Wednesday, April 30, 2008

World of Warcraft Music is FTL?

Something occurred to me the other day while I sat in my office, scouring the pages of YouTube. I search long and hard diligently through my library of music trying to find a good audio/video combo for the blog's Song of the Week, but not once have I ever wondered "why."

I don't mean that in an existential "damn it Jago, you should be spending more time with your family instead of being on the interwebs!" kind of way or anything like that. I'm not a troll, afterall, and nor am I that philosophical (well, at least not right now). I don't spend enough time browsing to have to worry about it.

This moment of clarity was more along the lines of asking "why are you searching for music for a SotW when there is plenty of music in WoW to begin with!"

"Why" haven't I ever considered the music of the WoW OSTs before?

"Why" do we tend to play our own music instead of listening to the in-game ear orgy of tunes?

I asked the most elite of jerks, the chatters of the Elite Jerks forum, just these questions, and omg did it end up in an amazing conversation. We started with the basics of WoW music, and then got into the topics of the game's overall design, emphasis, and direction since it's conception to the present.

During these exchanges, I found that people were incredibly passionate about the MMO experience, and that a huge majority felt that the World of Warcraft falls incredibly short in terms of it's immersive properties when compared with other MMOs. The game's music, many who felt this way stated, is a part of the problem. It is "repetitive" and is extremely lacking in variety, almost to the point where it lacks any real identity.

It's no wonder that most of the players I was chatting with don't even have music enabled... and haven't since pre-TBC!

Here's how a part of the epic conversation played out, after I asked how they would describe WoW's musical experience:

[01:37] Jagoex: ah, assumed it was a typo, and very few wow music pieces are good for more then a listen or two
[01:37] oh, the word you're looking for is "in-game ear infection"
[01:37] Jagoex: but orgrimar music is kinda nice for a few run throughs
[01:38] I disabled the sound back in uhhh, MC or BWL
[01:38] Molten Core theme is written in 17/8
[01:38] or polymeter
[01:38] err, music
[01:38] I haven't had music enabled since, it was more of an annoyance than anything else
[01:39] falk|hiding: so they wrote music in polymeter the only place they cant polymorph anything?
[01:39] evil
[01:39] Especially when I got an external player pumping them beatz!

That pretty much sums it up, in my honest opinion. I guess there is a legit reason why no WoW track has been a SotW afterall.

So what do you guys think? Do you enjoy listening to the original WoW OSTs while you play or is it just not enough auditory goodness for ya? Let your thoughts be known!


Logan said...

A number of my guildies have commented on the quality of the music in Black Temple. It's unfortunately that the first time I've ever heard people say that there's decent music in the game was in an end-endgame instance. Bring the good stuff to everyone, says I!

(Or perhaps this is Blizzard's feeble attempt to make the hardcore raiders feel like they're getting something exclusive, now that any schlup who can lose 10 arena matches per week can be in full epics... heh.)

Anonymous said...

"Call to Arms" is a good track but it's too short. Come to think of it, all of them are.

SN said...

In general, I have always thought that the tracks were very mild and could have been so much more powerful. I think the capital city tracks have a good presence about them, but that's where it stops for me.

Anonymous said...

"The Shaping of the World" is great. It's on the first OST, which pwns the second one so hard.

Fuhsnuh said...

The Naxx tracks are awesome, but other than that, the rest of the game is kind of meh, not to mention if I don't get my daily recommended dosage of Asian Sissy Pop, I can't function properly.

psychonia said...

i don't listen to music while playing. i have an over sensitivity to sound. although sometimes i like to turn the ambient sounds up. they're relaxing. *sigh*

World of Warcraft Gold Guides said...

good post :)