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: Do you duel other players in MMOs?

The other day I was loading up Shroud of the Avatar, and whilst checking out its options, I selected “auto-decline duels” so fast that I nearly sprained my good mouse finger. I get PvP in MMOs, but dueling has always seemed like nothing more or less than an epeen-measuring contest.

What bugs me the most is that usually the player who initiates it likes to stand in newbie areas looking for a naive punching bag. Plus, getting a duel request without the other person saying so much as “boo” to you gets on my nerves. And if I’m piling on gripes, I guess I don’t get the point of it at all. Does it really hone your PvP skill or is it just there to give two bored people something to do other than communicate?

Maybe I’m clueless about this. Tell me, do you duel in MMOs? What do you think about dueling?

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Allods Online’s Unconquered Summit update arrives

With a name like “Unconquered Summit,” you just know that this Allods Online is taunting you to come and try to beat it.

Patch 7.0.1 went live in the game today, bringing with it a whole mess of new features, including a continuation of its main storyline. The update also kicks off a new season of content: “Unconquered Summit is now live, opening new mini-season content and all previously mentioned tweaks and changes — such as new allods and astral activities, flexible raid, tweaks to gear-score calculations, party finder improvements, and more!”

Check out the patch trailer after the jump and let us know what you think in the comments!

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HEX celebrates its Sea Festival and announces a new card set

HEX continues to load up players with as many cards as they can handle (and then some) with the announcement of the game’s fifth set, Herofall.

“Herofall will feature over 275 new cards and introduce completely new mechanics to the game. There are a whole host of new style choices thanks to four new keywords — with both Ardent and Underworld having one keyword each exclusive to them. We are also introducing 20 new champions and 20 new gems to HEX!” the team said.

If that isn’t enough, HEX is currently hosting its Sea Festival 2016. Players can log on to get a free card sleeve and then participate in various activities to earn new cards and equipment before it all sinks back below the waves.

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Elder Scrolls Online explains how to conquer Cyrodiil

One of the interesting features that came with Elder Scrolls Online’s Update 11 this week was the option to take a ragtag band of heroes (or a finely honed zerg) and capture one of three towns in the Cyrodiil region. But how does one accomplish this and what does it net? For that, you’ll need to read up on a quick dev post concerning the topic.

The devs said that claiming a town shouldn’t be too hard under the best of circumstances: “If there are no opposing forces, a small group should be able to do it quite successfully. But, if you’re battling for ownership of a town defended by enemy alliance forces, well, you may need a few more friends!”

Captured towns will grant their new owners the ability to respawn there as well as to buy purple PvP gear bags from special vendors. There are of a dozen different sets (and associated vendors) to collect, so the incentive is strong to claim all you see and repel the invaders.

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World of Warcraft’s Harbingers video and the story of Illidan

We have a lot of questions for Illidan, who is making a star performance return in World of Warcraft: Legion. Why so mad, bro? How can you see through your blindfold? Do you bump into doorways a lot with those horns? Are you a good guy now or what? And — most importantly of all — are you prepared?

Perhaps some of these questions will be answered in this installment of WoW’s Harbingers video series. The short covers Illidan and his “elite team of demon hunters,” which really should be a CBS live action series but instead we’re getting it here.

Check out the video after the jump to get totally hyped for next Tuesday’s launch of the Demon Hunter class!

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Crowfall teases the Guinecean Duelist, shifts development to focus on foundations

Small and deadly: That might just be the motto of the Guinecean Duelist, Crowfall’s newest archetype in development. ArtCraft teased the pint-sized class yesterday and discussed how the team was shifting its focus to work on some of the essential foundations of the game.

“Instead of focusing on high-level game systems, we decided to go ahead and bite off some of the more challenging, foundational pieces of the game — i.e. the “big ticket” items that make an MMO work,” ArtCraft said. “These are huge, very challenging features that we knew we would have to face at some point, like stitching parcels together seamlessly to make large worlds that can support hundreds (and thousands) of concurrent players, and optimizing client performance to get more than a dozen characters on the screen.”

As we wait for all of this to come to fruition, there’s always more time to spend listening to the developers talk about… themselves! J. Todd Coleman sat down for the first part of an interview covering his life and project history, which you can watch below.

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Revelation Online will boast giant turtle housing

Housing is definitely becoming more accepted across the MMORPG genre, so while it may not be a surprise that the upcoming Revelation Online will allow players to deck out their own pad, it may quirk an eyebrow or two to learn that this game’s housing will be situated on the back of a giant turtle.

The concept here is that at level 40, players will travel to said giant turtle and purchase an apartment of their own. There’s a common area on the bottom floor (shell?) where characters can socialize, with the instanced apartments accessible off of that room. Players can also port right to their room from anywhere in the world and invite friends to come over to check out their creation.

So far the housing system has two themes and “over 160” types of furniture, some of which is interactive. You can scope out some of the possibilities below.

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Wizard101 starts selling instant level 50 boosts, adds a Make-a-Wish character

Like it or hate it, the trend of instantly boosting new characters to high levels in older MMOs is spreading across the genre. The latest to embrace the craze (and business opportunity) is Wizard101, which is now selling level 50 boosts to its playerbase.

In addition to having to purchase these boosting elixirs with real money, players will need to already have a level 50 character on their account for the elixir to work. The boost will automatically complete all quests for the first story arc, equip that character with appropriate gear, and get them ready to star the Celestia storyline.

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WildStar introduces you to the evil pirates of Redmoon Rising

Call me Ish’amel.

Sorry, we couldn’t resist the opportunity when WildStar wants to talk about Ish’amel the Bloodied and Captain Mordechai Redmoon. Moby Dick puns aside, these are two key enemies that will be showing up in this month’s Redmoon Rising update, so it’s probably in a WildStar player’s best interest to get to know what he or she will be facing.

According to the lore biographies that the dev team posted, Ish’amel is a rather cowardly (and unsuccessful) pirate who nevertheless wants to be in charge. In sharp contrast to Ish’amel stands Redmoon, a terrifying figure with four arms and a nasty disposition who leads the Redmoon Marauders.

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What drives Star Citizen’s superbackers to spend $10,000 or more

By now, Star Citizen’s crowdfunding success is quite well-known. But perhaps what isn’t common knowledge is that there is a group of players — the so-called “superbackers” — who have spent upwards of $10,000 on this upcoming title. The group is growing so large that RSI has even created a special in-game club just for them.

Kotaku posted an interesting piece that looked at these superbackers and what motivated them to spend so much money on a game that wasn’t even out yet. For the most part, each of these fans said that he or she started small and kept buying ships over time, leading to a large cumulative total.

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Here’s everything you need to know about RIFT’s Starfall Prophecy expansion

When RIFT players cast their minds back to the last expansion, Nightmare Tide, chances are that two aspects that stick out more than the rest. Naturally, the first is the debut of landshark mounts (how did we ever live without them?). But the second has to be the stretched-out controversy over the business model, in which the expansion was given away for free and some of the gear was gated behind a paywall.

While Trion Worlds intended this to be a generous compromise, the model rankled players and prompted the team to reevaluate how to best go forward with a new expansion. The decision was made to return to the standard approach of a one-price-gets-all expansion, keeping it both “simple and fair,” according to the devs. After all, nobody — players or devs — wants a pricing controversy to get in the way of actually enjoying an expansion.

Enter RIFT: Starfall Prophecy sometime this fall, priced at $40 for the standard edition (which includes a level 65 boost) and $60 for the deluxe edition (which comes with some extras). It’s the third expansion for the six-year-old MMORPG, and instead of reinventing the wheel, Trion is happy to build upon what works as it takes its community to the stars. Read on for a rundown of everything you need to know about Starfall Prophecy and how it might be getting back old players while pleasing its current crowd.

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Black Desert patch heralds the start of Valencia sieges, bans another round of cheaters

Valencia Sieges will begin this Sunday, according to Black Desert Online’s most recent patch notes. That should give players a few days to prepare for the brutal siege warfare that is spreading throughout the game.

Yesterday’s patch contained a buffet bar of smaller items, although there was a batch of changes made to guild mounts that should be noted. Guilds can now use elephants without owning a guild house, for starters, and there is a new injury system for guild mounts that has to be taken into account when riding these beasts into battle.

The patch also wants to keep players on their toes when dealing with terminology: “Shuriken have been renamed as kunai, and ninja star have been renamed shuriken.”

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Blizzard holds firm on Overwatch’s Olympic promotion

Players who want to collect all of Overwatch’s limited-time Olympic goodies will have to deal with disappointment. Blizzard said that it will be staying the course on its Summer Games promotion in which players only have through August 22nd to find, buy, and loot special skins, emotes, and sprays.

Responding to player outcry over the difficulty of obtaining all of these unlocks and the unavailability of straight-up buying them for credits, Game Director Jeff Kaplan told fans that the studio will be giving the event “more time” to see how it plays out.

“Sometimes we want things to feel rare and special,” he wrote. “We wanted to try something new with this event. As we mentioned in the developer update, we’re learning and experimenting with this event. And if the event is received well (my impression so far is that it is being received well once you remove the debate over the items not being available for credits), we will run it again next year.”

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