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: FFXIV’s Eorzean Symphony (February 18, 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 RuneScapeTERAEVE OnlineWorld of Warships Blitz, Path of ExilePUBGFinal Fantasy XIVVaingloryPath of Exile, and MU Legend, all waiting for you after the break!

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Global Chat: What is the population of Guild Wars 2?

Does it matter how many people are playing your MMO? For some, yes, it does. It’s at least of passing interest to others, especially if players are looking for a “healthy” title or want a large number with which to impress their friends and argue that this MMO is besting another.

So don’t be too surprised that there is an effort to figure out what Guild Wars 2’s (undisclosed) population is at the moment. In An Age challenges one community estimate of 3.3 million players by looking at the available evidence and financial reports.

“Here’s my gut check: Guild Wars 2 probably has about 1.5 million monthly ‘players’ and many times less people who actually log on when there isn’t a holiday event/Living Story taking place,” he argues. “Ultimately though, I think Guild Wars 2 is actually uniquely well-positioned to survive regardless of whether it consists of a million actives or three million tourists.”

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One Shots: First steps into a wider world

Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.

Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”

Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.

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Fight to the top in Reign of Guilds’ hardcore medieval world

Is there room enough in this industry for another self-proclaimed hardcore, old school MMORPG with all of the PvP fixins? Russian-based Atlant Games is betting that there is, as it’s deep in development with a medieval title called Reign of Guilds.

A cross between a kingdom simulator and a guild sieges, Reign of Guilds thrust players into a fantasy realm where they will vie for power, control, and territory. It’s all hard edges here, with full corpse looting, non-target combat, friendly fire, and the tantalizing possibility of clawing your way to the top to become the realm’s king.

Reign of Guilds has 10 months of development under its belt and is already wielding a prototype that has a few dozen players testing it. The studio said that it plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in the future.

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ArcheAge Begins debuts its regional championship mode

Gamevil’s mobile spinoff of ArcheAge, ArcheAge Begins, pumped out its fourth content update this past week. The focus this time around was the debut of the Regional Championship, a 4v4 PvP arena.

By participating in the championship, players can fight cross-server as they claw, blast, and power their way to the top of the rankings. This championship is an evolution of the established annihilation mode.

Right now, Gamevil is running a pre-season event with prizes for the server that places first from now through February 19th. All players on the winning server will receive 1,000 gems and an ancient rune selection ticket regardless of participation.

Source: Press release

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Whatever happened to Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Puzzle Pirates?

Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.

Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!

In this special pirate edition of the column, we’ll be visiting the fates ‘n’ fortunes of Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Puzzle Pirates. Yo ho!

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Citadel Studios and Nexon are recruiting talent

If studio job postings get your blood pumping with the thoughts of what could be, here are a couple of tantalizing tidbits that perhaps hint at future development.

Legends of Aria developer Citadel Studios posted a job listing for both a digital marketing specialist and a game programmer. By the way, if you happen to be testing Aria right now, you should know that the NDA was lifted earlier this week.

Nexon — which you may have heard of — put out a notice with the hopes of recruiting a game director for its Nexon OC Studio. The specific game in question was not mentioned, although the description does ask for candidates that have worked on previous AAA titles.

If that last post sounds a little familiar, perhaps it is because you are remembering that former WildStar and World of Warcraft developer Stephen Frost went to work as a game director at Nexon OC last year.

Source: Gamasutra, Legends of Aria. Thanks Pepperzine!

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The Daily Grind: What skills would you like to see added to MMOs?

One of the features that captivates and draws players to Project Gorgon is the quirky indie MMO’s design of infusing the game with a wide and bizarre assortment of skills that you don’t typically see in other online RPGs. After all, this is a game that includes such skills as Flower Arrangement, Beast Speech, Psychology, Civic Pride, Holistic Wellness, Poetry Appreciation, and Howling.

It has me excited because I’ve grown tired of what I see as a limited skill set that inhabits most combat-centric MMOs. I want games to remember their pen-and-paper roots and come up with skills that go beyond “the best and fastest way to murder.” And if that takes the form of poetry, then so be it.

If you were able to add skills to an MMO, what would they be? What skills would enhance your gameplay experience and make your title that much more interesting and immersive?

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Dauntless details its closed beta by the numbers

As Phoenix Labs powers toward Dauntless’ open beta later this year, it took a few minutes to tally up some Big Numbers from its closed beta testing period. The team compiled all of these in a mighty infographic (which is available after the break in case you need to wallpaper an especially tall room).

So far, over 100,000 testers have dipped into Dauntless’ beta, creating 869,000 characters in the process. Amusingly, the giant behemoths of the game are winning: Only 4 million of them have been slaughtered, whereas they have managed to stomp out 7.5 million characters.

Phoenix Labs also shared the growth of its studio over the past five years. Following the foundation in 2014 with three leaders, the team has grown to 58 with 12 new hires this year alone. The studio is planning to expand from Vancouver to San Mateo, California.

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Darkfall: Rise of Agon pushes for crowdsourcing and a freemium model

Do you have talent? Then Darkfall: Rise of Agon wants you to chip in and help out — for pay, of course. The team behind this indie PvP MMO announced the formation of its Agon’s Community Talent (ACT), an initiative to recruit talented artists that can help design resources for the dev-strapped game.

Players can submit their own decorations, weapons, and armor designs with the hopes of having them added to Rise of Agon’s cash shop. Those that do will be rewarded: “While getting new items and artwork you created added to the game you love sounds great and all, we want to also reward you for your hard work. Everyone who finds one of their entries added to the Nithron Coin Shop will officially join ACT, providing them not only with forum and in-game recognition but with financial reward as well.”

ACT will help with the game’s transition to a freemium model that should open the doors to more players giving it a try. In addition to this initiative, the team is hard at work on a market patch with a new auction house interface and a global wallet.

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EverQuest announces ‘true box’ progression server

These days, EverQuest seems to exist to be a test bed for different progression server concepts. Its community certainly doesn’t tire of starting all over again, which Daybreak is banking on for the launch of the Coirnav progression server on March 16th.

As part of the game’s 19th anniversary, the rollout of Coirnav will give players a slightly different way to experience the game: without multiboxing. This “true box” server only allows one EverQuest account per computer as a way to encourage players to group up with friends instead of relying on armies of alts.

Other rules for this server ruleset including instanced raid bosses, a 12-week cadence of content unlocks, and slightly slower XP rates than most other progression servers. As with all of EverQuest’s progression shards, you’ll have to have a subscription to be able to access Coirnav.

Source: EverQuest

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Worlds Adrift fears not this Blight

By the sound of it, the Blight is probably not a healthy, safe phenomenon for Worlds Adrift players to encounter. And yet, both the community and the dev team are anticipating the addition of this hazard in next Tuesday’s 0.1.7 patch.

The devs said that a movement has grown up around this addition: “You all seem really excited at the prospect of being engulfed by the Blight! So much so that we’ve had reports of a player group calling themselves ‘The Blightests,’ with each member going by a different name starting with ‘Father,’ who travel the skies and demand people follow the way of the Blight.”

A deeper look at the Blight should be coming soon to a YouTube near you.

There are many other projects on deck past this patch, including the alliance system, tutorial design, better FPS, and self-cleaning island storms (seriously). The team also has a humorous attitude toward a ship placement bug: “Began the hunt for Mildred, the ghost of World’s Adrift, who likes to mysteriously move ships about.”

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Pantropy works to simplify crafting and protect players from offline raids

With $24k out of $94k raised so far, the German mech shooter Pantropy has a long road ahead of it in its Kickstarter campaign.

The team hasn’t stopped developing for the game during this period, however. It reported that work is being done on an “offline raid protection system” to make the PvP battlescape a little more fair.

It also acknowledged that its crafting system needs an overhaul: “We also got a lot of feedback from our current playerbase and the result is that our crafting is waaaay to complex. We’ll try to re-write all crafting recipes today and make them more simple.”

As we’ve pointed out previously, Pantropy is a little larger than your typical multiplayer game but less than a bigger MMO, with a server size of 64 to 128 players duking it out over an alien landscape.

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