Vincent Shen: I’ve heard a bit about a potential new Super Mario movie in the works. Dan Kline: I don’t think it can top the old one. Shen: It’s potentially currently going through the production phase. But they’ve also gone through more licensing stuff in terms of theme parks, which you brought to my attention.

Can you talk a little bit about that? Kline: Right now, at the Universal Studios location in Japan, they’re actually already under construction on what’s called Nintendo Land. It’s a handful of rides. They’ve been very secretive. We know there’ll be a Mario Kart ride. Think of it like the Star Wars expansion at Disney, a very immersive land, a big deal.

In Orlando, they’ve said, “We are going to build out Nintendo properties.” But they’ve been very cagey about where. The rumors had always been at the original Universal Studios. There’s a kids’ area that’s a little bit lifeless, it would make sense.

But then, about a month ago, it became public that Universal Studios is building a fourth gate, another theme park, and they’ve amassed a big chunk of land to do that. So, it’s very logical to think that Nintendo is going to be the cornerstone, the Harry Potter, of this new theme park. And maybe there’ll be something tying it to one of the other theme parks, like the train ties the two Harry Potter Worlds together to help sell multi-day tickets. This is a risk for Universal and a huge win for Nintendo, because they’re getting the licensing fee whether it’s an instant success or not.

Shen: All the new people going to this park and enjoying those rides, potentially bringing them into this world for Nintendo. Kline: In theory, you’re going to get people who go on the ride not knowing what Mario Kart is, or never having played Pokémon, and they’re going to enjoy the ride experience and then go out and experience the video games. Shen: Yeah. The last topic, we only have a couple of more minutes, I do want to talk about e-sports since that’s one of the more popular trends at the moment in the entire video game sector, and where Nintendo is with this trend.

If you’re a listener and you guessed that Nintendo is a little bit late to the game again, you’d be right. In e-sports, Nintendo has typically taken a more hands-off approach, allowing independent tournament organizers to basically set up their own events and prizes with very limited input from the company. Maybe Nintendo will offer some marketing support, some hardware support, providing consoles, for example, to the tournament or the event. But their efforts have ultimately been nothing like what Activision and EA have in the works, in terms of these multimillion dollar franchises, major tournaments, thousands of spectators, and these really big cash prizes. But Nintendo’s experimenting more with formal e-sports as of this summer. They had the Splatoon 2 world championship and also the Super Smash Brothers Invitational tournament to showcase those titles, especially the upcoming Super Smash Bros Ultimate, which is coming in December for the Switch.

Very, very highly anticipated title for that console. It should be a huge seller in the holiday season. I think Super Smash Bros alone could be a big tailwind for increased software sales or game sales, and also console sales for anyone who’s been holding out for this, one of the most popular multiplayer titles of all time. Kline: They’ve really built the case for buying the Switch by — at first, it’s like, “Well, OK, Mario Kart, I kind of want that.” Then they add one title every quarter. Then, eventually, you’re like, “Boy, I have to get this.

There’s like 10 things.” But in terms of e-sports, they have to engineer some of their games a little differently. If you look at older versions of Super Smash Brothers, they’re not purely competitive games.

There’s a level of goofiness to it that takes away from the online casino games canada. I haven’t played the new title, but I would assume it’s going to at least have the option of a purer who-is-better competition, as opposed to, we were playing and then I stepped on something that made me super powerful and I kill you and it had nothing to do with who’s better. I would assume they’re going to have to either have loose, more fun tournaments that aren’t as competitive; or, they’re going to have to put out games that work to that world. Shen: Yeah. We’re running out of time. Final thoughts from me, Matt, this is definitely a case where I can see where you’re coming from, in that Nintendo does not get enough love compared to some of the other U.S.-based video game companies.

But I think the turnaround, thanks to the success of the Switch, is undeniable. And I do really like some of the other investments and focuses that management is taking, in terms of what they can do with all that valuable IP that they have. Any final thoughts from you, Dan? Kline: If you look at the life cycle of consoles, the success of the Switch gives them 10 years to plan for what happens next. I think what happened is, they’d had a steady stream of always having a successful console.

That got them a little bit complacent. They didn’t have to license, they didn’t have to partner, they didn’t have to do theme park deals. Now, if the Switch is the last successful Nintendo console, I think they’ll be ready for the world that could represent that, where they’re licensing, they have partnerships, they’ve worked with Apple, they’ve worked with other people. This sort of resets the company, and gives them time to become a growth story, when they were definitely a shrinking story that owned some really good IPs. This makes me very excited about the future of Nintendo. Shen: And it certainly helps to be able to make some of those investments, go through some of these experiments when you’re on a swing and you’re doubling revenue in the past fiscal year.


Skills/Classes

  • General
    • The purchasing cost of level 2 skills has been reduced slightly.
    • Common skills and Racial skills will now be listed in their own groups on the skills tab.
    • Fixed a bug that was preventing mount items and instruments from updating their ‘usability’ border when the player earns the required passive
      skill to use them.
    • Fixed a bug with “Mischievous Glee” (Burglar) and “Sign of Power: Wizardry” (Lore-master) that was causing some enemies to assist the player in combat.
    • Fixed a bug that was causing skill quickslot buttons to remain grayed out after the player was knocked down, stunned, etc.
    • Fixed a bug that was preventing stealth-only Burglar skill quickslot buttons (e.g. “Burgle”) from graying out while not in stealth mode.
    • Fixed a bug that was preventing Guardians from contributing to a Fellowship Maneuver started with their “Turn The Tables” skill.
    • Quickslot skills will now act like other UI’s. When activated, they sort in front; otherwise, they sort in back.
    • Added an option to show only trainable skills in the skill trainer window.
    • When examining a skill that has a minimum level above your current level, it will now show stats relative to that level instead of your current level.
    • Skills missing a required trait will now be shown grayed out in the skills panel until the trait is slotted.
  • Champion:
    • The trait Blood-lust no longer gives +25 morale.
    • The Traits Vicious Strikes, Deadly Strikes and Deep Strikes have had their tooltips updated to more accurately represent what they do. Wild Attack never received bonuses from these traits.
    • The Traits Call of the Wild, At the Ready, Patience, and Heavy Shield Use have had their tooltips updated to more accurately represent what they do. They have not decreased damage taken during Fervour since Beta started.
    • Many skills and traits have had their tooltips updated to more accurately reflect what the skills or traits do. No skills or traits have had their functionality changed by this fix; only the tooltips have been changed. Please note that other patch notes may indeed change the functionality of some skills and traits.
    • The Champion has a series of new skills available between levels 40 and 50.
      • Heroics (40) – This skill costs a lot of power, and heals the power of all nearby fellowship members. This skill requires a defeat event.
      • Rising Ire (42) – This skill transfers monster threat from a target fellowship member to the Champion. It is on the same cooldown timer as
        Ebbing Ire.
      • Ebbing Ire (44) – This skill transfers monster threat from the Champion to a target fellowship member. It is on the same cooldown timer as Rising Ire.
      • Glory (46) – This is a toggle skill that increases power and fervour regeneration at the expense of melee damage output.
      • Blocking Blades (48) – This skill raises the Champion’s Parry rate, and will remain active for as long as he stays in combat. After he drops
        out of combat the effect will dispel in 10 seconds. This skill requires a defeat event.
      • Red Haze (50) – This skill provides a fervour pip upon use, and an additional fervour pip every 7 seconds, and will remain active for as long as he stays in combat. After he drops out of combat the effect will dispel in 10 seconds. This skill requires a defeat event.
    • Ferocious Strikes – Has had its critical damage multiplier increased, its power cost slightly increased, and its reset time increased to 30 seconds. Ferocious Strikes previously blocked all skill actions for a long time after use. This time has been reduced significantly.
    • The Champion’s Multi-Hook attacks were not applying a multiplier on any attack past the first on critical hits. The 2nd and 3rd attacks now have a small damage multiplier and will apply bleeds if the associated Champion trait is slotted.
    • Champions should no longer see two rank 4 Accuracy traits. Having more was an error.
    • The Champion “Fervour” skill no longer generates Fervour when the player is not in combat. Fervour will decay a little slower when out of combat to compensate for this change.
  • Guardian:
    • The Guardian skill “Protection,” when paired with the trait “Selfless Defense,” was not working as the tooltip described. The trait now correctly reduces the threat on the Guardians target by 10%.
  • Hunter:
    • Hunters’ melee critical passive traits have been upgraded to ranged critical traits.
    • Hunter Stances were disabling auto-attacks, which could be undesired if switching stances in combat. Now, using a stance will not affect your auto-attack (it will either stay on, or stay off).
    • The Hunter’s crafted “Bear Traps” now remain in the world longer, increasing from 60s to 3m
    • The placement distance of traps is now slightly closer to the player
    • The Hunter’s campfire now remains in the world for 3m (and the cooldown has been increased to match)
    • The movement speed debuff for Strength Stance + Quick Shot is no longer overridden by the Champion’s Hamstring
    • Desperate Flight no longer has an induction timer; to balance this, the cooldown of the skill has increased to 30m
    • Hunters should no longer be stuck in combat mode if they manage to defeat an opponent by placing a trap on them.
    • New icon fix for the Hunters’ Stance skills.
  • Minstrel:
    • Lay of the Hammerhand, Herald’s Strike and Cure Fear have been moved into the “Theater and Inspirations” Skill category. No changes
      have been made to the skills.
    • The Minstrel’s Instrument Power cost benefits have been changed for clarity.
    • Minstrels now can find lute strings that lower their healing threat. String them on your lute for a more subtle play!
    • Song of Soothing now reduces more aggro.
    • Updated the Drums Instruments to now do more damage, but cost more power.
  • Captain
    • The Captain’s Summoning Horn cost has been adjusted.
    • The Captain’s Last Stand skill no longer protects him from falling damage.
    • Captain Trainers now offer the Rank 2 Evade Passive Skill at level 21, as opposed to the Rank 1 Evade Passive Skill (which was already being offered at level 13)
    • Command: Relentless Attack, Command: On Guard, and Command: Focus are now consistent with their skill icons
    • Noble Mark now has a proper icon
    • The Captain skill Defensive Strike now has a 3 second cooldown.
    • The damage from Pressing Attack is now skewed more heavily towards the second attack (The overall damage of the skill still remains the same).
    • Critical hitting on the second swing of Pressing Attack will now enable your defeat response skills.
    • The Herald skill Coordinated Attack will now do 50% more damage if executed from behind the target.
    • Captain “Command” buffs have been renamed to “Tactics” and can now be used on yourself.
    • The damage dealt by crits with Devastating Blow has been increased slightly.
    • Tactic: Relentless Attack now improves your Melee, Missile, and Tactical Crit Chances by 3%
    • Telling Mark now increases the amount of damage dealt to the target, instead of your chance to crit.
    • The Max Morale and Morale Regen buffs of your base Banner of Hope are now stronger.
    • The Power Cost of Defensive Strike, Rallying Cry, Shield of the Dúnedain, Oathbreaker’s Shame, and all of the Captain’s Marks has been reduced.
    • Captain Marks from multiple Captains should now stack properly.
    • Decreased the damage variance on Noble Mark (the overall DPS remains the same)
  • Burglar
    • It’s a bummer for Burglars when you use a Conjunction Starter skill just when a monster is entering the post-combat state immunity phase. We’ve
      updated both Trip and Exploit Opening, as well as Marbles, so they cannot be used while the target is immune to negative states. They can still be used if a monster is immune to conjunctions — because you might still want the skill to use as a stun — but that immunity always follows a conjunction and comes after the overall immunity state. (So it should be easier to anticipate that and not accidentally use the ability.)
    • The Burglar “Hide in Plain Sight” and Warg “Disappear” skills have been updated to end any channeled attacks on the player when they are activated, e.g. the Lore-master’s “Power of Knowledge” skill.
    • The Burglar’s “Find Footing” skill will now properly clear “Riddle” effects from another Burglar when sparring.
  • Lore-master
    • Purchase price for Lore-master’s skill Blinding Flash has been reduced.
    • Test of Wills now has a greater chance to crit and a larger magnitude crit multiplier.
    • Blinding Flash has had a tweak to its resistance rate. Inner flame, although can now only be used when you have a pet summoned, now heals the pet as well as the Lore-master.
    • Your window for performing “Flanked!” attacks has increased its duration.
    • No more missing Improved Staff Strike windows or Sign of Wizardry heals.
      • Bear skills have been improved.
      • Bear stuns now last longer.
      • Bear Force Attack now lasts longer
      • Bear Hug is less likely to miss against on level creatures.
    • Healer trait now raises the output of all your healing skills by 10%.
    • Lore-master’s Blind Flash works on Ancient Evil.
    • Bear Treats! Want to make your bear tougher? Feed him honey! These treats raise mitigation and threat.
    • Bears won’t stun on crit anymore but will do 2x damage and have a raised crit chance.
    • Sign of Wizardry Damage has been increased.
    • Burning Embers’ initial pulse of damage has been increased.
    • Raven’s Aura of Protection Shadow Mitigation has been both raised to 15% but now also starts from the beginning with that level of protection. Protect your party from the Shadow magic wielding Undead!

Gameplay

  • We don’t support changing from one kind of Stealth to another (say from the Racial Trait Hobbit Stealth to a Burglar Stealth). So, to prevent players from accidentally switching and revealing themselves to nearby monsters during the transition, we made a change to prevent switching.
  • Stealth detection distances have been updated slightly. Now, the distances that Players detect AI-Monsters who are close to or below their level has been slightly increased. AI-Monsters will also alert to Players at a slightly increased distance.
  • Look out! Now, Monster Wound debuffs can also disable your defenses!
    • Injury – Debuffs Might. Now, it also disables “Parry” chances.
    • Sprain – Slows movement speed. Now, it also disables “Evade”
      chances
    • Dislocation – Slows attack speed. Now, it also disables “Block”
      chances
  • Halberds now produce more threat than before.
  • Fate’s contribution to power regeneration in combat has been raised.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause ranged attackers to switch to melee weapons and stance briefly after their first shot in combat.
  • Improved target detection for all area-effect skills for both players and monsters.
  • You can no longer summon players to you with the “Hewn Rallying Horn” (Captain) or the Guardian’s “Acorn Whistle” if you are inside of a private instance.
  • Improved combat feedback when the target is immune to some aspects of skill effects or weapon procs, e.g. “fear” effects.
  • Out-of-combat only skills that are in progress when the player enters combat will now be interrupted immediately, e.g. the Lore-master’s “Raven Lore” skill.
  • Items and objects in the world that cannot be used in combat will have their usage countdown interrupted immediately if the player enters combat while trying to use them, e.g. food.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing stealth to break occasionally when the player won a roll on dropped loot.
  • When combat ends, any harmful skill that you have queued for execution will be canceled.
  • You are no longer able to change equipment while performing some actions, e.g. mining or carrying mail in the Shire.
  • Updated auto-attack to help prevent unintended attacks when combat ends.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in players being stuck contributing to a Fellowship maneuver until they logged out and back in again.
  • Throwing daggers/axes have increased range (was 20 meters, now 30 meters).
  • When sparring, the clock now starts counting down seconds immediately.

More about The Lord of the Rings game here /the-lord-of-the-rings-game-review/