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 Division extends beta test, plots open beta, grapples with rampant cheating

The good news? The Division is extending its weekend beta test for an additional day, allowing players to keep on exploring its fallen New York until tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. EST. The extension is being done to allow in more players that have registered in addition to the waitlisted folks who had “guaranteed” beta slots thanks to pre-ordering. Expect even more players in later this month — February 16th to 21st, to be precise — when the game will apparently throw open its doors for an open beta. That comes via the Xbox Italy Facebook page, which appears to have leaked the plan.

The bad news? PC players are complaining of rampant cheating in The Division’s PvP zone. Community Manager Natchai confirmed that these players were using exploits to gain advantages in PvP and said that steps were being taken to address it: “Guys, so you’re aware the things discussed here are not in fact hacks or cheats, but merely abuse of glitches that exist in the game currently. These glitches are currently being worked on by the team.”

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Take a tour of a pair of Bless Online dungeons

For some, the meat of any MMO is in its dungeons, and it is here that Steparu has turned his attention in his journey through Bless Online’s Korean open beta. He posted a pair of videos showing off two instances, including a trip through the Ancient Temple.

So what does he think of his continued exploration of Bless Online? “I suppose I’m enjoying it just a little bit, but not overly. I mainly want to progress to explore the PvP aspects of the game and see some end-game dungeons if any. It doesn’t seem like a game I would stay up 24 hours and play non-stop unless I have nothing to do.”

You can watch his dungeon exploration videos after the break.

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The MOP Up: Dungeons & Drama Online (January 31, 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 week we weathered some drama in Dungeons & Dragons Online, saw another digital games platform enter the early access arena, listened to devs talk about Star Citizen’s EVA, and more!

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Destiny to celebrate V-Day with Crimson Days

We’re staring down the barrel of Valentine’s Day, which means that love and Cupid’s arrows are in the air. But that’s not enough for Destiny; the sci-fi shooter wants to mix in high-velocity ammunition, vengeance, and broken hearts as well.

Running from February 9th through 16th, Crimson Days will present a Destiny-style twist on V-Day with a new PvP game mode and lovely rewards. The core of the event is the Crimson Doubles 2v2 elimination mode in which pairs will face off against each other. When one member of a pairing goes down, the survivor will get a “broken heart” boost to avenge their one-and-only.

By taking on quests to compete in Crimson Doubles, players can earn several new rewards including XP boosts, emotes, and new shaders.

Source: Crimson Days via Polygon

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One Shots: Kneel before Zod

As if MMOs didn’t already give us big enough heads, what with everyone treating us as if we were the saviors of the world and the only hero (along with a million others), now we have games literally bowing down before us.

Reader John got his ego fix from Star Wars: The Old Republic: “At some point in the Sith story I had my own group of cultists, and I miraculously had the wherewithal to hit print screen just as they were all beginning to worship me. I thought it captured the essence of the Sith story well: It’s all about YOU, man.”

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Guild Wars 2 promises less grind, faster progress with spring update

Can you believe that it’s already been more than three months since Heart of Thorns came out for Guild Wars 2? As players settle into a Tyria full of gliding and masteries, the development team is hard at work preparing its spring update — and addressing concerns from the expansion is among the top priority for the patch.

In last Friday’s livestream, ArenaNet said that the update will take player feedback into account, particularly in regard to the amount of grinding that Heart of Thorns demanded. The studio promised that players will be able to make “meaningful progress” in shorter bursts of time and that they’ll be able to finish their fractal backpacks.

ArenaNet said details are coming soon on the WvW resurgeance update and spent the remainder of the livestream talking about the recent Shatterer revamp.

Source: Dulfy

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The Game Archaeologist: Perpetual’s Star Trek Online

If you’re among the legions of Trekkies, then you are almost certainly aware of Cryptic Studios’ Star Trek Online. Since early 2010, players have boldly gone where no one has gone before in this MMO that blends spaceship battles, ground combat, and faithful tie-ins to the long-running franchise. Star Trek Online appears to be thriving following a free-to-play adaptation and two expansions, and some see it as the only official continuation of the TV series right now.

But what players encounter in Star Trek Online is not what it originally started out as. You may or may not know that STO began development under Perpetual Entertainment, which handled the game for several years until it went bankrupt and passed the license and art assets to Cryptic.

It’s another tantalizing historical “what if?” scenario to think about what this game would look like if Perpetual had taken it to launch and beyond. But what did this version of Star Trek Online look like? Let’s investigate.

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Conan Exiles includes purges, human sacrifice, and nudity

While the upcoming Conan Exiles will take place in the same fictional universe as Age of Conan and be made by the same studio, it’s not going to quite be the same game. The survival title, which goes into early access this summer, will take place when Conan is much younger and lack the class structure of the MMO.

In a new interview, Funcom’s Joel Bylos said that the title will focus more on frantic first-person combat in which players can pick up and use any weapon. Captured players can even be sacrificed to their enemies’ deities, although the studio promised that it would be a “quick process” versus a long, drawn-out captivity.

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H1Z1 lets its zombies dress themselves

Zombies aren’t known to be on the cutting edge of fashion — more like the rotting fringe, if you ask us. Still, they want to be treated like any of us and want the freedom to pick out their own outfits. With a new patch on H1Z1’s test center, they can, as the game will allow for spawning zombies to choose an animation set that includes more types of clothing.

Other adjustments being tested in this patch include better player jumping, a sturdier ATV that won’t flip on you every time you hit a pothole, a nerf to AK-47s, a buff to motorcycle helmets, better vehicle explosions (ka-BOOM), and customizable reticles.

H1Z1 welcomed a new executive producer this week: Chris Wynn, formerly of BioWare.

Source: Update notes

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ARK adds a trio of new creatures and SWAT gear

Prehistoric animals continue to stomp, run, and scamper into ARK: Survival Evolved. The survival title will be adding three new creatures over the next couple of weeks. The Titanosaur is a tank-like “walking mountain,” the Chalicotherium is playful “mobile artillery,” and the Gallimimus, already live, is “chicken-like” dino that can speedily carry three people on its back.

Yesterday’s Patch 233 also added a greenhouse in which players can grow crops, SWAT-style gear, an electric prod (you know, for kids!), faster save and load times, and a nifty baseball cap as a reward for testers.

If you move fast, you might be able to snag a discounted copy of ARK in the Humble Bundle sale (which ends at 1:00 p.m. EST today). Check out the new patch overview video after the jump.

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Trove makes major business model adjustments

RIFT isn’t the only game under Trion Worlds’ umbrella that’s reevaluating and adjusting its business model to become more profitable. Yesterday, the Trove team announced that it, too, would be making some changes so that the game will pull in more money and give away less of its content for free.

“At the end of the day [the store] is a big piece of the engine that keeps Trove going,” the team said. “We’ve been live long enough and collected enough data that we can start making some changes. The core word which I expect us to be held to here is value. No matter what you are spending on the game — time or money, we need to give you value and respect that investment. That never changes.”

The biggest change is that classes won’t be purchasable with cubits any longer. Trion said that this goes hand-in-hand with a decision to put more work into upcoming classes. Other adjustments include awarding players fewer cubits, raising the cubit price in the store for items, and beefing up its patron program.

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The Daily Grind: Could a time travel MMO work?

A week or so ago, we reported on the release of an eastern title called Dark Era that was largely unremarkable save for the fact that it allowed players to travel to six different eras in time, to meet historical and fictional characters.

Personally, I didn’t hold great hopes for the game, but it cheered me up slightly to see an MMO — any MMO — tackle time travel as a core theme instead of a fun side quest. It also made me wonder if a time travel MMO on a large scale was actually possible. Thematically, Otherland might be the closest we’ll ever get, but it’d be cool to be able to jump through the centuries, from the past to the future, and even dabble in a bit of paradoxes and cause-and-effects.

That’d be a headache to program, of course, and it would always be compared to the perfection that is Chrono Trigger. As a thought exercise, do you think a time travel MMO could work? How so?

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Heroes of the Dorm returns with $500K in prizes

Put down those textbooks and pick up that mouse and keyboard, kid, because you’re going to game for your education this spring.

Blizzard announced today that Heroes of the Storm is hosting the return of Heroes of the Dorm, a tournament aimed at college students and loaded with prizes and scholarships. Teams can register for the event through February 18th, after which the tournament will take place in March and April. Heroes of the Dorm will be broadcast on YouTube, Twitch, ESPN3, and ESPN2.

There’s a lot on the line for winning teams beyond publicity. Undergraduate and graduate students can win up to $75,000 in scholarships apiece for being number one. Other prizes include in-game skins, custom-built PCs, and limited edition portraits (the last will be awarded to all participants). Viewers can get a slice of the $500,000 prize pool, too, by voting on winning brackets; the most accurate prognosticator will receive $10,000.

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