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

Get pumped up for SMITE with this cinematic trailer

Dragging a bit now that you’re back into the normal post-holiday routine? Then drink up a tall glass of rock-n-roll with this a new SMITE cinematic trailer.

The four-minute trailer, called To Hell & Back, features some of the game’s pantheon gleefully fighting in the arena, all set to some headbanging tunes. It’s pretty well-done and quite long for a fully CGI piece. So what are you waiting for? Get pumped up for this MOBA by watching the video after the jump, and don’t forget about the World Championships this week!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 45: MMOs in the new year

It’s a brand new year for MMOs — and who knows what it will bring? Today on the show, Bree and Justin welcome 2016 as they discuss the big news over the past couple of weeks, including a lot of industry drama and a ray of hope for one struggling MMO.

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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Revival seeks more fans, plans investment into the game in 2016

On the verge of getting the Stage 1 client of Revival released, IllFonic posted a start-of-the-year newsletter to rally the faithful and encourage them to spread the word about the game. The team admitted that it had fallen behind on the planned development of the game due to the early cessation of the studio’s work on Star Citizen and the need to scrounge up more funds from investors and other studio projects.

Still, the letter is incredibly positive and gives Revival’s backers a reason to look forward to 2016. The team said that IllFonic will be getting out several other games this year which will give Revival “traction” and that fans can look forward to estate upgrade kits, gifting, and a larger player testing pool, as well as the aforementioned Stage 1.
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Project Gorgon gives away free gifts for the new year

It’s a very happy new year in Project Gorgon, as this week’s patch brings not only a home for animal players but also free gifts through the new item delivery system.

By logging in and typing “/redeem Happy2016” players will be gifted with a party supply pack (one per account). Players with accounts made in or before 2014 can additionally type “/redeem IAmSoOld” for another goodie bundle. Additionally, many NPCs will now give gifts to characters who have taken the time to befriend them.

The January 3rd patch includes the first version of Animal Town on Sun Vale’s beach, where NPCs won’t even talk to you unless you’ve been transformed into a beast. Cows and deer characters can now level up to 60, and cows have a new tough hooves ability.

Source: Loader patch notes

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Origins of Malu is launching in stages early this year

Wondering whatever happened to Origins of Malu? Apparently the devs were working elsewhere for a while but have now turned their attention back to the title. A new post on Steam revealed that the game will be launching “in stages” over the next few months as a free-to-play MMO.

“We will drop the price of our early access when we have things sorted out,” the team said, “so until then the folks who bought early will get a special treat and some nice rewards. We will announce these soon we are just finalizing some details and to be very honest we have been setting things up and getting the machine in a proper state. Long story short, give a week or two and things should be running smoothly and we can get back to features on the MMO.”

The post also addressed the status of the mobile game and promised new forums soon. Burning Dog said that it’s continuing to look for investors but has vowed to move forward with the launch no matter what.

Source: Steam

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John Smedley on player emulator projects: ‘Good for them’

Ex-Daybreak President John Smedley took to Twitter last night to throw his support behind MMO emulator projects. While most studios publicly ignore or condemn these fan projects, it was a well-known secret that Daybreak held a favorable attitude about them.

“I’ve been asked recently about my feelings on emulators like SWG Emu and things like Project 1999,” he posted. “Now that I’m no longer at Daybreak/SOE I can speak my mind. Truth is I’ve always respected the hell out of the people that work on the emulator stuff. Good for them. I would love to have turned over the source code for older games as long as it’s handled properly. Anyone that has that kind of passion and backwards engineers a server is someone I respect highly.”

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Jumping onto a Final Fantasy XIV Japanese server can be a culture shock

Have you ever been curious about how different the Final Fantasy XIV experience is on its native Japanese servers? One English-speaking player decided to roll a character on a Japanese world to learn the language and see how the community acted over there.

So what was most notable difference that the player encountered in his or her adventures on a Japanese shard? “There are no gold sellers spamming/whispering on Japanese servers,” the author said. “Yes, you heard that correctly. It’s apparently a [North American] ‘thing.'”

The author also notes that the Japanese server seems to include more fashion-conscious characters, an abundance of Lalafell toons, more party chat, different approaches to tackling dungeons, and the perception that English-speaking players aren’t that good at the game. It’s an interesting piece that helps to give a wider perspective on how MMO gaming adapts to native cultures.

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RuneScape throws a month-long party for its 15th anniversary

Yes, believe it or not, RuneScape is turning 15 years old this year, and by the look of it, this MMO is still doing incredibly well for itself. To mark this festive occasion, Jagex is throwing a full month of events and activities to give RuneScape the proper birthday celebration that it deserves.

The party includes special livestreams, a statue collection quest, a trivia contest, and a new in-game birthday hub with presents for all. One of the big rewards that can be earned through these activities is a 15th birthday emote that will actually grow longer and more complex as the year progresses.

Happy birthday, RuneScape!

Source: RuneScape. Thanks, John!

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ARK lets you hop around on a prehistoric kangaroo

Bet when you woke up this morning you didn’t know that you were going to learn what a Procoptodon was. Well you are right now: It’s basically a big old prehistoric kangaroo.

And you know what’s even better than learning an important piece of information like that? Knowing that if you play ARK: Survival Evolved, you can ride this new beast if you find and tame it. The cool thing is that this mount can carry two passengers, which is the first such animal in the game that’s able to do that for some reason. C’mon, you know you want to hop with the best!

Check out the Procoptodon in action after the break.

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Escape from Tarkov starts taking preorders

Gear up, mercenaries: Escape from Tarkov has started taking preorders for four different game packages, even though the title hasn’t gone into testing yet. The preorder packages range in cost from $45 to $140 and include bonus equipment, access to the game’s various testing stages (alpha and beta), and an early unlock of the game prior to launch.

Escape from Tarkov also posted a new FAQ to answer some of the burning questions from the community. In it, the team revealed that the alpha will commence in the first quarter of this year and explained how players could get into the testing program. The FAQ also addressed the consequences of bringing all of your preorder goodies into a fight, warning that players could lose these purchased items if they’re not careful:

Q: I wonder if the more expensive editions are worth it? What is the point of enhanced starting inventory if I can lose it all in the very first firefight?
A: Although it is possible to lose everything, but only if you take everything with you, without leaving anything in the stash, which is not physically possible.

We’ve also got an inventory and looting video for you after the break!

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Valiance Online tests new client-to-server architecture, previews new website

Crime never sleeps and superhero MMOs never take a holiday from patching. Valiance Online has been hard at work whipping up a couple of new updates over the past week.

The first patch, on Christmas day, completely wiped the server and started testing new client-to-server architecture. A second smaller patch on December 29th provided more optimization and updated textures to make it more “MMO compliant.”

The team promised that a “deep content release” will be arriving in a matter of days and provided a preview of its new website. The site is certainly attractive and highlights Valiance Online’s many features, including the game’s 11 archetypes and over 90 power sets.

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The Underground is a cute 2-D sandbox

“Do anything, craft anything, be anything.”

That’s the promise of The Underground, a 2-D MMO that harkens back to an earlier era of online game visuals and feature sets. While The Underground’s look might make you think of the SNES era, its options go well beyond a simple RPG. Players can tame dragons, deck out houses, worship a deity, engage in “nearly” full-loot PvP, and take on bounties.

The Underground is currently in development, and the team said that it’s moving forward thanks to a better game engine. So if you’re looking for a different type of MMO for your winter vacation, this might be it. You can see the game’s trailer after the break.

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How to abuse Blade and Soul’s character creator for evil and amusement

There are two types of MMO gamers when it comes to character creation. The first group attempts to craft a character that looks terrific or otherwise interesting. The second group, however, gets an impish grin and then abuses customization options until unholy monstrosities that beg for a merciful death from behind the screen are a result.

Pvt Wiggles of YouTube is firmly in the latter camp, as he takes a spin through Blade and Soul’s incredibly detailed character creation system and does vastly evil (if hilarious) things to an avatar’s face. It’s something that must be seen to be believed, and we have it for you after the jump.

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