A Guide to Trading Binary Options in the U.S.

No gods, no kings, only NOPE - or divining the future with options flows. [Part 3: Hedge Winding, Unwinding, and the NOPE]

Hello friends!
We're on the last post of this series ("A Gentle Introduction to NOPE"), where we get to use all the Big Boy Concepts (TM) we've discussed in the prior posts and put them all together. Some words before we begin:
  1. This post will be massively theoretical, in the sense that my own speculation and inferences will be largely peppered throughout the post. Are those speculations right? I think so, or I wouldn't be posting it, but they could also be incorrect.
  2. I will briefly touch on using the NOPE this slide, but I will make a secondary post with much more interesting data and trends I've observed. This is primarily for explaining what NOPE is and why it potentially works, and what it potentially measures.
My advice before reading this is to glance at my prior posts, and either read those fully or at least make sure you understand the tl;drs:
https://www.reddit.com/thecorporation/collection/27dc72ad-4e78-44cd-a788-811cd666e32a
Depending on popular demand, I will also make a last-last post called FAQ, where I'll tabulate interesting questions you guys ask me in the comments!
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So a brief recap before we begin.
Market Maker ("Mr. MM"): An individual or firm who makes money off the exchange fees and bid-ask spread for an asset, while usually trying to stay neutral about the direction the asset moves.
Delta-gamma hedging: The process Mr. MM uses to stay neutral when selling you shitty OTM options, by buying/selling shares (usually) of the underlying as the price moves.
Law of Surprise [Lily-ism]: Effectively, the expected profit of an options trade is zero for both the seller and the buyer.
Random Walk: A special case of a deeper probability probability called a martingale, which basically models stocks or similar phenomena randomly moving every step they take (for stocks, roughly every millisecond). This is one of the most popular views of how stock prices move, especially on short timescales.
Future Expected Payoff Function [Lily-ism]: This is some hidden function that every market participant has about an asset, which more or less models all the possible future probabilities/values of the assets to arrive at a "fair market price". This is a more generalized case of a pricing model like Black-Scholes, or DCF.
Counter-party: The opposite side of your trade (if you sell an option, they buy it; if you buy an option, they sell it).
Price decoherence ]Lily-ism]: A more generalized notion of IV Crush, price decoherence happens when instead of the FEPF changing gradually over time (price formation), the FEPF rapidly changes, due usually to new information being added to the system (e.g. Vermin Supreme winning the 2020 election).
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One of the most popular gambling events for option traders to play is earnings announcements, and I do owe the concept of NOPE to hypothesizing specifically about the behavior of stock prices at earnings. Much like a black hole in quantum mechanics, most conventional theories about how price should work rapidly break down briefly before, during, and after ER, and generally experienced traders tend to shy away from playing earnings, given their similar unpredictability.
Before we start: what is NOPE? NOPE is a funny backronym from Net Options Pricing Effect, which in its most basic sense, measures the impact option delta has on the underlying price, as compared to share price. When I first started investigating NOPE, I called it OPE (options pricing effect), but NOPE sounds funnier.
The formula for it is dead simple, but I also have no idea how to do LaTeX on reddit, so this is the best I have:

https://preview.redd.it/ais37icfkwt51.png?width=826&format=png&auto=webp&s=3feb6960f15a336fa678e945d93b399a8e59bb49
Since I've already encountered this, put delta in this case is the absolute value (50 delta) to represent a put. If you represent put delta as a negative (the conventional way), do not subtract it; add it.
To keep this simple for the non-mathematically minded: the NOPE today is equal to the weighted sum (weighted by volume) of the delta of every call minus the delta of every put for all options chains extending from today to infinity. Finally, we then divide that number by the # of shares traded today in the market session (ignoring pre-market and post-market, since options cannot trade during those times).
Effectively, NOPE is a rough and dirty way to approximate the impact of delta-gamma hedging as a function of share volume, with us hand-waving the following factors:
  1. To keep calculations simple, we assume that all counter-parties are hedged. This is obviously not true, especially for idiots who believe theta ganging is safe, but holds largely true especially for highly liquid tickers, or tickers will designated market makers (e.g. any ticker in the NASDAQ, for instance).
  2. We assume that all hedging takes place via shares. For SPY and other products tracking the S&P, for instance, market makers can actually hedge via futures or other options. This has the benefit for large positions of not moving the underlying price, but still makes up a fairly small amount of hedges compared to shares.

Winding and Unwinding

I briefly touched on this in a past post, but two properties of NOPE seem to apply well to EER-like behavior (aka any binary catalyst event):
  1. NOPE measures sentiment - In general, the options market is seen as better informed than share traders (e.g. insiders trade via options, because of leverage + easier to mask positions). Therefore, a heavy call/put skew is usually seen as a bullish sign, while the reverse is also true.
  2. NOPE measures system stability
I'm not going to one-sentence explain #2, because why say in one sentence what I can write 1000 words on. In short, NOPE intends to measure sensitivity of the system (the ticker) to disruption. This makes sense, when you view it in the context of delta-gamma hedging. When we assume all counter-parties are hedged, this means an absolutely massive amount of shares get sold/purchased when the underlying price moves. This is because of the following:
a) Assume I, Mr. MM sell 1000 call options for NKLA 25C 10/23 and 300 put options for NKLA 15p 10/23. I'm just going to make up deltas because it's too much effort to calculate them - 30 delta call, 20 delta put.
This implies Mr. MM needs the following to delta hedge: (1000 call options * 30 shares to buy for each) [to balance out writing calls) - (300 put options * 20 shares to sell for each) = 24,000 net shares Mr. MM needs to acquire to balance out his deltas/be fully neutral.
b) This works well when NKLA is at $20. But what about when it hits $19 (because it only can go down, just like their trucks). Thanks to gamma, now we have to recompute the deltas, because they've changed for both the calls (they went down) and for the puts (they went up).
Let's say to keep it simple that now my calls are 20 delta, and my puts are 30 delta. From the 24,000 net shares, Mr. MM has to now have:
(1000 call options * 20 shares to have for each) - (300 put options * 30 shares to sell for each) = 11,000 shares.
Therefore, with a $1 shift in price, now to hedge and be indifferent to direction, Mr. MM has to go from 24,000 shares to 11,000 shares, meaning he has to sell 13,000 shares ASAP, or take on increased risk. Now, you might be saying, "13,000 shares seems small. How would this disrupt the system?"
(This process, by the way, is called hedge unwinding)
It won't, in this example. But across thousands of MMs and millions of contracts, this can - especially in highly optioned tickers - make up a substantial fraction of the net flow of shares per day. And as we know from our desk example, the buying or selling of shares directly changes the price of the stock itself.
This, by the way, is why the NOPE formula takes the shape it does. Some astute readers might notice it looks similar to GEX, which is not a coincidence. GEX however replaces daily volume with open interest, and measures gamma over delta, which I did not find good statistical evidence to support, especially for earnings.
So, with our example above, why does NOPE measure system stability? We can assume for argument's sake that if someone buys a share of NKLA, they're fine with moderate price swings (+- $20 since it's NKLA, obviously), and in it for the long/medium haul. And in most cases this is fine - we can own stock and not worry about minor swings in price. But market makers can't* (they can, but it exposes them to risk), because of how delta works. In fact, for most institutional market makers, they have clearly defined delta limits by end of day, and even small price changes require them to rebalance their hedges.
This over the whole market adds up to a lot shares moving, just to balance out your stupid Robinhood YOLOs. While there are some tricks (dark pools, block trades) to not impact the price of the underlying, the reality is that the more options contracts there are on a ticker, the more outsized influence it will have on the ticker's price. This can technically be exactly balanced, if option put delta is equal to option call delta, but never actually ends up being the case. And unlike shares traded, the shares representing the options are more unstable, meaning they will be sold/bought in response to small price shifts. And will end up magnifying those price shifts, accordingly.

NOPE and Earnings

So we have a new shiny indicator, NOPE. What does it actually mean and do?
There's much literature going back to the 1980s that options markets do have some level of predictiveness towards earnings, which makes sense intuitively. Unlike shares markets, where you can continue to hold your share even if it dips 5%, in options you get access to expanded opportunity to make riches... and losses. An options trader betting on earnings is making a risky and therefore informed bet that he or she knows the outcome, versus a share trader who might be comfortable bagholding in the worst case scenario.
As I've mentioned largely in comments on my prior posts, earnings is a special case because, unlike popular misconceptions, stocks do not go up and down solely due to analyst expectations being meet, beat, or missed. In fact, stock prices move according to the consensus market expectation, which is a function of all the participants' FEPF on that ticker. This is why the price moves so dramatically - even if a stock beats, it might not beat enough to justify the high price tag (FSLY); even if a stock misses, it might have spectacular guidance or maybe the market just was assuming it would go bankrupt instead.
To look at the impact of NOPE and why it may play a role in post-earnings-announcement immediate price moves, let's review the following cases:
  1. Stock Meets/Exceeds Market Expectations (aka price goes up) - In the general case, we would anticipate post-ER market participants value the stock at a higher price, pushing it up rapidly. If there's a high absolute value of NOPE on said ticker, this should end up magnifying the positive move since:
a) If NOPE is high negative - This means a ton of put buying, which means a lot of those puts are now worthless (due to price decoherence). This means that to stay delta neutral, market makers need to close out their sold/shorted shares, buying them, and pushing the stock price up.
b) If NOPE is high positive - This means a ton of call buying, which means a lot of puts are now worthless (see a) but also a lot of calls are now worth more. This means that to stay delta neutral, market makers need to close out their sold/shorted shares AND also buy more shares to cover their calls, pushing the stock price up.
2) Stock Meets/Misses Market Expectations (aka price goes down) - Inversely to what I mentioned above, this should push to the stock price down, fairly immediately. If there's a high absolute value of NOPE on said ticker, this should end up magnifying the negative move since:
a) If NOPE is high negative - This means a ton of put buying, which means a lot of those puts are now worth more, and a lot of calls are now worth less/worth less (due to price decoherence). This means that to stay delta neutral, market makers need to sell/short more shares, pushing the stock price down.
b) If NOPE is high positive - This means a ton of call buying, which means a lot of calls are now worthless (see a) but also a lot of puts are now worth more. This means that to stay delta neutral, market makers need to sell even more shares to keep their calls and puts neutral, pushing the stock price down.
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Based on the above two cases, it should be a bit more clear why NOPE is a measure of sensitivity to system perturbation. While we previously discussed it in the context of magnifying directional move, the truth is it also provides a directional bias to our "random" walk. This is because given a price move in the direction predicted by NOPE, we expect it to be magnified, especially in situations of price decoherence. If a stock price goes up right after an ER report drops, even based on one participant deciding to value the stock higher, this provides a runaway reaction which boosts the stock price (due to hedging factors as well as other participants' behavior) and inures it to drops.

NOPE and NOPE_MAD

I'm going to gloss over this section because this is more statistical methods than anything interesting. In general, if you have enough data, I recommend using NOPE_MAD over NOPE. While NOPE in theory represents a "real" quantity (net option delta over net share delta), NOPE_MAD (the median absolute deviation of NOPE) does not. NOPE_MAD simply answecompare the following:
  1. How exceptional is today's NOPE versus historic baseline (30 days prior)?
  2. How do I compare two tickers' NOPEs effectively (since some tickers, like TSLA, have a baseline positive NOPE, because Elon memes)? In the initial stages, we used just a straight numerical threshold (let's say NOPE >= 20), but that quickly broke down. NOPE_MAD aims to detect anomalies, because anomalies in general give you tendies.
I might add the formula later in Mathenese, but simply put, to find NOPE_MAD you do the following:
  1. Calculate today's NOPE score (this can be done end of day or intraday, with the true value being EOD of course)
  2. Calculate the end of day NOPE scores on the ticker for the previous 30 trading days
  3. Compute the median of the previous 30 trading days' NOPEs
  4. From the median, find the 30 days' median absolute deviation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_absolute_deviation)
  5. Find today's deviation as compared to the MAD calculated by: [(today's NOPE) - (median NOPE of last 30 days)] / (median absolute deviation of last 30 days)
This is usually reported as sigma (σ), and has a few interesting properties:
  1. The mean of NOPE_MAD for any ticker is almost exactly 0.
  2. [Lily's Speculation's Speculation] NOPE_MAD acts like a spring, and has a tendency to reverse direction as a function of its magnitude. No proof on this yet, but exploring it!

Using the NOPE to predict ER

So the last section was a lot of words and theory, and a lot of what I'm mentioning here is empirically derived (aka I've tested it out, versus just blabbered).
In general, the following holds true:
  1. 3 sigma NOPE_MAD tends to be "the threshold": For very low NOPE_MAD magnitudes (+- 1 sigma), it's effectively just noise, and directionality prediction is low, if not non-existent. It's not exactly like 3 sigma is a play and 2.9 sigma is not a play; NOPE_MAD accuracy increases as NOPE_MAD magnitude (either positive or negative) increases.
  2. NOPE_MAD is only useful on highly optioned tickers: In general, I introduce another parameter for sifting through "candidate" ERs to play: option volume * 100/share volume. When this ends up over let's say 0.4, NOPE_MAD provides a fairly good window into predicting earnings behavior.
  3. NOPE_MAD only predicts during the after-market/pre-market session: I also have no idea if this is true, but my hunch is that next day behavior is mostly random and driven by market movement versus earnings behavior. NOPE_MAD for now only predicts direction of price movements right between the release of the ER report (AH or PM) and the ending of that market session. This is why in general I recommend playing shares, not options for ER (since you can sell during the AH/PM).
  4. NOPE_MAD only predicts direction of price movement: This isn't exactly true, but it's all I feel comfortable stating given the data I have. On observation of ~2700 data points of ER-ticker events since Mar 2019 (SPY 500), I only so far feel comfortable predicting whether stock price goes up (>0 percent difference) or down (<0 price difference). This is +1 for why I usually play with shares.
Some statistics:
#0) As a baseline/null hypothesis, after ER on the SPY500 since Mar 2019, 50-51% price movements in the AH/PM are positive (>0) and ~46-47% are negative (<0).
#1) For NOPE_MAD >= +3 sigma, roughly 68% of price movements are positive after earnings.
#2) For NOPE_MAD <= -3 sigma, roughly 29% of price movements are positive after earnings.
#3) When using a logistic model of only data including NOPE_MAD >= +3 sigma or NOPE_MAD <= -3 sigma, and option/share vol >= 0.4 (around 25% of all ERs observed), I was able to achieve 78% predictive accuracy on direction.

Caveats/Read This

Like all models, NOPE is wrong, but perhaps useful. It's also fairly new (I started working on it around early August 2020), and in fact, my initial hypothesis was exactly incorrect (I thought the opposite would happen, actually). Similarly, as commenters have pointed out, the timeline of data I'm using is fairly compressed (since Mar 2019), and trends and models do change. In fact, I've noticed significantly lower accuracy since the coronavirus recession (when I measured it in early September), but I attribute this mostly to a smaller date range, more market volatility, and honestly, dumber option traders (~65% accuracy versus nearly 80%).
My advice so far if you do play ER with the NOPE method is to use it as following:
  1. Buy/short shares approximately right when the market closes before ER. Ideally even buying it right before the earnings report drops in the AH session is not a bad idea if you can.
  2. Sell/buy to close said shares at the first sign of major weakness (e.g. if the NOPE predicted outcome is incorrect).
  3. Sell/buy to close shares even if it is correct ideally before conference call, or by the end of the after-market/pre-market session.
  4. Only play tickers with high NOPE as well as high option/share vol.
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In my next post, which may be in a few days, I'll talk about potential use cases for SPY and intraday trends, but I wanted to make sure this wasn't like 7000 words by itself.
Cheers.
- Lily
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Rank 18 Challenger Mech One Trick Guide 10.16

Edit - Its been a few days since I posted so I wont be checking in to answer new questions here. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to be through my stream. This guide should still be relevant to patch 10.17 but I'd recommend QuickSilver > GA due to Titans resolve nerfs.
Hello, I'm Atornyo and I first hit challenger in NA as a mech one-trick last patch and achieved as high as rank 18 in patch 10.16. I really enjoy mech as I mostly played reroll mech to hit diamond last set and think it is the most interesting composition in the game. I will be referring to mech pilots with a focus on Viktor carry as Viktor Mech.
My lolchess: https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/atornyo
Ideal Viktor Mech Level 8: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 (legendaries can replace units with similar traits if you find a 2 star version of them or find a legendary before 2 starring the unit they replace: Lulu>Cass gp 1star > ziggs if you have an extra defensive item to give gp Ekko>shaco)
Level 9:https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499
Items that can be used in Mech Viktor:
For the Mech -
Titan’s Resolve - If your mech has one of Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel or both I recommend building this item, without either of these items you won’t see much value from Titan’s Resolve until you have a level 5 or 6 mech which means you have 2 star annie rumble and fizz. This item has the potential to be the single strongest item that your mech can use and is worth playing for every game. The downside to this item is that there is zero value in slamming the item early game as it will never hit 50 stacks until you have a mech online. The only time you are looking to potentially not have this item on your mech is if there are many people contesting (a 4+ mech lobby) the reason for this is because this item greatly increases in value the higher level your mech is. Once it hits 50 stacks your mech will 1v9 especially when coupled with a Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel.
Hand of Justice - This item is so good worth slamming every game as it works well on early game carries and is really solid on mech.
Guardian Angel - Solid item but ONLY place this on your mech if you are certain there will be a Hand of Justice or a Titan’s Resolve with it. Works well with Titan’s because your mech doesn’t lose its Titan’s stacks after its first death and can slap around the enemy team after reviving. Works well with Hand of Justice as it can heal a significant amount of HP post mortem. This item also works really well with rumble as he will oftentimes cast after coming out of the mech and his spell doesn’t go away while reviving.
Quicksilver - This item is BiS for mech IF you are unable to complete the trifecta mentioned above. In lobbies with many zephyrs this item can result in insane value, however, with optimal scouting you can sacrifice Ziggs and Cass to the Zephyr gods. The reason I believe this item isn’t as godly as many others make it out to be is the fact that it does absolutely nothing in a number of matchups other than provide 20% dodge. The problem with this item is that it is NOT slammable until you have a mech online.
Bramble Vest - One of the strongest items to slam early game. If you take an armor off the starting carousel and are blessed enough to find another by 2-1 you are building this item.
TrapClaw - This item is mostly just a 20% dodge stat boost. This item isn’t very slammable early personally, only build if I feel I don’t have any other options.
Shroud of Stillness - This item is a 20% dodge stat boost that can turn a fight with optimal positioning. If you build this item you need to scout EVERY round. Relatively slammable early but not on the same tier as bramble.
ZZ’rot - You are building this item because you want to win streak early. Neat thing with this item is that you get two voidlings over the course of the fight.
Warmog’s Armor - Probably the single strongest early game item in the game, give a protector this item and go afk until stage 4.
Ionic Spark - Another very slamable item, if you have a rod and a cloak at any point before krugs it is worth slamming as this item will save you infinite HP.
Thieve’s Gloves - This item is a bait on mech. In the past I would play Thief’s Gloves mech as a transition unit while I pivot to a non mech composition. Nowadays I only play mech so don’t recommend giving the mech this item. Not a bad shaco item and once you replace shaco with Ekko he loves it.
Itemizing Viktor - Viktor wants a morellonomicon in order to nuke the enemy team’s healing potential along with blue buff or Spear of shojin as viktor should be able to kill the backline in 2-3 spells.
If you're considering playing mech here is what you should look to do in each stage:
Stage 1: look to grab Armor>Tear>Crit Glove on first carousel units holding these specific items such as armor Malphite/Illaoi or tear Ziggs can be free tickets to winstreaking early. After carousel I try to hold brawlers rebels and infiltrators as I believe it is the strongest opener for mech, however if it is clear that a stronger board is available, such as a 2 star poppy or jarvan while you only have 1 star Illaoi/Malphite, it is worth pivoting to that. On the round that Kayn appears (1-4) I will prelevel which means I buy experience in order to achieve a level 4 shop on 2-1. This is very important as a unit like rumble/shaco/neeko with a belt can win streak the entirety of stage 2. I try to hold on to any Annie I find as I like to hold one whenever possible but it is worth selling her in order to pick up any brawlerebel/infiltrator or to ensure that you can pre level.
Stage 2: I attempt to win streak through stage 2 every single game, Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators are not very item dependent and you can switch between the two depending on what items the game gives you. If you have any of Bramble Vest, Hand of Justice, Guardian Angel, Ionic Spark, Warmogs,blue buff, morellonomicon, or ZZ'rot Portal it is best to slam the item as the Mech can hold any of those items other than bluebuff and morellonomicon and those last 2 items are vital for viktor, Illaoi is a great holder for Mech items and Ziggs/ahri are great holders for Viktor items. On 2-1 play whatever your strongest board is as with any non-hyperroll compositions. On 2-3 before the stage 2 carousel I will prelevel in order to get a level 5 shop on 2-5 post carousel, this is extremely strong for Mech Pilot compositions as it gives you the opportunity to hit a full Mech on stage 2 or other strong early game units like rumble gnar wukong and fizz. In the case that you are on a 2 or 3 loss streak after the stage 2 carousel it is best to attempt a full loss streak in order to maximize early gold, this is the ONLY time that I would ever consider attempting to lose a round. If you are running infiltrators in your early game composition it is extra important to scout EVERY round as the difference between an infiltrator hitting a Ziggs or a 2 star frontliner is winning or losing a fight.
Stage 3: This is where a lot of decision making enters the game. If I am winstreaking with a streak of 3 or greater and I will have more than 10 gold after leveling I will level on 3-1. otherwise I will level on 3-2. If I have fizz and rumble by 3-2 and am level 6 I am willing to roll down to 10gold in order to hit an annie. If you roll down this early into the game it is vital that you do not tunnel only on units that go in your final composition, you are not rolling solely to hit a Mech you are rolling to maintain win streak this means that you will look to complete any pairs or to add unit upgrades to your current board. If you roll down and do not upgrade your board at all you will be in a very bad place so it is important to keep a very open mind on what can be thrown in to improve your composition. If I don't roll down on 3-2 I usually do not roll at all unless I am taking a large amount of damage every round in which case it can be a good idea to level to 7 post stage 3 carousel (3-5) and roll some gold to stabilize. If you are rolling it is important to not roll below 10 in stage 3 unless you have a great reason to, such as winstreaking and holding 4-6 pairs while knowing there are opponents that can beat you if you don't hit those upgrades.
What to do if you hit early Mech: Mech in stage 3 can be played in many different ways. Most of the time you will sell your frontline and be looking to play Mech + whatever your strongest backliners are which are usually the level 2 units you already had. Ideally you want to have a ziggs and infiltrator or be running 4 sorcs + Mech but it is not vital in stage 3.
Stage 4: This is where the decision between Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators is made. If you are bleeding out and approaching death <40hp 4-1 it is worth leveling to 7 and rolling down to stabilize. Which means you are playing the level 8 board minus ziggs if by some miracle you hit aurelion sol feel free to play zed/ziggs/asol instead of the mystic units. However, in the majority of games you will level to 8 on 4-3 and roll for your board.
The 4-3 rolldown (Viktor Mech) - While rolling you are looking to hit this board https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 it is discussed earlier when to replace units with legendaries. Also I value cass and Karma over Soraka as before the mech dies other units tend to take very little to 0 damage. If you run into a GP Mercenary upgrade in this roll down it is only worth purchasing double strike as they are so expensive. You can stop rolling once you hit the units in the composition and have a level 6 mech (2 star annie rumble and fizz), a 2 star legendary or 2 star Viktor. If you hit any of those requirements with more than 20 gold and are somewhat healthy you can usually go to level 9 later in the game in order to increase your chances at first place. If you hit a 2 star asol and do not have blue buff Asol can replace Viktor at levels 8 and 9.
If you hit it is very likely that you will win streak through stage 4 and into stage 5.
Stage 5: If you rolled down at level 7 on 4-1 you are leveling to 8 and rolling on 5-1 in a last ditch effort to survive. This rolldown is the same as the standard 4-3 one. If you were able to stop rolling early and have hoarded a large amount of gold, look to go level 9. Only go level 9 if you have at least 30 gold to roll or have more than 15 gold and already hold 1 or more legendary pairs. If you are about to die feel free to roll on 8 in order to complete vital 2 stars which are any mech pilot unit +viktor and shaco. The winconditions for Mech Viktor are good mech items +perfect item 2 star Viktor or Level 9 with 2 star legendaries. The optimal level 9 composition looks like this https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499 with the option to replace Viktor with urgot 2 and giving the bluebuff to urgot and the morellos to Asol. While it is situational it is almost always better to run a 2 star unit over a 1 star legendary. In the case that you were fortunate enough to find an infiltrator spatula play it on either viktor or gangplank and instead of running Asol play 4 infiltrator level 9: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=7aa7b960de8511ea9ce08d2f4408daad
If you hit either of these level 9 boards with 2 star units it is a 1st unless an opponent has a 3 star 4 cost unit or out positions you really badly.
General advice when playing Mech Viktor:
Differences between Galaxies
Dwarf Planet - Mech is so busted on this galaxy, I have seen Mech compositions hold hands 1-5 multiple times in challenger elo games. Look for titans resolve as if it procs your Mech will hit the backline. Infiltrators are weaker on this map so keep that in mind when building early game boards. Gangplank is also OMEGABUSTED on this galaxy.
Neekoverse - I just wanted to thank riot for removing this Galaxy
Superdense - I tend to run 4 infiltrator instead of ziggs at level 8. Also if winstreaking you might roll more in stage 3 as any round you win it is likely you're doing an extra 2 damage which puts a lot of pressure on a lobby.
Trade Sector - Greatly dislike this galaxy for Mech but never miss the chance to level if you can afford it while winstreaking. Going level 7 right after stage 3 carousel can be the difference between hitting an early legendary or hitting important mech units.
Treasure Trove - Not a great galaxy for Mech as you have 4 units in your composition that do not benefit greatly from items (Mystic units and annie/fizz) Also Mech doesn't benefit too greatly by having perfect items so the benefit that other compositions get is much greater.
Galactic Armory - Great for pushing early winstreaks. Always look to slam 2 full items before any pvp rounds even begin.
Binary Star - Look to take glove or tear on the first carousel. NEED to win streak as mech isn't as strong later in the game. Not as bad for mech as people make it seem but you usually need 2 dodge items (QSS, HOJ, Trapclaw, and shroud of stillness) in order to make your mech survive versus the 4 cyber players in the lobby. Need perfect Viktor items as another issue mech has in this galaxy is the fact that mystic units along with other mech units can't utilize items well.
Plunder Planet - Always push levels and try to bully other players around. Anytime you can prevent another player from killing any of your units you are denying them 2-3 gold which is a huge early game. Most of the time you will level to 8 on 4-1 and be 9 in late stage 4 or early stage 5. Can also decide to roll down on 3-5 after stage 5 carousel at level 7 in order to get as much gold as possible off the galaxy and prevent other players from killing units. Everyone spikes really hard in stage 4 on this galaxy.
Salvage world - I'm still unsure of this galaxy, I have only played 5 games on this galaxy but in 2 of them I opened with a redbuff ludens lucian with blaster buff that felt really strong. Not as important to run an early game composition that can utilize mech items well.
I'm sure I missed some stuff within this guide and will try to answer any questions in the comments over the next few days.
submitted by TtvBananaNationss to CompetitiveTFT [link] [comments]

Strategy Tester Tradingview

So basically this is my strategy (testing it for binary options)
// Version 0 - Created by UCS_Gears
// Version 1 - Modified by Chris Moody "Added B/S"
// Version 2 - Modified by UCS_Gears, "Replaced B/S with arrows", "Ability to change Overbought / Oversold Levels"

strategy(title="DMI Stochastic Extreme", shorttitle="DMI-Stochastic", overlay=false)
// Wells Wilders MA
wwma(l,p) =>
wwma = (nz(wwma[1]) * (l - 1) + p) / l

// Inputs
DMIlength = input(10, title = "DMI Length")
Stolength = input(3, title = "Stochastic Length")
Oversold = input(10, title = "Oversold")
Overbought = input(90, title="Overbought")

// DMI Osc Calc
hiDiff = high - high[1]
loDiff = low[1] - low
plusDM = (hiDiff > loDiff) and (hiDiff > 0) ? hiDiff : 0
minusDM = (loDiff > hiDiff) and (loDiff > 0) ? loDiff : 0
ATR = wwma(DMIlength, tr)
PlusDI = 100 * wwma(DMIlength,plusDM) / ATR
MinusDI = 100 * wwma(DMIlength,minusDM) / ATR
osc = PlusDI - MinusDI

// DMI Stochastic Calc
hi = highest(osc, Stolength)
lo = lowest(osc, Stolength)
Stoch = sum((osc-lo),Stolength) / sum((hi-lo),Stolength) *100
plot(Stoch, color = gray, title = 'Stochastic', linewidth = 2, style = line)

crossUp = Stoch[1] < Oversold and Stoch > Oversold ? 1 : 0
crossDown = Stoch[1] > Overbought and Stoch < Overbought ? 1 : 0

plot (Overbought, color = red, linewidth = 1, title = 'Over Bought')
plot (Oversold, color = green, linewidth = 1, title = 'Over Sold')

plotchar(crossUp, title="Crossing Up", char='↑', location=location.bottom, color=aqua, transp=0, offset=0)
plotchar(crossDown, title="Crossing Down",char='↓', offset=0, location=location.top, color=aqua, transp=0)


strategy.entry("Call", strategy.long, when = crossUp == true)
strategy.entry("Put", strategy.short, when = crossDown == true )

strategy.close("Put", when = barstate.isnew)
strategy.close("Call", when = barstate.isnew)
its supposed to go in at a crossdown hold for 1 candle and then close the trade and vice versa but the thing is if for example I get a 40% winrate with it I should get a 60% winrate if I just reverse the settings but instead I get a 45% winrate
submitted by PresentationOk5418 to algotrading [link] [comments]

10.16 Rank 18 Challenger Mech One Trick Guide

Hey all I posted this on CompetitiveTFT yesterday and someone recommended that I post it here as well so here you go!
My stream is https://www.twitch.tv/banananationss and I’ll be streaming for a bit after posting if you would like to come and ask questions.
Hello, I'm Atornyo and I first hit challenger in NA as a mech one-trick last patch and achieved as high as rank 18 in patch 10.16. I really enjoy mech as I mostly played reroll mech to hit diamond last set and think it is the most interesting composition in the game. I will be referring to mech pilots with a focus on Viktor carry as Viktor Mech.
My lolchess: https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/atornyo
Ideal Viktor Mech Level 8: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 (legendaries can replace units with similar traits if you find a 2 star version of them or find a legendary before 2 starring the unit they replace: Lulu>Cass gp 1star > ziggs if you have an extra defensive item to give gp Ekko>shaco)
Level 9:https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499
Items that can be used in Mech Viktor:
For the Mech -
Titan’s Resolve - If your mech has one of Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel or both I recommend building this item, without either of these items you won’t see much value from Titan’s Resolve until you have a level 5 or 6 mech which means you have 2 star annie rumble and fizz. This item has the potential to be the single strongest item that your mech can use and is worth playing for every game. The downside to this item is that there is zero value in slamming the item early game as it will never hit 50 stacks until you have a mech online. The only time you are looking to potentially not have this item on your mech is if there are many people contesting (a 4+ mech lobby) the reason for this is because this item greatly increases in value the higher level your mech is. Once it hits 50 stacks your mech will 1v9 especially when coupled with a Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel.
Hand of Justice - This item is so good worth slamming every game as it works well on early game carries and is really solid on mech.
Guardian Angel - Solid item but ONLY place this on your mech if you are certain there will be a Hand of Justice or a Titan’s Resolve with it. Works well with Titan’s because your mech doesn’t lose its Titan’s stacks after its first death and can slap around the enemy team after reviving. Works well with Hand of Justice as it can heal a significant amount of HP post mortem. This item also works really well with rumble as he will oftentimes cast after coming out of the mech and his spell doesn’t go away while reviving.
Quicksilver - This item is BiS for mech IF you are unable to complete the trifecta mentioned above. In lobbies with many zephyrs this item can result in insane value, however, with optimal scouting you can sacrifice Ziggs and Cass to the Zephyr gods. The reason I believe this item isn’t as godly as many others make it out to be is the fact that it does absolutely nothing in a number of matchups other than provide 20% dodge. The problem with this item is that it is NOT slammable until you have a mech online.
Bramble Vest - One of the strongest items to slam early game. If you take an armor off the starting carousel and are blessed enough to find another by 2-1 you are building this item.
TrapClaw - This item is mostly just a 20% dodge stat boost. This item isn’t very slammable early personally, only build if I feel I don’t have any other options.
Shroud of Stillness - This item is a 20% dodge stat boost that can turn a fight with optimal positioning. If you build this item you need to scout EVERY round. Relatively slammable early but not on the same tier as bramble.
ZZ’rot - You are building this item because you want to win streak early. Neat thing with this item is that you get two voidlings over the course of the fight.
Warmog’s Armor - Probably the single strongest early game item in the game, give a protector this item and go afk until stage 4.
Ionic Spark - Another very slamable item, if you have a rod and a cloak at any point before krugs it is worth slamming as this item will save you infinite HP.
Thieve’s Gloves - This item is a bait on mech. In the past I would play Thief’s Gloves mech as a transition unit while I pivot to a non mech composition. Nowadays I only play mech so don’t recommend giving the mech this item. Not a bad shaco item and once you replace shaco with Ekko he loves it.
Itemizing Viktor - Viktor wants a morellonomicon in order to nuke the enemy team’s healing potential along with blue buff or Spear of shojin as viktor should be able to kill the backline in 2-3 spells.
If you're considering playing mech here is what you should look to do in each stage:
Stage 1: look to grab Armor>Tear>Crit Glove on first carousel units holding these specific items such as armor Malphite/Illaoi or tear Ziggs can be free tickets to winstreaking early. After carousel I try to hold brawlers rebels and infiltrators as I believe it is the strongest opener for mech, however if it is clear that a stronger board is available, such as a 2 star poppy or jarvan while you only have 1 star Illaoi/Malphite, it is worth pivoting to that. On the round that Kayn appears (1-4) I will prelevel which means I buy experience in order to achieve a level 4 shop on 2-1. This is very important as a unit like rumble/shaco/neeko with a belt can win streak the entirety of stage 2. I try to hold on to any Annie I find as I like to hold one whenever possible but it is worth selling her in order to pick up any brawlerebel/infiltrator or to ensure that you can pre level.
Stage 2: I attempt to win streak through stage 2 every single game, Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators are not very item dependent and you can switch between the two depending on what items the game gives you. If you have any of Bramble Vest, Hand of Justice, Guardian Angel, Ionic Spark, Warmogs,blue buff, morellonomicon, or ZZ'rot Portal it is best to slam the item as the Mech can hold any of those items other than bluebuff and morellonomicon and those last 2 items are vital for viktor, Illaoi is a great holder for Mech items and Ziggs/ahri are great holders for Viktor items. On 2-1 play whatever your strongest board is as with any non-hyperroll compositions. On 2-3 before the stage 2 carousel I will prelevel in order to get a level 5 shop on 2-5 post carousel, this is extremely strong for Mech Pilot compositions as it gives you the opportunity to hit a full Mech on stage 2 or other strong early game units like rumble gnar wukong and fizz. In the case that you are on a 2 or 3 loss streak after the stage 2 carousel it is best to attempt a full loss streak in order to maximize early gold, this is the ONLY time that I would ever consider attempting to lose a round. If you are running infiltrators in your early game composition it is extra important to scout EVERY round as the difference between an infiltrator hitting a Ziggs or a 2 star frontliner is winning or losing a fight.
Stage 3: This is where a lot of decision making enters the game. If I am winstreaking with a streak of 3 or greater and I will have more than 10 gold after leveling I will level on 3-1. otherwise I will level on 3-2. If I have fizz and rumble by 3-2 and am level 6 I am willing to roll down to 10gold in order to hit an annie. If you roll down this early into the game it is vital that you do not tunnel only on units that go in your final composition, you are not rolling solely to hit a Mech you are rolling to maintain win streak this means that you will look to complete any pairs or to add unit upgrades to your current board. If you roll down and do not upgrade your board at all you will be in a very bad place so it is important to keep a very open mind on what can be thrown in to improve your composition. If I don't roll down on 3-2 I usually do not roll at all unless I am taking a large amount of damage every round in which case it can be a good idea to level to 7 post stage 3 carousel (3-5) and roll some gold to stabilize. If you are rolling it is important to not roll below 10 in stage 3 unless you have a great reason to, such as winstreaking and holding 4-6 pairs while knowing there are opponents that can beat you if you don't hit those upgrades.
What to do if you hit early Mech: Mech in stage 3 can be played in many different ways. Most of the time you will sell your frontline and be looking to play Mech + whatever your strongest backliners are which are usually the level 2 units you already had. Ideally you want to have a ziggs and infiltrator or be running 4 sorcs + Mech but it is not vital in stage 3.
Stage 4: This is where the decision between Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators is made. If you are bleeding out and approaching death <40hp 4-1 it is worth leveling to 7 and rolling down to stabilize. Which means you are playing the level 8 board minus ziggs if by some miracle you hit aurelion sol feel free to play zed/ziggs/asol instead of the mystic units. However, in the majority of games you will level to 8 on 4-3 and roll for your board.
The 4-3 rolldown (Viktor Mech) - While rolling you are looking to hit this board https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 it is discussed earlier when to replace units with legendaries. Also I value cass and Karma over Soraka as before the mech dies other units tend to take very little to 0 damage. If you run into a GP Mercenary upgrade in this roll down it is only worth purchasing double strike as they are so expensive. You can stop rolling once you hit the units in the composition and have a level 6 mech (2 star annie rumble and fizz), a 2 star legendary or 2 star Viktor. If you hit any of those requirements with more than 20 gold and are somewhat healthy you can usually go to level 9 later in the game in order to increase your chances at first place. If you hit a 2 star asol and do not have blue buff Asol can replace Viktor at levels 8 and 9.
If you hit it is very likely that you will win streak through stage 4 and into stage 5.
Stage 5: If you rolled down at level 7 on 4-1 you are leveling to 8 and rolling on 5-1 in a last ditch effort to survive. This rolldown is the same as the standard 4-3 one. If you were able to stop rolling early and have hoarded a large amount of gold, look to go level 9. Only go level 9 if you have at least 30 gold to roll or have more than 15 gold and already hold 1 or more legendary pairs. If you are about to die feel free to roll on 8 in order to complete vital 2 stars which are any mech pilot unit +viktor and shaco. The winconditions for Mech Viktor are good mech items +perfect item 2 star Viktor or Level 9 with 2 star legendaries. The optimal level 9 composition looks like this https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499 with the option to replace Viktor with urgot 2 and giving the bluebuff to urgot and the morellos to Asol. While it is situational it is almost always better to run a 2 star unit over a 1 star legendary. In the case that you were fortunate enough to find an infiltrator spatula play it on either viktor or gangplank and instead of running Asol play 4 infiltrator level 9: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=7aa7b960de8511ea9ce08d2f4408daad
If you hit either of these level 9 boards with 2 star units it is a 1st unless an opponent has a 3 star 4 cost unit or out positions you really badly.
General advice when playing Mech Viktor:
Differences between Galaxies
Dwarf Planet - Mech is so busted on this galaxy, I have seen Mech compositions hold hands 1-5 multiple times in challenger elo games. Look for titans resolve as if it procs your Mech will hit the backline. Infiltrators are weaker on this map so keep that in mind when building early game boards. Gangplank is also OMEGABUSTED on this galaxy.
Neekoverse - I just wanted to thank riot for removing this Galaxy
Superdense - I tend to run 4 infiltrator instead of ziggs at level 8. Also if winstreaking you might roll more in stage 3 as any round you win it is likely you're doing an extra 2 damage which puts a lot of pressure on a lobby.
Trade Sector - Greatly dislike this galaxy for Mech but never miss the chance to level if you can afford it while winstreaking. Going level 7 right after stage 3 carousel can be the difference between hitting an early legendary or hitting important mech units.
Treasure Trove - Not a great galaxy for Mech as you have 4 units in your composition that do not benefit greatly from items (Mystic units and annie/fizz) Also Mech doesn't benefit too greatly by having perfect items so the benefit that other compositions get is much greater.
Galactic Armory - Great for pushing early winstreaks. Always look to slam 2 full items before any pvp rounds even begin.
Binary Star - Look to take glove or tear on the first carousel. NEED to win streak as mech isn't as strong later in the game. Not as bad for mech as people make it seem but you usually need 2 dodge items (QSS, HOJ, Trapclaw, and shroud of stillness) in order to make your mech survive versus the 4 cyber players in the lobby. Need perfect Viktor items as another issue mech has in this galaxy is the fact that mystic units along with other mech units can't utilize items well.
Plunder Planet - Always push levels and try to bully other players around. Anytime you can prevent another player from killing any of your units you are denying them 2-3 gold which is a huge early game. Most of the time you will level to 8 on 4-1 and be 9 in late stage 4 or early stage 5. Can also decide to roll down on 3-5 after stage 5 carousel at level 7 in order to get as much gold as possible off the galaxy and prevent other players from killing units. Everyone spikes really hard in stage 4 on this galaxy.
Salvage world - I'm still unsure of this galaxy, I have only played 5 games on this galaxy but in 2 of them I opened with a redbuff ludens lucian with blaster buff that felt really strong. Not as important to run an early game composition that can utilize mech items well.
I'm sure I missed some stuff within this guide and will try to answer any questions in the comments over the next few days.
submitted by TtvBananaNationss to TeamfightTactics [link] [comments]

How exactly does put and call work?

Hey guys,
So I did a bit of research on binary option (binary options?), and so far my understanding goes a little bit like this:
So, when you place a call, you say that you think the stock will rise in a certain period of time, and after it expired, you get the right to buy those stock for a predefined amount of money. Then you can sell those stocks again, and if the price went up, you made some money. Puts work similarly, just that instead of the right to buy its the right to sell.
Now I read somewhere (I think it was wikipedia) that binary options are also know as cash-or-nothing bets, either you make some predetermined amount of money, or you don't, and either way, you have to pay a fee. Nkw that doesn't fit in my current understanding, I'll give a short example:
Let's say I place a call on a stock, that after one day I'll be worth more than $100, which basically gives me the right to buy it in 24h for $100. Now my profit depends on how high that stock rises, like if after a day it trades for $110 I make $10 (minus fee), and if it trades for $200 I make $100 (minus fee). So definitely not "fixed return".
What did I get wrong? Thanks for you help :)
submitted by chrismit3s to stocks [link] [comments]

Bitstamp works with leading online banking in Switzerland to achieve bitcoin (BTC) financing and withdrawals——GoDapp

Bitstamp works with leading online banking in Switzerland to achieve bitcoin (BTC) financing and withdrawals——GoDapp
Bitstamp works with Dukascopy Bank to provide encrypted funds to bank customers. The bank is Switzerland's leading online bank, and its customers can now send Bitcoin (BTC) to their accounts to convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars, which they can use to trade on the Swiss foreign exchange market. Dukascopy customers can also withdraw funds back to their wallets in the form of BTC. Bitstamp will facilitate the exchange of legal and cryptocurrencies.

The Bitstamp team explained in the announcement why this partnership is the key to moving forward for cryptocurrency.

This partnership has taken us one step closer to the goal of narrowing the gap between cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Further proof that our efforts in compliance and regulation continue to yield results as the cryptocurrency industry matures rapidly.

The Geneva-based Dukascopy Bank offers traditional banking services as well as cryptocurrency trading services, forex and binary options trading to retail and institutional investors through CFDs. The bank explained that trading account financing using cryptocurrencies is subject to the following conditions:

Deposits and withdrawals from trading accounts currently only accept bitcoin
After transferring the BTC, the bank immediately converts it into US dollars and deposits it in the customer account.
At the time of withdrawal, the dollar amount from the customer's account is converted to BTC and transferred to the Bitcoin wallet associated with the user's account.
The base legal currency is the US dollar
The maximum net deposit that can be deposited is $50,000 (total deposit minus total amount drawn)
Bitcoin deposits are not processed immediately. Therefore, the trader must accept the possibility of loss due to changes in the BTC / USD exchange rate during the conversion period.
BTC deposits and withdrawals are only processed within the working day associated with the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland
As mentioned earlier, Dukascopy does not provide direct transactions for cryptocurrencies. Bank customers can conduct cryptocurrency transactions through CFDs (CFDs) based on price movements of cryptocurrencies or their derivatives.

——www.GoDapp.com

https://preview.redd.it/xulkm9j5xwc21.png?width=670&format=png&auto=webp&s=f1a209feace4fd46c9b9cad90a179c21e8cba375
submitted by GoDapp-Official to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My Take/Opinions on the Balance Changes

Okay everyone, I sort of wanted to talk about the next balance patch myself because what better do I have to do after 12:00 am on a school night? A couple have already posted their thoughts, now it's my turn. You know how this goes: I'll talk about each card change and share my overall thoughts on the changes themselves. So, let's review these changes.

Deep Sea Garg; 7/7 -> 7/8
... Except for this one because it literally changes nothing about the card's viability. Moving on!
Sergeant Strongberry; 4/4 -> 4/3
Despite what people may tell you, this -1 health nerf matters. It's not too hard to see, but for those unaware, what health changes do to cards is increase or decrease (in this case the former) the number of cards they die to. For a 4-drop like Strongberry, this is important because not only is less useful as a body, but it also dies to more dangerous reactive zombie cards aside from Rocket. You of course have Wrath (which I guess isn't dangerous with respect to its cost), but now Strongberry dies to all lightning bolt powers, Line-Dancing Zombie, Octo-Pet made by Octo-Pult, and perhaps more that I can't remember. But you see what I'm getting at here: Strongberry is going to be much easier to react to now that it's back down to 3 health again, and that's gonna make life for berries pretty tough because now you need to play around your opponent passing on turn 4, on which they may be reading Strongberry.
Laser Bean; 4/6 -> 5/7
I'll admit that this change won't make Laser Bean that much better of a card because it still has no effect and better options exist, but personally, I'm glad they finally buffed this card. Aside from having good survivability, there was no reason to run it over Astro-Cado if you had the latter. That principle still applies, but this card has been so weak for a long time, and again it's not that much better, but it can make a bigger mark than it could before. Plus sometimes you conjure this with Cosmic Bean and it can be pretty helpful if your opponent burns their removal on other cards, which is a pretty specific situation, but sometimes it's a saving grace.
Briar Rose; 4-cost -> 5-cost
The big kicker change that everyone wanted finally happened. I'm not too sure how I feel about this since I kind of like abusing Briar (and not that many people abuse it against me all that often), but whether I like it or not, it's a necessary change. Briar has basically been carrying ramp with Solar Winds and Cob Cannon ever since the deck was conceived, as well as the countless other decks it's been carrying by itself. It still protects itself, but that's fine because by raising it's cost, they've done something interesting. The cost raise now means that it's more of a high-risk high-reward card, and you can't be as frivolous with using Briar Rose. You have to worry more about Knockout, you have to be smarter about when you play it, and you probably also have to be smarter about what decks you put it in because every deck that includes it now will have its curve changed with and without Briar in the deck.
Rocket Science; Science Trick -> Science Barrel Trick
Adds Rocket into the BoB pool, which is actually pretty important for the latter card. That technically means that you have to play around your opponent conjuring this card when they're someone like Brain Freeze or Neptuna, who don't have the luxury of a reliable remove trick such as Rocket (and in Brain Freeze's case I don't count Ooze). Or at the very least, you have to consider that they may have conjured it. Again, it's specific, but after this update they'll still only be 12 barrels in BoB's pool. That's still a decent chance of conjuring Rocket, at least comparatively speaking to most conjure cards.
Mad Chemist; 3/4 -> 3/5
Well it looks like Mad Chemist will be even harder for me to kill now. I couldn't kill it when it was a 2/3, I can barely kill it now, and come the update it'll be even tankier. Shrug. But in all seriousness, this change is fine. Allows it to potentially stick around for a little longer to conjure an extra trick or two, and it can trade a little better than it could before. Not gonna break the meta, but that kind of goes without saying.
Valkyrie; 3-cost -> 4-cost
Not really sure how to feel about this because people really aren't running that many Valk decks atm, Valk Trickster (imo) isn't as good as it's claimed to be, and in terms of getting to the late game to finish your opponent, I feel like Trickster is better anyway because it's less reliant on comboing it with specific cards and you can play much more flexibly with it. But I guess Valk as a card in a deck based around it OTKing your opponent still isn't very healthy, so it makes sense that they nerfed it. On a less significant note, Interdimensional Zombie can't transform into it anymore, so that's welcome by me.
Tomb Raiser Zombie; 2/4 -> 3/4
Yeaaaah, it doesn't change too much about Tomb Raiser, as it's pretty much in the same state as it was before this buff, but on the bright side, if you happen to run it, you don't have to worry about it dying to Shrining Violet a turn later, so there's that.
Mirror-Nut; 0/7 -> 0/8
All this really does is allow Mirror-Nut to potentially damage your opponent more times because it can take more hits, makes it a better health attacker via Pecanolith, and puts it out of Fruitcake range. Really not that significant, and it won't make nut decks that much better. And in all honesty, if you're running it so you can do 8 damage with it, you may as well run Water Chestnut, which sucks.
Captain Flameface; no trait -> Gravestone
In my book, this is a pretty significant change by itself. It makes this card so much more reactive than it was previously, makes Headstone Carver better in pirate decks, and keeps it from dying on turn 3 and up to Whack-a-Zombie and Violet on the turn it's played; being able to remove it with Gravebuster instead is well worth that trade-off. I don't know if it'll make pirate decks that much better, but they're at least a tad more reactive.
Trick-or-Treater; no trait -> Gravestone
This will make Trick-or-Treater a little better, but don't take this to mean that you can now commit with it on turn 3 and wait until turn 4 to start getting value from it. Now that Trick-or-Treater can survive passed plants play, you'd want to play it on turn 4 so you can combine it with a trick to gain a treat from it, so you can buff it up later or buff up something else. Again, I'll reiterate that this will only make it a little better; it won't become a high tier card, but it'll become playable and a little more reactive, and the zombies need more reactive options nowadays.
Planet of the Grapes; 2-cost -> 3-cost
Big oof to cyclecap indeed. Now the deck will be a lot fairer and require you to make more careful plays win; you can't be as careless with your Planets anymore. I didn't want this to be the nerf that Planet got, but for the sake of balancing the card while keeping it simple, it works. It probably means that mushrooms with Pineclone will be the go-to deck for Nightcap unless cyclecap is still better than that, but only time, labbing (i.e. testing), and whatever the zombies do will tell.
Bog of Enlightenment; 3-cost -> 2-cost
But of course, as I've said before, I'd be okay with Planet getting a cost increase if this card got a cost decrease. And now we have a card that'll definitely allow amphibious decks to be a little more aggressive than they previously could. I really don't think this and the Marine Bean change will make amphibious a top tier deck (and it especially won't make Citron/Beta top tier), but it makes the deck as a whole slightly better. But if nothing else, you can run it even if you're not playing amphibious plants; you can use it as a cheap environment that doubles as a strength nerf to most zombies. Not only can that overwrite problematic environments, but it can also help you win important battles on the ground, or maybe even put your opponents' zombies in Whack/Violet range.
Solar Winds; 2-cost -> 3-cost
I have mixed feelings about this nerf; on the one hand I feel like it'll hurt Chompzilla and make her a bad hero again (because I actually feel like she's pretty good with Solar Winds at 2-cost, though not the best Solar Hero), but that's a small price to pay and it's more of a personal conflict. In the interest of the game, however, this change is huge and probably necessary. As I and a few others have said, you'll have to play ramp decks a lot smarter than before as a result of this change. Gone are the days of having an extremely cheap and safe way to get to your Cob Cannons by playing this as early as turn 2, or to your Briars (and more so now that she's been nerfed). It may even become less splashable now that it's more expensive; decks like Heal Wall-Knight may have to be more selective about their choice between this and Spikeweed Sector, and if the former, how much they will run. With regard to this card, though, I'm just speculating now, so I'll move on.
Overstuffed Zombie; 3/5 -> 4/4
Thanksgiving was only five days ago... in any case, this is better than it was before because a) it doesn't need as much health to be good, but having more strength can make its health even higher because of its effect, and b) it's better to have it die to Shamrocket instead of Whack because higher cost cards like this want to be affected by high strength removal cards so that other big zombies don't need to worry as much about dying to Shamrocket. That also means you have to be smarter about using your Shamrocket on this vs. another zombie. It won't make this card overpowered, but I guess you could say that regardless... it's some food for thought.
Neutron Imp; 2-cost 2/3 -> 1-cost 2/2
It gives science a good one-drop, gives Imposter another buddy, makes combos with Mime-Garg faster; this does quite a lot, though I'm not sure how viable this will make a deck like science, because I think a good 1-drop is only a start to that deck becoming better. However, it could still do with more.
Interdimensional Zombie; 1/3 -> 2/2
It's less of a block charger now, but it also dies to more removal tricks, so there are pros and cons to this change. Regardless, this change won't make it a highly competitive card.
Disconaut; 3 or less get Bullseye -> 2 or less get Bullseye
Being the crazy aggro enthusiast that I am, you'd probably guess that I don't like this change. And you're right! My big gripe with it, though, is that it can't make Line-Dancing Zombie hit for unblockable strikethrough damage anymore (forget Flamenco and Binary, when it comes to me). But aggro's already going to be in a much better spot now that berries and Solar decks are getting toned down a bit. Well, it'll still struggle against heal, but some things never change. Not a fan of this change due to my own personal bias, but it's probably for the best.
Final Mission; Science Trick -> Science Barrer Trick
Probably not as significant as rocket getting this treatment, but maybe it'll help you win a game or two. You never know.
Gargantuar-Throwing Imp; 1/2 -> 2/2
No 5-cost zombie should have 1 health unless it does something that actually matters. Unless you put this in Hunting Grounds, this card won't fit that bill. Nonetheless, this could have 4 strength so it can be another zombie that baits your opponents' Shamrockets; that would make it much better. It could also do with some extra health so it could potentially make more gargs, but for now, it is what it is.
Cryo-Yeti; no trait -> Gravestone
This could be a very viable tempo card now that it's a gravestone. Freezing a plant after they play means the plant will have no way of breaking out of being frozen unless it's a double strike plant that survives an initial attack, not to mention Cryo-Yeti becomes a reactive card that becomes a 5/6 as long as it freezes a plant. It can swing for high damage, it can kill a plant pretty much uncontested; this a card that we should definitely lab to see how good it'll be.
Hippity-Hop Gargantuar; 6/4 -> 6/5
It can take more hits to make more eggs, has more survivability so it can trade better, doesn't die as quickly to cheap removal. We've all seen this song and dance, but it's not gonna change the meta.
Atomic Bombegranate; 4/2 -> 5/2
Yet another stat change that doesn't even fix the card, so moving on!
Sunflower Seed; 3/1 -> 2/2
Undoubtedly a nerf in every sense of the word. You won't be able to control with this as reliably as you can now, and it won't do as much damage as you can have it do today. I think it'll still be good/worth running, but you'll have to use Sunflower Seed a little differently that you can now.
Barrel of Barrels; 1-cost -> 2-cost
Yeah, this is pretty significant. This makes it slower, but that's fine because it can still be a card that has your zombie win an otherwise unwinnable matchup. This is hurting both conjure and Raptor decks due to being slower, but it's still a great card to include. Though now that I think more about it, I'm not sure if you're necessarily gonna want to run 4 of it; it might end up making your curve too slow to be ran at 4, but running 3 might be a little easier on your deck's curve. However, that's something that has to be labbed.
Fireweed; 3/3 -> 3/2
In all honesty, this is kind of a necessary change. However, making it so it loses 1 health on heights or water would be a better change (because it makes sense that a plant that likely grows on lava or in volcanic areas would be able to survive best under those conditions). But we can't change it, and thus we now have another aggro Solar Flare card that gets answered by Plumber and Beam Me Up the turn it's played, and we have, when played on heights, an Apple Saucer that can never gain strikethrough under normal circumstances. It can still make environments though, so it has that utility going for it.
Trans-fig-uration; 3/7 -> 4/7
Doesn't make the card that much better, but similar to the Overstuffed buff, this is now a card that you can use to maybe bait Rocket Sciences from your opponent if you trap them in a corner, allowing your bigger cards to come in later potentially uncontested. So it's a good change imo, but the card itself won't be that much betteuseful.
Marine Bean; 2/4, gets +2 str for each other plant in the water -> 3/2, gets +1/+1 for each other amphibious plant
I really don't see this one other change making amphibious decks top tier, or even high tier for that matter. They might become a little more competitive, but they need so much more than a card that buffs itself upon being played.
Shelf-Mushroom; 2/3 -> 2/2
I don't care what anyone says or tells you; this is a necessary change. You should not be able to front a zombie with this, guarantee a kill with it, and then proceed to kill something else by fusing it with something. If you evolve this into Strawberrian and kill another zombie with shelf's effect, that's usually a +2, ezpz. That's not okay, especially because berries already have many ways of making their opponents minus harder than by just 2 cards. They don't need to start plussing that early in the game.
Strawberrian; 3/3 that does damage here and next door -> 3/2 that does damage next door
Granted, Strawberrian may have only needed one of these nerfs, but since it's getting both, it's more than likely that one of theses nerfs alone wasn't enough, or they just really want berries to stop being so damn good. I'm not complaining, personally; I don't particularly like this deck all that much, and other decks get to find their way into the meta, so it works out well.
Typical Beanstalk; 4-cost 4/4, draws one card -> 3-cost 3/3, conjures a leafy
They did not need to remove this thing's card draw. Maybe they didn't want it to be too much better than Muscle Sprout, which I can understand, but leafy just isn't a thing and probably never will be unless they release broken af leafy cards. But hey, if you're a F2P player without a good turn 3 control card, you can use this card as just that.
Duckstache; 2/2 -> 3/2
Hot take: this is another stat change that doesn't make the card that much better, so let's move on.
Turquoise Skull Zombie; 2/5 -> 2/6
Apparently this is currently not that bad of a card. Never really tried it myself (pretty sure I only have two, so I can't consistently draw it if I were to run them in a deck), but I can see why this would be a viable card. It's only problem is that it doesn't win you games, but it's not supposed to do that. It's supposed to be a quasi-floodgate card of sorts, which the zombies don't really have a lot of. Nonetheless, I'll definitely give it a shot with it's extra health when I get enough copies.
Chum Champion; 3/4 -> 4/4
Doesn't help the card. Next.
Unthawed Viking; 4/3 -> 4/4
There's no reason this shouldn't have been a 4/4 when it first came out. If I'm not gonna run Surfer Zombie in my deck because it gets answered so easily by everyone's favorite in-your-face berry card (really verbose way of saying Berry Blast, I know), I'm definitely not gonna run this because it's a super rare that almost never uses its effect. But hey, it can actually survive in the water with this change. Now all we need is a cheap pirate that you can play in the water to evolve it from, so you can have your cake and eat it too.
Frankentuar; 5/5 -> 5/7
Aaaaaaaand I think we're done here, everybody! Make sure to leave your thoughts on my thoughts (sorry they were so long), and I'll share my thoughts on your thoughts that were supposed to regard my thoughts so as to foster some discussion.
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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!
submitted by Thatuserguy to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]

An in-depth review of the "Ghost Mode" gameplay overhaul mod

As I'm sure you can all relate, the 10th Witcher Games Anniversary video brought a lot of feels. And with them came the itch to do yet another playthrough of my favourite video game. This time, to freshen up the experience, I decided to break from my tradition of only installing visual enhancement mods and look into the gameplay overhauls recommended on the sub.
To my surprise in-depth assessments of these mods were nowhere to be found. True you can look up detailed descriptions of what they change, but that won't give you an impression of how the changes work in practice nor an objective look at how they impact the overall experience. Thus the goal of this thread is to help you decide if you would enjoy using "Ghost Mode" for your next playthrough and to serve as a resource for posterity.
Note: the title of this post is no misnomer. This is a long read. If you already have an idea of what the mod is about and are just wondering "if it's any good", then feel free to skip to the TLDR rating section at the bottom.
 

Setup

First thing first, all the changes introduced by the mod remain true to the vanilla feel, flow and story of the game. There is no need to worry that the game you know and love will suddenly be unrecognisable, that you won't know your arse from your elbow. Secondly, I do not plan to rehash the full changelog in this review. Changes from Vanilla will only be mentioned if they are relevant to the point I am making.
Dsiclaimer: this review is written with the above in mind. I do not claim my experience to be completely exhaustive. For example, things which were difficult or annoying for my setup might be trivial for others and vice versa. Your mileage may vary.
 

General Gameplay

The mod has been implemented in a competent way. I did not notice any performance decrease compared to Vanilla and encountered no game breaking bugs. There was only a single major issue in 2.6 which was repeatable and highly annoying, but thankfully it seems to be fully fixed with version 2.7.
Immersion has been improved and the game world is more believable. Some examples:

Quests and Experience

The way the experience penalty works has also been changed. Previously you would get 100% of quest experience if you were at most 5 levels above the quest level, and basically 0% if you were 6 levels above or more. Now for every level you are above a quest the experience reward is reduced by 16%. This also works the other way around, you will receive an experience bonus for doing quests which are higher level than you.
This way you get the best of both worlds. You get to tailor the quest order to your liking, without having to suffer meta-gaming pressure, and at the same time Geralt will not end up overlevelled.
 

Combat

This is usually the number one reason why people recommend this mod and it is clear to see why. The author has implemented a great number of improvements to nearly all of the vanilla systems. Combat is more challenging and rewards players for their skill and preparation better. Geralt's overpowered traits and abilities have been toned down and your specialisation makes a much bigger difference to how you approach fights.
Overall, most battles are more fun with GM compared to vanilla. However this comes at a cost: namely the "realism", feel and flow of combat have all decreased to facilitate the above. Let's examine the 4 main areas where GM changes combat and evaluate them in detail.

Enemy behaviour

The first thing you will probably notice is that "all enemies have a reduced reaction time". The reason I put quotes around that phrase is because I don't know the actual inner workings of the mod and precisely how it has modified the AI scripts. Therefore I am just calling the effect as I saw and experienced it during my playthrough. The easiest way to describe it is: the time frame between you being in range of an enemy and the enemy starting their action is now much lower.
The primary effect of this change is an increase in difficulty. You now have to have faster reflexes in order to be able to dodge enemy attacks. Additionally, enemies will spend significantly less time in a hit recovery state after you land a blow. Which means that you won't be able to chain as many attacks as you could before, since your enemy will dodge/retaliate much more rapidly.
This change really shines when it comes to boss fights. The faster enemy reaction time forces you to play by the boss' rules and pay attention to their mechanics, rather than treating them as a higher health & damage generic enemy. To give a concrete example, let us look at the Olgierd fight at the burning manor.
In Vanilla you can easily beat him on Death March by ignoring the fight's mechanics. You simply position yourself slightly outside of his melee range and start a rend which he walks into. Then you follow this up with a quick dodge to the side to avoid the sand in the eyes and immediately start another rend. The boss gets locked in the above AI loop and you win pretty easily. The reduced reaction time in Ghost Mode counters this perfectly. By the time you are winding up your rend the boss, instead of walking into your sword, starts his own attack which targets where you will be after you swing and hits you before you can deal any damage.
So to beat him I had to actually play by the rules, which means conventional sword swinging is out of the question, especially as you also leave yourself open to a quick counter attack which kills you in 2-3 hits. The rules in this case are: counter his attack, swing once and go on the defensive. There are three different attacks he throws at you:
  • The red charge: when you are far away from him, it is the easiest to counter and the bare minimum required to win. If you can only counter this then you will win, but it will take ages.
  • The phase charge: is when he turns semi transparent and steps side to side. He only does this if your are slightly outside of melee range, so you have much less margin of error on your counter. If you are quick enough you can counter this type of attack with a close to 100% success rate, which means that a better player can defeat him much more rapidly.
  • Finally we have the slash combo, which he does when you are in melee range. This one is also counterable, but the reaction time is so small I didn't feel it was worth the risk. Especially because if you fail it and only parry you will be locked in that stance for a few of his hits which will drain your stamina significantly (and you cannot counter without stamina, but more on this topic later).
So as you can see from the above GM makes you pay attention to the intended mechanics and rewards skilled play.
The change to reaction time also has its downsides however, and they are major ones. Most notably, enemies which have extremely fast attack animations by default become unfair in melee combat. Especially if they are in a group. The best example of this problem are all of the insectoid type enemies like the endregas and the kikimores. Their attack animation is fast and when you pair it with an increased aggression and run speed it means that you literally cannot attack them preemptively. If you start any type of attack (without dodging one of their attacks or parrying first) they will strike you first, even if you were outside of their melee range when you initiated your swing. As you can probably tell fighting groups of these enemies is extremely annoying especially early on. Later you can cheese them by unloading your entire reserve of Dancing Stars & Northern wind bombs for some semblance of crowd control, but even that is like putting a plaster on an amputated leg. What's strange is that looking at past feedback numerous people have complained about these enemies, throughout the mod's life cycle. Yet the author has failed to address the problem, which is that they shouldn't have reduced reaction time in the first place. Such empty difficulty, only for its own sake is never good.
Another downside is that early on you cannot take on groups of certain enemies, like wraiths, nekkers or insectoids for example, without resorting to AI abuse. This probably only applies to the higher difficulties, but when the best way of beating groups in the early game is dragging enemies one by one to the edge of their AI leash it doesn't feel good. No matter how skilled you are in melee combat you cannot defeat such packs head on without numerous deaths, which doesn't make you feel like a witcher at all in those encounters.
Finally, GM also implements monster "dodge" with a much more heavy handed approach compared to Vanilla. All sorts of enemies will now dodge your attacks more frequently. This is yet another example of where combat quality was sacrificed in order to increase combat difficulty. I write "dodge" in quotation marks because normally the word implies that the enemy sees your attack and reacts to it by getting out of the way. This mod makes the enemies which "dodge" the most feel like blatant AI bots with rigid if-then logic in their script, which harms immersion. Some examples:
  • Enemies dodging mid attack, when it makes no sense for them to do so
  • Werewolves dodging while airborne in the middle of their lunge
  • Humans dodging attacks that come from behind them and they cannot see
  • Shrieker glitching into its "on the ground" dodge animation while flying, after being shot with a crossbow
  • Occasionally enemies dodging attacks while burning, sirens dodging when knocked down etc.

Skill Balance changes

A lot of adjustments have been made to the skill tree in order to improve how balanced Geralt is in combat. The changes can mostly be summed up by saying "baseline Geralt was nerfed". What that means in practice is that witchering aspects you do not invest points into will be significantly worse compared to vanilla. For example the signs, crossbow and damage bombs are a lot less useful for my mainly sword focused build. This is a good thing as specialisation encourages more diversity in your playstyle. Here are some examples:
  • Quen no longer always blocks at least 1 attack, regardless of how much damage it's supposed to absorb. Now it's no longer the combat crutch it used to be in Vanilla as it will only absorb the value of the shield and the rest of the damage will go through.
  • Poison and bleed effects are no longer extremely overpowered boss monster killers. Their duration and damage are significantly reduced to the point where 1 poison application is equal to about 2 additional sword attacks. Still good, but now balanced.
  • Crossbow & Bombs now only deal half damage if they were auto aimed. And of course manual aiming during combat is way too slow unless you have invested into the related skills. There seem to be a few minor bugs related to these items. For example manual crossbow shots sometimes don't bring big flyers down despite hitting them successfully. Superior Samum, manually aimed, dealing 5 (yes five) damage on kikimores.
  • In general overpowered skills have been nerfed (rend, whirl, euphoria etc.) while underpowered abilities have been buffed (crippling strikes, undying, counter attack etc.).
Overall the skill tree feels significantly more polished and we now have a lot more viable choices to pick from.

Defensive techniques (dodge, roll, counter, parry)

The way dodging and rolling worked in Vanilla was a simple binary check. Did you press the appropriate button before the attack connected with your character? If yes then avoid all damage, regardless of where your character ended up going (for attacks which can be dodged). And while this was still a big improvement from the second game, the i-frames were way too generous and the moves lacked any stamina cost. Which made it all to easy to just spam the dodge button and be invulnerable. GM changes this behaviour by also taking into account the direction Geralt moves in when dodging/rolling with respect to the enemy attack. Now if you dodge in time but still end up connecting with the attack, depending on the angle, you will take partial damage and debuffs based on what direction you were going in.
Parrying and countering have been significantly enhanced compared to the base game. Essentially now you can parry/counter nearly all attacks, those coming from monsters included. Taking counters as an example, you may counter light attacks just like before - by reducing all incoming damage - but now you retaliate against monsters with a "counter slash". This also applies to heavy attacks (including hammer and spear wielding humans) except that damage is reduced only by 50%. Both parry and counter now have a stamina cost depending on the attack you have deflected. This is a great addition to the game in my opinion. It plays perfectly with the risk and reward scale. Countering carries a greater reward because you spend your time negating the monster attack and dealing damage on your own, instead of just negating as you would with a dodge. However the risk is also greater because you confusing monster light and heavy attacks means you will take significant damage, especially if your build is not prepared for it. Yet another gameplay element where skill is rewarded.

Armour, stamina and different playstyles

Stamina management is now a big part of combat, rather than a mere afterthought with Tawny oil. The base regeneration rate is significantly reduced, all combat actions pause this regeneration for a short while and counter and parry stamina costs are increased. The armour you are wearing now also affects your stamina more than the Vanilla regeneration penalties. Light armour has no penalties and increases stamina regen, medium armour introduces a stamina cost for rolling & sprinting and heavy armour has stamina costs associated with rolling, dodging and sprinting.
Armour now plays a much bigger role in the game thanks to its significantly increased damage absorption capabilities. Plenty of enemies now have high armour values which also makes the armour penetration stat on swords better. To help with this, your heavy attacks now have a significant amount of armour penetration by default. This means that quick attack spam is no longer maximum dps against all enemy types and you will have to mix in heavy attacks much more frequently. Some enemies like golems are so heavily armoured that using quick attacks against them is basically pointless. Similarly, high armour values on your gear now make a big dent in the incoming damage whereas in Vanilla they were useless and the only thing that mattered were the resistances on the gear.
Both of these changes together translate into very distinct melee combat playstyles depending on which Witcher set you are wearing, which is one of the best features of GM for me.
  • Light Armour: the Cat set provides the combat experience which is closest to Vanilla DM, with a few important tweaks. Firstly, because you have very little damage reduction, Quen is practically useless. It won't even fully absorb a light attack from a drowner. This combined with the change to the defensive techniques means that you actually have to be quick on your feet and good at dodging, you can only rely on your own skill. Secondly you can also mix in counters for increased dps once you are familiar with the attack patterns of the enemies. However you still have to dodge heavy attacks due to your lack of defence. This makes the Feline armour playstyle a skillful dance combining counters & dodging which is extremely fun, especially against bosses and small enemy groups.
  • Medium Armour: the Wolf set is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. It has less damage compared to the Cat but more defensive stats and armour. This essentially means that your playstyle is similar to the Cat but you reduce some of the risk and settle for a lesser reward. You still can't afford to counter heavy attacks, but at the same time the stamina penalties for sprinting and rolling are mostly irrelevant as the latter is only necessary to get out of the way of enemy AoE attacks. As a result you will be safer against large groups compared to the cat but will have to settle for reduced offensive capabilities.
  • Heavy Armour: the Bear set in GM presents a markedly different combat experience compared to vanilla. The quickest way to describe it is as an "immovable object". The stamina cost for dodging means that you will spend all of your time holding your ground and countering ALL enemy attacks (apart from AoE). The high armour value and damage resists mean that you can shrug off heavy attacks with ease. Combine this with talents that use adrenaline to heal you and an Ekkimara decoction to create a true tank build. However, due to the slow stamina regeneration signs are pretty much out of the question because every sign costs 10+ counter attacks leading to a big dps loss. This playstyle is extremely fun against groups of enemies because it allows you to combine defense with offense and simultaneously negate enemy damage. It also has its weaknesses - namely big enemies and bosses who make heavy use of area effect attacks, such as Griffins and Imlerith for example. Overall I didn't spend much time testing this playstyle in my run, but I found it very satisfying and fun. Definitely keen on using it for a complete playthrough in the future.
 
Another highlight of the GM combat enhancements are the 1v1 fist fights (seriously). They are much more challenging, fun and skill intensive due to the reworked stamina system. In Vanilla these were pretty formulaic - keep your distance from the opponent so that they only lunge with a heavy attack, which is easier to counter compared to the fast jabs. Counter it, throw a one-two and then rinse and repeat. In Ghost Mode you no longer have the stamina to consecutively counter all attacks and must spend some time in between counters to recover, which introduces a great deal of tension and makes the fights more skillful. Remember, dodging pauses your stamina regeneration so you don't have an easy way around this. Especially as many arenas are quite small which make this process challenging. Furthermore blocking jabs costs significantly less stamina, so if you're confident in countering the opponent's fast attacks you have a great opportunity to skill display. In addition group fist fights are a lot easier compared to Vanilla, because the opponents aren't health sponges. This is another great change in my book as those were pretty tedious and the fist fight system doesn't really work great for group combat.
 
Finally, to finish off this section, I would like to spend some time looking at enemy balance in the Blood & Wine expansion. There were several problems with it in my opinion, which overall decrease the quality of the experience.
  • Giant centipedes deal too much damage. Yes they are generally easy to avoid, however them one shotting a character in master crafted Feline Gear + Quen + Superior Insect Oil + Protective Coating + 600 hp green mutagen at full life seems excessive. I'd suggest a 30% damage nerf. For comparison, level appropriate Giant Centipedes hit harder than red skull cyclopses and werewolves.
  • High concentration of monsters which work badly with the reduced reaction times due to their instant attacks.
  • Arachnomorph damage seems to be balanced against them hitting you once when most of the time they double tap you, which enables 1 small spider to pretty much instantly kill you from full life if you make a mistake. Damage should be reduced by at least 40%.
  • The two Guardian Panthers in the Professor Moreau quest are extremely overtuned for when you face them and, as a consequence, require extremely cheesy strategies to beat.
  • Alps are probably the hardest enemies in the whole game. Thankfully you only have to fight them twice. The first one's alone and she's manageable, but the second involves you getting tag-teamed by a Bruxa as well and that one is quite painful. It's a good thing Dettlaff can mind control other "lesser" vampires, because otherwise one of those ginger vamps would easily wipe the floor with both him & Regis at the same time.
 

Items and crafting

  • Witcher set bonuses now scale with the number of pieces equipped rather than being binary. Bonuses also apply from the lowest set tier and not just Grandmaster level. This is a good change in my book as they diversify your combat style from an earlier stage of the game. Set swords are no longer the best weapons for their level requirement, so exploring the world and doing contracts for relics feels much more rewarding.
  • The weapon & armour upgrade kits, sold by master craftsmen, are a great addition to the game. They allow you to increase the base damage/armour of your equipment by increasing its level requirement by 1 (i.e. the Aerondight effect). This enables you to make use of those special relic swords like: Hjalmar's Steel Sword, Pang of Conscience, Blade of the Bits, Winter's Blade etc. from the moment you obtain them to as long as you wish. This means that you must only pick a weapon based on if its secondary stats have synergy with your build, and this opens up a lot of choices and min-maxing.
  • Speaking of special relic swords, these now have significantly improved secondary stats which makes them stand out from the generic random relics. Depending on your build you will probably end up using one of these for most of your playthrough. It feels great to get a "special" sword reward for a quest which is actually useful and not vendor fodder like in Vanilla.
  • Equipment crafting now requires significantly less materials, so you are no longer forced to dismantle an entire army's worth of arsenal to craft something. Unfortunately the craftsmen will now rip you off much harder, comparatively to Vanilla, with their fees. So if you want to unlock all the levels of the Runewright and deck out Corvo Bianco in the various Witcher sets you will still have to pick up and vendor massive amounts of loot.
  • Crafting costs of random weapons in the early game, before you can access sets and contract relics, are prohibitively expensive.
  • White Gull isn't so difficult to produce anymore as it doesn't require Redanian Herbal and you can craft the Mandrake Cordial yourself, white honey now comes with more charges - both are nice QoL changes.
  • Potions and bombs require significantly less ingredients, so theoretically you would need to spend less time picking flowers. However considering that you could buy most of these cheaply from herbalists in the vanilla game (and still can) this change is more or less irrelevant in practice.
Cooking recipes are a good addition to the immersion in my experience. A witcher on the path should be able to cook himself a meal while squatting in some untamed wilderness. Unfortunately, in practice I did not use these recipes at all after leaving White Orchard. There are a few problems with the current implementation:
  • Food & drink healing is not balanced according to the amount of ingredients required to produce. For example, right at the start of the game you can learn how to make apple juice which is in the top tier of drink healing and costs next to nothing to make, in contrast with other much more expensive drink recipes which very often heal for less. Food recipes require way too many ingredients (the vast majority of which must be bought) and offer sub par healing in comparison.
  • Human enemies in Velen and onwards drop way too much food, often between 2-3 pieces each. Why should I waste money buying ingredients and cooking when I could obtain something nearly as good for free?
  • Coking recipes are too expensive for what they offer. They could use a 50% coin cost reduction across the board. Food recipes should require less ingredients. There should be more distinct healing "tiers" for different food & drink, less total recipes and bandits should drop less grub to incentivise people to interact with the system.
 

Nitpicking

  • Enemies focusing more on NPCs during combat (if present) makes certain escort quests significantly more annoying on Death March: namely the Black Pearl and the Skellige mine clearing duo. Those NPCs could use a buff to their survivability.
  • All wolves/dogs & boars are significantly weaker compared to the vanilla game. Probably a design decision, but it feels out of place since all other enemies are harder. Wolves in the Land of a Thousand Fables do have level appropriate stats unlike all their siblings for some reason.
  • Kinks to the extra books/notes feature: fist fight quests keep giving you the same note after a brawl for every brawl, many texts are given out at weird times. For example, right at the beginning of some action sequence.
  • Early game bosses and contract monsters (level req < 15) could use a modest health reduction to prevent boredom. Later on the only enemy that felt too "health spongy" was Iris' nightmare. Those Olgierds could use a health reduction because at the moment the fight is quite repetitive, lacks the atmosphere of the burning manor fight and so becomes a bit tedious.
  • The base Yrden duration is too short and makes fighting Wraith bosses extremely tedious early on, until you get Enhanced or preferably Superior Moon Dust.
  • Superior Cursed Oil now requires berserker skin which is not obtainable in Skellige if you investigate the massacre with Ceris. Previously there was a bug where berserkers spawned near Kaer Morhen, but this seems to be fixed in the newest version. The only place I found berserker skin in the whole game was in the Borsodi vault (?), dropped by one of his guardsmen (??). Either put a copy of the ingredient somewhere in the Vildkaarls' village, or change it to some other more lore appropriate place. The current location makes no sense.
  • The inventory weight system is at best a sidegrade to Vanilla. Yes, it is unrealistic that Geralt is able to hold all these weightless ingredients in Roach's saddlebags. So this mod now gives them weight and forces you to regularly deposit all your ingredients in the stash. Then to access them more conveniently every time you are at an appropriate vendor (alchemist/blacksmith/armourer) Geralt is able to telepathically access said stash to obtain the ingredients. To me it seems like one unrealistic element was simply replaced with a different one equally as unrealistic, so what's the point?
    • In all fairness you can reduce the weight of all items from the mod options, but that slider leads to even more immersion problems. Because if you wish to compensate for the weight on all the ingredients you have to turn up the slider so much that all the swords and armour now weigh practically nothing as well. A better solution would be keeping the weight slider and adding a check box for "Zero ingredient weight", or just using the vanilla weight system because the current implementation isn't a clear improvement.
  • I find the name of the mod to be a bit unfortunate, since it has nothing to do with any of the content. Makes you wonder if it's one of the reasons why it is not more popular.
  • Grapeshot seems to deal insignificant damage to higher level enemies. Superior version of it hits arachas for 5 damage with an aimed shot for example. Even without bomb talents it shouldn't be this weak.
  • Aerondight has lost a great deal of its unique flavour (all items can now be upgraded) and the nerf to its secondary stats was too great. Before it would give 10% attack power per stack, up to 10 stacks, now this has been reduced to 5% crit damage. For comparison, random relic swords can spawn with 60%+ critical damage and have 4 other secondary stats as well. Not to mention free sockets, which cost ~8000 gold for Aerondight. Finally, while the bonus at maximum stacks is still great it's now harder to maintain due to the decreased enemy reaction time, is basically non-existent against all the instant attack foes (and for heavy armour builds) and has overlap with several consumables (thunderbolt potion & oils now give crit chance) and talents which reduces its effectiveness even further. Overall the sword feels underwhelming and not worth using.
  • Olgierd's sabre, Iris, no longer gains charges when enemies block your attacks and doesn't buff the damage of the fast attacks. To compensate it now deals 10% of target's maximum life in addition to the other bonus damage when charged. I was very excited to use this sword with the new item upgrade kits and was left moderately disappointed. The life loss penalty is still too big and basically forces you into using Katakan decoction which doesn't feel great. Furthermore, to charge the sword you must deliver 3 successful fast attacks in succession. Against armoured enemies this feels horrible as you're effectively whacking them with a wet noodle until you can charge the finisher. In addition, humans are much more likely to dodge your attacks compared to before causing you to often whiff on the charged strong attack while still paying the health cost. Overall the sword is still worth using and feels satisfying with the Severance runeword, however I would like to see some quality of life change: for example halving the health penalty.
  • This mod breaks the following achievements: equipping a full witcher set (Armed and Dangerous), equipping all the grandmaster set pieces (Dressed to Kill), equipping Aerondight (Embodiment of the Five Virtues). Tested on GoG. Probably irrelevant for 99% of people, but worth mentioning.
  • The Undvik set has less armour than the basic Feline set, despite having a higher level requirement and being heavy armour.
  • Superior Full Moon heal, based on current toxicity, either does not work or heals a minuscule amount.
  • Kill count bestiary section feels a bit too arcade-y and gimmicky for my tastes. Would prefer it hidden at the bottom of the list and collapsed by default or, better yet, an optional toggle in the mod options if possible.
 

Scoring (TLDR)

I will now attempt to rate this mod based on an arbitrary scale I just made up. A score of 5/10 means that overall the mod neither improves nor deteriorates the experience when compared to the original game. A higher score than that is good, lower is bad.
  • -1 for the fast reaction times on enemies with instantaneous attack animations (and the fact that this hasn't been fixed for so long) and the balancing issues of Blood & Wine.
  • -0.5 for the overall lowered quality of the combat experience: namely its feel, flow & realism.
  • -0.5 for all the points listed in the Nitpick section.
  • -0.5 for the experience penalty system which promotes meta-gaming and for the subpar support of the NG+ mode
Overall: 7.5/10. Despite the occasional hiccups I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough with Ghost Mode. I found the mod to be an overall improvement to the base game and definitely recommend it.
 

Never Asked Questions

Q: What difficulty should I play on?
A:
  • You are looking for a similar challenge to vanilla Death March or early game B&BB, to see if you like the other gameplay changes? Story & Sword. If you don't care about the combat then I would suggest that you also reduce monster damage from the mod options.
  • You played on Death March from level 1 and found it too easy? Blood and Broken Bones.
  • You played on Death March from level 1 with self-imposed limitations such as: no Quen, not using set swords, deliberately skipping some of the best talents and found it too easy? Death March.
 
Q: What build did you use?
A: Combat/Alchemy - GM Death March
I went for delusion & poisoned blades first. Muscle memory & strength training second, then back to alchemy for protective coating, afterwards filled out the combat tree. Undying was only equipped once the first B&W skill slot was unlocked and I could move an alchemy skill there, on lower difficulty levels I would replace it with Razor Focus. Delusion is optional. I pick it mostly for RP reasons although the extra stamina regen is nice, especially early on. If you don't want to use it then replace it with the Synergy skill from the alchemy tree.
 
Q: Any other interesting stats/tidbits from your run?
A:
  • Hardest 1v1 fight: werewolf outside of the Whispering Hillock, ~10 deaths.
  • Other boss fights with number of deaths in parenthesis: WO Griffin (1), Imlerith (2), Toad Prince (0), Olgierd (3), Caretaker (1), Olgierds (2), Caranthir (0), Eredin (1), Dettlaff (0)
  • Hardest group fight: arachas cave south west of Harviken on Faroe, 8 deaths.
  • Found the "Tor Zirael" sword for the first time ever in 4 playthroughs, not sure if finally lucky or spawn chance increased in the mod. Unfortunately, stats wise it's still rubbish.
submitted by Paskoff to witcher [link] [comments]

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