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

Funcom to announce three new games in 2016

Watch out world: Funcom is cranking up its game factory for 2016.

In the studio’s Q3 2015 report, Funcom said that it would be announcing the creation of three new titles — one “large” and two small — next year: “In line with the company’s strategy, prototyping and concept development for new titles is underway, with the first new game to be announced during early 2016 and two additional games throughout later that year.”

Funcom needs a good future source of revenue, as its earnings continued to decline to $2,195,000 for the quarter. The decline was attributed to “a gradual and expected decrease in sales from the current live games.”

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Crowfall moves into the next phase of pre-alpha testing

It’s heady times for Crowfall developers and supporters, as ArtCraft announced yesterday that the project is taking a significant step into the next phase of its pre-alpha testing.

ArtCraft said that the 1.1 playtest is significantly improved from what was seen before, with a fleshed-out environment, the new Champion archetype, the ability to form custom teams, and zombies and hellcats to fight. The 1.1 pre-alpha forum is also up for participants to use and everyone else to read.

“As a reminder, testing invites will be sent in waves to all backers with the pre-alpha, alpha 1 and alpha 2 reward tiers, in that order — and, within each group, in waves based on the date that you first backed the project,” ArtCraft posted. The studio also teased the reveal of a new game system in December.

Source: Crowfall

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Eco puts final pieces into place for its alpha release

The global survival game Eco is just a few short days away from opening the doors to crowdfunding backers for its alpha test, and Strange Loop is putting the final touches on the build in preparation for its release.

The studio said that it has built a special test settlement for the alpha, which looks quite the cozy frontier town. The team also added in more art, adjusted the in-game laws, worked with the ecosystem, and finished up the crafting tech tree. If you’re curious about what the dev team is working on for the game, Strange Loop has posted a task board on Trello for the public to view.

If you’re looking to get access to Eco’s alpha, right now it will cost you at least $35 (which gets you a beta key and a copy of the game as well).

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Check out some Civ Online factions and gameplay videos

The next best thing to actually being in a beta is to watch someone play it, which both sates your curiosity and creates an unstoppable jealousy monster deep within your chest that threatens to burst out and go on a forum rampage.

We’re guessing that most of you haven’t been able to get hands-on time with Civilization Online, so to help out we’re going to point you to a series of excellent videos by Steparu that highlight different aspects of this genre mash-up.

After the jump you can watch PvE and PvP gameplay videos as well as a look at Civ Online’s various factions and outfits (and don’t forget to check out the recent G-Star trailer!). Those Egyptians! So risqué!

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LOTRO players host Friendship France gathering this weekend to show solidarity after attacks

Communities around the globe are still coping with the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, and in MMOs, it’s no different. Similar to how players in several games held vigils after the incident, Lord of the Rings Online’s community is preparing for a “Friendship France” gathering on the Sirannon [FR] server this Sunday.

According to event organizers, the gathering will take place on the Prancing Pony stage in Bree: “We show our friendship to the French community of LOTRO after the attacks on Paris which happened on Friday, November 13th. Notenzauber will open the event with a 30-minute concert, and after that it’s an open stage event.”

Players are encouraged to dye their outfits the colors of the French flag, and English-speaking players can /joinchannel Friendship to talk amongst themselves.

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Trove invaded by bloodthirsty turkeys

Normally, Thanksgiving is a time to both count one’s blessings and gorge on high-calorie foods. In Trove, however, it’s a time to run for your life and pray that you don’t die an agonizing death by gobble-gobbling.

This month, Trove is bringing back Turkeytopia, an event in which Dream Gobblers are running amok and only players with a death wishbone can strike back (or, y’know, any weapon at all). Mobs will have a chance of dropping special recipes or even a turkey mount during the event.

Additionally, any player that spends money in the game’s store will receive a (wait for it) pair of turkey wings as a bonus gift. That’s so gravy. Turkeytopia will run until December 1st.

Source: Trove

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The Secret World welcomes new community manager

The Secret World has a new face in its community management team, as Funcom has promoted Andy “Odonoptera” Benditt up from GM to CM.

Benditt introduced himself in a forum post last night: “I’ve been working with Funcom since April 2012 and have been involved with online gaming communities since the days of direct-dialing a friend’s modem for a quick 1v1, or hopping on Kali to get my TDM fix on. I’ve also helped moderate for dedicated server communities in the past, and have been an officer in successful raiding guilds for other titles.”

The game’s newest CM then invited players to ask him anything they like. Most responded by questioning the pronunciation of his alias.

Update: Massively OP reader aboomwithaview points out that Odonoptera will be covering Age of Conan’s community as well.

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Devilian beefs up its PvP game for its beta 4 event

Trion Worlds is eager to show that it’s trying to be more flexible and adaptive with its upcoming Devilian import, saying in this month’s producer’s letter that it’s been working with the game’s developer to institute player-requested PvP systems.

“There has been one suggestion, one request, and one piece of feedback that has been asked for more than anything else: PVP in non-devilian form,” Trion said. The studio went on to announce that upcoming builds will feature three new non-devilian form PvP arenas, more PvP rewards, and an open-world PvP challenge called the Devilian War. Players will test both systems in this weekend’s upcoming beta test.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your preferred style of MMO combat?

A passionate WildStar discussion-slash-debate in my guild the other day on the subject of MMO combat styles had us all taking sides on what was obviously better. There were those who found action combat, with its faster skill usage and focus on positioning, quite thrilling. Then there was the crowd that preferred the older tab-targeting style with global cooldowns and more abilities for the option to think through fights and not just button mash. And that’s not even counting games like Guild Wars 2 that take a bit from column A and column B.

Maybe action combat is more the wave of the future and in line with what gamers are used to in other PC and console titles, but I still prefer systems like those found in RIFT and SWTOR. I’m not quite willing to have all of my MMOs be boiled down into six buttons that I smash with impunity like a toddler.

So what’s your preferred style of MMO combat?

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Global Chat: Gearing up in WildStar

If you’re anything like me, when you get to the max level in a game, there’s a general flailing of hands and a feeling of inner stupidity that go along with the thought of “what do I do now?”

That’s why I’m deeply and profoundly grateful for Asmiroth, who put together two incredibly helpful guides to WildStar’s endgame PvE gearing and rune system. Seriously, he’s doing all of the heavy ‘splaining that the game should’ve done in the first place. It’s quite straight-forward and useful, which are two qualities that I find attractive in a blog post.

If WildStar isn’t your jam, don’t worry. Today’s blog tour includes stops at Asheron’s Call 2, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars 2, among others!

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Trove begins testing 5v5 battle arena

Not everyone gets along all of the time, even in Trove. And Trion Worlds wants to let players know that it’s OK to have a mild disagreement that can only be settled on the field of combat, which is why the studio is creating a 5v5 battle arena.

The battle arena is currently in testing and throws teams of five against each other to repeatedly capture the enemy’s flag. Trion has further plans for the arena, including attaching rewards to the bouts and allowing players to construct their own creative arenas.

Source: Trove

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Defiance celebrates Thanksgiving by shooting turkeys out of a gun

Defiance’s world is quite changed from our own, so it’s to be expected that Thanksgiving there has morphed into something a little crazier than our own food-laden holiday.

The game is currently in the throes of its New Frontier Harvest event, during which players can complete contracts for new weapons and earn a Frontier Fighter title. Defiance is also selling a holiday pack that includes a NFH-15 Invader gun that, yes, shoots irritated turkeys at one’s foes.

The event will continue through November 30th. Trion Worlds said that it will be hosting special sales later this month as well.

Source: Defiance

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ELOA hits open beta, launches in a week

We will assume that this morning you sprang out of bed, threw open the curtains, and shouted to the birds, “Hello world, it’s ELOA Open Beta Day!” If not, we shall forgive you and you can proceed head back to your bed for a second chance at a dramatic beginning.

Indeed, Elite Lord of Alliance’s beta is now available for anyone to check out, with a level cap of 30, PvP battlefields, and the new Mud Swamp Floor dungeon. Players who take advantage of the OBT will also experience in-game events such as a screenshot challenge and will be handing out daily rewards.

The open beta will continue right up until launch, which Webzen has set for November 24th. You can check ELOA’s OBT trailer after the break.

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