Justin Olivetti

Senior Reporter

A casual gamer and long-time MMO fan, Justin is often heard yelling, "Player housing for all!" in the Massively Overpowered offices. In addition to news, he tackles LOTRO Legendarium for LOTRO, The Perfect Ten, Jukebox Heroes, the retrospective Game Archaeologist series, One Shots, and the Massively OP podcast.

Personal blog: BioBreak
Twitter: @sypster

Massively OP’s guide to MMO Thanksgiving 2017

Stately resting between the gaudy purple and orange of Halloween and merry red and green of Christmas is the earth tone-saturated Thanksgiving. While no one’s favorite color scheme, Thanksgiving does give us a nice in-between holiday with family meals, an awkward dance around politics, a work day for football teams, and the occasional MMORPG holiday event.

While not every online game has decided to embrace the American holiday, enough pop up every year that need corralling. And since we just got turkey certified here at Massively OP, we’re going to lay out all of this week’s event options for you on a platter. So enjoy the festivities and dressing up like a Pilgrim for two days maximum before deeply questioning that fashion sense. Now jingly sleigh bells, size XXXL red suits, and reindeer antlers, that’s a smart look indeed!

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Dauntless tosses in a war pike and improves combat

If you are going to make a living out of taking down oversized beasties, you are going to need some serious tools to do the job. While Dauntless isn’t lacking in its closed beta arsenal, it does see room for improvement. Ergo, enter the war pike.

The war pike is Dauntless’ fifth weapon, giving players a super-charged spear that is deadly both in melee and at range. According to the devs, it “is a precise weapon that rewards a surgical approach and tactical mastery” with all sorts of combos and finishing moves. As it is used, the weapon fills up a power meter that powers a hand cannon that’s built in there somewhere.

With the newest update, the team focused on improving the combat experience with damage types, weapon enhancements, and the feel and sound of fights.

Get a closer look at the war pike in action after the break!

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Ship of Heroes resurrects the crowd controller playstyle

Do you miss playing your Controller in City of Heroes? One of that game’s spiritual successors wants to resurrect the concept of a mez-happy superhero who throws down crowd control and status effects as a way to exert domination over a battlefield.

The Ship of Heroes team delved into crowd control powers in this week’s blog post, saying that mez abilities “make a game more complex and give players greater flexibility in how they defeat enemies.” The developers listed nine specific crowd control powers they are considering, with at least five of these being included for launch. These powers range from slows to sleeps, from confuse to terrify.

Even if mezzing isn’t your thing, there are always debuffs to toss onto enemies to make their defeat easier and buffs to share with allies to bolster your team. Fifteen examples of each type of debuff and buff powers were listed, which should be more than enough to spark your imagination as you think of what kind of hero you want to build when this game goes live.

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City of Titans vows ‘no lockboxes’ for its business model

You might have missed the riots in the streets over lockboxes these past few months, but we assure you, the controversy is very real. One game where this won’t be a problem? City of Titans.

The team opened up about its business model this week, explaining how it will make money as an indie superhero MMORPG. Despite needing revenue as badly as any other small game, City of Titans promised not to include lockboxes as part of its business plan. For the record, the game is adopting a buy-to-play model with a cash shop and optional subscription.

“We’ve put a great deal of thought into how to finance profitably but ethically,” the team said.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic’s new character boost advances through levels — not story

Not all character level boosts were created equal. Star Wars: The Old Republic is experimenting with a new type of boost that will offer an interesting alternative to the one that it already has in place to help players skip over the core game and right into the latest expansions.

Instead, the Master’s Datacron boost will instantly advance a character to level 70 while retaining his or her spot in the story. The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.

At 2,000 cartel coins, the character boost isn’t cheap, although one can be bought and sold for credits on the GTN. The Datacron also comes with a set of level 70 gear and instant access to your ship, even if you haven’t reached it yet in your storyline.

Source: SWTOR

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The Daily Grind: What MMO tips do you wish you had known when you were a newbie?

One of the factors that keeps me from trying out more MMORPGs than I do is that there’s a certain element of anxiety that comes with jumping into these expansive games and trying to figure out what’s what. I hate the feeling that I’m doing something wrong from the get-go or ignoring activities that could help me down the line.

That’s why I try to do my homework and look for advice lists and guides that share what MMO veterans wish that they had known when they first started out in a game. It might seem obvious to an experienced player the right steps that should be taken, but we were all newbies once and remember what it was like to play in that fog of excitement and confusion.

Looking at your current main MMO(s), what tips do you wish you had known when you were first starting out? Let’s see if we can help out others with that advise today!

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Marvel Strike Force could pick up Marvel Heroes refugees

As CMs lock down any speculation about Marvel Heroes’ demise on the forums and players do their best to secure refunds before the title goes away completely, the question looms of what game would be an acceptable substitute to fill the upcoming void. Here is one possibility: Marvel Strike Force.

Created by FoxNext Games and Disney’s Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Strike Force is an upcoming mobile RPG with tactical elements. The game is slated to come out in 2018 and will feature both a single-player campaign and PvP battles.

“We wanted to capture the core mobile fantasy of who wins in a fight. Hydra or Shield?” said FoxNext President Aaron Loeb said. “Earlier, we had the question of who wins in a fight. Hulk or Hulk Buster? Now we ask who wins between the Avengers or the Defenders? You’re trying to solve the puzzle of how to beat the other team.”

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Chronicles of Elyria lays out one of its servers’ history in an animated video

If your favorite part of the Lord of the Rings films was the exposition-heavy introduction, then Chronicles of Elyria has a treat for you this week. Soulbound Studio put out a new video that details the complex back history of one of the servers, complete with moving illustrations.

Chronicles of Elyria is a deep MMORPG made up of player run countries where the developers involve the community to define the unique lore for their server,” the team said. “Each of the monarchies in this cinematic are present on the Luna (NA-East) server and are created and run by players!”

Following a couple of minutes of lore, the studio pushes its raffle of the last unpurchased monarchy. Aspiring community leaders pop in to make the case why you should support them with your money. It doesn’t feel weird at all!

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Lord of the Rings Online is heading to Northern Mirkwood, Erebor, and Minas Morgul

Don’t get too comfortable in Mordor just yet, because Lord of the Rings Online is preparing to send its players to the far reaches of the explored map come 2018.

Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini dropped a juicy letter today that went into detail about the studio’s plans for LOTRO over the next year. It all begins with Update 21.3’s Abyss of Mordath raid, coming before the end of 2017. Then in early 2018, Update 22 is taking players to Northern Mirkwood, Dale, Laketown, and Erebor. Following that is Update 23, which returns to Mordor for a trip into Minas Morgul and a confrontation with Shelob.

Ciccolini sprinkled in some other additions and improvements coming to the game, including Elk mounts(!), a playable fiddle, updates to the festivals, the continuation of the Bingo Boffin storyline from last Halloween, and avatar updates to Dwarf and Hobbit models.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 145: Farewell Marvel Heroes and Master X Master

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree bid a sad farewell to Marvel Heroes (and Master X Master while we’re at it). It’s not all depressing news; Secret World Legends is killing it, there’s a new Path of Exile expansion, and Guild Wars 2’s fourth living world season is on its way.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Life is Feudal’s soft launch is off to a shaky start

You might want to consider holding off on jumping in with both feet to Life is Feudal for a little while, at least. The MMO version of the game soft launched last week with its open beta, but it has been nothing but trouble since then.

For starters, an exploitable bug prompted a full game wipe and a short delay of the open beta with some limited compensation: “We had to bring running servers down and wipe them. The reason for that is that a random bug that occurred during the transfer of some characters from newbie island on the Abella has caused them to have a GM powers during the game session. Some players have used it to their advantage and damage was beyond the repair once we’ve detected it.”

If the wipe and delay wasn’t enough, numerous issues have cropped up since the launch, including crashes, disconnects, login problems, slow launcher speeds, and missing rewards. The team said that it is working on all of these issues.

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Jukebox Heroes: Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire’s soundtrack

I feel comfortable in saying that I hold the Guild Wars franchise’s soundtrack in high regard. There’s excellent music across the board from a variety of composers, and in my opinion, it has only gotten better over time. The Guild Wars 2 Living World season 3 and Heart of Thorns scores knocked it out of the park, and I could not wait to listen through Path of Fire when it released earlier this year.

That is why, to continue using an awkward baseball metaphor, I was let down when this expansion’s score was a mere double instead of a home run. It’s not bad, mind you, but it’s certainly not as great as the previous expansion or what the team has been putting out in the meantime. Perhaps some of this stems from the desert theme, which I’ve always found to inspire somewhat stereotypical “desert music” that sounds samey and not that thrilling. Guild Wars: Nightfall was my least-liked score of the original game for this reason as well.

Again, I want to emphasize that I don’t hate Path of Fire’s score, I just don’t like it as much as what’s been done before. This time around, four composers put together the album: Maclaine Diemer, Wilbert Rogett, Brendon Williams, and Stan LePard. This team did produce several highlights that I prefer to mention rather than talk about what didn’t work, so let’s give those pieces a listen!

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Black Desert resolves disconnect issues, promises compensation

North American players have not had the best go of it in Black Desert over the last few weeks. Frequent disconnects have plagued the game, with the studio racing to solve these connectivity issues. The friends list was disabled over the weekend, as it was suspected of causing the problems.

Fortunately, this rocky patch may be coming to a close. The Black Desert team posted an announcement today stating that the disconnect issue has been identified and fixed. There was also confirmation that the team will be providing compensation for the playerbase, although the details of this has yet to be revealed.

“We are deeply sorry that this whole incident occurred and took so long to resolve,” the team said. “We ensure you that we will commit to swiftly solving future problems so that all of our players can enjoy a smoother experience.”

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