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submitted by Sweaty_V to Forex_Tips [link] [comments]

The Problem with Anthem: Part 3

In part 1 of this essay, I outlined 7 game design principles against which I believe games should be measured.
In part 2, I explored Anthem's adherence to these principles and highlighted its successes and failures
In this final section, I put forward a suite of suggestions to address the failures highlighted in part 2, keeping in mind the principles put forward in part 1.

"Resurrecting this turkey"

If you read part 2, you'll discover a long litany of flaws. What on earth can be done to fix this?

To a certain extent, it depends on the amount of effort you want expend upon the title. Most of the issues are not surface-level defects they're core design decisions which are exceptionally detrimental to game-play and require significant effort to correct.

Still, on the presumption you want to correct as much as possible, here's a way forward. And bear in mind, this is a list which focuses on dealing with Anthem's deep flaws. There's no way these could all be corrected, it'd be overkill. However highlighting these flaws and suggesting corrective action can be useful in pointing the way forward. For future games.


Technical
The first issue is what appears to be a lack of resource streaming. Anthem's loading times are insane. Given an NVMe SSD can effectively stream 3.5GIGABYTES per second into ram, you could - even if you need to pull resources from multiple places - load data into 16GB of RAM in under 10 seconds. While there's no doubt much of that data will need to be processed, swizzled and downloaded into the graphics card, there is absolutely no justification for Anthem's appalling loading times. Something is wrong here, whether it be the I/O routines or the resource management system. Put simply, this pipeline is not functioning well. It would make a lot of sense to optimize every single aspect of it until it's working properly.

Second, create a resource management system which allows pre-preemptive asset loading and prioritization. Texture management might consider optimizing for visible textures using a "light-cone" style approach where the resource management system uses a visibility solution and knowledge of the player's maximum traversal speed to calculate how far away "in seconds" each texture or texture group is and preemptively loads and unloads them based on need. (Provided you have some kind of reasonable hierarchical scene graph in place and can quickly perform coarse visibility determination.)

This is the primary technical challenge inherent in creating an open world, so it's mystifying why the development team apparently chose to skip this. Open worlds live and die on their real-time resource management systems. If you can't stream assets dynamically, you just don't have an open world.

Going back to our loop cascade, let's address the failures to adhere to the principles in each loop:

The Traversal Loop
The traversal loop fails on the "choice", "challenge" and "reward" principles. This is because the world architecture is simplistic and the jet-packs devoid of any meaningful restrictions. Introducing challenge into the traversal loop requires a more densely complex world with vastly reduced capabilities for the jet-packs (at least at first). Players need more complex ways of interacting with the environment beyond gazing at it.

What's the reward for keeping your jet-pack cool? You get to keep flying.
What's the penalty for failing to do so? You crash to the ground and have to wait.

Instead of a range of outcomes, you have two. A binary outcome, as it were. No mapping of multiple skill levels to differing outcomes and no real reward or penalty. Traversal carries no risk, contains no reward. It's a milquetoast parody of real game traversal.

As a result, the player is a spectator to the world, not an active participant in it.

You really want to get an idea of how bad this is? Look up some Youtube videos on "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice". Look at the traversal, how it enables exploration, how it sets up stealth attacks, how it gives the player options when deciding how to navigate through a scenario. Yes, it's a different style of game, but that's not the point. Anthem has none of this, which is why traversal is boring.


So, this is the kind of thing you'd need to do to beef up that traversal loop.

A) The return of fall damage.
No risk, no reward. Fall damage brings risk to the proceedings. Of course this is meaningless without rearchitecting the damage system in general. There are a number of ways this could be approached, but this is another topic addressed further down.

Fall damage allows the world to become more dangerous and provides the players with incentive to look for safe pathways through the world.
Of course to make this meaningful you need...

B) Risk/reward based traversal.
The main problem with Anthem's world is that it's dead. Dead in the sense that it's a picturesque painting which reduces the player to the role of spectator. This elimination of the player's agency is surprisingly consistent. The world has no institutional memory and as a consequence, the player has no lasting impact upon it. The player's jet=pack ruffles the water, but for all his efforts, the world is indifferent to his traversal abilities, his firepower and - most of all - his intent.

Traversal should provide opportunities to explore. To pursue reward while risking much. Dark Souls epitomizes the tension between risk and reward and Anthem would do well to add some of its own. Achieving this without rearchitecting the majority of the world would be practically impossible but Anthem is a crystal clear example of the need for your traversal loop to contain challenge and reward.

Anthem has none and as a consequence has managed to make flying Iron-man style suits boring. Chew over that for a bit.

Classic risk/reward schemes involve the player exploring for rewards and having to take risks in order to chase after the really big ones.

The Jet-pack needs to be significantly nerfed and the player needs to be given the opportunity to cling to the environment and plan their next move. An environment which banishes most of the wide open spaces except for vistas which open up when you strive to reach the high points of the map. High points which require risk and reward the player with stunning views and cool loot. Yes - remember earning loot through exploration and skill-based effort? That.

All of this requires the world to become a lot more dense. Those wide open spaces are supposed to be vistas, not empty areas you traverse by holding down a button. They'd have to go.

C) Choice
In terms of traversal, Anthem willfully deprives the player of options. Get a navigation market and blast toward it at maximum speed. Even worse, since Anthem is a cooperative shooter which is absolutely obsessed with tethering players to each other, traversal occurs at the speed of the fastest and most impatient player in the group. Those who might want to appreciate the beauty of the world or try something out are unable to do so because Anthem drags them along to the next objective regardless of their wishes. This is yet another in the long list of bewildering design decisions which reflect a complete unfamiliarity with the essentials of good game-play.

Options go hand in hand with risk/reward based traversal, but providing multiple routes to a goal allows the player the opportunity to tailor their approach. This feeds into the scenario loop where the player evaluates the challenge before them and decides how they'll approach it.

Unfortunately, Anthem has no scenario loop, so choosing a route to a target (high/low/underwater) is irrelevant. You land. Shoot. Dodge. Hide behind the environment. How you got there is irrelevant. This is because Anthem doesn't want to be anything other than a looter-shooter, so the option for stealth or tactics is completely absent. Shoot the thing. Trigger combos when you can. Rinse. Repeat. It's about as close to pulling a slot-machine handle as it's possible for a 3d game to get - the only difference is that slot machines give you gratification much more quickly.

Anthem needs to stop forcing players together. The benefit is questionable and casual matchmaking really is a crap shoot. Sure you can lock other players out of your session, but this isn't the default and the player is penalized for doing so (with lower xp).


The Combat Loop
Traversal plays almost no role in combat, so combat is pretty boring. The limitless possibility of the Javelin suit often needs to be artificially restricted (with no fly zones) as the designers realize their mistake and try and bring the player back down to earth.

Combat is run and gun with a limited suite of options. There's no opportunity to herd enemies and effectively utilize area-of-effect, no way for players to distinguish themselves with smart play, it's mostly just combo-triggering and a war of attrition between your gun's numbers and the shield/health numbers of the enemies.

Titans are cheesy as hell. Not only can they fling homing fireballs at you, they can materialize them on top of you. This makes Titans tedious to kill, rather than challenging and entertaining.

The environment is practically irrelevant to the combat. It acts as an obstacle and shield, but provides no other possible interactions.

A) Damage - combat and otherwise must persist.
Without persistent damage, the Javelin is a monster which only fails when temporarily overwhelmed. This partitions each combat encounter into a separate event with no lasting implications and the Javelin is essentially immortal outside combat. Consider the possibilities when persistent damage requires the player to reach specific zones and may require resources to repair. All of a sudden, the world of Anthem becomes more dangerous and has far greater potential for risk/reward scenarios to play out.
Consider also a scenario in which the player fights to the top of a mountain through a succession of difficult encounters with damage persistence a factor. Consider further the possibility that the player can lose the valuable items he's carrying if he can't get them back to the fort or to a storehouse.

This would help Anthem with its lack of risk and reward.

B) Bring tactics into combat.
Doing this requires the players to have a more varied suite of abilities. Allowing players to consider tradeoffs and develop a Javelin to suit their own personal style. Shoot, melee, combo setup and combo trigger are not an inspiring suite of options.

C) Bring the environment into combat
Part of the problem here is that environmental interaction is minimal. Given the opportunity to manipulate the environment, the suite of available tactical options available to players would be expanded, thus increasing their ability to use the environment tactically.

EG: Diverting water, tipping rocks, creating pits or utilising the wind.

D) Create unique, interesting and challenging enemies.
Anthem's enemies are boring and vary between irrelevant fodder and cheesy bosses. The giant spider is the most interesting enemy to fight and this was in the demo. That this represents the high point of the game rather than an indicator of the game's quality is a savage indictment of the combat encounter design.


E) Allow the player to employ high-risk/high-reward strategies.
One of the key aspects of Dark Souls style games is that the reward justifies the risk. Boss fights results in considerable rewards and the fight itself is often an exercise in choosing between small, safe incremental damage and high-risk/high reward strategies which offer the lure of closing the right out quickly.

Balancing risk vs reward is another aspect of player choice - and thus personalization. Anthem's narrow range of combat expression limits the possibility for such strategies, but redesigning the enemies and opening up the player's capabilities would enable this kind of tactical choice on a moment by moment basis.

EG: Do I try a risky, high-damaging move and shut an enemy down before he can trigger reinforcements or do I find a good defensive position and chip away at health until everyone - including reinforcements - are dead? (Note that this kind of consideration is not an option in Anthem).

F) Increase the player's range of expression in combat
One thing about Diablo 3 - the player has a plethora of options in terms of how he'll build his character and optimize the use of high-level loot to cope with the challenges of significantly tougher encounters.

Anthem needs to allow the player to do more than shoot and trigger combos. For example - and really just off the top of my head - consider the following possibilities:

- Slow time/stasis
- Area effect
- Mind control
- Cloak
- Stealth/Backstab
- Environmental destruction
- Artillery strike
- Decoys

What's important to realize is that these options must be exercised against challenging enemies. Anthem has too much useless fodder whose only purpose is to die and drop armor and ammunition. (Speaking of which - the ammunition inventory mechanic is the absolute pits.)


The Resource Loop
The fundamental idea behind the resource loop is to allow the player to accumulate a kind of virtual currency which can then be traded for expanded capabilities, thus allowing the player to customise the game in a way which appeals to them most. This is often experience points, levels, praxis points or some other accumulation. This allows the player to exercise choice over the medium to long term and customise the game to suit his predilections and skill-set.

To do so, the player needs a tech tree. And consider the other possibilities:
- Discovering an ancient blueprint and going on a quest to retrieve the other blueprints and to find the necessary items to build a new Javelin platform.
- Discovering new technologies which can be used to develop a whole new class of abilities
- Gaining rare resources which can only be found through skilled exploration of the landscape



The Loot Loop
This is the most objectionable and least fun aspect of the whole exercise. Destiny and Anthem want to draw the player into an operant conditioning (gambling) loop where pretty colors addict players into repeating a joyless grind as often as humanly possible.

It's a cynical exercise to begin with, but if you want to actually make this work, you need to first expand the capabilities of your mechs, throw in a tech tree and then provide a wide range of possible buffs which extend far beyond the classic "more shields/more armobigger guns" paradigm. Anthem's loot sucks because there's not many ways it can buff the mechs, not because the drop rates are rubbish. (Oh, and is there a screen somewhere which shows the accumulated results of all your buffs? Because if there is I can't find the damn thing.)



Conclusion
To wrap this up: I had high hopes for Anthem and was incredibly disappointed by the result. And this is not an isolated example. I really am increasingly bewildered by an increasing lack of game design chops in some AAA studios. Some people are doing it well, but a fair amount are doing it pretty badly. I don't know what happened with this title, but it feels like Bioware lacks anyone who really understands game-play. A significant correction is needed and the importance of challenge, reward and multi-axial player choice really does need to be reiterated as these founding principles really do seem to have become lost along the way.

So if there's three things which I hope this essay is pounding into some people's heads, it's this: Choice! Challenge! Reward! These are the essentials people. (And it's why "Gone Home", "Dear Esther" and "What remains of Edith Finch" are not games.)

If Bioware implements even half of what I've outlined here, they've got half a chance of resurrecting this turkey. If they keep tinkering with drop rates and promising minuscule content drops every 3 months, then stick a fork in it - Anthem is done.


TL;DR - Anthem is boring. Hey maybe make it fun?

submitted by PJ_Heywood to AnthemTheGame [link] [comments]

Hellbound V - The Deals

First
Previous
 
 
Commander Sam Robinson – Valkyrie – Standing before the city gates of Hil’Sania  
 
“Ah crap, we’ve been calling them assholes all this time?” Sam asked.  
Þorgeir coughed, “Yeah, seems so commander. Looking at the inputs it seems that the probe is receiving both the elven words and the direct translation in binary. It’s really freaky, but I guess that’s how magic works? I guess? It’s making the translation process go really fast.”  
“Uh, commander, I think they’re waiting for us to respond,” Myrael cut in.  
“Ah crap, ok. Everyone, let’s turn on the charm offensive. Turn on our speakers, don’t talk about anything remotely confidential and use our callsigns,” Sam replied.  
“That’s our charm offensive?” Jacqueline asked.  
“Uh, wait, ah crap. I will take my helmet off and show them that we mean no harm, I guess. None of you take your helmets off unless ordered to, alright? If the skinny dude can conjure up a mountain of food and the actual Mage has a ring that lets him speak in multiple languages at the same time, then we’d do good by not underestimating them,” Sam answered.  
Sam took a deep breath and slowly took her helmet off and moved towards the Mage. She noted how this Mage, Ilfundel as he called himself, looked like he came straight out of a fantasy movie. A middle-aged looking elf, with red wizard robes, a long and gnarled staff with a lightly glowing orb at the top, and most importantly, dangerous eyes. Even though he was of a different species, the intent behind his oversized eyes was clearly that of caution and skill, honed by experience as she felt herself being appraised and saw the Mage stare at every possible part of her power armour, looking for potential danger.  
“Thank you for allowing us entry, Mage Ilfundel. We apologize for calling you the wrong term, it was simply a misunderstanding,” Sam said as she shot a glare at Arundosar who instantly sucked in a breath and looked away.  
“Not a problem. My Apprentice here has a tendency to lash back at those who scorn his kind. But enough of that,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Ah, yes. We have noticed some of that behaviour,” Sam answered and then continued, “Regardless. I am Valkyrie, and this is Camper [Myrael], Alien [Jacqueline], Icebear [Þorgeir] and lastly Barhead [Alix]. It’s a privilege to meet you all.”  
The Mage seemed to raise his eyebrows at each of the names, but decided to ignore it and replied in kind, “A privilege indeed. According to our history books the last time a human visited the plane of Arenal, was close to 15 centuries ago, so to see you all here is an amazing sight indeed. What is even more amazing is that the stories of the citizens you’ve rescued appear to be an understatement.” As he said that the mage pointed to the cage where the still unconscious POW was. He continued with measured words, “Yes, taking a pit fiend as a prisoner is extremely difficult. And I assume that you have done so with the help of your armour? Just a single glance at it just shouts power.”  
“Ah, yes.” Sam answered. She sensed where the conversation was going next and lied, “They are a powerful tool of humanity, but really uncomfortable. Have you ever worn armour? It’s really a shame we can’t get out of ours now that we are in a safe place again.”  
The raised eyebrow of the Mage now went accompanied with his other eyebrow. “Ah, you can’t get out of them? Why not?” Ilfundel asked.  
“Well, it’s a bit of secret, but that’s how they are made. It saves, uh, space and energy and it made it easier to design if you don’t have to worry about the user having to be able to do everything. It’s how we can get them to be so big. It’s not a worry as long as you have a team of support personnel,” Sam answered while trying her best to maintain a poker face.  
“I suppose that makes sense. The last entries into our history books was that you humans and your knights were quite fearsome in your armour and on horseback. But I notice that you are not on a horse and most of the rescued people told me that you can fly and carry no swords and have magical shields?” Ilfundel asked with yet another raised eyebrow and an intense stare.  
“Ah, yes. Our magics have advanced quite a bit. But I, uh, know very little of them, I’m just a soldier,” Sam replied.  
“Mmmh. Very well. I understand,” the Mage said with a disappointed smile. “I was going to ask you all to leave your weapons and armour at the gates, but I suppose that’s not really feasible, is it? I will ask the captain of the guard to make an exception for you all, after all, you did save a lot of our people. I will request however that your prisoner will be kept under guard by both our guards and my colleagues. I hope you won’t object?”  
“Of course not, so long as one of our own can observe the prisoner at all times,” Sam answered.  
“Very well, that can be arranged. You may enter the city, and are now under our protection, though I suppose you won’t need it. May I suggest we walk and talk a bit towards the tavern? I’m sure you understand that I have many, many questions,” Ilfundel said as Sam breathed an internal sigh of relief.  
 
 
Sam was grateful for the inbuilt tech of the Paladin suits. Having shared camera feeds and a mic and audio setup that allowed for subvocalized communications allowed Sam to focus on the conversation with Ilfundel while her squad kept sending updates from themselves and the probe that was flying high above the town for Sam to watch and listen to later.  
When they finally reached the tavern, they subtly switched whoever was talking to Ilfundel, with the nature of the conversation constantly shifting between the world of the elves and the world of humans, and this third world called Arenal. The world where the Elves came from, is called Ljosalfar and seems to be quite similar to this world, much like most worlds as the mage explained.  
Looking around and listening to descriptions that the Mage gave, Sam guessed that they were in a medieval era town in a medieval era society. Jacqueline guessed that it was closer to a beginning renaissance era or perhaps late medieval era society, due to the high-quality steel they had and a surprising number of merchants that were wondering around on the market square, near which was their tavern. The fact that they had stone paved roads, and not all-too shabby houses with plenty of flourishes and colourfully painted doors and windows added to the sense that the city they were in wasn’t poor.  
More questions were asked and answered. It seemed that the elves were unified under the rule of the Ljosalfar empire and that the empire extended its reach quite far into this third world, Arenal. Arenal was the common dimensional plane that bordered all other planes and as such, any border tensions, new settlements, colonies and the occasional vassal kingdoms were in Arenal. The only exception was a vassal subterranean kingdom named Dokkalfar, home of the drow. They were in open revolt against the elves after they had rejected their rule after being subservient to them for well over 5 centuries when another emperor had united all the people on the world of Ljosalfar. This knowledge had answered a bit of the questions Sam and the squad had about Arundosar, his heritage and why the other elves were quite clearly being hostile to him.  
The conversation quickly turned to the situation on Earth and how humanity had progressed so far so quickly. Sam answered what questions she could but often played the role of being just a dumb soldier far from home who didn’t know about much about the complex nature of how exactly their technology and magic worked. She did explain that the humans were still divided and did not serve a single ruler. The Mage was clearly sceptical and explained that every civilized species only truly made advances when a powerful centralized ruler could allocate all the funds necessary to perform ambitious projects that increased the people’s knowledge of technology, magic, or other matters. The Mage explained that this was the way that the gnomes, halflings and even the orcs and giants did it. The dwarves were an exception, but their ways were strange, and perhaps so were the humans as well he conceded.  
Sam just nodded as she tried to comprehend that they were now fully stuck in a fantasy novel full on with fantasy races. At least knowing that this dimensional plane of Arenal bordered all other dimensions, made it quite clear how it was that things such as grass and chicken, as well as human words had seemed to migrate here. And the idea of elves and other mythological creatures had migrated to Earth.  
Eventually they reached the Mage tower in the middle of the square. It was a 60 meter tall round tower made of blue-grey bricks and a flat top. Ilfundel explained that it was a repository for knowledge, arcane materials, and an academy for what few magical practitioners there were that visited this close to unclaimed territory. There they dropped off their devil prisoner and left behind Alix and some obviously nervous city guards to watch over the POW in the dungeons as they went to the massive round library to continue their conversation.  
“Alright everyone, just a few more important questions and then we’ll go to the tavern and have dinner. After that Þorgeir relieves Alix and we re-assess the overload of information we just got and re-plan,” Sam sub-vocalized to her squad. In rapid succession she heard 4 soft “affirmative” through her earplug and contemplated sitting down on the luxurious dark wooden polished seat in front of her. The other tables and chairs, floors, walls and bookshelves were all of the same material in this library. There were easily thousands of books all around her as the library continued to spiral up another four or five floors, with a stone spiral staircase in the middle of it all. Sam wanted to sit down, but quickly didn’t as she realized that only stone or steel could support her suit’s weight. She remained standing, while the rest of the squad were slowly walking around and secretly taking tons of footage of interesting looking books.  
“Mage Ilfundel, I thank you very much for your introduction to your world, I only regret that I do not know more about mine to be able to give you more information about my world in kind. And I am sorry that I impose on your hospitality again, but I must insist on asking one more pertinent question,” Sam said as she looked Ilfundel intently in the eye. “You’ve told us that you need magical crystals and a magic user to be able to open up a portal. And that depending on how large you want the portal and how long you want to keep it open, the bigger the crystal or more powerful magic users you would need. But we don’t have any crystals at all. And we are just soldiers and aren’t capable of magic. Could you help us get home?”  
The Mage rubbed his chin and contemplated the question a bit before he answered, “Yes. I had been wondering about that. It’s quite strange really, the history books clearly state that humans didn’t practice magic when they first came to Arenal and thus were always reliant on the other species to open up a portal. And yet here you stand before us with a very magical suit of armour.”  
Sam could feel the doubt of the ever-skeptical Mage on his tone of questioning, but continued nonetheless, “Ah yes. Like I’ve explained earlier, our magic is a bit different and there is just an extremely small portion of humanity that is capable of magic. Like, one in a million.”  
The Mage sighed once more as he seemed to get an answer that he didn’t really like. “That’s alright, I can still help you. I can lend Arundosar to you, he is capable of opening up portals and could use the practice. He is not an expert on it and would require a larger crystal to open up a portal for your size, but if you keep the portal open for only a few days instead of a few weeks, then it wouldn’t be a problem. In return,” Ilfundel said as he gave a sly smile, “I would like to take custody of your prisoner and thoroughly study him. Don’t worry, you can have him back when you return to Earth.”  
“Everybody hear that?” Sam subvocalized.  
“Aha! You were lying!” Ilfundel boasted out, “You are telepathically speaking with your fellows right now, aren’t you?”  
“Uh-“ Sam said as she looked like a deer in headlights. “Ah, crap. No. I mean, we don’t have magic. It’s the suits that allow us to talk to each other. Please, we didn’t lie. If we really lied about knowing magic, would we really ask for your help, or even come here in the first place to get help to get home?”  
“Mmh, true. Alright fine. I’m sure there are many secrets you are keeping from me, I can see it in your eyes. But you are not enemies of the empire, so I’ll let it be. But I must insist on getting something out of this for me, or else this would have just been a massive waste of time. Let me experiment and study on your prisoner and I will keep to my word and help you all to get home, alright?” Ilfundel said as he folded his arms and looked a bit discontent at how this negotiation was going.  
“We get him back when we return to Earth?” Sam asked.  
“Yes, and you’ll have my Apprentice on loan until he has opened up a portal,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Sounds like a good deal, commander,” Myrael said along with some positive murmurs from the rest of the squad.  
“Wait!” Jacqueline cut in, “Is Arundosar going to use that magical ring of translation? How else are we going to understand him?”  
“Good one,” Sam subvocalized back and turned her attention back to Ilfundel. “Alright, we accept, as long as Arundosar gets to use your ring. He won’t be very useful to us if we can’t understand him.”  
Ilfundel looked at Sam and then at his magical ring and pondered her request before answering, “That’s reasonable. Alright, I agree. It’s a deal then.”  
“A deal, let’s shake on it,” Sam replied.  
“The soldier you had guarding the devil can leave now. Don’t worry, you can come see him anytime, and you’ll have him back when you return to Earth. Just ask me and I’ll arrange it,” Ilfundel said as he took off his ring and then slowly turned to Arundosar who was at his side and started speaking in hushed tones in elven that Sam could suddenly no longer understand.  
“Record everything,” Sam subvocalized, “I want to know what he really wants from us.”  
 
 
Admiral Dai – Dimensional plane of Earth – UN Headquarters, N.Y.C.  
 
It had been a busy week, filled with papers, meetings, conference calls, heated discussions over phone calls and tired face-to-face negotiations. Taking stock of the score, admiral Stephen Dai re-evaluated this past tiring week. Disbelief amongst the citizens of Earth quickly turned into extreme and even radical changes. Churches, long-time dying, found themselves overwhelmed by erstwhile atheists now afraid of hell’s portals opening up. The first cries of populists proclaiming an end to peace and safety who needed your vote and support to reform laws and thus to survive were accompanied by madmen proclaiming this to be the coming apocalypse but needing donations to save your soul.  
Nations in the UN were behaving in a similar manner. Every single member wanted to have more information, while demanding more security in the form of returning fleets and warships. They all neglected the Alpha Centauri pirate insurgency in face of personal peril. Countries already started shifting their trading priorities to get more fuel and rare earth materials to be diverted from colonies and to go to Earth, in preparation, of whatever may come. An entire species was panicking.  
Worse yet, some of Earth’s leaders who were not susceptible to panic due to years of political manoeuvring to become a player at the top, were now precisely the people who were the only ones who could rationally respond to this crisis and had zero incentive to do so. The United States proclaimed a state of emergency, recalled 3 heavy cruisers and a dozen lightweight-class ships to help with relief efforts, whilst congress quickly passed a crisis budget that doubled military spending to stave off political and populist pressures, and perhaps cynically, win the vote for the next set of elections. In response, China’s president had issued a similar state of emergency and recalled 1 of 3 dreadnought class ships from the Luyten system, accompanied by a full fleet of an assortment of a dozen capital-class ships and close to a hundred lightweight-class ships. This prompted Russia and India, along with the British commonwealth to recall significant portions of their fleets as well, which meant that Europe could not stay behind and retreated large portions of their fleet back to Earth as well. And just like that, the efforts of decades of peace-making was undone in a week. The bad days where a single press of a button could obliterate millions were back.  
The moments of silence and grief, the endless headlines and talking points, the sheer number of questions, regular commerce grating to a halt, all of it, were extra side-issues that put extra stress and pressure on the now fragile political landscape. The only blessing, Stephen cynically thought to himself, was that those devils attacked almost every major political player simultaneously, dispelling any notion of some sort of conspiracy or powerplay from a single country. Not that that stopped crazy people from spouting these theories. Regardless, the stage before him, the UN assembly room, where he was negotiating with all of humanity for its future, was a chaotic and perilous stage indeed.  
Stephen heard the audio prompt, sighed, and moved towards the podium and was granted the rights to speak to the assembly by the Speaker. To his surprise, almost every country had reacted favourably or positively to his amendment and his proposal to ramp up spending and production to quickly get rid of the Alpha Centauri problem so that they could all focus on this new problem swiftly and cohesively. Almost every country was going to vote in favour of it. All except China. And over the course of the past 36 hours, China had effectively been lobbying, bribing, bullying or blackmailing another 42 countries to join their stance. Stephen took his seat behind the microphones and cameras and turned them live, “Speaker, I am ready for the next round of questions and remarks regarding the amendment of the proposal for the ‘Star Shield’ initiative.”  
“Thank you, admiral. The first question is from the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Zhang, you may speak,” the UN’s Speaker said.  
Stephen raised his eyebrow and pondered. Usually China would have their proxies talk endlessly to tire out the other countries and would speak themselves much later, sometimes months or years, only to swoop in, talk of ‘this-is-going-nowhere, decide-on-this-now-so-we-can-move-on’, and sway the vote in their favour. If China was willing to talk after 36 hours, then they must have something cooked up.  
Ambassador Zhang turned her microphone on live and began. “We of the People’s Republic of China have been against this proposal for reasons we have already explained in previous sessions of the UN assembly. However, we have a new amendment to submit that if included in the amended proposal of the admiral, would make us amenable to voting in favour of his proposal.”  
As Stephen listened to the translation coming in both of his eyebrows went up. They were being aggressive on the diplomatic scene. Normally they were only aggressive on the military side of things. Something was wrong. Stephen looked down at the inbuilt screen panel and saw an attachment that had the newly submitted Chinese amendment. The 15 minutes of break to allow for quickly skimming through the 40 page monster had caused a greater commotion than last week. China wanted to bring back drone warfare.  
2 hours went by as the planned question session turned into a heated discussion about China’s amendment.  
“The enemy is not spaceborne, it only engaged by land and air, and presumably is further capable of seaborne activity. All the UN members have specialized in space operations, not on terrestrial operations. While both the UN Space Defense Fleet and national armies can perform terrestrial operations, none have the scale necessary to do so sustainably for every major metropolitan area on Earth. The only still-maintained expertise that could perform this task and is available to us is drones and drone operations. The only short-term solution we have to properly defend ourselves adequately is through drones. The UN prohibition on drones must end for the safety of humanity!” the Chinese Ambassador spoke as she gave their main rationale.  
Korea, Japan and many other South-East Asian countries immediately objected, “We have not forgotten what happened to the territories you invaded with those drones! We will not allow this to happen!”  
“That was well over a century ago, and you do not have veto power,” the Chinese Ambassador responded swiftly and coolly. The resulting screams and shouts were disruptive enough that the whole assembly retreated for dinner. And by sheer coincidence, Chinese state tv had broadcast a new segment showcasing the building of a 4th dreadnought vessel, bigger than the other 3, followed up immediately by another segment that proclaimed that China’s multiple state agencies were talking of starting up agricultural and fuel production subsidies that would make China more self-sufficient on those two sectors within 6 years. TV dinner was never fun at the UN.  
China was being really aggressive. Their play was ‘give us what we want, or we walk and do it anyway’. Was this a calculated move? Or was this reactionary and panic? What was China’s goal? And most importantly, how could Stephen keep the peace whilst ensuring that the ‘Star Shield’ initiative was accepted? It didn’t help that UN members were now completely forgetting formality and protocol and were just acting out of emotion.  
The US delegate, had accused China in backroom talks of wanting to police their own population in an even more totalitarian manner, with China replying that such drones helped prevent massacres in the Luyten systems before, while completely ignoring the question of repressed domestic protests.  
Another 4 hours had now passed, making 27 without sleep. Stephen had to admit, even here the tactic of stalling and patiently bullying and tiring out everyone was working, although usually it wasn’t in such a heated and aggressive manner. In a strange turn of events and almost against protocol, it was now his turn to ask questions, even though he was not part of a member state delegation and was only the initiative submitter.  
Stephen had to take a gamble. Was China taking a calculated move? Or were they panicking and grasping at any straw they had? If it was the first, his question would worsen the situation considerably and set Earth back on the path of drone warfare. If it was the last, he might salvage the situation, and Earth would just maybe set back on the path of drone warfare and he would get his proposal passed.  
Stephen tried to push his stress and tiredness away and began to ask, “Ambassador Zhang. The enemy’s capabilities are on 2 sides of an extreme. They are both superior and inferior. They can simultaneously open multiple and fully functional wormholes within a gravitational body. And yet they fight with swords and shields. My question is, what happens when the enemy engages with your drones and they manage to capture sophisticated gunpowder weaponry, or worse, energy and railgun weaponry, or other technology they can reverse engineer?”  
Something snapped. The ambassador was silent and slack-jawed as she thought over the implications. After a full minute of awkward and oppressive silence, the Chinese delegation started to speak to each other in hushed whispers, despite the Speaker’s prompt for them to answer the question. It was panic then, Stephen sighed gratefully. The Chinese panicked and overreacted. Their rule not being democratic, was always more fragile in that it had to keep its citizens permanently placated and peaceful, violently or otherwise. Drones would’ve been a good solution for that, both against an enemy combatant as well as domestic threats.  
But the Chinese government wasn’t stupid. Giving the enemy any potential whatsoever to gain a disproportionate advantage would be a grave strategic error that could cost humanity everything. The hushed whispers turned into hurried phone calls, and a few minutes of delay turned into another 4 hours of waiting as the Chinese delegation finally returned to the floor of the UN assembly. Admiral Zhang indicated to the Speaker that she was at last ready to answer Stephen’s question.  
“Admiral, we believe that it would be a grave strategic error to allow the enemy any opportunity to reverse engineer human advanced weaponry,” she finally said. “Your question opens a glaring flaw in our amendment, and so we have taken some time to correct that mistake. We propose to the floor that the assembly should take some time to read the new amendment. We believe it will both address our concerns regarding Earth’s safety as well as compromise enough to allow the ‘Star Shield’ proposal to go through unopposed.”  
In the half-hour break that followed Stephen read the amended amendment and then laughed at the brilliance of it. The UN prohibition on drones was targeted specifically on armed drones, but exempted police-keeping forces that did not carry projectile-based weaponry, meaning only humans were allowed to carry and operate firearms, railguns and laser weaponry. The Chinese amendment circumvented this by explicitly stating that the millions of drones that they and other nations had, would only be allowed to carry melee weapons and shields.  
Another 2 hours passed as each delegation talked with their own respective governments and finally the ‘Star Shield’ proposal with its 2 extra amendments was passed. Stephen was silently basking in the victory with his own team of administrative workers and diplomatic aides and thought that perhaps finally he had figured out the political game and that it wasn’t so bad.  
He woke the next early afternoon to the news that the Chinese dreadnought would not reverse course despite the newly signed proposal and that the 4th dreadnought’s construction would continue as planned. In fact, the production facility would be expanded to start mass-producing a new prototype material that would be used for swords and shields. Stephen cursed and realized that he still hated politics as always.  
 
 
Devil Lord Azzazzel – The Horned Death – Dimensional Plane of the 9 Hells  
 
Azzazzel stared into the scrying orb and looked at the fat pig-beast that was clearly overcompensating by covering the top of his head down to the last tip of his tail with spikes and horns. “Gabruziel, how goes the raiding?”  
“Fine enough, though the prey here is hardly resisting. It is clear that none of those petty kingdoms and pathetic towns were prepared for a full invasion force of 50 legions. But I am having some difficulty with sieging a heavily fortified mage conclave as well as 2 deeply burrowed dwarven fortresses. I will need more contingents of siege-breakers from you. Some more pit fiends would do fine,” Gabruziel said in his slow drawl that managed to slobber spit and slime everywhere.  
“While we are of equal rank, our master still chose me as the leader for this invasion. I will not give you anything, you foul beast!” Azzazzel growled out. “Listen to me and obey! Belial has awoken and our master has regained his connection. In turn I have gained his location. He is held captive by a Mage elf whom Belial will surely try to corrupt from within his cage. Irrespective of his ability to break free, you are to move on from your current sieges and march all your forces straight for the border of the Sylvan Empire. It is conveniently near the border with the human’s dimensional plane, so your plans will not change much. I will maintain my plans and reinforce you in 3 weeks from now with the main bulk arriving in another 4 weeks after that. Go!”  
Gabruziel growled back in anger, “I will do no such thing without more support from you! You may be the leader of this invasion, but you will fail without me setting up a proper breeching point and supply chain. I have already suffered enough losses from the dwarves and orcs, and the Sylvan empire outmatches them both, especially in magic! While I may be punished and demoted for failing in my mission, you will be stripped of all power by our God himself! You have more to lose! So if you want to succeed, you will send me more pit fiends and other magic resistant siege-breakers!”  
Azzazzel’s horns flared brightly in an almost white-hot flame out of pure anger, “RAGH! Fine. You shall have your support. But if I still fail, I will drag you down with me and let our master consume you first!”  
Gabruziel grinned, exposing his sickly yellow and many sharp tusks. “It’s a deal!”  
 
 
Apprentice Mage Arundosar – Dimensional plane of Arenal – tavern in Hil’Sania  
 
“It is a strange experience to be sure,” Arundosar said as he kept staring at his new Ring of Translation while the humans kept eating. Arundosar had long given up on the voracious appetite of the humans who after half an hour were still eating, demanding more soup and chicken from the overworked tavern owner. Not that the surly elves behind the bar were to be pitied, they would just send the bill towards the city who would have to pay according to the reward they gave to the humans for rescuing all those families.  
“When you say certain words or especially when you say certain concepts that are strange to us, it seems to try and give me a feeling of an idea that tries to come as close as possible to the figurative meaning of the word, while I actually hear a word or words that most closely resemble the literal meaning,” Arundosar said as he continued the conversation on his own.  
“Can you give us an example?” the red-headed commander asked.  
“Sure, your name for instance. You say f- v-, uh, vall’keeree, right?” Arundosar asked as she nodded in confirmation. “Right, all I heard the first time you said it with the ring on was ‘warrior-maiden’ with a feeling of fierceness, and a deep, red-blooded focus. Like peering down at a ruby in a darkened hallway, and if you angled it just right so that a single ray of sunlight would hit it, you would see a glorious burst of fire from within.”  
Sam nodded while the others smiled and started nudging her. “Yeah, that sounds like our commander alright,” the biggest and most resembling a drow male, Camper, said. His name was directly translatable.  
“Camper is a strange name, are all humans’ names so strange?” Arundosar asked, “I mean no offense of course, just curious.”  
“Oh, no offense taken. They’re not really our names, but codenames, short new names that we use whenever we can’t use our real names. Like when we are in unknown territory, like now,” Camper said.  
“Ah, makes sense. You humans have been absent from Arenal for centuries, so of course it would be an unknown territory to you all. It’s no wonder then that the devils attacked you then. They tend to invade dimensions that are weak or isolated, so that no one will come to their aid. It increases the number of slaves and riches they can take,” Arundosar explained with a sneer.  
“Yeah, bet they’re regretting that decision now,” the large white male with pale blond hair, Icebear, said. His name was also directly translatable, although Arundosar had never seen an ice-bear before. Although, looking at him now, he figured he may as well have. He was a large and pale man who strangled a dire bear to death and was scaring the commoners around him constantly by wearing its fur and growling like an utter madman when his commander wasn’t around. The humans had a strange sense of humour. Funny, but definitely strange.  
“Alright, that was a good meal,” the commander said as was done destroying her second whole chicken. She turned to the Apprentice and asked, “what’s the plan for tomorrow, Arundosar?”  
Arundosar thought for a bit as he replied, “Ah, well, it all depends on you really. My master said that I was to help you all open up a portal to home, and I need a crystal for that. Now the Academy sells-“  
“We’ve been over this. The reward from the city is 50 gold pieces. Buying a crystal according to everyone here is at least 10.000 gold pieces. We can’t afford that,” Valkyrie answered. “And no. We are not selling any pieces of our armour or technology to the Academy.”  
“Yes, I understand, you were very clear about that, haha” Arundosar said half-heartedly. They were understandably adamant against such things, they were truly powerful suits of armour. But the reward he would get for it made him try in earnest. His master had promised him an instant promotion to Journeyman as well as a glowing recommendation to start the process of becoming an official Mage depending on how many secrets, both magical and non-magical, Arundosar could bring back from the humans to his master.  
“Well, that leaves 2 options. We dig for it ourselves and risk a tunnel collapse, getting robbed, finding no crystals at all, or potentially get raided by competing miners,” Arundosar said and noticed that none of the humans looked very impressed or willing. “Or we go win the main prize at the adventurer’s guild. I’ve seen it, it’s quite a sizeable crystal, enough to open up the portal for your size for at least a month, even at my Apprentice-level skill.”  
The humans seemed more enthusiastic, if still sceptical at that option. The one they called ‘Alien’, was the only one who really smiled at that option and seemed consistently ready to skip sleep and go sign up right now. Alien was translated strangely for Arundosar. He heard it as ‘foreigner-from-beyond-Earth’, with a deep and dark feeling along with a mysterious even dangerous after-feeling to it. And yet she looked so sweet and innocent, it was quite bizarre to Arundosar. The other names were quite fitting so far, as although he also didn’t understand the nickname of ‘Barhead’, he could imagine that the smallest of the human women could perhaps drink a lot.  
“However, the adventurer’s guild is a bit of a meatgrinder as the commoners say. You either get lucky or you are very skilled and you win big, or you die on the job either from dangerous and wild animals, gangs of thieves and robbers, a crazed lone mage, poisonous plants and other hazardous terrain, competing guilds, some kind of evil mastermind with an idiotic plot to conquer a kingdom, or stranded in a strange and unexplored planar dimension where the winds could fill your head with nightmares and make you fight each other,” Arundosar almost nonchalantly said with a slight shrug as he listed off the most common ways to die in the meatgrinder.  
“Oh, please commander, puh-lease!” Alien almost shouted as she pleaded with Valkyrie.  
“Gods-fucking-damnit. Fine. If only because we have no guarantee of quickly finding a crystal at all while mining. We’ll get some rest tonight and tomorrow morning we’ll see how much effort it takes to win a damn-fucking magic crystal so we can get home,” Valkyrie replied in defeat.  
“It will probably be a lot more effort, but almost assuredly much, much quicker,” Arundosar said. “Mining a large enough crystal to be of use may take months, if you even know where to look. Winning big in the guilds can take as little as a week, if you are strong enough. And I think you are,” Arundosar said with a wink. “I’ll be here tomorrow morning. Oh, and don’t spend any of that gold.”  
“Why not?” Icebear asked.  
“The sign-up fee for the guild is 50 gold pieces per adventuring party,” Arundosar replied as he got up, ready to go to his sleeping quarters in the Mage tower.  
All the humans simultaneously grumbled and complained about wanting to buy souvenirs, but Valkyrie cut them off and finished the conversation, “Alright. We’ll bring the gold pieces with us tomorrow. Easy come, easy go, I guess.”  
 
 
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It's slowly building up, more action to come :D!
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Weapons you should pick up Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s electric!
Now that I’ve met my one video per post quota, let’s get on with it shall we? Feel free to listen to that song in the background by the way. Really helps set the mood. Or something.
So yeah, hey, it's yah boy, Thatuserguy, back again with another weapon recommendations post. You may not remember me (I certainly don't remember you. Yeah, you in the back. Who the hell are you? How’d you get in my house?) but I'm back anyways. Probably doesn’t help that I promised this post was coming soonTM like over a week ago. But no worries, OP delivers! You bunch of chucklefucks seemed to like the last one pretty well, so I figured I'd give this another go. Who knows, maybe this'll somehow become a regular thing? "Boo! Get off the stage!" Well fuck you too, Jerry. Don’t just take my word for it though. Look at all these stellar reviews from satisfied readers of my last post:
This list is shit. Nothing on it is good.
This guy’s humor sucks.
Why the hell didn’t you include X weapon? It’s soooo much better than the ones you included.
See? If that doesn’t solidify your trust in me, I don’t know what will. Anyways, my last post only really covered weapons sold in The Tower. But hey, according to people commenting on it, I had too many guns picked out already, and all of them were shit. So I thought to myself, fuck it, why not add EVEN MORE shitty guns to the list? Because fuck you, and fuck your vault space. But mostly fuck you. I’m gonna be covering weapons that you can’t just grab from a vendor in the dead of night, marks in hand, and desperation in your eyes. No. These guns take skill. They take a steady hand. And most of all, they take RNG.
Seriously though, because of the very nature of these guns depending on RNG to both drop, and drop with good rolls, there will probably be a large amount of guns on this list. I will try my best to limit the amount that appear on here, but without set perk rolls, that’s a much harder task than it was last time. It also makes attempting to rank them damn near impossible. I’ll also try at the very end to summarize this post in case things involving words and thinking are not your strong suit. It’s okay, we’re all a little special on the inside. Just, some of us more so than others.
As for the rest, I could give you the same rundown I did last post about how I can’t possibly have tested all these weapons, how I’m not responsible for how RNG may fuck you over, and yada yada yada, but that’s long and boring. I like you, so I’m gonna spare you those details. Instead, I’m just gonna say, I’ll suggest you some fucking guns, and you’re gonna fucking like them. “What if I don’t?” I hear you ask. Well tough shit numbnuts. Go make your own fucking guide or some shit then. I don’t care. I’ll just be over here in my corner playing with my better guns. You can just sit over there eating glue or whatever the hell it is you do for fun. Now, everyone else, hop aboard the bullet train! We’re on a journey to gun city. Strap in tight, it’s gonna be a long and bumpy ride (side note: I’m probably on a list now for google searching “kid strapped onto toilet” If you don’t hear back from me, assume the worst.)
 

Strike Exclusive Weapons:

Just kidding. These will never drop for you. Give up now while you still have hope left in your eyes, Guardian. Still determined? You poor fool. I’ll at least make this easy on you and tell you which ones are worth your time.
 
Imago Loop – Hand Cannon (Vex Strikes): This thing doesn’t just have the Fatebringer’s archetype. This thing is literally Fatebringer. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Really though, it’s got the exact same stats as Fatrebringer, and can roll with Firefly and Outlaw. You very well could end up with a Year 2 Fatebringer (minus the arc and oracle disrupter anyways. Don’t get greedy now.) If not, it’s still a pretty solid hand cannon. I’ve noticed that most of the hand cannons in TTK have really bad range, yet this sucker has at least 2-2.5x as much base range as them. Just like our little friend Nolandroid (Nolanbot? The Nolanator?), I may not be the best at math, but something being 2x better sounds pretty good to me.
Does Not Bow – Auto Rifle (The Shadow Thief): This thing is brown because it’s shit. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. It’s alright. If you were one of those weirdos who liked the look of the PoE AR (It’s okay, I did too) this thing is actually brown like the Devils’ color scheme. Damn good archetype too. It’s basically the same as The Summoner, Shadow Price, Vanquisher, SUROS Regime, and other such AR’s that kicked your ass in crucible. So if you like those guns but thought to yourself “I wish this came in the shape of a turd,” well, there you go.
Baron’s Ambition – Machine Gun (Fallen SABER): Basically the same gun as its older, not shit colored version. No idea if you guys tried out the older version, but it was pretty fun. Pretty solid gun either way. Though if your turds are solid, you should probably go see a doctor.
 

Raid Weapons:

Much like strike weapons, you probably won’t be getting these weapons. However, you do have a better chance, as Oryx isn’t as much of a dick as RNGesus is when it comes to strikes (emphasis on “as much of a dick”).
 
Smite of Merain – Pulse Rifle: This thing is actually pretty good. The most I could complain about is that its reload speed is a bit too slow (when it comes to pulse rifles, a slow reload speed means your enemy will die of old age before you can get those final rounds in). If you can get past that though (cocoon certainly helps this a ton obviously), it’s a pretty solid choice.
Qullim's Terminus – Machine Gun: This thing is literally just Ruin Wake with half the reload speed. If you like Ruin Wake, but think it could use some better stability and range, this thing is for you. The cocoon perk means that you can make range and stability pretty good at the cost of reload speed, which is of no concern with said perk. Plus the third perk slot has some pretty good rolls. If you can get this sucker, I’d definitely hold onto it.
Zaouli's Bane – Hand Cannon: In the words of everyone’s favorite person blue bastard, “Good weapon.” (Seriously though, does anyone else get irrationally upset when Rahool blurts out that line? Especially when he’s just finished decrypting it into a mote of light? Thanks man, I’ll just throw this ball of light at my enemies. I’ll tell you how that goes.) This thing’s got decent stability, and pretty good damage output. Plus it’s got the highest aim assistance in the game. The biggest issue is the range, but there’s a few perks to help that out at least somewhat.
Defiance of Yasmin – Sniper Rifle: Pretty good sniper. It isn’t completely the high impact, low rate of fire type of sniper that I prefer, but it’s not really low impact, high rate of fire either. It sits nestled somewhere in-between. I wasn’t very fond of the Antimony sniper sold by New Monarchy because of its rather poor stability and poor vendor rolls. This gun, while it does sacrifice some range and reload speed, has a much higher stability to fix this, which I find to be a preferable trade-off. Plus it’s got perks to make range better anyways, and the third perk slot has some decent choices. All without sacrificing the aim assist, which is one of the highest in the game for snipers. Good all-around gun to have.
Elulim's Frenzy – Rocket Launcher: It’s alright. If you can’t get your hands on a Vertigo (I don’t know how, FWC is basically giving it to you on a silver platter with your name engraved into it), this isn’t a bad one to replace it with. The lack of an ability to roll for Grenades & Horseshoes and the low base velocity kind of brings it down a notch or two in my book howver. You can mitigate the velocity issue a bit through the perks it provides at least though.
 

Crucible Drops:

Alright, so maybe PvE and higher level PvP aren’t your thing. Well lucky for you, pity items will drop for you just for playing PvP! And they’re all pretty good. What a novel concept, right? Just make sure you’re at the bottom of the team to increase your odds at said pity drop. Because fuck the guy that did all the work, right?
 
Party Crasher +1 – Shotgun: Another, ermh, “favorite” returning from HoW. And guess what? Bungie actually buffed its base range slightly to be one of the best in the game. Apparently Bungie and I both enjoy a good glass of salty guardian tears. So yeah. Get a good roll with this sucker, and go nuts. Now if only there was a Glass Half Full perk on this thing, the glass of tears joke would be complete…
Split Shifter Pro – Fusion Rifle: This thing was arguably pretty damn good in HoW, and now it’s back. Stability may not be the best compared to fusions like The Vacancy, but its charge rate is one of the best in the game, and it can roll for stability perks anyways. Worth at least giving it a spin if you get one as a drop.
Eyasluna – Hand Cannon: This baby Hawkmoon ain’t got its talons yet, so don’t expect it to maim targets as good as its momma bird. But it’s still got a pretty sharp beak to peck your fucking eyes out. I’d hold onto this little guy if you can snatch him from the nest of RNG. Are these bird metaphors becoming a bit too much by the way? I mean, I’m not going to stop, but I was just wondering.
The Revelator – Hand Cannon: This is basically Zaouli’s Bane lite. It has the same rate of fire, but slightly less impact. Same aim assistance. Ever so slight better range. Even slighter less stability. Basically, if you can’t get Zaouli’s Bane, this is nice to tide you over until you can. But once you do (especially if it’s the elemental version), kick this girl to the side of the road where she belongs.
The Ash Factory – Rocket Launcher: I was personally a bit partial to my Tomorrow’s Answer in HoW, so when I got this as a drop, I just dismantled it. Of course, par for the course, everyone couldn’t wait to tell me how wrong my opinion was (Fuck you too, reddit, I’m moving to voat!). Looking at it now, it’s not a bad launcher. I mean, only having a single rocket in the magazine without tripod sort of kills my explosion boner though. I’d probably still just tell everyone to get a Smolder, as that upsets two parties at once, and I feed on your salt. But anyways, if you get one with Javelin and tripod, it’s worth holding onto. I guess.
NL Shadow 701X – Scout Rifle: I’m pretty damn salty Bungie got rid of the ability to roll full auto on this thing from HoW. Either way, it’s a pretty nice scout to get your hands on. It fires pretty damn fast, and the impact is pretty good. Just don’t expect it to really excel in any other departments.
 

Iron Banana:

Right on time too! Are you excited to earn some cool weapons all while having fun playing this hyper competitive playlist!? Because you shouldn’t be. Iron Banner will leave you with a new fist-sized window in your wall, and a broken controller. Why? The lag. The bullshit. The incompetent teammates. OH FUCKING BOY THE INCOMPETENT TEAMMATES. For what? Some halfway decent rewards? But you’re going to play anyways. And you’re going to get angry. Just like you always do. You might get a weapon for it. But it won’t be worth it. Have fun!
 
Nirwen's Mercy – Pulse Rifle: Perhaps you ignored my role as the gun wizard and got yourself a Spare Change.25? And you realized it’s just sort of “alright” after all, and want something to replace it. Well, you’re in luck! Turns out, Lord Saladbar has been kind enough to gift us a pulse rifle with the same archetype as the godly 55A-allFATE, and with better stability and reload speed at the cost of some range. The range is a bit low on this thing compared to the Spare Change, but that can certainly be remedied with a good roll.
Finnala's Peril – Hand Cannon: Pretty good gun. It’s basically a Fatebringer with better stability and reload speed, at the cost of a little range. If you aren’t able to grab an Imago Loop or Eyasluna, this is your next best bet. And you certainly aren’t just settling for it.
Deidris's Retort – Shotgun: Should you not be able to grab yourself a Party Crasher 2.0, this is a pretty good replacement, mostly because it’s got a pretty good base range. You’re gonna want a roll with more range to catch up with the Party Crasher though, (as its base range is pretty insane) but it fires slightly faster than Party Crasher. Could end up being pretty good with the right roll.
Ashraven's Flight – Fusion Rifle: This thing takes longer to charge up, but has the same or worse stability compared to Long Far gone and Split Shifter Pro. However, it also has more impact, meaning it doesn’t require as many bolts to hit in order to kill. It doesn’t really blow me away, but if you get a good roll that satisfies you, I see no reason not to keep it.
Weyloran's March – Sniper Rifle: Impact is pretty sucky, so this isn’t a gun you should otherwise be using in PvE. In PvP however, this sucker has a very interesting aspect that you wouldn’t otherwise know about: it has the highest aim assistance for a sniper in the game. Roll it with Hidden Hand, and you’ll be popping headshots you didn’t even intend to land.
Haakon's Hatchet – Auto Rifle: Considering how fun to use low impact AR’s are now, this thing doesn’t look half bad to use. If it’s anything like the old Iron Banner AR though, it’s probably got a ton of kick to it, which sucks especially since the stability isn’t the best. You may just be better off grabbing the Dead Orbit AR unless you get a good stability roll.
Tormod's Bellows – Rocket Launcher: This thing has pretty good base velocity, and alright blast radius. If you can’t roll a perk to make blast radius better, it’s gonna be disappointing to use compared to other launchers with good blast radius. But if you can, and you get some other good perks with it, it’ll be a solid rocket launcher. Basically, if you feel like just buying The Vertigo is too easy, and you instead want to gamble with RNG (hint, you’ll lose. He rigged the game), go nuts with this thing.
Ironwreath-D – Sidearm: Deciding whether to include a weapon based on stats AND potential perk rolls is pretty tough. So when you have a weapon type where all the weapons have basically the exact same stats and possible stat rolls, what the hell do you do? I certainly have no idea. So I’m just plopping this thing here. I’ll let you guys sort things out for yourselves. You’re big boys and girls.
 

Trials of Osiris:

Trials is gonna be pretty interesting to watch. A change in the way it works, AND no more relying on Thorn to win (RIP Thorns of Osiris and weekly lighthouse visits). And to top it all off, a new meta is likely going to be established very quickly this time around. The other two jokes about not getting weapons were just that: jokes. If you’re not a crucible god, good fucking luck getting these new weapons. If you’re not TripleWreck, you better pray to whatever god you believe in. If you don’t believe in any gods, you damn well better believe in miracles. Because it probably won’t be happening. On the bright side, there are some weapons that are roughly equivalent to the Trials guns (minus the element on the lighthouse versions anyways). Also, I’m just going to save you some reading and say unless otherwise specified, these weapons are basically the best for their archetype. I will therefore be listing replacement guns in this section instead.
 
The Water Star – Hand Cannon: If you can’t grab this, an Eyasluna or Imago Loop are not too far behind as far as stats. In fact, Imago Loop even has more potential perk rolls than either of the other two.
The Doctrine of Passing – Auto Rifle: Archetypal competitors include Antipodal Hindsight, An Answering Chord, SUROS ARI-45, The Dealbreaker, and Does Not Bow. Funny side note that’s also kind of sad: SUROS Regime is actually worse than this thing even though it’s a legendary.
Reflection Sum – Pulse Rifle: The Lyudmila-D is the next best option (it’s not that far behind) but its recoil is kind of bad. If you can get a recoil-reduction roll on this thing, it’ll probably be just as good. Otherwise, Spare Change.25 is your only other option. Both these options are guns with some pretty bad recoil, but I have a feeling this thing won’t suffer from it as much, so in the end it’ll probably still be the best anyways.
The Inward Lamp – Scout Rifle: If you can pick up a Cocytus SR4, you basically have this gun (slightly worse range, but slightly better stability). If not, consider a Last Extremity or a Colovance's Duty.
Binary Dawn – Shotgun: Ah yes, a weapon to surpass Metal Ge—erhm, I mean Party Crasher. Better base range AND impact at the cost of some stability (literally who cares). The next best option is therefore Party Crasher +1. After that, if you can get a range focused roll, a Conspiracy Theory ain’t that bad either. But you aren’t gonna get as much range squeezed out of it as a Binary Dawn or Party Crasher with range perks obviously.
Elevating Vision – Fusion Rifle: This thing’s actually not all that amazing in my opinion. You’re actually not much worse off if you just grab a Long Fare Gone, Split Shifter Pro, or The Vortex.
Glass Promontory – Sniper Rifle: I had a couple of friends who played Trials a ton when it was first out. We won like every week. One of those friends and I got the old version of this sniper from it, and we both absolutely HATED it. Aiming it just felt so off. This new gun has exactly the same stats, aim assist and all. Personally, I’d say it’s not worth your time. If you’re set on it though, I’d say go with Weyloran's March if you want to go the insane route and max out your aim assist, or go the opposite way and grab a Uzume RR4 if you want to aim your gun and fire like a big boy without the game trying to help.
The Unseeing Eye – Machine Gun: So many damn guns trying to get noticed by their senpai, Ruin Wake. This thing is Ruin Wake with a longer reload time, but more bullets in the magazine. Meh. The extra bullets are nice, but I’d rather not take forever trying to reload.
The Tamarind – Rocket Launcher: Guys! GUYS! Guess what! They took the old Tomorrow’s Answer and made it infinitely better! How so? More stability! Rocket Launcher users rejoice! Honestly though, just grab a damn Vertigo. Its blast radius is the same, but its velocity is better.
 

Gunsmith:

Ah, we’ve reached the final stop. Everyone please grab your belongings. The bullet train will be arriving at gun city shortly. The Gunsmith is fun. He doesn’t seem like he’s actively trying to screw you over, and it always seems like he’s got some pretty good offerings. Plus he’s got a nice voice.
 
Zarinaea-D – Auto Rifle: This little guy fits the low impact, high rate of fire archetype. I’ve played around with it a little, and I actually really like it. Usually Hakke weapons are a bit more recoil heavy, but I didn’t really notice any such issue with this guy. It looks cool, and in my opinion is better than its SUROS equivalent.
SUROS ARI-45 – Auto Rifle: An Answering Chord is arguably a better gun than this as far as range and reload speed, but I like this thing as far as rolls go. After all, both can drop as random rolls, but it’s arguably easier to get the roll you want with this gun because of how the Gunsmith operates.
Uffern HC4 – Hand Cannon: Pretty good hand cannon. It’s Fatebringer’s archetype, but with slightly more impact. Range is pretty good compared to the other vendor hand cannons (though equal with Byronic Hero). It’s also got some damn good stability and pretty decent reload speed.
Judith-D – Hand Cannon: Really high impact hand cannon with some pretty good range (slightly better than Fatebringer’s), but pretty poor stability and reload speed. However, stability is arguably not as important on low rate of fire hand cannons. That being said, it would still be nice to go for a roll that has a stability upgrade, as well as a reload upgrade of some sort (You can never go wrong with Outlaw).
Ace of Spades – This gun is pretty cool. You know how Imago Loop is literally just Fatebringer with a white coat of paint and no arc damage? Well, this thing is as well, but it’s got that little bit extra that makes it special: it was made with love by Cayde. Oh, and some exotic perk that basically makes it so you don’t have to reload if you keep getting kills with it or whatever. It takes away all the pain and suffering of hoping RNG not only drops Imago Loop for you, but also drops it with a Fatebringer roll.
SUROS PDX-45 – Pulse Rifle: Not as good as its vendor equivalent the Hawksaw, but I included it for similar reasons as the SUROS ARI-45. Get a roll with full auto and some range (and maybe stability) increasing perks, and this thing’ll be a beast.
SUROS PDX-41 – Pulse Rifle: Similar to Nirwen’s Mercy, but with better range at the cost of a little stability and reload speed. Roll this thing for stability, and maybe with Outlaw, and you’re golden.
Cocytus SR4 – Scout Rifle: Different archetype from Hung Jury, so I’ll begrudgingly allow it. Its stats aren’t all that bad. High impact scouts aren’t exactly a bad thing to get your hands on. You may want to focus on range and stability for this thing either way.
Tlaloc – Scout Rifle: This thing is warlock exclusive. I was REALLY tempted to not bothering including this thing. Why? It’s literally just a Hung Jury with worse stats. It also basically forces you to sit on your super in order to make it a justifiable gun to use your exotic slot for. That being said, when the exotic perk is active, the increased rate of fire makes this thing pretty damn fun to use, and pretty damn effective at that.
Immobius – Shotgun: This thing is Titan only. And actually, it wouldn’t really be on this list if it weren’t for its signature perk (its range is sort of sucky otherwise). This thing doesn’t expend ammo when you’re sitting in your defender bubble with armor of light getting kills, AND gets bonus damage when three or more enemies are charging at you. Pretty damn good for locking down a point.
Susanoo – Fusion Rifle. This fusion is warlock exclusive, and man, is it nice. Charge rate isn’t the best, but stability is pretty nice, and impact ain’t half bad. And then it has its signature perk to fall back on that makes it start dealing elemental damage based on the elemental damage you just dealt with your subclass. It’s kind of like Dracula if he started spewing blood at his enemies after drinking someone some. Also, I suck at analogies by the way.
Thesan FR4 – Fusion Rifle: The Vacancy is a pretty useful little bugger. But fuck that shit, because then there’s this monster. Its charge rate is slightly better at the cost of an exceedingly minor difference in damage and range. And then it has stability and reload speed that kicks The Vacancy’s ass. So yeah, pick this fucker up faster than a puppy that just stole your heart at a rescue shelter. Don’t let it just sit there, whimpering that you just left it behind. Probably to some guy who wouldn’t love it as much as you would. Don’t worry, your man card will still be intact.
Eirene RR4 – Sniper Rifle: This guy’s been making some waves as of its recent sale by Banshee. I’ve had this sucker on my list of guns to get before TTK even released. I’m the damn gun wizard. Don’t doubt me. Anyways yeah, it’s got slightly more impact than 1000-yard stare, but less stability and reload speed. Either way, not a bad sniper to have, especially if you can get a good roll on it.
Tamar-D – Sniper Rifle: Basically the Antimony sniper with less reload speed. However, I was not fond of the Antimony sniper because of its low stability. This being a gunsmith weapon, you can more easily get a roll with higher stability to make this gun more enjoyable than the Antimony sniper. And you don’t even have to give up much aim assist for it.
Stillpiercer – Sniper Rifle: Gotta mention this sniper or people are gonna get mad at me. It’s a 1000-yard stare but with better reload speed and some cool perks. It’s hunter exclusive however, so sorry to everyone not playing an overpowered class ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Honorable Mentions:
Lyudmila-D – Pulse Rifle: I have this thing, and I love it to death. However, I didn’t include it for similar reasons to Spare Change.25: it’s got some pretty nasty recoil. For most people, this will be a complete no-no for a pulse rifle especially. I don’t mind it that much, but I can understand why most would. SUROS weapons tend to not have nearly as much kick as Hakke weapons, which is why I only included SUROS weapons for Pulse Rifles. They aren’t bad Pulse Rifles though.
SUROS DIS-47 – Scout Rifle: Much like the Lyudmila, I love this thing. It can fire basically as fast as you can pull the trigger. It’s a good weapon for dealing a ton of damage over time as opposed to dealing large amounts of damage all at once. Still some might not like a scout like that. Not to mention your fingers can get tired pretty quick considering how fast you have the slam down the trigger in order to deliver a good amount of damage.
Uzume RR4 – Sniper Rifle: This thing’s alright. I’m not an amazing fan of low impact snipers, but I do like snipers with a lower aim assist. This thing has decently low aim assist, which is fine in my book. It also has the highest base stability in the game for making follow up shots easier. However, I realize low impact snipers aren’t the most popular, and self-acclaimed pro snipers can’t wait to tell me how great high aim assist snipers are, so I’m gonna leave this little guy right here.
SUROS JLB-47 – Rocket Launcher: Just get The Vertigo dammit. If you really don’t, this thing is the exact same launcher, but you can choose the perks it rolls with easier. But honestly, The Vertigo already has good perks, so why bother?
 
Alright everyone. We’ve reached our destination. Everyone get the fuck off my train. The trip isn’t completely over yet though! Because RNGesus’ wrath knows no bounds, your bus home has been delayed. So you get to sit here longer and look at whatever else I have to show you. For all you fuckers who don’t like to read (I got enough comments about it last time to know there’s plenty of you out there), here’s a nice concise summary of everything. But before we get to the nice concise summary, here’s a lot of reading. Now pay close attention, because this could get complicated. I have each weapon split into the archetype it fits for its weapon type. Next to that archetype, I have listed the general stats for weapons of that archetype (such as low or high range, low or high stability, etc.). Next to each weapon, I have listed the stats important to that weapon type, and how much you should focus on improving the weapon in said areas in order to make it hit the best stats for that archetype.
So if an AR has a stability of 10/100, and the highest stability in that archetype is 40/100, it will be listed that the weapon we are looking at needs a high focus on stability. But if a weapon has a stability of 40/100 and the highest weapon stability in that archetype is, say, 45/100, then the weapon will be listed as needing a low focus on stability. Make sense? It should be noted that while this makes it easy for comparing how much work is needed to make a gun good within an archetype, it isn’t that useful for comparing across archetypes. Therefore, you should pick the archetype you are most fond of, and search within that. There’s no easy way for me to compare across archetypes besides what I’ve already done (listing what the archetype as a whole tends to gravitate around). Here’s some tips on using that to the best potential:
If an archetype is listed as low stability, and a weapon in that archetype is listed with a low focus on stability, it’s pretty close to the best stability stat in that archetype. However, its stability stat isn’t that great in the grand scheme of things because of its archetype. If the weapon was listed as having a high focus on stability in that archetype, that means its stability is pretty damn piss poor in comparison to other AR’s. Likewise, if an archetype is listed as high stability, and a weapon is listed with a low focus on stability, overall, it’s got a pretty damn amazing base stability. But if it’s listed as having a high focus on stability, while its stability is likely alright, and perhaps better than an archetype with low stability, its stability isn’t all that great in comparison to its peers. You must also take into account that the higher the rate of fire a weapon has, the more stability it will need. So an AR with only medium stability isn’t that bad if it’s a high impact archetype, but will kick like a bronco if it’s a low impact archetype. If all these words confused you, and perhaps even scared you, it’s probably just easiest to pick an archetype that sounds good, and pick out the weapon you think looks coolest. I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you already anyways.
 
Auto Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, medium to high range
Low Impact: Medium to high stability, low to medium range
 
Scout Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, high range
Low Impact: Medium stability, low range
 
Hand Cannons:
High Impact: Medium stability and range
Low Impact: Medium stability, low range
 
Pulse Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, high range
Medium Impact: High stability, medium range
Low Impact: High stability, low range
 
Shotguns:
High Impact: Medium to high range
 
Fusions:
High Charge Rate: Medium stability, low impact
Medium Charge Rate: Medium to high stability and impact
 
Snipers:
High Impact: Medium to high stability
Medium Impact: Low to medium stability
Low Impact: Medium to high stability
 
Machine Guns:
High Impact: High stability, medium range
Medium Impact: High stability and range
 
Rocket Launchers:
 
As a final note, I’m obviously not suggesting you get ALL of these weapons (gotta clear this up because this wasn’t obvious enough last time apparently). These are just suggestions of ones to look at. These are guns that if you get a good roll to combat the listed weaknesses, you’ll overall have a really good weapon on your hands. If you get something that isn’t on this list or the vendor weapon list, it probably isn’t worth your time. Which one you get, and which rolls you get, are up to RNG. Which ones you keep are up to you. If you have any questions over what I personally believe to be the best weapon to snag for each category, I’ll be more than happy to give my two cents. Happy hunting, Guardians!
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Futures Slide After US-China APEC Clash, Apple Production Cuts

After a dramatic end to the APEC summit in Papua New Guniea which concluded in disarray, without agreement on a joint communique for the first time in its history amid the escalating rivalry between the United States and China, U.S. index futures initially traded sharply lower as investors digested signs that America-China trade tensions are set to persist, however they staged a modest rebound around the time Europe opened, and have traded mixed since amid subdued volumes as a holiday-shortened week begins in the US.

Last Friday, US stocks jumped after President Trump said that he might not impose more tariffs on Chinese goods after Beijing sent a list of measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions. However, tensions between the two superpowers were clearly on display at the APEC meeting over the weekend where Vice President Mike Pence said in a blunt speech that there would be no end to U.S. tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods until China changed its ways.
“The comments from Trump were seen as offering a glimmer of hope that further tariff action could be held in abeyance,” said NAB’s head of FX strategy, Ray Attrill. “The exchange of barbs between Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping in PNG on the weekend continues to suggest this is unlikely.”
US Futures were also pressured following a report by the WSJ that Apple has cut iPhone production, creating turmoil for suppliers and sending AAPL stock 1.6% lower and pressuring Nasdaq futures.
Yet while early sentiment was downbeat following the APEC fiasco, US futures staged a rebound as shares in both Europe and Asia rose while Treasuries declined, the dollar faded an initial move higher as traders focused on the Fed’s new-found concerns over the global economy, and the pound advanced amid speculation that the worst may be over for Theresa May, since the potential for a vote of no confidence in May may be losing traction: the Sun reported that 42 lawmakers have sent letters of no confidence to Graham Brady, 6 more are needed to trigger a leadership challenge

Asia took a while to warm up but made a strong finish, with the Shanghai Composite closing 0.9% and Japan's Nikkei 0.7% higher, helping Europe start the week off strong too as a 1 percent jump in mining, tech and bank stocks helped traders shrug off last week’s Brexit woes. At the same time, stocks fell in Australia and New Zealand, where the Aussie and kiwi currencies dropped after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence attacked China at the weekend APEC summit.
Telecommunications and construction shares pushed Europe's Stoxx 600 Index higher, along with stocks in Italy, where Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said the government is ready for dialog with the European Commission over the country’s budget, which however seems just more semantics as Italy refused to concede to European budget demands.
Meanwhile, in addition to confusion over trade, the outlook for U.S. interest rates was also uncertain. While Federal Reserve policymakers are still signaling rate increases ahead, they also sounded more concerned about a potential global slowdown, leading markets to suspect the tightening cycle may not have much further to run and Morgan Stanley to write that "We Sense A Shift In Tone From The Fed."
Goldman Sachs also chimed in, saying it expected the pace of U.S. economic growth to slow toward the global average next year. The bank now sees a broad dollar decline next year, and revised its long-standing bearish view on the Japanese yen and tipped Latin American currencies, the Swedish krona, the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars and the Israeli shekel to rise.
“We see several changes to the global economic backdrop which, combined with a few negative medium-run factors, point to more downside than upside to the broad dollar in 2019,” Goldman economists said in an outlook report. Goldman's bearish tilt will focus attention on an appearance by New York Fed President John Williams later on Monday to see if he echoes the same theme. As Reuters notes, investors have already cut odds of further hikes, with a December move now priced at 73%, down from over 90%. Futures imply rates around 2.74% for the end of next year, compared to 2.93% early this month.
As a result, yields on 10-year Treasurys declined to 3.08 percent, from a recent top of 3.25 percent while the currency market saw the dollar fade early gains while the pound rebounded from sharp losses last week as Theresa May prepared to appeal to business leaders to help deliver her Brexit deal as the premier fights almost insurmountable Parliamentary opposition.
May said on Sunday that toppling her would risk delaying Brexit as she faces the possibility of a leadership challenge from within her own party. With both pro-EU and pro-Brexit lawmakers unhappy with the draft agreement, it is not clear that she will be able to win the backing of parliament, increasing the risk that Britain will leave the EU without a deal.
Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars held on to their declines after Mike Pence's attack on China this weekend fueled concern Sino-U.S. trade tensions will worsen; the yen neared a month-to-date high on the risk-aversion, onshore yuan weakened for the first time in five days.
Treasuries slipped while European bonds were mixed, with core notes slipping and peripherals rising led by Italy. In the U.S., trading activity may be thinned before the Thanksgiving holiday later this week.
In commodity markets, gold found support from the drop in the dollar and held at $1,1220.19. Oil prices suffered their sixth straight week of losses last week, but climbed toward $57 a barrel in New York on Monday. Bitcoin dropped further below $6,000, at one point touching a one-year intraday low.

Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg:
Asian equity markets began the week somewhat cautious on lingering trade concerns and after disunity at the APEC summit over the weekend which failed to agree on a joint communique for the first time in history due to US-China tensions. ASX 200 (-0.6%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) traded mixed in which nearly all of Australia’s sectors were in the red aside from miners, while Nikkei 225 was positive as participants digested mixed trade data which showed a jump in imports. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.9%) were choppy amid trade-related uncertainty following the verbal jabs between US and China in which Chinese President Xi warned that countries which embraced protectionism were doomed to fail and US Vice President Pence later commented the US could more than double the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods. Finally, 10yr JGBs futures rose to match the YTD high as they tracked the recent upside in T-notes and with the BoJ also present in the market for JPY 800bln of JGBs in the belly to the short-end of the curve. APEC summit ended without an agreement on a joint communique for the first time in its history after China refused to sign amid US-China tensions, while there had been comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping that countries which embraced protectionism were "doomed to failure" and US Vice President Pence later commented that he was prepared to "more than double" the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.
Top Asian News - China’s Ping An Buys Stake in German Fintech Incubator Finleap - Japan Bank Shares Fall Most in Month After U.S. Yields Drop - Asian Markets Come out of Their Torpor as Stock Gains Accelerate - An Accountant Stirs Debate as India Central Bank Board Meets
Major European indices are in the green, with the outperforming FTSE MIB (+1.1%) bolstered by news that Luigi Gubitosi has been appointed as the new CEO of Telecom Italia (+4.3%). The SMI (-0.2%) gave up initial gains and is lagging its peers, weighed on Swatch (-4.0%) and Richemont (-1.4%) following unfavourable price outlook for both by Bank of America Merill Lynch. Sectors are mostly all in the green, with outperformance in telecom names, while energy names are lower given pullback in oil prices in recent trade and consumer discretionary names are weighed on by Renault (-7.0%), with the company shares extending losses following reports that Nissan’s boss has been arrested in Japan regarding allegations of financial violations. Renault shares are hit given the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Elsewhere, BPost (-5.7%) shares are hit following a downgrade at HSBC, while Tele2 (+1.8%), are near the top of the Stoxx 600 after being upgraded at Berenberg.
Top European News
In FX, the Greenback has regained some composure following its downturn at the end of last week amidst soft US data and cautious if not concerned or outright dovish Fed rhetoric (Clarida conscious about contagion from slower global growth, Kaplan envisaging headwinds from rising debt and Harker opposed to a December rate hike), but the DXY remains capped below a key Fib level (96.590) and the Dollar overall is mixed vs major counterparts.
In commodities, Brent (+0.5%) and WTI (+0.1%) are in positive territory, albeit off highs, following market expectations that Saudi Arabia will steer OPEC and Russia to cut oil supply. Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Novak said the country is planning to sign an output agreement with OPEC at their December 6th meeting in Vienna. Overnight gains in the complex were driven by reports that Saudi is said to want oil prices around USD 80.00/bbl. Elsewhere, Iranian President Rouhani emerged on state TV and stated that the US has failed to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero and Iran will continue to sell their crude. Conversely, Gold (-0.2%) prices fell this morning, with traders citing profit taking from last week’s gains, while Palladium is nearing parity with gold as an all-time high of USD 1185.4/oz was hit on Friday. Separately, copper is lower following tension between the US and China at the APEC summit which ended without an agreement on a joint communique for the first time in its history.
It's a fairly quiet start to the week on Monday with the only data of note being the Euro Area and the November NAHB housing market index reading in the US. Away from that, the Fed's Williams is due to speak in the afternoon, while BoJ Governor Kuroda, Bank of France Governor Villeroy de Galhau and his predecessor, Noyer, will all speak at the Europlace Financial Forum. Euro Area finance ministers are also due to gather in Brussels to seek to make progress on Franco-German plans to shore up the currency union.
US Event Calendar
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Brexit was left in a bit of phoney war this weekend. We’re no closer to a leadership contest for Mrs May but it could still happen at any point. The Sun -citing their “extensive investigation” - has concluded that 42 lawmakers have sent letters of no-confidence in the PM (48 needed). Overall though more Conservative MPs are disliking the deal - and will vote against it - than will ask for a leadership battle in our opinion. The consensus that is forming amongst the Conservative MPs who dislike the Withdrawal Agreement is that it can be improved upon. This time next week we will have just had the Sunday EU summit to sign off their side of the deal but its not clear how meaningful tweaks could be made before this and before the agreement goes before UK Parliament in the next 2-3 weeks. The only thing that could be fleshed out is more on the future relationship between the UK and Europe as Mrs May travels to Brussels this week to try to progress on this. That might appease some MPs but likely not enough to help the vote pass. As such my personal view is that May stays on as leader, the EU offer no concession, the vote doesn’t get through Parliament and then the fun and games start. The UK may go back to Europe and ask for specific concessions at this point or we may end up with a path towards a hard Brexit or a second referendum. Quite binary options. For the EU maybe the gamble is to offer nothing and assume the UK Parliament eventually offers a second referendum and voters eventually decide to stay. This increases the risk of a cliff-edge hard Brexit but also one where no Brexit happens at all. This story has a lot of legs left in it.
There was lots in the press this weekend about Brexit but interestingly for me as a credit strategist by day, there was also a fair bit of negative press about credit with some of the more sensational articles suggesting that credit could soon blow up financial markets due to (amongst other things) the weight of US BBBs about to swamp the HY market, record levels of Cov-lite issuance and due to record high US corporate leverage. For us there needs to some perspective. We have been on the underweight side of credit all year, more weighted to a US underweight of late but that’s been more of a valuation play than over too much concerns about immediate credit quality. The US economy remains strong and credit deterioration is likely to remain idiosyncratic until it rolls over. At that point we will have big problems though and last week’s activity made us more confident liquidity will be bad when the cycle turns as we moved a fairly large amount on nervousness as much as anything else. GE, PG&E, plunging oil and the factors discussed above provided a jolt but we don’t think this is enough for now to impact the economy so credit will probably stabilise. However once there is actual broad economic weakness, this last week will be a dress rehearsal for the problems ahead and there will be little two-way activity with spreads gapping wider. However that’s for further down the cycle. For now credit’s main problem
has been it hadn’t responded enough to the pick up in vol. The good news is that this is starting to catch-up and correct. Last week, EU non-fin. IG spread widened by 13bps and HY by 45bps while those on US IG by 14bps and HY by 49bps. Big moves relative to a small down week in equities.
Looking ahead to the highlights for this week, I’d imagine if you’re in the US this will revolve around family, friends and perhaps Turkey as you sit down for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Outside of that we get the flash PMIs around the globe on Friday which in a period of nervousness about the global growth outlook will be scrutinised in thin post holiday trading. Black Friday will also mark the start of Xmas shopping season for retailers. Also worth noting is the European Commission's opinions on the budget plans of the Euro Area countries on Wednesday. While the EC formally has three weeks to provide an opinion on Italy's new fiscal plan following their budget resubmission last week, it's possible that they will issue this for Italy alongside this and thus kick starting the EDP process.
This morning in Asia, markets have kicked off the week on a positive note with the Nikkei (+0.48%), Hang Seng (+0.40%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.22%) all up along with most Asian markets. Elsewhere, futures on S&P 500 (-0.33%) are pointing towards a weaker start. In terms of overnight data releases, the UK Rightmove house prices index fell -0.2% yoy (-1.7% mom), first dip since 2011, led by declines in London (-2.4% yoy). Japan’s October adjusted trade balance stood at –JPY 302.7bn (vs. –JPY 48.3bn) as growth in imports (+19.9% yoy vs. +14.1% yoy expected) outpaced the growth in exports (+8.2% yoy vs. +8.9% yoy expected).
In other news, the US Vice President Pence delivered some sharp rhetoric on China over the weekend where he called upon countries to avoid taking debt from China as that would leave them indebted to China. He also added that the US wasn’t in a rush to end the trade war and would “not change course until China changes its ways.” Elsewhere, the APEC summit ended in disarray on Sunday after the US and China failed to agree on a joint statement, reflecting tensions due to the ongoing trade war. This is the first time since the summit began in 1993 that no joint statement was issued.
Looking back briefly now to last week before we focus on the full day-byday week ahead. Friday was an eventful day for market-moving rhetoric from policymakers, highlighted by Fed Vice Chair Clarida and President Trump. First, the dollar shed -0.52% after Clarida discussed the global economy and said there “is some evidence it’s slowing.” Two-year treasury yields rallied -3.8bps (-11.0bps on the week) and the market removed 6bps of Fed hikes through the end of next year (priced out a total of 16bps on the week). This came despite Clarida’s other remarks, which emphasised the strong US economy and his support for moving policy to a “neutral” level, consistent with the FOMC’s projections. Later in the session, Chicago Fed President Evans said that he too wants to move policy to neutral, and then another 50bps or so beyond that level.
Later on Friday, President Trump injected optimism on the trade policy front by telling reporters that China wants to make a deal and that he may not institute further tariffs. China has apparently offered a list of potential concessions, which could prove to be the basis of a trade deal at the 30 November G20 summit. Even though unnamed White House sources subsequently tried to soften expectations, the market rallied with the S&P 500 up +0.22% (-1.31% on the week). The DOW and Russell 2000 closed -2.22% and -1.42% on the week, though they both rallied on the President’s comments as well (+0.22% and +0.49% on Friday, respectively). After Pence’s weekend comments we should probably discount some of the above optimism.
Other markets were already closed when President Trump’s comments boosted sentiment. The STOXX 600 closed the week -2.20% (-0.20% on Friday), while UK equities outperformed marginally, with the FTSE 100 shedding only -1.29% on the week (-0.34% Friday). This reflected the weaker pound, which retreated -1.13% versus the dollar (+0.41% Friday) and -1.83% versus the euro (its worst such week since July 2017, and -0.38% on Friday). Asian equities were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite advancing +3.09% (+0.41% Friday) on trade optimism and the Nikkei down -2.56% (-0.57% Friday). German Bunds rallied -4.0bps last week, while peripheral spreads widened slightly with Italy leading the way. BTPs sold off +8.8bps (flat on Friday) as the government continued to escalate its confrontation with the European Commission.
It's a fairly quiet start to the week on Monday with the only data of note being September construction output data for the Euro Area and the November NAHB housing market index reading in the US. Away from that, the Fed's Williams is due to speak in the afternoon, while BoJ Governor Kuroda, Bank of France Governor Villeroy de Galhau and his predecessor, Noyer, will all speak at the Europlace Financial Forum. Euro Area finance ministers are also due to gather in Brussels to seek to make progress on Franco-German plans to shore up the currency union.
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[Table] IAmA full-time Bitcoin day-trader, blogger, and explainer. I was a pro TCG player. Here until Midnight EST. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-20
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Questions Answers
Let's say someone was looking for a stay at home computer job, would you recommend doing what you do? Is it something you can hop into, or is it something a lot of time must be put into before considerable income comes? You handle risk and pressure well, and you don't let your emotions guide your decision-making. Professional Poker and TCG players often develop this skillset.
You have experience working with stocks, bonds, derivatives, foreign exchange, or other financial instruments. If you have a strong mathematical background, that would also likely fulfill this.
You can invest significant capital into trading while remaining financially secure if it all suddenly vanishes.
You are capable of constantly monitoring a situation, waking up in the middle of the night if an alarm goes off, etc. It requires serious dedication.
You are good at keeping up with news, understanding market psychology, and "feeling" shifts in attitude and perception among other market participants.
Of those, I'd be most cautious if you don't meet no. 3. Going bust is a real possibility--day-trading a volatile commodity is inherently extremely high-risk. Nos. 2 and 4 are the easiest to learn or force through routine. No. 1 requires a person who approaches things in an emotionally detached manner. No. 5 is something that comes with investing enough time.
Second question: I'm answering this after that big block of text because this answer will come off like a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can hop into it very quickly, and you can start making very high profits very quickly. I put in a small initial investment to test the waters, and made 10% on it in a few days. If you have the right skillset, composure, and resources, yes. It is a potentially very lucrative and exciting stay-at-home job. It is not for everyone, though.
As much as it would be beneficial for me (being in the industry and all), to tell everyone it's easy and that it will help them provide for themselves I feel that people need to know the real risks that are involved. Regardless, that's all a little irrelevant. We're not playing the house, and we're not flipping coins. We're playing other investors, and we're making actual decisions. You keep saying things like "98% lose money" and "Go onto any FOREX forum, and you will see from the users posts that they pretty much all lose money" but you don't back it up. Cool, yeah, it's a zero-sum game with a rake: a little more than half of the players will lose. That's expected. They'll probably complain about it, too, huh?
Retrospect can have a very positive effect. Got any real account trading statements I can have a look at? Let's see how fast you can come up with excuses not to show me ;) I only have and need one: I have chosen not to disclose my personal valuation for privacy reasons. Same reason I've had all along. I instead publicly disclose my trades, as they happen, on my website. The posts are timestamped, and the ones that are the start of a position contain the price I entered at. Go check the posts, then go check the charts, then go check my archive. But feel free to continue to arbitrarily call my credibility into question--that makes your argument better!
What leverage do you use? In Australia the leverage is typically 100:1, perhaps that's why your not seeing how risky I deem it to be. First, our argument so far has had nothing to do with risk. Second, I told you I am leveraged 2.5:1, two posts ago. Third, you realize I'm trading Bitcoin, not ForEx, correct? And that no one in their right mind would offer 100:1 leverage on Bitcoin due to its volatility?
What's your last year's hourly salary? A year ago I was finishing up college and extricating myself from the TCG business I'd co-founded. I took very little in take-home pay over that period, but kept part ownership of the continuing business. Money isn't just about the number on your bank account--it's also about residual future income.
How many hours a week are you typically on a computer? On a computer, probably 50-55, if you add in time I spend on my phone, I'd say 65-70. Day trading takes constant watchfulness. I imagine it's like an easier version of taking care of a baby.
What are your favorite to sources of news besides waiting for it to get to the front/hot page of /Bitcoin when it's several hours old? I have an IFTTT for /BitcoinMarkets and /Bitcoin that notifies me early on about some posts.
What's the weirdest thing about your mom? She started a bookselling business online in her 50s and makes more money than me.
Or.
She's a little old lady who loves gadgets and technology.
What are your thoughts on Dogecoin and other bitcoin competitors? Do you think any have staying value? LTC.
DOGE.
NXT.
VTC.
Coins that offer something different or that have a strong community to them can be valuable prospects.
LTC is the first-mover scrypt coin - DOGE has the most non-techies interested in its success and is spreading quickly as a result - NXT is a cool generation two coin that has a lot of features BTC doesn't have - VTC is ASIC-resistant
Ok, let me spell it out to you. The retail forex market only makes up 5% of the total forex markets liquidity. The other 95% is from hedge funds and institutions. Therefore, 99% of the retail market losing their money is very possible, as that only makes up 4.95% of the whole market. Is it possible that 4.95% of the market generally loses? Yes. How is that infeasible? Nope. That's a false equivalence. It is possible that 4.95% of the market loses. It is not feasible, that, say, 99% of people with blue eyes lose. What, exactly, in empirical terms, is the difference between retail investors and hedge/institutions that causes this INCREDIBLE disparity? Would you care to respond to my above empirical argument that demonstrates that a zero-decision system is flipping a losing coin? Do you consider it feasible for 99% of people playing a 45-55 game to lose?
Are there options and/or futures markets for Bitcoin? Not really yet, but there will be more prominent ones soon. I hear about a new one pretty regularly, it seems, but nothing that seems truly legitimate has come out. I'm certainly excited for them, though.
Eventually, once Mr. Lawsky and co. get things sorted out, I'm certain we'll see a big-name investment bank start offering them.
From the time you started trading until today, what is your overall percentage return? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Ben, i told you I'd be here and asking about Hearthstone first. If there's one class that needs a bit of tuning, up or down, which is it and why? I think Mage needs basic, class-level tuning. I'm not sure what needs to be done exactly, but I don't like what the Mage class power does to gameplay. I've thought some about how different it would be if it could only hit minions, and I'd want to know if Blizzard had tried that out. The Mage power is too versatile, and over the long-term I think it will prove to be problematic.
What's your favorite card? Lord Jaraxxus is my favorite card. He has a truly legendary feel to him when you play him, but your opponent can still win, even though he's very powerful.
So, where do you think we go from here? I'm currently short, but I don't expect to be so for a lot longer. I don't think we'll get past 550. I also don't expect this drop to hold on for a really long time.
I haven't seen a good, substantive rationale for what the MtGox situation really has to do with Bitcoin price. Yes, it looks bad, it certainly doesn't help with our legitimacy, but is it really worth the incredible price declines we continue to see? I don't think so. I think we are seeing these impressive declines because the price on MtGox (which is a reflection of trust in MtGox relative to Bitcoin price, not just Bitcoin price) has been declining heavily. I don't expect it to continue forever, especially not with things like the Winkdex and the accompanying ETF launching.
MtGox is basically dead to me, for now at least. The sooner everyone stops paying attention to it, the sooner we can all get back on track, which I, for one, will be quite happy about.
Do you think that it's a good thing for a game when the developers of that game discourage certain playing styles (e.g. mill decks or decks that try to win in unconventional manners) whether in hearthstone, MTG, or other TCGs? It can be. I don't want the developers metaphorically over my shoulder outlawing strategies, but I don't mind if the strategies that are "less fun" for your opponent (Draw/Go, Mill, or Hard Combo from MTG, for example) are also less powerful. Most players prefer a game where the best decks are also among the most fun, because it means that they are playing against fun decks more often. Clearly the 2-cost 3/3 will be played most often. If you fix this by making both 2-cost guys 2/2s or 3/3s, or by making one a 2/3 and the other a 3/2, then you've done something--but it's not that interesting. If you instead make the 2-cost 2/2 have text that says "While you control the 3-cost 3/3, this gets +2/+2" and you give the 3 cost 3/3 text that says "While you control the 2-cost 2/2, it has Taunt" you now have more complex cards that reward players for doing something other than just playing the best stand-alone card.
Which do you think is a better option to encourage diversity in TCGs; improving/buffing cards/decks that hardly see any play versus weakening/nerfing cards that are overwhelmingly played? This is obviously a very simplistic example, but I hope it makes the point. Games are more fun when you give players more relevant choices: buffing and nerfing cards tends not to do that as well as promoting synergies does.
Where/what is the actual money behind bitcoin? If it does exist. You might need to rephrase your question for me to understand what you're asking. If you're asking why a Bitcoin has value, the answer is the same as any other good: because someone is willing to pay it.
If you're asking why someone is willing to pay that amount, my answer would be utility.
I just got started on Bitfinex (using your referral link) and am a little intimidated. What types of trades would I recommend I try as a beginner? From there, just keep careful watch, and see what happens. Be neutral and objective toward your own hypothesis, just like in science. Don't be biased by your hopes, be focused on the reality.
So far I've only done a liquidity swap offer to try it since it seemed (nearly) risk free. Have you done any liquidity swap or is it too low in profit? If I'm not going to be able to check my computer for a day or two, or I'm uncertain of what's going to happen the next few days, I do use the liquidity swap function. It's actually very profitable, relative to traditional investments. And you're right, it is low-risk. I'm a fan. Good job selecting it if you were intimidated--that's a good place to start. As far as actually starting trading, do science. Start with a hypothesis. If you were up at 5 AM today when MtGox published their announcement, a good hypothesis might have been something like: "This announcement is going to be a blow to their credibility, and might panic the markets. We'll probably drop by some amount as a result." Invest based on it, figure out around what price you want to take profits, and at what price you'll cut your losses and get out. Stick to those determinations unless something substantive changes. The time you tell yourself you can afford to not close your position because it will "rebound" back to where you want is also the time you lose your shirt.
Is it true that you like Balloons? No, I <3 them.
Lol to the question about your mom... Ben, from my understanding Bitcoin is anonymous, does this mean that you can avoid taxation when receiving payment? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. That's actually a common misconception. It's actually pseudonymous, like Reddit. You end up with an online identity--a wallet address--that you use with Bitcoin.
If I walk up to you on a street corner and buy Bitcoin with cash, then I'm pretty much anonymous. If I buy it from a large institution like Coinbase or some other company, they will have records of the address my Bitcoin was bought for. As a result, you can trace them down, generally speaking.
As for avoiding taxation, that's a general no.
What do you think Bitcoin's biggest hurdle is and how do you think it can be overcome? Are there any misconceptions about Bitcoin that you think people have? The biggest hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome is governments. Governments have a variety of reasons not to want an alternative currency. We seem to have done pretty well on that front here in the US, but for other countries (China) that is not the case. Past that, the other major hurdle is something I consider an inevitability: consumer adoption. Business adoption has begun in earnest, consumer adoption hasn't. It will when enough businesses take Bitcoin to give it sufficient utility for the average customer.
What trading platform do you use to daytrade Bitcoin? What is the standard margin that Bitcoin brokers offer? what's the typical ask/bid spread? I primarily use Bitfinex.
Very few Bitcoin brokers currently offer leverage, Bitfinex offers 2.5:1. Over time, I anticipate it will become more like current Forex, where 10:1 or greater leverage is common.
It varies by exchange depending on their fees. Huobi charges 0% fees, so their spread is generally tiny. Some exchanges can be as wide as 1.5%. Typically, I see spreads between .5 and .7%.
Do you invest in any other type of cryptocurrency? if so, which is your favorite besides bitcoin? I currently have no other holdings, but I've held DOGE and LTC at points and am considering VTC and NXT. DOGE is probably my favorite, because if the community can keep this up for a little longer it will snowball into amaze.
Can you trade me a Jace? TMS WWK, TMS FTV, Beleren, MA, or AoT?
Beleren. M10, M11, LOR, JVC, JVCJPN, or Book Promo?
M10 and if not possible then M11. Sure.
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and especially like your summaries for recent events. Keep up the good work! Do you use strict stop-loss orders for your trades? When do you decide to close a trade? Especially in situations where you can basically see you profit/loss grow by the minute. When is enough? Do you have a longterm bitcoin investment you don't touch or do you use everything you have for trading? I do use relatively strict stop losses, but they're not stop loss orders. My conditions usually aren't just the price hitting a certain point, but instead it sustaining for a brief period, or hitting it with a certain volume, or with a certain amount of resistance to retreat. I don't want my stop loss to be triggered by some idiot who dumps 300 BTC and temporarily drops the price 15, but only ends up really dropping it 3. I am very strict with myself about this, though, generally speaking--if I can't trust promises I make to myself, what good am I?
Let's say for example you have a sum x dollar and a sum y bitcoin on your trading account. How much % of x or y do you risk at every trade? I've seen a formula for the max. amount of investment and read numerous times that traders shouldn't risk more than one or two percent of their "bankroll". Do you generally have dollar and btc or just one of them at any given time? 100% of funds in every trade, so long as all funds are easily moved into the position. Common exceptions are lack of liquidity and funds being on other exchanges. My reasoning for being all-in all-the-time is that it's a profit-maximizing move. It is also risk-maximizing. My risk tolerance is infinite; most people's isn't. Only ever one. Generally BTC if I'm long, dollar if I'm short. I prefer to double-dip, as otherwise it would be in contradiction to the 100% plan. I use everything I have for trading. Again, profit-maximization, infinite risk tolerance.
I decide a closing price when I'm near either my stop loss or my profit aim. I place a limit order or multiple limit orders wherever I need to. I avoid market orders whenever possible. Enough is when I hit my goals or my loss tolerance. I decide these at the start, but I frequently re-evaluate them as news and market conditions develop.
What is a typical bid/ask spread for Bitcoin? It depends what exchange you're looking at, but generally .5-.7%.
What's the best way to popularize Bitcoin among the masses? Add your own but would love your thoughts on: -microtransactions developing nations -gift economy (tipping) I would suggest just running around shouting "You get to be your own bank" is probably the best way.
In all seriousness, though--we don't need to try. It's going to happen on its own from now on, as the news media slowly starts to pick up the story. People will start appearing on TV talking about it with more and more frequency. Things like the Dogelympic teams are great PR and help boost it up, as well, of course, but in general it's just going to follow the adoption curve of every other technology.
If it picks up in a few developing nations that have stable internet, it will be a massive revolution for them. Self-banking can do a huge amount of good for an economy like theirs. We might see reports on that. If a major newspaper decides to run a permanent paywall like what the Sun-Times tested recently, that could be big as well. The slow PR from tipping on Reddit is another way, to be honest. Every bit helps, but the cryptocurrency community is now large enough that we're going to do a significant amount of organic, word-of-mouth style growth.
Do you think that a magic game could beat harthstone? If they do a good job, absolutely. They have to focus on the right things. It needs to be mobile-available, easy to pick up and play, and fun.
Is there a good crypto currency to get in on now, before it explodes like bitcoin did? There are plenty of options. Check out coinmarketcap.com. Fair warning, there are plenty of horrible things there--treat it kind of like penny stocks. I like BTC, LTC, DOGE, NXT, and VTC.
Also, why is it such a pain in the ass to buy them with actual money? Like you have to have bitcoins to buy other crypto currency. It's such a pain to buy them with USD because no one has made a good system to do it on, like Coinbase. If you think there's a desire, go do it!
Well the way I look at it, is how the hell else would you be able to buy them? Not everyone has piles of bitcoins lying around and I really don't want to spend $600+ on a single bitcoin just to buy some other currencies. Ah, I see the problem! You can buy fractions of a Bitcoin using Coinbase--I think .01BTC (~$6) is their minimum.
The March 2013 appreciation was from American and European investors and November 2013 was mainly from Chinese investors. Which group of people do you think will be the next to buy (I hate using the word invest when talking about bitcoin) bitcoin for investment purposes? American institutional and hobby investors. That is, Wall Street and people who pay attention to Wall Street.
Which do you think will be a better long term (~5 years) investment, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dogecoins, Fetch Lands, Shock Lands, or Original Dual Lands? Does it change for ~10 years? Either Bitcoin or Fetch lands for 5 years. For 10 years, Bitcoin. I'd be worried about the 10-year view for paper MTG.
Ive been mining Bitcoins for years now, i have a good sum im my wallet but i never plan to use them. Does this make me a bad person? Approximately yes.
Ben, I should've simultaneously copied and pasted all of my questions from the Spreecast over to here but here are a few... It seems like the conspiracy crowd has really latched onto the idea of Bitcoin as being a discreet form of currency. If Bitcoin is backed up by the internet why would people choose having a currency that's being tracked over say cash, gold, different commodities? Having a currency be tracked has negatives and positives, but it's overwhelmingly positive for the average consumer. Because it's tracked, you don't need to pay someone to move your money for you. There also are no chargebacks, which means merchants aren't getting scammed and passing those costs onto consumers. Theft costs everyone money. It's also very fast--transactions confirm in just 10 minutes, regardless of size or where it's going. Transferring dollars from here to China is very difficult--transferring Bitcoin? Just as easy as from anywhere else to anywhere.
My job is a mix of voodoo, intuition, science, and news. In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
No, just gambling. In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Anyway, how have the profits been from start to finish compared to the market? Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Are you willing to disclose how much you have in your trading portfolio/what kind of profit you turn both % and $ wise? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
What would you say is the easiest method of shorting bitcoin or any other coin? For shorting Bitcoin or Litecoin, check here.
For other coins, there isn't really a good way yet, to the best of my knowledge. A few exchanges have plans to add short-selling, but Bitfinex is really the only one I know of that has.
What did you have for breakfast today. Didn't breakfast, was delicious.
Hey Ben, I know next to nothing about Bitcoin. I went to /bitcoin after seeing this AMA on your FB, and I noticed that everyone is going apeshit over "Gox". I have no idea what that means or why everyone is so sad/angry/suicidal. MtGox (which originally stood for Magic the Gathering Online eXchange) was the first prominent Bitcoin exchange. They've been going through some rather rough times lately, some of which I was an early cataloguer of here. In short, everyone is freaking out because the exchange may be insolvent. It's not really a big deal to Bitcoin as a whole, but it's certainly an obvious blow to credibility. In my view, people are primarily upset because MtGox has been a part of Bitcoin for a very long time, and it can be hard to let go of what we're used to. I expect that they will either fix the issues or will go out of business officially very soon.
Please explain what happened.
Tell me every artist in your iTunes. Daft Punk, detektivbyrån, Kid Cudi, Matisyahu, The White Panda.
Spotify for life, yo.
Follow up question, what % are you in BTC vs Fiat and when you are on the losing side of a trade do you find your self dumping in more to get right or do you pull the cord Unless my positions are on different exchanges or in different coins, they're all always 100% of what I'll put into that trade at entrance and exit. As a result, I end up with a binary choice: stay or reduce/close. I very rarely reduce position size, nearly always preferring to just end the position instead.
Last updated: 2014-02-25 04:57 UTC
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