Nintendo appears to be dialing back and will actually implement matchmaking with friends online in Super Mario Maker 2. Although the Super Mario Maker sequel wasn't a focus at Nintendo's E3 Direct, the game was featured at Nintendo Treehouse.
Super Mario Maker 2 was announced during Nintendo's February Direct. Many fans thought Super Mario Maker would simply be ported from Wii U to Switch, but with some new features, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. However, we ended up getting a full-blown sequel with new enemies, a new game style, and much more. Things were quiet regarding the game until last month when Nintendo aired a Super Mario Maker 2-focused Direct and unveiled online features. One thing was suspiciously absent, however: online multiplayer with friends. Nintendo confirmed about two weeks ago that there won't be online play with friends, which caused an uproar among fans. However, it looks like Nintendo has listened to the community and changed its plans.
During the Nintendo Treehouse, Super Mario Maker 2 producer Takashi Tezuka stated Nintendo was going to be making some changes when it comes to online matchmaking with friends. Nintendo confirmed the statement on Twitter as well, saying online multiplayer with friends will come in a "future update."
Mr. Tezuka has confirmed that the ability to play online multiplayer with friends is coming to #SuperMarioMaker2 in a future update. Stay tuned for more information to come. https://t.co/oxGuEcJ8Om pic.twitter.com/1AfK1vEGIe— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 11, 2019
"Future update" implies that this feature will not be ready at launch. Hopefully, players won't have to wait too long, but it is good to know that Nintendo is listening to the fan community on important subjects. In addition to confirming online play with friends, Tezuka also discussed a new assist-like feature in the game.
In the Treehouse gameplay during the game's story mode, a little pop-up menu appears. If you're having trouble with a course in story mode, Luigi can offer you some help, such as an item or additional blocks you can add for easier jumping. These are not unlimited based on the numbers above the items, so it looks like (aside from blocks) you will only be able to use assist items once per life.
Presumably, the Luigi assist-mode will only be usable in story mode, based on how Tezuka described it. Some fans are worried that this mode will be available when you play other players' courses online. This is not likely, though, since it would affect the levels of expert courses. If there's an extremely challenging boss in a hard course, but the game will allow you to use a Super Star, then the creator's work is diminished. So, this will likely be confined to Nintendo's courses in story mode.
Super Mario Maker 2 will be released on June 28 for Nintendo Switch.