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Monster Hunter Stories 2: 6 Useful Early Game Tips | Beginner’s Guide



Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin builds off its predecessor and the rest of the Monster Hunter franchise to make a beautiful, unique JRPG that’s really unlike anything else out there. This is a game designed for newcomers and hardcore fans. It might look simple on the surface, but there’s a lot more going on — if you’re an average JRPG player, this game can be completely overwhelming. There’s a lot of small features it absolutely does not explain, leaving you to figure out the details all on your own.

So we’re going to offer a few tips and explanations to help. These are the things I wished I knew before diving in — and they took me way too long to figure out. If you want to get more money, get huge damage buffs, or unlike even more customization options, we’ve got the tips you need below. Everything else? They do a pretty good job explaining it in-game.

One thing we don’t mention below? Don’t forget to upgrade your Prayer Pot as much as you can. Think of it like a dumpster where you can deposit your junk after each session. The more you upgrade it, the longer-lasting your bonuses will be. And those bonuses can be a life saver.

More Monster Hunter Stories 2 guides:

How To Farm Money & XP Early | How To Claim Free Kamura Garb

Pay Attention To The Icons In Battle

The game does a good job explaining how to use the three types of attacks — Power, Speed, and Technical. Each type is strong (or weak) to a different type, and figuring out which to use will give you a variety of different advantages. Your Monstie will also tend to use the same type of attack every turn, so choose the right Monstie for the job once the battle gets going.

  • NOTE: Swapping weapons is a free action! So don’t be afraid to do it often.

But there’s more to battles than just attack type. Weapon type is incredibly important too. There are three damage types — slashing, piercing, and blunt. Equip three weapons (one of each type) so you’re prepared for any encounter. Monsters often have high defense for 2/3 of these damage types, and you’ll see what monsters are strong or weak against when you select them in battle. There are three damage type icons that will appear after hitting the enemy monster with at least one of each weapon — if the enemy monster has high defense against a certain weapon type, the icon will appear with a red slash through it. That means all your attacks are almost useless! Don’t let this happen to you. Get all three weapon types from the Blacksmith ASAP.

Hatch As Many Eggs As Possible For A 100% Bingo Bonus

This is only for hardcore Monster Hunter farmers, but this can be important even in the early game. Go to the Stable and you can edit your Monsties and review their Gene Info. This is where you can see what skills and bonuses they have. Genes are randomized and can be passed on to other Monsters, and eventually (with enough hatching) you’ll be able to score Bingo Bonuses.

If you’re lucky, you can get three genes of the same type to line up. The line can be in any direction or spot, it just needs to be three genes (of matching element / damage type) forming a straight line. If you get it, you’ll get +100% damage to that element or attack type. Breeding Monsties with bingos is basically required for the end-game, and its pretty important to understand (the basics) of genes early on. It can’t hurt to start farming great gene rolls!

  • NOTE: For the best possible genes (and Monsties), look for Dens with crystals outside — inside the den, try to grab an egg that’s heavy and smells good.

How To Fix The Camera

Think the camera isn’t responsive? You can improve that in the Settings.

  • Open the menu [X] and select [Options] -> Camera
  • Increase the Camera Speed! Boost it close to max to improve camera responsiveness.

Right away, the camera felt “off” to me. Boosting camera speed makes it feel much better. This can be done at any time, and might take some tweaking to get the best possible feel.

How To Make Any Armor Cosmetic

Any armor can become cosmetic armor in Monster Hunter Stories 2. You can make any armor set into a “Layer Armor” that you can equip at the Chest in your Home. Layer Armor is a Cosmetic Armor that

  • How To Get Any Layered Armor: In the town of Lulucion, find the Layer Vendor down the southern corridor.

This special vendor will only allow you to craft Layer Armor of sets you’ve already crafted once before. So, if you’ve crafted a set of armor, you can craft a new set of cosmetic armor and wear it.

How To Farm For Exp / Zenny Early

Early in the game, you’ll be desperately in need of Zenny. Zenny is the currency of Monster Hunter Stories 2, and you need it for basically everything. Want to craft new weapons and armor sets? You’ll need lots of Zenny.

To get the most Zenny for your time, take the “Roly-Poly Problems” sub-quest from the Quest Board. This quest can be repeated infinitely, and for each completion, you’ll get 1200 Zenny. To finish it, you just need to defeat x6 Konchu. Konchu can be found on the beach directly left after leaving the village, and on the small island to the right. It only takes two minutes tops, and you’ll earn enough Zenny to purchase any armor set and weapon you need in the early game. And you’ll need at least a piercing weapon to add to your arsenal.

  • NOTE: You can speed up farming by doubling or tripling battle speed. Press [+] to increase battle speed at any time.

When it comes to farming, try Trial Quests on the Quest Board. Any of them will work, you just need to learn the Monsters you’re fighting and select Monsties that are most likely to use attack types that counter them. You can start completing Trial Quests very early in the story, and you’ll earn extra Zenny while repeating them. Just defeat the monsters, collect the rewards, and make sure double / triple time is turned on for battles. That makes grinding much easier.

  • NOTE: All 5 monsters in your party will gain Exp whether they fight or not. Always keep your Monstie party full so you’re gaining the maximum amount of Exp per battle!

More Monster Hunter on Nintendo Switch guides:

10 Secrets & Hidden Features | How To Unlock All Argosy Submarines | How To Text Chat | How To Find All Sub-Camps | How To Get Way More Monster Materials For Each Kill | How To Unlock All Switch Skills | How To Make Wyvern Riding Easier | Best Hunting Horn To Support Your Team

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For the love of the loot: Blockchain, the metaverse and gaming’s blind spot



The speed at which gaming has proliferated is matched only by the pace of new buzzwords inundating the ecosystem. Marketers and decision makers, already suffering from FOMO about opportunities within gaming, have latched onto buzzy trends like the applications of blockchain in gaming and the “metaverse” in an effort to get ahead of the trend rather than constantly play catch-up.

The allure is obvious, as the relationship between the blockchain, metaverse, and gaming makes sense. Gaming has always been on the forefront of digital ownership (one can credit gaming platform Steam for normalizing the concept for games, and arguably other media such as movies), and most agreed upon visions of the metaverse rely upon virtual environments common in games with decentralized digital ownership.

Whatever your opinion of either, I believe they both have an interrelated future in gaming. However, the success or relevance of either of these buzzy topics is dependent upon a crucial step that is being skipped at this point.

Let’s start with the example of blockchain and, more specifically, NFTs. Collecting items of varying rarities and often random distribution form some of the core “loops” in many games (i.e. kill monster, get better weapon, kill tougher monster, get even better weapon, etc.), and collecting “skins” (e.g. different outfits/permutation of game character) is one of the most embraced paradigms of micro-transactions in games.

The way NFTs are currently being discussed in relation to gaming are very much in danger of falling into this very trap: Killing the core gameplay loop via a financial fast track.

Now, NFTs are positioned to be a natural fit with various rare items having permanent, trackable, and open value. Recent releases such as “Loot (for Adventurers)” have introduced a novel approach wherein the NFTs are simply descriptions of fantasy-inspired gear and offered in a way that other creators can use them as tools to build worlds around. It’s not hard to imagine a game built around NFT items, à la Loot.

But that’s been done before… kind of. Developers of games with a “loot loop” like the one described above have long had a problem with “farmers”, who acquire game currencies and items to sell to players for real money, against the terms of service of the game. The solution was to implement in-game “auction houses” where players could instead use real money to purchase items from one another.

Unfortunately, this had an unwanted side-effect. As noted by renowned game psychologist Jamie Madigan, our brains are evolved to pay special attention to rewards that are both unexpected and beneficial. When much of the joy in some games comes from an unexpected or randomized reward, being able to easily acquire a known reward with real money robbed the game of what made it fun.

The way NFTs are currently being discussed in relation to gaming are very much in danger of falling into this very trap: Killing the core gameplay loop via a financial fast track. The most extreme examples of this phenomena commit the biggest cardinal sin in gaming — a game that is “pay to win,” where a player with a big bankroll can acquire a material advantage in a competitive game.

Blockchain games such as Axie Infinity have rapidly increased enthusiasm around the concept of “play to earn,” where players can potentially earn money by selling tokenized resources or characters earned within a blockchain game environment. If this sounds like a scenario that can come dangerously close to “pay to win,” that’s because it is.

What is less clear is whether it matters in this context. Does anyone care enough about the core game itself rather than the potential market value of NFTs or earning potential through playing? More fundamentally, if real-world earnings are the point, is it truly a game or just a gamified micro-economy, where “farming” as described above is not an illicit activity, but rather the core game mechanic?

The technology culture around blockchain has elevated solving for very hard problems that very few people care about. The solution (like many problems in tech) involves reevaluation from a more humanist approach. In the case of gaming, there are some fundamental gameplay and game psychology issues to be tackled before these technologies can gain mainstream traction.

We can turn to the metaverse for a related example. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in gaming, you’ve almost certainly heard of the concept after Mark Zuckerberg staked the future of Facebook upon it. For all the excitement, the fundamental issue is that it simply doesn’t exist, and the closest analogs are massive digital game spaces (such as Fortnite) or sandboxes (such as Roblox). Yet, many brands and marketers who haven’t really done the work to understand gaming are trying to fast-track to an opportunity that isn’t likely to materialize for a long time.

Gaming can be seen as the training wheels for the metaverse — the ways we communicate within, navigate, and think about virtual spaces are all based upon mechanics and systems with foundations in gaming. I’d go so far as to predict the first adopters of any “metaverse” will indeed be gamers who have honed these skills and find themselves comfortable within virtual environments.

By now, you might be seeing a pattern: We’re far more interested in the “future” applications of gaming without having much of a perspective on the “now” of gaming. Game scholarship has proliferated since the early aughts due to a recognition of how games were influencing thought in fields ranging from sociology to medicine, and yet the business world hasn’t paid it much attention until recently.

The result is that marketers and decision makers are doing what they do best (chasing the next big thing) without the usual history of why said thing should be big, or what to do with it when they get there. The growth of gaming has yielded an immense opportunity, but the sophistication of the conversations around these possibilities remains stunted, due in part to our misdirected attention.

There is no “pay to win” fast track out of this blind spot. We have to put in the work to win.

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HaloDAO, a Stablecoin Marketplace Protocol, and Yield Guild Games to Support Cash Outs in Southeast Asia



HaloDAO is collaborating with YGG for “local” stablecoin support “for simpler cash out,” according to an update shared with Crowdfund Insider.

HaloDAO, a stablecoin marketplace protocol, is working cooperatively with Yield Guild Games (YGG) to “enable YGG community members to support simpler cash outs in local regions with its updated v1 stablecoin optimized AMM on Ethereum and Polygon,” the announcement noted.

There will be a special focus on expanding access to Singapore and the Philippines and other “high growth” regions, the update revealed. The objective of stablecoin support is to “build out a Play-to-Grow model, whereby the gamers are empowered to go a step further from earning by allowing them to grow those earnings with yield farming and access other DeFi applications,” the announcement explained.

As stated in the update:

“In the current Play-to-Earn model there exist cooperative organizations (called Guilds in the case of Axie Infinity) which enable people without the startup capital to participate in crypto-gaming of all kinds. YGG follows this model, and to date has enabled over 4,700 scholars to earn more than 61M SLP to date.”

Since its launch, players have reported earning “upwards of $400” which has proven to be “crucial” for families during the lockdown period, the release noted. This is “especially true in areas where earning opportunities are limited – YGG and crypto-gaming in general have the power to change many lives.”

As noted in the release:

“After scholars earn their SLP, they usually either hold onto it or search for ways to cash it out – the latter of which is one step we at HaloDAO plan to improve. Instead of simply selling all of their earnings into fiat, our P2G model enables scholars and other crypto-gamers to convert that income into their local stablecoins and earn yield.”

HaloDAO and YGG are developing appropriate financial tools and integrating with Discord to enable users to track their performance, “gain yield on top of their earnings, invest in their own scholar teams, and more,” the announcement noted. The two organizations “embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of P2E gamers and enable them to do more with their hard-earned income.”

“YGG is helping people from all over the world gain equal access to the income-earning opportunities in crypto, and this collaboration with HaloDAO DeFi products improves their income-earning capacity,” stated Gabby Dizon, Founder YGG.

HaloDAO is presently working with local currency stablecoin issuers and synthetic stablecoin protocols to “target” the regions of Southeast Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore), Latin America, Europe, United Kingdom and Hong Kong “to support the use of these local stablecoins within Decentralized Finance.”

HaloDAO and YGG are joining forces to “create a future in which players can invest, earn and spend crypto easily – building a better future for their families,” the announcement noted.

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Health Training Game Revenues Spike to $14.0 Billion by 2026



Cover of Metaari's New Health and Wellness Game Report

Cover of Metaari’s New US Healthcare Games Market Report

“This is the first market report in a series of targeted reports that identify the most lucrative revenue opportunities for developers,” adds Adkins. “Training games and simulations designed for health and wellness are generating significant revenues for developers in the current US market.”

“The market conditions for serious game developers competing in the US healthcare game-based simulation sector could not be more favorable,” comments Sam S. Adkins, lead researcher for Metaari and author of the new report. “There is now very high demand, intense investment and M&A activity, and significant revenue opportunities in all eight buying segments analyzed in this report.”

According to Metaari’s new report called “The 2021-2026 US Game-Based Healthcare Training and Simulations Market: Legacy Products Migrate to the Metaverse,” the US growth rate for Game-Based Healthcare Training and Simulations designed for health and wellness is 18.2% and revenues will more than double to $14.0 billion by 2026. The product revenues are heavily concentrated in fourteen distinct types of retail packaged games.

In Metaari’s taxonomy, Game-Based Healthcare Training and Simulations are divided into two broad categories: products designed to improve cognitive functions and physical procedures in healthy users and trainees and products designed to mitigate cognitive deficiencies or impairments caused by mental health problems, addiction, disability, or traumatic injury. The goal is still the same in both categories-behavior change (learning).

“This is the first market report in a series of targeted reports that identify the most lucrative revenue opportunities for developers,” adds Adkins. “Training games and simulations designed for health and wellness are generating significant revenues for developers in the current US market.”

The report has 234 pages, 32 five-year revenue forecast tables, and 14 charts. The Serious Play Conference (SPC) is the exclusive reseller of the report. The report can be purchased here:

“There are nine major catalysts contributing to the booming Game-Based Healthcare Training and Simulations market in the US and they are analyzed in detail in this report,” adds Adkins. “The most significant patterns in the current market include the increased number of developers obtaining FDA approval for their products, the extraordinary invocation in new XR training games and simulations, and the migration of legacy products like simulated patients to the metaverse.”

There are three sections in this report: an analysis of the major catalysts driving the market, a demand side-analysis, and a supply-side analysis. The analysis of the catalysts provides a detailed discussion of the nine major catalysts driving the Game-Based Healthcare Training and Simulations market.

The demand-side analysis breaks out five-year revenues forecasts by eight buying segments: consumers, three PreK-12 sub-segments (preschool, primary, and secondary), tertiary & higher education institutions, federal government agencies, local & state government agencies, and corporations & businesses. Revenues will more than double in five US buying segments over the forecast period.

The supply-side analysis provides revenue forecasts for three major product categories: packaged retail content (further broken out by fourteen game types), custom content development services, and authoring tools & platforms.

The supply-side analysis includes a detailed five-year forecast for fourteen types of packaged games including brain training games, cognitive fitness games for people with special needs, mental training for athletes and first responders, situational awareness simulations, role-based behavior modification, contingency intervention games for addictions, memory mapping mnemonics, knowledge-based, skill-based procedures, VR fitness games, digital simulated patients, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI)

“Situational awareness products will generate the highest revenues throughout the forecast period followed by VR-based products, digital patients, and games for people with special needs, respectively,” reports Adkins. “VR Fitness, mental training, digital patients, and AI games and simulations are very new types of products. VR Fitness games and simulations have the highest growth rate of all product types at 35.2% followed by mental training games at 29.6% and AI-based games at 27.5%. Brain training games have the lowest growth rate at 3.0% but this is not due to the lack in demand but rather to the maturity of the product type. The demand is still quite high but commoditization is creating pricing pressures for developers.”

Just over 600 learning game and simulation developers operating in the US are identified in this report to help suppliers locate domestic distributors, partners, and potential merger and acquisition (M&A) targets. The majority of these developers are startups that are attracting significant investment. The investment totals for each startup are included in this report providing new startups with insight on what investors are funding.

About Metaari

Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight) is an ethics-based quantitative market research firm that identifies revenue opportunities for advanced learning technology suppliers. We track the learning technology markets in 126 countries. We have the most complete view of the international learning technology market in the industry. Metaari focusses solely on advanced learning technology research on products that utilize psychometrics, neuroscience, location intelligence, game mechanics, robotics, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

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Xbox and Special Olympics hold first ‘Gaming for Inclusion’ esports event



Gaming in general is moving toward accessibility, but that’s not as much the case in esports, which like other sports are competitive and by nature somewhat exclusive. Xbox and the Special Olympics are working together on a new event that combines competition with inclusion, and it’s going on right now.

This week, Special Olympics athletes will be competing against each other in tournaments of Rocket League, Madden NFL 22 and Forza Motorsport 7. The prize, other than prestige and pride, is playing with one of the Special Olympics’ celebrity supporters: “NBA superstar Jayson Tatum, NFL legend Jamaal Charles, and WNBA superstar Jewell Loyd, and WWE Superstars Dominik Mysterio and Ember Moon.” So many superstars!

“This tournament is a meaningful and important step in making esports more accessible and it empowers Special Olympics athletes with a new way to compete,” said Jenn Panattoni, head of Xbox Social Impact. “Xbox has invested in numerous accessibility features and products, like the Xbox Adaptive Controller and features like copilot or speech to text. The purpose of all this continued work is to ensure that players feel welcome and that they belong on the Xbox platform.”

The tournaments are being recorded right now, and will be broadcast over the rest of the week, along with the “celebrity showcase” coming Saturday with recaps. You can check out a schedule at the bottom of this post, but generally just keep an eye on the Xbox Twitch channel and Special Olympics YouTube channel.

I like to highlight these events because accessibility has been on the back burner for so long in the gaming world, and now we’re seeing big moves by developers, publishers and partners to make things better. Microsoft’s XAC is a great example, as is the panoply of visual, audio and difficulty options in the latest Ratchet & Clank game. Esports is definitely one of the areas that needs more diversity, though, and the participating players were glad to take part. I asked Special Olympics athletes Jose Moreno and Colton Rice for their thoughts on the matter.

Do you think competitive gaming is getting more accessible?

Rice: Competitive gaming is definitely getting more accessible. Not only are the games becoming more accessible, accessibility allows people with disabilities to become more competitive players. People with intellectual disabilities are always trying to compete at their best. We want to do what everyone else is doing, and sometimes just need a little help to make that happen.

Moreno: I do think that competitive gaming is getting more accessible because Microsoft has started bringing out video game controllers that are accessible for people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities — accessible to everybody. I’m a lifelong gamer, and accessibility in esports has been game-changing. Accessible gaming wasn’t available when I was growing up. Today, it’s so much more fun to play when you can play with friends of all abilities and everybody can participate.

Special Olympics athletes Colton Rice, left, and Jose Moreno. Image Credits: Special Olympics

How are you experiencing that change?

Moreno: In my opinion, the more the video games industry include people with intellectual disabilities, the better the video game community is going to get to know how we love playing video games just like everybody else. And through events like Gaming for Inclusion, I’m not just able to compete — I’m included as a part of a community of gamers where I am welcomed and included.

Rice: People with intellectual disabilities have skills and pay attention to details; when we set our minds to do something, we practice until we are the best we can be, especially when we enjoy doing it — and that includes gaming. People with disabilities just need more time to learn, but when you’re dedicated to something that you’re passionate about, you won’t stop until you succeed.

What’s something you’d like to see more of, from developers, publishers, etc.?

Moreno: I would like to see more from developers or makers or publishers of video games in general or computer games to include more people with intellectual disabilities in the video game workforce. People with intellectual disabilities can play a variety of roles and provide unique perspectives on how to improve the gaming experience. Publishers and developers can get a different perspective from people with disabilities; whether that’s featuring people with intellectual disabilities represented in their storylines or seeing them in the games themselves. We’re eager to be a part of this process, and there are lots of passionate gamers with intellectual disabilities who would like to participate in focus groups or in actual jobs as creators within the industry.

Rice: The companies who make these games are trying to make high-quality games that are enjoyable for everybody. There is still a lot that can be done to make games more accessible. For example, it can be frustrating when gamers with intellectual disabilities are learning a new game with instructions that are hard to read. It can take hours to learn how to play the new version of a game you’ve played for years. That doesn’t mean people with intellectual disabilities aren’t capable of playing or competing — it just means we need better accessibility tools to help us learn.

If gaming companies want to create accessible, inclusive games, they could benefit from including gamers with intellectual disabilities in the creative process to help make or test “easy read” or beginner’s instructions, or find ways to simplify navigation between different levels of a game. Gaming can build a community and reach people who feel left out. Accessibility allows everybody to have fun.

This competition and other events in online gaming have been essential to keeping the Special Olympics community connected and active over a difficult couple years.

“Special Olympics has a long-standing partnership with Microsoft that has been incredibly valuable for the athletes and families of the Special Olympics movement,” said the organization’s chief information and technology officer, Prianka Nandy. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, our main concern has been the safety and health of our athletes, who are amongst the most vulnerable population to have an adverse or catastrophic outcome from the virus. This led to the cancellation and postponement of thousands of annual in-person events and competitions — which meant our athletes have missed out on the connections and opportunities to experience the joy of being with their teammates, coaches and friends. At this time, our goals remain to raise awareness of the Special Olympics movement and the accomplishments, hopes and dreams of our incredible athletes, and to change attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities within the gaming community, all while remembering that gaming can be fun and inclusive for all.”

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