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

Massively OP Podcast Episode 61: Update-o-rama!

Welcome to Update-o-rama, the only rama that basks in the glow of hearty MMORPG updates! Bree and Justin are your tour guides through an amazing week of game content patches and launches. Also, there’s a call for Massively OP community cookbook recipes.

We might have gotten a little off-topic in this show.

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.

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Trove: Mantle of Power is a gem of an expansion

As you read this, the head start for Trove’s first expansion, Mantle of Power, has opened its doors to players who purchased one of the sandvox’s new packs (everyone else will be admitted in on April 26th for the official launch). The team at Trion Worlds is treating this like a full expansion rather than a meaty content update, as Mantle of Power contains entirely new ways to progress and grow your character.

So how do you improve upon a strange little game that already has player housing, 15 classes, flying dragons, and sailing? You push the current boundaries of character progression out, add new places to explore, and more ways to grow.

Trion Worlds told us that the expansion was designed in response to the players who had already “beaten” Trove to an extent. Without the freedom to completely change the rules and mix things up as the devs could during the beta period, they found that the logical conclusion was to add more challenge on top of the foundation that had been laid since launch.

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Children of Ur adds skills and buffs to its alpha

What’s a Glitch remake without a hearty dose of skills and buffs? A poor remake, that’s what! Fortunately for Children of Ur, the TinySpeck-sanctioned fan project has included these features in its newest alpha build.

One of the changes that the team is making in the remake is in how skills are leveled up: “In Glitch, you had to wait anywhere from five minutes to a few weeks to learn a new skill, time spent staring at that little green progress bar. Not anymore! In our game, you learn skills by practicing, like in The Sims. Each time you do something related to a skill, you gain points for that skill. Once you hit a certain number of points (varying by skill and current skill level), you level up. ”

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Aeria Games to publish Bless Online in the west

It’s happening, people, it’s really happening. Bless Online is heading to the west, for real, after months of speculation.

Aeria Games has signed on to publish Bless in both North America and Europe, according to Steparu. There is no timetable for the import as of yet, but it’s exciting enough to know that the MMO is on its way overseas. We’ve known since February that Bless had ambitions to release in NA and EU, although we had previously heard that Daum was going to handle the game in the west.

We’ve been keeping an eye on Bless’ development in Korea, including the title’s server merge, its world bosses, its open-world PvP, and how it is structuring its endgame.

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RuneScape releases greatly improved NXT game client

RuneScape has come a long, long way from its days of being a crude assembly of jagged polygons. While the title got a nice visual overhaul with its RuneScape 3 launch a while back, the fantasy MMO is being tuned up once again with today’s NXT game client launch.

“This means better RuneScape performance than ever before, and it looks great too — vast viewing distances, dynamic shadows and beautiful lighting effects,” Jagex said. “NXT is designed to get the most out of your hardware, looks fantastic and runs smoothly across the board.”

To celebrate the launch, the team has assembled a “world tour” quest to take players around this refurbished landscape.

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Beta blossoms on Tree of Life’s branches

After a year of preparation, Tree of Life’s beta test is finally here.

The test marks the debut of an almost brand-new look and feel to the game. Tree of Life has upgraded its character models to give them more of a cartoony look and has more or less wiped the entire sandbox world. New features have been added with the beta launch, including beards, make-up, additional terrain types, axes, pickaxes, secret areas, and protection for newbies.

The beta will coincide with the launch of Tree of Life’s cash shop, although the game doesn’t have anything in it just yet. There are several changes to stats and items that should be noted in case you were intimately familiar with how things used to be. Change: It’s what’s you get when you climb this tree.

All editions of the game are currently 30% off on Steam.

Source: Steam. Thanks to Sorenthaz and CistaCista for the tip!

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Villagers & Heroes is coming to Android tablets

Villagers & Heroes is one of those underappreciated MMO gems that’s been flying under the radar for a while. It might look an awful lot like a certain “other” game, but it has a few cool ideas, including placing just as much emphasis on your character’s home as on your adventuring style.

In any case, Villagers & Heroes might be on the rise now that the game’s announced its intentions to come to mobile devices. So far, the game will only be making the jump to Android devices and will be fully cross-compatible with the PC version and existing accounts. The mobile game will be pretty much identical to the PC one except for some UI changes and accessibility tweaks. Mad Otter is recommending a tablet to run it, as a phone might be too small and cramped for the interface.

The team said that it has been working on this mobile edition for 18 months now and is planning on a very small, focused beta this month. Windows Phone and iPhone versions may be coming in the future.

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The MOP Up: ARK’s free PvP version goes wide (April 17, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This past week ARK: Survival of the Fittest released to several other platforms, including Mac, Linux, and Steam OS. Will anything stop the world-conquering march of these terrible thunder lizards and their fans? If you’re still alive after their rampage, read on for more news and videos including stories from Saga of Lucimia, Diablo III, and DC Universe Online!

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Star Conflict celebrates Cosmonautics Day

Star Conflict stood up straight and saluted Cosmonautics Day this week, a day that marks the 55th anniversary of humanity sending a person into space for the first time. Along with a few in-game references, the occasion coincided with the new 1.3.5 patch.

The patch added a trio of premium ships that players can earn and assemble without necessarily spending money to do so. Components for these ships are found in PvE, PvP, and coop modes across the game. The ships are the Archelon guard frigate, the Stingray gunship, and the Brokk engineering frigate.

Other changes with 1.3.5 include the ability to slot a Halo launcher on destroyers, more varied enemies in PvE missions, new corporation icons, and assorted bug fixes.

Source: Star Conflict. Thanks to I-Spy for the tip!

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RuneScape argues why MMO companies should offer classic servers

There’s been this thing in the news over the past two weeks about a certain (illegal) fan-run vanilla World of Warcraft server and its untimely demise. You may have heard of it. Beyond the topic of emulators, the shutdown of Nostalrius has certainly revitalized the discussion over the place for classic MMO servers, player demand for them, and their profitability.

Jagex chimed in with its own opinion, and considering that the studio runs its own classic server with Old School RuneScape, you could rightly assume that it is very much in favor of the concept.

“We can now say that releasing Old School RuneScape was one of the best decisions we ever made,” Jagex said. “Since Old School RuneScape’s launch in February 2013 we have seen just short of seven million players log in with over two-and-a-half million becoming members.”

You can read the rest of the studio’s argument regarding classic MMO servers after the break.

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Dogma: Eternal Night strives to get a playable client operational

While the team behind Dogma: Eternal Night isn’t quite ready to roll out a schedule of testing dates, it did report that it’s making great progress on getting the game playable. Once this is done, Dogma will begin organizing its initial open tests for the community.

“It’s hard for us to list all the game features that we have improved on in the last few months,” the team said. “Our primary objective at this point in time is to make the game client playable as soon as possible (even if right now it has minimal functionality).”

So what’s been going on with this dark supernatural MMO?  The devs have been working on fleshing out its initial metropolis, creating all of the NPCs to inhabit the city, switching the game over from Direct X to OpenGL, making a special font for players to use, and sketching out new concept art.

Source: Dogma. Thanks to DDO Central for the tip!

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One Shots: Hello Spino!

I should have known better. I really should have. A couple of weeks ago, I challenged Massively OP’s readers to submit “disturbing, grim, or macabre” screenshots from their games. After sifting through many unsettling scenes, the one that shook my grasp on reality the most was the following clash of hues in ARK: Survival Evolved.

“What could be more disturbing than a dinosaur parade led by Hello Spino?” SC_Deadline asked. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve seen the black-and-white banner up there and figure all is well with the world. Well just you wait. Wait until after you shoot past the break and crash into the colorstorm that follows. You might want to put on a seatbelt!

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Massively OP’s guide to the Project Gorgon starter island

If you get past its (hopefully improving) looks and to the substance of the long-in-development Project Gorgon, you’ll find that this game is a gem in the MMO field. It’s a title that prizes exploration above nearly all else, including mindless combat and linear progression. Going back to an older RPG sensibility where the world was full of more things than just XP pinatas to break, Project Gorgon encourages players to see what’s out there, to find neat things, to uncover new systems, and to challenge what they think an MMO can and should be.

Personally, I’ve loved every minute of it so far, even though the game is still just in alpha. It’s been a public alpha, however, and should remain so until the title’s Steam early access release some time this year. A little while back, the incredibly small development team decided to completely redo the starter experience, trading an ugly-as-sin cave for a freeform island. While the island portion isn’t terribly difficult, it can be a little confusing to those coming from other MMOs and feeling a little lost in Gorgon’s unique take on things.

So I spent several hours this past week combing over every square inch of the island to put together a guide that should not only help you get through the tutorial but should also illuminate you as to the potential that Project Gorgon contains.

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