If you love charity, video games, and things going fast, then Speed Demos Archive has you covered next week from Sunday, January 7 through the following Sunday on January 14.
The charity event, which benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation, has been an annual stable since its first showing in 2010. Each year, speedrunners gather together and stream games for both live and online audiences with the intent of beating them as quickly as possible, often with certain parameters. People donate money for charity to cheer the runners on, put money toward incentives like saving the animals in Super Metroid or what to name characters, and win prizes donated by the community.
I end up watching the stream as much as I can during the week, and again six months later when Summer Games Done Quick takes place. This year, the event starts with the N. Sane Trilogy version of Crash 3, includes a Yoshi's Island four-way race, and ends with an all-main quest run of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Much like the plot of every high school popularity movie, Mercy has unfortunately come to realize that being everyone's favorite is eventually accompanied by a huge crash. New changes to the character on the Public Test Realm indicate that Blizzard is trying to bring Dr. Ziegler down to Earth.
Last year, Blizzard decided to restructure Mercy to make her a more attractive support pick by turning her Ultimate into a regular skill with a cooldown and just all around making her better. This plan worked too well, as Mercy soon became so indispensable that one slot on every team was dedicated to her or the team was likely to lose. No other support characters were worth the time to learn because Mercy would fly circles around them.
Slowly, Blizzard tried to undo this by nerfing the character bit by bit. For example, the team tried to increase Mercy's charge time on her resurrection ability, forcing a longer cooldown. Doing so barely moved the needle, Mercy was simply a little more annoying to use but no less essential to victory.
The latest nerf strikes at the heart of her necessity: her Valkyrie Ultimate. The ultimate previously turned Mercy into a superpowered version of herself with a fresh resurrection skill to use and twenty seconds to wreak havoc on the opposing team. That time has now been reduced to fifteen seconds and the cooldown elimination on the resurrection skill is gone. Additionally, Mercy's ability to fly to teammates has been slowed down and shortened considerably.
While balancing changes introduced to the PTR are not guaranteed to come to the rest of the servers, it is more likely than not. Fans of Mercy who had gotten used to her arguably overpowered state are in for a difficult time with the new changes.
[Source: Overwatch Forums]
It seems like Blizzard is struggling to rebalance the cast to adjust for new additions and competition. Mercy is seemingly worse off than she was before her original buff that caused the problems in the first place.
When the Pokemon Go holiday update came around, Hoenn Pokemon Zangoose and Seviper were added as region exclusives with the mongoose in North America and Africa and the viper in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Now, the two Pokemon have switched regions suddenly.
Perhaps it is a nod to the rivalry the two Pokemon share as they hunt each other, as told through their Pokedex entries.
The Pokedex entry for Pokemon Ruby reads: "Memories of battling its arch-rival SEVIPER are etched into every cell of ZANGOOSE’s body. This POKéMON adroitly dodges attacks with incredible agility."
Similarly, Seviper's Pokemon Ruby entry reads: "SEVIPER shares a generations-long feud with ZANGOOSE. The scars on its body are evidence of vicious battles. This POKéMON attacks using its sword-edged tail."
Fans in North America and Europe can now take part in the generations-long blood feud between the two Pokemon by catching the one they previously weren't able to. North America can get all the Sevipers they need, while Europe can get their fill of Zangoose. It is unknown if the Pokemon will disappear from these regions in the future, so it would be a good idea to get them as soon as possible.
Hopefully this means Niantic is lessening emphasis on exclusives and rotates them around constantly.