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

Destiny is hosting a Crucible preview event next week

Destiny’s 2.0 update is heading our way next week on September 8th, and Bungie is busy getting players ready for the major changes to come with the game’s second year. A new weekly update post from the studio contains a handy checklist of what the patch will hold and what players should (and should not) be doing between now and then.

As part of the anticipation for The Taken King, Bungie is also hosting a free Crucible preview event for all players from September 8th through the 14th, whether or not those players have pre-ordered the DLC. During the event, players can try out a couple of additional game modes and the new Crucible maps, although the forthcoming subclasses and specials will be locked until The Taken King releases.

The Taken King will go live on September 15th. You can check out the Crucible preview event trailer after the break!

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SWTOR outlines expansion changes to the Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior

Here’s a friendly PSA for Star Wars: The Old Republic players: Don’t become so consumed by the big ticket features of the upcoming Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion that you overlook the fact that each of the classes are receiving significant changes when Game Update 4.0 hits this October.

The Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior are the subject of today’s class change blog that highlights a new skill: “We wanted to increase the mobility of these formidable combatants in order to allow them to realize their full potential on the battle field, and to make them more difficult to kite. The new Knight/Warrior ability — Blade Blitz/Mad Dash — emphasizes this design intention, and Knight/Warrior players will find that they have an easier time staying on target while in combat.”

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SkySaga’s latest alpha patch adds playable monkeys and a dinosaur zone

Alpha 5 for SkySaga has landed — and the monkeys have hit the fan.

Playable monkey characters are only the surface for this massive game update. The patch for the upcoming sandvox includes more character creation options, a streamlined early game experience, a leaderboard for popular islands, a jungle with dinosaurs, community quests, and rebalanced combat and enemy AI.

Players also have more options to tweak their home islands and add content for friends. Timed races can be created as well as PvP arenas. Because why have others visit if you’re not going to beat them up a bit? That’s game hospitality.

We’ve got the latest trailer for this update after the break!

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RSI’s attorney responds to Smart’s Star Citizen demands

The strange saga of Derek Smart’s quixotic campaign against Star Citizen continues. The game developer sicced his lawyer on RSI last month, delivering a series of legal demands that include a public audit of the company paid for by Smart and the resignation of Chris Roberts. While RSI declined to post its response by its lawyers, the studio did anticipate that Smart would make it public anyway.

Sure enough, Smart posted what he claims is the gist of the response on his blog, arguing that the letter was meant to “intimidate and silence” him. He also confirmed that his “investigators” are continuing to compile information that will be sent to the feds.

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Elite: Dangerous names planet after soldier’s late mother

One of Elite: Dangerous’ community is grieving this summer after losing his mother in June. Citing his love for the game and his missed opportunity to show his mom some of the sights in the galaxy, Sataris86 petitioned Frontier to name a planet somewhere in the game “McBrayer’s Rest” in honor of his mother.

“I have always used video games to unwind and deal with PTSD since I returned home from Iraq in 2006,” he wrote to the studio. “My mother was a large influence and encouraged my love of space and science throughout my life. She also encouraged my love of gaming by doing things like playing Pokemon Red and Blue with me when I was a child.”

Frontier swung into action and sent him back this note: “We found and renamed a planet in BD+26 2184. While it’s not an inhabited world, it is a rather unusual planet. I hope you will like it.”

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Heroes of the Storm to downsize ranked match party size

The size of parties queuing for Heroes of the Storm’s ranked play will be downsized come the next patch, Blizzard has announced.

A short post on the official site lays out the studio’s reasoning for restricting Hero League queues to solo or duo players. Skill disparities and odd-player-out situations were cited as being problematic for four- and five-member teams.

“What’s more, parties of three and four players appear in Hero League queues far less often than solo players and parties of two,” Blizzard wrote. “As such we feel that large parties represent a small enough portion of ranked games that we’re comfortable removing them from Hero League in order to improve overall match quality.”

Source: Heroes of the Storm. Thanks to Armsbend for the tip!

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Guild Wars 2 overhauls WvW guild objective system

Guilds will have a lot more to do in world vs. world encounters when Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns launches next month. ArenaNet posted a new dev diary stating that the team has overhauled the guild claiming system to give player organizations more strategic options.

By claiming an objective, guilds can choose from several options to upgrade that structure to provide additional benefits. More benefits can be gained by employing tactics, which activate temporary effects that can make the difference on the larger battlefield. The devs will go into more detail about the guild objective overhaul in tomorrow’s livestream.

Some players will be able to test these changes out next week, as ArenaNet is scheduling a limited-run WvW Borderlands stress test for September 8th through the 10th. The studio said that it will be opening up the test to even more applicants, although it will not be a public event.

Source: Borderlands stress test, WvW dev diary, livestream. Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!

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Here’s a helpful summary of Star Citizen’s release schedule

The best laid plans of mice and men don’t hold a candle to those creating a virtual universe from scratch. The shifting dates and missed development targets of Star Citizen have been of some concern and confusion this year, especially considering that the game is being released piecemeal instead of all of once.

To help set things straight, Star Citizen fan site Imperial News has done the footwork to compile all information pertaining to the release schedule going forward. The article also draws in rumors and developer quotes to provide as accurate a picture of the future as possible.

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Trion Worlds shies away from sub-only games, praises Defiance’s console success

RIFT fans with long memories will recall how the game first launched in 2011 as a subscription-only title, staying that way for about a year before going free-to-play. These days Trion Worlds is harboring a library of hybrid free-to-play and buy-to-play titles with nary a sub-only game in sight. So would the studio ever consider another sub-only MMO?

“I don’t think I would,” CEO Scott Hartsman said in a recent interview. “I don’t have a religion about business models. What I really care about is matching the design of the game to an audience for the game. If somebody said hey, here is a game and we know for a fact that the model that makes sense is a subscription. Then I’m all on board here. I’m really just about, what is the right model that will get enough players to make the game make financial sense, so it will live a happy and long life. And it’s just become more challenging to do that with subscription.”

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Project Gorgon adds guilds and new movement system

An early version of the guild system went into Project Gorgon yesterday, according to the game’s launcher.

The guilds that are in the game are about as bare-bones as they could be, sporting ranks, a chat channel, and a message of the day feature. The devs have discounted the cost to create a guild in order to incentivize players to test them out. The patch notes warn that the team reserves the right to reset guilds if there are technical issues.

Other changes that came with the September 1st patch include a rewritten character movement system, an update to the Unity 5.1 engine, and a four-character cap per account.

Now how about those all-cow guilds already?

Source: Project Gorgon launcher

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Horse World Online gallops into our hearts

Clear the slate of your gaming plans for the near future, friends, because we’re here to tell you that your dream game has arrived: Horse World Online.

Blog Clean Casuals alerted us to the existence of Horse World Online, a browser-based horse breeding game in which players build up a farm, throw different types of horses together in the pastures, and, we don’t know, put on some Barry White or something. There is an incredible array of horse breeds available along with facts about each.

However, it’s not merely about making baby horses in an endless quest to produce pretty foals. Horse World Online also lets you race your beasts, enter them into competitions, and buy and sell them on the market. The game came out at the beginning of August and is free-to-play with various timers and an optional subscription.

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Skyforge dares you to enter its hostile territories

Group content in MMOs doesn’t always have to mean “dungeon crawls” and “raids.” For example, Skyforge has its hostile territories, challenging world zones that require full teams to enter.

In a new video, Skyforge shows how the hostile territories came to be and what players can expect when they jump through a rift to get to one. Apart from tougher-than-average mobs, players will find resonators that can be activated and defended in exchange for gear and other goodies. The devs advise teams to have high tactical sense stats to make it in these zones.

You can watch the video after the jump, and perhaps after that pop over to the site to read up on another area of the game, Milene Caves.

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Elite: Dangerous welcomes pilots to close quarters combat

Players have a new way to experience Elite: Dangerous with the advent of the close quarters combat (CQC) mode. The beta test for the new mode began yesterday and includes several new ships and outfitting for CQC.

Close quarters combat is a timed arena mode that pits players in quick firefights in smaller ships against each other for rankings and rewards. Players can utilize the game’s matchmaking service to find opponents quickly. CQC is available on PC, Mac, and Xbox One.

The new CQC ships that came out with the 1.4 beta patch are the Federal Assault Ship, the Federal Gunship, and the Imperial Eagle. There are also a mountain of bug fixes, tweaks, and optimizations going on, so pilots will definitely want to read up on the patch notes and check out the CQC trailer after the break.

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