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UFC 4’s Career Mode Puts The Choices In Your Hands

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UFC 4's Career Mode Puts The Choices In Your Hands

When EA Sports revealed UFC 4 earlier this month, it promised major changes across its career mode, which is far and away the most popular destination for players when they start up the game. While the goal of becoming the greatest of all time (GOAT) remains intact, how you pave your path to that ultimate destination is more in your hands than ever before. 

To become the GOAT, you still need to break records related to performance and promotion. These range from how many fights, finishes, and wins you get to how many fans you have. Of course, before you can become the greatest in the UFC, you have to make it into the UFC. Like UFC 3, you begin your career in a smaller promotion, and if you perform well enough, you’re invited to appear on Dana White’s Contender Series (in UFC 3, it was Dana White’s Lookin’ For A Fight), where you can earn a contract by delivering a strong performance.

However, unlike UFC 3, you don’t have to make the leap to the UFC when the big show comes knocking. In fact, you can stay in the regional WFA promotion your entire career if you want. However, staying in the WFA won’t get you to your ultimate goal of becoming the greatest fighter, nor will it pit you against the best competition. If you want to complete the GOAT goals to reach the pinnacle of the sport before it’s time to retire, you should strive to get to the UFC as quickly as possible. “The GOAT goal is the end game of the UFC, but your goal in career mode is to win that belt, stay champion as long as you can in the UFC,” career mode producer Raman Bassi says. “But it’s your choice: Do you want to go for the GOAT goals? Or do I just want to have a fun career mode in the WFA, stay there, improve my fighter, then get to the UFC? You want to get to the UFC quick if you want to break those GOAT goals.”

As you go down your preferred path, you must work to improve your skills. In UFC 3, the training was largely menu-based, but UFC 4 revamps that system to emphasize sparring more than menu-driven exercises. Now, to boost your attributes, you use particular moves and skills in sparring and fights; the more you use the associated skills, the better you get at it. The sparring isn’t aimless, however, as each sparring session gives you challenges and certain moves that receive accelerated boosts during that session. You do have to monitor how hard you go, though, as you can get injured if you take too many shots; injuries range from lasting until the end of the round to lingering and hindering your performance for the rest of your career.

There are also different kinds of sparring sessions to choose from. As you get ready for a fight, you can choose to focus your session on boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and one that just features heavy bag work. This allows you to train specific attributes to counter what your upcoming opponents bring to the table. “The decisions you make about how you fight determine how you will develop as a fighter,” creative director Brian Hayes says. “If you stay very one-dimensional, you’ll become a very capable one-dimensional fighter, but it’s up to you to broaden your horizons if you want to have a diverse toolset and be able to take on all different kinds of challenges.”

You can also invite other professional fighters to train with you. Doing this will let you learn new moves and skills, but you can’t just invite everyone. A new relationship system, which factors in how you interact with each fighter lets you develop training partners and rivals. “If you build a connection with a fighter, your relationship will increase,” Bassi says. “If you don’t build a relationship, or you invite these guys to train and you hurt them or they injure you, your relationship will decrease.”

One of the key ways to influence your relationship with other fighters and even your fans is through maintaining a social media presence. Social media played a big role in UFC 3, but it’s an even bigger part of UFC 4. New diverging storylines allow you to craft different relationships with different fighters. In UFC 3, your social media presence was largely based on how you responded to other fighters or members of the media. Instead, UFC 4’s social media system reacts to your choices in other facets of the mode. For instance, if you decline a fight, that fighter could take to social media to call you out for that move. From there, you can either lie about it and make that other fighter even angrier or be truthful and potentially improve your relationships.

Once a fight is booked, you can trash talk your opponent in the lead-up, but it won’t develop into a full-on rivalry in your first clash. However, if you get to a rematch with that opponent and you double down on trash talking in the follow-up match, it becomes a rivalry due to your bad relationship with that fighter. “Once you get a rival relationship with a fighter, that’s when we start kicking off the rival storylines,” Bassi says. “There’s diverging storylines with a rival fight, and these rivals aren’t set out like in UFC 3 like, ‘Michael Bisping was the middleweight champion in UFC 3, so Michael Bisping is your rival through career mode.’ That does not happen in UFC 4.”

You can even take the trash-talking to the next level with storylines inspired by real-life rivalries like the one between former trainer partners and bantamweight champions T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt. “You can go in and knock [your training partner out],” Bassi says. “You’ve knocked out this guy you invited to your camp and then you’ll get a message from your manager saying, ‘Hey, do you want to save this footage or do you want to throw it out?’ And then eventually down the line when you actually get to fight that person you trained with and you knocked them out, your manager will ask you, ‘Hey, you want to leak this footage?’ So you can make that choice and that’s going to affect your relationship with other fighters. You can be that bad guy in UFC 4 where nobody likes you and you’re leaking all this training footage, you’re inviting people, you’re knocking them out … you can knock out everyone you want! It’s all up to you and how you want to play this year.”

Despite the ability to be a jerk, you can also choose the path of being a good, respectable martial artist. “You also have the ability in training camp to spend time – your weekly points – just building connections with other fighters to strengthen the relationships,” Hayes says. “It’s not just a decision of whether to knock people out and be a jerk. You also have the ability to be a positive martial artist and be respectful and go that way too … just make it so everybody loves training with you and teaching you stuff. You can go both ways.”

To top it all off, UFC 4 also reintroduces simulation mechanics into the mix, addressing one of my biggest complaints of UFC 3: the fact that the champions don’t rotate over the course of your career. Now, champions rotate over time based on simulated matchups. Unfortunately, despite the simulation mechanics taking place, they aren’t surfaced to you in a fight-by-fight capacity, so you’ll have to keep your eyes on the movement in the rankings if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your division beyond your own career.

With so many new ways to interact with an already-solid foundation built in UFC 3, I can’t wait to jump into the career mode of UFC 4 and see just how much you can truly make your career your own. EA Sports UFC 4 hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 14. For more on the entirety of the game, check out my in-depth preview here.

Source: www.gameinformer.com

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15 Frostpunk Tips To Protect You From A Bloody Revolt

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15 Frostpunk Tips To Protect You From A Bloody Revolt

The world of Frostpunk is frigid, brutal, and uncaring. As you build up an outpost in the middle of nowhere, you will face a never-ceasing onslaught of crises, including an angry populace, dwindling resources, and the dawn of a new ice age that makes it nearly impossible to survive. 

Like a grizzled survivor who has returned from the frontier a changed man, I’ve seen and done things I hope you never have to experience. Hundreds died during my reign – some from the weather, others from starvation – and I’m not proud. But I hope to pass on the lessons I’ve learned to hopefully make your leadership turn more successful than my own. 

Check Your Heat Map Often
Heat is a precious resource when an ice age is setting in, so you need to monitor it often. If buildings get too cold, they cease production. If homes succumb to cold weather, your medical facilities may buckle under the stress of the sickly. This is why it’s important to always keep an eye on the temperature of your buildings. Once you install heaters in buildings or steam hubs, you have another layer of control over what buildings get warm. 

Optimization can save you a lot of coal, so if you notice your city is glowing with warmth, turn a few heating elements off to preserve your precious stocks for when you really need it. You can also set steam hubs to run only during working hours, which is a great way to save energy when they are placed by places of employment.  

You Can Upgrade Pre-Existing Buildings For Less
When you unlock facility improvements like the bunkhouse, house, or steam upgrades to your resource-gathering operations, you don’t need to place them on a fresh plot of land. If you build directly on top of the older building, you actually re-use the resources it took to construct the original, which drops the resource price significantly in some instances.  

It’s Okay To Leave Buildings Empty
Frostpunk’s inhospitable world is indifferent to your min-maxing plans. Sometimes you just need to cease resource gathering on one material to throw workers at an urgent problem. If your medical posts are overflowing, pull some engineers off a project where you are running a surplus and squelch the sickness for a while. Once things are under control, you can return them to their original duties. 

Pay special attention to medical posts at all times. If things are going well and your population is healthy, you may have workers sitting around twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do. If that’s the case, transfer them to another job until the need inevitably arises to employ more doctors.

This yo-yo approach to workforce management also means it’s smart to build more resource buildings than you may need at the time. If supply demands suddenly surge, it’s nice to be able to quickly open a new mine, sawmill, or thumper that has been waiting to be put to good use. 

Keep Workshops Busy
Workshops are vital buildings that allow you to research new technologies, which is the best way to improve your efficiency. You should always make sure you have enough resources to put your researchers to work immediately after they complete their previous task. 

After you get your beacon set up, you have a lot of tantalizing options. I recommend improving your hunting and exploration right away, then transitioning to researching the coal thumper, sawmill, and steelworks so you can scale up quickly. After that, you should heavily invest in heating technology to deal with the impending ice age.

Coal Thumpers Need Gathering Posts
The coal thumper produces more coal than the mines do, but it also requires more people to work the operation. The tutorial glances over this, but if you want your thumper to be at its maximum effectiveness, you need to pair it with two gathering posts. As you upgrade your thumper, you will need to increase the number of gathering posts around it as well. 

Enact Only The Laws You Need
The book of laws extends in many directions, from forcing amputations and child labor to eventually declaring you an untouchable supreme ruler. All of these are at your disposal, but you are under no pressure to make the more egregious ones a part of your leadership platform. 

Two laws I highly recommend enacting off the bat: Emergency Shift and Extended Shift. These aren’t permanent modifiers, but you can use them when things get tough to pull you out of a vortex. When a serious ice storm is on the horizon and you need to make multiple improvements to your heating infrastructure, having your research workshops work 24 hours straight can be a lifesaver. The same goes for extending shifts of coal workers when infrastructure improvements leave you at a resource deficit. 

Never Leave Workers Idle
When your citizens leave work for the sick bay, the natural inclination is to replace them with new workers at vital facilities like the various coal operations. This means when they come back from sick leave, they won’t have a job assignment. Whenever you see an idle worker, which are indicated on the population widget at the bottom right of the screen, find them a new home. 

Build Several Resource Depots
When things are going well, you may end up hitting your storage cap for a particular resource. Rather than sitting comfortably against the cap, unless your workers are desperately needed elsewhere it’s better to build resource depots and continue the gathering operation. 

Queue Construction During The Day
Workers return from their jobs each night, but they don’t head straight to bed. If construction needs to be done, they tackle it during the evening. To make sure new operations are built quickly, place the new structures on the map before the work day is over. If you are in a pinch for time, you can also assign idle workers to construction projects during the day as well. 

Keep Buildings Close To Each Other
When designing your city, try your best to build right next to your other dwellings. The reason is twofold. One, you only have so much room to build, so wasted space could come back to haunt you. Two, if you leave gaps, this creates places where the cold can penetrate your city and necessitate the addition of another steam core. 

Optimize Your Scouts
You can form several teams of scouts to explore the area surrounding the city. They often find vital materials for your community to use, but don’t rush them home immediately after a discovery. If they are in a busy area where they could investigate several sites quickly, this is a better use of time than having them trek back and forth every time.

Steam Cores Are Invaluable
The one resource you cannot produce in your city is a steam core, which are used to build factories, automatons, and the higher level resource-gathering buildings. Take these whenever your scout teams find them. Because of their scarcity, think about their application before spending resources to make sure you are improving your operations in the best possible way.

Build Outposts
At a certain point in the game, you’ll come across abandoned mines that can either be harvested for supplies or re-opened by establishing an outpost. These outposts are lifesavers, as they can deliver vital supplies on a daily basis. I particularly recommend opening the coal mine, which delivers 800 units of coal a day. As your city grows and the temperature drops, you’ll need it. 

Your Citizens Need Entertainment
Dissatisfaction can lead to revolt, so it’s important to bring some levity to your people’s lives. You can do this primarily by instituting new laws that allow fight houses, public houses, moonshine, and even brothels (though the last option also slowly drains hope, so be careful). 

Automatons Are The Best
Seriously, the more steam-powered robots you can get to work your city, the better. They are our superiors. Unlike lazy humans, automatons can work 24/7, never get sick (though they sometimes break down), never revolt, and consume coal rather than food. Whenever you discover one during expeditions, send it back to your city and put it to work in one of your facilities. You can also create them in a factory, but the cost is steep. That said, the more robots you have working vital operations, the better. 

Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments section below.

Source: www.gameinformer.com

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How To Get A Pet Dog In Skyrim

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How To Get A Pet Dog In Skyrim

A wife or husband is all well and good, but sometimes you just want the unwavering affection of a canine companion. Skyrim includes a number of wild wolves and foxes, but you have to know just where to look if you want to find one of the hardy and loyal domesticated dogs of the region. We’ll show you the different places you can find a dog, and how to make him into a permanent pet in whatever place you call home.

Apologies in advance for the camera-captured screenshots.

If you plan to keep your dog for the rest of the game, start out by purchasing a house. The easiest and earliest option for most players will be Breezehome in Whiterun. You’ll need to have completed the early part of the main story quest that occurs in Whiterun before the house becomes available, after which you can purchase the abode from Proventus Avenicci, the Jarl’s steward. The house costs 5,000 gold, and you’ll be looking at several hundred more gold to decorate the interior.

Alternately, acquire any other home in the game.

Next, it’s time to pick out your dog. There are three options, but only two of them are regularly available.

The first (and our favorite) option is Meeko. Meeko the dog lives at a place called Meeko’s Shack. You can find the little cabin west of Morthall and south of Solitude, as marked on the map above. Inside the cabin you’ll find a dead Nord, who looks to have died peacefully in his sleep. Unfortunately, he’s left behind a loyal dog named Meeko who now has no master. Meeko will regularly sit and wait by his former master’s bedside, but occasionally will run around in the nearby forest. If he isn’t present when you arrive, just use the wait system for an hour or two, and he should show back up. Talk to Meeko, and he’ll happily accept you as his new human friend.

If the story of Meeko is just too heartrending for you to handle, you should head over to Markarth Stables, marked on the map below. There you’ll find a man named Banning willing to sell you a war dog named Vigilance for 500 gold.

Your third option is less of a sure thing, and you’ll just have to wait for it to happen. Various events in the world will include a character named Stray Dog. In one instance, we ran across a Stray Dog fighting a pair of wolves. If you help out and the dog survives, you can talk to the dog to make him a follower. In another instance, a Stray Dog joined in to help with a dragon attack, and we had him join us after the dragon was dead.

No matter how you get your dog, you now have a choice. You can keep your dog like any other follower in the game, and he will fight at your side until he either dies or you tell him to leave.

Instead, if you’d like to keep your dog as a permanent pet, travel (or fast travel) with your new canine back to your owned house. Enter the house, pick a comfortable spot for your dog to hang out, and ask him to wait there.

Your dog will stay in your house and wait for you for a time, but you’ll eventually get a message that your dog has gone home. However, because you’ve given him a nice warm place to stay (and because we don’t think he can open doors) he’ll consider your house his new home. From then on, when you return to the house, your dog will be waiting for you when you arrive. We tested this option of acquiring your dog as a permanent pet multiple times, and in every instance, the dog would remain in the house no matter how long you were away from home.

Don’t worry. We’re confident that your housecarl feeds him on a regular basis.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Having your dog wait for you at home can regularly result in a bug where you can’t interact with the dog anymore. He’ll remain in the same area of your house where you last told him to wait. This shouldn’t be a problem, but you should make sure and have him wait in a place where he won’t be in your way when you’re passing through.

Source: www.gameinformer.com

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Avatars Aang And Korra Announced For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

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Avatars Aang And Korra Announced For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Everybody’s favorite pair of Avatars have finally been confirmed for the roster of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, just days before release. Both Aang and Korra will be bending all kinds of elements against the likes of Ren and Stimpy, Danny Phantom, and Patrick Star.

While Aang can utilize bending techniques for all four basic elements in the show, his moveset in Nick Brawl focuses on what he knows best: air bending. Aang is suited to aerial combat using these bending techniques and excels at mid-air combos and incredible mobility. Some highlights of his light and strong moves include his Strong Up attack “Rising Wind Kick,” which propels Aang into the sky diagonally, and his light neutral “Staff Spin” can hit surrounding enemies on either side of him. Aang’s Air Strong attacks make him float a little, so they’re good to use while trying to get back to a platform safely.

Aang’s special attacks make use of his glider for flying upward, can ride on a ball of air, and use a prolonged spinning staff attack for trolling opponents on the edge of a stage. When Aang has taken 100% or more damage, the spinning staff becomes “Avatar State” which surrounds him with a sphere made of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire, damaging anyone it touches. Check out the full move breakdown above.

On the other hand, Korra has been training to use all four elements since she was very young and has a better grasp of incorporating them into her moves. This prowess is most evident in her strong attacks, which have two variations each depending on whether the attack button was tapped or held. Charging a strong attack brings out an elemental flair to add a devastating effect to her martial arts.

Korra’s special attacks propel her to where she needs to be while dealing out some punishment to those in her way. “Bending Leap” is her neutral special, which charges a super punch that sends her flying horizontally. Down special move “Landslide” lets Korra skate across the ground, turning up rocks in her wake. The same move in the air performs a flaming downward dive kick, great for getting in for follow-up offense. Korra’s full breakdown can be seen above.

Now that most of the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl cast has been revealed, who are you looking to play as in the platform fighter? Are you planning to deliver sugary justice with Powdered Toast Man, or is the tricky CatDog more your style? Let us know in the comments!

Source: www.gameinformer.com

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