Wowhead has rolled out some pretty exciting site features today. First up is their new music and sound player which allows you to play sound files from the game such as boss emotes, or listen to zone music as shown in the screenshot above. By visiting a zone's page, for example Storm Peaks, you can browse through all of the various music that plays in that zone.
Aspiring Loremasters take note! Also added is the ability to see what quests your character has completed anywhere in the game. You first need to use the Wowhead profiler to import your character, and then you will be able to view any quest on the site and see if that character has completed it or not. If you pull up a list of the quests in a single zone you will be able to see, at a glance, what you're missing. You can even track multiple characters at the same time. Head on over to Wowhead to see the full rundown of the new features.
World of Warcraft has an incredible soundtrack that I occasionally listen to even when I'm not gaming -- and I especially enjoy live performances, like Video Games Live and the Video Game Music Choir above. However, when I am gaming, I often do so with the sound muted -- and I'm guessing I'm not the only one. Often when playing -- especially doing the same old dailies or leveling another character through a zone I've cleared a dozen times -- I'm multitasking with the television on to something more exciting than the same old thing. But I know this means I'm missing out on WoW's great music, but sometimes I'm just not that interested in the level of immersion a good soundtrack would provide.
So it usually surprises me when I somehow manage to unmute the music -- say, running a fresh install of the game -- and I'm reminded how great the game music actually is. But tell me, readers -- do you play with the music on or off?
Do you play WoW with the music on or off?
Always on! The game has great music.
It depends; sometimes off and sometimes on.
I always play the game muted. I prefer my own soundtrack!
It's going to be a photo finish for the Video Games Live's Level 3 project on Kickstarter, which is in its final days with nearly $30,000 to raise to meet its goal. If you're not familiar with Video Games Live, it's a group headed by Tommy Tallarico that tours the country playing live orchestral arrangements of video game music -- and the group has frequently graced the BlizzCon stage. The current fundraising campaign is aimed at producing the group's third studio album -- dubbed Level 3 -- and though they haven't finalized the tracklist yet, it will feature tracks VGL hasn't yet tackled from games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger/Cross, Shadow of the Colossus, Skyrim, Journey, Monkey Island, Destiny, DOTA, Assassin's Creed, Earthworm Jim, Silent Hill, Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Super Smash Bros., Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Mass Effect, Katamari Damacy, BioShock, Beyond Good & Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter II, Uncharted, Portal, Tetris, Red Dead Redemption, Devil May Cry, Megaman, Soul Calibur, Resident Evil, Pac-Man, and our favorites, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Blizzard tracks from WoW and Diablo are confirmed to be on Level 3 -- so we may be treated to a studio version of Invincible, as played by Video Games Live in the video above.
Sound interesting? It's not too late to chip in -- and pick up a ton of great video game music for a very modest cost. Backers can get Level 3 as well as VGL's earlier albums and plenty of other extras: check Kickstarter for all the details.
If there's one thing that's been a constant over the years of Blizzard games, it's been the music - and there's some good news for those that love Blizzard's tunes. The Video Game Music station on streaming internet radio site Pandora is now cycling in Blizzard soundtracks from Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft as well. For those that use Pandora for listening, it means you may get a bit of Blizzard mixed in with your usual fare -- for those that don't use Pandora, you might want to check it out. The site uses your personal tastes in music to fashion a playlist for you and suggest songs you might like based on what you listen to already.
From the strains of Stormwind City to the heights of Grizzly Hills, the music in Warcraft has always been a high point of every expansion for me. While I don't leave the music running constantly when I'm playing the game, new patches and new content always has me turning up the in-game music to see what new tunes have been added. Be sure to check out Pandora for a taste of Blizzard's soundtracks -- you can listen to Pandora via online stream, or through one of their many mobile apps.
The voice of Laura Shigihara will forever be synonymous among WoW fans with the Singing Sunflower pet -– that ineffably perky little companion so fond of cheerfully reminding you "There's a zombie on your law-awn ..." It's been a while since the Plants vs. Zombies theme song composer has sung any music related to World of Warcraft, but she's got a new tune out and it's one that Shigihara fans have been clamoring for years to hear: "Lament of the Highborne."
"At first I didn't want to cover this song, since there are already so many lovely covers out there (and the original is already so perfect as is)," she admits, "but hopefully folks are still able to enjoy it."
Whether it's zombies on the lawn or the haunting lament of Lady Sylvanas' banshees, we suspect that enjoying Shigihara's work is probably a safe bet. Enjoy!
I'm going to open this one with a personal story. In 2009 at a Blizzcon party, I had the good fortune to be introduced to Russell Brower, and I promptly went all starry-eyed and gushed about how much I loved WoW's music. His face lit up and he said, "Oh you are just the best thing!" and kissed my hand. Then asked me what my favorite was. My answer was immediate, and without hesitation: Black Temple.
Now, let's fast-forward to today, in 2013, almost four years later. Has my answer changed? Maybe. Black Temple is still definitely up there, but I'm not sure it's the out-and-away winner anymore. With Cataclysm many of the zones got updated music, so areas I wasn't super enthused about before suddenly became much more compelling. In the end, the five I've come up with are Grizzly Hills (a perennial favorite), Black Temple (still love it), Ashenvale ("Nightsong" alone makes this nomination), Karazhan (haunted mansion!), and Kun-Lai Summit (mostly for "Way of the Monk," which plays upon entry into the Temple of the White Tiger). Vote on your favorite in the poll, but don't think this is the definitive list. I'm sure there are plenty of zones I've overlooked, so tell us what I've missed in the comments.
I can't tell you how tickled I am to get text messages these days, ever since I made the familiar murloc gurgle my text message notification sound. Text messages evoke the same feelings in me that murlocs do -- man, I get annoyed when I have to stop and deal with one, but they're actually irresistible little creatures, aren't they?
Also popular at our house is my regular morning alarm. You read that right: My family actually wants to hear my alarm go off. I use that drippingly gorgeous theme from Elwynn Forest, and it eases us into consciousness with the gentle caress of dawn. Sometimes my husband whispers in the dark, "Just let it play."
It's no secret that I love the music of Mists of Pandaria. But there's a part of me that missed the old themes and recognizable strains of the Alliance and Horde themes scattered about the old world. In patch 5.1, the Alliance and Horde will officially make their appearance on Pandaria's shores, bringing the conflict straight to the pandaren along with new scenarios, and new music.
Wowhead dug up some of the tracks from the PTR and put them together in a video that's a little over 45 minutes long. Despite the length, it's well worth the listen, as the glorious sounds of Alliance anthems are brought back to life, as well as a darker, more haunting set of refrains for the Horde. Included too are tracks titled "Jaina's Homeland," which are recognizable variations of the Dalaran themes from Wrath of the Lich King.
And if you'd like a little twisted fun, there's a track at the end for the new Darkmoon Faire carousel coming with the next patch, too. It's got that sweet yet slightly off feeling of any good track from a Burton movie. I love the music for Warcraft, and I love that we're getting so many music updates right along with patch updates. I hope we'll be able to purchase these pieces on a secondary soundtrack at some point!
What, ho! If thou dost live anywhere at all near Austin, Texas, we hath a merry proposal for thy consideration: a chance to win weekend passes for two to hear WoW soundtrack composer David Arkenstone on the weekend of March 31 and April 1 at the Sherwood Forest Faire near Austin. Forsooth, 'tis verily so -- a meatspace contest for readers in a single mid-U.S. region. (Our most sincere condolences to residents of other fiefs and kingdoms ... There's only so much of the noble Sir Arkenstone to go around!) Mark you, there be no place more fitting to tarry on a sunny spring morn than a renn faire featuring three-time Grammy nominee David Arkenstone performing songs including some of his melodious compositions for World of Warcraft.
So hear ye, hear ye (in plain English): We're giving away two pairs of tickets (a $72 value per pair) for the weekend of March 31 and April 1 to Sherwood Forest Faire, 35 miles east of Austin, Texas. To enter, leave a comment on this post before the contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Sunday, March 18, 2012. Since this is a location-specific event, please don't enter unless you can actually attend the faire in Austin on March 31 and/or April 1; alternate dates and locations are not available, and we want a WoW fan who can be there to enjoy these shows. Winners must be legal residents of the United States or Canada (except Quebec). You may only enter once, and winners must be 18 years of age or older. Two winners will be chosen at random, and tickets will be held in their names at the Will Call window of the faire admissions area. See the official rules for more details. Jousting in your entry comment is optional.
I love WoW's soundtrack, but sometimes it just loops too much. I need something that'll keep me awake, excited, and bouncing between pulls in a dungeon. I realized when I started looking for stuff in my playlist that the songs depended very much on what I was playing (warrior, healer, low-level alt) and what I was doing (grinding, dungeon, leveling).
Here are four ways that I incorporate music to my play:
Leveling Undead I found that listening to The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack was a hilarious addition to leveling an Undead character. The lyrics, "This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!" added magic to spotting skeletal fish in a lake.
Leveling Draenei/Night ElfThe Lord of the Rings soundtrack or Pirates of the Caribbean or Beats Antique are epic songs for these races, no matter where you are in Azeroth. Epic!
Dungeon DPS/warrior Black Sabbath or any heavy metal! Keeps me awake between pulls. Also, techno music works.
Dungeon healing Pink Floyd keeps me calm, cool, and relaxed. Plus, I don't feel the irresistible urge to jump around as I do when listening to heavy metal.
There you have it! What I like to listen to when I play. What do you like to listen to? Have you ever wanted to write for WoW Insider? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider. The next byline you see here may be yours!
World of Warcraft is a game with great sound and great sound design. Players might not always notice it, but for those of us who play with the music on, these themes can really set the tone for the game. Ashenvale music never fails to remind me of my first foray into the zone; after Darkshore, which was a bit bleak, my baby druid stepped into Ashenvale and it seemed like all of Azeroth opened up, wide and colorful and filled with swelling orchestral tracks. Though the game world seems much smaller to me now, I still remember that moment whenever I hear the Ashenvale theme.
My favorite piece of WoW music, however, has got to be the one in Mulgore. I play mainly Alliance, so I don't go there often, but every time I visit the zone for the Darkmoon Faire or head to Thunder Bluff for some holiday achievement, I'm struck by the beauty and tranquility of the Mulgore music. It really fits the environment, and it never fails to relax me when I fly through. The slow, soft yearning reminds me of the Tauren people and their culture, while the undercurrent of tension hints at the conflict brewing in the world outside that secluded valley.
What's your favorite piece of WoW music? Does it remind you of a particular time or a nostalgic feeling, or is it the pure beauty of the composition that you admire? When do you feel the WoW music is at its most epic?
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on our Arts and Crafts in WoW page.
It's Monday and instead of a feast for the eyes or taste buds, this week, we've got a feast for the ears!
When people hear the word "crafts," they generally assume something involving pen and paper, possibly tiny scissors or glue. But sometimes a picture or a story can't really properly convey just what it is the crafter is trying to say. Take Evan Freeman, who creates songs both Warcraft- and StarCraft-inspired, for example. While others craft artwork and stories, Evan crafts tunes inspired by his favorite games, including the above video -- a love song and lament for the loss of the beloved druid tree form.
Evan was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about writing and playing music, and of course, trees. Keep reading for more info and another of Evan's game-inspired tunes, after the break.
Not much else to say here, folks -- here's your new login screen music in Cataclysm. Twelve minutes of pure epic, with themes from vanilla and every expansion afterward. Lots of references to the original login music starting at 1:30.
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.
A few days ago, I noticed a comment on this very site that moved me. The commenter was responding to one of the dozens of voice clips that have been leaking from Cataclysm. The commenter was asking for a simple transcript of the clip, because he or she is deaf. I was instantly felt I had to write it out for them. It wasn't until later that I realized exactly why I was moved so much for this person: I love the game's soundtrack. The music of World of Warcraft is a huge part of the experience for me, and I can't imagine playing without it.
The soundtrack provides atmosphere for everything from a jaunty tavern to haunted forests and much more. Alliance players, do you remember the first time you journeyed through the Dark Portal? More specifically, Honor Hold? The trumpets, the last-stand vibe ... It was amazing. I still get nostalgic any time I happen to be flying through Dun Morogh at night. It should be a law that every Alliance player must have the game music on the first time they storm into Orgrimmar, and the same goes for Horde players raiding Stormwind. Every expansion, it seems I find one or two pieces that stick with me for years. In vanilla, it was the Song of Elune (played sporadically in Ashenvale). In The Burning Crusade, it was the theme to Honor Hold and Silvermoon City. Wrath, however, gave me my favorite: Wintergrasp.
Do you have a favorite WoW song? Is there one tune that plucks your heartstrings and makes you remember days long past? Or do you mute the game and play to your own music? Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by e-mailing lisa (at) wow (dot) com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.
The atmospheric listening music for this week's World of WarCrafts comes to us from Rehmaar of <Knights of Valiant Fury> on US Destromath-H. This original, orchestral-style composition, "Knights of the Valiant Fury Overture," is dedicated to the composer's guild. "We are a radical bunch on the Horde side of Destromath, but we have an awesome time playing together and this is my gift to them," writes Rehmaar. "The piece captures what it means to be a member of our guild and depicts the struggles and glory our characters face in Azeroth." How's that for some faction and guild pride?
Join us after the break for two entirely -- and we do mean entirely -- different musical takes on Azeroth.