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Sword of the New World

Jukebox Heroes: Granado Espada's soundtrack

Fantasy, Sword of the New World, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Granado Espada's soundtrack
So here's an impossible task that lies before me right now: picking one musical genre that defines Granado Espada's score. I can't. It simply cannot be done. I've listened to a lot of soundtracks, my friends, and this game's score is literally all over the place. I don't know how or why the composers chose to toss opera, techno, electronic, international, jazz, and epic fantasy together like a bi-polar salad, but the end result is a nutritious blend of the crazy voices and catchy tunes.

Part of the... diversity on display here is the result of of a collaboration between several composers and one composer group: SoundTeMP, S.F.A., Junsung Kim, and Osamu Kubota. The game's sound department defended the decision to host a variety of composers in an interview, saying, "We took such an ambitious approach with the music in terms of different styles and the sheer quantity that we knew relying solely on a single composer would be inadequate."

Granado Espada has survived several transitions between companies and even a couple of name changes, but its soundtrack has endured just fine. It may be one of the most eccentric soundtracks you'll ever absorb, but at least it's never boring!

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The Perfect Ten: Best MMO theme songs (part two)

World of Warcraft, Asheron's Call, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Sword of the New World, Star Trek Online, Ultima Online, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Runes of Magic, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

Perfect Ten
The last time on the Perfect Ten, disaster struck the good ship Poseidon and the surviving readers were running out of air as they tried to escape the flipped-over vessel. Also, we were counting down the top 20 MMO themes, but that's of small consolation to the soon-to-be bereaved friends and families, don't you think?

Because we play these games extensively, it's not uncommon for MMO music -- and themes -- to become vilified by the sheer number of times we've heard them. That's a little unfair to a three-minute piece of soundtrack that slaves every day to feed his wife and kids, doing the best he can in a trying situation. So perhaps we can put aside melodic oversaturation to look at these tracks anew, shall we?

With half of them out of the way, it's time to look into the elite of the elite: the 10 best MMO themes of all time. According to me. A guy you don't know. You've got goosebumps, don't you?

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GamersFirst launches Sword 2: Revelations

Fantasy, Historical, Patches, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play

GamersFirst announced today that it has launched Sword 2: Revelations (formerly known as Granado Espada: Sword of the New World). But this isn't just a simple re-name and re-release; The team is introducing "three brand new expanded skill systems, a new area for questing and exploration, [and] a new unique playing character and pet to both drive the continually evolving story of Sword 2."

The new skill systems are all crafting-related, introducing new Alchemy, Cooking, and Wing Crafting systems. Viron Island is the aforementioned new area, complete with new quests and three distinct forests, each with its own distinct challenges. And lastly, the game introduces Raven, a former spy that offers "complex gameplay options and the new pet Capybara which provides players with increased experience gains and item drop rates. For more information, head on over to Sword 2's official site.

The Perfect Ten: Sequelitis

EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Neocron 2, Sword of the New World, Guild Wars 2, Everquest Online Adventures, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Vindictus, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

As a long-time movie buff, I've always been fascinated by sequels. I know, they have a terrible reputation and everyone gets this face like he's digesting a porcupine when discussing them, but there's something fun about them as well. I think we always want a good story to continue, to see what happens next, and to answer the question, "What would the first film be like if it were put in the hands of a complete boob?" It would be an entertaining trainwreck, that's what.

Even though the MMORPG genre is in its toddler stage, it's seen a number of sequels, prequels and spin-offs, just the same as other types of entertainment. Video game sequels for hit titles are safer financial investments than striking out into new territory, so it makes sense that MMO studios would follow this pattern as well.

Right now there are loads of MMO sequels and spin-offs in the works -- including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide Next, Guild Wars 2, Mabinogi 2, MapleStory 2, Phantasy Star Online 2, Dust 514, and even a possible Ultima Online sequel -- so it's safe to say that the trend won't be dying down anytime soon. However, today I want to look at 10 sequels that already made it to release and briefly examine how they stacked up to their predecessors. Oh yes, there will be blood after the jump -- and I will drink your milkshake!

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The Renaissance comes to Sword 2

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play

Sword 2 is a game that's still unique in many ways, from the game's overall aesthetics to the multi-character control system which serves as one of its hallmarks. But the game hasn't stood still despite that, with the latest expansion launching just recently. Dubbed Renaissance, the newest free addition offers players a take on the nigh-ubiquitous achievement system, letting players track and record their more memorable deeds for others to see. It also features expansions to PvP and a number of new UPCs.

The new region of Castilla has also been added to the game, giving characters a chance to explore the Castilla Mines Raid and Castilla Temple among other regions. Along with the content updates, the game is rolling out a new and improved UI to give easier access to important information and controls. Sword 2 isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the newest update certainly might inspire a few people to take a look at its unusual setting and gameplay.

GamersFirst promoting anonymity in response to Blizzard's Real ID system

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Unless you have sealed yourself away from the internet for the past few days, the odds are good that you've heard about Blizzard's decision to make the Real ID service mandatory for forum usage. The result was the sort of enormous fiasco that makes the phrase "PR nightmare" sound far too gentle. And if that wasn't enough injury, GamersFirst is adding a bit of well-deserved insult with its newest promotion -- which re-affirms how important the option of staying anonymous really is while offering a new home for those packing up and leaving Casa de Azeroth.

Executive director Tracy Spaight pulled no punches in a statement on the matter -- "It is an unwarranted intrusion to player privacy to force [players] to disclose their real world identity." The team behind Sword 2, War Rock, and Knight Online (among others) is offering special bonus items until August 9th to players who register in War Rock or Sword 2 with the promotional code StayAnonymous. It's the first public response regarding this debacle we've seen from the industry, but odds are good that it won't be the last. And who doesn't like to get free things just for remaining anonymous?

Sword 2 officially launches

Fantasy, Expansions, Launches, New Titles, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play

We've been hearing a fair bit out of GamersFirst about Sword 2, existing in an odd conceptual space as both a major update to the existing Sword of the New World and a new game in its own right. For existing players, it functions something like an expansion, and for new players it's being billed as a whole new package. But you don't have to take our word for it, as the beta testing is finished and the game has officially launched now.

Several of the key features have remained largely unchanged, such as players controlling three separate characters at once. Other elements have been completely overhauled, many of which we've heard about from GamersFirst themselves. Perhaps most importantly, the game is still free to play, and if you can handle the download over the weekend it could be a pleasant diversion for the holiday. The full list of patch notes for the release can be read here, and feel free to take a look at our recent galleries for the game below.

Massively Speaking Episode 103: Sword 2 with Gamersfirst

Podcasts, Culture, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, Sword of the New World, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Massively Speaking

Massively Speaking Episode 103 returns this week with another special interview episode. This time, Shawn and Sera are joined by Jon-Enee Merriex and Myra Widodo from Gamersfirst, the publishers of the newly-announced Sword 2. Is Sword 2 the sequel to Sword of the New World? How different is it? If you're a fan of SotNW or just looking to learn more about either game, this episode is a must-listen!

Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to shawn AT massively DOT com. Maybe we'll read your letter on the air!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to Massively Speaking directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Sword of the New World celebrates spring break in style

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Sword of the New World

"Spring break, baby! Wooo!" "Where are you going?" "I'm heading to the nearest computer to log into Sword of the New World! Wooo!"

Or so GamersFirst hopes gamers will say when they hear of Sword of the New World's spring break promotion. Four special deals and events are livening the game up for the remainder of the month and into the first week of April. This includes a hunt for a special four-leaf clover, a new phase of Faction Wars, and -- of particular interest to anyone who plays the game -- a whopping 20% increase in drop rates off of any mobs. Even if you aren't a current player of the game, the combination of these promotions plus the title's free-to-play model make for an irresistible temptation.

This comes on top of recent changes to the game and an expansion back in February. Hit the jump for specifics on Sword of the New World's spring break promotions!

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GDC10: Massively's day 1 roundup

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Fallen Earth, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, MMORTS, DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Taikodom

Massively staffers descended on GDC 2010 yesterday like a horde of....well, Horde. Our intrepid reporters are slaving away with microphones, tape recorders, and keyboards in hand to make sure you get all the latest MMORPG tidbits directly from the folks making the games.

We'll be bringing you a ton of content over the next few days, so fear not if your favorite forthcoming game hasn't received the red carpet treatment. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled throughout the remainder of the week, and in case you missed it, here's a brief rundown of yesterday's coverage.

Can't get enough of our GDC 2010 coverage? Check out our Sword of the New World GDC 2010 gallery below, and be sure to return throughout the week as we continue to bring you all the latest on your favorite games and developers.

GDC10: Sword of the New World changes detailed

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

GamersFirst's Sword of the New World is primed for several interesting game play additions. We spoke with Jon-Enee Merriex at GDC 2010 to get the scoop on what's in store for the MMORTS that first launched in 2007.

Perhaps most interesting among the list of tweaks are plans to allow players to teleport between colonies controlled by their faction under the game's Political PVP system. If you're a Royalist, for example, you can look forward to jumping between Royalist-owned colonies, thereby saving considerable travel time.

The teleportation is one of several mechanics intended to allow players new and old to dive right into what the developer considers the game's primary focus. "The true focal point of Sword of the New World is all about the Political PvP system. It's all about running for office, controlling the colonies, and being a tyrant," Merriex said.

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One Shots: A quiet romance

Screenshots, Sword of the New World, Free-to-Play, One Shots

There's something to be said for the quiet of a Sunday -- and for the lovely architecture and fashion of days gone by. That's why we couldn't resist this picturesque Sword of the New World screenshot sent in to us by FragmentaryHorcrux of the Fontaineblanc family on the Bristia server. The other thing that makes this excellent is the thought put into the note that came in along with it. After all, One Shots is just as much about what players are doing -- and love -- in their favorite MMOs. As such, since he sent in a great big note we're going to turn the rest of today's post over to him.

Remember if you'd like to join the fun and tell us why your favorite game is your favorite game, email your screenshots to us here at oneshots AT massively DOT com along with your name, the name of the game, and a descripion. We'll post it out here and give you the credit. For now, on with FragmentaryHorcrux's letter -- just be sure to check out the rest of it behind the break!

This shot shows one of the many romantic vistas of the Port of Coimbra in the game; a Scout, Fighter and Elementalist at the Lookout Point with the Eastern part of the town and the ocean in the background.

Gallery: One Shots

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Sword of the New World offers new frontiers in Echoes of an Empire

Expansions, Sword of the New World, News Items, Free-to-Play

We haven't heard anything about Sword of the New World: Granado Espada from the folks over at GamersFirst in some time. But with this most recent note, we learned why. Apparently they've been hard at work getting an ambitious new expansion pack ready for players to enjoy. If the above screenshot is any indication, this new area continues Sword of the New World's rich look and highly picturesque graphics, flavored by Central American ruins and tribal cultures.

Named Echoes of an Empire, this new update offers players the chance to adventure in a new region named Errac, including the city of El Dorado. Players will also be able to unlock two new Unique Player Characters: Nar, an Erracan Warrior, and Selva (or Lady Katovic as players know her), who is described as "calculated, menacing and brutal." Now, as to whether or not this El Dorado is covered in gold they didn't say, so you'll have to adventure in the new lands of Echoes of an Empire and figure that one out yourself.

Sword of the New World celebrates their second anniversary

Fantasy, Contests, Events (In-Game), Patches, Sword of the New World, Free-to-Play

Free-to-play MMO Sword of the New World, the game best known for letting one player control three characters at the same time, has reached their second anniversary. In true MMO style, the game isn't letting the event slip by unnoticed as they release a major content patch and begin a celebration, all in the name of the anniversary.

Nocturnal Sonata, version 2.9, adds a brand new unique player character to the mix. In Sword of the New World, players can control their own characters, their "family," or add in storyline characters called unique characters once certain conditions are met. This update adds Claire, the small girl who can pack an insane punch. Claire comes with the ability to hold a two handed weapon with one hand, and her specialty is... well... cannons. Adding her to your party, however, requires you to earn the trust of one of the game's NPCs and Claire's adopted brother, Claude.

The update also includes the new raid instance, The Secret Tower (as shown above), as well as a new buyable dungeon, Bahamar Ancient Dungeon. For the full details, check out the patch notes available at the Sword of the New World main site.

The Best of Massively: Our top 5 weirdest news stories

Galleries, Age of Conan, EVE Online, Culture, Sword of the New World

We're still counting down to Massively's first birthday by compiling the best and most entertaining coverage we've done. So far we've listed our most important interviews and our most helpful guides. This time around, we're looking back at the top five strangest, weirdest and sometimes-raciest news stories we've covered since we launched last November.

Whether you missed these stories or you're just ready for a refresher, we hope they'll make you smile and laugh -- or at least make you raise an eyebrow or two!

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