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

The Secret World shuts down accounts linked to unauthorized Steam key resellers

Funcom is drawing a line for The Secret World players who attempt to use Steam keys from “unauthorized resellers” by shutting down accounts linked to those keys. The studio posted both a warning and advice on the forums for those caught up in this mess.

“These unauthorized resellers are retailers that have not been approved by us to sell game keys,” Funcom said. “Generally, they buy keys in bulk through other third parties. While some of them are reputable vendors, others may have utilized fraudulent practices, which will result in Steam or Funcom never receiving payment for purchases.”

Funcom advised players to file a return or dispute the charges from these key sales and to purchase an authorized key to reactivate affected accounts. A similar issue with Steam keys cropped up a couple of weeks ago in Elder Scrolls Online.

Source: Official forums. Thanks to Crow for the tip!


Heroes of the Storm readies Eternal Conflict patch

Last week, Heroes of the Storm launched. But that was the past, and Blizzard is all about looking ahead to the future. Part of this forward thinking is the preparation of a meaty content expansion for the game called Eternal Conflict.

Eternal Conflict’s keystone features will be a brand-new map, Battlefield of Eternity, as well as an additional character. The map pits two marching immortal characters against each other as players attempt the pave the way for victory. The Butcher will be joining the game from the Diablo franchise as an assassin who gets some oomph from eating his defeated enemies.

Eternal Conflict is heading to the game around the end of the month. You can check out videos of Battlefield of Eternity and The Butcher after the jump!

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One Shots: The infinite summons

One of the stranger Final Fantasy tropes is that the more powerful a summoned creature is, the longer it would take for any given game to play its animation. By the time I left the series around Final Fantasy X, summons were getting ridiculously long (like, make yourself lunch and go to the bathroom long). I can only imagine how patient that Reader Jay Bird had to be when he pulled the following whopper out of his pocket.

OK, so it’s a boss, but still. Jay says, “Tonight my Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV took down Twintania, the final boss of the First Coil of Bahamut. This was a huge achievement for us, and afterward we were all treated to this beautiful money shot in front of the head of Bahamut. We must have spent about 20 minutes taking screenshots in there.”

Selfies in front of good-looking corpses — this is why funeral homes don’t allow gamers. But we allow it, so head on in to this week’s collection of player screenies!

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The Game Archaeologist: The Matrix Online

It’s not every year that a movie comes along that captures the pop culture zeitgeist so powerfully and so quickly as The Matrix did. I recall lugging a few college friends along to see this back in 1999 — having heard only a few sparse details about it beforehand — and coming out of the theater feeling as if we we’d been electrified. The bold mix of science fiction, martial arts, philosophy, action, and leather ensembles became the smash hit of the year, and a franchise was born.

And while we had great hopes that this would be this generation’s Star Wars, The Matrix ultimately proved to be a lightning-in-a-bottle phenomenon, impossible to recapture once unleashed. Sequels, animated shorts, video games, comic books — none rose to the height of the original film, and eventually the franchise petered out.

During this period, an odd duck of an MMO was born: The Matrix Online. When you think about it, an online virtual world where people log in and fight against programs was a really short hop from the movie series. MxO, as it was abbreviated, was an audacious game with unique features, story-centric gameplay, and a sci-fi bent in a field of fantasy competitors, and while it only lasted four years, it was enough to make a lasting impression for its community. Today, we’re going to revisit the 1s and 0s of The Matrix Online to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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The Daily Grind: Is swimming really that important in MMOs?

One of the big brouhahas that arose back in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s development was the game’s lack of any type of swimming. No swimming? We might as well roleplay in a desert! Oh, the humanity!

Obviously, I do not have a deep vested interest in whether or not an MMO has swimming. The swimming skill in Anarchy Online was a joke stat, the much-vaunted underwater combat in Guild Wars 2 ended up keeping me on dry land, and I am generally pleased that my WildStar hoverboard works on water (take that, McFly) so that I don’t have to get wet. You know what’s the opposite of fun? When you’re swimming and you can’t find a place to leave the water, so you have to dog-paddle slowly around until you find a ramp somewhere.

Is swimming in MMOs really that important of a game feature? If so, what does it add to the experience for you?

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!


World of Warcraft inducted into World Video Game Hall of Fame

If you had to pick six of the most influential video games in history, what would they be?

For a panel of experts at the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., the answer is, “Pong, Tetris, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Doom, and World of Warcraft.” The so-called “national museum of play” recently inducted its first class of picks into its Video Game Hall of Fame, which includes the still-popular fantasy MMO.

According to the museum, the six games picked had to meet certain criteria: “They’re iconic, have longevity, reach across international boundaries, and exert influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society.”

Source: Video Game Hall of Fame via Washington Post. Thanks to bambocheur for the tip!


Allods Online gets Steam Greenlight go-ahead

If you figure that getting onto Steam is vital for the future of your favorite MMO, then Allods Online players have to be giving a small cheer today. The team announced that the game got enough votes to be officially greenlit on Steam, meaning that it will join the roster of MMO offerings on the platform.

To thank the community for its support, the devs are reducing the cost of upgrading rare equipment and increasing loot gain. There are also plans in the works to schedule “lucky moments” for both servers.


Destiny’s community helps to raise $1M for Nepal recovery

When tragedy struck and the call went out to pitch in, let it be said that the Destiny community stepped up to help. As part of a fundraiser with Bungie, profits from a sale of in-game and real-world gear were donated to Direct Relief for the aid and recovery of Nepal earthquake victims. Along with funds from Activision, the drive raised over a million dollars that is now going out to assist the rebuilding of the region.

“This was an astounding act of generosity on the part of Bungie and the larger Bungie community,” Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe said, “and we at Direct Relief are deeply grateful — beyond what can be expressed in words.”

The studio’s weekly update newsletter went on to encourage players to help track down cheaters and mentioned a recent hotfix that patched up a couple of issues from the recent expansion.


Infinite Crisis fan organizes last hurrah

When faced with the end of a game that you love, how do you use those final days? While some might grieve over Infinite Crisis’ premature closure, one player is organizing a community-wide event to make the most of the time that is left.

Player Dycer announced on the forums that he’s putting together a weekly rotation of custom games for any and all to enjoy. “I want to help the most amount of people leave the game with good memories as possible,” he posted, going on to list the schedule and add his personal memories about each of the MOBA’s maps.

Dycer said that he’s going to try to keep the matches going as long as he can.


Tree of Life persecutes thieves and stymies griefers

Since landing on Steam early access last week, Tree of Life has been patching frequently and furiously. The team is not only working on the underlying hardware but also adding several features to make players feel safe and secure in this sandbox.

Now players can lock up their goods in an effort to thwart robbers. And if those thieves abscond with hard-earned materials? Why, they’ll find themselves branded a criminal (apparently, stealing didn’t trigger this before now). The team also fixed a bug that allowed the worst of the worst evil players to shed their criminal status by being bad for 600 hours.

Other changes that have arrived include improved walls to shut out griefers and a nerf to the destructive efforts of the wildlife.

Source: Steam #1, #2, #3. Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!


Iron Realms creates user-friendly MUD client

It’s easy for the modern MMO gamer to be put off by multi-user dungeons (MUDs), what with their lack of graphical frills and their overabundance on pesky words. However, for a subset of gamers and developers, there’s still a very special magic that takes place in the realm of MUDs, and one company isn’t giving up on trying to draw in new players.

Iron Realms Entertainment has announced that it has developed a new HTML5 client to serve as a bridge between the text-based core of its MUDs and the modern graphical overlays gamers are used to seeing. The client works on PC browsers, on tablets, and conditionally on smaller devices as well.

“We’ve made it somewhat easier for new players to overcome the learning curve inherent in a text game so they can discover the truly deep and broad worlds that we’ve built,” Iron Realms said. The studio has a stable of five MUDs and has been in operation since 1997.


Hearthstone welcomes new heroes to the table

Something intriguing is afoot over at Hearthstone. Blizzard. announced today that it’s preparing to introduce new heroes — not classes — to its successful card game.

These heroes will inhabit the same roles as before but offer a new cosmetic twist for those sick of staring at the same-old pictures. In addition to animated portraits of characters, there will be new emotes, voices, visual flair, and card backings to accompany the premium heroes.

The first one to go on sale will be Magni Bronzebeard, who will take the place of the default Warrior. Magni and his future ilk will cost $9.99 to purchase. Check out the following video for more details!

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Champions Online is revamping its tutorial

If you ever felt let down or confused over Champions Online’s introductory experience, then the team would like to welcome you to try it again soon. Cryptic is hard at work revamping its tutorial experience, changing it to be themed as a virtual training exercise at the Ravenswood Academy. The Academy will also show up in the game world near the Renaissance Center.

“It’s the perfect time for us to take a fresh look at our tutorial and what new players experience in Champions Online,” Cryptic said. “We’re making some changes to provide better immersion, faster flow, reduced friction points, and clearer explanation of game mechanics.”


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