Eliot Lefebvre

Senior Reporter

Eliot Lefebvre has been writing on Massively Overpowered since it was created after a long and illustrious career of writing about video games for half a decade on some other site that you might have heard about. He currently pens Wisdom of Nym for Final Fantasy XIV, WoW Factor for World of Warcraft, and the rotating adventures of Choose My Adventure. He also shares writing duties on Perfect Ten and writes some nonsense for What Are You Playing. No photos of him standing next to Abraham Lincoln have surfaced, coincidentally.

Personal blog: Eliot-Lefebvre.com
Twitter: @eliot_lefebvre

World of Warcraft shakes up itemization in its next patch

If you had been under the impression that World of Warcrafts personal loot was already equivalent in reward amounts to group loot, well… maybe not, as the most recent development post specifically states that the former is being changed to match the latter. But the good news is it will change to that in the game’s next patch, along with item rewards offering a wider variety of stats for a wider variety of playstyles. There are a fair number of changes, all of which should be relevant to players ready to charge into Hellfire Citadel on release.

More interested in the upcoming movie? There’s a solid compilation of information about what we know so far. We also know that at least in an early draft of the script, WoW‘s most famous memetic hero had a role to play that revolved around doing what he does best.

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EVE Online sheds some light on… texture lighting

Players spend a lot of time staring at the hulls of their EVE Online ships, so it makes sense to make those ships as attractive as possible. This was the motivation behind the first complete overhaul of the game’s lighting and reflections model, and now the team is doing it all again. Another art rework and update is in place to make sure that lights reflect properly on a variety of surfaces, that texture details don’t get washed out, and that the ships flying through deep space look as good as possible.

Among the changes being made is the addition of new material maps that allow for overlays of dirt or rust or other less-reflective surfaces on ship. There are also systems to allow for dynamic addition or removal of dirt from hulls based on events, making the ships appear more dynamic. See all of the details for yourself in the newest development blog.

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Crowfall locks down forums for backers only

If you still want to take part in discussions on the official Crowfall forums, you’ll have to back the game. The game has locked down its forums for all non-backers, giving new registrations access to a limited forum for 30 days for potential players who want a glance at the community. Other than that, if you want to talk, you have to pay.

All forums will remain readable for everyone, whether you’re a backer or not. The move is supposedly to lock down less than constructive comments from non-backers that have the potential to derail useful conversations. If you aren’t currently a backer but still want to remain active on the forums, you can either jump in at the $5 level or just wait until the game starts moving into its non-backer testing phases.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s endgame dungeons, from launch to present

It’s crazy to realize that Final Fantasy XIV has added more dungeons via patches in a year and a half than World of Warcraft has added via patches in the game’s decade of existence. Sure, a lot of those are hard modes, but considering that every hard mode completely redoes enemies, maps, and such, I’d say they’re functionally new dungeons all around. But which one is the best and which one is the worst?

We’ve got less than a month now until Heavensward early access starts. So just as I talked about the game’s dungeons shortly after launch, today I want to talk about all of the options at level 50. These are rated purely based on the fun of the dungeon, not rewards, and in all cases I’m talking about the factory-fresh version rather than, say, the downtunings that Pharos Sirius and Amdapor Keep have seen. So let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

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Tree of Life launches early access on May 27th

Nothing like a quick turnaround to pique your interest in a game, right? Tree of Life came out of nowhere to announce that its brightly animated sandbox environment would be available on Steam via Early Access, a rare example of a game being imported with ongoing development. The question was just a matter of when, and that question has been answered now with the announcement that the game is going up for sale on May 27th.

Access is priced at $19.99 for the standard edition and $24.99 for the Deluxe version. No word yet on what the Deluxe version includes, but we’re going to go ahead and assume it allows you to consume standard edition players for nourishment at any time. Or maybe a soundtrack. If you’re looking for a game similar in scope to Wurm Online with a bit cuter graphics, this is exactly what you needed.

Source: Steam community posting; thanks to Dystopiq for the tip!

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Check out Veines in a new Skyforge panoramic preview

Veines is a pretty nice place to visit in Skyforge. It’s a quaint little settlement nestled amidst forests and high cliffs with a beautiful lake, a Reaper of Death infestation, lovely ruins, and plenty of friendly people. Although that second one seems like something that the player characters should probably take care of, seeing as the residents are under siege and struggling to survive under the Carrion and Vird assault.

The good news from a lore standpoint is that most of the residents had time to flee to the city for protection; the bad news is that, as mentioned, the city is under siege and can’t hold out much longer. Check out the full preview for a look at the gorgeous highlands that you’ll be fighting bloodthirsty beasts in.

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Age of Conan adds new content for its anniversary… for a price

It seems like it’s been a while since Age of Conan last got a major update, but for its anniversary the red carpet has been rolled out once again. Shadow of Vanaheim is new content offering new quests and locations that scale to character level, with new armor pieces and vanity items available through the adventure. You can buy it right now in the game’s cash shop, or you can buy a collector’s edition for a few more vanity upgrades.

Wait, what?

Yes, the new addition for the anniversary is in fact something that is being sold, which has players understandably more than a little angry in the forums. The official response thus far has simply been to outline what is contained within the pack, but it doesn’t really address the core player complaint that having an anniversary event centering around something being sold feels a bit less than celebratory. Even when what’s for sale does involve a totally sweet bear to ride.

Source: Shadow of Vanaheim announcement, forums; thanks to Jon, I-Spy, and David for the tip!

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World of Warcraft previews the pets of patch 6.2

There’s no reason to ask about whether or not you’re looking forward to World of Warcraft‘s next major patch; if you’re playing the game, you are, and if you’re not playing the game, you’re kind of not part of the discussion. But are you looking forward to getting yourself some new pets? That’s a different question, and it’s the sort of thing that could be significantly influenced by a preview showing off just what the patch’s new pets are.

As you might imagine, there are several new pets in the impending update, ranging from those tamed via battle pet challenges to ones unlocked from quests. There are new legendary pets to duel as well, which can in turn drop new pets for your enjoyment. And that’s just in the Tanaan Jungle. Check out the full preview for more details on what intrepid pet-seekers can expect.

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Hands-on: Blade & Soul’s western port is a cheerful cliche storm (and I want to play more)

I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Blade & Soul just moving around.

Most of the time in a given game, I’m moving around because I’m trying to explore the game world I’m inhabiting. But during my hands-on with the western port of the game at this week’s NCsoft press event in California, I found that what drove me to move wasn’t really exploration in the strictest sense; there were no obvious points of interest drawing me in for a closer looks, and even after I had a pretty solid grasp about what the zone layout looked like, I was still getting to the highest vantage point and springing off. I was just jumping around and gliding through the air because just moving was fun.

I didn’t expect to care much about moving, but I didn’t expect to care all that much about Blade & Soul in the first place. Leaving aside the fact that I had long since given up any hope of the game ever coming out in America, I thought it seemed kind of surplus: just another vaguely wuxia title in a market full of them. After playing a bit of it, though… well, I’m hardly an expert in that subgenre, but now I’m actually interested in playing more.

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Nexon Korea apparently yoinked some Blizzard artwork

There are certain phrases you never really expect to come up over the course of a work day, and boy, “Nexon steals artwork from Blizzard” is high on that list. But it did indeed happen, by all appearances. A promo image from the most recent update to Mabinogi Heroes – known in these parts as Vindictus – featured an unmistakable resemblance to promotional art surrounding Diablo III, in that it was a new piece of art over the exact same backdrop with the saturation turned down slightly.

Actually, that’s being a bit too charitable, since you can even still see the original image in the background; there’s a video comparison of the two down below. It’s not subtle.

To no one’s great surprise, Nexon pulled the image and apologized promptly, although it’s unclear whether Blizzard threatened action or even noticed what was going on. There’s your bizarre story for the day, if you wanted one.

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John Smedley talks smack to nearly 25,000 banned H1Z1 players

Do you like people who cheat in online games? Daybreak president John Smedley does not. After 24,837 H1Z1 accounts were banned for cheating (7,000 of them esp hackers banned just in the in the last few days), Smedley took to Twitter to discuss exactly what he thinks about cheaters. In his own words: “You think we don’t know these cockroaches? We do. We are going to be relentless and public. Screw not provoking them.”

Smedley went on an extended rant about cheaters and the sites that cater to cheating programs last night and this morning, declaring that cheaters who truly want to apologize should make a public apology video and send it to him. “If we ban 30k and unban 20 for making videos that are seen by a lot of people, and they apologize, I’ll take it,” he wrote. But you’d better really mean it! “Please address your apology to fellow players, not us,” he stated. “Although you hurt our business this is about them not us.” He also announced a wipe coming on Thursday in order to “get rid of the banned people’s stuff” and “purge their existence.”

Smed’s retweeting the apology videos; we’ve embedded the first few below.

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Blade & Soul hits western shores this winter

Remember when comic books had little call-outs on the front cover proudly proclaiming that something happened because the readers requested it? I always thought those were kind of hilarious. “Because you demanded it, here’s the latest issue of a comic that absolutely must have been scripted and planned out months in advance, thereby completely putting the lie to the idea that your demands had any bearing on it!” Kind of silly.

In this case, though, I could actually use one of those starbursts. Yes, it is indeed because you collectively demanded it. The rumors were trueBlade & Soul is coming to the West, and it’s coming despite the fact that basically everyone (including me) had given up any and all hope that the title would ever be localized. And it’s a thing to be happy about, even if you previously hadn’t figured that Blade & Soul was a game you needed to be concerned with.

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The Daily Grind: Do you MMO on the road?

I am traveling again for Massively OP, and that means not much in the way of MMOs for me for a little while. When I get back, sure. Right now, no. It’s a bit of a shame; my laptop can’t really handle most of what I play, and even if it could I don’t exactly trust it.

Of course, these days there are mobile MMOs and more powerful laptops designed to game on the go. So perhaps in this, as with many things, I am so far behind the times that it’s laughable.

Tell me, dear readers, what about you? Do you MMO on the road? Or do you get your online gaming in at home and nowhere else?
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