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    Nintendo Deletes Popular Super Mario Maker 2 Level For Vague Reasoning

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
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    When Super Mario Maker 2 released, a lot of creators used their knowledge of the first game or even years of Super Mario romhacking to jump right in to creating tough levels for the game. These are frequently known as "Kaizo" levels, derived from an early Super Mario World romhack though literally just meaning "restructured." One of the most famous players and creators of Kaizo games is GrandPOOBear, a play on the title of Grand Poobah and Winnie the Pooh, who is a popular Twitch streamer and often runs games at events like Games Done Quick. GrandPOOBear got big into Super Mario Maker 2 since its release and uploaded one of the community's best known Kaizo levels until it was deleted this morning.

    Kaizo levels, in this case one titled "Pile of Poo: Kai-Zero G," tend to rely heavily on dizzying degrees of execution and exploiting the game's mechanics to make it through, like using two different turtle shells to jump up to areas that Mario normally should not be able to reach. Some players really get into these types of levels, which are generally auto-sorted into "Super Expert" paths within Super Mario Maker 2 and unlikely to be found accidentally. When GrandPOOBear woke up this morning, he found that the level had been deleted. When he questioned Nintendo, they only told him that the level was inappropriate, and threatened that further violations would result in a total ban.

    https://twitter.com/GrandPOOBear/status/1151147827159945216

    He also claims that he has spoken with Nintendo customer service representatives that insist the problem is not the word "Poo" in the level's title. GrandPOOBear explains that Nintendo themselves use the word for names, such as in the SNES title Earthbound, and points to previous levels that have the word in it with no problem. 

    This is not the first time GrandPOOBear has run into this problem, as Nintendo deleted his entire suite of levels in the original Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. Once a level has been deleted by Nintendo, it is flagged and cannot be reuploaded. GrandPOOBear had to tug at strings at Nintendo for some time before they eventually admitted they had no idea why the levels were deleted and allowed him to reupload them.

    While Nintendo seems a lot more stern with this deletion, it also reinforces the feeling among the Super Mario Maker 2 community that the Japanese publisher could upend the entire game on a whim. The lack of explanation for the deletion of a popular course, which is certainly not the first popular course to be deleted even a few weeks into the game's life, is not especially surprising given Nintendo's trademark silence, but makes people feel uneasy about uploading levels to the servers at all. There's no telling why or when Nintendo might delete your course or whether it is even decided by a human or triggered by an auto-moderation software after enough reports.

    It is especially grating for the community when there is no formula for having your levels discovered. On the Wii U, Nintendo deleted levels that did not get played enough, meaning children or people without big social media followings would have little opportunity to have their levels played and would thus get bumped from the servers. The lack of a coherent policy for deletion — whether for reasons of rule violations or virtual dilapidation — still hangs over the game as frustratingly as it did its predecessor.

    View the full article


    Final DLC For Assassin's Creed Odyssey Out Today

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    atlantistop.jpg

    A while back, Ubisoft detailed their plan for Assassin's Creed Odyssey's expansion plans in the form of various story arcs and missions. The idea was that the game would get more longevity out of making different arcs rather than one large story expansion, and has had varying degrees of success with it. That all comes to an end today with the final episode of Fate of Atlantis arc, which itself is the last planned and announced expansion for Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

    You can check the trailer for the DLC out below.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Ubisoft has confirmed there won't be a new Assassin's Creed game in 2019, which means that work is already probably going on for an Assassin's Creed in 2020 or the year after. In that sense, it makes sense that the DLC episodes are ending now as production hypothetically ramps up on something else in the near future.

    For now, though, you can engage with the final bit of DLC for the game now. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

    View the full article


    Why It's Time For A New Medal Of Honor

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

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    In the early 2000s, World War II shooters were hugely popular. Franchises like Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, and Medal of Honor all delivered multiple successful titles during this span. Eventually, so many WWII shooters flooded the market that in order to stand out, these franchises had to start changing up their templates. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Battlefield Vietnam took those series out of the past and into the present. The Medal of Honor franchise, on the other hand, was slower to adapt to the changing marketplace. Ultimately, Medal of Honor was unable to keep pace with its competitors and fell off the map.

    In recent years, however, the trend has reversed, and World War II has reemerged as a shooter setting. Many of the major players in the genre have returned to the past, starting with Call of Duty: WWII. Battlefield went back even further in Battlefield 1, and eventually returned to World War II with Battlefield V. The Wolfenstein franchise has also seen a recent surge in popularity with its alternate history take on the global conflict. With the WWII shooter experiencing a renaissance of sorts, perhaps it’s time for Medal of Honor to make a comeback. 


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    Why Medal of Honor Mattered (And Why It Died)

    Medal of Honor is one of the more underappreciated and influential franchises in the military-shooter genre. The original game was the brainchild of director Steven Spielberg, who aimed to educate and entertain a generation too young to see Saving Private Ryan and learn about the heroic efforts of the war. After Spielberg sold the license to EA, Medal of Honor continued to see success on both console and PC. In 2002, a small studio called 2015 Games developed the third entry, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, which released on PC to critical acclaim. 

    Allied Assault was a major pioneer in the advancement of cinematic first-person shooters. It borrowed scenes from Saving Private Ryan almost shot for shot, which added a level of tension and humanity to an already engrossing game. It’s innovative A.I., slick and intuitive gameplay, and incredible sound design set a benchmark for military shooters. Released just a year after Allied Assault, Medal of Honor: Frontline – developed by EA Los Angeles – built off many of the ideas developed by Allied Assault to create the best-selling entry in the series to date. Several developers from 2015 Games, including Jason West and Vincent Zampella, later went on to found Infinity Ward, the original studio behind the Call of Duty franchise, and continued to explore ideas they developed in Allied Assault. 

    While competing shooter franchises diverged into other historical periods, Medal of Honor stuck with the World War II theme, developing titles that took players into the Pacific Theater, the African campaign, Airborne divisions, and more in pursuit of keeping the games unique and interesting. When these games struggled critically and financially, EA finally decided to move into the modern era.

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    Medal of Honor’s attempt to modernize was marred with controversy, and the franchise was eventually buried by the success of its competitors. To start, the franchise made the leap too late; Call of Duty went modern in 2007, Battlefield took place in the present day as early as Battlefield 2 in 2005. By the time Medal of Honor jumped to the present in 2010, their straightforward, generic single-player campaign and forgettable multiplayer left the series financially and critically behind the competition. After Medal of Honor (2010) and Medal of Honor: Warfighter in 2012 underperformed, EA put the series to rest and dissolved the developer behind the single-player, Danger Close Games. 

    After the seven-year hiatus, the Medal of Honor tradition of innovation and cinematic roots could refresh the WWII shooter market and pave the way for the franchise’s return. Yes, EA already publishes a major military shooter; the Battlefield franchise is still a financial pillar for the company. However, there are gaps in the military-shooter model that Medal of Honor is perfectly suited to fill. A new Medal of Honor could construct new mechanics and formats for major multiplayer experiences that run parallel to the sweeping battles of Battlefield V instead of being in direct competition. It could also lay the foundation for an explosive and iconic single-player campaign. EA could bring in a studio with a strong background in the genre and return the franchise to the heights of games like Allied Assault and Frontline. 


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    Enlisting The Right Studio

    So, who should make this Medal of Honor revamp? As it turns out, some of the core designers who originally worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault are once again already working with EA. After leaving 2015 to form Infinity Ward and develop Call of Duty, West and Zampella eventually had a falling out with Activision. The duo left and founded Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the Titanfall series and Apex Legends, both of which are published by EA. While West is no longer with Respawn, several former Medal of Honor developers are still at the studio. Steve Fukuda, for example, went from an assistant on Medal of Honor to lead designer on the Titanfall series. With the spirit of Medal of Honor living on at Respawn, it’s perfectly positioned to resurrect the franchise. The Titanfall series serves well as an indicator of Respawn’s ability to develop first-person shooter campaigns. The level design in Titanfall 2 and the ideas developed through each individual mission are perfect for the multiple theaters of war the new Medal of Honor could feature. Apex Legends also stands as proof that Respawn can tackle modern multiplayer trends with grace and ease, rounding out its sterling resumé. 


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    Building A Better Single Player

    Often, shooters have the player embody different soldiers throughout the conflict, with the individual stories playing off each other to present the full scope of the war. Medal of Honor, on the other hand, used the Office of Strategic Services to frame sending a single soldier into different zones of combat. As this soldier, often with small groups of support soldiers, players travel from country to country, theater to theater, to accomplish a variety of goals for the Allied forces. In this aspect, Medal of Honor can differ from other shooter campaigns and represent holistic new environments across the major battlefields of the war with a single contained story rather than breaking the action up between separate, forgettable player characters. Gone are the days of bottleneck, point-to-point shooter missions. Battlefields are wild, open, and chaotic, and they should be represented as such. 

    The early Medal of Honor games were ambitious, yet unfortunately limited. Hardware restrictions meant that D-Day was rather empty, and the jungles of the Pacific theater were barren and uninteresting. However, with current hardware advancements, these major battles can be re-represented through new mechanics and a dynamic environment. New techniques like photogrammetry and ray tracing can create a dynamic and living play space that supports an environment that matches its vibrant soundscape. Light diffusing through the leaves and the soft flow of a stream can go a long way to making an environment feel real. 

    20170716-rural-06.jpg Image: Uncharted: Lost Legacy

    Imagine the Battle of Guadalcanal, a major turning point in the Pacific theater. You, as a soldier, are briefed on the state of the island, walked through the battle strategy, and then dropped onto a lush, tropical battlefield with instructions to retake the island. The D-Day invasions in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Medal of Honor: Frontline tried to pull this type of battle off in the early 2000s and were successful for the time. With what consoles are capable of today, these new battles could be the embodiment of the original Medal of Honor philosophy without making any sacrifices. 

    Medal of Honor’s early installments featured incredible enemy A.I. and tense moments. Scored by Star Trek and The Incredibles composer Michael Giacchino, the early Medal of Honor sequences in which you’re trapped behind enemy lines hold many elements that could inspire new installments. In the first Medal of Honor, the player is tasked with infiltrating a German base and destroying a railgun threatening the Allied invasion. What makes this mission memorable is the disguise you wear; instead of wielding a gun, you wield your identification papers. Both items are necessary for survival, but the identification papers brought a level of gravity and tension to a shooter that, at the time, was rare. Games aren’t only about shooting people, Medal of Honor said. These tense, story-driven moments aren’t limited to the Medal of Honor series; Call of Duty: WWII’s ‘Liberation’ mission tackles something similar. Injecting these moments throughout instead of dedicating a single mission to the idea, however, is more in line with Medal of Honor tradition.

    This mixture of massive set-piece warfare and tense sequences behind enemy territory is Medal of Honor’s tried-and-true method. A dedication to the setting as much as the gameplay could solidify the resurgence of the old series. 


    hunt1.jpg Image: Hunt: Showdown

    A New Kind Of WWII Multiplayer

    Franchises like Battlefield and Call of Duty have already cornered the market on WWII competitive multiplayer. To stand out from the crowd, Medal of Honor should take a different approach. Since we’ve already embraced the aspects of the early Medal of Honor titles to build the single player, we could adapt that format to multiplayer as well. Remember the proposed Guadalcanal mission I mentioned earlier? EA could take inspiration from The Division’s Survival mode or Hunt: Showdown and use that environment (and others from the campaign) to create player-versus-player-versus-environment battles behind enemy lines. 

    With several goals, the least of which being survival, soldiers could be airdropped into an environment (as in Medal of Honor: Airborne) and given the opportunity to work with or against their fellow soldiers to accomplish different objectives decided before the match. Players working alone or in a squad could be tasked with any number of Medal of Honor objectives, such as scuttling the submarine, stealing the documents, conducting search and rescue missions, or attempting assassinations. With each group or individual operating under the umbrella of an elite unit like the OSS, Spetsnaz, or British Commandos, they all could be given the same task, making it a frantic race to complete the objective before the other team. Units could choose to team up to overcome impossible odds or backstab each other to be the only squad to bask in the glory.  

    With a veritable army of A.I. soldiers hunting for agents infiltrating their base, online players would take the role of the hunter or hunted in a tense, unique multiplayer experience. There could even be side objectives for the players, making the environment feel like a real battlefield. Teams could infiltrate and extract information, or recon teams could gather information on enemy movements. Survival isn’t as easy as point-and-shoot given the enemy’s overwhelming numbers, so strategy must be employed to come out on top. Outposts could hold valuable information or weaponry, increasing the value of exploration. The multiplayer could be constantly rebuilt through procedurally generated environments, providing an imminently replayable (or streamable) battle mode unlike any military shooter on the market.


    After seven long years, the market and audience are ready for a new entry in the Medal of Honor series. If EA chooses to make a new one, it may be wildly different than our proposal, but this influential and beloved franchise should not be left for dead. In the meantime, we can dream about this game, a fantasy Medal of Honor that would have us falling in love all over again. 

    If you need more first-person shooter in your life, check out our interview with Dice on Battlefield V's newest updates or the news of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare crossplay.

    View the full article


    Mythic Eternal Palace Race to World First, Eternal Palace Mythic/Raid Finder Wing 1

    Curse
    By Curse,
    wowmini.png Patch 8.2 Hotfixes - July 16, 2019

    Azshara's Eternal Palace - Race to World First
    The race for world first is on once again! 8 guilds are currently 3/8 mythic!






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    Azshara's Eternal Palace - Mythic Difficulty and Raid Finder Wing 1
    Mythic Difficulty and Raid Finder Wing 1 for Azshara's Eternal Palace opens this week.

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    Weekly Event - Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking
    Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking is back this week. Don't forget to check out the Ulduar timewalking raid!


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    PvP Brawl - Classic Ashran
    This week's brawl is the epic battleground Ashran in its original form.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Why ashran for the brawl?
    assume the “win condition” for the quest is 4 event wins and an enemy general kill?
    We’re working on a hotfix that will make the “Something Different” quest complete in the Classic Ashran brawl when you either win any event, or kill Grand Marshal Tremblade / High Warlord Volrath.

    Island Expeditions for Week of July 16th, 2019
    The islands expeditions for the week are:

    • Crestfall with Dragons
    • Un'gol Ruins with Pygmies
    • Snowblossom Village with Virmen


    Conflict and Strife Rank 2 Acquisition Hotfix
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    The tool tip for Conflict and Strife says that you need to get conquest cap to get rank one and for rank two you need 1k rating. I hit 1k rating before getting conquest cap so shouldn’t that allow me to skip straight to rank two?

    I pose this question because I only got rank one in my pvp chest and from my perspective it’s an error.

    Correct. We had a bug, and we’ve now hotfixed it. We’re working to address the issue for players who already opened it. Thank you! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    The hotfix for this is now live. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    View the full article


    Overwatch Summer Games 2019 Kick Off

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    tjorbeach.png

    Blizzard has once again brought back their yearly summer games event for Overwatch, which focuses on both beach time and fun and Lucioball in different measures. This year tends to focus a bit more on the sports side of things, but there's some Torbjorn swimsuit action for everyone in there, too.

    Check out the trailer below.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    There will also be exclusive sprays, icons, and skins tied to the weekly events. During certain timeframes, you have to accomplish certain achievements, like say winning nine games between July 16 and July 22 to win an American flag Reaper skin. You can take a look at the events and all the costumes on the event page here.

    Overwatch's Summer Games 2019 will run from today, July 16, through August 5 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't get left out in the cold and miss the skin you had your eyes on.

    View the full article


    Patch 8.2 Hotfixes - July 16, 2019

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 8.2 Hotfixes - July 16, 2019
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Achievements
    • Players can again earn Fun Run after completing the requirements.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented players from earning If It Please the Court.

    Characters
    • Undead
      • Touch of the Grave (racial ability) no longer causes the user to enter combat when it procs from periodic effects.

    Classes
    • ideathknights.gif Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
      • Death Gate no longer occasionally strands players in Acherus after being used, and it should always return them to the entry point where it was originally placed.
    • images.gif Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
      • Arcane
        • Damage for all spells and abilities increased by 6%.

    Dungeons and Raids
    • Azshara’s Eternal Palace
      • Orgozoa
        • Orgozoa now transitions to phase two at 40% health (was 3.5 minutes).
          • Developers’ note: This change is meant to be neutral with regard to difficulty of the encounter, and aims to ensure that as player damage output continues to increase in the coming weeks, the overall pacing of the encounter doesn’t become skewed.
      • Radiance of Azshara
        • Fixed a bug causing Radiance of Azshara's Stormwraith Gale Buffet to increase its damage by 10% per stack, rather than the intended 25% on Normal and Heroic difficulties.
      • Za’Qul, Harbinger of Ny’alotha
        • Shattered Psyche now has a unique icon.
      • Queen Azshara
        • Players with the Beckoned debuff can no longer be afflicted with Charged Spear.
        • Players broken out of Devotion should not be prevented from using their abilities.
    • Atal'Dazar
      • Fixed a bug that caused Yazma to repeat her voice lines three times each time a boss was defeated during Mythic Keystone Dungeons.

    Items
    • Fixed an issue that resulted in fewer than intended Aqueous Reliquary drops from Radiance of Azshara, The Queen’s Court, and Queen Azshara.
    • Fixed a bug that caused end-of-run chests earned for completing a Mythic Keystone at +7 difficulty to incorrectly reward item-level 415 gear; now rewards ilvl 420 ilvl gear.
    • Benthic gear’s damaging spells and heals (e.g. Poen's Deepsea Gloves) no longer remove the caster from stealth.
    • The time required to charge an Energy Cell at the Charging Station has been reduced to 1.5 seconds (was 3 seconds).

      Heart of Azeroth
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) no longer activates for Arms Warriors if they are under the effects of crowd control that prevents them from controlling their character (e.g. Polymorph or stuns).
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) no longer grants Unholy Death Knights with the Minor Power’s Rank 2 healing effect at Rank 1.
      • Vision of Perfection no longer forcibly shapeshifts Druids out of Flight Form if they are flying when it activates.
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) Rank 2 now grants Guardian Druids the correct amount of healing when Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc activates.
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) no longer grants Guardian Druids twice the intended amount of cooldown reduction for Survival Instincts when placed in the Minor Slot.
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) Rank 2 now grants Brewmaster Monks the correct amount of healing when Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox activates.
      • Vision of Perfection (Essence) no longer grants Protection Warriors twice the intended amount of cooldown reduction for Avatar when placed in the Minor Slot.
      • Fixed a bug where the critical strike chance for Blood of the Enemy (Essence) would not apply to a player’s pets or guardians.
      • Essence of the Focusing Iris (Essence) Major Power damage has been lowered by 15%.
        • Developers’ note: Essence of the Focusing Iris is a very strong tool for area burst damage, but is overshadowing the other available area damage Essences that are available. This change should still keep it very strong when dealing with packs of high priority targets.

    Player versus Player
    • idruids.gif Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
      • Restoration
        • Healing reduced by 10% in PvP situations.
          • Developers’ notes: Throughout Season 2, Restoration Druid’s raw healing throughput paired very well with their crowd control, defensive abilities, and ability to sneak away and regain mana through drinking. This is intended to bring their healing throughput more in line with other healer specializations in PvP.
    • Items
      • Trident of Deep Ocean absorption effect is now reduced by 80% in PvP (was 75%).
      • Mindthief's Eldritch Clasp healing and self-damage effect is now reduced by 60% in PvP (was 50%).
      • Void Stone effect is reduced in PvP by 45% for healers (was 30%) and 70% for non-healers (was 60%).
        • Developers’ notes: Due to the scaling increase that some trinkets received with the release Rise of Azshara, the PvP-specific reductions put in place for Season 3 did not have the impact we were going for. These are items that we previously noted were intended to be scaled out this season.
      • Resolved an issue that caused the PvP reduction to Ward of Envelopment and Mirror of Entwined Fate to affect non-PvP situations.
      • Oceanic Restoration’s (weapon enchant) mana granted is reduced by 50% in PvP situations.
        • Developers’ notes: At the start of Battle for Azeroth Season 2, we made changes to mana regeneration in PvP to increase the impact mana management has on long engagements. Similarly, Rise of Azshara introduced new methods of mana regeneration in the forms of a weapon enchant and Essences (below) that need to be reduced in the same fashion.
      • Heart of Azeroth
        • Lucid Dreams (Essence) now refunds 50% less mana in PvP situations, now heals for 50% less in PvP situations when it refunds resources, and now provides 50% less Leech when activated in PvP situations. The Mana generation rate provided by activating its Major Power is unchanged.
        • Vision of Perfection (Essence) heals for 50% less in PvP situations.
        • Purification Protocol (Essence) heals for 50% less in PvP situations.
        • The Ever Rising Tide (Essence) grants 50% less mana in PvP situations.
          • Developers’ notes: These Essences provide additional passive self-healing that we feel should be reduced to the same degree as tier 3 Azerite traits.

    Quests
    • The mining nodes in the introductory version of the “Brinestone Shards” are no longer viewable by other players.
    • Lor’themar Theoron and First Arcanist Thalyssra now saddle up with flying mounts during "Up Against It".
    • Construction Projects for Flame Turrets and Rustbolt Armories now respawn more quickly after either running out of power being destroyed.

    View the full article


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