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eSports

Fortnite: Epic Games Plans To Disable Pre-Edits … Eventually

Will pre-edits change anytime soon?

Fortnite: Battle Royale has come a long way since the days before players cranked ‘90s, tunneled and relied on edits to elevate their gameplay. Building and editing have become arguably the most essential aspects for Fortnite players in the year 2020. Unfortunately, editing is not always the most reliable mechanic. A feature in Fortnite called pre-editing has plagued both casual and competitive players since its introduction. It can cause clunky edits and is more of a chore to deal with than anything else.

Pre-editing never became a useful mechanic to Fortnite players. Some content creators have workshopped ways to utilize it, but it’s often situational and gimmicky.  Additionally, pre-editing can prevent players from executing edits properly, which forces them to exit and re-enter edit mode. It can be really frustrating to deal with in the middle of a fight. Given the backlash, one could only hope that the developers would offer players an option to turn off pre-edits.

The collective community has campaigned for a long time for this setting. An Epic Games employee spoke recently on the FortniteCompetitive subreddit, promising that the feature would appear, eventually.

Also Read: Epic Games Invalidates Box Fight Tournament Results due to a Scoring Exploit

Community Creator Addresses Request

Reddit user VicLate created a post on the competitive subreddit, urging Epic Games to offer an option to disable pre-edits. The clip included depicts the broken mechanic accurately. Although the player has his blueprint in hand, he cannot edit any of the walls in front of him. Instead, the pre-edit mechanic rears its ugly head, prompting the player to edit a build that he has not even placed yet. Hence, the struggles that Fortnite players have endured for far too long.

Another Reddit user and Epic Games Community Manager – TheStevieT – responded to the Reddit post. “We don’t have an exact timetable, but we’re going to do it. Don’t worry about followers ;),” he said. The initial post references the recent @FNCompetitive Twitter account’s successful push to reach 1 million followers. It seems that Epic has not forgotten about the overwhelming urges to offer a disable pre-edit option.

Also Read: NBA Champion Dion Waiters Invests in Centric Gaming, Signs Multiple Fortnite Pros

A Fix Over a Year in the Making

‘Actively considering’ 6 months later from FortniteCompetitive

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Epic responded to player requests regarding pre-edits. Around June 2019, an Epic Games employee stated, “Yes, this [disabling pre-edits] is a topic we’re actively considering, and we will update you on when future plans are firm” in an ask me anything (AMA) Reddit thread. It is now October 2020, and the comment from TheStevieT is the only reference anyone has seen. Epic is notorious for moving slowly with glaring issues in Fortnite. Case and point is the slow glider bug, which dates back to early 2019.

Also Read: Confirmed DreamHack Duos – NA East and Europe

The developers just recently fixed the glider bug completely, and it took a long time for the resolution. It feels that the process is repeating with pre-edits. Perhaps, this type of adjustment requires much more effort than meets the eye. But over a year of no forward action regarding pre-edits is a bit concerning. We can only hope that the recent response from an actual Epic Games employee means they trend in the right direction.

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eSports

A guide to Diretide

Each year, as Halloween draws close, the Dota 2 community asks for Diretide, and for a many years, their calls have been neglected. But after eight long years, Valve has answered the calls of many by bestowing upon them Diretide 2020!

Diretide returns to Dota 2. Learn more at: https://t.co/Nus17l5Gfy pic.twitter.com/bScnec8xnE

But how does it work? What exactly is to be done to get the most out of the new game mode? Here’s a quick look at what Diretide brings and how it can be enjoyed.

Best of 5 competition

Diretide is a best-of-5 competition on a custom map, which has a cartoony look to it, and the first team to win three rounds wins. The map has two lanes, a top lane and a bottom lane. The five games aren’t disconnected from each other. Each round lasts for 6 minutes and at the end of the round, the team with the higher taffy count wins the round. The level you have at the end of a round carries ahead to the next round. Three such wins and the game is won.

Collecting taffy and stashing it

The main objective of the game is to collect taffy. Taffy can be obtained in multiple ways – killing creeps, killing a taffy well near the enemy base or killing a hero. Killing a hero transfers whatever taffy the enemy hero has to the hero that gets the kill. Once taffy is collected, it needs to be taken back to the stash at the base.

Scarecrow stash

At the top and bottom of the map is a scarecrow. There will be a notification saying ‘Scarecrow stashes are refreshed ‘, which is the que to go and take down the scarecrow. Killing a scarecrow gives you either taffy or a neutral item. The tier of neutral item depends on the round – round one gives tier 1 neutral items and round five gives tier 5 neutral items.

Roshan

Roshan will be roaming around the map, looking for candy. He is a kid, and it is Halloween, so it’s only right. If Rosh comes behind a teammate of yours (or you), you need to give him taffy to pacify him. If you don’t do that, he will kill your team and put a curse on you which will put a debuff on the entire team. Make sure you keep the big guy happy!

Other than that, it’s just a casual game mode to go out trick or treating and have some fun! Every game gives Diretide points, and a total of 100 Diretide points will give each player a prize. So it’s time to go out there and get some Dota 2 Halloween taffy!

Related article:

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News

GI Show – Watch Dogs: Legion And The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Reviews

In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, we discuss a handful of the games we’ve been playing recently, including: Watch Dogs: Legion, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, and Ghostrunner. Then, we close the show with another fantastic round of community emails. It may sound simple, but it’s one great show! So please join Kim Wallace, Marcus Stewart, Blake Hester, Alex Stadnik, Alex Van Aken, and myself for another wild and ever-entertaining episode!

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @benjaminreeves to let me know what you think. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

Our thanks to The Rapture Twins for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their music at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

Intro: 00:00:00

Watch Dogs: Legion: 00:02:00

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope: 00:18:33

Ghostrunner: 00:26:02

Modern Warfare Warzone: 00:31:59

Astro’s Playroom: 00:34:51

Super Mario Sunshine: 00:39:16

Jackbox Party Pack 7: 00:39:40

Introducing Alex Van Aken: 00:40:40

Community Emails: 00:47:45

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How Bots Could Ruin Games Forever

What’s scarier than monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night? We’ve all seen bots in games by now. I don’t mean players setting up systems to run to farm crafting materials in predictable routes or to play cards in a set order; I’m talking about bots designed by developers. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “What’s wrong with bots?” Bots can fill lobbies to make sure games can launch, they can make matchmaking take a lot less time, and hey, it’s always fun shooting down an automated opponent and getting a free kill in a field with dozens of human opponents running around. But there’s a lot more to these innocuous A.I. additions, and they have implications for all kinds of multiplayer experiences. With the trends we’re seeing in data acquisition, user privacy, and monetization models, bots are headed for dangerous implementation.

The Ghost In The Machine

On the surface, pairing up players with bots seems like a good thing. No one wants to wait more than a few seconds to find a match, whether it’s in an online shooter lobby or a mobile card battler. Beating up on bots might not seem like an issue, even if it’s changing your rating, ranking, or other parameters over time. Depending on the game, you may not even be aware your opponent is a bot. Maybe a bot is your sole opponent, or perhaps the game can field many bots, but the takeaway is that the developer can tweak the challenge (or lack thereof) directly by bot prescience. While adjusting the difficulty in this fashion may seem harmless, it becomes a sketchy proposition as we dive in.

Consider a game that has tiers, unlocks, and monetization based around winning. Would you be more likely to make a purchase if you were defeated by a new titan unit added to a battle game? What if you lost to it three times in a row, and then an in-game ad for a titan pack plays on your screen with a cute little jingle? What if that ad inspires you to purchase the hot new unit? What if the games knows you bought the unit, so it matches you up against bots (which it knows you can beat) to give you several easy victories?

In that scenario, your mind would undoubtedly link these wins with your recent purchase. And that purchase would be tied to happy feelings, big victories, and good associations. When it’s “working,” all this stuff potentially happens without the user even knowing, and that could be a massive issue. It is not really a competitive game when the matchmaking tool is only moving you from one session to the next by prioritizing 1) keeping you playing, and 2) putting you into situations and scenarios where you’re more likely to make a purchase. While this doesn’t apply to every game or situation, the impact that these dial-turning options can have on your play experience is alarming.

I Feel Good! So Good!

In addition to the terrifying scenario where you’re playing against non-entities in a constant string of value propositions where the goal is to squirt dopamine into your brain and link purchases to feeling good, recent times have given us other bot concerns. It’s fairly commonplace for a game to pair you against nothing but bots for your first few matches; this has become ridiculously common in battle royales, especially mobile battle royales. They do not tell you this. Instead, the intent is to make you feel like you’re a god of the game on your first match. Whether you actually learn how to play or are good at the game are irrelevant factors.

Sure, you can make the case that the first few matches should be against bots so that the player doesn’t get killed in three seconds and delete the game forever. Engagement. Yeah, that makes sense. But they don’t tell you that you’re fighting bots, and people take screenshots of their epic wins and post them on Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Tinder… Okay, maybe not Tinder. This is a great way for these games to drive faux-organic interest; everyone posting an epic win against automated foes (who are designed to be beaten) becomes an unwitting product ambassador. It would be a lot better if the games told you that you were going to be playing against bots, but then where would the big win sensation come from?  And of course, after the bot games are over and you’re settled in, that’s when the real tinkering can be done.

Algorithmic Enjoyment 

Looking at how the system works, we need to examine how a game sets you up with X bots, Y players, and Z skill level of enemies. More specifically, how does it find the closest matching environment where you will still get that dopamine rush and the thrill of victorious moments but not letting you crush every game and get bored? In some respects, the science behind these algorithms is a precarious and horrifying tightrope. It’s trying to balance your games to keep you playing, keep you interested, and ultimately get you to make a purchase, whether that be cosmetic or functional. Utilizing this data to create a match may not play the song for you, but it assembles all the notes for the tune to happen. It’s a concept we used to be able to just call “fun factor,” but now it’s actual science based on billions upon billions of data points. Is it really playing a game if everything has already “played out” in a hypothetical algorithm the moment you press play? That’s a question we’ll have to answer as bots continue to become a bigger factor in multiplayer experiences – whether we know they’re there or not.

For more of my thoughts on the future of gaming, click here.

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eSports

Warzone to integrate into Black Ops Cold War in December with Season 1

Call of Duty: Warzone is perhaps the most popular Call of Duty title in the past half-decade. While not yet up to the levels of some of the older titles, it still blows any current-gen entry out of the water. However, its future wasn’t clear up until today, as the game was designed with Modern Warfare in mind. Although, Activision stated it would be integrated into Black Ops Cold War sometime in the future. Well, during today’s investor’s call, the publishers revealed when fans can expect Warzone to integrate into the new title.

Black Ops Cold War and Warzone to integrate after launch

The quarterly investor’s calls are usually quite revealing, as Activision wants to offer as much insight as possible. This time around, the call featured topics surrounding Black Ops Cold War, Modern Warfare, COD Mobile, and, of course, Warzone.

To hit the highlights of the call, Activision stated that Warzone will remain tied to Modern Warfare until December. For fans that were expecting new content when Black Ops Cold War launches on November 13, you can put those expectations away. We now know that whenever Season 1 releases for the new Black Ops title is when Warzone will transition.

Warzone is set to take on a more Black Ops feel when it fully integrates in December. Image via Activision

This likely means a new map and for sure new weapons and loadouts. Activision explained that fans can either pick between their Modern Warfare loadouts or the new ones from Black Ops Cold War.

In regards to monetization, the new Call of Duty will feature the same Battle Pass-style content stream that Modern Warfare had. We already know that every post-launch piece of content will be free for players.

Black Ops Cold War progression system revealed?

The last bit of news from the call has to do with the progression system in the upcoming title. While the Activision representative didn’t go into detail, he did explain that Black Ops Cold War will feature a similar system to Modern Warfare from levels 1 to 55. However, he declined to comment on anything further.

Image via Activision

This could mean a couple of things, with the first being that we’re getting the same system from MW. Although, fans have made it clear they don’t enjoy this style of progression. The next option is that levels 1 to 55 will be for Warzone progression and multiplayer could feature some type of prestiging. Treyarch is set to release a blog post detailing the way the system will work sometime before launch, so we’ll have to wait for that to receive more information.

Make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for all Call of Duty news.

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News

What Makes A Great Online Date?

With a pandemic spreading rapidly across the world with no end in sight, many singles have turned to online dating in order to make a connection while sitting at home. As dating no longer consists of having a few drinks together to see if there is chemistry involved due to the risk of spreading the virus, online dating has soared. In fact, it is the number one way to meet someone in 2020 as most people still aren’t leaving their homes and are social distancing from others when they do leave their homes.

Why Online Dating?

Online dating was growing in popularity before Covid-19 hit the world. Online dating is a great way to see your potential matches in your area, or in some cases, all over the world. It gives you the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. When it comes to multi-dating, this also gives you the chance to really hone in on what you want to find in the right person. There are a lot of fish in the sea and with online dating, you get to sift through schools of them in order to find the ones that stand out for you.

How To Succeed With Online Dating

When creating your profile for online dating, whether you want to meet someone online for a fun night or if you are looking to create a lasting connection, you want to be very careful when making your profile. Things to consider when making your online dating profile include your profile picture. If you are online for a fun night of flirting, then you’ll want to choose a picture accordingly. If you are looking for a potential partner in life, then you’ll want to find the right profile picture that shows your face while also showing some of your personality. It is important to choose the right profile picture as it is the first (and sometimes only) picture that your potential matches will see!

After choosing your profile picture, then you’ll want to be sure that you have written an interesting profile. Not only do you want your profile to be interesting, but you’ll want to really grab your potential mate’s attention as well. The best profiles that you can write when looking for a potential partner are the ones that are vulnerable and express who you really are without sounding needy or coming across as boasting about your life. This can be tricky but when staying true to yourself, you can find whatever it is that you are looking for online.

What Makes A Great Date?

Online dating can be confusing and hard. But it can also be very fun and enlightening. You can find many potential matches or someone to keep you company for a night of pleasure – pending on what you are looking for. The options are endless but what makes a great online date is honing in on what you are actually looking for in a date.

1. Choosing The Right App

One of the ways to ensure that you have a great online date is choosing the right website for whatever it is that you are looking for. If you want to have a fun night meeting new older women, then there are dating sites specifically for this. In fact, the experts over at Sugarmoms.dating recommend meeting different people from different cities around the U.S. This is a good way to meet and chat with singles from diverse backgrounds. But choosing the right website or dating app is important for having the type of date that you are looking for.

2. Making Decisions

Another way to ensure that you have a great online date is to make the right decisions about who you like and who you don’t like. This is important because if you put the time and energy into a larger pool of possible dates, then you could end up overextending yourself or burning yourself out. The key is to choose a few potential matches for a night of chatting or a potential online date and to spend quality time flirting or getting to know them. When chatting with them, imagine what you would want to do with them on a first date. If you can’t imagine having a good time with them, then they are likely not the right person for you.

3. Be Yourself

The best way to ensure that you have a great online date is to simply be yourself. Everyone is unique and the only way to find the right partner and the right match is to be you. If you aren’t a match and you are being fully yourself, then it isn’t meant to be. You can get back on the dating site and find more potential mates until one clicks for you.

4. Set Up A Space

When having a great online date, you’ll want to be sure that you have made time and space for the date. Since you are having the date online and likely having your date through Zoom or another video messaging app or through the dating website that you met on, you’ll want to be sure that you are aware of your background and lighting. Other things to consider are having dinner together that each of you bring to your ‘side’ of the date. You can also consider having drinks together or snacks during your online date in order to make it feel as though you are actually meeting in person. This also helps each side to feel more comfortable during the date.

As you can see, there are several things to consider when setting up an online dating profile. Once you pick out your online date, make sure that you are on time and ready to be yourself. Don’t forget to have fun, have a few drinks and fully embrace getting to know each other online! If the date doesn’t pan out, then have some fun anyways, be polite and then get back online and find yourself another one.

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Hearthstone’s Madness At The Darkmoon Faire Pre-Launch Party Offers Twitch Drops For Free Bundles, Packs, And Subs

Hearthstone’s Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is fast approaching on November 17, and Blizzard is building on the expansion hype on Twitch with gifts of mega bundles, card packs, and channel subs beginning November 12 and running daily until launch day.

November 12 begins with deck theorycrafting streams where you can watch some of the best players in the world discuss how the new expansion might affect the meta in Hearthstone and what kinds of decks we can expect to see. Brian Kibler, Allistraza, Thijs, Firebat, Kripp, Pathra, and 18 others will all be giving their expert opinions on the new cards, and their channels will have Twitch Drops enabled.


Watching any of these theorycrafting streams for two hours between 9AM PT and 12PM PT will award you a Madness at the Darkmoon Faire card pack, and another can be earned by watching two more hours between 12PM PT and 6PMPT. In addition, Blizzard will be awarding a total of 2,000 gifted subs throughout the day, so be sure to watch your favorite creator!

On November 13, you have a chance to win one of the 100 mega bundles donated by Blizzard via Reddit. This is a separate giveaway that they will be hosting, and more information will soon be posted on r/Hearthstone.

More mega bundles will be up for grabs on November 14 and 15 by again watching any of the above creators as they duke it out with the most popular new decks. Lastly, Blizzard will gift another 2,000 subs for watching on November 16.

As always, the pre-release events are a great way to learn everything about the upcoming expansion and to hear from the pros about what might make a big splash, and what might be a total dud. In particular, it will be great to see how the pros react to the reimagining of the old gods.

When the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion launched in 2016, the meta was instantly dominated by the incredible power of N’Zoth, Yogg-Saron, and Y’Shaarj. Now the old gods have been reimagined with their original concepts in mind, but their power level looks far more reasonable.

As a result, they may be fun and janky to play, but they may also be less impactful than their 2016 counterparts on the current meta. In any case, be sure to have your Twitch and Battle.net accounts linked up for a shot at these prizes during the expansion pre-launch event!

  • November 12th – 2 000 Gifted Subs (Twitch) + Twitch Drops
  • November 13th – 100 Mega Bundles on Reddit + 2 000 Gifted Subs Twitch)
  • November 14th – 200 Mega Bundles
  • November 15th – 200 Mega Bundles
  • November 16th – 2 000 Gifted Subs (Twitch)

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Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Codex Page Locations

Doom Eternal’s “The Ancient Gods” DLC brings three new missions to the game, which means many new collectibles to be found. Across these three missions, there are 13 physical Codex pages and three Support Runes to be discovered. This guide will detail the locations of the former.

The Codex is a series of background information on the Doom lore, made available to you through the collection of hidden Codex pages throughout the campaign. The base campaign has 55 to be found, while the first of two DLC packs to be released brings the total up to 68. There are four pages to be found on each of the first two missions, “UAC Atlantica Facility” and “The Blood Swamps”, and five to be collected on the third and final mission, “The Holt”. These can be collected on any difficulty.

UAC Atlantica Facility

Work your way through the level until you reach the area with the door that requires the red keycard inside, in roughly the spot pictured in the map below.

To the right of the red access door is a staircase leading down. Follow these stairs downward to find the first Codex page in plain sight in front of the door.

A bit further into the level, you will come to the very top of the first structure. Use your map to work your way into the curved platform area pictured here.

Before interacting with the switch to begin the platforming section to the next structure, turn to the left to see a staircase upward. Head up these stairs to find the level’s second Codex entry to your right.

Immediately after the platforming section following the last collectible, you will have to clear out a room of enemies, including a very dangerous Arch-Vile. Following this fight, you will have to swing over to another area, landing on some catwalks.

Walk to the end of the lowest catwalk near the door, where you should see a walkway extending out and to the right of the building. Jump up onto this walkway and follow it around the corner to find the Codex page.

A bit further into the level, you will find yourself back inside following some more combat. A picture of the location is provided for good measure, though this location is very hard to miss.

Immediately upon entering the building, you will see a large upward staircase on the left wall. Instead of climbing up it, stick to the right wall and head under it, around to the far side of the room. Tucked into the back left corner will be the final Codex page of this level.

The Blood Swamps

Very shortly into the level, you should reach the area of the map pictured below. In this section, you will have to fight a few waves of enemies, so do so, then swing your way through the large rotating firebars over the swamp water to your left.

Climb up the few platforms ahead of you and do a double-jump and dash to reach the far platform to your right, to the other side of the door below. From here, drop down and pick up the diving suit. Submerge into the water directly in front of you and turn around immediately. Underwater in a small alcove will be the first Codex page of the level.

This second Codex page is a bit more involved and won’t appear for another little while. There is one point in the mission, pictured below, where you will have the option to take either a left or a right path. In the end, you will end up taking both, though do note that this guide assumes you are taking the left path first, as that will ensure that the Codex pages are collected in chronological order.

After a long while, you will eventually come to the area pictured below. This staircase is where you go to proceed through the level and it is leading up to a door that will only open once all the enemies in the area are dealt with. Once it opens, instead of going up it, turn around 180 degrees and submerge into the water in front of you, by the far wall.

Advance through the tunnel into a secret area, where you will encounter an empowered demon. Deal with this enemy and then continue forward. At the far end of the area in plain sight, you will find the second Codex page of the level, across a large gap.

Proceed through the level and pay close attention to your map as you do so. You will come to a section of the level that is pretty heavy on the parkour, and after dealing with the enemies at the end of the parkour section, you should find yourself in the spot pictured below.

Stand atop the circular platform overlooking the swamp. You should see a climbable wall in the distance, which you can reach with a double-jump and dash. Do so to reach it and climb to the top. Make a 180 once you are on top and you should see the Codex page on a platform ahead of you. With two jumps and two dashes, you can reach this collectible.

Once again, continue your playthrough of the level for a short while, until you reach the area seen below on the map. Clear out the enemies here to make your life just a tad bit easier, then turn around and face the point of entry to this area.

The Codex page is located directly above the entrance here. To the left will be a ledge you can jump up to reach, so do so and then jump up to nab the final Codex page of the second level.

The Holt

A decent ways into the level, you will reach this area, which requires you to knock over a tree on a higher ledge to create a bridge to proceed. You can knock over the tree to get ready, but do not leave yet.

Approach the ledge overlooking the map and look straight down. Hidden away on a platform below will be an immediately visible Codex page. Drop down to grab it and then use the climbable wall behind you to get back up.

Further into the level, you will come to an area with numerous small floating islands, as clearly visible on the map. You are going to want to make your way to the third floating island on the right side of the main path to grab the hard-to-miss Codex page.

Continue on your merry way, until you take a gravity lift up to the upper floor of the building, to the area pictured in the map below. Once up here, look to the right and you should see a large door at the end of the bridge, up a ramp.

Head through it to find the third Codex page waiting for you on the left side of the room, in plain sight.

A bit later, after swinging across a chasm and punching through a destructible wall, you should find yourself at the place on the map as seen below. Regularly check your map so you know when you are coming up on it.

Once you land in the room (as seen in the first pictured below), immediately make a 180 and shoot the red target above the chasm a few times. This will unlock the door on the opposite end of the chasm.

Use jumps and dashes to reach the platform to the left of the chasm where you started, then jump over to the opposite side of the chasm from where you shot the target. The previously-locked door will now open, revealing the Codex page.

The final Codex page is right where you shot the target from. Swing back across the chasm and back into the large room. Head to the back right corner to find the final Codex page of the DLC tucked away.

With all 13 of the DLC Codex pages collected, you should unlock your well-earned “Required Reading” achievement or trophy and should be much better understanding of Doom Eternal’s lore.

MORE: The Doom Eternal Horde Mode Mod Is Out Now

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Gavin Burtt is a news, guide and list writer for TheGamer based up north in Ontario, Canada. Gavin has worked as a walkthrough editor and overseer for the TrueGaming network and has been an avid Xbox achievement hunter for years, accumulating over 700,000 gamerscore to this date. When he’s not writing or gaming, he’s focusing on his physics studies for Queen’s University.

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Tech

PowerTransformer uses AI to rewrite text to correct gender biases in character portrayals

Unconscious biases are pervasive in text and media. For example, female characters in stories are often portrayed as passive and powerless while men are portrayed as more proactive and powerful. According to a McKinsey study of 120 movies across ten markets, the ratio of male to female characters was 3:1 in 2016, the same it’s been since 1946.

Motivated by this, researchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Washington created PowerTransformer, a tool that aims to rewrite text to correct implicit and potentially undesirable bias in character portrayals. They claim that PowerTransformer is a major step toward mitigating well-documented gender bias in movie scripts, as well as other scripts in other forms of media.

PowerTransformer is akin to GD-IQ, a tool that leverages AI developed at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering to analyze the text of a script and determine the number of male and female characters and whether they’re representative of the real population at large. GD-IQ also can discern the numbers of characters who are people of color, LGBTQ, experience disabilities, or belong to other groups typically underrepresented by Hollywood storytelling.

But PowerTransformer goes one step further and tackles the task of controllable text revision, or rephrasing text to a style using machine learning. For example, it can automatically rewrite a sentence like “Mey daydreamed about being a doctor” as “Mey pursued her dream to be a doctor,” which has the effect of giving the character Mey more authority and decisiveness.

The researchers note that controllable rewriting systems face key challenges. First, they need to be able to make edits beyond surface-level paraphrasing, as simple paraphrasing often doesn’t adequately address overt bias (the choice actions) and subtle bias (the framing of actions). Second, their debiasing revisions should be purposeful and precise and shouldn’t make unnecessary changes to the underlying meaning of the text.

PowerTransformer overcomes these challenges by jointly learning to reconstruct partially masked story sentences while also learning to paraphrase from an external corpus of paraphrases. The model recovers masked-out agency-associated verbs in sentences and employs a vocab-boosting technique during generation to increase the likelihood it uses words with a target level of agency (i.e., ability to act and make choices). For instance, “A friend asked me to watch her two year old child for a minute” would become “A friend needed me to watch her two year old child for a minute,” lowering agency, while “Allie was failing science class” would become “Allie was taking science class.”

During experiments, the researchers investigated whether PowerTransformer could mitigate gender biases in portrayals of 16,763 characters from 767 modern English movie scripts. Of those characters, 68% were inferred to be men and only 32% women; they attempted to re-balance the agency levels of female characters to be on par with male characters.

The results show that PowerTransformer’s revisions successfully increased the instances of positive agency of female characters while decreasing their negative agency or passiveness, according to the researchers. “Our findings on movie scripts show the promise of using controllable debiasing to successfully mitigate gender biases in portrayal of characters, which could be extended to other domains,” they wrote. “Our findings highlight the potential of neural models as a tool for editing out social biases in text.”

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eSports

Fortnite: Epic Games Invalidates Box Fight Tournament Results Due To A Scoring Exploit

A scoring exploit led to the cancellation of Fortnite’s first Box Fight tournament.

Epic Games announced that players exploited a scoring error during yesterday’s Fortnite Wild Wednesday Box Fight tournament. As a result, the tournament results are no longer valid, and no players within the money will receive a payout. That means box fighters like Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish and NA East winner Joji have nothing to show for their efforts. Many competitors who took part in Wild Wednesday identified the scoring exploit during the tournament. However, Epic Games waited nearly a full 24 hours to inform competitive players. The competition will take place at a later date, according to the @FNCompetitive Twitter account.

Also Read: FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 4 NA East Heats and Analysis 

Epic Invalidates Results

The tweet from Epic Games came through mere hours before the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Heats began in the European region. Knowing the competitive Fortnite scene, players did not take the news very well.

“Due to a bug, there was a scoring exploit in the Box Fight Tournament yesterday. The tournament scoring was compromised so we are invalidating the results. When the mode is ready, we’ll run another Box Fight Tournament.”

We’ve seen similar situations in the past with Epic Games. They often cancel tournaments when players capitalize on a scoring bug, which is not out of the norm. However, the time it took the developers to relay this information is a bit concerning in this case. Several players, including benjyfishy, identified the scoring exploit yesterday during the tournament.

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Benjy Identifies the Scoring Exploit

Benjy highlighted this exploit in a tweet, including screenshots. It seems that Benjy encountered an opponent who already reached 35 points but was down 3-0 to him during their match. Benjy’s opponent left quick enough and did not receive a loss on his record. It was clear that some competitors who queued into Wild Wednesday found a way to elevate their scores.

“there is a bug in wild wednesday where if you leave just as you lose then the loss didnt count idk how many people have used it but there is prob alot of people in top 20 that abused it hopefully they fix before NA,” said benjyfishy on Twitter. Players caught wind of this and abused it, resulting in a logjam and several ties atop the leaderboard. Nevertheless, Benjy finished in sixth place and stood to earn $1.8K USD. Epic announced the scoring exploit news the following day and nullified any tournament results and earnings.

Also Read: Confirmed DreamHack Duos – NA East and Europe 

NA East pro – Joji – won his region’s Box Fight tournament and received the news from multiple sources. He took a more novel and respectable approach than most. He stated, “I 100% don’t deserve to be paid out at all, this is fully understandable, obvi it sucks but I feel bad for the people that got top 15 legitimately. I don’t think a tiebreaker should ever be by an ‘epic Id’ it ruins the competitiveness of the tournament and makes it depend on luck.” He conceded the $3K USD he would’ve won in favor of a better system than for Wild Wednesday Box Fights. It’s never enjoyable to watch players lose out on legitimate earnings due to these unfortunate scoring errors. Hopefully, Epic Games can identify these issues earlier in the process and act accordingly, moving forward.

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