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

Osiris: New Dawn explains its closed beta plan

Why would an early access game suddenly decide to hold a limited closed beta test? That’s the question of the week for Osiris: New Dawn, but the game’s director had a good explanation for the oddity.

In short, the team’s prior experience in making video games told them that it was imperative to have focused testing with strong feedback in order to shore up the title for launch. Thus, the closed beta test and the ensuing email feedback form.

It sounds as if the test was incredibly helpful to getting Osiris ready for release: “The cool thing is that we’re getting close. The beta feedback was largely positive and gave us insight into gameplay questions such as overall difficulty, progression, starting equipment, and all the new custom buildables. Since this experiment went so well we plan on conducting more focused test sessions.”

Source: Steam

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Overwatch promises that console reporting is (still) on its way

Remember how Blizzard said that a bad behavior reporting function was on its way to Overwatch’s console edition? While the studio promised this week that the feature was being internally tested, the community finds itself more desperate than ever to arm itself with the tool against griefers, gankers, and goons.

Eurogamer published a piece outlining how dire the situation has become on console for the Overwatch crowd due to the fact that players are powerless to report those exploiting, cheating, or engaging in toxic behavior. To make matters worse, Blizzard has been dragging its feet on delivering this necessary tool, having first promised that it was working on it back in January.

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Crowfall divulges details on the diminutive Fae

Don’t call them “tiny,” not unless you want your Achilles heel slashed and your hair set on fire while screaming laughter fills your ears. Crowfall’s Fae might be the second-smallest race to come to the game, but the species packs quite a lot into its small package.

Today, ArtCraft revealed details about this race that’s coming soon to the test servers. The Fae are the first race in the game that will boast wings, and their bloodline passive grants them increased stealth movement speed, the ability to double-jump, and the ability to glide. Additionally, Fae can dodge past foes and perform higher crits with a special debuff.

The Fae were originally female-only, but thanks to a Kickstarter stretch goal, they will offer a male counterpart as well. The team said that the race can be paired with the Assassin, Druid, or Frostweaver class: “The Fae will add an interesting new element to Crowfall combat thanks to their natural affinity for stealth and the added mobility of their wings.”

Source: Crowfall

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World of Tanks introduces PvE War Stories, amps up metal soundtrack

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a huge shocker that the studio behind World of Tanks is into (pause for punny effect) heavy metal. Wargaming announced this week that it’s planning on infusing its soundtrack with heavy metal music from musicians around the world, starting with a special track by Akira Yamaoka. Additionally, the studio has teamed up with heavy metal band Sabaton to produce a game-themed music video of its hit Primo Victoria and create an in-game tank to match the song. For the music video, the band went to the Arsenalen Tank Museum in Sweden, where they drove around in an actual tank and reportedly crashed through a wall. Hopefully on purpose.

The Primo Victoria tank is now in the game, and both Sabaton and Akira Yamaoka will be joining Wargaming at Gamescom 2017, with the former doing a live performance for fans.

Meanwhile, Wargaming has announced the start of War Stories, a series of PvE story episodes “offering tankers the chance to relive historical events, discover alternate histories, or play-out fantasy campaigns.” Trailers down below!

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Kritika Online publishes fall roadmap, will officially launch in September

One of this summer’s sleeper MMO hits has to be Kritika Online, a soft-launched action title published by En Masse Entertainment. It might not be the deepest of all MMORPGs, but what it lacks for in progress it makes up for in pizzaz.

This week, the team posted a roadmap of its plans for the game over the next few months as it wraps up its open beta period. The major highlights include:

  • August: A two-player instance, The Shattered Table, is coming at the end of the month, as is arena and PvP modes.
  • September: Kritika will officially launch and become available on Steam. There will also be an update that should flesh out high-level content with new missions.
  • October: The Psion class is poised to come into the game this month, bringing thematically interesting hybrid play for those looking to a different experience.
  • Winter: En Masse has a lot more on deck for this game, including the Prodigy and Monk classes, a level cap increase to 70, PvP rankings, and more danger zones.

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Ultima Online begins epic 20th anniversary event, warns of harassment threat

Is there any shame in throwing a birthday party for yourself? Not if you invite everyone and make it hecka fun, we say! Ultima Online has kicked off its 20th anniversary event this week, welcoming everyone to celebrate the 1997 MMORPG and all that it’s accomplished over the past two decades.

The event arc is called The Shattered Obelisk, and it will be rolled out in five parts over the next two months. It should be noted that once the fifth part arrives on September 28th, you won’t be able to access the previous four — so don’t dally!

“The Shattered Obelisk includes activities for group and solo play, challenging quests and puzzles, new areas of the world to explore and a continuation of the saga that is Ultima Online,” the team posted. “Along with the in game features and fiction that are part of Publish 98, we have exciting new fiction that will be posted on UO.com as well as support events held by our event moderators.”

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Star Wars: The Old Republic marches on with class changes

If next Monday is Eclipse Day in North America, is it OK if we deem Tuesday to be Star Wars On A Train Day? Because you know that when Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Update 5.4 arrives on August 22nd, you won’t be able to think over the noise of millions of players shouting “WHEEE!” as they set up shop in a high tech, high velocity mobile housing.

To be sure, Crisis on Umbara will boast more than just a new stronghold on a floating train, but it’s going to be hard to get past that to see the rest. The rest such as the continuation of class build revisions that began back in Game Update 5.3.

On the forums, the team outlined some of the changes that are coming to the Operative’s concealment, the Scoundrel’s scrapper, the Marauder’s carnage, and the Sentinel’s combat disciplines. Unfortunately, all four of these builds are getting nerfed in some capacity, so our sympathies for those adversely affected.

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Black Desert Korea introduces a skill fusion system

Have more than enough skills on your hotbar these days? Might as well mash them together and see what happens! Yes, it’s like your cooking “experiments,” only with fewer fatalities and abominations of culinary science.

Over in Korea, Black Desert’s most recent build added a new system called Rabam’s Enlightenment. It’s a fancy way of saying “skill fusion,” which is pretty much what this does. Players can combine two of the skills in their arsenal to create an even better ability that contains elements of both. Additionally, sometimes the fused skill will demonstrate completely new effects. Pretty neat, eh?

While the primary skill used to make the enhanced version won’t be available to use on its own after the combination process, the subskill will still hang around as an option. There are a few other restrictions and requirements to the enhancement process, but it does seem like it would be an interesting way to take a tired old skill and infuse it with new potential.

Source: Inven Global

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Global Chat: The MMO blogosphere’s reaction to Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire

It seems like the entire MMO blogosphere wanted to chip in thoughts on the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire announcement, whether or not each writer was playing the game. So what did they all think?

“Finally, something other than dragons to fight!” enthused Occasional Hero. “I love mounts. And I love leaping and jumping mounts,” wrote Aywren Sojourner. “BUT. We all know what else a mount system introduces — cash shop opportunities!”

GamingSF ran down the features, saying that he’s on the fence as to whether or not to come back: “The best way to know that, I suspect, is to play some of the game in the time between now and the 22nd of September.”

Not everyone is on board with the expansion. “The announcement did not in any way overcome my healthy skepticism of the ‘horizontal progression’ philosophy of the game,” chimed in Endgame Viable. And In An Age seems like he’d wants to play, but admits that the business model puts him in a “mental bind” regarding both expansions.

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Battle Bards Episode 103: Wurm Online

You think you’ve heard strange MMORPG soundtracks before, but Wurm Online is about to take you to the odd frontier. With two distinctive soundtracks that skew away from typical composition, Wurm baffles, amuses, and bewitches the Battle Bards in today’s show!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 103: Wurm Online (or download it) now:

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EverQuest’s Agnarr progression server unlocks its first expansion

If you’ve been one of the brave adventurers who rolled up a new character on EverQuest’s Agnarr server a while back and stuck with it, then good for you! Your reward today is the unlocking of the Ruins of Kunark expansion and all that it offers.

Agnarr launched this past May, aimed at subscribers looking to recapture the old glory days of EQ. It differs from EverQuest’s other progression servers in that it will stop unlocking expansions once it hits the sixth expansion, Lost Dungeons of Norrath. In so doing, the server will remain permanently stuck in the Planes of Power era, which apparently some people much prefer to what came after.

The next expansion for the server, The Scars of Velious, will unlock after 12 more weeks.

Source: Twitter

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World of Warcraft kicks off Patch 7.3 prologue scenario, outlines content rollout

No, World of Warcraft’s highly anticipated Patch 7.3 hasn’t arrived quite yet, but the MMO has started moving things in that direction. A new prologue scenario, Whispers of a Frightened World, has gone live on the servers, giving players a taste of what is to come.

When Patch 7.3 goes live, we will know a rough schedule of how Blizzard is preparing to handle its multi-phase rollout. Right now, the studio is testing the three stages of the patch deployment, including when certain zones on Argus, invasion points, and instances will unlock. So as with several of the MMO’s previous patches, just don’t expect to get everything all on the release date.

Finally, sharp eyes have spotted Jaina representing World of Warcraft on this year’s BlizzCon key art. Does this herald expansion news or is it just a beloved figure getting her 15 minutes of fame? You decide.

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Take a sneak peek at SWTOR’s planet of shadows

There are a billion planets out there in the Star Wars galaxy, and we have visited only a small fraction of them so far in SWTOR. Soon, players will make planetfall on Umbara, a “shadow world,” and take part in what appears to be a train heist.

The studio released a short trailer teasing the content to come: “Prepare to lead the ultimate covert assault: battle your way across a moving train, brave the wilds of a dark new world, and more in a high-stakes new flashpoint! When a deadly traitor is tracked to the shadow-world of Umbara, you’ll need to lead a strike team to confront the betrayer before the galaxy is thrown back into war.”

Check out the teaser trailer after the jump!

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