Ubisoft Confirms First PS5/Scarlett Games, Including Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft has announced its first games for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett. In an earnings call this week, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that the five games it plans to launch in Fiscal Year 2021 will be released on both current-generation and next-generation consoles.

These include Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods & Monsters, as well as two further titles that have not been announced yet. Ubisoft’s Fiscal Year 2021 runs April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. The PS5 and Xbox Scarlett are each scheduled for release in Holiday 2020.

“The five titles will be on this generation and next generation of consoles, and they will take full advantage of all the new features that are coming with the machines,” Guillemot said, as reported by IGN. “Which are actually going to be extremely interesting for players, as you’ll be able to download new content a lot faster. Players will experience better framerate, so there are lots of very good elements that will come with those new machines.”

Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods & Monsters were all recently delayed, and are now scheduled to release during FY21.

With the PS5 and Scarlett coming in Holiday 2020 we may well see even more cross-generation games from Ubisoft and other publishers. During the last major console transition from PS3 to PS4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One, cross-gen titles included Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag from Ubisoft, as well as high-profile shooters Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

For more on the PS5 and Scarlett, check out GameSpot’s breakdown of the key specifics about each next-generation system.

Source: GameSpot.com

Death Positivity In Games Is Good

Death is such a major part of video games, but rarely in a way that’s constructive–it’s most commonly a failure mechanic for you or the ever-present goal for you to enact on others, regardless of whether you’re facing other players or NPCs. A story-driven game’s most dramatic moment may use the death of a beloved character to create a severe emotional response and plenty of horror games rely on surprising character deaths to produce jump scares. But that’s usually the extent to what games do with death. So in the few cases when games actually do deal with death and grief as a reality, it’s almost always surprising.

Video games should talk about death more. And I don’t mean just show it; more games should really talk about it and explore how normal it is. Video games too often gloss over or demonize death but that’s not an accurate reflection of real life. We’re all going to die someday, as are everyone we know. And as frightening as that may be, those deaths will probably be boringly normal. So too, in turn, are the emotions associated with coming to terms with that, whether it’s depression, grief, anger, or acceptance.

It can be difficult to talk about death, especially in the western part of the world where it’s almost considered a taboo topic for everyday conversation, but that’s all the more reason that people should. Continuing to shy away from the uncomfortable nature of death and grief prevents the normalization of both.

Several games have already started the conversation by putting you into the role of a caretaker of the deceased–encouraging you to think about dying and to normalize the associated feelings. The upcoming cozy management game about dying, Spiritfarer, is one such example. The Thunder Lotus Games title sees you play as Stella, a ferrymaster who sails through a purgatory-like setting in search of lost souls to befriend before helping them move on to the afterlife. Laundry Bear Games’ A Mortician’s Tale takes a less mystical approach, having you play as a funeral director, Charlie, who prepares bodies for burial. Giant Sparrow has also created an experience where you care for the dying in What Remains of Edith Finch–a more figurative case where you ensure a dead family is remembered by helping its last surviving member, Edith, tell their stories.

“I think it’s funny the way that, in a lot of art forms, you’ll see several people exploring the same area suddenly, and it’s just like something that bubbles up, and maybe that’s some of what we’re seeing in games right now,” What Remains of Edith Finch creative director Ian Dallas said in an interview with GameSpot. “A lot of people have had similar reactions and thoughts, and now we’re starting to see the fruits of that on the developer side.”

In regards to how Thunder Lotus Games decided to approach death positivity in Spiritfarer, creative director Nicolas Guérin said, “We stumbled into the idea of trying to talk about death in a positive way, which is [a subject] we should all be trying to do more with … Death is terrible. It sucks. It’s something that we can’t really escape and it’s actually pretty tough to casually talk about.”

For a game centered around death, Spiritfarer’s visuals are remarkably positive. The world is illustrated in bright colors, a cheery soundtrack accompanies the rhythmic hum of your ferry’s engine, and you can seemingly just hug people whenever you want. Despite half of its story taking place in a morgue, A Mortician’s Tale also steers clear of gore and morbid imagery, presenting its world in a muted-purple and the characters with exaggerated proportions. What Remains of Edith Finch puts a surreal, almost otherworldly spin on its terrifying tales, which Dallas thinks helps transform the game into a collection of “campfire stories.”

So none of them are doom and gloom all the time, and the three don’t try to meddle with their death-positive message by getting into the nitty gritty of religion and faith. “We made sure that the game was agnostic and not taking sides about who’s right and who’s wrong [when it comes to] heaven and stuff like that,” Guérin said. “The only position we take is to say that death is okay. It’s okay to be fragmented. It’s okay to feel lost in grief. It’s okay to have all those negative emotions.”

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The key to conveying this message, according to Guérin, is to not preach to the player. You can’t just tell someone to believe that it’s okay to talk about death or that they should allow themselves to feel sad when someone dies. You make a good game and then include this message within its mechanics, encouraging players to act through the movements of a character. In Spiritfarer, for example, you literally can’t continue through the game without talking to the spirits you encounter, which leads you to learn their stories, befriend them, and want to walk them through their own lingering grief. The grieving process and personal stories for each spirit are different, allowing you to engage with a range of experiences and emotions for what it’s like to care for someone in their final moments. Then the game takes them away from you one at a time, just like death does in real life, and you’re forced to acknowledge that they’re gone forever (at least until you start a new playthrough, of course).

“It’s something that I think more designers should be doing,” Guérin said. “[I] want to make [stories] that only games can achieve, using game mechanics to say something that can only be experienced in that specific medium.” For Guérin, video games offer opportunities to talk about death and grief in ways that movies and books simply can’t–largely because games can force someone to interact as a part of the story instead of allowing them to passively observe.

It’s a sentiment shared by A Mortician’s Tale game designer Gabby DaRienzo. “A Mortician’s Tale is meant to be an accurate-but-gentle game about being a funeral director, and we wanted to make sure all the mechanics in the game supported this. As a funeral director supporting those in grief, your job is largely to listen rather than speak,” DaRienzo said.

“A Mortician’s Tale is a death-positive game–meaning that our goal was to speak as openly and gently about the topic of death, grief, and the funeral industry as possible,” she continued. Charlie’s story is very linear, without much in the way of choice–but the game uses its on-the-rails gameplay loop and simple mechanics to create a powerful story. “In the game, we force players to go through a daily loop–reading emails, preparing the bodies of the deceased, and attending their respective funerals,” DaRienzo said. “This goes on, day after day, and the player becomes accustomed to this mundane loop. When a day comes that Charlie is tasked with preparing the body of a man in which no one attends his funeral, the player is suddenly thrown for an emotional loop.”

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The scene in question certainly rocked me the first time I played through A Mortician’s Tale. I was struck by how sad it was that, in the urn of ashes in front of me, lay the remains of a man who apparently had nobody in his life–or at least no one who cared. It’s one of the few moments in A Mortician’s Tale where you have a choice: you can walk around the room, return to your work station and prepare the next body, or go up to the urn and give a little nod of respect. I chose the latter, even though I knew next to nothing about the deceased–seeing as I had no one to ask about who he was. And although I mostly did it because I felt bad for the dude, a small part of me wanted to do it for me. In the event I die alone, I’d like to hope that at least one person (even if they don’t know me) will take the time to remember that I was here and that I mattered, much like Charlie did for this man. It’s something I hadn’t really thought about before that moment, and I’ve had small realizations like this for most of the indie games I’ve played that revolve around death and grieving.

“I think it’s easiest to see and understand death on the effect it has on everyone around us,” A Mortician’s Tale writer Kait Tremblay said. “I mean, that’s how we know and understand death, right? Our experiences are always focused through how it affects us and so writing A Mortician’s Tale definitely focused on this: what does death leave behind, how do we pick up the pieces, how do we find our way through mourning, and understand our feelings about what has happened? Because we have to keep living and we have to find a way of accepting death, and that’s kind of what A Mortician’s Tale is about, in some respects, right? It’s about that conversation, about understanding death, and finding a way through it, so focusing on the mourners embodies this.”

Granted, taking a harder look at the uncomfortable emotions surrounding death is not going to make any of those feelings suddenly easier to deal with or make the grieving process for a loved one any less sad. But at the very least, death and grief deserve to be treated as things that are normal. Your calm acceptance of a loved one’s passing is just as valid as breaking down in tears–and how you continue to deal with the grief in the aftermath isn’t likely to be exactly the same with every death in your life. Video games can’t and shouldn’t handle the complete burden of normalizing what it means to come to terms with dying and grieving for a lost loved one, but considering how many kids do play them, they’re an excellent portal for broaching the subject and informing people they are allowed to dig deeper, ask questions, and embrace their emotions.

I wish that, as a kid, I would have had something like Spiritfarer, A Mortician’s Tale, What Remains of Edith Finch, or any of the other games that put you into the role of a caretaker of someone who is dead or dying (Blackwood Crossing, To the Moon, and That Dragon, Cancer, just to name a few more). Media that is strictly educational is fine, but it’s hard to absorb something when it feels like you’re being preached at. These games do for death what games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice do for mental illness–they’re not hitting you over the head with the message you should normalize something that has been demonized for years as something scary and evil. They’re just good games, ones that also happen to use their mechanics to lead you towards making your own conclusions.

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“It’s nice that games are reexamining some of the elements that have been with us for a long time, but have just gotten this patina of conventional ways [in how] they’re handled,” Dallas said. “[Like] enemies just flicker away when they die–that’s an approach to death that we just think [to include] automatically. I think that’s fine for [certain] games, but there’s so much more interesting stuff to explore that I’m happy to see other games moving into.”

“I’m pretty sure tons of triple-A developers want to do games like this too; they want to tackle complex subjects,” Guérin added, speaking to his experience as a game designer at Electronic Arts and level designer director at Ubisoft. “It’s just that the system is not working for them–in the sense that you have to sell a shit ton of those games and make sure that you can recoup your investment … You have to make sure that everything you do pleases a much larger crowd.”

Guérin went on to point out that the triple-A games that are beginning to go into topics like this are the ones that can afford to. They’re either games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which are made by studios that already have a proven track record of broaching complex content, or they’re games like The Last of Us, first-party exclusives that are usually allowed to be a bit more experimental. Still, he adds, triple-A games are rarely allowed to be as niche as an indie game. “Triple-A games are awesome but they need to [fit] on a broader spectrum,” Guérin said.

It’s unlikely that we’ll soon see as many triple-A games tackle death and grieving as well and as thoroughly as the indie games that are doing so already. But as more games like Spiritfarer make a splash at E3 and ones like What Remains of Edith Finch and A Mortician’s Tale leave lasting impacts, it increases the chances of more studios choosing to change how we experience death and grief in games. “[These games] are about dying, but at the same time [saying] dying is okay,” Guérin concludes. “It’s normal. It’s human. You know, people who die still watch football matches and TV. They don’t stop doing everything … Enjoying life is part of the message as well.”

To stay up to date on Nicolas Guérin, check out Spiritfarer–which is due to release in 2020. Gabby DaRienzo is now an artist at Drinkbox Studios, the developers behind games like Severed and Guacamelee. Kait Tremblay has taken her talents to Ubisoft Toronto, where she’s lead narrative designer for Watch Dogs Legion–recently delayed to the latter half of 2020. Ian Dallas is still at Giant Sparrow, leading the charge on the indie studio’s third game.

Source: GameSpot.com

Destiny 2’s latest hotfix will make getting rare gear easier than ever

Destiny 2’s pinnacle Power drops are supposed to give players a source of loot to chase even after they hit the soft-cap of 950. This system has been working out, but Bungie decided that progress was a little too slow. To help fix this problem, Bungie is making pinnacle Power items a little bit stronger and adding some new loot to certain activities, the developer announced in the most recent This Week at Bungie post.

The pinnacle system relied on giving players gear that was exactly one point more powerful than their old gear. Unfortunately, since pinnacle drops were rare, this meant you had to do some serious grinding just to get your character from 950 to 951 — including getting an upgraded piece of gear in every single armor slot. Now Bungie has upped pinnacle gear to give players a two Power upgrades instead of one. This means that you’ll only need four pieces of pinnacle armor to go from 950 to 951 on your overall Power.

This change won’t make grinding for pinnacle gear irrelevant, or even much easier, but it will make the pinnacle gear itself more exciting to get. Rather than feeling like each new loot drop is just a small step forward, now each piece of armor can feel like a real upgrade.

The other big change Bungie is making with this hotfix has to do with the game’s season pass weapons, Pluperfect and Temporal Cause. Most players will likely get these guns first from the season pass, but they are available in the multiplayer and as random rolls — they’re just very rare. To make farming for these two guns a little bit easier for players, Bungie is adding them to the loot pool for the Vex Offensive activity.

That means they can now drop there, as well as in Gambit, Crucible, and strikes, so you’ll have a higher chance of getting new rolls for these guns no matter what you’re doing. These drop changes, along with the upgrade to pinnacle Power should help make grinding in Destiny 2 just a little bit more rewarding.

Both of these changes are currently scheduled to go live in a hotfix coming on Thursday, Nov. 7.

Source: Polygon.com

Disco Elysium Makes Its Way To Consoles Next Year

Following its October 15 launch on PC, ZA/UM’s detective RPG Disco Elysium is preparing to make the jump to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime in 2020.

USgamer sat down with designer and writer Robert Kurvitz, who confirmed the in-development console port. “[W]e are going to port the game to consoles so you can play on your PlayStation and Xbox. So, you know, that’s my message to you guys for 2020,” Kurvitz said. “It plays really, really nicely on a controller because […] you don’t need to click around and give specific tactical commands, which the controller isn’t very good at.”

Bringing Disco Elysium to consoles isn’t the only job developer ZA/UM is currently working on. In conjunction with the console port, a Chinese localized version of the game is also in the works. Further, an art book with new behind-the-scenes art is in development, as well as an official release of the game’s soundtrack.

Disco Elysium launched on GOG and PC earlier this month. The game puts you in the shoes of a detective tasked with interrogating characters, cracking murders, and solving mysteries. It allows you to construct your own detective persona. You can be a hero, a prophet, or a madman, with plenty of choices to make and copious mistakes to contend with.

Source: GameSpot.com

Nintendo Switch Sales Reach New Heights, Here’s How They Compare To PS4

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo has announced that Nintendo Switch sales have climbed to an impressive 41.67 million units, with 6.93 million units shipped in the latest quarter. These are big numbers, but how do they compare to other consoles?

Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad shared a helpful graph on Twitter that shows the cumulative global console shipments for most of the major systems. Looking at the numbers, after 31 months on sale, the Switch is on a similar growth trajectory as the PS4 and PS2, which are some of the best-selling systems of all time. Only the Wii got off to a faster start.

Helping improve Switch sales was the recent introduction of the Switch Lite. It sold nearly 2 million units in its first 11 days to get off to a very good start for Nintendo.

The graph doesn’t include Xbox One, and that’s because Microsoft no longer announces sales numbers for its consoles.

Looking at Nintendo consoles alone, the Switch is selling about as well as the original DS over its first few years. Ahmad notes that it “will be tough” for the Switch to match pace with the DS in 2020. DS sales picked up with the introduction of the DS Lite in 2006.

In other news about console sales, Sony announced recently that PS4 sales have climbed to 102.8 million units, which surpasses the Wii (101.63 million) to become the second best-selling system in history. The PS2, with its 150 million units shipped, remains the best-selling console in history.

Source: GameSpot.com

Remnant: From the Ashes now has a Hardcore mode, in case the game was somehow too easy for you

One of the hardest games of the year, Remnant: From the Ashes, just got a little bit more difficult. Developer Gunfire Games added a Hardcore mode to the third-person action game as part of its latest patch.

Much like Hardcore modes in other games, Remnant’s new mode gives players just one life to get as far as they can in the game. You can only activate the mode when you’re creating a new character. And if your Hardcore character dies, they’re dead for good. To make things just a little bit scarier, people playing Hardcore characters can only join games of other Hardcore characters.

If you do somehow manage to survive in the new mode, Gunfire Games has made it worthwhile with six new rings that players can only get in Hardcore. These new rings are also Remnant’s first account-bound items, which means any character you have can use them, Hardcore or not. It seems you’ll be able to unlock one new ring per world you complete, and an extra for finishing the game.

Remnant’s Hardcore patch also adds a few quality of life improvements. Players can now remove their helmets, in case the one with the best stats doesn’t look great on their character. There’s also a new communication system that lets you ping items in co-op games to make relaying information to your co-op partners a little easier.

For a full look at all changes that came to Remnant as part of this patch, including a whole mess of balance tweaks and changes, the full patch notes are below.


Remnant: From the Ashes Hardcore update patch notes

New Content

  • New Mode: Added Hardcore Mode (permadeath) option
  • New Feature: Added Communications / Ping / Emote System
  • New Rewards: Added 6 new account-bound items (rewards for Hardcore Mode achievements)
  • New Rewards: Added Emotes (3 base emotes, additional Emotes as gameplay rewards)

DEVELOPER COMMENT: To give players a new way to play, we added a Hardcore Mode (permadeath) option. This requires the creation of a new character and allows you to play the game on Story or Adventure Mode on any difficulty with the caveat of permadeath (die once, GG!). In multiplayer, the team does not die until everyone is knocked down. This means that even if only one person is alive, they can revive the entire team at a World Stone. We also added a few rewards for beating biomes (and the game) on Hardcore. GOOD LUCK!

Additionally, we created a new Communications system. This is the initial implementation and will only get better over time. The goal is to allow players to more-easily communicate with each-other when the tried-and-true “crouch a lot” method just won’t do. You can now request either Ammo Type, point in a direction, request help, request a return to a World Stone, Request Rest at Stone or Return to Town, and play emotes! Don’t forget to play the game to unlock more hidden emotes!!!

We look forward to your feedback so we can continue to make this feature even better.


Quality of Life

  • Settings: Added the ability to hide helmet (Gameplay > Show Helmet)
  • Settings: Added the ability to hide Tutorial Prompts (Gameplay > Tutorial Prompts)
  • Character Creation: Added ability to skip tutorial
  • Gameplay: Changed Scope option to Double Tap + Hold RMB/L2 (to facilitate Comms wheel)
  • General: Added the ability to support account-bound items (including the new Hardcore and Emote rewards)
  • General: Added another character slot
  • General: Many tooltip descriptions have been updated for clarity and accuracy

DEVELOPER COMMENT: One of the most-requested features was “Hide Helmet”… so now you can! We also added the ability to disable tutorial prompts which is extremely helpful when making new characters or playing the new Hardcore Mode. In addition, you can completely skip the tutorial sequence.

Additionally, to best support the new communications wheel, we adjusted how Scoping works. This allows players on console to have a dedicated ping button which can be used while aiming. We found it to be a fair trade-off. Players on PC can re-bind the original scope functionality on a button should they so desire.


Matchmaking

  • General: Added public session browse
  • PS4: Fixed matchmaking for Power Level 20 players
  • PS4: Fixed “Session is Full” error

Weapons

  • General: Removed minimum crit range on all weapons

DEVELOPER COMMENT: We’ve decided to revert this change until we have a better solution for players using weapons intended for long range at closer ranges.


Armor

  • General: Many armor values adjusted (generally no greater than 1-2% up or down)
  • General: Increased the speed and recovery of Light, Medium, and Heavy Rolls
  • Elder: Increased healing effectiveness of Dragonheart vs NPCS by 100%
  • Elder: Increased Believer buff significantly (from 20% max to 35% max)
  • Osseous: Increased damage ramp-up speed
  • Osseous: Increased damage ramp-down delay (damage remains higher for longer)
  • Osseous: Decreased damage ramp-down speed
  • Void: Reduced Power Transfer time from 10s to 5s (regain damage buff faster)
  • Leto: Increased the overall resistances of Leto’s for all elements and status

DEVELOPER COMMENT: We feel that most of the armors are in a good spot for different playstyles but we wanted to ensure that the focus of each primary damage-related armor is enhanced. While the effectiveness of Radiant has served as our baseline (and remains so) we’ve made a few tweaks to Elder, Osseous, and Void to give them a stronger unique identity.


Mods

  • Seed Caller: Increased base damage from 20 to 50
  • Seed Caller: Reduced power cost from 500 to 400
  • Beckon: Increased base damage from 15 to 40
  • Beckon: Reduced power cost from 500 to 350
  • Iron Sentinel: Increased base damage from 4 to 5
  • Iron Sentinel: Increased power cost from 600 to 750
  • Tentacle Shot: Removed soft-collision (to reduce blocking issues)
  • Tentacle Shot: Increased power cost from 350 to 400

DEVELOPER COMMENT: As promised, we’ve increased the overall effectiveness of the summoning playstyle. In addition to significant buff to Elder armor (from 20% to 35% max damage), we’ve also increased the base damage of 3 of the 4 core summons. We also removed the soft-collision on Tentacle Shot which allows enemies to get closer to them and take more hits overall.


Items/Traits

  • General: Adjusted many Trait & Item values to better coincide with heavier reliance on items/armors
  • General: Fixed an issue with Shadow Walker Trait not activating properly

DEVELOPER COMMENT: Since our Trait system allows players to have all of the bonuses at end-game with no tradeoffs/choices, we are gradually reducing the massive gains from Traits and shifting more of the benefits towards items. The goal is to bring back more choice in your loadouts and allow Traits to be smaller boosts.


Miscellaneous

  • Gave the Wasteland Goodboy a nice bath. He immediately proceeded to roll around in the dirt, and is just as happy as ever.

Source: Polygon.com

For Honor Gets New Marching Fire Hero Next Week

For Honor‘s Wu Lin faction, introduced in the Marching Fire expansion, will get a new hero as part of the game’s Year 3 Season 4 content next week.

Immediately accessible to Year 3 Pass owners on November 7, the Zhanhu comes with devastating new Feats and a long, single-edged blade to deal damage with a bit of distance. The hero, playable as both male and female, is fast and powerful, relying on quick dodges and even quicker strikes to outmatch opponents. Those who don’t have For Honor’s Year 3 Pass can acquire the Zhanhu for 15,000 Steel starting on November 14.

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Season 4 also introduces a new Breach map showing off a great Wu Lin fortress perched on a narrow mountain pass, as well as various Hero tweaks and Feat balances.

A Halloween event is preparing to wrap up in For Honor. Fangs of the Otherworld runs until November 1 and brings with it a plethora of themed loot, a new game mode, and much more.

Publisher Ubisoft has confirmed its plans to implement cross-platform play in “all the PvP games” it has. CEO Yves Guillemot said that the feature is “well on the way” during the company’s latest earnings call. Only two of Ubisoft’s games support cross-play at present: Brawlhalla and Just Dance 2019.

Source: GameSpot.com

Pokemon Go Adding First Gen 5 Legendary, Cobalion, Next Week

Pokemon Go‘s Halloween 2019 event wraps up on November 1, which means Darkrai will soon no longer be available in Raids. The Legendary Regi trio will briefly replace it from November 1-4, but after that, a new Legendary will make its debut in the game: Cobalion.

The Iron Will Pokemon from the series’ Black and White versions will appear in five-star Raid Battles beginning November 4, making it the first Gen 5 Legendary to arrive in Go. Cobalion is one member of the Swords of Justice–a group of Legendaries that also includes Virizon, Terrakion, and Keldeo, which suggests the other members will likely debut in the game soon.

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As usual, before you can catch Cobalion, you’ll first need to team up with other players in-person and defeat it in battle. Cobalion is a Steel/Fighting-type, which makes it vulnerable to other Fighting Pokemon such as Machamp, as well as Fire- and Ground-types like Entei, Garchomp, and Rhyperior.

Cobalion will be available in Raids until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on November 26. You can read more details about the Legendary on the official Pokemon Go website.

Cobalion isn’t the only Legendary making its debut in November. Regigigas is also set to appear in EX Raids for the first time later in the month. Niantic is giving players a chance to catch it early through a Special Research story event called “A Colossal Discovery,” which takes place on November 2, but you need to purchase a ticket in order to participate.

Meanwhile, Pokemon Go’s November Community Day takes place on November 16–the day after Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch. The featured Pokemon this month will be Chimchar, the Fire-type starter from the series’ Gen 4 entries, Diamond and Pearl.

Source: GameSpot.com

Destiny 2’s Pinnacle Gear Drops Are Getting Fixed

Expect some changes to the Destiny 2 endgame in Bungie’s next update for the game. In particular, the developer is changing how players work through the very top of the game’s Power grind in the new Shadowkeep expansion. The tweaks should make it easier to hit the peak of your abilities in Destiny 2 as you take on its toughest activities.

The latest This Week At Bungie blog post details the changes that players can expect to see coming next week. In short, Bungie is going to increase the speed of its toughest gear climb, toward the “hard” Power cap of 960. Right now, you need Pinnacle drops to reach 960 once you hit 950, and those will only drop at 1 Power point above the gear you already own–meaning for the hardest-core Destiny players, reaching the top of the climb is a slog. Bungie is changing Pinnacle drops to come in at +2 Power for each slot starting on Thursday, November 7, and adjusting how it calculates your average Power over 950 to help players climb faster.

Right now, Destiny 2 carries several “soft” Power level caps that change your progression as you work to gain the game’s best gear and increase your overall stats. From 750 to 900, any gear you earn from any activity will increase your overall Power stat, which is an average of all your gear’s Power numbers. Over 900, however, you need to complete weekly activities to earn Powerful drops. These include running through a certain number of competitive Crucible matches, completing Strikes and Nightfalls, handing in bounties to specific vendors, and more. The Powerful climb isn’t too difficult, but it does require more effort than hitting 900.

Things change again when you reach the soft cap of 950. At this point, Powerful drops no longer advance you to the final gear cap of 960, and you need to switch to “Pinnacle” activities to get more boosts to your gear stats. Pinnacles include earning 100,000 points on Nightfall Strikes, completing the Garden of Salvation raid, and running through the new Pit of Heresy dungeon. There are a lot fewer Pinnacle opportunities than Powerful ones, because the Pinnacle Power climb is meant to represent the toughest, most elite activities Destiny 2 has to offer.

Right now, Pinnacle gear drops only give you one additional Power point for their gear slot, and in order to raise your total average Power, you need one Pinnacle for each of your eight equipment slots. That means that the journey from 950 to 960 is a slow one, especially because there are generally a lot fewer opportunities to earn Pinnacles each week. Players have also complained about getting multiple Pinnacle drops in the same slot each week, further slowing their progression.

Pinnacle drops going to +2 instead of +1 should make progression go a little quicker and easier. Bungie is also changing how it calculates your total Power level once you’re in the Pinnacle band–instead of needing all eight gear slots to hit 951 before your total Power is 951, as it is now, you’ll only need four gear slots at 951 to advance. That should mean that drops for your other slots will start to come in at 951 once you’ve achieved four Pinnacle drops, allowing you to catch up your other gear more quickly. That way, Pinnacle drops for slots that are lagging behind won’t slow your progression as much. Once all your gear is 960, you can still advance your total Power by leveling up your Seasonal Artifact by gaining experience points.

It seems like this is a change that should address a lot of player complaints about the top-tier endgame of Destiny 2 as it stands right now. You’ll still have to work hard to get all your gear up to 960 and participate in Destiny 2’s toughest activities, which was Bungie’s overall goal for the system. But hopefully, these tweaks will make that climb less prohibitive, so that players who are trying to reach the absolute peak of their abilities in Destiny 2 will be able to show off their commitment a little more easily.

Source: GameSpot.com

Cobalion joins Pokémon Go raids as first Unovan Legendary Pokémon

Cobalion is the first Unovan Legendary to join Pokémon Go, starting on Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. ET.

The steel- and fighting-type Legendary Pokémon will join tier five raids, with the rest of the Swords of Justice trio, Virizion and Terrakion, likely not far behind it. To take it on successfully, use fire-, ground-, and fighting-type Pokémon, like Moltres or Machamp.

Unfortunately, Cobalion is not a strong Legendary Pokémon in terms of raiding or gym attacking. It falls to steel-type powerhouses like Metagross and Dialga and fighting-types like Machamp and Breloom. Regardless, it’ll be worth nabbing one of for your Pokédex, but don’t worry — after it leaves raids, it’s bound to return next year with its dark blue Shiny form available, possibly a better move set. Consider saving your Raid Passes for now until something stronger comes along.

Cobalion will leave tier five raids on Nov. 26 at 4 p.m. ET.

Source: Polygon.com