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Music

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.

Jukebox Heroes: Guild Wars Eye of the North's soundtrack

Fantasy, Guild Wars, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Buy-to-Play

The final Guild Wars soundtrack not only took the first game out in style but instantly became one of the best of the series to date. I'm not willing to put it above Prophecies, but it's not too far behind, either. As a whole, it's a wonderful symphonic journey through new lands and new themes, and just about every track is quite listenable.

You can't deny that this is Guild Wars to its very core, as composer Jeremy Soule only adds on to the franchise's legacy rather than supplants it with a different direction. Even so, it represents a mastery that wasn't quite there in past albums. If I listened to this soundtrack without knowing its source, I would have pegged it as a major motion picture release rather than a video game with angry bears.

It was definitely a difficult score to pick a mere six examples from; I'd recommend that soundtrack enthusiasts listen through its entirety. For a Guild Wars 2 player, it's really interesting to go back and hear the early versions of tracks that Soule would later reprise for the sequel.

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Archlord 2 invites players to name soundtrack pieces

Betas, Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, Music

Archlord 2
Archlord 2's soundtrack is not only out and available as a free download, but Webzen is asking players to title the 20 nameless pieces in time for the game's release.

The soundtrack by composer Cris Velasco is on SoundCloud and is available for a listen or a download. Players can check out the tracks and then, if inspired, they can submit one or more titles to go along with them. Webzen promised that when all 20 tracks get proper names, it will flip on the switch for a 20% bonus gold weekend in the game.

Listen to Guild Wars 2 Season 2's soundtrack now

Fantasy, Guild Wars 2, Music, Buy-to-Play

gw2
Were you intrigued -- tantalized, perhaps -- with the recent talk on Guild Wars 2's new orchestra-recorded soundtrack for the second season of the living world? Well now you can listen to a chunk of it, thanks to the studio and SoundCloud.

The team has posted six new tracks for the first episode of season two, including "The Fall of the Zephyrites" and "The Arid Sands." Check out ArenaNet's SoundCloud page to listen through them and let us know what you think!

Guild Wars 2 composer talks live orchestras and season two sounds

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Music, Buy-to-Play

If you're into MMO music, Guild Wars 2, or both, you'll want to have a look at the latest ArenaNet video that goes behind the scenes on the music production for season two of the game's "living world." The clip is hosted by composer Maclaine Diemer, who explains how working with a live orchestra enhances both the music and the gameplay experience.

"When you hear live music while you're playing, you feel it on a much more visceral level," Diemer says. "What we recorded matches the aesthetic already set in Guild Wars 2, and I also think that it stands on its own as something unique and fresh."

Click past the cut to watch the vid.

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Lion's Arch Lament dissected for Guild Wars 2 fans

Fantasy, Culture, Lore, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Music, Buy-to-Play

Nothing lasts forever.  Or revives forever.
The destruction of Lion's Arch formed the centerpiece of Guild Wars 2's first Living Story finale, an event with a big emotional impact for players who had grown accustomed to the city's presence. How do you summarize such a huge event? With music, of course. A new development blog on the official site details the creation of "Lion's Arch Lament," music that commemorates the destruction while at the same time walking through the history of the city in just a few moments.

The piece starts off with an homage to the music most strongly associated with Lion's Arch in the original Guild Wars, then ties in Scarlet's Theme and the city music from Guild Wars 2 to herald its return and destruction. If you're familiar with the game's music, you should give the post a read and listen to the song; it's likely to stir at least a few emotions about the city and its loss.

Jukebox Heroes: Dungeon Runners' soundtrack

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

dungeon runners
Does anyone still remember Dungeon Runners? I do, at least. It was that quirky Diablo-style MMO from NCsoft that ran from 2007 to 2010, openly lampooning RPG and online gaming tropes while actually being pretty fun to play. I dipped in and out of it over the years, never being fully engrossed but appreciating its sense of humor -- and its soundtrack.

As Composer Tracy W. Bush put it in his interview with us a while back, "The music was a mish-mosh of straightforward Diablo-style dungeon crawly stuff in the exploration bits, but when it came to the boss fights, each of them was a specific sub genre of music. I did country and western, black metal, klezmer, an oompa loompa song, disco... I can't even remember them all. I had a blast."

I had a blast myself listening through the score, which lives on to this day, and have a selection of hand-picked tracks that I think nails the attitude that Dungeon Runners exuded.

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Lord of the Rings Online's Weatherstock returns this weekend

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Music

lotro
Weatherstock, the annual player-run music festival in Lord of the Rings Online, will be returning for its sixth appearance this weekend.

This year there will be two elements of the festival. The first is the Weatherstock Concert Series, which features longer sets leading up to the battle of the bands, i.e., Weatherstock itself. Ten player groups will perform for the crowd and compete against each other at the summit of Weathertop. Last year there were over 700 players in attendance.

Weatherstock VI will take place on the Landroval server this Saturday afternoon, June 14th. The Weatherstock schedule is up, as is a FAQ and a Twitter feed for important updates.

Jukebox Heroes: Guild Wars 2's living story soundtrack

Fantasy, Guild Wars 2, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Buy-to-Play

I'm going to make a bold statement here that might net me some haters, but here goes: I think that Guild Wars 2 is better off now that it's cast off Jeremy Soule and moved on to in-house composers. Soule's soundtrack was great in parts, but he's not the be-all, end-all of good video game music. And his company's unexplained decision to yank the soundtrack from its store (and not even offer a digital version) irks me beyond the telling of it. Good luck finding it!

So today I'm going to give tribute to the two men who have been forging ahead -- spectacularly, I might add -- with scoring Guild Wars 2's ongoing living story updates. Maclaine Diemer and Leif Chappelle have been whipping up a wide variety of tunes to go with the various story elements and events. To ArenaNet's credit, the studio has been posting these downloadable tracks for free on SoundCloud.

And while rumor has it that Diemer and Chappelle are already composing music for season two, I thought it'd be worthwhile to go back and share some of my favorites from their season one portfolio. I won't be dipping into Super Adventure Box, however, as we did that last year.

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The Think Tank: Listen to the music

Culture, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank, Music

Jupiter
When I logged into ultra-indie sandbox Villagers & Heroes a few weeks ago to explore its latest patch and arrival on Steam, the first thing that slammed into me was Jupiter. No, really: Holst's Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity, one of the iconic movements of The Planets suite that's been inspiring composers for a hundred years. I just wasn't expecting to hear it verbatim during character creation. It's... well, it's jolly and strangely annoying in a game context, even for someone who appreciates a good Holst-inspired game soundtrack.

For this week's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about their in-game music preferences. Do they turn it off? Do they listen faithfully? Are they raiding to Bieber? I bet they are.

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Jukebox Heroes: A civil chat with Dawngate's Jeff Broadbent

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

Dawngate
Massively: Today we have tea, crumpets, and the ever-so-delightful company of Composer Jeff Broadbent. Mr. Broadbent is here to talk about his work on the score for the upcoming MOBA Dawngate. So is working in the online video game world becoming a habit for you, going from PlanetSide 2 to Dawngate?

Jeff Broadbent: It does seem the online video games are becoming the norm! I am actually working on a couple of new online games also at the moment. The interesting thing about the game market today is that there are many different platforms including mobile, downloadable, online, and console, so it's quite diversified.

The Dawngate gig came about through audio director Caleb Epps. I was staying in touch with Caleb, and he let me know about a new project he was working on. He had me create a couple of demo tracks for the game, and based on that material, I was given the opportunity to score the game.

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Rebuild Lion's Arch in Guild Wars 2's Festival of the Four Winds

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Launches, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Music, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Guild Wars 2 officially launches in China this coming Thursday, but folks in the rest of the world have had little reason to get excited... until now. ArenaNet and Chinese publisher KongZhong have just announced a global in-game festival to celebrate the launch, one we'll get to enjoy ourselves come next week. The Festival of the Four Winds arrives on May 20th for North American and European players, who will "get the opportunity to help rebuild the beloved city of Lion's Arch that was destroyed by Scarlet [Briar] in Season 1." Future game updates will be "synchronized" across the eastern and western regions so that they launch within days of each other.

We've embedded the (brief but beautiful!) teaser trailer for the festival after the break, and you can listen to Chinese singer/songwriter Jike Juan Yi's version of iconic Guild Wars 2 musical piece Fear Not This Night on KongZhong's promotional website.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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