It's no secret that we think WoW has a great soundtrack, but with unique musical accompaniments for each zone, city, and dungeon it can be hard to pick favorites. But if you're anything like the WoW Insider crew, there are some zones where you turn the volume up and tracks that you keep on your music player to make your workday commute seem a bit more epic.
So today we're asking: just what is your favorite WoW music and how do you listen to it? Do you keep your game music in game, do you spend extra time in your favorite musical zones, or do you simply add your favorite tracks to a playlist for any-time entertainment?
The more I hear about the Warcraft movie, the more excited I get. Everything seems to be lining up pretty well so far, and what we finally see on screen will no doubt live up to Blizzard's exemplary cinematic standards. But I think it's safe to assume that we'll probably see a fairly straight narrative story.
Is there a different option? Following certain horrible precedents, could something like WoW: The Musical work out? Imagine Thrall singing an Azerothian, "I dreamed a dream of Horde's gone by!" or Ragnaros reprising some version of Hellfire. All things considered, maybe the music of Warcraft resembles in-universe chants like we saw from the Hobbit movies. Music, sure, but music that makes sense in the theme of the story.
I can't help but hope, though. And if our favorite characters were to bust out into song, what would they sing? What kind of music are you hoping to see in the movie?
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 you have a love for video game music or just Blizzard music or just Hearthstone music, you'll be pleased to know that Blizzard has posted several of Hearthstone's music tracks online for the very affordable price of free. So if you're in the beta, but enjoy Hearthstone's tavern-style tunes -- or you aren't in the beta but really want to be -- you can download or stream three Hearthstone tracks from the game's media page. Whatever your interests, they're good listening -- and if you want to know more about the music itself, Destructoid has a music-centric interview with Hearthstone team members Eric Dodds, Jason Hayes, and Peter McConnell.
Blizzard's Community Management team sat down with Russell Brower for an interview on the creation of not only the soundtrack to Mists of Pandaria but other game sound elements as well. Russell talks about the constant immersive properties of music, quoting a friend in saying that "the ear doesn't blink", and linking that to something that I think Blizzard does a great job of, providing music that contributes to an area's feel, atmosphere, and quality. I don't ever play without the game sounds and music switched on, nor do I play with other music playing in the background -- doing all these things affects my enjoyment of the game, and Russell says that his team strive to keep people's game sounds turned on. One thing he added that made me laugh was that the team had to tone down the sound made by the launcher when the game download is finished:
...after two hours of installing, suddenly the game will go "BOOM!!" when it finishes. People started to install games with the sound off
Brower goes on to recall that so many people hated the constant roaring on the Sindragosa fight in Wrath, which I'm sure will resonate with a lot of our readers. What other game sounds would you like to hear toned down? Personally, the noise that mage tables made rates pretty high on my dislike list.
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Sarah Pine (@ilaniel) will be your host today.
Thanks to tumblr for introducing me to the Armenian pop singer Sirusho. I can't get this song out of my head, despite not understanding a word of it. This video in particular has been praised for featuring some wonderful Armenian design, and it's easy to see why!
What's your favorite class and/or race for a gathering alt? Horde or Alliance, Mining, Herbing, and/or Skinning, I leave that up to you.
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 love the soundtrack for Mists of Pandaria. They didn't have music enabled on the beta servers at first, it was patched in much later during the beta process. But the few themes that I heard were striking, beautifully performed and went with the scenic landscapes I was exploring. I figured getting the Collector's Edition was a given because I really love the art books, but the soundtrack was also a bonus. And as I leveled in Pandaria this week, I did so with the music on, because I liked the tracks I heard in beta.
And then I walked into the inn at Halfhill and was greeted with the above tune.
I didn't really think there was anything that could make me love Pandaria even more than I already do, but this jaunty little ditty sealed the deal. I love this expansion. I love how there's dark moments, but woven in between are these crazy little moments that lighten everything up. The inn music with its cheeky kazoo theme immediately reminded me of our dearly departed and missed cohort in crime Mat McCurley and his crazy kazoo on the WoW Insider Show.
Needless to say I have yet to turn off the music in game, but I do wonder about everyone else. Are you listening to Pandaria while you level? What do you think of the music in the game? Do you prefer listening to your own tunes, or do you like listening to the game soundtracks? And perhaps the most important question of all -- kazoos. Coolest thing ever, or coolest thing ever?
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
Hauntingly beautiful music from a hauntingly beautiful voice ... You'd have to have the soul of a black dragon not to be transported by the strains of video game music composer, arranger, and musician Malukah of Monterrey, Mexico. Malu's evocative cover of "The Dragonborn Comes" from Bethesda's video game Skyrim catapulted the unassuming musician to more than 8 million views across her own channel, Bethesda's blog, and countless other gaming sites that couldn't get enough of her ethereal voice.
And wouldn't you know it? She's a World of Warcraft player. While she was reluctant to discuss exactly which WoW track she's been toying with for an upcoming cover (but come on, given her style, is it so difficult to figure out?), we did get her to chat with us about her music and her love of gaming: Malukah, on the cusp of becoming a musical force to be reckoned with.
Folks who enjoy the World of Warcraft musical scene probably already recognize the names Cranius and Sharm. Individually, these two people have each created huge swaths of music that've inspired WoW players for year. That's why it's so exciting that the two of them are teaming up to release a duo album.
The album will consist of entirely original work -- no parodies, riffs, or mere covers of other people's songs. The pair had tried to make the collaboration work while Sharm was in the U.K., but things weren't working out so well. What to do? Sharm jumped on a plane and flew out to Seattle, where Sharm and Cranius will spend the next few months recording the album.
Here's hoping everything goes smoothly and quickly. We can't wait to hear the results! And while it's exciting that the album is entirely original, we wouldn't hate a fresh cover of Darrowshire with some duet action.
Recently I wrote a quick mini-Addon Spotlight article on how to jazz up your boss kills by adding custom victory music. Who doesn't love to get pumped up the second a boss hits the floor? You're there DPSing your heart out, ticking away the percentages in your mind: 5%. 4. 3. 2. 1. With all cylinders firing, you're hit by the first note of the victory song as it pours its musical bliss into your ears.
When it comes to victory songs, I like to stay with songs that are fast and fun from the get-go. It's your cooling-off period -- you've just poured blood, sweat and tears into a boss fight, and now you get to relax. Sit back, listen to the music, roll on loot, and feel like a badass.
My victory song would have to be something like Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. I linked the song at the top of the post for anyone not familiar with it. It's what many people call a trailer song in that it is a tune that you hear in movie and game trailers frequently. For instance, you'll recognize Invaders Must Die from such trailers as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Duke Nukem Forever. It has a sordid past.
What is your victory song? Which song gets you rocked and ready for the next boss encounter or some good relaxing time after a night of hard work? Which song plays when the bar his 0%?
I was raiding with my guild last Tuesday evening, and while we repeatedly wiped and had ever more tense discussions about why that was happening, I noticed that one of the guys talking on Vent sounded like he might be playing WoW in the back room of a nightclub where a particularly energetic rave was taking place. I also know a few people who have the TV on in the background while murdering bosses with their guild, whether to provide a distraction or because their other half wants some entertainment while they're completely entrenched in a virtual world, I'm not sure.
I don't listen to music while raiding, and especially not while PvPing. I need the audio cues to establish whether my spells are coming off, whether I'm critting (restoration shaman make a funny little noise when that happens), whether certain effects are landing, whether that warrior is Bladestorming, and so on. Of course there are visual clues as well, and for many people they will be sufficient, but I often find that, particularly in the Arena, I need all the help I can get! Also, while I do my best to keep track of every player at all times, in a 5v5 match, it's quite feasible that I can't keep my camera pointing at all 10 people, so the audio helps a great deal. I also find that music or TV can be distracting.
This is, of course, not leveled as a criticism to those who do play with music in the background, as ever with gaming is a case of diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. I can completely understand the use of music as a motivational tool or to amp yourself up for something challenging or to calm yourself down when things aren't going as you'd hoped.
So far, the new feature offers a convenient embed of the iTunes storefront to make it easier to find, preview, and buy songs (or full albums) from World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Additionally, the section offers history, credits, and photos for those interested in reading about the creation of the music. Albums for newer games are especially detailed, with forwards from some of the composers and notes for individual songs. Currently, there are 10 albums in total and one single from Diablo 3.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find out if that track from that Night Elf island in the Ghostlands is available. Best music in the game, I tell you!