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

The Humble Bundle for the holidays is full of MMO goodness, including Guild Wars 2, Neverwinter, and Blade & Soul

So here’s how the latest Humble Bundle is working. Drop $35 on the bundle and all of your money goes to charity, and you get to take part in the rolling advent calendar of bundle stuff. Which is important to us here because that rolling advent calendar includes a whole lot of MMO stuff already. Guild Wars 2, Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, Blade & Soul, and Guardians of Ember already have shown up to the party, and there are still several more days yet to be revealed.

That’s not to discount the non-MMOs in the pack so far, but we know what we’re about. So if you’re looking for a way to get a whole lot of games and bonus items besides in one place, you can do worse than dropping $35 on the bundle. Heck, get two and give one to someone else who likes a pile of games. Then you’re actually giving gifts as well as buying them for yourself.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Kanbe for the tip!

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Half of the LawBreakers founding team has left the studio

The face of LawBreakers development and Boss Key is arguably Cliff Bleszinski, but Arjan Brussee was co-founder of the studio and half of the brain trust behind the studio as a whole. We use the past-tense there, though, because according to Twitter Brussee is no longer with the studio. He’s announced that he has left and is heading back to Epic Games to work on a “secret project,” with no word on what that might entail.

Of course, that’s what makes it a secret, but you know how it is.

Bleszinski himself has wished Brussee the best of luck on Twitter without any acrimonious undertones. There’s no announcement at this point about who will take over Brussee’s duties at Boss Key. It’s not an entirely unusual move after a studio’s first major release has shipped for people to move on to different careers; we’ll see what this means in the longer term for Boss Key (if anything) in the months to come.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s 2017 in review

It’s hard to say whether 2017 was a good year for Final Fantasy XIV.

Sure, on one level it seems obvious. The game launched its second expansion, it continues to drive sales, every financial report shows it doing well, players are happy, content is delivered on a swift and regular schedule, everything seems to be going fine. Yes, the game had a good 2017, it has a pretty good year on each outing. What more needs to be said?

Well, a few things. Because this year also brought out some pretty nasty bits of underlying issues that the game has long had bubbling under the surface, problems that we’ve all known were there but sort of ignored for a long time for various reasons. We’ve got another patch coming around, but the year has shown that as solid and impressive as the title may be (and it is), there’s still room to improve.

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Exploring the psychology behind losses, gains, and grouping results in video games

Getting five batches of 100 gold feels better than one batch of 500 gold, and being forced to spend three separate 100 gold fees feels worse than one 300 gold fee. And that fee is likely to make all that 500 gold not feel like it mattered. You probably know all of that just from experience, but perhaps you’d like to see it in action with a new piece from the Psychology of Video Games blog discussing how grouping results (or intentionally not doing so) produces a different valuation of rewards.

To summarize quickly, we tend to prioritize losses as more important than gains, so losing 100 gold has a bigger impact than gaining 100 gold in our brains. However, both losses and gains have a certain point where we stop noticing them, so losing 1500 gold doesn’t feel much worse than losing 1300 gold. Thus, from a psychological standpoint, it makes sense to have losses come in big chunks and rewards come in several smaller chunks, so that each individual good thing gets evaluated separately while the bad stuff gets shuffled off faster. Read through the whole piece for a more thorough overview of why it works; it’s pretty interesting.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your latest MMO achievement?

Achievements in MMOs are a nice way of marking off things that you’ve done, but there are no achievements for personal goals. You do not, for example, get an achievement for finally finishing your glamour in Final Fantasy XIV. There’s no achievement for finally getting a piece of gear you wanted for transmog in World of Warcraft or for getting a mount drop you’ve been farming for ages. There’s no achievement for beating the dungeon that you struggle with in Secret World Legends or managing to get a guild started in EverQuest II.

No, these are all personal achievements, and today, we want to hear about them. What’s your latest MMO achievement? Not necessarily an in-game achievement, just the most recent goal that you’ve been working on and finally finished. Acquiring cosmetic gear? Beating content? Finishing part of a long-term project? Let us know about it!

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Grand Theft Auto Online previews its high-adventure Doomsday Heist update

Sometimes, robbing banks gets boring. Specifically, robbing banks in Grand Theft Auto Online; you should not be robbing banks in real life under any circumstances. Don’t rob banks. But the next update for the game is promising a robbery involving jetpacks into a mountain, transforming DeLoreans, and doomsday scenarios. You probably shouldn’t be involved in that sort of heist anyway, but it’s a little more unclear what is happening here that is actually illegal.

This is GTAO, so something illegal is probably happening. But what is a bit more unclear.

You can check out the trailer for the update just below; at a glance, this “epic online adventure” has a lot of story hooks that seem more like single-player content, like promising to investigate the mysteries of Mount Chilliad. You’ll have to see how it plays out for yourself when the update goes live on December 12th; until then, watch the trailer to get all of the aforementioned transforming DeLorean action you could ask for. (In short bursts. You should not continually watch a one-minute trailer for the next several days.)

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WRUP: Great personalities of the American something-or-other no. 341 edition

William “Basketball” Cragen was born in 1784 following his mother’s prolonged and particularly unusual bout with pneumonia, which produced three children and at least one stirring anthem. Considered a “disease child” by his father, he was originally planned to be sold at market when he reached seven years of age, as this was the style in Virginia at the time. However, he evaded this sale by hiding under a passing wagon and refusing to come out even when offered a bit of cheese. Thus, Virginia quickly elected him as the governor-in-exile of Cuba (which it was assumed would be a state any time now).

As governor-in-exile, “Basketball” chiefly ruled on whether or not his father was a “stupid Manne of Poore Judge-ment and odious Sockkes,” which his advisors agreed was a wise course of action due to the continued failure of Cuba to recognize this young man as their proper governor. After three decades in office, he decided to start the first Cuban Alligator Punching Farm, which opened and closed on August 14th, 1821 (this was chosen due to August legally ending the year in Cuba based on a binding resolution he had passed in a dream two years prior). Following his death, he was buried in the stomachs of several alligators. If you’d like to nominate another personality of the American something-or-other, leave a comment to that effect in What Are You Playing.

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Betawatch: There’s factions in them there hills of Wild West Online (December 8, 2017)

Let’s start with something that you probably already ascertained: Wild West Online is being delayed. It delayed its early access alpha, and that delay leads rather naturally into a delay for for full early access into 2018. But the good news for those who aren’t fond of free-for-all PvP is that the game appears to be moving to a factional PvP system instead of a free-for-all. So less like the hypothetical wild west and more like the actual wild west as it existed in history, then.

Meanwhile, the beta band plays on.

That got a bit sad toward the end, didn’t it? Let’s see if we can’t ameliorate that with a nice shiny list just below. Let us know about the tests you’re taking part in down in the comments, or just let us know if something has soft launched without us noticing it.

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Absolver patches in a new 3v3 gameplay mode

Sparring with your enemies one-on-one is always fun, but sometimes it’s even more fun to be fighting back-to-back with your allies in a fight for dominance. That’s exactly what you get in the latest Absolver patch, which adds in the new 3v3 Overtake PvP mode. Players form two teams of three, and both sides fight together to defeat the other side. Teamwork, obviously, is the name of the game.

The patch also adds in new 1v1 private matches for more formalized duels, a new shop with weapons, gear, and emotes, and the usual quality of life improvements. You can check out the full list of improvements in the game’s patch notes, or you can check out the patch trailer just below. And if you’re already sold at the prospect of a 3v3 mode but don’t yet own the game, it’s on sale for half the price through the weekend, so you can get down with a discount.

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Dauntless launches the Sharpen Your Skills update

After several weeks of previews, the latest update for Dauntless has arrived, and it’s aiming at making a better hunter out of you. Sharpen Your Skills will allow you to do just that with the new hunt progression system and the addition of cells, both of which augment your progress through the game and allow you to become far more lethal as you play. There are also new combat enhancements and damage types, so you’ll have even more reason to make your skills as sharp as they can be.

You’ll need sharper skills to take on new challenges, though, including two new behemoths to hunt. Perhaps you can do so with the game’s first ranged attack weapon, the war pike. Check out trailers for the update just below, and get ready to leap in and start getting better at slaying huge monsters. Or turning into a smear on the rocks for a few rounds before you actually sharpen your skills a bit, it’s a fine line.

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Amazon stops selling digital cards for Star Wars: The Old Republic

You can no longer purchase digital time cards or Cartel Coins for Star Wars: The Old Republic through Amazon. This is clearly a sign that you can… er… no longer purchase those digital options through Amazon. They remain for sale from the official site, you can still buy physical copies of the cards off of Amazon, and so forth.

Clearly, this means that the game is in imminent danger and is going to shut down within the hour, if you go by the forum thread on the matter. Or, as people point out on Reddit and elsewhere in that same thread, it just means… you can’t buy that set of digital goods through Amazon any longer.

A number of speculative reasons have been put forth for the change: A new package being offered for a new expansion, a change in how profits are being shared, a desire for people to move through the official store fronts, or just a routine set of business decisions. There’s been no official statement on this change at this time, but there’s not much reason to think the sky is falling just yet.

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Choose My Adventure: Wrapping things up in Secret World Legends

One of the things that I promised way back when I started writing this series about Secret World Legends was to mention the way in which this game seems to tie into The X-Files. There’s an obvious superficial connection (both take place in the real world with added supernatural stuff, for example), but that’s not actually the connection that sticks out to me. It has more to do with the nature of the story both are telling.

While I’m not on board with the game’s character vignettes (which are much more “portrait of this person you don’t really interact with” than anything), there is an underlying story running through every part of the game. I clocked out midway through Egypt when I played the original The Secret World, and there were an assortment of reasons, but part of it was that connection I mentioned above. To wit: the game really likes having mysteries, but it doesn’t really like having answers for a lot of them.

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WoW Factor: Reconsidering the next few months of World of Warcraft

There’s a lot of information coming out about patch 7.3.5 at this point. Not everything, of course, and a lot of it is based more on datamining than actual stuff that has been announced. But it seems fair to say that World of Warcraft’s immediate future for the next lengthy expansion gap is on the test servers right now, and some of it is obvious while some pieces are… less so. And, if I might be so bold, it even gives us a pretty clear picture of the next few months right out of the gate.

Right now the live game is, obviously, focused on Antorus. That’s the focus for the actual gameplay, and the slow trickle of wings into the group finder are the big thing to do and look forward to until the whole of the content is available by January. For that matter, I think that part of the goal of the next month or so is to give people all the reason in the world to run and explore Antorus and see the story for themselves if they’re interested in having a personal stake in what happens next.

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