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Music

Jukebox Heroes: ArcheAge's soundtrack

Fantasy, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music

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ArcheAge is well-known for being one of the more beautiful MMO game worlds out there, but does its music stack up in comparison? The answer to that is a little yes and a little no. I got ahold of it several months ago, well before I was even paying attention to this game or its strong following. I felt that it was decent: pretty in spots, but short and not significantly better or worse than a lot of fantasy scores out there.

It's certainly an Asian-style soundtrack with similarities to the Final Fantasy series and TERA. The score was composed by Music Director DaMeAte and reportedly garnered a few awards over in Korea. Good for it, I say! Let me present to you six of the best offerings from this album and let you make up your own mind as to whether they exceed or disappoint expectations.

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Jukebox Heroes: Chatting with Neverwinter's Kevin Manthei

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter, Jukebox Heroes, Music

neverwinter
This week on Jukebox Heroes, we're sitting down with Cryptic Studios Composer Kevin Manthei to talk about his work on the studio's most recent title, Neverwinter. So Kevin, Can you introduce yourself and give us a little background on you and your history with the company?

Kevin Manthei: Hi! I am Kevin Manthei, a Minnesota-born, California-living composer. I write music for film, TV and games. I have been doing this for over 20 years and have worked with most of the big publishers in the gaming world and have scored music on feature and indie films, television shows, and animated projects.

Currently I just finished scoring the Guardians of the Galaxy section of Disney's Infinity 2 video game and am in the middle of scoring Season 3 of the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series for Marvel/Disney XD. I also recently started work on the animated series Transformers: Robots In Disguise for Hasbro/The Hub network.

I have been working with Cryptic on music for its games since City of Villains. I have scored music for City of Villains, Champions Online, Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. Each project I worked on for more than a year, and each game has about 100 minutes of music I scored.

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Get Imagine Dragons' League of Legends song for free

Fantasy, Video, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, Giveaways, MOBA, League of Legends, Music

league of legends
League of Legends has an official song for its 2014 World Championship, and you can get it for free today.

The song is "Warriors" by the band Imagine Dragons. "To kick off the start of the action, we set out to craft a war cry to rally behind in a creative collaboration with Imagine Dragons," Riot posted on its site. "Whether you're a solo queue warrior or fighting off the LCS jitters –- every moment counts."

The MP3 is available for free on the site, but if you want the full animated music video, all you have to do is hit the jump below.

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Like WildStar music? There's a concert for that

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Music

If you happen to be in Poland on September 26th, make sure to grab tickets for the GameOn multimedia show, the first part of which will feature selections from the scores of popular video games, including MMOs like WildStar.

Composer Jeff Kurtenacker blogged that he is "absolutely honored to announce that the GameOn concert in Krakow, Poland, will be premiering a new arrangement of Our Perception of Beauty (Drusera's Theme), which [he] composed for the MMO WildStar by Carbine Studios." According to Kurtenacker, this concert will mark "first time WildStar music will be played in a concert setting"; he also notes that flutist Sara Andon, spotlighted throughout the WildStar score, will again perform at the concert. Music from World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and other games will also be featured.

Kurtenacker spoke to Massively's resident Jukebox Hero last year about his work on WildStar. He has since released several exclusive and free music tracks for players.

Jukebox Heroes: LEGO Universe's soundtrack

Opinion, LEGO Universe, Kids, Family, Jukebox Heroes, Music

lego universe
I'm still incensed that nobody had the courtesy of informing me that LEGO Universe had such a great soundtrack until well after the title was shuttered. I guess it doesn't make a big difference -- at least I know now -- although I might have mourned its passing more.

Composed by Brian Tyler and Michael Jason Corder, the LEGO Universe score was never released, although it looks as though there were once plans to do so. This is an incredible shame because the wider listening audience is missing out on one of the most diverse, cheeky, and fun soundtracks from online gaming. The one word that kept popping into my mind while listening to this was "personality" -- as in, it has so much of it. At so many points I kept thinking that I was hearing the score to a well-done kids movie and not a "mere" video game.

I'm limited to six picks (and a bonus feature!) in this space, but I highly recommend that you use this column as a jumping point to listening to the LEGO Universe soundtrack in its entirety. If you do, I think you'll agree with me that this score is simply a triumph.

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Hear snippets of Chance Thomas' Dota 2 score

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Music

dota 2
Composer Chance Thomas has revealed his latest project: creating a Compendium score for Dota 2. In a new behind-the-scenes video, you can see Thomas conducting a choir and orchestra as they perform snippets of various tracks for the popular MOBA.

Thomas previously worked on MMOs such as Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online. You can watch the Dota 2 soundtrack video after the jump!

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LotRO heaps love on its music system with Update 15

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Music

lotro
This news should be sweet music to many Lord of the Rings Online players: Turbine is making improvments to the music system come Update 15.

"This system has such a net positive effect on the game, and more importantly on community, [that] it was long overdue for some developer love," the team posted. In the patch for sure are adjustments to the music system's pitch, volume, and balance, as well as a tuning pass.

Turbine also is toying with adding two additional instruments, the string bass and serpentine, although it makes "no promises" that it will be able to do so. Another stretch goal for the update is player-spawnable stages.

Jukebox Heroes: The music of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music

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Cataclysm was the first World of Warcraft expansion that I was not there to experience. While I initially applauded the idea of the devs changing the world and bringing the new tech to old spots, that fundamental change in the land that I used to know so well ended up causing me pain. Nobody likes to think of something beloved changed and lost forever. So I stayed away and missed what is probably the worst-reviewed expansion to date.

As such, it was the first WoW expansion score that I listened to outside of the game. To my ears, it was substantially darker than previous efforts, although there contained moments of beauty and excitement. Due to the nature of the expansion, the soundtrack is all over the place thematically, occasionally rewriting old zone music (alas).

The one thing that really pops out at me from this album is how the composers extensively used various background sound effects and noises to suppliment the tunes. I'm not sure if these were added for the album or if these exist in-game, but they certainly add more in terms of atmosphere. Interestingly enough, one of my all-time favorite World of Warcraft tracks came from this expansion, so it certainly wasn't a wasted effort.

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SOE Live 2014: Discussing EQN and Landmark music with Jeremy Soule

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Music, Landmark

Who wouldn't want to talk with Jeremy Soule? This composer has brought to life myriad games through his music, both single-players and MMOs alike (even a number of zombie games!). Luckily for Norrathian fans, his attention is now focused solely on EverQuest Next and Landmark, where the worlds are shaping his music while his music, in turn, helps shape those worlds. I had the opportunity to sit down with Soule at SOE Live to discuss the new combat piece revealed during the keynote and delve into his inspirations for the upcoming games' musical scores. He also shared a bit about the composition method he is developing.

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Jukebox Heroes: Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer's soundtrack

Fantasy, Age of Conan, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Fans (or ex-fans?) of this column might recall that I went against the grain of popular opinion by pronouncing Age of Conan's soundtrack "adequate" rather than an "outstanding masterpiece." I think that I can extend an olive branch to the player army that's been chasing me since then, however, as I hold the expansion soundtrack in much higher regard.

Composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen returned for Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer, creating a 22-track journey through all new barbaric lands. Unlike his first score for this MMO, this one latches onto the Asian themes of the expansion and takes the score in a decidedly Chinese direction. It's well-done across the board and aided by a full orchestra. Really, my biggest complaint is that it's not easy to purchase here in the states for some reason. You can listen to and even download a few samples from the official soundtrack site, which still remains in operation.

So let's head to the far east for this week's exploration of MMO soundtracks, looking at the highlights from Rise of the Godslayer!

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RuneScape releases its 1,000th music track

Fantasy, Video, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music

runescape
For those who are into MMO soundtracks, RuneScape's score is something of a legend due to its sheer size. This past week, Jagex added its 1,000th music track into the game called "The Book of a Thousand Songs."

The song, a ballad, was created and performed by the audio team and developers. Players will unlock the track when they log into the game to use in their in-game music player. You can hear the new track after the break and see how it was made!

RuneScape announced its first-ever expansion, Lost City of the Elves, earlier today.

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Paul McCartney assists with Destiny's soundtrack

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMOFPS, Music, Destiny

paul mccartney
Destiny will have another prestigous feather in its cap when it launches on September 9th: ex-Beatles musician Paul McCartney as one of the composers.

McCartney joined the project in 2010, joining Composer Marty O'Donnell in creating the score for the game. He claimed to be intrigued by the challenge of writing music for this type of game and met with O'Donnell at London's Abbey Road Studios to work on it.

In fact, the theme song for Destiny is a Paul McCartney original and will be released as a single following the game's launch. The title of the theme song has not been revealed, but its theme is about "hope."

WildStar teases new ambient housing music

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, Previews, News Items, WildStar, Music, Subscription

Are you a fan of Massively's Jukebox Heroes column? Do you love MMO music so much that you keep it on even when it annoys your voice-chat mates? Good news for you today: WildStar composer Jeff Kurtenacker tweeted that more housing music is on the way for the sci-fantasy space opera and provided a link to a preview... er, pre-listen.
More options for housing music... yeah... it's coming!!
We've embedded 18 minutes' worth of new tunes via WildStar Center below.

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Jukebox Heroes: Lord of the Rings Online's housing music

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Housing, Jukebox Heroes, Music

lotro
One of the interesting features (but by no means unique) of Lord of the Rings Online's housing system is the option to slot a music box item so that visitors can enjoy your favorite tunes while they check out your pad. Like the rest of the housing system, music boxes haven't been added to or expanded much over the years, but I still think they're pretty keen.

Most of the music boxes contain a medley of three or so similarly themed tracks. Most of these are pulled from all over the game, but some are rarely heard outside of houses, so I thought these deserved another look. Plus, the original music for LotRO is quite gorgeous in spots and holds up very well over the years.

For those looking for a buyer's guide to these ambient themes, may I point you to CSTM? For the rest of us, I have six favorite music boxes waiting for you after the jump.

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Shroud of the Avatar preps PvP update and asks for player music submissions

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Sandbox, Music, Shroud of the Avatar

Shroud of the Avatar is ready to pull the trigger on Release 8 and the game's PvP system. Release 8 will come out next week and feature a massive host of PvP changes that have apparently gotten the dev team hooked. "The team's 30 minute PvP play sessions every morning are growing longer and longer as we're having too much fun to stop," the devs wrote.

Portalarium is also putting out a call to the community to help crowdsource Shroud of the Avatar's soundtrack. The team has a list compiled to guide player composers in creating and submitting their own music for the game.

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