60-Second Binary Options Strategy - A Simple But Effective ...

AJ ALMENDINGER

glimpse into the future of Roblox

Our vision to bring the world together through play has never been more relevant than it is now. As our founder and CEO, David Baszucki (a.k.a. Builderman), mentioned in his keynote, more and more people are using Roblox to stay connected with their friends and loved ones. He hinted at a future where, with our automatic machine translation technology, Roblox will one day act as a universal translator, enabling people from different cultures and backgrounds to connect and learn from each other.
During his keynote, Builderman also elaborated upon our vision to build the Metaverse; the future of avatar creation on the platform (infinitely customizable avatars that allow any body, any clothing, and any animation to come together seamlessly); more personalized game discovery; and simulating large social gatherings (like concerts, graduations, conferences, etc.) with tens of thousands of participants all in one server. We’re still very early on in this journey, but if these past five months have shown us anything, it’s clear that there is a growing need for human co-experience platforms like Roblox that allow people to play, create, learn, work, and share experiences together in a safe, civil 3D immersive space.
Up next, our VP of Developer Relations, Matt Curtis (a.k.a. m4rrh3w), shared an update on all the things we’re doing to continue empowering developers to create innovative and exciting content through collaboration, support, and expertise. He also highlighted some of the impressive milestones our creator community has achieved since last year’s RDC. Here are a few key takeaways:
And lastly, our VP of Engineering, Technology, Adam Miller (a.k.a. rbadam), unveiled a myriad of cool and upcoming features developers will someday be able to sink their teeth into. We saw a glimpse of procedural skies, skinned meshes, more high-quality materials, new terrain types, more fonts in Studio, a new asset type for in-game videos, haptic feedback on mobile, real-time CSG operations, and many more awesome tools that will unlock the potential for even bigger, more immersive experiences on Roblox.

Vibin’

Despite the virtual setting, RDC just wouldn’t have been the same without any fun party activities and networking opportunities. So, we invited special guests DJ Hyper Potions and cyber mentalist Colin Cloud for some truly awesome, truly mind-bending entertainment. Yoga instructor Erin Gilmore also swung by to inspire attendees to get out of their chair and get their body moving. And of course, we even had virtual rooms dedicated to karaoke and head-to-head social games, like trivia and Pictionary.
Over on the networking side, Team Adopt Me, Red Manta, StyLiS Studios, and Summit Studios hosted a virtual booth for attendees to ask questions, submit resumes, and more. We also had a networking session where three participants would be randomly grouped together to get to know each other.

What does Roblox mean to you?

We all know how talented the Roblox community is from your creations. We’ve heard plenty of stories over the years about how Roblox has touched your lives, how you’ve made friendships, learned new skills, or simply found a place where you can be yourself. We wanted to hear more. So, we asked attendees: What does Roblox mean to you? How has Roblox connected you? How has Roblox changed your life? Then, over the course of RDC, we incorporated your responses into this awesome mural.
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Created by Alece Birnbach at Graphic Recording Studio

Knowledge is power

This year’s breakout sessions included presentations from Roblox developers and staff members on the latest game development strategies, a deep dive into the Roblox engine, learning how to animate with Blender, tools for working together in teams, building performant game worlds, and the new Creator Dashboard. Dr. Michael Rich, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, also led attendees through a discussion on mental health and how to best take care of you and your friends’ emotional well-being, especially now during these challenging times.
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Making the Dream Work with Teamwork (presented by Roblox developer Myzta)
In addition to our traditional Q&A panel with top product and engineering leaders at Roblox, we also held a special session with Builderman himself to answer the community’s biggest questions.
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Roblox Product and Engineering Q&A Panel

2020 Game Jam

The Game Jam is always one of our favorite events of RDC. It’s a chance for folks to come together, flex their development skills, and come up with wildly inventive game ideas that really push the boundaries of what’s possible on Roblox. We had over 60 submissions this year—a new RDC record.
Once again, teams of up to six people from around the world had less than 24 hours to conceptualize, design, and publish a game based on the theme “2020 Vision,” all while working remotely no less! To achieve such a feat is nothing short of awe-inspiring, but as always, our dev community was more than up for the challenge. I’ve got to say, these were some of the finest creations we’ve seen.
WINNERS
Best in Show: Shapescape Created By: GhettoMilkMan, dayzeedog, maplestick, theloudscream, Brick_man, ilyannna You awaken in a strange laboratory, seemingly with no way out. Using a pair of special glasses, players must solve a series of anamorphic puzzles and optical illusions to make their escape.
Excellence in Visual Art: agn●sia Created By: boatbomber, thisfall, Elttob An obby experience unlike any other, this game is all about seeing the world through a different lens. Reveal platforms by switching between different colored lenses and make your way to the end.
Most Creative Gameplay: Visions of a perspective reality Created By: Noble_Draconian and Spathi Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective to solve challenges. By switching between 2D and 3D perspectives, players can maneuver around obstacles or find new ways to reach the end of each level.
Outstanding Use of Tech: The Eyes of Providence Created By: Quenty, Arch_Mage, AlgyLacey, xJennyBeanx, Zomebody, Crykee This action/strategy game comes with a unique VR twist. While teams fight to construct the superior monument, two VR players can support their minions by collecting resources and manipulating the map.
Best Use of Theme: Sticker Situation Created By: dragonfrosting and Yozoh Set in a mysterious art gallery, players must solve puzzles by manipulating the environment using a magic camera and stickers. Snap a photograph, place down a sticker, and see how it changes the world.
OTHER TOP PICKS
HONORABLE MENTIONS
For the rest of the 2020 Game Jam submissions, check out the list below:
20-20 Vision | 20/20 Vision | 2020 Vision, A Crazy Perspective | 2020 Vision: Nyon | A Wild Trip! | Acuity | Best Year Ever | Better Half | Bloxlabs | Climb Stairs to 2021 | Double Vision (Team hey apple) | Eyebrawl | Eyeworm Exam | FIRE 2020 | HACKED | Hyperspective | Lucid Scream | Mystery Mansion | New Years at the Museum | New Year’s Bash | Poor Vision | Predict 2020 | RBC News | Retrovertigo | Second Wave | see no evil | Sight Fight | Sight Stealers | Spectacles Struggle | Specter Spectrum | Survive 2020 | The Lost Chicken Leg | The Outbreak | The Spyglass | Time Heist | Tunnel Vision | Virtual RDC – The Story | Vision (Team Freepunk) | Vision (Team VIP People ####) | Vision Developers Conference 2020 | Vision Is Key | Vision Perspective | Vision Racer | Visions | Zepto
And last but not least, we wanted to give a special shout out to Starboard Studios. Though they didn’t quite make it on time for our judges, we just had to include Dave’s Vision for good measure. 📷
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Game Jam, and congrats to all those who took home the dub in each of our categories this year. As the winners of Best in Show, the developers of Shapescape will have their names forever engraved on the RDC Game Jam trophy back at Roblox HQ. Great work!

‘Til next year

And that about wraps up our coverage of the first-ever digital RDC. Thanks to all who attended! Before we go, we wanted to share a special “behind the scenes” video from the 2020 RDC photoshoot.
Check it out:
It was absolutely bonkers. Getting 350 of us all in one server was so much fun and really brought back the feeling of being together with everyone again. That being said, we can’t wait to see you all—for real this time—at RDC next year. It’s going to be well worth the wait. ‘Til we meet again, my friends.
© 2020 Roblox Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Improving Simulation and Performance with an Advanced Physics Solver

August

05, 2020

by chefdeletat
PRODUCT & TECH
📷In mid-2015, Roblox unveiled a major upgrade to its physics engine: the Projected Gauss-Seidel (PGS) physics solver. For the first year, the new solver was optional and provided improved fidelity and greater performance compared to the previously used spring solver.
In 2016, we added support for a diverse set of new physics constraints, incentivizing developers to migrate to the new solver and extending the creative capabilities of the physics engine. Any new places used the PGS solver by default, with the option of reverting back to the classic solver.
We ironed out some stability issues associated with high mass differences and complex mechanisms by the introduction of the hybrid LDL-PGS solver in mid-2018. This made the old solver obsolete, and it was completely disabled in 2019, automatically migrating all places to the PGS.
In 2019, the performance was further improved using multi-threading that splits the simulation into jobs consisting of connected islands of simulating parts. We still had performance issues related to the LDL that we finally resolved in early 2020.
The physics engine is still being improved and optimized for performance, and we plan on adding new features for the foreseeable future.

Implementing the Laws of Physics

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The main objective of a physics engine is to simulate the motion of bodies in a virtual environment. In our physics engine, we care about bodies that are rigid, that collide and have constraints with each other.
A physics engine is organized into two phases: collision detection and solving. Collision detection finds intersections between geometries associated with the rigid bodies, generating appropriate collision information such as collision points, normals and penetration depths. Then a solver updates the motion of rigid bodies under the influence of the collisions that were detected and constraints that were provided by the user.
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The motion is the result of the solver interpreting the laws of physics, such as conservation of energy and momentum. But doing this 100% accurately is prohibitively expensive, and the trick to simulating it in real-time is to approximate to increase performance, as long as the result is physically realistic. As long as the basic laws of motion are maintained within a reasonable tolerance, this tradeoff is completely acceptable for a computer game simulation.

Taking Small Steps

The main idea of the physics engine is to discretize the motion using time-stepping. The equations of motion of constrained and unconstrained rigid bodies are very difficult to integrate directly and accurately. The discretization subdivides the motion into small time increments, where the equations are simplified and linearized making it possible to solve them approximately. This means that during each time step the motion of the relevant parts of rigid bodies that are involved in a constraint is linearly approximated.
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Although a linearized problem is easier to solve, it produces drift in a simulation containing non-linear behaviors, like rotational motion. Later we’ll see mitigation methods that help reduce the drift and make the simulation more plausible.

Solving

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Having linearized the equations of motion for a time step, we end up needing to solve a linear system or linear complementarity problem (LCP). These systems can be arbitrarily large and can still be quite expensive to solve exactly. Again the trick is to find an approximate solution using a faster method. A modern method to approximately solve an LCP with good convergence properties is the Projected Gauss-Seidel (PGS). It is an iterative method, meaning that with each iteration the approximate solution is brought closer to the true solution, and its final accuracy depends on the number of iterations.
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This animation shows how a PGS solver changes the positions of the bodies at each step of the iteration process, the objective being to find the positions that respect the ball and socket constraints while preserving the center of mass at each step (this is a type of positional solver used by the IK dragger). Although this example has a simple analytical solution, it’s a good demonstration of the idea behind the PGS. At each step, the solver fixes one of the constraints and lets the other be violated. After a few iterations, the bodies are very close to their correct positions. A characteristic of this method is how some rigid bodies seem to vibrate around their final position, especially when coupling interactions with heavier bodies. If we don’t do enough iterations, the yellow part might be left in a visibly invalid state where one of its two constraints is dramatically violated. This is called the high mass ratio problem, and it has been the bane of physics engines as it causes instabilities and explosions. If we do too many iterations, the solver becomes too slow, if we don’t it becomes unstable. Balancing the two sides has been a painful and long process.

Mitigation Strategies

📷A solver has two major sources of inaccuracies: time-stepping and iterative solving (there is also floating point drift but it’s minor compared to the first two). These inaccuracies introduce errors in the simulation causing it to drift from the correct path. Some of this drift is tolerable like slightly different velocities or energy loss, but some are not like instabilities, large energy gains or dislocated constraints.
Therefore a lot of the complexity in the solver comes from the implementation of methods to minimize the impact of computational inaccuracies. Our final implementation uses some traditional and some novel mitigation strategies:
  1. Warm starting: starting with the solution from a previous time-step to increase the convergence rate of the iterative solver
  2. Post-stabilization: reprojecting the system back to the constraint manifold to prevent constraint drift
  3. Regularization: adding compliance to the constraints ensuring a solution exists and is unique
  4. Pre-conditioning: using an exact solution to a linear subsystem, improving the stability of complex mechanisms
Strategies 1, 2 and 3 are pretty traditional, but 3 has been improved and perfected by us. Also, although 4 is not unheard of, we haven’t seen any practical implementation of it. We use an original factorization method for large sparse constraint matrices and a new efficient way of combining it with the PGS. The resulting implementation is only slightly slower compared to pure PGS but ensures that the linear system coming from equality constraints is solved exactly. Consequently, the equality constraints suffer only from drift coming from the time discretization. Details on our methods are contained in my GDC 2020 presentation. Currently, we are investigating direct methods applied to inequality constraints and collisions.

Getting More Details

Traditionally there are two mathematical models for articulated mechanisms: there are reduced coordinate methods spearheaded by Featherstone, that parametrize the degrees of freedom at each joint, and there are full coordinate methods that use a Lagrangian formulation.
We use the second formulation as it is less restrictive and requires much simpler mathematics and implementation.
The Roblox engine uses analytical methods to compute the dynamic response of constraints, as opposed to penalty methods that were used before. Analytics methods were initially introduced in Baraff 1989, where they are used to treat both equality and non-equality constraints in a consistent manner. Baraff observed that the contact model can be formulated using quadratic programming, and he provided a heuristic solution method (which is not the method we use in our solver).
Instead of using force-based formulation, we use an impulse-based formulation in velocity space, originally introduced by Mirtich-Canny 1995 and further improved by Stewart-Trinkle 1996, which unifies the treatment of different contact types and guarantees the existence of a solution for contacts with friction. At each timestep, the constraints and collisions are maintained by applying instantaneous changes in velocities due to constraint impulses. An excellent explanation of why impulse-based simulation is superior is contained in the GDC presentation of Catto 2014.
The frictionless contacts are modeled using a linear complementarity problem (LCP) as described in Baraff 1994. Friction is added as a non-linear projection onto the friction cone, interleaved with the iterations of the Projected Gauss-Seidel.
The numerical drift that introduces positional errors in the constraints is resolved using a post-stabilization technique using pseudo-velocities introduced by Cline-Pai 2003. It involves solving a second LCP in the position space, which projects the system back to the constraint manifold.
The LCPs are solved using a PGS / Impulse Solver popularized by Catto 2005 (also see Catto 2009). This method is iterative and considers each individual constraints in sequence and resolves it independently. Over many iterations, and in ideal conditions, the system converges to a global solution.
Additionally, high mass ratio issues in equality constraints are ironed out by preconditioning the PGS using the sparse LDL decomposition of the constraint matrix of equality constraints. Dense submatrices of the constraint matrix are sparsified using a method we call Body Splitting. This is similar to the LDL decomposition used in Baraff 1996, but allows more general mechanical systems, and solves the system in constraint space. For more information, you can see my GDC 2020 presentation.
The architecture of our solver follows the idea of Guendelman-Bridson-Fedkiw, where the velocity and position stepping are separated by the constraint resolution. Our time sequencing is:
  1. Advance velocities
  2. Constraint resolution in velocity space and position space
  3. Advance positions
This scheme has the advantage of integrating only valid velocities, and limiting latency in external force application but allowing a small amount of perceived constraint violation due to numerical drift.
An excellent reference for rigid body simulation is the book Erleben 2005 that was recently made freely available. You can find online lectures about physics-based animation, a blog by Nilson Souto on building a physics engine, a very good GDC presentation by Erin Catto on modern solver methods, and forums like the Bullet Physics Forum and GameDev which are excellent places to ask questions.

In Conclusion

The field of game physics simulation presents many interesting problems that are both exciting and challenging. There are opportunities to learn a substantial amount of cool mathematics and physics and to use modern optimizations techniques. It’s an area of game development that tightly marries mathematics, physics and software engineering.
Even if Roblox has a good rigid body physics engine, there are areas where it can be improved and optimized. Also, we are working on exciting new projects like fracturing, deformation, softbody, cloth, aerodynamics and water simulation.
Neither Roblox Corporation nor this blog endorses or supports any company or service. Also, no guarantees or promises are made regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained in this blog.
This blog post was originally published on the Roblox Tech Blog.
© 2020 Roblox Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Using Clang to Minimize Global Variable Use

July

23, 2020

by RandomTruffle
PRODUCT & TECH
Every non-trivial program has at least some amount of global state, but too much can be a bad thing. In C++ (which constitutes close to 100% of Roblox’s engine code) this global state is initialized before main() and destroyed after returning from main(), and this happens in a mostly non-deterministic order. In addition to leading to confusing startup and shutdown semantics that are difficult to reason about (or change), it can also lead to severe instability.
Roblox code also creates a lot of long-running detached threads (threads which are never joined and just run until they decide to stop, which might be never). These two things together have a very serious negative interaction on shutdown, because long-running threads continue accessing the global state that is being destroyed. This can lead to elevated crash rates, test suite flakiness, and just general instability.
The first step to digging yourself out of a mess like this is to understand the extent of the problem, so in this post I’m going to talk about one technique you can use to gain visibility into your global startup flow. I’m also going to discuss how we are using this to improve stability across the entire Roblox game engine platform by decreasing our use of global variables.

Introducing -finstrument-functions

Nothing excites me more than learning about a new obscure compiler option that I’ve never had a use for before, so I was pretty happy when a colleague pointed me to this option in the Clang Command Line Reference. I’d never used it before, but it sounded very cool. The idea being that if we could get the compiler to tell us every time it entered and exited a function, we could filter this information through a symbolizer of some kind and generate a report of functions that a) occur before main(), and b) are the very first function in the call-stack (indicating it’s a global).
Unfortunately, the documentation basically just tells you that the option exists with no mention of how to use it or if it even actually does what it sounds like it does. There’s also two different options that sound similar to each other (-finstrument-functions and -finstrument-functions-after-inlining), and I still wasn’t entirely sure what the difference was. So I decided to throw up a quick sample on godbolt to see what happened, which you can see here. Note there are two assembly outputs for the same source listing. One uses the first option and the other uses the second option, and we can compare the assembly output to understand the differences. We can gather a few takeaways from this sample:
  1. The compiler is injecting calls to __cyg_profile_func_enter and __cyg_profile_func_exit inside of every function, inline or not.
  2. The only difference between the two options occurs at the call-site of an inline function.
  3. With -finstrument-functions, the instrumentation for the inlined function is inserted at the call-site, whereas with -finstrument-functions-after-inlining we only have instrumentation for the outer function. This means that when using-finstrument-functions-after-inlining you won’t be able to determine which functions are inlined and where.
Of course, this sounds exactly like what the documentation said it did, but sometimes you just need to look under the hood to convince yourself.
To put all of this another way, if we want to know about calls to inline functions in this trace we need to use -finstrument-functions because otherwise their instrumentation is silently removed by the compiler. Sadly, I was never able to get -finstrument-functions to work on a real example. I would always end up with linker errors deep in the Standard C++ Library which I was unable to figure out. My best guess is that inlining is often a heuristic, and this can somehow lead to subtle ODR (one-definition rule) violations when the optimizer makes different inlining decisions from different translation units. Luckily global constructors (which is what we care about) cannot possibly be inlined anyway, so this wasn’t a problem.
I suppose I should also mention that I still got tons of linker errors with -finstrument-functions-after-inlining as well, but I did figure those out. As best as I can tell, this option seems to imply –whole-archive linker semantics. Discussion of –whole-archive is outside the scope of this blog post, but suffice it to say that I fixed it by using linker groups (e.g. -Wl,–start-group and -Wl,–end-group) on the compiler command line. I was a bit surprised that we didn’t get these same linker errors without this option and still don’t totally understand why. If you happen to know why this option would change linker semantics, please let me know in the comments!

Implementing the Callback Hooks

If you’re astute, you may be wondering what in the world __cyg_profile_func_enter and __cyg_profile_func_exit are and why the program is even successfully linking in the first without giving undefined symbol reference errors, since the compiler is apparently trying to call some function we’ve never defined. Luckily, there are some options that allow us to see inside the linker’s algorithm so we can find out where it’s getting this symbol from to begin with. Specifically, -y should tell us how the linker is resolving . We’ll try it with a dummy program first and a symbol that we’ve defined ourselves, then we’ll try it with __cyg_profile_func_enter .
[email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ cat instr.cpp int main() {} [email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ clang++-9 -fuse-ld=lld -Wl,-y -Wl,main instr.cpp /usbin/../lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/crt1.o: reference to main /tmp/instr-5b6c60.o: definition of main
No surprises here. The C Runtime Library references main(), and our object file defines it. Now let’s see what happens with __cyg_profile_func_enter and -finstrument-functions-after-inlining.
[email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ clang++-9 -fuse-ld=lld -finstrument-functions-after-inlining -Wl,-y -Wl,__cyg_profile_func_enter instr.cpp /tmp/instr-8157b3.o: reference to __cyg_profile_func_enter /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6: shared definition of __cyg_profile_func_enter
Now, we see that libc provides the definition, and our object file references it. Linking works a bit differently on Unix-y platforms than it does on Windows, but basically this means that if we define this function ourselves in our cpp file, the linker will just automatically prefer it over the shared library version. Working godbolt link without runtime output is here. So now you can kind of see where this is going, however there are still a couple of problems left to solve.
  1. We don’t want to do this for a full run of the program. We want to stop as soon as we reach main.
  2. We need a way to symbolize this trace.
The first problem is easy to solve. All we need to do is compare the address of the function being called to the address of main, and set a flag indicating we should stop tracing henceforth. (Note that taking the address of main is undefined behavior[1], but for our purposes it gets the job done, and we aren’t shipping this code, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). The second problem probably deserves a little more discussion though.

Symbolizing the Traces

In order to symbolize these traces, we need two things. First, we need to store the trace somewhere on persistent storage. We can’t expect to symbolize in real time with any kind of reasonable performance. You can write some C code to save the trace to some magic filename, or you can do what I did and just write it to stderr (this way you can pipe stderr to some file when you run it).
Second, and perhaps more importantly, for every address we need to write out the full path to the module the address belongs to. Your program loads many shared libraries, and in order to translate an address into a symbol, we have to know which shared library or executable the address actually belongs to. In addition, we have to be careful to write out the address of the symbol in the file on disk. When your program is running, the operating system could have loaded it anywhere in memory. And if we’re going to symbolize it after the fact we need to make sure we can still reference it after the information about where it was loaded in memory is lost. The linux function dladdr() gives us both pieces of information we need. A working godbolt sample with the exact implementation of our instrumentation hooks as they appear in our codebase can be found here.

Putting it All Together

Now that we have a file in this format saved on disk, all we need to do is symbolize the addresses. addr2line is one option, but I went with llvm-symbolizer as I find it more robust. I wrote a Python script to parse the file and symbolize each address, then print it in the same “visual” hierarchical format that the original output file is in. There are various options for filtering the resulting symbol list so that you can clean up the output to include only things that are interesting for your case. For example, I filtered out any globals that have boost:: in their name, because I can’t exactly go rewrite boost to not use global variables.
The script isn’t as simple as you would think, because simply crawling each line and symbolizing it would be unacceptably slow (when I tried this, it took over 2 hours before I finally killed the process). This is because the same address might appear thousands of times, and there’s no reason to run llvm-symbolizer against the same address multiple times. So there’s a lot of smarts in there to pre-process the address list and eliminate duplicates. I won’t discuss the implementation in more detail because it isn’t super interesting. But I’ll do even better and provide the source!
So after all of this, we can run any one of our internal targets to get the call tree, run it through the script, and then get output like this (actual output from a Roblox process, source file information removed):
excluded_symbols = [‘.\boost.*’]* excluded_modules = [‘/usr.\’]* /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libLLVM-9.so.1: 140 unique addresses InterestingRobloxProcess: 38928 unique addresses /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: 1 unique addresses /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc++.so.1: 3 unique addresses Printing call tree with depth 2 for 29276 global variables. __cxx_global_var_init.5 (InterestingFile1.cpp:418:22) RBX::InterestingRobloxClass2::InterestingRobloxClass2() (InterestingFile2.cpp.:415:0) __cxx_global_var_init.19 (InterestingFile2.cpp:183:34) (anonymous namespace)::InterestingRobloxClass2::InterestingRobloxClass2() (InterestingFile2.cpp:171:0) __cxx_global_var_init.274 (InterestingFile3.cpp:2364:33) RBX::InterestingRobloxClass3::InterestingRobloxClass3()
So there you have it: the first half of the battle is over. I can run this script on every platform, compare results to understand what order our globals are actually initialized in in practice, then slowly migrate this code out of global initializers and into main where it can be deterministic and explicit.

Future Work

It occurred to me sometime after implementing this that we could make a general purpose profiling hook that exposed some public symbols (dllexport’ed if you speak Windows), and allowed a plugin module to hook into this dynamically. This plugin module could filter addresses using whatever arbitrary logic that it was interested in. One interesting use case I came up for this is that it could look up the debug information, check if the current address maps to the constructor of a function local static, and write out the address if so. This effectively allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the order in which our lazy statics are initialized. The possibilities are endless here.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in this kind of thing, I’ve collected a couple of my favorite references for this kind of topic.
  1. Various: The C++ Language Standard
  2. Matt Godbolt: The Bits Between the Bits: How We Get to main()
  3. Ryan O’Neill: Learning Linux Binary Analysis
  4. Linkers and Loaders: John R. Levine
  5. https://eel.is/c++draft/basic.exec#basic.start.main-3
Neither Roblox Corporation nor this blog endorses or supports any company or service. Also, no guarantees or promises are made regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained in this blog.
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Betrayal as a Core Game Mechanic

Before we begin: what do you think Betrayal would and should look like as a core game mechanic? What expectations do you have for it? In addition, try to think of what Betrayal's place would be in the game were it simply implemented exactly as is, but somewhat less common than it is at the moment because it will compete with other masters for appearances (assuming they're mutually exclusive).
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS:

"Core" league vs "current" league
Description of problem: This isn't actually a problem, just a byproduct of GGG's league design. I decided to talk about this at the very start to differentiate between two things: How GGG "should" design a current league and how GGG should adapt that league into core content. The league's content is stretched to last for three months, and since the encounter rate is high, the rewards are correspondingly miniscule. Content that is now core has a relatively lower encounter rate, but the rewards are larger per encounter (but still small to make up for the fact that content has been cumulative for years on end, lending to how crazy maps can get). Since temporary leagues have long been the de facto "way" of playing the game, people seem to have forgotten GGG's disclaimers that temporary league balance has a high likelihood of being off. GGG rarely hits out of the park on the first try, but they have a history of nailing it the next time around. Invasion was nerfed, Necrovigil and Phylacteral Link were removed, Order of the Frozen Sky isn't horrific anymore, Malachai was nerfed, Bestiary was fixed, Betrayal's bugs were (eventually) fixed, and so forth. I have faith that GGG will do what's right and I'm looking forward to what GGG will do with a "core" Betrayal because the "league" Betrayal is already history at this point. We're already in the preliminary stages of the next round of new league hypebuilding.

Betrayal Safehouse loot is bad and so is low-level farming
Description of problem: At the core of ARPGs, everything comes back to loot. We're not helping Zana because we care; we want to snatch the eyes right out of Uber Elder's writhing head. This talk will be split into two parts: Safehouses and Veiled items. Let's start with Safehouses. Here is a graphic of all Betrayal rewards and how I have personally ranked them, according to their value within BSC and the opportunity cost of putting a member in one branch and not another. Some of these could be shifted around according to one's preferences (some people don't want to deal with Guff's benches, other people don't value Cameria's legacy Uniques because the chances of getting something good are too low, etc). But this is a rough guide for what most players will see when they get Safehouse loot.
Total # of possible rewards: 68 # of good rewards: 15 # of middling rewards: 16 # of bad rewards: 37
# of level-scaled rewards: 15 # of good rewards scaled by level: 0 # of middling rewards scaled by level: 0 # of bad rewards scaled by level: 15
Let's talk about the three types of rewards I've delineated.
The Good: GGG did well with the good rewards. Stuff like turning Rare amulets into Talismans (effectively solving Talisman's long-standing problem of being inferior Rare items because you could never control the explicit rolls), adding White sockets to any gear (not just craftable bases like Delve's Fractured Fossils), "free" Exalt slams, breaking the quality cap, and so forth. PoE is a character building game and giving players these kinds of small optimizations (on top of the big and risky stuff like double-corruption rooms) is precisely what separates the top builds on poe.ninja from the budget cookie-cutter stuff with inferior performance. In fact, I wouldn't mind them being at their current rarity level once they go core because that's just how strong they are.
The Bad: Thing #1 is that it's okay for the Syndicate to have bad rewards. It would have happened regardless of design since even when all things are good, some things are relatively less good. Additionally, if everything was good in a generic and non-specific way, the Syndicate as a whole would lack flavor. For example, Leo gives Torment Scarabs because he's the Ghost of PvP Past and Tormented Spirits are about as fun and rewarding as PoE PvP in 2019. Jokes aside, it's also possible to mitigate the bad rewards by interrogating these people for intel in lieu of others because they don't matter anyways, unlike a 3* Cameria in Intervention. So we can't deny that Betrayal's got flavor. The bad news is that the flavor is "the juice that leaks out from the bottom of black garbage bags". Instead of "everything being good so nothing matters", we have "almost nothing is good, so only a few things matter". Really, I don't know what GGG was thinking when it came to some of Vagan, Haku, and Elreon's rewards. They literally drop less than a white unrolled map for all the effort that goes into making a Safehouse.
Thing #2 is that there's too much "bad". Much of it could be converted to "middling" with some adjustment, which would make an undesirable safehouse outcome much less galling to swallow. Alternatively, many "bad" rewards would simply become less relevant if syndicate manipulation had more quality of life and less tedium. If Betrayal was simply dumped into the core game with a lower encounter rate right now, it would be frustrating to deal with and a mediocre gameplay experience as a result.
The Middle: The middling rewards mostly relate to items you can get from other sources, like Fossils, Fragments, Essences, Currencies, Divination Cards, and Maps. In the case of Maps and anything to do with them, I think some of the devaluation can also be blamed on Pure Breachstones, which have inflated supply (The HarbingeBeachhead effect).
The problem is simple: It is more efficient to obtain those items from other sources (including their original sources) than it is to farm the Syndicate for them. I'm not advocating for the reverse, because then only the Syndicate would be relevant content unless it was significantly gated. But as it stands, Korell's fossils are a joke because doing Delve for them is better. Stacks or spreads of random Divination cards are a joke because it's better to use a Divination Card scarab on a zone that actually gives the Divination card you want in a somewhat deterministic fashion (You know, the point of Divination cards); Gravicius ain't no Putrid Cloister. Fragments are better farmed from the trade website and twinned triple boss corrupted maps and currencies and uniques are better found simply by running a map.
Betrayal does not scale well with area level:
Oh boy, here we go.
This. This right here. This is the reason why we were running Harbour Bridge and Foothills for the whole league. This is the reason why people were able to target-farm Pure Breachstones and pump out more than half the amount of level 100s in Standard (the cumulative history of the game) in a single league. If Betrayal's content and rewards had scaled more appropriately with area level, we could have had a league that excels in both low and high-level content, like Delve.
So, you do easy stuff, you should get meh rewards. If you do hard stuff, you should get good rewards. One of the most fundamental ingrained ideas behind gaming design. What constitutes "hard stuff" can be difficult to describe at times since the layered content and occasional lack of visual clarity in PoE creates difficulty spikes and each build and player is challenged by different aspects of the game. But content design and controlled encounters can remove the possibility of difficulty spiking due to unexpected variables, which means Betrayal has less excuses for its ratio of difficulty to reward. You feel bored when you do hundreds of hours of monotonous low-level zones. You feel excited when something challenges you and forces you to upgrade your build and pay close attention to positioning and enemy patterns. You feel betrayed when hard content gives you bad loot and you feel annoyed when easy content gives you good loot because the game's design gives you a begrudging reason to do the tedious and easy content as opposed to the more varied difficult content. That's what Betrayal, as a league, was.
If you look at the second row of my table above, you'll see that less than a fourth of all possible Safehouse rewards scale with area level. And all of them are "bad" outcomes. Arguably, Jorgin's "Aspect rares" are potentially middling because you could split them with a Bestiary recipe and get a craftable base in case you're not finding a Fenumal Hybrid Spider or a Farric whatever, thus enabling SSF builds. And that part of Jorgin is good because it gives a partially deterministic outcome. Here's the other commonality between all of these bad, level-scaling rewards: there are a lot of rare item outcomes. Hell, I didn't even read this thread, but it probably does an excellent job of explaining the numerous problems with rare items. As it stands, there is virtually no reason to do Betrayal in Tier 16 maps: you get plenty of risk, without a corresponding increase in reward.
Proposed solutions to problem: The solution should be grounded in thinking about "where" Betrayal fits in the loot acquisition possibilities of the game as a whole. Delve, for example, is an all-rounded system with good scaling that bolsters Rare item crafting. Bestiary is mostly mid to end-game with respect to customizing flasks, obtaining random Unique items, and using obscure crafting techniques. Incursion falls into the same mold, with Alva's temples being the most influential as a supplement for early mapping (map drops within the Temple of Atzoatl) and for various powerful "crafting benches" and upgraded Incursion Uniques that are reserved for the elite (or ludicrously lucky) of Wraeclast. Bloodlines, Nemesis, Invasion, Beyond, Domination, and various other leagues are instance and enemy seasoning.
What I mean when I say "where does Betrayal belong" is that Betrayal has a tremendous untapped niche that has been buried all along because of GGG's flawed reward distribution. This niche is "deterministic farming". Manipulating the Syndicate and targeting certain members in certain branches to get Harbinger Orbs to upgrade your stagnant map pool or getting crucial gem levels on your spells to get an extra power boost, that's what I'd really love to do. Betrayal could be like Divination cards 2.0 in giving mid to end-game players a solid process for obtaining otherwise obscure items and niche services that will really push their itemization to the next level while also giving lower-level players powerful Rare items and crafting options while leveling. Frankly, I have no idea what I'd want to make this happen, so this is just an idea at present. So what I'm suggesting will merely be tweaks on top of what exists at the moment rather than a radical overhaul to bring Betrayal more in line with something like Divination cards.
The good rewards are fine and could even be a little rarer (especially to preserve the value and intrigue of those services). Especially Pure Breachstones. Look, I enjoy being level 100 as much as any of you guys, but it's a little ridiculous, right? That this single Safehouse outcome alone was so influential as to influence gem experience markets, map valuation, rare jewelry markets, build archetypes, and generate a majority of "the reason why people are running Harbour Bridge"? We know it, GGG knows it; it's going to be destroyed harder than CoC was in the past.
The middling rewards are largely a ratio of reward against tedium and quantity. If GGG can balance this ratio, it'll just work. Make Betrayal less tedious to manipulate; more on that later. Make the currency-based rewards drop a guaranteed higher-tier currency of the respective type or a higher quantity of the lower tiers. Essences of Hysteria, Delirium, etc. Faceted and Hollow fossils. Divine and Annulment Orbs. Uber Atziri fragments. That's what we should be seeing once Betrayal goes core. Make quantity scale with the 3* mechanic and make quality scale with area level, because a level 60 3* Syndicate member is far less dangerous than a level 83 1* Syndicate member.
The bad rewards need to either be scaled up or changed entirely, full stop. On an individual basis, my ideas:
  1. Aisling's stashes should drop more Veiled items now that the Syndicate will be less common.
  2. Elreon should give more Unique items or give a guaranteed higher rarity tier of them. Every league has given increased means to obtain Unique items and compared to them, Elreon is an utter joke. I get more Uniques from completing one Incursion in a yellow map than I do from Elreon.
  3. Why does Haku give items with quality in Research. I can buy Whetstones and Armourer scraps from vendors. Even Delve gives "Superior" (30% quality) items, which I'd count as better than Haku. What does Haku even "do" in Transportation?
  4. Hillock map quality. This would only be valued back in the days when people Exalted maps.
  5. ITF should give more Breach Splinters, more Abyss Jewels. To be honest, I'm not sure why they gave it Abyss Jewels instead of Breach Rings. Maybe because they realized that Breach Rings are hot garbage.
  6. More Talismans from Jorgin, perhaps with a guaranteed cascade of tiers and even some Tier 4 Greatwolfs (not the Unique variety), which we haven't seen since the days of Rigwald. Most if not all of the Talisman affixes are useful, hence why I don't distinguish so much between tiers 1 to 3 and would want equal access to all of them.
  7. For SSF, I'd rate Riker as a middling pick because ilvl100 can be useful for some bases and a choice of Unique is better than Elreon's "Rain of Alch Shards". But it's still not great since we're getting "one" item and it's probably not great. Better options would be the obvious pick, not sure what would fly besides that. Maybe if we could go between five Trapped tabs, pick out five items, and get two randomly out of five? It'd ruin the deterministic flavor though, which I like about Trapped stashes. I'd almost even like a Tetris or matching game.
  8. Tora should give the highest tier of enchant on bases of the best possible item variant. Getting a Merciless Labyrinth enchant on utter trash is disheartening. Shaper or Elder influence would be a welcome addition as well.
  9. Vagan.
The sad part about the level-scaling was that GGG could have done it before this point. They could have done it all along and made Betrayal a truly great league.
So, what should they do going forward? I've read some people who proposed that the 3* system should be abolished completely and that all rewards should simply be scaled by area level, but I don't see why they couldn't utilize both systems. As I said earlier, quantity should scale with the 3* mechanic and quality should scale with area level because the latter is the far more dangerous (and important, if we want to incentivize playing in high-level content).
  1. As I said for currency stashes, give a chance to drop either one of a high-tier currency or several lower-tier currencies of the same type.
  2. Intervention stashes should perform similarly. Make the 3* continue to give a guaranteed gilded scarab of the member's type (since this worked fine in the league), but make area level scale linearly with chances to give additional Polished or Rusted Scarabs (with an extra Scarab being granted per 6 levels divisible past area level 65 (so an area level 83 zone gives a neat chance to give 4 Scarabs per stash and 1-3 in anything less). I'm assuming that Scarabs will stay locked behind Betrayal instead of becoming a general currency drop, but we could get an Annulment Orb treatment.
  3. Research rewards are tricky, since they consist of crafting bench services that can't really be meaningfully changed and are already very good. But change some of the crappy ones, my god...
    1. Gravicius is a joke: the tier of card given should at least be of the same rarity tier, or it could be something like a Tier 3 Sacrifice chamber where a card with a same "set count" is given (thus drastically revaluing 8-set cards).
    2. Or it could be changed to "create duplicates of an inserted card", with the number scaling according to Gravicius' level and the set count of that card.
  4. Janus and Cadiro as a whole need to be rebalanced; it's a crying shame for such a widely praised league with solid early-mid game integration and SSF potential to go to waste because Cadiro is now an overcharging Rare jewelry vendor.
  5. Haku should do something completely different. My idea is to upgrade items with "low" base into items of a "high" base. This has been a longstanding idea, but I've never heard it mentioned with respect to the Syndicate (which surprises me, since the Syndicate is all about outlandish ideas). For example, going from a Destroyer Regalia to a Vaal Regalia. Obviously, not all items have a 1:1 example like this, so the applications would need to be done on a case by case basis.
  6. Several rare-item related rewards should be changed to have a deterministic mod on them or provide a craftable base a la Jorgin's Aspect items. "More Rare items to identify" is not the solution. Identifying items is a tedious exercise in item-filtering that takes away from gameplay and adds to unnecessary micro-management that is no different from the end of an Incursion or Delve node. Giving us something to craft and sink currency into; that's engaging, that's "Delve meta-mod item" kinda stuff right there. The Syndicate is all about customization, so give us something to customize. Abyss jewels could have Delve fossil modifiers already on them, Rare items with Essence mods could drop, sealed Bestiary Orbs with beasts inside... the possibilities are far larger than what GGG has laid forth
  7. This is the most outlandish idea I've thought of yet: Make the Syndicate change rewards per league, like Zana. They could still stick to general themes, but any way to shake up potential future metas involving Betrayal as a core league mechanic is huge. Especially with respect to the "discovery" theme of Betrayal, if we had to relearn what the rewards were each league. I seriously didn't think of this until just now and I don't think GGG will do it, but it's an interesting proposition for sure.

Betrayal Veiled items are bad but not that bad
Description of problem: Veiled items share the same problems as rare items because they are rare items with a crafted affix on top. As one's crafting bench completion increases, Veiled items become increasingly useless to pick up and annoying to unveil. The veiled signature mods of Syndicate members, in particular, require special attention to obtain. 20 chaos orbs for It that Fled veiled mods will become far worse in future leagues.
Proposed solution to problem: Rare items are another can of worms, so it's regrettable that there's no way to make veiled item drops impactful beyond early game, recipe unlocking, and the occasional very rare good item. The crafting bench problem will not be alleviated by making veiled items more rare (an assumed condition of Betrayal going core exactly as it is now): you'll simply have the same problem at the top-end with a corresponding increase in the price of unveiled items,crafting services, and scamming. Solutions are numerous, but they all boil down to "make more veiled items drop" because it is likely that the difficulty of finishing one's crafting bench may even be intentional. Veiled items could drop in the core game and not merely from Syndicate members. Syndicate members could have a guaranteed drop of at least one veiled item. More Syndicate members could spawn per encounter, or Jun could become an Alva-style master and be encountered multiple times per instance, but only spawn the encounter once you speak with her (rather than running across them in the wild as we do now, as the spawning of one Syndicate encounter removes the existence of previous unfinished ones due to the Betrayal board increments by "turns". I was going to suggest making unveils more likely to give unknown or incomplete recipes, but the way veiled items generate prohibits that. Finally, GGG could shake up crafting as we know it in 3.6 and add more recipes, move some veiled mods to in-map recipes, or make Syndicate members themselves drop recipe objects that grant the recipe in question.


Manipulating the Syndicate feels bad
Description of problem: While having two choices per encounter may have worked for Incursion, it doesn't work for Betrayal. With Incursion, you get 11 encounters and that's it; each one increments progress, even if you die and fail to kill either of the Architects.
With Betrayal, encounters do not necessarily increment progress towards a Safehouse because other options continually come up. I said that there were "two" options per member per encounter, but in practice, this number is often lower. While interrogation will guarantee that progress increases, it is generally reserved for moving undesirable members around to allow desired members to fill their places or for keeping a safehouse locked because it decreases the quality of rewards from the interrogated member and lowers their rank, resulting in less intelligence and necessitating yet more executions to level members up. In the course of "naturally" playing Betrayal (as opposed to targeted farming), interrogation is mathematically the least efficient option, if necessary at times to cap off a Safehouse.
While GGG may have envisioned Betrayal like a tidal pool with patterns constantly in flux, ultimately yielding a beneficial outcome, we players would rather have a bird in a hand than some unknown garbage in the bush. Thus, valued members are rarely interrogated (because there's no guarantee that they'd return to their original position due to the randomness involved in encounters) and single-member encounters are often utterly useless, especially for the purposes of securing intelligence. The reward design of the Syndicate coupled with the mechanics of progressing towards a Safehouse result in an optimal and preferable structure that largely removes the annoyances of the two inferior Syndicate branches (Transportation and Fortification) while promoting investment into a few key members in Research and Intervention. Theoretically, it would also be possible to farm Fortification and Transportation quite rapidly and profitably because they are more common than their sister branches, but again, the reward structure dissuades this type of farming.
The specter of level-scaling also rears its head here. While higher area levels seem to increase the chance for multiple Syndicate members to spawn (alongside appropriate relationships), they also increase the difficulty of the encounter multiplicatively. Red map mods on top of higher area level on top of whatever items and ranks the Syndicate members have on top of there simply being more members around to attack you. By contrast, Harbour Bridge farming is extremely tame. There's also time to take into consideration: higher level areas take more time to clear than Harbour Bridge or Foothills, assuming that the same build were to deal with both. While a high level area might have extra features that might give returns for the time invested (aka, you do the rest of the map after you do the Syndicate), there's nothing quite so fast and precise as farming the Syndicate in Foothill. Level scaling also has absolutely no effect on intel gains, apart from the possibility of spawning more members (which is more safely and rapidly done by creating new instances in low level zones).
Of course, what I've mentioned thus far is if everything in the Syndicate works like clockwork and people simply go into encounters, click whichever buttons, and go on their merry way. What actually happens is that players are constantly forced to walk away from encounters because the given options would actually set them back.
It feels bad to walk away from Betrayal encounters. Or from any encounter in general. Take Alva, for example. Due to the way instance generation works, her three appearances within an instance sharply limit our ability to get specific Tier 3 Temple rooms (namely, the highly desired Corruption and Sacrifice rooms). When an instance is created, content is not generated as it is encountered; it is created all at once. This means that Alva cannot offer to affect the same room more than once within a single set of three Incursions (whereas she was capable of offering consecutive upgrades during Incursion league). If you were to naturally do 3-3-3-2 Incursions, you would only have 4 chances to affect a given room in the Temple. There is a small trick you can do to increase your chances of affecting a desirable room: When Alva offers a room, that offer remains on the table if you leave the instance and spawn a new Alva elsewhere. Consequently, if you get a bad offer from Alva, you can just skip her current Incursion, spawn another Alva, and then the other 2 Incursions in the new set of 3 cannot be that "bad" offer that she's currently got.
The problem is that this trick increases the amount of time it would take you to access a temple. Let's say you constantly perform this trick, such that you only effectively do 2 Incursions per Alva. Instead of taking 4 Alvas to access a Temple, it would take 6. In addition, let's say you're getting Alva on high pack size maps or maps with desirable Divination cards. If you skip an Alva encounter in that instance, you're losing out on loot and experience. This is technically a trade-off, as you are trading away Alva encounters in order to potentially get better results from your Temple. But that's not what it feels like, due to the opportunity costs involved with walking away from Alva.
And now let's bring it back to Betrayal. When you meet the Syndicate, what's the worst that could happen? Well, you might get members who won't be kicked out, or you'll kick them out but they just come back, or desirable members will try to leave, or they'll offer to remove all rivalries when you don't want to, or they'll offer to become trusted, or they'll offer to do some kind of betrayal that you don't want (which are most of what happens when it's down to two people, hence the preference for rivalries over trusted statuses), or you'll simply only get one lone guy to show up and it isn't because he's 3* and can't summon unranked members, it's because you just got bad RNG, and you'll have no choice but to turn tail and gloomily walk out of that Research lab. And it'll keep on happening over and over, though at least Betrayal going core means you won't get this crap happening in every single instance.
That's what I mean when I say manipulating the Syndicate feels bad. If the league went core exactly as it is today, with an appearance rate shared between all of the masters, you would virtually never complete a safehouse with desirable outcomes.
I would be remiss to not mention that there are quality of life problems with the Syndicate that have nothing to do with the league's mechanical design. For instance, the visual web of lines connecting members can become so tangled as to be incomprehensible. Only dialogue outputted to chat can give clear indicators of what each member thinks of their colleagues (because the infighting tends to be unnoticeable in the storm of VFX that typically occupy any PoE player's screen or the enemies die too quickly to do anything). Syndicate members can also rarely die out of bounds while performing movement skills. Finally, there are persistent damage skills on some Syndicate members and mobs that can annoy someone who's just trying to bargain with the fallen, including the electrified nets and Cameria's icicle cone. These self-same skill effects will also become invisible if you go too far off-screen and come back.
But wait. There's more.
The Mastermind.
It's Catarina. Spoilers, by the way. People have different opinions about the design of the fight. Some people think that the visual effects of the attacks, the relative scarcity of flask-granting adds, the indicators for how to progress the phases of the fight, and the area of denial mechanics that limit the viability of some build types within that fight are bad. Others think that her fight is the best thing since sliced bread. So the design of her fight is not necessarily a problem, though it's worth a mention because it's contentious.
What is a problem is how she interacts with the Syndicate. As GGG's own statistics have shown, players have still deemed it more punishing than not to actually complete her fight. Even after they adjusted her fight to give the rewards of the four safehouse leaders at the time of her defeat. Even though many of her dropped items are somewhat expensive thanks to a lack of supply. This is down to the Syndicate being a pain in the ass to manipulate and set back up (especially once you've locked undesirable members into undesirable branches and prefer to keep them that way) on top of her fight resetting the entire Syndicate's members and progress. In addition, if you fail the fight, you reset all of her progress . This isn't really important considering how people mostly only fight her for challenge-related purposes (and the loot is simply a byproduct), but it is noticeably more punishing than most other endgame boss fights. Shaper and Uber Elder can simply be fought again and are known to be tough but fair. Catarina is hardly so gracious. Even though it turns out she's always hiding in the Forbidden Vault, you've got to find her all over again.
If Betrayal goes core exactly as it is, barring some people who would like to get some of her exclusive crafts for services in the new league, I don't see why people would bother with her fight. It would still be more profitable to farm for scarabs and crafting benches than to screw up a painstakingly laid Syndicate.
Proposed solution to problem: To reiterate, the problems with the mechanics of the Syndicate include the binary choice system a la Incursion, the undesirable outcomes of any given Betrayal offer (including the interrogation option), the tedium caused by the random nature of said offers compounded with the fact that you only get a few choices in the matter, and the fact that progressing the Syndicate and getting better rewards from it has nearly no relation to high level content. Oh, and the Mastermind may as well not exist. Here are some options:
In closing, I would rather Betrayal get a "Bestiary" treatment if GGG doesn't have a game plan for how they're going to make it into core content. Better to wait a few months and do the job right than to botch it. Betrayal is tied to a lot of crafting options at the moment, but they could be moved to environmental Atlas recipes for the time being or veiled items could drop regardless of the Syndicate's presence in Wraeclast (a little odd to have a Veiled master without a Syndicate to fight though, hence why I'm fairly certain GGG already has something up their sleeve for this). GGG has invested a lot of resources into writing and polishing Betrayal and creatively engineering its mechanics, and it shows. Most content that GGG has ever made tends to return in one way or another, thanks to how asset use and systems design work in this game. It isn't a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". I hope GGG makes the right calls on this and I look forward to what you guys think should be done.
submitted by unchangingunfeeling to pathofexile [link] [comments]

XPS 9560 - Battery life optimization and fan management

This guide is part of a series about tuning Ubuntu 16.04.2 on the XPS 9560:
1: XPS 9560 - Battery life optimization and fan management (this guide)
2: XPS 9560 - setting up multitouch gestures with Ubuntu 16.04
I'm pretty happy with my XPS 9560 dual-boot setup with Ubuntu. As it took quite a lot of time to find what and how to setup some packages I'm sharing it here. I've installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu 16.04.2, the following guide is based on it. On my i7-16GB-512GB-FHD now I've 10 hours of battery life, the temperature at idle is under 40° and less than 50° on heavy web browsing, the fans are almost always turned off.
SET A PREVIOUS ACPI REVISION FLAG TO WORKAROUND SOME TROUBLES

late april update

Thanks to the mighty ArchLinux buddies I've found the trick that workarounds a few important troubles with ACPI support. (source: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=223056). As far as I understand the most recent Linux kernels started to support ACPI revision 6 but for some reason it still has problems with the XPS 9560. Applying this setting on Ubuntu 16.04.2 is simple as adding a kernel boot parameter to grub, as the Ubuntu kernel is already compiled with the CONFIG_ACPI_REV_OVERRIDE_POSSIBLE flag enabled (at least, it is on the official hwe kernel version 4.10). I haven't found any drawback while the setting fixes and optimizes important stuff.
Edit /etc/default/grub and add acpi_rev_override=5 to your grub default cmdline, the line should look similar to this
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_rev_override=5" 
don't forget to run update-grub and reboot.
Notably the effect of this flag on my XPS is:
  1. Display brightness keys are now working as they should on Unity.
  2. The CPU frequency sits a lot more at the minimum when is idle, the temperature is a few degrees lower too.
  3. I was finally able to get a stable setup using nvidia drivers!

INSTALL TLP FOR BETTER ENERGY MANAGEMENT SETTINGS

This is very easy, just:
sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw 
This packages automatically configure the best settings for an optimized battery life. If you have specific requirements you may want to have a look at the documentation http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/tlp.html
update
To install the latest stable package add the official PPA
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunnetlp sudo apt-get update 

TURN OFF THE NVIDIA GPU

FOLLOW THIS STEP ONLY IF YOU'RE NOT INSTALLING NVIDIA PROPRIETARY DRIVERS
The next biggest battery sucker to take care of is the nvidia dGPU. If you don't install Nvidia drivers the dGPU is always on, but the current drivers and kernel support is not really ready yet so if you install it you may have system freezes on shutdown and reboot. (edit: see the late april update) As for the moment I don't really need the Nvidia card on Linux I ended up uninstalling all the Nvidia stuff and turning off the dGPU with a command. To turn off the Nvidia card you'll need the packages "acpi" and "acpi-call-dkms" to be installed.
sudo apt install acpi acpi-call-dkms 
I've found the command to turn off the dGPU on "acpi-call-dkms" package examples, after install you can check /usshare/doc/acpi-call-dkms/examples/turn_off_gpu.sh
If you run the script it executes various calls to find which one actually works on your computer. On my XPS 9560 the command to turn the nvidia 1050 off is:
echo '_SB.PCI0.PEG0.PEGP._OFF' | sudo tee /proc/acpi/call 
update: thanks to jlarky for explaining how to correctly run the command from an unprivileged user shell
The effect of the command is really evident, the temperature is about 10° lower, the predicted battery time to empty is raised a few hours while it doesn't create any problem with the track pad or anything.
update: thanks to jseris for sharing how to automatically turn the dGPU off at startup
To automate on startup, do the following as root:
echo acpi_call > /etc/modules-load.d/acpi_call.conf 
Create /uslib/systemd/usedgpu-off.service with the following contents:
[Unit] Description=Power-off dGPU After=graphical.target [Service] Type=oneshot ExecStart=/bin/sh -c "echo '\\_SB.PCI0.PEG0.PEGP._OFF' > /proc/acpi/call; cat /proc/acpi/call > /tmp/nvidia-off" [Install] WantedBy=graphical.target 
Enable the new unit file:
systemctl enable /uslib/systemd/usedgpu-off.service 
source: https://gist.github.com/jseris/a740f6a3fb0d18064e26dc66f9be4f1d , tested with kernel: 4.9.20-040920-generic and 4.10.0-14-generic
After a reboot cat /tmp/nvidia-off should report 0x0called and the idle temp should be about 10° lower.

UNDERVOLT WITH INTEL XTU

The details about how to undervolt with Intel XTU is out of the scope of this guide, you'll find plenty of advices searching the net. The important thing to notice here is that the settings applied with Intel XTU under Windows are saved on a processor register (edit: or in the BIOS?) and survive shutdowns and reboots (edit: not always, see the comments below for more info), so you can also run Linux on an undervolted CPU. Download and install Intel XTU under Windows and under-volt the CPU core and GPU core. I've done a few stress tests but haven't really checked the limit on my particular i7 CPU. Setting the CPU and GPU core at -0.120V seems completely stable here after a couple of days of intensive usage, but YMMV.

FANS MANAGEMENT

This is a bit complicated, don't do it if you're not confident with your Linux skills.
The i8kutils package is old unmaintained (edit: update) maintained by Vitor Augusto, a Linux community member, with a public repository on GitHub and while it can manage the 2 fans separately, it only supports 0, 2400 and 4800rpm speeds.
On Windows I've seen the fan speed at 0, 2400, 3100, 3700, 4100, 4800, 5100 rpm
I wrote a post on Dell Project Sputnik Google+ community asking the devs if they could update and improve the package, but haven't received an answer. (edit: new post with the same request and a link to this guide)
Please, feel free to show your support there, or to ask the Project Sputnik developers where you think is more appropriate, to maintain and improve the package.
UPDATE Vitor Augusto showed interest to improve i8kutils with better support for the latest hardware IF Dell collaborates and releases the essential information to interface with the newer bios versions. I wrote 2 new posts, here on Reddit and a new one on Dell Project Sputnik Google+ community to publicly ask Dell to release the needed information. If you care, please show your support on both posts.

i8kutils how to

At first, for peace of mind, you'll need something to check your temps at a glance.
1) install "lmsensor" package from the official repo
2) install "indicator-sensors" package from ppa:dgadomski/indicator-sensors
3) restart X
You should see a new indicator on the top bar with real time temperatures reporting. Have a look at the preferences, select the right sensors to show, eventually set some alarms for high temps.
Then you can install the i8kutils package to manage the fans.
sudo apt install i8kutils 
Now create /etc/i8kmon.conf with something similar to my configuration
# Automatic fan control, override with --auto option # Uncomment the following line if you want to keep i8k installed # but disable automatic fan control (as i8k adds some useful sensors) # set config(auto) 0 # Status check timeout (seconds), override with --timeout option set config(timeout) 2 # Temperature display unit (C/F), override with --unit option set config(unit) C # Temperature threshold at which the temperature is displayed in red set config(t_high) 80 # Minimum expected fan speed set config(min_speed) 2000 # Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt} # These were tested on the I8000. If you have a different Dell laptop model # you should check the BIOS temperature monitoring and set the appropriate # thresholds here. In doubt start with low values and gradually rise them # until the fans are not always on when the cpu is idle. set config(0) {{0 0} -1 55 -1 55} set config(1) {{1 0} 50 60 50 60} set config(2) {{1 1} 55 65 55 65} set config(3) {{2 2} 60 128 60 128} # end of file 
The i8k package was originally designed for other Dell notebooks so you need to force loading the module as the XPS 9560 is not officially supported. To force loading the module create:
/etc/modprobe.d/i8k.conf
with this content
options i8k force=1 
After a reboot you can notice a burst with the fans, that's is due to the bios still managing the speed in contrast with i8kutils and you'll need to write a bios register to disable it's fan management. As misusing the command to do it is potentially dangerous, the command isn't distributed with the i8kutils binary package and you'll need to compile it by yourself. I'm reporting here a warning as found on the source of the program itself.
  • WARNING!!! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS PROGRAM!!!
  • THIS PROGRAM IS VERY DANGEROUS. IT CAN CRASH YOUR COMPUTER, DESTROY DATA
  • ON THE HARDISK, CORRUPT THE BIOS, PHYSICALLY DAMAGE YOUR HARDWARE AND
  • MAKE YOUR COMPUTER TOTALLY UNUSABLE.
  • DON'T USE THIS PROGRAM UNLESS YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I WILL
  • NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT DAMAGE CAUSED BY USING THIS
  • PROGRAM.
I'm not responsible too, even if this is working beautifully on my XPS 9560 from a couple of weeks months don't do it at home.
sudo apt install build-essential sudo apt source i8kutils sudo apt build-dep i8kutils cd i8kutils-1.41/ make smm sudo cp smm /uslocal/bin/ 
now you can switch bios fan management off and manage the fans with i8kmon with the commands
sudo smm 30a3 sudo service i8kmon start 
or switch the bios fan management back on and disable the i8kmon service
sudo service i8kmon stop sudo smm 31a3 
BE AWARE THAT THE EFFECTS OF THIS COMMAND SURVIVE A REBOOT SO YOU'LL ALWAYS NEED TO SWITCH THE BIOS FAN MANAGEMENT BACK ON BEFORE REBOOTING TO WINDOWS.
To switch automatically to custom fan management on startup and back to bios fan management on shutdown and reboot I've created a script to put in
/etc/init.d/customfan.sh
#!/bin/bash # /etc/init.d/customfan.sh ### BEGIN INIT INFO # Provides: customfan # Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog i8kmon # Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog i8kmon # Default-Start: 2 3 4 5 # Default-Stop: 0 1 6 # Short-Description: Dell bios fan management disabling # Description: This command is issued to enable/disable # Dell bios fan management as it conflicts # with i8kmon handling ### END INIT INFO PATH=/sbin:/bin:/ussbin:/usbin:/uslocal/bin case "$1" in start) echo "Disabling Dell BIOS fan management" smm 30a3 ;; stop) echo "Enabling Dell BIOS fan management" smm 31a3 ;; *) echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/customfan.sh start|stop" exit 1 ;; esac exit 0 
to enable it on auto startup and shutdown you need to run
sudo update-rc.d /etc/init.d/customfan.sh defaults 
if you'll need to disable it from auto startup and shutdown for some reason
sudo update-rc.d customfan.sh disable 
now reboot and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSKrC7dGcY
submitted by htrex to Dell [link] [comments]

Kickstarter Roundup: July 23, 2017 | 17 Ending Soon (incl: Stonebound Saga, Swords, & Ducklings) & 44 New This Week (incl: Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3, Renegade, & Out of the Woods)

What this is:

This is a weekly, curated listing of Kickstarter tabletop games projects that are either:
All board game projects meeting those criteria will automatically be included, no need to ask. (But the occasional non-board game project may also sneak in!)
Expect new lists each Sunday sometime between 12:00am and 12:00pm PST.

Ending Soon

Project Info Status Backers Avg Pledge Ending Comments
21 Days, a cooperative survival boardgame for 1 - 4 players. I am trying to raise funds for my dice-driven board game "21 Days"; relive the adventure and try to survive on open sea! (Has currently earned €17,395 of €11,000) 158% 411 €42 07-24 kicktraq
Not A Problem! A game for quick-thinking, problem-solving, profit-seeking creative types... and YOU! (Has currently earned $9,463 of $8,133) 116% 203 $47 07-25 kicktraq
Magilogical : A #HereBeDragons Card Game Magilogical is a simple card game that has been designed to introduce the concept of Logic Gates. Fantasy and Magic meet Computing. (Has currently earned £657 of £1,000) 65% 29 £23 07-25 kicktraq
Twin Stars: Adventure Series I - A solo game system A pocket-sized solo sci-fi saga. 1 player, 18 cards, 396 possibilities. (Has currently earned $9,524 of $500) 1904% 520 $18 07-26 kicktraq
Olde-World Into the wild 28mm Fantasy resin scenery A range of professionally sculpted, and cast highly detailed and characterful scenery for your RPG, fantasy and historical games. (Has currently earned £2,160 of £1,000) 216% 29 £74 07-26 kicktraq #bling
Short Order Hero Compete as a Short Order Cook to create the most valuable dish in this 2-5 player card game for players 8+! (Has currently earned $4,173 of $4,000) 104% 102 $41 07-26 kicktraq #take2
Top Secret: New World Order - the espionage roleplaying game Top Secret: New World Order is the all-new tabletop RPG by Merle M. Rasmussen, creator of the first espionage role-playing game in 1980 (Has currently earned $101,770 of $12,000) 848% 1547 $66 07-27 kicktraq #rpg
Dimensions: The Arena - An RPG skill-based Card Game Dimensions: The Arena is a collectible card game that you only need to collect one to three cards to play the game. (Has currently earned $657 of $500) 131% 39 $17 07-27 kicktraq #take2
Swords Swords is a fast-paced simultaneous action card game that feels like a multi-person sword fight! (Has currently earned $20,325 of $20,000) 101% 623 $33 07-27 kicktraq
Big Bang 13.7 Create your own universe and line up celestial bodies but watch out! Black holes, Supernovas & others can always distort Space & Time! (Has currently earned €3,811 of €2,000) 190% 123 €31 07-27 kicktraq
The Stonebound Saga A high fantasy themed strategic card game with unit positioning, resource management, and high replay value for 2-6 players. (Has currently earned $59,473 of $35,000) 169% 940 $63 07-28 kicktraq #take3
Ducklings - A Game About Parenting! A heart wrenching co-op game where you must work with a partner to waddle your three fragile ducklings to safety. (Has currently earned $22,274 of $8,000) 278% 523 $43 07-29 kicktraq
Werewolf vs Vampire New Vampire and Werewolf fight with their unique special abilities in this tactical 2 player board game (Has currently earned €1,541 of €1,050) 146% 55 €28 07-29 kicktraq #take2
Fly My Hawkmen A new range of Wargames Minis inspired by classic Pulp and Sci-Fi serials (Has currently earned £3,556 of £2,000) 177% 44 £81 07-30 kicktraq #minis
WoundWang A super simple gaming aid. Track wounds and damage on models/units/characters for tabletop and roleplay games. (Has currently earned £2,617 of £1,750) 149% 96 £27 07-30 kicktraq #bling #lolwut
Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game Street Wars NYC, a new range of 1970's New York gangs and rules. Battle it out on the means streets of the Big Apple. (Has currently earned £5,079 of £5,000) 101% 86 £59 07-30 kicktraq #take3
GhostWriter London Noir 1800 Edition. Invent your story. The secret of the writing of writers and scriptwriters enclosed in a fun and intriguing game. Ghostwriter. Invent your story. (Has currently earned €254 of €100) 254% 15 €17 07-30 kicktraq

New This Week

Project Info Status Backers Avg Pledge Ending Comments
15mm - 20mm WW3 Cold War Urban tabletop wargame terrain A system of road tiles that connect together with a variety of buildings and other structures to build a table worth fighting over. (Has currently earned $3,019 AUD of $600 AUD) 503% 9 $335 AUD 08-18 #bling
A new collection of miniatures 40 mm from Cartoon Miniatures This is the result of the work of a professional`s team, a combination of an excellent idea and a quality implementation. (Has currently earned €2,798 of €3,000) 93% 41 €68 08-20 #minis
Ancient Dice: 50,000 Year Old Dice Prehistoric dice, handcrafted from Ancient Kauri, the world's oldest wood - perfectly preserved since The Stone Age! (Has currently earned £7,124 of £1,000) 712% 372 £19 08-22 #dice
Bad Actors: Free Your Wild Side A party game where players answer questions acting as characters like geekiest tech nerd, mad scientist or fanatical sports fan. (Has currently earned $21,210 of $11,000) 192% 383 $55 08-18
BaGua dice comeback: Collectable metal binary dice Aluminum body, mysterious looking. Having fun with ancient binary number system from a different culture. (Has currently earned $970 AUD of $1,000 AUD) 97% 35 $28 AUD 08-08 #bling #dice
Balzie the cat: ever.fun.game A fast paced card picking game; practice your telepathic, mind reading and poker face skills - all while tryin' to keep away Balzie's.. (Has currently earned $506 CAD of $3,500 CAD) 14% 31 $16 CAD 08-16
Blind Wizard Brawl Blind Wizard Brawl is a phygital game (hybrid tabletop game which requires a free app) about bluffing your spells to victory! (Has currently earned £1,562 of £2,900) 53% 64 £24 08-22
Books & Boards The first of its kind: used bookstore and family board game rental service. Get board - not bored. (Has currently earned $0 of $2,500) 0% 0 NA 08-20
Burning Rome Will you save Rome, or destroy her? A quick tactical card game with ancient battles, deck construction and lots of replayability. (Has currently earned £4,355 of £8,800) 49% 170 £26 08-15
Christmas Eve - The Board Game Christmas deserves a dedicated board game and this is it! A multi-aspect game including dice rolling, mini-games and card challenges! (Has currently earned £1,229 of £3,500) 35% 27 £46 09-14
*Covfefe, the Unpresidented Game of Political Leadership You are the new leader of your country, and you are a social media addict with a hair-trigger temper! Take to Twigger to respond! *(Has currently earned $152 of $5,000) 3% 4 $38 09-20 #lolwut
Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3 Cthulhu Wars is the premier horror strategy game with high quality miniatures and great competitive gameplay and tactics. (Has currently earned $552,420 of $100,000) 552% 2402 $230 08-14 #expansion base game
Dead Days - A Cooperative Zombie Survival Game Masterwork Gaming LLC presents Dead Days! A Cooperative Zombie survival game for 3-5 players with campaign and quick play options. (Has currently earned $3,086 of $40,000) 7% 115 $27 08-19
Defense of the Citadel Around €76/US$88=HK$680. Pledge goal around €9000/US$10000. Customize your Citadel and characters to battle waves of evil monsters. (Has currently earned HK$269,994 of HK$80,000) 337% 409 HK$660 08-15 #take2
Diesel Demolition Derby A tactical drafting card game for 2-6 players. An underground fighting league for dieselpunk mechas in a society in Crisis. (Has currently earned $11,125 of $10,000) 111% 323 $34 08-31
Dungeons of Doom III - Dragon Slayers - Star Hat Miniatures Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom 3: Heroic scale fantasy miniatures sculpted by hand and cast in metal for RPGs and Tabletop Games. (Has currently earned $2,507 NZD of $1,000 NZD) 250% 22 $114 NZD 08-21 #minis
Dunkirk: France 1940 A war game allowing you to refight the decisive campaign in France 1940. Designed by Doug Bryant. (Has currently earned $12,348 of $5,000) 246% 154 $80 08-07
Escape the Boardgame 2nd Edition : Rebellion and Revolution ESCAPE is a dungeon crawling game in the post apocalyptic universe of Eden! (Has currently earned €28,721 of €15,000) 191% 328 €88 08-03 #2.0
Gomorraland - Diplomacy is over Be the best Boss in this deep, intense strategy game full of choices, multiple endings and cruel betrayals. Limited Production. (Has currently earned €2,271 of €3,000) 75% 43 €53 08-03 #take3
Hidden Dreams miniatures Miniatures for your Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age battlefields or any other you want (Has currently earned €733 of €1,850) 39% 6 €122 08-20 #minis
Letters, Numbers and Words Created and Played in Detroit, LNW allows people with all experience levels, intellellect and age to fairly compete on game night. (Has currently earned $244 of $6,700) 3% 3 $81 08-22
Loot Trap 2-4 player card game that kinda sorta plays like a board game. Lay traps, play cards, & find loot to win. Theme will be backer chosen! (Has currently earned $482 of $8,000) 6% 13 $37 08-19
Mana Collector: Strategic card game easy to learn. Mana Collector is a card game where your goal is to be first player with 12 mana points. It's a fusion between UNO, Magic and Poker. (Has currently earned MX$650 of MX$200,000) 0% 2 MX$325 08-16
Master of the Galaxy - a 4X board game of galactic expansion Jump to the stars and build your galactic civilization in this fast-paced, innovative 4X board game with bag-building & card drafting. (Has currently earned $23,735 of $20,000) 118% 582 $41 08-11
Monster Dice: Unique designed monster dice Monster Dice, unique designed monster dice and all colored high quality miniatures figure, strategy type board game. (Has currently earned HK$31,771 of HK$800,000) 3% 25 HK$1271 08-20
Monster, Beware! Board Game of Legendary Proportions 2-6 players, each racing to become the MOST Legendary. Humorous, and fun to play. Dice and Cards. Reward follows Risk. Made in the USA. (Has currently earned $2,148 of $20,000) 10% 31 $69 08-17
Mysticards: Deck of Ancients Deck of Ancients is the second installment in the Mysticards line of games. It is a 2-6 player trick based card game. (Has currently earned $305 of $5,000) 6% 8 $38 08-20
Out of the Woods Out of the Woods is… a collection of dark and disturbing fairy tales adapted into a Card Game, Book, and compilation of Art Prints. (Has currently earned $91,510 of $175,000) 52% 1124 $81 08-18
PALADIN: Warriors of Charlemagne Charge into the exciting medieval world as a paladin of the great Charlemagne! Based on the award-winning game King Arthur Pendragon! (Has currently earned $40,142 of $10,000) 401% 744 $54 08-25 #rpg
Persist the Game A game built from the female perspective. Persist invites women to laugh, learn from each other, and connect meaningfully. (Has currently earned $3,635 of $10,000) 36% 61 $60 08-17
Railroads - A Game for Dealmakers Start, build, grow, merge, and get rich in this Railroad and Stock Market game (Has currently earned $11,107 of $50,000) 22% 107 $104 08-17
Renegade Ricky Royal's Renegade is a cyberpunk deck-building game for 1-4 players. You must save humanity from powerful Super-Massive Computers. (Has currently earned $46,832 of $12,000) 390% 1149 $41 08-17
Snakes And Lizards Our vision is to educate children about reptiles. We are trying to reach that vision by making it both fun and educational. (Has currently earned $0 of $5,000) 0% 0 NA 09-14
Socially Hacked. A Party Game For The Hilarious And Twisted! Socially Hacked is a party game for the brave, the bold, the awesome, and people that just don't give a [email protected]! (Has currently earned $519 of $15,000) 3% 12 $43 08-20 #lolwut
Star Scrappers: Cave-in Become a galactic entrepreneur, a ruthless mining boss carving his domain in a fast-playing card game of merciless mining industry. (Has currently earned $12,963 of $12,000) 108% 307 $42 08-10
The "Lycans vs Vampires" Fantasy Backgammon Collection A Masterfully Handcrafted Backgammon Collection as well as an amazing Fantasy Artwork, that ignites your imagination! (Has currently earned $576 of $7,000) 8% 5 $115 08-07
The Prism: A unique dice tower and rolling surface! Help us create a one of a kind Dice tower and rolling surface! Choose your class and stand out at your gaming table! (Has currently earned $773 of $5,000) 15% 8 $97 08-21 #bling
The Silly Friends Drawing Game A game designed to teach players how to draw & inspire creativity by using chance to generate fun, unique, playful, Silly Friend (Has currently earned $635 of $8,000) 7% 6 $106 08-21
Thick as Thieves Card Game Thick as Thieves is a card game of devious cunning, backhanded mischief, and madcap antics for 2 to 6 players. (Has currently earned $3,244 of $13,600) 23% 107 $30 08-14
This Game Hates You A condescending, unfair elimination card game for players who feel like torturing each other in the name of petty victory. (Has currently earned $995 of $4,000) 24% 27 $37 08-18 #lolwut
Twin Stars: Adventure Series I - A solo game system A pocket-sized solo sci-fi saga. 1 player, 18 cards, 396 possibilities. (Has currently earned $9,524 of $500) 1904% 520 $18 07-26
Under The Influence: The Game Let us do the hard work for you. Want to keep friends entertained at a party? Need help getting people to loosen up? We got you. (Has currently earned $2,451 of $25,000) 9% 30 $82 08-08 #lolwut
Vault Assault Vault Assault is a fast-paced "Cops & Robbers" dice game for 2-4 players taking 10-20 minutes. (Has currently earned $6,309 CAD of $17,900 CAD) 35% 123 $51 CAD 08-09
Werewolf vs Vampire New Vampire and Werewolf fight with their unique special abilities in this tactical 2 player board game (Has currently earned €1,541 of €1,050) 146% 55 €28 07-29 #take2
Looking for more comprehensive Kickstarter gaming information? Check out the meta listings on BGG, explore Kicktraq's data-driven views, or, of course, Kickstater's Tabletop Category.

Footnotes

  • #hmm means that something about the project seems a little off. Buyer beware kinda thing.
  • #lolwut is reserved for projects that seem like trainwrecks. Check 'em out for amusement.
  • #take tags are for projects that have been restarted for some reason, with the number indicating what iteration we're currently on.
  • Did I miss something? Particularly stuff that might go in the Comments column? Let me know and I'll add it in.
submitted by Zelbinian to boardgames [link] [comments]

Searching for Fizz's identity: an analysis of the Tidal Trickster balance history and rework. (WARNING: long post)

Hi guys, I'm azelfisgreat. I'm not a Fizz one-trick or a high elo Fizz main, I'm just a low elo scrub who plays the game since S3 and played Fizz since S4, and finally chose to main him on S6. I'm on this sub for a few months already and wanted to make a big post about Fizz for a while, but until now I didn't have the inspiration to write it. However, seeing a lot of mixed opinions about the rework, I got the idea to make a post about Fizz's development and balance history, with the goal of finding as much context as I can to evaluate the rework. So I will try to look back at Riot's take on Fizz and get some conclusions on Fizz's identity, and based on that, judge what the rework did right and what could have been done better.

Fizz's release

I was not playing at the time, so I will write my opinion on this based on the info on the League wiki: Fizz's champion spotlight and the Fizz mechanics preview by Morello.
According to the latter, Fizz was intended to be a melee assassin, but unlike other assassins, he had more of a hit and run playstyle, favoring sustained damage over raw burst and using his mobility to stay alive. On his champion spotlight, Phreak focuses on trading with W and dodging with E, while suggesting a mix of damage and defensive items for inexperienced players. Both focus his identity on his Playful/Trickster, and the versatility on it: you can use it to dodge enemy spells, escape a bad situation or chase the enemy.
If we look at present Riot's view on champion classes, we notice he has both Assassins elements and Skirmisher elements, even though they see him as a pure assassin.

Balance changes: from release to Preseason 5.

Again, I was not playing until late S3 and even then I didn't follow the game close enough to remember how was Fizz on the meta. I base my opinion on the wiki's History tab, so I lack some context on the meta or indirect changes.
Until S5, most balance changes were nothing big. It was a mix of raw power changes and bug fixes that didn't really change how the champion played. Only noteworthy change was 3.13 nerf to W's AP scaling, that was partially reverted in 4.4. Some of the changes weren't even related to Fizz's power level, like the 4.5 armor buff that was compensation for armor seals nerf and the buff to W's AP ratio as compensation for the Lich Bane nerf.
While Fizz was strong during this time (as all assassins were), his design was not a problem at all. The true problem with Fizz's identity and balancing started on S5. I heard the AD build was starting to be played around this time, but it was an off-meta build that was not overpowered or oppressive, so there was no real problem with Fizz's design.

DFG removal

5.2 was the patch that started the struggle of balancing Fizz. To compensate for the removal of a core AP assassin item, Riot tried to buff Fizz while solving the frustration that he caused to the enemy team. The changes they did were:
Urchin Strike
Seastone Trident
Chum the Waters
The idea behind the changes was simple: take power of the Q and make it dodgable to remove the unavoidable one-shot from W-Q-LB combo, making the %missing health damage more clear by making it instant instead of over time, and giving power to the ultimate to compensate. However, they made a huge mistake: they took out AP scaling from him, and gave it back as base damage and %missing health scaling. Nowadays, we know what happens when you do that to a melee champion: they become a bruiser.
So what happened? AD Fizz became the go-to build, while AP Fizz was too weak to compete. The W change helped ASPD builds and the damage amplifier synergized with Trinity Force builds, so AD Fizz ended up broken for a few patches, until they reverted the W change in 5.7.
However, AD Fizz was not dead yet. His %missing health was still there, his ultimate change still amplified TF procs, and his kit was still really good for what Riot now calls a Skirmisher. It wasn't until 5.17 that Riot finally removed the physical damage amplifier and buffed his AP scaling while nerfing base damage, putting an end to AD Fizz, but hurting AP Fizz during the process.

A fellow hit and run assassin: Ekko

In 5.10, a new assassin similar to Fizz was released. He had most of Fizz's strengths: high mobility, good sustained damage, %missing health damage, some AoE hard CC and slow, untargetability and a mobility skill that procs on-hit effects. However, most people noticed that a champion with so much utility, high base damage, scaling with enemy health and good synergy with on-hits could be built as a tanky bruiser or straight up tank.
And of course, that happened, and Ekko was nerfed to shit because of his tank build. But why is this relevant to Fizz? Because after Ekko and AD Fizz dominance, assassins building tanky would become a recurring problem on League's balance. People finally understood how tank itemization worked almost the same on every champion, and abused it on skirmishing champions like Ekko, Fizz, Yi or Yasuo. On assassin update, Riot tried to fix this, and the future Vanguard update will rework how tank itemization works on squishy champions, again to solve this recurring problem. Let's hope they get it right this time.
A small thing to add: in the champion subclass list, Ekko is listed as a Skirmisher, while Fizz doesn't even have an hybrid Skirmisher tag. I feel this is an indicator of Riot disregarding Fizz's original identity, and helps explain future changes to him.

Pre-Assassin update changes

After AD Fizz was nerfed, he was left in the same state for a while. He got a buff to his starting mana to compensate for Mana Pots removal and a change to the shark as followup to the QSS change. During this time, Fizz was pretty balanced, and only had a short time where the Grasp-Sunfire-IBG-Visage build was broken and worked on anyone, where Tank Fizz abused his skirmisher kit to be a real annoyance. His midlane winrate was also rising at the time, so this ended with the 6.12 nerfs: W %missing health down and E cd increased.
After this, Fizz stayed underpowered for a while, with players like Dopa considering him trash. Until...

Assassin update: official statements

So the dreaded rework was gonna happen. To get some context, we are gonna look at Riot's goals of the update, plans for Fizz especifically and their official post about the update shortly before it hit live servers.
The first goal of the update was make assassins more healthy. To do this, they wanted to make assassins damage happens on a short window instead of instantly, and give some level of variance to that damage. The first was needed because, let's be honest, nobody likes getting murdered like this, while the second was to help assassins be less feast-or-famine: letting assassins that are behind from becoming completely useless and helping squishy champions survive the faceroll of a fed assassin.
The second goal was to make every assassin bring something unique. This is something that every update tried to fix: the fact that two different champions brought the exact same things to the team, with only the execution of it changing. This meant that only one of the champions is viable and the other is outclassed, with their positions changing whether one of them is buffed or nerfed enough.
The third goal was to allow assassins to contribute towards victory by other means that just assassinating and snowballing. This helps make assassins less binary and coupled with the first goal frees their balance from "enough damage and you one-shot squishies, not enough and you are useless".
The plans for Fizz's rework were to give him more incentives to trade in lane, to help him when he is just last hitting and playing safe, and pushing him for more of an initiator. In the comments, they added that the plan was to take damage from E and add it back to the rest of the kit, and that Fizz was slotted for the 5th major rework, but got pushed to a minor rework because of reasons they talked about in the first post.
This plans felt interesting, but it's weird that they tried to push his initiation while before they moved his assassination power to the ultimate, hurting its use as initiation. Moreover, initiation power could make him more of a bruiser than before. But they acknowledged his skirmishing power and his weakness in lane, so this didn't look too bad.
This didn't really add anything, but confirmed they were going through with most of their plans. They added that they want Fizz's unique power to be his initiation power and his slippery nature, which means his E should still be a main part of his identity. Nothing surprising here.
Some posts that I didn't cover here explained a bit more of what Riot considered unhealthy on Fizz's kit. Surprisingly for those people who hate the trollpole, Riot is completely fine with his Playful/Trickster. What Riot didn't like about Fizz was his W: % missing health damage coupled with a DoT was really bad for game clarity, as it was too hard to predict how much damage it was going to do. But only changing the scaling didn't seem like it would change Fizz's playstyle that much, so I don't think this is a real problem.
Overall, this didn't look too bad. Fizz already had variance on his damage, a short window of burst instead of instant damage, and brought his E as a reason to be picked over other assassins.

Assassin update: the rework

With the preseason patch, we finally get the rework, with two mains changes: a rework to W and a huge change to the ultimate. The changes were:
This changes achieved most of the assassin update goals: the new W and ult gave even more variance to Fizz's damage than pre rework, His burst window is a bit longer. He brings his E and his ult as unique strengths no other assassin has. His ultimate allows him to contribute even if he cannot assassinate. His new W gives him an incentive to trade in lane and helps him last hit easily in lane and gives him a little bit of range to do it safer than before. Lastly, his ult initiation can be really strong if he manages to hit a carry with it.
However, after the rework hits, most Fizz players feel the champion is ruined. If we go by what I listed, it seems like the rework was mostly a buff. But why is the rework not as great as it seems?
The answer is complicated. One of the main reasons is lack of flexibility. Old Fizz had a few options to trade: he could go in with Q or with E, he could do short or long trades with W, and escape with the other mobility skill. After getting ultimate you could ult to initiate or after gapclosing. Both options had tradeoffs: closing the gap before ulting sacrificed some damage (because of the amplifier), but it was easier to hit the shark. New Fizz still have a few options, but most of them are straight up suboptimal: initiating a trade with E doesn't apply the W passive, so you are forced to start with Q. Ulting after gapclosing is too weak to actually be worth avoiding the risk to miss. Using W was not really a meaningful decision before, but the new W isn't really a decision either: the unempowered damage is too low to be worth using. I'll try to say it in a more technical way: the variance on new Fizz's damage is too high. The perfect combo is really good and feels really good for the player, but the suboptimal combos feel too weak.
Some other flaws are: the delay on W is too high unless you can proc it with ult on late game, the small shark on melee range is anti-combo, and so on. There are some frustrating things on his play-against experience, but I don't think they are that bad, at least if they manage to make the ult latching animation more clear. However, I'm pretty sure the biggest problem comes from a break from his identity.
I'll try to explain this: as we have seen before, Fizz was designed to be a hit and run assassin with higher sustained damage than his fellow assassins, and a lot of players mained Fizz because they liked that. However, the rework broke up with the Skirmisher playstyle completely, taking his sustained damage in favor of utility and burst. I believe this is the huge dissonance that makes pre-rework mains to say that new Fizz is not the champion they fell in love.
How to fix this? I'm not sure. I'm not a game designer, and I didn't think of all the side effects this changes could have. But here are some ideas I have.

My suggestions to fix new Fizz

I believe Fizz doesn't need another rework. The idea behind the assassin update was to give the champions enough tuning levers to be balanceable. So here are the changes that I would do:
This would make Fizz's sustained damage better, which would help bring back the skirmisher playstyle for Fizz.
This would help the suboptimal combos without buffing his optimal rotation. The problem I see with both these changes is that his trades can become too strong: after all, it's free damage that can't be played around.
This would help Fizz's reliability by making his optimal combo easier to get. The ult delay would be for consistency.
This would make the optimal combo easier to proc, as you have a longer window to proc the empowered W. However, this would make the DoT damage feel even more non-existant.
Again, this would help the suboptimal combos without buffing the perfect combo.
Something like CD reduction on E after proccing the empowered W. Makes more sense if coupled with buffing the unempowered damage.

Ending notes

This was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it and understood a bit more about both long time Fizz mains and Riot's opinions on the champion. I tried my best to make the wall of text more readable, but it's hard to make a 15000 characters post easy to read. I had so much things I wanted to say but either forgot or couldn't fit onto the post, so if you have anything to add or want to correct me in any way, feel free to leave a comment. For those in the comments, remember to be respectful to others and argue about their opinions, avoiding personal attacks. Also, don't downvote just because you disagree! Please, it's hard to discuss anything if any unpopular opinion gets downvoted to hell.
Happy fishing!
TL;DR: Fizz was intended to be a skirmishing assassin. Tank Fizz became a problem because of this and Riot removed it in the rework, disappointing many Fizz mains. Number changes can fix this if they are well thought.
submitted by mighark to fizzmains [link] [comments]

The Strange Birth & History of Monero, Part IV: Monero "as it is now"

You can read here part III.
You can read this whole story translated into Spanish here
This is part IV, the last but not least.
Monero - A secure, private, untreceable cryptocurrency
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.0
Notable comments in this thread:
-201: “I would like to offer 1000 MRO to the first person who creates a pool”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6422665#msg6422665)
[tacotime offers bounty to potential pool developer. Bytecoin devs haven’t released any code for pools, and the only existent pool, minergate (in the future related to BCN interests) was closed source]
-256: “Adam back seems to like CryptoNote the better than Zerocash https://twitter.com/adam3us/status/453493394472697856”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6440769#msg6440769)
-264: “update on pools: The NOMP guy (zone117x) is looking to fork his open source software and get a pool going, so one should hopefully be up soon.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6441302#msg6441302)
-273: “Update on GUI: othe from VertCoin has notified me that he is working on it.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6442606#msg6442606)
-356: “Everyone wanting a pool, please help raise a bounty with me here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=589533.0
And for the GUI:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=589561.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6461533#msg6461533)
[5439 MRO + 0.685 BTC + 5728555.555 BCN raised for pool and 1652 XMR, 121345.46695471 BCN for the GUI wallet. Though this wallet was "rejected" as official GUI because wallet still has to be polished before building a GUI]
-437: “Yes, most Windows users should see a higher hashrate with the new build. You can thank NoodleDoodle. ”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6481202#msg6481202)
-446: “Even faster Windows binaries have just been uploaded. Install for more hash power! Once again, it was NoodleDoodle.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6483680#msg6483680)
-448: “that almost doubled my hashrate again! GREAT STUFF !!!”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6484109#msg6484109)
-461: “Noodle only started optimization today so there may be gains for your CPU in the future.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6485247#msg6485247)
[First day of miner optimization by NoodleDoodle, it is only May 1st]
-706: “The unstoppable NoodleDoodle has optimized the Windows build again. Hashrate should more than double. Windows is now faster than Linux. :O”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6549444#msg6549444)
-753: “i here tft is no longer part of the project. so is he forking or relaunching bytecoin under new name and new parameters (merged mining with flatter emission curve.) also. what is the end consensus for the emission curve for monero. will it be adjusted."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6561345#msg6561345)
[May, 5th 2014. TFT is launching FANTOMCOIN, a clone coin which its "only" feature was merged mining]
-761: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6561941#msg6561941) [May, 5th 2014 – eizh on emission curve and tail emission]
-791: “As promised, I did Russian translation of main topic.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6565521#msg6565521)
[one among dozens of decentralized and “altruist” collaborators of Monero in minor tasks]
-827: image
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6571652#msg6571652)
-853: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6575033#msg6575033)
[some are not happy that NoodleDoodle had only released the built binaries, but not the source code]
-950: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6593768#msg6593768)
[Rias, an account suspected to be related to the Bytecoin scam, dares to tag Monero as “instamine”]
-957: “It's rather bizarre that you're calling this an "instamine" scam when you're so fervently supporting BCN, which was mined 80% before entering the clearnet. Difficulty adjustments are per block, so there is no possibility of an instamine unless you don't publish your blockchain (emission is regular at the preset interval, and scales adequately with the network hash rate). What you're accusing monero of is exactly what ByteCoin did.”
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6594025#msg6594025
[Discussion with rias drags on for SEVERAL posts]
-1016: “There is no "dev team". There is a community of people working on various aspects of the coin.
I've been keeping the repo up to date. NoodleDoodle likes to optimise his miner. TFT started the fork and also assists when things break. othe's been working on a GUI. zone117x has been working on a pool.
It's a decentralized effort to maintain the fork, not a strawman team of leet hackers who dwell in the underbellies of the internet and conspire for instamines.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6596828#msg6596828)
-1023: “Like I stated in IRC, I am not part of the "dev team", I never was. Just so happens I took a look at the code and changed some extremely easy to spot "errors". I then decided to release the binary because I thought MRO would benefit from it. I made this decision individually and nobody else should be culpable”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597057#msg6597057)
[Noodledoodle gets rid of the instaminer accusations]
-1029: “I decided to relaunch Monero so it will suit all your wishes that you had: flatter emission curve, open source optimized miner for everybody from the start, no MM with BCN/BMR and the name. New Monero will be ready tomorrow”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597252#msg6597252)
[people trying to capitalize mistakes is always there.]
-1030: "Pull request has been submitted and merged to update miner speed
It appears from the simplicity of the fix that there may have been deliberate crippling of the hashing algorithm from introduction with ByteCoin."
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597460#msg6597460
[tacotime “officially” raises suspects of possible voluntarily crippled miner]
-1053: "I don't mind the 'relaunch' or the merge-mining fork or any other new coin at all. It's inevitable that the CryptoNote progresses like scrypt into a giant mess of coins. It's not undesirable or 'wrong'. Clones fighting out among themselves is actually beneficial for Monero. Although one of them is clearly unserious and trolling by choosing the same name.
Anyway, this sudden solidarity with BCN or TFT sure is strange when none of these accounts were around for the discussions that took place 3 weeks ago. Such vested interests with no prior indications. Hmm...? "
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6599013#msg6599013
[eizh points out the apparent organized fudding]
-1061: "There was no takeover. The original developer (who himself did a fork of bytecoin and around a dozen lines of code changes) was non-responsive and had disappeared. The original name had been cybersquatted all over the place (since the original developer did not even register any domain name much less create a web site), making it impossible to even create a suitably named web site. A bunch of us who didn't want to see the coin die who represented a huge share of the hash power and ownership of the coin decided to adopt it. We reached out to the original developer to participate in this community effort and he still didn't respond over 24 hours, so we decided to act to save the coin from neglect and actively work toward building the coin."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6599798#msg6599798)
[smooth defends legitimacy of current “dev team” and decisions taken]
-1074: “Zerocash will be announced soon (May 18 in Oakland? but open source may not be ready then?).
Here is a synopsis of the tradeoffs compared to CyptoNote: […]"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6602891#msg6602891)
[comparison among Zerocash y Cryptonote]
-1083: "Altcoin history shows that except in the case of premine (Tenebrix), the first implementation stays the largest by a wide margin. We're repeating that here by outpacing Bytecoin (thanks to its 80% mine prior to surfacing). No other CN coin has anywhere near the hashrate or trading volume. Go check diff in Fantom for example or the lack of activity in BCN trading.
The only CN coin out there doing something valuable is HoneyPenny, and they're open source too. If HP develops something useful, MRO can incorporate it as well. Open source gives confidence. No need for any further edge."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6603452#msg6603452)
[eizh reminds everyone the “first mover” advantage is a real advantage]
-1132: "I decided to tidy up bitmonero GitHub rep tonight, so now there is all valuable things from latest BCN commits & Win32. Faster hash from quazarcoin is also there. So BMR rep is the freshest one.
I'm working on another good feature now, so stay tuned."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619738#msg6619738)
[first TFT apparition in weeks, he somehow pretends to still be the "lead dev"]
-1139: "This is not the github or website used by Monero. This github is outdated even with these updates. Only trust binaries from the first post."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619971#msg6619971)
[eizh tries to clarify the community, after tft interference, which are the official downloads]
-1140: “The faster hash is from NoodleDoodle and is already submitted to the moner-project github (https://github.com/monero-project/bitmonero) and included in the binaries here.
[trying to bring TFT back on board] It would be all easier if you just work together with the other guys, whats the problem? Come to irc and talk like everyone else?
[on future monero exchangers] I got confirmation from one."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619997#msg6619997)
[8th may 2014, othe announces NoodleDoodle optimized miner is now open source, asks TFT to collaborate and communicates an exchanger is coming]
-1146: "I'll be impressed if they [BCN/TFT shills] manage to come up with an account registered before January, but then again they could buy those.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6620257#msg6620257)
[smooth]
-1150: “Ring signatures mean that when you sign a transaction to spend an output (coins), no one looking at the block chain can tell whether you signed it or one of the other outputs you choose to mix in with yours. With a mixing factor of 5 or 10 after several transactions there are millions of possible coins all mixed together. You get "anonymity" and mixing without having to use a third party mixer.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6620433#msg6620433)
[smooth answering to “what are ring signatures” in layman terms]
-1170: "Someone (C++ skilled) did private optimized miner a few days ago, he got 74H/s for i5 haswell. He pointed that mining code was very un-optimized and he did essential improvements for yourself. So, high H/S is possible yet. Can the dev's core review code for that?"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6623136#msg6623136)
[forums are talking about an individual or group of individuals with optimized miners - may 9th 2014]
-1230: "Good progress on the pool reported by NOMP dev zone117x. Stay tuned, everyone.
And remember to email your favorite exchanges about adding MRO."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6640190#msg6640190)
-1258: "This is actually as confusing to us as you. At one point, thankful_for_today said he was okay with name change: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563821.msg6368600#msg6368600
Then he disappeared for more than a week after the merge mining vote failed.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6645981#msg6645981)
[eizh on the TFT-issue]
-1358: “Jadehorse: registered on 2014-03-06 and two pages of one line posts:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=263597
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=263597;sa=showPosts
Trustnobody: registered on 2014-03-06 and two pages of one line posts:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=264292
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=264292;sa=showPosts
You guys should really just stop trying. It is quite transparent what you are doing. Or if you want to do it, do it somewhere else. Everyone else: ignore them please."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6666844#msg6666844)
[FUD campaign still ongoing, smooth battles it]
-1387: "The world’s first exchange for Monero just opened! cryptonote.exchange.to"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6675902#msg6675902)
[David Latapie announces an important milestone: exchanger is here]
-1467: "image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6686125#msg6686125)
[it is weird, but tft appears again, apparently as if he were in a parallel reality]
-1495: “http://monero.cc/blog/monero-price-0-002-passed/”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6691706#msg6691706)
[“trading” milestone reached: monero surpassed for first time 0.002 btc price]
-1513: "There is one and only one coin, formerly called Bitmonero, now called Monero. There was a community vote in favor (despite likely ballot stuffing against). All of the major stakeholders at the time agreed with the rename, including TFT.
The code base is still called bitmonero. There is no reason to rename it, though we certainly could have if we really wanted to.
TFT said he he is sentimental about the Bitmonero name, which I can understand, so I don't think there is any malice or harm in him continuing to use it. He just posted the nice hash rate chart on here using the old name. Obviously he understands that they are one and the same coin."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6693615#msg6693615)
[Smooth clears up again the relation with TFT and BMR. Every time he appears it seems to generate confusion on newbies]
-1543: "Pool software is in testing now. You can follow the progress on the pool bounty thread (see original post on this thread for link)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6698097#msg6698097)
-1545: "[on the tail emission debate] I've been trying to raise awareness of this issue. The typical response seems to be, "when Bitcoin addresses the problem, so will we." To me this means it will never be addressed. The obvious solution is to perpetually increase the money supply, always rewarding miners with new coins.
Tacotime mentioned a hard fork proposal to never let the block reward drop below 1 coin:
Code: if (blockReward < 1){ blockReward = 1; }
I assume this is merely delaying the problem, however. I proposed a fixed annual debasement (say 2%) with a tx fee cap of like 0.001% of the current block reward (or whatever sounds reasonable). That way we still get the spam protection without worrying about fee escalation down the road."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6698879#msg6698879)
[Johnny Mnemonic wants to debate tail emission. Debate is moved to the “Monero Economy” thread]
-1603: “My GOD,the wallet is very very wierd and too complicated to operate, Why dont release a wallet-qt as Bitcoin?”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6707857#msg6707857)
[Newbies have hard times with monero]
-1605: "because this coin is not a bitcoin clone and so there isnt a wallet-qt to just copy and release. There is a bounty for a GUI wallet and there is already an experimental windows wallet..."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6708250#msg6708250)
-1611: "I like this about Monero, but it seems it was written by cryptographers, not programmers. The damned thing doesn't even compile on Arch, and there are several bugs, like command history not working on Linux. The crypto ideas are top-notch, but the implementation is not."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6709002#msg6709002)
[Wolf0, a miner developer, little by little joining the community]
-1888: "http://198.199.79.100 (aka moneropool.org) successfully submitted a block. Miners will be paid for their work once payments start working.
P.S. This is actually our second block today. The first was orphaned. :/"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6753836#msg6753836)
[May 16th: first pool block]
-1927: "Botnets aren't problem now. The main problem is a private hi-performance miner"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6759622#msg6759622)
-1927: "Evidence?"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6759661#msg6759661)
[smooth about the private optimized miner]
-1937: “[reference needed: smooth battling the weak evidence of optimized miner] Yes, I remember that. Some person on the Internet saying that some other unnamed person said he did something hardly constitutes evidence.
I'm not even doubting that optimized asm code could make a big difference. Just not sure how to know whether this is real or not. Rumors and FUD are rampant, so it is just hard to tell."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760040#msg6760040)
[smooth does not take the "proof" seriously]
-1949: "image
One i5 and One e5 connected to local pool:
image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760624#msg6760624)
[proof of optimized miner]
-1953: "lazybear are you interested in a bounty to release the source code (maybe cleaned up a bit?) your optimized miner? If not, I'll probably play around with the code myself tomorrow and see if I can come up with something, or maybe Noodle Doodle will take an interest."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760699#msg6760699)
[smooth tries to bring lazybear and his optimized miner on board]
-1957: "smooth, NoodleDoodle just said on IRC his latest optimizations are 4x faster on Windows. Untested on Linux so far but he'll push the source to the git repo soon. We'll be at 1 million network hashrate pretty soon."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760814#msg6760814)
[eizh makes publics NoodleDoodle also has more miner optimizations ready]
-1985: “Someone (not me) created a Monero block explorer and announced it yesterday in a separate thread:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=611561.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6766206#msg6766206)
[May 16th, 2014: a functional block explorer]
-2018: “Noodle is doing some final tests on Windows and will begin testing on Linux. He expects hashrate should increase across all architectures. I can confirm a 5x increase on an i7 quad-core + Windows 7 64-bit.
Please be patient. These are actual changes to the program, not just a switch that gets flicked on. It needs testing.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6770093#msg6770093)
[eizh has more info on last miner optimization]
-2023: “Monero marketcap is around $300,000 as of now”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6770365#msg6770365)
-2059: I was skeptical of this conspiracy theory at first but after thinking about the numbers and looking back at the code again, I'm starting to believe it.
These are not deep optimizations, just cleaning up the code to work as intended.
At 100 H/s, with 500k iterations, 70 cycles per L3 memory access, we're now at 3.5 GHz which is reasonably close. So the algorithm is finally memory-bound, as it was originally intended to be. But as delivered by the bytecode developers not even close.
I know this is going to sound like tooting our own horn but this is another example of the kind of dirty tricks you can expect from the 80% premine crowd and the good work being done in the name of the community by the Monero developers.
Assuming they had the reasonable, and not deoptimized, implementation of the algorithm as designed all along (which is likely), the alleged "two year history" of bytecoin was mined on 4-8 PCs. It's really one of the shadiest and sleaziest premines scams yet, though this shouldn't be surprising because in every type of scam, the scams always get sneakier and more deceptive over time (the simple ones no longer work)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6773168#msg6773168)
[smooth blowing the lid: if miner was so de-optimized, then BCN adoption was even lower than initially thought]
-2123: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6781481#msg6781481)
[fluffypony first public post in Monero threads]
-2131: "moneropool.org is up to 2KHs, (average of 26Hs per user). But that's still only 0.3% of the reported network rate of 575Khs.
So either a large botnet is mining, or someone's sitting quietly on a much more efficient miner and raking in MRO."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6782192#msg6782192)
[with pools users start to notice that “avg” users account for a very small % of the network hashrate, either botnets or a super-optimized miner is mining monero]
-2137: “I figure its either:
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6782852#msg6782852)
-2192: “New source (0.8.8.1) is up with optimizations in the hashing. Hashrate should go up ~4x or so, but may have CPU architecture dependence. Windows binaries are up as well for both 64-bit and 32-bit."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6788812#msg6788812)
[eizh makes official announce of last miner optimization, it is may 17th]
-2219: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6792038#msg6792038)
[wolf0 is part of the monero community for a while, discussing several topics as botnet mining and miner optimizations. Now spots security flaws in the just launched pools]
-2301: "5x optimized miner released, network hashrate decreases by 10% Make your own conclusions. :|"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6806946#msg6806946)
-2323: "Monero is on Poloniex https://poloniex.com/exchange/btc_mro"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6808548#msg6808548)
-2747: "Monero is holding a $500 logo contest on 99designs.com now: https://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/monero-mro-cryptocurrency-logo-design-contest-382486"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829109#msg6829109)
-2756: “So... ALL Pools have 50KH/s COMBINED.
Yet, network hash is 20x more. Am i the only one who thinks that some people are insta mining with prepared faster miners?”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829977#msg6829977)
-2757: “Pools aren't stable yet. They are more inefficient than solo mining at the moment. They were just released. 10x optimizations have already been released since launch, I doubt there is much more optimization left.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830012#msg6830012)
-2765: “Penalty for too large block size is disastrous in the long run.
Once MRO value increases a lot, block penalties will become more critical of an issue. Pools will fix this issue by placing a limit on number and size of transactions. Transaction fees will go up, because the pools will naturally accept the most profitable transactions. It will become very expensive to send with more than 0 mixin. Anonymity benefits of ring signatures are lost, and the currency becomes unusable for normal transactions.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830475#msg6830475)
-2773: "The CryptoNote developers didn't want blocks getting very large without genuine need for it because it permits a malicious attack. So miners out of self-interest would deliberately restrict the size, forcing the network to operate at the edge of the penalty-free size limit but not exceed it. The maximum block size is a moving average so over time it would grow to accommodate organic volume increase and the issue goes away. This system is most broken when volume suddenly spikes."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830710#msg6830710)
-3035: "We've contributed a massive amount to the infrastructure of the coin so far, enough to get recognition from cryptonote, including optimizing their hashing algorithm by an order of magnitude, creating open source pool software, and pushing several commits correcting issues with the coin that eventually were merged into the ByteCoin master. We also assisted some exchange operators in helping to support the coin.
To say that has no value is a bit silly... We've been working alongside the ByteCoin devs to improve both coins substantially."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845545#msg6845545)
[tacotime defends the Monero team and community of accusations of just “ripping-off” others hard-work and “steal” their project]
-3044: "image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845986#msg6845986)
[Monero added to coinmarketcap may 21st 2014]
-3059: "You have no idea how influential you have been to the success of this coin. You are a great ambassador for MRO and one of the reasons why I chose to mine MRO during the early days (and I still do, but alas no soup for about 5 days now)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846509#msg6846509)
[random user thanks smooth CONSTANT presence, and collaboration. It is not all FUD ;)]
-3068: "You are a little too caught up in the mindset of altcoin marketing wars about "unique features" and "the team" behind the latest pump and dump scam.
In fact this coin is really little more than BCN without the premine. "The team" is anyone who contributes code, which includes anyone contributing code to the BCN repository, because that will get merged as well (and vice-versa).
Focus on the technology (by all accounts amazing) and the fact that it was launched in a clean way without 80% of the total world supply of the coin getting hidden away "somewhere." That is the unique proposition here. There also happens to be a very good team behind the coin, but anyone trying too hard to market on the basis of some "special" features, team, or developer is selling you something. Hold on to your wallet."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846638#msg6846638)
[An answer to those trolls saying Monero has no innovation/unique feature]
-3070: "Personally I found it refreshing that Monero took off WITHOUT a logo or a gui wallet, it means the team wasn't hyping a slick marketing package and is concentrating on the coin/note itself."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846676#msg6846676)
-3119: “image
[included for the lulz]
-3101: "[…]The main developers are tacotime, smooth, NoodleDoodle. Some needs are being contracted out, including zone117x, LucasJones, and archit for the pool, another person for a Qt GUI, and another person independently looking at the code for bugs."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6848006#msg6848006)
[the initial "core team" so far, eizh post]
-3123: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850085#msg6850085)
[fluffy steps-in with an interesting dense post. Don’t dare to skip it, worthwhile reading]
-3127: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850526#msg6850526)
[fluffy again, worth to read it too, so follow link, don’t be lazy]
-3194: "Hi guys - thanks to lots of hard work we have added AES-NI support to the slow_hash function. If you're using an AES-NI processor you should see a speed-up of about 30%.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857197#msg6857197)
[flufflypony is now pretty active in the xmr topic and announces a new optimization to the crippled miner]
-3202: "Whether using pools or not, this coin has a lot of orphaned blocks. When the original fork was done, several of us advised against 60 second blocks, but the warnings were not heeded.
I'm hopeful we can eventually make a change to more sane 2- or 2.5-minute blocks which should drastically reduce orphans, but that will require a hard fork, so not that easy."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857796#msg6857796)
[smooth takes the opportunity to remember the need of bigger target block]
-3227: “Okay, optimized miner seems to be working: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373”
[wolf0 makes public his open source optimized miner]
-3235: "Smooth, I agree block time needs to go back to 2 minutes or higher. I think this and other changes discussed (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg6701490#msg6701490) should be rolled into a single hard fork and bundled with a beautiful GUI wallet and mining tools."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6861193#msg6861193)
[tail emission, block target and block size are discussed in the next few messages among smooth, johnny and others. If you want to know further about their opinions/reasonings go and read it]
-3268: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6862693#msg6862693)
[fluffy dares another user to bet 5 btc that in one year monero will be over dash in market cap. A bet that he would have lost as you can see here https://coinmarketcap.com/historical/20150524/ even excluding the 2M “instamined” coins]
-3283: "Most of the previous "CPU only" coins are really scams and the developers already have GPU miner or know how to write one. There are a very few exceptions, almost certainly including this one.
I don't expect a really dominant GPU miner any time soon, maybe ever. GPUs are just computers though, so it is certainly possible to mine this on a GPU, and there probably will be a some GPU miner, but won't be so much faster as to put small scale CPU miners out of business (probably -- absent some unknown algorithmic flaw).
Everyone focuses on botnets because it has been so long since regular users were able to effectively mine a coin (due to every coin rapidly going high end GPU and ASIC) that the idea that "users" could vastly outnumber "miners" (botnet or otherwise) isn't even on the radar.
The vision here is a wallet that asks you when you want to install: "Do you want to devote some of you CPU power to help secure the network. You will be eligible to receive free coins as a reward (recommended) [check box]." Get millions of users doing that and it will drive down the value of mining to where neither botnets nor professional/industrial miners will bother, and Satoshi's original vision of a true p2p currency will be realized.
That's what cryptonote wants to accomplish with this whole "egalitarian mining" concept. Whether it succeeds I don't know but we should give it a chance. Those cryptonote guys seem pretty smart. They've probably thought this through better than any of us have."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6863720#msg6863720)
[smooth vision of a true p2p currency]
-3318: "I have a screen shot that was PMed to me by someone who paid a lot of money for a lot of servers to mine this coin. He won't be outed by me ever but he does in fact exist. Truth."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6865061#msg6865061)
[smooth somehow implies it is not botnets but an individual or a group of them renting huge cloud instances]
-3442: "I'm happy to report we've successfully cracked Darkcoin's network with our new quantum computers that just arrived from BFL, a mere two weeks after we ordered them."
[fluffy-troll]
-3481: “Their slogan is, "Orphaned Blocks, Bloated Blockchain, that's how we do""
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6878244#msg6878244)
[Major FUD troll in the topic. One of the hardest I’ve ever seen]
-3571: "Tacotime wanted the thread name and OP to use the word privacy instead of anonymity, but I made the change for marketing reasons. Other coins do use the word anonymous improperly, so we too have to play the marketing game. Most users will not bother looking at details to see which actually has more privacy; they'll assume anonymity > privacy. In a world with finite population, there's no such thing as anonymity. You're always "1 of N" possible participants.
Zero knowledge gives N -> everyone using the currency, ring signatures give N -> your choice, and CoinJoin gives N -> people who happen to be spending around the same amount of money as you at around the same time. This is actually the critical weakness of CoinJoin: the anonymity set is small and it's fairly susceptible to blockchain analysis. Its main advantage is that you can stick to Bitcoin without hard forking.
Another calculated marketing decision: I made most of the OP about ring signatures. In reality, stealth addressing (i.e. one-time public keys) already provides you with 90% of the privacy you need. Ring signatures are more of a trump card that cannot be broken. But Bitcoin already has manual stealth addressing so the distinguishing technological factor in CryptoNote is the use of ring signatures.
This is why I think having a coin based on CoinJoin is silly: Bitcoin already has some privacy if you care enough. A separate currency needs to go way beyond mediocre privacy improvements and provide true indistinguishably. This is true thanks to ring signatures: you can never break the 1/N probability of guessing correctly. There's no additional circumstantial evidence like with CoinJoin (save for IP addresses, but that's a problem independent of cryptocurrencies)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6883525#msg6883525)
[Anonymity discussions, specially comparing Monero with Darkcoin and its coinjoin-based solution, keep going on]
-3593: "Transaction fees should be a fixed percentage of the block reward, or at the very least not be controllable by the payer. If payers can optionally pay more then it opens the door for miner discrimination and tx fee bidding wars."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6886770#msg6886770)
[Johnny Mnemonic is a firm defender of fixed fees and tail emission: he see the “fee market” as big danger to the usability of cryptocurrencies]
-3986: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6930412#msg6930412)
[partnership with i2p]
-4373: “Way, way faster version of cpuminer: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6993812#msg6993812)
[super-optimized miner is finally leaked to the public. Now the hashrate is 100 times bigger than originally with crippled miner. The next hedge for "cloud farmers" is GPU mining]
-4877: “1. We have a logo! If you use Monero in any of your projects, you can grab a branding pack here. You can also see it in all its glory right here:
logo […] 4. In order to maintain ISO 4217 compliance, we are changing our ticker symbol from MRO to XMR effective immediately."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7098497#msg7098497)
[Jun 2nd 2014]
-5079: “First GPU miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=638915.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7130160#msg7130160)
[4th June: Claymore has developed the first CryptoNight open source and publicly available GPU miner]
-5454: "New update to my miner - up to 25% hash increase. Comment and tell me how much of an increase you got from it: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=632724"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7198061#msg7198061)
[miner optimization is an endless task]
-5464: "I have posted a proposal for fixed subsidy:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg7202538#msg7202538"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7202776#msg7202776)
[Nice charts and discussion proposed by tacotime, worth reading it]
-5658: "- New seed nodes added. - Electrum-style deterministic wallets have been added to help in the recovery of your wallet should you ever need to. It is enabled by default."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7234475#msg7234475)
[Now you can recover your wallet with a 24 word seed]
-5726: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7240623#msg7240623)
[Bitcoin Pizza in monero version: a 2500 XMR picture sale (today worth ~$20k)]
-6905: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7386715#msg7386715)
[Monero missives: CryptoNote peer review starts whitepaper reviewed)]
-7328: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7438333#msg7438333)
[android monero widget built]
This is a dense digest of the first several thousand messages on the definitive Monero thread.
A lot of things happened in this stressful days and most are recorded here. It can be summarized in this:
  • 28th April: Othe and zone117x assume the GUI wallet and CN pools tasks.
  • 30th April: First NoodleDoodle's miner optimization.
  • 11th May: First Monero exchanger
  • 13th May: Open source pool code is ready.
  • 16th May: First pool mined block.
  • 19th May: Monero in poloniex
  • 20th May: Monero +1100 bitcoin 24h trading volume in Poloniex.
  • 21st May: New official miner optimization x4 speed (accumulated optimization x12-x16). Open source wolf0's CPU miner released.
  • 25th May: partnership with i2p
  • 28th May: The legendary super-optimized miner is leaked. Currently running x90 original speed. Hedge of the "cloud farmers" is over in the cpu mining.
  • 2nd June: Monero at last has a logo. Ticker symbol changes to the definitive XMR (former MRO)
  • 4th June: Claymore's open source GPU miner.
  • 10th June: Monero's "10,000 bitcoin pizza" (2500 XMR paintig). Deterministic seed-based wallets (recover wallet with a 24 word seed)
  • March 2015 – tail emission added to code
  • March 2016 – monero hard forks to 2 min block and doubles block reward
There basically two things in here that can be used to attack Monero:
  • Crippled miner Gave unfair advantage to those brave enough to risk money and time to optimize and mine Monero.
  • Fast curve emission non-bitcoin-like curve as initially advertised and as it was widely accepted as suitable
Though we have to say two things to support current Monero community and devs:
  • The crippled miner was coded either by Bytecoin or CryptoNote, and 100% solved within a month by Monero community
  • The fast curve emission was a TFT miscalculation. He forgot to consider that as he was halving the block target he was unintentionally doubling the emission rate.
submitted by el_hispano to Monero [link] [comments]

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