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

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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Enjoy an exclusive look at Cabal II’s PvP battlefields

If you’re a PvP junkie, you’re going to want to give Cabal II careful consideration as a possible future playground. ESTsoft released a new video today that will take you on a tour through two intense battlegrounds. These maps are the Forgotten Desert Temple (18v18) and Maelstrom Castle (6v6).

The GM not only points out the highlights of each area but discusses the PvP system in Cabal II. Apparently, building up one’s war rank is vital, as the stat boost that this gives can leave players at a distinct disadvantage if they haven’t kept up with the Joneses.

Cabal II is beginning its first closed beta test today, which runs through May 3rd. Check out the PvP video after the cut!

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Steam empowers studios to permaban players

Forget modgate — the next controversial decision by Valve might already be here. The company announced that it will be allowing game studios to identify disruptive or cheating players and target them for permanent bans from that particular game on Steam.

Valve explained its reasoning behind the so-called game ban: “In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats. Game developers inform Valve when a disruptive player has been detected in their game, and Valve applies the game ban to the account.”

Affected players will need to contact the developer rather than Valve to appeal such bans.

[Source: Steam via Eurogamer]

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See Black Desert’s Plum Flower fighter in action

She’s fast, she’s furious, and she will cut you to ribbons if you’re standing in her way. She’s the Plum Flower, the female version of Black Desert’s Blader class. Wielding a sword, the Plum Flower slashes furiously in combat while shouting and shedding flower petals.

The Plum Flower just went into Black Desert’s Korean beta test, and while you can’t play her in the west, you can check out her hyper-kinetic moves in a new video after the break. See if you can keep up with her!

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Perfect Ten: How to find the right MMO for you

A common question that I see posited around forums and Reddit is, “What MMO should I play?” If there is a more loaded question than that in this community, I haven’t heard it. What is usually being asked, by both newcomers and long-time players, is, “What MMO is right for me that I haven’t played yet?”

While I hear you and have been there, the truth is that there is no one universal answer to that question. There are just hundreds if not thousands of MMOs, big and small, out on the market, each with its own personality, feature set, and setting. Those have to be compared and matched up with the millions of people who all have their own unique preferences. It’s what makes recommending an MMO a difficult proposition.

I’m game for difficult! Today’s list won’t be “10 MMOs that I think you should play” but a rundown of how to sort through the important categories that are out there in the hopes of finding the game that’s right for you.

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Elite: Dangerous tests interplay between Mac and PC versions

Being a member of the Mac gaming tribe no longer means that you have to be quarantined from the glorious PC master race, at least in Elite: Dangerous. The devs shot out a post today to say that the crossplay testing between the Mac beta and the PC version is underway, and they asked for players’ help isolating any issues or bugs.

The team also took the opportunity to summarize many of the changes with the coming Powerplay system, especially involving the bounties that players can accrue. Further expansion of this system was teased with the possibility of interstellar bounties: “These occur when fines and/or bounties for minor factions within a major faction cross a threshold, then they are combined into an interstellar bounty. They work in the same way as normal bounties except that the jurisdiction is counted as the whole of the major faction.”

[Source: Dev update. Thanks to Phoenix_Dfire for the tip and Krazy_Wabbit for the header pic!]

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