Saturday, July 24, 2021

IN THE EVENT YOU Play ” NEW WORLD “? Beta Impressions From The Frontier

Amazon Games’ upcoming MMORPG New World is in the spotlight as a lengthy closed beta session shows off the action ahead of an August 31st release. New World has changed its vision multiple times over the course of development, and now the question on everyone’s mind is – where is this going to land on release? What kind of player is it for? What kind of MMORPG is it? And perhaps the most important question, is it worth your time at all? Over the course of the beta (and a demo session that took me into an endgame slice with a fully-geared character), I’ve seen some areas with huge potential that are currently underserved in the MMORPG space – and some others that could be intense detriments for the title. Let’s talk about New World!It successfully lands a powerful frontier survival vibe If you’re familiar with survival games that have you punching wood to get a house going, New World delivers on this front initially by giving the player myriad survival pursuits. Hunting turkey on the borders of your established safe zones to raise your cooking skill and create rations is far more engaging than it has any right to be. Hunting down elusive saltpeter deposits in mines and crafting your own shells for your old-timey rifles feels fun. Being able to skill up in everything to your liking is a classic system à la Runescape, and its nice to know you can work up every single crafting and gathering skill if you wish, right down to doing some fishing. Banging together your first batch of gathering tools is actually freaking awesome. Digging up carrots and potatoes feels meaningful. Coming back to your town in the middle of the wilderness to trade feed and talk with your fellow explorers has all the allure of bustling about Disney’s Frontiertown, and I’ve rarely had so much investment into crafting and trading systems in MMOs. I can see potential problems with these aspects later down the line, i.e. do I really want to spend my time in the endgame gathering resources just so I can play the game, but for now, there’s plenty of magic in creating my own food, ammunition, and supplies before I trek out into the wild. It feels gritty, it feels raw, and it feels fresh. Faction PVP can be a lot of fun Territory control and faction-based opt-in PVP not only bring back a bit of realm-vs-realm feel from the glory days of Dark Age of Camelot, but they inject something that many online experiences have moved away from in the last decade – social interaction. That means yes, you are going to see a player named PoopyPants (Yes, this was a real player I saw) cutting down trees and screaming outside of town about the price of silver ore, and your chat feed is going to be inundated with comments that make the infamous Barrens chat look downright erudite. However, it also successfully adds shared social stakes to the experience, even if you choose not to interact at the verbal level with any other players. By funneling players into three different factions, you have an investment in your tribe regardless of how deep you want to take it. If you still just want to solo and bring back a load of furs to trade in town, you can – but the real fun is to be had by grouping up, interacting with others, and eventually taking over some territory as your chosen faction. At the solo, guild, and greater level, having game flow dictated by players instead of the “theme park” experience is a bold choice and more than a bit refreshing. The issue here is how interesting and meaningful are these faction wars going to be in the endgame? While I don’t have the answer to that yet, the prospect of really engaging with other players in a meaningful way in a MMORPG gives me a powerful nostalgia bump and some serious differentiation from many other genre offerings today. On the flip side, if you’re not really interested in territory wars or PvP, other existing MMORPGs might be a better choice. The combat is New World’s biggest weakness In almost every MMORPG, you’re going to be doing a ton of combat. It’s probably the biggest portion of the entire gameplay experience. With limited skill options, awkward animations, and very little excitement, New World’s combat is decidedly dull. Now, there’s something to be said about popping an opposing faction member from a great distance before you engage in a 3v3 skirmish that gets real greasy, but that’s more about the player-to-player interaction than the combat, which can often feel wooden and wonky. While I enjoy systems that attempt to break the genre out of the tab-targeting standard that’s been grandfathered into MMOs for ages, it misses the mark here.  I found it hard to determine if the other aspects of the game that seem enjoyable can carry this particular aspect either, as combat is the core of almost every other pursuit. Even if you’re just spelunking for saltpeter, you’re going to have to fight a ton of various zombie-like creatures, wolves, or bears, and it simply does not feel good. This problem is exacerbated in group experiences, both PvP and PvE, but more pronounced in the latter. Chewing into spongey opponents as a pack with the glaring lack of feedback from weaponry is almost comical, and your options in combat feel extremely limited and lacking. Everything can feel the same Enemies, locations, and activities can become a big bowl of mush without breaking it up with some PvP pursuits. You’ll see many of the same rickety little fishing villages, decrepit farms, and crumbling ruins as you traverse the giant world. Killing some undead buccaneers at level 5 feels the same as it does at level 15, and you’re going to be doing a ton of daily-quest/fetch style activities in order to grind out your faction reputation, like wandering around the aforementioned locations for boxes and killing X undead baddies. It feels intensely repetitive even after only twenty hours of gameplay, so I’m concerned about how that will translate to the endgame – will I still, as an elite member of the Syndicate, still be wandering farms killing undead and picking taters? I mean, I do like picking taters... Travel is rough When you’re just starting, it’s fine that you’re walking everywhere because you don’t have far to go. However, this takes a turn at around level 12, where you’ll find the autorun button and some movies on your favorite streaming platform to be your best friends. The world is large, and traveling it all on foot is a huge pain. Without mounts, and the fact that fast travel is limited by resources, moving around the map is an absolute bore and a chore. I realize there are other meaningful concerns that probably flow into this decision, like the implications of having everyone zoom around in a game that’s attempting to create stakes with territory control and PvP, but this becomes harder and harder to ignore the more you play and get quests on opposite ends of your map. Forging ahead Based on the beta, New World is going to be an interesting but potentially niche addition to the current crop of MMORPGs. However, it seems to really serve players that want to play with small groups of friends for faction skirmishes and that are interested in greater territory control wars with big guild politics and all that. If you’re not interested in that kind of greater pursuit with plenty of social interaction and PvP, the PvE elements by themselves do not seem compelling enough to keep things rolling.  While I love the feeling of crafting my own stuff, slowly increasing the areas that I’m strong enough to explore, and fastidiously upping all my gathering and crafting skills, I can see those charms fading rapidly as the activities become somewhat rote. The dynamics involved in faction wars and territory control seem to be the peppy antidote for the never-ending rock farm in various undead shacks and homesteads. As with other games that lean into this kind of emergent gameplay (RIP Shadowbane), some of New World will be what players shape it into.
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    CS Interview: Kurt Sutter Talks Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking Adaptation

    CS Interview: Kurt Sutter Talks Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking Adaptation Chaos Walking is now playing in theaters and to commemorate the event we sat down with Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), who makes a rare acting appearance in the film alongside Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. Sutter discussed everything from working with Doug Liman to dealing with the film’s special FX. Check out the interview below! RELATED: Lionsgate Unveils New Chaos Walking Clip as Tickets Go On Sale! In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt discovers Viola, a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets. Pick up a copy of the novel series here! Based on author Patrick Ness‘ young adult sci-fi trilogy novel, Chaos Walking stars Tom Holland (MCU films) as Todd Hewlitt and Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker) as Viola Eade, and co-stars Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange) as Mayor Prentiss, Nick Jonas (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Davy Prentiss Jr., Demian Bichir (Alien: Covenant) as Ben, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter as Cillian, and David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar) as Aaron. RELATED: Chaos Walking Trailer: Daisy Ridley & Tom Holland Lead Sci-Fi Thriller Chaos Walking is directed by Doug Liman from a screenplay written by Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford. Doug Davison (who worked with Liman on American Made) and Alli Shearmur (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Cinderella) are producing Chaos Walking with Robert Zemeckis and his ImageMovers’ partner Jack Rapke. ComingSoon.net: I really appreciate you sitting down and talking to us about Chaos Walking. I’ll just start right off the bat. You make a rare acting appearance in this film. What ultimately drew you to jump in front of the camera to play Cillian? Sutter: Yeah, dude. It’s all a desperate need for attention. You know, I started out as an actor. I love acting — and up until [Chaos Walking], I was usually the only one who would hire me to do any acting. But you know, that movie came to me and at first, I got this email and I didn’t read the whole email. I just read the first paragraph that had the title [Chaos Walking] and I Googled it and I was like I don’t get the dark, edgy indie shit. So I dumped it off and came back again and blew it off. And then ultimately, they made an offer. And I was like, what is happening? As if I had skill that no one else had. And then I read the rest of the email and I saw that Doug Liman was directing, Charlie Kaufman had written the first draft of the script. And so Demián Bichir and Mads [Mikkelsen]. So I was like, oh shit. So I read the script and it was amazing. And I loved the character and I loved the dynamic, the ambiguous sort of love relationship with Demián’s character and the internal dynamic. It was just beautiful. And two really good friends of mine were producing it – Doug Davison and Erwin Stoff. And I was like, oh. That’s why they kept coming back. [Laughs] I was so grateful. I was so grateful because I figured it out, I had to make time for it. And then I got to work with – I’ve always been a big fan of Doug and it was fun working with him. And we’ve talked about doing things together now and Mads and Demián who I admired so much. And I have a quick funny story about Tom. Tom had auditioned for me and Paris Barclay for Bastard Executioner, the show I did in the UK. And he was amazing and he got the role. But then we couldn’t make the pilot dates work because the process on callbacks for Spider-Man began. And then considering Bastard got canceled after one season and he’s now an international movie star, I think he made the right choice. So, it was fun to see Tom again. And he just reminds me of one of my kids. He’s a sweet guy and super enthusiastic. And it was fun. Nick Jonas is such a lovely man. Nick just kept calling me sir. It’s like, I’m already the oldest guy on the set, man, can you please not call me sir? CS: So when you talk about working with director Doug Liman, what’s his process like? Did he make you feel comfortable in the role? Did he give you freedom to do what you wanted to do with your character? Sutter: Yeah, he very much did. I mean, we were working with the script that was sort of in process, you know what I mean, because it’s such a big world. And the phenomenon of the noise, of getting that right, which is where men’s thoughts can be seen either through visual or text. So it was wild because we were shooting a movie within a movie. So after every time we rolled cut, the visual effects team would come in, because there was so much they had to do with every frame of that movie. And it was such a long process, it took a minute for it all to come together because it was a monster to put together. But Doug is a guy who I was watching and he’s kind of this savant in that I was watching him and I was realizing as he was shooting, he was cutting the movie together in his head. You know what I mean? And it’s like, I realized he would do a setup, and then it’s sort of like, he would go away for a minute and he realized he was putting it together in his head and saw the next shot. And for me, at first, I’m so used to the rigidity of TV, where you’re doing five, six, seven, eight pages a day, and you don’t have a lot of time to explore in that way. And so, at first, it was odd for me to have that kind of looseness. But then, after a while, it was fascinating to me. It was fascinating to watch his process. And he, too, is a lovely, really sweet kind of a genteel guy and very respectful for the actors. Like if you came to him or were struggling with something, he would oblige you. We had several – we went to his cabin a couple of nights and had dinner and had long script discussions. And the original shoot was very collaborative and a really lovely experience. And then, the reshoots, which were like a year later or so were a little bit more by the numbers. Because at that point, you’re on a deadline. You’re already looking at the bottom line and you know exactly what you need, right? And then that process felt like TV. It was like, okay, you’re doing this, you’re doing this. All right, jump into ADR. Get that done. Do that. I was like, oh yeah, this, I know. CS: What’s your take on noise? How would you handle having your thoughts exposed at all times?  Sutter: Well, look, I don’t think you can deny the obvious parallel or analogy of how we live today, right? Social media and everyone’s personal thoughts are sort of open to be seen. And I think there’s the positives and negatives of that. I think in this movie, it’s really about how that can make you vulnerable, and how perhaps it just becomes overwhelming, the constant download of data and information that you have to process so you’re hearing one thing and seeing another thing. And you know, it’s almost impossible to escape the noise. And I think that is obviously, to some degree, the community that we’re living in. I also love, and this was written in 2008 and it seems very prescient. But you know, to have a character like Mayor Prentiss, who clearly is very smart and very controlling and a fear-based narcissist at his core, but to have Mayor Prentiss who has named the town Prentisstown controlling it and controlling the information, it just feels very familiar to the situation that we were recently in, where it was all fake news. There was no truth being told, and people who knew the truth kept it to themselves. And so, I thought that was sort of right on the money as well. CS: Would you want to come back and act in more films after your experience on Chaos Walking? Sutter: Yeah, I love acting. I started out as an actor. I studied and I got my masters in fine arts with performance and directing. So it’s influenced obviously my career choices, but also it’s really, that for me, has influenced my writing more than anything. So it’s all very much part of my circuitous path. And yeah, I love being a storyteller. That’s what I want to do and that’s what I will continue to do. And sometimes I do that strictly through writing. Sometimes if there’s a project that I feel like I can expand the visual representation of the narrative as well as I do the story components, then it makes sense for me to direct it. But yeah, if there’s something that I have time to do and it’s a role that I think is interesting or more importantly, if I have an opportunity to work with people whom I admire and I feel like I can learn something from, yeah, absolutely. I’d love to do some more. CS: You’ve given audiences amazing shows like Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, Mayans. What’s next on your plate? And do you feel pressure at all to top yourself, especially after the success of your shows that you’ve created? Sutter: No, you know, there’s never pressure. For me, it’s just about looking for the thing that makes sense and the characters that feel most compelling to me. And look, no one knew Sons was going to become what it became, right? So and so I don’t really ever go into something with a sense of it having a bar. I just kind of understand it and deliver the best story that I can. You know, and over the pandemic, it’s been actually really good. I’ve actually had time. Now I’m not being under a deal, I’ve sort of had the freedom to meet and work with people whom I’ve never been able to work with before. So most of the pandemic has been taking a lot of general meetings, talking to producers and directors who I’ve admired, and just sort of planting some seeds. I’m trying to do a little bit more producing now, as well. And sort of fostering projects, helping other writers get things off the ground. So I’ve been doing a lot of that. And hopefully, in the next few weeks, something I’m working on will sort of come together and there will be some news about that. But it’s just been a lot of meetings and a lot of planting seeds in gardens that I’ve not been able to sort of plant things in before. So I know that’s absolutely and completely vague, but yeah. That’s sort of the truth.

    Spider-Man 3: Sony Addresses Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield Rumors

    Spider-Man 3: Sony Pictures Addresses Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield Rumors Following the recent additions of Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, MCU fans’ speculations and theories about Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ highly-anticipated third Spider-Man MCU film have continued to grow this month. One very popular casting rumor is that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are reportedly in talks to reprise their respective versions of Spider-Man. Now, Sony Pictures has finally addressed this rumor through Entertainment Tonight by giving out a simple and intriguing response that didn’t outright deny the existence of Maguire and Garfield’s potential involvement in the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man 3. “Those rumored castings are not confirmed,” a representative from the studio said. It was also surprising that the studio decided to respond to rumors, especially when they haven’t done it before on previous projects. If big casting negotiations like this are indeed happening behind-the-scenes, it’s understandable that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios would like to keep this major reveal for the future when negotiations have already been finalized. RELATED: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange Joins Spider-Man 3! Tom Holland will return for the film as the titular wall-crawler, and it remains to be seen what villains he’ll go up against in the trilogy caper. Given the ending of Far From Home however, any number of his rogues gallery are likely eager for a fight. The third installment to the MCU’s Spider-Man films will also feature the return of Zendaya (Euphoria, Dune) as MJ. Holland’s Spider-Man is also set to appear in another Marvel Studios film per the new agreement. While most of the original series cast are set to return for the threequel, Foxx’s casting further blurs the lines across Sony’s three webslinging franchises, with the previous installment bringing back J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s trilogy and the studio’s Sony Universe of Marvel Characters led by Venom expected to crossover into the Marvel Cinematic Universe series soon. Originally scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, the untitled Spider-Man 3 was first pushed back to November 5 and will now bow on December 17, 2021. The untitled third installment’s previous release date was recently given to Uncharted, with Holland revealing in an Instagram video that production on the webslinging title should begin around February 2021 after the conclusion of the filming for Nathan Drake’s long-awaited big-screen debut. RELATED: Spider-Man 3: Jamie Foxx Teases New Appearance for Electro  Sony’s upcoming Spidey slate includes the Venom sequel, starring Tom Hardy and directed by Andy Serkis, as well as Jared Leto’s in-the-can Morbius, a Kraven the Hunter film, and a spinoff featuring Silver Sable and Black Cat. Should these films interact with the MCU and Tom Holland, it remains to be seen, but the door seems open.

    Spider-Man 3: Jamie Foxx Teases New Appearance for Electro 

    Spider-Man 3: Jamie Foxx Teases New Appearance for Electro A day after the news broke out about Jamie Foxx’s potential return as Electro, the Academy Award-winning actor has confirmed (in a now deleted Instagram post) that he has indeed signed on to star opposite Tom Holland in Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ highly-anticipated third Spider-Man MCU film. In his post which you can check out below (via Twitter), Foxx’s also teased that his villain character will be returning with a new appearance. Because of this, fans are speculating if he will either play a different iteration of the character, or if it will be the same one as Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 leading the film into the multiverse realm. Interestingly, the deleted post also came with Spider-Man fan art, featuring Tobey Maguire, Garfield and Holland’s versions of the friendly-neighbor-hood hero! Jamie Foxx confirmed tElectro won’t be blue in ‘SPIDER-MAN 3’ and hinted at a possible Spider-Verse in the MCU  pic.twitter.com/KLqiV76PDI — cosmic (@cosmic_marvel) October 2, 2020 RELATED: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered Gets a New Face For Peter Parker Tom Holland will return for the film as the titular wall-crawler, and it remains to be seen what villains he’ll go up against in the trilogy caper. Given the ending of Far From Home however, any number of his rogues gallery are likely eager for a fight. The third installment to the MCU’s Spider-Man films will also feature the return of Zendaya (Euphoria, Dune) as MJ. Holland’s Spider-Man is also set to appear in another Marvel Studios film per the new agreement. While most of the original series cast are set to return for the threequel, Foxx’s casting further blurs the lines across Sony’s three webslinging franchises, with the previous installment bringing back J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s trilogy and the studio’s Sony Universe of Marvel Characters led by Venom expected to crossover into the Marvel Cinematic Universe series soon. Originally scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, the film was first pushed back to November 5 and will now bow on December 17. The untitled third installment’s previous release date was recently given to Uncharted, with Holland revealing in an Instagram video that production on the webslinging title should begin around February 2021 after the conclusion of the filming for Nathan Drake’s long-awaited big-screen debut. RELATED: Cherry: Apple Acquires Russo Brothers’ Tom Holland-Led Drama Sony’s upcoming Spidey slate includes the Venom sequel, starring Tom Hardy and directed by Andy Serkis, as well as Jared Leto’s in-the-can Morbius, a Kraven the Hunter film, and a spinoff featuring Silver Sable and Black Cat. Should these films interact with the MCU and Tom Holland, it remains to be seen, but the door seems open.

    Jamie Foxx Returning as Electro for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man 3

    Jamie Foxx returning as Electro for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man 3 Though the film he was a part of may have received generally mixed reviews and led to the cancellation of its series, Sony is in final talks to bring back Jamie Foxx as iconic Spider-Man villain Electro for the forthcoming third installment in the Tom Holland-starring franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. RELATED: J.K. Simmons Says There Is ‘A Distinct Chance’ We See More of His J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man 3 While most of the original series cast are set to return for the threequel, Foxx’s casting further blurs the lines across Sony’s three webslinging franchises, with the previous installment bringing back J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s trilogy and the studio’s Sony Universe of Marvel Characters led by Venom expected to crossover into the Marvel Cinematic Universe series soon. Foxx previously portrayed the role in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helmed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield in the titular role, but after it underperformed at the box office with $708.9 million worldwide on its estimated $200 million budget and received mixed reviews from critics and fans, Sony cancelled future plans including a third Garfield-led film and Sinister Six and Venom spin-offs. Originally scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, the film was first pushed back to November 5 and will now bow on December 17. The untitled third installment’s previous release date was recently given to Uncharted, with Holland revealing in an Instagram video that production on the webslinging title should begin around February 2021 after the conclusion of the filming for Nathan Drake’s long-awaited big-screen debut. The news comes the same day as competitor studios Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. all announced the delays of a number of their major releases including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the live-action adaptation of Mulan, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II, the long-awaited Tom Cruise sequel Top Gun: Maverick and James Cameron’s four Avatar sequels. Tom Holland will return for the film as the titular wall-crawler, and it remains to be seen what villains he’ll go up against in the trilogy caper. Given the ending of Far From Home however, any number of his rogues gallery are likely eager for a fight. The third installment to the MCU’s Spider-Man films will also feature the return of Zendaya (Euphoria, Dune) as MJ. Holland’s Spider-Man is also set to appear in another Marvel Studios film per the new agreement. RELATED: Shang-Chi to Resume Production in Australia By the End of the Month Sony’s upcoming Spidey slate includes the Venom sequel, starring Tom Hardy and directed by Andy Serkis, as well as Jared Leto’s in-the-can Morbius, a Kraven the Hunter film, and a spinoff featuring Silver Sable and Black Cat. Should these films interact with the MCU and Tom Holland, it remains to be seen, but the door seems open.

    Cherry: Apple Acquires Russo Brothers’ Tom Holland-Led Drama

    Cherry: Apple Acquires Russo Brothers’ Tom Holland-Led Drama Deadline is reporting that Apple Original Films has acquired the worldwide rights to Anthony and Joe Russo’s Tom Holland-led drama Cherry. The outlet notes the deal landed in the high $40 millions and also gives Apple an awards season contender with plans to premiere the film in early 2021 on Apple TV+. RELATED: Cherry: Joe Russo Says Tom Holland-Led Film is Almost Done With Post-Production Cherry tells the true-life story of author Nico Walker (played by Holland in the movie), a former Army medic who returned from Iraq with extreme un-diagnosed PTSD and fell into opioid addiction and began robbing banks. Walker was caught in 2011 and is scheduled to be released in 2020. The novel has been branded as a sort of hybrid of Jesus’ Son and Reservoir Dogs; a story about love, war, bank robberies, and heroin. You can get your own copy of the book by clicking here! Walker previously handled the bidding war for his book while serving time in prison, which complicated matters since he was only allotted a specific amount of minutes per phone call. Additional cast includes Ciara Bravo (Wayne) as Walker’s wife, Kelli Burglund (Now Apocalypse), Jack Reynor (Midsommar), Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Jeff Wahlberg (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), Michael Gandolfini (The Deuce), Kyle Harvey (The After Party), and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!). RELATED: Joe Russo Teases Tom Holland’s Performance in Cherry Cherry was adapted by Jessica Goldberg (The Path) and co-written by Angela Otstot (The Shield). The movie is produced by the Russo Brothers, Chris Castaldi, and studio president Mike Larocca under their AGBO Films banner, alongside CEO Jonathan Grey and President Matthew Rhodes under their The Hideaway Entertainment banner. The movie is executive produced by Todd Makurath and Jake Aust from AGBO and The Hideaway Entertainment’s Kristy Maurer Grisham and Judd Payne. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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