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submitted by lookiyu to choooses [link] [comments]

CMV: Cosmetic Genital Surgeries on Intersex Children Shouldn't be Legal

Nature doesn't follow the boundaries that humans have created to define male and female. Internal and external genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, and hormones don't always align with the binary classifications. And this is not a rare occurrence. According to what is thought to be the most accurate study to date (Blackless, "How sexually dimorphic are we? Review and synthesis"), approximately 2% of the population is born with differences in sex development, aka bodies that don't align with what is typically male or female. That is the same as the percentage of people with green eyes or red hair- ~156 million people. Differences in sex development aren't anomalous, they are an expected biological variation on the spectrum of sex development.
But western/modern culture doesn't recognize this and actively erases the existence of intersex traits because they don't conform to the binary model we created. Due to the pressure to fit in with the social understanding of male and female, "gender normalizing" surgeries are often performed. These are rarely medically necessary and take place even when the infant is perfectly healthy. These surgeries didn't start because medical professionals were didn't know the sex of the infant, they started because they thought society wouldn't be able to accept their bodies' differences as the sex they were. Essentially, they are only done to enforce gender norms. Even when they present no harm to the infant, doctors pathologize intersex traits and present them as a medical emergency. For the majority of cases, the only "medical emergency" is that intersex traits challenge the sex binary of modern society and the medical professionals' ideas of gender and sex.
Infants and children cannot consent, so these surgeries also violate their right to autonomy over their bodies and futures. They are irreversible and can have lifelong consequences. When it is done with parental consent, the parents who make the decision for their children are often uninformed and pressured by the doctors. The surgical procedures are also an issue in and of themselves. They often only focus on heteronormative sexual performance. For example, the surgically constructed vaginal canal just has to be “a hole big enough to fit a typical-sized penis. It is not required to be self-lubricating or even to be at all sensitive” (Dreger). Clitoridectomies (the removal or reduction of the clitoris) are associated with permanent nerve damage, scarring, incontinence, loss of sexual function, and painful intercourse. Studies done by C.L. Minto and Peter Lee found that almost 80% of people who received clitoridectomies as an infant had difficulty experiencing sexual pleasure, 56% had dyspareunia, and approximately 40% had complete anorgasmia. Under the U.S law, female genital mutilation is considered to be barbaric and a human rights violation that's illegal even when a consenting adult requests it. Yet when it happens to infants with intersex conditions that cannot consent, it's apparently fine. Also, unnecessary gonadectomies in infants makes them sterile, taking away their choice to have kids and forcing them to rely on HRT for the rest of their life. There is also evidence that genital surgery on infants has worse outcomes than for adults. The results of vaginoplasties tend to be be more successful when the patient has higher estrogen levels and there is a reduced rate of vaginal stenosis when performed in adulthood. The scar tissue can also limit the options for genital surgery that the patient might want/need in the future
I'm completely pro cosmetic genital surgery once the intersex individual is old enough to consent and has been fully informed on the risks and benefits of the procedures. I'm also not against assigning a gender to an infant at birth, I just think that can be done without surgical intervention. I just don't see what's wrong about waiting and seeing how the child develops (because doctors can attempt to predict this, but it is not 100% accurate) and what gender they end up identifying as (which cannot be predicted). The lack of consent for an irreversible surgery, violation of body integrity, risk of assigning the wrong gender, loss of sexual function, and nonconsensual sterilization are all huge red flags for me.
The main arguments I ever see against this is that it makes things easier for the parents and the child's future "psychological health", but even those things have been disproved. Actually, research shows that besides physical harm, the surgeries can cause significant mental harm as well, including PTSD, gender dysphoria, iatrophobia, body dysmorphia, genophobia, depression, trust issues, suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, self-loathing, etc (Tamar-Mattis). I suppose I do somewhat understand why it happens, especially since our society that cares so much about appearance and people tend to fear things that are "different." But that's not really a logical explanation and also doesn't mean it is ethical and should be legal. Also, society is much more accepting of differences now (as compared to the 1960's when these surgeries became popular) and sometimes even celebrates them. I can't think of any legitimate, evidence-backed reason as to why cosmetic genital surgery for infants with intersex conditions should continue to happen.
I must admit that I have bias, as I am an intersex male who was subjected to cosmetic feminizing surgery as an infant and I'm pretty salty about it. However, I want to hear more from those who believe it should be done and am open to revising my views on the issue. I would like to ask that you include credible sources when mentioning statistics, etc. I am happy to dm my bibliography of sources to anyone who requests it.
submitted by Pineappleexpress73 to changemyview [link] [comments]

No gods, no kings, only NOPE - or divining the future with options flows. [Part 2: A Random Walk and Price Decoherence]

tl;dr -
1) Stock prices move continuously because different market participants end up having different ideas of the future value of a stock.
2) This difference in valuations is part of the reason we have volatility.
3) IV crush happens as a consequence of future possibilities being extinguished at a binary catalyst like earnings very rapidly, as opposed to the normal slow way.
I promise I'm getting to the good parts, but I'm also writing these as a guidebook which I can use later so people never have to talk to me again.
In this part I'm going to start veering a bit into the speculation territory (e.g. ideas I believe or have investigated, but aren't necessary well known) but I'm going to make sure those sections are properly marked as speculative (and you can feel free to ignore/dismiss them). Marked as [Lily's Speculation].
As some commenters have pointed out in prior posts, I do not have formal training in mathematical finance/finance (my background is computer science, discrete math, and biology), so often times I may use terms that I've invented which have analogous/existing terms (e.g. the law of surprise is actually the first law of asset pricing applied to derivatives under risk neutral measure, but I didn't know that until I read the papers later). If I mention something wrong, please do feel free to either PM me (not chat) or post a comment, and we can discuss/I can correct it! As always, buyer beware.
This is the first section also where you do need to be familiar with the topics I've previously discussed, which I'll add links to shortly (my previous posts:
1) https://www.reddit.com/thecorporation/comments/jck2q6/no_gods_no_kings_only_nope_or_divining_the_future/
2) https://www.reddit.com/thecorporation/comments/jbzzq4/why_options_trading_sucks_or_the_law_of_surprise/
---
A Random Walk Down Bankruptcy
A lot of us have probably seen the term random walk, maybe in the context of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, which seems like a great book I'll add to my list of things to read once I figure out how to control my ADD. It seems obvious, then, what a random walk means - when something is moving, it basically means that the next move is random. So if my stock price is $1 and I can move in $0.01 increments, if the stock price is truly randomly walking, there should be roughly a 50% chance it moves up in the next second (to $1.01) or down (to $0.99).
If you've traded for more than a hot minute, this concept should seem obvious, because especially on the intraday, it usually isn't clear why price moves the way it does (despite what chartists want to believe, and I'm sure a ton of people in the comments will tell me why fettucini lines and Batman doji tell them things). For a simple example, we can look at SPY's chart from Friday, Oct 16, 2020:

https://preview.redd.it/jgg3kup9dpt51.png?width=1368&format=png&auto=webp&s=bf8e08402ccef20832c96203126b60c23277ccc2
I'm sure again 7 different people can tell me 7 different things about why the chart shape looks the way it does, or how if I delve deeply enough into it I can find out which man I'm going to marry in 2024, but to a rationalist it isn't exactly apparent at why SPY's price declined from 349 to ~348.5 at around 12:30 PM, or why it picked up until about 3 PM and then went into precipitous decline (although I do have theories why it declined EOD, but that's for another post).
An extremely clever or bored reader from my previous posts could say, "Is this the price formation you mentioned in the law of surprise post?" and the answer is yes. If we relate it back to the individual buyer or seller, we can explain the concept of a stock price's random walk as such:
Most market participants have an idea of an asset's true value (an idealized concept of what an asset is actually worth), which they can derive using models or possibly enough brain damage. However, an asset's value at any given time is not worth one value (usually*), but a spectrum of possible values, usually representing what the asset should be worth in the future. A naive way we can represent this without delving into to much math (because let's face it, most of us fucking hate math) is:
Current value of an asset = sum over all (future possible value multiplied by the likelihood of that value)
In actuality, most models aren't that simple, but it does generalize to a ton of more complicated models which you need more than 7th grade math to understand (Black-Scholes, DCF, blah blah blah).
While in many cases the first term - future possible value - is well defined (Tesla is worth exactly $420.69 billion in 2021, and maybe we all can agree on that by looking at car sales and Musk tweets), where it gets more interesting is the second term - the likelihood of that value occurring. [In actuality, the price of a stock for instance is way more complicated, because a stock can be sold at any point in the future (versus in my example, just the value in 2021), and needs to account for all values of Tesla at any given point in the future.]
How do we estimate the second term - the likelihood of that value occurring? For this class, it actually doesn't matter, because the key concept is this idea: even with all market participants having the same information, we do anticipate that every participant will have a slightly different view of future likelihoods. Why is that? There's many reasons. Some participants may undervalue risk (aka WSB FD/yolos) and therefore weight probabilities of gaining lots of money much more heavily than going bankrupt. Some participants may have alternative data which improves their understanding of what the future values should be, therefore letting them see opportunity. Some participants might overvalue liquidity, and just want to GTFO and thereby accept a haircut on their asset's value to quickly unload it (especially in markets with low liquidity). Some participants may just be yoloing and not even know what Fastly does before putting their account all in weekly puts (god bless you).
In the end, it doesn't matter either the why, but the what: because of these diverging interpretations, over time, we can expect the price of an asset to drift from the current value even with no new information added. In most cases, the calculations that market participants use (which I will, as a Lily-ism, call the future expected payoff function, or FEPF) ends up being quite similar in aggregate, and this is why asset prices likely tend to move slightly up and down for no reason (or rather, this is one interpretation of why).
At this point, I expect the 20% of you who know what I'm talking about or have a finance background to say, "Oh but blah blah efficient market hypothesis contradicts random walk blah blah blah" and you're correct, but it also legitimately doesn't matter here. In the long run, stock prices are clearly not a random walk, because a stock's value is obviously tied to the company's fundamentals (knock on wood I don't regret saying this in the 2020s). However, intraday, in the absence of new, public information, it becomes a close enough approximation.
Also, some of you might wonder what happens when the future expected payoff function (FEPF) I mentioned before ends up wildly diverging for a stock between participants. This could happen because all of us try to short Nikola because it's quite obviously a joke (so our FEPF for Nikola could, let's say, be 0), while the 20 or so remaining bagholders at NikolaCorporation decide that their FEPF of Nikola is $10,000,000 a share). One of the interesting things which intuitively makes sense, is for nearly all stocks, the amount of divergence among market participants in their FEPF increases substantially as you get farther into the future.
This intuitively makes sense, even if you've already quit trying to understand what I'm saying. It's quite easy to say, if at 12:51 PM SPY is worth 350.21 that likely at 12:52 PM SPY will be worth 350.10 or 350.30 in all likelihood. Obviously there are cases this doesn't hold, but more likely than not, prices tend to follow each other, and don't gap up/down hard intraday. However, what if I asked you - given SPY is worth 350.21 at 12:51 PM today, what will it be worth in 2022?
Many people will then try to half ass some DD about interest rates and Trump fleeing to Ecuador to value SPY at 150, while others will assume bull markets will continue indefinitely and SPY will obviously be 7000 by then. The truth is -- no one actually knows, because if you did, you wouldn't be reading a reddit post on this at 2 AM in your jammies.
In fact, if you could somehow figure out the FEPF of all market participants at any given time, assuming no new information occurs, you should be able to roughly predict the true value of an asset infinitely far into the future (hint: this doesn't exactly hold, but again don't @ me).
Now if you do have a finance background, I expect gears will have clicked for some of you, and you may see strong analogies between the FEPF divergence I mentioned, and a concept we're all at least partially familiar with - volatility.
Volatility and Price Decoherence ("IV Crush")
Volatility, just like the Greeks, isn't exactly a real thing. Most of us have some familiarity with implied volatility on options, mostly when we get IV crushed the first time and realize we just lost $3000 on Tesla calls.
If we assume that the current price should represent the weighted likelihoods of all future prices (the random walk), volatility implies the following two things:
  1. Volatility reflects the uncertainty of the current price
  2. Volatility reflects the uncertainty of the future price for every point in the future where the asset has value (up to expiry for options)
[Ignore this section if you aren't pedantic] There's obviously more complex mathematics, because I'm sure some of you will argue in the comments that IV doesn't go up monotonically as option expiry date goes longer and longer into the future, and you're correct (this is because asset pricing reflects drift rate and other factors, as well as certain assets like the VIX end up having cost of carry).
Volatility in options is interesting as well, because in actuality, it isn't something that can be exactly computed -- it arises as a plug between the idealized value of an option (the modeled price) and the real, market value of an option (the spot price). Additionally, because the makeup of market participants in an asset's market changes over time, and new information also comes in (thereby increasing likelihood of some possibilities and reducing it for others), volatility does not remain constant over time, either.
Conceptually, volatility also is pretty easy to understand. But what about our friend, IV crush? I'm sure some of you have bought options to play events, the most common one being earnings reports, which happen quarterly for every company due to regulations. For the more savvy, you might know of expected move, which is a calculation that uses the volatility (and therefore price) increase of at-the-money options about a month out to calculate how much the options market forecasts the underlying stock price to move as a response to ER.
Binary Catalyst Events and Price Decoherence
Remember what I said about price formation being a gradual, continuous process? In the face of special circumstances, in particularly binary catalyst events - events where the outcome is one of two choices, good (1) or bad (0) - the gradual part gets thrown out the window. Earnings in particular is a common and notable case of a binary event, because the price will go down (assuming the company did not meet the market's expectations) or up (assuming the company exceeded the market's expectations) (it will rarely stay flat, so I'm not going to address that case).
Earnings especially is interesting, because unlike other catalytic events, they're pre-scheduled (so the whole market expects them at a certain date/time) and usually have publicly released pre-estimations (guidance, analyst predictions). This separates them from other binary catalysts (e.g. FSLY dipping 30% on guidance update) because the market has ample time to anticipate the event, and participants therefore have time to speculate and hedge on the event.
In most binary catalyst events, we see rapid fluctuations in price, usually called a gap up or gap down, which is caused by participants rapidly intaking new information and changing their FEPF accordingly. This is for the most part an anticipated adjustment to the FEPF based on the expectation that earnings is a Very Big Deal (TM), and is the reason why volatility and therefore option premiums increase so dramatically before earnings.
What makes earnings so interesting in particular is the dramatic effect it can have on all market participants FEPF, as opposed to let's say a Trump tweet, or more people dying of coronavirus. In lots of cases, especially the FEPF of the short term (3-6 months) rapidly changes in response to updated guidance about a company, causing large portions of the future possibility spectrum to rapidly and spectacularly go to zero. In an instant, your Tesla 10/30 800Cs go from "some value" to "not worth the electrons they're printed on".
[Lily's Speculation] This phenomena, I like to call price decoherence, mostly as an analogy to quantum mechanical processes which produce similar results (the collapse of a wavefunction on observation). Price decoherence occurs at a widespread but minor scale continuously, which we normally call price formation (and explains portions of the random walk derivation explained above), but hits a special limit in the face of binary catalyst events, as in an instant rapid portions of the future expected payoff function are extinguished, versus a more gradual process which occurs over time (as an option nears expiration).
Price decoherence, mathematically, ends up being a more generalizable case of the phenomenon we all love to hate - IV crush. Price decoherence during earnings collapses the future expected payoff function of a ticker, leading large portions of the option chain to be effectively worthless (IV crush). It has interesting implications, especially in the case of hedged option sellers, our dear Market Makers. This is because given the expectation that they maintain delta-gamma neutral, and now many of the options they have written are now worthless and have 0 delta, what do they now have to do?
They have to unwind.
[/Lily's Speculation]
- Lily
submitted by the_lilypad to thecorporation [link] [comments]

The Meta Unicorn - Diana Invoke

The Meta Unicorn - Diana Invoke

(CEBASAYJC4RTQP2JJRKFMYACAECQCKACAEBQKAQCAMEQKSYBAEBQSXQ)

A Pre Note

I am not a top-100 player, as given the inevitable RNG of effects, matchups and draws in card games, and the lack of rewards for ranking up in LoR, I simply don't see the point in painstakingly grinding up to such a level. The highest I've climbed is low Diamond, but considering the above knowledge, I believe that at a certain skill level (perhaps at around Platinum), it's more about how much time one can put in than how skilled they are. HOWEVER, considering all this, I have the absolute conviction that this deck is a top-100 worthy deck.

Introduction

This is the only deck that I've played since Day 1 of Call of the Mountain, with various modifications, and I believe that it is a completely undiscovered meta unicorn. I've never faced a similar deck on ladder, and my deckbuilding experiments with any other archtypes have left me completely unsatisfied with the lack of interaction and agency, as well as the sheer counterability of the vast majority of tools currently out there.
A lot of people are frustrated with the current meta - a lot of points of which are covered by BruisedByGod in his recent video critique. To summarize his main points:
  1. Most answers are completely outclassed by threats
  2. Sheer lack of healing options locks out deckbuilding choices
  3. Most top-tier strategies prey on lack of interactivity (Pirate Burn, Lee Sin OTK, Star Spring)
This is a Control deck which, while originally devised to prey on the inevitably popular Aurelion Sol and Troll Chant and abuse the broken, flexible toolbox of Invoke on Day 1, also manages to both answer all 3 of these problems efficiently.

Card Choices

Early Tempo/Nightfall

Simply the best available early-game that an Invoke Targon deck could hope to muster - Diana functioning as both early game and late-game removal (we have just enough Nightfall Synergy) for practically no investment, Pale Cascade being legitimately one of the most broken cards currently in the game, and the ping cards also serving a modicum of uses at all stages of a match.
Spacey Sketcher has been severely underrated so far - providing critical tools for certain matchups and/or providing early game minions without needing to actually run them (a fundamental weakness of faster decks top-decking late). Its 'discard-replace' synergy with our late-game, as well as Duskpetal Dust and meta-call flex cards is just icing on the cake.
Finally, note how every early game card I've chosen scales well and still plays a role as the game goes later; as removal, Elusive blocking, tool-building, Burst-speed Nightfall, pings and cantrip Combat Tricks. This is an often overlooked but fundamental difference between Control early-drops, and aggro early-drops (such as Precious Pet).
~

Removal

These two cards, combined with any generated Obliterates, form the only proper removal this deck has - and were the catalyst for me creating this deck in the first place. All three of these removal types leave almost NO room for the opponent to interact with them, and I believe that is the sole condition for a high-cost removal spell to be playable in the current game state.
NOTE: Ruination is easily and always played around at a high-level of play - and leaves the opponent with ALL of the agency/choice to play around it/bait it exactly how they wish, instead of you (whose only options are to play the card too early and get out-tempo'd afterward, use more than 3 mana elsewhere to catch-up at which point it becomes unplayable, or lose the game to a sudden-attack completely at your opponent's discretion) - the ultimate NO-NO for this deck: I never even considered putting it in.
~

Meta Call Flex Spots

At times I feel as if this card could be cut to 1 copy, but right now 2 feels great against the current meta, and drawing into at least one is almost necessary in order to compete with Star Spring (Obliterate is conditional and too great a tempo loss early on). In other metas previously, I've experimented with 1 copy of Passage Unearned, as well as 2 extra copies of Lunari Shadestalker.
~

Literally Everything Else One Could Ever Hope to Need

I still believe that Invoke is one of the most broken mechanics currently in the game. This is one of the heaviest late-game decks I can possibly imaginable, yet the only cards above 5-mana we run are removal, and our mid-game minions and healing straight up provide whatever early OR late-game tools we might possibly need in any matchup - it's simply overly flexible (flexilibity in card games being a MUCH bigger deal than most people give it credit for) and not enough of a tempo/stat sacrifice IMO. I think that Invoke as a mechanic is even stronger when ran in bulk, and especially in a Control deck - as the game goes on slowly you generate a toolbox that can handle just about any dynamic situation that meta decks can throw your way.
The spell-mana nerf to Living Legends has balanced it out quite a bit, however the same-nerf to Cosmic Inspiration still hasn't convinced me that it isn't in the top 5 least healthy effects that a game based on carefully stat-balanced of minion trading could ever have (hit me up with your Cosmic Inspiration hate!) - a large proportion our games are won by this disgusting effect.
Solari Priestess and Starshaping need no introduction as some of the most popular, utilitarian Invoke cards, however Mountain Scryer and Moondreamer (not so much Lunari Priestess) really put in the work, and I've never seen anyone else play these cards. The former provides crazy mana-advantage as the game goes on given our huge focus on Celestials (it's a shame we can't afford to push its Invoke chances even higher), and the latter has juuussst the right stat distribution at 3/5 to blockade most midgame tempo plays out opponent might go for.
NOTE: Aurelion Sol is straight up unnecessary to compete late-game, is always burdensome and clunky draw, ruins our surprise factor (though that doesn't exist anymore with this post being made), and we often outvalue decks running him anyway (don't forget that the original premise of this deck was 'How can I best remove Aurelion?').
~

Matchups/Strategy (Order Based on Mobalytics Tier List)

Lee Sin (60/40)

A somewhat favored matchup - although more recent lists that have cut Bastion in favor of Nopify may be a bit more in their favor (a proper Ping Counter). Hard mulligan for Spacey Sketcher, Sunburst and our pings. Generating Silence (Equinox) for Mentor of the Stones/Zenith Blade is our main early game goal. Our Mid-to-Late game goal is removing all 3 Lee Sin's at the expense of practically everything else (the rest of their deck is pretty much completely irrelevant, but rushing them down is also pretty much impossible) - after which our win is basically guaranteed.
~

Swain/TF (80/20)

I believe that we are very, very heavily favored if played properly (although it's a VERY nuanced matchup to play right), and most of our losses come from bricking our early-game draws and/or not drawing/generating a single Starshaping/Golden Sister as their burn damage inevitably builds up. Hard mulligan for all 1/2 cost cards (only keep 1 Pale Cascade with a 1/2 cost minion).
~

Pirate Aggro (55/45)

We are much more prone to bricking on draws here than Swain/TF, as we need quite a specific hand to deal with their onslaught - This is probably our most draw-dependent, low-agency matchup by far - as face-deck matchups tend to be. In addition - Captain Farron is much more effective against our removal strategy than the likes of Leviathan. Nonetheless, from my experience I think that we're still every-slightly-so favored in this matchup - often winning by the skin of our teeth. Starshaping/Golden Sister are mandatory late-game, and not bricking by not drawing/generating either is also basically a loss. Hard mulligan for all 1/2 drops, and keep a single Sunburst for Gangplank if your hand is already looking great.
~

Warmother's (25/75)

A very unfavored and binary matchup (see below as to why) that has luckily become rarer recently. Mulligan for Removal/Invoke cards.
~

Trundle/Asol (75/25)

This deck was basically created on Day 1 specifically to destroy Trundle/Asol. Sadly though, even at 75/25 the matchup is worse than it should be due to the nature of Invoke RNG - if one player draws into Cosmic Inspiration and the other didn't the match is over, full stop + the occasional shenanigans involving The Great Beyond uninteractibly going face and non-stop Living Legends value. Mulligan for Sunburst, Vengeance and pings.
~

Discard Aggro (80/20)

I don't know why this deck is considered competitive - maybe because our matchup here is basically as favored as TF/Swain except without any gameplay nuance required on our part. Mulligan for 1-2 drops. Keep Solari Priestess/Sunburst if hand is good. Only necessary statistical losses to bad early draws against an aggro archtype.
~

Fiora/Shen (70/30)

Another draw dependent, but quite favored matchup. Quite difficult to play though - you need to balance maintaining some modicum of tempo whilst also being able to deal with their crucial threats. Mulligan for 1-2 drops ESPECIALLY Pale Cascade/Pings, and Removal.
~

Scouts (60/40)

Basically the Pirate Aggro matchup but a tad bit slower and with no burn - giving you more leeway to make up for bad draws both early and late.
~

Leona/Lux (80/20)

Basically the Trundle/Asol matchup except with no 'must remove ASAP' threats giving you more leeway to make up for bad draws. Celestial RNG and especially Cosmic Inspiration still give them a chance to win as usual.
~

Shyvana Dragons (50/50?)

I surprisingly, haven't faced too much of this deck yet personally, but looking at it's cards compared to ours, I think the matchup would be about 50/50 (an otherwise favourable looking matchup affected a bit by their high tempo removal and guaranteed Cosmic Inspiration in the form of Kadregrin).
~

Ashe/Sejuani (70/30)

This matchup is dependent on whether we draw removal for Ashe somewhat on curve, how much tempo they manage to build early on and whether we draw good enough to afford to play around Reckoning. Mulligan for Sunburst, Solari Priestess, Pings and Diana (only if you've already drawn support) as our other standard early drops are all pretty ineffective against theirs.
~

Endure (85/15)

Probably our most favored meta-deck matchup, and unfortunately rarer recently. Their win conditions - Kalista, Blighted Caretaker tempo, Neverglade Collector and They Who Endure simply don't stand a chance against our toolbox. Most losses come from unanswered Blighted Caretaker tempo. Mulligan for Spacey Sketcher, Sunburst and Pale Cascade.
~

Deep (0/100)

The biggest downside and sheer impossible matchup of this archtype. Maokai manages to pack even less interactivity/inevitability than we do, and the nature of our deck gives us no chance of out-tempoing Deep early OR late. Auto-concede.
~

Diana/Nocturne (75/25)

A simpler aggro matchup than the others. Mulligan for 1-2 drops - especially Spacey Sketcher and Diana, as well as Sunburst.
~

Tahm-Kench/Soraka (70/30?)

Another matchup that I haven't faced too much of just yet. Mulligan hard for Divergent Paths and Solari Priestess - Once we remove their uninteractive element trump-card in the Landmark win-condition, if we can survive their early tempo, the rest of the match should be a cinch given our heal/health-ignoring conditionless removal for their Champions.
~

Conclusion

Thanks for reading up to this point, and pardon my formatting, the ridiculous length and the sheer pomposity of it all.
I still think Invoke is flexible to the point of being broken and the only reason the matchup spread is so good. I also think that with the release of this guide - more people will come to recognise this archtype and the element of surprise affecting enemy mulligans against an assumed more aggro, Nightfall-focused Diana archtype will be lost. People will also know to play around less common cards such as Sunburst, and I expect winrates to fall somewhat across the board.
To conclude this guide, I'd like to say that this is this is not a healthy deck. At the deepest level, this deck is fundamentally about removing agency from your opponent and giving it to yourself, as well as securing the critical boon of having inevitability over your opponent in a game with the nature of LoR. If all decks were like this, LoR would completely cease to be fun.
What else do I think is unhealthy right now? - Simple: anything removing interactivity from your opponent - ESPECIALLY as a win condition; Maokai, Star Spring, Cosmic Inspiration, Lee Sin. The avenues through which these cards can be interacted with are way too limited right now.
A lot of the metagame nowadays is about having an uninteractable win condition, or focusing damage to face so fast the opponent has no chance to react - another form of non-interactivity. Here's hoping that the meta in the near future heads back in the direction of the close but fair midrange board battles we all came to love back in vanilla LoR.
~
(slinx4)
submitted by poklipart to LoRCompetitive [link] [comments]

Fallout 4 feels to me like a huge, shallow time sink with no payoff and not enough memorable things. [POTENTIAL FALLOUT 4 STRUGGLE SESSION]

I've spent about 60 hours on Fallout 4 in the last few weeks, and I've finally realised that Bethesda games are enormous time wasters. At least Fallout 4 and Skyrim are. The complaints below might be anodyne to a lot of the people here, or they might be very controversial, but these things are hitting me particularly hard while replaying Fallout 4. I've played it before, but having spent so much time with it recently, the realisation has dawned on me more harshly.
Bethesda build these amazing worlds with so much detail and complexity to them, only to inundate you with hours of fetch quests, bore you with a main quest that has no substance, and have you follow a map marker to the detriment of the world they’ve built. They encourage you to look down at the bottom of the screen to the degree that you never have to actually look around at the world to try and find a solution to whatever problem the game throws at you. Even if you turn the objective marker off, the problem that the games have is that 1) some quests require you to know the exact location of an item for you to progress and 2) you're incentivised to look at the bottom of the screen to find new locations to explore instead of just stumbling across them naturally (or with the help of your Pip-Boy map). You're not encouraged to just look at the world. You're not encouraged to memorise the landscapes or routes from one location to another. The fast travel isn't the problem here, either. It has everything to do with the way the game pushes you to walk in one direction nonstop until you reach your objective, and the way new locations are shown to you before you even find them. It's hard to call this "distracting" when it's a fundamental way the game is constructed. You're meant to look at the bottom of the screen. They clearly want your eyes there at all times.
Another problem I have is that almost no companion in either Fallout 4 has a legitimate reason to follow you or feels motivated - ideologically or opportunistically - to do so. I can’t recall a single one of them struggling to have a reason to follow you and just doing it because that’s what the game expects of them. While this problem extends to Skyrim, I want to keep the complaints to Fallout 4 since that's the topic of the sub. Preston has possibly the best reason to follow you: You saved his life and the lives of his friends, and he has nothing else to fight for after the Minutemen are disbanded and his friends find safe haven in Sanctuary. So he doesn't bug me that much. But Piper follows you for basically no reason, because you answer some questions. Does she require you to find her a scoop for her newspaper, or uncover dirt on the mayor? Nope. Nick Valentine kind of abandons his job to follow you after he does a job for you, which makes it seem like he doesn't actually have a full-time job with an employee working for him; he doesn't even require your assistance to work through a different job before he agrees almost unconditionally to follow you. Paladin Danse following a wastelander - even one that helped him in a rough spot - makes even less sense because that's the sort of shit that if his commanders found out about they'd probably reprimand him. They fucking hate Paladins associating with wastelanders. This is established canon. Deacon immediately likes you despite knowing very little about you and requires no convincing for him to follow you. John Hancock is pretty similar. There's just no depth to these companions and even though they all have distinct personalities, the lack of conflict and the lack of conversation options makes them feel very boring and bland. They're fun and entertaining but only on a surface level.
What annoys me more about this is that they will idolise you if you do enough odd tasks to placate them. Pick a bunch of locks with Piper around? She'll sleep with you after you pass a speech check. Use chems around Hancock? He'll tell you what a hip, rad person you are with basically no effort on my part as a player. Just be an asshole to everybody with Cait around? She will fall in love with you. It's so stupid to me. Again, Preston is the one whose affection for the player makes the most sense and requires the most effort; you have to do a lot of pro-Minutemen quests or do a lot of good deeds and stand up to shitty people for him to like you. His loyalty feels earned, and he's pretty much the only one that applies to. But I honestly don't think the level of trust applies to the other characters. They trust you if you just do enough random things they like. They'll spill their guts to you or sleep with you despite having few conversations with them and not helping them with any personal problems. Give Piper a pep talk about her sister, and you're all set. It's frustratingly shallow.
Literally nothing in this game comes anywhere close to earning Cass's or Boone's or Arcade's or Veronica's trust in Fallout: New Vegas. It's honestly kind of a joke by comparison. Those characters won't just follow you for any reason. You can't just twiddle your thumbs to make Boone follow you. You have to help him meaningfully, and even then he only leaves because he doesn't trust anybody and wants to be gone. Veronica follows you only after she senses you aren't hostile to the Brotherhood of Steel, and because she wants a traveling companion. There are explicit and clear reasons why people follow you in that game. And if you want to earn their trust and get them to live in the endgame with relative peace, you need to do an enormous amount to do so. And if you don't want to help them? If you dislike them and don't want anything to do with them? You can literally kill them yourself. The game gives you that option. With Fallout 4 the character relationships feel arbitrary and meaningless, like there's no weight to the beliefs or decisions of anybody. It doesn't help that every character is potentially bisexual and you can technically fuck every single one of them. Just throw on some Fashionable Glasses, drink some alcohol, and wear some fancy clothes, and passing their speech checks is easy. You can coerce people in this game to do things easily.
Which I guess brings me to the fact that there is almost no capacity to roleplay in this ostensibly roleplaying game. You don't have to make sacrifices to accomplish goals, and you don't have to choose a specific path. You can pretty much do anything you want with few limitations, which sounds freeing and liberating, but it actually removes the whole idea of playing a role from a series that has emphasised that for years. An RPG where you can pretty much do anything without risking alienating most people in the world because you chose one side over another is not really an RPG. And when you get around to interacting with people, the dialogue choices are limited as hell, you can't kill essential characters like Preston (which makes saving or helping him a foregone conclusion), questlines play out in an incredibly boring and linear fashion, and outside of a few moments the game doesn't actually give you a lot of room to decide the outcome of major incidents. You don't even have to actually choose one group over another when it comes to combating the Institute. The endings are simplistic and practically binary. I know it's a bit of a meme to compare the choices you have in other Fallout games with this one, and the consequences of those choices, but you have no room to roleplay as a person you want to be in this game. High or low INT doesn't impact the dialogue or speech checks. High or low charisma impacts things minimally. You're pretty much going to have 1 of 2 conversations every time you talk with anybody about anything. Even when you come to the crossroad where you have to choose a side in the main conflict of the game, you can play your cards right and bring everybody together, which sounds good in theory, but it isn't earned in a way that makes the opposing sides set aside their conflict. Ideology dissolves under the weight of the player making decisions that has fuckall to do with these people and their opposition to one another, and it makes it seem like the Minutemen, Brotherhood, and Railroad opposing one another in any way is baseless and petty. There's just nothing to these conflicts. If the characters in your game set aside their differences because the player did 1 thing, then you haven't written compelling conflicts. You've written lousy artifices to trick people into being motivated into bringing them together (which is insultingly easy) or choosing one side over another (which you don't actually need to do).
The settlement minigame is kind of cool, but ultimately pointless. The game doesn't change the least bit whether you decide to build settlements or not. There's no reward to it, and very rarely do you need to build settlements to unlock questlines or get a character to like you. It all feels so damn hollow and pointless. For a game that demands so much time from the player to do things, there's nowhere near enough payoff to justify it. I could just go play Rust or Minecraft or another type of game for a more thorough and less frustrating experience building settlements.
So yeah, that's how I feel about Fallout 4, and even Skyrim for the most part. They're big beautiful time wasters with no real substance. I remember next to nothing about Skyrim after spending a hundred hours in it and while I remember more about Fallout 4, I don't remember being challenged in any meaningful way. I mostly remember shambling from place to place, helping settlement after settlement with raiders and super mutants, until I got bored and went off to Diamond City to fuck around with the main quest that I found underwhelming, and meeting people who don't force me to analyse their beliefs or my own. The conflicts are mostly petty, the quests I'm given feel like tedious chores, and it's all an excuse to get you to explore the world that they ultimately don't even want you to look at because they force your eyes down to the bottom of the screen. It's numbing, repetitious, and draining. I feel part of my soul dying the more I play either one of these games.
Apologies for the melodrama of the writing by the end there, but I'm very frustrated with this game and don't think I'm gonna play it further. I really don't feel like there's a point to anything. I'm becoming a nihilist thanks to this game.
submitted by DouggieMohamJones to Fallout [link] [comments]

The 2020 Wreddit Census RESULTS!

Hey everyone!
We are excited to share the results of the 2020 Wreddit Census. 8,837 users took the time to submit their answers and we have been able to find some interesting statistics. Thank you to those who took the time to submit your response.
If you want to use the data yourself to draw your own findings or analysis, here is a link to the data as promised. There are some tabs on the bottom that look at specific factors that we found interesting.

1. Demographics

Gender
Gender 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Male 90.9% 91.4% -0.5% 0.54% decrease
Female 6.0% 6.3% -0.3% 4.7% decrease
Non-Binary 2% 1.5% +0.5% 33.3% increase
Prefer not to Say 0.7 0.6% +0.1% 16.6% increase
Ethnicity
Ethnicity 2020 2019 Change +/-
White 78.6% N/A N/A
Hispanic/Latino 9.9% N/A N/A
Asian 7.4% N/A N/A
Black/African-American 4.7% N/A N/A
Middle Eastern/North African 1.3% N/A N/A
American Indian or Alaskan Native 1.2% N/A N/A
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.4% N/A N/A
Other 1.9% N/A N/A
Prefer not to say 1% N/A N/A
Age
Average Age 2020 2019 Change +/-
Age 28.9 N/A N/A
The vast majority of users are in their late 20s and 30s.
Residence

Country do you reside in?

Country 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
United States 59.9% 60.9% -1.0% 1.64% decrease
UK 13.8% 13.2% +0.6% 4.5% increase
Canada 7% 6.7% +0.3% 4.47% increase
Australia 3.7% 4.2% -0.5% 11.9% decrease
Note: all other countries under 2%
Living Situation (for users 25 and older)
Household 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Married and live with my spouse 28% N/A N/A N/A
I live alone 20% N/A N/A N/A
I am not married but I live with a significant other 18% N/A N/A N/A
I live with my parents 16% N/A N/A N/A
I live with Roommates 13% N/A N/A N/A
I live in a multigenerational setting 5% N/A N/A N/A
NOTE: We have a large number of teens and early 20 year olds on this sub. As a result, we felt it was best to eliminate everyone under the age of 25 for this measure as it would skew the data heavily due to the number of kids and college students.
Income Level USD (for non-married and non-living with significant other) (for users 25 and older)
Income 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Income $49,850/year N/A N/A N/A
NOTE: We have a large number of teens and early 20 year olds on this sub. As a result, we felt it was best to eliminate everyone under the age of 25 for this measure as it would skew the data heavily due to the number of kids and college students.

2. Watching Habits

How long have you watched wrestling?
Years 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Years 17 years N/A N/A N/A
What Cable TV/Streaming Services that you have?
Service 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Netflix 72.3% 84.4% -12.1 14.3% decrease
Amazon Prime 56.5% 57.4% -0.9 1.5% decrease
Disney Plus 39.5% N/A N/A N/A
Paid TV service 32.1% 45% -12.9 28.6% decrease
Hulu 34.1% 41% -6.9 16.8% decrease
HBO Max 13.8% N/A N/A N/A
none 10% N/A N/A N/A
Youtube TV 7.1% N/A N/A N/A
Sling TV 3.8% N/A N/A N/A
Hours of wrestling watched each week
Hours per Week 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Hours 4.06 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Monday Night Raw?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I don't watch Raw regularly, but I do try to keep up with storylines and news 54.3% 49.3% +5 10.1% increase
No. I don't watch or follow Raw 17.5% 8.9% +8.6 96.6% increase
Yes I watch it weekly 16.1% 27.8% -11.7 42.08% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 12% 13.9% -1.9 13.6% decrease
How do you watch Raw (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Raw in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 33.9% 45.6% -11.7 25.65% decrease
Through an unpaid stream or video website 22.9% 24.6% -1.7 6.9% decrease
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 13.9% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 12% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER on DVR or OnDemand through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 3.5% 16.6% -13.1% N/A
I wait a month and watch it on the WWE Network 0.7% 0.3% +0.4 133% increase
Note: More options were added this year, so the comparisons to 2019 may be flawed
Do you regularly watch Smackdown?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I don't watch Smackdown regularly, but I do try to keep up with storylines and news 53.1% 41.5% +11.6 27.9% increase
No. I don't watch or follow Smackdown 18.6% 8.3% +10.3 124.1% increase
Yes I watch it weekly 14.3% 31% -16.7 53.9% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 14% 19.2% -5.2 27.1% decrease
How do you watch Smackdown? (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Smackdown in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 35.3% 42.5% -7.2 16.9% decrease
Through an unpaid stream or video website 22.2% 25.8% -5.6 21.7% decrease
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 15.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8.8% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER on DVR or OnDemand through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 7.8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 4.3% 18.1 -13.7 75.7% decrease
I wait a month and watch it on the WWE Network 0.8% 0.3% +0.5 166.6% increase
Note: More options were added this year, so the comparisons to 2019 may be flawed
Do you regularly watch WWE Main Roster PPVs?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes I regularly watch them live 27% 44% -17 38.6% decrease
Yes I sometimes watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 23.7% 24.7% -1 4% decrease
Yes but I watch them later, not live 12.8% 12.1% +0.7 5.8% increase
No I do not watch them regularly but I try to keep up with storylines 25.3% 15% +10.3 68.7% increase
No I do not watch them regularly 11.1% 4.2% 6.9 164.3% increase
How do you watch WWE Main Roster PPVs? (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Main Roster PPVs in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personal WWE Network streaming service 62.2% 69% -6.8 9.9% decrease
Through an unpaid stream 21.2% 15.5% +5.7% 36.8% increase
Through a friend’s WWE Network streaming service 9.1% 8.6% +0.5% 5.8% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 2.2% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 2% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through my cable provider 1.7% N/A N/A N/A
I live in a country that doesn't have the WWE Network streaming accounts, but I have one through a VPN or other loophole 0.6% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch the NXT weekly TV (non-UK)?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch NXT regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 42.9% 35% +7.9 22.6% increase
No. I don't watch or follow NXT 19% 25.1% -6.1 24.3% decrease
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 18.7% 17.6% +1.1 6.3% increase
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 10.5% 13.2% -2.7 20.5 decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 8.8% 9.2% -0.4 4.3% decrease
How do you watch NXT weekly TV (This is ONLY asked of respondents that say they watched NXT Weekly TV in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it through an unpaid stream or video website 22.3% 11.1% +11.2 101% increase
I wait and watch it when it's available on the WWE network 20.1% 72% -51.9 72.1% decrease
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 19% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 13.6% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 9.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 4.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.6% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch NXT UK?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow NXT UK 73.4% 60.6% +12.8 21.1% increase
No. I don't watch NXT UK regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 21.6% 26.6% +5.0 18.8% increase
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 3.2% 7.1% *-3.9% 55% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 1.2% 3.4% -2.2 64.7% decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 0.7% 2.3% -1.6 69.6% decrease
How do you watch NXT UK? (ONLY asked of people that say they watch NXT UK)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
watch using their WWE Networks streaming service 68.6% 78.8% -10.2 12.9% decrease
use unpaid streaming 11.4% 8.8% +2.6 29.5% increase
Through my cable/TV provider (some countries have NXT UK air on their cable package) 8% 1.1% +6.9 627.3% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 4.9% N/A N/A N/A
use another friend’s WWE network account 4.2% 6.5% -2.3 35.4% decrease
I watch it some other way not listed here 2.9% 3.6% -0.7 19.4% decrease
Do you regularly watch NXT Takeovers?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes, I regularly watch them live 28.8% 44.2% -15.4 34.8% decrease
No I don’t watch them regularly but I keep up with storylines 20.2% 9.4% +10.8 114.9% increase
Yes, I occasionally watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 19.1% 20.1% -1.0 5% decrease
Yes, but I watch them later 16.6% 14.8% +1.8 12.2% increase
No I don’t watch them regularly 15.2% 11.5% +3.7 32.2% increase
When you watch NXT Takeovers, how do you watch them? (ONLY asked to people that said they watched NXT Takeover)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personal WWE Network streaming service 60% 68.7% -8.7 12.7% decrease
Through an unpaid stream 23% 15.9% +7.1 44.7% increase
Through a friend’s WWE Network streaming service 9.4% 9.1% +0.3 3.3% increase
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.3% 3.3% No Change No Change
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 2.8% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through my cable provider 1.1% 1.0% +0.1 10% increase
I live in a country that doesn't have the WWE Network streaming accounts, but I have one through a VPN or other loophole 0.5% 0.6% -0.1 16.7% decrease
Do you regularly watch 205 Live?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow 205 Live 81.5% 67.7% +13.8 20.4% increase
No. I don't watch 205 Live regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 14.9% 22.7% -7.8 34.4% decrease
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 2.1% 4.9% -2.8 57.1% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 0.9% 3% -2.1 70% decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 0.7% 1.7% -1.0 58.8% decrease
When you watch 205 Live, how do you watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched 205 Live)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
watch using their WWE Networks streaming service 73.7% 74.7% -1.0 1.3% decrease
use unpaid streaming service 11.3% 10.7% +0.6 5.6% increase
use another friend’s WWE network account 5.3% 5.5% -0.2 3.6% decrease
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.8% 4.9% -1.1 22.4% decrease
Through my cable/TV provider (some countries have NXT UK air on their cable package) 0.9% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch AEW Dynamite?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes. I regularly watch it every week as it airs 28% N/A N/A N/A
No. I don't watch them regularly, but I do keep up with storylines and news 27.6% N/A N/A N/A
Yes. I occasionally watch them as they air, but sometimes I watch them later 16.2% N/A N/A N/A
Yes. but I watch them later, not as they are airing. 16.2% N/A N/A N/A
No I don't watch or follow AEW Dynamite 12% N/A N/A N/A
When you watch AEW Dynamite, how do you usually watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched Dynamite)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my TV provider 28.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through an unpaid stream *25.6% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (Like AEW Plus or Sling TV) 20.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER via DVR or OnDemand through my TV provider 10.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER via DVR or OnDemand though a paid streaming service (Like AEW Plus or Sling TV) 8.3% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 3.6% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clip, and "streamables" 3.3 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch AEW PPVs?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes, I regularly watch them live 31.6% N/A N/A N/A
No I don’t watch them regularly but I keep up with storylines 24.1% N/A N/A N/A
Yes, but I watch them later 15.7% N/A N/A N/A
No I don’t watch them regularly 14.6% N/A N/A N/A
Yes, I occasionally watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 14% N/A N/A N/A
When you watch AEW PPVs, how do you usually watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched AEW PPVs)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch through an unpaid stream 43.4% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through BR Live 21.7% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through FITE TV 17.3% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through my cable provider 6.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 6.4% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, and "streamables 4.8% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch New Japan Pro Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I do not watch them regularly 39.1% 39.6% -0.5 1.3% decrease
No, I don’t watch them regularly, but I keep up with storylines and news 27.7% 29.8% -2.1 7% decrease
Yes, but I watch them later, not as they’re airing 15.9% 13.9% +2.0 14.4% increase
Yes, I occasionally watch them live, but I usually watch them later 11.5% 11.8% -0.3 2.5% decrease
Yes, I regularly watch NJPW shows live. 5.8% 4.9% +0.9 18.4% increase
When you watch NJPW, how do you usually watch it (ONLY asked to the people that said they watched NJPW)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personally NJPWWorld subscription. 55.4% 48.1% +7.3 15.2% increase
Through an unpaid stream 27.1% 27.1% No Change No Change
I only watch highlights, clips, or "Streamables" 5.8% N/A N/A N/A
I use a friend's NJPW World Streaming Service subscription 5.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here. 3.2% 7.8% -4.6 59% decrease
I watch LIVE shows through my cable provider IN JAPAN 0.3 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Ring of Honor weekly TV?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow Ring of Honor 84.6% 74.2% +10.4 14% increase
No. I don't watch Ring of Honor TV regularly, but I do keep up with storylines and news. 12.1% 20.5% -8.4 41% decrease
I occasionally watch it 2.7% 4.1% -1.4 34.1% decrease
I regularly watch it. 0.6% 1.2% -0.6 50% decrease
How do you watch Ring of Honor? (ONLY asked to the people that said they regularly watch it)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through my TV provider 42.1% 33.7% +8.4 24.9% increase
Through Fite.tv 16.8% 22.6% -5.8 25.7% decrease
On the ROH website 13% 15.7% -2.7 17.2% decrease
through an illegal stream 10.3% 12.4% -2.1 16.9% decrease
Some other way not listed 6.5% 12.9% -6.4 50% decrease
Through my cable TV provider's legitimate stream 5.8% 2.7% +3.1 114.8% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.5% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Impact Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No I do not regularly follow it 71.7% 68.6% +3.1 4.5% increase
No I do not regualrly follow it, but I keep up with news and storylines. 20.4% 22.2% -1.8 8.1% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 5.7% 6.8% -1.1 16.2% decrease
Yes I watch it weekly. 2.3% 2.3% no change no change
How do you watch Impact Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it on Twitch 37% 49.9% -12.9 25.9% decrease
Through cable provider 29.2% 20.4% +8.8 43.1% increase
through an illegal stream 14.1% 14.2% -0.1 0.7% decrease
some other way listed 7.8% 13.4% -5.6 41.8% decrease
I only watch highlights, clips or "Streamables" 6% N/A N/A N/A
Through my cable provider's legitimate stream 5.8% 2% +3.8 190% increase
Top TEN Most Watched Wrestling Promotions/Shows
Rank Promotion/Show 2019 Rank Rank Change +/- % of users watching 2020 % of users watching 2019
#1 AEW Dynamite N/A N/A 64% N/A
#2 NXT #3 +1 46.1% 56%
#3 WWE Monday Night Raw #2 -1 40.3% 61.8%
#4 WWE Smackdown Live #1 -3 38.4% 66.4%
#5 New Japan Pro Wrestling #4 -1 30.4% 32.3%
#6 AEW Dark N/A N/A 28.7% N/A
#7 NWA Powerrrr N/A N/A 8.9% N/A
#8 Impact #8 no change 7.5% 8.6
#9 STARDOM #12 +3 5.6% 4.4%
#10 Game Changer Wrestling #29 +19 4.8% 0.6%
Note: 10.8% selected NONE

3. Online Habits

Is Wreddit your most frequent source of news related to wrestling?
  • 85.6% YES
  • 14.4% No
Where do you go for wrestling news? (asked of people that DON’T have Wreddit as their #1 source)
  • 32.8% - A news site that focuses exclusively on wrestling news
  • 23.5% - Twitter
  • 17.2% - A paid subscriber newsletter
  • 8.3% - Another user-based wrestling forum
  • 3.8% - A more general sports-based news site
  • 2.2% - Facebook
  • 2% - Chat Applications like Discord or Skype
  • 1.9% - /woo/ or other imageboard
  • 1.6% - Instagram
If you didn’t use Wreddit for your news, where do you think you would go? (asked of people that DO have Wreddit as their #1 news source)
  • 32% - Twitter
  • 25.3% - a news site that focuses exclusively on wrestling
  • 14.5% - I wouldn't go out of my way to look up wrestling news
  • 7.1% - a paid subscriber newsletter
  • 7% - Another user-based wrestling forum
  • 3.6% - A more general sports-based news site
  • 3.4% - Instagram
  • 2.8% - Facebook
  • 2.6% /woo/ or other imageboard
  • 1.8% Chat applications like Discord or Skype
Are you a Subscriber to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
No, I’m not interested in subscribing 65.4% 65.4% No Change
No, but I might subscribe in the future 17.9% 20.1% +2.2
No, but I have subscribed before 7.4% 6.6% +0.8
Yes I’m a regular subscriber 4.9% 5.2% -0.3
No, I don't know what that is 3.8% 1.9 +1.9
Yes, but I’m a fairly new subscriber 0.5% 0.8% -0.3
News sites visited regularly
  • 56% - NONE
  • 17.1% - F4WOnline
  • 16.6% PWInsider
  • 9.6% Fightful
  • 9.1% 411Mania
  • 7.9% WrestlingInc
  • 7% WrestleZone
  • 6.8% Ringside News
  • 6.6% ProWrestling Sheet
  • 6% PWTorch
  • 5% ProWrestling.Net
  • 3.1% SEScoops

4. Subscription Services

Which Streaming subscription services do you pay for?
Streaming Service 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
WWE Network 46.3% 64% -17.7 27.7% decrease
NONE 38.4% 26.3% +12.1 46% increase
NJPWWorld 19.9% 19.4% +0.5 2.6% increase
AEW Plus 5.9% N/A N/A N/A
Fite Network 2.6% 2.1% +0.5 23.8% increase
IWTV 2.4% 0.1% +2.3 2300% increase
StardomWorld 2% 2.2% -0.2 9% increase
Everything else is less than 2%.
Which WWE Network programming do you watch regularly? (only asked of respondents with a WWE Network subscription)
Programming 2020
Live or recent PPVs 87%
Old PPVs 65%
24 documentary series 56%
NXT 54%
Undertaker: The Last Ride 40%
Old WCW PPVs 37%
Old ECW PPVs 34%
Table for 3 32%
WWE 365 32%
Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions 30%
RAW/SD episodes (classic or recent) 29%
Ridealong 21%
WWE Ruthless Aggression 21%
Chronicle 21%
WCW Nitro 21%
Monday Night War 20%
Edge & Christian Show 19%
Breaking Ground13% WWE Untold|12% WWE: The Day Of|12% NXT UK|10% The Best of WWE|9% World's Collide|8% UUDD Plays|7% WWE Story Time|7% WWE Photoshoot|7%
In the last year, have you paid for a non-AEW PPV, iPPV, or other non-subscription based show?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 86.9% N/A N/A
YES 13.1% N/A N/A
Do you plan to purchase ANY PPV or iPPV non-subscription based show within the next year?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 58.3% 57.2% +1.1
YES 41.7% 42.8% -1.1
You said you have no plans to purchase an upcoming non-subscription based PPV. Do you have plans to take advantage of an unpaid stream of one? (This was ONLY asked to the people that said they have no interest in purchasing a PPV in the next year)
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 50.8% 55.1% -4.3
YES 49.2% 44.9% +4.3
Do you listen to Podcasts?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
YES 64.9% 67% -2.1
NO 35.1% 33% +2.1
Top 10 Podcasts
  • 1- Talk is Jericho - 42%
  • 2- AEW Unrestricted - 25.2%
  • 3 - Cultaholic - 20.3%
  • 4 - The Steve Austin Show - 19%
  • 5 - The New Day: Feel the Power - 16.4%
  • 6 - Edge and CHristian's Pod of Awesomeness - 16.2%
  • 7 - Wrestling with Wregret - 16.2%
  • 8 - Wrestling Observer Radio - 16.2%
  • 9 - Jim Cornette Experience - 15.2%
  • 10 - Byan and Vinny - 14.3%
Note: 12.5% of respondents pay for extra content on Patreon for at least one podcast

5. Spending Habits

How much do you spend on Merch in a year?
  • Average annual spend on merch: $51.84
Have you attended a wrestling show in the last 12 months?
  • 35.2% Yes
  • 64.8% No
Note: average number of shows attended per year is 3 (for those who have attended at least 1)

6. Bonus Round

Who is your favorite wrestler?
Ranking Wrestler Votes
1 Kenny Omega 695
2 Orange Cassidy 558
3 Adam Page 488
4 Keith Lee 357
5 AJ Styles 351
6 Jon Moxley 345
7 Chris Jericho 338
8 Asuka 291
9 Daniel Bryan 284
10 Bray Wyatt 208
11 Adam Cole 205
12 Kazuchika Okada 193
13 Drew McIntyre 163
14 Kevin Owens 157
15 Seth Rollins 153
16 Aleister Black 139
17 Hiromu Takahashi 138
18 Tetsuya Naito 127
19 Sasha Banks 121
20 Io Shirai 92
Full list of /SquaredCircle's favorite wrestlers here
When you watch wrestling, who do you watch it with? Select all that apply.
Response 2020
I regularly watch wrestling alone 68%
I regularly watch wrestling alone, but discuss it live with others on a chat application or forum 32%
I regularly watch wrestling with a friend or group of friends in-person 21%
I regularly watch wrestling with a sibling (or siblings) 7%
I regularly watch wrestling with a parent(s) or guardian(s) 5%
I regularly watch wrestling with my child (or children) 4%
I regularly watch wrestling with other family members 10%
I watch wrestling with my dog (or cat) 17%
How have your viewing habits changed due to/during the Coronavirus pandemic? Select all that apply.
Response 2020
I have been watching new promotions 10%
I have been watching more of the promotions I already watch 21%
I have been learning about new wrestlers or wrestling characters that I enjoy 17%
I have been watching wrestling in the same way as before 40%
I have been watching less wrestling during the Coronavirus pandemic 33%
submitted by WredditMod to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

I'm reading every Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award winner. Here's my reviews of the up to 1980 (Vol 4)

It is that time once more, folks.
Links to previous posts at the end, links to full length blog reviews are all in one comment.
Man Plus by Frederik Pohl
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle
Gateway by Frederik Pohl
The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien
Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
Gloriana, or The Unfulfill'd Queen by Michael Moorcock
The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
The Riddle-Master Trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip
Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Titan by John Varley
If you haven’t seen the others:
Any questions or comments? Fire away!
A truly massive thank you to u/gremdel for mailing me a bunch of books! People like you are what make this endeavor worth the effort.
I’ve been using this spreadsheet, as well as a couple others that kind Redditors have sent. So a huge thanks to u/velzerat and u/BaltSHOWPLACE
At the request of a number of you, I’ve written up extended reviews of everything and made a blog for them. I’ve included the links with the posts for individual books. I try to put up new reviews as fast as I read them. Take a look in the comments for that link!
The Bechdel Test is a simple question: do two named female characters converse about something other than a man. Whether or not a book passes is not a condemnation so much as an observation; it provides an easy binary marker. Seems like a good way to see how writing has evolved over the years. At the suggestion of some folks, I’m loosening it to non-male identified characters to better capture some of the ways that science fiction tackles sex and gender. For a better explanation of why it’s useful, check out this comment from u/Gemmabeta
submitted by RabidFoxz to books [link] [comments]

The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill, Part 3

Okay, Wendy’s or Walgreens or whoever, I don’t care who you are, you’re listening to the rest.

Introduction to Part 3

Welcome back one last time to “The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill,” a series where we discuss all aspects of skill design and development. In Part 1, we talked about OSRS’s history with skills, and started the lengthy conversation on Skill Design Philosophy, including the concepts of Core, Expansion, and Integration. This latter topic consumed the entirety of Part 2 as well, which covered Rewards and Motivations, Progression, Buyables, as well as Unconstructive Arguments.
Which brings us to today, the final part of our discussion. In this Part 3, we’ll finish up Section 3 – Skill Design Philosophy, then move on to chat about the design and blog process. One last time, this discussion was intended to be a single post, but its length outgrew the post character limit twice. Therefore, it may be important to look at the previous two parts for clarity and context with certain terms. The final product, in its purest, aesthetic, and unbroken form, can be found here.

3-C – Skill Design Philosophy, Continued

3-12 - Balancing

What follows from the discussion about XP and costs, of course, is balancing: the bane of every developer. A company like Riot knows better than anyone that having too many factors to account for makes good balance impossible. Balancing new ideas appropriately is extremely challenging and requires a great respect for current content as discussed in Section 3-5 – Integration. Thankfully, in OSRS we only have three major balancing factors: Profit, XP Rate, and Intensity, and two minor factors: Risk and Leniency. These metrics must amount to some sense of balance (besides Leniency, which as we’ll see is the definition of anti-balance) in order for a piece of content to feel like it’s not breaking the system or rendering all your previous efforts meaningless. It’s also worthy to note that there is usually a skill-specific limit to the numerical values of these metrics. For example, Runecrafting will never receive a training method that grants 200k xp/hr, while for Construction that’s easily on the lower end of the scale.
A basic model works better than words to describe these factors, and therefore, being the phenomenal artist that I am, I have constructed one, which I’ve dubbed “The Guthix Scale.” But I’ll be cruel and use words anyway.
  • Profit: how much you gain from a task, or how much you lose. Gain or loss can include resources, cosmetics, specialized currencies, good old gold pieces, or anything on that line.
  • XP Rate: how fast you gain XP.
  • Intensity: how much effort (click intensity), attention (reaction intensity), and thought (planning intensity) you need to put into the activity to perform it well.
  • Risk: how likely is the loss of your revenue and/or resource investment into the activity. Note that one must be careful with risk, as players are very good at abusing systems intended to encourage higher risk levels to minimize how much they’re actually risking.
  • Leniency: a measure for how imbalanced a piece of content can be before the public and/or Jagex nerfs it. Leniency serves as a simple modulator to help comprehend when the model breaks or bends in unnatural ways, and is usually determined by how enjoyable and abusable an activity is, such that players don’t want to cause an outrage over it. For example, Slayer has a high level of Leniency; people don’t mind that some Slayer tasks grant amazing XP Rates, great Profits, have middling Intensity, and low Risk. On the other hand, Runecrafting has low levels of Leniency; despite low Risk, many Runecrafting activities demand high Intensity for poor XP Rates and middling Profits.
In the end, don’t worry about applying specific numbers during the conceptual phase of your skill design. However, when describing an activity to your reader, it’s always useful if you give approximations, such as “high intensity” or “low risk,” so that they get an idea of the activity’s design goals as well as to guide the actual development of that activity. Don’t comment on the activity’s Leniency though, as that would be pretty pretentious and isn’t for you to determine anyway.

3-13 - Skill Bloat

What do the arts of weaving, tanning, sowing, spinning, pottery, glassmaking, jewellery, engraving, carving, chiselling, carpentry, and even painting have in common? In real life, there’s only so much crossover between these arts, but in Runescape they’re all simply Crafting.
The distinction between what deserves to be its own skill or instead tagged along to a current skill is often arbitrary; this is the great challenge of skill bloat. The fundamental question for many skill concepts is: does this skill have enough depth to stand on its own? The developers of 2006 felt that there was sufficient depth in Construction to make it something separate from Crafting, even if the latter could have covered the former. While there’s often no clean cut between these skills (why does making birdhouses use Crafting instead of Construction?), it is easy to see that Construction has found its own solid niche that would’ve been much too big to act as yet another Expansion of Crafting.
On the other hand, a skill with extremely limited scope and value perhaps should be thrown under the umbrella of a larger skill. Take Firemaking: it’s often asked why it deserves to be its own skill given how limited its uses are. This is one of those ideas that probably should have just been thrown under Crafting or even Woodcutting. But again, the developers who made early Runescape did not battle with the same ideas as the modern player; they simply felt like Firemaking was a good idea for a skill. Similarly, the number of topics that the Magic skill covers is so often broken down in other games, like Morrowind’s separation between Illusion, Conjuration, Alteration, Destruction, Mysticism, Restoration, Enchant, Alchemy (closer to Herblore), and Unarmored (closer to Strength and Defense). Why does Runescape not break Magic into more skills? The answer is simple: Magic was created with a much more limited scope in Runescape, and there has not been enough content in any specific magical category to justify another skill being born. But perhaps your skill concept seeks to address this; maybe your Enchantment skill takes the enchanting aspects of Magic away, expands the idea to include current imbues and newer content, and fully fleshes the idea out such that the Magic skill alone cannot contain it. Somewhat ironically, Magic used to be separated into Good and Evil Magic skills in Runescape Classic, but that is another topic.
So instead of arguments about what could be thrown under another skill’s umbrella, perhaps we should be asking: is there enough substance to this skill concept for it to stand on its own, outside of its current skill categorization? Of course, this leads to a whole other debate about how much content is enough for a skill idea to deserve individuality, but that would get too deep into specifics and is outside the scope of this discussion.

3-14 - Skill Endgame

Runescape has always been a sandbox MMO, but the original Runescape experience was built more or less with a specific endgame in mind: killing players and monsters. Take the Runescape Classic of 2001: you had all your regular combat skills, but even every other skill had an endgame whose goal was helping combat out. Fishing, Firemaking, and Cooking would provide necessary healing. Smithing and Crafting, along with their associated Gathering skill partners, served to gear you up. Combat was the simple endgame and most mechanics existed to serve that end.
However, since those first days, the changing endgame goals of players have promoted a vast expansion of the endgame goals of new content. For example, hitting a 99 in any non-combat skill is an endgame goal in itself for many players, completely separate from that skill’s combat relationship (if any). These goals have increased to aspects like cosmetic collections, pets, maxed stats, all quests completed, all diaries completed, all music tracks unlocked, a wealthy bank, the collection log, boss killcounts, and more. Whereas skills used to have a distinct part of a system that ultimately served combat, we now have a vast variety of endgame goals that a skill can be directed towards. You can even see a growth in this perspective as new skills were released up to 2007: Thieving mainly nets you valuable (or once valuable) items which have extremely flexible uses, and Construction has a strong emphasis on cosmetics for your POH.
So when designing your new skill, contemplate what the endgame of your skill looks like. For example, if you are proposing a Gathering skill, what is the Production skill tie-in, and what is the endgame goal of that Production skill? Maybe your new skill Spelunking has an endgame in gathering rare collectibles that can be shown off in your POH. Maybe your new skill Necromancy functions like a Support skill, giving you followers that help speed along resource gathering, and letting you move faster to the endgame goal of the respective Production skill. Whatever it is, a proper, clear, and unified view of an endgame goal helps a skill feel like it serves a distinct and valuable purpose. Note that this could mean that you require multiple skills to be released simultaneously for each to feed into each other and form an appropriate endgame. In that case, go for it – don’t make it a repeat of RS3’s Divination, a Gathering skill left hanging without the appropriate Production skill partner of Invention for over 2 years.
A good example of a skill with a direct endgame is… most of them. Combat is a well-accepted endgame, and traditionally, most skills are intended to lend a hand in combat whether by supplies or gear. A skill with a poor endgame would be Hunter: Hunter is so scattered in its ultimate endgame goals, trying to touch on small aspects of everything like combat gear, weight reduction, production, niche skilling tools, and food. There’s a very poor sense of identity to Hunter’s endgame, and it doesn’t help that very few of these rewards are actually viable or interesting in the current day. Similarly, while Slayer has a strong endgame goal it is terrible in its methodology, overshadowing other Production skills in their explicit purpose. A better design for Slayer’s endgame would have been to treat it as a secondary Gathering skill, to work almost like a catalyst for other Gathering-Production skill relationships. In this mindset, Slayer is where you gather valuable monster drops, combine it with traditional Gathering resources like ores from Mining, then use a Production skill like Smithing to meld them into the powerful gear that is present today. This would have kept other Gathering and Production skills at the forefront of their specialities, in contrast to today’s situation where Slayer will give fully assembled gear that’s better than anything you could receive from the appropriate skills (barring a few items that need a Production skill to piece together).

3-15 - Alternate Goals

From a game design perspective, skills are so far reaching that it can be tempting to use them to shift major game mechanics to a more favourable position. Construction is an example of this idea in action: Construction was very intentionally designed to be a massive gold sink to help a hyperinflating economy. Everything about it takes gold out of the game, whether through using a sawmill, buying expensive supplies from stores, adding rooms, or a shameless piece of furniture costing 100m that is skinned as, well, 100m on a shameless piece of furniture.
If you’re clever about it, skills are a legitimately good opportunity for such change. Sure, the gold sink is definitely a controversial feature of Construction, but for the most part it’s organic and makes sense; fancy houses and fancy cosmetics are justifiably expensive. It is notable that the controversy over Construction’s gold sink mechanism is probably levied more against the cost of training, rather than the cost of all its wonderful aesthetics. Perhaps that should have been better accounted for in its design phase, but now it is quite set in stone.
To emphasize that previous point: making large scale changes to the game through a new skill can work, but it must feel organic and secondary to the skill’s main purpose. Some people really disliked Warding because they felt it tried too hard to fix real, underlying game issues with mechanics that didn’t thematically fit or were overshadowing the skill’s Core. While this may or may not be true, if your new skill can improve the game’s integrity without sacrificing its own identity, you could avoid this argument entirely. If your skill Regency has a Core of managing global politics, but also happens to serve as a resource sink to help your failing citizens, then you’ve created a strong Core design while simultaneously improving the profitability of Gathering skills.

3-16 - The Combat No-Touch Rule

So, let’s take a moment to examine the great benefits and rationale of RS2’s Evolution of Combat:
This space has been reserved for unintelligible squabbling.
With that over, it’s obvious that the OSRS playerbase is not a big fan of making major changes to the combat system. If there’s anything that defines the OSRS experience, it has to be the janky and abusable combat system that we love. So, in the past 7 years of OSRS, how many times have you heard someone pitch a new combat skill? Practically no one ever has; a new combat skill, no matter how miniscule, would feel obtrusive to most players, and likely would not even receive 25% of votes in a poll. This goes right back to Section 3-5 – Integration, and the importance of preserving the fundamentals of OSRS’s design.
I know that my intention with this discussion was to be as definitive about skill design as possible, and in that spirit I should be delving into the design philosophy specifically behind combat skills, but I simply don’t see the benefit of me trying, and the conversation really doesn’t interest me that much. It goes without saying that as expansive as this discussion is, it does not cover every facet of skill design, which is a limitation both of my capabilities and desire to do so.

3-17 - Aesthetics

I don’t do aesthetics well. I like them, I want them, but I do not understand them; there are others much better equipped to discuss this topic than I. Nonetheless, here we go.
Since the dawn of OSRS, debates over art style and aesthetics have raged across Gielinor. After all, the OSRS Team is filled with modern day artists while OSRS is an ancient game. What were they supposed to do? Keep making dated graphics? Make content with a modernized and easily digestible style? Something in-between?
While many players shouted for more dated graphics, they were approached by an interesting predicament: which dated graphics did they want? We had a great selection present right from the start of OSRS: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. People hungry for nostalgia chose the era that they grew up in, leading to frequent requests for older models like the dragon or imp, most of which were denied by Jagex (except the old Mining rock models). But which era was OSRS supposed to follow?
Jagex elected to carve their own path, but not without heavy criticism especially closer to OSRS’s conception. However, they adapted to player requests and have since gone back and fixed many of the blatant early offenders (like the Kingdom of Kourend) and adopted a more consistent flavour, one that generally respects the art style of 2007. Even though it doesn’t always hit the mark, one has to appreciate the OSRS artists for making their best attempt and listening to feedback, and here’s to hoping that their art style examination mentioned in June 2020’s Gazette bears fruit.
But what exactly is the old school art style? There are simple systems by which most players judge it in OSRS, usually by asking questions like, “Would you believe if this existed in 2007?” More informed artists will start pointing out distinct features that permeated most content from back in the day, such as low quality textures, low poly models, low FPS animations, a “low fantasy” or grounded profile that appeals somewhat to realism, reducing cartoonish exaggerations, and keeping within the lore. Compiled with this, music and sound design help that art style come to life; it can be very hard on immersion when these don’t fit. An AGS would sound jarring if its special attack sounded like a weak dagger stab, and having to endure Country Jig while roaming Hosidius suddenly sweeps you off into a different universe.
But coming back to skill design, the art, models, and sound design tend to be some of the last features, mostly because the design phase doesn’t demand such a complete picture of a skill. However, simple concept art and models can vastly improve how a skill concept is communicated and comfort players who are concerned about maintaining that “old school feel.” This will be touched on again later in this discussion under Section 5-2 – Presentation and Beta Testing.

3-18 - Afterword

Now we’ve set down the modern standards for a new skill, but the statements that started this section bear repeating: the formula we’ve established does not automatically make a good or interesting skill, as hard as we might have tried. Once again, harken back to the First Great Irony: that we are trying to inject the modern interpretation of what defines a skill upon a game that was not necessarily built to contain it. Therefore, one could just as easily deny each of the components described above, as popular or unpopular as the act might be, and their opinion could be equally valid and all this effort meaningless. Don’t take these guidelines with such stringency as to disregard all other views.

5-0 - The OSRS Team and the Design Process

If you’ve followed me all the way here, you’re likely A) exhausted and fed up of any conversation concerning new skills, or B) excited, because you’ve just struck an incredible skill idea (or perhaps one that’s always hung around your head) that happens to tick off all the above checkboxes. But unfortunately for you B types, it’s about to get pretty grim, because we’re going to go through every aspect of skill design that’s exterior to the game itself. We’ll be touching on larger topics like democracy, presentation, player mindsets, effort, and resource consumption. It’ll induce a fantastic bout of depression, so don’t get left behind.

5-1 - Designing a Skill

Thus far, Jagex has offered three potential skills to OSRS, each of which has been denied. This gives us the advantage of understanding how the skill design process works behind the scenes and lets us examine some of the issues Jagex has faced with presenting a skill to the players.
The first problem is the “one strike and you’re out” phenomenon. Simply put, players don’t like applying much effort into reading and learning. They’ll look at a developer blog highlighting a new skill idea, and if you’re lucky they’ll even read the whole thing, but how about the second developer blog? The third? Fourth? Even I find it hard to get that far. In general, people don’t like long detail-heavy essays or blogs, which is why I can invoke the ancient proverb “Ban Emily” into this post and it’ll go (almost) completely unnoticed. No matter how many improvements you make between developer blogs, you will quickly lose players with each new iteration. Similarly, developer blogs don’t have the time to talk about skill design philosophy or meta-analyse their ideas – players would get lost far too fast. This is the Second Great Irony of skill design: the more iterations you have of a lengthy idea, the less players will keep up with you.
This was particularly prominent with Warding: Battle Wards were offered in an early developer blog but were quickly cut when Jagex realized how bad the idea was. Yet people would still cite Battle Wards as the reason they voted against Warding, despite the idea having been dropped several blogs before. Similarly, people would often comment that they hated that Warding was being polled multiple times; it felt to them like Jagex was trying to brute-force it into the game. But Warding was only ever polled once, and only after the fourth developer blog - the confusion was drawn from how many times the skill was reiterated and from the length of the public design process. Sure, there are people for whom this runs the opposite way; they keep a close eye on updates and judge a piece of content on the merits of the latest iteration, but this is much less common. You could argue that one should simply disregard the ignorant people as blind comments don't contribute to the overall discussion, but you should remember that these players are also the ones voting for the respective piece of content. You could also suggest re-educating them, which is exactly what Jagex attempts with each developer blog, and still people won’t get the memo. And when it comes to the players themselves, can the playerbase really be relied on to re-educate itself?
Overall, the Second Great irony really hurts the development process and is practically an unavoidable issue. What’s the alternative? To remove the developer-player interface that leads to valuable reiterations, or does you simply have to get the skill perfect in the first developer blog?
It’s not an optimal idea, but it could help: have a small team of “delegates” – larger names that players can trust, or player influencers – come in to review a new, unannounced skill idea under NDA. If they like it, chances are that other players will too. If they don’t, reiterate or toss out the skill before it’s public. That way, you’ve had a board of experienced players who are willing to share their opinions to the public helping to determine the meat and potatoes of the skill before it is introduced to the casual eye. Now, a more polished and well-accepted product can be presented on the first run of selling a skill to the public, resulting in less reiterations being required, and demanding less effort from the average player to be fully informed over the skill’s final design.

5-2 - Presentation and Beta Testing

So you’ve got a great idea, but how are you going to sell it to the public? Looking at how the OSRS Team has handled it throughout the years, there’s a very obvious learning curve occurring. Artisan had almost nothing but text blogs being thrown to the players, Sailing started introducing some concept art and even a trailer with terrible audio recording, and Warding had concept art, in game models, gifs, and a much fancier trailer with in-game animations. A picture or video is worth a thousand words, and often the only words that players will take out of a developer blog.
You might say that presentation is everything, and that would be more true in OSRS than most games. Most activities in OSRS are extremely basic, involve minimal thought, and are incredibly grindy. Take Fishing: you click every 20 seconds on a fishing spot that is randomly placed along a section of water, get rid of your fish, then keep clicking those fishing spots. Boiling it down further, you click several arbitrary parts of your computer screen every 20 seconds. It’s hardly considered engaging, so why do some people enjoy it? Simply put: presentation. You’re given a peaceful riverside environment to chill in, you’re collecting a bunch of pixels shaped like fish, and a number tracking your xp keeps ticking up and telling you that it matters.
Now imagine coming to the players with a radical new skill idea: Mining. You describe that Mining is where you gather ores that will feed into Smithing and help create gear for players to use. The audience ponders momentarily, but they’re not quite sure it feels right and ask for a demonstration. You show them some gameplay, but your development resources were thin and instead of rocks, you put trees as placeholders. Instead of ores in your inventory, you put logs as placeholders. Instead of a pickaxe, your character is swinging a woodcutting axe as a placeholder. Sure, the mechanics might act like mining instead of woodcutting, but how well is the skill going to sell if you haven’t presented it correctly or respected it contextually?
Again, presentation is everything. Players need to be able to see the task they are to perform, see the tools they’ll use, and see the expected outcomes; otherwise, whatever you’re trying to sell will feel bland and unoriginal. And this leads to the next level of skill presentation that has yet to be employed: Beta Worlds.
Part of getting the feel of an activity is not just watching, it but acting it out as well - you’ll never understand the thrill of skydiving unless you’ve actually been skydiving. Beta Worlds are that chance for players to act out a concept without risking the real game’s health. A successful Beta can inspire confidence in players that the skill has a solid Core and interesting Expansions, while a failed Beta will make them glad that they got to try it and be fully informed before putting the skill to a poll (although that might be a little too optimistic for rage culture). Unfortunately, Betas are not without major disadvantages, the most prominent of which we shall investigate next.

5-3 - Development Effort

If you thought that the previous section on Skill Design Philosophy was lengthy and exhausting, imagine having to know all that information and then put it into practice. Mentally designing a skill in your head can be fun, but putting all that down on paper and making it actually work together, feel fully fleshed out, and following all the modern standards that players expect is extremely heavy work, especially when it’s not guaranteed to pay off in the polls like Quest or Slayer content. That’s not even taking into account the potentially immense cost of developing a new skill should it pass a poll.
Whenever people complain that Jagex is wasting their resources trying to make that specific skill work, Jagex has been very explicit about the costs to pull together a design blog being pretty minimal. Looking at the previous blogs, Jagex is probably telling the truth. It’s all just a bunch of words, a couple art sketches, and maybe a basic in-game model or gif. Not to downplay the time it takes to write well, design good models, or generate concept art, but it’s nothing like the scale of resources that some players make it out to be. Of course, if a Beta was attempted as suggested last section, this conversation would take a completely new turn, and the level of risk to invested resources would exponentially increase. But this conversation calls to mind an important question: how much effort and resources do skills require to feel complete?
Once upon a time, you could release a skill which was more or less unfinished. Take Slayer: it was released in 2005 with a pretty barebones structure. The fundamentals were all there, but the endgame was essentially a couple cool best-in-slot weapons and that was it. Since then, OSRS has updated the skill to include a huge Reward Shop system, feature 50% more monsters to slay, and to become an extremely competitive money-maker. Skills naturally undergo development over time, but it so often comes up during the designing of an OSRS skill that it "doesn't have enough to justify its existence." This was touched on deeply in Section 3-13 – Skill Bloat, but deserves reiterating here. While people recognize that skills continually evolve, the modern standard expects a new skill, upon release, to be fully preassembled before purchase. Whereas once you could get away with releasing just a skill's Core and working on Expansions down the line, that is no longer the case. But perhaps a skill might stand a better chance now than it did last year, given that the OSRS Team has doubled in number since that time.
However, judging from the skill design phases that have previously been attempted (as we’ve yet to see a skill development phase), the heaviest cost has been paid in developer mentality and motivational loss. When a developer is passionate about an idea, they spend their every waking hour pouring their mind into how that idea is going to function, especially while they’re not at work. And then they’re obligated to take player feedback and adapt their ideas, sometimes starting from scratch, particularly over something as controversial as a skill. Even if they have tough enough skin to take the heavy criticism that comes with skill design, having to write and rewrite repeatedly over the same idea to make it “perfect” is mentally exhausting. Eventually, their motivation drains as their labour bears little fruit with the audience, and they simply want to push it to the poll and be done with it. Even once all their cards are down, there’s still no guarantee that their efforts will be rewarded, even less so when it comes to skills.
With such a high mental cost with a low rate of success, you have to ask, “Was it worth it?” And that’s why new skill proposals are far and few between. A new skill used to be exciting for the development team in the actual days of 2007, as they had the developmental freedom to do whatever they wanted, but in the modern day that is not so much the case.

5-4 - The Problems of Democracy

Ever since the conceptualization of democracy in the real world, people have been very aware of its disadvantages. And while I don’t have the talent, knowledge, or time to discuss every one of these factors, there are a few that are very relevant when it comes to the OSRS Team and the polling process.
But first we should recognize the OSRS Team’s relationship with the players. More and more, the Team acts like a government to its citizens, the players, and although this situation was intentionally instated with OSRS’s release, it’s even more prominent now. The Team decides the type of content that gets to go into a poll, and the players get their input over whether that particular piece makes it in. Similarly, players make suggestions to the Team that, in many cases, the Team hadn’t thought of themselves. This synergy is phenomenal and almost unheard of among video games, but the polling system changes the mechanics of this relationship.
Polls were introduced to the burned and scarred population of players at OSRS’s release in 2013. Many of these players had just freshly come off RS2 after a series of disastrous updates or had quit long before from other controversies. The Squeal of Fortune, the Evolution of Combat, even the original Wilderness Removal had forced numerous players out and murdered their trust in Jagex. To try and get players to recommit to Runescape, Jagex offered OSRS a polling system by which the players would determine what went into the game, where the players got to hold all the cards. They also asked the players what threshold should be required for polled items to pass, and among the odd 50% or 55% being shouted out, the vast majority of players wanted 70%, 75%, 80%, or even 85%. There was a massive population in favour of a conservative game that would mostly remain untouched, and therefore kept pure from the corruption RS2 had previously endured.
Right from the start, players started noticing holes in this system. After all, the OSRS Team was still the sole decider of what would actually be polled in the first place. Long-requested changes took forever to be polled (if ever polled at all) if the OSRS Team didn’t want to deal with that particular problem or didn’t like that idea. Similarly, the Team essentially had desk jobs with a noose kept around their neck – they could perform almost nothing without the players, their slave masters, seeing, criticizing, and tearing out every inch of developmental or visionary freedom they had. Ever hear about the controversy of Erin the duck? Take a look at the wiki or do a search through the subreddit history. It’s pretty fantastic, and a good window into the minds of the early OSRS playerbase.
But as the years have gone on, the perspective of the players has shifted. There is now a much healthier and more trusting relationship between them and the Team, much more flexibility in what the players allow the Team to handle, and a much greater tolerance and even love of change.
But the challenges of democracy haven’t just fallen away. Everyone having the right to vote is a fundamental tenet of the democratic system, but unfortunately that also means that everyone has the right to vote. For OSRS, that means that every member, whether it’s their first day in game, their ten thousandth hour played, those who have no idea about what the poll’s about, those who haven’t read a single quest (the worst group), those who RWT and bot, those who scam and lure, and every professional armchair developer like myself get to vote. In short, no one will ever be perfectly informed on every aspect of the game, or at least know when to skip when they should. Similarly, people will almost never vote in favour of making their game harder, even at the cost of game integrity, or at least not enough people would vote in such a fashion to reach a 75% majority.
These issues are well recognized. The adoption of the controversial “integrity updates” was Jagex’s solution to these problems. In this way, Jagex has become even more like a government to the players. The average citizen of a democratic country cannot and will not make major decisions that favour everyone around themselves if it comes at a personal cost. Rather, that’s one of the major roles of a government: to make decisions for changes for the common good that an individual can’t or won’t make on their own. No one’s going to willingly hand over cash to help repave a road on the opposite side of the city – that’s why taxes are a necessary evil. It’s easy to see that the players don’t always know what’s best for their game and sometimes need to rely on that parent to decide for them, even if it results in some personal loss.
But players still generally like the polls, and Jagex still appears to respect them for the most part. Being the government of the game, Jagex could very well choose to ignore them, but would risk the loss of their citizens to other lands. And there are some very strong reasons to keep them: the players still like having at least one hand on the wheel when it comes to new content or ideas. Also, it acts as a nice veto card should Jagex try to push RS3’s abusive tactics on OSRS and therefore prevent such potential damage.
But now we come to the topic of today: the introduction of a new skill. Essentially, a new skill must pass a poll in order to enter the game. While it’s easy to say, “If a skill idea is good enough, it’ll pass the threshold,” that’s not entirely true. The only skill that could really pass the 75% mark is not necessarily a well-designed skill, but rather a crowd-pleasing skill. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, the latter is far easier to make than the former. Take Dungeoneering: if you were to poll it today as an exact replica of RS2’s version, it would likely be the highest scoring skill yet, perhaps even passing, despite every criticism that’s been previously emphasized describing why it has no respect for the current definition of “skill.” Furthermore, a crowd-pleasing skill can easily fall prey to deindividualization of vision and result in a bland “studio skill” (in the same vein as a “studio film”), one that feels manufactured by a board of soulless machines rather than a director’s unique creation. This draws straight back to the afore-mentioned issues with democracy: that people A) don’t always understand what they’re voting for or against, and B) people will never vote for something that makes their game tougher or results in no benefit to oneself. Again, these were not issues in the old days of RS2, but are the problems we face with our modern standards and decision making systems.
The reality that must be faced is that the polling system is not an engine of creation nor is it a means of constructive feedback – it’s a system of judgement, binary and oversimplified in its methodology. It’s easy to interact with and requires no more than 10 seconds of a player’s time, a mere mindless moment, to decide the fate of an idea made by an individual or team, regardless of their deep or shallow knowledge of game mechanics, strong or weak vision of design philosophy, great or terrible understanding of the game’s history, and their awareness of blindness towards the modern community. It’s a system which disproportionately boils down the quality of discussion that is necessitated by a skill, which gives it the same significance as the question “Should we allow players to recolour the Rocky pet by feeding it berries?” with the only available answers being a dualistic “This idea is perfect and should be implemented exactly as outlined” or “This idea is terrible and should never be spoken of again.”
So what do you do? Let Jagex throw in whatever they want? Reduce the threshold, or reduce it just for skills? Make a poll that lists a bunch of skills and forces the players to choose one of them to enter the game? Simply poll the question, “Should we have a new skill?” then let Jagex decide what it is? Put more options on the scale of “yes” to “no” and weigh each appropriately? All these options sound distasteful because there are obvious weaknesses to each. But that is the Third Great Irony we face: an immense desire for a new skill, but no realistic means to ever get one.

6-0 - Conclusion

I can only imagine that if you’ve truly read everything up to this point, it’s taken you through quite the rollercoaster. We’ve walked through the history of OSRS skill attempts, unconstructive arguments, various aspects of modern skill design philosophy, and the OSRS Team and skill design process. When you take it all together, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the thought that needs to go into a modern skill and all the issues that might prevent its success. Complexity, naming conventions, categorizations, integration, rewards and motivations, bankstanding and buyables, the difficulties of skill bloat, balancing, and skill endgames, aesthetics, the design process, public presentation, development effort, democracy and polling - these are the challenges of designing and introducing modern skills. To have to cope with it all is draining and maybe even impossible, and therefore it begs the question: is trying to get a new skill even worth it?
Maybe.
Thanks for reading.
Tl;dr: Designing a modern skill requires acknowledging the vast history of Runescape, understanding why players make certain criticisms and what exactly they’re saying in terms of game mechanics, before finally developing solutions. Only then can you subject your ideas to a polling system that is built to oversimplify them.
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