Binary Options Winning Formula: Make Consistent Wins every ...
Binary Options Winning Formula: Make Consistent Wins Every ...
How To Make Money Trading Reddit
MAKE MONEY WITH TRADING (Forex, Stocks, Binary Options)
https://preview.redd.it/onvu1owbn2v51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=63508b4c3653556bc53e4ef2df86a29df5e5dd0b Trading consists of buying and selling assets, such as stocks, futures, currencies or derivatives, in a financial market. To trade, so that we obtain benefits, we will have to speculate with the movements in the price of the assets. This is the first step to making money from trading. The word trading is usually associated with short-term investments, that is, short operations that seek benefits limited to a small time frame. In other words, trading and investing are the same, only the time frame changes. So if you hear terms like "stock trading" or "stock trading" it is the same thing, only they usually refer to different time frames. The person who invests or trades is called a trader. A trader then is someone who invests in the financial markets. Generally, the term trader is usually added to the asset that operates. For example, stock trader, futures trader, forex trader, in short, the asset that operates. As you can see I am adding several concepts so that we all start from the same base. So, trading is basically buying and selling assets, trying to buy at the lowest possible price and sell as high as possible. As simple as that. I want you to understand something, the bases are 70% of your trading. It is amazing to see how advanced traders forget the basics before trading. By advanced trader I mean someone who already knows how to trade but that doesn't necessarily make him a winning trader. In most cases they apply complicated strategies and forget something as simple as the bases. How much can a trader earn? You put the roof on it, there is no limit. I recommend you measure your progress in percentages and not in nominals. It is best to verify your progress. Is it necessary to be in a Trading Academy? Like everything, there are some who like to be social and others who prefer to work in a self-taught way. In trading, it is the same. If you need the constant support of people to not be demotivated, then a Trading Academy is a good option. Now, if you are an already motivated person who only needs to clear up doubts, then the best thing is a mentor, consulting professional, or a trading teacher who clears your doubts. The foundations for making money trading have to be solid if we want to make profits consistently. So today I want to emphasize that, the foundations of being a successful trader. Let us begin!
How to Make Money Trading Reddit - Key Steps
https://preview.redd.it/la3o4919o2v51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=02e5635985796aa609c9ed4848285b4ce69f1196 1) Buy Supports (and resistances) Buying in supports is buying in a key area where the price exerts a certain friction preventing the price from continuing to advance, for whatever reason. A support is nothing more than an area where the asset finds the confidence of investors, it is the level where they estimate that it is a good purchase price for them, and that is why they buy the asset in question, in such a way that the asset finds help in that level. Most trading systems, at least the ones I know of which are a few, are based on this principle but what happens, they camouflage it with flourishes. Instead of saying, to the purchase in supports, they add colored mirrors so that it does not look so simple. I'm not saying that details are not good, but exaggeration of details can lead to confusion and later paralysis. Systems must necessarily be simple. Buying in stands not only improves your overall entry, but it drastically lowers your risks. The further we move away from a support, the more the risk increases. Many times we end up buying halfway because the price "escaped" us and we think that we will not have another equal opportunity. The reality is that the market always provides opportunities for those who know how to wait. There is a saying that the beginning trader has fun in the market, the professional trader gets bored. This does not mean that the professional trader does things reluctantly, or that he does not like to invest. It means that the professional trader waits crouched, calm, for that opportunity that he is looking for appears, that entry into support that reduces his risk. While the novice trader enters and exits the market euphoric. A professional trader can be in front of the screen all day and not make a single trade. The novice trader, on the other hand, if he spends more than 5 minutes without trading, he already feels bad, anxious and thinks that he is losing opportunities. Without further ado, enter supports. 2) Execute stop loss Holding losses is the biggest mistake of traders. Who in the beginning has not moved the stop loss because the operation moved against him? It's a very common mistake. We enter the market, we put the stop, the operation turns against us and instead of executing the stop, we RUN IT! We are camicaces. The typical phrase "I'm waiting to recover" has burned entire wallets. The market fell 40% and instead of leaving, they began to pray. The great advantage of small portfolios, that is, investors with little capital, is flexibility and speed of reaction. By running the stop loss you are losing the only advantage you have with respect to professionals and large investors. Because they sure have more capital and have wider margins. Please don't take losses, don't run the stop loss. If you miss the stop, distance yourself from the market and analyze why that happened to you for the next better place your stop. 3) Sell in resistonce I want you to remember something. Until you sell, the profits are not yours. Until you sell, you have no money. Until you sell, you cannot say that the operation was successful. Many traders are very good at finding entries. They perfectly see the supports and manage to enter at the best prices. But what happens to them, they don't sell. It hits a key resistance, where price clearly can't break through and what they do, they hold out in case it breaks. The worst, the price does not break or make an upthrust (which would be a kind of professional feint), it returns to support, it bounces, it goes back to resistance and what we do ... we wait again to see if it breaks, because now it is the correct. And there is a worse case. It reaches resistance and we want to apply the phrase "let the profits run", so what do we do, we adjust the stop loss near the resistance in case the price breaks and continues. The price tests the resistance, falls, touches our stop and we run it in case the price returns to the path. Instead of applying the phrase “let the profits run” we apply the phrase “let the losses run”. An old master used to say, when the price reaches resistance, I collect my winnings and go on vacation. It seems silly but it is a way of telling our brain, if you do things well you have a prize. Sell in resistance, the market always gives new opportunities. 4) The Trend is your friend No better elaborated phrase. The trend is your friend. And as we all know, almost no one pays attention to their friends. We ask them for advice and if they don't say what we want to hear, we won't. If the price goes up, where do you have to invest? "It is not that the price was stretched too much and surely now a correction is coming, so I invest against it." You are seeing that the trend is upward in an annual, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and minute time frame, but just in case you invest against it. Please, the trend is your friend, if it tells you that the price is going up, it is because it is going up. I invested in favor of the trend. You do not want to beat the market because I assure you that it breaks your arm in a blink of an eye. 5) Statistical advantage In the financial markets there are no certainties, only probabilities and whoever tells you otherwise is surely not winning in silver. What we are looking for are windows of statistical opportunities. In other words, we try to turn the odds in our favor. That is why it is always important to ask yourself the question, what is more likely, that the price will go up or down? This is because many times we operate and do not realize that the odds are against us. We can never be 100% certain, but just putting the odds in our favor by making concrete decisions based on logic and not on emotions can earn us a lot of money. 6) Consistency You often see many traders showing one or two of their most successful trades and the occasional loss. This is good for teaching purposes, and it is useful for transmitting teachings. But if you want to become a professional trader you need consistency. And consistency does not speak of an isolated operation, it speaks of sustained profits over time. And when I say time I speak of years. Not a month, not a week, not a semester. 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. To give you an idea, ultra-professional traders fight to see who is more consistent. In other words, the first question they ask themselves is how many years have you been winning? A trader who every year earns a tight, modest percentage, reasonable to say the least, but consistently, is a much better professional than one who doubles the capital one year and the other is -90. Consistency is highly treasured as it allows for simulations, strategizing, and even projections. 7) Trading plan The number of traders who invest without having a trading plan is impressive. Something so important, so simple to make, so useful and very few use it. A trading plan allows you to analyze your operations, see what you are doing, and then improve. When we don't have a trading plan, what we did last week goes completely unnoticed because we can't internalize the teaching. And when I speak of teachings, they can be gains or losses. A loss allows us to adjust the plan but a success also. In fact, when we have several successful operations, there is nothing better than taking their teachings and replicating them. The trading plan is the only tool that allows us to do this, learn, improve and be the most objective possible, leaving aside emotions.
Forex trading Reddit
https://preview.redd.it/ljyjklqgo2v51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c50d6af6b81521fbbfe25938c98971e1592de261 When it comes to the currency market, one of the most popular trading markets is Forex. It represents the world's largest decentralized currency market. So we will answer how to make money from forex trading. With only having a computer, tablet or mobile phone, and an excellent internet connection service, you will be able to operate from anywhere in the world in the Forex market. It has the great strength of being flexible and adaptable to all types of investors. Select a prominent broker or intermediary agent, one that is recognized and very professional. Conduct negotiation trials with him, so that you get to know each other and do not put your capital at risk. Develop together the work style that most identifies you and decide to earn money by trading, enriching yourself with all the possible knowledge and strategies. Acquire strengths in detecting the ideal moment to carry out operations. You will achieve this by studying and understanding the graphs and trends of transactions, detecting that unique pattern that tells you when is the right time to proceed. Do not hesitate, it is possible to earn a lot of money with trading! But, make sure, above all things, train yourself with a duly accredited professional, in guarantee of acquiring quality theoretical knowledge, imperative to understand the movement of the market.
How to Make Money Trading Reddit - Final Words
Trading is an “investment vehicle” that can serve your objectives of having financial peace of mind as long as it is part of a broad economic and financial planning in the short, medium and long term. If not, trading can become a fast track to lose your money, if you lack the necessary knowledge, experience and training. Follow the following formula to Make Money in Trading Consistently:
Profitability = (Knowledge + experience) x emotional and mental management
20 Point and Click Games You Should Play Right Now!
1.Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Monkey Island 2 follows Guybrush's continuing adventures some time after defeating the Ghost Pirate LeChuck. His arrival on Scabb Island was in pursuit of the legendary treasure of Big Whoop.LeChuck's Revenge plays like most SCUMM-based point-and-click adventure games. Actions and dialogues are depicted on an Animation Window which covers the top of the screen; verbal commands are listed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, while Inventory items are shown as icons on the lower right-hand corner. A Sentence Line is located below the Animation Window and serves in describing the actions of the player.The game was one of the few adventure games that offered the player a choice in levels of puzzle difficulty. In some versions, before starting the game, the player is prompted to choose between regular version and "Monkey 2 Lite", a relatively stripped-down experience that bypasses many puzzles entirely. On the back of the game's packaging it is (jokingly) stated that this mode is intended for video-game reviewers. 2.Day of the Tentacle The game, a loose sequel to Maniac Mansion, is focused on Bernard Bernoulli — the only one of the three playable characters that was featured in the first game — and his friends Laverne and Hoagie, as they help Dr. Fred Edison using a time machine to prevent Purple Tentacle from taking over the world. The game utilizes time travel and the effects of changing history as part of the many puzzles to be solved in the game. Day of the Tentacle follows the point-and-click two-dimensional adventure game formula, first established by the original Maniac Mansion. Players direct the controllable characters around the game world by clicking with the computer mouse. To interact with the game world, players choose from a set of nine commands arrayed on the screen (such as "pick up", "use", or "talk to") and then on an object in the world. This was the last SCUMM game to use the original interface of having the bottom of the screen being taken up by a verb selection and inventory; starting with the next game to use the SCUMM engine, Sam & Max Hit the Road, the engine was modified to scroll through a more concise list of verbs with the right mouse button and having the inventory on a separate screen.Day of the Tentacle uses time travel extensively; early in the game, the three main protagonists are separated across time by the effects of a faulty time machine. The player, after completing certain puzzles, can then freely switch between these characters, interacting with the game's world in the separate time periods. Certain small inventory items can be shared by placing the item into the "Chron-o-Johns", modified portable toilets that instantly transport objects to one of the other time periods, while other items are shared by simply leaving the item in a past time period to be picked up by a character in a future period. Changes made to a past time period will affect a future one, and many of the game's puzzles are based on the effect of time travel, aging of certain items, and alterations of the time stream. For example, one puzzle requires the player, while in the future era where Purple Tentacle has succeeded, to send a medical chart of a Tentacle back to the past, having it used as the design of the American flag, then collecting one such flag in the future to be used as a Tentacle disguise to allow that character to roam freely.The whole original Maniac Mansion game can be played on a computer resembling a Commodore 64 inside the Day of the Tentacle game; this practice has since been repeated by other game developers, but at the time of Day of the Tentacle's release, it was unprecedented. 3.The Secret of Monkey Island It takes place in a fantastical version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy. The player assumes the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate and explores fictional islands while solving puzzles. The Secret of Monkey Island is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Via a point-and-click interface, the player guides protagonist Guybrush Threepwood through the game's world and interacts with the environment by selecting from twelve verb commands (nine in newer versions) such as "talk to" for communicating with characters and "pick up" for collecting items between commands and the world's objects in order to successfully solve puzzles and thus progress in the game. While conversing with other characters, the player may choose between topics for discussion that are listed in a dialog tree; the game is one of the first to incorporate such a system. The in-game action is frequently interrupted by cutscenes. Like other LucasArts adventure games, The Secret of Monkey Island features a design philosophy that makes the player character's death nearly impossible (Guybrush does drown if he stays underwater for more than ten minutes). 4.Loom Loom is based on a serious and complex fantasy story. With its experimental interface, it eschewed the traditional paradigm of graphical adventures, where puzzles usually involve interactions between the game character, the environment, and items the character has in their possession. Loom's gameplay centers instead around magical four-note tunes known as "drafts" that the protagonist, Bobbin Threadbare, can play on his distaff. Each draft is a spell that has an effect of a certain type, such as "Opening" or "Night Vision." Some drafts can be reversed by playing their notes backwards, so the "Dye" draft played backwards becomes "Bleach," while others, such as the "Terror" draft, are palindromes (e.g. C–E–E–C) and so cannot be reversed in this manner. Bobbin can learn drafts by observing an object that possesses the qualities of the desired draft; for example, by examining a blade while it is being sharpened, Bobbin can learn the "Sharpening" draft. When the game begins, Bobbin is only able to play drafts using the notes C, D and E, limiting his ability to reproduce more powerful drafts. As the game progresses and additional notes become available, so his ability to play new drafts increases. The game can be played at three difficulty levels, each differing in how clearly the notes being played are labeled. For example, the "Standard" level indicates the notes on a scale below the distaff, while the "Expert" level shows no notes and must be played by ear. In the original release, expert players are rewarded with a cutscene that does not appear for the other two difficulties. The later CD-ROM release, however, shows an abridged version of this scene to all players. 5.Beneath a Steel Sky Beneath a Steel Sky is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The player uses a point-and-click interface to interact with the environment and to guide protagonist Robert Foster through the game's world. To solve puzzles and progress in the game, the player collects items that may be combined with one another, used on the environment, or given to non-player characters (NPCs).The protagonist converses with NPCs via dialogue trees to learn about the game's puzzles and plot.Clues and other information are obtained by clicking on items in the inventory and on objects in the environment.Unlike in most adventure games at the time, the protagonist's death is possible, after which the player starts from the last save point.The player controls a character called Rob Foster. Rob was rescued by a tribe of bandits as a child after he was found as the only surviving member of a helicopter crash, on which his mother was also a passenger. He is raised by the tribe and comes to look upon them as his family, learning skills such as hunting and building himself a robot from discarded scraps found in local garbage dumps. They inhabit a barren wasteland known as "The Gap", a deserted area that was once part of the Australian outback, a harsh place where daily survival is a struggle. 6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure Last Crusade was one of the most innovative of the LucasArts adventures. It expanded on LucasArts' traditional adventure game structure by including a flexible point system—the IQ score, or "Indy Quotient"—and by allowing the game to be completed in several different ways.The point system was similar to that of Sierra's adventure games, however when the game was restarted or restored, the total IQ of the previous game was retained. The only way to reach the maximum IQ of 800 was by finding alternative solutions to puzzles, such as fighting a guard instead of avoiding him.This countered one common criticism of adventures games, whereby since there is only one way to finish the game, they have no replay value.Also, the point system helped the game to appeal to a variety of player types. Some of the alternative fights, such as the one with the Zeppelin attendant, were very difficult to pass, so the maximum IQ was very difficult to achieve. 7.Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis The plot is set in the fictional Indiana Jones universe and revolves around the eponymous protagonist's global search for the legendary sunken city of Atlantis. Sophia Hapgood, an old co-worker of Indiana Jones who gave up her archaeological career to become a psychic, supports him along the journey. The two partners are pursued by the Nazis who seek to use the power of Atlantis for warfare, and serve as the adventure's antagonists.Fate of Atlantis is based on the SCUMM story system by Ron Gilbert, Aric Wilmunder, Brad P. Taylor, and Vince Lee, thus employing similar gameplay to other point-and-click adventures developed by LucasArts in the 1980s and 1990s.The player explores the game's static environments while interacting with sprite-based characters and objects; they may use the pointer to construct and give commands with a number of predetermined verbs such as "Pick up", "Use" and "Talk to".Conversations with non-playable characters unfold in a series of selectable questions and answers.Early on, the player is given the choice between three different game modes, each with unique cutscenes, puzzles to solve and locations to visit: the Team Path, the Wits Path, and the Fists Path.In the Team Path, protagonist Indiana Jones is joined by his partner Sophia Hapgood who will provide support throughout the game.The Wits Path features an abundance of complex puzzles, while the Fists Path focuses heavily on action sequences and fist fighting, the latter of which is completely optional in the other two modes.Atypical for LucasArts titles, it is possible for the player character to die at certain points in the game, though dangerous situations were designed to be easily recognizable.A score system, the Indy Quotient Points, keeps track of the puzzles solved, the obstacles overcome and the important objects found. 8.Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Sins of the Fathers follows the eponymous Gabriel Knight, owner of a rare book store, and fledgling writer, as he investigates a series of local murders he plans to use as the basis for his new novel.Its story unfolds, mostly linearly, over a sequence of "days", each of which has a required set of actions which must be performed before proceeding to the next day. However, within each day, play may be nonlinear. Throughout the game, a running score is kept as new challenges, both required and optional, are completed.Unlike newer graphical adventure games using context-sensitive cursors that change based on what the cursor is hovering over, Sins of the Fathers uses "dumb icons" or "dumb cursors" so that the correct cursor must be chosen for a specific interaction with an on- screen object. The various cursors are accessed by either selecting the respective icon from the "icon bar" or by cycling through the cursors in a predefined order. The available cursors are: "WALK", "LOOK", "ASK", "TALK", "PICKUP", "OPEN/CLOSE", "OPERATE", and "MOVE". Inventory items can also be used as cursors with the active inventory item also available in the cursor cycle.Also located on the "icon bar" are the "INVENTORY" and "RECORDER" buttons, the active inventory item window, score, and the "CONTROLS" and "HELP" buttons. Clicking on the "INVENTORY" button will open the inventory window, where items can be selected and combined as well as cursor icons that allow the player to use "READ", "OPEN", and "LOOK" commands with any inventory item.The "ASK" and "TALK" cursors differ in their functions. The "TALK" cursor functions as a short, general, interaction with most characters. The "ASK" cursor is available in "interrogation mode" and is only available with main characters. Interrogation mode allows the player to ask the main characters questions by clicking on a topic from the displayed list. Global Topics may be asked of any character and are always present in the lists, while specific topics are unique to each character and are subject to change. Past conversations are accessible through the "RECORDER" button which opens a recorder tapes window that displays tapes for each of the main characters.At certain points during the game, the player is required to translate and send Drum Codes and Voodoo Codes. This is done by either selecting the correct character for the Voodoo code or by selecting the correct sequence for the drum code. 9.Full Throttle Set in the near future, the game's story follows Ben, the leader of a biker gang, who is framed for the murder of a beloved motorcycle manufacturing mogul and seeks to clear his and his gang's names. Players can move the player character to any place on the scene, interact with objects that are highlighted by the cursor, or leave scenes via exits - either on foot for most scenes, or via the character's motorbike, both types denoted by their own icon. As with other LucasArts graphic adventure games of the era, dialogue plays a large part in the game, presenting story elements and information necessary to advance, as well as fleshing out the characters. During conversations with other characters, several choices of dialogue are presented. The currently selected choice is highlighted, and once clicked, the player character responds with the selected choice. Choosing the correct response allows the player to advance the conversation and ultimately advance the scene.Following on from LucasArts' previous graphic adventure, Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993), which introduced a new inventory and interaction system to replace those of their prior games,Full Throttle continued to refine on the changes introduced in Sam & Max Hit the Road: Objects or characters with which Ben can interact are indicated by a red square appearing around the cursor's crosshairs when it is placed over the object. When this occurs, holding down the control on this causes a contextual pie menu to appear - designed upon the emblem of Ben's biker gang: a flaming circle topped by a skull and flanked by a boot and a gloved hand. The player hovers the cursor over elements of the emblem and then releases the mouse button to attempt various interactions with the object; for example, selecting the skull's mouth to speak to a character, its eyes to examine an object, or the hand to pick up, use, or pull the object. Right-clicking anywhere on the screen brings up the player's inventory of collected objects, which can be examined or dragged and dropped in order to use them with other items in the inventory, or with objects or characters in the scene. 10.Sam & Max Hit the Road Based on the 1989 Sam & Max comic On the Road, the duo take the case of a missing bigfoot from a nearby carnival, traveling to many Americana tourist sites to solve the mystery. The player uses Sam to explore the pre-rendered cartoon environments of the game and solve a series of puzzles using a simple point-and-click interface.The game's puzzles have logical solutions, although a number of them have far-fetched solutions due to the game's cartoon setting. Players can set the game's cursor in a particular mode to designate how Sam interacts with the environment: Sam can walk around an area, talk to other characters, look at objects, pick them up or otherwise try to use them.The cursor's graphic changes when it is hovered over an in-game entity that Sam can interact with. When talking to another character, the player is given a choice of subject areas to discuss, depicted in a conversation tree as icons at the base of the screen. In addition to specific topics involving the game's plot, Sam can inject unconnected exclamations, questions and non sequiturs into a conversation.The game incorporates an inventory system for items that Sam picks up during the course of the game. Items can be used on other entities in the game world, or can often be combined with other inventory items to provide a new object necessary for solving a puzzle. Although Max's character will walk around the game's areas by his own will, Sam can also use Max at various points by using an inventory icon of Max's head on game objects—usually on characters where the solution to a problem involves violence.Sam and Max travel to different locations in the game using their black and white 1960 DeSoto Adventurer, which when clicked on in-game will present a map of the United States with all the available locations the pair can travel to shown. As the game progresses, the number of locations on the map increases.In addition to the main game, Sam & Max Hit the Road includes several minigames. Some of these, such as a carnival game based on Whac-A-Mole but involving live rats, must be completed in order to receive new items and further the game's plot, while others, such as a car-themed version of Battleship, are entirely optional as to whether the player uses them.As with the majority of LucasArts adventure games, Sam & Max Hit the Road is designed so that the player characters cannot die or reach a complete dead-end. 11.Simon the Sorcerer The game follows a boy named Simon, who is transported to a parallel universe to embark on a mission to rescue a wizard called Calypso from an evil sorcerer named Sordid. As a point-and-click adventure game, the player controls Simon using the mouse.Gameplay involves moving Simon around and interacting with objects and other characters. The player can make Simon perform actions such as giving an item to another character, talk to another character, and pick up (add to inventory), examine, use, move, consume, wear, or open or close an item. Some actions are binary: they involve two objects and the player sometimes, after telling Simon to use an item, needs to specify what to use it with.A map that enables Simon to instantly transport to a major landmark (if it has been discovered) is provided.The postcard is used to load, save, or quit the game.The game includes parodies of various popular books and fairy tales, including Rapunzel, The Lord of the Rings, Discworld, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. 12.Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe The Evil wizard Sordid is brought back to life when a magic-book of his is set ablaze and thrown into the middle of a chalkboard pentagram by the father of Runt, a young boy wanting to become a mighty sorcerer. Sordid promises him that he can become his apprentice if he helps him exact his vengeance on Simon.Several months later, Sordid's Fortress of Doom is reconstructed and Sordid has a new robotic body. He sends a magical wardrobe to fetch Simon but it accidentally ends up on the doorstep of Calypso, the wizard Simon had to save in the last game. Simon then starts to look for a fuel called mucusade which he needs to power the wardrobe in order to get home. 13.Flight of the Amazon Queen Flight of the Amazon Queen is a point and click graphic adventure game. It follows a pilot for hire named Joe King who is hired to fly a famous actress to her next job, but ends up in a lightning storm and crashes deep in the Amazon Jungle. In the jungle, Joe uncovers a plot by a mad scientist to take over the world by creating an army of dinosaur women created from Amazon women. 14. Dark Seed Unlike most point-and-click adventure games, which give the player time to explore, many actions in Dark Seed must occur within precise time limits, or the game will end up in an unwinnable state. As a result of this, one must start over repeatedly to win without resorting to a walkthrough. Amiga Format, in its review, stated with regards to Darkseed's gameplay: "Too many things in the game need to be done within a specific time, or in a certain order, and you don't necessarily know when you've passed that 'critical point' after which you're fighting a lost cause. As a result, you often have to play the game several times over, going through scenes you've seen countless times before." Certain events/puzzles rely on the player dying and then learning from there what to do: for instance, on day two, police wait outside Dawson's house in the afternoon to arrest him if he steps outside the front door, with no clue as to their presence until it's too late, resulting in a game over. Similarly, the player must take a painkiller each morning in the bathroom or the protagonist continually complains about a headache after every line of dialogue; there is no hint or indication to do this.The player has three real time hours within which they must complete the game, which is the equivalent of three in-game days. Time can also be passed by using the in-game wait function, and the time can be checked by looking at Dawson's watch, or by inspecting the grandfather clock in the house. At the end of each day, Dawson goes to sleep and upon going to bed, each night he has a nightmare of the Dark World. Dawson automatically goes to sleep at ten P.M. each night, regardless of where the player is. If it becomes night while Dawson is in the Dark World, he will fall asleep and die, resulting in a game over. Dawson is able to access the Dark World on day two upon receiving a piece of a mirror in the mail and re-assembling it with the rest of the mirror, creating a portal to the Dark World. Every room, person and object in the normal world has a Dark World equivalent and this is often necessary for puzzle solving.When interacting with objects, the options available to the player include look/inquire, touch/manipulate, and move, denoted by a "?", a hand, and four arrows pointing inwards respectively. Looking at an object and manipulating an object are context-sensitive: the "?" becomes a "!" when the cursor is over items or areas of interest and the hand icon points upwards when the cursor is over items that can be picked up or manipulated. 15.The Dig In the game, the player takes the role of Commander Boston Low, part of a five-man team planting explosives on an asteroid in order to avert its collision course with Earth. Discovering the asteroid is hollow, Low and two of his team are transported to a long-abandoned complex, filled with advanced technology, on a strange alien world. Low and his companions must utilize xenoarchaeology to learn how the technology works, discover the fate of the alien race that built it, and solve other mysteries to find a way to return home. The Dig is a point-and-click adventure game, where the player, as Commander Boston Low, uses the mouse cursor to point to people, objects, and other parts of the environment to look at or interact with them, collect and use items in their inventory, and talk to non-player characters. The game runs on the SCUMM game engine, and was the eleventh LucasArts game to do so. A minigame can be found on the communicator menu, consisting of "Asteroid Lander", a Lunar Lander like game. During development, there were plans to include role-playing game elements, but these were scrapped before the game's release. 16.Maniac Mansion It follows teenage protagonist Dave Miller as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend Sandy Pantz from a mad scientist, whose mind has been enslaved by a sentient meteor. Maniac Mansion is a graphic adventure game in which the player uses a point-and-click interface to guide characters through a two-dimensional game world and to solve puzzles. Fifteen action commands, such as "Walk To" and "Unlock", may be selected by the player from a menu on the screen's lower half. The player starts the game by choosing two out of six characters to accompany protagonist Dave Miller: Bernard, Jeff, Michael, Razor, Syd, and Wendy. Each character possesses unique abilities: for example, Syd and Razor can play musical instruments, while Bernard can repair appliances. The game may be completed with any combination of characters; but, since many puzzles are solvable only by certain characters, different paths must be taken based on the group's composition. Maniac Mansion features cutscenes, a word coined by Ron Gilbert, that interrupt gameplay to advance the story and inform the player about offscreen events.The game takes place in the mansion of the fictional Edison family: Dr. Fred, a mad scientist; Nurse Edna, his wife; and their son Weird Ed. Living with the Edisons are two large, disembodied tentacles, one purple and the other green. The intro sequence shows that a sentient meteor crashed near the mansion twenty years earlier; it brainwashed the Edisons and directed Dr. Fred to obtain human brains for use in experiments. The game begins as Dave Miller prepares to enter the mansion to rescue his girlfriend, Sandy Pantz, who had been kidnapped by Dr. Fred. With the exception of the green tentacle, the mansion's inhabitants are hostile, and will throw the player characters into the dungeon—or, in some situations, kill them—if they see them. When a character dies, the player must choose a replacement from the unselected characters; and the game ends if all characters are killed. Maniac Mansion has five possible endings, based on which characters are chosen, which survive, and what the characters accomplish. 17.The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel In November 1888, Sherlock Holmes is engaged by Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard to help with the murder investigation of a young actress, Sarah Carroway. She was killed outside a theatre in the Mayfair area of London. Lestrade thinks the manner of her death shows that this is another strike by Jack the Ripper, but Holmes believes someone else committed the crime. It appears that the victim was killed with an unusual knife, one shaped like a scalpel but with a serrated blade.The investigation takes Holmes and Dr. Watson to many parts of late 19th Century London, including a perfume shop, the zoological gardens, the morgue, a pub, several dwellings, Surrey Commercial Dock, Savoy Street Pier, St Pancras Station, and of course 221B Baker Street. They encounter a number of characters connected to the case and also get assistance from Inspector Gregson, the leader of the Baker Street Irregulars named Wiggins, and the invaluable tracking dog Toby. The player moves around London via an elaborate overview map. Additional locations become available when Holmes finds additional leads. In each location, the player can select nine different verbal options to interact with objects or people. When accessing the inventory menu, the player has three different verbal actions to manipulate any items Holmes has picked up. When talking to people, Holmes has different dialogue options to gain information or try to get their cooperation. Dr. Watson can give his views, which may serve as puzzle hints. He may even help Holmes to perform an action he cannot do alone. Dr. Watson's journal also references the events in the gameplay.The graphics are VGA, with MIDI music and a few scenes with digitalized speech (in the intro and end sequence, and the cutscene at St Pancras Station. In the other scenes there are sound effects, but no speech). The player interacts with the characters through a command menu with verb icons that is intuitive for anyone who had played other adventure games of the period. The 3DO version consists of full voiced dialogue and the portraits of the talkers were replaced by clips with filmed actors, but also drops Dr. Watson's journal feature.In the video clips in the 3DO version, Sherlock Holmes was played by David Ian Davies, and Dr. Watson was played by Laurie Main. 18.Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders The story is set in 1997, 9 years after the game's production. The plot follows Zak (full name Francis Zachary McKracken), a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper (the name is a thinly veiled allusion to the National Enquirer); Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; along with Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious alien Caponians (who have taken over "The Phone Company", an amalgamation of various telecommunication companies around the world) from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth by emitting a 60 Hz "hum" from their "Mind Bending Machine". The Skolarians, another ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians (the "Skolarian Device"), which needs reassembly and start-up. Unfortunately, the parts are spread all over Earth and Mars. 19.The Curse of Monkey Island The game's story centers on Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who must lift a curse from his love Elaine Marley. As the story progresses, he must deal with a band of mysterious pirates, a rival stereotypical French buccaneer, a band of cutthroat smugglers, as well as his old nemesis Captain LeChuck. The Curse of Monkey Island is a point-and-click adventure game. The SCUMM engine was also used in this Monkey Island installment but it was upgraded to a "verb coin" (modelled after Full Throttle), an interface that consisted in a coin-shaped menu with three icons: a hand, a skull, and a parrot, basically representing actions related to hands, eyes and mouth, respectively. These icons implied the actions Guybrush would perform with an object. The hand icon would usually mean actions such as picking something up, operating a mechanism or hitting someone, the skull icon was most used for examining or looking at objects and the parrot icon was used to issue Guybrush commands such as talking to someone or opening a bottle with his teeth. The inventory and actions were thus visible on click, rather than on the bottom of the screen as previous point-and-click games by Lucasarts.The player controlled a white 'X' cursor with the mouse, that turned red whenever landing onto an object (or person) with which Guybrush could interact. Holding left click over an object, whether in or outside the inventory, would bring up the coin menu, while right clicking it would perform the most obvious action with this particular object. Right clicking a door, for example, made Guybrush attempt to open it, while right clicking a person meant talking to him or her. 20.Grim Fandango Grim Fandango takes place in the Land of the Dead (the Eighth Underworld), where recently departed souls aim to make their way to the Land of Eternal Rest (the Ninth Underworld) on the Four Year Journey of the Soul. Good deeds in life are rewarded by access to better travel packages to assist in making the journey (such as sports cars and luxury ocean cruises), the best of which is the Number Nine, an express train that takes four minutes to reach the gate to the Ninth Underworld. However, souls who did not lead a kind life are left to travel through the Land of the Dead on foot, which would take around four years. Such souls often lose faith in the existence of the Ninth Underworld and instead find jobs in the Land of the Dead. The travel agents of the Department of Death act as the Grim Reaper to escort the souls from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead, and then determine which mode of transport the soul has merited. Each year on the Day of the Dead, these souls are allowed to visit their families in the Land of the Living.The souls in the Land of the Dead appear as skeletal calaca figures. Alongside them are demons that have been summoned to help with the more mundane tasks of day-to-day life, such as vehicle maintenance and even drink service. The souls themselves can suffer death-within-death by being "sprouted", the result of being shot with "sproutella"-filled darts that cause flowers to grow out through the bones. Many of the characters are Mexican and occasional Spanish words are interspersed into the English dialogue, resulting in Spanglish. Many of the characters smoke, following a film noir tradition; the manual asks players to consider that every smoker in the game is dead. Grim Fandango is an adventure game, in which the player controls Manuel "Manny" Calavera (calavera being Spanish for 'skull') as he follows Mercedes "Meche" Colomar in the Underworld. The game uses the GrimE engine, pre-rendering static backgrounds from 3D models, while the main objects and characters are animated in 3D. Additionally, cutscenes in the game have also been pre-rendered in 3D. The player controls Manny's movements and actions with a keyboard, a joystick, or a gamepad. The remastered edition allows control via a mouse as well. Manny must collect objects that can be used with either other collectible objects, parts of the scenery, or with other people in the Land of the Dead in order to solve puzzles and progress in the game. The game lacks any type of HUD. Unlike the earlier 2D LucasArts games, the player is informed of objects or persons of interest not by text floating on the screen when the player passes a cursor over them, but instead by the fact that Manny will turn his head towards that object or person as he walks by. The player reviews the inventory of items that Manny has collected by watching him pull each item in and out of his coat jacket. Manny can engage in dialogue with other characters through conversation trees to gain hints of what needs to be done to solve the puzzles or to progress the plot. As in most LucasArts adventure games, the player can never die or otherwise get into a no-win situation (that prevents completion of the game).
Romance Club also has female LIs but their stories are not as comprehensive as the male LIs.
For MLM players, Choices is kinda the only game in town here if you want visuals, I think. You can play as male in the Arcana with the three male LIs but there's no visual customization, just pronouns. Chapters has a single MLM story that was released a while ago and they have not made any new ones since. Not sure if Storyscape's new Edge of Extinction, which has a male MC option allows you to go for a male LI yet.
Only two games have non-binary love interests: Lovestruck has two (Cyprin and JD) and Arcana has one (Asra, goes by he/him).
I still think the Arcana is probably the easiest one to earn in-game gems for, since there are so many ways to earn them. Heart Hunter, watch ads (if you have the beta feature), sell trinkets from the spin, win gems from the free spin. Chapters is pretty easy too since you can watch a ton of ads for gems and they don't really have that many limitations of how many you can watch.
The hardest one to earn in-game gems for is probably Lovestruck. Their choices cost more (~20+) and you can only get gems by playing Romantic Quests, which give max five gems in an ten-hour period. The daily puzzle piece technically gives you gems too but it's so slow it might as well not count.
Storyscape is decent primarily because it doesn't have that many gem choices per chapter, plus you can earn gems from rating chapters, which is nice.
Choices is decent at giving you free gems but it's also the most gem-heavy by far, since there are multiple gem choices per chapter and there's a lot of "collect them all" stuff in books.
Romance Club is pretty generous if you regularly check-in. Reading the first chapter of a new book gives you ten gems.
Chapters regularly lets you read a random book without using up any passes, for 24 hours.
Arcana recently also has had multiple weekends where no passes were needed to read books at all. You can also buy chapters outright and then you don't need to use passes or gems to play that chapter again and again!
Both Arcana and Lovestruck actually allow you to earn passes through other means than waiting for the timer.
Shoutout to Romance Club for having the most innovative name for passes - "Cups of Tea"!
Two games here have character animations: Journeys and Storyscape. The rest of the games do not have characters animate but instead rely on sprites.
Storyscape's 3D animations are insane for a mobile game - while yes, they can be creepy sometimes (uncanny valley), the models are very expressive and they actually add to the story in many ways. Nothing else here compares to it.
Journeys's animations are more like Episode's and are simpler and 2D, and half the time you're just waiting for the animation to finish so you can go through the book faster.
Both Choices and Lovestruck have animations for other parts of the story (like magical stuff), though Choices's are more complex.
Arcana and Storyscape have the least typos (almost none, I feel), Choices and Lovestruck have a few occasionally, and Romance Club, Chapters, and Journeys's books often have a bunch. I might be a bit unfair to the last three since their developers are not from the US and are overseas.
Chapters' regular gem choices are the worst because out of all of these games it's the one that most often makes you spend gems just to say something that isn't stupid or do something mind-numblingly idiotic, and it barely affects anything.
The age rating really affects the romantic content of the books.
Chapters is the most explicit (sometimes really badly so) in scenes. There are also some problematic books but that's a different story...
Storyscape is pretty explicit too; it's definitely targeting an adult audience.
Choices tends to rely on implied actions. (other than Bloodbound as does Arcana and Romance Club. No surprise that they have the lowest age rating in the App Store.
Ironically despite the name of these games, they vary greatly about how much your own choices impact the story.
Storyscape's choices are pretty consistently going to affect what happens later in the game. Just an example, Titanic ends really differently and has several different endings depending on what you did/ did not do.
I know a lot of people complain that choices in Choices often don't change the story, but they still do in some (Endless Summer!).
Arcana choices affect whether you get the upright/reversed endings for a LI, which are very different story endings!
Romance Club's also put you on different paths that change the story line a bit.
On the other hand, choices in Lovestruck basically never affect the main story line. Some of the older books have passionate/thrilling endings (like Astoria) that get unlocked with your choices, but the new ones never have these endings. Same with Chapters.
None of these apps offer Telltale or Life is Strange-level choice effects though.
Journeys offers translations of their stories into several European languages - German, Spanish, Portugues, Italian.
Most of the games have something nice about their interface that I wish could make it into the other apps.
Lovestruck allows you to fast forward, rewind, and see a log of speech in the chapter. No more tapping mindlessly and missing something important! That's probably why they don't give you gems for finishing chapters though...
I really like the tarot check-in in Arcana. It's very on-theme and fun.
Both Arcana and Lovestruck allow you to collect CGs from LI interactions and you can view them in a gallery later. Both of these games have a mixture of free and premium CGs that you have to use gems to get, but there are many more free ones on Lovestruck and I'd say it's an integral part of the game.
Choices and Storyscape have what could be considered "CGs" but there's nowhere to view them outside of the chapter they appear. If you don't screenshot the moment you'll have to replay the chapter again to see it.
Chapters has a "Card Cabinet" where you collect character cards, etc. It's kinda like Steam cards that you earn while playing, though some of the cards require premium choices to be made to unlock. They also have an easy way to view achievements.
Journeys is the only one that's in landscape, and I actually like that because it feels like I'm watching a movie. They also tell you how much of the chapter you have left when you pause.
Lovestruck and Chapters both have the ability to write and see in-game reviews of books. But the comments on Chapters are rarely about the book and are just people sharing their friend codes.
Storyscape tells you who wrote and directed the chapter after you finish, I like that too.
History & Background
All the apps have very different histories about how they came about.
Lovestruck is technically the oldest here, since some of their stories were first released as stand-alone apps that later got merged into one app in 2017. Speakeasy Tonight was released all the way back in 2013, Astoria in 2015, etc. The company Voltage is based in Japan with an American subsidiary.
Choices released in August 2016 but the PB team had published two other games (High School Story and Hollywood U) before it with a similar (short) episodic format, and also Surviving High School with EA even before that. They are now a subsidiary of Nexon, a Korean company.
Arcana got its beginning through Kickstarter three years ago - unfortunately apparently some people still haven't gotten their rewards... Nix Hydra is still an independent game studio as far as I can tell.
Chapters came out a year or so after Choices and they clearly in the beginning copied a lot of how that app works, right down to the wording of certain choices. The company is ChineseAll USA Corp, based in China, and the US subsidiary is based out of Sunnyvale. That being said, their app now has more unique features and mechanics to keep people playing.
Romance Club seems to have a big community of readers especially in Eastern Europe, and they're based out of Moldova.
Journeys is only a few months old but they seem to be very popular in Latin America.
Storyscape is the newest game here but they were hotly anticipated by a lot of people, and for good reason IMO. Their studio was a game arm of 20th Century Fox so I guess technically they're owned by Disney now?
Here's a chart by gendesexual orientation for which game gives you the most options / fits a particular demographic best in my opinion:
Here's how I would group the games according to similarity.
The "new otome games": Lovestruck and The Arcana; they're the most similar to each other, with CGs as rewards, and "routes" with specific LIs. Obviously they differ from the classic otome formula in that they have a much greater variety of LIs than just guys!
The "immersive fiction games": Choices, Romance Club both fit here. A library of their own books and customization of main characters. These two games are extremely similar (I suspect by intent...).
The "paperback romance games": Chapters and Journeys. Reading these are kinda like reading those cheap paperback novels you buy at the airport, ya know? It's not highbrow fiction, but it scratches a certain itch. These two are also the most similar to Episode in a way.
The "TV-show-as-book": Storyscape kinda exists as itself. For a while I wondered why they call their books "shows" but it kinda makes sense now because of the production quality. Of course, two of their books are actually from film/TV, but it makes sense because of their origins at Fox.
As a last word, it's kinda cool that for Choices, Storyscape, and Romance Club their developers have all been on and done stuff with their Reddit communities. Romance Club even has a link to the subreddit in the app! The other apps are slacking on this. Agree, disagree? Tell me!
My first post explored the difference between The First Sliver and other 5C Food Chain decks by using approximating permutations as independent binary events. To explain what I mean, consider the odds of exiling Food Chain before Hagra Diabolist in Tazri. One of the two must be exiled first, so the odds are even. Either Hagra Diabolist or Food Chain gets exiled first. That's an independent binary event, with exactly a 1/2 chance for either outcome. I started approximating when I considered other options as well. The same odds hold true when considering Halimar Excavator, but what about when we ask the question: what are the odds of exiling both Hagra Diabolist and Halimar Excavator before Food Chain? Independent events can multiplied together to get a probability. In this case, all of the events were treated as 50/50 independent events and multiplied. If two Food Chain players used Tainted Pact at the same time in side-by-side matchups, the odds of one player exiling Hagra Diabolist before Food Chain are 50/50 and the odds of the other exiling Halimar Excavator before Food Chain is also 50/50. The odds of both happening is 1/2 * 1/2 or 1/22. This does not hold true for a single player with a single deck however. In this case, we need to use permutations to get an accurate estimate. Permutations are ways to order sets of elements. If our set is (Food Chain, Hagra Diabolist, Halimar Excavator) then the following is the sum of the permutations:
If the order going left to right is the relative position of those cards in the deck top to bottom then 2 of out of 6 sets will have Tainted Pact find Food Chain after exiling your two hard win conditions. So the odds are 1/3, not 1/4. The number of total permutations is given by n!, a value that scales rapidly with increasing n. For a whole deck, the number of permutations is approximately 9.33E155. There is a reason I didn't try to find every possible permutation of the deck and simply used an approximation! However, it is still fairly easy to calculate a formula for hard win conditions survivable after Tainted Pact. For n = 2, the value is 1/2. For n = 3, that value is 2/6. For n = 4, it is 6/24. 5 >> 24/120. Extrapolating, it is easy to see that the likelihood of losing all your hard win conditions can be calculated by (n-1)!/n!. Since n = 1 * 2 * 3 * ... * n - 1 * n, that means that value is actually : (1 * 2 * 3 * ... * n - 1)/(1 * 2 * 3 * ... * n - 1 * n) >> 1 / n The survival rate of your hard win conditions is the inverse of this value, or 1 - 1 / n. In the case of previous 5C Food Chain commanders, the popular choice for n was 4 (counting Laboratory Maniac).
The First Sliver Hard Win Conditions
The First Sliver can easily match that number of hard win conditions. She is not limited to twister loops, as she can easily run a number of 1-card hard win conditions. For example:
Riftsweeper (which can get Goblin Bombardment)
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
Laboratory Maniac (ish)
Praetor's Grasp (ish)
The question is how many of these are necessary. I'll note that since my last post I've arrived at the conclusion that Goblin Bombardment is strictly superior to Walking Ballista, as it has similar utility (pinging dorks) but doesn't require Regrowth in the combo line. Right now, I am on the first two and the last. If we treat Praetor's Grasp as a hard win condition (in some pods it will not be), this puts our minimum bound for our Tainted Pact survival rates equal to that of a typical Food Chain lists while still maintaining some standards for card quality. Laboratory Maniac is treated a hard win condition because adding in all its combo cards significantly increases the elements in our set. Our upper bound for survival rates would also include the permutations that allow for a Twister loop but don't allow for the above cards. n = 4 > survival rate = 1 - 1/4 = 75%
While doing the permutations for twister loops, I came to the realization that The First Sliver if any of the 'shuffle' effects or 'return' effects are still around it would be a win if Laboratory Maniac was still around. That is because they can give the deck a chance to cast Tainted Pact again with Laboratory Maniac out, drawing the deck out and at the very minimum being able to pass turn with a hand full of interaction. Twister loops then a back-up win condition for when the deck has exiled all of its hard win conditions: Goblin Bombardment, Riftsweeper, Laboratory Maniac, and Praetor's Grasp. There are a few options as to the twister loop win conditions. In this example, I am exploring using just Extract and Swan Song as that is the current option used in 5C Food Chain lists (which don't run Reality Shift and Beast Within). That yields a 11 element set:
There are 39916800 permutations of the above set. We want to know many of those permutations have the following characteristics:
Food chain before any of
Food Chain after
Food Chain before
1 of Timetwister / Memory's Journey
1 of Regrowth / Noxious Revival
1 Extract / Swan Song
This will yield our total survival permutations post Tainted Pact. We already know that 29937600 (75%) of those permutations will have one of our hard win conditions surviving. By the design of the problem, we know that if we number the positions 1 through 11, Food Chain must be between positions 5-11 because in the remaining permutations the hard win conditions must be before it. If we take positions 5-11 as a 7 element subset, that gives us 5040 possible permutations. In 2160 of those, Food Chain is in position 5, 6, or 7 and the twister loop must survive. In another 2160 of those Food Chain is position 9, 10, or 11 and the twister loop will die. That leaves us with 1440 permutations where Food Chain is in position 8 or 9. 4/6 permutations at either position are good, leaving us with 3120 permutations out of 5040 or 61.9% survival odds in the subset. Extrapolating out to our remaining 9979200 possibilities, that gives us 6177600 where our twister loop will survive. Combined with the 29937600 where a hard win condition survives, that yields a 90.5% survival rate. Twister loops increased the decks consistently by around 15%.
Setting Up A Win
The next question most Food Chain players will want to know is how often Tainted Pact will find a cast-from-exile creature, in addition to leaving one of the win conditions alive. This adds 3 more creatures to our set, which now has n = 14 >> 87178291200 permutations. In 78875596800 of these a win condition survives. The math behind the cast from exile creatures is actual the inverse for the math for a card surviving, i.e. 1/2 for n = 1, 1 - 2/6 for n = 2, 1 - 6/24 for n = 3. In 18/24 permutations, a cast from exile creature is exiled. That yields 59156697600 permutations where Tainted Pact sets up a win by double-tutoring for your combo pieces and leaving win conditions in the library or 67.8%
I have not yet devised a solution to reduce the number of elements in the set for Demonic Consultation. That means calculating the odds requires a full 99 element set for a deck, or n = 99. Instead, it is easily possible to simply say that Demonic Consultation has a 6/99 chance to exile Food Chain in the top 6 cards of the library, resulting in survival odds that are ~6% lower or 84%. Similarly, the odds of setting up a win are subsequently lower at 63.7%.
Plunge Into Darkness
Like Demonic Consultation, this asks us to devise a set of permutations for our entire deck. This is even trickier, as it can take a variable amount of life and fail to find Food Chain while still exiling other cards. In general Plunge Into Darkness will see about 35 cards into the library. We will switch to hypergeometric calculations here. Looking roughly 35 cards deep into a 99 card library, the odds of finding Food Chain are about 35.4% while the odds of finding a cast from exile creature is 73.4%. The odds of finding all 4 hard win conditions and Food Chain is 0.4%. Plunge will almost never remove your win conditions, but it will also rarely set-up a win by itself. Treating the odds of finding Food Chain and finding a cast from exile creature as independent binary events, the likelihood is roughly 26.0%.
Impact on Card Selection
Adding Goblin Bombardment, Praetor's Grasp and Riftsweeper is enough to make The First Sliver comparable to other 5C Commanders, even ignoring a decent number of win conditions. There are some limitations, listed below, and there should be some discussion around using Jace, Wielder of Mysteries as an additional playable hard win condition or instead of one of the above (most likely Praetor's Grasp). Walking Ballista does act as a win condition in the hand and with Regrowth, but is still functionally worse than the above. Increasing our number of hard win conditions is equivalent to increasing n in the following equation, where n is the number of hard win conditions + 1: 1 - ( 1 / n ) + ( 1/ n ) * (3120/5040). The third represents the twister loops, which aren't present for other 5C Food Chain commanders. Adding Jace and Walking Ballista would increase n to 6, yielding 85.7% survival odds for the hard win conditions and 94.6% for either a hard win or a twister loop win to survive. That is about a 70.9% chance for Tainted Pact to set up a win. See below for more values.
n | survival | setup win
1 | 81% | 61%
2 | 87% | 66%
3 | 91% | 68%
4 | 92% | 69%
5 | 94% | 70%
6 | 95% | 71%
In comparison, treating Laboratory Maniac as a hard win condition in Tazri or Niv-Mizzet Reborn yields the following values:
n | survival | setup win
3 | 75% | 56%
4 | 80% | 60%
Regrowth can require mana in twister loops. You can offset this by blowing up your Wall of Roots or using Lotus Petal
Silence is normally required before beginning Twister loops and may get exiled
Assassin's Trophy can destroy all our opponents permanents, but wasn't counted
Infinite swans requires passing the turn
Praetor's Grasp can be less than a hard win condition outside of twister loops
Laboratory Maniac and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries can be less than hard win conditions and can require passing the turn
My previous post underestimated the power of certain cards already in the deck, namely Laboratory Maniac. With the understanding that virtually every Twister loop piece also results in a win with Laboratory Maniac, the deck's survival rate skyrockets even when using the more accurate permutation method as opposed to using independent binary events. However, considering that Laboratory Maniac and Praetor's Grasp are slightly less than the hard win conditions shown in the above analysis I would still recommend considering Goblin Bombardment and Riftsweeper (and adding Praetor's Grasp if it wasn't in the deck already). You could add as many as 5 other hard win conditions (n = 11, survival 97%) but I think that a 3 card package of Riftsweeper, Praetor's Grasp, and Goblin Bombardment replacing the traditional 3 card package of Hagra Diabolist, Halimar Excavator, and Kalastria Healer makes the most sense. Each card is functionally playable on its own for niche purposes and playing them all should lead to a more consistent deck than 5C Tazri.
Just a theory. (WARNING: Incoming wall of death...text*) The game requires people to accept and behave in a way that is at odds with the average FPS gaming experience. Let me explain. First of all let's point out it's an FPS. First person shooters are notorious for being competitive and cut throat. Not saying FPS is generally the most toxic (MOBA games I'm looking at you) but they definately are not the least toxic by any means. At a basic level people arent going to be as nice or cooperative as other genres. You're basically playing a "who's a better killer" simulator without the parts that make conflict suck in reality. There is a whole different discussion we could have about how this kind of gameplay influences and reinforces aggressive behavior that neurology has proven, but, I AM STEERING, THE FUCK CLEAR, OF THAT. In most games the player just respawns and has another go until the time or points reach an end, which is mindless and fun. Even hyper competitive games like CSGO allow servers to create custom conditions that are great for blowing off steam and playing casually (modding/orange rooms/etc). Siege doesnt have a place for players to go in this regard, its either competitive game modes or unsupported 3 year old game modes. But it's important to remember Siege has Casual and Ranked game modes, and they are nearly identical and played almost identically. The only alternative is Terrorist hunt and situations which are lackluster to say the least. That leads to another couple of points and the rest of this death by text document rant. Most games you play are solo experiences that dont punish you for making mistakes or hold you accountable to your teammates. In a game that doesnt offer alternatives to this situation you already have fertile ground for toxic behavior. Most online shooters are made to make players feel like 80s action heroes that can badass their way through most challenges. Your character has the ability to adapt to all of the games situations without the help of anyone. You fill any role and can absorb damage without slowing down (even recharging health or living through headshots in some cases). Everything is intuitive from the start (similar to other FPS games), and doesnt distract from the core gameplay loop of: out frag/kill your opponet. Games like COD, Battlefield, Halo, even (arguably) CSGO do this by prioritizing the individual experience and making team play a secondary/less crucial priority. Even at their highest levels of play, the dominate teams are the ones with the best individual fraggers. Siege is designed with opposite principles, and doesnt let you have a alternative familar game mode to enjoy. Just a quick note. Fraggers are generally players who play for kills exclusively. Their gameplay style relies and is predacated on being a consistant better shot, having better reflexes for ADS, and normally are the goto clutch player in most games. They also tend to use their k/d as a metric for judging their overall proficiency when comparing themselves to their peers. This encourages k/d focused players to build a superiority complex that inevitably leads to toxic encounters So Siege emphasizes the opposite. While fragging still has its place, 1v1 gunfights dont dictate who will win nearly as much. In rainbow the victory is decided to the side that takes more care to prepare. This is expressed in factors such as positioning, improvisation, map knowledge, cooperation, communication, and many other abstract aspects that need to be developed over time... often through trial and error. None of which are recorded or accounted for by the game, and unfortunately arent factored in to who you play with or against when queuing. Instead of this, you are solely ranked by points you accumulate through a binary system of wins and loses. There are plenty of well written posts on this subreddit that detail the misunderstood MMR system and its negative influence on the game and community. That being said, this perpetuates the misperception that K/D is the most important factor. Many people still believe that the team with more fraggers decides the outcome of the match, and ones own ability to solely frag is the measure of an overall good player. Although accuracy and reflexes play a part in ones ability to execute plays, they dont superseed a players ability to thoughtfully prepare, understand, and make mindful tactical decisions that set up these opportunities. This is why not all diamond players dominate teams single handly. A group of 5 average players that consistently play together can achieve a higher rank because as a unit their win/loss reflects their unit's effectiveness. Of course there are exceptions, people have solo'd to diamond. It's important to point out though that diamond is 1% of that regions playerbase, and these players ability to spend more time on the game than others makes all the difference. This leads to the next point. Rainbow also revolves around no respawning, and leaves everyone with only one opportunity to impact a round. Its important to note that this isnt common practice in the FPS genre. So the average player will have been playing respawn centered games for most of their gaming lifetime, and now are forced to take a time out whenever they make a unsuccessful choice and die. This is punishing all the more since they no longer effect the match directly. Instead they are forced to watch their teammates, and most folks cant help but watch with a critical eye. In some ways the game is designed to make them critical, this is a learning from the mistakes of others approach. The issue with learning from the mistakes of others has two points in Siege:
The game's skill ceiling is always getting higher, and there is an overwhelming amount of information and variables to learn and consider on a individual let alone team level. Many people have more important responsibilities outside a video game to devote this kind of time and energy to learning. Expecting them to learn is too much to ask of people, most are just casually playing to blow off steam after a day of school or work. So random players of random commitment are placed together. With only two games modes that dont adequately do the job of dividing the casually committed and the competitive playerbases, this leads to the second point.
The match making algorithm that places players against one another is terrible. Outside of the issue of smurf accounts, players often get pitted against players/teams that are drastically higher or lower rank than their own. Diamonds and silver players can and often do meet in ranked play, this usually results in blowouts that arent fun for anyone, breeding even more resentment and toxicity. Add to that they are playing with strangers whom they do not owe anything to and you get the even more griefing and toxic messaging. Some of this is understandable, at least during the first years of Siege's life span. A person with hundreds of hours of playtime being forced to watch someone with even half the time would grow impatient and intolerant. Siege's long learning curve is almost exclusively counterintuitive and a matter of trial and error. Having to sit through a game situation that you've already seen before isnt useful. But after 3 years of letting the culture of the community cement into toxicity more people are so embedded that toxicity is the accepted ediqqute.
It's important to point out that most players have the Fragger mindset as well. They hold other players to this standard of thinking and evaluate them in accordance to it. In other games this would be warrented, but in Siege this is an invalid approach to growth and ignores all the finer details that make the game good and unique. But that doesnt mean people realize it, or own up to it, and if they did, they dont care enough to act differently. Instead of learning from player mistakes, or doing the alternative by assisting teammates while dead with information they default to cynical, pessimistic, and above all toxic behavior. This does a wonderful job of exasperating the toxic community problem. As stated before the community culture has had to accept the toxicity since Ubisoft has failed to handle the issue as a priority early on. Why does Ubisoft put the toxicity issue on the back burner and only implament band-aid solutions? Hopefully my next point can shed some light on this. Siege is going into year 4, and is clearly developing with the intention of a game that wants to compete with CSGO for the #1 FPS esport. The unfortunate problem is that Ubisoft doesnt have the money, experience, and ability to support the game the same as Valve has shown with CSGO. Everyone aware of this also has the standards and expectations CSGO has set after decades of being the example of esports, but fail in thecomparison to see that Siege and Ubisoft are still struggling to get there. Ubisoft admitted at the before the Grand finals in Rio yesterday, that they are still understanding their own game. They made something entirely new with this game and are ignorantly feeling it out. That means how they balance it, introduce new content, and how to balance their goals and consumer demands. This is tricky because Siege is unique in terms of video game design and there isnt a clear model to copy the success of. They are basically learning how to support their game by trial and error just like we as players are learning how to play it, by trial and error. Note that Ubisoft as a company doesnt generally make competitive multiplayer games, they are known for Assassins Creed primarily. Ubisoft does have more money than most competitors from its franchises, but they dont have anything like STEAM (ironically where are we buying rainbow on PC?). Valve is a private company as well, and Ubisoft is publically traded...this is why you get company priorities that have consquences like the Chinese censorship situation for example. Maybe (wishful thinking) when their global market goals are achieved then maybe...maybe we will see the quality of life improvements and other bugs ironed out as they will have reached their goal of dethroning CSGO. I dont believe Counter strike will be dethroned of course, but the "fps esport" market share may be more divided in the future between the games. This also is assuming Overwarch or another game doesnt change anything going forward. The reason I wrote those last three paragraphs was to point out an underlying factor that perpetuates the toxicity. You have a situation where this game, that is striving to be a global esport like CSGO, is making decisions and putting resources solely to realizing that goal over building a casual player base. This comes at the expense of terrorist hunt, casual mode, and new game modes so they can instead devote all their resources to the global esport goal. Meanwhile the majority of the 35 million person player base is casually playing the game, with their own short term interest in mind. Ubisoft on one hand is playing for the long game, with the aim of a strong competitive scene. This dynamic creates tension with players as they perceive this as a game that refuses to address issues like hit registration, glitches and bugs, and releasing/ fixing imbalanced content. Players respond by having a bad attitude before even logging on since they view the game with a stigma. Sort of like if they had a car that is a lemon, the dealership keeps fixing it just enough to keep it on the road, at the same time not enough to keep it out of the garage. Since the alternative FPS games to choose from are battle royal, annual titles like CoD and Battlefield, and older games they stick around since there isnt much choice. This "got nothing better to play/ what's the point" attitude is a toxic casual mindset in of itself. You can add the China situation, or the vow of silence the developers have taken recently towards reddit. But hopefully you see now that toxicity isnt a year 3 problem exclusively. There are many variables and these ones I've pointed out just get added to the pile. This all is pointing to some obvious solutions Ubisoft has as options. Why they haven't taken them as we near the eve of the Siege's fourth year? We only can assume. But nonetheless these are steps that would act as a antidote and being people back in.
Elaborate and expand the casual game mode/s to give players a way to divide themselves from players with more competitive values.
-First and foremost, allow spawn and site selection in casual. This feature being ignored has single handedly trivialized how ranked is played. What I mean is, folks look at ranked as a joke. Since the MMR system is jacked up and you cant pick sites casually...so you might as well play ranked casually. This misstep is so obvious, that having to write it out and explain this for the 100th time is killing my own and everyone else's brain cells...leading to more stupidity and more toxicity. -Halo 3 is a great example of how a casual playlist can satisfy these players who wanted a place to blow off steam and not take the game seriously. YouTube channels like PriesT showcase custom games like shotgun roulette, strategy roulette, knife only, and border patrol that could be made official by Ubisoft to just name a few. Counter Strike has just as many examples as well (gun game). This would be just like what Bungie did with grifball, mongoose racing, and other fan made games that use assets that already exist in the game to create casual playlists and content. There are people out there that want to be Diamond shotgun roulette players. -As much of a disaster as the outbreak event was, I stand by my belief that it should have stayed in the game as an alternative game mode. I realize a different Ubisoft studio made the mode, and it wasnt/isn't going to get more support, but keeping it would of added more value to the game (in a year that didnt add much). The potential options of how to tweak this formula to work is pretty versatile and I think Ubisoft gave up an opportunity here. A opportunity that would have lessened the criticism they are facing right now at the end of year 3. Besides, not keeping it in the build just wasted all the man hours and work of those developers. To what end that project was useful to Ubisfot besides selling outbreak alpha packs is beyond me. -I know that Ubisoft has claimed that data file size or something or another was a limiting factor to adding content to the game. This is confusing though as they add a new map and operators every 3 to 4 months to the existing model. If this really is the case then I'm just curious how they intend to achieve their 100 operator goal and the maps that will come along with them. I'm not an expert on coding or working in gaming, but this seems fishy and hard to believe. Please reply if you can shed light on this topic as ignorance about it causes more community backlash and toxicity.
Take Ranked out of Beta/ changes to draw a line between Ranked from Casual
-Just as casual playlists ought to be developed to give its players a place for what they want, so should Ranked playlists. I'm not going to make a case that ranked needs a significant overhaul, just things the community has already been calling for (for years). Taking the pick and ban system to ranked for one. If players that "play ranked causally" take issue with this the solution is simple, add choosing spawn/site locations to a casual playlist to facilitate this demand. You've got to keep em separated, those competitive and casual people are oil and water. Not doing so is striking a match and fanning that toxic flame. -Increase the MMR values of ranks or add a multiple diamond level (1,2,3) and a master level. The thinking behind this is that the MMR system wont be altered anytime soon and more ranks will separate the players better than right now. But in a perfect world they would just scrap this model and make a better MMR system from the ground up. The issue of matching with players all over the board and not consistently with those of your own rank causes toxicity. -Change Gold to Silver as the default rank upon completing 10 placement matches. -At the very least if any of these points are unreasonable or unrealistic then at least settle for this. Take a season to dedicate development toward getting Ranked out of beta. Pause the map rework/buff, maybe even pause the operators. Just operation health the Ranked playlist into something that isn't a consistent negative talking point about the game.
Griefing toxic behavior system.
-As mentioned before Ubisoft hasnt prioritized a solution to the toxicity in the game in a significant way. They've had report suspicious behavior, report toxic behavior, voice and chat mute buttons, and various ban policies. Lets not even get into the most recent text chat ban situation. Over the last 3 years none of these have reversed the growing toxicity trend. Meanwhile the the game they idolize to become, counter strike, has provided ample examples of how they counteract their team killing and communication problems. -Counter strike server owners have had the ability to literally set damage observing code to detect consistant team damage to counteract griefers for example. They also handle team killing with forgive/punish systems that are developed to such a excessive degree that you can punish the perpetrator in multiple creative ways (bleed out, head explode, light on fire, insta death, to name a few.) To think that Ubisoft cannot implament a simple forgive feature with a yes/no prompt is unforgivable. -I realize the server situation is anything but ideal or near to what counter strike has. My point is that clear and effective examples have existed since 1996, and its 2019 nearly. This ridiculous state of mishandling a simple problem in favor or pursuing their Esport agenda has grown the stigma attitude I mentioned and allowed the cancer of toxicity to spread to the vital organs of the community, like here on reddit. Reddit has become so fed up pointing out the obvious that they have basically given up, and when attempts to talk about these problems are brought up, the community ignores them or downvotes them. If you read this whole wall of words then all I have to say is thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to. Hopefully this explains my point of view that Siege is a unique game that exist and is supported in a way that hasnt been done before. The growing pains are tough, but I believe this game will improve. I wouldn't have given it 3 years if it didnt, believe that, and I assume you wouldn't read all this if you didnt relate to that sentiment. But a case has to be made about the neglecting nature of Ubisoft's behavior toward these persistent problems. Problems that arent taken care of only becoming bigger ones, and eventually people will move on..they already are. This neglect also is the reason the community is so toxic, you cant blame them for becoming jaded. If these changes were made sooner the fact is that there would be less immersion breaking moments, and more time enjoying the game, from there that positivity only snowballs. Ubisoft shouldn't be waiting until player populations drop to an unacceptable point to be spurred into action (operation health). Also thanks for tolerating typos and whatever weak points I've made. This was originally a response to a different post that ended up becoming a full blown essay that I just needed to get out apparently. Thanks for reading, and I hope this can begin a discussion towards a constructive direction since lately it's been anything other than that.
An in-depth review of the "Ghost Mode" gameplay overhaul mod
As I'm sure you can all relate, the 10th Witcher Games Anniversary video brought a lot of feels. And with them came the itch to do yet another playthrough of my favourite video game. This time, to freshen up the experience, I decided to break from my tradition of only installing visual enhancement mods and look into the gameplay overhauls recommended on the sub. To my surprise in-depth assessments of these mods were nowhere to be found. True you can look up detailed descriptions of what they change, but that won't give you an impression of how the changes work in practice nor an objective look at how they impact the overall experience. Thus the goal of this thread is to help you decide if you would enjoy using "Ghost Mode" for your next playthrough and to serve as a resource for posterity. Note: the title of this post is no misnomer. This is a long read. If you already have an idea of what the mod is about and are just wondering "if it's any good", then feel free to skip to the TLDR rating section at the bottom.
First thing first, all the changes introduced by the mod remain true to the vanilla feel, flow and story of the game. There is no need to worry that the game you know and love will suddenly be unrecognisable, that you won't know your arse from your elbow. Secondly, I do not plan to rehash the full changelog in this review. Changes from Vanilla will only be mentioned if they are relevant to the point I am making.
Started playthrough on version 2.6, updated to 2.7 when it was released and finished the game on it. No other gameplay altering mods installed
All mod configuration options left at author intended, default, values
Full 148 hour run including all DLC, side quests & question marks (minus Skellige smugglers' of course)
Death March difficulty throughout with a light armour sword & alchemy build
Dsiclaimer: this review is written with the above in mind. I do not claim my experience to be completely exhaustive. For example, things which were difficult or annoying for my setup might be trivial for others and vice versa. Your mileage may vary.
The mod has been implemented in a competent way. I did not notice any performance decrease compared to Vanilla and encountered no game breaking bugs. There was only a single major issue in 2.6 which was repeatable and highly annoying, but thankfully it seems to be fully fixed with version 2.7. Immersion has been improved and the game world is more believable. Some examples:
You are more likely to find regional alcohol in its respective area, such as Redanian Herbal in Novigrad and Oxenfurt or Temerian Rye in Velen.
Bucketfuls of Alcohest are no longer found in every crate, nook and cranny. There is a new type of strong alcohol - "homemade pepper vodka", which is reasonably cheap and perfect for potion replenishment. It is sold by all innkeepers which gives you an actual reason to stop by your roadside tavern, aside from buying gwent cards of course.
You no longer find rare crafting materials such as dimeritium bars, runes & glyphs in peasant hovels.
Geralt can now actually perform normal daily activities in game, which would be quite useful on the Path, such as cooking food or shaving himself with a razor. The latter is especially great because it also solves the issue of enchanted beard sprouting during cutscenes.
You now get new books and notes during certain quests which enrich the stories and are lore friendly. If you've always wanted to read the letter Vlodimir penned for Olgierd now you can! The writing quality is a bit inconsistent in some of them, but overall they are a good addition.
The amount of coin you naturally accrue is a lot more reasonable. For example the Taxman Cometh at 15 000 crowns, instead of 35 000. Previously it felt a bit weird to run around with more wealth than Hierarch Hemmelfart in your pockets without even trying.
Quests and Experience
Quest level requirements have been reworked. No longer do you get quests which are of a lower level requirement compared to their predecessor. Some quests are moved later in the story to fit better with the narrative. One example of this is "Following the Thread". In the vanilla game this is a required level 11 quest, when sailing to Skellige requires level 16. In GM its level requirement has been increased to 17.
Quest rewards have been rebalanced. Experience rewards are more evenly distributed among main quests and "main secondary" quests (e.g. contracts), so you no longer feel like you get nearly nothing in terms of character progression by doing them. Gold rewards are also more appropriate to the task and the social status of the quest giver. Haggling has a much bigger impact on your final reward.
The stats on all monster trophies have been reworked to be more unique and have a greater impact on your character. This is a good change which will see you tailor your trophy choice according to your build and/or according to the enemy you are about to face, rather than all of them being practically useless homogeneous stuffed heads.
The way the experience penalty works has also been changed. Previously you would get 100% of quest experience if you were at most 5 levels above the quest level, and basically 0% if you were 6 levels above or more. Now for every level you are above a quest the experience reward is reduced by 16%. This also works the other way around, you will receive an experience bonus for doing quests which are higher level than you.
Experience rewards no longer vary with combat difficulty, which is a nice change. Total amount of experience seems to be slightly reduced overall. I would finish my Vanilla DM runs at level 52 and, playing the same quest order, finished GM at level 49.
Overall, I don't believe the new experience penalty system is an improvement over the original for one simple reason: it encourages more meta-gaming. Previously you could delay the main quest for a while because you knew you had a 5 level cushion before you would get punished. Now you are pushed to do the main quests as soon as possible because every single level difference brings significant experience penalties. Given that the main quest is where you obtain the bulk of your XP, GM tries to force you into a specific quest order which never feels good. Not to mention that losing 16% of the experience for gaining a single level is questionable, when very often that level brings an insignificant increase to Geralt's power.
The best experience system in my opinion would consist of:
GM's total experience amount, distribution and reworked quest level requirements
No experience penalty for overlevelling quests and no bonus for being underlevelled
This way you get the best of both worlds. You get to tailor the quest order to your liking, without having to suffer meta-gaming pressure, and at the same time Geralt will not end up overlevelled.
This is usually the number one reason why people recommend this mod and it is clear to see why. The author has implemented a great number of improvements to nearly all of the vanilla systems. Combat is more challenging and rewards players for their skill and preparation better. Geralt's overpowered traits and abilities have been toned down and your specialisation makes a much bigger difference to how you approach fights. Overall, most battles are more fun with GM compared to vanilla. However this comes at a cost: namely the "realism", feel and flow of combat have all decreased to facilitate the above. Let's examine the 4 main areas where GM changes combat and evaluate them in detail.
The first thing you will probably notice is that "all enemies have a reduced reaction time". The reason I put quotes around that phrase is because I don't know the actual inner workings of the mod and precisely how it has modified the AI scripts. Therefore I am just calling the effect as I saw and experienced it during my playthrough. The easiest way to describe it is: the time frame between you being in range of an enemy and the enemy starting their action is now much lower. The primary effect of this change is an increase in difficulty. You now have to have faster reflexes in order to be able to dodge enemy attacks. Additionally, enemies will spend significantly less time in a hit recovery state after you land a blow. Which means that you won't be able to chain as many attacks as you could before, since your enemy will dodge/retaliate much more rapidly. This change really shines when it comes to boss fights. The faster enemy reaction time forces you to play by the boss' rules and pay attention to their mechanics, rather than treating them as a higher health & damage generic enemy. To give a concrete example, let us look at the Olgierd fight at the burning manor. In Vanilla you can easily beat him on Death March by ignoring the fight's mechanics. You simply position yourself slightly outside of his melee range and start a rend which he walks into. Then you follow this up with a quick dodge to the side to avoid the sand in the eyes and immediately start another rend. The boss gets locked in the above AI loop and you win pretty easily. The reduced reaction time in Ghost Mode counters this perfectly. By the time you are winding up your rend the boss, instead of walking into your sword, starts his own attack which targets where you will be after you swing and hits you before you can deal any damage. So to beat him I had to actually play by the rules, which means conventional sword swinging is out of the question, especially as you also leave yourself open to a quick counter attack which kills you in 2-3 hits. The rules in this case are: counter his attack, swing once and go on the defensive. There are three different attacks he throws at you:
The red charge: when you are far away from him, it is the easiest to counter and the bare minimum required to win. If you can only counter this then you will win, but it will take ages.
The phase charge: is when he turns semi transparent and steps side to side. He only does this if your are slightly outside of melee range, so you have much less margin of error on your counter. If you are quick enough you can counter this type of attack with a close to 100% success rate, which means that a better player can defeat him much more rapidly.
Finally we have the slash combo, which he does when you are in melee range. This one is also counterable, but the reaction time is so small I didn't feel it was worth the risk. Especially because if you fail it and only parry you will be locked in that stance for a few of his hits which will drain your stamina significantly (and you cannot counter without stamina, but more on this topic later).
So as you can see from the above GM makes you pay attention to the intended mechanics and rewards skilled play. The change to reaction time also has its downsides however, and they are major ones. Most notably, enemies which have extremely fast attack animations by default become unfair in melee combat. Especially if they are in a group. The best example of this problem are all of the insectoid type enemies like the endregas and the kikimores. Their attack animation is fast and when you pair it with an increased aggression and run speed it means that you literally cannot attack them preemptively. If you start any type of attack (without dodging one of their attacks or parrying first) they will strike you first, even if you were outside of their melee range when you initiated your swing. As you can probably tell fighting groups of these enemies is extremely annoying especially early on. Later you can cheese them by unloading your entire reserve of Dancing Stars & Northern wind bombs for some semblance of crowd control, but even that is like putting a plaster on an amputated leg. What's strange is that looking at past feedback numerous people have complained about these enemies, throughout the mod's life cycle. Yet the author has failed to address the problem, which is that they shouldn't have reduced reaction time in the first place. Such empty difficulty, only for its own sake is never good. Another downside is that early on you cannot take on groups of certain enemies, like wraiths, nekkers or insectoids for example, without resorting to AI abuse. This probably only applies to the higher difficulties, but when the best way of beating groups in the early game is dragging enemies one by one to the edge of their AI leash it doesn't feel good. No matter how skilled you are in melee combat you cannot defeat such packs head on without numerous deaths, which doesn't make you feel like a witcher at all in those encounters. Finally, GM also implements monster "dodge" with a much more heavy handed approach compared to Vanilla. All sorts of enemies will now dodge your attacks more frequently. This is yet another example of where combat quality was sacrificed in order to increase combat difficulty. I write "dodge" in quotation marks because normally the word implies that the enemy sees your attack and reacts to it by getting out of the way. This mod makes the enemies which "dodge" the most feel like blatant AI bots with rigid if-then logic in their script, which harms immersion. Some examples:
Enemies dodging mid attack, when it makes no sense for them to do so
Werewolves dodging while airborne in the middle of their lunge
Humans dodging attacks that come from behind them and they cannot see
Shrieker glitching into its "on the ground" dodge animation while flying, after being shot with a crossbow
Occasionally enemies dodging attacks while burning, sirens dodging when knocked down etc.
Skill Balance changes
A lot of adjustments have been made to the skill tree in order to improve how balanced Geralt is in combat. The changes can mostly be summed up by saying "baseline Geralt was nerfed". What that means in practice is that witchering aspects you do not invest points into will be significantly worse compared to vanilla. For example the signs, crossbow and damage bombs are a lot less useful for my mainly sword focused build. This is a good thing as specialisation encourages more diversity in your playstyle. Here are some examples:
Quen no longer always blocks at least 1 attack, regardless of how much damage it's supposed to absorb. Now it's no longer the combat crutch it used to be in Vanilla as it will only absorb the value of the shield and the rest of the damage will go through.
Poison and bleed effects are no longer extremely overpowered boss monster killers. Their duration and damage are significantly reduced to the point where 1 poison application is equal to about 2 additional sword attacks. Still good, but now balanced.
Crossbow & Bombs now only deal half damage if they were auto aimed. And of course manual aiming during combat is way too slow unless you have invested into the related skills. There seem to be a few minor bugs related to these items. For example manual crossbow shots sometimes don't bring big flyers down despite hitting them successfully. Superior Samum, manually aimed, dealing 5 (yes five) damage on kikimores.
In general overpowered skills have been nerfed (rend, whirl, euphoria etc.) while underpowered abilities have been buffed (crippling strikes, undying, counter attack etc.).
Overall the skill tree feels significantly more polished and we now have a lot more viable choices to pick from.
The way dodging and rolling worked in Vanilla was a simple binary check. Did you press the appropriate button before the attack connected with your character? If yes then avoid all damage, regardless of where your character ended up going (for attacks which can be dodged). And while this was still a big improvement from the second game, the i-frames were way too generous and the moves lacked any stamina cost. Which made it all to easy to just spam the dodge button and be invulnerable. GM changes this behaviour by also taking into account the direction Geralt moves in when dodging/rolling with respect to the enemy attack. Now if you dodge in time but still end up connecting with the attack, depending on the angle, you will take partial damage and debuffs based on what direction you were going in. Parrying and countering have been significantly enhanced compared to the base game. Essentially now you can parry/counter nearly all attacks, those coming from monsters included. Taking counters as an example, you may counter light attacks just like before - by reducing all incoming damage - but now you retaliate against monsters with a "counter slash". This also applies to heavy attacks (including hammer and spear wielding humans) except that damage is reduced only by 50%. Both parry and counter now have a stamina cost depending on the attack you have deflected. This is a great addition to the game in my opinion. It plays perfectly with the risk and reward scale. Countering carries a greater reward because you spend your time negating the monster attack and dealing damage on your own, instead of just negating as you would with a dodge. However the risk is also greater because you confusing monster light and heavy attacks means you will take significant damage, especially if your build is not prepared for it. Yet another gameplay element where skill is rewarded.
Armour, stamina and different playstyles
Stamina management is now a big part of combat, rather than a mere afterthought with Tawny oil. The base regeneration rate is significantly reduced, all combat actions pause this regeneration for a short while and counter and parry stamina costs are increased. The armour you are wearing now also affects your stamina more than the Vanilla regeneration penalties. Light armour has no penalties and increases stamina regen, medium armour introduces a stamina cost for rolling & sprinting and heavy armour has stamina costs associated with rolling, dodging and sprinting. Armour now plays a much bigger role in the game thanks to its significantly increased damage absorption capabilities. Plenty of enemies now have high armour values which also makes the armour penetration stat on swords better. To help with this, your heavy attacks now have a significant amount of armour penetration by default. This means that quick attack spam is no longer maximum dps against all enemy types and you will have to mix in heavy attacks much more frequently. Some enemies like golems are so heavily armoured that using quick attacks against them is basically pointless. Similarly, high armour values on your gear now make a big dent in the incoming damage whereas in Vanilla they were useless and the only thing that mattered were the resistances on the gear. Both of these changes together translate into very distinct melee combat playstyles depending on which Witcher set you are wearing, which is one of the best features of GM for me.
Light Armour: the Cat set provides the combat experience which is closest to Vanilla DM, with a few important tweaks. Firstly, because you have very little damage reduction, Quen is practically useless. It won't even fully absorb a light attack from a drowner. This combined with the change to the defensive techniques means that you actually have to be quick on your feet and good at dodging, you can only rely on your own skill. Secondly you can also mix in counters for increased dps once you are familiar with the attack patterns of the enemies. However you still have to dodge heavy attacks due to your lack of defence. This makes the Feline armour playstyle a skillful dance combining counters & dodging which is extremely fun, especially against bosses and small enemy groups.
Medium Armour: the Wolf set is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. It has less damage compared to the Cat but more defensive stats and armour. This essentially means that your playstyle is similar to the Cat but you reduce some of the risk and settle for a lesser reward. You still can't afford to counter heavy attacks, but at the same time the stamina penalties for sprinting and rolling are mostly irrelevant as the latter is only necessary to get out of the way of enemy AoE attacks. As a result you will be safer against large groups compared to the cat but will have to settle for reduced offensive capabilities.
Heavy Armour: the Bear set in GM presents a markedly different combat experience compared to vanilla. The quickest way to describe it is as an "immovable object". The stamina cost for dodging means that you will spend all of your time holding your ground and countering ALL enemy attacks (apart from AoE). The high armour value and damage resists mean that you can shrug off heavy attacks with ease. Combine this with talents that use adrenaline to heal you and an Ekkimara decoction to create a true tank build. However, due to the slow stamina regeneration signs are pretty much out of the question because every sign costs 10+ counter attacks leading to a big dps loss. This playstyle is extremely fun against groups of enemies because it allows you to combine defense with offense and simultaneously negate enemy damage. It also has its weaknesses - namely big enemies and bosses who make heavy use of area effect attacks, such as Griffins and Imlerith for example. Overall I didn't spend much time testing this playstyle in my run, but I found it very satisfying and fun. Definitely keen on using it for a complete playthrough in the future.
Another highlight of the GM combat enhancements are the 1v1 fist fights (seriously). They are much more challenging, fun and skill intensive due to the reworked stamina system. In Vanilla these were pretty formulaic - keep your distance from the opponent so that they only lunge with a heavy attack, which is easier to counter compared to the fast jabs. Counter it, throw a one-two and then rinse and repeat. In Ghost Mode you no longer have the stamina to consecutively counter all attacks and must spend some time in between counters to recover, which introduces a great deal of tension and makes the fights more skillful. Remember, dodging pauses your stamina regeneration so you don't have an easy way around this. Especially as many arenas are quite small which make this process challenging. Furthermore blocking jabs costs significantly less stamina, so if you're confident in countering the opponent's fast attacks you have a great opportunity to skill display. In addition group fist fights are a lot easier compared to Vanilla, because the opponents aren't health sponges. This is another great change in my book as those were pretty tedious and the fist fight system doesn't really work great for group combat.
Finally, to finish off this section, I would like to spend some time looking at enemy balance in the Blood & Wine expansion. There were several problems with it in my opinion, which overall decrease the quality of the experience.
Giant centipedes deal too much damage. Yes they are generally easy to avoid, however them one shotting a character in master crafted Feline Gear + Quen + Superior Insect Oil + Protective Coating + 600 hp green mutagen at full life seems excessive. I'd suggest a 30% damage nerf. For comparison, level appropriate Giant Centipedes hit harder than red skull cyclopses and werewolves.
High concentration of monsters which work badly with the reduced reaction times due to their instant attacks.
Arachnomorph damage seems to be balanced against them hitting you once when most of the time they double tap you, which enables 1 small spider to pretty much instantly kill you from full life if you make a mistake. Damage should be reduced by at least 40%.
The two Guardian Panthers in the Professor Moreau quest are extremely overtuned for when you face them and, as a consequence, require extremely cheesy strategies to beat.
Alps are probably the hardest enemies in the whole game. Thankfully you only have to fight them twice. The first one's alone and she's manageable, but the second involves you getting tag-teamed by a Bruxa as well and that one is quite painful. It's a good thing Dettlaff can mind control other "lesser" vampires, because otherwise one of those ginger vamps would easily wipe the floor with both him & Regis at the same time.
Items and crafting
Witcher set bonuses now scale with the number of pieces equipped rather than being binary. Bonuses also apply from the lowest set tier and not just Grandmaster level. This is a good change in my book as they diversify your combat style from an earlier stage of the game. Set swords are no longer the best weapons for their level requirement, so exploring the world and doing contracts for relics feels much more rewarding.
The weapon & armour upgrade kits, sold by master craftsmen, are a great addition to the game. They allow you to increase the base damage/armour of your equipment by increasing its level requirement by 1 (i.e. the Aerondight effect). This enables you to make use of those special relic swords like: Hjalmar's Steel Sword, Pang of Conscience, Blade of the Bits, Winter's Blade etc. from the moment you obtain them to as long as you wish. This means that you must only pick a weapon based on if its secondary stats have synergy with your build, and this opens up a lot of choices and min-maxing.
Speaking of special relic swords, these now have significantly improved secondary stats which makes them stand out from the generic random relics. Depending on your build you will probably end up using one of these for most of your playthrough. It feels great to get a "special" sword reward for a quest which is actually useful and not vendor fodder like in Vanilla.
Equipment crafting now requires significantly less materials, so you are no longer forced to dismantle an entire army's worth of arsenal to craft something. Unfortunately the craftsmen will now rip you off much harder, comparatively to Vanilla, with their fees. So if you want to unlock all the levels of the Runewright and deck out Corvo Bianco in the various Witcher sets you will still have to pick up and vendor massive amounts of loot.
Crafting costs of random weapons in the early game, before you can access sets and contract relics, are prohibitively expensive.
White Gull isn't so difficult to produce anymore as it doesn't require Redanian Herbal and you can craft the Mandrake Cordial yourself, white honey now comes with more charges - both are nice QoL changes.
Potions and bombs require significantly less ingredients, so theoretically you would need to spend less time picking flowers. However considering that you could buy most of these cheaply from herbalists in the vanilla game (and still can) this change is more or less irrelevant in practice.
Cooking recipes are a good addition to the immersion in my experience. A witcher on the path should be able to cook himself a meal while squatting in some untamed wilderness. Unfortunately, in practice I did not use these recipes at all after leaving White Orchard. There are a few problems with the current implementation:
Food & drink healing is not balanced according to the amount of ingredients required to produce. For example, right at the start of the game you can learn how to make apple juice which is in the top tier of drink healing and costs next to nothing to make, in contrast with other much more expensive drink recipes which very often heal for less. Food recipes require way too many ingredients (the vast majority of which must be bought) and offer sub par healing in comparison.
Human enemies in Velen and onwards drop way too much food, often between 2-3 pieces each. Why should I waste money buying ingredients and cooking when I could obtain something nearly as good for free?
Coking recipes are too expensive for what they offer. They could use a 50% coin cost reduction across the board. Food recipes should require less ingredients. There should be more distinct healing "tiers" for different food & drink, less total recipes and bandits should drop less grub to incentivise people to interact with the system.
Enemies focusing more on NPCs during combat (if present) makes certain escort quests significantly more annoying on Death March: namely the Black Pearl and the Skellige mine clearing duo. Those NPCs could use a buff to their survivability.
All wolves/dogs & boars are significantly weaker compared to the vanilla game. Probably a design decision, but it feels out of place since all other enemies are harder. Wolves in the Land of a Thousand Fables do have level appropriate stats unlike all their siblings for some reason.
Kinks to the extra books/notes feature: fist fight quests keep giving you the same note after a brawl for every brawl, many texts are given out at weird times. For example, right at the beginning of some action sequence.
Early game bosses and contract monsters (level req < 15) could use a modest health reduction to prevent boredom. Later on the only enemy that felt too "health spongy" was Iris' nightmare. Those Olgierds could use a health reduction because at the moment the fight is quite repetitive, lacks the atmosphere of the burning manor fight and so becomes a bit tedious.
The base Yrden duration is too short and makes fighting Wraith bosses extremely tedious early on, until you get Enhanced or preferably Superior Moon Dust.
Superior Cursed Oil now requires berserker skin which is not obtainable in Skellige if you investigate the massacre with Ceris. Previously there was a bug where berserkers spawned near Kaer Morhen, but this seems to be fixed in the newest version. The only place I found berserker skin in the whole game was in the Borsodi vault (?), dropped by one of his guardsmen (??). Either put a copy of the ingredient somewhere in the Vildkaarls' village, or change it to some other more lore appropriate place. The current location makes no sense.
The inventory weight system is at best a sidegrade to Vanilla. Yes, it is unrealistic that Geralt is able to hold all these weightless ingredients in Roach's saddlebags. So this mod now gives them weight and forces you to regularly deposit all your ingredients in the stash. Then to access them more conveniently every time you are at an appropriate vendor (alchemist/blacksmith/armourer) Geralt is able to telepathically access said stash to obtain the ingredients. To me it seems like one unrealistic element was simply replaced with a different one equally as unrealistic, so what's the point?
In all fairness you can reduce the weight of all items from the mod options, but that slider leads to even more immersion problems. Because if you wish to compensate for the weight on all the ingredients you have to turn up the slider so much that all the swords and armour now weigh practically nothing as well. A better solution would be keeping the weight slider and adding a check box for "Zero ingredient weight", or just using the vanilla weight system because the current implementation isn't a clear improvement.
I find the name of the mod to be a bit unfortunate, since it has nothing to do with any of the content. Makes you wonder if it's one of the reasons why it is not more popular.
Grapeshot seems to deal insignificant damage to higher level enemies. Superior version of it hits arachas for 5 damage with an aimed shot for example. Even without bomb talents it shouldn't be this weak.
Aerondight has lost a great deal of its unique flavour (all items can now be upgraded) and the nerf to its secondary stats was too great. Before it would give 10% attack power per stack, up to 10 stacks, now this has been reduced to 5% crit damage. For comparison, random relic swords can spawn with 60%+ critical damage and have 4 other secondary stats as well. Not to mention free sockets, which cost ~8000 gold for Aerondight. Finally, while the bonus at maximum stacks is still great it's now harder to maintain due to the decreased enemy reaction time, is basically non-existent against all the instant attack foes (and for heavy armour builds) and has overlap with several consumables (thunderbolt potion & oils now give crit chance) and talents which reduces its effectiveness even further. Overall the sword feels underwhelming and not worth using.
Olgierd's sabre, Iris, no longer gains charges when enemies block your attacks and doesn't buff the damage of the fast attacks. To compensate it now deals 10% of target's maximum life in addition to the other bonus damage when charged. I was very excited to use this sword with the new item upgrade kits and was left moderately disappointed. The life loss penalty is still too big and basically forces you into using Katakan decoction which doesn't feel great. Furthermore, to charge the sword you must deliver 3 successful fast attacks in succession. Against armoured enemies this feels horrible as you're effectively whacking them with a wet noodle until you can charge the finisher. In addition, humans are much more likely to dodge your attacks compared to before causing you to often whiff on the charged strong attack while still paying the health cost. Overall the sword is still worth using and feels satisfying with the Severance runeword, however I would like to see some quality of life change: for example halving the health penalty.
This mod breaks the following achievements: equipping a full witcher set (Armed and Dangerous), equipping all the grandmaster set pieces (Dressed to Kill), equipping Aerondight (Embodiment of the Five Virtues). Tested on GoG. Probably irrelevant for 99% of people, but worth mentioning.
The Undvik set has less armour than the basic Feline set, despite having a higher level requirement and being heavy armour.
Superior Full Moon heal, based on current toxicity, either does not work or heals a minuscule amount.
Kill count bestiary section feels a bit too arcade-y and gimmicky for my tastes. Would prefer it hidden at the bottom of the list and collapsed by default or, better yet, an optional toggle in the mod options if possible.
I will now attempt to rate this mod based on an arbitrary scale I just made up. A score of 5/10 means that overall the mod neither improves nor deteriorates the experience when compared to the original game. A higher score than that is good, lower is bad.
-1 for the fast reaction times on enemies with instantaneous attack animations (and the fact that this hasn't been fixed for so long) and the balancing issues of Blood & Wine.
-0.5 for the overall lowered quality of the combat experience: namely its feel, flow & realism.
-0.5 for all the points listed in the Nitpick section.
-0.5 for the experience penalty system which promotes meta-gaming and for the subpar support of the NG+ mode
Overall: 7.5/10. Despite the occasional hiccups I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough with Ghost Mode. I found the mod to be an overall improvement to the base game and definitely recommend it.
Never Asked Questions
Q: What difficulty should I play on? A:
You are looking for a similar challenge to vanilla Death March or early game B&BB, to see if you like the other gameplay changes? Story & Sword. If you don't care about the combat then I would suggest that you also reduce monster damage from the mod options.
You played on Death March from level 1 and found it too easy? Blood and Broken Bones.
You played on Death March from level 1 with self-imposed limitations such as: no Quen, not using set swords, deliberately skipping some of the best talents and found it too easy? Death March.
Q: What build did you use? A:Combat/Alchemy - GM Death March I went for delusion & poisoned blades first. Muscle memory & strength training second, then back to alchemy for protective coating, afterwards filled out the combat tree. Undying was only equipped once the first B&W skill slot was unlocked and I could move an alchemy skill there, on lower difficulty levels I would replace it with Razor Focus. Delusion is optional. I pick it mostly for RP reasons although the extra stamina regen is nice, especially early on. If you don't want to use it then replace it with the Synergy skill from the alchemy tree.
Q: Any other interesting stats/tidbits from your run? A:
Hardest 1v1 fight: werewolf outside of the Whispering Hillock, ~10 deaths.
Other boss fights with number of deaths in parenthesis: WO Griffin (1), Imlerith (2), Toad Prince (0), Olgierd (3), Caretaker (1), Olgierds (2), Caranthir (0), Eredin (1), Dettlaff (0)
Hardest group fight: arachas cave south west of Harviken on Faroe, 8 deaths.
Found the "Tor Zirael" sword for the first time ever in 4 playthroughs, not sure if finally lucky or spawn chance increased in the mod. Unfortunately, stats wise it's still rubbish.
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