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

Outpost Zero lets you build a bot army to conquer a planet

Don’t do survival the hard way, with only your fleshy meatbag shell as your primary resource. Use your brains and futuristic technology to summon an army of intelligent robots instead to do your bidding!

That’s the premise of Outpost Zero, a new survival sandbox that bills itself as a cross between “multiplayer FPS” and StarCraft. Players will land on an alien planet, gather resources, build bots, and construct a base. There isn’t a peaceful resolution here, however; base vs. base wars are the core of the endgame. Leading a trained bot army, players will engage in FPS combat against enemies in an attempt to interrupt operations and loot resources.

The studio says that Outpost Zero is a very deep sandbox, particularly when it comes to the game’s base construction and economic market. It’s currently ramping up its alpha program. Check out the trailer below!

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Jukebox Heroes: Black Prophecy’s soundtrack

With just about a year of live operation to its name before closing, Black Prophecy wasn’t really here long enough to cement itself into the minds and hearts of most MMO players. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never heard of this 2011 spaceship game. It didn’t offer much depth and failed to draw attention to itself even though it was a member of a relatively small subgenre of MMO.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, of course. For 2018, I’m working through all of the soundtracks that I have yet to feature in this space, and Black Prophecy will be the first to fling itself out of an airlock and into your heart.

The soundtrack itself is fairly decent, if short, and was composed by Dynamedion, a European company that specializes in video game music. Four composers, a 70-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and “great expense” was used to make this OST. I think it’s well worth your time to explore, so let’s dig this one out of the historical archives!

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One Shots: Poster perfect

One of the things that impresses me about the submissions to One Shots here is that so many of these pictures really could be blown up into high-resolution posters and be hung as honest-to-goodness art. I’ve always been meaning to comb through my screenshots folder and take the best of my best to a store and get that done, but I am a lazy man and figure that you all will keep my eyeballs entertained for one more week.

Here’s a good example of a poster perfect pic from Camelotcrusade, who shared this interesting shot from Star Wars: The Old Republic. “It feels like a galaxy far, far away now, but I really liked the title cards for Knights of the Fallen Empire,” he wrote. “Here is one of my favorites which transposed my character against a backdrop of galactic war.”

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Elder Scrolls Online breaks out its fourth soundtrack album

Soundtrack lovers, here’s a pleasant surprise for the end of the week: A brand-new album from Composer Brad Derrick and Elder Scrolls Online.

Derrick continues his reign over the game’s score, delivering a 36-track album that includes music from the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and Clockwork City DLC. You can pick it up at iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon for $9.

The Elder Scrolls Online soundtrack was one of Massively OP reader’s top 20 picks a while back. We reviewed the Morrowind expansion score not too long ago, calling it “a much more memorable and moving soundtrack with plenty of nostalgic elements.”

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LOTRO Legendarium: My LOTRO wish list for 2018

Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.

But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!

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RIFT devs add memorial for fallen player and dimensioneer

The sad and touching saga of a fallen RIFT player continues this week as the game’s developers cement her legacy in the game itself.

You might recall that last month, a long-time RIFT gamer and dimensioneer (a player housing expert, in other words) named Wintercharm was killed in real life in a traffic accident. Even though she was a teenager, Wintercharm had a huge impact on the community and spurred the creation of a massive in-game memorial garden by her friends.

Now, Trion Worlds is making sure that her presence will be remembered as long as RIFT endures. The studio worked hard to add an official memorial to Wintercharm this week, which arrives in the form of a special NPC that gives players “Wintercharm Blossoms” to use in their dimensions.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO offers the best sky views?

I know it’s a simple and basic thing, but I absolutely adore a great skybox in my MMORPGs. There’s something about looking up at a majestic and vibrant sky in-game that puts me right in the middle of the world and immerses me in the environment.

Fallen Earth will always be remembered fondly by me for its gorgeous sunsets, and World of Warcraft definitely brought it with some of its painterly clouds and patterns in the latest expansion. Lord of the Rings Online and Final Fantasy XIV both have crystal clear nights full of twinkling stars that make one feel small and awed.

Which MMO offers the best sky views and which zone makes for the best gazing? Bonus points if you include pictures!

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World of Warcraft offers Hunters new pet options for Patch 7.2.5

World of Warcraft Hunters who adhere to the ancient code of the Pokémon — gotta catch ’em all — will find themselves five pets short when Patch 7.2.5 arrives. That’s due to a handful of new tamable critters that have been discovered on the public test realm.

Pretty much, these are color variations on pet models that already exist, but still, a new coat of paint gets certain types of players excited. The pets in question are the Ancient Duskcloak, Albino Umbralfin, Elusive Chitinbuk, Crystal Spine Matriarch, and Silithid Sentinel.

The community has tracked down these five beasts, confirmed their existence, and outlined methods to capture them (or at least one in particular, the Duskcloak, which will prove to be tricky to catch).

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Multiplayer game show SOS heads to Steam early access this month

Ready to scheme, sabotage, and survive? Then you might just have what it takes to play SOS.

A virtual game show set on a tropical island, SOS throws 16 players into the same area to compete in a 30-minute match. The goal? To find a relic and escape via helicopter. The twist? There can be three winners, which means that players can use voice chat to try to form alliances on the fly and strategize against opponents.

There are monster hordes to contend with as well, so finding weapons and making traps is essential to living through the experience. Additionally, each match will be viewed by a live audience that can give feedback and influence events. What else would you expect from a game that is made up of veterans from Twitch?

You won’t have to wait long to try SOS out, either. The multiplayer title is coming to Steam early access on January 23rd with a sticker price of $30.

Source: Steam

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Project Gorgon says Steam early access is coming in a ‘month-ish’

Don’t look now, but Project Gorgon could be out on Steam by the time the Easter Bunny emerges from her hidey-hole.

The project lead took to Twitter this week to inform the community that early access is aiming for February or March: “It’ll be another month-ish before Project Gorgon is on Steam early access, but it’s now in internal testing. Which means I can now play from Steam! Nobody else yet, just me. But it’s a step.”

As we digest this happy news, Linux testers also have something to brighten their day. The team pushed out an experimental launcher for those using a Linux OS on their computers. This doesn’t mean that Project Gorgon has official Linux support (it doesn’t), but it’s a nice concession to those who use the platform.

Curious about this indie MMO? Check out Eliot’s run through Project Gorgon this month in his Choose My Adventure series!

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Gamers argue Overwatch League has a representation problem

No matter what you’re seeing up on the screen in this inaugural season of the Overwatch League, chances are really good that the people controlling (and almost all of the casters, it seems) are guys. This is because the League’s teams are completely male, a situation that none of them can really seem to address when asked point-blank about it.

Case in point: Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon is widely seen as one of the best players in the competitive scene… and she has yet to be signed on to any of the competing teams, as Kotaku points out in its long piece this week (though apparently Geguri herself believes it’s not sexism keeping her off teams – thanks Loopy). You probably remember her from back in 2016 when gamers and pro players were harassing her and claiming she wasn’t real/was a cheater until she shut them down with a video of herself kicking ass.

When asked about why she (and other women) hasn’t been snapped up, in spite of her participation in other leagues, several teams hemmed and hawed over the fact. It would be funny to read all of these responses if it wasn’t so disheartening. Our favorite? Having to fuss with co-ed player housing.

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Star Citizen promises that Alpha 3 patches will be more predictable and regular

Now that Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.0 is finally here, the team has a high outlook for the development process going forward. In this week’s Around the Verse, RSI says that future patches will be more predictable and will come out on specific dates instead of falling behind due to feature delays.

“There was actually a lot of debate as to whether or not we should cut some of the critical foundational features from 3.0 and push them into 3.1,” said Persistent Universe Director Tony Zurovec. “But we really wanted to ensure that we got the basic skeleton for what we’re going to need for all of the evolutionary gameplay enhancements that we’re going to deliver in all of the 3.x series — 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 — on a quarterly basis next year.”

The team is still evaluating how all of the technology that went into 3.0 is functioning together, which is why Patch 3.1 is going to focus on performance and improving the reportedly low frame rates that players are seeing. Past that, Patch 3.2 is slated to receive the first iteration of mining.

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Sea of Thieves breaks down its skelly AI

How do you make a skeleton move, think, and attack?

Maybe you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about such things, but rest assured, the team at Rare definitely does. This isn’t just morbid speculation on their part; Sea of Thieves is riddled with bony undead pirates, and the team wants to make sure that they look and act in interesting and crafty ways.

The skeletons have been in the game for almost a year now, and the developers have been tweaking and improving them ever since. One addition to the skeleton AI is different kinds of perception, so that they can hear you and investigate their surroundings. If a skeleton is hurt from afar, they will start a search to see who might be trying to snipe them.

Check out all of the things that skellys can do after the break!

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