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

Wurm Online kicks its cooking up a notch (bam)

Cooking isn’t just an afterthought in Wurm Online; in this game it is a way of life and survival. With this past week’s patch, the cooking system has been overhauled and expanded so radically that even seasoned chefs should find plenty to do with hundreds of new recipes and a personal cookbook to keep track of all of them.

“This update is the culmination of over a years work, so there’s an absolutely huge amount of information to share,” the team said. “With over 500 new recipes, a new bonus system and many tweaks and updates, there’s a lot to take in, so please take the time to familiarise yourself with the new functions and especially the cookbook!”

Characters will now need to track how many calories, carbs, fats, and proteins they ingest, as keeping all of these topped off will help keep bad things from happening to the body. Players who want to use the new system will need to download and install a unique client that includes the revamp. Also, you’re going to want to note that bees have been added to the game and that old zombified milk won’t be zombified any longer. Get with the times.

Source: Official forums. Thanks Milosanx!

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LOTRO mini-patch disables premium housing upkeep for the time being

Following last week’s release of Update 19 in Lord of the Rings Online comes the traditional “fix all the things we done broke in the patch” patch.

Update 19.0.1 primarily deals with some issues concerning the new premium housing. Turbine said that it is temporarily disabling upkeep for these houses due to an annoying messaging bug, although don’t expect this free ride to last forever. Other fixes addressed class skills, North Ithilien quests, and the ground speed velocity of an unladen Elf.

Source: Patch notes

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Creating Crowfall is ‘part exploration and part iteration’

Despite what some players might assume, developers do not begin with a game design document that can and will never be changed. It’s a fluid process that, as Crowfall’s J. Todd Coleman writes, involves equal parts exploration and iteration.

“Every idea, every asset, every feature begins with exploration and ends with iteration,” he said. “It starts with an idea that we turn into a concept to visualize it, to breathe life into it. Many ideas die in the concept phase. The ones that don’t are worked (and reworked) until everyone is happy: it covers the design need, reinforces the narrative, adds to our compelling visual style, and (of course) fits without our technical constraints.”

In the post, Coleman gives the example of a divine cathedral that the team initially envisioned as a gothic structure that was a largely cosmetic social space. Over the process of development, this turned into an open-air temple with more functionality, purpose, and lore.

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RIFT teases Cleric, Warrior, and Mage legendary skills

Hitting the new level cap in November’s RIFT: Starfall Prophecy won’t just give your character a few extra stat points and a nice round number beside your portrait frame — it will hand you the choice of a batch of legendary skills as well. Each class will get to pick five enhanced version of familiar skills out of a selection from each soul.

While Trion isn’t posting a full list of these skills yet, the studio did provide another “sampler” of legendary skills, this time for the Cleric, Warrior, and Mage archetypes. Some of the examples include the Oracle’s ability to make an ally death-proof for eight seconds, turning the Pyromancer into a fireball machine gun, and the removal of an AP cost for the Warrior’s breaking blow.

Trion already gave a preview of legendary skills for the Primalist and Rogue back in September.

Source: RIFT

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Why you should never preorder a Bethsoft game again

Don’t expect to see any more detailed, in-depth reviews of upcoming Bethesda products on day one of release: The studio announced yesterday that it has made the decision to stop sending game reviewers copies far enough in advance to play and write about them so that players have an idea as to their quality when the game releases.

Bethesda starts the post by saying that it “values media reviews” but will be sending media outlets copies only one day before upcoming games release. “While we will continue to work with media, streamers, and YouTubers to support their coverage — both before and after release — we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time,” the studio said.

Polygon argues, and we agree, that this move “kneecaps” game reviews and is made with the intention to sell as many pre-orders as possible without reviews influencing the process. The site also says that this will in turn make reviews worse, as outlets will attempt to rush through the game as fast as possible to get coverage out of the door.

Source: Bethesda via Polygon

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The Daily Grind: If you had to start over in MMOs, what would you do?

Let us imagine that today, an extremely clumsy MMO employee stumbled into the server room with an armful of magnets, tripped, and somehow erased all of the data for your characters on both the main and backup servers. With regret, the studio informs you that recovery is impossible — and what is worse, this has happened to every MMO you’ve ever played. You have no saved characters anywhere.

What would you do?

Would you abandon MMOs in an epic rage quit? Would you attempt to rebuild your life in one of your favorite games? Would you take this opportunity to start fresh in a title that’s new to you?

If you had to start completely over in MMOs, what would you do?

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Tiger Knight brings large-scale combat to Steam early access

If you have ever wanted to experience a larger scope of warfare in your online games, or you are a fan of the Mount and Blade series, then you might want to start paying attention to Tiger Knight. This Chinese game, developed by NetDragon, promises to create massive battlefields in which players can lead small armies of their own into the fight.

Tiger Knight contains four historical factions — Han Dynasty, Kushan Empire, Parthian Empire, and Roman Empire — and hundreds of types of weapons and armor. It’s not exactly clear how players will be able to command multiple troops at a time, although the game promises that you will be able to mount up personally and ride into battle.

The game just went into early access on Steam and can be played for free, although there is the option to purchase VIP passes. Check out Tiger Knight’s screenshots and trailer below!

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Halloween breaks out in Tree of Savior, AdventureQuest 3D, and Project Genom

You can’t keep a batty holiday down! More Halloween events are popping up in MMOs as we grow closer to the 31st, starting with the debut of Mogloween in the beta-state AdventureQuest 3D. The game now has a four-wing dungeon that can be farmed for pieces to several costume sets.

Tree of Savior initiated a demon hunt that is for high-level characters and will run through November 22nd, just in case you didn’t want to let Halloween go too soon. And Project Genom sounds as though it has something brewing as well: “For those of you who celebrate Halloween, we prepared a surprise. By October, 31st the update will include some game bonuses and gifts, which you will find on the open spaces of the Ark.”

Stay up to date on all of the Halloween events and contests going on in MMOs with our huge 2016 Halloween guide!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 88: Miles per hour

Halloween has landed in MMOs, and Bree and Justin have dressed up for the occasion (you can’t see us, but trust us, our costumes are impressive). In this edition of the podcast, we talk about seasonal festivities, SWTOR’s controversial endgame changes, an expansion to Middle-earth, and more!

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.

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Grand Theft Auto Online removes ill-gotten currency, GTA5 rumored to be transforming into an MMO

You might be able to steal, swindle, and carjack to your heart’s content in Grand Theft Auto Online, but you best not be crossing the line with Rockstar Games when it comes to your thievery. The studio has taken measures to drain illegitimate funds out of the game, including those found in unsuspecting players’ accounts. The studio is also cracking down harder on infractions, such as players who use mods to artificially inflate their bank accounts.

On a happier note, GTA Online has revved up its Halloween offerings with a Lost vs. Damned game mode and a new motorcycle, the Sanctus.

And finally, in the rumor mill department is the scuttlebutt concerning several possible changes and additions coming to Grand Theft Auto V over the next few years, including the growth of online map expansions to create more of a persistent online world.

Source: Rockstar support, Ars Technica, VG247PC Gamer. Thanks John!

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Global Chat: Stormblood, One Tamriel, New World, and the ‘antisocial epidemic’

The announcement of Final Fantasy XIV’s second expansion, Stormblood, is sure to inject more life and excitement into this beloved MMORPG. A couple of community bloggers took time recently to analyse the event and expansion reveal.

“Overall, it was a fun time, though. I was happy to have the chance to be there for the expansion announcement. I’m looking forward to the new deep dungeon levels and more info on the Red Mage (DPS, please!),” Aywren wrote.

“One of the most cheered announcements was the drop of support for the PS3 version of the game,” Sagacyte noted. “For the longest time people have speculated that some limitations of the game come from having to support the fading console, and letting it go could open the doors to new visual and technical things. One such thing was mentioned in a new lightning model.”

This week in Global Chat, MMO bloggers talk about One Tamriel, hopes for Amazon’s New World, and an “antisocial epidemic” sweeping through our genre.

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Mu Legend kicks off its global closed beta test today

Do you know Mu? Not every MMO player is familiar with the eastern Mu franchise, but it is apparently popular enough to spawn a line of titles (such as Mu Origin). One of these, Mu Legend, is heading into its first global closed beta test today.

Mu Legend is a hack-and-slash sequel to Mu Online and features gameplay similar to that found in online action-RPGs. The beta test is scheduled to run from today through November 8th. As it is a closed beta, you will have to apply for and hope to get a key to participate.

Webzen also used the global CBT as an opportunity to open up the official Mu Legend forums, so if nothing else, you can practice your lurking skills there. Alternatively, there is a nearly eight-minute gameplay trailer waiting after the jump to help provide a deeper understanding what this game is all about (frantic clicking and bright spell effects).

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TERA becomes Spellbound with its newest update

Believe it or not, but Karazhan isn’t the only major MMO patch coming out today. TERA would like to make a bid for your attention, as the fantasy game has given the go-ahead to Patch 48.04.02, less technically known as Spellbound.

As the name implies, Spellbound contains major changes and adjustments for TERA’s Sorcerer class. The Sorcerer has received a huge overhaul to improve her animations, beef up her damage, and fix some of her underperforming skills.

Spellbound has more tricks up its sleeves than just a Sorcerer revamp. The update brings back two (improved) classic dungeons while adding a pair of new instances as well. That’s good, since the update also takes a whopping 13 dungeons out of the rotation, at least for the time being.

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