I'm horrible at updating, I know, allright? :) The second part of Wicked Video Games OST's is coming your way right about right now!
As everyone who ever played a computer game knows, the sound of a game has a huge impact on one's experience. In this series I am showcasing what game soundtracks (or sound in general) I was personally moved by, this is not necessarily another 'best VGM OST' list, though.
#1 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Gnomeregan
This is the second known case for me where I've had to just stop playing to listen to the music. (The first one would be the title theme for vanilla Civilization IV. If you don't know WoW gnomes, they are basically child sized inventor geniouses who consider safety a distant second consideration in the face of progress. In WoW, their race was nearly wiped out completely in a rebellion that caused their capitol city to be completely irradiated with chemicals that killed or mutated most of the population. This lore was unfortunately never put ingame in a proper way until the Cataclysm expansion was released. In WoW: Cataclysm, Gnomes were finally given a more meaningful introduction and this music piece that I will finally post is one of the many fantastic musical artworks WoW was updated with when Cataclysm was released:
Cello, clockworks and wazoo (!) in harmonic powerplay!
#2 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Lament of the Highborne
Night elves in WoW are nowhere as treehuggy as their bouncy appearances may first look. They live so close to nature they are generally avoided and often considered feral by the other Alliance races, and have a strict caste system topped by powerful huntresses and archdruids of Elune with immense power. They have been and still suffer their fair share of hardship, for example they are no longer immortal. This next piece is sung by Sylvanas Windrunner who heads the Forsaken undead faction of World of Warcraft. She was a night elf ranger captain slain and then resurrected as a banshee by Arthas Menethil, later known as the Lich King. She may be an elf originally but the forsaken faction comprised mostly of humans all share the pain and loss in her lament, of the extinct highborne and follow her without question as their freakish race fights for their continued survival (such as it is):
Banshees may look hideous but damn can they strike a tune...
#3 World Of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Way of the Monk
Pandaren as a race were largely ridiculed (and still are, I suppose) when Mists of Pandaria was announced, I'll admit I was quite sceptical as well hearing the news. I have to give praise where its due, however; Blizzard did one hell of a job fleshing out absolutely everything in rich detail storywise, to the point I now see Pandaren as one of the most legit races in WoW (Of course it helps having a whole expansion themed around them). Pandaren in WoW are one of the races that lived for ages under Mogu slavery. The Mogu allowed a caste of Pandaren to form to create herbal remedies to combat slave fatigue. Over the years they rose in power, unknown to the Mogu, to become skilled healers, leaders, unarmed combatants but most importantly a symbol of hope for the slaves that finally granted them the power to rise up against the Mogu and rebel, eventually freeing themselves from slavery. That caste was the first of what is now called the Monk class in WoW.
Too much epic strings and horns to begin getting into, just listen.
I could list more great music from the game, but I'll stop here. If any of this was of interest then the rest of the soundtrack is just a youtube search away. World of Warcraft has been a part of my life for many years now, thanks to the great fantasy world it has immersed me in, and the music of the game has been a large part of that. As a bonus, if any of the pieces above were good for you, or you are just interested in some story on Mists of Pandaria, here is the link to the first of a great seven part storytime video series made by Blizzard: