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 Daily Grind: Do you see hate speech in your MMO?

The other day one of our readers, Joe F., pointed us at a conversation between Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman and an ArcheAge customer who was banned. In the exchange, Hartsman said he reviewed the chat log that led to the ban, concluding, “In 2015, those two words aren’t ‘cussing.’ One is hate speech, the other racism. We wish you the best.”

Obviously, there are lots of kind players who exist together in peace in MMOs, but there are also bad eggs who do like to sling slurs against others out of anger or as part of their “gaming vocabulary.” In your MMOs, do you see much hate speech in chat and tells, or are most folks pretty much behaving themselves?

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!


SkySaga’s NA alpha test begins on February 19

You won’t have long to wait at all to get a shot at playing SkySaga if you’re in the US or Canada. The sandvox title is preparing to open its closed alpha test to North American players from Thursday, February 19th through February 26th. Thus far, SkySaga’s alpha has been contained to Europe only. Interested players will need to register on the website.

We’ve got the announcement trailer and a post-mortem of the alpha to date after the break. Be forewarned: After you see the trailer, you will believe that a bear can fly!

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Player creates EverQuest missions in Neverwinter’s foundry

MMO player and blogger Tipa (of West Karana) decided that she wanted to marry her long-running interest in EverQuest to her current online adventures in Neverwinter. Thus, she began what she called the “EverQuest in Neverwinter” campaign: a series of foundry quests that revolve around classic EQ lands and continue stories from that game.

Last year she released a few EQ-themed quests using the foundry editor, including Crushbone’s Revenge and Tempest in a Freepot. Tipa is currently working on a module called Newfallen that takes inspiration from EverQuest’s Plight of the Undead trial.

Fortunately, she says that quests such as Crushbone’s Revenge are accessible to even the most ignorant of Norrath: “While this story takes place in and around EverQuest locations, no knowledge of EQ is necessary (though background information is optionally provided).”

[Source: Neverwinter forums, West Karana]


Age of Wulin is bringing secrets and betrayals on March 10

The martial arts sandbox Age of Wulin is preparing to move into the next phase of its evolution with Chapter 4: Betrayal & Forgiveness. The newest update to the game will be arriving next month on March 10th.

As the name implies, the update will add a new betrayal system that will allow players to hop to a faction, another sect, or go rogue as a vagabond. In addition, it isn’t just about leaving one’s sect, but how players will leave; players will be offered the choice of departing their faction in one of three ways, each with its own pros and cons.

To tempt players into changing sides, the team is including the choice of six new “secret” factions, including new stories, areas, and special abilities. Chapter 4 will also be adding a weather system to the game.

[Source: Age of Wulin, press release]


Warhammer 40k: You’re a soldier, not the chosen one

If you are bone tired of the MMO trope where you (and millions of other players) are the chosen hero fated to rescue the entire world, then Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade’s ego-busting approach might be right up your alley.

“Unlike traditional MMOs, we aren’t treating you like the fated hero of the land — you’re a soldier here to do a job. And if you become a hero or a leader of men, it’s because you really earned it,” Lead Game Designer Brent Ellison said in an interview. “You’re important because your team is important.”

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Dream of Mirror Online returns from the dead

After several years of being out of commission, Dream of Mirror Online (DOMO) is coming back for a second shot at success. The closed beta of the anime fantasy MMO began on February 13th under the Suba Games umbrella.

DOMO originally launched in North America in 2007 and operated by Aeria Games but was cancelled in 2012. Since then, the title has been looking to make a comeback through an already-successful Steam Greenlight campaign.

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Black Desert makes $2M in cash shop sales in one week

Wait, what did that headline say? Did Black Desert really make a cool two million in just a week?

Apparently so! According to FreeMMOStation.com, the Korean fantasy title made 2.3 billion KWN ($2 million) in its first week of open beta in the country. Those sales were powered by Black Desert’s impressive 1.5 million registered users.

Now the question is, when Black Desert comes to the west in 2016, will future sales make this look like pocket change?

[Source: FreeMMOStation.com via Reddit]


The Soapbox: It’s the little things that make an MMO special

In the years that I’ve been playing and covering MMOs, I’ve noticed that there are two distinct phases when it comes to introducing a new game. The first is the big marketing push, as the team introduces the MAJOR TALKING POINTS and attempts to overwhelm players with how this will be the MMO to end all MMOs due to its sheer feature list. We — the press and the community — get a lot of talking mileage out of this, although it typically devolves into a straight-up comparison of other titles.

But then there’s a lesser-noticed but perhaps more significant stage, when people start checking out the game and commenting not on its impressive feature list but on the little details that stand out. I’ve read and written my fair share of posts where the author burbles excitedly about some cool little thing he or she noticed and enjoyed, and that sort of enthusiasm seems more genuine and personal.

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One Shots: A new hope

Welcome back to One Shots, Massively OP’s weekly salute to excellent and interesting player screenshots! It feels good to be in our new home and able to post larger pics.

When we sounded the evacuation alarm from Massively, I forgot to rescue the remainder player screenshots from our One Shots email account. Fortunately, our EIC Bree was of a much more sound mind and grabbed them for me so that we could bring them over to the new site with the continuation of this column.

Our very first screenshot here is from longtime reader Dirty Klingon, who snapped this pic in Final Fantasy XIV: “My bro is a 1337 pro top d4wg, and when I play he runs me through dungeons. During one such dungeon run, I caught a duo-selfie with him, which he absolutely hates.”

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite winter zone?

In the northern parts of the US, we are currently in the grips of a particularly brutal winter. Snow, ice, frostbite, polar bear attacks, and tauntings by the seasonally superior Canadian military are all a part of life these days. And as much as I’m not a fan of continually shoveling my driveway, I have to say that I am a sucker for a good winter… zone in an MMO.

Forochel in Lord of the Rings Online comes to mind as one of my favorite. It’s not your typical Alpine ski resort zone, but rather a desolate, above-the-Arctic-circle landscape dominated by freezing cold, an icy bay, and the Northern Lights. Every time I’m there, it makes me feel as though I’ve truly traveled to a far-off land.

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Marvel Heroes adds Arachne team-up, starts Mardi Gras

It does seem as though any popular superhero will inevitably drum up a bunch of me-too imitators, from Batgirl to Wonder Dude (who totally doesn’t exist but should). So if you have a penchant for the Spider-Man family but would like a female version to tag along with you, then Marvel Heroes has a new Arachne team-up available for the asking (and paying).

In other news, the game is throwing a conjoined Mardi Gras/Carnival event in addition to Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year drops. During Mardi Gras, players can trade beads and masks to Gambit for rewards, get extra daily rewards (including eternity splinters), fight bosses who may drop double loot, and enjoy a 100% boost to XP and rare item find.

[Source: Arachne team-up, Mardi Gras event]


Spread the love with The Secret World’s Valentine’s Day event

Just because the world is being taken over by secret cabals and an unstoppable wave of filth from the outer darkness doesn’t mean that there’s no time for love! Just keep telling yourself that as you participate in The Secret World’s romantic event going on right now in the game.

For this year’s Valentine’s Day event, players can purchase Bags of Saint Valentinus to spread gifts to others around you — and reward you with a special dance emote. Players can buy two bags per day from in-game vendors (and additional ones from the store). The bags, which contain new clothing options among other goodies, will be available through February 25th.

[Source: Official site. Thanks to Nordavind for the tip!]


World of Warcraft’s graphics to improve in Patch 6.1

While many of you World of Warcraft players will be squeeing over your new Twitter integration and making the world a much more dangerous place to exist by driving recklessly when Patch 6.1 arrives, some will also take a moment to appreciate new and returning video options that will make this 10-year-old title sparkle.

A new dev diary posted yesterday talks about some of these additional graphics options, including the return of a couple of types of anti-aliasing. Even better, the team is adding something called “per-pixel deferred point lights” that will allow illumination sources such as campfires and torches to throw off more realistic lighting.

These and more graphic options are currently available on the test realm.

[Source: Engineer’s Workshop]


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