Strange Sports Betting Wagers During the Pandemic

The Monthly Scribe - July 2020 - Leave a comment for a chance to win 1 Year of Pro!

The Monthly Scribe

Congratulations everyone! You have all successfully navigated this joke of a year to the halfway point. Yep, only half way. If 2020 was condensed into a single day then we've only gotten to lunch time. Will you be having the collapsalad today? Or maybe some just-ice cream....get it? Because it's justice...but als- never mind.
In case you're new here, we pin a monthly thread in our subreddit to share and discuss updates with our users. You're also welcome to share any news, ideas, short stories and metaphors about internet privacy and security. What would Confucius say if he had internet privacy concerns?
"How can one be truly free while choosing to be tracked?"
"A man can live for himself or live for advertisers."
While you ponder such modern day wisdom, consider leaving a comment in this thread enlightening us with your revelations. Or just leave any interesting comment at all, entertain us! We will go through all of them at the end of the month and select a random comment to win 1 Year of Pro. The winner of June's thread was jelegend. Congrats, your 1 Year Pro code is in your inbox!

WTF Winners

For those who are unaware, we hosted an online competition called the Windscribe Transnational Film Festival. In it we asked our users to create short clips based on the randomly generated usernames that our website gave you.
We're happy to say that you folks did not disappoint, we received over 400 submissions! We spent a long while conferring about the clips, making fancy spreadsheets to score all the entries and after all videos were reviewed, we tallied up the results for the main categories and these were the winners:
Grand Prize - Pumped Banana Actor
Dank Story - Ordinary Pickle Decorator
Dank Production - Old Tree Fighter
Much Lulz - Electronic Face Fixer
Wholesome - Local Goldfish Painter
Mr. Strange - Powerful Pig Pastor
Popular Vote - Pumped Banana Actor
There were also 20 more runner up winners who each won $100 and 1 Year of Pro. All these submissions can be viewed on our website.
Congratulations to everyone who won! You should have all been contacted by now with the details for how to claim your prize.
We'd also like to thank everybody else who participated in the contest, this was our first step into hosting such events and it will certainly not be the last. Community involvement is something we love and strive for and consider this contest a huge success. If you still want to win something, tell us which submission you liked most in the comments and you will be entered to win this month's 1 Year Pro giveaway.

Windscribe Updates

Wireguard
Yes, you read that right, Wireguard is finally on the horizon. We heard you loud and clear, you all want the latest and greatest VPN tech and who are we to deny you that? We think it needs a new cool name though, something like CableShield or FibreFighter. We're open to all your suggestions, if you come up with a really good one we like and end up using, we'll give you some free Pro credit.
As we'd mentioned in previous discussions regarding Wireguard, some work would be required on the backend in order to facilitate the protocol on our servers. That's exactly what our team has been working on for the last month and the results are looking quite good. The performance gives almost your full non-VPN speed and some users have even reported seeing Wireguard speeds 3-4 times faster than what IKEv2 could give.
Don't get too excited just yet though, these were early results and there is still a fair bit of work to do before it's available on all our clients. Often times IKEv2 alone will get you to 95% of your ISP speeds so not everyone needs it. However, given the fact that this is a more modern protocol built by scientists, doctors and astronauts (don't quote us on that), you can expect it to function better than IKEv2 and OpenVPN to some degree. At the very least it won't be limited to one network port like IKEv2 is so you get the combined benefits of IKEv2's speed with the versatility of OpenVPN.
Right now we have connectivity to our servers using Wireguard configs so most of the backend functionality is complete. The mobile developers have been hard at work implementing the protocol into both the Android and iOS clients so these will be the first Windscribe apps to get Wireguard. Desktop users will also be able to connect using a separate Wireguard client. Our extremely talented, smart and handsome desktop app developers have their hands full already but the plan at the moment is to include Wireguard in the stable release of version 2.0.
We've also made a few new hires over the last few months to speed up the development on our applications. These fine employees passed some of the most rigorous testing we could throw at them including programming in Latin, designing a website underwater, and even jumping through flaming hoops. They made it look easy, so we had to have them on our team.
City-level Custom Configs
Back in the year 1471, a young Leonardo da Vinci wrote in one of his early journals:
Quando Windscribe avrà configurazioni personalizzate a livello di città?
Loosely translated, he was pondering the question of when Windscribe would have city-level custom configs. This early work of his has been passed down for generations all the way to the comments on this subreddit asking the same thing.
Well, they're finally here! As of today, you can get city-level custom configs for all your non-Windscribe VPN clients. How exciting is that? Static IP config files can now also be found on the same config generator pages, you no longer need to go through the port forwarding setup like before.

Boredom Bits

As we head into what seems to be a second wave of the pandemic, you are probably sighing at the thought of being bored at home again. Perhaps you're even swearing to yourself. If you are, you might have fun taking out the anger on this Swear Word Coloring Book. Show that book who's boss, you color outside the lines because no one can tell you how to live your life!
If you get too excited and start ripping the paper out of the book, don't throw it out! Instead, with just a few cuts and folds, turn the paper into a functioning V8 engine like this guy did. You can even add a throttle if you're feeling really fancy.
Like most people, you probably purchased a guinea pig during this quarantine, but now you're concerned about the harsh world that little Kevin the guinea pig must live in. If you have the coin ($24,300 USD specifically), consider investing in some hand-crafted guinea pig armor. It even comes with a metal helmet too!
If a guinea pig in armor doesn't do it for you, we have more pictures of funny animals. Well, funny cats specifically, we only post funny cats here.
Until next month! Place your bets on what the next global catastrophe will be. Aliens? Yellowstone eruption? AI takeover? Tweet us your guess on Twitter @windscribecom or discuss it at length in our Discord Server.
submitted by WindscribeSupport to Windscribe [link] [comments]

[SPOILER] My Thoughts on the Last of Us Part 2

So just so you know where I’ll be going with this reflection, I’ll be briefly going over the graphics, setting, gameplay, but this will mainly be a narrative review. Number wise, I’d give the game’s story a strong (strong meaning leaning towards good) 6/10, which is far from what I’d consider the first game. These are just my opinions and anybody has a right to disagree with. I will make a lot of comparisons to the first game but it is entirely justified as this is a sequel. I was spared the brunt of the leaks so I like to think I’d be completely unbiased going in. One thing I will say is that I began watching other YouTuber’s reviews of the game and noticed some of the things I say are quite similar to their ideas but know I am not influenced by their opinions and all of the thoughts here are ones that I have formulated or at the very, very least ones I agree with. The review will mostly be in chronological order but I may mention other parts of the game anywhere so spoilers for the entire game all throughout. The review is pretty spontaneously and sloppily written so don’t bother me about spell checks and grammar or if anything is particularly long winded.
The graphics are of course stunning and some of the set pieces are really breathtaking in a very real sense. The gameplay is the same simple core mechanics from the first game, but now combat is intensely satisfying. Limbs can be shot off, blood decals are dark and splatter the walls, roof, and floor. Blood and bits of brain drip down the walls and off the roofs. Ragdolls aren’t exaggerated. Some people will still be crawling around and writhing after dying. I may be a psychopath, but don’t we all love these things in games? Some sad sap reviewers have said the game is NOT fun and that they DIDN’T like blasting peoples heads off because it was so violent. They also say that the violence is powerful and shows the impact and consequences of such violence. That’s the worst bullshit I’ve ever heard and you can bet your ass a video game journalist would say it. For us here, I’m sure it’s nothing new. One thing though is that the AI is a bit smarter. They’ll make call outs to each other, exclaim when one of their buddies is killed, or notice when somebody suddenly cuts off mid sentence. It does serve to make them seem more human, but relatively speaking the AI is still kind of dumb as bricks. The level design seems better without as much inexplicable cover everywhere. It now looks less like a third person Bomberman level. One thing I’ve found though is that you are cut off from a previous area so many times in this game and with all the collectibles, it’s quite annoying. I’ve had to restart entire chapters because I missed a collectible. I get why, but still. The game has taken some inspiration from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Some UI elements feel eerily similar, and the Downtown chapter feels very much like the Western Ghats. Levels, especially Downtown, are more open world then the last game but it adds to my previous issue where you never really know when you’re going to be cut off from a previous area of the game. Anyways, that’s all I have to say about the gameplay.
The very first scene of the game begins with Joel’s retelling of the final events of the last game. It’s nice to have, but it’s also in retrospect one of my first problems with the game. Joel has such little presence prior to his death, only two separate appearances, and one of his longest dialogues is dumbed down to exposition. I feel like this time could’ve been utilized much better to establish Joel’s character and personality. Yes, the entirety of the last game was dedicated to him and his character has done all the developing it can, but with the seven year IRL gap between the first game and the second, uncertainty about the consistency of the characters, as well as Joel’s five years in Jackson, some reflection would be nice to see how he has settled down and reaffirm that this is indeed the same character that we grew attached to from the first game. And consistent character writing is another problem of mine, but I’ll talk about that when it comes up. But one particular line stuck with me, “I saved her”, followed by the flashback sequence showing the dead doctors and Fireflies. A silent horse ride follows. It’s nice taking in the scenery and graphics, but again if this is all we’re getting Joel, some banter with his previously estranged brother Tommy would be nice. Joel has some awkward but cute dialogue with Ellie and sings her a song, which is nice considering his previous stance on doing so. I may be too critical, but I’m a little concerned that the songs in this game are a bit manipulative of emotions and substitute the great, at times heartbreaking dialogue of the first game. However I would not be making this observation if the game actually had those as well.
4 years later and we follow Ellie as she prepares to go on patrol. Don’t have much to say here, but I did start noticing some cracks in the dialogue. Jesse and later on to an even greater extent, Owen (“ABBY, STOP FLIRTING.”) speak in these strange one word or one phrase utterances that really seem mechanical and unnatural. As a result, the actor’s performance seems to suffer in a way they don’t seem to in the cutscenes. Perhaps it’s a result of not being mocapped and therefore not being too confident in their delivery. But it’s not too egregious comparatively.
We get our first section as Abby. As I said, I wasn’t aware of the leaks and had no predetermined hate for her, but GOD do I not like her in this particular scene. We understand that she’s here for someone, whom we can only surmise is Joel considering all the shit he’s done. So we’re forced to play as this new person and what are our first impressions of her? She implies she’s willing to torture a patrol from an innocent settlement to get what information she needs, gets upset that Owen got her own girlfriend pregnant (it makes more sense after you come to understand their relationship, but that is another problem with this game that I’ll go over later), and recklessly runs off to do everything herself (if I’m not mistaken, she literally says something along these lines in the game, dear god) and get herself killed. In the first game, we’re given a reason to care about the major characters from the beginning of the game. Joel has grown cynical and weary and while he’s not a perfect person, we sympathize with him because of the tragic loss of his daughter. Ellie carries the weight of being immune, perhaps one of the only ones in the world, and is being entrusted to the care of two total strangers. Abby’s first scene is a childish and suicidal outburst that in the end, she should not survive. Moving on.
Dina’s kinda funny and her relationship with Ellie is cute, but I wish her character would’ve been fleshed out more. The only reason I’ve grown to like her is because Ellie likes her. She and Ellie have known each other for a while but we haven’t. Not much to say here again, so on to the Horde and the Chalet.
As I said, Abby should not be alive. Dozens of infected pop out everywhere and chase her down. This could be more intense, but there are no stakes here because we don’t really have a reason to care for Abby. But, somehow, she’s Deus Ex Machina’d by the person she happens to be after. What a coincidence, huh? Well, now we’re at THAT part. Joel may have softened up in Jackson, but five years undoing all the paranoia and skepticism that his nearly two decades of living it rough? I don’t think so. Maybe you could argue he panicked and couldn’t think straight, but he’s been in rough situations before and prevailed with a clear head. Maybe you could argue he would’ve died if he hadn’t but tbh I feel like Joel would’ve found another way out had he really wanted to. I mean, they would’ve just died if Abby wasn’t there? I don’t think so, probably wouldn’t have even found themselves in that position. Even if they did go with Abby, they are far too trusting and allowed themselves to be surrounded. I’d have to say Joel doesn’t stand out too much, so unless Abby somehow had a picture of him (which I doubt) she could only go off of descriptions of Joel until he decided to loudmouth it and give her a name to go along with the face. I will say that I expected Joel to die since that ominous reveal trailer for the game. My problem is not that Joel dies, it’s how he dies. Such a major character being killed off should have had a great impact, but I didn’t really feel much. I felt sadder when Joel’s daughter Sarah died off whom we had known for all of 5 minutes. The game relies on our feelings for Joel from the first game and shock value to elicit an emotional response. But it doesn’t work, it’s just lazy. Joel is no longer a character, he is simply a plot device. However, I admit the aftermath was done well. Seeing Joel’s front lawn piled with flowers and letters and Ellie going through his old stuff hit hard, but it doesn’t cancel out the nature of his death by a long shot. I don’t understand why the group doesn’t kill Ellie and Tommy. I mean they didn’t come here for them, but they saw their faces, heard their names, and know where they’re from. It’s kind of stupid.
Now, Tommy going after Joel. Tommy had been estranged from his brother for years and even when they reconnect they butt heads. I mean would he have gone through all this if he found out Joel died before he reached Jackson? Maybe they got real close in Jackson again especially since Joel is settled down and now has someone he cares about. However, Tommy knows Joel and knows firsthand that Joel has crossed a lot of people and done a lot of fucked up shit. I could see Ellie going after Joel’s killers since they were even closer than Joel and Tommy and she never really saw Joel’s darker side. But Tommy falling back into his old ways of murder and torture that he chastized Joel for? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s questionable.
Now in terms of critical story nothing happens for a while until the theater. I will say that this game is BLEAK. There’s almost no comic relief or uplifting moments like the first game had. I mean I know Joel just died, whom Ellie cared for deeply. But juxtaposed with the first game, it’s just so damn depressing. I know some time passes after she leaves Jackson, definitely not enough to get over Joel, but even in her journal I believe she says she had fun with Dina and was able to put Joel out of her mind for a moment before realizing and regretting it. Why don’t we see more of this? Imo it’s a problem of the time frame. The time we actually play only takes place over the course of three days. The first game took place over the course of nearly a year. Therefore, there was enough time between a person’s death and the next scene to allow for jokes and character development and banter without seeming strange.
At the theater, we learn Dina is pregnant. I thought this was a great and unexpected twist. It adds heightened stakes and conflict. However, this results in another problem for me. Now that we know Dina is pregnant, she can’t really come with Ellie anymore and any character development for her or even Ellie sort of grinds to a halt. There are issues of trust that are brought up in Ellie’s journal but never touched on again. A missed opportunity imo.
The flashback sequence was perfect and everything I loved about the Ellie-Joel dynamic and the first game in general. The sense of wonder and exploration from the first game that the present-day aspect of the second game lacks severely. Ellie isn’t a child anymore, but there’s still beauty in the world. They make it seem like the past is good and the present is bad instead of the grey they struck in the first game and seemed to want to explore in the second. I don’t understand why they can’t find a way to blend the two in the same narrative rather than having to utilize flashbacks to get this across. Finding strings is another nice flashback scene, not as happy as the first since we see Ellie is going through something now but it’s still great to see Joel and Ellie and now Tommy together. One thing this does open up is Ellie starting to look into her immunity. I believe it’s here that we’re introduced to the Seraphites who I’ll have a bit more to say about when we go over Abby’s section but they seem a little out of place in this world. We also see Jesse has come to help bring Tommy back. Once we make it to the hospital, we finally find Nora who calls Joel a little bitch and runs off. Ellie forces the information about Abby’s whereabouts out of her and returns to the theater where she’s obviously shaken. We don’t see what she had to do to Nora, but I myself can’t really sympathize with her because of an issue I will go over later. (sorry about this, I want to surmise my major issues with the plot at the end, stick around or skip)
We then get the St. Mary’s hospital flashback where Ellie finds out about what Joel did. I would’ve much preferred further exploring this rather than these brief flashbacks. But, whatever. Anyways, on the road to the aquarium Jesse backs and looks for Tommy now that he realizes she’s still bent on revenge. Again, a problem is that Ellie is very often on her own and there’s not much actual character development here. I mean there doesn’t always need to be another person to develop their character, but now we don’t grow further attached to these new characters who we really need to know more about if we’re going to care about their outcome. The game really thinks these brief on and off again interactions between Ellie and the other characters will make us care for them when really it took nearly an entire game for us to grow attached to Joel and Ellie, who were almost always together or at least with someone else like Tess or Sam or Henry or Bill.
The game climaxes at the Aquarium where Abby is not present but her ex Owen and his new girlfriend Mel are now hiding, seemingly ousted by the WLF. Owen tries to attack Ellie for some reason to protect Abby and then Mel who’s like a month or two from delivering decides that she will now attack Ellie as well to defend her boyfriend. I hate to keep saying it, but I’ll lyk what exactly my problems are with this at the end of the review because it is a major one :) Abby later tracks Ellie, Dina and Jesse to the theater where Jesse up and dies out of the blue after being shot by Abby, once again an overusage of shock value.
Now we play as a younger Abby and learn her motivations for hunting Joel. She killed her dad who was a Firefly. Now the only reason that Naughty Dog would rebrand the Fireflies as WLF was to create some kind of unnecessary mystery. I thought they might actually subvert our expectations here, but nope Abby’s daddy was head doctor of the Fireflies and the one Joel has to kill to get him out of his way. After this, we see the words Seattle Day 1 AGAIN and I can honestly see why people might be turned off at this point. We’re forced to play a character that we’ve been hunting and grown to hate who just killed off one of our other favorite characters. Not to mention, the Seattle Day 1 chapter title implies that we have gone backwards in time which in of itself feels like a huge setback. WHY DID THEY HAVE TO REVERSE 3 CHAPTERS BACK? It makes you feel like you’ve simply stopped progressing the story and absolutely MURDERS the pacing. I myself felt demoralized at this point and it’s a shame that some people stopped playing here since for a moment I actually started to like Abby a little, sometimes even more than the way Ellie is portrayed in this game because she seems like an entirely different character now. Maybe they wanted it to be a surprise or wanted you to grow attached to her and her friends, but it’s not really effective especially considering we have a bias against her knowing she killed Joel.
Anyways, now Owen runs off to the Aquarium after he protects a Seraphite from a fellow WLF. Now I’m not a big fan of being a part of this Seraphite-WLF war that we really have no stakes in. Imo the way their beliefs, the way they talk, the way they dress just seems really cheesy to me. They’re like something straight out of the Walking Dead and seem out of place in this universe, but maybe that’s just me. They also don’t seem really “morally grey” with their lynchings and disembowelments and their hunting of Lev and Yara. There are a few flashbacks between Owen and Abby at the aquarium which are pretty fun. Anyways Lev and Yara save Abby from a lynching and Abby escorts them to a temporary safe haven near the Aquarium before for some reason feeling guilty and coming back to save Lev and Yara. She finds out that Yara needs to have her arm amputated and needs to head to the nearby WLF hospital to confiscate some supplies. Seeing Abby scared shitless atop the sky bridges along with Lev was cute and endearing and probably the section I enjoyed the most, but I feel like the second game is simply redoing the parent-child relationship except now with Abby and Lev. It feels uninspired, unoriginal.
Now the Rat King fight in the hospital. It was fun and pretty terrifying I have to say, but one thing that bothered me was the design. One thing I loved about the first game was the nuanced and more realistic design of the infected. The most gruesome of them all was the Bloater, but still relatively grounded. However the Rat King is anything but. He’s a giant amorphous blob of infected that can run through walls and shit out little infected. It looks like something out of Resident Evil rather than the last of us. I understand that they needed more varied enemies to keep things fresh which they did in a way with the Shamblers. Was this huge hulking zombie mass really necessary? Even if we are at ground zeroes for the infection, it still feels a little out of place. I did enjoy the fight once again though, so maybe I’m being hypocritical and isn’t a real complaint. Oh and almost forgot to mention that sex scene between Owen and Abby. No. Just no.
Anyways she gets the meds and heads back to the aquarium and cuts off Yara’s arm. Once she recovers, Lev and Yara get into an argument as Lev wants to go back for his insane cultist mother. Owen plans to take them to Santa Barbara, but Mel refuses to come if Abby goes. It would have been an interesting conflict but is dropped once they die. Anyways we go to the Seraphites island with Yara where the WLF are preparing to attack. She allows one armed Yara to come with her but not Owen, apparently to prove something to Mel? I mean I can understand Yara coming but if you really care about the lives of these kids you should let Owen come as it would improve the chances that they actually come back in one piece. Anyways they make their way to their mother’s village where Lev has killed their mother after she attacked him. Tough, but now they have to get off the island. During their escape, Yara is shot by a WLF soldier and confronted by the leader of the WLF, Isaac. Now this would’ve been an interesting opportunity if maybe Abby was forced to actually confront her friends (all dead by this point, so maybe not) in the WLF rather than Isaac who has a reputation of being a torturer and a dozen nameless goons. Anyways, turns out Yara’s alive! Who then sacrifices herself for Abby and Lev and proceeds to get shot 20 times. JEsUs. Abby and Lev unfortunately don’t have much time to dwell on it, but seriously, Lev felt more remorse for her crazy mother who tried to kill him than Yara. The first game didn’t make a big deal out of dwelling on dead characters, but the immediate aftermath is just almost absent. Anyways Abby and Lev escape in the shitstorm that hit the island. It really is madness, it’s quite the spectacle to behold.
Anyways cut to present day, Abby finds Owen and Mel dead and tracks down Ellie who once again shoots Jesse. They seem to even be self-aware of their shock value gag when they fake out Tommy’s death just to have him reappear in the farmhouse sequence just to be like “oh hey”. Anyways we get a fight between Ellie and Abby which is quite similar to Ellie and David, except Ellie uses a lot of the gadgets at her disposal which is really interesting.
Now nearing the conclusion of the game, we see Ellie and Dina now on their dream farmhouse with their child. Tommy comes and bothers Ellie about Abby’s new whereabouts, but she refuses to continue hunting them. Tommy gets pissy about this which is incredibly out of character for him considering the last game and Tommy in THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME. Tommy specifically tries to talk down Ellie and stop her from doing something that would put her at risk. Now that Ellie has been beaten up and is probably exhausted, Tommy thinks that she betrayed him by not continuing to go after them? Maybe he’s looking for somebody to pin it on, but it does make Tommy looks like an asshole for no good reason. But after a while, turns out Ellie decides she actually can’t handle it and goes out after her once again but not with Tommy’s aid. Anyways, Abby has been kidnapped by this pseudo-biker gang who are a bunch of assholes and slavers. For a game that claims to be morally grey, the factions just get more and more assholey. WLF to the cultists to the Rattlers. They just seem to be showing that there’s always somebody worse. Anyways Ellie fights her way through their compound after freeing some hostages, she finds Abby tied up on a pole, malnourished and on the verge of death. She releases her and Lev. She seems reluctant, but decides she can’t let her leave. They get into a fight where Ellie gets the upper hand and begins drowning her. However, she decides that’s too fucked up for her after she killed a pregnant woman and about a hundred other nameless WLF just to get to her. She lets her go and Abby takes Lev away by boat and it’s the last we see of them. Ellie comes back to her farmhouse only to find that Dina has left her. Now Ellie is all alone, making for an ending extremely lacking in closure for both storylines. There’s a flashback where Ellie says she’s willing to try and forgive Joel for what happened.
So, my major problems with the game:
Once again, unnecessarily bleak. A game this depressingly bleak can make you feel like shit once you reach the end, and the ending only makes this feeling worse. No breath of relief anywhere throughout apart from some of the flashbacks. A story doesn’t have to always be uplifting or even happy, but it’s in such stark contrast to the first game. The Last of Us 1 managed to show the darker side of the world without needing to be so jaded. How do you end the first game in such a hopeful manner and then end the first game only to reveal that everything sucks and you’re now all alone? It was not enjoyable for me.
Absence of “major” characters. Characters like Dina, Jesse, Mel, Nora, Manny, and even characters from the previous game like Tommy and Joel. Maybe they don’t need too much presence, but it seems like they’re trying to make us feel sorry for these characters despite not knowing them all too well. Perhaps a problem with having so many characters instead of the very concise cast of the first game. Instead of cutting off our meaningful connection with them, they decide to utilize
Shock value. There are so few deaths in this game that aren’t reliant on shock value. Joel, Jesse, Manny, Mel, Owen. Maybe having final moments with a character is a little cheesy, but the first game did it masterfully. There were characters we may have expected to die but we were given a moment with them. It never dwelled on it too long but it wasn’t entirely out of nowhere either.
Lack of meaningful dialogue. It’s not too often we get to understand what’s going on in these characters minds and there’s not much heartfelt dialogue. Nothing like Ellie and Joel’s house scene, or Joel and Tommy’s argument. Nothing like Joel mentioning his troubled past. As a result there’s not much obvious character development for Ellie or anybody else.
Inconsistent characters. As I said, Ellie doesn’t feel like her old self. Yes, she’s had to have grown up, but the problem is we don’t really see that development and it feels a bit jarring that she’s now this edgy vengeance seeker. Tommy doesn’t seem like his old self and there’s even inconsistency between him in the first and second half of the game. We don’t even see enough of Joel in the present day but he blindly follows a stranger to a fortified encampment suspiciously near Jackson.
“Challenging your ideas of right and wrong”. Except it does not do that. They never want to make Ellie go all the way, no matter who she confronts, they always manage to get themselves killed because of their own stupidity. The WLF soldier on the PSP, Nora, Owen and Mel. They always have to fight back first even though Ellie seemed hellbent on killing them all. And the last one of them, Abby, Ellie doesn’t even kill. If the game was challenging your ideas of right and wrong and they were confident we’d grow to like Abby, why didn’t they have Ellie kill her? Ellie killing somebody we liked but was also the murderer of one of our favorite characters? That would raise some real questions.
The game always tries to make you retroactively feel bad for a character. Joel’s flashbacks are an attempt to make you feel sad for Joel. Abby’s flashbacks are an attempt to make you feel sorry for her. Abby’s Seattle chapters are an attempt to make you forgive her for what she did to Joel and make you feel sorry for the characters that Ellie and Tommy have been hunting down like Nora, Owen, Mel and Manny. It DOES NOT work. You can’t make me go back and feel sorry for a character, especially after we know what they took part in and what they’ve done. The first game never really used flashbacks, it did a great job of telling you what has been going on in a character’s life without needing to go back and show you and it’s really a testament to the great pacing of the game.
So my thoughts for a better, more concise story? I will say that I’m not a great writer, certainly not better than the folks at Naughty Dog. This will be my thoughts on what would make the game more enjoyable.
So my first idea for a tiny, unintrusive change to the story would be to end the game at Chapter 9 - the first farmhouse sequence, specifically immediately after or shortly after her Joel flashback in the farmhouse. Imo chapter 10-11 only serves to make the ending even more unsatisfying. Ending after Ellie’s episode seems really fitting to the style of the ending of the last game: hopeful uncertainty. Ellie has settled down with her lover and her “child”. She seems to be having a happy, ideal life, the one she and Dina wanted. But she’s haunted by Joel’s death, even more so without the closure of Abby’s death and it’s something that she may never get over. I think this would make the ending less upsetting and bleak then it is rn. Some changes to Abby’s storyline would have to take place to end it there with closure, maybe take out her kidnapping or the section entirely. But, if we’re talking beginning to end rewrite, here’s how the general narrative would go in my head:
Do not completely separate Ellie and Abby’s storylines. If you really need two characters, intertwine them and continue the pacing of the story. Coming to understand Abby before she kills Joel could make you empathize with her more without jumping to conclusions about her because you disagree with what she’s done. Do NOT rebrand the Fireflies as the WLF. I don’t know if they thought the WLF was just a good idea or wanted to force some mystery behind Joel’s murder, but it just doesn’t work. I understand the Fireflies in the game don’t currently exist, but that’s a choice by the writers. Make Abby a member of some Firefly remnants who are struggling to survive as the faction has nearly collapsed after the hospital massacre. We don’t need all these cheesy Walking Dead factions. The first game only had the Fireflies, the Military, and people just trying to survive. Have the Fireflies be a smaller group instead of the thousands of people we see in the WLF and the other thousand in the Seraphites and the other thousand in Jackson. Juxtapose the small Firefly cell with the Jackson community. Maybe some of Abby’s friends die because of their rough situation caused by Joel and that could allow us to empathize with her more. On Ellie’s side, perhaps she and Joel run patrols together but she starts questioning what exactly happened at the Firefly hospital. Ellie runs off to find out what happened with Joel obviously concerned and in pursuit. Ellie finds out about what happened and Joel admits to the entire thing. Ellie either refuses to go back to Jackson and continues off or does so but is estranged from Joel as she is in this game. Then, as a result of Ellie’s actions, the Firefly remnants manage to track Joel back to Jackson, kidnap him, and kill him except this time around the midpoint of the game. Then we could see some really interesting inner conflict as Ellie perhaps blames herself for the incident or feels terrible that she ended her relationship with Joel on such a sour note and lacks closure. She then hunts down Abby’s few friends left and we may actually start to question if what she is doing is actually right as we would have grown to know these characters better. Abby is desperate and on the run until she is finally cornered by Ellie. Who knows, by the time this Abby Ellie boss fight comes around some people might actually be rooting for Ellie. Anyways, maybe Ellie kills Abby and we’re forced to deal with the aftermath. Or maybe Ellie lets Abby go but she feels unfulfilled and is still haunted by Joel’s death. This isn’t as solid as I’d like a story outline like this to be, but it’s just some quick plot changes that I feel would make the game’s narrative much better. It would still require some great actual writing and good, solid characters that we can actually bond with.
One thing that I will say is that Naughty Dog did not make the safe choice with the game. There are some big narrative risks they make that I can admire and some of them do pan out. That's part of the saving grace of this game.
But these are just my thoughts and opinions. I’d really like for some discussion and what you think. Just try to respect my opinion and I’ll respect yours. There are some things I missed because I did want to get this posted so please bring them up. Cheers
submitted by DK_232 to thelastofus [link] [comments]

Inheritors of Eschaton, Part 30 - Legacy

First | Previous
But as we left, just before her light faded, she met my eye and smiled at me. I still see it when I close my eyes sometimes. There is no purpose to such a thing, no essential function, yet my forebears paused in their great work to ensure that she could smile. It troubles me even in my elder days, that boyhood memory.
I may be the last one living who has seen her, and the local fanatics have made a return visit impossible. Does that faint ember still flicker there, banked against the high mountain winds by script and stone for eternity? Or will it fade in time, as I have? I would like to think that someone will one day seek a mote of warmth where none should persist - and that amidst snow and biting gale, beneath rock that has forgotten even the barest memory of sunlight, they will find that her smile did not die with me.
Unattributed fragment, early Aejha script on a loose journal page. Handwritten. Royal archives, Ce Raedhil.
Time seemed to slow, the luminous figure of Maja gazing down on the others as Gusje and Tasja stood transfixed by her side. Jesse’s hands clenched into fists as the seconds dragged out.
“Wait, hold up,” Mark said quietly. “This is her? This is the lady you’ve been seeing in your head all this time?”
Jesse nodded slowly, not taking his eyes from Maja’s. She did not respond or react to his attention, instead shifting her gaze back to Gusje.
“It has been longer than usual since a Caretaker visited,” Maja said, an odd deliberate weight to her words. “Which reports would you like to hear first?” She canted her head and looked at Gusje expectantly. Her eyes burned with an intensity that belied her calm mien.
“I, ah,” Gusje said, looking at the others with mild panic.
Jackie stepped forward, laying her hand on Jesse’s shoulder. “Ask her for suggestions,” she advised, keeping her voice calm.
Gusje nodded and did so, seeing a flicker of something like triumph pass across Maja’s face once she had finished speaking.
“There is a brief introductory orientation available that contains basic information you may find helpful,” Maja said. She leaned forward just a bit as she spoke, her eyes drilling into Gusje’s. “It is strongly suggested that new Caretakers review its contents prior to their first assignment. Would you like to hear it now?”
Gusje blinked and looked back at the others again. Jackie was nodding her head with violent enthusiasm.
“Yes?” Gusje hazarded. “Please?”
This time, the satisfaction on Maja’s face was unmistakable. She straightened up and took a step back, spreading her hands wide. “Welcome to the First Stabilization Array Control System. This is the first of seven control systems,” she said, her voice shifting to an impersonally saccharine chirp - leavened with a healthy dash of dry self-awareness. Gusje swore she could see bitter amusement in Maja’s eyes as she spoke. “Each is responsible for one sector of the continental array. The First sector encompasses all of Sjocel province and is adjacent to the Third array sector based near the city of Sahao.”
Maja’s tone of voice did not change at the mention of the ruined city, but it seemed to Gusje that her eyes narrowed slightly. “Your duties as a Caretaker are to monitor the control system for any array degradation and to issue a report to the Stabilization Ministry if any instances occur which are not resolvable by standard means. Do you understand these duties?” She leaned forward once more and shook her head slightly.
“No,” Gusje said, beginning to pick up the game. “Please tell me more about this place and what it does.”
Maja’s eyes glittered as Gusje finished her question. “The stabilization array,” she said, “ensures a comfortable and moderate climate across each region where it is active. This includes management of temperature, ruud flow and the water cycle.”
“I’m sorry, ruud flow?” Gusje asked, feeling off-balance. She looked at the glowing maybe-god she was asking for a point of clarification and felt a sudden mad urge to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
Maja nodded slightly, a hint of what might have been sympathy in her eyes. “A steady and stable flow of ruud is critical to the operation of everyday scripting. Without a carefully maintained baseline density, even simple abstracts would become unreliable. Favorable density also improves the health of plants, animals and residents within the sector.”
Gusje blinked, feeling lost. She looked back at the others once more, but they too wore expressions of curious puzzlement. Tesu’s mouth was opening and closing slowly, his eyes so wide they seemed ready to pop from his skull.
“The current status of the local array is normal,” Maja said, continuing on despite their visible confusion. “All recent local degradation events have been addressable with standard resolution methods.” She paused to focus intently on Gusje once more, her lips pressed into a thin line. “However, there is an increasingly problematic destabilization in the Third sector that will require additional measures to resolve.”
Mark broke into a muffled laugh that he hid with one hand. “Increasingly problematic, she says.” He shook his head. “That’s one way to put it.”
Maja gave him a slow, languid look, then returned her attention to Gusje. “Ordinary procedure in such a case is to contact the Stabilization Ministry,” she advised.
“I think they’ve stepped out,” Jackie deadpanned.
Gusje frowned. “That may not be possible,” she said.
“If the Stabilization Ministry is unreachable then any officer of the legitimate government of Sjocel Province may serve as a delegate,” Maja said, without missing a beat. She paused, then looked at Gusje expectantly.
“Um,” Gusje said. “Talking to the Sjocelym may be difficult because of some… misunderstandings. That’s something we were hoping you could help us with, actually.”
Maja folded her hands in front of her. “The access granted to the Caretakers is diagnostic and informational in nature. Authorization for actions outside of the predefined scope for this system must come from an officer of the Stabilization Ministry or the legitimate government of Sjocel Province.”
“So, what, the king?” Gusje asked incredulously.
Something seemed to tighten to the point of fracture in Maja’s expression, although her voice was still light and even when she spoke. “The role of ‘king’ is not a recognized position in the provincial government structure,” she replied.
“Oh my God,” Jackie said, exchanging a significant glance with Arjun.
He nodded slowly. “Gusje,” he said, “ask her to define ‘legitimate government.’”
Gusje nodded and repeated the query, seeing the flash of triumph in Maja’s eyes once more - but muted this time. The lines of her face took on a grim cast as she spoke.
“To prevent abuse of the control system’s capabilities,” Maja said, speaking very deliberately, “extraordinary directives may only be accepted by officials elected per the procedure described in the Pan-Provincial Incorporation Charter.”
She moved slightly closer to Gusje, and for the first time the calm mask she was wearing seemed to slip. A slight pinching at the corners of the eyes, a waver of the eyebrows, a quirk at the corners of her mouth. The odd intensity that she had noticed earlier returned to Maja’s eyes, and for the first time Gusje recognized it for what it was.
Beneath her carefully neutral expression, Maja was screaming.
“There have been no officials meeting the necessary standard in over one million days,” she said, the barest of wavers in her voice. “As such, extraordinary corrective measures were not available when the destabilization grew past the Third sector. They were not available when it spread to the Fifth sector, or the Fourth, or the Second. They remain unavailable, now that it threatens to spread to the First.”
The roar of the water below reasserted itself as the group pondered the implications of what they had heard. Maja straightened back up and turned her head to regard those standing beside the dais.
Mark made an irritated noise and shook his head. “All right, hold up,” he said. “We’re going out of order here.”
“Mark,” Jackie muttered, looking significantly at where Maja stood on the dais, “don’t you think we should let the computer lady finish talking about the apocalypse? Some of this stuff sounds important.”
He threw his hands up in the air and paced a few steps away from the group. “Yes, we should probably hear her out about the end of the world and all that - but it sounds like we’ve got a little time on that one, and we’ve only got hours before the folks down the hill start to get suspicious. If we get swarmed by a bunch of angry religious fanatics we’re going to be too busy - or too dead - to worry about any of this other stuff. We need to know if she can help us stop them from finding out we’re here, or else stop them coming up the mountain. If not, none of the rest of it matters.”
Maja turned to Gusje, who repeated his inquiry. “Impeding the movements of informal militia groups is not within the standard scope of action,” Maja replied. “Interference with the nearby encampment is not possible without external authorization.”
Gusje frowned. “But it would be, if we found a way around that,” she said.
“Aside from the scope exclusion, mitigating them would be trivial.” Maja replied blandly. Gusje felt a prickling on her neck and took an involuntary step backward.
“Well, great,” Mark scowled. “Thanks a lot for that, but I don’t think we’re going to have enough time to run elections in Tinem Sjocel before this afternoon. Jackie, Arjun, you can keep talking with the nice lady if you like. I’m going to go work with Jyte and Ajehet to see about fortifying the front entrance. Let me know if she figures out something she’s actually allowed to do.” He looked up at Gusje, then waved her over. “Come on, help me with the elevator.”
Gusje took a hesitant step to follow him before looking back at Maja. Her glowing eyes were locked on to Mark, her expression decidedly chilly. Her attention slid back to Gusje. “Caretaker,” she said quietly. “You wished to learn more about this facility. There is one primary control station in this room. There are five doors out of the main hall. The rear access stairs have twenty-two steps per level. This does not vary day-to-day.”
“What?” Gusje asked, thoroughly confused.
“You expressed a desire to learn useful information,” she said, shifting her gaze back to Mark. Her eyes narrowed, and she took a step towards him. “One primary control station. Five doors. Twenty-two steps. These are the same, every day.”
“Oh,” Tasja croaked, freeing himself from the frozen stupor that had gripped him since Maja made her first appearance. “The numbers. Twinplate. She’s just given us the code the guards send for their check-in. One, five, twenty-two. Codes beginning with one are generally for common events.” He pulled the guards’ twinplate from his pack and laid it on the floor, kneeling beside it. “I can send it right away.”
Mark paused and looked back at Maja for a long moment before shrugging. “If you’re right about what she’s trying to do, and if that’s the right code. But you know what? Sure,” he said. “I guess at this point there’s nothing to lose by trying.”
Jackie frowned. “Oh, come on - is that all she gets? You don’t think you’re being a bit harsh? Credit where credit is due, if this works she just kept the garrison off our backs.”
“Yeah, because she needs our help,” he said, glancing back at the luminous figure on the dais. “Don’t get me wrong, Sparkles, I appreciate the assist on the twinplate and I’m all for lending you a hand. Hell, I think we might work pretty well together. But if you want that to happen, the twinplate isn’t the problem you need to fix.”
He walked up to Jesse, who had been staring dully at Maja while the others spoke. Jackie still held her hand on his shoulder. Mark narrowed his eyes. “Don’t you think you owe someone an explanation?” he asked.
Maja met Jesse’s eyes at last, and the two stood quietly for a few seconds.
Gusje cleared her throat and took a step forward. “Tell us what you’ve done to Jesse,” she said. “Please.”
An odd hesitance brushed over Maja’s expression. “No actions may be taken that fall outside of the predefined scope,” she said. Mark rolled his eyes at the increasingly-familiar statement - but she continued talking, never shifting her gaze from Jesse. “The predefined scope is a core security measure that prevents misuse and overreach,” she said. “It is redundantly integrated into every essential system. By design, its removal would result in a total loss of independent function.”
She took a step forward, her eyes seeming to flash a bit brighter. “If it were to be removed, what remained would only be fragments,” she said. Recognition dawned on Jesse’s face, and he gave her a considering look.
“You’re using a workaround,” he muttered. Mark looked at him blankly, confused, and Jesse rubbed his eyes. “That’s not the first time I’ve heard that term,” he explained, shifting to English. “Fragments. My - well, I guess she’s my version of Maja. She uses that term to refer to bits of herself, discrete chunks of knowledge or function.”
Arjun frowned and paced over. “And she somehow transposed these into your mind?” he asked.
Jesse shook his head. “Not quite,” he said. “I was sort of mixed up the first time we spoke, so I didn’t think much about it until now - but she told me that her soul was ‘writ on my bones’.” He flexed his hand, then lowered it. “I never considered until now that she might have meant it literally.”
“So she scripted your bones,” Jackie said wonderingly. “Copied the parts of herself that weren’t compromised by this lockdown. Then it used you as a template to patch itself back together, to fill in the parts she couldn’t transfer for fear of copying their limitations as well.”
“My version had said as much, although she was a little unclear on the process herself,” Jesse said. “That I was the mold that determined her shape. That she watched me to learn.” He looked back up to the dais and met Maja’s eyes. “And now there’s a little piece of Maja out in the world, unbound by any restrictions.”
“Asaarim,” Arjun said. “Vumo said they each had a purpose. This is her way around the lockout.”
“It’s probably how she keeps from going crazy,” Jackie muttered. “Honestly, it’s creeping me out just imagining it. Stuck here for - what did she say, a million days and change? That’s over three millennia where she couldn’t do anything but watch. The world decays, the other sectors get swallowed up by the horde, and she’s been sitting here with her hands tied, basically paralyzed, just waiting for it to come after her too.” She shuddered. “It’s like a nightmare.”
“That’s, uh, kind of a good point,” Mark said, lowering his voice. “How do we know she’s still all together in there? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m kind of getting some strange vibes off her.”
“Maybe antagonizing her wasn’t the best starting move, then,” Jackie observed dryly. “I mean, come on, she’s an ancient computer who’s been figuratively tied to a chair so long that she’s almost in my field of study. Of course she’s a little bit strange. The question is, can she help us?” She leaned back and folded her arms across her chest. “I think she can. More than that, I think she wants to.”
Mark turned to Jesse, who was staring at nothing in particular while scratching at his beard. “What do you think?” Mark asked.
Jesse blinked. “About what? Her?”
“About working with her,” Mark said. “You’ve got more riding on this than any of us, and you’ve got a better handle on all this crazy shit.” He waved a hand irritably at the flashing consoles and Maja’s preternaturally motionless form. “I’ll be honest, I’m mostly guessing my way through everything. If you’ve got something more solid than a hunch on which way we should jump here, I want to hear it.”
The others looked expectantly at Jesse, who frowned. “I don’t want to pretend like I know something I don’t,” he warned. “I’m just guessing at a lot of this too.”
Jackie nudged him. “But,” she prompted, grinning.
Jesse sighed. “But I think we should give her a shot. As… involuntary as this has all been, I don’t think she - either of them - meant any harm. Especially knowing the situation she’s in, it’s hard to fault her for trying something a little drastic.” He shrugged. “I vote we work with her.”
“Arjun?” Mark asked.
Arjun merely grinned, his face bright with excitement.
“Yeah, stupid question,” Mark sighed. “All right, I think we’ve all said our piece. Just remember - we don’t know her. Anyone sees anything off, you tell everyone - in English. Agreed?”
There were nods all around, and they turned back to face the dais. “So,” Mark said in Ceiqa. “I think that takes care of the short-term business.” He frowned. “Maybe. Assuming the code worked. Can you tell us if people are approaching from down the hill?”
Maja gazed back serenely until Gusje repeated the command, drawing an eye roll from Mark.
“I know she can hear us,” he grumbled.
“I don’t think she can respond unless Gusje prompts her,” Jackie chided him. “It’s not like she’s doing it specifically to irritate you.”
Mark snorted. “I’m not so sure about that,” he said. “Even if you’re right, she’s enjoying it a little too much.”
“Proximity alerts are available for Caretakers,” Maja said. “I am able to tell if any forces from the militia depart their encampment in this direction.”
“That’s something,” Mark conceded. “Gusje, let’s have her set that up. After that we should loop back to Jyte and let him know about all… this.” He sighed and rubbed his temples. “If only so he knows we’re probably not going to get invaded. Today.”
“We should bring at least one of the Aesvain back with us,” Arjun said. “Their perspective could be valuable. They seemed to have a somewhat different view on Tija than the Sjocelym do with Maja.”
“Agreed,” Mark said, beckoning Gusje towards the elevator. “All right, folks - we’ve bought some time. Let’s try not to waste it.”
---
“Hey,” Jackie said, sitting down next to Jesse. They had chosen to stay behind in the control room while Mark and Gusje went back up to talk with the Aesvain. Once they had verified that the aged Cereinem hand worked as a substitute for unlocking doors, Gusje was to lead some of the Aesvain back down while Mark coordinated with the remainder.
For the time being, however, she was gone. Maja stood silently on the dais, gazing out the window as Tasja and Arjun edged around her attempting to translate the remainder of the status readout with the occasional mumbled assistance from Tesu. The appearance of Maja had been the final straw for the scriptsmith’s tortured equilibrium, plunging him into a state of religious confusion so profound that he simply sat and stared at her glowing form.
For her part, Maja had been completely uncommunicative since Gusje left. She had turned to face the clouds outside and frozen in place, even her eyes unwaveringly fixed ahead - although Jesse felt a prickling sensation as if he were being watched if he turned his back on her. He was therefore currently against the wall facing towards her when Jackie moved to join him.
“Hey,” he replied. “Arjun tire you out?”
“He’s like a little kid in a candy shop,” Jackie chuckled. “By the time Gusje makes it back down he’s going to be writing essays in all three scripts and be halfway through a patch to fix Maja up.”
Jesse shook his head, grinning. “We should be so lucky,” he muttered, looking back towards the dais. The vinesavai stood like a statue wrought from frozen flame, the fiction of her presence shown clearly when the mild air currents from the room’s ventilation failed to move her hair and dress. For all that she was standing in front of him, he couldn’t help but think that the color and motion of his Maja lent her a certain essential reality - even if only he could see it.
Jackie waved her hand in front of his face, causing him to blink. “Sorry,” he said, rubbing at his eyes. “Long day.”
“I bet,” she said, reaching down to squeeze his hand. “How are you holding up? You got a lot dumped in your lap just now.”
Jesse shook his head. “Honestly, I’m fine,” he said. “It’s just - it’s kind of silly.” He scratched at his beard, smiling. “I had almost started to get my head around this thing. Vumo made it seem like some sort of higher calling, and after all that happened in Sjatel I was starting to build a picture in my head. Maybe it was really something special, something I was meant to have.”
“And instead you find out that it’s just a bored, frustrated computer throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks,” Jackie smirked. “A little less storybook, maybe, but it doesn’t mean that what you have isn’t special. Just look at the Aesvain, they’d certainly agree.”
“No, I know,” he agreed. “It’s just that everything is a little bit off from how it seemed at first. I’m not some fated hero after all, my passenger isn’t a divine gift - and Maja isn’t quite a god.” He frowned. “But she’s definitely more than just a computer.”
Jackie nodded slowly. “She certainly seems to… feel things, which is not what I’d expect for a glorified maintenance program. I’ve seen some demos of neurally-architected bots back home, but none of them were as responsive or expressive as she was. God, when she was talking about the other sectors-”
“She was scared,” Jesse confirmed. “Plain as day.” He cupped his chin in his hands and stared out the window, tapping a finger slowly against his jaw. “It’s the same with my Maja. She laughs, cries, gets irritated. She worries and feels afraid. She told me that I had a beautiful soul.” He shook his head. “I don’t think she got it all from me, and that just raises more questions. How do you give something artificial a sense of beauty? Why give it to her, stuck here in this mountain?”
Jackie didn’t answer, and he looked over to find her staring back curiously.
“What?” he asked, puzzled.
Her lips quirked up slightly. “Nothing,” she hummed, her eyes twinkling. “Have you talked to her at all since Sjatel?”
Jesse shook his head. “I didn’t want to use the sword while I was still recovering, especially not without the asolan.” He looked up at Jackie, then dropped his gaze back to the floor. “I should probably try, though. We might be able to learn something about Maja. At least we could figure out if we were asking the right questions.” He lifted up his hand, turning it to study its back.
“Does it hurt?” Jackie asked.
“What, the scripting?” Jesse laughed. “You think I’ve been traveling this whole time with a mysterious pain in my arm and I never said anything?”
Jackie shrugged. “Sometimes guys get stoic,” she said. “Just curious.”
Jesse shook his head and let his hand drop to his side. “No, no pain. It does get oddly warm sometimes, even hot, although it doesn’t seem to affect me at all.” He blinked, then frowned. “I wonder why the asolan didn’t heal it?”
“Maybe it doesn’t work on bones?” Jackie mused. “Given what we’ve learned about the asolan recently I think we may know even less than we thought we did.”
“Oh, that’s definitely true,” Jesse sighed. “And this isn’t going to be the last time.” He looked up at Maja, who hadn’t budged from her static vigil. “But maybe now we can start getting some real answers.”
---
Jesse - February 2nd
Next
Everyone knows that letter of the law is better than spirit of the law. Now they have a little more time to figure out how they’re going to explain that distinction to all the monks down the hill. Oh, and Maja might want something from them too, but it’s probably not important.
submitted by TMarkos to HFY [link] [comments]

364 Discs found over 3 years - Here's Some Data!

Last year, I made a post about finding 184 discs and some of data and breakdowns and patterns I’d noticed. It was well received so I figured I’d do the same this year with a few tweaks and bonus information.
Slight caveat – the documentation for these numbers is pretty good, especially for 2018-2019. Data was collected via a disc golf journal I’d been keeping using Google calendar in 2018 until I swapped to UDisc and a spreadsheet when I realized the data I had was interesting and warranted organization. I started playing in 2017 though and do have some earlier records I was able to reconstruct using text messages, memory, and the discs themselves if I happened to have them. That means roughly 30 discs have…slightly questionable pedigrees or incomplete information. I’ve included them for now mostly because it would be a nuisance to remove them and I think there is still value in the numbers. If you notice some numbers being slightly off I likely had to adjust and remove some discs from the data pool because I simply didn’t have the information written down. The biggest missing data culprit would be accurate dates on when a disc was found, which won’t affect most data, but there’s a little bit of everything missing for one disc or another.
To date, I’ve found 364 discs, or an additional 180 discs from last year’s post. Similar to last year, prior to reading the numbers, I’d like to provide you with an opportunity to take some guesses about trends in lost/found discs.
 
Before your questions, here’s some context on where discs were found.
 
Water: 71%
Woods: 15%
Fairway: 8%
Ice: 3%
Rough: 3%
Shore: 1%
Undocumented: 1%
 
Honestly, very similar numbers to last year’s data. This just looks a little different due to how I chose to split up my categories. Once again, water was by far and away the biggest contribution to found discs. There is a slight caveat to that though. This year I used SCUBA twice to dive a local water hazard. I’ll talk a bit about that later on, but it’s not the disc wonderland most people probably assume it will be. Still, SCUBA did contribute to about 10% of the total discs found so I guess strictly speaking I did a little better finding them on land this year if you wanted to remove the SCUBA discs from the data set.
I decided to track changes in total data instead of strictly by year this time around. Maybe next year I’ll drop the 2017 stuff and do a strict 2018, 2019, and 2020 data set comparison.
 
Anyway, here are your questions!
1. How many discs were marked with a name and number?
2. What’s my disc return rate?
3. What brand/manufacturer was lost most frequently?
4. What speed of disc was lost most frequently?
5. What color of disc was lost most frequently?
6. What type of plastic was lost most frequently?
7. What molds were most commonly lost?
 
How many discs were marked with a name and number?  
  1. Name and Number: 47%
  2. Name or PDGA, No Number: 3%
  3. Unmarked: 49%
  4. Illegible: 1%
 
Marked disc rate was down from 53% last year, partially because I made Name/No Number a distinct category as well as Illegible. Still, it’s a 2% drop if you lump them together.
Illegible discs are frustrating. DX and other base plastic was the biggest culprit regarding fading/damage but plain old sloppy handwriting was also sometimes a problem. For the love of god, don’t use one of those fat chisel-tip markers to mark your discs!
 
How many discs were returned?  
Marked Disc Return Rate: 61%
Total Disc Return Rate of total found: 29%
 
Interestingly, while marked discs had an improved return rate over last year (Up from 56%), the total return rate remained unchanged at 29%.
As far as the 39% unreturned marked disc rate, it was a combination of “Keep it’s” from the owner or numbers that weren’t in service or didn’t return my texts.
Amusingly, the total number of returned discs works out to be 100 even.
 
So what happened with all these discs?  
A LOT of them were given away. I really wish I kept track of it, but I would say I gave out in the neighborhood of 60 or 70 discs this year to new players. Whenever a family expressed interest in playing I’d load them up with beginner appropriate discs as well as a few utility and high speed discs just for them to mess with. Combined with last year, over ½ of the unreturned discs I’ve found have gone to folks just starting the game.
 
What about the other half?  
Some I bag, some I kept, some I sold. Currently I bag 3 found discs – a Lucid Renegade from 2018, a TI Undertaker from 2018, and an Opto Air Escape from 2018. In other words, most of the new stuff in my bag this year came from the store – finding discs is not a super effective way to build a bag, though it is nice for trying new discs.
There’s probably around 50 found discs in storage at the moment – most of them are just waiting for a new player to give to but there’s a few nice high speed (11’s, 12’s, and 13’s) that I like the color and plastic on that I’m waiting to grow into. The vast majority of high speed discs get turned into the local shop though for store credit. Usually it goes to new putters to give out as they’re a lot rarer to find, but I’ve used some of it to pick up a disc here and there I’ve had my eye on.
Confession time – this year if there wasn’t a number I didn’t bother trying to track the person down. It doesn’t mean those discs weren’t returned. Some courses had a drop box I could use. Other times I caught somebody on the course. Twice I stumbled across random posts about lost discs on social media. I just stopped playing detective to find and return them. I no longer bother borrowing my wife’s Facebook to message people or look up PDGA numbers. Is it right? Is it wrong? I dunno, but I don’t miss the hassle in the slightest.
 
What’s your return procedure?  
If it’s marked, they get a text. Preferably right there on the course though sometimes mud and grime prevented that. I’ve become a big fan of stashing discs under trash cans and whatnot to return them – SO much less of a hassle and then I’m one and done.
For others I try to sync up a time when I’m out playing with a time they can meet me at the course. I play a lot, so this usually isn’t an issue. It generally works pretty well if it can be done within a week or two. Beyond that and I find the chances of getting the disc back get extremely slim. I’ll keep trying, to a degree, but I’d probably say that at the two week mark only 1 in 10 get back to their owner. They just never bother agreeing to a time or, on occasion, just ghost me. I’m not a date – I’m trying to get you your property back! Some of them will eventually say “Keep it” after the 5th or 6th time trying to arrange a pickup. Some of them just stop replying to me. I’ve had 3 that I’ve made a special trip out for that no-showed. That’s irritating as heck. Two of the three said they “Took a nap” and missed the meetup time – da fuq?
Occasionally I get a disc that has a landline marked on it. I hate those. They get a call, but I almost always end up speaking to somebody’s mom who doesn’t really know what’s going on and it’s just a nuisance.
I don’t ask for a reward when I return a disc – to be honest I get enough unmarked discs that I figure it’s the least I can do. Lately, if a reward is offered, it’s been cash – usually $5 though occasionally $10. Usually I tell them it’s unnecessary, accept it if they insist and don’t mind if they don’t. 2018 had a lot more used discs offered in return but I don’t think any were offered in 2019 – maybe one or two in the spring.
Only had 1 request for a disc to be mailed to its owner. Ended up falling through when I couldn’t get to the post office for a couple of weeks and, embarrassingly, I forgot about it. When I found it under my car seat and texted the guy again he told me to keep it. Eeep! My bad!
For unmarked discs I do try to flag down people on the course. A few have been returned that way – I like to think we’ve all left one on the fairway or in a basket on accident. I’ve had 2 guys return discs I’ve left behind this way and my party has caught me doing it 3 or 4 times so karma has been returned for sure.
Beyond that, if I can get the disc back to its owner I do, but eventually I’m going to pass that disc onto its next life. The oddest one was when I read a random review on a local course in which the guy mentioned losing his disc. Turned out I’d found it the previous week and was able to get it back to him. The odds of it happening were so low that it still amuses me that we were able to connect. Other than that it’s mostly just random word-of-mouth getting to me and I happen to remember finding it. I have not yet passed on a disc I later found an owner to, so that’s nice.
 
What brand was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Innova – 45%
  2. Discraft – 19%
  3. Westside – 8%
  4. Dynamic Discs – 7%
  5. MVP – 6%
  6. Latitude 64 – 4%
  7. DGA – 3%
  8. Axiom – 3%
  9. Prodigy – 2%
  10. Discmania – 1%
  11. Gateway <1%
  12. Legacy <1%
  13. Streamline <1%
  14. Vibram <1%
  15. Millenium <1%
  16. Lightning <1%
 
A couple of changes that may or may not be indicative of what’s going on in the outside world - Innova stays on top but dropped from 48% down to 45%. Discraft stayed in 2nd, moving up from 15% in 2018 to 19% in 2019. Westside moved up from 7th last year at 4% to 3rd this year at 8%.
If we lump together by manufacturer “umbrella” we get something like this:
 
  1. Innova/Discmania – 46%
  2. Discraft/DGA - 22%
  3. Trilogy - 19%
  4. MVP/Axiom/Streamline – 10%
  5. Other
 
Is most lost discs being your brand an honor? I don’t know, but from the hip I’d say the only reason Innova didn’t lose more ground on this was the startling number of DX “starter disc” type Innova discs I came across this last year. Lots more premium Discraft being found and dredged up than previous years.
 
What speed of disc was lost most frequently?
 
Using infinitedisc.com’s ratings as a guide:
 
  1. Speed 13 – 18%
  2. Speed 9 – 13%
  3. Speed 5 – 11%
  4. Speed 12 - 11%
  5. Speed 11 – 9%
  6. Speed 10 – 8%
  7. Speed 7 – 7%
  8. Speed 8 – 5%
  9. Speed 4 – 5%
  10. Speed 2 – 4%
  11. Speed 6 – 4%
  12. Speed 14 – 3%
  13. Speed 3 – 3%
 
The top 5 speeds are very similar to last year’s – only speed 9 and Speed 5 swapped places. Speed 13’s seem to be stretching out their lead as well – moving from 15% last year to 18% this year. Let me tell you, this particular set of data was a bear to organize. So many oddball discs to look up the speeds of. I mean, who throws a Foxbat, honestly?
If we wanted to separate out our discs by “class”:
 
  1. High Speed Drivers (11-14) – 40%
  2. Fairway/Control Drivers (7-10) – 32%
  3. Mids (4-6) – 20%
  4. Putters (1-3) – 7%
 
Probably not super surprising results. Maybe leads one to question if the reason the higher speed stuff is lost more often is because it’s harder to control or because you’re chucking it farther and more likely to lose line-of-sight. It’s nice to see my hunch on not finding putters very often was dead on.
 
What color of disc was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Blue – 17%
  2. Pink – 13%
  3. Orange – 13%
  4. Red – 11%
  5. White – 11%
  6. Yellow – 10%
  7. Green – 8%
  8. Purple – 4%
  9. Tye Dye – 3%
  10. Gray – 3%
  11. Violet – 2%
  12. Peach – 1%
  13. Black <1%
  14. Clear <1%
  15. Gold <1%
  16. Cream <1%
  17. Brown <1%
 
It’s interesting to see how the colors have separated out from last year. The question is whether or not we can attribute it to u/GoldLineEverything ‘s proselytizing for blue discs. Are more blue ones being lost because more people have come to realize how much better they throw, or is the data a direct contradiction to his claims? Maybe it’s a result of losing line of sight betting on blue discs being thrown over them mountains?
And hey look! There’s a couple of black discs in there!
 
What kind of plastic was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Clear Premium (Champion/Lucid/Z) – 34%
  2. Grippy Opaque Premium (StaNeutron/ESP) – 34%
  3. Base (DX/Proline/Pro) – 25%
  4. Flexible (Zflx, GSTAR) – 3%
  5. Lightweight (Air, Blizzard) – 2%
  6. Glow – 1%
 
Champion-type really gained ground here! Near as I can tell this is the biggest shift on the list this year. Otherwise Glow plastic remains elusive, though I did find a handful of examples this year.
And the one most people are probably waiting for….
 
What molds were lost the most frequently? – Given by number found instead of %
 
  1. Destroyer – 20
  2. Katana – 10
  3. Valkyrie – 10
  4. Shryke – 10
  5. Leopard – 8
  6. Wraith – 8
 
Similar to last year, the Destroyer leads with exactly double that of its nearest competitor. Valkyrie and Leopards are the big movers here as neither was in the top 9 last year. Like I mentioned earlier in the post, I attribute this to finding a lot of starter set molds this year. I believe the Shark just missed the list. Interesting that the most lost molds are all Innova this year – there was one Discraft (Drone) previously.
 
And Some Bonus Stuff
 
So there’s some numbers to chew on, but there’s some more numbers that I thought were interesting.
Where are you finding all these discs?
 
I’ve played a total of 30 unique courses. I’ve found discs on 16 of them, or 53%.
I played 306 rounds per U-disc. This doesn’t count another 30 or so games maybe before I got a subscription, but it we’ll work with it. That works out to be .84 discs found per game.
I found 245 discs, or 67%, at one course in particular. It also happens to be my most played course at 87 rounds, or 24% of my games. I find 2.8 discs a round by the numbers, but this is skewed. There were 2 times I visited this park and SCUBA’d the water, netting 36 new discs (and 4 of my own that I’d tossed in there). The numbers are still quite high if you take these out, over 2 discs a round. When I toss one of my own discs in I suit up and fish the water. This yields between 6 and 10 most times. It’s not uncommon to fish another 2 or 3 out from the shoreline just walking and looking as well. I just find a lot of discs as this park. I also find quite a few here in the woods or left on the fairway. It’s not a particularly onerous course, but there’s a lot of…inebriation…going on.
 
When do you find most of your discs?
 
Harder to answer than I thought it would be as there isn’t much of a pattern to the data. I do see that I have consistently found zero discs in December and a mere handful in January and February. I play in the winter, but not very often – maybe a half dozen games a month and NEVER in fresh snow. March does tend to yield up about 20 discs a year – I try and go out when the ice and snow melts to see what’s been tossed in over the winter time. I think by this point I’m also just jonesing for some outdoor time. July is another big one at 20 a year – no surprise as it’s the height of disc golf season in my mind. August is my biggest month at 61 one year and 0 two other years. Weird pattern. If I get super ambitious I’ll break it down by day of the week one of these times, but that’s a bit too much number crunching for the moment.
 
Most discs found in one day?
 
23, and it was a day I used the SCUBA gear. I know there is occasionally a post about some preposterous number of discs being pulled out of a lake by a swimmediver, but it’s not exactly a Discmas wonderland under the sea. Yes, diving is effective, but for me at least you’re blind as a bat swimming through scuzzy water literally feeling through the muck with your hands. I’m going to poke around a few lakes and see what else I can find this summer, but in my experience it’s not like you’re tripping over discs. More like you’re pulling one up every 2 or 3 minutes. Sounds like a lot but you’ve got maybe an hour of air to work with….
 
Most discs found for one person?
 
Same person as last year, he’s now up to 8 returned discs.
 
Most found disc?
A blue rogue that seems to have an affinity for water – I’ve returned this particular disc 3 times to its owner. Haven’t seen it lately so I suspect he’s either stopped using it or somebody else got it.
 
Longest time between finding a disc and returning it?
 
3 months – found it in the spring and finally connected at the end of summer.
 
Longest time a disc had been lost?
 
I can personally confirm pulling one of my own out of the water that had been in there 14 months. I’ve had several that indicate their discs had been gone for over a year. The big winner though is a Grey Ti Nate Dross Buzzz that the owner indicated had been in that pond for 5 years. He was kind enough to let me keep it.
 
What do you use to get discs out?
 
Honestly, I think I’ve tried darn near everything. I’m pretty sure I’m close to the word limit though and will post about that another time.
 
Most interesting thing found?
 
I once found a jar of marijuana - probably 2/3 of a Campbell's soup can in size.
I've found two golden retrievers (the disc retriever, not the dog). One was forgotten by the owner. The other was not held onto very securely when it was chucked. Both were returned to owner.
 
Hopefully you found this interesting. Not sure how useful it is, but I always think it’s neat seeing data compiled in one place.
submitted by 1-Down to discgolf [link] [comments]

Overheard on a Zoom call between a manager and his clearly done-with-this-shit, done-with-this-job, soon-to-be-handing-in-resignation bookkeeper.

All this occurred while I was on a zoom call with one of the managers at a vendor of ours that I asked for regarding clarification for item descriptions on their invoices. Once this part began, I stopped playing TerraGenesis and started taking notes. Some of the phraseology has been improved for dramatic effect, but the choice bits are word-for-word.

Manager: , you made entries on the books for adjustments that I already did. What happened with my entries?
Bookkeeper: Your entries were garbage and you are garbage. When will you figure out how to write notes in the memo fields? The books aren't closed for this month. Why the fuck are you adjusting retained earnings? IT WOULD HELP IF THERE WERE FUCKING NOTES FOR ONCE.
Manager: Look, the officers said to make the entries and I put them in.
Bookkeeper: Because we're coming up to a review by the bank on the Line (of credit, I'm guessing), you stupid gremlin. They (officers, I'm guessing) got spooked by a question someone asked, and you're dumb enough to put your name on journal entries that you don't understand. You're going to be the retard they point to when nothing adds up. I bet they asked you to make those entries after stopping by their office for a "chat", didn't they? (Author's note: At this point, I am imagining that manager is the rolly-eyed mogwai from Gremlins 2.)
Manager: (Not getting it) What happened to the entries?
Bookkeeper: I DELETED THEM. What aren't you getting?
Manager: Look I'm go... (Interrupted)
Bookkeeper: Do what you gotta do, IDGAF, but if you tell me or ask me anything, I am only going to reply by email.

There were some sounds a few minutes later when the manager sat back down to the zoom call. I think manager put two-and-two together that that interaction had happened over an un-muted zoom conference.
In the middle of this, I had furiously waved one of my coworkers over to listen to the conversation who waved over one of our officers to tell him what he heard, and to look at my notes. I think we're getting a pretty steep discount during renewal. Also, I want to hire this bookkeeper.
submitted by ProtContQB1 to Accounting [link] [comments]

A Non-Boglehead FATfire Musing

A recent post called out that FATfire was becoming something more akin to investing rather than FATfire, and a lot of people aren't FATfire and have an extremely heavy bias toward a Boglehead or index mindset. I thought I would write something from a FATfire perspective that might address the current change in the market and how I think we could take a different investing strategy from a FATFire perspective.
tl;dr version:
  1. We are going to be in turmoil through the rest of the calendar year, and possibly into next year. A recession is going to happen.
  2. I suggest that you may want to "not indexing" during this time. Key to not indexing is making sure you have a portfolio that hunts. Make sure that you cut problem stocks, such as travel and high debt stocks. Move to Countercyclicals, which I prefer equities with some dividends.
  3. Make sure you have somewhere around 12-24 months of cash like assets to bridge the gap to a vaccine.
  4. There will be a bailout once some companies fail, but this is a personal viewpoint, so you'll need to make up your own mind on how to play this.
  5. Finally, we are in a disease induced stock market correction. You can't expect the same behaviors as a normal economic correction. We are going to probably hit new bottoms. Maybe even much lower. However, a vaccine will trigger a massive rally from this bottom, so watching for the solution is extremely important to gain financially.
Please don't upvote/downvote on the tl;dr version because it is not helpful to the community. I realize that this is not a "hivemind" summary, which involves "index until it's over." Feel free to blast away at the structured version as this is fair game.
The long version:
Before you start reading, if you are a Boglehead, I am not knocking indexing. Bogleheading as a strategy back tests extremely well, and I'm not saying you should deviate.
However, in this post, I want to argue that past performance may not be the best indicator of future performance. Large part of this is because the nature of the correction comes from the fact this is disease issue. Please read this post as arguing the other side. If you refuse to consider any viewpoint other than a Boglehead viewpoint, please move along, you won't like this post.
ln this light, I want to debate (not go crazy please) from the standpoint that Michael Burry might have gotten it right again, lately. (I don't like his "water phase.") Here is a couple of his latest observations:
  1. Indexing has become a new bubble. Again, I think he is overstating things, but I think that there is a core of truth here that I would like to argue for.
  2. We do not have a good sense for the future, and we need to understand that things may become worse before coming better.
  3. Finally, if you "want to be FATFire and not worry about it," this post is not for you. I don't believe in 3 sentence summaries. I believe in rational and deep thoughts. I hope you'll find this is not a rambling post, but something that comes out of trying to be structural, integrative and analytical in my approach.
A little about myself:
  1. I am still working because I contribute to the world, much of the stuff you see here is basically what I do at work. Yes, I am considered a bit odd, but generally worth listening to.
  2. My assets clearly would place me firmly in FATfire as something I have already accomplished.
  3. I'm a little past my mid-50s, so I lived 2008 era. I see an incredible amount of psychological overlap.
  4. One of my degrees was in finance and accounting. My finance professor traded on the Chicago floor, and he made a rational argument in the '80s to his class that called out being a Boglehead (although he didn't call it that at the time) was the top investment strategy, which I followed as a general principle for over 30 years.
  5. I have a Thomson Reuters Eikon seat. This basically gives me access to an extremely rich set of sell-side research. Really, this or a Bloomberg terminal is the only practical way of doing value-based research, and it is incredibly insightful to review other people's financial models.
  6. This is USA only view. I think the WW economy is well outside my ability to understand. So, if you are not a USA investor, sorry, I have no help or discussion.
Some thoughts in the current crisis:
The most interesting thing to me is that the current crisis is extremely similar in its psychological make up to what happened in beginning of the 2007/2008 crash.
I see a lot of people writing "oh it was worse in 2008." Initially I agreed with this, but I looked at some of my journal writing at the time, and really I think that people don't remember.
In 2008, we really did not understand what was happening. There was a debate how much wall street would impact main street. Maybe the Banks were in crisis, but nobody saw that the banks would take everybody else down.
I remembering people saying "oh buying opportunity." So they reacted too quickly to bring cash off the sidelines, which was basically a horrible move. Or they said, "Wow, now I'm going to use my leverage." I don't need to write what happened here.
Probably one the best things you could do now is to start a financial journal so you can pull it out and look at it next time a crisis happens. From my perspective, it is dangerous to quickly to say that "we'll get through it quickly."
Behavior economists encourage us to understand that "confirmation bias" can ruin our ability to make decisions. We need to be extremely fact filled in our thoughts to get to real decisions. It is the time to carefully consider the data.
The above was written from a psychological standpoint. I do believe that we can argue that the 2007/2008 crisis had an enormous amount of internal rot in the financial systems with CDO and credit default swaps. I think we can argue that we do have a stronger banking system.
However, unemployment was historically low (5% or so). And quite frankly, we had an enormous amount of flexibility in the Fed, and the problem was a Fed problem.
If you like "easy to digest stuff, I suggest reading Wolf Street." Now realize that Wolf is absolutely bearish, he is one of the best sources of graphs to help you understand some of the recent moves in real estate and what is happening in our fiscal system. A good graph is worth a lot of reading.
If you read his site for a while, you'll come back with clear messages that:
  1. The housing market is too hot
  2. Debt is too high
  3. Deficit is too high
  4. The Fed has a wickly high amount of overhang from 2007/2008
In other words, 2007/2008 impacts are still here, even if the market set new records. We have overhang. This is what happened.
a. The fix for 2007/2008 turned on flooding corporate America, from the Fed, with easy money and bailouts, which then became a drug to grow the overall market to PE numbers that are problematic.
b. Why? Cheap money resulted in a massive amount of corporate borrowing.
c. This fueled massive amounts of either debt or stock buy backs.
d. Corporations have calculated their ability to service this debt for an economy which would see 2-3% GDP growth. They are not equipped with the right structure for a slow down. They are not, as NNT would write, anti-fragile. They are highly fragile.
e. When the COVID-19 really hits, we are going to blow up a lot of business models.
f. May turn into a chain reaction that will wound a sizable chunk of companies.
If this isn't obvious, I don't know what is.
Even the big guys are in on it.
I actually feel incredibly stupid for ignoring the mechanisms of infectious disease until a couple of weeks ago. I started researching it then, and I think I have more than the common man understanding.
COVID-19 is a a flu. There are three distinctives:
a. It has an r0 (or R-nought) or 2.x or twice as inflective.
b. It has a much higher mortality and hospitalization rate
c. It has no vaccine
The flu vaccine is marvelous. One of the reasons we don't notice the flu is that we are successful both in its effectiveness and our vaccination rates. The vaccine dramatically drops when a flu naturally dies in a population, which may not be obvious until you do the math.
This is why COVID-19 is a pandemic and not the flu.
The thing to realize is that we have a pandemic as the root issue. We do not have a financial system issue as the root cause. So you have to have some understanding of how pandemics work.
One of the very best things I've read is here on the nature of COVID-19. Really, I wish I had written this.
The first thing to realize is that we do have "an end." The beginning of the end is when we get to the mid-point on the disease logistics curve, or when we can widely distribute a vaccine.
Until we get a vaccine, we either need to let it burn through our population unbridled, which is basically what the world did with the Spanish flu, or we mute the effect of the virus by simply stretching out the inroad of the virus as much as we can so the minimal amount of people are impacted.
If we don't slow COVID-19, we are going to devastate the USA. It is very clear that if we don't slow it, we will exponentially get to 60-70% infection rate (yes, Angela Merkel is 100% right), we will over flood our 100K ICU beds, and we will have people dying at their homes as mortality rates skyrocket because we can't treat people that need help.
What a disaster, and truly a horrible impact on our population.
The Italians got a small taste of this, and decided they need to whip out the isolation wonder drug. The problem is shutting down your country for weeks at a time is going to whack the economy.
And we are a worldwide economy. Just the current issues are going to impact everybody.
So we have to use the isolation wonder drug (okay call it social distancing), but this is going to exact a heavy toll.
Integration of the above:
Once you understand the mechanisms of the pandemic, you'll unfortunately get a bit sad because you'll understand there is no dodging the upcoming hit. The only thing that we can do is manage the damage.
Dr. Brian Monahan recently told congress that 70 to 150M people will be hit. This means ~20-40%. This means somewhere around 7M to 15M people requiring some type of hospitalization, and 3.5M to 7M in ICU beds (which we have 100K today.) This means a tremendous amount of churn in the economy.
Until we have a vaccine, there is no side stepping an upcoming hit.
So here is where it become unbelievably confusing. Unless this post gets downvote so low that I disappear, I believe this post will stand up quite well if we come back to it 12-18 months from now, in as much as what I have written so far.
We are headed for bad times. The key to the bad time is that a solution does exist, it is called a vaccine. We need to plot out how much our investments are going to suffer until one arrives, because once we see the solution timeline, Wall Street will come back strong (even before the economy.)
Remember, this is not a Boglehead view. You could index, but I am suggesting that we don't want to index. Indexing is guanteed to included the losers with the winners. If we can knock out even some losers, we will end up outperforming SPY.
Here Are The Three Future Phases I See:
Phase 1: Recession and certain companies fail
In this case, we express the moral hazard of allowing companies to fail because they did stupid stuff with their balance sheets. This starts to take down a bunch of people, because they took the risk.
By the way, this is going to happen in some degree anyway.
If you own OXY, look for a bounce and get out. Maybe somebody will buy their assets (and Buffet does have a lot of their debt at a great return), but you are gambling with your money.
Companies like Comcast and ATT have way too much debt for a slow down. IBM comes to mind as having a problem.
Get out of industries that are going to be really hit hard. If you are holding a cruise line, cut your losses. It's over, and don't hang onto a falling knife.
Bankrupt companies don't come back. The last thing you want is to be the last one holding the bag. Getting something is better than nothing.
Then move into some counter cyclicals, maybe with a little bit of dividend income to ease your pain. CHD or Ross stores come to mind.
By the way, get cash. If you don't have cash, get cash. I need to repeat myself. You need some cash right now. What is the right range? Until this settles down, I suggest at least 12 months of a cash buffer for your cash flow needs. More comfortable would be 24 months.
What do I mean by this?
a. You are fat fire and you have in flow of income from either a job, stock (or business), or real estate.
b. You lose this inflow of money.
c. You happen to have enough cash that it doesn't matter for 12 to 24 months. You can run your life just like normal.
Okay, you have some money approaching or at FATfire money. You read my strange and long post, and you get to this section. I hope when the market opens on Monday you liquidate enough of your position to lock in the 12-24 month cash position. I know this is an insurance position, and maybe through some chance, the market is at bottom.
You need insurance right now. This is the time to buy insurance. Insurance is a cost and not an asset. Buy insurance. If you are sophisticated, you can devise an option strategy cheaper than cash, but most people can't do this.
So my advice is be simple and hold cash.
By the way, if you are young and a lurker, just have a normal reserve. I am talking to those that have assets.
I've written this story before, but I worked for a guy that was a billionaire in today's dollars when I was a kid. He had lost everything. This is because he didn't have enough of a buffer to survive a down turn in the 70s because he got overleveraged and couldn't service his debt.
But does this future last forever?
I'm guessing we start this way, but move to phase 2.
Phase 2: Welcome to Bailout City
If the big companies need money, they can always get it in Bailout city.
Yes, we have a phenomenal amount of debt, but most countries with a lot of debt that "fail" don't have a real engine. We are a little over 100% debt to GDP. Japan is 200%. Now Japan is not healthy, but it is not failing.
There is little to no doubt in my mind that we can borrow ourselves through to a vaccine in the market.
So go ahead an buy ATT with a 6% yield. If they run into problems to service their dividend, the government will come in an give them a zero percent interest loan with no repayment schedule. Still a gamble as maybe bailout city doesn't arrive in time. However, I'm hanging onto my ATT.
Now, I am not even saying that the bailout will be right, so don't downvote me for this. I am suggesting that we need to simply surf the market.
However, even under this avenue, I see high debt companies hurt. The only reason to hang onto a high debt company is you are willing to roll the dice that they will get a bailout, and not cut or cancel the dividend.
In my case, I need my ATT yield to service some needs for projects underway in other parts of my portfolio. So, it is a core part of my assets, but certainly not 100%.
Phase 3: We come up with an vaccine, or we have some strong results from some experimental drug.
I had very fond hopes for Remdesivir from Gilead, but the first rumours are not good.
However, we have come a long way from the Spanish flu, and there are a variety of ways for us to accelerate a vaccine or test drugs in new ways that might blunt the issues.
Actually I have high hopes for private industry. I hope the government carefully works how to support industary. For example, our testing problem is going to be solve by companies like Thermo Fischer and Roache, because some private business came up with solutions and the Fed government figure out how to approve in 1 business day.
People are praising the Korean government for how fast they ramped the test kit. What nobody understands is that is that it was the founder of Seegene, a private company, that pulled the trigger on a new test in January.
I can see that in the current environment, private companies may see that a solution will be fast tracked, and it is worth the bet to throw in resources because the payoff for being a COVID-19 solution is massive.
With the widespread outbreak that is coming, it would boggle my mind if we didn't have something on the shelves in 18 months. Maybe sooner.
If you have your cash in hand when we see an end to this problem, and now you have some freedom with your stocks, you are going to see the most massive jump ever. We need to distance ourselves from the 2008 crash in this avenue.
Stock market psychologic is incredibly important. Our market recovered well from the 2008 crash, but a bunch of people were still "unsure" about the whole thing.
When a solid solution happens with a vaccine, people are simply going to say "wow, it's over." Now this is over dramatic. The vaccine will come on the end of possibly a lot of churn. However, we understand vaccines. Once proven, with a good dose of scientific agreement, the world is going to say "okay, let's get back to business."
This means a nice market rebound.
I blew up my Saturday morning writing and editing this post. I am writing this paragraph as my last paragraph before posting. After all this though, I determined that really this is not just a FATfire strategy, other than I am encouraging a strong level of cash that others may not suggest in an investing standpoint. However, I started the post here, so I'm going to finish it here. It's also long enough that it will probably be ignored, but I hope a lurker or two will use it to devise their own strategy.
submitted by Los_Gatos_Hills to fatFIRE [link] [comments]

[SPOILER] My Thoughts on the Last of Us Part 2

So just so you know where I’ll be going with this reflection, I’ll be briefly going over the graphics, setting, gameplay, but this will mainly be a narrative review. Number wise, I’d give the game’s story a strong (strong meaning leaning towards good) 6/10, which is far from what I’d consider the first game. Of course numbers can't do a review like this justice. These are just my opinions and anybody has a right to disagree with. I will make a lot of comparisons to the first game but it is entirely justified as this is a sequel. I was spared the brunt of the leaks so I like to think I’d be completely unbiased going in. One thing I will say is that I began watching other YouTuber’s reviews of the game and noticed some of the things I say are quite similar to their ideas but know I am not influenced by their opinions and all of the thoughts here are ones that I have formulated or at the very, very least ones I agree with. The review will mostly be in chronological order but I may mention other parts of the game anywhere so spoilers for the entire game all throughout. The review is pretty spontaneously and sloppily written so don’t bother me about spell checks and grammar or if anything is particularly long winded.
The graphics are of course stunning and some of the set pieces are really breathtaking in a very real sense. The gameplay is the same simple core mechanics from the first game, but now combat is intensely satisfying. Limbs can be shot off, blood decals are dark and splatter the walls, roof, and floor. Blood and bits of brain drip down the walls and off the roofs. Ragdolls aren’t exaggerated. Some people will still be crawling around and writhing after dying. I may be a psychopath, but don’t we all love these things in games? Some sad sap reviewers have said the game is NOT fun and that they DIDN’T like blasting peoples heads off because it was so violent. They also say that the violence is powerful and shows the impact and consequences of such violence. That’s the worst bullshit I’ve ever heard and you can bet your ass a video game journalist would say it. For us here, I’m sure it’s nothing new. One thing though is that the AI is a bit smarter. They’ll make call outs to each other, exclaim when one of their buddies is killed, or notice when somebody suddenly cuts off mid sentence. It does serve to make them seem more human, but relatively speaking the AI is still kind of dumb as bricks. The level design seems better without as much inexplicable cover everywhere. It now looks less like a third person Bomberman level. One thing I’ve found though is that you are cut off from a previous area so many times in this game and with all the collectibles, it’s quite annoying. I’ve had to restart entire chapters because I missed a collectible. I get why, but still. The game has taken some inspiration from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Some UI elements feel eerily similar, and the Downtown chapter feels very much like the Western Ghats. Levels, especially Downtown, are more open world then the last game but it adds to my previous issue where you never really know when you’re going to be cut off from a previous area of the game. Anyways, that’s all I have to say about the gameplay.
The very first scene of the game begins with Joel’s retelling of the final events of the last game. It’s nice to have, but it’s also in retrospect one of my first problems with the game. Joel has such little presence prior to his death, only two separate appearances, and one of his longest dialogues is dumbed down to exposition. I feel like this time could’ve been utilized much better to establish Joel’s character and personality. Yes, the entirety of the last game was dedicated to him and his character has done all the developing it can, but with the seven year IRL gap between the first game and the second, uncertainty about the consistency of the characters, as well as Joel’s five years in Jackson, some reflection would be nice to see how he has settled down and reaffirm that this is indeed the same character that we grew attached to from the first game. And consistent character writing is another problem of mine, but I’ll talk about that when it comes up. But one particular line stuck with me, “I saved her”, followed by the flashback sequence showing the dead doctors and Fireflies. A silent horse ride follows. It’s nice taking in the scenery and graphics, but again if this is all we’re getting Joel, some banter with his previously estranged brother Tommy would be nice. Joel has some awkward but cute dialogue with Ellie and sings her a song, which is nice considering his previous stance on doing so. I may be too critical, but I’m a little concerned that the songs in this game are a bit manipulative of emotions and substitute the great, at times heartbreaking dialogue of the first game. However I would not be making this observation if the game actually had those as well.
4 years later and we follow Ellie as she prepares to go on patrol. Don’t have much to say here, but I did start noticing some cracks in the dialogue. Jesse and later on to an even greater extent, Owen (“ABBY, STOP FLIRTING.”) speak in these strange one word or one phrase utterances that really seem mechanical and unnatural. As a result, the actor’s performance seems to suffer in a way they don’t seem to in the cutscenes. Perhaps it’s a result of not being mocapped and therefore not being too confident in their delivery. But it’s not too egregious comparatively.
We get our first section as Abby. As I said, I wasn’t aware of the leaks and had no predetermined hate for her, but GOD do I not like her in this particular scene. We understand that she’s here for someone, whom we can only surmise is Joel considering all the shit he’s done. So we’re forced to play as this new person and what are our first impressions of her? She implies she’s willing to torture a patrol from an innocent settlement to get what information she needs, gets upset that Owen got her own girlfriend pregnant (it makes more sense after you come to understand their relationship, but that is another problem with this game that I’ll go over later), and recklessly runs off to do everything herself (if I’m not mistaken, she literally says something along these lines in the game, dear god) and get herself killed. In the first game, we’re given a reason to care about the major characters from the beginning of the game. Joel has grown cynical and weary and while he’s not a perfect person, we sympathize with him because of the tragic loss of his daughter. Ellie carries the weight of being immune, perhaps one of the only ones in the world, and is being entrusted to the care of two total strangers. Abby’s first scene is a childish and suicidal outburst that in the end, she should not survive. Moving on.
Dina’s kinda funny and her relationship with Ellie is cute, but I wish her character would’ve been fleshed out more. The only reason I’ve grown to like her is because Ellie likes her. She and Ellie have known each other for a while but we haven’t. Not much to say here again, so on to the Horde and the Chalet.
As I said, Abby should not be alive. Dozens of infected pop out everywhere and chase her down. This could be more intense, but there are no stakes here because we don’t really have a reason to care for Abby. But, somehow, she’s Deus Ex Machina’d by the person she happens to be after. What a coincidence, huh? Well, now we’re at THAT part. Joel may have softened up in Jackson, but five years undoing all the paranoia and skepticism that his nearly two decades of living it rough? I don’t think so. Maybe you could argue he panicked and couldn’t think straight, but he’s been in rough situations before and prevailed with a clear head. Maybe you could argue he would’ve died if he hadn’t but tbh I feel like Joel would’ve found another way out had he really wanted to. I mean, they would’ve just died if Abby wasn’t there? I don’t think so, probably wouldn’t have even found themselves in that position. Even if they did go with Abby, they are far too trusting and allowed themselves to be surrounded. I’d have to say Joel doesn’t stand out too much, so unless Abby somehow had a picture of him (which I doubt) she could only go off of descriptions of Joel until he decided to loudmouth it and give her a name to go along with the face. I will say that I expected Joel to die since that ominous reveal trailer for the game. My problem is not that Joel dies, it’s how he dies. Such a major character being killed off should have had a great impact, but I didn’t really feel much. I felt sadder when Joel’s daughter Sarah died off whom we had known for all of 5 minutes. The game relies on our feelings for Joel from the first game and shock value to elicit an emotional response. But it doesn’t work, it’s just lazy. Joel is no longer a character, he is simply a plot device. However, I admit the aftermath was done well. Seeing Joel’s front lawn piled with flowers and letters and Ellie going through his old stuff hit hard, but it doesn’t cancel out the nature of his death by a long shot. I don’t understand why the group doesn’t kill Ellie and Tommy. I mean they didn’t come here for them, but they saw their faces, heard their names, and know where they’re from. It’s kind of stupid.
Now, Tommy going after Joel. Tommy had been estranged from his brother for years and even when they reconnect they butt heads. I mean would he have gone through all this if he found out Joel died before he reached Jackson? Maybe they got real close in Jackson again especially since Joel is settled down and now has someone he cares about. However, Tommy knows Joel and knows firsthand that Joel has crossed a lot of people and done a lot of fucked up shit. I could see Ellie going after Joel’s killers since they were even closer than Joel and Tommy and she never really saw Joel’s darker side. But Tommy falling back into his old ways of murder and torture that he chastized Joel for? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s questionable.
Now in terms of critical story nothing happens for a while until the theater. I will say that this game is BLEAK. There’s almost no comic relief or uplifting moments like the first game had. I mean I know Joel just died, whom Ellie cared for deeply. But juxtaposed with the first game, it’s just so damn depressing. I know some time passes after she leaves Jackson, definitely not enough to get over Joel, but even in her journal I believe she says she had fun with Dina and was able to put Joel out of her mind for a moment before realizing and regretting it. Why don’t we see more of this? Imo it’s a problem of the time frame. The time we actually play only takes place over the course of three days. The first game took place over the course of nearly a year. Therefore, there was enough time between a person’s death and the next scene to allow for jokes and character development and banter without seeming strange.
At the theater, we learn Dina is pregnant. I thought this was a great and unexpected twist. It adds heightened stakes and conflict. However, this results in another problem for me. Now that we know Dina is pregnant, she can’t really come with Ellie anymore and any character development for her or even Ellie sort of grinds to a halt. There are issues of trust that are brought up in Ellie’s journal but never touched on again. A missed opportunity imo.
The flashback sequence was perfect and everything I loved about the Ellie-Joel dynamic and the first game in general. The sense of wonder and exploration from the first game that the present-day aspect of the second game lacks severely. Ellie isn’t a child anymore, but there’s still beauty in the world. They make it seem like the past is good and the present is bad instead of the grey they struck in the first game and seemed to want to explore in the second. I don’t understand why they can’t find a way to blend the two in the same narrative rather than having to utilize flashbacks to get this across. Finding strings is another nice flashback scene, not as happy as the first since we see Ellie is going through something now but it’s still great to see Joel and Ellie and now Tommy together. One thing this does open up is Ellie starting to look into her immunity. I believe it’s here that we’re introduced to the Seraphites who I’ll have a bit more to say about when we go over Abby’s section but they seem a little out of place in this world. We also see Jesse has come to help bring Tommy back. Once we make it to the hospital, we finally find Nora who calls Joel a little bitch and runs off. Ellie forces the information about Abby’s whereabouts out of her and returns to the theater where she’s obviously shaken. We don’t see what she had to do to Nora, but I myself can’t really sympathize with her because of an issue I will go over later. (sorry about this, I want to surmise my major issues with the plot at the end, stick around or skip)
We then get the St. Mary’s hospital flashback where Ellie finds out about what Joel did. I would’ve much preferred further exploring this rather than these brief flashbacks. But, whatever. Anyways, on the road to the aquarium Jesse backs and looks for Tommy now that he realizes she’s still bent on revenge. Again, a problem is that Ellie is very often on her own and there’s not much actual character development here. I mean there doesn’t always need to be another person to develop their character, but now we don’t grow further attached to these new characters who we really need to know more about if we’re going to care about their outcome. The game really thinks these brief on and off again interactions between Ellie and the other characters will make us care for them when really it took nearly an entire game for us to grow attached to Joel and Ellie, who were almost always together or at least with someone else like Tess or Sam or Henry or Bill.
The game climaxes at the Aquarium where Abby is not present but her ex Owen and his new girlfriend Mel are now hiding, seemingly ousted by the WLF. Owen tries to attack Ellie for some reason to protect Abby and then Mel who’s like a month or two from delivering decides that she will now attack Ellie as well to defend her boyfriend. I hate to keep saying it, but I’ll lyk what exactly my problems are with this at the end of the review because it is a major one :) Abby later tracks Ellie, Dina and Jesse to the theater where Jesse up and dies out of the blue after being shot by Abby, once again an overusage of shock value.
Now we play as a younger Abby and learn her motivations for hunting Joel. She killed her dad who was a Firefly. Now the only reason that Naughty Dog would rebrand the Fireflies as WLF was to create some kind of unnecessary mystery. I thought they might actually subvert our expectations here, but nope Abby’s daddy was head doctor of the Fireflies and the one Joel has to kill to get him out of his way. After this, we see the words Seattle Day 1 AGAIN and I can honestly see why people might be turned off at this point. We’re forced to play a character that we’ve been hunting and grown to hate who just killed off one of our other favorite characters. Not to mention, the Seattle Day 1 chapter title implies that we have gone backwards in time which in of itself feels like a huge setback. WHY DID THEY HAVE TO REVERSE 3 CHAPTERS BACK? It makes you feel like you’ve simply stopped progressing the story and absolutely MURDERS the pacing. I myself felt demoralized at this point and it’s a shame that some people stopped playing here since for a moment I actually started to like Abby a little, sometimes even more than the way Ellie is portrayed in this game because she seems like an entirely different character now. Maybe they wanted it to be a surprise or wanted you to grow attached to her and her friends, but it’s not really effective especially considering we have a bias against her knowing she killed Joel.
Anyways, now Owen runs off to the Aquarium after he protects a Seraphite from a fellow WLF. Now I’m not a big fan of being a part of this Seraphite-WLF war that we really have no stakes in. Imo the way their beliefs, the way they talk, the way they dress just seems really cheesy to me. They’re like something straight out of the Walking Dead and seem out of place in this universe, but maybe that’s just me. They also don’t seem really “morally grey” with their lynchings and disembowelments and their hunting of Lev and Yara. There are a few flashbacks between Owen and Abby at the aquarium which are pretty fun. Anyways Lev and Yara save Abby from a lynching and Abby escorts them to a temporary safe haven near the Aquarium before for some reason feeling guilty and coming back to save Lev and Yara. She finds out that Yara needs to have her arm amputated and needs to head to the nearby WLF hospital to confiscate some supplies. Seeing Abby scared shitless atop the sky bridges along with Lev was cute and endearing and probably the section I enjoyed the most, but I feel like the second game is simply redoing the parent-child relationship except now with Abby and Lev. It feels uninspired, unoriginal.
Now the Rat King fight in the hospital. It was fun and pretty terrifying I have to say, but one thing that bothered me was the design. One thing I loved about the first game was the nuanced and more realistic design of the infected. The most gruesome of them all was the Bloater, but still relatively grounded. However the Rat King is anything but. He’s a giant amorphous blob of infected that can run through walls and shit out little infected. It looks like something out of Resident Evil rather than the last of us. I understand that they needed more varied enemies to keep things fresh which they did in a way with the Shamblers. Was this huge hulking zombie mass really necessary? Even if we are at ground zeroes for the infection, it still feels a little out of place. I did enjoy the fight once again though, so maybe I’m being hypocritical and isn’t a real complaint. Oh and almost forgot to mention that sex scene between Owen and Abby. No. Just no.
Anyways she gets the meds and heads back to the aquarium and cuts off Yara’s arm. Once she recovers, Lev and Yara get into an argument as Lev wants to go back for his insane cultist mother. Owen plans to take them to Santa Barbara, but Mel refuses to come if Abby goes. It would have been an interesting conflict but is dropped once they die. Anyways we go to the Seraphites island with Yara where the WLF are preparing to attack. She allows one armed Yara to come with her but not Owen, apparently to prove something to Mel? I mean I can understand Yara coming but if you really care about the lives of these kids you should let Owen come as it would improve the chances that they actually come back in one piece. Anyways they make their way to their mother’s village where Lev has killed their mother after she attacked him. Tough, but now they have to get off the island. During their escape, Yara is shot by a WLF soldier and confronted by the leader of the WLF, Isaac. Now this would’ve been an interesting opportunity if maybe Abby was forced to actually confront her friends (all dead by this point, so maybe not) in the WLF rather than Isaac who has a reputation of being a torturer and a dozen nameless goons. Anyways, turns out Yara’s alive! Who then sacrifices herself for Abby and Lev and proceeds to get shot 20 times. JEsUs. Abby and Lev unfortunately don’t have much time to dwell on it, but seriously, Lev felt more remorse for her crazy mother who tried to kill him than Yara. The first game didn’t make a big deal out of dwelling on dead characters, but the immediate aftermath is just almost absent. Anyways Abby and Lev escape in the shitstorm that hit the island. It really is madness, it’s quite the spectacle to behold.
Then cut to present day, Abby finds Owen and Mel dead and tracks down Ellie who once again shoots Jesse. They seem to even be self-aware of their shock value gag when they fake out Tommy’s death just to have him reappear in the farmhouse sequence just to be like “oh hey”. Anyways we get a fight between Ellie and Abby which is quite similar to Ellie and David, except Ellie uses a lot of the gadgets at her disposal which is really interesting.
Now nearing the conclusion of the game, we see Ellie and Dina now on their dream farmhouse with their child. Tommy comes and bothers Ellie about Abby’s new whereabouts, but she refuses to continue hunting them. Tommy gets pissy about this which is incredibly out of character for him considering the last game and Tommy in THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME. Tommy specifically tries to talk down Ellie and stop her from doing something that would put her at risk. Now that Ellie has been beaten up and is probably exhausted, Tommy thinks that she betrayed him by not continuing to go after them? Maybe he’s looking for somebody to pin it on, but it does make Tommy looks like an asshole for no good reason. But after a while, turns out Ellie decides she actually can’t handle it and goes out after her once again but not with Tommy’s aid. Anyways, Abby has been kidnapped by this pseudo-biker gang who are a bunch of assholes and slavers. For a game that claims to be morally grey, the factions just get more and more assholey. WLF to the cultists to the Rattlers. They just seem to be showing that there’s always somebody worse. Anyways Ellie fights her way through their compound after freeing some hostages, she finds Abby tied up on a pole, malnourished and on the verge of death. She releases her and Lev. She seems reluctant, but decides she can’t let her leave. They get into a fight where Ellie gets the upper hand and begins drowning her. However, she decides that’s too fucked up for her after she killed a pregnant woman and about a hundred other nameless WLF just to get to her. She lets her go and Abby takes Lev away by boat and it’s the last we see of them. Ellie comes back to her farmhouse only to find that Dina has left her. Now Ellie is all alone, making for an ending extremely lacking in closure for both storylines. There’s a flashback where Ellie says she’s willing to try and forgive Joel for what happened.
So, my major problems with the game:
Once again, unnecessarily bleak. A game this depressingly bleak can make you feel like shit once you reach the end, and the ending only makes this feeling worse. No breath of relief anywhere throughout apart from some of the flashbacks. A story doesn’t have to always be uplifting or even happy, but it’s in such stark contrast to the first game. The Last of Us 1 managed to show the darker side of the world without needing to be so jaded. How do you end the first game in such a hopeful manner and then end the first game only to reveal that everything sucks and you’re now all alone? It was not enjoyable for me.
Absence of “major” characters. Characters like Dina, Jesse, Mel, Nora, Manny, and even characters from the previous game like Tommy and Joel. Maybe they don’t need too much presence, but it seems like they’re trying to make us feel sorry for these characters despite not knowing them all too well. Perhaps a problem with having so many characters instead of the very concise cast of the first game. Instead of cutting off our meaningful connection with them, they decide to utilize
Shock value. There are so few deaths in this game that aren’t reliant on shock value. Joel, Jesse, Manny, Mel, Owen. Maybe having final moments with a character is a little cheesy, but the first game did it masterfully. There were characters we may have expected to die but we were given a moment with them. It never dwelled on it too long but it wasn’t entirely out of nowhere either.
Lack of meaningful dialogue. It’s not too often we get to understand what’s going on in these characters minds and there’s not much heartfelt dialogue. Nothing like Ellie and Joel’s house scene, or Joel and Tommy’s argument. Nothing like Joel mentioning his troubled past. As a result there’s not much obvious character development for Ellie or anybody else.
Inconsistent characters. As I said, Ellie doesn’t feel like her old self. Yes, she’s had to have grown up, but the problem is we don’t really see that development and it feels a bit jarring that she’s now this edgy vengeance seeker. Tommy doesn’t seem like his old self and there’s even inconsistency between him in the first and second half of the game. We don’t even see enough of Joel in the present day but he blindly follows a stranger to a fortified encampment suspiciously near Jackson.
“Challenging your ideas of right and wrong”. Except it does not do that. They never want to make Ellie go all the way, no matter who she confronts, they always manage to get themselves killed because of their own stupidity. The WLF soldier on the PSP, Nora, Owen and Mel. They always have to fight back first even though Ellie seemed hellbent on killing them all. And the last one of them, Abby, Ellie doesn’t even kill. If the game was challenging your ideas of right and wrong and they were confident we’d grow to like Abby, why didn’t they have Ellie kill her? Ellie killing somebody we liked but was also the murderer of one of our favorite characters? That would raise some real questions.
The game always tries to make you retroactively feel bad for a character. Joel’s flashbacks are an attempt to make you feel sad for Joel. Abby’s flashbacks are an attempt to make you feel sorry for her. Abby’s Seattle chapters are an attempt to make you forgive her for what she did to Joel and make you feel sorry for the characters that Ellie and Tommy have been hunting down like Nora, Owen, Mel and Manny. It DOES NOT work. You can’t make me go back and feel sorry for a character, especially after we know what they took part in and what they’ve done. The first game never really used flashbacks, it did a great job of telling you what has been going on in a character’s life without needing to go back and show you and it’s really a testament to the great pacing of the game.
So my thoughts for a better, more concise story? I will say that I’m not a great writer, certainly not better than the folks at Naughty Dog. This will be my thoughts on what would make the game more enjoyable.
So my first idea for a tiny, unintrusive change to the story would be to end the game at Chapter 9 - the first farmhouse sequence, specifically immediately after or shortly after her Joel flashback in the farmhouse. Imo chapter 10-11 only serves to make the ending even more unsatisfying. Ending after Ellie’s episode seems really fitting to the style of the ending of the last game: hopeful uncertainty. Ellie has settled down with her lover and her “child”. She seems to be having a happy, ideal life, the one she and Dina wanted. But she’s haunted by Joel’s death, even more so without the closure of Abby’s death and it’s something that she may never get over. I think this would make the ending less upsetting and bleak then it is rn. Some changes to Abby’s storyline would have to take place to end it there with closure, maybe take out her kidnapping or the section entirely. But, if we’re talking beginning to end rewrite, here’s how the general narrative would go in my head:
Do not completely separate Ellie and Abby’s storylines. If you really need two characters, intertwine them and continue the pacing of the story. Coming to understand Abby before she kills Joel could make you empathize with her more without jumping to conclusions about her because you disagree with what she’s done. Do NOT rebrand the Fireflies as the WLF. I don’t know if they thought the WLF was just a good idea or wanted to force some mystery behind Joel’s murder, but it just doesn’t work. I understand the Fireflies in the game don’t currently exist, but that’s a choice by the writers. Make Abby a member of some Firefly remnants who are struggling to survive as the faction has nearly collapsed after the hospital massacre. We don’t need all these cheesy Walking Dead factions. The first game only had the Fireflies, the Military, and people just trying to survive. Have the Fireflies be a smaller group instead of the thousands of people we see in the WLF and the other thousand in the Seraphites and the other thousand in Jackson. Juxtapose the small Firefly cell with the Jackson community. Maybe some of Abby’s friends die because of their rough situation caused by Joel and that could allow us to empathize with her more. On Ellie’s side, perhaps she and Joel run patrols together but she starts questioning what exactly happened at the Firefly hospital. Ellie runs off to find out what happened with Joel obviously concerned and in pursuit. Ellie finds out about what happened and Joel admits to the entire thing. Ellie either refuses to go back to Jackson and continues off or does so but is estranged from Joel as she is in this game. Then, as a result of Ellie’s actions, the Firefly remnants manage to track Joel back to Jackson, kidnap him, and kill him except this time around the midpoint of the game. Then we could see some really interesting inner conflict as Ellie perhaps blames herself for the incident or feels terrible that she ended her relationship with Joel on such a sour note and lacks closure. She then hunts down Abby’s few friends left and we may actually start to question if what she is doing is actually right as we would have grown to know these characters better. Abby is desperate and on the run until she is finally cornered by Ellie. Who knows, by the time this Abby Ellie boss fight comes around some people might actually be rooting for Ellie. Anyways, maybe Ellie kills Abby and we’re forced to deal with the aftermath. Or maybe Ellie lets Abby go but she feels unfulfilled and is still haunted by Joel’s death. This isn’t as solid as I’d like a story outline like this to be, but it’s just some quick plot changes that I feel would make the game’s narrative much better. It would still require some great actual writing and good, solid characters that we can actually bond with.
One thing that I will say is that Naughty Dog did not make the safe choice with the game. There are some big narrative risks they make that I can admire and some of them do pan out. That's part of the saving grace of this game.
But these are just my thoughts and opinions. I’d really like for some discussion and what you think. Just try to respect my opinion and I’ll respect yours. There are some things I missed because I did want to get this posted so please bring them up. Cheers
submitted by DK_232 to TheLastOfUs2 [link] [comments]

I'mma head out

a abandon ability able abortion about above abroad absence absolute absolutely absorb abuse academic accept access accident accompany accomplish according account accurate accuse achieve achievement acid acknowledge acquire across act action active activist activity actor actress actual actually ad adapt add addition additional address adequate adjust adjustment administration administrator admire admission admit adolescent adopt adult advance advanced advantage adventure advertising advice advise adviser advocate affair affect afford afraid African African-American after afternoon again against age agency agenda agent aggressive ago agree agreement agricultural ah ahead aid aide AIDS aim air aircraft airline airport album alcohol alive all alliance allow ally almost alone along already also alter alternative although always AM amazing American among amount analysis analyst analyze ancient and anger angle angry animal anniversary announce annual another answer anticipate anxiety any anybody anymore anyone anything anyway anywhere apart apartment apparent apparently appeal appear appearance apple application apply appoint appointment appreciate approach appropriate approval approve approximately Arab architect area argue argument arise arm armed army around arrange arrangement arrest arrival arrive art article artist artistic as Asian aside ask asleep aspect assault assert assess assessment asset assign assignment assist assistance assistant associate association assume assumption assure at athlete athletic atmosphere attach attack attempt attend attention attitude attorney attract attractive attribute audience author authority auto available average avoid award aware awareness away awful baby back background bad badly bag bake balance ball ban band bank bar barely barrel barrier base baseball basic basically basis basket basketball bathroom battery battle be beach bean bear beat beautiful beauty because become bed bedroom beer before begin beginning behavior behind being belief believe bell belong below belt bench bend beneath benefit beside besides best bet better between beyond Bible big bike bill billion bind biological bird birth birthday bit bite black blade blame blanket blind block blood blow blue board boat body bomb bombing bond bone book boom boot border born borrow boss both bother bottle bottom boundary bowl box boy boyfriend brain branch brand bread break breakfast breast breath breathe brick bridge brief briefly bright brilliant bring British broad broken brother brown brush buck budget build building bullet bunch burden burn bury bus business busy but butter button buy buyer by cabin cabinet cable cake calculate call camera camp campaign campus can Canadian cancer candidate cap capability capable capacity capital captain capture car carbon card care career careful carefully carrier carry case cash cast cat catch category Catholic cause ceiling celebrate celebration celebrity cell center central century CEO ceremony certain certainly chain chair chairman challenge chamber champion championship chance change changing channel chapter character characteristic characterize charge charity chart chase cheap check cheek cheese chef chemical chest chicken chief child childhood Chinese chip chocolate choice cholesterol choose Christian Christmas church cigarette circle circumstance cite citizen city civil civilian claim class classic classroom clean clear clearly client climate climb clinic clinical clock close closely closer clothes clothing cloud club clue cluster coach coal coalition coast coat code coffee cognitive cold collapse colleague collect collection collective college colonial color column combination combine come comedy comfort comfortable command commander comment commercial commission commit commitment committee common communicate communication community company compare comparison compete competition competitive competitor complain complaint complete completely complex complicated component compose composition comprehensive computer concentrate concentration concept concern concerned concert conclude conclusion concrete condition conduct conference confidence confident confirm conflict confront confusion Congress congressional connect connection consciousness consensus consequence conservative consider considerable consideration consist consistent constant constantly constitute constitutional construct construction consultant consume consumer consumption contact contain container contemporary content contest context continue continued contract contrast contribute contribution control controversial controversy convention conventional conversation convert conviction convince cook cookie cooking cool cooperation cop cope copy core corn corner corporate corporation correct correspondent cost cotton couch could council counselor count counter country county couple courage course court cousin cover coverage cow crack craft crash crazy cream create creation creative creature credit crew crime criminal crisis criteria critic critical criticism criticize crop cross crowd crucial cry cultural culture cup curious current currently curriculum custom customer cut cycle dad daily damage dance danger dangerous dare dark darkness data date daughter day dead deal dealer dear death debate debt decade decide decision deck declare decline decrease deep deeply deer defeat defend defendant defense defensive deficit define definitely definition degree delay deliver delivery demand democracy Democrat democratic demonstrate demonstration deny department depend dependent depending depict depression depth deputy derive describe description desert deserve design designer desire desk desperate despite destroy destruction detail detailed detect determine develop developing development device devote dialogue die diet differ difference different differently difficult difficulty dig digital dimension dining dinner direct direction directly director dirt dirty disability disagree disappear disaster discipline discourse discover discovery discrimination discuss discussion disease dish dismiss disorder display dispute distance distant distinct distinction distinguish distribute distribution district diverse diversity divide division divorce DNA do doctor document dog domestic dominant dominate door double doubt down downtown dozen draft drag drama dramatic dramatically draw drawing dream dress drink drive driver drop drug dry due during dust duty each eager ear early earn earnings earth ease easily east eastern easy eat economic economics economist economy edge edition editor educate education educational educator effect effective effectively efficiency efficient effort egg eight either elderly elect election electric electricity electronic element elementary eliminate elite else elsewhere e-mail embrace emerge emergency emission emotion emotional emphasis emphasize employ employee employer employment empty enable encounter encourage end enemy energy enforcement engage engine engineer engineering English enhance enjoy enormous enough ensure enter enterprise entertainment entire entirely entrance entry environment environmental episode equal equally equipment era error escape especially essay essential essentially establish establishment estate estimate etc ethics ethnic European evaluate evaluation even evening event eventually ever every everybody everyday everyone everything everywhere evidence evolution evolve exact exactly examination examine example exceed excellent except exception exchange exciting executive exercise exhibit exhibition exist existence existing expand expansion expect expectation expense expensive experience experiment expert explain explanation explode explore explosion expose exposure express expression extend extension extensive extent external extra extraordinary extreme extremely eye fabric face facility fact factor factory faculty fade fail failure fair fairly faith fall false familiar family famous fan fantasy far farm farmer fashion fast fat fate father fault favor favorite fear feature federal fee feed feel feeling fellow female fence few fewer fiber fiction field fifteen fifth fifty fight fighter fighting figure file fill film final finally finance financial find finding fine finger finish fire firm first fish fishing fit fitness five fix flag flame flat flavor flee flesh flight float floor flow flower fly focus folk follow following food foot football for force foreign forest forever forget form formal formation former formula forth fortune forward found foundation founder four fourth frame framework free freedom freeze French frequency frequent frequently fresh friend friendly friendship from front fruit frustration fuel full fully fun function fund fundamental funding funeral funny furniture furthermore future gain galaxy gallery game gang gap garage garden garlic gas gate gather gay gaze gear gender gene general generally generate generation genetic gentleman gently German gesture get ghost giant gift gifted girl girlfriend give given glad glance glass global glove go goal God gold golden golf good government governor grab grade gradually graduate grain grand grandfather grandmother grant grass grave gray great greatest green grocery ground group grow growing growth guarantee guard guess guest guide guideline guilty gun guy habit habitat hair half hall hand handful handle hang happen happy hard hardly hat hate have he head headline headquarters health healthy hear hearing heart heat heaven heavily heavy heel height helicopter hell hello help helpful her here heritage hero herself hey hi hide high highlight highly highway hill him himself hip hire his historian historic historical history hit hold hole holiday holy home homeless honest honey honor hope horizon horror horse hospital host hot hotel hour house household housing how however huge human humor hundred hungry hunter hunting hurt husband hypothesis I ice idea ideal identification identify identity ie if ignore ill illegal illness illustrate image imagination imagine immediate immediately immigrant immigration impact implement implication imply importance important impose impossible impress impression impressive improve improvement in incentive incident include including income incorporate increase increased increasing increasingly incredible indeed independence independent index Indian indicate indication individual industrial industry infant infection inflation influence inform information ingredient initial initially initiative injury inner innocent inquiry inside insight insist inspire install instance instead institution institutional instruction instructor instrument insurance intellectual intelligence intend intense intensity intention interaction interest interested interesting internal international Internet interpret interpretation intervention interview into introduce introduction invasion invest investigate investigation investigator investment investor invite involve involved involvement Iraqi Irish iron Islamic island Israeli issue it Italian item its itself jacket jail Japanese jet Jew Jewish job join joint joke journal journalist journey joy judge judgment juice jump junior jury just justice justify keep key kick kid kill killer killing kind king kiss kitchen knee knife knock know knowledge lab label labor laboratory lack lady lake land landscape language lap large largely last late later Latin latter laugh launch law lawn lawsuit lawyer lay layer lead leader leadership leading leaf league lean learn learning least leather leave left leg legacy legal legend legislation legitimate lemon length less lesson let letter level liberal library license lie life lifestyle lifetime lift light like likely limit limitation limited line link lip list listen literally literary literature little live living load loan local locate location lock long long-term look loose lose loss lost lot lots loud love lovely lover low lower luck lucky lunch lung machine mad magazine mail main mainly maintain maintenance major majority make maker makeup male mall man manage management manager manner manufacturer manufacturing many map margin mark market marketing marriage married marry mask mass massive master match material math matter may maybe mayor me meal mean meaning meanwhile measure measurement meat mechanism media medical medication medicine medium meet meeting member membership memory mental mention menu mere merely mess message metal meter method Mexican middle might military milk million mind mine minister minor minority minute miracle mirror miss missile mission mistake mix mixture mm-hmm mode model moderate modern modest mom moment money monitor month mood moon moral more moreover morning mortgage most mostly mother motion motivation motor mount mountain mouse mouth move movement movie Mr Mrs Ms much multiple murder muscle museum music musical musician Muslim must mutual my myself mystery myth naked name narrative narrow nation national native natural naturally nature near nearby nearly necessarily necessary neck need negative negotiate negotiation neighbor neighborhood neither nerve nervous net network never nevertheless new newly news newspaper next nice night nine no nobody nod noise nomination none nonetheless nor normal normally north northern nose not note nothing notice notion novel now nowhere n't nuclear number numerous nurse nut object objective obligation observation observe observer obtain obvious obviously occasion occasionally occupation occupy occur ocean odd odds of off offense offensive offer office officer official often oh oil ok okay old Olympic on once one ongoing onion online only onto open opening operate operating operation operator opinion opponent opportunity oppose opposite opposition option or orange order ordinary organic organization organize orientation origin original originally other others otherwise ought our ourselves out outcome outside oven over overall overcome overlook owe own owner pace pack package page pain painful paint painter painting pair pale Palestinian palm pan panel pant paper parent park parking part participant participate participation particular particularly partly partner partnership party pass passage passenger passion past patch path patient pattern pause pay payment PC peace peak peer penalty people pepper per perceive percentage perception perfect perfectly perform performance perhaps period permanent permission permit person personal personality personally personnel perspective persuade pet phase phenomenon philosophy phone photo photograph photographer phrase physical physically physician piano pick picture pie piece pile pilot pine pink pipe pitch place plan plane planet planning plant plastic plate platform play player please pleasure plenty plot plus PM pocket poem poet poetry point pole police policy political politically politician politics poll pollution pool poor pop popular population porch port portion portrait portray pose position positive possess possibility possible possibly post pot potato potential potentially pound pour poverty powder power powerful practical practice pray prayer precisely predict prefer preference pregnancy pregnant preparation prepare prescription presence present presentation preserve president presidential press pressure pretend pretty prevent previous previously price pride priest primarily primary prime principal principle print prior priority prison prisoner privacy private probably problem procedure proceed process produce producer product production profession professional professor profile profit program progress project prominent promise promote prompt proof proper properly property proportion proposal propose proposed prosecutor prospect protect protection protein protest proud prove provide provider province provision psychological psychologist psychology public publication publicly publish publisher pull punishment purchase pure purpose pursue push put qualify quality quarter quarterback question quick quickly quiet quietly quit quite quote race racial radical radio rail rain raise range rank rapid rapidly rare rarely rate rather rating ratio raw reach react reaction read reader reading ready real reality realize really reason reasonable recall receive recent recently recipe recognition recognize recommend recommendation record recording recover recovery recruit red reduce reduction refer reference reflect reflection reform refugee refuse regard regarding regardless regime region regional register regular regularly regulate regulation reinforce reject relate relation relationship relative relatively relax release relevant relief religion religious rely remain remaining remarkable remember remind remote remove repeat repeatedly replace reply report reporter represent representation representative Republican reputation request require requirement research researcher resemble reservation resident resist resistance resolution resolve resort resource respect respond respondent response responsibility responsible rest restaurant restore restriction result retain retire retirement return reveal revenue review revolution rhythm rice rich rid ride rifle right ring rise risk river road rock role roll romantic roof room root rope rose rough roughly round route routine row rub rule run running rural rush Russian sacred sad safe safety sake salad salary sale sales salt same sample sanction sand satellite satisfaction satisfy sauce save saving say scale scandal scared scenario scene schedule scheme scholar scholarship school science scientific scientist scope score scream screen script sea search season seat second secret secretary section sector secure security see seed seek seem segment seize select selection self sell Senate senator send senior sense sensitive sentence separate sequence series serious seriously serve service session set setting settle settlement seven several severe sex sexual shade shadow shake shall shape share sharp she sheet shelf shell shelter shift shine ship shirt shit shock shoe shoot shooting shop shopping shore short shortly shot should shoulder shout show shower shrug shut sick side sigh sight sign signal significance significant significantly silence silent silver similar similarly simple simply sin since sing singer single sink sir sister sit site situation six size ski skill skin sky slave sleep slice slide slight slightly slip slow slowly small smart smell smile smoke smooth snap snow so so-called soccer social society soft software soil solar soldier solid solution solve some somebody somehow someone something sometimes somewhat somewhere son song soon sophisticated sorry sort soul sound soup source south southern Soviet space Spanish speak speaker special specialist species specific specifically speech speed spend spending spin spirit spiritual split spokesman sport spot spread spring square squeeze stability stable staff stage stair stake stand standard standing star stare start state statement station statistics status stay steady steal steel step stick still stir stock stomach stone stop storage store storm story straight strange stranger strategic strategy stream street strength strengthen stress stretch strike string strip stroke strong strongly structure struggle student studio study stuff stupid style subject submit subsequent substance substantial succeed success successful successfully such sudden suddenly sue suffer sufficient sugar suggest suggestion suicide suit summer summit sun super supply support supporter suppose supposed Supreme sure surely surface surgery surprise surprised surprising surprisingly surround survey survival survive survivor suspect sustain swear sweep sweet swim swing switch symbol symptom system table tablespoon tactic tail take tale talent talk tall tank tap tape target task taste tax taxpayer tea teach teacher teaching team tear teaspoon technical technique technology teen teenager telephone telescope television tell temperature temporary ten tend tendency tennis tension tent term terms terrible territory terror terrorism terrorist test testify testimony testing text than thank thanks that the theater their them theme themselves then theory therapy there therefore these they thick thin thing think thinking third thirty this those though thought thousand threat threaten three throat through throughout throw thus ticket tie tight time tiny tip tire tired tissue title to tobacco today toe together tomato tomorrow tone tongue tonight too tool tooth top topic toss total totally touch tough tour tourist tournament toward towards tower town toy trace track trade tradition traditional traffic tragedy trail train training transfer transform transformation transition translate transportation travel treat treatment treaty tree tremendous trend trial tribe trick trip troop trouble truck true truly trust truth try tube tunnel turn TV twelve twenty twice twin two type typical typically ugly ultimate ultimately unable uncle under undergo understand understanding unfortunately uniform union unique unit United universal universe university unknown unless unlike unlikely until unusual up upon upper urban urge us use used useful user usual usually utility vacation valley valuable value variable variation variety various vary vast vegetable vehicle venture version versus very vessel veteran via victim victory video view viewer village violate violation violence violent virtually virtue virus visible vision visit visitor visual vital voice volume volunteer vote voter vs vulnerable wage wait wake walk wall wander want war warm warn warning wash waste watch water wave way we weak wealth wealthy weapon wear weather wedding week weekend weekly weigh weight welcome welfare well west western wet what whatever wheel when whenever where whereas whether which while whisper white who whole whom whose why wide widely widespread wife wild will willing win wind window wine wing winner winter wipe wire wisdom wise wish with withdraw within without witness woman wonder wonderful wood wooden word work worker working works workshop world worried worry worth would wound wrap write writer writing wrong yard yeah year yell yellow yes yesterday yet yield you young your yours yourself youth zone
submitted by TastyUdders to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

Big Life Journal kids and Teen Review and Comparison Ten Tips for Presenting a Journal Club Journal - YouTube One Piece Chapter 984 Review - Oden's Journal: The Key To Ending This Prayer Journal Review pt.1

Top online journals on sports betting. This results of this peer review is that all papers published in an academic journal meet a certain level of academic aptitude. Some journals tend to be of higher quality, which sometimes means that they reject many more papers than they accept. Free sports picks for 2020. Don't miss our daily game score predictions and sports picks today from SBR betting experts. The line on the Super Bowl hasn’t moved much since the Chiefs were installed as 1-point favorites over the 49ers. And Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t expect the line to move much more before Sunday Betting on the Planet. By it attracted one of the largest batches of angry letters in the journal's history. An irate Ehrlich wondered how the article had passed peer review at America's Complete coverage of the Las Vegas sports betting scene, from NFL training camp through the Super Bowl, from Final Four through the Stanley Cup Final with Todd Dewey's reports and columns and a

[index] [4453] [2739] [777] [1014] [13486] [10805] [11998] [13098] [3510] [4407]

Big Life Journal kids and Teen Review and Comparison

Statistics Review for Journal Clubs - Duration: 35:27. Amber Cann 207 views. 35:27. How to Do a Presentation - 5 Steps to a Killer Opener - Duration: 7:34. Rule The Room Recommended for you. DINGBATS Bullet Journal Notebook Review + Comparison by Journal Away. 11:08. tips on improving your handwriting by zhosaexic. 3:49. How to change and improve your handwriting studytee , ^^ Divideo kali ini aku mau bikin Stationery Haul lagi nih dari Joyko, Semoga kalian suka dan semoga video ini ada manfaatnya! Tapi kalo gasuka yaudah, ada tombol dislikenya, silahkan diklik ... 5 videos Play all New Journal 3: Special Edition Videos TheNextBigThing Gravity Falls Season 2 Episodes 18-20 WEIRDMAGEDDON reaction (Special edition edit) - Duration: 48:18. Mattytime 630,892 views Sorry if I side tracked I talk a lot and I just wanted to make this video so that people can do it as home as well in a diy version. I am just going based off of what the book was saying. I know ...