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

Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls takes to consoles on June 20

The undead are rising, an alternate version of the city of Neverwinter opens its doors, and the challenges for MMO players never let up. Cryptic is pleased to announce this week that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will be receiving Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls module on June 20th, a month and a half after the update landed on PC.

Shroud of Souls contains new storylines, the build-swapping loadouts feature, a great hall for guild strongholds, and the stronghold siege mode. “Shroud of Souls will take adventurers to Evernight, a twisted reflection of Neverwinter inhabited by both unsavory living residents and the undead. Heroes will also enter the Shard of Night, a spire from the Plane of Shadows belonging to the Netherese,” introduced the devs.

Refresh your memory on what this modole contains with a developer vlog after the jump!

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Dark and Light lets you kill, harvest, and stitch together magic pets

Imagine you’re a hunter. Imagine that for every deer you kill, you take a part of it home with you and keep it in a jar, like that’s a sane thing to do. And imagine that if you collect enough parts, you can velcro them together to make a loyal deer pet of your very own. Your mind just went to a dark place, didn’t it? Sorry about that.

Well, this totally normal activity is programmed into the feature set of Dark and Light, but instead of your stock deer, you can harvest elementals to make your own companion. We wonder how they feel about that, being sentient magical Frankenstein monsters assembled from murdered relatives.

“Newer explorers should steer clear if they happen across a wild one,” the devs advise in a new dev blog, “but more experienced players can kill elementals and harvest them for powerful magical cores. These cores can be used as crafting reagents for high-level items and spells, or, once enough cores have been collected, they can be used to summon a tamed elemental of your very own.”

Source: Steam

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PSA: Hearthstone is giving away a free Fight Promoter card on Saturday

Hearthstone players are always on the lookout for ways to beef up their collection without having to spend more money, even if it is just a free card here or there. Well, this Saturday Blizzard is giving away a 4/4 Fight Promoter card just for fun.

This comes on top of another promotion in which Hearthstone is doling out three Journey to Un’Goro packs to anyone who logs in this month. Even if you don’t currently play Hearthstone, it might be worth the five minutes to load up the game and grab these freebies for future play.

Source: Touch Arcade

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Is Cryptic Studios creating a Magic: The Gathering MMO?

For years now, we have been pondering what “top secret” project might be in development over at Cryptic Studios. Well, the studio isn’t talking — yet — but there are indicators that suggest that Cryptic might be working or collaborating on an MMO set in the Magic: The Gathering universe.

PCGamesN connects a few sparse dots to point to such a project, noting that Cryptic ex-devs have gone over to work for Wizards of the Coast and that a new Cryptic job posting for an art director on the unnamed title mentions that the game will be “based on an extremely exciting, well-known fantasy IP.”

“We’re very excited about what we’re working on,” Cryptic has had posted on its top secret project page. “Our top secret work represents our continued commitment to diversify and reach beyond the boundaries of traditional MMORPG gaming.”

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Perfect Ten: The perfect MMO cosmetic system

Whenever I hear about or get into a new MMO, one of the very first things I’ll be asking is if the game has a cosmetic outfit system and how involved it is. Wardrobes used to be a rarity in the genre, although as time went on these systems thankfully became more prevalent.

So yes, I’m a grown adult man and I’m totally into playing dollies with my video game characters. C’mon, it’s a pretty fun thing to do. You get to stand out from the clones around you and express your own personality through fashion that costs you, if not nothing, then far less than you’d buy at the mall.

But not every cosmetic system is created alike. When I was thinking about the best systems found in MMORPGs, I realized that many of them had drawbacks and advantages that differentiated them from other games. So what makes for the “perfect” MMO cosmetic system? I have a few ideas. Several ideas. OK, 10 ideas.

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DCUO preps WWII-era Age of Justice update for June

There’s some positive word-of-mouth bubbling out about this summer’s Wonder Woman feature film, which, if true, would be a boon to the bruised DC movie franchise. While the film is set during World War I, the team over at DC Universe Online is preparing its own retro story, this one set during World War II.

The Age of Justice update is scheduled to arrive globally on June 1st, teleporting players back to the beginning of the Justice Society of America in the 1940s. Alternate histories will be explored, including a time-ravaged Area 51 and a European village under the thumb of Axis leader Baron Von Savage. There will also be plenty of four- and eight-player instances to overcome.

Free players who are not subscribers and haven’t purchased the episode will be treated to a one-month preview of the war-torn village map with limited rewards. Speaking of rewards, there are several “time-torn energy” styles and gear sets, as well as base items, feats, and titles.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s guide to getting started on your Morrowind adventures

It’s hard to believe that next week the first crowd of adventurers will be stepping into Morrowind’s head start prior to the expansion’s June 6th launch. There’s a lot of anticipation swirling about the series’ return to Vvardenfell, but the big question is, when you get there, what will you do first?

The Elder Scrolls Online posted a guide to some of the major locations on the island, although all players will start out in the port town of Seyda Neen: “Do not let the Imperial-styled buildings throw you off, the town is under the control of House Hlaalu, so if you want to trade with the Dark Elves of Morrowind, you had better be prepared to pay your dues. From this location, the entirety of the island opens up to you. You can proceed East to Vivec City and Suran, or North to Balmora, Ald’ruhn, and Gnisis.”

Leading up to the head start is a three-day livestream event in which participants can share their thoughts of Morrowind, free from the clutches of the NDA. ESO recently posted a guide for solo players trying out the MMO, and our own Larry has five things for you to do in the game before jumping into the expansion.

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Crowfall wraps up marathon seven-hour stream event, promises open beta by the end of 2017

Following Crowfall’s titanic reveal of expanded and new features earlier this week, the dev team sat down for a seven-hour livestream event yesterday to go in-depth on the race/class pairings, powers special effects, disciplines, and environment improvements.

On the off-chance that you don’t have seven hours to spare to comb through all of the streams for important information, one kind player cobbled together a list of highlights from the team. Of particular interest was confirmation that Crowfall’s open beta will launch by the end of the year. The OBT will proceed the game’s soft launch, so expect 2018 to be a big year for this PvP MMO.

You can watch part of the stream event after the break.

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Emil Chronicle Online closes its last server

It’s the end of the line for one long-running Japanese MMORPG.

Emil Chronicle Online, also abbreviated ECO (no relation), is closing down its very last server in August, MMO Culture reports. The anime MMO first launched in Japan back in 2005 and was gradually licensed out to other countries and regions over successive years. However, most of those other versions were subsequently shuttered (such as the English version back in 2010), leaving the Japanese server as the sole survivor.

The game went free-to-play back in 2009 and included some pretty wacky stuff, including the ability to morph into a marionette and the opportunity to roll as a machine race called (we kid you not) Deus Ex Machina. Check out a trailer below for a sample of Emil Chronicle Online’s flavor.

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Destiny 2: Gameplay stream, features, and Blizzard’s Battlenet

You know you are more than a little curious to see what this fall’s Destiny 2 looks and plays like, especially considering that the series is now coming to PC. Well, today you have your chance to do just that. Bungie is hosting a livestream event at 1:00 p.m. EDT to show the world gameplay premiere of Destiny 2, and everyone is sure to be on their best behavior in the chat room.

We’ve got the stream embedded for you after the cut!

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Ashes of Creation optimistically posts $3M stretch goal

Now that Ashes of Creation has surpassed $2 million in community fundraising, how far will the game go before its Kickstarter campaign draws to a conclusion? It might seem far-fetched that it will add on another million by the end, but the team is ready for this if it happens.

Optimistically, Intrepid Studios revealed its stretch goal for $3 million raised, saying that it would factor in a stock exchange if this milestone is reached:

[The stock exchange] is a very in-depth system that relates to how Nodes, Player Guilds and Social Organizations perform in the world. This will allow players to invest those communities through the form of a stock exchange that will measure certain metrics to determine success or failure around the world. If a guild fails in a raid, shareholders in that guild may see a drop in it’s value. Or if a node advances in activities and trade routes leading to it, the shareholders may see a spike in their dividends. Social organizations such as the Thieves Guild may see community quest points achieved throughout the world and different chapters being built in nodes across the realm, resulting in a higher valuation.

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World of Warcraft shakes up PvP battlegrounds with bi-weekly events

To keep things interesting in World of Warcraft’s PvP battlegrounds, the team recently implemented bi-weekly events that add interesting new twists in these familiar places.

From now through May 23rd, the Deepwind Dunk turns Pandaria’s battleground into a basketball-style contest. Grab the ball and go in for a dunk back at your home base to win it for your team. After that, the Tarren Mill vs. Southshore event is returning on May 30th, followed by a crazy 15v15 arena battle event on June 13th.

Looking ahead to Patch 7.2.5, a new solo challenge will task players with guarding the time-traveling dragon Chromie from being assassinated. Do so well, and all sorts of transmogs will be yours! Check out what the instance looks like after the break.

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Chronicles of Elyria’s online tech is coming together

Chronicles of Elyria is continuing its… interesting method of disseminating development information by posting blogs about its “adventure teams” and their work on the project as if they were in a game of their own.

What we can discern is that the team has hired on a new senior client engineer, is working on different types of player animations (such as falling), is crafting a wardrobe system, and is drawing up a huge list of the flora and fauna of the opening region of the game.

Perhaps the most intriguing bit is how Chronicles of Elyria’s tech foundation is coming together: “Already we’ve got Unreal and SpatialOS running in concert, multiple characters running around and animating, entities persisting after logging off (the way OPCs will), colliding with one another without passing through, and server-side authority of location and other data such as character vitality.”

The team also posted a “brief” 32-minute Q&A video that you can watch below!

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