music

Battle Bards Episode 126: Out of this world

It’s time to boldly go where no podcast has gone before — by exploring MMO space themes! It’s perhaps the flat-out goofiest and silliest Battle Bards episode to date, so you’re going to have to excuse a whole lot of diversions, arguments, and giggles. Because that’s what space does to people? We do not know. This episode is also notable for Syl’s all-time greatest quote, “Planets are usually in space.” Usually.

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 126: Out of this world (or download it) now:

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Functional music boxes are coming in Elder Scrolls Online’s Murkmire

One of my most beloved possessions in Ultima Online is my music box: I spent months, probably years, collecting each “track” to insert into the box, and then I can run it and play my favorite Ultima songs while I’m puttering around my house sorting loot.

That makes me all the most excited to hear that The Elder Scrolls Online is getting exactly such a feature in the Murkmire DLC later this year.

“For housing, we’re putting music boxes in,” creative director Rich Lambert told VG247 at QuakeCon last week. “It’s this cool thing and we’ve got a ton of music that we’ve written in the game and so we’re putting it all in music boxes.”

Meanwhile, ESO has delivered a breakdown of the Midyear Mayhem PvP event it held this summer. You guys dropped almost a quarter of a million chaosballs, stole over 2.5K elder scrolls, capped over 700K keeps, and murdered 7.5M fellow soldiers. Peace and prosperity for all!

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Black Desert’s remastered edition looks and sounds amazing

Black Desert fans have a good reason to be excited — after all, when was the last time that the MMO you played got a massive visual and audio overhaul? This past weekend, players got a chance to see (and hear) what Black Desert is going to look like when the Remastered edition arrives on August 22nd.

Pearl Abyss wrote a summary of the Remastered showcase, discussing the (even more) realistic graphics on their way — ooh, cloth simulation! Volumetric clouds! — that will be sure to make your jaw fall on the floor.

As for the audio, Black Desert is remastering more than 220 music tracks with the help of three orchestras. “The atmosphere and world of Black Desert were expressed with soundtracks that felt heavy and mellow,” the team said. “It was to the point that some of our adventurers told us that the NPCs in Black Desert all seem depressed. So we decided to transform the black and white music in Black Desert to full-color.”

There was a lot more discussed at the showcase, including changes to the story and leveling experience, the Male Ranger class, the ability to snipe while hunting, and the addition of the region of Ordilita.

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The Game Archaeologist: City of Heroes’ launch history and the Marvel lawsuit

In our first part of this series looking back at the stupendous history of City of Heroes, we saw how the idea for this superhero MMORPG germinated from a tech millionaire who took his love for RPGs and comic books into the online world. Cryptic Studios was founded in 2000 with the intent of developing a new type of MMORPG, one with a superhero bent set in an original IP.

While the development period was fraught with difficulty, including a messy design, delays, and the departure of the studio’s co-founder, City of Heroes took shape by 2004 and finally entered into live operation that April to the delight of thousands of fledgling superheroes.

Today we’ll be walking through the next few years of this game’s lifecyle, including its launch, the initial issues, and a serious lawsuit that threatened to kill the game dead.

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Fallout 76 signs on Inon Zur for another musical tour of duty in the wasteland

It’s hard to imagine a Fallout game these days without the haunting and beautiful score of video game composer Inon Zur. Fortunately, players this fall won’t have to fret about Zur’s work being absent from the online Fallout 76.

“Thrilled to finally reveal that, yes, I am scoring Fallout 76!” Zur posted on Twitter. “It’s been an amazing journey collaborating with Bethesda Studios on the biggest Fallout game yet and I can’t wait to share the new music with you.”

Variety has an exclusive interview with the composer. Zur said that this will be one of his “most unique scores to date” that involves “sophisticated and emotional” tracks as players explore the post-apocalyptic landscape of West Virginia.

This will be Zur’s fifth soundtrack for the long-running franchise after Fallout Tactics, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4.

Source: Variety

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Black Desert to show off its sizzling new graphics and music on Saturday

Black Desert is about to look and sound even more incredible than it already does, and you’ll be able to check it out as early as this weekend.

On Saturday, August 11th, Pearl Abyss is going to livestream the game with its new 4K remastered graphics that have been in the works. Not enough? There’s also going to be a live orchestra concert that will play the remastered audio pieces going into the game “soon” and a keynote address to discuss these and other changes for Black Desert.

Pearl Abyss said that players shouldn’t be too worried about the system requirements with these improved features. The studio promised that it “optimized [the game] so the minimum required specifications are suitable for a greater number of users.” You can check out the new system requirements on the SEA site.

Source: Press release

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Hands-on with mobile Old School Runescape, plus a chat with the Jagex devs

I experienced a couple firsts recently that you may not have expected from me, and they can both be summed up in two words: Old School RuneScape mobile. Why so unexpected? Well for one, you might not have expected me to try OSRS (can I call it that?) because I started playing RuneScape only recently; I had no nostalgic draw to the game back in that iteration. Two, I am not a mobile player. I just don’t play any games on mobile, preferring my gaming time to be at my PC. But hey, doing the unexpected can be fun, and I am all for new experiences! This experience included sitting down with Jagex’s Senior Communications Manager Jon Wilcox and Product Manager John Colgrave, who shared info and answered questions as we worked our way through the tutorial together.

Now the question is, how was the experience? Would I continue to play on mobile even though the full cross-platform play allows me to move my game seamlessly back to the PC whenever I want? That’s what we are here to answer.

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Perfect Ten: 10 MMO features that deserve widespread adaptation

You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?

No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”

It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 181: Some devs just want to watch the world tree burn

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through the ashes of World of Warcraft’s burning developments, make sense of Chris Roberts’ “You win by having fun!” mantra, get cozy with werewolves and tieflings, 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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The MOP Up: PlanetSide 2 throws a summer rager (August 5, 2018)

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 NeverwinterSea of ThievesReign of GuildsOrbusVRPlanetSide 2Final Fantasy XIVManylandLineage 2 RevolutionGuardians of EmberWar ThunderThe CycleDCUO, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Stream Team: Shroud of the Avatar’s Shooter Jennings album release party

Have you ever attended an album release party? You can in Shroud of the Avatar! Shooter Jennings, whose music is in game, has an album releasing on August 10 and there’s a party going on to celebrate it. Massively OP’s MJ is hoping she is makes it in to the event and can sneak you in as well! Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to listen to some music from the upcoming album, Shooter.

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

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Global Chat: Getting a handle on Legends of Aria

One of the great benefits of reading the wealth of MMO blogs out there is that you can touch base on a huge variety of games that you might not have time to play. Haven’t gotten around to checking in with the indie sandbox Legends of Aria? The blogosphere has you covered!

While Superior Realities thinks that there’s a “skeleton of a good game” in Aria, he wasn’t won over by the closed beta: “After about thirty minutes of dealing with bugs, spectacularly tedious and old school gameplay, and generally terrible design, I decided life was too short.”

Inventory Full felt that the game had featureless maps but probably deserved a longer look, and Levelcapped said that Aria is “so damn close to being an Ultima Online sequel that it’s both wonderful and blasphemous at the same time.”

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The Survivalist: Hands-on with survival MMO Rend’s closed alpha

It’s been nearly a year since I met with Frostkeep Studios at PAX West and got an early first-hand look at Rend, the three-faction fantasy survival sandbox with a timer. And I’ve been waiting since then to be able to play for myself; I saw the housing and learned about pet taming, and knew I wanted in. Even though I don’t play PvP for PvP’s sake, I liked the sounds of its implementation in Rend. And the whole thing about the temporary lifespan of the server? Newer information (namely that I can use ascension points to keep my favorite pets with me!) has helped alleviate that trepidation.

And now, finally, I’m in! The question is, what do I think about it? It is still in development — it is only closed alpha at the moment — and it shows. But there is also promise. I already know I am going to be playing it more. Here are my first impressions of surviving in Rend.

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