Sharper image cd player

The last bastion for Plasma TV aficionados

2019.03.11 18:01 djronnieg The last bastion for Plasma TV aficionados

It was a bit of a surprise to see that there appeared to be no dedicated Plasma TV community on Reddit. Although I do plan to comb the archives within other Home Theater oriented subreddits, this subreddit exists to unify some key info and to share some useful tips.

2023.03.30 00:31 ameyerrr Sony rx100 or Sony a6000 for a beginner who wants to take travel photos?

Hi! I am planning on taking several amazing trips this year and am really wanting to bring a better camera with me aside from my Iphone 11 pro max.
I am a complete beginner when it comes to photography. I know nothing about anything when it comes to cameras. My main goal is to just take beautiful sharper images of scenery/nature and portraits but i dont care for the portraits to be extremely sharp.
I have been doing a lot of research on which camera to get and i have narrowed it down to a sony rx100 m--something.. or a Sony a6000 or 6300 whatever. I just cant decide!! And i cant decide which version either that would be affordable (preferably under $500 on ebay, used is fine). Please help me and use baby words for my small brain to understand photography things.
All i want is a small and light camera that's easy to understand and has a good auto function. And is afforable. I'm leaving for my trip at the end of May and would love to get a camera as soon as possible. Thank you everyone!
submitted by ameyerrr to Cameras [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:23 justinvoelker Accidentally published .git directory with CI_JOB_TOKEN

I screwed up. I threw together a placeholder website with just a single static HTML index page, some CSS, and an image. This was built into a Docker image via the GitLab CI/CD pipeline with a two-line Dockerfile that included `COPY * /usshare/nginx/`.
Last night, my hosting provider forwarded to me an email from an outside company explaining that I was exposing my .git directory. I guess the answer to "what could go wrong, it's a single static HTML page" is "you can expose credentials."
The email included the content of "www.\[domain\].com/.git/config" to show what I was exposing. Sure enough, that file existed, visible to the public, and included the URL of my remote branch with username and password.
Luckily not my username and password but the username "gitlab-ci-token" and its password. After fixing the leak, I tried to dig up information on the CI_JOB_TOKEN which is what that Git remote was including in its URL. From the GitLab doc, it seems like the CI_JOB_TOKEN in my .gitlab-ci.yml is "valid as long as the job is running." Sounds like this shouldn't pose much of a security risk to my project repository.
However, in my attempts to fix the original leak, I noticed that the value of that token didn't change across multiple pipeline builds. Perhaps it is a fixed value ans isn't rotated (or isn't rotated frequently) and perhaps it does expose me to at least some risk.
How bad did I screw up here and how can I ensure that the value of that CI_JOB_TOKEN is either changed or otherwise made to not present ongoing risk to my project?
submitted by justinvoelker to gitlab [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:15 StepwiseUndrape574 Alarming GTA Online Exploit Enables Cheaters To Corrupt Accounts But A Fix Is Inbound

Rockstar Games is a studio that invokes feelings of enjoyment and feelings of ire, the latter primarily for opponents of the studio's works, often parents. That's thanks to the studio's reputation as the creator and distributor of games that often contain sexuality, violence, and swearing. That has drawn them some legal attention over the years, though the one lawyer who was usually on the crusade, Jack Thompson, is now disbarred. The issue lately, though, is that the popular Online portion of Grand Theft Auto 5, GTA Online, has a very nasty exploit crop up that can allow for remote code execution (RCE).
The exploit can allow cheaters to remotely add, remove, and modify stats. It could also permanently corrupt the data on another player's account. Any of these issues, in turn, means that Rockstar's systems could permanently ban or delete an innocent player's account on GTA Online.
Just modifying the games files is bad enough, but some say that this RCE could potentially allow for code execution at the system level. The issue is has created so much concern that the current advisement by the community for PC gamers is to either ensure a certain firewall rule is in place, or just not play at all. We'd opt for the later. If, for some reason, your game data does get corrupted, though, there is a fix. Find the "Rockstar Games" folder on your PC's Documents folder and delete it. The files should refresh upon reloading the game.
Rockstar was made aware, rather rapidly, thanks to the subreddit for the game and are working on a fix. This has prompted the Rockstar Support Twitter to make a post indicating a Title Update is coming to GTA Online. The company has even posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a Cheat Software Analyst to add to its staff.
gta online car Image of a vehicle from Grand Theft Auto Online
As the Tweet says, if you feel you have been affected by cheaters, make sure you contact Rockstar Support. We're hoping this doesn't take too much of Rockstar's attention from from Grand Theft Auto 6, because we're pretty excited for it with all the leaks so far. Still, an RCE exploit is a big concern, and resolving it should be of the highest priority.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedoutfits_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:10 Liarfeather Polish gaming subreddits

Hi, I'm writing a master thesis about the sociology of video games and I'm looking for Polish Gaming subreddits. Already found MinecraftPolska, KspPolska, minecraftpl, LeagueOfLegendsPolska, leagueoflegendspoland, FNaFpolska, wymianagier, OverwatchPL, GryMobilneRev, do You know any others? Any recommendations are welcome, English subreddits are ok as long as I can find a Polish gaming community there (: In exchange I can share a list of Polish gaming YT channels over 10k subs (these recommendations are much welcome as well). Hope You have a great day and thank You for help!
submitted by Liarfeather to poland [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:59 ChomperCreeper My friend and I AI generated a fake video script on the FNAF lore.

Hello, Internet! Welcome back to Game Theory, where we explore the hidden mysteries and secrets of video games. Today, we're going to be talking about one of the most popular and infamous franchises in the gaming world: Five Nights at Freddy's. Specifically, we're going to be discussing why the FNAF lore is fake.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "MatPat, the FNAF lore is one of the most complex and well-crafted storylines in all of gaming! How could it possibly be fake?" Well, the truth is that the FNAF lore is not what it seems, and there are several reasons why.
First of all, let's talk about the origins of the FNAF lore. The lore began as a simple horror game about a group of animatronics that come to life at night and try to kill the player. However, as the series progressed, the story became more and more convoluted, with multiple timelines, alternate universes, and a cast of characters that seemed to be constantly changing.
This is where the first red flag comes in. The fact that the FNAF lore has become so complex and convoluted is a clear indication that it is not a carefully crafted storyline, but rather a series of ideas that have been haphazardly thrown together over time.
Furthermore, many of the "clues" and "evidence" that fans have used to piece together the FNAF lore are actually red herrings or coincidences. For example, fans have spent countless hours analyzing the details of the game's minigames, looking for hidden messages and clues about the story. However, many of these details are actually just random background elements that have no significance to the story at all.
Additionally, the creator of the FNAF franchise, Scott Cawthon, has been known to troll his fans with fake clues and false information. For example, he has admitted to creating fake teaser images and intentionally misleading fans about the story.
So, why would Scott Cawthon create a fake lore for FNAF? Well, there are several possible reasons. First of all, it keeps fans engaged and talking about the franchise, even years after the release of the first game. Additionally, it allows Scott to continue creating new games in the series, even if they don't necessarily fit within the established storyline.
In conclusion, while the FNAF lore may seem complex and well-crafted on the surface, it is actually a convoluted mess of ideas that have been haphazardly thrown together over time. The "clues" and "evidence" that fans have used to piece together the story are often red herrings or coincidences, and the creator of the franchise has been known to intentionally mislead fans. So, the next time you find yourself diving deep into the FNAF lore, remember that it may not be as real as it seems.
submitted by ChomperCreeper to GameTheorists [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:55 JangB 益 What I HATE about Diablo IV Beta

Diablo 4 is Great!
I am about to tear into it, so if you are on the hype train, and don't want to fall off, I suggest you stop reading now. The game is good and if you are enjoying the hype, I suggest not reading this thread. Just turn back now.
If you are a Dev... just wear a helmet and you are good to go.
TLDR if you don't want to read the whole thing, here is the issue I have with the game - Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate are all delicious flavours of ice-cream. Some are missing here.

Table of Contents

  1. Nailed Horror
  2. Impaled for 7 Years
  3. Meaningless Death
  4. Skills like Pile On
  5. Legendary Buttcrack
  6. Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate
  7. Solution
  8. Conclusion
Alright now let's get into it.

1. Nailed Horror

As always we gotta start off with the positives, to let the Devs know all the things and all the work we appreciate.
Visuals 9/10 Story-Telling 10/10 Atmosphere 10/10 Sounds 10/10 Seriously impressed with the visuals here. The story-telling is... 10/10 Horror. The atmosphere is there. The ambient sounds are as great as I remember them in D3. The sound effects are punchy and BANG on! D3 nailed the sounds and so does D4.
Everyone and their mom has made a video about these. I have prasied them in my previous threads e.g. . So I am not going to go in much detail.
I think the game is worth buying just for these four.
I think the campaign is going to be awesome and I am looking foward to it. I am looking forward to clicking on all the characters and hearing their dialogue and learning about their story and lore of this universe. I spent hours in the beta, literally doing that.
And these are things I have never even cared about in D2 and D3. But in Diablo 4, they are on another level! Diablo 4 is making me care about it.
Anyway let's get into the juicy stuff now.

2. Impaled for 7 Years

Hot take - I liked how difficult the game was as a Melee class. I played with a pure Werebear build and enjoyed the difficulty a lot. This might be an unpopular opinion but... this is how the Veteran difficulty should be for ALL classes.
At one point I encountered a boss that was too difficult. I died to it three times. I decided to get Wolves to take the pressure off me a little bit...
I ruined it.
I straight up ruined it.
All the boss did was attack my unkillable wolf pair. By the time he killed one the other would respawn. The fight went from - 10/10 Dark Souls would play again - to - Checkers with my nephew.
I felt so bad afterwards, that I had completely ruined this otherwise challenging boss fight for myself.

Normal Monsters
There are these guys that just impale you and just stun for 7 years. They stun you and as you are standing there impaled on their sword, you get hit by all other monsters. During this time, you are unable to do anything. Then there are guys who knock you down and you just lie on the floor thinking "This is my life now".
Devs, early on you said you did not like when small monsters did micro-stuns on the player. I argued back that micro-stuns along with chip damage is better for player experience and that long stuns and burst damage are frustrating - (see: Letter to Joe Shely)
In Diablo 4 we have this exact problem of long stuns and burst damage.
If you want to do stuns correctly, study Fighting Games. The Fighting game genre is the master of how to do stuns correctly (and how to mess up really badly also). The whole genre is based on stun mechanic and seeing how long you can chain your stun... otherwise known as a Combo.
Monsters need to be behave like a fighting game character. Where they combo you. But the combo should not be long. It should be a short combo, then release. Then short combo, then release.
I would say if the player gets stunned and thereafter is able to get hit by more than 3 attacks by surrounding monsters, your stun is probably too long.

Scaling Difficulty
The monsters always scale up with you, so they feel difficult but... at no point do you feel you have overcome them. This is an issue in the game. I much prefer the Inferno difficulty in Original D3... yea remember those impossible to kill elites? It felt just right.
I'm kidding...
sort of...
D3's Hell difficulty did not drop the gear required to help you in Inferno so Inferno felt terrible when you first enetered. But as a fixed difficulty, where you try to gear up to overcome impossible odds and eventually overcame them, Inferno was perfect! I enjoyed it for that reason.

3. Meaningless Death

The biggest issue with Diablo 4's difficulty is this -
It never never scares you.
Diablo 4 has went back to the its Horror roots with the visuals and story-telling... but... in the game, dying has no consequence. It does not feel scary at all.
In fact, I was try-harding so much that the first time I was about to die to a boss, I actually was scared to die. But then I died... and nothing happened. I spawned right next to the boss room. I lost nothing. I felt nothing. I eventually learned that dying is meaningless.
The game drilled it into me that dying doesn't matter.
This is not good for a Horror game. A Horror game should not be teaching the player that death is meaningless.
Dying should have some serious consequences. Somewhere between what we have now, where there are no conseuquences, and hardcore mode, where you lose your character. Somewhere between that, where death actually means something and is more than an mere inconvenience.
I think D2 was in that middle-ground where you dropped all the items, and you had to run back through dangerous territory wearing nothing but your underpants. There, death felt like it had consequences. But that's not going to work for Diablo 4 as areas are always renewing and repopulating. Or maybe it might work. I don't know. Devs need to test it or they need to come up with something else.
I also liked Runescape's Wilderness, which not only gave your death dire consequences, i.e. losing all your equipped and carried items, but the consequences were so dire, that the wilderness legimately felt scary to be in. The wilderness had the most precious mines, dungeons and other loot, but it was an area with the most powerful monsters, and where other players could fight and kill you, at any moment without warning! It was truly a terrifying place.
I think Diablo 4 needs to have more consequences attached to player death. And Diablo 4 needs to have areas like the Wilderness in Runescape, where valuable items drop but where death means you lose all your gear. You risk everything for the best drops. That is what Horror is about.
The OG D3 Inferno area would be perfect as well!
So that was the Good (Visuals, Atmosphere, Story-Telling, Sounds), and the Bad (long stuns, lack of Difficult areas, lack of meaningful consequences when you die)...
Now let's talk about the Ugly!

4. Skills like Pile On

Where is the skill tree? Why are there so few skills? - many people are asking this question.
You know what? There are 30 levels and you unlock about the same amount of skills as you did in D2 and D3. It's fine.
But man D3 had sooo many runes! Now many runes felt similar but you also had crazy runes like the Giant Toad, which transformed your smaller explosive toads into a big one that swallowed enemies. Smaller spiders into a Giant walking spider that did damage over time.
D3's Zombie wall rune that had these Zombies run up and stack up on one another only to collapse down on enemies. This skill was awesome because it had a long wind-up (the Zombie's stacking up) and big damage (when they crashed down). It was called Pile On and it was all about timing their crash.
D3 also had a rune that made your Zombie Charger summon Zombie Bears! Zombie Bears is 10/10 skill design, one of the best skills I have seen in an arpg. Its visuals were good but the way it played and the ways you could move and stack the Bear rows... the skill changed with how you positioned yourself... brilliant!
Pile On and Zombie Bears is how you design your big damage skills, and D3 Skills Runes is how to you diversify your skills. I don't know why D4 didn't do this.
Let's look at an example of where this would be useful -
Diablo 4 Druid - Enhanced Pulverize
Your next Pulverize will Overpower every 10 seconds while you remain Healthy.
I enjoyed using the Druid's Pulverize, I really did.
But I couldn't help myself constantly counting the seconds on the UI, looking away from monsters and waiting for it to say 10, instead of looking at monsters and timing the skill like Pile On.
The type of design that makes you stare at UI, while being in active combat, totally ruins the skill... it's just gross. You never want the player to stare at UI elements instead of active combat.
(And there was a passive where every 25 seconds you remained in Werebear form your next attack dealt Overpower... same issue. You are making us stare at UI elements instead of focusing on moment to moment Combat.)
And that Healthy requirement was sooo bad to play with. You'd get hit by a monster and instantly lose your build-up 10s.
Devs! There is already 1 condition of having the resource required. Then there is another of building up to 10 seconds. Then you add another condition of being Healthy!
This is mental!
Devs I like the idea behind it but please look at how Pile On plays in D3.
Druid's Pulverize changed to have Wind-up -
Enhanced Pulverize
Hold the button () to do a Pulverize that will Overpower.
If the player taps the button, it just does a regular Pulverize. If the Player presses and holds the button then they trigger Enhanced Pulverize. The Bear lifts his claws, there is a build up, then he smashes after 0.4 seconds dealing Pulverize with Overpower.
So it's turns Pulverize into something like Pile On, into an attack with a wind-up (with a lot of start-up frames as we would say in fighting games).
And if you want you can keep both -
Enhanced Pulverize
Active - Hold the button () to do a Pulverize that will Overpower.
Passive - Your next Pulverize will Overpower every 10 seconds while you remain Healthy.

In D2 the Hurricane had an interesting Donut-shaped hitbox where monsters that were too close or too far didn't take damage. In Diablo 4, it's just a small area around you like the D3 Monk's Sweeping Wind. That's not Hurricane!
I don't care about having more skills, it's things like this that need to be improved with Diablo 4's skill system. The skills need to be interesting and well designed.

5. Legendary Buttcrack

I could also go on about the Necromancer's Neon Numbskulls, and the Same 5 Laptop Dungeon Mechanics, and the Generic UI, etc etc. Yea they are all ugly as pretty much everyone has stated. But in an arpg it all comes down to...
and bloody Petals, Devs really dropped the ball here on this one.
Where are the wide variety of Item Flavours the Devs showed us?
Rant incoming...
The whole item game seems to be to funnel every player into using Legendary items. I asked around what Sacred and Ancestral items were, they are the same Legendaries, just higher stats. The Devs showed us some Uniques... what's the difference? They are just more Legendary items.
"Hello? Rare items are actually worth picking up you know? Just tack on a Legendary affix. Boom it's a Legendary." Yea that's the problem, it's all Legendary. Everything is a Legendary just tack on Legendary affixes to it and you have T H E ... L E G E N D A R Y ... I T E M ... O F ... T H E.. G O D S.
You know what? Your buttcrack is Legendary but your wife probably doesn't want to see it all the time. But maybe she is in to that or maybe it's...
The whole loot hunt seems to be find Legendary items. Then find better Legendary items. Then find better Legendary items. Then find better Legendary items... Someone called it D3's Set Items with extra steps.
It's as if it's Christmas and Santa is hell bent on feeding you Chocolate cake and more chocolate cake and more chocolate cake and blood petals... wait where was I?
Iosef - We need to find the key to open this gate...
Oh yeah, Itemization.
Where are the specialist, buff your strengths or weakness, but not both, but to an insane degree, Blue items?
Where are the standard, buff both your strengths and weaknesses (without a Legendary affix), Rare items?
Where are the creative, craft your own spicy, delicious and hallucinatory hot stew... I mean... White items?
They are there in the game. They just do not compete with Legendary items. They cannot compete with Legendary items because the Devs have gone out of there way to make Legendary items the only items worth wearing. Hell, they have gone out of their way to help you make other items into Legendary items.
If other Item Flavours cannot compete with Legendary items without being Legendary items then they cannot offer their unique Item Flavour in the end game.
See Legendary items are great because they change how your skills function. They do wacky sh*t. But I don't always want to change how my skills function. Sometimes I just want to buff a skill, sometimes I like the original skill. What do I wear then?
Where are the item flavours that just buff my skills without changing how they function?
Where are the Item Flavours that allow me to choose the Way in which I buff my skills?
The Devs have completely forgotten the other Item Flavours, and the purposes they serve.
And in the case of Rare items, they have betrayed their original purpose.
No Magics, no Rares, no normal Affixes can compete with 50%, 100%, 300%, 500%, etc bonuses of Legendary affixes. You think "no way those numbers are real." Let me tell you, there are items with affixes like "additional 250% damage to Pulverize", for example.
Let's go with 50% damage... seems reasonable right?
How much damage did your +1 to skill add to your skill?
It was minuscule.
Now consider that one Legendary makes it do 50% more!
Tell me how is + to skills supposed to compete with this? How is a normal affix supposed to compete with these legendary modifiers?
So everyone is forced onto Legendaries. Want to use a skill in the endgame? There is a Legendary for that, and if you don't use that Legendary you have garbage damage, and progression is non-existent for you.
Not only are other item flavours terrible when compared to Legendary items, your class's Normal skills also feel garbage in comparison to Legendary boosted skills. Because Legendary affix buffs it so much that it feels useless without the Legendary affix.
The item that adds 250% damage to Pulverize... ask yourself this - What are the underlying issues in the game that caused a Dev to buff this %damage so much?
There's an item that makes Druid's Minions do 300% Damage... ask - Why are the minions so bad in the first place that they need this big buff from an item?
We went from having forced into Sets to point where people started hating on Sets.. to the point where Devs said "Hey we are not going to have Set items in Diablo 4"... to having Legendaries shoved down our throat.
It shuts down creativity.
No matter the type of item, if you force it, it will shut down player expression.
Look, Sets have their place and belong in Diablo and Legendaries have a place in Diablo. But Rares, Magics, White, Crafted, etc, any new Item Flavours you can think of, also have a place in Diablo. They have a role they can fill, which Legendaries cannot.
So... How about having good functional skills that don't require 300% damage buff from a Legendary affix?
How about dropping fewer but quality items, making each item flavour (White, Magic, Rare, Legendary, Unique) more meaningful to the player, with each offering something different from the other, in the endgame gearing?
How about naming your items in a way that is more descriptive than "sword" so that the player can decide whether they need that particular type of sword or not, just by glancing at an unidentified item on the ground?

6. Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate

Let's clear up somethings first.
Character Building is how you advance your stats and skills. In other games, there are certain Specializations. In D4 for example, the Barb has skills, weapon masteries and paragon board.
These things are Character Building.
Finding Legendaries (and Uniques) that change your skills and have so much damage and mitigation attached that they become mandatory, is the exact opposite of character building. It undermines Character Building, and makes it pointless, since you are forced into wearing the Legendary item for a skill if you want to get any use out of that skill. Or you end up feeling forced into the taking the skills for which you found this OP Legendary items.
Collecting items and crafting them, this is gearing. This is Itemization.
Having different types of Items that you are hunting for in the end game. This is Item Flavour.
Not to transform them into all Legendary with aspects but to use their particular flavour to your advantage.
When your Legendary affixes are so strong that every other other item becomes useless, until you make it into a Legendary, then this undermines Item Flavours.
What is the difference between Legendaries and Uniques? How are these two different Item Flavours?
Is it just me or these Unique affixes look identical to any Legendary affix in the game?
The Role of Different Item Flavours
Magic Item
This allows the player to buff specific things to the max at the cost of losing other crucial affixes. It allows you to buff your strengths even more as your weaknesses become even weaker. Or the opposite. Whatever you choose to do with it, is up to you.
Rare Item
This is your standard item, that gives you a lot of stats, and you can use these to even out your character. To buff many areas and cover your weaknesses. Whatever affixes you decide to get on it is up to you.
If you have played the old Runescape, there used to be two styles of character. The Pures and the Standard. The Pure style was all about levelling 1 skill to the max, and not touching the other skill at all. Whereas the Standard would be levelling all their skills. The Pures had the benefit of having that really high skill at a lower level, at the detriment of, usually, defensive capibility.
This is kind of what Magic (Strawberry) and Rare (Vanilla) items can do in Diablo 4. These are the roles that they can fulfill in the endgame.
Now, both of these Item Flavours buff your skills. They do not undermine your skills or your character building. They just make them stronger.
Then there is a third Item Flavour which throws a wrench in the gears and shifts them in wacky ways. It throws your skills in completely different directions.
Epic Item
Epic Item (Chocolate) is like Legendary but not mandatory. It does not roll an affix that buffs a skill beyond what a Magic and Rare can, ie no 50%+ damage modifiers like what Diablo 4 is currently doing.
Epic Item transforms skills. This is something that D3's skill rune system did well. In D3 the WD could summon little toads that moved forward and exploded on enemies. But the WD had a rune that instead of summoning 3 little toads, he summoned a big one that swallowed enemies for a duration. This big toad was not a better choice than little toads. It was a not a worse choice than little toads. It was a different choice. One that you could opt for. It was not mandatory.
That Giant Toad item doesn't make your little toad build obsolete because it's not more or less powerful, so it gives you an option to play a different playstyle, if you wish.
This type of Item Flavour only works if it can pull that off. If it is too strong, it will undermine your character building. It will undermine your other skills and item flavours. If it is too weak, then no one will use it, which is not good either.
These type of Item Flavours are avenues for player expression and creativity. They do not invalidate your pre-existing Character Build.
Now that such a system is in place. The player is chasing items from a bigger pool of different Item Flavours. You have different types and different variety of items that you chase in the endgame, depending on what you are going for. Instead of being handed a Dev-approved Legendary, you have choice in how you build your character. This makes the endgame more interesting.
The Devs already showed us something like this and promised to give us a variety of Item Flavours back in 2020 -
But even in their image, you can see that there is no way a normal affix is going to compete with that 46% additional damage. The first two item flavour are not competing at all with the third.
This is just terrible design in my view and it needs to change.
But what I am seeing is the Devs have invested all their cards into Legendary items. I like there is an item in the game that as has cool game-changing effects. I just wish that it wasn't the only way to gear my character.
I don't know if this can be changed at this point. But here are somethings they can do to bring back the Item Flavours.

7. Solution

Here's a list of my proposed solutions for the Devs -
1. Legendary Affixes
Nerf the modifiers on Legendary Affixes. Smash 'em with the Hammer of the Ancients with 100% crit chance.
2. Rare Items
So there is a huge system in the game for collecting Legendary powers and converting your Rares into Legendaries.
I say leave it in. There is value in having such a system.
Introduce a new item type. Let's call it Mystic Item.
3. Magic Items
Buff the affix roles on Magic Items. Allow them to roll higher base stats like Weapon Damage and Armour, higher item-specific affixes like Overpower Damage, and higher rolls on other regular affixes e.g. 20% damage to Crowd Controlled enemies. Again -
Remember the downside with Magic items is that they roll fewer affixes than Rare, Legendary and Mystic. They are Specialist Items for people looking to strongly buff specific things.
4. Unique items
Currently Unique items are not really offering anything different from Legendary affixes, which is tragic. But if Unique items offered new skills to the Classes, that would be perfect. Like in D2 Assassin getting Whirlwind skill from Chaos Runeword or the Barbarian getting Werewolf skill from Wolfhowl.
You don't have to give classes any skills from other classes if you are not comfortable with that. But what you can do is design new skills, and put these on your Unique items. Maybe take some D2 and D3 favourites and bring them back like Summon Bear or Armageddon or Zombie Bears!
Rework your Unique Items. Take the bland ones, and make those into Legendary affixes. Design new skills for them.
I mean Legendary items when they are good, already offer, what are essentially, new skills. So your Unique Items have to be really out of the world. You really have to knock them out of park for them to be something different from Legendary items.
Otherwise, there is no point in having Uniques, there's plenty of Legendary items filling that role.
5. Normal Items/ White Items
With these items, you'd have to create interesting Doodads, like Gems (fixed affixes, which you currently have in-game), Jewels (randomized affixes), Runes (that link into Runewords)... as these items are meant to be the base items for crafting.
In Diablo 4 early development, Runes worked like player-created If-Then statements. E.g. Rune 1 - After using Potion, you get... Rune 2 - ... 10% more Crit Chance. You'd fit the Runes together in that order to get the effect.
Pretty neat mechanic.
In these hyper-socketed White Items, allow players to fit a bunch of Gems, Jewels, and Runes to create their desired item.
5 Sockets
Socket 1 is Gem (Amethyst) -
- 10% damage over time
Socket 2 is Jewel of the Serpent -
- +1 to Poison skills
- 30% more poison damage to slowed enemies
Socket 3 is Jewel of Infection -
- +1 to Rabies
- +2 seconds to Damage over Time duration
Socket 4 - Potion Rune
Socket 5 - Burst Rune
- After drinking a potion, your damage over time effects deal their full damage instantly
Bam! You've allowed the player to create a crafted item from a bunch of Doodads in your game that are easy to understand in themselves.
By the way... if you balance your Legendary affixes correctly to where other Item Flavours are still viable, then you can even make these Legendary Aspects into socketable Doodads to be fitted in Normal Items, allowing players to stack multiple Legendary affixes in the same item!... at the cost of regular affixes of course. But note - your regular affixes have to be good and able to compete with Legendary affixes for this to work!
You might be thinking this is too complex. This is too overwhelimg.
Here's the thing... Gems like Ruby, Sapphire, etc teach the players about Sockets, Socketed items and that whole process of socketing and unsocketing them. Have the players mess around with Gems during levelling. Save the rest of these Doodads for the endgame so that your new players won't be overwhelmed by this system.
Rather than shying away from complexity and depth in favour of dumbing everything down for new players, just create a game where you ease people into these systems slowly over time. So that they can learn about them at a comfortable pace. You are already doing that with Paragon boards unlocking at certain levels, and that's perfect!

8. Conclusion

Look, I like what Diablo 4 is doing with its MMO design. I like where Diablo 4 is going with the story and visuals. I like the vibes.
I am seeing a Druid... after 20 years! :.)
I am seeing dead people... in the quests I mean, with super sad stories, and it's perfect. It makes me want to explore the world.
I am seeing well-hung tortured souls and the attention to detail... It's not actually what it looks like but it made me do a double take when I saw it in-game.
I like all of that. I just don't like some of the systems. And I think they should be changed, especially the Itemization.
I mean we all have a severe case of blue balls for Diablo 4 at this point but I would still be willing to wait and have the Devs improve and perfect their systems before releasing. I'd rather Diablo 4 be delayed than Diablo 4 be bad.
Thanks for reading!
submitted by JangB to Diablo [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:44 Brooklyn11230 Bookshelf Speakers + Integrated amp choice

I need help from the group selecting a 2.1 HiFi setup for my bedroom.
Music Sources incl:
Connections via USB, WiiM mini or pro, Apple dongle, or WiFi router (?) never tried it, I’ve always connected via cables.
Room dimensions:
At ~ $1000 USD (per component) or less, my closest HiFi dealers have the following:
Integrated amps:
I know I must AUDITION any pairings, but, my nearest HiFi stores are a 13 - 15 hour drive, and a little insight will help me narrow things down.
So, what speakers and integrated amp pairing would you suggest, and why?
All suggestions very much appreciated.
submitted by Brooklyn11230 to BudgetAudiophile [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:26 DeepSeaDelivery Need feedback/help for brainstorming a house rule for larger enemies

One thing I dislike about larger enemies is that I feel like they just don't feel too fantastic when they attack. Getting hit by a giant's club just leaves you standing in place, which makes sense if they were trying to drive you into the ground. But, I was thinking of trying to implement a homebrew idea in which attacks by larger enemies can fling their targets. It would help with that mental image of a giant swinging their club through a hoard of enemies, sending them flying. This homebrew would only apply to melee attacks, and if the players become larger they'd have access to it too. Just want some feedback from some people on whether or not they'd consider it fun or interesting.
Mighty Strength - When a large creature attacks a medium or smaller sized creature with a melee attack, the attacked creature must make a DC 10 (STR? DEX?) saving throw. On a failed save, that creature is knocked back 5 x (STR modifier) feet. If the creature is huge or larger, the attacked creature is knocked back 10 x (STR modifier), or 5 x (STR modifier) if the attacked creature is large.
I figure 10 would be a nice easy number to beat for the players in order to not have it be too overpowered. Passing it would show give the players that strong sense of heroism, but when the check is failed it would emphasize the power behind those monsters while also making them a bit more dangerous. As a DM, I'd probably auto-fail any NPC that's small or smaller to further get that fantasy picture of a giant knocking about foes like golf balls. Any feedback is appreciated.
submitted by DeepSeaDelivery to dndnext [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:24 ijatpops Multiplayer Video Chat Live!

Multiplayer Video Chat Live! submitted by ijatpops to unrealengine [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:20 Slade13579 who to take this my team currently?

who to take this my team currently? submitted by Slade13579 to fut [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:17 SpeakeasyImprov Team profile: Street Team 2

The original Street Team was formed by a group of local heroes trying to protect their neighborhoods in New York City. After many missions, the team slowly drifted apart. Some retired from superheroing, some moved on to higher-profile teams, and some moved on to have their own adventures.
Years later a new incarnation of Street Team formed at the impetus of Two-Player and Remaster after a chance meeting. They sought out others like them. Each member of this new incarnation of the Street Team were all young super-powered criminals in one way or another. They have come together to try and rehabilitate their lives, make better choices, and maybe even do some good in the world.
Two-Player: Emmy Wilson was once a member of the Controllers of Chaos, a group of young supercriminal hackers. After their schemes put people in harm's way, she defected. She worked alongside World Class, a team of teenaged heroes, and that experience led her to start the new Street Team. Smart, vocal, highly principaled, Wilson loves people but hates authority. Two-Player can create a duplicate of herself that she can command much like a very powerful AI.
Remaster: Jamaal Webb used his intellect and ability to repurpose any device, appliance, or tool into a high-powered gadget to supply local gangs with amazing weapons. But the vigilante Goblin took an interest in him, and after helping the hero on a mission he found he liked being the good guy more. Or at least, he liked feeling valued as a person and not just for his inventions. As Remaster, Jamaal is armed with a variety of weapons and gadgets he built himself. And with his handy multi-tool and spare parts, he can fashion even more new devices on the fly!
Street Level: Devon Sharper was a normal street-tough teenager born and raised in the city. He knew his town like the back of his hand, took great pride in where he was from, and was very vocal about it. Perhaps this is why a minor deity appeared to him one day and offered him great power to be her avatar. At first Sharper used his powers to commit minor crimes—break-ins, theft, muggings—until the deity appeared to him again. She demanded he use his power to do good or else she would take it away. Sharper is now a reluctant hero, trying his best to do good deeds and keep his astonishing powers. As Street Level, Sharper can will his body to take on the appearance and attributes of materials that cities are built of: steel, cement, glass, brick, and more!
Third Rail: Brianna Hughley was disowned by her family soon after exhibiting her super-evolution. She fell in with the Tunnel Men, an abusive group of superhumans that dwell in the sewers beneath the city. But an encounter with a group of teen superheroes made her believe she could be more and rise above her current station. So she's joined this new Street Team to prove to the world that she is worth something. As Third Rail, she has the power to conduct electricity in various forms and intensities for a number of effects.
Polypore: After aging out of the foster care system, Polypore's plans to work as hired muscle for a known supercriminal never materialized. Angry, adrift, and aimless, he fell in with the new Street Team. Being one of the few who actually trained and prepared for a life of super-battles, Polypore has emerged as a natural field leader for the group. And what's more is he seems to like it! Polypore is like a human fungus, he can sink into the ground and regrow a new body anywhere, and his very touch can be toxic or induce wild hallucinations!
Synthetic Girl: One of many replicator androids created by the criminal roboticist Mr. Factory, Synthetic Girl was "rescued" from an evidence locker and pressed into service by the teenage criminal group New Villains. However when the New Villains were routed by the nascent Street Team, they fled and abandoned Synthetic Girl. With nowhere else to go, she turned to them for a place to belong. Synthetic Girl was never imprinted with the personality of the person she was meant to replicate. She is now trying to carve out an identity for herself, and often cycles between looks, styles, labels, etc., trying on personalities the way others would try on shoes. As an android she has prodigious strength and durability.
Scaffold (2): Gil Rowbottom was never a criminal, but he wants everyone to think he was. Yes, his uncle Grant was the original Scaffold, and his sister Jenny became known as Pterodactyl, leader of the New Villains. But Gil was a good kid, or at least a quiet kid who never got in trouble, never really had any idea on how to rebel. That is until he found his uncle's old super-suit. Maybe this was a chance to reinvent himself? Become one of the cool kids and hang with a different crowd? Wearing the Scaffold suit, Rowbottom can extend and control super-strong mechanical limbs from his arms and legs.
Naturally, each of them struggle in their own way with being a hero. Remaster's old clients keep calling, and the temptation to make a quick buck can be very great. Polypore oftens goes easy on his old allies from the Aberrants, the group of wanna-be super-mercenaries. Street Level is constantly thinking "maybe I can get away with this, just this once." Third Rail still wrestles with her own self-worth, as years of abuse and denigration have taken their toll on her heart. Two-Player is likely to buck any societal authority and do things her own way. Synthetic Girl is still programmed to follow Mr. Factory's orders... he simply isn't aware of her right now and hasn't given her any recent orders. And Scaffold is simply waiting for his whole charade to come crashing down.
submitted by SpeakeasyImprov to Superhero_Ideas [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:05 jleesez Composite Ruins NES Games?

Composite Ruins NES Games?

Composite Passthrough
Component -VS- Composite
RCA Tru Flat Composite
Toshiba 26\" Composite
Toshiba 26\" Component
I typo'd "component" for "composite" in the title field. This post is meant to show the perhaps desirable color blending of composite. Sorry.
I've spent my life shunning inferior connectors, resolutions, gear, etc., but I can't believe how bad Mad City (Adventures of Bayou Billy, to the layperson) looks in component. The crispness ruins the shading on the tree trunks and turns the screen into an rigid, bizarre, RED–GREEN grid instead of a soft, shaded, full-color, composite smudge.
I had to adjust the Component color to stop over-saturation, but I still can't mimic composite. (The harsh component connection reminds me of PC games/ color schemes.) Component seems to actually destroy new color that would've been created by composite blending. I could probably adjust it a bit closer, yes.
Just got the Pi4 set up for composite yesterday. It's so great, compared to the defunct crt-pi images for pi3b+. Sure, it tears and is inferior to both MiSTer and CRT Emu Driver, but it's just so handy and universal. If you haven't tried Pi4 composite, follow the guide here on Reddit. RecalBox composite is only 480i (AFAIKIME).


  • Pi4 Composite
  • CRT Emu Driver Component via LinuxBot3K Converter
  • Toshiba 26" w/ Component (Top TV)
  • RCA TruFlat ~16" w/ Composite (Bottom TV)


Explanation of photos with two TVs
  1. Pi4 composite pumped into the Toshiba (top) >> RCA TruFlat (bottom) via passthrough. The Toshiba is significantly sharper up close, but perhaps it's because of the size. Seems contradictory, I know. RCA seems to have a bit richer color, naturally.
  2. Toshiba displaying component (CRT E.D.) versus bottom RCA displaying composite (Pi4)


Sure, these connections weren't around at the time of NES, I guess. Composite is probably the artists' intended vision. Silent Hill, on the other hand, doesn't benefit from the composite smear, IMO. Again, this test made possible by Pi4 Composite configuration. (So awesome!)
I really hope composite blend becomes standard with all MiSTer emulators!! :D It's either that or add on the upcoming output board with composite and s-video, anyways. (Say "composite" one more time.)
I was surprised to see there's no visible difference in the RCA's image when comparing passthrough from the Toshiba versus Pi4 direct. What a handy feature!
Cheers all!
submitted by jleesez to crtgaming [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:02 vladmirmcdoogle Struggling with Achieving Pitch Black Dungeons Without Editing enbseriesini

I have really been struggling to get my dungeons pitch black. I've scoured Google and this subreddit where almost all of the suggestions are to use ELFX Hardcore with Dynamic Immersive Seriously Dark Dungeons. I am doing this, but I can still see dungeon interiors even though it's fairly dark. Most of those posts are years old at this point so maybe something has changed that I'm not aware of. Dungeons look dark in some areas, but as soon as I walk into them my virtual eyes adjust over the course of about a second to the point where I can see fairly okay even with no light source.
The most maddening part of this is that at one point I was able to get a single dungeon working as intended. In my first testing save, Bleak Falls Barrow is 100% pitch black when navigating around underground. I can go back to it in that save and the dungeon remains pitch black. Every other dungeon, mineshaft, or cave in that same save game that I enter does not get as dark. I made a new save to see if that might do something, but in any new game I make, Bleak Falls Barrow acts like all the other dungeons that don't get totally dark.
I don't think my ENB is the issue since I was able to achieve such darkness once before and have had the same ENB from the very beginning. I have been experimenting with adding mods which could change the darkness, but I've disabled them all except ELFX and Dynamic Immersive Seriously Dark Dungeons and I'm still having this issue. If I go into the enbseries.ini I can adjust the interior values there, but then all interiors (shops, taverns, etc) are also pitch black. I've also read that it's preferable to use mods over editing an enbseries.ini file so I'm trying not to go this route.
LOOT throws me 2 errors. One is for the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch.esp which states "Your installed version of Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch is not compatible with your version of Skyrim VR". I'm assuming this can be safely ignored since I've run the patch tool and the game is running fine with no crashes. The other is for JBMOD - SkUg Patch.esp which states "This plugin requires 'AKSkyrimUnderground.esp' to be installed, but it is missing". This is for the dynamic dark dungeons mod picking up Skyrim Underground, which I have, but is listed in my plugins as .esm instead of .esp. Could this be an issue with the darkness since it relates directly to a darkening mod? I personally don't think so since this mod doesn't actually darken anything, but rather removes light sources.
LOOT gives me 2 warnings, one of which is simply recommending a bug fixes patch. The other is under EnhancedLightsandFX.esp which says "SSEEdit v4.0.3 found 2 ITM records...". I've read that sometimes these should be ignored and I'm not familiar enough with this to know what to do here. Could this be the issue since it related directly to the ELFX mod? Should I clean these records?
I'll list my mods in their priority order (sorted by LOOT) below along with the options chosen for each where applicable. Thanks a ton for bearing with all the information if you managed to make it this far!
ENB: Perfect Nature - A Natural and Realistic ENB for Skyrim VR 2022
DLC: HearthFires DLC: Dragonborn DLC: Dawnguard Onyx Weathers - Visuals: ENB Water for ENB - Water Color: Shades of Skyrim - iNeed: No Legacy iNeed Support - LOD Brightness: Darker LOD water - Water Texture Resolution: 2k - Waterfall Resolution: 2k - Customization: Clear Underwater, Darker Volcanic Water Static Mesh Improvement Mod - Skyrim 2016 Special Edition: Everything Better Dynamic Snow SE - Plugin: Vanilla Replacement - Options: BDS Replacement - Addons: No Glacier Snow HIGGS - Enhanced VR Interaction PLANCK - Physical Animation and Character Kinetics HD Reworked Horses Frankly HD Dragonbone and Dragonscale - Armor and Weapons SkyUI VRIK Player Avatar Skyrim VR Tools High Quality Food and Ingredients SE - Options: Everything Rayek's End - SSE Expanded Edition Magical College of Winterhold Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Tamrielic Textures SE 1 - Landscapes - Options: Majestic Mountains, Green Tundra, Green Rift, Gray Beach, Projected Snow Maps Conduit - Short-term Weapon Infusions Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer - CBBE - Better Males Remesh for Skyrim SE Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch [older version with patch] Skyrim VR Core USSEP Realm of Lorkhan - Freeform Alternate Start 4k Stars and Galaxies Campfire - Complete Camping System (Supports Skyrim VR) A Quality World Map Enhanced Blood Textures Legacy of the Dragonborn The Sharper Eye VR FPS Stabilizer Instant Equip VR Clear HUD VR Immersive Draw Sheathe Sounds VR Spell Wheel VR VR Address Library for SKSEVR Darker Nights 1.7p13 [Doesn't seem to work as nights are still bright] - Darkest (level 0) Enhanced Lights and FX - Ambience: ELFX Enhancer - Exterior: ELFX Exteriors, ELFX Weathers, ELFX Enhanced Ice - SMIM: SMIM Meshes, SMIM Lantern - Optionals: Torches Dungeon Darkness SE - Mod Compatibility: ELFX - Hardcore Option, SMIM, Skyrim Underground - ELFX: ELFX - Hardcore Dungeons Only - SMIM Options: With SMIM Lanterns Quick Light SE Weapon Throw VR SKSEVR_Data Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul - Install Options: Core - Enhanced Lights and FX: Patch for ELFX Enhancer.esp Skyrim Underground SSE Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim VR Perk Extender Ordinator VR Patch JContainers SE Address Library for SKSE Plugins powerofthree's Tweaks powerofthree's Papyrus Extender Simple Realistic Archery VR Scoped Bows SE 1.3.1 Scopes Bows VR Remix Papyrus Extender VR The Notice Board SE No Stagger Mod Sounds of Skyrim Complete SE - Core Mod: Sounds of Skyrim Complete - Full - Immersive Citizens, Onyx - VR Weathers - ELFX Patchs: None [It won't let me select ELFX + Enhancer?] Mealtime - a Food and Recipe Mod Realistic Mining for VR VR Refit - Mine Chop and Drop
submitted by vladmirmcdoogle to skyrimvr [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:57 DelokHeart Karma's Passive/R rework idea

Karma has 2 dragons, and she needs to use 1 dragon for the use of each ability. The dragons re-appear with time, and their recharge is shortened the longer Karma stays in combat (either by hitting enemies, or being hit herself).
This will make it so even if you have 0 CD on your abilities, the frequency at which you use them is determined by the dragons you have available, and it will force the player to carefully think which ability to use at which moment as every charge is very valuable.
The Mantra would immediately fill up your 2 dragons, and the next 2 abilities you use will be empowered. This state would make it so the empowered dragons hover around you because it's flashy, and badass.
This state would last for X seconds, and if it runs out before you get to use the empowered spells, you'll still have the dragons. The empowered state won't shorten the recovery of the dragons, nor will it increase the maximum number of charges available.
submitted by DelokHeart to karmamains [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:55 kalakau New Polymorph PvP Talent

While an enemy player is affected by your Polymorph or Mass Polymorph, your movement speed is increased by 25% and your Versatility is increased by 6%. Additionally, Polymorph and Mass Polymorph no longer heal enemies. PvP Talent. PvP Talent. Requires Mage. Requires level 10.
Does this seem broken to anyone else? Mages have already been able to setup glacials/pyros/orbs etc with polymorph, and the huge 1 shots have always been balanced against the fact that polymorph hard reset enemy hp.
Without that counterbalance, I don't see how mage doesn't dominate. I think this talent should be offset by giving polymorph a short cd and maybe cast speed reduction instead of runspeed, that was it can be used as a reliable spot stoppage mechanic. Without a cd mages will easily be able to solo every class that can't interrupt from range. As it is this talent makes their setup potential way too strong.
submitted by kalakau to worldofpvp [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:54 RingoCross99 The Adventure Games (Section 4 of 4)

The Adventure Games (Section 4 of 4)
The Adventure Games
By Ringo Cross
(Chapter 4: continued...)
“Bro. No they don’t,” Brock chuckled.
“What do you think, Sarah?” I asked.
She shrugged and said, “Who cares.”
“Moody teenager,” Brock mumbled.
“He ate the one sandwich I made.”
“Yeah. And I’m surprised he didn’t die like Aaron did! Oh, I’m sorry, ‘choked to death,’” Brock stated.
“You’re an asshole,” I said.
“Okay, so what, he ate your stupid sandwich. They eat but don’t have to eat!” Brock shouted. He couldn’t care less that what he said didn’t make sense. He wasn’t being crude or rude either, that’s just how the guy was.
“You sound crazy, man,” I told him.
“Let’s ask Roger when he gets back.”
“Sure,” I told him rather dismissively.
“How much do you want to bet?”
“Twenty bucks?” I said with a snicker.
Brock came over and said, “Shake on it.”
“Fine,” I said before shaking his hand.
“Hell yeah! This is going to be the easiest twenty bucks I ever made! I can’t wait to go home after tonight’s vote, so I can tell all my buddies how easy of a mark you are,” he hooted while returning to the stove. He sure was in a lively mood. I could tell by the way he flipped the burner on. “Damn, bro, it’s not working.”
“What’s not working?” I asked.
“The burners to the stove, dummy.”
“It’s a gas stove, dummy,” I replied.
“Shush. I know what I’m doing. And watch who you call a dummy,” Brock said while examining the stove. “Damn. You’d think they’d have an electric one.”
“I don’t know, Brock. Gas is probably better for an underground bunker, considering all things.”
Brock looked over at me as if I was ignorant and just shook his head. For the first time in his obnoxious life, he kept his obnoxious thoughts to himself.
“Maybe there’s a manual?” Sarah proposed.
“Why would there be a... humph, I swear, you guys are useless,” he murmured under his breath. “Neither one of you would survive a week in a zombie apocalypse.”
“Whatever, man,” I hissed.
“Why are you upset?”
“Who said I was?” I asked him.
“Ok. If you’re not. Tell me this. How do you clean dirty water without a stove?”
“You boil it.”
“Yeah, if you want hot water,” he chuckled before having the nerve to add, “And I’m sure you probably don’t know how to start a fire.”
“Oh, trust me, I know how to start a fire,” I snarled while staring him down.
“Is that so?” Brock asked, taking my statement as a clear threat. “If you’re so good, come find the gas line, buddy. If not, then watch your mouth.”
“Why? You scared of a little fire?” I asked.
“F off, I’m sorry everyone can’t be as self-righteous as you. At first, I thought your whole little hero-boy routine was a ploy to get the heat off your back, but then I realized, you really are just a moralizing dweeb.”
“Tch. So annoying,” I mumbled.
“Try to ignore him,” Sarah whispered.
When she said that, the two of us started laughing. It was one of those heavy, heady moments that helped us relax and release some of the pent frustration and anger we had gathered up from yet another painful morning and from yet another set of terrible circumstances.
“Oh my God, I needed that,” I said while wiping the tears of joy from my eyes.
Brock just looked at us like we were the ones getting on his nerves. He grumbled, “I can’t wait to get away from you guys,” before returning his attention back to the stove.
“I wonder what’s taking Roger so long?” Sarah inquired.
“Who knows, maybe he’s plotting his next kill,” I told her.
“I bet he’s back there feasting on her blood.”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
We stared at each other for a moment in shock. The thought of him tearing her body apart was the image nightmares were made of.
“You know what I don’t get,” Brock said while fidgeting with the knobs to the stove.
“What’s that?” I asked, glad to have the thought of a vampire desecrating a corpse out of my mind.
“Why don’t more killers hide out in the woods?”
“What do you mean?”
“If I were the killer, or a killer for that matter, and the police were hot on my heels, I’d just pack up all my camping gear and hide out in the woods.”
“You really think it’s that simple?”
“Yeah. They’d never find you. The hardest part would be the hike. I mean, obviously, you wouldn’t want to hide out anywhere near where you live.”
“Looks like you’ve got it all figured out.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Heh, I think you already know.”
“Dude. I swear I’m not the killer. Trust me on that. If I was the killer, you’d be the first person on my wish list, hero-boy.”
Roger entered the picture before I could respond to Brock’s disturbing comment. He looked unnerved, like a prince who had been forced to take a cold bath. His eyes darted around the room. “Sorry I’m late,” he said breathlessly and messily, causing more than a few suspicious glances in his direction.
“It’s cool, you didn’t miss anything,” Sarah told him with a watchful eye of her own.
“Good. I’m glad I didn’t miss anything.”
“You ok, man?” I asked.
“Yeah. I just wanted to make sure we finished today’s task before it was too late.”
Brock glanced at me for a second time. So, it wasn’t just me. What he said, well not only what he said, but how he said it, and how he was acting was strange. Why Brock, with his cavalier approach to anything and everything. I just knew he was going to be the one who said what we were all thinking. He paused; some might even say hesitated over the words instead.
When I saw this, I went on ahead and said it, “What do you mean by, ‘Before it’s too late?’”
“Um. Nothing.”
“You sure?” I asked.
“Yes. Why the odd stares?”
“I don’t know, man. You sure were back there for a long time,” Brock chimed in.
“You’re free to go see for yourself. Just because I’m a vampire doesn’t mean I’m not indifferent to my surroundings,” Roger expressed with a look of injury.
“Ignore Brock,” I told him.
“That’s easy to do,” he replied.
“Turncoat,” Brock muttered out.
“Whatever,” I muttered back.
“Shall we begin?” Roger asked.
“I couldn’t care less about those stupid cards,” Brock said before turning his back to us.
Roger raised the object of his ire and told him, “Careful how you speak. I’m sure they’re not giving us these just to be facetious. I know elites. There’s always a reason behind the things they do.”
“Whatever, just read the thing,” Brock grumbled before returning to his original, obviously more important task of trying to figure out how to light the stove. It seemed he had progressed a bit because now, instead of looking dumb, he was looking for a lighter.
“Hey, Brock, you sure you don’t feel like joining us?” I asked him facetiously.
“Dude. Go away. I can hear you guys just fine from over here,” he protested after noticing he was the only one not at the kitchen table.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” I said.
“Dude. I’m good. Screw that stupid nonsense. You guys want omelets or not?”
“So much for being a team player,” I said while gesturing for Roger to begin.
He thanked me for some reason, pulled the card from the envelope, and stared blankly at it. I was about to ask if everything was alright, but then he spoke, just in the nick of time: “Task 3: Ok. So, it’s a scripture number. From the Bible no less. All it says is James 2:19.”
He flipped the card around to show us, including Brock, just to prove that he wasn’t lying. As he was doing so, I glanced around the room and asked if anyone saw a Bible laying around.
“There’s one on the table in the rec room,” Brock quickly replied.
“Huh? There is?” I asked.
“Yeah, you had it the other day, dumbass.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I huffed out.
“It’s fine, we all have our moments,” Sarah said while smiling at me as if I were an adorable pet.
“Can you grab it for me?” I sheepishly asked.
“Ew! No way! I’m not touching that thing.”
“Teenagers,” Roger muttered with an eyeroll to die for. “Ahh. How I miss the days of sweet levity and naiveté. Alas, we must all grow old, even us poor vampires.”
Her comment surprised me, but I figured it was just a phase or something. I remember my sister having a weird, but similar anti-religious phase when she was around her age. She styled herself as ‘irreligious.’ I used to tease her and restyle her as ‘emo.’ Ooh wee, she would get real hateful whenever I called her that. I’m talking vengeful little devil. Just thinking about triggering her was reminiscent bliss. God. I miss her. I miss her so much. I had to get out of here so I could see her again.
“Fine, I’ll get it,” Roger announced.
“Wait. I thought vampires couldn’t touch the Bible?” Sarah asked.
“This isn’t the movies, sweetie,” he said with an amused smirk.
“I never said it was,” she grumbled rebelliously under her breath.
I laughed under my breath and told her, “You’ve got to learn how to let stuff roll off your back.”
She frowned a bit, but I could tell my words gave her something to ruminate over. Hopefully with enough meditation they’d germinate into an idea.
Roger returned, Bible in hand, and dropped it on the table. When he did this, Sarah jumped. Roger and Sarah exchanged hostile glances. This turned into a brief standoff—staring contest would probably be a better description for it. Not wanting their childish behavior to last any longer, I grabbed the Bible and began thumbing through it until I found the scripture in question:
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19 NIV)
“Humph. That’s odd,” Sarah said.
“It is indeed, but I think I might have a theory,” Roger stated while studying her.
“Theory about what?” I asked.
“How the scripture relates.”
“Good. Because I have no clue,” I said while looking over at Sarah.
She curled up in her chair and said, “So cold.”
Roger continued to study her. Here he goes again, formulating some wild theory about how she was responsible for all the mayhem. I’m not stupid, I knew she could be the killer. I also knew I was biased because of the collection of sentiments I wore on my sleeve for my sister.
“Hey, Roger, let me borrow your lighter for a second,” Brock’s shrill interruption snapped Roger and me out of our little mental game of chess.
Roger rustled through his pockets before walking over and handing him a lighter.
“Thanks,” Brock said in a very untrusting tone and expression to match. He examined the lighter just to make sure it wasn’t rigged.
“You’re welcome,” Roger winked.
“You can go, I’ll return your precious lighter in one piece unless it’s boobytrapped.”
“It’s an antique. I won it at a party in a game of... never mind,” he said before twirling around and making his way back over to us. “Now where were we?”
“Eh. You were about to tell us what the scripture means,” I reminded him.
“Ok. So—” Roger paused and even jumped a bit when Brock lifted the heavy metal cover to the stove. He glared at him like prey. His look... It stabbed into his thoughts from across the room like a pair of imaginary fangs.
Without even looking back, Brock said, “Sorry! It’s the only way I can get to the burner!”
Roger rolled his eyes before groaning. The clicking and banging sounds Brock made must have been annoying to his vampire senses because it really didn’t bother me all that much. Roger raised his hand but before he could speak, he sighed in frustration. His grand conspiracy was thwarted a second time by Brock’s incessant tinkering.
“Just try to ignore him,” I said.
“I can’t.”
“Brock!” I shouted.
“What’s up?”
“Knock it off!”
“I’m almost finished.”
“Ugh. Hurry up!”
He closed the cover which made a loud crashing noise. This startled Roger, which made me and Sarah chortle. I looked over at Brock and saw a big grin on his face. Yup. He had slammed the cover on purpose just to irk the very irksome Roger. He turned the dial all the way up on one of the burners, brought the lighter to it, and flicked it once it was close to the gas vent. “Got it!” he exclaimed after succeeding on the first try. Then he added, “What did I tell you guys? Nothing comes before a bodybuilder and breakfast!”
“You never said that,” I told him.
“Hater,” he grumbled under his breath.
“Yay! Omelets for all!” Sarah cheered.
“I don’t know, Sarah. Maybe he’s not so bad of a guy after all,” I told her with a sarcastic smile.
“Whatever. It wasn’t that hard. The gas line was off. All I had to do was turn it back on. Tch, what a waste of time,” he grumbled in vexation.
“Do you guys want to hear my theory or not?” Roger asked.
“Not really,” Sarah moaned.
“Yeah. Not really,” Brock seconded.
“The floor is yours,” I said with a smirk.
“I’m glad you find this amusing. You shouldn’t because it’s about your evil little minion.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
He pointed at Sarah. But before his lying mouth could wobble together a tale for the ages, we were interrupted by a loud clang and a guttural cry. It was a yelp that oozed with pain and misfortune. We all whipped our heads around and saw Brock engulfed in flames.
It was... it was terrible. The thought... the smell... the sight of him wildly and hopeless flailing about made me flush with fear and anxiety. I jumped from my chair and looked for something—anything to put out the flames! His cries for help did little to aid in his salvation and so much to aid in the chaos and confusion that ensued.
He must’ve cried out to God half a dozen times. Death by fire was slow, much slower than the movies portrayed. He collapsed to his knees like a fallen angel who had been christened by hellfire for the very first time. The agony of it all must’ve been too much for his soul to take. The hellish glint in his eyes, right before his soul vacated his body, was one I’ll never forget.
I took a step back and let his body fall to the floor. There was a soft thud and hard crunch when his body reached its ignoble destination. Skin and clothes baked and crackled as his dead body simmered like a hog that had been charred over a roasting pit.
“What do we do?” Sarah cried out.
“Ok, everyone just stay calm!” I exclaimed in vain.
“Screw this!” Roger said before heading over to the toolbox near the entryway.
“Hey! What’re you doing?” I asked.
“I know what’s going on!” he shouted back.
I looked over at a teary-eyed Sarah and asked if she had any idea what he was talking about.
“How should I know?” she cried out.
“How the hell did this happen?” I mumbled to myself.
“It’s Roger! He’s the killer!”
“No! No, it can’t be.”
“Please! You have to believe me! He was using Roger’s lighter and now he’s dead!”
Roger marched towards us, shouting, “Shut up! Just shut up already! Enough with the lies, devil! I’m sick of your games! I know who you are!”
“Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing with that hammer?” I asked before quickly hopping in front of Sarah, to protect her from this maniac. “It’s ok, just stay behind me. I’m not going to let anything happen to you, I promise,” I told her without thinking.
“I’m not after you!” he sneered.
“Dude! What are you doing! Are you the killer? I should’ve known it was a vampire!”
“I said shut up!” he shrieked. Pure rage was in his eyes. I could tell just by looking at him that he had turned. This was bad. There was no way I could possibly take him on. His wild grin said as much. I could see the tip of his fangs peeking from his mouth. He looked more like a crazed animal in the dim light than a being that could be rationalize with.
“You can’t win,” he sneered and snickered.
I backed away from Brock’s grilled body, pushing Sarah back with me. The whole time I was pleading with Roger, “Hold on, man, let’s talk.”
“Get out of my way! Now!” he yelled and snarled while tightening his grip on the hammer.
“What the hell are you doing man! Were you really the killer this whole time?”
“Of course not! It was her I tell you! Can’t you see?!... No, no that’s right, you can’t! Ha! You don’t know. You’re not a vampire!”
“Roger, snap out of it, man! You’re not making any sense!” I exclaimed, hoping my words would be enough to convince him that he was mad.
“Ha, ha, ha! I should’ve known but I didn’t want to believe it! I thought it was legend. You have to be in the know to know, you know,” he cackled madly. “That’s what all those parties were about! That’s what all those strange rituals revolved around. So, it is true, you are real?!”
I looked back at Sarah and saw her staring coldly at Roger. She said nothing. I had no idea what this lunatic was talking about. I suppose we all handled stress differently, but killing an innocent girl was not the answer. I hated vampires. A vampire was the reason I was here in the first place! Rage began to take over as I thought more and more about my sister.
“Take one more step and—"
“And what? You’ll kill me?” he asked.
“I-I don’t know. All I know is that I won’t let you lay a finger on the girl, you hear me!”
“You humans... your reaction to realizing the futility and inevitably of your demise at the hands of something bred to hunt you down like the filthy dogs you are is a thing to behold.”
“Sarah, run!” I cried out.
“Where am I supposed to go?”
“I don’t know. Just run!”
“Enough! If I have to go through you to get to her, I will!” he hollered while raising the hammer and charging headlong.
I closed my eyes and raised my arms in front of me. This was it. I was about to be some mealy snack for a vampire. I embraced my fate. Knowing there was nothing I could do to stop him. At least I’ll die doing what I knew to be the right thing, I thought. Just when I thought it was over, a funny thing happened. His assault never came. When I opened my eyes, I saw him standing there. It was like he was stuck in place, prevented from moving by some unseen force. I welcomed the miracle as a sign from God. Maybe he did exist? Maybe this was my chance to make it out alive all thanks to the Divine Creator.
It was odd to see fear in the eyes of my predator. What was he doing? Why was he afraid? I glanced back and saw Sarah standing there with her arm raised towards him. Was my mind playing tricks on me? Had she really stopped him dead in his tracks with the raising of a hand? I... I didn’t know what to think. Bearing witness to this made me question everything I knew. He thrashed, rattled, and snarled wildly, like a wolf caught in a bear trap.
“Help me!” Roger screamed.
“Kill him!” Sarah demanded.
“What? No! No!” I exclaimed.
“Do it before it’s too late! I won’t be able to hold him for much longer!”
“Who—who are you?” I asked.
“That’s not important! Take the hammer and strike him with it! Hurry!”
“No! I-I can’t!”
“I thought you wanted to save me?”
“I-I do...”
“Then do it! Please!”
“O-Ok...” I muttered while slowly and cautiously approaching Roger. My hands trembled as I pried the hammer from his sweaty clutch.
He looked me dead in the eyes and warned me not to do it. His warning gave me pause. I thought about sparing him, but I didn’t want him to hurt Sarah.
I unleashed all the anger and pain that was inside me in a flurry of pitiless blows upon my wretched foe. His sorrowful throes and mournful gurgles did nothing but fuel me with more bitterness. This was for my sister! This was for all the hurt you had caused my mother and father! Her suffering nearly destroyed us! How dare you! “Take this! Take that! Die, you rotten vampire! Burn in misery with the rest of your twisted, perverse kin!”
I watched in awe as his body turned to ashes. All that was left was the sick memory of my twisted deeds. When I turned around, I saw her. She... She looked so beautiful. Tears slipped from my eyes. I-I couldn’t find the words. Only thing I could contemplate was how grateful I was to see her one last time.
“You did it, Josh! You killed him!”
“I-I can’t believe it’s you.”
“I’m so proud of you!”
“I-I don’t know. I-I didn’t—"
“It’s okay. I’m here now.”
“Is that really you?”
“Of course, it’s me, dogface.”
“I wanna go home.”
“Pfft. You’re such a killjoy.”
“I love you, sis.”
“Aw. I love you too.”
I gripped her hand when she placed it against the side of my face. It felt so real, too real to be a lie or a dream. She was even wearing the ring I had given her on Halloween. It’s a long story. What I thought was a joke turned out to be her favorite piece of jewelry.
“May I ask a favor, dear brother?”
“Yes, I’ll do anything you want.”
“Anything?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes, of course. Anything.”
“This might hurt.”
“I don’t care.”
“Bash your head in with the hammer. Do it for me, and we can go home and see mom and dad.”
“Ok. Will it be just like old times?”
“Yes, I promise.”
I arched the hammer above my head and with a crooked smile served up, “Ok. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck, dogface,” she giggled.
The first blow didn’t even hurt or make me so much as flinch. The second and third weren’t so bad either. I did feel a bit of pressure, but that’s about it. The fourth tingled, but only a pinch. The fifth and sixth were the best and worst pain of my life. Crunching and grinding followed by a short seizure accompanied the seventh and eighth blow. She egged me on, giving me the strength to bash my skull in for a ninth time. My fingers started to twitch, causing the hammer to slip from my grasp.
Blood and stringy grey fluid oozed from my head and ears. My mouth twisted unnaturally when I tried to speak. The words wilted away with every writhe and grunt. My head was a jumbled, fractured, pulpy mess of bone fragments and empty euphoric haze. No matter how hard I tried to tell her I was ready to depart, the words just wouldn’t slip from the sticky, syrupy maze that was my mouth.
Great. My vision was starting to fail me. Reality flickered and faded like an odd reoccurring dream. I saw her snap her fingers, or did I? When she did or didn’t, the emergency lights and sirens took over. The blaring rang violently in my ears. The red strobes flashed wildly, wreaking havoc on what was left of my visual cortex.
I looked around in a panic. The reality of what had happened suddenly dawned on me. It wasn’t my sister! No! No! No! God No! It was Sarah? How? Why? The pain, oh the how the pain washed over me like a waterfall filled to the brim with razorblades. Blood oozed and bubbled from the cracks and fissures on my head. It was so painful. It was so hot and viscous like molten lava.
I coughed and choked on a rush of confusion. What little that was left of my senses had been completely overtaken by the darkness. To have my life end like this, in such fear and agony. It was so cruel and unfair! Was there no justice? If there was a God, where was he? This was my last thought. A miserable one, I know. What was left of my very existence slipped away. I... I heard her... Her words were the most painful part of it all:
“Aw. Poor Joshua. Sorry for mesmerizing you. I thought it would’ve been better this way. I guess not. I guess it was cruel to pretend to be your sister like that. Oh well. You humans and your strange emotions. I see why God finds you filthy beasts so fascinating.”
Chapter 5: Hindsight
The doors to the bunker crept open, causing the entire underground shelter to tremble. Sarah skipped down the dark hall and made her way towards the elevator. She entered the code and hopped on, whistling dixie the whole time as if her psychotic deeds were an afterthought.
She quickly made her way to the ground floor. The two acolytes guarding the entrance into HQ stepped aside. She joyfully skipped through the lobby, and playfully waved at the camera above the door leading into the command center. The facial recognition system verified who she was and allowed her access into what was possibly one of the most esoteric rooms above ground.
Inside were countless monitors, elaborate lab equipment, fancy computers, servers, and a fleet of technicians working frantically to maintain it all while simultaneously finalizing this year’s results on what had been deemed the Endgame Trials, by the Department of Paranormal Investigations.
Sarah ignored the fearful glances from scientists and acolytes who had heard the rumors of her return from the pits of Hell. She ignored the blank looks of confusion and dismay, as if a fate of hardship and everlasting torment had been a walk in the park. She skipped and hymned her way into the belly of the room. Her destination only made clear after she had reached the mysterious puppet master behind the first annual Adventure Games.
Seated in the middle of all the maddens was the man, or should I say fallen angel himself. The one who secretly pulled the strings and had thus far put on such a striking performance. He stared deeply into her eyes yet said nothing. Grim silence was something the few who knew him, knew all too well.
His black hair was slicked back and greased. His velvet tie, pinstriped suit, gold timepiece, and black cufflinks, made him look like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was tall and cast a very imposing presence. He grabbed a crystal decanter and filled two glasses about a third of the way with whiskey.
Sarah sat down across from him and said, “What an unpleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to see you here. I thought you would’ve been busy doing stuff only you do.”
“Such as?” he smoothly asked.
“Whispering into the president’s ear.”
He handed her one of the glasses before mentioning, “Intelligence is my department.”
“I know. I’m not stupid.”
“Excellent,” was all he said.
“How are you, Lord Haven?”
“Wonderful. And you?”
“Nice and full, from the games.”
“I figured you’d say that.”
“So, where is this rising star you wanted me to meet?” she asked while looking around.
“Before you ask. The answer is no. She’s not the next antichrist. Far from it.”
“Ugh. How many of those have we had?”
“Hah. That’s a loaded question.”
“Some things will never change,” she sighed.
“To our credit, we did rethink the whole process after Hitler. This new candidate, I have to admit, he’s got a lot of potential,” Lord Haven mentioned.
“Interesting. Tell me more. You know how slow news travels in Hell. Now that I’m back on earth, I’m trying to catch up on everything I missed.”
“We’ll have all the time in the world to catch you up to speed,” he said before taking a sip of whiskey. Then he turned and signaled for one of the lab assistants before politely asking the gentleman to, “Fetch Agent Harris for me if isn’t too much trouble.”
Sarah took a sip. She nearly spat the whiskey all over his executive desk. The sturdy antique stuck out in what was otherwise a modern setting. This small addition to what was otherwise rather stale and sterile décor was enough to quietly demonstrated his power and panache.
Lord Haven studied his old friend for a moment. Then he said, “Hope it wasn’t too stiff.”
“Dear devil! How do you drink this stuff? It was stiff alright. Stiff like an angel with a weighty stone! Seriously, how do you manage?”
“If you can get used to Hell, you can get used to anything. I prefer scotch. Oh, and the richer the expense the finer the flavor.”
“Where is my beloved, Jurael?”
“Busy. He sends his regards.”
“But he swore he’d be here.”
“I know. It’s a long story. Lyrael ordered him to begin the unholy Sacrament of Fire.”
“So, it’s true. His son passed the first test. Which must mean he defeated Jurael? Really? A vampire that strong? I find it hard to believe.”
“I was skeptical at first, considering the many setbacks we’ve had. If it helps, the fight was far from equal. He was afforded a few allies. Even with help, they barely managed to win. But a win against one of us is a win, no less. I must say. It was wise of him to tie his blood with a son. We’ve already taken over the world. Now it’s only a matter of time before we find a more, economical approach to unleashing our forces from the very bowels of Hell.”
Before Sarah could respond, the agent Lord Haven had summoned came into view. Agent Michelle Harris, being the beautiful workaholic she was, seemed a bit jittery and jolted at being pulled from her work.
The much older, more experienced, Agent Adams had accompanied her. He was more relaxed. He hadn’t been doing much of anything, besides monitoring the hidden cameras in Bunker 17, sniffing for clues only his wrinkled nose could discover. He took a big hit from his vape pen before letting out a healthy sized cloud.
Agent Harris tore her eyes away from her clipboard and glared at him. You’d think she’d be used to his addiction by now. She was about to tell him about himself, but when she looked over and saw who was sitting across from Lord Haven, she was too thunderstruck to speak.
Like magic, her annoyed demeaner was replaced with a rush of anxiety and anticipation. She fumbled around with her clipboard, nearly dropping it, while holding out a shaky hand for the lady to shake.
She had done her homework and knew that this woman’s youthful appearance hid a monster that had seen and done the unfathomable. She brought literal life and meaning to the phrase “going to hell and back.” Only her journey was more electric and had left a trail of bones upon the darkened highway to Hell.
“Michelle, this is Sarah,” Lord Haven said.
“Pleasure to meet,” Michelle stumbled and stuttered.
“Aw. Isn’t that cute, you’re afraid of me. Don’t worry we’re on the same team,” Sarah said while making kissy faces as if Michelle was an adorable puppy.
“Uh, sorry. I-I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon after... you know—the experiment.”
“Oh, so you’re one of those beings who always needs to feel in control. Me catching you off guard didn’t give you time to prepare for our encounter.”
“Uh. I don’t know how to answer that.”
Adams chimed in, introducing another element, “I’m surprised you followed the rules.”
“Excuse me?” Sarah said a bit incredulous by his dry tone and crude insinuation.
Agent Adams returned her scowl. He took a hit from his vape pen and just stood there for a moment. The two having something of a little stare off. Revealing or reliving with their eyes and not with their words, touchy history, and painful, unsettled business.
He let out a hefty cloud before explaining, “You voted for yourself. I’m surprised.”
“Why are you surprised?” she asked.
“It’s not like you to follow rules.”
She smirked wickedly. “Are you impressed?”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.”
“Are you impressed by the outcome, as well?”
“No. The likelihood of humans working in their best interest is slim to none.”
“Wait, is that what this experiment was about?” Michelle sheepishly asked.
“Wow. They really don’t tell you much of anything, do they?” Sarah chuckled.
Michelle ignored her comment but hesitated. Her grip on the clipboard was a bit firmer than usual. A few odd stares later, she worked up the courage to say, “May I ask a question about the project?”
“Shoot,” Sarah grinned.
“What if the subjects would have voted correctly? Hypothetically speaking, of course. What would you have done if the humans and vampires would have worked together?”
She shrugged. “Then I would have kept my word and let them live.”
“Yes! I’m so not a monster, contrary to what everyone thinks. I’m sweet and innocent and yeah... I probably would have devoured them—who am I kidding. Especially the yummy vampires. Their blood is to die for. Human blood, not so much. It’s too watery and irony and is irony a word? I mean, I know it’s a word and all, but is it the right word for the job? Tch! Human nomenclature is so strange. It’s something I’ll never get used to.”
Lord Haven chimed in. But before doing so, he kicked his feet up on the desk. His presence was like a cold chill that never left the room. His eyes felt even colder and darker than usual. Here was a fallen angel who stood somewhere between shadow and light. He was as wise and complicated as the scotch that swirled in his glass. Speaking of which, he finished his drink, and held the empty, sparkling glass in front of him.
“Cooperation was never in the cards. The human ego is much too elegant and fragile. All it takes is the right push to plant the seed of curiosity into your mind. Ideas take time to bloom. That’s where I come in. That’s when a trick of the light blossoms into reality.”
The glass turned black when he waved his hand across it. Not just any black. A deep, shifting darkness that was soft on the eyes and intricate on the mind. The glimmering glass held its original quality and artistry. He studied his work while continuing to talk down on humanity as well as their bitter arrangement with vampires:
“You see. There is a certain brilliance to power. An éclat behind the curtains. It’s not easy, turning harden followers away from God, but the trick, you see. The trick isn’t sleight of hand but sleight of word. Sorcery to be exact. Spells if I’m being technical. You use the weaker more flexible against the harder more inflexible. It takes time but with enough patients and practice the impossible becomes possible. Here. See for yourself,” he said before handing Michelle the glass.
She stared at it, completely mesmerized, not only by his handiwork but the maze of ideas running around in her head. “Was that the purpose of all this?” she asked without pulling her eyes from the glass.
Agent Adams answered her question. He could’ve been talking to a brick wall because she wasn’t paying any attention. “Experiment 4470. Part of Project 07, or the Endgame Trials. Officially it is a way to stress test G-HUN. Understand, the individuals forced to live in the underground network will be under a great deal of stress. I think we’ve gleamed a lot from our initial trial. What do you think, Lord Haven?”
Lord Haven said nothing. His eyes as well as his mind were focused on something not of this world. He was prone to random bouts of deep reflection. Breaking him out of meditation could cost you your life.
Knowing this, Agent Adams turned his attention to Sarah. She stared back at him as if she had murder on the mind. The two continued to exchange unpleasantries as he addressed Agent Harris’ concerns:
“That’s the official reason anyway. The real reason is a bit more tricker to nail down. Oh, and to avoid politics, we kept it on a need-to-know basis. You see, we already know there’s no hope for humanity. We’ll never come together to defeat the ‘common enemy’ unless the common enemy is waving around a giant swastika. We wanted to see how well humans and vampires would do and interact when it came to stopping the unseen enemy. We’ll use the data to adjust our strategy for the end times accordingly.”
“What about Mr. Graham’s sister?” Michelle inquired.
“What about her?” Adams asked.
“She’s a vampire. She can’t go home.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of her,” Sarah stated with the most wicked of grins.
The End
For Now...
submitted by RingoCross99 to u/RingoCross99 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:52 InFiniTeDEATH8 Crucible control vs iron banner control scores and ranking.

I was having an argument with a friend about crucible, and I thought I'd post this here. He sent a few images in group chat, and in one he questions how he got second place. He had a 5.33 combat efficiency while the top player had a 7.0 combat efficiency, and despite him having 11 less kills and 7 less zone advantages than my friend, my friend was still second place.
This was not an iron banner match, so there was no overall score than you can see, unlike at the end of an iron banner match. As for all the other players, they number from 1st place to last, from highest to lowest combat efficiencies. So you'd think that combat efficiency is what decides your place on the leaderboard at the end, right? I know for a fact combat efficiency is not the deciding factor on your place on the leaderboard in iron banner, but it doesn't seem to be the case for casual crucible. People in the group have been saying that your overall score, even outside of iron banner, is what determines your leaderboard rank, but the image my friend sent contradicts that.
So, is your place on the leaderboard in a regular match determined by overall performance, or just combat efficiency?
submitted by InFiniTeDEATH8 to destiny2 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:49 MrGuato Valheim Linux Server Upgrade issues

Valheim Linux Server Upgrade issues
Hello all,
I am having some issues upgrading my server as I have updated it in steamcmd (I am on Linux Ubuntu) but when I start the server back up it’s still the old one. I have tried to also find the path and force the install to the directory but it keeps making new folders/servers instead of updating the one I have already. My .sh file to start server is in /home/Valheim/server not sure where else to go after that for steamcmd location?
Steps I did was: cd server Steamcmd Login anonymous Force_install_dir /home/Valheim/server app_update 896660
Thank you all for any insight! :)
submitted by MrGuato to valheim [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:28 DavoBoom Live cam streaming inside Unreal, what's wrong?

Live cam streaming inside Unreal, what's wrong?

I just want to stream inside unreal the feed from my webcam. I have followed the official documentation (and many tutorials), but on the step 5 it says to drop the Media texture into the Widget blueprint, but by no means this widget accepts my media texture, I tried to drop it everywhere and it just doesn't work.
Any clue on how to proceed? I am using unreal engine 5.1, since it seems this doesn't work in UA5
Thanks a lot in advance!

Playing Live Video Captures in Unreal Engine Unreal Engine 5.1 Documentation
submitted by DavoBoom to UnrealEngine5 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:16 lopea182 Can we abandon the Mashup uni’s and branding after this year, and not milk it out over 4+ years like the Vice jerseys?

The original Vice Jerseys were a universal hit when they first came out in 2017-2018, but by 2020-2021 they had strayed far enough from the original design that it had become tacky
The Mashup jerseys — on the other hand — were polarizing from their inception, and it appears the team/Nike plan to drag this out for as long as they can (presumably bc the customizable letters present the opportunity for more sales).
Attn to whoever needs to hear this:
Please stop. They’re terrible, and they’re only gonna get worse and harder to look at.
submitted by lopea182 to heat [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:10 MISTERCOLOR 2003-05 Honda Pilot Car Radio AM FM CD Cassette Player 39100-S9V-A110 Face 1TV1

2003-05 Honda Pilot Car Radio AM FM CD Cassette Player 39100-S9V-A110 Face 1TV1 submitted by MISTERCOLOR to For_Sale_on_eBay [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:07 wear_a_helmet Some thoughts on Tidal after a few weeks of using it after more than a decade on Spotify

Some thoughts after a few weeks of using Tidal after being on Spotify as early adopter when they launched in Europe.
The good: Tidal's interface emphasizes music. You can really spend a lot of time browsing the details of who the producers were on a track. Credited artists are clickable too, so you can browse through, for example, all the tracks where a particular session musician played. It is a neat feature that can lead to many inadvertent music discoveries. I love that sort of detail and as far as I can tell, it is reminiscent of Roon.
Overall, both the OSx and Android apps have a generally clean look. The focus on music probably helps, there are no audiobooks and podcasts are limited. It seems to cater to people might not be just casual listeners, even if you can just simply listen to artist radio.
I really love how it is clear what the current playback quality is, both on mobile and desktop. I'd be better if they just display the bitrate, but as it stands right now, it is clear. You'd be hard pressed to hear a difference between 320kbs and lossless, nonetheless it is nice to know that I am streaming CD quality.
It has gapless playback on all platforms. There is a slight "pop" between tracks when listening on "high" or "normal" via my bluetooth headphones on desktop, but not on HIFI quality.
I am not super into playlists and tend to go and look for music actively on places like Album of the Year, and I listen mostly to albums, but it seems like there are a good selection of playlists. It has the standard "mix" playlists, which seem decent, but I particularly like the My New Arrivals (kinda like Release Radar on Spotify).
The bad:
Tidal connect: meh. I have several issues with getting it to work. It simply isn't as good as Spotify Connect. Not sure why you can't control any playing devices from any device, maybe to sell more streamers, or have companies pay for the licensing? scrobbling isn't integrated on the backend. There are workarounds and you can install local scrobblers for your android app and scrobbling works when controlling a stream via android, but it doesn't work from the desktop (i.e.: you need an instance of tidal running so a scrobbler can pick up the metadata). There are issues with scrobbling from time to time too, but this happens regardless of platform.
There isn't an API that will allow all sorts of third party implementations and tools (i.e.: like a scrobbler that will scrobble via the backend), or an open source client like Raspotify, that will allow a headless rasberrypi to act as Tidal Connect client. This isn't strictly true, there is a package for hifiberry, but in my experience it isn't really that stable ( and once again you run into issues that your tracks are not reliably sent to
You can't drag playlists. This isn't a huge deal, but it is kind of annoying. I've had to resort to numbering them. It would also be really nice if you could add playlist images. It gives them a nice personalised touch, especially when your playlists contains albums. Visually, it is also hard to locate different albums when scrolling a playlist. This could be solved by displaying a tiny thumbnail of the track.
Ugly: It is really not that stable in my experience. I've had it crash multiple times on android. I often need to restart the app on OSx. It seemingly also has trouble with handing over my stream to my streamer, which really kills the vibe. For example, I've had it quit on me twice today in the gym when I went from a playlist to streaming via the wifi. I don't want to have to force close an app twice before I listen to music.
TLDR: Tidal has a music-focused interface with detailed browsing and a clean look. It has clear playback quality indicators and gapless playback on all platforms. However, it has issues with Tidal Connect, and scrobbling integration. It lacks an API for third-party implementations and tools. The app isn't as stable as I'd like a music app to be.
submitted by wear_a_helmet to TIdaL [link] [comments]