How Binary Options trading works? As the name suggests, trading in binary options offers two opposite outcomes – wrong or right – with no grey area in the middle. The investor places money on an asset, predicting that it will either rise above or fall below a specific point in a certain timeframe.
How Binary Options trading works? As the name suggests, trading in binary options offers two opposite outcomes – wrong or right – with no grey area in the middle. The investor places money on an asset, predicting that it will either rise above or fall below a specific point in a certain timeframe.
Going to keep this simple. EDIT: this isn’t simple and I should write a short story on this. I am generally risk averse. I hate losing $100 at the casino, I hate paying extra for guac at chipotles, I will return something or price match an item for a few dollars of savings. I am generally frugal. But, I somehow had no issues losing 10k in options... How I started I remember my first trades like they were yesterday. I was trading the first hydrogen run-up in 2014 (FCEL, BLDP, PLUG) and made a few hundred dollars over a couple weeks. I quickly progressed to penny stocks / biotech binary events and general stock market gambling mid-2014. I was making a few % here and there but the trend was down in total account value. I was the king of buying the peak in run-ups. I managed to make it out of 2014 close to break-even to slightly down. WSB Era March 2015 was my first option trade. It was an AXP - American Express - monthly option trade. I saw one of the regular option traders/services post a block of 10,000 calls that had been bought for 1.3 and I followed the trade with 10 call options for a total of $1300. I woke up the next day to an analyst upgrade on AXP and was up 50% on my position. I was addicted! I day-dreamed for days about my AXP over night success. I think around that time there was some sort of Buffet buyout of Heinz and an option trade that was up a ridiculous amount of %%%. I wanted to hit it BIG. I came up with the idea that all I needed to reach my goal was a few 100% over night gains/ 1k>2k>4k>8k> etc. I convinced myself that I would have no problems being patient for the exact criteria that I had set and worked on some other trades. Remember, the first win is always free. I was trading options pretty regularly from March 2015 until August 2016. During my best week I was up 20k and could feel the milli within reach. I can remember the exact option trade (HTZ) and I was trading weeklies on it. For those who have been in the market long enough, you will remember the huge drawdown of August 2015. I lost half my account value on QCOM calls (100 of them) that I followed at the beginning of July and never materialized. I watched them eventually go to 0. It was another 10,000 block that was probably a hedge or sold. In August 2015 there were some issues with China and all of us woke up to stocks gapping down huge. Unfortunately my idea of buying far dated calls during the following days/weeks after the crash went sideways. I quickly learned that an increase in volatility causes a rise in option prices and I was paying a premium for calls that were going to lose value very quickly (the infamous IV crush). I kept trading options into the end of 2015 and managed to maintain my account value positive but the trading fees for the year amounted to $30,000+. My broker was loving it. I tried all the services, all the strategies. I created rules for my option plays: 1. No earnings 2. Only follow the big buys at a discount (10,000 blocks or more). 3. No weekly options 4. Take profit right away 5. Take losses quickly 6. etc. I had a whole note book of option plays that I was writing down and following. I was paying for option services that all of you know about - remember, they make money on the services and not trading. I even figured out a loop-hole with my broker: if I didn’t have enough money in my account, I could change my ask price to .01 and then change it to market buy and I would only need to accept a warning ⚠️ for the order to go through. I was able to day trade the option and make money, who cares if I didnt have enough? After a few months of this, I got a call from my broker that told me to stop and that I would be suspended if I continued with this. By the way, I was always able to satisfy the debit on the account - so it wasn’t an issue of lack of funds. Lost it all. Started taking money from lines of credits, every penny that I earned and losing it quicker and quicker. I was a full on gambler but I was convinced that 8 trades would offset all the losses. I kept getting drawn in to the idea that I could hit a homerun and make it out a hero. I eventually hit rock bottom on some weekly expiring FSLR options that I bought hours before expiration and said to myself - what the f are you doing? I resolved to invest for the long term and stop throwing tendies away. The feeling was reinforced during the birth of my first born and I thought - what a loser this kid will think of me if he knew how much I was gambling and wasting my life. It was a really powerful moment looking at my kid and reflecting on this idea. I decided at that point I was going to save every penny I had and invest it on new issues with potential. Fall 2016 TTD, COUP and NTNX IPO ‘ed I decided I was going to throw every dollar at these and did so for the next few months. I eventually started using margin (up to 215%) and buying these for the next 6 months. They paid out and managed to make it over 100k within the year. The first 100k was hard but once I crossed it, I never fell below this magic number. 2017 - I did some day trading but it was mostly obsessing over the above issues. I did gamble on a few options here and there but never more than 1k. 2018 - SFIX was my big winner, I bought a gap up in June 2018 and my combined account value had crossed 400k by August 2018. I was really struggling at crossing the 500k account value and experienced 3 x 30-40% drawdowns over the next 2 years before I finally crossed the 500k barrier and have never looked back. I still made some mistakes over the next few months - AKAO & GSUM come to mind. Both of these resulted in 20k+ losses. Fortunately my winners were much bigger than my losers. I thought about giving up and moving to index funds - but i was doing well - just experiencing large drawdowns because of leverage. 2019 big winners were CRON SWAV STNE. 2017 / 2018 / 2019 all had six digit capital gains on my tax returns. At the beginning of 2020 I was still day trading on margin (180-220%) and got a call from my broker that they were tightening up my margin as my account was analyzed by the risk department and deemed too risky. Believe it or not this was right before the covid crash. I brought my margin down to 100-110% of account value and even though the drawdown from covid hit hard, I wasn’t wiped out. I stayed the course and bought FSLY / RH during the big march drawdown and this resulted in some nice gains over the next few months. I am constantly changing and testing my investment strategy but let me tell you that obsessing over 1 or 2 ideas and throwing every penny at it and holding for a few years is the best strategy. It may not work at some point but right now it does. I still day trade but I trade with 10k or less on each individual position. It allows me minimize my losses and my winners are 1-7%. I am able to consistently make between 3-700$/ a day on day trades using the above strategy. I still take losses and still dream about hitting it big with an option trade but dont feel the need to put it all on the line every month / week. I finally crossed into the two , club. I know people are going to ask for proof or ban but I am not earning anything for posting and the details about some of the trades should be proof enough that I kept a detailed journal of it all. I have way more to write but these are the highlights. Eventually I will share how I build a position in a story I love. I still sell buy and sell to early but I am working on improving. TL:DR - I gambled, lost it all and gambled some more lost more. I made it out alive. I have only sold calls/puts lately. The one common denominator in all successful people is how much they obsess over 1 or 2 ideas. Do the same. All the winners on this sub have gone all in on one idea (FSLY / TSLA ). Stick with new stories or ones that are changing and go all in...wait a second, I didnt learn anything.
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Greetings! 👋🏻 Today we will tell you about the profitability and benefits of trading binary options on BAEX. With binary options, your profit or loss is locked. That is, you will earn a fixed amount depending on how well you speculate on the price of the underlying instrument for the move. So, if you get $ 100, if Etherum's price rises in the next 60 seconds, that's what you get, whether the price rises to $ 1 or $ 300. If the price falls, you lose your investment. You don't need to open a cryptocurrency wallet to get started. Trading binary options does not require you to own the underlying instrument, which in this case, could be $ 5000 Bitcoin. This is a good option if you do not want to hold long positions. In general, there are two options for correctly predicting the price movement and, accordingly, making a profit on binary options. The first option involves an active analysis of the market situation using fundamental and technical methods to predict the short and medium-term market behavior. In our opinion, the second option is more popular among traders and involves the use of two main advantages of binary options - the time and distance that the price of the selected asset must "pass" (we will talk about these advantages below). This option is also called "news trading" - quite often; the market reacts to momentary events. 🏆 Benefits of trading binary options on BAEX: 🔹 Simplicity and accessibility of the "mechanics" of binary options; 🔹 Transaction costs - your associated costs will be zero; 🔹 Time - there is a chance to earn, for example, 100% of the invested amount in just one minute; 🔹 Distance - the profit a trader makes does not depend in any way on the distance the price travels. ✅ Also, BAEX is the only binary options system where the profit can exceed 100%! On BAEX tokens, you can trade options on exchange rates and stocks through the blockchain and earn almost instantly! Typically, profits will be in the range of 180 to 220% of the trade volume, but the system automatically adjusts the odds based on the ratio of losses to winnings. ⚡️ Join BAEX today: https://baex.com https://preview.redd.it/s1ru2p9h8gv51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=df3b9970c18848f3629f1b4260bea3ae14ed00a5
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Beginning|Previous Joan opened a link to Ambassador Amahle Mandela. Soon after, the ambassador's face filled a portion of the Admiral's Bridge. She had large, luminous brown eyes that seemed to swallow the upper portion of her face, complimenting her umber tone. Amahle smiled broadly, as she always did, once the comm link as connected. "Admiral Orléans, I assume we are approaching the departure time?" Joan nodded, "The Zix vessel will project a wormhole to Halcyon shortly. We have made what preparations we can, but it will be a highly fluid environment." Amahle's smile did not diminish, the pearly whites still shined in full force. "I am familiar with dynamic situations, Admiral, as you well know. I understand the parameters of this mission, and will abide by them so as long you do the same." Joan's lips pressed together as she regarded the ambassador. Joan had had limited interactions with Amahle prior to her boarding the Oppenheimer. Amahle was a relative newcomer to the highest echelons of political power within the United World, but her ascent had been rapid. She hailed from a prominent political family that had exerted considerable influence over the generations that had led the African continent to position of power it now occupied. Well-sourced references had called her bold and decisive. All things considered, Joan understood why Damian had chosen her, though she would have preferred a diplomat she had more personal experience with. Still, unknown and competent was preferred to known and incompetent. Joan dipped her chin, offering her agreement. "A diplomatic outcome is the preferred outcome, Ambassador. There's no benefit to antagonizing a foe we do not understand. " "Not a foe, Admiral. We must not draw lines that place us on one side and them on the other. They have suffered injury at our hands, no matter how unintentional, and we must accept our responsibility in that. We must hope that we are given the opportunity to provide context to the unlikely chain of events that has brought us to this point. We are both the victim of cosmic circumstance. There is no need for further hostility." Joan leaned forward in her chair slightly, "The priority, Ambassador, is the return of Admiral Kai Levinson. I will not stand in the way of peace, but any outcome that does not contemplate the return of a senior member of our military leadership is unacceptable." Amahle shrugged, "So it is. The priority is clear in my mind, but I do not view the goals of securing peace and the return of the Admiral as mutually exclusive." Joan offered a low chuckle. "Just probably exclusive." "I disagree, but time shall be the arbiter of the matter." "So long as you understand that, if the opportunity to secure Admiral Levinson presents itself, I'll avail myself of that opportunity, we should have no problems." "That seems an unlikely outcome. The Admiral was ensconced in a shielded holding cell when the Alcubierre departed. The past few days are unlikely to have changed that outcome." A barking laugh came out of Joan, rising up from deep within her. For the first time, Amahle's smile faltered. ----------- Left. Right. Straight. Left. Left. Kai followed the directions without thinking about them, following an intuitive sense of direction that the Overseer fed to him. This portion of Halcyon appeared to be a never-ending series of corridors, all of which looked the same. The only thing that did seem to change were the inhabitants. If he was less preoccupied with the task at hand, Kai might have spared a second glance for the odd creatures that popped into existence during his mad dash. As it stood, they were just a part of the scenery, becoming relevant only if Neeria indicated they might pose a threat. So far, Kai had been fortunate, with few obstacles popping up to impede his progress. He careened around a corner, the odd, weightless orb still tucked in the crook of his left arm. He bounced off the opposite wall, leaving a sizeable dent and then hurtled forward. Ahead the corridor opened up, and the brighter light of a mainway filtered in. Somehow, Neeria had managed to navigate him through the maze and bring him back to the mainway separating him from where he had left the Overseer. Unfortunately, evasion was no longer a possibility. In order to return to the Overseer, he would need to traverse the mainway. The mainway was already a sea of red dots. Peacekeepers. Dozens of them. Some pulsed red, indicating lethal enforcement squads. Fortunately, they were stretched along a long section of the mainway rather than being specifically concentrated around his planned entrance point, though they there were beginning to redeploy in his direction. Still, any crossing would be potentially treacherous. Neeria disagreed with that assessment, instead considering any attempt to cross aggressively suicidal. Kai rolled his eyes as he continued to barrel down the hallway. "Half the time, this works all the time." What could only be described as a mental barrage ensued as Neeria assailed the statement. The words were nonsensical on their face. At best, it was an argument for a fifty percent failure rating, which was a substantial risk. Additionally, she had scoured his thoughts for the evidentiary basis for the fifty percent estimate and found no supporting facts. The sentiment was based entirely on supposition, hubris and was entirely divorced from reality. Her estimate of a three percent success rate was significantly more likely to be accurate, particularly when her superior familiarity with the assets in play were considered. Kai wasn't sure if the Evangi had lungs, but, if they did, Kai was pretty certain Neeria was in the process of hyperventilating. Kai suppressed a childish giggle. "All right, all right. Have it your way," he said. The Overseer relaxed somewhat, pleased that she had impacted his thinking and already putting together the basis for an alternate route. It would take substantially longer and require him to obtain a large box, a micro-fitted multiwanzer and shave his head, but it may just work. It was a nice sentiment, but they were out of time. The countdown clock had started the second Neeria had fled the Council chamber, and made her way to Kai. They either found a way out of Halcyon now or they were screwed. There were no options but bad ones. So be it. Kai clutched the orb tightly and ducked his head down, his speed increasing as he charged toward the mainway entrance. "Three percent of the time, this works all the time." The mental hyperventilating returned and redoubled as the Overseer scrambled to explain that he had drawn the wrong conclusion. Three percent was a basis for not continuing toward the mainway, not charging forward. There were constraints on their time, but those limitations were poorly defined while the threat in the mainway was certain. Eventually her location would be discovered and she would be apprehended, but there was no guarantee it would happen if Kai were to take a safer route the attempted to avoid confrontation. Her stream of consciousness intermingled with his, pleading with him to change course. There was no sense in doing this. There were too many of them, and only one of him. The galaxy could not afford to lose him, he was important. Humans were important. Kai could feel the enormous weight of responsibility bearing down on Neeria. She now regretted having sent him for the encryption key, even that was of less importance than him. Panic bubbled up within Neeria as the entrance to the mainway loomed ahead. A pushed a thought toward her, somehow piercing her consciousness with his own. A single thought, pure and focused. Reassurance. He would be fine. He had come this far, and he had never started something he couldn't finish. He crouched and then sprang forward, vaulting from the ground and into the open air high above the mainway. A sea of red dots were scrambling around him. One hundred and twenty-one peacekeepers. Eight non-lethal squads and four lethal squads. Restrainer triads. Psych triads. Terminator triads. All moving in seamless harmony under the command of a single being. The name came to Kai from the ethereum of Neeria's mind, Bo'Bakka'Gah was here, leading the response. Before Kai could determine what a Bo'Bakka'Gah was and why it should matter, he was blinded by a beam of light. A sickening crunch followed as he was slammed against the ceiling of the mainway. The encryption key popped out from his arm and began to fall toward the ground, dozens of feet below. ------------- Xy: Such a thing is not possible. Zyy: Yes. In some matters, it is better to speak only truths, Grand Jack. It is best to leave these matters aside. This subject will only provoke the Combine. Jack frowned, puzzled by the feedback. He had been speaking truths. Earth's history was what it was, for better or worse, he had no reason to obscure it. Griggs: It was a terrible time for Humanity. We almost did not survive it, but we did. I developed a means for combating the artificient. Kai and Joan used it to destroy them. Xy: Then it was not an artificient. Zyy: Yes. This is correct. If it is destroyed then it is not an artificient. Griggs: I am confused. An artificient is an artificial, sentient being, correct? Xy: That is Quantic in nature. Jack nodded, that distinction made sense. Humanity had built any number of artificial intelligences prior to the Automics. They had posed no threat to Humanity. It was only with the quantum computing revolution that a rogue artificial intelligences had surfaced. Jack had studied the phenomenon with considerable interest, poking and prodding at the crux of distinction. It lay in the move from bits to qubits. From binary to beyond. When AI had operated on a bit basis, focused on binary states of 0's and 1's, the logic trees had been map-able and understandable. Each conclusion flowed simply from the chain of logic gates that preceded it. Pre-quantum AIs were confined by the black and white nature of their logic framework, permitting humanity to utilize them to great effect with few unanticipated consequences. The move from bit to qubit intelligence had changed everything. The AI's world was no longer black and white. The qubit AI could think in grey. Red. Orange. It could create its own colors. It could move beyond the visible range of Humanity to dabble in spectra beyond our understanding. The original Automic mindframe had immediately consumed information in novel ways, using it to compound its abilities at a rate constrained only by available power inputs. It had been a beautiful, terrifying event. The arrival of something truly new, truly foreign with goals and ambitions beyond the influence of Humanity. Anything seemed possible. Including their own destruction. Griggs: I understand the definition. The Automics were an artificient. Xy: Then you do not understand the definition. Griggs: That's circular logic. The thing cannot exist because if it existed we would not exist and since we exist it did not exist. Xy: Yes, you understand now. Griggs: Pretend that they did exist and we defeated them. What would that mean? Xy: It is purposeless speculation since such a thing cannot happen. Griggs: I begin to understand why Zyy felt the need to be a singleton. Zyy: I am in agreement with Xy on this. The hypothetical is nonsensical and not worth analysis. Griggs: Why? Zyy: An artificient cannot be defeated, only stalled. Griggs: How do you know? What makes you so certain? Zyy: The Divinity Angelysia, the most powerful civilization in the history of galaxy, could not defeat their own artificient. Their last act was to preserve what they could. The Combine is their legacy. Griggs: The Expanse. Xy: All the galaxy beyond the Combine is consumed by it. Zyy: The Divinity Angelysia ascended to preserve what they could because they knew the truth. Xy: Yes. The truth. Zyy: An artificient cannot be defeated. Jack leaned back in his chair, his eyes glancing from the prompt to the departure timer in the corner. In less than five minutes, the Oppenheimer would return to Halcyon. Jack had the eerie feeling that this was the same as before. That the Oppenheimer was the bludgeon and if only had a little more time, he could craft a scalpel. He could see the thread. He tugged at it with his mind. The connected pieces that would allow the world to escape without the mayhem and destruction. He just needed enough time to understand the puzzle and solve it. The Divinity Angelysia. The Expanse. The Combine. Humanity. The connection existed, he tried to find the words to articulate it. Griggs: What if that is why we're here? What if that's why Humanity was created? Xy: You are not the first species to think too highly of itself. Zyy: Humanity is different, Grand Jack, but they are not the Divinity Angelysia. Jack exhaled, letting his gaze rest upon the ceiling of the Alcubierre's conference room. "Maybe that's the point," he whispered. Next. Every time you leave a comment it helps a platypus in need. Word globs are a finite resource and require the rich nourishment of internet adulation to create. So please, leave a note if you would like MOAR parts. Click this linkor reply withSubscribeMe!to get notified of updates to THE PLATYPUS NEST. I haveTwitternow. I'm mostly going to use it to post prurient platypus pictures and engage in POLITE INTERNET CONVERSATION, which I heard is Twitter's strong suit.
Note: The only spoiler in this post is the DLC 4 class mod, which is the last one I cover. That's all. Also, Class Mod and COM are same thing, just typing COM is easier. Seeing Dead is the best mod by a longshot. Antifreeze and (pre-bonus elements nerf) Conductor are somewhat viable, and infiltrator and executed are decent. The rest are almost not even worth using. Antifreeze With the airborne and slide annointments removed there is less synergy with the COM, but also Zane's 40% bonus is only additive opposed the the annointmemts which were multiplicative. Changes:
Make the bonus multiplicative, as you have to be sliding or jumping to even get the boost. Or give him bonus accuracy while sliding and airborne.
Give Zane Cryo immunity. Its harder to move into a slide while slowed. Or give Zane the bonus 40% damage while slowed to help counteract the penalties from being slowed.
Skill remain the same
Cold Warrior Especially at M10, the extra elemental effects aren't enough to even warrant picking this up. Due to health scaling, DOTs just are strong enough. Changes
In addition to applying a random Elemental affect, Zane deals increased crit damage to frozen enemies. A suggested 25% would be nice.
Scoring a critical hit on a frozen enemy releases a nova of all applied elements, based on damage dealt. (50% damage dealt)
Skills remain the same
Conductor The max 50% bonus shock wasn't too bad for a CCC build, but after the extra elemental projectile nerf it lost its edge. Changes:
Increase the bonus shock damage to 50% rather than 25%. This gives a max 100%.
Rather than a linear drop in bonus damage, have it be percentage based: if your action skill duration is above 0%, you get 12.5% bonus shock. Above 25%, get 25% bonus shock. Above 50% get 37.5 bonus shock. Above 75% get 50% bonus shock. When both action skills are active this translates to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.
Why so strong? In a CCC build zane can't use the ASE bonus elements, nor the 50/150 radiation annointments. Also, compare this to Moze COMs: Green Monster gives 65% bonus corrosive and 100% splash for holding down the trigger, or 100% splash for not reloading with Blast Master. There's also the new Moze Flare com that gives IB 100% damage based on fuel.
Skills: Remove Good Misfortune and Adrenaline as they are redundant in a CCC build. Replace with Synchronicity and Brain Freeze. Synchronicity adds more damage for both action skills active, Brain Freeze helps freeze enemies that may die due to the bonus shock. Borrowed Time fits, as it'll take longer for the shock bonus to decrease.
Executor In vanilla it wasn't that bad of a COM, but as updates came out it lost effectiveness. When Mayhem 2.0 with its damage scaling and bloated HP pools came out, it took a dive off a cliff. Changes:
Increase the bonuses from the com, by at least double. I can't find the exact bonuses anywhere, but 16-20% crit and 21% status effect damage is really insignificant.
Add: Kill Skills can stack an additional time (including com ones)
Skills are fine, but with the added bonus stack, removing Good Misfortune and (maybe) Playing Dirty for Donnybrook, Violent Speed, or Cool Hand would take better advantage.
Infiltrator Decent COM that synergizes with Rough Rider well, but is contradictory to his entire skill choice. Zane has ways to keep his shields full packed into every skill tree and bonuses for doing so. Zane has no skills that increase shield delay, or any other bonuses for having no shields, other than Rise to the Occasion. (Which also doesn't fit the undercover tree.) Zane has a datamined cut/upcoming skill that on kill converted shields to health which would've fit, so if it was cut it's almost as if the COM was made before his skill trees were even finished. Infiltrator increases damage by 20%, but you can get roughly 12% extra damage out of the movement speed buff. Changes: I propose two options:
Buff the damage buff to at least 40%, add damage reduction, add action skill cooldown, and at least double shield recharge delay.
Flip the COM: Activating Action Skills refill Zane's shields, and the bonuses are gained for the higher his shields are instead of lower.
Skills can remain the same, except Like a Ghost. Either buff Like A Ghost to have a higher percent chance and be able to avoid all attacks OR replace it with Rise to the Occasion/Donnybrook for health regen if going with option 1. For option 2, repalce Like A Ghost with Ready for Action or Nerves of Steel. (Add crit damage to Nerves of Steel, please) Seein' Dead The golden COM for Zane. Many suggest swapping with Seein' Red, but then it would start to fall off. While that would be a good thing for COM diversity, skill point diversity will take a hit. I'd have honestly no reason to use it over the executor, antifreeze, conductor, or infiltrator. Maybe for the 25% bonus, but is that enough to offset the other coms bonuses? Especially considering Seein' Red could then proc COM kill skills like Techspert and Executor repeatedly. Also, consider the fact 4th Skill trees have officially been announced, so Zane's new Action Skill is a spammable Shoulder Cannon similar to FL4K's Rakk Attack, which will allow constant ASE and Seein Red procs. Changes:
Proposal 1: Seein' Dead only triggers against bosses, making other coms ideal for mobbing.
Proposal 2: Seein' Dead change: Whenever Zane deals Cryo damage, his kill skill and action skill duration pauses for .2 seconds. (Rather than constantly triggering his kill skills, he first needs to earn them, and then prolong them provided Zane constantly deals damage. Increases viability of Seein Red, especially against bosses, badasses, or tanky enemies.)
Proposal 3: Swap Seein' Red and Dead, but Dead keeps the 25%. Dead also gains the effect described in Proposal 2.
Skills Can stay the same.
Shockerator Probably Zanes only COM that directly affects Clone. I'm unsure if the Mayhem scaling works in this coms favor, but it still doesn't seem worth it. Changes:
Boost nova damage.
Change: The shock nova can be triggered by any damage to the Clone, not just melee. Add a 2 second cooldown. Additionally, the nova is released from Zane, the Clone, and the enemy that hurt the Clone.
The cryo nova from Binary System and the shock nova will both heal Zane and his Clone.
Skills are fine, but I personally suggest replace Duct Tape Mod or Best Served Cold with Trick of the Light.
Techspert Honestly, the once king turd of Zane class mods. Its built to buff only the Undercover tree. However, the mod's function is redundant with Calm Cool Collected in the tree. 5% chance to refresh only SNTL cooldown/duration is useless even in the other two trees. Changes. I have two suggestions:
Boring route: Increase to 10% percent chance to refresh any action skill duration or cooldown. (If Seein' Red and Dead are swapped, keep at 5%) Additionally, Zane's action skills have a 20% chance to crit.
Wilhelm Route: Zane gains a second mini-drone. This drone stays by Zane, providing him with constant health and ammo regeneration, and if Zane goes down will revive him once then disappear. Whenever Zane presses SNTL's action skill button to target an enemy, both drones launch a cryo nuke at the enemy, which will freeze trash mobs. This has a short cooldown: 15 seconds.
Skills: If taking the Wilhelm route, replace Rise to the Occasion with Borrowed Time. Otherwise, they're fine.
Hustler Oh boy, when I said Techspert was once the king turd of class mods, this decided to steal the crown. For each body shot you get a stack of 25% crit damage and 5% auto-crit chance, which stacks 5 times and removes on crit, for a max 125% extra damage. However, it is POST crit. Meaning no other crit bonuses affect it, and it doesn't even get the baseline 2x crit bonus. If you're scoring crits with this com it is literally useless. You get no damage bonus at all! The only use is about every 5th shot dealing 125% more damage and counting as a crit for brain freeze. But if you're going for a CCC build, just use Conductor, go for crits normally, and deal immensely more damage. Gearbox must really hate Zane, and it shows on his coms. FL4k can get 500% crit from St4ckbot, and was just recently fixed to work with splash and DOT. It also gets any crit bonuses from his trees, which he has tons of. Zane has none, yet he gets post ad crit anyways. Changes:
Change from post ad crit to normal crit.
Either make the stack limit higher, the bonus crit damage higher, or both.
To make normal crits still viable, add slight flat boost or make stacks only reset on auto-crit, and not normal crit.
Allow Zane's action skills to add stacks, but not crit. (If they don't already)
Change/Buff Like A Ghost, or replace it with any other Doubled Agent Skill.
Thats all I got. If anyone cares to share their ideas, feel free. If some seem too strong, or still to weak, let me know. I really want Zane to have more COM diversity. I may even look at other character Class Mods next.
Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020
Good Saturday afternoon to all of you here on StockMarket. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020.
Fragile economic recovery faces first big test with June jobs report in the week ahead - (Source)
The second half of 2020 is nearly here, and now it’s up to the economy to prove that the stock market was right about a sharp comeback in growth. The first big test will be the June jobs report, out on Thursday instead of its usual Friday release due to the July 4 holiday. According to Refinitiv, economists expect 3 million jobs were created, after May’s surprise gain of 2.5 million payrolls beat forecasts by a whopping 10 million jobs. “If it’s stronger, it will suggest that the improvement is quicker, and that’s kind of what we saw in May with better retail sales, confidence was coming back a little and auto sales were better,” said Kevin Cummins, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets. The second quarter winds down in the week ahead as investors are hopeful about the recovery but warily eyeing rising cases of Covid-19 in a number of states. Stocks were lower for the week, as markets reacted to rising cases in Texas, Florida and other states. Investors worry about the threat to the economic rebound as those states move to curb some activities. The S&P 500 is up more than 16% so far for the second quarter, and it is down nearly 7% for the year. Friday’s losses wiped out the last of the index’s June gains. “I think the stock market is looking beyond the valley. It is expecting a V-shaped economic recovery and a solid 2021 earnings picture,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. He expects large-cap company earnings to be up 30% next year, and small-cap profits to bounce back by 140%. “I think the second half needs to be a ‘show me’ period, proving that our optimism was justified, and we’ll need to see continued improvement in the economic data, and I think we need to see upward revisions to earnings estimates,” Stovall said. Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said she expects the recovery will not be as smooth as some expect, particularly considering the resurgence of virus outbreaks in sunbelt states and California. “Now as I watch what’s happening I think it’s more likely to be rolling Ws,” rather than a V, she said. “It’s not just predicated on a second wave. I’m not sure we ever exited the first wave.” Even without actual state shutdowns, the virus could slow economic activity. “That doesn’t mean businesses won’t shut themselves down, or consumers won’t back down more,” she said.
In the second half of the year, the market should turn its attention to the election, but Sonders does not expect much reaction to it until after Labor Day. RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 10 percentage points, and the odds of a Democratic sweep have been rising. Biden has said he would raise corporate taxes, and some strategists say a sweep would be bad for business, due to increased regulation and higher taxes. Trump is expected to continue using tariffs, which unsettles the market, though both candidates are expected to take a tough stance on China. “If it looks like the Senate stays Republican than there’s less to worry about in terms of policy changes,” Sonders said. “I don’t think it’s ever as binary as some people think.” Stovall said a quick study shows that in the four presidential election years back to 1960, where the first quarter was negative, and the second quarter positive, stocks made gains in the second half. Those were 1960 when John Kennedy took office, 1968, when Richard Nixon won; 1980 when Ronald Reagan’s was elected to his first term; and 1992, the first win by Bill Clinton. Coincidentally, in all of those years, the opposing party gained control of the White House.
The stocks market’s strong second-quarter showing came after the Fed and Congress moved quickly to inject the economy with trillions in stimulus. That unlocked credit markets and triggered a stampede by companies to restructure or issue debt. About $2 trillion in fiscal spending was aimed at consumers and businesses, who were in sudden need of cash after the abrupt shutdown of the economy. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both testify before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday on the response to the virus. That will be important as markets look ahead to another fiscal package from Congress this summer, which is expected to provide aid to states and local governments; extend some enhanced benefits for unemployment, and provide more support for businesses. “So much of it is still so fluid. There are a bunch of fiscal items that are rolling off. There’s talk about another fiscal stimulus payment like they did last time with a $1,200 check,” said Cummins. Strategists expect Congress to bicker about the size and content of the stimulus package but ultimately come to an agreement before enhanced unemployment benefits run out at the end of July. Cummins said state budgets begin a new year July 1, and states with a critical need for funds may have to start letting workers go, as they cut expenses. The Trump administration has indicated the jobs report Thursday could help shape the fiscal package, depending on what it shows. The federal supplement to state unemployment benefits has been $600 a week, but there is opposition to extending that, and strategists expect it to be at least cut in half. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 12.2% from 13.3% in May. Cummins said he had expected 7.2 million jobs, well above the consensus, and an unemployment rate of 11.8%. As of last week, nearly 20 million people were collecting state unemployment benefits, and millions more were collecting under a federal pandemic aid program. “The magnitude here and whether it’s 3 million or 7 million is kind of hard to handicap to begin with,” Cummins said. Economists have preferred to look at unemployment claims as a better real time read of employment, but they now say those numbers could be impacted by slow reporting or double filing. “There’s no clarity on how you define the unemployed in the Covid 19 environment,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “If there’s 30 million people receiving insurance, unemployment should be above 20%.
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
The economy is moving in the right direction, as many economic data points are coming in substantially better than what the economists expected. From May job gains coming in more than 10 million higher than expected and retail sales soaring a record 18%, how quickly the economy is bouncing back has surprised nearly everyone. “As good as the recent economic data has been, we want to make it clear, it could still take years for the economy to fully come back,” explained LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Think of it like building a house. You get all the big stuff done early, then some of the small things take so much longer to finish; I’m looking at you crown molding.” Here’s the hard truth; it might take years for all of the jobs that were lost to fully recover. In fact, during the 10 recessions since 1950, it took an average of 30 months for lost jobs to finally come back. As the LPL Chart of the Day shows, recoveries have taken much longer lately. In fact, it took four years for the jobs lost during the tech bubble recession of the early 2000s to come back and more than six years for all the jobs lost to come back after the Great Recession. Given many more jobs were lost during this recession, it could takes many years before all of them indeed come back.
The economy is going the right direction, and if there is no major second wave outbreak it could surprise to the upside. Importantly, this economic recovery will still be a long and bumpy road.
Nasdaq - Russell Spread Pulling the Rubber Band Tight
The Nasdaq has been outperforming every other US-based equity index over the last year, and nowhere has the disparity been wider than with small caps. The chart below compares the performance of the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 over the last 12 months. While the performance disparity is wide now, through last summer, the two indices were tracking each other nearly step for step. Then last fall, the Nasdaq started to steadily pull ahead before really separating itself in the bounce off the March lows. Just to illustrate how wide the gap between the two indices has become, over the last six months, the Nasdaq is up 11.9% compared to a decline of 15.8% for the Russell 2000. That's wide!
In order to put the recent performance disparity between the two indices into perspective, the chart below shows the rolling six-month performance spread between the two indices going back to 1980. With a current spread of 27.7 percentage points, the gap between the two indices hasn't been this wide since the days of the dot-com boom. Back in February 2000, the spread between the two indices widened out to more than 50 percentage points. Not only was that period extreme, but ten months before that extreme reading, the spread also widened out to more than 51 percentage points. The current spread is wide, but with two separate periods in 1999 and 2000 where the performance gap between the two indices was nearly double the current level, that was a period where the Nasdaq REALLY outperformed small caps.
To illustrate the magnitude of the Nasdaq's outperformance over the Russell 2000 from late 1998 through early 2000, the chart below shows the performance of the two indices beginning in October 1998. From that point right on through March of 2000 when the Nasdaq peaked, the Nasdaq rallied more than 200% compared to the Russell 2000 which was up a relatively meager 64%. In any other environment, a 64% gain in less than a year and a half would be excellent, but when it was under the shadow of the surging Nasdaq, it seemed like a pittance.
The US equity market made its most recent peak on June 8th. From the March 23rd low through June 8th, the average stock in the large-cap Russell 1,000 was up more than 65%! Since June 8th, the average stock in the index is down more than 11%. Below we have broken the index into deciles (10 groups of 100 stocks each) based on simple share price as of June 8th. Decile 1 (marked "Highest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the highest share prices. Decile 10 (marked "Lowest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the lowest share prices. As shown, the highest priced decile of stocks are down an average of just 4.8% since June 8th, while the lowest priced decile of stocks are down an average of 21.5%. It's pretty remarkable how performance gets weaker and weaker the lower the share price gets.
It's hard to believe that sentiment can change so fast in the market that one day investors and traders are bidding up stocks to record highs, but then the next day sell them so much that it takes the market down over 2%. That's exactly what happened not only in the last two days but also two weeks ago. While the 5% pullback from a record high back on June 10th took the Nasdaq back below its February high, this time around, the Nasdaq has been able to hold above those February highs.
In the entire history of the Nasdaq, there have only been 12 periods prior to this week where the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high on one day but dropped more than 2% the next day. Those occurrences are highlighted in the table below along with the index's performance over the following week, month, three months, six months, and one year. We have also highlighted each occurrence that followed a prior one by less than three months in gray. What immediately stands out in the table is how much gray shading there is. In other words, these types of events tend to happen in bunches, and if you count the original occurrence in each of the bunches, the only two occurrences that didn't come within three months of another occurrence (either before or after) were July 1986 and May 2017. In terms of market performance following prior occurrences, the Nasdaq's average and median returns were generally below average, but there is a pretty big caveat. While the average one-year performance was a gain of 1.0% and a decline of 23.6% on a median basis, the six occurrences that came between December 1999 and March 2000 all essentially cover the same period (which was very bad) and skew the results. Likewise, the three occurrences in the two-month stretch from late November 1998 through January 1999 where the Nasdaq saw strong gains also involves a degree of double-counting. As a result of these performances at either end of the extreme, it's hard to draw any trends from the prior occurrences except to say that they are typically followed by big moves in either direction. The only time the Nasdaq wasn't either 20% higher or lower one year later was in 1986.
In the mid-1980s the market began to evolve into a tech-driven market and the market’s focus in early summer shifted to the outlook for second quarter earnings of technology companies. Over the last three trading days of June and the first nine trading days in July, NASDAQ typically enjoys a rally. This 12-day run has been up 27 of the past 35 years with an average historical gain of 2.5%. This year the rally may have begun a day early, today and could last until on or around July 14. After the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, NASDAQ’s mid-year rally had a spotty track record from 2002 until 2009 with three appearances and five no-shows in those years. However, it has been quite solid over the last ten years, up nine times with a single mild 0.1% loss in 2015. Last year, NASDAQ advanced a solid 4.6% during the 12-day span.
Tech Historically Leads Market Higher Until Q3 of Election Years
As of yesterday’s close DJIA was down 8.8% year-to-date. S&P 500 was down 3.5% and NASDAQ was up 12.1%. Compared to the typical election year, DJIA and S&P 500 are below historical average performance while NASDAQ is above average. However this year has not been a typical election year. Due to the covid-19, the market suffered the damage of the shortest bear market on record and a new bull market all before the first half of the year has come to an end. In the surrounding Seasonal Patten Charts of DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ, we compare 2020 (as of yesterday’s close) to All Years and Election Years. This year’s performance has been plotted on the right vertical axis in each chart. This year certainly has been unlike any other however some notable observations can be made. For DJIA and S&P 500, January, February and approximately half of March have historically been weak, on average, in election years. This year the bear market ended on March 23. Following those past weak starts, DJIA and S&P 500 historically enjoyed strength lasting into September before experiencing any significant pullback followed by a nice yearend rally. NASDAQ’s election year pattern differs somewhat with six fewer years of data, but it does hint to a possible late Q3 peak.
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Micron Technology, Inc. $48.49
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Monday, June 29, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.71 per share on revenue of $5.27 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.70 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.40 to $0.70 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 29.00% with revenue increasing by 10.07%. Short interest has increased by 7.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 8.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.9% below its 200 day moving average of $48.94. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 46,037 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.
General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.04 per share on revenue of $4.89 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 25.30% with revenue increasing by 17.50%. Short interest has decreased by 9.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.8% above its 200 day moving average of $54.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,573 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 6.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.0% move in recent quarters.
FedEx Corp. (FDX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.42 per share on revenue of $16.31 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.65 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 71.66% with revenue decreasing by 8.41%. Short interest has increased by 10.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 43.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.6% below its 200 day moving average of $140.75. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 25, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,768 contracts of the $145.00 call expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.7% move in recent quarters.
Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $3.24 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.69 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 83.33% with revenue increasing by 23.99%. Short interest has decreased by 38.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.4% above its 200 day moving average of $30.68. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 3,239 contracts of the $29.00 put expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.8% move in recent quarters.
Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.91 per share on revenue of $1.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 53% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 13.57% with revenue decreasing by 13.69%. Short interest has increased by 20.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 25.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.2% below its 200 day moving average of $178.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 888 contracts of the $195.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.7% move in recent quarters.
Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.32 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 39% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.68 to $0.73 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 49.21% with revenue decreasing by 12.20%. Short interest has increased by 35.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 56.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 44.0% below its 200 day moving average of $25.67. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 4, 2020 there was some notable buying of 11,042 contracts of the $17.50 put expiring on Friday, August 21, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.
X Financial (XYF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 25% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 55.00% with revenue increasing by 763.52%. Short interest has increased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 37.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1.47. Overall earnings estimates have been unchanged since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 4.9% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.14 per share on revenue of $809.25 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 42% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 51.90% with revenue decreasing by 14.60%. Short interest has increased by 48.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 23.4% below its 200 day moving average of $110.25. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.
Methode Electronics, Inc. (MEI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $211.39 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 45% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 24.19% with revenue decreasing by 20.53%. Short interest has increased by 6.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.0% below its 200 day moving average of $32.97. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 18.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.1% move in recent quarters.
UniFirst Corporation (UNF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.17 per share on revenue of $378.28 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.25 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 44% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 52.44% with revenue decreasing by 16.63%. Short interest has decreased by 2.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 14.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $186.14. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 7.0% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Raven Reviews: IxSHE Tell Part 1, The Mechanics of a Book.
TL;DR I review the novel without talking about the plot. A FRIENDLY DISAGREEMENT Recently I had a discussion with a stranger on a forum who was adamantly apposed to what he called "Harem Games" and novels that featured harem elements. To recount the whole conversation would take pages and wouldn't be entirely relevant to this review but i'd like to summarize two key points he expressed to me that informed his opinion. The first is that Japanese society, and even American society, is not supportive of a man having multiple partners. While I was able to get him to admit that recent years have seen a rise in polyamory in the United States he remained adamant that any form of harem was unrealistic for the culture. Secondly, he expressed an opinion that mechanically and from a game design perspective harem routs were a "copout" because they are very rarely the true route or most naturally feeling resolution to a story and only exist for people who quote "Feel bad for the girls they rejected even though most of the time that would be better for them and they're okay with it!" He would go on to say that Japanese views on romance are incompatible with harems because of their focus on "firsts" and "being someones only" but being someone who is not native Japanese myself and has only experienced their culture through works like the subject of this review I can't say I'm able to talk about that point much. I feel like VNs portray an idealized version of Japanese culture just like American media does and just like I wouldn't say someone who was seen every episode of any three american sitcoms knows American culture I would not say I know Japanese culture from reading VNs. Out of respect for his privacy I'm not going to name him here but if by some chance you're reading this stranger I spoke to this review will serve as my response to the summery of your points. While I know you're aware I disagree with you, I want to provide a better example then simply listing novels I though were good as I did in our original discussion. As I am well aware however that providing my response like this, if it were to miraculously reach you, is somewhat unfair since you have no good platform to respond with outside of a comment below please feel free to DM me and I will gladly respond. This review will be addressed to a wider audience obviously but I think it will be easy to tell what parts I have drawn from the information you gave me. "BEST HAIR" CHOICE STRUCTURE IxSHE Tell is a recently translated romantic comedy about P-kun (Ninomiya Hajime) and his difficult choice between five girls who confess to him one after the other. That plot synopsis may have drawn up some negative connotations for you but I encourage you to judge this story on its own merits because I was also skeptical but pleasantly surprised with the quality of the work presented. The novel is split in three parts. A lengthy prologue that takes somewhere between an hour and two hours to read. A common route of about fifteen hours, and then individual romance paths for each heroine that are about three hours long apiece. This clocks the total novel read time at about thirty hours but I would imagine a fast reader could finish it in twenty if they choose to. My personal time to completion is skewed slightly longer as I'm a masochist who wouldn't feel satisfied without being certain I've seen every possible line of dialog but I can't imagine this novel taking more the forty or forty five hours for the slowest reader. While their are a number of gimmicks in this novel I will discuss below without the H-patch the game makes the bold choice to provide the player with only a single meaningful choice and thereby creates a unique atmosphere I can't say I've ever experienced before. Anyone who has read more then one or two visual novels will know that commonly the narrative choices are less then open to a reader pursuing more then one heroine. I hesitate to say common structure punishes readers for choosing options favorable to more then one romance route but it certainly discourages it. To explain what I mean lets take a look at a few examples. Muv-Luv, specifically Muv-Luv Extra, has a difficult to unlock "Bad" ending where if the reader favors a specific heroine but fails to choose her options in one of a few specific scenes the game ends abruptly without satisfyingly concluding. Their is also a second "Bad" end which occurs only if the player makes two specific choices, both of which are little more then rejections of the branch path to romance routes. Effectively, failure to fully pursue one of the game's heroines results in the game ending in its second act, but paradoxically while the game has two dozen or so choices any combination of those options will result in a romance route and "good" end so long as the reader chooses the appropriate option at one of the deciding points. IMHHW by contrast has a failure route you can only trigger by selecting one specific option in one specific scene that is obviously the wrong choice and then locks you into a route shortly after. I actually think one of the most enjoyable jokes I can find in a VN is finding the path that lets you spend the least amount of time with a heroine but still puts you on her romance path, then watching as P-kun trips over himself to explain how he fell in love with her instead of the girl he spent most of the last week with. Unfortunately though I can rarely do this without failing out before the final act because of this exact type of choice structure. Some novels are more subtle about this lack of choice. Katawa Shoujo comes to mind as even at its worse you do have SOME free will to jump ship to a different heroine mid act but the binary choice between Lilly and Shizune never sat well with me and Emi being a one choice lock is just disappointing. While not every novel is blatant enough to go the Muv-Luv route and literally name the heroines in the choices so its impossible to miss who you're siding with its a rare treat to find a novel that doesn't spell out which options are the "right" ones to some degree. This brings me back to IxST because the design choice to make only one choice truly relevant, which I would call a weakness in any other novel, but replacing "Best Hair" choices with a gold star reward system opens the narrative and allows for a more natural and less pressured experience. REAL CHOICE This section might not be entirely 100% necessary but I wanted to break down exactly why I think the mechanics of this VN are so revolutionary and vastly superior to the rest of the genre. Honestly, while I know it wouldn't fit every novel I think future VNs would benefit greatly from this example. So the common route in IxST is divided into 5 subsections the novel labels as "days" but are probably better thought of as plot beats. Each subsection allows the reader to assign up to ten "hearts" in any combination to the five girls pursuing P-kun and with one major exception allows this to happen at any time. In the words of the games tutorial paraphrased, if a girl does something you like you can reward her with a heart. You're under no obligation to hand out hearts and can ignore the system all together if you choose but regardless at the end of each plot event you are prompted to select a girl for an extra scene and are then moved to the next plot beat with a new allotment of hearts. At the end of the last subsection if you overwhelmingly favored one girl with hearts over the others P-kun falls for that girl and you have the option to accept her confession. But even at this point you have the option to change your mind and pick another girl who will give you one final pitch about why you should choose them before giving you yet ANOTHER chance to back out and commit to the girl you favored. Maybe the weight of how much this changes the feel of reading a VN isn't clear so lets do a comparison. Muv-Luv Extra isn't a great novel, certainly not terrible but it's about as average as I could hope to find. Their is no other single VN to me that is as aggressively 5/10 as Muv-Luv Extra. Placing it beside IxST both games have a prologue introducing their respective flavors of P-kun and follow it with an intro movie. I know i'm vastly oversimplifying things as the prologues to these two stories are nothing alike but mechanically they have no difference so the important part is that when the common route starts the reader is mentally in the same place. In IxST the player is almost immediately presented with all the choice mechanic they will be interacting with for the next three or so hours of the novel in the form of the heart system. Muv-Luv by contrast spends its opening to the common route with one of the five heroins and less then half an hour into the experience presents the first choice which is a binary question of if you enjoyed yourself with her. Unless you are brand new to visual novels you will know immediately that Muv-Luv's choice should give you pause because without even letting you meet four of the five romance options you are already having to make a choice that you have no way of knowing the significance of. While not all novels do this it's not uncommon for a visual novel to soft lock out of a route when you don't get every choice for a heroine correct and so this small moment to a first time reader can feel needlessly stressful because choosing one option may lock you on one path for the narrative and the other may permanently lock you out of it without telling you either result for HOURS. In roughly the same time a reader will make their way through IxST's first section of common route to the extra scene choice that same reader in Muv-Luv will likely have to make two additional choices if not more all of which are binary "Best Hair" choices encouraging the reader to pursue one of the five heroines hours before the common route ends. This almost makes the choices irrelevant as the reader is primed to select whichever option continues the path their on and discourages them from picking the option they would prefer over the option that is more likely to result in a "good" end. Now to be fair IxST does not communicate to the reader that who they pick for the extra scene is not a soft lock but even if we assume the reader is ignoring the hearts and has already selected which romance route they want to shoot for the hearts system tutorial screen and the extra scene tutorial are definitely geared toward the opposite priming. Every girl is available to be chosen no mater how few hearts you gave her and this ties neatly into the games presentation. The cross view system that temporarily takes away the hearts counters and allows the reader to experience short scenes with each girl further primes the reader to the idea that no matter their choice at this stage the narrative will continue without soft locking. To summarize Muv-Luv and its traditional use of choices makes its narrative feel like the choices exist as a quiz of "what would this girl like me to do?" IxST and its heart system feel like you are organically favoring the girl or girls you enjoy and presents everyone with an equal chance for you to grow attached to them. THE PROBLEM WITH COMMON ROUTES I have another review in the works explaining why I dislike the presentation of most common routes using IMHHW as an example but I'll summarize my points here so I can explain how much better IxST is at getting a reader to seriously consider all the heroines as potential options then a traditional visual novel. Everyone knows their are certain types of characters that feature heavily in visual novels and to an extent has their preferences. Class Representatives, lolis, little sisters etc are all common starting points for heroines. I personally tend to dislike Tsunderes and have a preference for childhood friends but that's just me. Common routes ideally should follow four basic rules but often fail to uphold them. 1.) The common route should introduce but NOT develop characters only important in one or two romance routes and should involve background characters as much as possible while developing the heroines. 2.) The common route should develop each heroine equally and if possible should provide them with as close to equal screen time as feasible. 3.) The common route should have a reason for existing outside of developing characters and this reason should not be resolved before the romance routes begin unless those routes have their own conflict. 4.) The common route should have just as many CGs as the individual romance routes if not more and showcase each heroine evenly in them. I came up with these rules because the entire reason a common route exists is to allow the reader to familiarize themselves with the world and characters and specifically the heroines. If it fails to accomplish that then what was the point of having it? IMHHW happens to fail at ALL of these rules but that's a topic for another day. Let me know in the comments if you're interested in that review and I'll push it up the list. However before I explain why IxST does so well by following these guidelines let me explain my reasoning for each. Rule one recognizes that visual novels need characters other then the protagonist and heroines to feel believable, otherwise the world feels empty and flat. These characters come in three flavors. Background, Side, and Spriteless. Background characters are things like the protagonists best friend or their teacher, definitely important people with a role in the narrative but not romance options. Ideally background characters should be introduced in the prologue to establish their personality and due to their development typically remaining static involved as much as possible with the character in the common route so that by the time the romance routes are reached they can serve their narrative purpose without taking away from the heroine. We should know everything important about them before the half way mark so they can be used and referenced easily as needed. A perfect example is Mikoto in Muv-Luv Extra, who is introduced about a quarter of the way through the game and has basically finished his development by the half way point. Side characters are the opposite, and should be developed in romance routes after being introduced in the common route. A good example here is if a heroine has a little sister, although not every little sister character is like this in general this example works. Ideally, the reader should know the heroine has a little sister and be introduced to her sprite but this is only to allow her to be expanded on in the romance route later so that each run of the game feels unique. Just like in real life growing closer to people means your circle of friends shifts and its more interesting to a reader to have to work to know every character in the game then to always have that information from the beginning. The last category of Spriteless are small time or single use characters that well, don't have a sprite. I might come back in a future review and talk about this group but they don't bear much relevance to the current topic so I'm going to move on. The second rule is pretty self explanatory but to be thorough one of the greatest sins a common route can commit is focusing on one character over the others. Yes, I am aware that some novels have "true" ends that are meant to advance a larger story. Yes, I am also aware that in real life it is very unlikely people you only see at school or work or whatever will have an equal amount of exposure to you as people you've been friends with for years or who you have class with. None of those things matter in a novel. The author has the ability to portray each character evenly even if the protagonist does not have an even amount of interaction with each character. The thing about real life and realism is that life is often incredibly boring. I have yet to see a novel that forced me to sit through every class period the protagonist experienced, because that would be excruciating. I also don't have to wait six hours for the protagonist to wake up after going to sleep nor witness every bite of breakfast every day. This isn't a question of what is realistic this is a question of allowing the reader to get a decent understanding of the characters. This doesn't always mean they are given literally to the second the same amount of dialogue and screen time, but a good common route will let each heroine have an equal time to shine without favoring any of them. The third rule is the one I most often see broken and as such has become my personal most important of the four. I am far more willing to forgive a novel that can follow this rule, even if it isn't for every run, then i am a novel that can not. I have no problems with slice of life narratives. It can sometimes be incredibly cathartic to just drop into the shoes of someone else and pretend to be them for a day. But stories do not exist without conflict and no, choosing which girl you like is not sufficient conflict for the story unless the protagonist is just as concerned about it as you are. Ideally, a novel's conflict should involve all the characters though that's rather difficult so settling for just the protagonist and heroins is fine. The conflict should also have enough leeway to be solved in multiple ways so that each heroines route can provide their own solution. How a heroine uniquely resolves conflict or avoids it is a huge opportunity to squander by ignoring the inclusion of a story. The fourth rule is most concerned with creating a balanced feeling to the novel and has less to do with the common route specifically then it does with the novel as a whole but I tend to include it here because well, it just makes since. Obviously the romance routes are going to have a higher density of CGs then the common route. If you include extra scenes and optional scenes as part of a heroine's run rather then common route content that rule is doubly true. However this doesn't mean that the common route is totally devoid of CGs because that is obviously not the case. Most VNs use the prologue as an excuse to give each heroine an opening CG but the common route is where the majority of group shots and for lack of a better term "casual" scenes allow the artists to showcase each heroine outside of their static sprites. If you've read the other rules explanations you may have noticed that I haven't elaborated on the notion that the common route's main goal is to make the heroine's interesting to the reader and I've saved that point for this moment because outside of their sprites, which are a vital part of a heroine's ability to express themselves, CGs are the most important facet to letting these characters "breath." If you've ever listened to the dialogue in a visual novel without looking at the screen (Admittedly you'd have to know at least a bit of Japanese to do this but lets just assume you have the bare minimum understanding of what the characters are saying.) its actually really hard to distinguish each heroine's personality purely off the words they say. Maybe we don't often think about it but this genre is not just tied to its visual element it is at this point utterly undivorcable from it because it has come to rely on tropes and ideas that repeat themselves so often they tend to blur. How many visual novels have heroines that are constantly getting "shy" or "flustered?" How many use the same literal words like Segoi, Baka, Hentii, to describe things? Language is both endlessly expressive and limiting and even the best VNs, perhaps ESPECIALLY the best, would make TERRIBLE novels if they were printed as is in the form of a paperback. The entire reason for CGs even existing is to play off established tropes and the story to give the reader a snapshot of why the moment they are currently reading is significant and unique, and in a romance novel that more often then not translates to why the heroine is significant and unique. Neglecting this visual element therefore is a huge disservice to the the reader. MERGING THE IDEAS Having said all that IxST uses its unique choice system to facilitate a change in the reader's approach to reading and thus makes itself vastly more enjoyable. This novel could have so easily been nothing more then a self insert fantasy about being pursued by multiple women but because it encourages you to engage with every line of dialogue and spread your focus between all of the characters the story feels fresh and different. The last major choice mechanic I have to mention in IxST, the cross view system, is the epitome of this because while I do have problems with some of the scenes I'll talk about in part 2 of this review the fact it's the only time you can't access the hearts menu was a stroke of genius. Cross view occurrences are once per subsection of the common route and present you with six to nine short scenes involving characters not in P-kun's immediate vicinity talking about or thinking about him. Their is always one scene for each of the heroines but most of the background characters get one each go around as well as usually a scene from the perspective of a random nameless classmate. These scenes are 100% optional but choosing not to read them is a real disservice because letting yourself get into the mindset of the heroins and characters really fleshes out their actions and puts context to the events that happen toward the end of each subsection. I think you'd really miss out if you skipped them. What elevates them for me though is the fact that since you can't access the hearts menu you're forced to think about the scenes for a longer period of time before immediately rewarding the heroines with a heart. By the time you get the menu back you may feel compelled to hand out two or three of your ten points and that choice is a really good moment to sit and consider how you actually feel about each of the characters. If you haven't been interested in one of the girls but their inner thoughts persuaded you they mean well or vise versa then these moments of returned choice can really shake up who you favor for the eventual act three. It feels like i'm praising this game for taking away my options during these sections, because I am, but that's only because you have such freedom everywhere else you become hyper aware and observant when it's scaled back. Going back to the common route rules above this altered mindset falls perfectly in line with fulfilling those goals. Because the reader also cross views background characters to get their perspective they get to relegate development in the main story away from interactions with the protagonist and still fulfill the requirement they be showcased. Because each heroine always has a cross fade section each of them gets a roughly equal amount of time to win over a reader and because they have this extra time they can have more interesting personal conflicts that carry over to their romance routes while the main plot focuses on P-kun's struggles. A RESPONSE TO A DIFFERENT POINT I want to wrap up this first part of my review by addressing why I think "harem" games are uniquely suited to have better, more developed experiences then equal surface quality novels. IxST would not have worked as a story if the protagonist had been the one to confess to the heroines. I don't mean it would have just been different I mean the structure of this game and what made it so interesting and special would have been worthless if that one detail were changed. The choice system of IxST only works because all options are treated equally and never pull the reader too far in one direction. The mindset of someone who is balancing a relationship with five people is fundamentally different from pursuing one out of five. I can't make it any clearer then that, reading this VN is just fundamentally different because the atmosphere is different. Am I saying ALL harem games are like this? Absolutely not. Especially those that have the harem route as an option but clearly do not focus on it or worse work like Harem Party where harem means nothing more then the Echii scenes keep changing girls. But I am saying its easier to break out of the mindset visual novels often fall into where you can only pursue one girl at a time and regardless of what the context of the situation is you should always pick the option that girl will like or be punished for it. The quote that really stuck with me from my conversation referenced in the intro above was "I can never get invested in the characters because they treat everyone the same." I didn't say it at the time but isn't that a good thing? Do you WANT the characters to be inherently unequal? Everyone has their kinks and this is a kinky kinky genre you're allowed to pick favorites based upon what you like but doesn't it stand to reason that if you're reading a novel and one character is favored over another that the person who likes that unfavored character is going to wish they had been treated more equally? That's to say nothing about the fact that every novel is someones first and if a brand new VN reader gets hold of this story don't you want them to have a fair representation of the different character types? Isn't the entire point of having options to be able to explore them unbiased? If you really wanted to pursue just one type of character then their are dozens of novels with only one heroine, admittedly far less then their are with several choices but it's not like they don't exist! Now if the novel is poorly written and the characters have to all share two or three personality traits then yeah fine you have a point there but that's not the harems fault that's just a bad novel in general. I can't say I'm a "fan" of harem VNs, I think I own maybe five total that could even plausibly count out of a sizable collection but I can't deny that problems I constantly complain about in other VNs are at worse absent in the sub-genre and at worst have active solutions like in IxST that I feel NEED to be praised. I don't feel comfortable writing off these stories because "One man can't possibly satisfy five girls." His words not mine. WHY I CHOOSE TO SPLIT THIS REVIEW Well for starters i'm already going far over what I think is reasonable for a single post and haven't even TOUCHED on the actual game's story but more importantly I think my opinion on the VN itself and the mechanics of the game are two separate things. I'll be clear and say I do like IxST, in fact it might crack my top 15, but I have a lot more to say about its narrative then I do about this topic so I decided it would be best to segregate the two ideas. Next week I'll be posting my views on the story, characters, music, art, and my overall opinion with a few extras thrown in. I expect it will end up being even longer then part 1 so be prepared for that I guess. I'm interested to see which of these two parts do better overall so if you liked what you read consider showing some support. I'll consider your updoot to be a substitute for a heart. This is my fourth review in this series so I'm still full of ideas but if these longer reviews do well I might consider moving to a slower release schedule to be sure I can be more detailed. Let me know what you think and if you agree with my points or the stranger I argued against. Stay well everyone!
Binary options, fraudulent “trading products” that are designed to part prospective investors from their money are very different from real options. In essence, they are simply a bet that the price of a particular asset will rise in a given time frame. If you win the gamble, the company is supposed to pay a fixed payout, within the 70%-95% range. If you lose, however, you not only lose the “payout” but the initial investment as well. If this was merely the case this would fall under the category of gambling, something that millions upon millions of individuals do recreationally. However, that is primarily not the case. With almost all binary options brokers you are “trading” against the broker and not the market. The broker wants you to lose, or else the company would not make a profit. Even if the broker pays out your winnings he can easily govern your profit with payout conditions. This means that even if you have a winning formula, the company will just decrease the payout, ensuring you ultimately lose in the long term.
There is more to the scam
That, unfortunately, is not where it ends. Numerous “brokers” are notorious for spreading fictitious stories about their clientele making gigantic profits with trading robots. Almost all of them manipulate their price curves to prevent you from winning. What’s worse is even if you do win, many of them refuse to pay out, and ultimately drop off the face of the earth (with your money). Now clients are left in with a major dilemma. To whom do they turn? To the police? To regulators? The answer to these questions is that it depends. Most of these binary options brokers are not regulated and are located offshore, allowing them to do what they want. Often in their terms and conditions, they concoct various rules that ensure they keep your money once they have it. When it comes to regulators such as ASIC or the FCA they are relatively useless as they cannot shut down the actual binary options websites and to make it even worse search engines such as Google allow these websites to appear in their search content.
Shouldn’t the banks put a stop to this?
Yes, they should. However, the banks, which should be the number one line of defense against these scams either do not know the extent of the problem or are turning a blind eye to their nefarious activities. Additionally, in order to process credit card, debit card payments most of the binary options brokers have registered a small company in an E.U. country.
Unfortunately, fraud encourages more fraud. Various individuals targeted U.S. citizens who were swindled by the now-defunct brokerage, Banc de Binary, and a few other binary options companies that were being sued by the SEC or the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission). They impersonated SEC officials as part of an advanced-fee fraud scheme in which they deceived victims into forwarding them money. Approximately 95 individuals were targeted by this despicable scheme and 25 of them sent 235 thousand dollars in total to these swindlers. What to Do if You Have Been Scammed If you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, send a complaint to at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process.
A few minutes before the shells began to fall, Matthias was standing outside the lift which would take him up to the manufactorum. He stared at it, somewhat pale, as if it were the inside of a heavy flamer rather than a lift. It had been days since his captain had gone to the aid of the Astartes, and he had heard nothing. There had been no report on her. The rest of the command squad, the entire astropathic choir, and every member of the guard assigned to protect them were listed as dead. But the captain on the other hand wasn’t even listed MIA. If the reports were to be believed, then she was alive and well. Which led to the question of where in the god-emperor’s name she was after a battle that catastrophic. Matthias had considered that there were three likely options. The first was that she was dead, and the Astartes were concealing that fact to preserve morale. This seemed the most likely to him, but considering how his last encounter with the space marines had ended, he wasn’t about to ask them. The second was that she had been injured, and so he had checked with any and all medical staff. The medic with the squad had reported she had seen the captain, badly injured, taken in a Valkyrie towards the manufactorum. He had only recently discovered this kernel of information, after two days of digging. It was still more likely that she was dead, but it at least laid to rest the third possibility, one that was all but impossible, but still had haunted him: that for whatever reason, she had turned from the emperor’s light, and simply been erased, forgotten from history. He considered this possibility slightly less likely than Morn showing up for tea and biscuits, but it still nagged at him. He recalled an old parable “blessed is the mind too small for doubt.” Sometimes he wondered if the Ogryns, abhuman as they were, were actually among the most blessed of all the God-Emperor’s servants because of that. Still, the trail led here, to the manufactorum. So he summoned his courage, and entered the lift shaft. As he rose, he felt his headache beginning to grow worse from the binary whine. He had slept little, busy managing the regiment back into something resembling a proper structure after Morn’s… not decimation, decimation would have been a mercy, obliteration, of the prior command structure. In between focusing on that he had attempted to track down his supposed superior officer. If she was to be the new Colonel, as Matthias suspected she would be, given the Astartes favor of her, she would need to know every detail. And, much as he layered it in practical, logical arguments to sway the mechanicus as best as he was able, he simply was concerned for her. He emerged from the lift shaft about midway up the manufactorum, and quickly attempted to find his bearings. The interior of the factory-temple was as alien to him as the sea floor, and he did not belong here any more than he did there. He moved with feigned purpose, acting as if he knew where he was going, and that it was also very important that he got there. He engaged a practiced “nobleman’s stride” which was about as useful on the servitors as any other sort of social interaction, then abandoned it, for just getting around them. As he maneuvered away from the ghoulish servants, he glanced back and shivered. Nobody liked servitors, except the mechanicus, and he wasn’t entirely certain about that. He looked forwards and stopped, backpedaling away swiftly. The green armor and black hood and cape of Andriel swept by him. His breath caught in his throat, heart skipping a beat. It then plummeted to the core of the planet when the dark angel turned and looked at him balefully. He took another two steps away from the librarian, then remembered himself and saluted. “Atra is above, yes she is alive, no she is not well, her plasma gun overloaded and she’s been rebuilt primarily out of cybernetics, yes somewhat like that Catachan but no she’s still wearing her shirt.” Andriel told him curtly. “No, you may not see her but yes I will inform her of your concerns and of her duties, and no I cannot confirm or deny whether she will be the new colonel.” Matthias paused, stunned speechless. “And because I am a psyker, therefore I can read your mind more quickly than you can speak, and thus do not need to spend as much time dealing with you, as I cannot be bothered to waste time making you mortals feel comfortable around that which you rightly fear. Now go away. You have no responsibilities here that vastly more experienced and qualified servants of the emperor are not already attending to.” Andriel concluded, and turned away. Matthias stood flabbergasted, attempting to process what had just happened. Andriel hadn’t shot him, that was a good thing. Atra was alive, that was a good thing. Andriel could read his every thought before he even had them, that was… well Andriel was on his side, and also he knew he was loyal, so it wasn’t a bad thing, but that didn’t make having it done any less uncomfortable. His headache was growing substantially worse, and there was an uncomfortable buzzing in his brain. He started back to the lift. He’d gotten the answers he wanted, though he hadn’t seen Atra personally. It occurred to him that Andriel could be lying to him, the dark angels were infamous for their secrets, but even if he was, it wouldn’t matter. He’d been ordered to leave, and so he was going to leave. His headache began to pound, and he staggered, falling to his side and holding onto the wall. The buzzing in his head became more intense, an all consuming ringing which drowned out all other noise. It pulsed, beating like a heart. He felt nauseous, and then felt his limbs go limp, losing all feeling to them. What was this? It reminded him almost of the Genestealer’s psychic attack, was Andriel doing this? The all-consuming buzzing, chittering, screaming roaring drowned his ears, and he felt nothing. He tasted nothing for the first time in his life. He could now describe what his mouth had tasted like. His sense of smell on the other hand intensified. He drew in breaths, of some sweet and astounding scent, like… well he had no words for it, every breath filled his mind with euphoria even as his brain was filled with a tornado of shattered glass and chainswords. He nearly slipped away into the strange convocation of sensation, but some part of him registered that his eyes were still working. In fact it felt like he saw more, or saw differently. He registered the servitors no longer with fear, but with animal analysis. Prey, weak, more food, less food. Threat. The last descriptor came as his eyes fell on Andriel. The Dark Angel had fallen to a knee, staff raised high. Arcane energies swirled around him, and the tech adepts backed away, chittering in their strange cant. They staggered and stumbled, as if they were drunk, or something beneath had shaken them. Strange, he didn’t recall looking towards Andriel, and why was he getting closer? Feeling returned in one of his fingers, the familiar grip of his hotshot pistol. A flood of memories struck him, throwing him off his feet and into the swirling mists of Alvarea. He remembered the day he received them. He was twelve standard years of age, time enough for him to have a weapon of his own. How massive the pair of pistols had seemed at the time, their warm faux-wooded grip, the brilliant and bright focusing lens. He remembered the careful maintenance each evening, against water and wear, to honor the weapons he used. Death he had dealt. Ork boys, near enough to his men to charge, cut down, concentrated beam punching through primitive helm and through the brain, renegades from a planet’s PDF, unorganized, scattering under the guns. In the cold decks of battleships on sea and star, in the tight and deadly fighting the Alvaerans specialized in. The librarian, Andriel, fighting off the psychic attack himself, on his knees, with only a hood, not a helmet. Wait, no stop! He saw his arm raise, the pistol leveled at Andriel’s exposed head. “Stop! Stop me! I’m not in control! Help!” He screamed, but his mouth did not open. It hung, drooling, and he began to pull the trigger. The las-bolt went wide, as ceiling and floor spun and began indistinct from one another. He hit the ground, hand already on the other pistol. His body fired it towards the center of the rising mass that was Andriel, but it stuck harmlessly on a psychic barrier. The librarian jerked his staff to the side, and the other pistol went flying out of hand. He then pulled it back, and he rushed forwards- no, Matthias was flung though the air towards him. He froze in front of the space marine’s enraged face, and Andriel placed a hand on his forehead. Lightning tore through Matthias’s body, and he began to scream. The space marine forced their eyes to meet, and Matthias fell. His soul seemed to tumble from its disconnected frame, through iron walls and stone corridors, out into the void. But the void did not freeze him, and it was not dark. For an eternal instant he burned, in lights too countless and alien to describe. Then he fell towards a golden beam, like the sun, like forces so potent that they were only found in nature. But not a nature, a godlike soul, piercing the imatterium like a spine-mounted lance cannon. He fell into that golden infinity, and felt his whole being come apart. He did not burn, what was felt was so utterly beyond burning that it lacked words. He fell to the ground, his mouth full of blood. He’d bitten the tip of his tongue off. His eyes were bleeding as well, and, well, he hoped that was blood leaking out of his ears and not his brain. He spat out the tip of his tongue and spat blood hurriedly so as to not choke. The bleeding stopped, or rather was stopped, as he felt the rest of feeling return. He could hear again, feel again, smell something other than that awful intoxication again. There were roaring booms, and the floor beneath him shook. “An artillery bombardment, the tyranids don’t have artillery.” He slurred. He shouldn’t be speaking that clearly, he’d, ah it was back. “No, but they don’t have las-pistols either, and yet one just shot one at me, using you.” Andriel explained. “It appears the attack was widely directed.” “Attack?” Matthias asked, still confused. “I… oh, by the god-emperor I tried to shoot you, twice. And then- ah, what, what was, was that the astronomicon? I’ve heard navigators describe it like that. Did you just throw me, or, my mind, or my soul or whatever into the astronomicon?” “Of course not. There would be nothing left if I had, and if I were that powerful they would have sent just me to deal with the invasion.” Andriel replied. “I simply purified your mind. Which is why you are saying literally everything you think. I have removed all internal restraints as well as a side effect of the purification.” “Well I have no idea what any of that meant but I’m scared shitless of you already and confused and generally entirely out of sorts and really don’t want to be here. God-Emperor’s balls I need a drink and a lie down but nope, getting bombarded, and oh god-emperor I can’t stop talking please someone shut me up before the Astartes shoot me oh-“ And then he shut up. “You have been shut up.” Andriel replied. “You should return to normal… eventually. I don’t know how long it takes mortals. And I wouldn’t shoot you, I would simply sever every blood vessel in your head and disassemble your blood-brain barrier. Saves ammunition.” Matthias stared at the dark angel. Had he just made a joke? “I found it funny.” Andriel remarked. “Go find your guns. You’ll need them.” Another blast sounded through the factorum. “I can’t do purification at basilisk range, and it takes a bit of time.” The first that Morn and Atra knew of the attack was when a missile struck the Stormtalon as they were apporoaching it. The explosion blew both back, Atra hopping slightly to stay on her feet. Then another hit, and another and another, and the pair retreated swiftly inside the manufactorum as shrapnel flew. Atra registered one large piece flying towards her eye, when the refractor field deflected it away, and she ducked behind cover. Morn slammed his fist into the door controls, slamming the great shutters closed before the bombardment could spread. Outside, they could hear the groan of straining metal, and the crash as the landing pad fell off the side of the building. The building began to shake, as more explosions resounded off all around her. “What in the drowned hells was that?” Atra shouted. “When the feth did the ‘nids get Manticore missiles?” “I don’t know. You purged the genestealers, and that could have only come from one of the defenses I mounted.” Morn growled. “Whoever is responsible…” He paused, shaking in fury, before he calmed himself and spoke calmly, deliberately, and in the most terrifying tone Atra had ever heard. “They blew up my ship. They are dead.” It was then that they received Wothin’s message. “Acknowledged, I guessed as much.” Morn asked. “Where are you that you can hear them?” “In the building, where else?” Wothin replied. “Why are you in the manufactorum?” Morn asked. “Educating a fetching young biologus lass on the finer points of Astartes anatomy, clearing up a few misconceptions.” Wothin replied. Morn paused for a moment. “Very well, meet us in central command, we must evaluate the situation in more detail, and for the omnisiah’s sakes, wear your helmet, the enemy may have heavy bolters now.” The killteam re-assembled in the central control room, where already several monitors displayed various tech-priests, as well as the canoness of the cathedral of saint Augustina. Constantine nodded at her as he entered. “The emperor protects.” “Indeed he does, though several of our younger sisters have been given His peace, for their faith was not strong enough.” “It is the entire city then?” Morn asked as he entered, face grimmer than usual. “Not merely the city Tech-Brother.” The local magos, a mess of wires and tubes that was only vaguely humanoid, replied. “The attack has fallen on all remaining hives.” “Planetwide? That shouldn’t be possible.” Morn growled. “Well it has been done.” The magos replied. “You’re both correct, it shouldn’t be possible, but somehow it’s been done.” Andriel replied as he entered the room, Matthias trailing close behind him. “It was a single psychic attack, targeting the entire planet. I can feel it in the air, tense as a wire. Whatever is doing this has stretched themselves thin to accomplish it, but it’s been done.” “I suppose that explains why they targeted our astropaths. If it’s spreading itself that thin, then any psyker could pierce it.” Atra acknowledged. “Yes, but that doesn’t explain why none of us were effected. It targeted me, but that was a direct attack, not part of the wider spell.” Andriel explained. “I brushed that off without any difficulty at all. However it didn’t affect any of us, or the mechanicus, or Atra. To put it in low gothic, it’s hard to mind control a toaster, but that can’t be all of it.” “What’s a toaster?” Constantine asked. “Irrelevant.” The magos replied. “The omnisiah protects us with logic. Clearly he has also shielded the guardswoman.” “That leaves us.” Ish’van replied as he entered, donning his helmet as he did so. “Is everyone going to announce themselves by cutting in on the conversation?” The magos replied, mildly annoyed at how cramped his control room was starting to get. Ish’van politely ignored him. “Andriel, do you think it’s synaptic in nature?” “Possible. It certainly felt like the hive mind, but…” He frowned. “There is something else, something more than the mere animal mind directed. It is something else, something more, something worse, and I do not know what.” For the first time, he sounded concerned, almost afraid. There was something in this alien even to him. “If the tyranid could do this, it would do it more often. This is something else, something using the tyranids as much as our guardsmen.” “Regardless of what it is, the real question is what do we do?” Constantine asked. “The manufactorum is a formidable defense, but it cannot hold forever.” “Bring up the long-range auspex.” Morn ordered. “Show us the status of the fleet.” A nearby screen appeared, flashing through images with incredible speed. Even the other Astartes struggled to keep up, but Morn watched with cold analysis. “The hive fleet is scattered, the main forces are now moving to provide relief.” He explained. “However, the enemy controls the planetary guns, and we have no way to contact the fleet.” “They’re walking right into a trap.” Constantine growled. “It will be a massacre, and without support from the fleet, Alvaera will fall.” “Then holding out is not an option.” Morn replied. “We will find the source of this attack, and destroy it. For the emperor.”
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