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

Destiny is adding strike matchmaking to patch 1.1.1

If you’ve been having a hard time finding companions to help you through your weekly heroic strikes in Destiny, then Bungie is sending patch 1.1.1 on a mission to rescue you (and others in your situation, of course).

In this week’s update post, the team said that a major addition with 1.1.1 will be a matchmaking service for weekly heroic strikes. According to the devs, most players didn’t have enough friends to participate in them and would benefit from being automatically grouped up with strangers. This change means that the weekly heroic cannot be soloed.

Bungie has thus far resisted adding any type of matchmaking or looking for group service for its raids. Other changes coming with 1.1.1 include balance tweaks, a reputation screen, and a fix to the heavy ammo bug.

[Source: Bungie weekly update]

Comment

WoW and Destiny topped media mentions in 2014

This will probably not come as a shock to you, but a lot of press was talking about World of Warcraft and Destiny last year.

ICO Media tallied up all of the article mentions of video games in 2014 and sorted them out according to categories. Destiny was near the top of the overall heap at 36,915 mentions. In the straight-up MMO category, World of Warcraft topped at 21,449 mentions, followed by Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, WildStar and Guild Wars 2.

MOBA mentions were included as well, and League of Legends led the pack with 21,222 mentions. To illustrate just how much LoL dominates that part of the industry, the next game mentioned — Dota 2 — only had 11,069 mentions.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Comment

One Shots: Dragons can be heroes, too

I’ve given dragons a lot of flack over the years for being overused, underwhelming stock MMO bosses when bears deserve top billing. But what about player dragon heroes? Where do they stand in my estimation?

I guess I’ll give them the scaly benefit of the doubt that they can do actual good in the world and be self-sacrificing for those in need, although it wouldn’t surprise me if most of them turned out to be raid villains in the making.

Our first One Shot for the day is from dragon-loving Jake: “This is Kahdesh’Hadhi, an Argonian Dragon Knight from Elder Scrolls Online. I think this game is beautiful, and I’ve taken more screenshots here in the past week than I have in any other game. It helps that the UI is so minimal that I’m much more immersed in the environment and aware of my surroundings on a regular basis.”

Read more

Skyforge preps for NA and EU closed beta

Closed beta testing for Skyforge will be coming soon to North America and Europe, according to a new producer’s letter. While Skyforge is already hosting “some CBT activities” in Russia, the science-fiction MMO is working hard on server architecture and localization so that testing can commence in additional regions.

The team has ambitious plans for the upcoming test: “Starting with CBT1, we’ll support more players, have more content and features enabled, and will be keeping our test servers up for longer and longer periods of time as CBT progresses. In addition to all the new content you’ll come across and adventure in, you’ll also get some hands-on time with a few new features in CBT1 including character customization, itemization and upgrades, [and] the marketplace and the greatness system.”

Information about founders packs for the game is also forthcoming.

[Source: Producer’s letter]

Comment

LOTRO Legendarium: What can we expect from Mordor?

Welcome to LOTRO Legendarium, the continuation of my old Road to Mordor column from Massively. Why the name change? First, I never got to name RTM (it was chosen by another author before I came on board as a writer). Second, I wanted to work in Lord of the Rings Online’s name into the title. And third, I liked how Tolkien used the term Legendarium to refer to his writings on Arda. And here we are!

As I make my way through Central Gondor on my Captain, my attention and thoughts have increasingly turned to our assumed great destination: Mordor. While 2015 holds large updates for us in Gondor, including Osgiliath and Minas Tirith, it’s a reasonable assumption that our next steps will take us through the Black Gate and into the foul lands of the Enemy.

So if and when that happens, what can we expect from a nation that personifies evil with its very essence?

Read more

EverQuest Next severs ties with Storybricks

Daybreak continues to trim its asset portfolio, as the former SOE studio has cut loose artificial intelligence software company Storybricks from the EverQuest Next project.

“We are not working with Storybricks any more,” Senior Producer Terry Michaels said on a livestream chat yesterday. “We made the decision that it was in the best interest of the game to take that work in-house. They did a lot of work for us and we’ll be utilizing that. It’s not like that work is lost.”

The team said that it is “still committed” to making strong AI happen in the game.

[Source: Livestream chat. Thanks to Ranging Berserker for the tip!]

Comment

The Daily Grind: Are you with or behind the player curve?

There’s one unfortunate fallout to taking an extended leave from an MMO: You quickly fall behind the curve. As patches and expansions and changes roll in, players in the game adapt and conquer while you’ll be playing catch-up if or when you come back.

I’m experiencing this right now in Star Wars: The Old Republic. When I left, my Operative was doing Makeb with the rest of the crowd, but now that I’ve returned, I’m one of approximately six people on this planet while everyone else is Rishi this and Rishi that. I don’t even know what a Rishi is, although I suspect it’s some type of midichlorian pasta maker.

In your MMO, are you with or behind the player curve?

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!

Comment

Trials of Ascension attempts another Kickstarter campaign

Permadeath, corpse looting, and no mini-map: Will this be tempting enough to get the community on board with donations? Trials of Ascension hopes so, as the fantasy sandbox has launched a new Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising $600,000 for further development. The team says that it already has a product worth backing: “We have a playable prototype on very stable network code along with a solid server infrastructure.”

Forged Chaos undoubtedly hopes to overcome its failure from its 2013 Kickstarter campaign. After only pulling in $86,835 out of a $750,000 goal, the studio canceled the campaign and switched to an open donation system.

If all goes well with the campaign, Trials of Ascension is looking at alpha and beta tests in 2016 and a planned 2017 launch.

[Source: Kickstarter, old Kickstarter]

Comment

Otherland beta test focuses on server stability

Otherland continues its trek back to public consciousness and notability after being dropped by Real-U and picked back up by Drago. Currently, the multi-world MMO is heading into its second closed beta test. This time around the team says that the main focus is on server stability.

“Based on this data, we have made changes to the server in an effort to make them more stable than they were before,” the team posted. “[These] changes now will need to be tested to verify that the changes did the job.”

Other aims of CBT 2.0 including tweaking DPS balancing, implementing the crafting system, and adding the auction house. The team promises that it will be handing out more beta keys compared to those distributed for the first test.

[Source: Official forums]

Comment

Defiance switches up leads while ArcheAge and RIFT elaborate on game worlds

Trick Dempsey is out as Defiance’s creative lead, but he’s pleased to pass the project on to his successor: Carble Cheung. Cheung has been with the team since 2013 and has grand plans for Defiance going forward. “Speaking of the future: ‘YES!’ we are planning for Season 3 and beyond,” he said. “This includes updates to arkfalls, sieges, expeditions, and more.”

In other Trion Worlds news, ArcheAge posted a dev diary about the Ayanad Library and RIFT spent time interviewing Lead Content Designer Julia Fleming. Fleming did drop a not-so-subtle hint about one change coming with Patch 3.2: “One of the Senior Designers (Tacitus) and I have been talking a lot about improving some of the INSTANT aspects of the game, especially those related to ADVENTURE. He’s got some interesting plans on how to make the current system more engaging for players of all levels — and a few surprises as well.”

[Source: Defiance, ArcheAge, RIFT. Thanks to Celestial for the tip!]

Comment

The Division is on track for a 2015 release

Getting your next Tom Clancy gaming fix shouldn’t be too hard this year. Ubisoft announced this past week that The Division will be coming out in 2015 in addition to Rainbow Six Siege.

Of course, you might not even know much about this open-world online RPG yet, which is understandable. If that’s the case, then there’s an excellent 12-minute “everything we know” overview video after the break that sums up the progress and features of this post-apocalyptic military title.

Read more

APB: Reloaded improving server tech for console launches

Twitch reflexes are all for naught if an MMO’s servers are super-laggy, which is why the APB: Reloaded team is dedicating itself to the task of bringing better tech online in order to improve gameplay performance and prepare for the upcoming console launches

As part of this effort, the team is looking into potential cloud hosting solutions and is improving European servers to match their US counterparts. The team announced that this switch is imminent: “The good news: We are launching the final ‘Gen 2’ servers for testing in the EU later this week!”

When APB does release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the servers will be divided into three US and three EU worlds, one for each platform per region (PC, XBox One, and PS4). The server improvements will allow for even more players to congregate on a single world.

[Source: APB blog]

Comment

Marvel Heroes to start selling limited edition costumes

One of Marvel Heroes’ big money makers is the game’s sale of iconic costumes for player heroes. In addition to creating and selling normal costumes, Marvel Heroes will begin rolling out limited edition costume variants this Saturday.

The first batch includes three costumes: Winter Soldier Movie (Maskless Variant), Hawkeye Hawkguy (Sweatpants Variant), and Star-Lord Movie (Headphones Variant). As the “limited” implies, there will only be a certain number of these on sale, and once they are sold out, they will be gone forever. Each costume comes with a special power (to display the limited edition seal), an emote, and a title.

The forums have been awash with heated debate over whether or not this is a good idea, with the topic pushing to 96 pages thus far. Will artificial scarcity plus sweatpants equal big profits for Marvel Heroes? Stay tuned and see.

Update: Gazillion announced that the costume variants will no longer be limited editions, but will be sold for a limited time (two weeks) with a price matching guarantee if it ever reappears in the store.

[Source: Marvel Heroes forums, update. Thanks to Paul and Markillion for the tip!]

Comment

1 468 469 470 471 472 475