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: SamuTale’s massive new world (July 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!

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 AstroneerHearthstoneOverwatchClosers OnlineDragon’s Dogma OnlineMu LegendRagnarok OnlineSoulworker OnlineOrbusVRSkyforgeAge of WushuSamuTale, and Crossout, all waiting for you after the break!

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Durango: Wild Lands begins closed beta on mobile

If you happen to live in Southeast Asia, you might have an opportunity to play dino wrangler this weekend that the rest of the world will not. That’s because Nexon is running a closed beta test in the region for its newly retitled Durango: Wild Lands.

Gamers in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia can download and try out the game on Android devices. There are a lot of changes that have been patched into this build, including the addition of camps, island classifications, courier warp holes, 15 new creatures, 24 new weapons, a level cap increase to 60, clan competition, and the ability to claim a swath of land on which to plant an enclave.

Even if you can’t play the closed beta, nothing’s stopping you from checking out Durango’s prologue and gameplay below!

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Neverwinter invites you to a dinosaur hunt

When you complete or get tired of the storyline in Neverwinter’s Tomb of Annihilation module, you can simply grab your weapon and go on a beast hunt for glory and rewards.

With the new hunt system, players can group up and head out to certain locations to summon legendary foes to defeat. By doing this, they’ll gradually work their way up a chain from one-star threats to the greatest dinosaur in the jungle. Since certain hunts have to be completed before the next is accessible, players will eventually go through them all before climbing their way to the top of the food chain.

The rewards, the devs promise, will be worth it: “Successfully defeating a hunt target grants Forgotten Totems and Chultan Riches to everyone in the party, as well as giving adventurers a chance at either the trophy for that beast or one of a number of pieces of rare equipment. Each beast has a different selection of items, so it is worth seeking out all the different hunt targets throughout the zone.”

Source: Neverwinter

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One Shots: Hail to the victor!

Have you ever been able to capture a truly victorious moment in your MMORPG journeys? Rees Racer did, and he is not above showing off (fortunately for us!).

“No spoilers, so I’ll just pass along a TERA cutscene shot from a meeting with Priestess Ciebel after the defeat of a traitorous threat to the Alliance,” Rees writes. “Of course, my Gunner is issued new orders almost immediately as there are seemingly always other harbingers of doom to confront…”

You save the world once, everyone wants you to keep on doing it, over and over again. My advice? Start charging per apocalypse and put aside a portion for retirement in another dimension.

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Camelot Unchained stabilizes the game engine and shows off inventory UI

Check out Camelot Unchained’s first pass at a player inventory UI. What do you think? Looks pretty sharp, doesn’t it?

This glimpse was part of this week’s development newsletter. It sounds as though the team also made a big step forward with client performance: “Call it scene-locking, call it broken, call it a PITA, but the good news is that Andrew and George made major changes to the system so that the engine is a lot more stable than it was three weeks ago. Now, is it ready for a real alpha test? Unfortunately, no.”

The team has hundreds of bots back in the game running it through its paces, and hopefully an alpha test will commence next weekend. In the meanwhile, you can hang out with the devs and see some more work on weapon animation after the break.

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The Game Archaeologist: EverQuest II East

Publishing a video game globally is a monumental task, more so if it is a live online game such as what you’d find with MMORPGs. With different countries and regions come various traditions, prohibitions, language barriers, government restrictions, playstyle expectations, and financial models that must all be sorted out and overcome for these games to come out.

One of the most famous examples of adapting an MMO for use in another country is how World of Warcraft had to make significant graphical changes to its death-themed imagery (including its Forsaken race) in order to get approval to operate in China. Censorship aside, many studios have adjusted their games to include elements appealing to a certain country in order to get more fans (such as WildStar’s panda explosion).

Today we’re going to look at a short-term oddity in EverQuest II’s history, when SOE attempted to expand the game into the east — and how that rebounded back to impact the west.

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SWTOR’s Update 5.4 will add a new flashpoint and player housing on a moving train

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic players have mastered their emotions and the 5.3 update, it is time to gaze to the galaxy and prepare for what’s coming. BioWare realized that it had been a little vague on what August’s Update 5.4 would contain and rectified this with more elaboration on the patch’s contents in a forum post.

Update 5.4 will kick off with a completely new flashpoint called Crisis on Umbara. With three difficulty levels (including master), players will need to bring their A-game (and A-gear) to whip this instance. If players beat the flashpoint a few times, they can gain access to the Umbara stronghold, which is held on a moving train.

The update will also contain more companion customization, the ability to summon companions while moving, higher graphics settings, and the end of Season 8. Discipline balance tuning is scheduled to continue with changes to Lethality, Ruffian, Concealment, Scrapper, Medicine, Sawbones, Fury, Concentration, Carnage, and Combat.

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Ashes of Creation talks about group dynamics and shows PAX demo locales

Calling it an “essential part of the game,” grouping is this week’s focus over at Ashes of Creation.

Ashes of Creation’s team is currently planning for a default group size of eight, saying that this brings back the “massively” to the genre and “amplifies” class roles. Loot rules will be pretty traditional compared to what you’d find in most MMOs, although the team is considering adding a bidding system as well.

To help with the creation of more well-rounded groups, the team will empower players to choose “augments” that allow for more diversification in addition to their main role. Think of a DPSer having some debuff abilities or a healer that adds some buffing skills.

“We want to allow for well-rounded parties to be rewarded for diversity and inclusion when people are determining party composition,” the devs wrote.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the appeal of tanking in MMOs?

Do you live the tank life? Do you suit up in your oversized, overpowered, overprotective armor and strut out onto the front lines of combat every day in game? Do you lead your dungeon group with vision and confidence? Do you feel like you’re babysitting a group of eccentric toddlers who can barely keep from wetting their own pants, nevermind pull it together to take down the next boss?

Then we want to hear from you today!

For the tankers out there, what’s the appeal of this role in MMORPGs? Why do you assume the mantle of one of the more difficult and less flashy positions in a group? Is it for the leadership? The power trip? The fact that you’re always in demand? Let’s hear from you burly bashers today!

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Dark and Light adds servers, patches up as it gets slammed on Steam early access

Of this there is no doubt: The Dark and Light team is getting very little sleep this week.

The reworked fantasy sandbox released on Steam Early Access yesterday, and it went as these things typically do. There were a lot of players crowding onto the servers to see what the deal was (5,508 people at one point), and the hardware took a clobbering.

The team thanked players for their patience and said that it is adjusting to the influx of population: “It’s been quite a launch day! We’re still adding servers and working on alleviating issues in higher-population servers, as well as supporting additional regions.”

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Crowfall’s Cleric rises from the ashes of the Legionnaire

Farewell Legionnaire, hello Cleric! As part of the Crowfall development team’s decision to decouple races and classes, the former Legionnaire archetype dissolved in the aftermath and was reshaped into the new Cleric.

As this week’s class reveal explains, the Cleric is downright perfect for players looking for a sturdy frontline healer who can also deal out melee damage without getting pounded into the ground too quickly. This new class is, as the team explains, “easy to play, ranged, healing, buffing, along with the sturdiness to take a severe beating as they would no doubt be the focus target in any fight.”

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Blizzard adds a Diablo III senior designer, lays off audio director, and ends XP and Vista support

From zombies to demons, game designer Harrison G. Pink is no stranger to bizarre apocalypses. Pink formerly worked on Telltale Games’ hit Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands titles, but nowadays he has a new address: Blizzard Entertainment.

Pink announced on Twitter this week that he was snapped up by the studio to work on Diablo III as a senior game designer. The action-MMO could certainly use a shot of new blood as it dealt with a shaky Patch 2.6 rollout and questions about the game’s future in the studio’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, Gamasutra reports that Blizzard’s in-house senior audio director has been let go by the studio after 12 years of service, apparently in favor of freelance contractors. Russell Brower explains that “as the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception. With the success of a ‘sound de-centralization’ initiative, my current position of overall Sr. Audio Director/Composer is no longer relevant and is being eliminated.”

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Marvel Heroes tempts console players into spending with its VIP account promotion

It’s been said that if a studio can lure a player into making an initial purchase online through its game store, then the chances of that player spending more in the future rise significantly.

So this is undoubtedly the hope of Marvel Heroes, which is attempting to convince Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to drop some cash on the store in exchange for “VIP account status.” Basically this means that once a player buys something, anything, he or she will unlock Nightcrawler as a hero and receive several permanent benefits such as 5% bonus XP, 5% bonus credits, 10 extra stash slots, a free lockbox, and five eternity splinters every day.

Get the full scoop after the jump!

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