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Music

Destiny parts ways with composer, growing 'close to shipping'

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Music, Destiny

Destiny
Destiny Composer Marty O'Donnell was either fired or peacefully left Bungie last week, depending on whether you take his or the studio's testimony on the event. In either case, the fact remains that O'Donnell is no longer part of the studio.

Bungie Chief Operating Officer Pete Parsons refused to comment on the specifics of the decision but said that the game is still on track for release. He said that O'Donnell's contributions will remain part of the soundtrack, which is also being worked on by a few others.

"We have a fantastic team. We're pretty close to shipping. There's a lot of polish left to do, lots of tweaking and tuning, but a lot is already complete," Parsons said to Eurogamer.

Bungie claims that the studio and O'Donnell parted as "friends" while the composer tweeted yesterday that he was "terminated without cause."

Trove empowers community to pitch biomes and classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Contests, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music, Trove

Trove
Trion Worlds is empowering the Trove community even further by inviting players to pitch ideas for a new biome and class to be added to the game.

A Reddit thread has the details of how this process will unfold. Players will begin by brainstorming ideas for biomes, and after some time, the dev team will pick the best (and top-voted) submissions and allow players to vote on the very best one. Following that, the team will poll players for decorations, dungeon designs, and enemy ideas, and then get the biome into the game within the month. There are also plans for a similar pitching-and-voting process afterward in regard to a new class.

On a phone call, Trion told Massively that it's looking to push the crowdsourcing aspect further and further as time goes on. The team is incredibly impressed with what the community has created so far with weapons, hairstyles, dungeons, and hats, and it can't wait to see what comes from this experiment.

One thing that the team revealed is the upcoming addition of music blocks: Physical objects that make notes (and even chords) when walked on. We asked if Trion was looking to crowdsource the soundtrack for the game as well, and while the devs said that no players had yet stepped forward, they promised that if some did with great tunes, those would definitely be included into the game proper.

Jukebox Heroes: Talking to HEX Composer Michael Shapiro

Fantasy, Interviews, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, HEX

HEX
Massively: On today's column we have the composer of the upcoming TCG MMO, HEX. Now that's a lot of capital letters all in a row, so take a deep breath, get over it, and please welcome composer Michael Gordon Shapiro. Mike, can you give us a bit of your background in music?

Michael Gordon Shapiro: When I started my career I was only interested in film music. Game audio was just starting to emerge from the low-tech era, and there was a kind of stigma associated with it, much as there used to be with television music. As fate would have it, I was offered an in-house composer position at a game studio and was pleasantly surprised to find myself recording the same kind of live orchestral music that I loved doing for film. I also came to appreciate the high artistic effort going into both console and PC game scores.

So from that point, the stigma dissolved in my mind and my artistic palette widened. Today I love doing both film and game music, for both overlapping and complementary reasons.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite MMO-related song?

Fantasy, Video, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online, Music

Malukah's Beauty of Dawn
We talk MMO soundtracks in depth here at Massively, but by and large our focus is on instrumental, orchestral, or electronic scores. Recently I've been setting my MP3 player on auto-repeat for a vocal track, though. It's called Beauty of Dawn and it comes to you courtesy of The Elder Scrolls Online and fan favorite Malukah, who rose to fame a couple of years ago on the strength of her Dragonborn cover.

What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite MMO-related song (or artist)?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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Make your own kind of music in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Music, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play

And now the song is in your head, too.
You could be forgiven for overlooking the new drum in Guild Wars 2's cash shop -- it's just a cosmetic thing for roleplayers who stand around town, right? Well, not exactly, and a developer diary from ArenaNet audio programmer Aaron McLeran aims to explain why you should care (and buy all the things). The drum actually allows players to select from two modes: a pre-set groove mode, which lets you auto-play several drum tracks solo or in time with other players' tracks, and user groove mode, which starts to travel into Lord of the Rings Online territory. Says McLeran,
The first five skill buttons have five unique drum sounds respectively. Each sample can be triggered individually so the drum can perform like our previous instruments in free-play mode. The only difference is the drum will quantize beat events so that they always sound good to you – and in rhythm. If you push the sixth or seventh skill slot, you put the drum into "loop-record" mode. If this is the first time you've pushed it, you'll hear a nice little click-track (that only you can hear!) that gives you an idea of where the "global" pulse is. Think of it like a count off: "A one, a two, a one two three four!" Then, when you push the drum sample set skill buttons again, they'll actually loop back on themselves. You can build up ever more complicated and funky grooves.
We just have one question: Where's our Bard class?

Jukebox Heroes: Talking with The Repopulation's Steven Coltart

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
Massively: Even in the far distant future on alien worlds, we'll still need music. This is why it's great that Composer Steven Coltart is providing The Repopulation with an original soundtrack, because otherwise the silence would be too much to bear. So Steven, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Steven Coltart: I'm a full-time professional composer based in the UK and was commissioned to be lead composer on The Repopulation in 2013. Previous projects include Outer Empires, the first MMO of its kind created for iOS, which went on to sell over 200,000 copies and boasted the largest ever network of players online at that time. 2014 has seen me complete the soundtrack for a soon to be announced iOS game, and I'm currently putting the finishing touches to US-based sci-fi film Downward. I've worked incredibly hard to get to this point, but I'm lucky to have what I consider the best job in the world. Writing music for a living and getting to work with talented developers and producers, it doesn't get much better for me!

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Jukebox Heroes: Hearthstone's soundtrack

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
A new Blizzard game is a reason for soundtrack lovers everywhere to celebrate because if there's one thing this studio does well (other than take goofy races very seriously), it's creating incredible scores for its games. Even though Hearthstone is a smaller title with a smaller score, I welcomed it nevertheless.

Composers Peter McConnell, Jason Hayes, and Eric Dodds clearly had a lot of fun creating the whimsical, relaxing score for this game, and I must say that the music is perfectly ideal for the material. It hearkens back to the many tavern themes from World of Warcraft without being a complete copycat.

You can actually download the entire soundtrack for free on the Hearthstone official site, but before you do that, why not listen to my favorite picks from the score?

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best 'ding'?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Music

WildStar
Unless you're into sandboxy skill-based MMORPGs, the actual process of leveling up is probably an important part of whatever themepark you're playing. WildStar has been jeered at for its over-the-top level-up animation. EverQuest's ding is infamous; the jarring "chonnggggg" of it still haunts me, and some clever modder even made a plugin to add it to Skyrim. On the other end of the spectrum is Guild Wars 2, in which I frequently overlook the fact that I've leveled up at all because the cues are relatively unobtrusive.

What do you guys think is the best MMORPG "ding" of all time?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #10-1

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Ultima Online, LEGO Universe, Runes of Magic, Miscellaneous, Firefall, Jukebox Heroes, Music

We're finally here: my top 10 MMO theme tracks. I anticipate that out of all of the weeks, this will be the most controversial, since not only am I proclaiming the 10 best, but you'll realize which of your favorite games I've left out of the top 40 entirely.

A final reminder as to my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31, #30-21, and #20-11. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #20-11

Age of Conan, Darkfall, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Allods Online, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, Jukebox Heroes, Dragon's Prophet, Music

SWG
We're growing ever closer to my top picks for MMO theme songs, but we're not quite at the end yet. This week we are on to the third part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31 and #30-21. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Composer Jeremy Soule reiterates EverQuest Next exclusivity [Updated]

Fantasy, Guild Wars, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, The Elder Scrolls Online, Music

EQN
Composer Jeremy Soule won't be going back to Tyria, as he reminded fans today that he has signed a contract to exclusively create MMO music for EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark.

On his Facebook page, Soule responded to a fan's query about his future projects: "No, I won't be returning to Guild Wars. EverQuest has an exclusive with me for the future projects that involve MMOs. [Guild Wars] was a good experience over many years. As with all good things, it had to come to an end."

Soule was the main composer for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. He has also contributed to The Elder Scrolls Online main theme but will not be doing any other music for that title.

[Thanks to Bogotter for the tip!]

[Update 3/12/2014: Soule's agent has contacted us to clarify that his exclusivity to the EverQuest games is lime-limited and is unrelated to his abbreviated work on ESO. We may yet see him return to the Elder Scrolls franchise in the future!]

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best soundtrack?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Music

GW
As the resident MMO music nut here at Massively (but not the only one, oh no), I spend probably more time than is healthy listening through soundtracks and hunting down pieces of music that ears have not heard in years.

I've got my favorites: The Guild Wars and World of Warcraft albums are a no-brainer, but I'm equally partial to Runes of Magic and Lineage II as well. If I have to pick a "best" out of the lot, my brain shuts down, I panic, and I grab the first Hello Kitty Online folder I see.

So I'll leave it up to you all: Which MMO has the best soundtrack?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #30-21

Aion, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Free Realms, Mabinogi, Wizard101, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online, Jukebox Heroes, Age of Wushu, Music

GW2
We're back with our second part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown, this time digging into the middle of the pack. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed the first part, check out themes #40-31. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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The Daily Grind: Have you created any pro-quality MMO fan content?

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Music, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen Retaliator concept art
I spent part of the weekend listening to Star Citizen's blowaway-badass unofficial soundtrack. It's unofficial because award-winning composer Pedro Camacho has been tapped to score Cloud Imperium's space sim sandbox opus for realz. Fortunately, though, that hasn't stopped an enterprising group of musicians from creating their own pro-quality digital album and releasing it for free on the SC forums.

What about you, Massively readers? Have you created any noteworthy fan content for your favorite game?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Get down with free World of Tanks and World of Warplanes soundtracks

Historical, Real-Life, MMO Industry, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, Music

Music sets the mood, and now you can get in a World of Tanks or World of Warplanes mood wherever and whenever you want. Wargaming.net has released the original soundtrack for both games, and fans can download a free copy for their favorite devices from the official sites, Google Music, or the iTunes store. To grab yours and start jamming out, visit one of the following links:

For WoT: For WoWP: [Source: Wargaming press release]

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