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

Gunslinger Stratos Reloaded to sunset less than two months after its launch

Call it Gunslinger Stratos Unloaded.

Square Enix’s colorful action title Gunslinger Stratos Reloaded officially launched in Japan six days ago, and yet it’s already been marked for extermination. The studio announced that it will be shutting down the title in the country on March 29th due to a lack of player interest. No new accounts can be made between now and its sunset.

Things weren’t looking so hot for GSR during its beta period, with servers coming off as a “ghost town.” Square Enix never mentioned whether or not this game was slated to come to the west, but now that it’s closing in Japan, it’s probably a safe bet that we’ll never see it now.

Source: Steparu


Neverwinter refuses to add items back into trade bar store, offers apologies and compensation

A couple of days ago Massively OP reported that Perfect World Entertainment purposefully removed several items from Neverwinter’s Xbox One trade bar store (namely blood rubies, preservation wards, and coalescent wards). These items not only are present in the PC edition’s store but were previously confirmed by the company to be in the Xbox One store as well.

Today PWE posted a statement on the forums apologizing for a communication failure over the issue and explaining the issue in depth. The company said that the last-minute change didn’t allow the chance for a proper heads-up but was necessary in light of players using these purchases as an exploit and to negatively impact the game’s economy.

In light of the player furor over the change, will PWE be adding these items back into the store? In a word, no. The company said it “cannot return the removed items” but will offer players compensation in the form of a pack containing each of these items as well as bonus coalescent wards based on how many trade bars a player has in his or her inventory.


Grimm: Dark Legacy is a multiplayer prequel to the TV show

Fans of NBC’s Grimm might be excited to learn that the station has commissioned an online multiplayer spin-off that’s coming soon called Grimm: Dark Legacy. The game, which takes place hundreds of years before the show, puts players in the role of monster hunters who use special weapons to put down their foes. The title is being developed by Artplant, which also helped create Battlestar Galactica Online.

According to the official description, you will “team up with other Grimms and explore a world filled with mystery and adventure. Utilize all of your Grimm skills and weapons to survive against the Wesen horde who will stop at nothing until the Grimm bloodline is finally severed.”

Grimm: Dark Legacy is aiming for a mid-2016 launch and is currently accepting beta sign-ups on the official website.

Source: Grimm: Dark Legacy. Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!


The Culling crafts a bloody battle royale

In a happier, more peaceful world we would be sharing with you a new game called The Cuddling, in which everyone hugs and no one loses. But this is a bloodthirsty culture that embraces cutthroat survival games, so instead we’re going to introduce you to The Culling.

The Culling is a battle royale-style game in which players are sent out to scavenge for weapons, build traps, and revel in the fountains of blood that pop in every encounter. The core mode is a 16-player fight to the death (there are no respawns), with a 20-minute timer ticking down thanks to a poison gas cloud that is closing in from all sides. Our legal department says that we are not allowed to draw comparisons to H1Z1 or The Hunger Games in this paragraph.

The Culling will begin early access on March 8th with an eye for a 2017 launch. We’ve got its announcement trailer for you after the jump.

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Skyforge patch starts V-Day event, adds souped-up screenshot feature

Tired of seeing red hearts and pink frosting everywhere you go this month? Then you better avoid Skyforge with a passion, as the game is kicking off its Mysteries of Love event today. In it, players can earn event currency by dealing with an amorous dryad, play cupid, or hand out Valentine’s Day cards (aw).

The event comes hand-in-hand with the March of Knowledge patch, which has also gone live. This huge content update includes a really neat photomode that will help players take intense screenshots, a new hostile territory area, the laboratory feature, more pantheon wars options, an urgent call system for invasion, and legendary ancient rings. Naturally, you’ll want to read the full patch notes for all of the details.

If you’re not quite as weary of the lovey-dovey season (or harbor a secret fondness for it), you can check out Skyforge’s love story after the jump.

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Crowfall talks about the connection between currency and skill

A new five-part video community Q&A with Crowfall’s developers tackles an interesting range of questions, such as the recent combat revamp and what happens at the end of each of the game’s campaign worlds.

However, the meat of the discussion came as the team talked about how skill and currency acquisition are intricately connected in Crowfall. The devs aren’t talking about stuff like gold here; “currency” in this light is anything you do or use that has fluctuating numbers or levels, such as health, rage, or ore. The team sees skills as currency transfers: Rage transfers into damage, which takes away health. The goal of a good player is manipulating currency transfers most effectively.

Does this make your head hurt? Listen to the discussion below and see how the devs are approaching this game from a slightly different design perspective.

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Neverwinter trots out a parade of famous faces for its next update

One of the big advantages of Forgotten Realms setting is that it comes pre-packaged with well-known fictional characters that have achieved some sort of special standing in fantasy geek circles. Neverwinter has been milking those names for all their worth, too, having trotted these celebrities out in previous updates.

With the upcoming Maze Engine expansion, Neverwinter is calling for a reprise of these famous faces. A new dev diary discusses which characters will come back for autographs, photo ops, and quests. Expect to see heavy-hitters like Drizzt, Bruenor Battlehammer, Linu La’neral, Regis, and Makos coming back for this epic story.

Oh, and of course Minsc and Boo will show up to delight their legion of fans. “Now, with a new demon lord and the Maze Engine threatening the Underdark, Minsc and Boo are ready to fight! ‘Pointy horns! Meet pointy sword! AND HAMSTER!'”

Source: Neverwinter


Elite Dangerous revamps its mission system

If you’re coming from a normal MMO, you might want to be careful what mission you take in Elite Dangerous. Missions that are carried out can make a significant impact — both positive and negative — on various in-game factions that a player is attempting to influence.

Missions and the progression system of Elite Dangerous will be treated to a nice overhaul with the upcoming Patch 2.1: The Engineers. Frontier said that it’s tweaking the missions system to create more of a narrative and communicate to the player what his or her actions produce. Changes with the patch include a new level of positive reputation, a revamped missions board at stations, and a clearer understanding of the consequences produced by taking on these tasks.

One other little change? Message persistence: “The final key aspect for progression is the communication within the mission itself. We’re expanding the functionality of the inbox so that messages will persist, so important or interesting messages do not get lost. This allows us to highlight the different stages in the mission more effectively and so creating a richer experience with it.”

Source: Dev update


Perfect Ten: MMO problems we don’t really have these days

The weird thing about our perception of time is that we don’t always realize just how much things are changing around us unless we take the effort to notice or have one of those jarring experiences in which we’re faced with the past. What always astonishes me is how we get used to gradual progress in technology without realizing how dependent we’ve gotten on such things.

Take video games, for example, because this is an MMO site and we talk about them quite a lot. A game that you enjoyed 10 or 20 years ago might be absolutely horrid to you now because it lacks a lot of features that have become commonplace in the meantime (personally, I’m always irked that my console JRPG characters don’t regen health after battles). Then again, these games might hold up well and pass the test of time.

As much as we whine and moan about the seeming lack of progress in MMOs, the truth is that in many ways, we used to have it so much worse back in the earlier days of the industry. Oh, there was a lot to admire about the first couple of waves of MMOs, but they were still figuring things out and contained quite a few irritating features as a result. Today, let’s look at 10 MMO problems that we don’t really have these days thanks to newer features and a desire to make games more casual friendly.

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How Shroud of the Avatar is making a fortune on the housing market

For a game that isn’t even released so far, Shroud of the Avatar is making serious bank on player housing. From entry-level plots that start at $100 to enormous $12,000 castles, it’s clear that Portalarium is mining the housing market for its revenue. And the crazy thing is, it’s working. Supporters are snapping up lots so quickly that in some cases, they’re sold out.

In a new piece over at Eurogamer, Richard Garriott talks about how Shroud of the Avatar took a cue from the housing demand of Ultima Online to create artificial scarcity and desirable locations in the upcoming fantasy title. “Regional value popped up frankly by accident in Ultima Online. We did not foresee it and we had no plan to shepherd it. [But with SOTA] we know that will be the case,” Garriott said.

With expensive lots and player towns that can run up to $9,000 a pop, Shroud of the Avatar’s housing market is serious business for the studio and backers who have invested thousands in these future properties.

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Warcraft film audience might get WoW free as a bonus

If you’ve been following the news of this summer’s Warcraft movie and thought that this would be the best opportunity ever for some serious cross-promotion with World of Warcraft, trust us, you’re not alone. Blizzard would be downright short-sighted (jump to comments section for sarcastic rebuttal) to ignore this change to funnel audience members into its MMO.

This might be happening, too. There’s an officially confirmed survey from Blizzard floating around that is testing the waters for a prospective “Ultimate Movie Edition” of World of Warcraft. This package contains the core game, all expansions to date (but not the upcoming Legion), 30 days of game time, and an exclusive (but unnamed) in-game item. According to the description, this edition is “free with the purchase to see Warcraft in a theater.”

While Blizzard said in the survey that it is “considering” this offer, it seems like it would be a smart move. What do you think?


Battlestar Galactica Online celebrates fifth anniversary with free gifts

Sit back, let that headline sink in, and try to stop yourself from quietly muttering, “Five years? That game is still around?”

Yes indeed, Battlestar Galactica Online — the online game based on the Syfy series — is apparently still in operation. And not only is it running, but it’s throwing a full-blown party for its fifth anniversary.

The fun began on Monday with the debut of the Twilight of the Gods event. If exploring new content isn’t your bag, perhaps getting free gifts is. Bigpoint is giving away a goodie pack for players who redeem the code “5YEARSBSGO” on their account. The voucher delivers a booster, several map parts, and a chunk of event currency that can be spent in the shop.


League of Legends deploys final preseason patch

Before the season arrives, League of Legends has one or two final things to say in how the game is run. Today the MOBA released its “fat” Patch 6.3 that contains many adjustments at the tail end of the preseason as well as a change to how the game stores art.

One of the biggest changes that arrives with the update is the addition of an Assassin-specific weapon, the Duskblade of Draktharr. “By clearly calling out ‘Hey, this one’s for you!’ we can start to set an expectation around how an assassin can act in fights, as well as the kinds of power-curves they should have long-term,” Riot Games said.

Patch 6.3 tweaks Dragons’ stacking effects, fixes Alistar’s headbutt skill, nerfs several champions (Corki, Poppy, Graves, and Ryze), and buffs a couple of characters (Ziggs and Xin Zhao). Players will also no longer be able to see enemy champion picks before matches.

Source: Patch notes


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