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

MapleStory 2 is getting really close to launch, you guys

With its second closed beta run and done, MapleStory 2 is turning its sights to something bigger. Something grander. Something… launch-ier.

Nexon said that it’s going to announce the launch date for this 3-D sequel to the hit MapleStory on August 21st. “Not only will we reveal the official release date, but our team will also discuss the future content schedule of the game,” the developer said.

In the meantime, players can start reserving their names and even create their first character so that they can hit the ground running when MapleStory 2 launches. You’ll need to buy a founder’s pack to access this perk, however. It’s probably a good thing that Nexon has made these packs available for purchase again!

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Jagex gets into games publishing while RuneScape crosses $1 billion earned

Jagex isn’t content to be “just the RuneScape studio” these days. The company announced today that it is preparing to move into the publishing space with Jagex Partners, a “third-party publishing initiative for live games.”

Jagex Partners is hoping to attract all sorts of live games and will support them with a whole suite of tools and services that Jagex has used to keep RuneScape up and running over all these years. This new publishing arm has attracted former talent from NCsoft, EA, Trion Worlds, and CCP. We’ll be hearing more about this initiative next week at Gamescom.

“Jagex Partners is so much more than a go-to-market publishing experience,” said SVP Publishing John Burns in a press release. “It’s the entire toolkit to launch and run a game in live operations, backed by years of experience.”

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The Daily Grind: How do you handle MMO alts when new content releases?

For those of you who only play one and just one character in any given MMO, today’s discussion is probably not for you. But for the rest of us who nurture and engage with a flock of alts, it can be a challenge when new content — whether it be a story scenario, update, or expansion — lands on the server.

How do you handle this? I used to focus solely on a single character until I finished up most of the new content and then would move on to other alts, although lately I’ve changed to more of a rotational model to give each character equal time spread out over multiple nights.

Do you go a step further with this and use spreadsheets and tracking charts, even? Let’s strategize together today!

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Global Chat: Everybody’s burning up about that Sylvanas thing

Yes, just about every MMO blogger was sharing heated opinions about last week’s World of WarCraft WarCrime. “It’s such a sad event and I’m particularly mad at Blizzard at the way they chose to write this,” wrote Aeternus.

Moonshine Manor was equally appalled, saying that she was “not sad at the story, but at having to mourn my fandom.”

“The storyline strips players of agency, it’s not a good feeling,” wrote Mmosey.

And Leo’s Life couldn’t make sense of it: “The lore nut in me sees no logic in this.”

In An Age sympathized with the outrage but noted, “This cinematic short is amazing in isolation.” And Atheren doesn’t want this to be the beginning of the end of Sylvanas: “I hope she gets a redemption arc.”

And Wolfy felt that the community reaction was too much for an outsider: “The level of the freak-out was above and beyond what I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing as someone barely remotely associated with the WoW playerbase.”

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Sea of Thieves players push back against the ruthless PvP culture

If there’s anything that Sea of Thieves is known for months after its spring launch, it’s for the culture of cutthroat PvP that wages nonstop in this pirate game. While Rare may be pleased with that, some players are sick and tired of the endless ganking — and they’re doing something about it.

Polygon reports that it is seeing an increased effort by various corners of the community to create player events that are fun, inclusive, and step outside of the PvP mechanics. These include brigantine races, scavenger hunts, and even a regular game show with prizes.

“We’d already had our share of PvP and just messing people and not being the nicest pirates around when we found people,” said the creators of the Loot and Lore show. “So, we felt like we weren’t really helping the game grow by doing a similar thing. So, instead we became advocates for good behavior and helping people and, you know, just getting people more involved.”

Source: Polygon

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The Walking Dead: Our World designed its AR game with MMOs in mind

Are we, as a culture, at full Walking Dead saturation yet? Probably been there for years, honestly, but it is astounding how many video games this franchise has pumped out so far. There are so many, in fact, that it might be easy to overlook one or two — such as the Pokemon Go-style alternate reality game that’s not afraid to point to its MMO roots.

“We took a lot of inspiration from other games that use location mechanics on a map, but fundamentally we were building an MMO that has a single huge instance with every player in the same game,” said Next Games Lead Director Sulka Haro.

The Walking Dead: Our World encourages players to explore their environments, bash some (virtual) zombies, rescue survivors, and complete missions around the world. Characters from the TV show can be collected, and players can team up with others to accomplish goals. Our World is available on both Google Play and the App Store.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 182: Follow the Torchlight

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Fortnite expands Android testing, wants to match players up depending on their control scheme

Good news for Android players who felt left out of the initial batch of Fortnite beta invites: Epic Games announced that the test has expanded to additional devices, and you can read the full list on the website to see if your phone or tablet is included.

The studio gave a “Summer Skirmish midway recap” that was full of fun stats for those interested. Epic also said that improving server preformance “remains a top priority” during this skirmish series and that it wants to adhere to “simplicity, match tension, and upholding the integrity of battle royale” with this event.

Epic is reportedly working on tech that will match up players based on what type of peripheral that they use to play Fortnite, whether that be mouse-and-keyboard, touch screens, or controllers. And this is neither here nor there, but a massive sniper rifle is on the way to the game as well. Boom. Headshot.

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Grab your free TERA console character slots this week

Free is free, and when TERA Online wants to give you five additional character slots on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 as a gift, who are you to turn your nose up at such an offer? Sure, the slots are being handed out as preemptive compensation for the upcoming server merges, but still… free is free.

To grab your five slots, you’ll need to log in sometime between now and the end of Monday, August 20th. That’s it. They’ll be all yours, to feed your endless altoholic addiction.

The studio also created a checklist for players to prepare for the upcoming console merge. Players can apply the additional character slots strategically to keep all of the toons they desire once the merge happens. Oh, and that merge? It’s next Tuesday, August 21st. Enjoy!

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth tackles launch issues, sees first level 120, and activates companion app

All things considered, yesterday saw a fairly smooth global rollout for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.

But while many realms were up and players enjoying the seventh expansion for the MMO, some servers saw chronic issues that kept them offline for most of the night. As of this morning, seven game realms are down as Blizzard attempts to fix whatever ails them. There were also some smaller issues that players have reported, such as not being able to see the Heart of Azeroth in their inventory, although it is hard to tell how widespread this problem is.

One thing we do know for sure: The race to level 120 is already over. In fact, it was over four hours and 17 minutes after the expansion launch. Method’s Gingi accomplished the task with his Boomkin and a meticulously planned leveling strategy.

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Conan Exiles gets in some high priority fixes

Some of Conan Exiles’ more pesky and annoying bugs may be an infestation of the past, thanks to a build that went live in the game today. These “high priority bugs and fixes” were tested last week with the satisfaction of both the studio and community.

Some of these issues included Thralls’ health resetting, NPCs who refused to aggro, and traps that wouldn’t fill up the way that they should. Players who were using an exploit to climb some unclimbable building pieces should expect to become closely acquainted with gravity after this patch, too.

The team had a hiccup with the Xbox One, however: “Unfortunately we have some bad news regarding the Xbox patch. While we initially planned to have a parity patch out at 5pm CEST earlier today we’ve unfortunately run into some technical issues when uploading the build. This means that the patch will need to be postponed.”

Source: Steam

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Project Gorgon’s casino features games with ‘strategic elements’

Project Gorgon is an MMO that packs itself full of activities, all of which it does in its own special way. You can clearly see this in the way that the devs talk about the game’s upcoming Red Wing Casino, which will add even more ways to waste invest your time playing.

Instead of being a standard video game casino with a slot machine and blackjack, Project Gorgon’s casino is going to feature minigames with more strategy. One example that the devs teased on Twitter was a jewel matching minigame.

“I want every game in the Red Wing Casino to have at least some strategic element,” the lead developer said. “So there’s no slot machines. To clarify, the casino is not just a match-3 game. The Red Wing Casino is a place that you’ll be able to visit in-game. It’s geared toward players with skills in the 40s (both combat and crafting skills), although anyone can visit and spend some cash.”

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Black Desert’s remastered edition looks and sounds amazing

Black Desert fans have a good reason to be excited — after all, when was the last time that the MMO you played got a massive visual and audio overhaul? This past weekend, players got a chance to see (and hear) what Black Desert is going to look like when the Remastered edition arrives on August 22nd.

Pearl Abyss wrote a summary of the Remastered showcase, discussing the (even more) realistic graphics on their way — ooh, cloth simulation! Volumetric clouds! — that will be sure to make your jaw fall on the floor.

As for the audio, Black Desert is remastering more than 220 music tracks with the help of three orchestras. “The atmosphere and world of Black Desert were expressed with soundtracks that felt heavy and mellow,” the team said. “It was to the point that some of our adventurers told us that the NPCs in Black Desert all seem depressed. So we decided to transform the black and white music in Black Desert to full-color.”

There was a lot more discussed at the showcase, including changes to the story and leveling experience, the Male Ranger class, the ability to snipe while hunting, and the addition of the region of Ordilita.

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