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

Final Fantasy XIV’s Heavensward launches on June 23

The expansion releases on June 23rd, early access begins on June 19th, and pre-orders open up on March 16th.Since the original launch of Final Fantasy XIV, the city of Ishgard has waited, inaccessible, present, a long shadow over the entire game. When Heavensward releases, players will finally get to access the city and fly into the lands beyond.

As for what we’ll find there… well, that was the focus of the media presentation I got to take part in on Friday at this year’s PAX East. And as someone eagerly anticipating the expansion, I now feel suitably informed.

While the presentation included a lot of information that will be familiar to those avidly following the various fan festivals, there were still new pieces of information and new visuals on display. I also had a chance to speak with producer and director Naoki Yoshida regarding the expansion and what comes next for Eorzea, from the features available at launch to those planned for slightly down the road.

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PAX East 2015: A chat with SOTA’s Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott casts a long shadow in the MMO industry, with Ultima Online serving as the first fully graphical MMO and ushering in the genre as we know it. His more recent claim to fame, though, is the success of Shroud of the Avatar, a crowdfunded spiritual sequel to his Ultima series, online and off. It’s one of the big crowdfunding successes and something that raises plenty of interesting questions about the viability of crowdfunding and how the game’s financial model influences its development.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with Garriott during my time in Boston at this year’s PAX East, and I started by asking him about another long shadow: Godus. Comparisons are fairly obvious, with Godus being another game project put forth by a well-known developer (Peter Molyneux) for crowdfunding. So what sort of influence do high-profile troubles such as those have on Shroud of the Avatar‘s community, and how can the team avoid the risks?

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WoW Factor: A self-defeating genre

Remember when World of Warcraft launched? I sure do. I remember when the game’s developers strapped into a helicopter and broke into the building of every game’s development team and forced them to change their code to more closely align with what World of Warcraft was doing, instantly transforming Warhammer Online into a close clone of their own game. And then there was that time that stores stopped handing out copies of Star Wars Galaxies to potential players, with a cleverly disguised installer that made people think they were going to be playing a Star Wars game right up until the character creator. “Hey, that’s not a twi’lek! Oh, well, as long as I’m here…”

Wait, that didn’t happen? Of course it didn’t. That would be absolutely ridiculous. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to the narrative told by some portions of the MMO fanbase.

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Gigantic will be published on Windows 10 and Xbox One

In a news sure to relieve the gamers unsure whether a MOBA would come along specifically designed to work with Windows 10, Motiga has announced that its upcoming title Gigantic is going to be published on both Windows 10 and the Xbox One. While you don’t need to make use of Windows 10 at present to play the game’s test client, it will be required in the future. Since there’s the whole “free upgrade” thing for Windows 10, this is not quite the hurdle it could be.

But what if you don’t want console players on your MOBA? Well, you might be taking your choice of game-making box a bit too seriously, but the game will also include the option to just match you with people on the same platform. The full details of the arrangement can be read in the official announcement, and there’s also a trailer past the break for those who want a bit of the game’s distinctive art to go along with the big news.

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PAX East 2015: Trion Worlds is throwing a party

It’s been four years since RIFT came out and the Trion Worlds team hosted a party in Boston to celebrate the game, so it’s high time for another fan gathering. That’s the logic behind Trion’s upcoming PAX East party in Boston, which celebrates the game’s anniversary and the first day of the convention with a fan gathering, complete with a free Arclight Rider and some real-world loot while supplies last.

RIFT fans with no need for the various bits of swag might still want to attend, as the party will include face time with the developers and some announcements about the future. The party is a bit offsite, and space is limited, so head over promptly at 6 p.m. EST on Friday if you want to get in. There’s even a trailer for the party just past the break, for those who need a little more urging.

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Star Trek Online installs memorials for Leonard Nimoy and all those lost

The death of Leonard Nimoy affects everyone who has ever been engaged in the Star Trek franchise, whether you were a lifelong fan of the original series or knew him only from his work in the reboot film and Star Trek Online. But he’s not the first luminary of the show to be lost, and Star Trek Online‘s new memorials are meant to commemorate not just Nimoy’s contribution to the universe but that of several key cast and crew members over the years.

Cryptic Studios is erecting a monument on both New Romulus and on Vulcan, with the latter placed in the same spot on the planet where players gathered to pay their respects after Nimoy’s death. These locations will also host a memorial plaque for all those lost from the franchise, including Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett. Last but not least, black flags will be flown in all of the faction hubs for the next week, signifying that the Star Trek Online team mourns the loss of a great inspiration and a well-respected man.

We’ve included the Twitch video of the ceremony below.

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Shadowrun Online rebrands as Shadowrun Chronicles, aims for April release

Shadowrun Online isn’t Shadowrun Online any longer. Hot on the heels of its announcement that it’s secured a physical distributor, the game has rebranded itself as Shadowrun Chronicles. A recent development post explains that the name Shadowrun Online created expectations that ran counter to the team’s goals, so hopefully the name change will more accurately reflect their design intent. Draw your own conclusions there.

If you’re holding off on drawing those conclusions until the game actually launches, though, you won’t have to wait much longer. The same post also announces that the game will be launching on April 28th, just a little under two months away. You can check out the most recent trailer for the game just past the break.

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The Daily Grind: Are you prompt about unsubscribing from MMOs?

I am going to make a confession: I am terrible about remembering to unsubscribe from games I am no longer playing. Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are nice for not asking me to subscribe in the first place, but odds are good that it’ll be at least a month or two between the date when I know I’m not going back to the game and when I actually remember to cancel my subscription. I vote with my wallet, but not always in a timely fashion.

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Strongholds and the Jungle in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

While I was taking my test drive of the Revenant class at ArenaNet’s recent press event, I wasn’t just playing through old familiar portions of Guild Wars 2. No, I was being welcomed to the jungle, mercifully without having to listen to that tired old Guns N’ Roses chestnut in the process. And then I was taking on Strongholds, which meant less dusting off my withered PvE skills for the game and more immediately developing PvP skills I’m not entirely sure I ever had.

So how were they? In the former case, I honestly think I didn’t get enough of a playground to say much about it one way or the other, but it certainly didn’t have me leaping for joy at the content. In the latter, though, I was very thoroughly pleased with how balanced the gameplay felt and how much fun the whole thing was, though it was buoyed somewhat by the fact that I kept being on the winning team. Let’s hit this one point by point.

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Camelot Unchained preps for its alpha unveiling

[Update: Alpha is now live as of this evening! Thanks to Amber for the heads-up! More in the morning.]

Camelot Unchained had to delay the start of its alpha testing for everyone over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to be pushing back very far. An update from yesterday evening announced that today will see a full-day stream running from the City State Entertainment crew, with the staff working hard to break the game during the display. If everything’s stable, the alpha will be left on overnight.

Compensation is still planned for the delay in testing, with the particulars to be determined once the decision is made to turn on access or wait a little bit longer. For those who want to watch the antics of the team trying to break the servers in any possible way, the stream will start today at 10 a.m. EST. A surprise is also promised for backers in the near future, although details haven’t yet been made available.

[Source: Evening Update for March 2nd, Twitch. Thanks, Will.]

 

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Hands-on with Guild Wars 2’s Revenant

It might be premature, but I’m pretty sure that the Revenant is my favorite profession in Guild Wars 2. And strangely, it’s because it offers a twist on the usual process of swapping between skill sets.

When the Revenant was first announced during this year’s PAX South, I was more than a little leery. At a glance, it was yet another figure in heavy armor with vaguely death-related powers, the sort of thing that’s so ubiquitous now as to beat out characters named after figures from Game of Thrones. It also evoked the Ritualist, which was one of the classes from Guild Wars that a lot of people loved but held no real resonance for me. Having played it now, though, I think it was a bit undersold because I was reminded of one of my favorite classes from the original Guild Wars as I played, and I was pleasantly surprised at just how novel the game’s take on a rather familiar lineup of tropes felt in action.
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The Daily Grind: What are the minimum criteria for an online game?

It’s pretty definite that Second Life is not a game in the strictest sense of the word, and by “the strictest” I of course mean “basically any.” It’s more of a toolbox in which you can make a game, sort of. But then, so is Landmark, and I don’t think anyone would argue that isn’t a game. You might argue whether it succeeds at its goals as a game, but that’s a different discussion.

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Wisdom of Nym: Gold Saucer impressions in Final Fantasy XIV

After a madcap week, I got to come home to the Gold Saucer. Traveling to Seattle on short notice was a mixture of the good and the bad, and I was certainly happy to be back home, but I was all the happier when I had Final Fantasy XIV‘s den of gambling-but-not-really to look forward to upon arrival. What could be better?

Well, a system that was actually ready to account for the vast influx of people who wanted to take part in the minigames would have been a good idea, but let’s not get crazy, hmm?

Thematically, the Gold Saucer comes at a highly inappropriate time, since Eorzea is kind of tearing itself apart at the seams while people gamble ceaselessly. But it’s also something that’s both fun and almost infinitely expandable, a feature that will fit well into the game after the initial rush has worn off. So let’s take a look at the Saucer, the many games therein, and how everything shakes down on the average.

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