In my book Joseph Silber is one of the unsung heroes of the Laravel ecosystem. Whenever I open up internals on Larachat or Github he's giving friendly and thoughtful advice. I was happy to learn that Joseph started a blog.

In the first post he goes over all the improvements made to authentication in Laravel 5.3.

Authentication has gotten some nice improvements in 5.3, so let's examine it piece by piece. - Introducing the authenticate method - The exception handler's unauthenticated method - The Authenticate middleware - Authenticating against multiple guards - Route model binding and global scopes - Bonus: the request's expectsJson method

https://josephsilber.com/posts/2016/07/10/authentication-improvements-in-laravel-5-3

If you're looking for a package that can handle roles and abilities in Laravel, be sure to check out his Bouncer package.