Eliot Lefebvre

    - Contributing Editor

    Having grown up with a passion for writing, playing video games, and getting paid for bad comedy, Eliot Lefebvre has found the perfect position as a contributing editor to Massively. He has written our superhero MMO column, A Mild-Mannered Reporter; our Final Fantasy XIV column, The Mog Log; our WildStar column, The Nexus Telegraph; and our roleplaying column, Storyboard. He is not a werewolf.

  • The Repopulation drops its first patch for the new build

    It's more possible to play The Repopulation now than it has ever been, and that means the design team is shaking up how it handles updates. Instead of the monthly recaps of the past, the team is putting forth notes for each individual patch, such as the first major one to hit the current testing build. It's focused on improving several areas of the game, starting with a polishing of textures and performance in Plymouth City and a few other smaller points. Several combat improvements have also been rolled out, although the next patch will hit most of the major combat issues players have brought up. Skill gain rates have also been adjusted, as have the Auction and Work Order systems in hopes of keeping the economy lively. If a few lingering issues had kept you from fully enjoying The Repopulation or you just want a picture of all the changes that have come down the pipe, check out the full walkthrough of the latest patch.

  • Trove shows off its wonders for January

    Do you like seeing all of the creative projects that people can put together in Trove? The team behind the game certainly does, since one of the cornerstones of design is to get creative. Which is why there's a new post detailing some of the wonders to be found in the game from the month of January, Club Worlds that offer visual flair and a unique perspective. Some of the worlds are mostly just visual treats, others are functional spots that allow you to ride along special tracks to hear music or take part in a high-speed pinata-cracking festival. If you want an idea about what new worlds to visit during your next play session, you could do worse than hopping into the game and taking a gander at what's on display.

  • WildStar launches the Protogames Initiative

    WildStar players have fought off the machinations of the Entity, the depravities of their enemy faction, and the vicious wildlife of Nexus. Yet they've never had to face the centerpiece of the newest patch, the Protostar Corporation. Admittedly, taking part in the all-new Protogames isn't quite the same as taking on an ancient evil, but the two new dungeons added with this patch are both meant to test player abilities, with a low-level run through Protogames Academy conveying gameplay concepts while the Ultimate Protogames provide an assortment of new challenges. Not that there aren't plenty of other things for players to experience as well. The patch also contains new housing options, allowing you to edit the terrain of your home, and the character chop shop to let you re-edit facial details and the like. Players can also take on a brand-new Shiphand mission or run the Veteran difficulties of existing Shiphand missions, earning valuable Renown to take to the new Renown vendor. There's plenty to be done with the latest patch, so get in there and enjoy the games.

  • Shroud of the Avatar's release 14: FREE HAT

    If you want a silly-looking pointed hat in Shroud of the Avatar but don't know how you could possibly get one, then the latest development update will make you extremely happy. It tells you how to get just that. Yes, you can have a new hat as a reward for finishing another installment of the Grand Tour quest. So you get up to speed on all of the new features of the patch and you get a hat along with it. Everyone wins. The development update also contains a look at more of the overland modeling going on behind the scenes, some of the in-game books being deployed, and a new Kickstarter project for the spiritual successor to the Ultima Underworld games. There's also the usual assortment of discounts and items that will soon be leaving the game forever. Check out the full update for the in-game and community details.

  • World of Warcraft outlines February's events

    There are a lot of holiday events in World of Warcraft this month. February contains the Lunar Festival, Love is in the Air, the Darkmoon Faire... heck, it's also going to be the month that the next major raid opens up. Luckily for avid World of Warcraft players, the official site has put together a comprehensive schedule of the month's festivities, starting with the Valentine's Day event and the new raid opening tomorrow. Astute readers will note that Blizzard suggests players prepare for patch 6.1 with no hints about when it's coming out. Whether this means it's going to be later in the month or won't be dropping until March remains to be seen. Then again, the raiding crowd will have plenty to do through the month with Blackrock Foundry, and if you like holiday events, you've got several of those coming around as well.

  • Diablo III to begin technical testing in China shortly

    If you're a gamer in China waiting for Diablo III, you have undoubtedly been waiting for a very long time. Given the game's subject matter and the strict censorship policies of the government, it's not a surprise that it's taken a while to get moving. At long last there is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, as distributor Netease has announced that the censorship issues are finally resolved and the game is free to begin technical testing. The testing phase will begin after the lunar new year is celebrated later this month. While the exact nature of graphical changes has not been disclosed, Netease stresses that the game will still be cool to look at, which could mean... almost anything, really. Still, at this point most of the players who have long waited for the game will just be happy to see it finally available within China.

  • Crowfall details starting, finishing, and resetting by Hunger

    The latest development blog from Crowfall establishes a problem. The nature of any sort of permanent game is to fall into stagnation. Eventually, the most powerful players control everything and there's no room for new people to come in. You want room for new people to come in. But you also want to have long-term effects to what takes place in the game rather than just resetting everything as the game approaches a static state. What's to be done? According to the aforementioned development blog, you reset... but by pieces. At the center of Crowfall's design lies a cycle of birth, corruption, and demise. Characters remain, but as they participate in individual campaigns of the game there's space for players to make a lasting impact on the game world. But the continual destruction of each campaign as certain players "win" ensures that there's always space for something new to happen, that no one ever becomes unassailable in every sense. Take a look at the full post for a clearer picture of how the game intends to keep players engaged by periodically wiping the board clear of pieces.

  • Personal information compromised on Raptr

    Good news, Raptr users! Your personal information has been compromised! Wait, did that read "good news"? It's bad. It's pretty bad. Yes, in yet another hack of personal information of online services Raptr wound up being hacked, resulting in a stolen names, hashed passwords, and email addresses. Founder and CEO Dennis Fong noted that the two-factor authentication used for Raptr Rewards was not compromised, so users will be unlikely to see anything lost from their reward points. Fong appears confident that the risk for users is fairly minimal, but as with any security breach he advises users to change passwords and check accounts for anything using the same username, email, and/or password. Standard operating procedure, really. No word has been released on how many accounts may have been compromised, but to be on the safe side you should change your logins and such across the board if you're a Raptr user.

  • Neverwinter details the Oathbound Paladin

    Paladins are sort of a thing in any setting you claim to name. The very name conjures images of a fiercely devout warrior with heavy armor, heavy weaponry, and boundless dedication to a cause. Neverwinter's next class, the Oathbound Paladin, is certainly meant to play off of that image. It's a class that can specialize in tanking or healing based on the Paragon path it chooses, and it mechanically centers around helping allies without thought for itself. The central mechanic of the Oathbound Paladin is Divine Call, an ability that gathers energy passively and through certain Paladin actions. When used, it can taunt foes or offer big area healing. The more regular abilities for the class allow it to aura-buff the party, place damage shields on fellow party members, and absorb damage only to unleash it upon enemies shortly thereafter. Find out more about the class with the official preview.

  • The Mog Log Extra: End of an era

    By now you know. I wrote my first column of The Mog Log almost exactly five years ago. I've been writing it for the entirety of Final Fantasy XIV's run now. I've been talking about the online Final Fantasy games since before I was married, and it's been a wonderful experience. I had every intention of continuing to do so for another decade. As long as there was a place to talk about it here, I was going to make use of it. This isn't just a farewell for the column; it's a farewell for something that's made up a huge portion of my life and changed my life in huge ways. As the fall comes to Eorzea, it also comes to us, and I wanted -- insisted -- that I would at least get to have one final chance to say goodbye. So let's take one last look together before we say farewell.

  • Ascent: The Space Game now has cloaking devices

    Do you want to show off your ship while you're flying in Ascent: The Space Game? Because you shouldn't. People seeing your ship is the first step to people being able to shoot at your ship. Why not keep your ship cloaked at all times so that no one can see you and you can shoot them first? Seems logical. And you can do just that now with the new Kickstarter rewards being shown off in a video from the developers. The video also shows off the Bowhead ship and the Hawk fighter, all of which are indisputably in space. It's the name of the game. You can check out all of this in action in the video just past the break.

  • EverQuest producer's letter looks to the year ahead

    The luster on 2015 has come off at least a little bit by now, but that doesn't mean that it's too late for the EverQuest team to start looking to the year ahead, and it's going to be a big one for this classic MMO. The most recent producer's letter looks to the upcoming year, starting with Erollisi day to serve as a suspiciously similar substitute to Valentine's Day. You know how these things work. Moving along through the year, the development team is looking forward to celebrating the game's 16th anniversary, along with an improved looting system and a stream of steady updates to the game. There's a lot of life left in the original EQ, even with the next big installments of the series just around the corner. If you'd like to see what the next year will hold, read the full letter.

  • TUG's multiplayer has arrived

    The team behind TUG is about to let you play in the sandbox with your friends. The most recent update on the game's Kickstarter page includes multiplayer support so that you can built shelters with all of your friends. Moreover, this update adds in non-blocky voxel support. You won't just build houses out of dirt blocks; you'll build smooth, sprawling mansions! Out of, um, dirt. That part needs a bit of an update. You can check out the video just past the break for a comprehensive look at all of the features being added with this next patch to the alpha client. There are also several bug fixes and usability improvements for the client, including tweaks to rid the game of issues with small rocks and seed growth and improvements to tool use factors. If you're an alpha tester, the game you're playing will be that much better after the patch.

  • Camelot Unchained offers a status update for the end of January

    So, is Camelot Unchained going to have those alpha servers ready in February? That's a great question! No, really, it is; the most recent official development update makes it clear that even the staff is unsure whether they'll be ready to go, as the team is currently a bit short on programmers and is trying to make do. A lot of bugs have been fixed up and several of the items on the game's update checklist have been crossed off, though, and the team is confident that any delays will be for less than six months. The update post also contains new concept art for camouflaged archers as well as a mission statement regarding some of the systems that should be coming to the test version soon. If you can't wait to see the latest news on the game's progress, head along and check out the full update now.

  • Pantheon removes its web store

    If you were waiting to grab something from the website store for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, you are now officially too late. A forum post this week states that after internal developer discussion, the devs made the decision to remove the store in prep for a redesign of the interface and a re-evaluation of the various items up for sale. Any orders already placed via the store will still be honored, so you don't need to worry if you had purchased something just before the shutdown. The post also makes note that if the store is brought back, no items with any sort of statistics or concrete advantages will be sold there, although there are no hard and fast decisions about when or whether it will be brought back. Of course, it's probably a little early to be worrying about that anyhow, but points for thinking ahead.

  • The Daily Grind: Why do you love your favorite game?

    Yes, we know what's coming. But we don't want the next few days to be a cavalcade of sorrow because this is a site and a community built around our shared love of MMOs. So let's spread some cheer today. Why do you love your favorite game? I make no secret about my affection for Final Fantasy XIV, obviously. It's a great game that fuses progress organically with stuff that you'd have fun doing anyway and gives you no shortage of freedom in what you want to do in the game. It's a great time. But my favorite game might not be yours. So let's share. No bashing, no whining, no complaining; let's make this a positive time for everyone. Why do you love your favorite game, be it a critical darling or a title you feel doesn't get nearly enough love? Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

  • WildStar outlines its plans for the future of PvP

    Do you want to smash faces on Nexus? Do you not give the smallest toss about being able to unravel ancient mysteries so long as you can find the opposite faction and crack their collective skulls? Then good news, cupcake: WildStar still has PvP on its docket. A new post outlines the game's plans for PvP in 2015, starting with new daily and weekly PvP quests in the next major patch to the game. What else is coming in 2015? How about gear sets that can be purchased with gold, a removal of rating from higher-tier PvP sets, the end of season 1, and same-faction battlegrounds? Because those are all in the pipeline, along with bigger improvements for later in the year. If you just can't get enough of that factional warfare, check out the full post and get ready to carve up the other side. [Thanks to Cap for the tip!]

  • Get organized with The Elder Scrolls Online's collections system

    So you have a whole lot of stuff in The Elder Scrolls Online. That's great. How are you going to organize it all? With a house? Don't be ridiculous; what you need is the new Collections feature going live in the game's next major update. A new development blog explains how the system will allow players to organize mounts, pets, and costumes through a few tabs and a handful of blood sacrifices. (Mostly the tabs.) Items that belong in Collections will automatically be moved over when Update 6 goes live, removing any need to worry about inventory space when you need to summon a mount or don a costume. Any new items will also be tossed right in your Collections if they fit the criteria. The Collections also allow you to see vanity pets that you haven't yet obtained, thus giving you all the more reason to hunt down those elusive little critters for your collection-related purposes.

  • The Daily Grind: Do you make tributes to the lost?

    There are games I will remember for the rest of my life, even though they're gone. I still have all of my screenshots from the vigil in Atlas Park when City of Heroes was on the chopping block. I have documents I wrote up for defunct guilds in games I no longer play. My wife and I wrote up stories about the ultimate fates of our characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic when we realized we were probably never going back. Some goodbyes are more permanent than others, but for some people, goodbye is a chance to move on and never look back. For others, even though you say goodbye, you keep a piece of it with you. You make a tribute. So what about you, readers? Do you make tributes to the games, online friends, guilds, and even periods of time that are gone forever? Or are you the first to say out with the old, in with the new? Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!