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 Repopulation untangles its core issues and works on a new patch

Do you still hold any hope for The Repopulation? There seemed to be a decided dip in interest for this sci-fi sandbox following its change in ownership a while back, but that doesn’t mean that the project is DOA. The current owners have been posting a semi-monthly newsletter on the site to inform the community of upcoming developments, such as a patch that the team is finishing up for sometime this fall.

The new owners have been trying to figure out what key issues they inherited with this MMO: “The Repopulation has pushed the edges of what HeroEngine was designed to accommodate. That is not to say what in The Repopulation was done is ‘wrong.’ Rather, in addition to a much older version of HeroEngine, they pushed the envelope significantly further than we ever anticipated from a performance, storage and content perspective.”

The future update will contain weather changes, tweaks to the Plymouth Control Center to make it run smoothly for players, fixes for doors and lifts, and continual improvements to the starter island and the new world map. The team said that it appreciated patience during this “slow but fruitful” process.

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Video essay examines the indie MMO nostalgia trend

YouTuber The Hive Leader stirred up a lot of discussion this past weekend with a new video essay called “Nostalgia and Indie MMOs.” In it, he observes the current trend of indie projects to lean heavily upon nostalgia and past design in their construction and theorizes why this is happening.

“Nostalgia has ruled over the past few years of TV and movies, and now it appears to be hitting the MMO genre,” he says, “What is it about indie MMOs and being ‘old school?’ Are these new games trying to prove something? Or is it all just a nostalgia-fueled cash grab?”

Give it a full watch below and give us your take on this phenomenon in the comments!

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Camelot Unchained works on a 64-bit client and lovely new lighting

All this month, Camelot Unchained has been in the thick of its Beta 1 test, and so far, it doesn’t look like the devs are falling apart under the pressure. In fact, it appears as though it’s business as usual for this hard-working team, which is tackling projects such as multi-server testing, new death animations, and a style guide for the user interface.

“We’re already moving along on new priorities now that we’ve hit the start of Beta 1,” the devs wrote on Friday. “Those priorities include delicious tidbits like improved lighting and targeting to building damage, a 64-bit client, and coherent integration to support UI improvements!”

You can get cozy with the devs after the break as they talk about the progress of this beta period. It’s OK, we left them a dish of food and water under there so they wouldn’t starve.

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Forsaken Legends team gets diverted into zombie survival territory

It’s been a very long, very strange road for Forsaken Legends. This ambitious fantasy sandbox garnered some attention when it began to sell prelaunch access back in 2016. However, the minuscule team and limited funding kept development at a crawl, with the title downsizing from an MMO and then upsizing back into an MMO at various points.

Now it looks as though that project is on hold as the team at Holy Fire Games is creating a free-to-play zombie simulator called Day of the Infected. This sim is actually a simulator, with players starting out on Day One of the infection and can see it spread or curb the plague through various means.

The team said that this game will eventually serve the MMO: “We’re not giving up on Forsaken Legends by any means. This is a way for us to secure long-term funding to make sure we can make the game we set out to do in the very beginning.”

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The MOP Up: Warface heads to PlayStation 4 (August 19, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Final Fantasy XIVSoulworkerElder Scrolls OnlinePokemon GoHellionThe CycleMU OnlineWarfaceBattlerite RoyaleDauntlessWorlds AdriftSMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Supporting characters

When you look for famous characters in your MMO, you may be looking for someone complete different than the rest of the crowd.

Lt. Commander Hikari gives us an example of that with this Star Trek Online pic: “In Star Trek, I’ve always been a fan of Janice Rand. An often underestimated member of the crew (and cast) she’s one of the things that really stood out for me through the series and movies. There are lots of reasons to be a fan of the actress and character that I would encourage people to find on their own. When Agents of Yesterday was released, Grace Lee Whitney had only just passed a year prior. It was lovely to see her with the rest of the crew, where she always belonged.”

I always cheered her appearance in Star Trek VI, myself!

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Age of Conan goes triple bonus on your tanned hide

While a typical summer vacation might involve hanging out at a beach and enjoying a tasty barbeque, in Age of Conan’s world that beach is littered with crushed skulls and that barbeque is… well, you probably don’t want to know. And you definitely do not want to eat it without a strong masking agent.

That doesn’t stop the denizens of Hyboria from celebrating, even so! The summer PvP event is now running in the fantasy MMO, bringing three weeks of hefty bonuses. This means triple AA, triple PvP tokens (if you’re subbed), double XP, and double PvP XP.

Funcom teased some sort of surprise that’s coming in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. And if you played on the Saga of Zath server and haven’t, for some reason, claimed your rewards, you’ll want to do so before the end of this event period.

Source: Age of Conan. Thanks, DDO Central!

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A fluffy casual’s starting perspective on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Let me tell you a bit about me and how I play MMORPGs. Between two jobs and a family, my gaming time is relegated to the deep evening hours where peace descends upon our household. If it’s a good night, I can get in two full hours of adventuring through virtual worlds before I grow too tired to continue. Some nights it’s less.

It has been a long time since I was able to sprint alongside the pack when a new expansion or game launches, so you have to picture me as the slowpoke waaaay in the back who keeps getting distracted by small details, stops to read the quest text, and takes screenshots like I’m putting together an art book.

That’s me, the fluffy casual, and while plenty of folks have devoured vast swaths of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this week (including our own excellent Eliot), I’ve been rotating through my roster of characters and experiencing this engaging expansion at my own tempered pace. Does that mean that I lack a perspective or any observational details? Absolutely not! In fact, here are some things that I’ve been thinking about and looking at this week from the position at the far back of the pack.

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World of Warcraft’s voice actor roundup, R. Lee Ermey tribute, and Horde identity crisis

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has elicited a lot of praise from the community for its superb voice acting. Blizzard Watch put together a roundup of some of the key characters and their human counterparts, just in case you were wondering who was doing that voice.

And as players explore this new expansion, they’ve been uncovering all sorts of Easter eggs and sly references. Catch that Calvin and Hobbes or Winnie the Pooh nod, did you? Well how about the in-game tribute to the late R. Lee Ermey, who appears as a sergeant in the Alliance’s 7th Legion.

Blizzard recently sat down for an interview that covered the identity crisis that is hitting Horde players really hard right now. “Battle for Azeroth is absolutely an opportunity to look at both sides [honorable and evil] that have made up the Horde storylines throughout the years and pull them together,” said Narrative Producers Steve Danuser. “And maybe give a chance for the Horde to look inward and maybe become something new, something stronger than it ever was before.”

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Ashes of Creation preps for September’s Alpha 1, shows off its action combat

Need a good dose of Ashes of Creation news to spice up your week? Intrepid Studios popped its head back up to talk up the game, starting with the revelations that Ashes is going to make an appearance at Gamescom next week and kick off its Alpha 1 testing next month.

The Alpha 1 test will span seven months and cover 100-player open world battlegrounds, 200-player castles and sieges, and the city horde mode, which challenges players to work together to protect a town from rampaging NPC invaders. At some point down the road during this test, name reservations will open up for backers.

Lead Developer Steven Sharif also popped onto Discord to share some other tidbits about the game features and systems. If you wanted to know if crossbows will have scopes (they will), if there would be quest dailies (there will not), and what surprises weapons will hold (some have skills!), then you’ll want to peruse this list.

Intrepid whetted fans’ appetites for this upcoming MMO with an action combat gameplay trailer. Where is this trailer? Where might you find it? Don’t fret, it’s been waiting for you below… waiting for you all your life.

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The Daily Grind: When have studios tried to ‘strong arm’ you into changing your MMO playstyle?

The other day when we reported how World of Warcraft had removed the auto-accept functionality from its group finder, Reader Kalech noted, “If people don’t want to be social, they’re not going to be social no matter how much Blizzard tries to strong-arm them.”

That made me pause and reflect, because over the long history of MMOs, studios are forever trying to influence, direct, and sometimes “strong-arm” players into engaging in certain activities or playstyles. It’s not always that overt or constrained, but once in a while you do see a studio try its mightiest to shove players into PvP or to make them socialize more.

So when have MMO studios tried to force you into changing your playstyle — and were they successful?

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There’s a free Overwatch weekend in your future later this month

As a buy-to-play game, Overwatch has always had that financial barrier that’s kept some potentially interested players at bay. For those who haven’t taken the plunge yet, Blizzard is planning to tempt them with an extended free play weekend in the near future.

From August 23rd through the 27th, anyone can access Overwatch on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and enjoy it with no restrictions for the duration of the event. It’s a good time to have this happen, what with the Summer Games going on and all. And yes, progression made during this weekend will carry over if you decide to purchase the game afterward.

“For this free weekend, we’re making Overwatch’s full roster of 28 heroes — along with the newly released Wrecking Ball — and 18 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade,” said Blizzard.

Source: Overwatch

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Conan Exiles adopts a litter of bloodthirsty puppies and pushes the PS4 patch to next week

A hefty 17 GB patch is on its way to Conan Exiles soon, but before it arrives, it needs to run through the gauntlet of player testing.

So what’s making this patch so big? Several content additions, actually, starting with a new dungeon called The Midnight Grove. Barbarians will get some offhand combat skills and new types of arrows to play with, but the star feature here is most definately the pet taming system. There looks to be a wide variety of pets to start, including rhinos, hyenas, and crocodiles. What, no fluffy kittens?

And speaking of patches, those waiting on the promise PlayStation 4 parity patch… are going to have to wait even longer. Funcom announced that it has had to delay the patch again until sometime next week.

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