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

Battle Bards Episode 66: The best of MOBA music

This week on the Battle Bards podcast, the crew branches out from the familiar territory of MMO soundtracks and into the wild, untamed regions of MOBA scores. With a survey of titles such as League of Legends, Infinite Crisis, SMITE, and Heroes of the Storm, it’s a musical journey that will rouse the fighter in all of us!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin Olivetti co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 66: MOBAs for you after the break!

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MU: Origin starts mobile beta testing on January 25

MU: Origin, the mobile spin-off of Webzen’s MU Online, will start closed beta testing on Android devices later this month. Players can sign up on the website for a chance to be admitted to the January 25th CBT, although only a few thousand will be chosen.

If you’re looking for an ultra-casual mobile MMO, MU: Origin might be it. The game advertises itself as “easy to play, easy to level, and easy to dominate” with endless levels to explore.

MU: Origin has been out in Korea since last April and has topped the charts as the highest-grossing title on both Android and iOS since then. It’s also reportedly doing very well in China, racking up 120 million registered accounts. The game will release in the west in spring 2016 on Google Play and will expand to include iOS devices at a later date.

Source: MU: Origin, Webzen press release

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DDO starts taking player council applications

Ever want to bend a developer’s ear and have influence on your favorite MMO? One option is to shout into the void of forums and Reddit, while another is to join the elite few of player councils.

Over the next week Dungeons and Dragons Online is accepting applications for its 2016 player council. Applicants need to be in good standing with the game and agree to an NDA for the duration of a council position. The exact size of the DDO player council is unknown, as the studio said that it is somewhere between 10 and 100 people.

According to Turbine, “The DDO Player Council is a group of players selected to provide targeted feedback and valuable suggestions to the DDO Team. This will involve participating in surveys, focused discussions, as well as highly structured and targeted developer chats. Often the topics covered will be elements of game design at their earliest stages, well before they are committed to development or appear in our preview programs like Lamannia.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 46: The high price of VR

Would Bree or Justin spend $600 on an Oculus Rift? Probably not in this universe, but it certainly won’t stop them from talking about this new VR platform and its implications for MMOs. Is virtual reality the future of the online RPG genre or merely a fad?

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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Devilian begins 20v20 guild tourneys, grants 15 days of bonus gifts

Devilian players know that the game is absolutely shameless in its attempts to get you to log in and play it, with daily rewards, friend presents, and guild buffs abounding. Now Trion Worlds is adding even more incentive to play its action-RPG with 15 days of bonus gifts.

Between January 11th and the 15th, Devilian will dish out a “mysterious special delivery” to everyone who plays. Level 50 players get an extra gift between the 13th and 19th as well.

Speaking of reasons to log into the game, Devilian has plans to debut guild tournaments in this month’s update. These 20v20 battles will give guilds a chance to claw their way up four tiers of awards, but they’ll have to qualify first by being among the top guilds on the server to be able to participate.

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Richard Garriott cuts off (some of) his rat tail to raise money for Shroud of the Avatar

Richard “Lord British” Garriott is well-known for several things: his creation of the Ultima series, his lavish geeky parties, his trip to space, and of course, his ever-present rat tail. This week that rat tail has lost a little of its majestic length as Garriott cut off a fifth of it to promote Shroud of the Avatar’s winter telethon.

Yesterday’s all-day telethon raised an additional $20,600 for the game, which had already passed $8M in crowdfunding. Fans who contributed at least $5 to the telethon will receive a few in-game gifts, including a snow emote, a cloak, and an ice nightmare mount. The devs did their part with deep dives into various game topics while taking shots for every $2,000 raised. No word yet as to how many of the team suffered from alcohol poisoning.

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LOTRO’s new datacenter causes login headaches

Lord of the Rings Online’s move to its new datacenter yesterday triggered a few significant issues that were unseen by the dev team before they happened. Many players were reporting problems with logging into the game, broken chat, missing friends lists, and severe latency issues.

The devs reported last night that they were working to iron out the bugs with the datacenter: “We believe we have found a fix for the current login and latency issues that players are reporting with the game. However a hotfix to the game will be required. In order for us to do this we will have to build an update, deploy it to our test server, and test it extensively before we can release the fix to the live servers. This means that while we will continue to try and mitigate any issues that occur tonight, we will not be able to deploy a fix for this issue until sometime [on January 12th].”

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Final Fantasy XIV releases full Heavensward soundtrack next month

Final Fantasy XIV’s soundtrack has been often cited as a favorite element of the MMO and has grown significantly since its initial 1.0 release. With the addition of last year’s Heavensward expansion, the score welcomed a host of new tracks into its library, and soon fans will be able to purchase and listen to it outside of the game.

On February 24th Square Enix will begin selling the Heavensward OST through its FFXIV soundtrack portal. The album will be sold on a blu-ray disc and contain over 60 tracks from the game’s 3.0 and 3.1 patches. If FFXIV’s other soundtrack blu-ray releases are any indication, owners will be able to easily extract MP3s from the disc for use.

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EVE Online starts CSM process earlier this year

Because of when EVE Online’s Fanfest is happening this year, the election process for the game’s Council of Stellar Management has started earlier than in years past.

Candidates for CSM 11 can submit their applications starting on January 15th and continuing through February 9th. Voting for CSM will take place between February 29th and March 25th, and the results will be announced on April 21st at Fanfest.

This player council is instrumental in advising developers on fan concerns and suggestions and meets several times in person with the dev team in Iceland over the year. Candidates must be 18 years old and may run under a pseudonym if desired.

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Ninelives welcomes you to explore its darkly mysterious world

Have you heard of this game called Ninelives? It’s recently started to gain some recognition with the start of its open alpha test, even though it’s been in development for a few years now. If you’ve been jonesing for a new title that focuses heavily on exploration, this might be it.

Ninelives is an “online free-to-play open world adventure RPG” that’s being created by a two-person dev team under the name SmokymonkeyS. The game lacks levels at all, urging players to explore anywhere across Ninelives’ nine zones and pursue their own goals through a system called The Path. Elements in the game world are programmed to shift at times, offering a splash of randomness to keep things fresh. Currently the game has four races and three classes.

It looks as though Ninelives only offers a single-player mode right now although a multi-player mode is said to be in development on its roadmap page: “Implementation of multi-player mode, including scenario based on special maps, cooperative play, and competitive play between players.”

Since it’s an open alpha, you’re invited to jump into the game right away if you like. You can also check out Ninelives’ open alpha trailer after the break.

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Worlds Adrift gears up for an exciting 2016

The dev team over at Worlds Adrift is emerging from the holiday season on fire to make 2016 a great year for the fantastical title. In the game’s first newsletter of the year, the team said that it’s focusing on refining Worlds Adrift as much as possible as testing continues.

“Following our last playtest, we’ve been focused on fixing and tweaking systems to prevent griefing and exploits, as a few have appeared already, ” the team posted. “From now onwards until launch (and beyond!) this will be a priority for the team: checking what works and what does not, following your feedback immediately, and acting fast to fix any issues.”

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The MOP Up: Age of Wushu Dynasty launches (January 10, 2016)

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!

This week we’ll cheer on the launch of Age of Wushu’s mobile spin-off, listen to EVE Online’s new theme, get into some Overwatch cosplay, and more!

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Check out what World of Warcraft looked like 17 years ago

In 1999, the year that EverQuest released, work was already underway for another fantasy MMO called World of Warcraft. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that gamers got their first look at the game, but screenshots do exist from this ancient era of WoW development.

Perhaps you’ve seen some of these pictures, perhaps not, but it’s always a fun trip to see the very early stages of a game that would come to dominate the industry. This gallery contains one of the first pictures of WoW from 1999, the character selection screen, some funky models for the Forsaken, and the very first Molten Core raid.

Take a trip down memory lane courtesy of exo316 (even if they aren’t your memories)!

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