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Wrath of Winter

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Wrath of Winter last won the day on December 14 2019

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  1. Now that you mention this, these two threads (both locked) and Cord's replies are looking quite fishy. Or phishy. https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?679990-Data-Breach-February-2020 https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?680011-Data-Breach-February-2020 Different threads with same title. Note the stark absence of usual bumbling clueless Cord, these articulate replies are carefully crafted. Complete with a red herring blaming it on something from as far back as 2013. If nothing to see here as claimed, why hush it up and lock it up.
  2. You answered it. Must be this. I was amazed they extended it, seemingly without any incentive to reneg on their original deadline set for the April offer. So of course there was incentive. What's more, all the deeds in all the "opened" regions still award LP. I logged in for the first time in half a year just to check whether this was so, and was surprised the LP earning hasn't been deactivated for the duration of this "free open game event." In effect, SSG is allowing everyone to farm LPs without any restrictions, throughout the whole entire game. SSG management is thick but this is no oversight. Again, there must be incentive for this to have been greenlit. Interestingly, both April and May have seen "VIP thank you gift" promotions. (Log in as a VIP and get a "free gift"). IIRC, the first and last such VIP promo occurred all the way back in the summer 2016 (Steed of the Eldar), a one-off marketing idea that was forgotten like many other promo ideas and never used since. Til now, and two months in a row at that. Some observations / speculations: Players newly incoming/returning on the premise of "free open game" are more likely to spend $15 for a month of VIP to "buy" these exclusive items (in April it was a fireworks cosmetic pig, in May it's a medium carry-all storage which otherwise costs ca. 1495 LP in the store) How many of these players will forget to manually cancel their subscription and get charged for another month or more? The "gym membership" trap. A fair amount. Some more might waffle on canceling because it does award LP and perks. Players who can access entire game for free have more incentive to buy toon upgrades/P2W to experience this free content that's otherwise out of reach. Aka, Valaring toons to play in Mordor, Minas Morgul, Wilderlands. Making the brand-new Wilderlands zone open and free like the rest of the game (certainly something SSG didn't "have" to do) creates more incentive for toon Valaring among the solo anti-raider player demographic who wouldn't be interested in Mordor or Minas Morgul. Unlimited free access to endgame = more incentive to buy LI upgrades. All of these must be working and generating revenue for SSG to have extended this open free period by another month. It looks and sounds like SSG is sitting cushy, to gamble on this "generosity gesture" to begin with. I'd venture to speculate they've got some private financial backers beyond the mere gamer whales (though the two categories are certainly not mutually exclusive). Consider their ties with the "prestige privilege class" in the likes of university educators, internet influencers, and other types who love an ego boost of "supporting small biz". Not to mention the whole greater MA area is a cesspool of white privilege. The noted tendency of SSG management to circle the wagons, carry on gang-like dynamics, and flip off active paying players as disposable, may be explained by the fact they can (apparently?) financially afford to. Whether or not that's hubris or delusion remains to be seen. The marketing decisions taken over the past two months suggest they're running their own operation with enough financial backing to absorb the risks. Of course, any notion of "player feedback" or "listening to players" is - I was gonna say window dressing, but let's be more realistic, shit smeared on a wall. They're probably too small an op to have stockholders, but surely whoever is passing them the cash has their own incentive to do so, too. Even if nothing else than having the "privilege" to be in that privy circle. I won't bet against possibility most of Lotro's new little changes/systems coming out these days are just someone's little pet wishes that get aired behind the "privileged" scenes. I mean, from whom else do they get ideas when their playing-customer alienation is so obvious they've stopped pretending by now.
  3. Interesting public gesture: https://www.lotro.com/en/friends?fbclid=IwAR30AbfEgKB0E76wjFpfgiDMYew614I7ER9mjyRF7oPNlsIm1o36XBvZ6Js (and very savvy marketing) An Important Announcement From Standing Stone Games, LLC. 'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.' Here at Standing Stone Games our goal is to bring joy to everyone through our games and we feel that is more important than ever. We are making all our adventures and stories open to everyone through April 30. In addition we will be running extra events for the games. For Dungeons and Dragons Online: All dungeons and raids, including those in expansion packs, are open to everyone through April 30. The Buddy Bonus 5% XP will be active from March 20 through March 29. This will be in addition to the weekend events. Mimic event will be active starting March 26 through April 6. The anniversary event will be active starting March 26 through April 30. For Lord of the Rings Online: All quests, instances, and skirmishes, including those in expansion packs, are open to everyone through April 30. The Curator will be returning starting March 26 through April 30. There will be a 10% virtue XP boost starting on March 26 through April 6. The Baggins' Birthday event will be available March 26 through April 6. During this time we hope that everyone stays safe. Thank you.
  4. Laid off with Frelorn, summer 2016. Found her to be genuinely open and communicative (a.k.a. non-asshole), even if not fully competent in practicalities, more a PR engagement type not fitting exec producer role. Her forum presence was frequent enough that the long period of silence leading up to July '16 generated waves of alarm among official forum monkeys; iirc Frelorn stepped in to confirm she was still with Turbine but working in mobile gaming dep't (ultimate irony, right before he got booted himself). Of course being tacitly reassigned to mobile gaming is putting lipstick on a layoff for someone who's been EP just prior (like Sapience "leaving" on his own, nobody's fooled). Just when one thinks it can't possibly get any more in-bred than that at SSG... it sure does. (Restaurant). And this is only the publicly visible, Eru knows what other crossbreeding is going down behind the scenes.
  5. That ILI revamp SSG has been promising? Plot twist: The "catch-up" ILI boxes and pay-to-buy ILI packages *are* the revamp. Say no to grind.™ There is literally no way in Halls of Mandos any existing implementation will be altered after such thorough monetization, unless replaced with another method of monetization. Just waiting to see how they spin it, but I'm sure they keep Jeff Libby on their payroll for more than soapy quest storylines.
  6. Her 40s level range suggests Trollshaws and Misty Mountains, the zones that were brutally raped by the so-called "region revamps." This was in the spring of 2014, still under Turbine. (Which of course makes no difference, same shit different turd shapes). Yet it brings to mind what an insidious precedent this has set, something that has sailed entirely under the radar when it happened and whose magnitude of damage to the game can only be appraised now, in light of everything that has followed since. Having repeatedly alted through (and loved) the original Trollshaws and Misties pre '14, I can point out some of the most egregious bullshit of these zone-rapes just to illustrate calling them rapes is no exaggeration: Misty Mountains BEFORE: Your traveling quest hero arrives to Gloin's Camp and meets the iconic dwarf sire, who asks for help with establishing good diplomatic relations with Elven neighbors and offers a series of quests to that purpose. Mindless killing quests become relevant and meaningful: you are in fact gathering animal pelts that the dwarves will turn into luxury gifts for Rivendell, and your efforts are rewarded not only with + Rivendell Reputation but with Gloin's appreciation texts giving more flavor and atmosphere to it all. He also offers you a personal gift: Gloin's Crossbow, an item with a personal touch to remember this quest chain by. AFTER: Your traveling quest hero enters the Misty Mountains region for the first time. New unfamiliar zone, different landscape, so you stumble around aimlessly and suddenly get a pop-up "remote quest": Hey there's too many critters running around, maybe you should thin their numbers. You click "accept" on this pop-up and start killing 10 critters til it's done. Time to turn in the quest, another pop-up: good job, here is your + Rivendell Reputation rep and Gloin's Crossbow. This quest is a daily repeatable, but you can reset it now for Mithril coins and get even more Rivendell rep! All this for derping around aimlessly. You never set foot in Gloin's Camp. You don't get to meet Gloin. You don't get to interact with him at all. Instead, this quest chain was killed and turned into several discrete "remote pop up quests". One of which has the temerity to offer a reward originally associated with that iconic quest NPC. And now? Gloin has NO MORE quests to offer directly, ever. No more quest ring over his head. BEFORE: After helping Gloin, your traveling quest hero receives the attention of his friend based in the same Gloin's Camp. Mindful of secrecy, the dwarf offers several quests to scout the different enemy strongholds in the snow, all intended as atmospheric introductions to the zone and its history. Secrecy adds to immersion element, you wanna help dwarves out and travel out of sight, even if it means covering great distances back and forth. AFTER: Gloin has zero quests for you, so you derp around through the zone, completing one random pop-up quest after another, til you reach what looks like a new quest hub. Right in the middle of the crossroads between enemy camps: who is it but the same dwarf NPC who got yanked out of Gloin's Camp and put here instead. Nice secrecy, bro. Yes, he still offers these scouting quests. How convincing are they now, with this dude parked in full sight in what should be untraversible and hostile wilderness? Meanwhile, Gloin's Camp is rendered redundant, with no quest-bestowing NPCs there anymore. A player might never even discover it. Trollshaws: BEFORE: Entering Trollshaws for the first time was the first real taste of untamed wilderness. No markers, no directions, you were meant to find your own way and this was the whole savage charm of it. Intentionally left rough, unpolished. Deep woods, new dangers at every turn. Your destination quest hubs are well-hidden out of enemy eyes and friendly eyes alike, and ominous foreboding of this haunted wilderness is fully reflected in creepy sound effects and empty spaces intentionally left unfilled. AFTER: Entering Trollshaws for the first time, you are greeted with the following sight: literally every critter mob in sight has a quest ring over its head. You kill one to see what happens, and get a pop-up: "good job now kill 9 more." You kill more and get another pop-up: "good job, here is your + Rivendell rep." These pop-up quests are daily repeatables and can be reset with Mithril coins, as the pop-ups remind you. So you derp around looking for more critters to kill, til you stumble upon a bunch of Elves parked IN FULL SIGHT right along the Great Road, who happen to be chilling out and vector you to Thorenhad - you know, the secret quest hub stronghold you were supposed to find in the wilderness on your own. The whole zone was stripped of its rough dangerous mystique and turned into this mindless theme park click fest. BEFORE: Your traveling quest hero arrives to Thorenhad, full of Elven NPCs each with their own quest lines and stories. There is one haunted-looking fellow standing by merchants quarter, who tells you about the Valley of the Wolves and what unwholesome creatures they are. He does not recommend you explore that valley, but feels a great danger brewing there that must not be ignored. Your curiosity is peaked and of course you go. The graphic details of the wolf pit it sends you to, fully matches the haunting writing of quest text. There is a half-decaying Elf corpse sitting up in the shadows there, looking suspiciously werewolfish and demonic... whose presence is never explained. And after you complete this quest? Every time you walk within close distance of this Thorenhad Elf NPC, he will /say: "Do not return to the Valley of the Wolves." Like, holy shit. Some things were meant to stay unresolved. The whole text of that quest chain was full of ominous foreboding, a genius of subtle storytelling that literally gave me chills every single time. AFTER: Your traveling quest hero derps around the zone until you stumble upon that wolf pit and get a random pop-up quest to explore the cave and kill a bunch of wolves. Well, okay. Here is your + Rivendell Reputation, bye. You run to Thorenhad to check up on the haunted fellow who used to be original quest bestower, and guess what. He offers nothing now. Tbh, I don't even recall if this NPC is there at all anymore. Just like that. Such a compelling masterpiece of quest design just trashed and pissed on and shat on and flushed. There is far more, but these particular examples alone are already unforgivable. Back in 2014, sure enough there were player rumblings about turning Middle Earth into a theme park, but it is only now in retrospect something else becomes very clear. These were no haphazard clueless butcherings of older content. There was a method and a logic driving these "changes" to original game design, with clear long-term goals in mind. We can now, of course, all recognize what they are. Conditioning players to treat LotRO as a theme park casino, not as an immersive MMO. Conditioning the "payer" mentality: notice these "zone rapes" were implemented in for-purchase quest packs, not in f2p zones. Those who bought these packs and played through these "new revamps" without knowing what originals were like, will have already bought into this clickbait design and more likely to open their wallets again. Conditioning players to accept random pop-ups "as intended" - imagine all those lore-gasming roleplayers accepting quest popups without ever complaining how "immersion breaking" they are. That is some pro level brainwashing. Auto-bestow quest pop-ups prepare players for LotRO Store pop-ups and condition the click-and-buy mentality. Removing (!!!) interactions with quest-bestowing NPCs conditions players for a pay-to-win mentality. Trivialize landscape questing and players won't regret skipping them. Target what makes the game personally meaningful: stories, quests, adventures along the way. If players derive satisfaction from personal gameplay, they will not spend $$$. Gut these meanings and trivialize landscape gameplay to make players feel restless and unfulfilled: they will start shelling out cash to "buy" meaningful game experiences (Valared toons, LI imbuements, dicking around with housing decorations, etc). Everything is WAI. Sobering to think how far back this "SSG" monetizing philosophy extends, but not at all surprising. Only now the chickens are coming home to hatch.
  7. Since this thread got a rez, on the subject of original post: I seldom check my OF PMs, but found this gem waiting for me there: You have received an infraction at The Lord of the Rings Online Forums. Reason: Community Rules Violation: Please read the Community Rules and follow them. ------- is fellating his university title ------- This infraction is worth 1 point(s) and may result in restricted access until it expires. Serious infractions will never expire. Original Post: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7954125 Originally Posted by djheydt Word of Professor. I'm curious, did you take a course with him to earn calling him that or is fellating his university title somehow meant to rub off on you? All the best, The Lord of the Rings Online Forums Had it coming and well worth it - in both senses. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Good to know Arkenstone players sobered up and ran him off, that was his new stomping ground. Seemingly no attempt to infiltrate Crickhollow or Brandywine, but Crick population is too chill-out-casual for any drama and Brandy regulars are too hard-nosed for his snowflake ego. Landroval is so thoroughly steeped in NPD he would blend right in and none the wiser. He might be anon on his recognizable porn toons, but willing to bet he's got a bunch of new Landy-exclusive lowbie alts sprinkled throughout the server RP clusterfucks. Affirmative on the list name changes. If a toon on friend/ignore list undergoes name change, it automatically replaces old name and toon remains on same list under new name.
  8. I picture him more like a Grodbog drone (lvl 1, 50 hp, from Skumfil instance) mind-fused to one of those bratty bare-ass goblin mini-bosses (from the brainless RoR Goblin Town instance) who pretend they're king, which is super easy to do when you're surrounded by nothing but lickspittle. How do you troll a cancer like that who wouldn't go away and must always get the last word? I monetized him. I made a bet with a Lotro-playing friend, then posted some questionable "lore" content in a general-discussion forum thread, counting on Radhruin_EW to take notice and get hooked into a reply-barrage. Hoo boy, he didn't disappoint! - And I made $6, two bucks per each react. The icing on the cake was informing him he was being owned. To which he obviously replied with his typical thick imbecility, but then a couple other posters chimed in with amusement - and he disappeared entirely for days. Only to reappear later in another sub-forum making long, articulate "lore" posts in actual topical discussion - clearly belaboring himself to re-establish whatever 'community cred' or hurt ego his goblin insect brain is capable of containing. It was a fun time.
  9. If the part about acting as liaison between players/SSG and creating a document list with questions is even remotely true... Wouldn't Ballie's thread have been the most ideal venue to bring them all up ? Especially in a calm, weighed reply to the original post questioning Druidsfire's competence and community engagement. If she indeed did all those things as she later claimed, why launch that entire lowbrow tantrum tirade - on a gaming community forum, whose members she claims to serve? After all, if the accusations are untrue, one would remain calm and unperturbed. Emotional reactivity and defensiveness are such a good barometer of guilt. ? Nice display of SSG loyalty, flipping the narrative back on them as soon as she doesn't get her way. Anybody who thinks of supporting her, take notice. Such is the value she puts in her "friendships."
  10. Wowzer. I was reading the paragraph and thinking, 'Olsen probably didn't take well to having his grand assertion challenged.' But to actually block someone for contributing to discussion with a different viewpoint - damn that's rich. Admittedly, after I typed my earlier long post about Olsen, I was almost hoping to be proven wrong. Turns out he's even scummier than I thought. Who the fuck puts a gag on creative interpretations in a class presumably devoted to literature? Oh, a small-time academia reject incapable of creative interpretations himself, that's who. Sounds like all he does is regurgitate the obvious for an oblivious audience that eats his vomit and claps. The pretense of omnipotence ("this is what Tolkien really means"), the one-way transfer of information ("I talk you absorb"), pontificating posturing, fear of criticism (inherently, fear of exposure) - what's with Tolkien scholarship being such a prodigious breeding ground for narcissists? Likely due to "fandom fans" who are its target audience - enthusiasts with less credentials who implicitly "know less", safe audience who cannot criticize, challenge, or expose charlatanry. Just another kind of "fan servicing" turning it into culty preachy bullshit. A dynamic attracting narcs on both sides of the podium - a hierarchy of tiny fragile egos posturing before incrementally smaller, more fragile egos. While any legit teacher worth a damn would kill to be challenged and contradicted by folks thinking for themselves. Looks like Olsen's PhD from Columbia U didn't prepare him for the notion that not everything is the way it appears inside his head. Or that things in the world (and in art) are more complex than black-n-white, good-n-evil - shocking, I know... Yet another case study in PhD degree being no guarantor of intelligence - all it attests to is its owner's ability to jump through hoops and follow administrative guidelines - a newly hatched young professional programmed "what" to think instead of being taught "how" to. I won't even mention that someone claiming to have such prestigious background in medieval English literature should probably be aware of how darkly ambiguous and messy theological notions get in medieval English mystical literature. But hey, why bother with any depth or diligence when you can feed your flock of ignorants such e-z fodder as "Eru good, Melkor bad" and put anyone on ignore who tries to turn it into actual discussion. What I mentioned earlier about Olsen's self-perpetuating mediocrity... That is the crux of his entire operating scheme, arguably against the very grain of education ethics. While the brick-and-mortar educational institutions are built on the premise of graduating class - i.e. ever new waves of incoming students who gain/grow and move on - what are livestreams and podcasts built on? Audience retention, subscriptions, patronage. Inserting this livestreamer mentality into what is being billed as 'educational program' is fucking obscene. His modus operandi is to keep an audience hooked and coming back for more. How do you do that? By making sure your content doesn't challenge, doesn't inspire growth, doesn't cultivate creativity, doesn't encourage "students" to think for themselves. In fact, by making sure all those things are stamped out, discouraged, ostracized. Keep the ignorants ignorant and they'll keep returning to feed on more of the same. Eru forbid he actually apply rigorous standards to his lessons and offer actually substantive content - it will result in his students outgrowing him, and may even lead to competition if they smarten up and start podcasting Tolkien themselves! Signum University: stomping out learning and claiming monopoly on "Tolkien lore" by treating its presumed "students" like co-dependent online followers, inspiring mediocrity, keeping them addicted, and ensuring they end up more ignorant than when they start. Dynamic not unlike religious cults. On the subject of what is it about live streaming that brings out sociopathological / narcissistic traits... Imho it's more to do with Tolkien IP than streaming activity itself (the latter still being a trap for exhibitionists of course). Tolkien IP is a unique case as far as fandom cultures go, for having that "scholarship" layer as far as its author's academic affiliation and his approach to world building. Can't think of any other IP in similar shoes... C.S. Lewis was a university prof, but his Narnia stuff is nowhere near as famous and is less nerdy, closer to religious sermons than anything academic-inspired. It's that "academic" factor in Tolkien that seems to attract mediocre also-rans, parasitic ego-predators, and sycophantic fawners like flies to shit. Same crowd that incessantly fellates his "Professor" title, as if they earned the right to call him that - what bosh. Funny how nobody calls C. S. Lewis "the Professor", even though he also was one. Or how nobody calls Christopher Tolkien "the Professor" even though he too, like his father, held a professorship in Anglo-Saxon at Oxford and his list of scholarly publications is substantial. Yet you never hear of "professor senior / professor junior." Nope, just one "Professor" title figure to suck up to. One ring to rule them all. And the absurd irony that the literary output of the very same author who saw clear through all those sycophantic trappings of human psychology, would attract so many of precisely those types. Like Saruman and Grima after the Shire's Scouring. Peel away the put-on charisma and illusive grandeur of Orthanc, and what is left? A couple of shallow narcissists squabbling for micro-power over each other with their micro-aggressions, just empty suits and overall a pitiful sight. Interestingly, in one of his letters Tolkien mentions his revulsion at being called a "professor." Goes to show who those inbred sycophants are really servicing.
  11. Dude calls himself (and lets himself be called) 'the Tolkien Professor" like a self-brand. Y'all heard of the Professor Tolkien, now get ready for... um... some random who basically claims the same exact iconic name with words rearranged. How does one measure an ego that size - in light years or in millimeters? Don´t look now but sounds like he and Druidsfire are a match made in... what´s a sad mediocre no-name equivalent of heaven these charlatans go to... an obscure unnecessary self-congratulatory gaming convention. Disclosure: I never checked out Corey Olsen's output in depth, my take is purely from my impressions. But those impressions are precisely why I never checked him closely. He may well be a nice guy who smiles nicely in photos. Like, ya know, Druidsfire may be a nice gal if you give her a ton of money and power. So I´m damn unrepentant when I tag both as attention-whoring ego-feeders. The only difference, he's got a more classy cover/face as the audience he's courting is higher up the food chain than Druidsfire's fodder. Let's take a closer look at Olsen. PhD from Columbia U (about the only thing it indicates is he could afford it and was railroaded well). Assistant prof at Williams College for a few years - which means tenure track; he left this position - which means he didn't get tenure and was let go. Tough break for humanities disciplines, especially 'English lit" profs that are a dime a dozen. Indicatively, didn't have anything to stand out from the crowd. Instead of pursuing academia, he leaves it and founds a for-profit business venture under the banner of Signum University (whereof he is now president), one of the countless online degree factories whose claim to attention is the literature-medievalist-fantasy-myth focus. a.k.a. where academia rejects go to lord it over the unwashed masses who are easily impressed by titles like "professor", who are easily intimidated into covering up their own ignorance like nakedness by holding everything that falls out of the "professor" mouths as Indesputable Big True, and who will relentlessly kiss every PhD ass in sight / on sight, so that these magic powers of knowledge will transfer from holy rectum unto themselves. In short: breeding ground for sycophantic circle jerks where education is commodified and "knowledge" is fetishized. This is not to piss entirely on situational merit of online learning resources. But to put it more tactfully, Signum and its Mythgard Institute (did you know, all you have to do to become an "Institute" is to call yourself by this label) tends to attract much of the same crowd as Weatherstock and its Lonely Mountain Band groupies. In other words, lore-jocks who are so unimaginative and untalented they have to tune in to those "Tolkien Professor" podcasts to know what to think about Tolkien. Did I mention English literature (yes, this includes modern fantasy and Tolkien) faculty and college courses are a dime a dozen? Druidsfire's link with Olsen is unsurprising and very intuitive, as both cultivate similar groupie followings, each in his/her own way. The audience they share is exactly the same. Low-self-esteem middle-class ($$) passive-aggressive "American Beauty" types who, in neverending quest to stuff inner emptiness with quick fixes of self-importance, would keep donating to the Druidsfire parasite to pay her through life, or buy online courses from academia rejects because it's "lore knowledge oooh". Same ones who then spend massively on Lotro because we already know why... and then spew their toxic sludge all over the official forums because any hint of Lotro criticism reminds them they are not self-important. How many academic faculty in the US teach Tolkien courses? More than one might guess. To be meticulously fair, let's exclude "adjunct," "lecturer," and "reader" titles and leave only the tenure-track or tenured faculty. I can still think of at least a dozen tenured (or emeritus) faculty with full academic affiliations who would qualify as "Tolkien" professors. But the temerity it takes to claim that tag as if it's a personal name brand... is astounding. (In the US, the title "professor" necessitates tenure: i.e. associate professor. Assistant professor denotes tenure-track, i.e. faculty on temporary contract under committee review, their permanency pending). He's a very successful business man who knows how to build himself up, and he does tend to cater to the slowest student in the room, i.e. enabling mediocrity to self-perpetuate, not challenging for upward growth. His Tolkien insights are what anyone could find there - if they stepped away from the damn screen and opened a book and trusted themselves enough to know their viewpoints are valid without any "credentials". Imagination and creative thinking are activities that don't require a PhD. The poor Lotro-types who buy into him/his institute/his online degree factory thinking they're buying lore wisdom, are deluding themselves. And selling themselves short, but that is the premise of his business venture and target demographic. If DF's driving his traffic, he probably won't distance from her. Both are podcasters first (whatever else they claim to be is second or third), they feed on the same livestream viewers. Of course, if he is tolerating her antics, he is getting something beneficial out of it. The instant it stops serving him, the axe comes out.
  12. Some bot spam attack attempt? Or just the stat calculator messing up. Just days ago, "most online" stats were showing Sept 29, 2015 as busiest forum day (makes sense, server mergers at the time). But a few months ago it showed Nov 2013 as most active (HD launch, when OF were offline). Does it toggle between multiple high-activity days to display? Now it shows Sept 7, 2019 as most online. Nothing explosive happening thematically to warrant higher traffic. (Doubting the Twitch "stalkers" number in 600+, let alone 900+. But if that's what's bringing more traffic here, the subject's a hotter issue than aforethought.)
  13. Not picking on you, just thinking out loud re: above idea. Sounds beautiful on paper, but what gets lost entirely in such idealism is the practical reality of differences between US and European countries. Apples and oranges. The sheer size of US and its population makes it incomparable to the socialism scenario of relatively small Euro countries. I've lived across both US and Europe, just my own observations. Why does it work so well for Euro countries? Small size. Less population to regulate = more noticeable QoL changes it gets. Closer to "community feel", not least due to Euro countries' cultural heritage. All those Euro socialism ecosystems are very localized. It is both attractive and socially advantageous to buy into the communal "we" when both country and population are relatively moderate in size, so it really does give impression of collected effort. US? It is so damn large, and the current systems are so deeply ingrained through its entire fabric, there is no way to massively change anything without massively breaking something else. Mass dismantling will have mass ripple effects. Universal health care and free college sounds totally tits, but how many years will it take to practically implement? Across such a massive population, with all its glaring income inequalities and widening gaps between "middle" class and middle class, if you get my gist? More than 4. More than 8. The country is too diverse, and with too much income/social inequality, for the transition to work as intended. Redirecting the funds one way means cutting them somewhere else. There's hardly any room left for any communal "we", it's all special interest groups and lobbying for favors, both sides. The only times "we" sounds convincing (to its target audiences) is when it's co-opted by smaller interest groups. Keyword smaller. US politics is all cliques and patchwork communities vying for validation, in a system too large and centralized to accommodate them all. Would've loved if US had remained a union of individual States, with each state governing its own destiny. Local. More community-oriented in broader sense. Easier to manage. THEN the comparison with European countries would've been more valid, as far as size and population numbers. Apolitical here, allergic to hysteria on "both sides", so I've no stake in the subject. But gonna say one thing. Expanding systems of intrusive governmental "income redistribution" attract fucking sleazy, power-hungry megalomaniac "administrators" like flies to shit. I gotta shake my head at those trusting such types to "really care" about human elements in universal health care, free education, etc. Such evocative, emotion-laden trigger words, how can anyone not care, right? Especially with all the billions and funds at fingertips. I promise all your dreams will come true if you vote for me today. Think of the children, the elderly, etc. I cringe the masses are still falling for same old opium.
  14. Keep ballin', intrepid one. Archiving post: What if you are a restaurant critic with an online blog. You have some weird tastes and the Restaurant management feels the pressure to cater to your needs for favourable reviews. All other critics have long since written off their culinary offerings only "The Fat Duck" name has gotten them any covers for years. Do they continue making Teriyaki Burgers dripping in fat or maybe get in Gordon Ramsay who might turn it around?
  15. Cheers, you've spotted me on my 'main'. Interestingly, as soon as these points started getting traction, a blue name magically materializes fellating everyone for feedback. And not a moment earlier. Getting angsty there over the premise of cancelled subs. /out before everyone in there starts orgasming how SSG "listens to us", entirely oblivious of what it took to elicit such prompt attention. Smoove move to shut me down, red panda. Pulling blue strings is fun. (as an aside: recognized your toon name from sig, some years ago I asked nooby guardian questions in world chat, and you sent me a /tell linking a cross-trait-tree setup, back when guard dps was shit - thanks for that, had fun with that build and used it a lot!)
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