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

The MOP Up: Monster Hunter World’s Tokyo reveals (September 24, 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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from LawbreakersHyper UniversePlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon GoWorld of TanksDC Universe OnlineCrossoutMonster Hunter WorldRunes of MagicAtlantica OnlineRevelation OnlineLeague of LegendsCrossfireHeroes of the Storm, OverwatchPath of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Permateam aims to reduce toxicity by avoiding random grouping in games like Overwatch and League of Legends

Players feeling the frustration and sting of random grouping in Overwatch and other e-sports games might have a new ally in the form of a permanent teaming service. Permateam, as the name implies, connects players with desired team roles to form teams that benefit all. The site has one of the longest and most peculiar manifestos that we have read in a while, mostly expressing the pitfalls that random teaming causes.

“[Overwatch’s] attempt to group people were met with failure,” the site argues. “Players understood quickly that the volatile nature of random teams did not have any direct consequences for them. They could be as toxic as their rage dictated because they would not see the other players again after the match ended. Those lucky enough to win a match, learned that those random teams were just passing by. Skillful players would leave the short-term team and move-on. Occasionally, some players would accept to stick together for a few matches and become ‘friends’. Only to discover the next day that those friends are not playing again or are not reachable again. Having no other choice, players would again click on the ‘Find match’ button with dread, and like flipping a coin, wonder if their next team would bring them luck or misery.”

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One Shots: Drop. Your. Sword.

“It’s possible, pig, I might be bluffing. It’s conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I’m only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again… perhaps I have the strength after all. DROP… YOUR… SWORD!”

Can’t imagine why this screenshot of Secret World Legends from Winterskorn has me thinking of The Princess Bride. It’s inconceivable. Also, that sword doesn’t look like it can cut very well, just saying!

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Prepare yourself for World of Warcraft ilevel 1000 legendaries

World of Warcraft: Legion isn’t quite finished yet. The green-tinged expansion has a few tricks left up its sleeve before players’ attention turns completely to the next chapter of the MMO’s lifecycle.

In addition opening up the new raid and adding in a few heavy story teasers for the upcoming expansion, Patch 7.3.2 is throwing in a new item that will allow players to upgrade their legendary items to ilevel 1000 for the first time. This is thanks to Awoken Titan Essence, which helps bootstrap legendary gear up 30 levels from 970. It probably won’t be easy to obtain; Blizzard Watch outlines a possible process for the upgrade with numerous bullet points that suggests a tad bit of a grind.

With four-digit ilevels becoming a reality, is it about time for Blizzard to consider another round of stat squishing? Or should the studio keep pushing bigger and more impressive numbers across the board?

Source: Wowhead via Blizzard Watch

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LOTRO Legendarium: Six places LOTRO could go after Mordor

It always seems a bit unfair, a bit impatient, and a bit premature to be asking that eternal question of an MMO: “What’s next?” This, perhaps, is doubly true when a recent meaty expansion is still providing an (exploded) mountain of content with an instance cluster on the way. You can almost hear the developers’ eyes roll and their exasperated sighs as they say, “Can’t you be content with where you are right now?”

No, not really. Speculating about the future is one of the exciting hallmarks of MMO fandom, and I feel it’s entirely possible to be both content with where you’re at while wondering what’s to come. So with that caveat out of the way… what’s next for Lord of the Rings Online when Mordor is said and done?

Before we dig into the possibilities (six of them, to be precise), we should acknowledge that Mordor itself will no doubt be the central focus of LOTRO through the end of this year and probably most of 2018 as well. There is a great deal of landscape left undeveloped and unexplored, and I have no doubt that the Black Book of Mordor could be expanded into a fat volume when all is said and done.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 kicks the can on its ‘summer’ announcement

Rule lawyers, please advise: Is it fulfilling the terms of a verbal contract to have promised more details on a delayed game by the end of summer and then announce hours prior to the start of autumn that an announcement was coming? Does that count?

Because that’s exactly what Rockstar Games did with Red Dead Redemption 2. When the studio revealed back in May that it was delaying the multiplayer sequel to its hit western game to 2018, Rockstar promised more details by the end of summer. The details that we got just before the seasons passed the baton? An announcement of an upcoming September 28th announcement. Seems a little disingenuous from where we are sitting.

Rockstar previously said that RDR2 would contain an “online multiplayer experience” when it arrive on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but the studio’s been considerably more cagey about whether or not the rumored PC version will actually happen. Maybe we’ll find out more next week?

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The Daily Grind: Do any MMO monsters creep you out?

I can’t say that I’ve ever encountered truly disturbing and creepy MMO mobs. I think it’s by the virtue that they are in an MMO means that they’re usually all over the place, and any initial disturbance grows lessened with familiarity.

However, I’m sure there are exceptions. The Bogeyman in Secret World is pretty creeptacular, especially his appearance in the spin-off The Park. I know that some of my friends who suffer from acute arachnophobia are all “nope nope nope” when giant spiders scuttle across the screen.

Are there any MMO monsters that creep you out? What is it about them that gives you the heebie-jeebies?

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ArcheAge’s mobile edition hits app stores next month

Need a little of that ArcheAge magic on the go? You won’t have to wait long; starting next month, Gamevil is going to roll out the mobile version of the MMORPG to players worldwide.

ArcheAge Begins is slated to hit the Apple Store and Google Play on October 25th, offering a different take on the established (and ever-so-controversial) sandbox. Developed with XLGAMES’ help, ArcheAge Begins gives players the choice of 30 heroes and has them battle their way through the world using a “flip card” system. There’s also PvP because why wouldn’t there be?

The main claim to fame here, other than the relation to ArcheAge, is the mobile’s advanced graphics, which are rendered in the Unreal Engine 4. Gamevil is specifically targeting the North American and European markets, saying that these regions showed a “high participation rate” in the game’s testing.

It looks as if most of the official discussion and reveals for the mobile MMO are being posted on Facebook. Check out the trailer and gameplay after the break!

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War Thunder enters the Cold War era with its latest update

While you weren’t paying attention, the Cold War crept up on us all. Again. War Thunder entered a new era — or E.R.A. — this week, introducing vehicles and technology from the 1960s and 1970s into its mixed vehicle environment.

Players can now secure Rank VI vehicles from the more recent past, which includes nearly three dozen new and revised tanks and planes. Some of these vehicles will enjoy the new composite and reactive armor to help them survive during battles. And while flying about over the battlefield, pilots can also hop into turrets and experience them from a first-person view.

The team also introduced a new maps with Update 1.71: the disputed German farmland of the Fulda Gap, picturesque Japenese Imperial Gardens, and an air battle above the Hürtgen Forest. Get a full overview of all of the features and changes below!

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World of Warcraft Senior Producer Stephan Frost leaves Blizzard

One of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent designers is leaving one of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent games. On Friday, World of Warcraft Senior Design Producer Stephan Frost announced that he is departing from the title and the studio for an unnamed opportunity.

“Bittersweet day ahead of me today, it’s my last day at Blizzard,” Frost tweeted. “There’s a big opportunity I felt I had to take, but I’ll miss the people.”

Frost worked his way up to prominence at Carbine Studios, where he eventually became WildStar’s game design producer. He left in 2014, spent less than a year at Amazon Game Studios, and then joined up with Blizzard in 2015 where he became a senior producer on World of Warcraft.

In addition to game design, Frost is a voice actor (he did the WildStar “dev speak” videos) and the creator of a comic book called Mortifera.

Source: Twitter

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Dauntless gets better at dodging monsters, not its community’s feedback

With a ways to go before its launch, multiplayer boss slayer Dauntless is trying to use the time afforded to it by an open beta delay to shore up some of the game’s more noticeable weak spots. One of these problem areas, as identified by the community, is improving collision between monsters and their killers.

“We’ve gathered and analyzed community feedback on issues impacting combat,” the devs wrote, “and are implementing changes to improve the mechanics of collision and the feel of dodging. These changes will make fights feel tighter, better reward skill, and allow you to continue practicing the way of the Slayer.”

To assist in this endeavor, the devs are tightening up hitboxes on characters and mobs, helping players move better while dodging, and fixing some bugs that were giving an unfair advantage to the giant behemoths.

You can read this week’s patch notes for the closed beta on the site.

Source: Dauntless

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Amazon continues to flesh out its Lumberyard engine

As it will be powering MMOs like New World and Star Citizen, Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine deserves attention as it continues to be built and improved. Amazon released a development update to shed light on just how far Lumberyard has come and what is being worked on for the future.

“Simply put, our focus for the next few releases is to make Lumberyard easier, more powerful, and more modular,” the company said. “A lot has changed since we first launched the beta: We’ve replaced over 60% of the original codebase, switching out older, redundant systems (e.g. CryEntity) for more modern, performant ones (e.g. Component entity systems).”

Improvements on the way for Lumberyard include a new visual scripting language, a revised animation system, more integration with Amazon’s other tech (like Lex and Polly), the ability to store games in any location, better optimization, a new shader system, and Mac support.

Source: AWS

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Overwatch: Fan designs an awesome Thai character, competitive bans start soon

Overwatch’s next great character isn’t a product of Blizzard’s labs at all but the imagination of a masters student who whipped up a Thai hero named Tara as part of a school project. The result is a 40-page document with concept art and design specs for the hero, her abilities, her outfits, her weapons, and even a Thailand-themed map called Arun Town.

“I created a female character as a support hero,” the student posted on the forums. “Her name is Tara (meaning ‘water’ in Thai). The character’s theme is a fish, a Siamese fighting fish to be specific, and a plaited bamboo fish which is a local product in Thailand.”

In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that the project was “amazing!”

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