for $20, or pay a little more for a costume pack and soundtrack to go with it.

So what makes Guns of Icarus Alliance different than its forefather? Basically, the game has gotten away from a strict PvP setting to include a lot of challenging and fun co-op PvE content as well. The team has created new story mechanics, large PvE mission maps, new weapons, additional ships, and a lot of costume and ship cosmetics to unlock.

“If you’ve heard of the previous Guns of Icarus, the PvP game, this is way different,” the studio said in a press release. “Think of it as you and your ragtag crew teaming up with other ships against hordes of enemies controlled by an intelligent AI director.”

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LOTRO composer shares behind-the-scenes stories of the soundtrack

In case you missed it in the 10th anniversary post earlier this month, Lord of the Rings Online is bringing back famed composer Chance Thomas to do a YouTube retrospective. The series, which is ongoing, sees Thomas picking his favorite musical pieces and sharing the creation and message of each.

We’ve got the first three tracks and Thomas’ comments for you after the break!

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Final Fantasy XIV announces Far Edge of Fate album

Final Fantasy XIV’s award-winning soundtrack is growing bigger with every patch, and at times it seems as though Square Enix can’t publish albums fast enough to keep up with all of the music. As the game prepares for another expansion’s worth of tunes, the studio is putting out its seventh soundtrack album this June covering the remainder of Heavensward’s score.

Borrowing one of the game’s recent update titles, The Far Edge of Fate original soundtrack contains a whopping 50 tracks that span Patch 3.2 and 3.5 part two. The import album costs $50 and is recorded in 5.1 channel sound on a blu-ray with MP3 tracks included.

As a bonus to those who preorder the soundtrack, Square Enix is giving a spunky Nidhogg minion as an in-game pet.

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Battle Bards Episode 96: SWTOR expansions

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

With those words, you know you’re in for a rollicking good adventure — and some impressive and spellbinding music to match! On today’s episode, the Battle Bards return to Star Wars: The Old Republic to look at the music of the recent expansions. Has the Force been with this MMO’s soundtrack? I’ve got a bad good feeling about this!

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 96: SWTOR expansions (or download it) now:

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Stardew Valley launches boxed console collector’s editions, still no sign of multiplayer

Adorable retro sandbox Stardew Valley is releasing a boxed collector’s edition today. Expect the original game, plus a soundtrack disc (hey Justin), a guidebook, and a map. OK, the map part is pretty cool. Chucklefish’s posted price is $29.99 on both core consoles in North America, with rollouts across the global later this week.

The main reason we keep an eye on Stardew Valley is that it’s been planned for multiplayer for over a year now, but it’s taking foreeeeeever. It was meant to launch in October with the 1.1 patch but didn’t. In December, console launches came and went. In February, Stardew creator Eric Barone revealed the game will land on the Switch, and indeed the Switch will see multiplayer after PC and before the other consoles — but still not soon. The update won’t even be ready in time for summer, Chucklefish said at the time.

And so… we wait. Welp, here’s a new trailer to tide you over at least.

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Jukebox Heroes: Your top six favorite MMO music themes

After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.

Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:

  • Glitch by Vexia: “”As proof this is the ‘main theme’ since the game is closed, my soundtrack CDs have some variations of the Groddle Forest music that are titled ‘Glitch Theme (Demo),’ ‘Glitch Theme (Rook’s Woods),’ etc.”
  • EVE Online: Empyrean Age by Alex: “EVE has, like, DOZENS of theme songs. They make a new one for each expansion. It should win on variety alone. Or be in a different category. If I had to choose one, it would probably be the Empyrean Age login theme.”
  • Phantasy Star Online by Totakeke: “Boom, nothing can beat PSO’s theme. Period.”
  • City of Villains by Colonel Zechs: “Who wouldn’t like this song?”
  • SkySaga by Socontrariwise: “Just so cheerful!”

Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!

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Perfect Ten: 10 little things that I love about LOTRO

I’m a details man. I like to stop and check out the small things, to drink in my environments, and to notice how all sorts of elements connect (or not). In MMORPGs, I often find myself stumbling to a halt while I investigate some strange sight or find a perfect moment for a screenshot. For me, it’s not just the big set pieces that are impressive, but also the small touches that add unappreciated depth to the world.

When you’ve been in a game world for a long time, you pick up on many of these details and have them ingrained into your subconsciousness. I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online since launch, and even today there are still parts of that game that charm the pants off of me (which is not a pretty sight, so I’ll thank you to eject it from your imagination). And I’m forever noticing the little things that don’t get much attention in press release bullet points but are just as important to me when it comes to the full experience.

So why not, here is a list of 10 little things that I love about LOTRO. Minute and inconsequential as they may seem, they’re still important to me.

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Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #12-7

It’s starting to get serious now.

As we well know, people are highly opinionated about everything, but when it comes to music, there seems to be a (pardon the pun) higher pitch to the passion of those arguments. I’ve been doing an MMO music podcast for over three years now, and believe me when I say that there have been countless times when myself and my cohosts were aghast when someone hated a tune we liked and vice-versa, even though we shouldn’t have been surprised.

So as we head into the top 10 of the best MMO theme songs, as voted on by the Massively OP community, expect a lot of opinions and controversies. You may not like the picks, the order, or the comments, but hopefully one or two of these will make you happy (and there’s always room to be pleasantly surprised by a track you never heard before!). Suck it up and jump with me!

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