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I don't have many that appreciate this story, so I'll share it here. I killed the casino last night playing craps. It was pure magic!
I was the shooter for about a hour straight! I hit all the numbers, which I had 2 2 2 on. (2x75 2x134 2x75) AND I came 2 numbers away from doing it again! I left the table after I crapped out because I knew the magic was gone. It was a $10 table and I left with $1847 in 90mins. I know that's not a crazy number that I will retire on, but off a $10 table and only betting small that is crazy. Everyone was hitting with me and I was calling shots. I would put a 5 on a hard four, then boom. I'd put $15 on the field then snake eyes..... I've never done or seen anything like that. I was in a zone and I will always wonder what if I stayed, but I don't chase and always walk away when up. I wasn't betting on anything. Then I took a tip on Clemson vs Ohio St. Since then, it's like I can't lose. I've never been on a run like this.
Guys, I left the casino and like 10 metres away Patrick mcreary spawned in a police van and it was an option to rescue him (potential heist crew member), unfortunately some random I was playing with got in the drivers seat and we failed cause he was pure shit - is Patrick going to spawn again ?????
Here on a Sunday night to give you autists some time to cross-check my info, start your RH instant deposit, and let your wife's bf know you're coming back with a vengeance. Here's an in-depth analysis on DraftKings and how to maximize profits over the foreseeable future to squeeze this for every tendie we can. Now that many states face revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic and wider budget deficits, there needs to be a push to fill that gap and nothing is better positioned than sports betting. As you all know, $DKNG came to market through a SPAC merging with Diamond Eagle back in April, at the worst of the pandemic when live sports were dead and there was more uncertainty than ever for what was to come. Jason Robins, Draft Kings CEO, has balls of steel and knew that they needed to get to market quickly for a sports betting run-up the likes of which we've never seen. Sports are now on their way back, with a huge amount of positive catalysts coming up in the next few months to skyrocket this stock to the moon and beyond.
I want to clarify that a large amount of my conviction from this play comes from the incredible management team leading the company. CEO Jason Robins is a stand-up guy and has led the company through a huge amount of scrutiny since its founding in 2012. He comes from a data analytics background which could not be a better fit for the sports betting business. He prioritizes the high speed data that fuels the DraftKings platform as its most valuable asset and speaks often on the commitment his team has to ethical values and encouraging a trustworthy environment for its users to gamble their paychecks on the DraftKings platform. I've linked a great interview to get to know the CEO and give further insight into DraftKing's plans moving forward below and highly recommend anyone going in on this play give it a quick watch. Jason is optimistic about the future of state's legalizing mobile sports betting moving forward and says they will continue to invest boatloads of money into customer acquisition costs through TV ads and billboards on a state-by-state basis. Link: https://youtu.be/2OVFB9piEC0 Any of you who have come across DraftKings commercials, YouTube ads, billboards, know that their marketing is on point. This is a great play because DraftKing's expansion has occurred thus far on a state-by-state basis. This means that there's a large part of the nation (actually the majority) that is still ignorant to the sports betting wave that is coming in 2021. DraftKings is positioned extremely well to lead the way into the ~25 states still waiting to pass the bill.
The fact that the top 4 states in the country still have not legalized online sports betting presents a HUGE opportunity to ride this wave with little downside risk. Sports have already gone through the worst-case scenario during COVID shutdowns and survived—now we’ve got a great amount of positive catalysts coming up (NBA season, March madness, Super Bowl, etc.) that the general population is begging for some action on, paired with more money in their pocket from significantly less entertainment costs since the pandemic started. The Wuhan Virus gave DraftKings a shot in the arm to streamline its way into most (if not all) of the remaining state's ballots during Q1 and Q2 due to the huge cut in tax revenues that the lockdowns caused across the country. Governor Cuomo of New York released a statement last week stating he is now considering the passing of mobile sports betting in order to raise the state's tax revenue during a time where Congress completely skipped them over in terms of providing aid through the stimmy. New York is a huge catalyst moving forward. In my opinion, this is a make or break for how things look for DraftKings moving forward, and will largely influence how other states react. Mobile sports betting scares states as it is new and so accessible, but if you do research into the Powerball and other loterry companies, it just took a push in the right direction for states to realize how much money they are leaving on the table by not participating in these emerging markets. Sports betting has already benefited the 9 states which passed the bill (NJ leading the way) and has NY as well as every other governor, feeling major FOMO. Current states where online (mobile) sports betting laws have passed:
Legislation aside, the other huge catalyst is DraftKing's unique approach to owning its own data and proprietary tech stack. I believe that this will be where DKNG separates itself from the competition that is rushing to this space and will give it the upper hand in acquiring, and retaining, a large percentage of new users across opening states. From investor presentation:"Upon close of the business combination, DraftKings will become the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States. Through the business combination, DraftKings expects to realize synergies by transitioning its risk and trading sports betting platform to SBTech’s, instead of relying on a third-party platform. In addition to reducing costs, DraftKings will control its backend system and product roadmap, differentiating the company from other U.S. operators and giving it the ability to tailor its sports betting product to U.S. sports and users." "SBTech is a global leader in omni-channel sports betting and gaming, with more than 1,200 employees in 10 offices worldwide. Since 2007, the group has developed the industry’s most powerful online sports betting and casino platform, serving licensees in more than 15 regulated territories. SBTech’s clients include many of the world’s premier betting and gaming operators, state lotteries, land-based casinos, horse racing companies, and iGaming start-ups. The group supplies highly flexible betting and gaming solutions to clients looking for exceptional configurability and the quickest route to market, complemented by proven business intelligence and reporting capabilities. The SBTech offering includes its seamless sportsbook, Chameleon360 iGaming platform, managed services, on-property sportsbook and omni-channel solutions that provide players with constant access to sports and casino products across all online, mobile and retail channels. Supported by unrivaled expertise in trading and risk management, acquisition and CRM, and the highest standards of regulatory compliance, SBTech’s partners consistently achieve rapid growth, enhanced brand loyalty and record revenues." DraftKings prioritized OWNING their own backend technology via this merger with SBTech, making them the first, and only company in this space to own their risk and trading platform. This gives DraftKings a huge edge to the rest of the market. It forked up the cash to keep everything in house not only to provide a better customer experience, but also to widen the moat against competitors as new states come onboard. The key here is to clarify that DraftKings and SBTech combined to be the only player in the market with 100% vertical integration and control of their own backend. Jason Robins and the rest of the management team are placing their efforts on having the best technology and the best product and really going all in on owning the U.S. landscape opening up, with as little need for cross-platform interaction as possible. This acquisition of SBTech was a complete game changer because it allowed them to be independent from paying revenue share to a third-party for betting lines and risk management services. Clarification: no other sports betting/fantasy sports/casino company currently has 100% vertical integration on the level that DraftKings has established.
This is where the market is missing the mark. Take the time to read over analyst reports, news articles, and interviews and you'll quickly notice 99% of the general market is completely glazing over DraftKing's iGaming sector. This industry has been a CA$H COW in Europe for awhile now, and is only getting started in the United States. Out of the companies that occupy this space, DraftKings is the only one to create one synergistic platform for Fantasy sports/Sportsbook/iGaming. This will be a huge value proposition that will ultimately rocket DraftKings to the top of the gaming market and solidify it as THE gaming powerhouse moving forward. The infrastructure driving DraftKing's products and Tech (all in one platform) Anyone that's watched the run of Skillz and the hype pushing PaySafe, knows how much anticipation there is for iGaming to become the new norm in the world of gambling. DraftKings has emerged as the market leader in each state they've launched in, and continue to gain more and more market share. Once new users get introduced to their platform, the cross-selling opportunity is limitless and creates an extremely sticky customer acquisition cycle. Competitors like Penn and MGM are dinosaurs in this space and have been playing catch-up to DraftKings since 2012. The new age of gamblers don't want to drive to a physical casino location or buy a home desktop to gamble. Everything will be mobile and run in real-time. DraftKings has been building an incredible live-sports ecosystem (first to market) and innovates the possibilities of what you can bet on a daily basis. Just download the app for yourself and do some exploring. I believe this is going to boom in the TikTok/millennial crowd as more states start to hop onboard.
Pulled from the investor presentation, $DKNG has smashed every one of their 2020 assumptions listed below. For any stats guys out there, I would love to see some models at how much of this market is still up for grabs. DraftKings has positioned themselves to be at the head of this movement, and I believe that 2021 will be the year we really see them take off into triple digits share prices. The catalysts are there, and the market is ripe for the taking. Their projections are extremely conservative and management lets the numbers do the talking. In my opinion, this is a bet on the management putting the dots together to EXECUTE as state legislation starts to go their way, once NY happens this shift will occur rapidly. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1772757/000110465920032214/tm2012476d1_425.htm The management is incredible and truly displays a vision for wanting to prop up shareholder value in the long-term through valuable data, a fully integrated platform, and aggressive customer acquisition to take control of this market as states realize the economic deficits which they are facing going into a new year. This along with the unprecedented hype that is going to be involved with sports events this year, will skyrocket DraftKings to new heights. This is not a bet on sports betting alone, it is a play on a data-heavy and analytically driven behemoth, with strategic partnerships (league, team, and celebrity partnerships) and one of the most aggressive marketing strategies I have ever laid eyes on. The stock soared earlier this years upon news of the Michael Jordan partnership (https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/02/investing/draftkings-michael-jordan-deal/index.html) and there is many, many more big moves in the pipeline.
Long-term I am extremely bullish on people wanting risk to make up a daily part of their lives. The psychology of sports betting resembles that of the lottery and is becoming a must-have for people to have the choice to place bets from the convenience of their mobile phones. We are moving into a future where if risk and leverage are not involved, people will have little interest in dedicating their time to things. This shift can be seen with the boom in retail options trading (shoutout wsb gang) and will have a similar effect in sports, iGaming, and random prop bets/surveys that Draft Kings is innovating heavily in. This is not to mention the infrastructure that DKNG is continuing to build out to rival that of Europe in terms of live sports betting (which makes up three quarters of revenue for online sports books in the UK) and expanding their horizons to lesser betted on sports such as tennis, golf, soccer, etc. If you've gotten this far, congrats you're just a few steps away from striking gold. Any feedback, comments, rebuttals, bear scenarios, etc. please comment. Good luck.
DraftKings has state legislation action coming, incredible management, is data-driven, is vertically integrated/owns its tech stack, has exposure to the full range of new world gaming (Fantasy/Sportsbook/iGaming), and is ahead of its competition forming league, team, and celebrity partnerships. $70c 1/21/22 $90c 1/20/23
I was asked to make a post about some stories within the Casino grounds so I thought I'd share. I have many so I'll do my best to pick the better ones. Some back information: I've been a Casino Dealer for 11 years, I've been a supervisor for five years, and I've been a Surveillance Operator for one year. I've worked at three properties, none of which are connected or owned by the same company. I've worked on : Government/Private/Native American owned casinos.
From Hero to Zero.
At my first Casino, I was one of the first group of people who were trained to deal Roulette . After 4 weeks of working 6PM-3AM then doing roulette training from 3AM-8AM (Not paid) , I actually really enjoyed the game and after about six months I became extremely quick at the number game and the pace of the action was steady with very low margin of errors. Young man walks in, cashes in for $500. He buys in for $2 chips and just loads the board. After a few spins and pretty decent hits, he then changes his chips from $2 to 5$ then to $10 and racks his winnings up to $10,000. It was then, five spins in a row, he loaded the board with some pretty gross bets, and every spin I would hit the ONE number with either NO CHIPS on it, or maybe 1 chip , He lost all $10,000 in a matter of minutes. He leaves , and I go on break. After my break I was going back to the same table and wouldn't you know it, the same young man walks in and cashes in another $500. He tells me he just sold his car outside and this is all that he had left. So we do the same deal, buys in for $2 chips, then slowly starts betting $5 chips, $10, $25...and he makes $10,000 AGAIN. Within the next 25 minutes it was straight agony. Every spin, same thing, he would bet $2500 in chips, and win only $250, $400, and after about a half hour he lost it all . Never saw the guy again. 2) Man down At this property, we are 24 hours for table games. It's currently 5AM , and I'm dealing some $25 Blackjack to this guy. He's probably early thirties , heavy guy. He's sober as can be, but right away I can tell he's been losing. We know how much you've bought in for, how much your down, or up, and I could see he was down $2000+. After about twenty minutes of pure losing, his temper starts to flare.At this point I now have two other guests at my table. Drinking coffee, not saying a word, just losing their money. After losing hand, after hand, this guy looks me straight in the eye, seized up, starts shaking, he can't move. He tries to punch towards me and smashes his stack of chips all over the place and falls backwards to the floor. I call for security, we cannot touch him due to liability . I can't move from my table because, well, liability / casino cash property, all I can do is try to talk to him. As I'm doing so, these other two woman who are sitting at my table just look at me and one says "OK, dealer, cmon lets go " as she taps the table telling me to start dealing and forget about the guy having a stroke on the floor. As security takes him to the ambulance out front, I had to stay behind for a couple minutes and give a statement. I go on break. I come back, and 45 minutes later, he comes right back in with a oxygen tank and keeps gambling for the remainder of the morning. 3) You get a dildo, and YOU get a dildo! On a late summer Saturday night, we had a large event for these massive muscle guys/strongman competition type thing. After their show, I'm at the roulette table , and five of these boys come over to play. They were absolutely hilarious. They were feeling pretty good, cashed in somewhat large amounts and I could tell this was going to be a fun time. After about a hour of dealing to these guys, it's almost midnight, everybody is pretty hammered , I spin the ball, and all five of these guys take out these god damn (what I can only tell was) two feet purple dildos from inside their pants, and wiping them around in the air. The ladies were just loving it, one of the dildos landed in the roulette wheel and we had to shut the table down to re-calibrate the wheel to make sure nothing had been changed. I just remember that night was so much damn fun, I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I would never forget it. 4) Full Moon On this day, I was actually training dealers / supervising them on small games like Three Card poker. We opened the table at 10AM, and this older man came and sat down . He played all day. The jackpot was $21,000 and that was pretty high for this table. He played, and played and played. He's one of the players where you know he's wearing a diaper because he's been drinking coffee/pop all day and hasn't moved in eight hours. As the day went on, this man never moved from his chair. Getting closer to midnight, he was aggravated and said "I need to go have a smoke, I'm getting killed in here". He left, and the very next hand, the lady beside him was dealt the jackpot . He didn't say much, but you could just tell he just hated life at that very moment because had he not gotten up, it would of been his hand. The man calmly took his cane , his hat, jacket, coffee, and left. The next morning I found out when he did leave he drove his car straight through his bank and was arrested. 5) Slick Robber I actually give props to people who can actually pull this off. This story may confuse you so I'll try and explain things as best as possible. A lot of casinos have machines as soon as you walk through the front doors. A man walks up to one of these machines and sticks in HIS $100 bill. He doesn't gamble it, instead he hits the cash out button and gets a $100 TITO ticket where he then takes the ticket to the ATM machine to get his $100. Now remember, his Original $100 is in the slot machine. He then takes the $100 from the ATM and goes back to the same machine, and repeats this process over a hundred times. Essentially he's taking money from the ATM, and loading up the Slot Machine . Now he knows he can't do it too much because if the slot machine gets full of money, the machine will shut down and the slow attendant will have to take all the cash out. So he deposits over $10,000 , then has a small crowbar, he cracks the machine open and makes a run out the front door. To my knowledge he was never caught . But damn, that was pretty smart . EDIT: 6) Mental Health is a thing. 10PM man walks in to play some high limit BlackJack. This guy knows the game and played well. Dressed nice, drank juice/tea , a little bit of a attitude, cashed in over $10,000. When this man was half way down his buy in, he said something a long the lines of "If I don't win here tonight, I'm going to go set myself on fire." I wasn't sure if he was serious because when people are down, they tend to say a lot of nonsense. I actually left early that night, and from a third party was told he did exactly that in the parking lot. The next day it was clear something terrible had gone wrong in the parking lot . EDIT: 7) Nothing good happens after midnight After a busy Saturday night, I was dealing a mix of games, and during this story I was in the middle of Blackjack. I had one young kid (probably 19) sitting in the middle, one older male probably in his later 40's sitting beside him on his right, and I had a really nice couple in their 20's sitting together at the other side. This young kid wasn't playing just sort of watching, and ever time the old man won he would give this young guy some of his winnings. The older man, was a wine drinker, and he had black between all of his teeth, I'll never forget. He's a little drunk but nothing terrible. As the night goes on, the older man goes and uses the washroom, at which point the couple asked the young guy "Oh was that your dad?" and the young guy says "Hah, no I wish!". The couple and I just looked at each other. This old guy, was in complete control over this kid. Absolutely disgusting. The night ends, and I find out the couple called a few of their friends, and they all waited outside by this old mans truck and beat the living hell out of him. 40 years old, sleeping with a 19 year old, completely brain washed . Very weird. 8) That one co-worker where you just wish they would quit. One of our co-workers, nice guy but had a very big ego and we as employees just sorta left him alone. One day he had enough of the atmosphere and quit. Now usually when you quit, you cannot come back until you paperwork is finalized. How ever, HR was in that day, and he was given the paperwork the very next day. He came in, cashed in $1000, and made $50,000 in about a hour at the Baccarat table. My manager, was extremely annoyed, because now this guy is just mocking the casino and having the time of his life (Thanks for the big tip by the way :) ) and so he decides to call it quits. He wants to ban himself and he wants $50,000 in cash. The casino says Nope, we are going to give you a cheque. Now here's the thing, most business people will take the cheque, how ever you CANT CASH the cheque until the following monday because it's on that day where the funds are available. The casino on the other hand will cash their own check in anytime , because they want you to play. So this guy pretty much said go to hell I want my cash, and he called the police. Police show up, and management promptly gave him the cash.I though it was absolutely hilarious . 9) No good deed goes un punished I was dealing Three Card Poker, and the jackpot was around $17,000. This old man (a regular) was sitting there all day grinding it out. Super nice guy, always a pleasure to deal to. Well, after hours of playing, he stands up and says "Hey john!, can you come here for a minute?" so his buddy John comes over. He says to John "I need to go take a piss real quick, can you play my card until I get back?" John agrees . John takes the chips and I stop him and explain he can't play his friends chips, he needs to cash in and play his own. And he does. Welp, second hand out and bam, doesn't he win it. The old man comes back and is so happy, he can't believe it. John, took his $17,000, didn't say a word to his "buddy" and walked away. I never felt so much hatred in all my life. Didn't give him a dollar, not a thank you, nothing. The old man sits back down again, the progressive resets to $2500, and he sat there grinding away again. 10) The Top Knot I had this player , young guy, who was born into a fortune. One of his relatives passed away and left him a pretty big sizable amount of money, so he played poker every single day for the rest of his days. I will add, he IS a good player. I did not enjoy his company just because of the "Know-it-All" attitude, but he was good. We'll call him John. John is 5'10, and well build, with muscle. John also decided today was the day to show off his Top Knot. (google top knot if you're not sure what I mean) So he sits down, and he's absolutely KILLING the table. Every hand, after hand, after hand. And because he's in such a good mood, he's playing any two cards, calling any $500 bet, and he's just dominating. This one guy at the table decided he had enough. He got up, without saying a word and left. A moment later, he comes back in, walks behind John, and takes a pair of scissors , and cuts off his Top Knot. I for one couldn't believe it, dying laughing inside, and it just turned into one big brawl. That was a good day. 11) That one bad seed One of my best friends who I haven't seen in YEARS ended up being part of the crew. Was kind of nice to catch up. We never really got along as we grew up because he has a very high picture of himself . He wanted that 10/10 woman. A mansion, and a new Corvette. So every month or so we would all go up to the other casino to play. I myself would bring no more than $500, but I couldn't understand how this guy (we'll call him Kyle) was spending THOUSANDS of dollars at the tables. So this wen on for a few months. Well, one day, as we're closing the casino, he and I are in the High Limit room and we're getting ready to close the tables. We are told to take the chips out, count them, put them back, sign this piece of paper and that's it. Well as the supervisor was locking the tray, the piece of paper fell to the floor, so she asked Kyle to grab the piece of paper. As he bends over, a great big $500 chip falls right out of his sock. Kyle was fired immediately , but it all made sense. They offered Kyle a deal where if he replaced all the stolen chips they would not make it public. Not sure how that turned out. 12) If I ever decide to write a book, this will be the last chapter: <3 After working at my first Casino for five years, I met a Indian woman who was visiting from another part of the country. During this time I was explaining a game to her, which honestly I don't think she even cared. She explained she was visiting and sight seeing , and that was that.Well, two years later I ended up moving to the other side of the country and transferred casinos, and low and behold she worked there as a Dealer. We got married , and it's been 5 years. 13) The Tip One of our tables that we've had for a couple years had a progressive jackpot that had reached $100,000. The dealer at the table was sitting pretty lonely. Nobody really played the game because people knew it was extremely difficult to win the jackpot. My memory is a tad foggy, but you somehow needed to flop the royal flush. This young guy sits down and says to the dealer, we'll call him John. "John, if you pay me that jackpot, I will tip you $10,000" Well John started dealing, and about a half hour into his shift, he F*cking did it. He dealt him the royal. And you know something?This young lad, kept his word, and he made sure there was a audience, and he tipped exactly $10,000. That was a moment right there. That pay cheque was real nice. I think we all got about $500 more than usual. The moment that jackpot was awarded they got rid of the table because the money it was making was not near what the casino wanted. I'm sure there have been bigger tips at other casinos, but that was something special . 14) The Lawsuit Now this story I'm going to have to beat around the bush a bit due to the nature of what happened. I can't won't answer any questions that you may have on this topic other than what I have to say because it had a lot of publicity . The waitresses at this casino had to wear very thin sexy clothes. Not borderline legal, but it was noticed. One day they called all the waitresses to come in and explained they were changing their outfit to something even more sexier. Now these new dresses were very very borderline legal . The staff said No way. We're not wearing that.So , friday night comes, and the staff work their whole shift, then at the end of their shift were called into a meeting and were all fired. Welp, one of those ladies father was a pretty big time lawyer. Brough the casino to court and won. They won big. Good for them. We had no waitresses for a couple days haha. Thanks for reading along, I have many more I can add as the day goes on, those were just some off the top of my head. Feel free to ask any questions of the Casino industry. I don't really have many stories about the surveillance department because that's the one area where I can't really say a whole lot due to its privacy and contracts I was and still am under.
Ended my gambling career (for now) on a high note - jackpot handpay to end 2020. My thoughts and ramblings as a now-retired gambler.
Warning: long rambling stories ahead. I am bored and waiting to get through my first day back at work since before Christmas. You've been warned! I've been going to the casino pretty regularly for the past few years. Before that, I played occasionally. I exclusively play slots. I view it as a night out - first with friends back when I brought $50 and played penny denom minimum bet spins and prayed to win $20, and then eventually shifting my mindset to playing higher bets and denominations. I hit my first jackpot handpay a couple of years ago. I hit $3700 on a $27 bet on a Geisha machine. I've hit a few other jackpots here and there, culminating with my biggest jackpot ever this past summer. I hit $12K on a $50 bet on a Pompeii slot machine. Well, the long story short is that I have fallen out of love with gambling. I have somehow managed to have a positive ROI on gambling. I track my withdrawls and win on a spreadsheet. To put it bluntly: I have been extremely lucky over the past few years. I know that slots are not a viable way to win money in the long run, so I made a decision a few months ago to "retire" from gambling at the end of 2020. I went to my local casino last Wednesday. It just so happens when I hit a jackpot that I usually do it within the first half hour or so I'm at the casino. Well, it happened again. After going up $600 or so on another slot machine (I don't remember the name), I went to one of my most hated/favorite old school slots - Zeus dollar denomination. One of my worst moments in all of gambling was a few years ago. I got a bonus round on the Zeus dollar denomination on max bet of $45 a spin. I was BEYOND excited. I've seen Youtube videos where people have won tens of thousands of dollars in that exact scenario. Much to my shock, I won nothing. In that game, you don't win anything for triggering the bonus. So I actually *lost* $45 on getting the bonus. I cashed out and left immediately. Anyway, last week I hit a modest $4500. It was exciting...but not as exciting as I thought it should be. I was cool, calm, and...detached. The wins didn't mean much to me, and the losses mean absolutely nothing. My wife and I are in the EXTREMELY fortunate position that losing $500 or so every week or two at the casino is affordable. I'm not ignorant to how lucky we are to be in this position. After getting paid out, I played a bit longer. But that hand pay drove home the realization that I had a few months ago: it was time to stop gambling. If I can't get pumped about a big win like that, and if I'm not even phased a little bit by losing, it's just not worth gambling any more. I used to go for entertainment, but even now gambling doesn't provide that much. As I sit now, I am up roughly $18K over three years of slots. Not bad, but not life changing. Enough that I bought my wife a Burberry and Louis Vuitton handbag on separate occasions. The rest if stashed in savings or in an investment account somewhere. But I am 100% committed to being done. At least for 2021, and probably longer. If anyone is interested in hearing my thoughts on how to win...I don't have any insight to share. It's luck. I got lucky. I know I got lucky. The usual tropes about setting win and loss thresholds is good advice. Sometimes I chased payouts and hit them. Sometimes I chased and lost. But I managed to hit more than miss, and for that I'm lucky. And thankful. Anyway. I don't have a major takeaway or anything. I don't have many people I can talk about this with in my personal life, so I figured I'd share a bit of my story here. If you do gamble, please do so responsibly. Good luck, and try to have fun. If you're not having fun, it's probably not the right way to spend your time or money. EDIT: I just wanted to say to anyone who reads this in the future that I appreciate the nice responses and PMs from people. It's nice to share a positive experience with others! I sincerely hope that if any of you choose to play in the future, you choose to do so responsibly. Gambling can be a hugely problematic lifestyle for some people. Stay safe. (end of preaching here). I also want to take a second to address some comments from some people about slots being skill based. This is 100% false. The concept of slots being skill based in any way is demonstrably untrue with three seconds of reasonable thinking. If we accept that there is a hypothetical slot game which is based on skill and not pure luck, what are the consequences of that? First of all, this information would leak out. There would be no way to contain it. If one person can solve the system, another an as well. Subsequently, someone would write a book on the subject. Think about all the poker and blackjack strategy books out there. These are games where skillful play can increase your odds of winning. Last I checked, there aren't any books or Supersytem-level analyses from prominent individuals willing to stake their names and reputations on publishing a "slot technique" book. There's a reason for this. And also - think about this: casinos still carry blackjack tables for a reason: they still have an edge to win. If there is a surefire way for individuals to win when playing slots, casinos would 100% for sure take these games out of circulation. Casinos are not in the business of giving away money. Any claim there is a foolproof way to win money playing slots does not make sense when critical thinking is applied to the circumstances. Slots are not like card games. Finding and playing only games where there is a "must win by" progressive is not the same thing as skillful play. That's more akin to something like card counting in blackjack. Many people who design slot machines and engineer the software behind the scenes have posted on Reddit and elsewhere that wins are based on random number generators running behind every spin. There is literally no skill involved - you win or lose each spin based on pure random luck. I am saying this because there are a number of people who come to this subreddit to look for ways to cheat the system and get easy money. I see posts like this fairly often, and I'm only browsing this subreddit occasionally. Gambling is not, and should not, be a way for anyone looking to make a quick buck. If you're looking to get an edge playing slots because you need to pay bills or make a quick buck, you are already in serious trouble. Do not buy into the delusion that you can get an edge or guarantee a win. People saying this are snake oil salesmen who do not care for you or your well-being. Anyway. I'm going to stop monitoring this post. I'm still open to receiving PMs or messages, but I've had my fun with this so far. I could do with fewer trolls, but this is the internet. I knew what to expect. Bon chance, everyone!
Simple Lore comparison of both the NCR's and Legion's currency
NCR 5 dollar bill is only worth 2 caps Legion silver Denarius is worth 4 caps That's 2 more of the base value of what the NCR 5 dollar bill can afford. Now lets check the highest. NCR 100 dollar bill is only worth 40 caps. Legion gold Aureus is worth 100 caps. That's 60 more of the base value of what the NCR 100 dollar bill can afford. Unlike Legion currency however, the NCR has a third denomination of a 20 dollar bill which is worth 8 caps. Still, the ceilings of both of their highest currencies available to the markets edges in favor of the Legion over the NCR dollar with the Aureus having a higher purchasing power in regards to commercial activity. sources; [By 2281, the NCR dollar is valued at about 40% of a water-backed cap and only 10% of a silver Legion Denarius.](https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/NCR_dollars) [Legion currency](https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Legion_Denarius) [NCR currency](https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/NCR_dollars) Dialogue points from merchant or merchant adjunct entities to substantiate probable currency values decided by the Wasteland market; >Dale Barton: "Hell, I don't even need to travel with guards most of the time in Legion territory. All the bandits are dead or run off." >Dale Barton: "Between having to hire protection and getting slapped with taxes, it's more profitable to stick to Arizona and New Mexico." >Rose Sharon of Cassidy: "Some caravans deal with the Legion now because the security. If towns could get the same protection? A lot more tempting than you'd think. Bunch of people would be willing to side with the Legion to not have to worry about Fiends and Boomers and Powder Ganger attacks." >The Courier: "You don't get paid in Caps?" >Chomp Lewis: "Nope. The NCR's been trying to switch over to using paper money, like in the Pre-War days. Trouble is that the exchange rates ain't exactly fair.For example, a hundred bucks in NCR money is valued at roughly half that in caps around here. Seems like a rotten deal for us, but work is work." >The Courier: "What can you tell me about New Vegas?" >Chomp Lewis: "I've been there once, and I don't recommend it. It's just a way to burn through amonth's pay in five minutes*. I've seen a lot of folks come through here thinking they'll have the easy life once they get there. It never happens."* From one of the developers: >J.E Sawyer: "And this is discussed in-game: BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage nor back their paper money. They abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, which is why its value is inflated over both caps and (especially) Legion coinage. (...) People in eastern NCR and the Mojave Wasteland lost faith in the NCR government's a) ability to back the listed value of paper money and b) stability overall. If you're living in Bakersfield, staring at a piece of paper that says "redeemable for value in gold" and you have no faith in the government's ability or willingness to do that -- or if you see that the government has changed the currency to say that it is not able to be exchanged for a backed good -- you may very well listen to the strong consortium of local merchants offering to exchange that paper note for currency backed by water." The Tops Vegas Casino exchange rates for in-house playing Chips; Note: With a double check, all the Casino cashiers in Vegas have the same exchange dialogue, barring the type of greeting they give depending on the chosen locale. That means the exchange rates for all Vegas Casinos are standardized and consistent. NCR 2 chips for 5$ NCR 8 chips for 20$ NCR 40 chips for 40$ NCR Legion 4 chips for 1 Legion Denarius 20 chips for 5 Legion Denarii 40 chips for 10 Legion Denarii 80 chips for 20 Legion Denarii 100 chips for 1 Legion Aureus or 25 Legion Denarii Source: Geck dialogue files, vDialogueCasinoCashier; Topics EDIT: To even nip this in the butt further, some comments here say that Precious Commodities don't have intrinsic value. If that is the case in regards to the NCR being discussed here, why by the time of FO2 was the lowest denominator of their currency, 1$ dollar, was in Gold Coins? $1 NCR - The Fallout Wiki (fandom.com) The NCR never or had any contingencies to shore-up their currency to a fiat one at all if the most basic unit of their internal monetary exchange was Gold Coins. If that were the case they would've had pure paper money to begin with without these Coins being in circulation in Fallout 2; with all Gold being in their reserve purely being for backing only, but this isn't the case as we observe. With the absence of their most basic unit of exchange being gone and the 5$ paper note being demoted to the new basic unit of their currency, that's a huge amount of unaccounted inflation off the bat; inflation they could've never prepared for since they valued Gold enough as a natural unit of exchange at such a base level to be circulated. They didn't expect the BoS to hit them that hard or anyone to do so with their perceived control of their core territory; nevermind the facts that its very unstable and unlucrative to deal in with raiders they can't hunt down with lack of dedicated manpower and poll taxes. Precious vs Fiat currencies have staunch differences that can't be reconciled in the context of the Fallout universe and a general post-apocalypse. Precious Commodities are backed by simple human consensus of its natural properties being of worth and desirable for a monetary unit of exchange. These can be traded and exchanged easily with a readily agreed upon value along with Caps because they are accepted by almost every post-war Tribal group, Wasteland settlement, independent Traders, and most other polities across America. Its supply is also naturally in nature, not manufactured artificially with Fiat money note printing. (In the Fallout series, we see some form of international travel is still somewhat possible with characters such as Alistar Tenpenny and in Fallout 4 with multiple characters from other continents. Take Gold from the US and bring it to the British Isles, it will still have ready value no matter what. Take simple Fiat bank notes of a faction in the US to say, the Fallout version of West Africa. It would absolutely have no value because the issuer of that tender back in North America literally has no economic influence to back its money in this region miles away; there is no Demand or recognition for it. Conversely with Gold taken from North America and traveling to Fallout West Africa, it has tradeable value no matter what because Gold is a natural unit of exchange from its recognized natural value by humans.) Fiat currency is only as strong as a nation-state can legitimize and maintain it. The only Fiat currency at the time of New Vegas taking place is NCR currency, which is doing badly from the aforementioned factors of the top of this post. The NCR IS a nation of some sort, but it isn't in the league of pre-war society statehoodship. It doesn't have the financial instruments or development of robust monetary institutions to handle Fiat when they've have been on a Gold economy all this time and the value of the NCR dollar has plummeted due to lack of Demand with its sudden absence. The only reason why the NCR dollar had high worthiness was due to the inherent value of Gold they had on reserve in a post-apocalyptic society that has an extremely high assessment of value it. With the Gold-backed era of the NCR (supported in FO2 with Gold Coins directly in circulation and being exchanged), Caps were practically worthless in the NCR territory as comments here note. Now with Gold out of the equation as we can observe with direct evidence, the highest focal point of NCR currency isn't even worth 40% of Cap currency by the end of the NCR-BoS war. Double Edit: The whole reason why the resource wars in the Fallout universe happened because the main natural mineral resource, Oil, was almost all depleted entirely- in an international society where almost all the pre-war Nations were Oil based economies. Without Oil we see in numerous cases in Fallout in the post-war landscape with products with exorbitant prices due to rampart inflation with money that had no value. [This](https://www.reddit.com/Fallout/comments/3x9cqj/how_inflated_was_the_prewar_economy_some_of_the/cy348gl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3) comment here from 4 years ago from the main Fallout subreddit goes into the context of the universe. In the very intro of the first Fallout game, we see on the TV in the ruined building that is still running- a common non-luxury car is worth 200,000 dollars. Regular Gas in pre-war Fallout America was 1450.99$ Premium Gas was 8500.99$ To note, America was only one of the nations still with a minutiae of Oil left, but here are the prices. Source: [Gas Prices](latest (293×291) (nocookie.net)) The Mechanical Pony toy seen in Fallout 3 costs 16,000$.
My personal dream wishlist of changes/features for NGS. What are yours?
What changes would you make that would make the overall experience of the game better? I've thought of a couple. I'd also be happy if any of these made it into PSO2 itself too. Of course everything here is just nothing but hopes and dreams but who knows? I don't find any of these that unreasonable to want. 1) The ability to respec skill trees without spending AC. While most builds use one "meta" setup, not everyone reads build guides and half the fun of RPGs is experimenting with builds. There should be a way to experiment with your skill tree either for free or with currency that you earn by playing. Of course the best way would be to simply make respeccing skill trees free. If it cost meseta that would be nice too. Ultimately though I could see them adding an option to buy respec passes for a reasonable amount of SG, like maybe 50-100 SG to reset one tree and 400-500 SG for a reset all trees pass? (That said, just how much money do they actually make from people buying skill trees? It can't be a lot.) 2) Remove the SG cost of changing hair color. This one simply doesn't make sense in the first place. We can change our hairstyle for free, but simple dye costs SG / Salon Passes.We can change our eye color for free, but not our hair color. We can even change our eyebrow color for free! You should be able to change your hair color to suit your outfits just like you can change your anything else listed above. More in-depth customization like altering face and body shape can remain as it is. 3) Unit Transmutation / Camos. Some low-level units look really cool. I'd love to use Whiteal Wings cosmetically, for example, without sacrificing the stats of Trailblazer units. There exists a system of transmogging one weapon to look like another one, so why not a similar system for units? Granted, we've already been told that armor in NGS will be invisible and units will be purely cosmetic, but I'd like to see this change be made in PSO2 itself as well. 4) More side content like the casino! Minigames are fun, simple as that. Stuff like the casino really breathes life into the game if you have friends or alliance members that just want to hang out and do something pointless for a bit. One major change I would make though is make the casino (or similar) work as a Universal Block, like Challenge and PVP blocks. Most of the time it's basically empty, so I think this change would give it a much-needed boost. 5) Make Fire Spells Not Suck Again. Fire spells were given a weird identity in PSO2 where they're the fastest techniques to cast, but deal fuckall in damage. Fire should be powerful, it should be punchy. I didn't buy a full Megumin ensemble just for Rafoie to do less damage than my melee attack! LET ME WALK THE PATH OF EXPLOSIONS SEGA! ...ehem. Anyway give the faster casting to wind if anything, and like... quadruple the damage of fire spells, I dunno. What about you?
Hi everyone! I am working non-stop provide the best research and analysis regarding DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG). I originally posted my overall investment thesis on the company a few weeks back and now I am breaking down and analyzing the latest news and developments regarding DKNG! And no, it is not the ticker symbol for Donkey Kong. DraftKings in my opinion, is the best pure play investment if you want some exposure to the sports betting, iGaming, and daily fantasy sports space. They're founder led (3 founders to be exact) and they're invested into the company themselves right alongside all of us shareholders or potential shareholders. Within the last week, there has been some exciting developments regarding DraftKings. I will share them below: DK Gift Cards Are Live! You can buy a DK gift card as a stocking stuffer for Christmas if you want. I’m really excited to hear this news. It’s only going to increase the brand awareness of DK and that’s what we want. According to the press release on DK’s investor relations website, they’ve partnered with InComm Payments to facilitate the launching of the gift cards. InComm payments is a global leading payments technology company that has a network of retailers that DK will be able to leverage through this partnership. Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Speedway and Dollar General are just some of the many convenience stores in Incomm Payments’ network that DK will be able to leverage. For now, the gift cards will be offered in $50 and $25 denominations. The great thing about this to me is that they’ve beat their competitors to this. That shows managements initiative and ability to get things done which I complimented when I first picked this company. As of right now, you’re not going to be seeing any “FanDuel” (boo FanDuel *thumbs down emoji*) gift cards in the stores. Tim Richardson, the Senior Vice President at InComm Payments was quoted as saying “DraftKings will benefit from having its brand present in tens of thousands of Incomm Payments’ retail partner locations across the US”. Overall, good news for DK. New York State – Getting desperate? Do they need some online sports gambling revenue? I want to make this clear before I write about this topic – sports betting is already legal in New York state. The problem is, it’s only legal in brick and mortar (retail) locations. Just under a dozen upstate casinos can operate brick and mortar sports books at the moment. In typical DK fashion, they’re already active in a casino in New York State. DK offers in person brick and mortar sports betting through the Del Lago Resort Casino in Waterloo, NY. My news update I’m sharing is that it appears New York state might be considering expanding to online sports betting too due to a budget shortfall they’re experiencing (they need more tax revenue). This news came out on Wednesday, 12/16/20 during the day time. Governor Cuomo had a press conference during the day. The press conference was primarily focused on giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state. During the presser, the topic of New York state’s budget shortfalls came up. As a possible financial solution, Cuomo said “Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?” He’s referring to the possible tax revenue that could be collected if sports betting offerings were expanded beyond just the brick and mortar offerings. What if every New Yorker could place a sports wager from the comfort of their own home on their cell phone? The battle for legalizing online sports gambling in New York has been going on for years. Governor Cuomo has always been opposed to it. One of the reasons Gov. Cuomo has cited in the past is that he thinks a constitutional amendment would need to be made to New York state law to allow for mobile sports betting in the state. However, one state representative from New York that has been pushing hard for online sports gambling begs to differ. In response to Cuomo’s comments in the presser earlier that day, State Senator Joseph Addabbo said that there would be no constitutional problem with mobile sports betting because the servers could be placed on site of grandfathered in physical casinos. Addabo said that New York state’s need for revenue is “real and immediate” This is a situation to keep a close eye on. The impacts of legalizing mobile sports betting in NY would be substantial for DK as it would open the population of 20 million people in NY state the opportunity to place wagers on the DK Sportsbook app through the comfort of their home. I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult for DK to mobilize once they get the green light for mobile betting as they already have the standing relationship with Del Lago Resort Casino for in person betting. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) granted DK a provisional license to conduct online gaming and sports betting in the state of Michigan For this update I also want to be clear – retail (brick and mortar) and mobile sports betting are already legal in the state of Michigan. It’s just that there’s a lot of yellow tape for Sportsbooks like DK to navigate within a state even after sports betting has become legalized. This provisional license provided by the MGCB was provided to DK and 14 other sportsbooks (including rival FanDuel) on Thursday, December 10th last week. Now there are just a few more regulatory requirements that DK has to meet in the state of Michigan before they can go live. According to http://www.michigan.gov, “Before launch happens, the platform providers must complete additional regulatory requirements including independent testing of platforms and games and MGCB approval of their internal controls, which ensure gaming integrity. The firms also must secure occupational licenses for certain employees.” You can read the full article on Michigan’s government website here. Knowing that DK has a knack for being quick to mobilize once they’re given opportunities in respective states, I fully expect them to pass these last few tests with flying colors. The DK Sportsbook app has already been available in the state of Michigan for “free to enter” games. Once they pass the last few requirements, actual wagers will be allowed to be placed. And money will be allowed to be made! Another promising sign coming out of the state of Michigan, is that on November 30th, 2020, DK became an official sports betting partner of the Detroit Pistons, the NBA basketball team in Michigan. DK Chief Business Officer, Ezra Kucharz, was on the record after the deal closed saying “As our first professional team activation in the state of Michigan, we are thrilled to join forces with the Detroit Pistons ahead of our pending market introduction”. In my opinion, I anticipate we’ll be seeing DK online sports betting in Michigan some time in early 2021. This concludes my update and analysis on DraftKings. TL:DR
Draftkings now offers gift cards and you can buy them in convenience stores (first sports betting company to do so)
DraftKings received a provisional license to conduct sports gambling in Michigan
Governor Cuomo of NY said he would consider legalizing "mobile sports betting" to raise additional tax revenue
If you would like to read my original deep dive and analysis on DKNG, you can check it out here:
Edit: in response of so many downvotes ala "Ha, i like Ayaka more", i change it to Xiao/Ayaka. Because same reasoning works for both of them. *Why you should start saving for Xiao/Ayaka (if you didn't start already)? There are people, who say there is no point, cuz "CBT is CBT", and Xiao would be changed. Lets use simple logics to prove they are wrong. *
Who is the most hyped (unreleased) character in this game? - *Xiao/Ayaka*.
Is he/she so hyped only because of looks? - Nope, most of peeps saw his promos, CBT recordings, saw his insane damage - there is so much hype exactly bcz everybody expect him to be very strong and fun to play carry (for Ayaka cuz of looks mostly tho; also frost dps and her sprint)
What happened with John Lee previously? - People got info from CBT that he has a good carry potential, but after release he had pure support rig; community got mad and reacted very negatively.
How did Mihoyo respond to this situation? - Double buff (geo + John himself).
Are Mihoyo stupid to step into the same puddle? - I doubt it, people won't trust Mihoyo anymore.
If you already have top chars/team (like Diluc/Keqing/Venti etc), and all new chars are mediocre - is there any point to pay? - Nope; chars will eventually rotate to replace oldies (they either would be stronger, or better suited for new high-end content).
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lets talk about other factors as well. Mihoyo monitors everything in the game itself (just check Teyvat news), and what happens in community (forums, reddit, youtube, polls etc). When whine about the hacked accounts started to escalate - the next day we got mail about account security. No, seriously, their community managers work very fast. Because Mihoyo understands, that their game is far from being perfect. Absolutely any decent project has way more content than Genshin does. Genshin is crossplatform (most important it is on mobile), has awesome graphics, music and combat mechanics - but it is empty everywhere else All those (resin/loot/etc) limitations aren't just about profits - they also hide how imperfect the game is. Thats why 1.2 area is smallest but with highest density of content per sq m among all three (i bet they realised they sacrificed too much in other areas forthe size). Genshin was a high success, but it is overhyped. Imo, game is very niche - couple wrong steps and its popularity is over. Mihoyo wants to keep this profit for long. So they will babysit us and feed from golden spoon, just so we log every day, so we play the longest possible period of time, until game actually gets all the content and mechanics it misses. Bcz the longer we play - the better the chances we pay. Actually monetisation is very smart too - whales will pay any money (casino effect), they don't care - so why not to make primo price highest possible? In contrast, they made monthly card and battlepass so cheap in comparisson to primo, that it is almost irresistable. I bet their most income is from these 2. TO SUMMARIZE the wall of text above - Mihoyo needs to keep people in game until it (game) is in stable position and gets more content. Needs people to play as long as possible. So Mihoyo has no other choice, but to work directly with community and catch any slighest wind change. They will try their best to keep community busy and happy. They won't dare to mess with us. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ BACK TO XIAO/AYAKA. Xiao/Ayaka are Mihoyos biggest Aces, and i'm actually surprised they release him so soon(no confirmation on Ayaka, but many believe she is right after Xiao) . Prolly they will start to leak more info about next 5* soon, cuz there always should be a Joker to keep interest. Anyways, with all the above in mind - Xiao/Ayaka will be great, even after tweaks and changes. His/ her c0 would be strong. Only thing we should fear - how OP his/her constelations would be. Most hyped char - why not to make the most profits they can by making his/her Constelations ridiculously overpowered? Ganuy could be good (at least as waifu), but Xiao/Ayaka will be better.If my prediction is wrong - Mihoyo are monkeys. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Btw, i know my grams and punctuatiuon are terrible. This text might be unreadable. If you have any idea how to rephraze things to make it clearer - don't hesitate to wisp me, i'll edit. Thx)
TLDR; Coca Cola is still 10% below its pre-covid high. It should go even higher. For the 8 of you still reading, I present to you a somewhat neglected stock hurt by Covid that hasn't fully recovered, but also one whose February high of $60 is not a ceiling. Yes, Coca Cola has had a decent run from it's $36 March lows and is even up 12% since October, trading about $54/share as of Friday before pulling back a bit this morning. It's not done yet. Let me provide a few reasons why. To understand where we're going, let's look at where we've been. Here's a 5 year chart. 5 year performance of KO: courtesy of CNBC The stock has been of a bit of a snoozer until it began to awake from its slumber about 2018, which accelerated through 2019 and then Wall Street really started to like it in 2020. It had upward momentum, upset by Covid. This momentum will return, very soon. Catalyst: In Person Dining Why will momentum return? Most importantly, vaccines will return restaurants back to normal operations by summer 2021. The restaurant industry has been in total carnage. Independent restaurants are closing permanently every day, with large chains taking market share. BUT - those that are still operating are living off of Off-Premise consumption. IF people get drinks to go, they get one. No refills. This has depressed an entire major sector of Coke's sales. As restaurants return to normal, they'll have more customers, and existing customers will be consuming more cokes per sale than they are now. That's a double re-open win. Catalyst: Cutting overhead like a mo-fo There's more to this story. Coke has used Covid as an opportunity to cut costs and streamline operations. They've cut employees and overhead expense - more than 1/3 of their North American employees. They've cut a lot of niche product that had overhead burden and marketing/distribution expense but had little revenue, much less profit, like Tab. They're going to come out of this a leaner, more focused company. They may still have an old and sleepy brand image, but they're also a cash printing machine, and they're going to be printing even more tendies to share with us. Catalyst: Falling Dollar But wait! There's more! Coca Cola generates roughly one third of its revenue from North America. That leaves the balance subject to currency fluctuations. With the dollar tanking, those foreign profits are going to be worth even more. Not Priced In Looking at the CNBC.com earnings helps demonstrate that the street has not priced in the recovery, much less the benefits from restructuring and currency. The company itself has not been providing guidance as they have no more visibility than we do how the almost random shutdown/reopen orders will happen. They did, however, warn that Q3 would be hampered by currency exchange rates when the dollar was strengthening, the opposite of what is happening now and projected to continue for a bit. How did Q3 end up when the currency was facing headwinds? They beat the street consensus by 18.8%, and were just one cent per share less than a year ago - when unemployment was at a record low and everything was "normal". Coke's Earnings Trend - CNBC Based on the same CNBC data, the street is projecting that one year from now, after restaurants are fully operational, after the company has completed a worldwide restructuring that will eliminate 1/3 of its North American employees, and after the benefit of a presumed lower dollar, the company will just be earning 3 cents more in Q3 and Q4 2021 than it did in 2019, pre-covid. Again, this would say that reopening their fountain sales division to normal levels is only worth 4 cents per share from this past quarter when much of the country remains shut down. That seems low. Too low. Benchmark: Starbucks What's the upside here? I'm using Starbucks as the benchmark. They're both beverage companies, though Starbucks is clearly more of a direct restaurant play, and more of a pure play on China's reopening - which is far ahead of the US's and the rest of the world's economy. Starbucks One Year Performance - CNBC Starbucks hit a high of about 93 in January, as Covid was already gripping China. It then fell and rebounded to about $90 in February before beginning the March market swoon. On the way back up it kept bouncing into that $90 level (frustrating the hell out of me holding $90 calls) before finally breaking through on the way to all time highs, now at $102, almost 10% above the January highs. Looking at a similar pattern (though KO held on longer before a much quicker descent) I would expect KO to test $60 soon, and probably bounce off a time or two before breaking through. Again, based on prior momentum I would expect once it clears $60 it should easily run up another 10%. The market will quickly recognize when they reopen they're going to have more operating leverage than when the shutdown began, and they're going to start seeing currency gains as soon as this quarter. Benchmark: Pepsi Pepsi is probably viewed as Coke's more direct competitor. Coke had been outperforming them over the last 3 years until the Covid dip. Pepsi, more diversified because of its snack businesses, was the better stay at home play. Coke has a decent catch up trade remaining. 3 year performance Coke vs Pepsi: Barchart.com Strategy: Sugar water doesn't get stock analysts excited any more than WSB casino patrons. For that reason, I would not be looking at any FD's. This one needs some longer dated options. I want to get past the next earnings on 1/28 for evidence of the currency lift to begin to show, but the country will likely still be in winter Covid shutdown mode so I'm not sure we'll get guidance then based on restaurant openings. I'm also feeling like mid-January/February could be a bit rough after a lights-out November and a presumed Santa Claus rally at month's end. Keep some powder dry to buy this on dips. I am. I'm thinking there's a three-prong approach here. For the first taste, February 55 calls. Relatively low risk (only slightly OTM), gets us a few weeks past the next earnings date when we should at least see a currency boost, but also captures any run up as the market starts to figure out there's still reopening meat left here to take off the bone. I'm going to put the heart of the play into June 60 calls. The country should be mostly vaccinated, restaurants should be back to near normal. Hopefully this will be telegraphed by the April earnings call. If this gets priced in sooner...Vega is your friend. For a stretch, going to throw the balance of the play into leaps for Jan 2022 65's. I'm starting this position with $5K. Because I expect a decent dip sometime Jan/Feb, will hopefully have some dry powder on the sideline to increase these positions if I've been too early on this move. But as we've seen with many of the reopening plays, when the market decides it's time, I don't want to be late....or any later than I already am. Positions: Purchased this morning at open: Act fast and you can get in cheaper than me!
There are also some links within the first link that discuss indie local multiplayer games as well. Introduction We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games once again. Details About the List I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Two of the games towards the bottom have a pretty low rating that I personally disagree with, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. I’ve also selected a music track I enjoyed for each game for all you audiophiles out there. Price will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game. Price is in U.S. dollars. 1. Ultra Hat Dimension
Description: Ultra Hat Dimension follows Bea through a series of rooms in a palace on a quest to undo the magical spell that has made the mythical Spluff creatures want to attack one another. There is a little bit of backstory via one sentence thoughts from Bea in between levels, but nothing major here. The gameplay revolves equipping four different types of hats and using them to evade or push Spluffs around to retrieve the key and reach the door. Each Spluff dons one of four different hats which effects their behavior towards other Spluffs and you. You will be punched one tile back by every Spluff unless you’re wearing the same hat as the Spluff. Spluffs interact with one another differently depending on what hat they’re wearing in a rock, paper, scissors kind of way – they may punch a Spluff back one space, get into a scuffle that allows you to get close to them without wearing a hat, or they may temporarily disable them in a way that allows you to access the space the Spluff consumes within eight moves. There are undo and reset buttons included that allow you to quickly rewind mistakes. There are some clever puzzles accompanied by catchy tunes and a charming pixel art aesthetic. The difficulty is about average.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: There is no additional content, but you can go back and replay any stage you wish.
Description: Bot Vice follows Erin Saver through a dystopian world with anthropomorphic animals and a 1990s arcade aesthetic, complete with cheesy dialogue and an announcer that shouts your item pickups with enthusiasm. Each level takes place on one screen and tasks you with defeating waves of enemies while minimizing damage to yourself. You are always locked behind a barrier at the bottom of the screen and are only able to move left and right. In terms of move set, you have a number of different guns and projectiles, your saber, your roll, and you can duck behind cover to make it through each level. Parts of the barrier can be destroyed, leading to gaps where normal enemy fire can reach you. Weapons and powerups will spawn from hitting a certain type of enemy that you’ll then have to pick up from where they land. The gameplay is fast paced and allows you to unleash a heavy amount of firepower on some very big foes. The levels are all short but will likely take a number of attempts to complete, as there is a lot to take account of on screen. Nearly every level has a mini boss appear at the end, with a main boss featured after every five levels. At the end of every level, you’ll be rated based on your completion time and health points remaining. I only got a few high ratings on my first time through, so there’s an additional challenge there if you want an A rank on every level.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours
Extra Content: Beating the main campaign unlocks an additional 25 levels – this is on top of the 25 bridged together in the main campaign.
Description: Golf Peaks is a card-base puzzle game that plays nothing like the actual sport of golf outside of getting a tiny ball in a hole. Instead you’ll choose your moves by using the cards at the bottom of the screen. They have different numbers and trajectory that result in hitting the bar different distances and different heights. You aim the ball up, down, left, or right, and then select the card you want to use. There are a number of different tiles that have their own effects that you have to account for. Ramps, for example, will force your ball down unless you’re able to have your ball travel to the top in one move. There were a number of times when I thought I had tried every solution just to finally find the right solution. The minimalist visual style and relaxing music service the game’s simple but engaging premise. The difficulty is about average.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: There are three extra levels in each world which will add about another two hours of game time, as they are typically harder than the nine levels found in their respective world.
Description: This is actually a sequel to the Steam exclusive Horizon Shift, which sports a different aesthetic and isn’t quite as good from what I’ve read. Horizon Shift ’81 mimics the look of a fixed screen shoot ‘em up from the early 1980s but comes with a few twists of its own. Your ship is positioned in the middle of the screen on a horizontal line rather than the bottom, and you have to flip between sides to deal with enemies coming from both the top and the bottom. The line can be broken in different places – leaving a gap where you can fall to your death – by asteroids and certain projectiles. This is where the expanded moveset comes into play: you can jump between gaps and also over enemies who attach themselves to the line. Enemies on the line can also be taken out with a horizontal shield bash that regenerates after a few seconds. There is a boss after every five stages, some of which will actually bring the line down to the bottom of the screen, while others retain it in the middle. Horizon Shift ’81 has a number of customizable settings that change everything from the aesthetics, to the difficulty, to the checkpoint/lives system, to the speed of the game, and more. The two main modes are a choice between three lives with a checkpoint before and after every boss, or a checkpoint at the beginning of every level but only one life.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours (Normal Mode on Arcade Style)
Extra Content: There are a number of ways to customize your future playthroughs, and there’s an unlockable boss rush mode after finishing the game.
Description: This comes from the creator of Cave Story and is even considered a spiritual successor by some, though it drops the Metroidvania qualities in favor of purely linear progression. While a lot of indie games opt for the NES aesthetic, Kero Blaster feels really authentic in this regard, in both its presentation and its soundtrack. While Kero Blaster plays like most run & guns, there’s a little more platforming in the second half of the game. The weapon selection is particularly noteworthy, with each gun certain strengths and weaknesses in different scenarios. The bubble has a downward arc and works on water surfaces, while the base weapon is a straight line of projectiles. Coins are the main collectible and allow you to purchase weapon and health upgrades in the shop. So even if you lose all your lives, you’ve still made some progress towards your next upgrade. That said, I only got a game over once per stage with the exception of one stage where I got two game overs.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: The extra difficulty options mixes things up with enemy placement and even new stage layouts for a fresher second run.
Description: Pato Box follows an anthropomorphic duck boxer on an adventure through a stylistic noir comic book world. “Pato” is a Spanish word that translates to “Duck” in English (the game was developed by a Mexican studio). The boss fights are heavily inspired by Punch-Out’s gameplay, but there are levels outside of these fights to help differentiate it. Most of the levels can be selected in any order you choose and typically serve as a leadup to the boss fight. Bosses are usually introduced by a cutscene followed by some dialogue taunting Pato Box. The levels play entirely differently from the fights, but the themes of the level match those of the bosses. The levels will employ various elements of evasion, stealth, exploration, and a few time-based mini-games. The casino level, for example, will have you walk around the casino looking for chips and punching the slot machines to earn enough to pay entrance to the fight, while the food factory has you evading stompers, sawblades, and butcher knives as you work your way through the level. There are variety of things to find throughout the levels: tokens for decorations in Pato Box’s room, backstory on the boss of the level and the world, and tips on how to win the upcoming fight. The fights themselves lock Pato Box in the middle of the screen, allowing you to block, juke left or right, and perform a low or high jab to the left or right. The game foregoes a HUD in favor of a visual representation of your health via scars on your body, which I thought was a nice touch. While the levels and bosses play pretty differently from each other, they’re weaved together by a dark and intriguing story that follows Pato Box’s quest for retribution against an evil corporation.
Completion Time: ~7 Hours
Extra Content: There are motion controls for the boss fights exclusive to the Switch version of the game. There’s also an Arcade Mode that lets you replay boss fights and some collectibles to find.
Description: This is a 3D platformer that reportedly takes inspiration from both MediEvil and Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. There’s about equal amounts of platforming and combat in this game. While the combat is relatively simple, you’re given a variety of weapons that all feel unique. The levels have a good amount of variety within them – you’ll jump between ships on a ferry ride, ride an undead horse through the sky, play a few mini games as a headless Jack, and fight a boss at the end of each of the six levels. Both the combat and platforming are relatively easy – platforms are typically large and Jack has an edge grab that helps tremendously, and smashing the many destructible objects around the levels increases your health. This game takes the linear adventure approach, with a number of collectibles sprinkled throughout the levels: crow skulls, presents, and gramophones. Some areas are more open and allow you to choose the order in which you do certain tasks. The game has a decent amount of dialogue in it, which does an effective job of giving some character to Jack, his two animal companions, and the rest of the cast. The visuals and soundtrack are particularly great, especially if you’re into Halloween themed media.
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: There’s collectibles to back for – I got about 2/3 of the collectibles on my first playthrough – skins to unlock – which are purchased with the collectibles you find in the levels – and you get to start a second playthrough with all the weapons already unlocked at the beginning. You’ll also be able to return to any level you want via the level select menu.
Description: SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is a Soulslike boss rush - there are no levels and only small area before each boss to practice your moves. There are eight bosses, the first seven allowing you to fight in any order, each representing the seven deadly sins. You are equipped with everything the game has to offer from the beginning (except for the New Game+ weapon they give you), and instead of becoming more powerful, you gradually lose things with each boss you defeat, hence the “sacrifice” in the title. It’s like a reverse RPG. Each boss has a different sacrifice associated to it – one may deplete your throwing items’ usage, while another will deplete your health and stamina. Picking the best order to fight them in adds a little strategic thinking to the game, as you may be more dependent on your large health and stamina bar more than your throwing items’ usage, for example. The game is fairly difficult, so your victories over each boss feel very gratifying when they do come.
Completion Time: ~5 Hours
Extra Content: There is New Game+ that offers you an additional weapon.
Description: Reportedly inspired by obscure Japanese games from the late 1980s and 1990s, Tamashii blends puzzle platforming together with an oppressive atmosphere. The introduction starts with the character being willed into existence by a godlike character that tasks him with destroying the macabre forces that have taken control of and corrupted his chambers. Your character is able to spawn three inanimate clones of himself which is the primary source for most of the platforming and some of the boss fights – you’ll use them to trigger switches and open up new paths. There’s about an even mix of puzzle solving and platforming, and there’s a whole eight bosses in this short adventure (though one is a secret) that are probably the most visually interesting moments in the game. The creatures and backgrounds are effective in selling the dark presentation of the game. The difficulty is about average – maybe slightly easier than most indie puzzle platformers. There is a sequel currently in the works.
Completion Time: ~2.5 Hours
Extra Content: There are a few obscure secrets to discover. You can also play through the chambers again with a score meter.
Description: The Long Return follows an orphaned cub who retraces his steps from the last journey he took with his mother, with backstory told via memories from the past shown in the world. It’s light on story but has a satisfying conclusion. The gameplay involves some light platforming, light exploration, and a lot of puzzle solving. There are environmental puzzles, as well as puzzles that take place on a grid disconnected from the world of the cub – think The Witness or BioShock’s hacking puzzles. The game is mostly linear, with one open level in the middle that takes up about half the game’s length. There are collectibles in the form of gems that allow you to buy hints to puzzles. At the end of each level, the game will tally your deaths and gems collected over total number of gems in the level. The game’s platforming is fairly basic, and most of the puzzles are relatively easy. The game has a polygonal look that gives it a unique flavor, and the soundtrack evokes a sense of adventure.
Extra Content: You can replay the game to collect all the gems, but there is no level select menu.
Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.
TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing". *************************************************************************************** You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market. Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do. The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith. Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between. Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP? Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves. In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital. These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense. I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer. Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr..... *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer. Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes. If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later. While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on. Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here. Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere. Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that. Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money. See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism. Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation. This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering. Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it. I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity. Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living. When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer. Let's get back to beer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda. So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice. If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera. There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it. Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it. Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time. In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale. In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad. IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation. So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism. Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth. Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people. How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** LET THEM DRINK BEER! I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires. Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you. If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this. That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves. Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately. This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine. If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion. What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder. That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest. Enjoy your beer! *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
Why Goons are the "Good Guys" of Eve - An essay by Asher
Quick note: This post took me a long time to write, many hours between conception, editing, and execution. If you would be so kind as to not downvote it strictly because you disagree with me, I’d appreciate it. If you think this is a low effort post, or doesn’t contribute to discussion, then please do. This started out as more of a bullet point list of reasons but as I rewrote it became more of a story of my experiences as they relate to Goons. I hope you all enjoy it more this way. One of the conceits of the war from the PAPI front is that “Goons are the bad guys of Eve”. I’ve found this narrative vexing, because over the last five years I think Goons have swung from comical Eve bad guys to the best of the large alliances in Eve. I’ll explain why I believe this is so. But first let’s address some things: One of the disadvantages of being around for so long is that we have to carry around all of the bad baggage from years past. There are a lot of “old twitter posts” some of which are pretty awful. Bad people, bad memes, and the like. Some of it is just stupid in retrospect, some of it deeply embarrassing. The positive news is that I think the alliance has become the leading example of what a large alliance should be in the game. Good to its members and a fun adversary to an outsider. Going back to 2015 Goons had gone through 1 “cultural revolution” which had defanged a lot of the casually terrible stuff that was common in Eve back then (ie: jewing was a common term for ratting/krabbing) but still had a lot of vestiges that wouldn’t be fully swept away until cultural revolution 2 (where we probably landed on the side of too heavy handed, but that’s a story for another day). However it was, in my opinion, peak “bad Goon” in terms of gameplay philosophy. Sion had just pushed the Viceroy plan - something I considered one of the most ill-conceived efforts to get content in quite a while. “Helldunks or blueballs” was the byword, and Reagalan snapping the phrase at some unremembered skirmish commander saying just that was the talk of the Eve subreddit. Spin was, in the most generous terms, pretty far-fetched. Line members were considered pretty dumb and the apparatchik were fairly devoted to passing down the party line. At the time I was an up-and-coming FC. I had already formed my Reavers SIG about a year before in Oct. 2014 and had won some heavily outnumbered fights against most expectations. I was getting a big push from alliance leadership and kept winning fights as I got sent out on mainfleets I was quickly got promoted into bigger roles to the point where I was running main fleets as the main FC. Laz was mostly AFK after winning B-R5 and trying to do the streamer thing, but still around for big fights. Not long after Vily left Goons. A few months later Endie, Elise and others would start aggressively lobbying me pretty hard to leave Goons and I started getting BIG CASH OFFERS on the table from other people as well. This was the start of the Casino War. At this point I think Mittens started sensing the sharks circling and promoted me to ‘skymarshal’. This is a mostly tongue in cheek position but one that meant you were in charge of the Goon military. At this point I had a lot of problems with the way some things were being handled in the alliance military, but I was fully committed to making change from inside rather than leaving my group behind (I had only been playing Eve seriously since 2013, but I’ve been a Goon since the early 2000s). One of my biggest problems was the “helldunks or blueballs” philosophy. I thought it was a great way to win one war but a terrible way to retain members. During much of 2015 I had the feeling that we were rotten to the core, that our strength was mostly fleeting. Although there were some specific moments that I felt could have stopped the Casino War before it started, (mostly by counteracting SMA’s mind boggingly bad decisions) I felt that theViceroy program and the disasterous lowsec campaign had already exposed a lot of our weakness to the whole galaxy. Despite the losses, the Casino War turned out to be a huge boon to Goonswarm and our allies that stuck with us. It got us out of Deklein into Delve which was (at the time) much better space. We would have never got rid of Deklein otherwise. It taught us a lot of lessons about sprawl and not fighting over-extended. It showed us the flaws in our organizational structure. But most importantly it opened minds to re-evaluating certain dearly held doctrinal beliefs. One that I wanted to challenge almost immediately was helldunks and blueballs. I felt that our guys being generally unchallenged lead to us having great numbers of fair weather friends who could be relied on for dunks but would split when the going got tough, both in Goons and throughout the other alliances in the CFC. In our exile to Saranen, we saw exactly that. My doctrinal belief was, and still is, that regularly placing your guys in tough positions results in better pilots and in people who are happier overall. We grow personally and as a group by overcoming challenges. A helldunk is a Pepsi Cola. A struggle overcome is a 14 year old scotch. After the Casino war we moved to Delve and were in pretty bad shape resource wise but you knew every person who stuck with you was true blue. I’ve never had more fun than my days in Saranen as the war wended its course to an end, and part of that reason was you knew that every person who was with you in Saranen would ride with you against all odds. I was determined to capture the ‘Saranen Spirit’ for people who were there and for those who would start playing or join us later. It took a while though. When we first arrived in Delve PGL followed us there with the goal of destroying us once and for all, but by this point there was no fat left. Every single person was battle hardened and the money and will to follow us had run out. We stopped his campaign pretty quickly. Change came slowly at first. We had a lot of wounds to lick, a lot of data to process and people were just tired. The first turning point against helldunks/blueballs came with our Hakonen deployment. We took a shot at Tribute with just carriers and dreads versus an enemy supercap force that clearly outnumbered us. It was a very fun deployment for us but we did eat a ton of negative publicity about how “bad” we were. I think it bothered Mittens a bit (maybe a lot) and I don’t think he had yet realized the value we gained out of it. After seeing GOTG’s impressive subcapital and supercapital contributions during the Hakonen deployment, we decided to deploy some of our combat SIGs to Pure Blind to begin harassing our enemies on that front, once again committing to an offensive in a deliberately handicapped fashion. For almost a year, we whittled down multiple alliances with relatively tiny subcapital fleets and the odd dreadbomb. All of this built up to a climax in 2017. X-47 was one of the most consequential fights in recent memory, and once again we put ourselves in a rough spot to get it. We started the titan fight with dead-even numbers against an enemy with Keepstar advantage and all that entails. Less remembered but even more significant was the oppressive tether doomsday bug/feature, which put our super fleet at a significant disadvantage. In the armor timer, we gave them the opening volley and it started off really poorly for us, but we ended up pulling out a victory. The hull timer was a much more lopsided victory in terms of Titan kills, , and the Keepstar death all but ended serious resistance in the war. Still, I remember the anxiety going into the fight, I don’t want to sound over-dramatic but I spent the whole night before prowling my house, unable to sleep. I had figured out the value of the Imperium supercapital fleet and it was in the millions of dollars if you converted it to plex. It’s a huge amount of pressure on the shoulders of the FC to know that if you mess up you could lose that for the people who put their trust in you. It’s also a very small group of people in video game history who can make a statement like that so it’s a fun and unique cadre to belong to and my respect to those of you who have shouldered that burden before. Throughout all of these campaigns, I think it became more and more clear that this new military philosophy was the superior one, and ditching the ‘helldunk’ strategy was the correct move. Over time I slowly pulled Mittens towards my view point on this - that there is something of more value than just numbers. Our doctrines started evolving too. This might sound comical, but for a long time Goons had avoided cap chains. It was thought that the Goon line member couldn’t handle it. Now when I see our fleet spreading ewar really effectively, and our very effective cap chaining logi, and multiple FCs all doing different tasks, I can’t help but smile. Hard work pays off. After X-47 we wrapped up that war and went home. We would come back in the not too distant future to finish the work we had started. We expected a stronger response in Tribute, but after an initial hard fight the regions were vacated and we glassed it. Unlike every other group in the game, we didn’t immediately find some renters or delegate an underling to occupy the space. We left it fallow and a really healthy ecosystem of small alliances has flourished. We didn’t know exactly what would happen in this space, but since we left Deklein we have very conspicuously and openly avoided taking space and sprawling out. And I was very satisfied to see what can happen when you leave some space open for anyone to use. After that last northern campaign, we went home again during the chaos era before we started our GEF campaigns the following year. Once again, we deployed against superior enemy numbers with capital superiority and fought outnumbered in two separate campaigns. At this point it felt like we had burnt away all vestiges of helldunks or blueballs. Coming into July I had this short convo with Mittens, and I think it illustrates how our relationship has grown and the trust that you can build even with people who initially had vastly opposing views on how things should be run: https://i.imgur.com/YyIE1bs.png I’d like to address a few more points that I think lie strongly in our favour: Supercaps – Goons have been opposed to them for as long as I can recall. All our CSMs have publicly come out in favour of them being nerfed, even though it’s long been to our strategic benefit for them to be strong. Over the last few years we’ve lost people in comparison relative to other alliances. Some people have aged out, some didn’t like the way we fought wars and went to climes that agreed with them more, but we’ve always had the most supers and we’ve constantly argued that they are unhealthy for the game. I have personally lobbied for them to be nerfed, in public and in focus groups with Devs, because it’s our belief that they are unhealthy for the game. Part of why we are being attacked is because our enemies believe that dreads can be used against titans much more effectively than in the past, and they can flex their numbers advantage in that area on us. If we end up losing because of this, we’ll have lobbied ourselves into that position. I think part of the gulf in perspective between us and our enemies, especially the TAPI FCs is that they just fundamentally view the game differently than we do. But at one point we were much closer. Vily left in 2015 in the middle of helldunk/blueball and copious spin and he’s brought the Goons culture of 2015 to Test. There’s a Test poster – who I won’t name because I’m pretty sure he gets off on being recognized – who has been making the argument that Test are more Goonie than Goons. And to him I say: I agree with you. Test have inherited the mantle of Goons and we became something else. Vily is Goons without the growth. PGL tried to destroy us in 2016 and thought we’d cave in like a rotten pumpkin because that’s what happened with his alliance. When we didn’t I believe he was shocked but he thinks it will be different this time. Well, I’m going to be the bearer of bad news for him because this group has been through much worse than we had in 2015. We have a lot of people who have been fighting consistently against people who had every advantage over them and they’ve come out the other end stronger. Will it be enough to beat 3x our numbers? Who knows, but I know these guys will be with me no matter what happens. I’ve been hearing the same story over and over in my fleets, I have pretty open comms (sorry Euros that I annoy with this policy) and people have been more reflective as of late. And I kept hearing the story from one guy after another about how they thought that Goons were the bad guys until they joined them. So tonight I asked my fleet to X up if they thought or had heard that Goons were the bad guys before they joined, this was the result: https://i.imgur.com/mJCEiS7.gif I’ve been pondering this, and wondering why people would join the bad guys. Every story varied but often people had tried other things and were unhappy and Goons were an unhappy choice initially but once they were in they saw how things actually worked and were happy with it. Some ended up by chance through a corp moving or just a friend invited them and that overcame their doubts. The point was that even though they heard we were the bad guys once they were here and got to experience our culture they saw it was different than what they had elsewhere. That’s partly why I think a lot of our guys are really passionate, they feel unfairly attacked. Now I’ve come a long way, but I want to address the 5 ton elephant in the room: The Mittani. I’m very aware that he said something stupid almost a decade ago. I addressed my thoughts in much more depth here. I don’t believe it was said with malice, but it still was an awful thing to say. However in my time interacting with him he’s always been a very passionate guy but I’ve never seen him suggest an untoward thing. He wants to win, he wants to use whatever legal way possible to do it and he’s a guy who’s shown a lot of growth personally. If he wanted to do something I thought was immoral I would hear about it and I wouldn’t support it, but I’ve never once been put in that position. I think a lot of you don’t understand that he’s a wrestling promoter. He can’t help but play a heel. He’s fantastic at it. And he’s fantastic for the game, lots of you guys on the other side want to win so you can wipe the smug smile off his face. This is awesome. More leaders should be like this, there are a few I really would like to do the same to (or have done in the past) and it’s great to have people that motivate you to fight them. The worst thing for this game would be a bunch of staid boring diplomats who didn’t inspire any vitriol. This game is about fighting after all. Another good thing about Goons and the Imperium is our diplomatic stance, although I don’t want a bunch of diplomats running the game I am very keen on keeping our words and Goons have done this more than any other group. Sister Bliss was talking with me about why Init has stuck with Goons and he said something about how every other group in the game had promised Init the world then screwed them when it was convenient and Goons were the only one who stuck to what they said and he values that. A few quick more bullet points:
Goons do not like renting. Of all the big alliances we’ve had the smallest rental program, we only reluctantly got into it when OTEC was broken and had to secure some income. We closed our rental program, but we kept out word and grandfathered our old renters so that they could stay and not lose what they’d agreed to. I think renting is a net bad thing for the game, actually very bad so I’m proud of this one. Culturally Goons have always opposed rental programs.
We forced the game into taking on all players regardless of skill point level. Groups like Brave, Horde, etc followed in our footsteps on this one. I firmly believe that getting players into groups that have the bandwidth to teach them the game with proven programs that know how to retain people is the best way to do it, rather than just hoping they join random highsec corp #1850 and hoping they aren’t run by toxic incompetent people.
Goons don’t sprawl. We’ve held 4 regions but 2 of those were more out of necessity than any desire to hold them. In one region we did the Querious Fight Club which has launched over 20 corps into nullsec alliances around the game or independently. Right now Pandafam covers 12 or 13 regions and is renting out many of them to aggressively botted alliances. If you look at the MER Frat is making more money than any other nullsec group and it’s not even close. Because of how densely packed we are our space is terrible for botting, probably the worst space in the game for it, which is another tick for us.
This is a personal one but Goon doctrines are more interesting. Screw Munnins, down with boring arty doctrines. I’m really happy we’ve been iconoclastic in our doctrinal decisions and have seen success with those choices.
So, that about wraps up my voluminous tome. What should you do with this information? Well, I hope no matter what side you were on you found it an interesting read. I’m not trying to convince anyone to not fight us. Jay and I were talking right as the war was starting about how we were in the perfect spot, no one expects us to win so if we do it’s more credit to us but if we lose it’s to be expected. If we end up back in an NPC station then I get to just replay my favorite time in Eve ever. But I hope I have shown you a little bit about why I believe Goons are one of the best alliances in the game right now, thanks for reading.
Closing thoughts on Cyberpunk 2077 after getting my platinum. (Spoilers)
After 80 hours of playing on PS5, I got my platinum trophy. Cyberpunk 2077 is really good, albeit pretty buggy, throughout my playthrough on PS5, my game crashed probably 50+ times but I wasn't too mad as I manually saved frequently and any progress blocking bugs were fixed after a quick load of a checkpoint. I played as a Male Street Kid V and I didn't mind his VO, there were times where he came off as kind of a try-hard tough guy but It honestly felt charmingly dorky because of the moments where V is just being himself and isn't being that dorky try-hard; And while the life-paths ultimately didn't impact anything major, I enjoyed the flavor dialog you get when the life-path exclusive options pop up, some even opened up different way of completing certain quests, which I thought was pretty neat. The gameplay felt good to me after some tinkering around with the sensitivity options, I mainly just used power weapons and only really used Skippy as a Smart weapon and I really liked how punchy the sound of guns were; melee was fine for an fps game, though I didn't like how magnetized some of the enemies attacks were, so regardless if you dodged, you still risked a hit; parrying felt weird, I feel like it only worked half the time and when it did, it was when I was nowhere near for a good hit; kinda wish there was some kind of grappling to mix things up between light and heavy attacks. Looting, I felt had issues, I always grabbed something that was way far off to the side of the thing I was actually trying to grab, it was even worse when it was a gun under a body where you had to find a sweet spot to grab it. I rarely dabbled in crafting if only to get Comrade's Hammer and Overwatch to Legendary but there are things I hope they add in the future, mainly batch crafting for things like ammo and grenades rather than holding square for 10 minutes just to have a decent amount, also a counter to see how much of that item you already have would definitely be helpful for things like ammo crafting. I REALLY wished this game had more to offer in terms of customization, there was no customization options for vehicles, for guns you only really get scopes and muzzles for things that appear on certain weapons along with mods which are purely for stats, there's so many decent options for outfits but you tend to be forced into having clothes that look bad but have better stats and mod slots and not something that's cool to you, hopefully transmog gets added along with barber shops and plastic surgeons. Also, a little nitpick of mine, but the lack of cloth physics on coats for V was kinda sad, its definitely possible as River and Takemura's coats have physics applied to them, maybe its just a PS4 version issue and it'll be something they might add with the next-gen version but I honestly doubt it. Cars handled fine for me and I really liked the look and feel of some of the cars, even the more luxurious cars that I tend to avoid in most open world games. In the beginning, the driving felt like a more manageable, better handling version of GTA IV but as I got better with it, it clicked to me, its JUST Saint Row 2's driving which I really liked because I feel like SR2 has the best driving controls in any open world game. Night City and the Badlands were really masterfully created, each area had their own style that really appealed to me and I look forward to how much better they can look in the next-gen version; I can't say I have any areas that I would consider my favorite as I really enjoyed the map as a whole but there was nothing that really grabbed me like the West End in Vampyr for example. The story was REALLY FUCKING GOOD! All of the characters felt real and really fit with the character of V, I really liked how much V grows throughout the story from being a cocky street kid to someone who cares about the people close to him but is scared of his situation. Johnny starts as an obnoxious asshole but you can definitely tell that V changes him to be a better person (at least in my game), and you start to sympathize with his actions and reasonings and he becomes a really likeable and funny character in most of the side missions; And his ending where he takes over V is just sad, loses the guy he was trying to save and Rouge, I interpreted that ending as Johnny getting a second chance at life he didn't want and while he probably doesn't want to ruin this second chance, he's more than likely mentally checked out and is just waiting for his time to come. Keanu did a really good job with Johnny and I honestly can't think of anyone who would have done a better job. I really like Judy, she such a bittersweet character, she loses Evelyn, who she definitely had feelings for, tries to help the workers at Clouds but gets screwed over by someone with ulterior motives and as an end result decides to leave NC, looking for her happiness, and judging from her texts and ending message, she does. (except the Suicide ending, loses the girl she had feeling for and one of her closest friends both to suicide, even though I romanced Panam, Judy's message hit the hardest and was incredibly sad) Panam, in my opinion, on top of being a great character in general, has the best romanceable storyline in a video game, with Jack from ME2 being a close 2nd; the whole relationship dynamic between Panam and V felt natural and made you feel invested in the character, from two people reluctantly paired together by Rouge due to similar objectives and keeping things strictly professional even when V awkwardly flirts with her, and you start to get closer and become friends when you help her with Aldecaldo problems, but then "With a little help from my friends" happens, the "follow your impulses" comment that V makes that Panam follows through with later on was an interesting way of V giving her hints on his feelings, the biggest moment that completely sells the relationship, happens during the campfire; early in the mission, V can talk about Jackie to which Panam will say "I'll remember that" AND BOY DOES SHE REMEMBER THAT, during the campfire, you can toast to Scorpion, an Aldecaldo who died earlier in the questline, everyone, including V toast to Scorpion... except Panam who says "to Jackie", that moment sold me on Panam as a love interest, she cares about V so much that she toasted to a guy she never met just off of the basis that V told her how close he and Jackie were and that he missed him, everything before that was nice but that was just the cherry on top, after that everything is just heart warming and cute as they both completely go all in on their relationship, and the Nomad ending reinforces this but I'll touch on that later. River was really cool, I dug his character and questline (which is insanely fucked up, but really cool), I laughed when his sister was flirting with V and Rivers like "Nope, bro-code", he's also got a SICK coat. I didn't like Kerry at first, he seemed like a complete douche, gets you to hijack and burn an band equipment van because someone was covering his song, then drags us into helping him intimidate Us Cracks who where just trying to pay homage and respect to him, after the moment where he understood and accepted that, he became a much better character; trashing the yacht was a pretty fun moment too. Vik was basically the Uncle character, he cares about V but isn't afraid to hit him with reality, I immediately payed my tab as he deserved it IMO, the fact he also gives V a tip during the final Beat the Brat fight was cool given his history in boxing. Misty is an absolute sweet heart, you bond with her over Jackie's death and you can tell how important she meant to him and vice-versa, getting her to bond with Mama Wells was neat too, her telling you stories about Jackie while your trying to find something for his memorial was really cool. Takamura was cool, I dug the moments you can tell V's attitude rubbed off on him, even though you can tell that he's 100% Arasaka, I felt that he would accept you as a friend even if you have different opinions on Arasaka than him (he doesn't, tells you to burn in hell). That parade mission was really cool and the selfie he sends you, 10/10. I wish we had more time with Jackie, he seemed like a really cool character and experiencing those moments of growth between Jackie and V and meeting Misty and Mama Wells would have been great and really would have made that moment with Panam feel even better had we had more time with Jackie in the beginning as the bond between Jackie and V would have meant more when he does unfortunately die. The endings vary from absolutely depressing all the way to heartwarming and hopeful. The suicide ending fucking sucks in the best way, V believing that killing himself is the best way of keeping those he cares about safe and ending his situation with Johnny, but the messages speak otherwise; Misty telling Vik to send a message as a way of coping, Mama Wells praying for you as she probably felt like she just lost two sons in V and Jackie, Judy... fucking hell man, couldn't imagine what was going through her head during that message, Panam's rage at realizing that the man she loved killed himself even though she offered to help him with his situation, River understanding as his previous partner suffered the same fate but also knows its incredibly sad that there's one less good person in NC, Kerry being pissed that V felt that suicide was the right choice as he probably understood as Kerry was in a similar situation and was disappointed V didn't know better and Misty being mournful. I already touched on the Johnny ending, but I honestly feel bad for Johnny because he didn't ask for a second chance and now he has to live with V and Rogue's deaths on his conscience, on top of probably burning any and all bridges with V's friends and loved ones. The Arasaka ending is some borderline horror shit, being trapped in space with a corp who's researching your condition with probable ulterior motives, having nightmares because of the repetitive testing, calling your friends who tell you they miss you and to come back home (though, Panam was pissed when I called her) and in the end you have two choices, sell your soul and become an engram for an unknown amount time to Arasaka who probably wont give a shit about you after that or go back to earth and wait out the remaining time you have left. Become a legend of Night City but ultimately feel you have nothing to lose as you'll die soon anyway and take an offer from Mr. Blue Eyes (Who's incredibly sketchy) to rob a space casino for info he wants. Nomad Ending is the best ending IMO, not only because I romanced Panam which made the ending even better (and I know that if Female V romances Judy, she joins the Aldecaldo's as well and is also a really good, feel good ending) but also because it left more opportunity for a DLC Expansion than the other endings as well as a satisfying ending to V's story as a whole; the night before the raid was really nice, testing out the new systems on the basilisk with Mitch and the bottle challenge with Cassidy were cool but that's all I could do as the rest of the activities during this were glitched, cuddling with Panam on the overlook was nice, her getting some stress off her chest and V reassuring Panam that he cares about her and will be there for her no matter what was really sweet; the raid was cool, I was hoping Mitch didn't die when he went back to pilot the basilisk solo and I'm glad he didn't die as I grew to like him as basically a Nomad Vik, Saul dying kinda sucked as he seemed to be cooling down his ego and wanting to work things out with Panam for the betterment of the Aldecaldos but Adam stomping his head in was funny, at least Rouge got to blow him up before she dies in Johnny's ending; the moment at the Dam between V and Panam was nice, V saying that he's glad he met Panam and the Aldecaldos and that he has nothing left in Night City, and the moment with them on top of the basilisk was cute; the messages were nice during this ending, though I was kinda disappointed Judy has the same message for all of the non-suicide endings, Misty's Tarot reading message is incredibly important as to why I think Nomad is the best ending, there's already a bunch of threads that touch on that but it definitely says a lot when its the only ending that gives V a shred of a chance that he might cure his disease and survive. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Cyberpunk 2077, I'd probably place it as my second game of the year (with Tony Hawk's Pro-Skater 1+2 being my personal GOTY) due to bugs but I know In due time that the game will be something really great by the end of its life span and i hope that if a Cyberpunk 2 does happen, it'll be even better than Cyberpunk 2077; I haven't been able to get this game out of my head since I started playing it and I cannot wait to do this all over again when the PS5 version and all the DLC's come out.
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