Winterfest Event in Wildstar

Now that Halloween is gone, it’s time to look forward to the Wintersday festitivities. As much as I like Halloween (orange and green belong to my favourite colours, after all), I usually enjoy the Wintersday events more – mostly the one in Guild Wars 2 with its choir bell and yes, even the jumping puzzle! The one event puzzle I am actually able to complete on a regular basis! The colours and the music are also amazing and I just really like how peaceful everything looks as soon as you add a little snow (please note that I said “a little”).

Wildstar PTR Winterfest Thayd

However, this year Wildstar may actually become my favourite wintersday event. They have not had events in their first year after release. As far as I know, this was because they focused on polishing the game first. Now that they have done so and relaunched as a “free to play” title, they are also adding seasonal events. The Halloween one was their first and the atmosphere they created was amazing. They have recently put the Winterfest on their Public Test Realm, so I went there to check it out. Wildstar being Wildstar, I was expecting them to combine it with some irony and I am happy to report that I didn’t get disappointed at all. Of course, the Protostar Corporation is using this opportunity to spread the charm that we all know, the one called Consumerism, obviously. In fact, you even get to distract some pesky Aurin who insist on adding some spiritual nonsense to this perfect business opportunity. How dare they!

You can hear several of the Winterfest songs in this video.

Wildstar winterfest Rowsdower slippersOn the other hand, when it comes to the actual gameplay, I am not sure yet how much fun Wildstar’s events will be. I did the daily quests and while they were enjoyable, I am certain they will get boring once you have done them a couple of times. However, after looking at the rewards you can buy with the new in-game Winterfest currency, I also know that I will want to do the dailies! I need those slippers! Except for the hat (what is it with MMOs and bad hat design?), I like all the pieces of the respective outfit, especially on my Granok, but the slippers are simply awesome!  Rowsdowers are the murlocks and the quaggans of Wildstar, apparently. I wonder if I could furnish my complete house in Wildstar with Rowsdower items only… Hmm… Tempting.

But back to the gameplay. There is an instance with a public event, but I only entered it to watch the cinematic that plays – and then re-entered to replay the cinematic, so bookahnerk could see it, too. So the long-term fun kind of depends on how that event plays out. The Public Test Realm is down right now, so I can’t go check the event. Then again, I do actually want to keep something to explore for when it releases on the live client. But the atmosphere, the decorations and the music are amazing already, so I know that the spirit will be there, at least. Well, filled to the brim with consumerism, as mentioned above, but then it just fits perfectly that I really want and need to buy those shoes, right? ;) And in case the event and the dailies are boring, there will always be the Guild Wars 2 choir bell…


Best “Main Theme” from a PC game – Blaugust Day 25

Bookahnerk was preparing our “pen and paper” roleplaying session and played around with the music. He’s going to add background music and mostly uses songs from the various game soundtracks that we have acquired over time. He also uses several programmes together to add e.g. thunderstorm and various other ambient noises where it fits.

So, he was playing the different songs when this one song started and I said to him: I’ve got a new topic for Blaugust: “Best…” – I didn’t get further than that as he finished my sentence. “Best main theme ever” for both of us, without a doubt, goes to Baba Yetu from Civilization IV. Raise your hand if you left the game open at the “launch screen” just to listen to the song. :p

There are a lot of awesome songs out there, a lot of catchy ones, even a lot of songs where you can probably easily sing along… like this one:

But for me at least, nothing comes close to “Baba Yetu”. It just feels so strong and powerful.

Number three on my list (yes, I would put the Skyrim one on no. 2, but mainly because it stays in your memory so easily) is “the theme song that is no theme song”.

I think before launch, ArenaNet had added that theme to play during a trailer or teaser video and I, among others, thought that this was the main theme. I’ve got to say I was disappointed to hear the real main theme then as it doesn’t come close in comparison. It has grown on me by now, but I still very much prefer the Norn Theme – even though in general, I am not a fan of the Norn at all. Sorry!

I could go on and on and list so many other great soundtracks. It’s actually a shame I usually play with the music turned off nowadays. But we’re usually watching streams or Netflix or just talk, and the music gets distracting quite fast that way.

Gaming Soundtracks by Jeremy Soule

Quite a generic title for this post. I’m sorry, I couldn’t think of anything witty. ;)

I’ve been wanting to write about game soundtracks for about a few days. Massively reminded me of that with their recent second post about MMO main themes. By the way, am I alone in (incorrectly) thinking the Norn theme is the main theme of Guild Wars 2? I’d realised it before and quickly forgot it again. For me, this theme IS the main theme. It’s so much more epic! This alone means I will have to make at least one Norn character! ;)

My question to you, dear readers, is: Do you know who Jeremy Soule is? If your answer is “no”, then go here and read. I never knew how influential he was. But Bookahnerk had been very excited when I mentioned his name at some point and he realised that it’s THIS Jeremy Soule that added the orchestral soundtrack to Total Annihilation. When we both mentioned him to a friend and told him that he’s the one behind the GW and also the GW2 soundtrack, he was very excited because he loves the Elder Scrolls soundtracks. This is about the only name of a composer for game soundtracks that I know, to be honest. But his name is worth knowing if you ask me. I can’t help it, I’m a fangirl. ;) Listen to the Norn theme of Guild Wars 2 and to the Skyrim main theme.

The reason I even had the idea of writing about soundtracks was that Bookahnerk had given me the Nightfall Collector’s Edition as a gift a few days ago. I was SO excited when I unwrapped the box. Nightfall is my favourite campaign – probably because it was the one that got me into Guild Wars (and I’d pulled him in subsequently). Speaking of Collector’s Editions: This one comes with two virtual items (a special dance emote and a mini pet), two pins showing two of GW’s skills, a little cardboard figure, two posters (one is a map), an artbook, a making of-DVD and the soundtrack DVD. Also, a special soundtrack song that you can download from – the only bad thing is that when I try to do so, all I get is “internal server error”. Very annoying and disappointing. I’ve already contacted their support but haven’t heard back from them yet. I want that song! Or even more than one? Either way, this is quite a Collector’s Edition. And seeing how much stuff was in there makes me hope that GW2 will have an equal Collector’s Edition. I actually don’t care so much about the virtual items. I want physical goodies! A cloth map would be awesome, though. And, of course, another artbook! And the soundtrack! And maybe a mini asura figurine… *squeals* Or maybe even a miniature version of Destiny’s Edge? But I digress. Bookahnerk has already written about what we’d like to see in a Collector’s Edition.

One of my favourite songs of the World of Warcraft soundtrack is the tavern song (I don’t remember the exact name, although it’s the “exclusive track” somewhere, I think?). Which made me realise: There are no taverns in Guild Wars, are there? Have I ever seen a bed in Guild Wars? Entered an inn? That’s something I really hope to see in Guild Wars 2 – especially the home instance. Those will have a bed for your character, I assume. :) And maybe even different songs for each home instance – or just the race’s themes which I’d be fine with (again, I need a Norn character!). I can’t wait to listen to all the songs that Jeremy Soule has composed and I hope they’ll be as good and atmospheric as what he’s been doing so far. If you ask me, it was pure genius of ArenaNet to hire him! Although I do wonder who decided it had to be Jeremy Soule to do all the game’s soundtracks including the sequel (must be part-Asura?). :)