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The Music of Mists of Pandaria

Thinking about the Mists of Pandaria music

The music of Mists of Pandaria is some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard in World of Warcraft. It’s not like the previous Cataclysm soundtrack, which featured a lot of ominous strings and chanting to make you feel uneasy. Instead, the Mists soundtrack is calm and soothing. Part of this is due to the nature of the traditional Chinese instruments used—the guzheng, a plucked zither; the erhu, a two-string fiddle; and the dizi, a transverse flute. The composers had to learn how to compose music for these instruments; Western music (aka classical music) typically uses a heptatonic scale—seven notes per octave—while traditional Chinese music uses a pentatonic scale—five notes per octave. This radically different composition brings a new character to the world, and it fits the new continent of Pandaria quite well.

I think my favorite part about the Mists of Pandaria soundtrack is that you can’t tell who composed what. It’s a seamless soundtrack. It’s very difficult to hear a piece of music in game and think, “oh, this track was composed by Neal Acree.” The soundtrack is one with itself, which is again befitting of Pandaria.

World of Warcraft: Musings On PvP

World of Warcraft: Musings on PvP

I don’t really player vs. player (PvP) combat in World of Warcraft that much. If I feel like I have support, I’ll try to gank players who are flagged. Otherwise I do not engage in PvP. I don’t even have a set of PvP gear or a trinket! I’m not involved in PvP, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I only have impressions to go by, mostly from developer interviews, comments, and conjecture on my part.

Comments from the community and developer interviews have left me with the impression that PvP is out of control. Blizzard has acknowledged that burst damage is too high, and that outside of those burst windows it’s really difficult to kill someone. Blizzard already has plans to reduce burst damage. Crowd control (CC) is whack. Many abilities are instant cast, and that doesn’t sit well with the developers. They’d like to shift CC abilities over to a cast time, but perhaps there is another way?

World of Warcraft Would Not Work on Consoles

MovieBob tweets about WoW on consoles

Over the weekend, Bob “MovieBob” Chipman tweeted:

“Hey, Blizzard? Here’s how you put WoW on consoles: Make a WoW-specific controller/keyboard, sell it with the game. PROFIT.”

Were it so easy! World of Warcraft wouldn’t work on the current consoles. I’m not sure if it would be feasible on the next generation, but I have my doubts. Now, that’s not to say MovieBob’s idea is bad. He’s a rather insightful guy who seems to know games as well as he knows film. In fact, it’s not unprecedented for console games to go beyond the standard controller—just look at the custom hardware made for games like Rock Band. A controller specific to World of Warcraft could work, especially if Blizzard could work something out with Razer and ship Nostromos for the game.

However, accessing Azeroth from a console would not be as simple as shipping a custom controller.

Blog Azeroth’s Furtive Father Winter 2012

Since 2009, Blog Azeroth has been hosting a Furtive Father Winter event for bloggers who talk about World of Warcraft. The concept is simple and endearing. Bloggers put their name in a virtual hat and are assigned other sites at random. Once you have your assigned site, your job is to learn about your blogger and “create a gift post using prose, poetry, music, graphic art, screenshots, or anything else that inspires them.” It is a secret Santa for writers who gather inspiration from a common source, and I think it is a lovely idea. This year was Clever Musing’s first year participating. I was assigned blogger Stubborn from Sheep the Diamond and I highly recommend perusing his blog when you get the chance. This morning I was excited to see that Amerpriest from AmerPriest Blog was our secret Santa!

World of Warcraft: Prophet Skeram Visits Echo Isles

Normally I would not make a post about someone hacking World of Warcraft, but this time it was so seemingly random I could not resist. I visited the Bug Report forum to make good on a request and I could not help but notice a topic entitled “Someone hacked WoW!!” Curious, I had to go take a look. There I found someone complaining about a strange event in the Echo Isles zone of the Cho’gall server. Apparently, The Prophet Skeram, a raid boss normally found in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, had been spawned all over the islands that make up the Troll starting zone. Naturally I took several screenshots and recorded a little clip (after opening a ticket).

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