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 Daily Grind: Is your MMO play guided by goals, routine, or chance?

MMORPGs are fantastically large and complex beasts, and it is not hard for a player to feel overwhelmed and lost within them when trying to figure out what to do. It never fails to irk me when I’ve heard sandbox veterans blithely respond to players asking for specific guidance by saying, “Do whatever you want to do!” Freewheeling anarchy isn’t always the solution.

With so many options and so much to potentially accomplish, there are many ways to approach MMOs. You could take it a day at a time, logging in to see what there is to see and allow your adventures to be guided by chance (and perhaps developers’ herding). Stay in an MMO long enough and routine comes a-calling, with the same litany of activities keeping you busy every night.

Personally, I like keeping my eyes on a prize — or several goals, actually. Having “projects” and working toward specific goals keeps my interest strong and vibrant, and usually the only question that I have when I finish one is which one to pick next. I’m probably not alone in drafting up spreadsheets to track everything that I want to do on a character.

How is your MMO play guided? Are you a master of your own domain or prefer to let Lady Luck roll the dice and find something for you to do?

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Global Chat: You’re playing MMOs wrong

Have you ever lost your top when someone condescended to lecture you that you’re playing MMORPGs wrong? You and Roger at Contains Moderate Peril both, pal. In a recent essay, he goes off on those who would presume to lecture others that there is a “proper” way to play online games.

“Is there a definitive way to play an MMORPG?” he asks. “‘No’ is the brief answer. Sure, each MMO has a set of rules and procedures that set out a path of progression. However, nowhere in these rules will you find a statement saying it is mandatory to play this particular way. Humans like to adapt things to suit their own needs. Play is underpinned by imagination and creativity.”

Revolt against peer pressure and conformity! Raid in your skivvies! Roleplay as an omniscient tree stump!

The parade of MMO blog essays continue in today’s Global Chat, where writers talk about LOTRO band outfits, the lack of excitement over online game launches, being a frog in EverQuest II, and more.

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EVE Online delivers ‘sneak preview’ of winter release

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the walls of EVE Online’s offices, buzzing to and fro and learning all about what the team is preparing for the future? You might want to hold off on that traumatic species transformation for right now, since the devs are more than willing to share their plans with players about the various projects that are in the works for this winter’s release.

Some of the projects revealed in this month’s “in development” video include the pirate shipyards, the new Vanguard carrier, Venom support fighters, the “V5” shader upgrade, the CONCORD battleship, additional ship skins, better-looking lasers, and a targeted content delivery system. Moon mining, quality of live improvements, and new refinery structures are also planned for the winter expansion.

Get chummy with the various EVE devs and learn more about the game’s future after the break!

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Fortnite hints at open world mode to come in the future

It’s a big week for the zombie survival title Fortnite, what with it coming out on Steam early access and all, and the developers are taking advantage of the increased attention to talk up their game to interested parties.

On Reddit yesterday, the devs hosted an ask-me-anything session that covered the making of the game, how the team acted on feedback, heroes, crafting, outposts, and future plans. The team stressed that everything is in “early iteration” right now, so expect things to change over the course of the year.

So what was the hardest part of making the game? “The biggest challenge we had was how do we make a robust building system that was usable in high fidelity third person combat. So controls and complexity become a real challenge. If you wonder why we don’t have crouch… this is why.”

The team said that it plans to release Fortnite later this year after testing, polish, and content additions. Past that, there are plans in the works for different modes, like iron man and an open world, so you might see this small title getting a lot bigger over the coming years.

Source: Reddit

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Kritika Online releases first open beta patch

Have any of you given Kritika Online a try? This action MMORPG may be slipping under a lot of people’s radars during this shockingly busy summer, but the Kritika team isn’t coasting on the game’s soft launch to carry it through the season. Yesterday the game’s first open beta patch was pushed out with many much-needed fixes and features.

“This update focuses heavily on the economy,” the team wrote, “including changes to the auction house, how items are bound, and how end-game gear is acquired. Additionally, we have a completely revamped arena mode with 12 times the number of levels that offer some sweet rewards for those of you who are up to the challenge.”

You can read the full patch notes if you’re into this game. The dev team teased “new tricks” that it has up its sleeves and said that a “bigger and better” August update is currently in testing.

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World of Warcraft unlocks third wing of Tomb of Sargeras on raid finder

You just know that whenever another MMO is attempting to have a bright and bold day full of announcement joy, Blizzard is compelled to come along and slap you until your attention turns back to its games. So forget everything else that’s going on today and revel in the fact that World of Warcraft’s third wing of Tomb of Sargeras, Chamber of the Avatar, is now unlocked on the raid finder. That’s a lot of green!

Over on the patchy side of the game, the dev team hotfixed several class tuning changes for PvP and PvE. The big winners of the buffing roulette are Frost Death Knights, Protection Paladins, and Retribution Paladins. The team also decreased the health of Kil’jaeden and the Fallen Avatar in the new raid to help players clear mythic difficulty.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 128: Geeks at Disney World

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about a beloved MMO going mobile, the end of Guild Wars 2 (in a manner of speaking), the start of Dark and Light, LARPing at Disney World, and more!

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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Villagers and Heroes slams RuneScape over ‘first-ever cross-platform MMO’ claims

Buckle up, MMO fans, because it’s about to get really weird up in here. There seems to be this strange struggle between studios these days to claim the title of “first-ever cross-platform MMO” (at least for a western title). Last week, RuneScape announced that it was going to be the first game to do this with its upcoming mobile edition, but now Villagers and Heroes — which offers the game on both PC and Android — is contesting that claim.

“Competitor announces ‘1st MMO on mobile, first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile’ for 2018… SORRY, WRONG. We did it first!” Mad Otter Games tweeted last week. “Villagers and Heroes IS the first and the BEST mainstream and established Western MMO offering full cross-platform play!”

Of course, AdventureQuest 3D would like to have a word with both of you, as would Pixel Worlds, Pocket Legends, Nebula Online, Arcane Legends, and some game that launched this past week. Forget its name. Albion something? “First cross-platform MMO” doesn’t really seem to be a label that can be exclusively claimed these days (as we’ll talk about on the MOP Podcast later today!).

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Fortnite’s early access program invites you to build your dream zombie-proof fortress

The bad news: The zombies are coming in hordes larger than you can possibly imagine. The good news: You have the blueprints and traps to help you construct the zombie-proof fortress of your dreams.

Today, the PvE-centric “action building game” Fortnite is rolling out in early access for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You’ll have to fork over some money to get in, but it might be worth it. The colorful and cartoony title is a welcome change from the drab and gory zombie titles that flood the market every year.

Fortnite Creative Director Darren Sugg highlighted the game’s strong voice cast (including Ashly Burch and Phil LaMarr) as a reason to play: “As we created the world of Fortnite, with its heroic moments and quirky sense of humor, we knew it would be important to have a mixture of veteran voices and exceptional new talent in order to connect the players to the game’s story.”

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross returned from E3 this year super excited over this game, which he called “Crowfall for PvE fans.” Haven’t heard much about Fortnite? Give the release trailer a watch after the break and see if it might be up your alley!

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Blade and Soul announces server merges, hypes upcoming patches

Major events are in motion over at Blade and Soul, illuminated by the game’s newest producer’s letter from Jonathan Lien. While Lien spent a few paragraphs touting the team’s progress over the past year, he had a few bombshell announcements that followed.

The first is that server merges are incoming for August 9th. These will impact both North American and European servers, taking the server count down to two for NA and three for EU. Server transfers are scheduled to be taken offline on July 26th, so if you need to move your character for some reason, you’ll want to do it today.

Lien also outlined the game’s upcoming summer updates: “Immediately ahead of us is the new Fortune Falls update. You’ll be able to explore a new event dungeon, where you can snag an awesome swimsuit set and valuable upgrade materials for a limited time! And on the horizon, you’ll be able to explore a new major update named Dark Origins. It’s got two brand new high level raids, a continuation of our story quests, a new dungeon, systems updates, and LOADS of new gear and cosmetics.”

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Shroud of the Avatar polishes, primps, and prepares for this week’s Release 44

The Shroud of the Avatar team is staying quite busy this summer as it works to finish up the game world for launch later this year. The projects that it focused on this past week included creating Viking clothing for NPCs, polishing up the town of Etceter, sprucing up Vertas, making Grannus Colossus, and constructing the sacred battle site of Hallowed Plains.

Shroud of the Avatar’s current free trial program is scheduled to conclude on July 26th, so keep that in mind if you wanted a look at the game before buying. Release 44 is coming a day later on July 27th.

The studio was recently interviewed about its SeedInvest campaign and how it’s changing the way players get invested in games. You can check it out after the break!

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RuneScape is a massive hit on Twitch

Time and again, we here at Massively OP have noted how RuneScape seems to be incredibly underestimated by the larger MMO community. For how popular it is, it never seems to get the respect and attention from the core MMORPG community that its online contemporaries do.

That is, until you head over to Twitch. According to the June viewing charts over on NewZoo, the fantasy MMORPG drew in an astounding 6.7 million hours of viewership over that month alone. This is enough to put it in 11th place, well ahead of titles like Destiny, Minecraft, Black Desert, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. It’s RuneScape’s world — we only watch it from afar.

The top 10 of the viewership chart is filled with the usual suspects, including much of Blizzard’s roster (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm) and the dominant MOBAs of our time (League of Legends and Dota 2).

Source: NewZoo. Thanks Sally!

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Dark and Light is on sale, encourages players to enjoy bugs

Are you sitting around the house, whining to your mom that you’re bored? Are you doing that while technically being 35 years of age? Then there’s always Dark and Light to check out, considering that the sandbox is now out on early access — and is being sold at 17% off until August 3rd.

You might want to hold off a few days before heading into it, however. The team is frantically patching it in response to server instability and other issues, so it’s still in that post-release chaotic period that sends weaker players back to their beds to hide under covers.

In the meanwhile, the team suggests that you enjoy the bugs as content: “Some players have discovered couple of fun things in the build and we are working towards a fix. However, they are extremely fun in their current state, so we hope you all enjoy the laughs in the mean time. Whether it be hitching a ride on your friend’s Griffin’s wing tip or shrinking yourself down to Ant Man size.”

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