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

KingsIsle seeks support to get EverClicker on Steam; Wizard101 and Pirate101 might be next

First there was EverQuest. Then there was Ever, Jane. Now there’s EverClicker. This sort of trend could go on (wait for it) forever.

KingsIsle, the studio behind both Wizard101 and Pirate101, is branching out into the mobile space and is looking for fan support to propel its newest title onto Steam. On the Wizard101 forums, the team asks the community to head over to Steam Greenlight to vote for EverClicker in the hopes of seeing it hit the big time.

Oddly enough, both 101 games have yet to debut on Steam themselves, but KingsIsle said that EverClicker could pave the way for that. “It’s easier to start our journey onto Steam with a game that isn’t hugely complicated with a lot of moving parts,” the studio said. “Starting with EverClicker on Steam allows us to learn the process. If successful, we hope to be able to offer more of our games on Steam and other distribution outlets in the future, which could include games such as Wizard101 and Pirate101.”

Source: Wizard101 forums, Steam Greenlight. Thanks, Tom!

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Crowfall’s hellcat has a purr of doom

One shouldn’t forget that Crowfall’s various campaign worlds will be populated by more than just irate players looking to make the world burn (and loot your corpse while they’re at it). There are plenty of hostile critters roaming around, such as the hellcat.

This week’s bestiary entry looks at the powerful sabertooth cat-like beast… from the hellcat’s own point of view. A brief lore entry highlights the intelligence of this hunter as well as its playful side. Still, we’d probably give it a hard pass if someone offered one to us as a pet.

ArtCraft’s Gordon Walton is making an appearance at a panel today in Austin, Texas, to talk about the challenges and strategies in making money for indie games. To date, Crowfall has raised over $12.23 million in equity, licensing, and fan pledges.

Source: Crowfall

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 114: Moving to the big city

What does a week where the news douses us in a shower of smaller stories look like? Bree and Justin wring out of their clothes, shaking loose tales of metropolises in the planning, console features, anniversary parties, and dance studios. Maybe it won’t flood the world of MMOs, but it definitely waters the lawns of our interest!

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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Star Trek Online’s Season 13: Escalation arrives with war games and a new episode

Just when one war seems to wrap up in Star Trek Online, the devs seem to scrounge up another. Today, Cryptic pushed out Season 13: Escalation for the PC version, with the console update to come at a later date.

The free content update contains a new featured episode (“Mirrors and Smoke”), improved matchmaking, class-specific gear, a rebalance pass, and a lot of ground and space action against the Tzenkethi. Another big addition is STO’s War Games system, which allows players to face off against each other in competitive PvE scenarios. To start off with, there is one space scenario and one ground one for players to enjoy.

Star Trek Online is celebrating the update’s launch with a sweepstakes to hand out a berth on a Star Trek cruise (not to mention 150 STO ships) to a lucky player. While we’re talking about giveaways, why not enter into our own raffle for a Romulan ship on Xbox One?

Check out Season 13’s launch trailer below.

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VR MMO MetaWorld plans summer early access launch, seeks financial support

Hoping to see a full-fledged MMORPG with virtual reality take off in your lifetime? We may be witnessing the start of one with MetaWorld, even if it does look a little like Nintendo Wii avatars got guns and went fishing in cyberspace.

MetaWorld uses SpatialOS for its engine and is aiming for an August early access launch on Steam. Currently, the team is drumming up financial support for the project through Indiegogo. A soft target goal of $50,000 is posted, although because this is Indiegogo, whatever the team raises, the team keeps.

According to the description, MetaWorld “invites you explore a persistent 10,000 square mile, massively scaled open world together. Discover endless activities and adventure, inside a real-time physics simulation allowing thousands of visitors to participate simultaneously online.”

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Bless Online shuts down Russian beta for revisions, preps Japanese test

There’s something a little hinky going on with Bless Online’s beta test over in Russia. MMO Examiner reports that 101XP was not pleased with the game, deciding to shut down the Russian beta servers and send it back to the devs for revisions.

According to a translation of the announcement: “Last year, we launched in Russia the anticipated MMORPG Bless. Players and the company has pinned high hopes on the game, which unfortunately did not materialize in full. After discussion with the developers, we have come to a decision to close the Russian-speaking servers May 25, 2017. The game will go into development for an indefinite period to return in the future in an improved form.”

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What’s John Smedley building for Amazon Game Studios?

Here’s the million-dollar question of the day: What is John Smedley making for Amazon Game Studio’s San Diego branch? Ever since being handed the reigns of a new sub-studio back in February with a bulk of his Pixelmage team, we’ve been intensely curious about whether Smedley is staying close to his MMO roots in his new project.

Perhaps we might glean a few details from the job listings on Amazon’s site. The studio is looking for several positions for art, combat systems, and engineering, and there are a few bullet points in the job descriptions that hint at the project in question.

One of the job descriptions has the best hint yet, with the position being tasked to “architect and develop the real time combat system for a cutting edge action multiplayer game.” Another intriguing entry mentions a “real time terrain deformation system based on physics simulation.”

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Shroud of the Avatar preps two more beginner zones, asks for localization help

This Thursday, Shroud of the Avatar will be pumping out its latest monthly update, Release 41. There’s a lot in store for the patch, including the Norgard ruler Titan Grannus, who will be making his debut.

In this past weekend’s newsletter, the team spent a lot of real estate covering many upcoming areas and characters, including the all-seeing Oracle, new weapon designs spurred on by the recent telethon, and the Fall open PvP dungeon. Of particular note were in-depth looks at two of the new introductory zones that are in development: Highvale Outskirts and Bloodriver Outskirts. One’s got a monastery in the mountains, the other has a river of blood. You pick which sounds more appealing.

Portalarium also announced that it is resuming work on bringing the game to other languages and is looking for fan help in the effort. “We are reestablishing development support translating our game to Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese languages,” the studio said. “In order to meet the vast translation needs of our project, we return to you, our amazing community, in search of qualified volunteers with a passion for seeing our project reach many more players!”

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RuneScape’s Jagex flourishes under Chinese ownership

Following Jagex’s sale to China’s Fukong Interactive Entertainment back in 2016, there’s been some concern and curiosity over the fate of the studio and its flagship MMO RuneScape. In an interview with Games Industry, Acting CEO Phil Mansell revealed that the transition to this new era has been a “relief” and resulted in growth for both Jagex and RuneScape.

Mansell said that the new ownership has been a net positive for the company: “[Fukong] want us to grow, of course, and they’re being supportive. But they are not looking for some crazy, transformative, risky things. They want us to focus on what we’re good at. They’ve looked at RuneScape and said you can do more with that. Can you make more games? Yeah, we can. Can we work on multiple platforms? Yes. It is a measured approach and the right things to be doing.”

Mansell said that Fukong is setting itself up to be a global entertainment powerhouse with Jagex forming the hub of its western arm. While RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape remain at the core of the business, Jagex is branching out into other ventures, such as looking at other studios to acquire, VR tech for RuneScape, adding new games teams, and prototyping ideas dreamed up by the team during designated brainstorming time. No matter what, however, he said that the company under his leadership will see projects driven by player desires and feedback.

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Neverwinter makes a big to-do about its newest lockbox mount

In lockbox vernacular, there’s usually something called a “chase” item. This is the ultra-rare, ultra-desirable reward that just about no one will ever see unless an obscene amount of money is spent on tons of lockboxes. Neverwinter is making a big production about its latest chase item, a Celestial Stag mount, in not one but two new blog posts on the subject.

Made out of stars and dashed hopes, the Celestial Stage is among the fastest mounts in the game and offers a huge bonus to regen and recovery while raining the heavens down on its enemies. The May 2nd lockbox will also have a (tiny) chance of paying out an artifact that summons the spirits of the nine founders of the city to attack foes.

In other Neverwinter news, Cryptic has partnered with game rewards site Uproar to feature its fantasy MMO as one of the titles in which players can earn free goodies. There’s allegedly a “free gift” for Neverwinter that can be claimed by players who sign up to the service.

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Team Obey wins $180,000 in H1Z1’s TV tournament

This week, one H1Z1 team is sitting pretty on a pile of $180,000 and fame, thanks to winning the televised H1Z1: Fight for the Crown tournament this past weekend.

Obey Alliance beat out 14 other teams in a brutal deathmatch that was aired on The CW network. The team didn’t just win but dominated, surviving the match with no players killed and slaughtering nine other players in turn. (Fun fact: Eleven players were killed not by other participants but by the toxic gas that is a constant threat in H1Z1’s PvP battlefields.) The top five teams got to split the $300,000 prize pool, while the other 10 teams got to say, “We were there.”

PC Gamer has an interesting look at behind-the-scenes of the tournament, saying that the end result was a mixed bag: “Not everything worked well on TV. Long-distance firefights mostly looked like players hopping around and shooting at near-invisible specks on the screen […] Perhaps H1Z1 isn’t the perfect esport for television, but it was a good show: energetic, exciting at times and silly at others, and edited deftly enough that I didn’t stare at the words 75 REMAIN for the first twenty minutes.”

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Guild Wars 2’s new art director talks about continuing the legacy of his father

As we reported back in February, long-time ArenaNet artist Daniel Dociu left the studio after many years of helping to shape the distinctive visual style of the Guild Wars franchise. The baton of art director was passed down to his son Horia, who has worked off and on with studio since 2003.

Horia Dociu sat down with Rock Paper Shotgun for an interview last Friday to talk about the challenge of succeeding his father. “I think we share a lot of ideas,” he said. “It’s easy to say that I learned it all from him, but the truth is, I learned from seeing his methods work over the years […] I certainly am not trying to fill my dad’s shoes. That’s the first thing I had to tell myself — it’s impossible to be someone else, so just be yourself.”

Dociu said that under his direction, Guild Wars 2 will not be stagnant but will innovate and embrace “constant change” as it always has without ruining the foundation that’s been built: “I love the world of Guild Wars, and it’d be equally a crime for me to force a change in it arbitrarily as it would be for me to try and rehash anything we’ve done before. ”

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun. Thanks Bryan!

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The MOP Up: Aion has spring fever (April 23, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from EVE OnlineWurm OnlineGloria VictisBrawl of AgesTERAWorld of Warships, H1Z1Champions OnlinePortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIAionWakfu, and The Black Death, all waiting for you after the break!

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