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

One Shots: Pics or the beta didn’t happen

Stargate Worlds was one of those rare MMOs that progressed into the beta stage and was played by many yet never launched. Even today we’re still getting stories and screenshots back from testing, such as this one from reader Hicks.

“I hear you’re looking for some wacky screenshots from betas and alphas, so feast your eyes on this!” he submitted. “I dropped a few in here from Stargate Worlds closed beta. My time in it was very short before they pulled the plug on the game completely.”

All I can say is that I would get eyestrain working on a computer with a monitor that big. That’s Justice League of America-big, really.

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The Game Archaeologist: AOL’s Neverwinter Nights

Here’s a question for you: How much do you really, really have to love a game to pay $6 to $8 an hour to play it? Considering how much we tend to whine about a flat $15/month fee, I’m guessing the answer is, “Only if it made me romantically irresistable and regularly supplied chocolate milkshakes.”

And yet, in 1991 this wasn’t considered a crazy extortionist practice; it was dubbed “being a pioneer.” While online RPGs were nothing new by then, few had tackled the jump from text to graphical games due to the technological limitations, questions over a potential market, and the required funding. It took the efforts of a Superfriends-style team to make this happen with Neverwinter Nights: Stormfront Studios developed the game, TSR provided the Dungeons & Dragons license, SSI published it, and AOL handled the online operations.

And thus six years before Ultima Online and 13 before World of Warcraft came on the scene, what many consider the first true multiplayer graphical RPG went online and helped forge a path that would lead to where we are today. With only a few hundred players per server, Neverwinter Nights may not have been “massively,” but it deserves a spot of honor as one of the key ancestors to the modern MMO.

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The Daily Grind: Are you an obsessive MMO screenshotter?

I can’t help myself. I’m sorry, but I can’t. I have folders stuffed with screenshots that attest to my habit of always stopping to photo-document my journey. And, on occasion, to take a picture that proves that The Secret World contains a restaurant called Pam the Clam.

I know I’m not alone; I’ve met many gamers, including some who work here at Massively Overpowered, who jam on that screenshot key as if it delivered donuts and dollars to their front door. It’s a good thing that such players exist, because they keep One Shots in business.

Are you a fellow obsessive screenshotter? If so, what’s your reason for doing it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Skyforge’s PvP promotes skill over gear

One of the Holy Grails of PvP in MMOs is to emphasize player skill over all else, including gear. It’s a difficult route to take, but Skyforge looks to be attempting just this in order to stand out in the industry.

“Due to the fast-paced action-based combat in Skyforge, PvP basically requires fast reflexes and quick thinking in order to succeed,” one Skyforge PvP guide remarks. “Players will have the opportunity to PvP in ways they cannot in other MMO’s because gear will not be unanimously required in order to perform well.”

The guide lists several other unique features of Skyforge’s PvP, including wide class customization, a myriad of game modes, and the opportunity to progress solely and fully through the PvP game if so desired.

[Source: motdmedia.com]

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Warface opens up an African theater with its latest update

Good little soldiers, it’s time to get your co-op shooting on, as Warface has expanded to include Africa for the first time. It’s not the entire continent (that would be insane), but it does include five diverse multiplayer maps.

Under the umbrella of Operation Endless Skies, players will fight in jungles, canyons, across a giant dam and even inside a grounded cargo ship. The update also added a capture-the-flag PvP map, and an updated version of the Safe House, and additional gear and weapons for the fight. Check out the update trailer after the jump!

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Worlds Adrift procedurally generates ‘amazing’ islands

Just because Worlds Adrift’s islands will be procedurally generated doesn’t mean that they will be dull and featureless. On the contrary, a new dev diary claims that the system can already generate “truly amazing” floating islands that are chock-full of vistas and resources.

The diary said that the team is working on creating biome-specific islands that are explorable on the outside as well as in their caves and underneath: “Our goal is to make use of every area of the islands. Once your crew has landed and set up camp it’s up to you to delegate tasks, sending people out to chop down trees, spelunking for treasures and precious metals, or exploring the mysterious ruins — all the while being wary of other crews or any wildlife you come across.”

You can watch the Worlds Adrift island dev video after the jump!

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The Secret World cinematic director moves on to other Funcom projects

If you’ve enjoyed the hand-crafted cinematics in The Secret World over the past couple of years, then chances are you’ve benefited from the efforts of Cinematic Director Davichi. Alas, Davichi announced on the forums that he’s transferred from the TSW team to work on unspecified Funcom projects.

“After almost five years of working on cinematics for TSW it is time to move on,” Davichi said. “It has been a great project to work on and I will miss it. […] One thing to remember: I have not made the cinematics alone. There has been many other involved making assets we needed to make the cinematics, as good as possible within time and cost. Most of these will continue to work on TSW, whether it be for assets for cinematics or gameplay.”

Davichi follows former TSW Producer Joel Bylos, who left in February for the aforementioned secret projects.

[Source: Official forums]

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Shards Online prepares for pre-alpha test on May 9th

Shards Online is preparing to give players a brief taste of its future potential, as Citadel Studios is planning on a pre-alpha test to run on May 9th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The playtest is one of several announcements in the April newsletter, as the team mentioned that it’s implemented a day/night cycle and finished the prototype for the metalsmithing and salvaging skills.

The game also has a new executive producer — and he is in love with the game’s modding potential. The new EP is Brett Robinson, formerly of Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, and FusionFall, and in the newsletter he talked about what’s thrilling him about Shards’ potential.

“I have had a chance to tinker with modding, and even in pre-alpha and without our full spectrum of planned tools I am amazed at how powerful and flexible it is,” Robinson said. “The ability to completely mod the game from top to bottom to create your own unique Shards to experience is going to be one of SO’s most exciting and powerful facets.”

[Source: April Newsletter]

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Eternal Crusade lead level designer is the latest in a string of desertions

Eternal Crusade seems to have a retention problem with its employees, as Lead Level Designer Steven Lumpkin just became the latest of a series of devs who have left the project this year.

Lumpkin announced that he is leaving Behaviour Interactive for another game studio: “In a week, I will be departing my role as Lead Level Designer on Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. I feel gratified to have worked with this team for the past two years, and they’re well positioned to deliver a strong founder’s access. I look forward to battling alongside you all when it gets into our hands later this year.”

When he departs, Lumpkin will join the ranks of fellow ex-Eternal Crusade developers Studio Head Miguel Caron and Lead Programmer Patrick Balthazar, both of whom have left in the past few months.

[Source: TwitLonger, official forums]

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Marvel Heroes adds achievements and Vision

Life is moving ever-faster for Marvel Heroes. Not only is the game currently in the grips of the movie tie-in Avengers Assemble event, but now it’s added an achievement system for those who love to chase higher and higher numbers. This new system isn’t pure epeen boosting, as some of the achievements will unlock usable rewards such as titles and pets.

Players have plenty of other content to check out as well. There’s the Ultron challenge for level 60 heroes and the addition of Vision to the roster. Vision is a ranged character with 24 powers spread across three trees: density control, solar power, and android. You can see him (it?) in action after the break!

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SWTOR pulls healing changes for further review

Our mother always said never to do anything in half-measures, which is why she may approve of BioWare yanking some of the upcoming healing changes in Star Wars: The Old Republic in Patch 3.2.1 for being “incomplete.”

The studio said that player feedback and an internal review prompted the healing change recall, although it hopes it will be able to bring the full vision of such changes in a future patch after more testing.

“The goal of this update was to increase the burst healing of healers while simultaneously balancing healing per second (HPS) values, and resource management for healers,” BioWare said. “We are not completely satisfied with the present state of the healing changes, and want to give the community more time to play with the changes and offer their feedback.”

[Source: Official forums via Dulfy]

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War Thunder update celebrates Victory Day’s 70th anniversary

As we near the 70th anniversary of World War II’s Victory in Europe Day, War Thunder figured that it would be a good time to pump out a massive update to mark the occasion. Today Gaijin Entertainment unleashed the Weapons of Victory 1.70.1945 update, which contains a whopping 40 new vehicles and three additional theater maps.

With the patch, players can hop into war machines like the UK’s Sea Gladiator plane and the T34 Sherman “Calliope” rocket-launching tank, and fight on new maps such as Normandy and Reichstag. There are even a half-dozen historical fighter planes that are waiting to tell players stories about the pilots who once flew them.

The update also added improved materials for its vehicles that allow the game to accurately display battle damage. Finally, there are new tournament events coming for the best pilots and commanders to undertake. You can watch a dev diary on the update after the break!

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Project Genom gameplay video shows off its high-tech weapons

The sci-fi shooter Project Genom is making great strides with its post-Unreal Engine 4 transition, and the dev team put together a new gameplay video to show off how shockingly good-looking the game and its models are.

The following video shows a heavily armored character running around in one of the environments and fighting mobs with a variety of weapons while a developer discusses the options that players will have. There’s also talk of the leveling and skill system, and how that will differ in Project Genom compared to other MMOs. You can check it out after the break!

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