THE SEARCH FOR THE GREATEST SWITCH SHMUP: EPISODE 28 – Raiden V: Director’s Cut
Before I begin, I just want to remind everyone that all of my reviews can be found at my site: www.azormx.com. I tried to keep it as minimalist as possible, and it doesn't have any add or any other intrusive elements, so the content is king. Do check it out, as reviews are usually live there before I publish them elsewhere. Any way, on to the review! The shmup genre hasn’t been a mainstream genre in a long time. To be honest, I don’t think it ever was, even during the arcade days. While we certainly don’t have a shortage of shmups, let alone new release, they usually come from smaller teams. Indies have taken it upon themselves to become a guiding light for all of us. Their creations have been nothing short of amazing! However, we don’t really have anything we could call a “AAA” shmup. We do seem to have the next closest thing: Raiden. Developer: Moss Co. Platform: Nintendo Switch Release date: Jul 25, 2019 Price: $29.99 Tate: Unfortunately… no. This really needed to have TATE Raiden V: Director’s Cut is a vertical shmup set in a fictional but real world. It claims to be the original bullet-hell, and after playing it extensively I gotta say that I agree. Raiden V features some intense air combat, coupled with giant bosses and some jaw-dropping transitions between areas.
THE GREAT INTRO CHECKLIST
Right out of the gate, what caught my attention was the intro. The best way I can put this is that it has everything great about shmups in a short video. It has a great track, it has giant enemies, it has ships and it even has pieces of lore I do not understand! Simply amazing! Most importantly, it is a very accurate portrayal as to what you should expect from the game. Unlike other shmups, Raiden goes all out in the presentation department, with the story taking a mayor role. Another way I can put this, is that it certainly feels like a considerable effort was placed in every element of the game. Raiden V features a level of polish that very few shmups can claim to have.
WELCOME TO THE CUSTOMIZATION STATION
One of Raiden’s strength is the amount of customization you have available for your ship. At the beginning of the game, you can choose between one of 3 different ships: Azuma, Spirit of Dragon and Moulin Rouge. Each of these ships has different stats in terms of attack, defense and speed. They also have their own sub-shot which is always firing along with your main cannon. On top of selecting a ship, you can arm yourself with 3 out of 9 different weapons. Those 9 weapons are grouped into 3 categories: Vulcan, Laser and Plasma. You can pick, or rather you must pick 1 for each category. The result is a combat style that is unique to you. During your play throughs, you will encounter several power-up orbs. These orbs will power up each of your weapons up to 10 times! Each of these orbs can be either red, blue or purple depending on the weapon it powers up. The orbs cycle the colors, with an outer dot indicating a timer until it changes colors. This allows you to control which weapon you want to power up, giving you the flexibility to pick your own style or choose a weapon for the occasion. The best part is that absolutely no power-ups are lost upon death! This means that you are free to retry to your heart's content and play at your own pace. Raiden won't punish you or set you up for failure with an unrecoverable situation. I didn’t put too much attention into weapon selection at first. I figured it wouldn’t be too relevant, as I would probably just play the entire game with a single weapon, but the advanced scoring mechanics and the rank system were quick to make me second guess my decision.
At the core of Raiden V, there are 2 main systems to be aware of: your rank and your flash level. Both of them measure your combat capabilities, although in different ways. Your flash point gauge is a score multiplier that tracks how fast you defeat your enemies. By defeating enemies as soon as possible after spawning, you can earn higher multipliers to increase your flash gauge. By having quick kills, you can raise it to higher levels to increase your score. Your rank, on the other hand, only concerns itself with how many enemies you’ve defeated. Your rank doubles as the deciding factor of which path you will be taking. Raiden features branching paths with an A, B, C or S version of each stage. Depending on your total destruction rate, you will either move up or down in rank after a stage. While I do not know the exact numbers, I believe having more than 98% destruction rate will increase your rank, 90 – 98% will keep it as is and <90% should decrease your rank. S rank stages are presumably harder than A/B/C stages, with C being the lowest. Apart from having a higher score and challenging yourself with the difficulty, the importance of S rank is getting the true ending. In order to truly watch the ending of the game, you need to reach the final stage on S rank using a single credit. You also need to power up your 3 weapons to level 10. Once you meet those conditions, you will be able to challenge the final boss. Alternatively, you could just fulfill the level 10 weapons condition to fight the true final boss.
THE BEST CHEERLEADER
A new addition to Raiden V is the cheer system. By accomplishing certain in-game milestones like a certain number of enemies destroyed, you will get an achievement. These achievements are broadcasted to any players connected to the leaderboards. They can then “cheer” on your achievement to increase your cheer gauge. This goes both ways, as you can also cheer the achievements of your fellow Raiden players. Once the cheer gauge is full, you can unleash it to clear the screen and gain a drastically stronger sub-shot. Think of it as a devastating bomb, only more devastating and easier to fill. It clears screens and decimates even the bosses. Perhaps many people won’t think too much of it, but I found it really interesting to know that there’s someone on the other side celebrating my achievements. Likewise, there were times where I left my game on pause to do other stuff, but held on to my controller to provide support for my comrades.
Everything I’ve mentioned before plays out in the general strategy of the game. Assuming you want to get the best results, you need to know where to hit and how to hit hard. For the untrained eye, most shmups just look like games where you fire away with complete disregard and hope the enemy dies. This is definitely not the case in Raiden. In order to succeed, you must be able to find your rhythm and read the stage. Learn the enemy formations and strategize the quickest kills. Be there before the enemy arrives and take them down before they realize what hit them. If you want to face the true final boss, then you must also learn to juggle your weapons and find the moments to upgrade them. Maxing a weapon and then switching is a recipe for disaster, as you don’t want to be on the later stages with a level one weapon and risk your flash level or destruction rate. With so many weapons and ship types, your strategy to succeed will be unique to you!
One of the main selling points, at least per the game itself, is the story. Raiden V features an extensive story that is fully voiced and occurs as you play the game. This story elements come as the prologue and epilogue scenes, as well as all the events happening mid stage. As you fly your way to the levels, characters will be advancing the story by having conversations and narrating the current events. The dialogue is available on one of the gadgets located on the right side of the screen. You can read anything you might have missed and even pause to read the on-screen log of events (up to a certain number of events, as the log scrolls to open way for new text). As for my opinion of the story, I have absolutely no idea of what happened during the game. I played my fair share of runs, but I found it next to impossible to focus on the dialogue while trying my hardest to survive. The voice acting would have been my saving grace, but I found the sound mixing to be the opposite of ideal for listening to dialogue. I even tried lowering the sound effects and BGM to see if I could focus on dialogue to no avail. The text is also incredibly small when playing on docked mode. It gets even worse when playing handheld.
THE WORST CHEERLEADER
Out of all the voices, Eshiria’s was the one who got on my nerves the most at the beginning. Other than having her role as navigator on the plot, she also critiques your gameplay. In-between stage scenes, she will provide commentary describing your gameplay. She will be quick to point out if you did well, but also if you did poorly. On my early runs, when I was still learning, it would tilt me to listen to her complaining to me about stats I did not understand. And perhaps, a huge part of my problems was a lack of understanding of the game mechanics. I listened to her complain about my destruction rate without knowing it was about my rank. She also complained about destruction speed without me knowing it was about the flash point. The problem is that the game never bothered explaining any of its mechanics to me. I really looked around for some sort of tutorial to no avail. I had to resort to 3rd party resources. While that isn’t uncommon, I really don’t like games with obscure mechanics that can’t be discerned in-game. Once I got better and consistently reach the S levels, I finally started to value her advice. Of course, I wouldn’t count on everyone reaching the same enlightenment as I did. In my opinion, her comments would more often than not add insult to injury. Once again, it’s not really the commentary, it’s the fact that none of what she said made practical sense until I started digging on the wiki.
GADGETS AND THE SCREEN REAL ESTATE
Perhaps the worst omission from Raiden V is the lack of a TATE mode. Vertical shooters don’t really have an excuse to do this, with the existence of add-ons like the flip grip or rotating monitors. Instead, Raiden decided to make the most out of the free space and add several gadgets. In standard fashion, these gadgets will keep your stats like score, flash level, the dialogue and even hi-score statistics. Your left gadget can even be cycled between the score chart and cheer notification, in-game tips and global statistics. Out of those, the tips are definitely the winners. They do give some important advice, such as staying on top of the guns of the first boss to avoid damage.
NOT A FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD
Every stage is divided into smaller scenes. These scenes serve as a way to catch your breath and tally your score. There’s even a nifty “restart scene” option that allows you to replay a scene. Choosing to restart will deny you the option to upload your score to the leaderboard, but serves as a great way to practice or even “fix” a run to so can get to the true ending. Every once in a while, the action will pan out and open the way to a bigger stage, with you looking smaller in comparison. I admire the grandioseness of the resulting scenes, but they were also quite impractical. Think about your weapons, the destruction rate and the flash gauge. An extended stage means longer travel distances from side to side. Having a bigger stage means you move slower, which reduces the pacing of the game to a crawl. Reaching enemies quickly becomes a struggle. Worst yet, I’ve counted times where it took me whopping 5 seconds to go from side to side of the stage.
THE OG BULLET HELL
Despite all the fun of blasting enemies quickly to gain flash levels, I gotta say that I found the combat, specifically the bullets, to be lacking in grace. For a game that’s the original bullet hell, most enemy volleys feel like bullet showers. There’s no finesse in them, just a bunch of bullets moving towards you. Dodging them isn’t fun, it’s survival. The problem only gets worse in higher difficulties where the bullets just go faster. Not all patterns are as bad though. While the vast majority will be just a bunch on increasingly faster bullets thrown at you, some exceptional patterns will show from time to time. As a result, fights tend to be very hit or miss, with both hits and misses being on their respective extremes. What certainly doesn’t help is that the bullets are very hard to see. As pretty as the backgrounds might be, they are very busy and the quick motion makes them into a blur. Bullets don’t have their characteristic outlines or color palettes to become distinguishable. Some even blend with your own vulcan. The result is a lot of cheap kills caused by intentional obfuscation. It this was their intention, then perhaps I’m being too harsh, but you know visibility is usually one of my pet peeves in shmups.
REPLAYABILITY AND LONGEVITY
As far as game length goes, I consider Raiden V to be one of the longer ones. I was surprised after my first run of the game, as it took me 50+ minutes to complete the campaign. Usually, my baseline for shmups is around half an hour, which made this one almost twice as long. While I’m not fond of longer campaigns, I know a lot of people would certainly be glad to know there is plenty of content. Of course, playing through the campaign isn’t enough to view the entire game. If you recall, most stages have 4 versions of themselves. Those versions are separated by the ranks: S/A/B/C. This means you would need at least 4 runs to see everything the game has to offer. There’s also 6 different endings to uncover. Also new to the Director’s Cut edition are 2 bonus levels. These level are slightly different from your typical levels. The bonus missions will challenge you to fight a new boss ir oder to obtain medals. Dealing damage will detach the medals from the boss, allowing you to catch them. Gather enough medals and you will advance to the next phase. Higher medals mean higher ranking. Taking damage will take medals away from you, so surviving continues to be a priority. Lastly, there is a new boss mission mode that allow you to play “boss rush” missions. These missions have certain conditions, like using a specific weapon or fighting at a specific HP level. The targets are usually 1-3 bosses. Boss mission is a very fun arcadey mode for those who enjoyed the boss fights and want more of them.
If there’s a factor that merits my highest praise is the sound department. Simply put, the OST is fantastic. The track length syncs perfectly with the stages, and it always fits the mood. I just couldn’t get enough of the OST, and listening to it while writing this review was the recipe for a perfect Sunday! I also got some good coffee that would make the captain proud. For all the praise the music gets from me, it still is dragged down by the terrible sound mixing. Similarly to the voice acting, I tried to mess with the sound settings to increase the volume and reduce the sound effects, but it still wasn’t enough. The tracks were great but I struggled to listen to them amidst all the explosions. The calm moments were great, as they let me listen to the songs in peace.
Raiden is a master class in shmup design for the wrong reasons. Its high points perfectly illustrate how shmups should look and feel. The low points also show what you should NOT do when creating a shmup game. Despite all of this, it all comes down to how fun a game is. Raiden V is a very fun game. It isn’t different, but it’s certainly very polished. I delivers some levels of quality that are notably absent in the majority of the games. As a concept, I feel like it serves as an example of how current gen shmups should be. The execution fell flat in some regards, but as a whole I was satisfied with the time I spent with the game. It does come with a hefty price tag, so my advice is to check this game out when you find a decent sale. I got mine at -70%.
2 months back at trading (update) and some new questions
Hi all, I posted a thread back a few months ago when I started getting seriously back into trading after 20 years away. I thought I'd post an update with some notes on how I'm progressing. I like to type, so settle in. Maybe it'll help new traders who are exactly where I was 2 months ago, I dunno. Or maybe you'll wonder why you spent 3 minutes reading this. Risk/reward, yo. I'm trading 5k on TastyWorks. I'm a newcomer to theta positive strategies and have done about two thirds of my overall trades in this style. However, most of my experience in trading in the past has been intraday timeframe oriented chart reading and momentum stuff. I learned almost everything "new" that I'm doing from TastyTrade, /options, /thetagang, and Option Alpha. I've enjoyed the material coming from esinvests YouTube channel quite a bit as well. The theta gang type strategies I've done have been almost entirely around binary event IV contraction (mostly earnings, but not always) and in most cases, capped to about $250 in risk per position. The raw numbers: Net PnL : +247 Commissions paid: -155 Fees: -42 Right away what jumps out is something that was indicated by realdeal43 and PapaCharlie9 in my previous thread. This is a tough, grindy way to trade a small account. It reminds me a little bit of when I was rising through the stakes in online poker, playing $2/4 limit holdem. Even if you're a profitable player in that game, beating the rake over the long term is very, very hard. Here, over 3 months of trading a conservative style with mostly defined risk strategies, my commissions are roughly equal to my net PnL. That is just insane, and I don't even think I've been overtrading. 55 trades total, win rate of 60%
33 purely directional trades - 57.5% win
18 long call or long put positions, +692, 55% win
15 call or put verticals, -121, 60% win
22 neutral / other trades
13 iron condors, +345, 77% win rate
7 strangles, -163, 71% win rate
1 straddle, -310, 0% win rate
1 butterfly, -83, 0% win rate
PTON call purchased and held through earnings, sold the morning of announcement +410
Trading the range on the daily chart in GLD from 158 up to 165, a mix of various calls +245
NKLA 30 put purchased before the close on the day it went north of 100, just a pure fade +215
EWZ 22/26 strangle that I held just way too long as it beat me up day after day from May 20-Jun 3, -316
ZM pre earnings vertical, fading another 2 SD move (the day it hit 200 for the first time). Was expecting a post-earnings selloff given the magnitude of the up move. Stock basically hasn't had a down tick since. Max loss -247
EWW 29 straddle, put on around the same time as the EWZ strangle. Rolled from Jun to Jul to no avail. Out at a -310 loss.
This is pretty much where I expected to be while learning a bunch of new trading techniques. And no, this is not a large sample size so I have no idea whether or not I can be profitable trading this way (yet). I am heartened by the fact that I seem to be hitting my earnings trades and selling quick spikes in IV (like weed cures Corona day). I'm disheartened that I've went against my principles several times, holding trades for longer than I originally intended, or letting losses mount, believing that I could roll or manage my way out of trouble. I still feel like I am going against my nature to some degree. My trading in years past was scalping oriented and simple. I was taught that a good trade was right almost immediately. If it went against me, I'd cut it immediately and look for a better entry. This is absolutely nothing like that. A good trade may take weeks to develop. It's been really hard for me to sit through the troughs and it's been even harder to watch an okay profit get taken out by a big swing in delta. Part of me wonders if I am cut out for this style at all and if I shouldn't just take my 5k and start trading micro futures. But that's a different post... I'll share a couple of my meager learnings:
Larger bid/ask spreads make it almost impossible to trade the higher priced names, even if you have a correct assumption. I have traded some bigger underlyings during this time like LULU and NVDA. They are just tough fills, both getting in and getting out. I almost want to say that you shouldn't even bother trading underlyings bigger than a 10 cent bid/ask spread with a small account.
Get an idea of the timeframe you're interested in holding before putting anything on. Have a plan for entering and exiting everything that goes beyond "I'll take this trade off at 50%". You can use TA, you can use a news catalyst, a binary event, just have something. Countless sources out there talk about trading a plan. It doesn't have to be the perfect plan, it just has to be "a" plan.
Undefined risk trades in tiny accounts need hard stops. Yes, some of the studies say that you'll do better without having fixed stop loss rules (50% of max loss, 100% of max loss) -- but what the studies don't say is the effect that it will have on you, mentally. I got pretty bent out of shape over how badly EWZ and EWW went against me -- much more than I expected. It made no sense, as I've lost way more on the turn of a card in .5 seconds and been unfazed. I was unprepared for the mental toll that it took waking up day after day, watching positions move further and further against me. Great time to be short calls during the mother of all rallies.
My initial plan for undefined risk trades in my account was that I would only do them in ETFs. Logic being that I'm just not going to wake up to an accounting scandal or a buyout and take a $1k loss on the chin. I later expanded my range into lower priced underlyings like BBBY, TLRY, and yes, AAL. But these ETFs can and do move (I learned the hard way) and can soak up a surprising amount of BP. It might be better to have 5 iron condors taking up $1000 of BP @ 200 each instead of 2 strangles @ 500 each.
My new questions :
My big wins felt like I simply leaned on my TA background or got lucky. My big losses, I sure felt like I earned those, through mistakes I've definitely since identified. The stuff in the middle, I'm just not sure. I'm up money, but it feels like I'm just spinning my wheels. My win rate is good, but I still struggle with expectations about how quickly a trade should progress. What is the next step of the process for a newer options trader? I've read some stuff on narrower spreads + more contracts vs. wider spreads and fewer contracts. Is there a number where I should just keep doing what I'm doing until I reach a specific # of occurrences? Should I even think about branching out into different strategies yet (ratio spreads, jade lizards, etc) or continue to work on these basics?
I still feel like I am super weak in delta management. In some cases I feel like I've taken a loss simply because I didn't know what the proper management techniques were. I understand the concept of rolling out in time for a credit, but I just don't think it's in my nature to hold trades for longer than a month, and even that is hard for me. At what delta is it appropriate to start thinking about hedging?
Every time I put on a credit spread for a 2-3 day move and am directionally correct, I often wish that I had just bought a naked option. I've caught several big moves this way in things like AAPL; most recently I bought the FB dip to the 50 day MA around 215 and took it off today at 225 (which was always my plan) -- it leads me to wonder if my expectations for credit spreads are completely out of line. I can't lie, it feels bad to catch a 10 point move and only make $40, haha. What is the ideal timeframe for a credit spread to be left on? Is it better to just buy premium with a stop loss and have a more profitable risk/reward equation for situations like the above where the only intent is to hold for a couple days?
Here's a random question -- other than when the BPR hit is too much (ie names over $50) for undefined risk, would you rather hold 1) a strangle for 10-14 days or 2) an iron condor for 25-30 days? So far my criteria for IC vs strangle has largely been driven by the risk profile and BPR and not so much profit potential in X number of days. If you're collecting the standard 1/3rd on the IC and taking the trade off at 50% (if you're lucky) , it seems like it takes about a month to get there, most of the time.
That's enough of this wall of text for now. If you made it this far, I salute you, because this shit was even longer than my last post.
Escape from Tarkov New Player Guide 2.0: 75 Pages and packed with all the information you could ever need for success!
Greetings, this is dumnem, also known as Theorchero, but you can call me Theo. I'm an experienced Tarkov player and I'm writing this guide to try and assist new Tarkov players learn the game, because it has one hell of a learning curve. We'll be going over a lot of different aspects of this guide, and it is going to be huge. Feel free to digest this in parts. Additionally, this is a work in progress. I will write as much as I can in one Reddit post, but subsequent parts will be in additional comments. Google Docs Version (Note: Link is placeholder atm, but here is a sneak preview!) Disclaimer: Tarkov recently updated to .12! That's a HUGE amount of information that I need to update. Please be patient! If there is anything I have gotten wrong or may have omitted, please let me know. This is Primarily directed towards Tarkov Novices, but should be useful for even Tarkov Veterans. It hopefully includes everything you need to know to be able to go into a Raid equipped for success and to successfully extract with gear. Want to play with friends? Want to have fun and learn Tarkov? Check out my discord here.
[Updated for .12]
Money making strategies completed.
Minor grammar adjustments, adding additional medical items.
Added additional resources, updated old ones.
Hideout section complete
Table of Contents
Tarkov Overview - What is Escape from Tarkov?
Tarkov Resources - Useful links
Tarkov's Health System
Tarkov's Hideout System
Tarkov's Quest System and Progression
Tarkov's Hotkeys to Know
New Player's loadouts - LL1 Traders
What to Loot - How to get the most money per slot
Stash Management - How to combat Gear Fear
Tarkov Economy - How do I make money?
Tarkov Overview - What is Escape from Tarkov?
Escape from Tarkov is a tactical, realistic, FPS with MMO elements developed by Battlestate Games. It is currently in closed Beta. The game features several maps in which your primary character, your PMC, goes into Raids in order to find and salvage loot and useful equipment to survive and thrive in Tarkov. Death is very punishing in Tarkov. If you die you lose everything you had on you when you die (with the exception of what's inside your Container and your melee weapon) including any equipment you brought with you or what you found inside the Raid. Enemies can be players (PMCs) or Scavengers ('Scavs') that are either controlled by AI or by players. Unlike many shooters, AI enemies in Tarkov are deadly - they can and will kill you on sight. They have recently been upgraded to act more intelligently, shoot more accurately, and react to situations on the map, such as investigating noise of gunfire or searching. It features beautiful and immersive environments, intricate and in-depth weapon modification system, a complex health system, dynamic and specific loot placement, and multiple options for engagement. Do you want to play slow and stealthy, to avoid fights, or set up a deadly ambush on an unwary foe? Or do you prefer raw combat, where only your quick wit, placements of shots, and tenaciousness determines who gets out alive? It's your Tarkov. You make the rules.
Tarkov Resources - Useful links
I take no credit or responsibility for any of the content in these links. To the best of my knowledge, these are updated consistently and are accurate, but user beware.
Huge collection of all the keys in the game. These are also on the wiki, but this page has them all on one page, and tries to inform the user if the key is worth keeping or using. Check it out here. This section is open to revision. Mention me in a thread (or in the comments below) about a resource and I'll see about adding it here.
Courtesy of Veritas (Send me his reddit username?), It's located here. (Open in new tab.) Contains: Detailed information about: Ammunition, Health, Firearms, Body Armor, Helmets, Rigs & Backpacks, Labs & Quest keys. Outdated! Needs to be updated for .12
Offline Raids - Player Practice
Offline raids is a feature added for testing and learning purposes for both new and veteran players alike. It is an incredibly useful tool. In an offline raid, your progress is not saved. This means you don't keep anything you find, keep any experience 'earned' if you successfully extract, or lose any gear when/if you die. To access OFFLINE Raids, head into a Raid normally until you see this screen. Then Check the box indicating that you want to do an OFFLINE raid and you're good to go! You even have a choice on whether or not to add AI. You can also control how many AI enemies spawn, fewer than normal or a great deal more! You can even make Scavs fight each other. (Framerates beware.) You can control how many scavs spawn (if any) as well as a number of other paramaters. New players should use offline raids as a tool to practice shooting, controls, movement, etc.
Tarkov features several maps - ranging from wide, beautiful vistas to ruined factory districts, to an abandoned laboratory where illegal experiments were being conducted. It is important to learn the maps you intend to play. In order to keep your gear, you must 'extract' at one of your designated exfiltration points. Not all extracts will be active every game, and some are conditional.
To see what extracts are available to you, double tap 'O' to show raid time and your exfils. If it has a ???? it might not be open.
Gate 3 Extract A small, fast-paced map that was primarily created for PvP. Scavs spawn in all the time. Very close quarters, shotguns and SMGs tend to dominate here. PMCs can only access one Exit (Gate 3) without the Factory Exit Key. Good place to go if you need PMC kills as action is pretty much guaranteed. It is recommended NOT to bring in a lot of gear to Factory until you are experienced. Factory Map in PvP is best played in Duos - due to the layout of the map, a Maximum of 6 PMCs may be present in the game. Due to the split spawn points, you effectively have 'sides' that have up to 3 spawn locations that are close together. This is why it is recommended to secure/scout enemy spawn locations. If you go in with a Duo, you at max have 2 players on your side for an even 2v2, and if played smartly you can eliminate them and know your 'side' is secure from aggression for the time being. Upon loading in, scavs usually take a couple minutes to spawn, though this depends on the server in question and isn't super reliable. For new players, the best loadout in Factory is going to be a MP-153 Loadout - using just an MBSS (or similar bag) and ammo in your pocket to fight other players and Scavs. Scavs will often spawn with AKs and other 'vendorable' weapons, so is a good source of income. Factory is also one of the best maps to Scav into, as Scavs can typically avoid the Exit camping strategy employed by a lot of weaker or newer players in order to secure gear, because they typically have extra exfiltrations whereas PMCs without the Factory Exit Key are stuck using Gate 3. If you go in with a modicum of gear, it is recommended to keep at least a flashbang (Zarya) in your container. This will allow you to quickly slot it into an empty chest rig or pocket so you can throw it into the exit door, this will flash enemies and is cheap to do - the one time you survive because you flashed the 3 exit campers using shotguns will make this strategy extremely valuable.
Extract map A fairly large map that was recently expanded and is expected to receive an overhaul within a patch or two, due to the choke point design of the map. Essentially, players spawn either on 'warehouse' or 'boiler (stacks)' side. If you see a large red warehouse ('big red') near you (Customs Warehouse), then you spawned on the warehouse side. If you don't, you likely spawned near Boiler side. Players can also spawn in several places in the woods North of boilers. This map has the most quests in the game. Geared players often come to customs to challenge other squads over Dorm loot and to fight a Scav boss. New players are usually trying to do one of several early quests, such as ‘Debut’ which tasks them with killing 5 scavs on Customs and acquiring 2 MR-133 shotguns (pump shotties) from their corpses. Construction is also a popular hotspot as it has a lot of scav spawns as well as the location for the Bronze Pocketwatch, which is Prapor’s second quest. Customs itself does not offer very much loot on average. There are several spots which can contain decent, but the vast majority is located in a couple different locations. Dorms is the best loot location for Customs. It has two sets, 2 story and 3 story dorms. They each have their own sections of good loot, but the best is considered to be 3 story dorms, due to the presence of the Marked Room. The marked room requires a marked key to open, and has a good chance to spawn rare loot, such as keytools, documents cases, weapons cases, and high-end weapons. Due to the nature of the high value of this room, it’s almost always contested and it’s one of the best rooms in the game to farm, albeit with difficulty to successfully extract with the loot found. Note, though the key required has a maximum amount of uses, it is a fairly cheap key, and worth buying if you like to run customs and go to Dorms. Dorms also has a ton of early quests (Operation Aquarius, for one) with some keys being valuable to use, but most dorms keys aren’t worth that much on the market. There’s too many to list here, but make sure to check the Map Keys and You at the top of the guide to determine what the value of a particular key is. Checkpoint (Military Checkpoint) is also a decent loot spot, though not nearly as good as Dorms. If you have the key, it has a grenade box and 2 ammo boxes which can spawn good ammo. The jacket in the blue car also can spawn good medical keys as well as medical items. It is very close to the gas station, so I’ll include that here as well. The Gas Station is one of the possible spawn locations for the scav boss. It has loose food items, a weapon box in the side room, with two keyed rooms leading to a safe and a med bag and box. Also contains a couple registers and food spawns on the floor. The emercom key can spawn on the seat in the ambulance out front. North of the gas station is the Antenna, which contains 3 weapon boxes, a tool box, and a med bag. Possible location for scav boss spawn, albeit rarely, and also spawns regular scavs, like checkpoint and gas station. Beyond that, there’s scattered loot around the map in different places, but usually not enough to warrant going out of your way for. There’s also scav caches, mostly around the middle road outside construction and around the boiler area. The scav boss for customs is 'Reshala.’ He has 5 guards that have above-average gear and can be tough to deal with solo. The guards tend to be more aggressive than normal scavs, so they can be a lot to handle but are vulnerable to fragmentation grenades or flashbangs due to their close proximity to one another. Reshala himself has a good chance to have one or more bitcoin in his pockets, as well as his unique Golden TT, which is required for a Jaegar quest and used in conjunction with other Golden TT's to purchase a Tactec, good plate carrier. Reshala may spawn either Dorms (either bldg), New Gas Station, or rarely the tower north of the gas station. Scav bosses are dangerous enemies with escorts that have above-average loot (sometimes great loot) and are hostile to everyone, Including player scavs. Scav guards will approach a player scav and basically tell them to leave the area, and if they walk closer towards the scav boss they turn hostile. The ‘official’ spawn rate for Reshala is 35%.
Woods Map with Exfil A very large map that is mostly just a large forest, with the occasional bunker, and the Lumber Mill in the center. The Lumber Mill is the primary point of interest, as it contains a couple quest locations and is the primary location to farm Scavs, as Scavs killed on woods are a good source of end-game keys that are hard to find. Since the map is so large and open, sniper rifles with scopes usually reign king here. You will see a lot of players with Mosin rifles as they are a cheap way to train the Sniper skill (for a quest later on) and are capable of killing geared players and scavs alike. Overall, not usually very populated. An early quest from Prapor sends you here to kill a number of Scavs. A good map to learn the game, as although the loot is not fantastic, you can get experience with how the game runs and operates while fighting AI and possibly getting lucky with a key find off a scav. As of .12, Woods now houses a Scav boss that acts as a Sniper scav. He is incredibly dangerous and usually carries a tricked-out SVDS. The 7.62x54 caliber is not to be underestimated. That caliber can and will wreck your shit through what most players are capable of wearing, especially early on in a wipe. He may also carry an AK-105, so he's going to be dangerous at both short and long ranges. He has two guards, and he typically patrols the area around the Sawmill, and carries a key to a cache nearby full of goodies. His key is part of a quest for Jaegar. Woods also has two bunkers, one of them being an extract and requiring a key. Both bunkers have some moderate loot in them, thus worth visiting, though not necessarily worth going out of your way for them. Several quests occur around the sawmill area, which contains a good couple keys that can spawn.
Shoreline Map, with Loot, Exfil, etc A very large map, notorious for its FPS hit. Generally speaking, one of the better maps for loot. The primary point of interest is the Resort, but scavs spawn there, and is primarily occupied by hatchlings (players only with hatchet, ie melee weapon) and geared players. Resort has great loot, but requires keys to access most of it. A great map to learn though from new players as the outskirts still contains plenty of loot and combat opportunities with AI scavs. You can hit Villa, Scav Island, Weather station, Docks, etc and come out with a backpack full of valuable gear fairly easily. The Village (Not to be confused with villa) contains a lot of toolboxes which can contain lots of parts used to upgrade your Hideout. Location of many quests, including a large quest chain where players are required to kill many, many, scavs on Shoreline. For this and other reasons, probably the best map for new players to learn the game with. A good loot route is to hit the village (caches in it), scav island (2 med bags, 2 toolboxes, 2 weapon boxes, 1 cache), burning gas station (weapon boxes and a safe), pier (potential extract, 2 pcs 2 safes and lots of filing cabinets), and weather station. Scavs may spawn around these areas, but most players just head straight for resort anyway, so you are much less likely to encounter them, especially if you avoid Mylta power (most players hit it on the way to or leaving from the resort). Excellent route as a player scav as well.
Detailed map Great, great loot area, but very complex map. Old computers might face unique struggles with this map. Features a mostly-binary exfil system like Shoreline, but.. kinda worse. Exfil camping is fairly common on this map, but usually avoidable. Huge map with multiple floors and many many different stores. Communication with teammates is a challenge on this map, but the map is also fantastically detailed. This map features a lot of loot that depends on the kind of store you're in. It's a great place to farm rare barter materials which are valuable to sell on the Flea market or to use for quests or for hideout upgrades. An early quest (from Ragman) sends you here to kill a large amount of Scavs. I'd recommend getting Ragman to level 2 and accepting his quest asap when going to Interchange, as getting this quest done can take a while as it is and you want all scav kills to count towards progress. Both the tech stores (Techlight, Techxo, Rasmussen) and department stores (Groshan, Idea, OLI) are the primary places to hit. There’s also Kiba (weapons store) as well as Emercom and Mantis. Players have different strategies, but this map is unique in the sense that it really rewards exploring. Most stores will have things you can grab that are worth quite a bit but are often overlooked. Very popular place to go in as a Player Scav.
Brand new map, chock full of loot. Has more complex extracts than other maps, save for Labs. Excellent place to farm rare barter items, computer parts, and especially military hardware. PMCs have limited extracts, most being conditional, and the ones that aren’t require activation of ‘power’ to turn on the extract, which alerts the map the extract has been opened and can spawn Raiders (more on them below.) Additionally, has a scav boss by the name of Glukhar, who has multiple heavily armed guards. He has multiple spawn locations and can arrive with the train.
DISCLAIMER: Labs, like much of Tarkov, is under constant development, so issues may be fixed or created without warning. Always check patch notes!
Labs is a very complex map compared to the rest of Tarkov. There is a great deal more exfiltrations but many of them have requirements or a sequence of events needed to be able to extract from them. It is recommended to read the Tarkov Wiki on Labs before raiding there.
LABS IS NOT LIKE OTHER MAPS. READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY.
Labs is a lucrative end-game raid location, comparable to 'dungeons' in other games. They are populated by tougher enemies that give greater rewards. In order to go to labs, you need to acquire a keycard, this functions like mechanical keys but instead of opening a door, they unlock your ability to select Labs for a raid. They may be found in-raid in various locations, most notably in scavs backpacks, pockets, and in filing cabinets. They may be purchased from Therapist at LL4 for 189K Roubles. Labs are populated by a unique kind of AI enemy, Raiders.
Raiders are the Labs form of Scavs, or AI enemies. However, unlike other maps, they cannot contain player Scavs. Raiders have a much tougher than your average scav, they are capable of advanced tactics (such as flanking) and throw grenades and use other consumables as a player would. Once 'locked' onto you, they are typically capable of killing you very quickly, even if you are wearing high-end armor. In Tarkov, Raiders act like the avatars of Death. They are clad in USEC and BEAR equipment, as they are effectively AI PMCs. Many changes have been made to labs and specifically how Raider AI works and to prevent exploits to easily farm them as well as bugs where they could be deadlier than intended. A general rule of thumb is not to fight Raiders directly. They can and WILL kill you. Raiders can spawn with 7N9, or 'big boy' ammo. This ammunition type is incredibly lethal to players, even those wearing the toughest armor. If you get shot in the head, doesn't matter what kind of helmet, face shield, killa helmet, etc you are wearing, you will almost certainly die. Because Raiders are controlled by AI, they have zero ping. They may also end to immediately respond as if you were aggressive even if they did not originally know you were there - ESP Raiders effectively will prone and return fire even as you ADS and put them in your sights. This is why engaging a Raider must be done very, very carefully. There are a few strategies that you may employ, most commonly some form of baiting them towards an area and then killing them when they arrive. Players may accomplish this by generating noise - gunfire, melee weapon hitting walls, crates, etc, player deaths, players Mumbling (F1 by default) can all attract Raiders to investigate your area. Due to the high power of Raiders, players often go in with minimal loadouts and seek to avoid conflict with other players, especially geared ones. Most players avoid PvP in Labs, though a good portion of the playerbase thoroughly enjoys hunting down poorly-geared players after they kill a few Raiders for them. As such, players will lay prone in a hallway, or crouch in a room, and attract Raiders to enter their domicile by opening the door, and immediately headshotting them. Few Raiders actually wear helmets (though some do) so most players specialize in 'flesh ammo' or, ammunition that foregoes armor penetration in favor of raw damage in order to kill Raiders more reliably, because Raiders have slightly higher head health than PMCs do. Raiders spawn with a great variety of equipment, weapons, armor, and materials such as medication or hideout parts. They tend to have chest armor and may have different helmets. Their pockets can contain Labs keycards, morphine, Ifaks, cash, and other items. They're always worth checking. Raiders are a good source of grenades, they will often have F-1's and Zarya's in their rig or pockets that you can use to fight off players and Raiders alike. Recently, changes have been made to Labs to make them less profitable so that other maps are more appealing. The cost and rarity of keycards increased, as well as reducing the frequency that raiders spawn, so that they come in more infrequent groups but also tighter in formation, while also lowering the overall output of individual Raiders, so that they are less likely to have a bunch of extra materials, such as grenades and other items.
Experience Farming on Labs
Labs is one of the best places to farm experience in the entire game. Killing a Raider with a headshot awards 1100 Experience. This does not include any looting, inspection (searching bodies), examine, streak, or other experience. Killing a large sequence of Raiders gives additional bonus experience in the form of Streak rewards, usually 100 bonus exp per additional kill. Surviving the raid multiplies all of these sources of experience by 1.5x
Changes coming to Labs
Disclaimer: I am not a BSG developer or employee. This is what I have seen on this subreddit and heard elsewhere. Some might be purely rumor, but other points are confirmed by Nikita Labs is undergoing constant changes. Nikita and BSG take feedback seriously, and always consider what the players are telling them. It known that Labs will eventually be accessed via the Streets of Tarkov map, and will require you to enter that map, make it to the labs entrance, and then extract from Labs to return to Streets of Tarkov and exfil from there as well. This will likely add an additional layer of risk to being ambushed for your goodies along your way out, as well as punishing damage taken in labs more severely. Additionally, keycards will have a limited number of uses, and may open more than one room. The full extent of the changes coming is not known. Remember, you can load a map in OFFLINE mode to practice against bots or to learn the map without fear of losing gear.
Tarkov's Health System
Tarkov Wiki Article Tarkov has a very advanced health system, and while it might seem overwhelming at first, you'll get the hang of it rather quickly. It features a very wide variety of effects and injury, including hydration, energy, blood pressure, blood loss, fractures, contusion, intoxication, exhaustion, tremors and more. Not all of the Health System is implemented yet. Expect changes! Your character (PMC, or otherwise) has a combined Health of 435. Each of his limbs have separate health. Taking damage to a limb that reduces it to 0 'blacks' that limb. Blacked limbs are a problem. They greatly impair the activities your PMC performs, and taking damage in a blacked limb amplifies the damage by a multiplier and spreads that damage among your other non-black limbs equally. You cannot heal a blacked limb without the use of a Surgical Kit. Notes:Bloodloss applies damage to the affected limb and can be spread like other damage to a blacked limb. Treat immediately. Also causes significant dehydration! Bloodloss also helps level your Vitality skill, which in turn gives you experience towards your Health skill, which is necessary to reach level 2 of in order to improve your hideout. Losing a limb applies additional effects. Fractures also apply these effects but not the damage amplification (Except for damage if running on fractured leg.) Fractures require specialized medical kits to heal. Dehydration is what happens when your Hydration level reaches 0. You can view your Hydration level in your gear page, at the bottom left. Becoming dehydrated is extremely bad. You take constant damage. Taking dehydration damage can kill you if you have a black chest or head. Restoring hydration helps train Metabolism, which improves positive effects from food and drink. Head/Chest: Bullet damage resulting in losing your head or chest is instant death. Note: Bloodloss resulting in your Head/Chest being black does not result in death, but any damage to them beyond that point will! A back chest will causes you to cough (much like your stomach!) Painkillers: Prevents coughing that comes from your chest. Doesn't help otherwise. Stomach: Massively increased rate of dehydration and energy loss. You must find liquids or exit the Raid soon. Additionally, your PMC will cough sputter loudly, attracting attention. A black stomach multiplies damage taken by 1.5 and redistributes that damage across your entire health pool. Painkillers: Significantly reduces the frequency and volume of the coughs. Arms: Makes activities like searching, reloading, etc, take additional time, as well as adding a sway, reducing accuracy. Arms have a .7x damage multiplier. Painkillers: Reduces sway, removes debuff Pain. Legs: Blacked legs cause your PMC to stumble and be unable to run. Blacked legs have a 1x damage multiplier. Painkillers: Allows you to walk at full speed and to run. WARNING: Running while your legs are blacked or fractured WILL DAMAGE YOU.
Tarkov features many health items - 'Aid' items, which can be used to restore your characters health and to fix ailments or injuries he receives as the result of combat or mishaps. The two most important health conditions to consider are bloodloss and fractures, which have both been covered above. Some food items may have ancillary effects, such as losing hydration. Since in the current patch the only ailments to worry about are bleeding and fractures, it changes which health items are most necessary. We'll go over them below.
Medical Items on Wiki AI-2 medkit The newb's medical kit. You receive several of these when you start Tarkov - they'll already be in your stash. Available from Level I Therapist, they are cheap and effective way of healing early in the game. They will not stop bloodloss. Because of this, you also need to bring bandages or a higher-grade medical kit. Affectionately called 'little cheeses' by the Tarkov community. Using it takes 2 seconds, and because of how cheap it is, it's often brought in by higher level players to supplement their healing without draining their main kit (which is capable of healing bloodloss or sometimes fractures). Due to its short use time, it's often very useful during combat as you can take cover and quickly recover damage taken to a vital limb. They're also useful as you can buy them from Therapist to heal yourself if you died in a raid. Bandages The newb's bloodloss solution. Available from Therapist at Level I. A better version, the Army Bandage is available at Level II, after a quest. Mostly obsolete after unlocking the Car Medical kit, but some players value them due to the Car's overall low health pool. Activating takes 4 seconds, and removes bloodloss to one limb. Splint The newb's solution to fractures. Cheap, takes five seconds to use, and takes up 1 slot. Fractures are much more common this patch, due to them being added back in the game from standard bullet wounds, not just drops. Available from Therapist at Level I, no quest needed. Can be used to craft a Salewa. Alu Splint More advanced form of the normal split. Works the same, but has up to 5 uses. Recommended to carry in your container if possible, due to frequency of fractures from gunfire. CMS (Compact Medical Surgery) Kit New medical item added in .12, fantastic item. Allows you to perform field surgery, removing the black limb state and allowing you to heal it beyond 0 hp. Takes 16 seconds to use, and cannot be cancelled so make sure you are safe if you are using it! Will reduce the maximum health of the limb it's used on by 40-55%, but will effectively remove all negative effects incurred by having a black limb. Highly recommended to carry in your container for emergencies. Can be bartered from Jaeger LL1, and purchased for roubles LL2. Surv12 field surgical kit Same as the compact surgical kit, but takes 4 seconds longer, and the health penalty is reduces to 10-20% max health of the limb. Considering this kit is 1x3, taking up a huge amount of space, it's probably not worth using. It's just too large. Better this than nothing, though. Car Medical Kit The newb's first real medical solution. Available LL1 as a barter (2 Duct Tape) and available for Roubles after completing Therapist's second quest. Has a larger health pool than AI-2's (220, vs AI-2's 100), and removes bloodloss. Takes up a 1x2 slot, so requires to be placed in a tactical rig in order to be used effectively. Cheap and fairly efficient, takes a standard 4 seconds to use. Rendered effectively obsolete when the Salewa is unlocked. Often kept in a player's secure container as a backup health pool, before IFAKs are unlocked. Salewa Good medkit for use in mid and end-game. Contains 400 total health and can remove bloodloss. More rouble efficient form of a healing due to its high health pool, costs 13k roubles. Same size as the Car medical kit, so requires a tactical rig to use effectively. Because Tarkov does not currently have effects like Toxication in the game at the moment, this kit is favored by most players who go into a raid with at least a moderate level of gear. With a high health pool and relatively low cost, it's also a more efficient way of healing damage sustained while in raids. Unlocked at Therapist Level II after completing a level 10 Prapor quest, Postman Pat Part II. Required as part of Therapist's first quest, Shortage. This makes Salewas very valuable early on in a wipe as it gatekeeps the rest of Therapist's quests, most of which occur on Customs early on. Can be crafted in your meds station with a painkiller, splint, and bandage. IFAK Fantastic medical kit, and is the one preferred by most players. Features 300 health and the ability to remove bloodloss and a host of other negative effects that are not yet implemented into the game. It does not, however, remove fractures. Taking up only a single slot, it is favored by players in all stages of gear, and it is recommend to carry one in your Secure Container in case of emergencies. Is available at Therapist Level II for a barter (Sugar + Sodium), and may be purchased for Roubles at Level III after completing Healthcare Privacy, Part I. It is a fairly expensive kit, but due to its durability, its small size, and ability to remove bloodloss, it is a very common medical item used by players of all levels. Can be crafted in Lvl 2 medstation. Grizzly The 'big daddy' medical kit, boasting an impressive total health resource of 1800. It is also a very large kit, taking up 4 slots (2x2) - in order to be able to use this quickly, it would require specialized tactical rigs that feature a 2x2 slot. It removes all negative effects (some costing HP resource), including fractures. Used by highly-geared players who intend on staying in raids for an extended period of time, or by players with additional Secure Container space available in case of emergencies. It is available for barter at Therapist Level II, and purchase at Therapist Level 4. Due to its price point from Therapist at just under 23k Roubles and its healthpool of 1800, it is by far the most efficient method of healing from raid damage, at a 1.3 roubles per health, dramatically lower than other options available. Can be crafted in Lvl 3 medstation.
Using any of these items results in your character being 'On Painkillers' which allows you to sprint on fractured and blacked legs, as well as reducing effects of fractures and blacked limbs, and removing the debuff Pain. Essentially, the only difference between most of these items are the speed of use, price, availability, and duration of the effect. Note that the Hideout has changed how some of these items are used, and because Tarkov is under constant development, it is very likely that these materials may be used to create higher-grade medkits or to upgrade your medstation. That being the case, it's best to hoard the unknown items for now as efficiently as possible until you know you don't need them. Analgin Painkillers The holy grail of pain medication. "Painkillers" have 4 total uses. The total duration is greater than Morphine and less risk of waste. Takes a short time to use, and is available from Therapist Level 1 for both barter and Roubles. Makes a loud, distinctive gulping noise. Can be used to craft Salewa kits. Morphine Quick application of painkillers. Favored by some highly geared players as it has greater usability in combat then it's typical counterpart, Painkillers. Has a longer duration, but only one use. It is required for a fairly early Therapist (and a late Peacekeeper) Quest, so it is recommend to hoard 10 of them, then sell the rest unless you intend on using them. They are worth a good amount to Therapist and take up little space so they are a valuable loot item. Available from Therapist for Roubles at Level 4, after completing Healthcare Privacy, Part 3. Augmentin Basically a cheaper Morphine. One use, 205s. Not recommended over Painkillers due to its cost. No current barter for this item, so usually it's just a fairly expensive, small loot item. Most likely a component of a medstation manufacturing process or upgrade. Keep it. Ibuprofen Powerful painkiller. Lasts 500 seconds and has 12 uses. This item is recommended as your long-term solution for painkillers. While it is valuable because it's used to trade for THICC items case, it's the cheapest component and is very useful as a painkiller. It has a long duration and a large amount of uses, so keep it in your container for use as a painkiller if your primary painkillers wear off. Don't use it completely up, though. Keep the 1/12 bottles for the trade. Vaseline Powerful medical item. Cannot be purchased from dealers. Has a maximum of 10 uses. Removes Pain, applies Painkillers for 500 seconds (8.3 minutes). Useful to keep in your container as an alternative to Painkillers, though it takes 6 seconds to use, which is longer than other painkillers. Used as part of a barter trade for the Medcase. Golden Star Balm Fairly useful medical item. It can remove Pain and Contusion (not a big deal of a debuff, goes away on its own shortly) and provides a small bonus to hydration and energy. It also removes toxication and Radiation exposure, both of which are not yet implemented into the game. Like Vaseline, has a maximum of 10 uses. Painkiller effect lasts for 10 minutes, and takes 7 seconds to apply. Recommended to take only if you are going on large maps and you have extra room in your container. Can be used with Ibuprofen and 5x Med parts to craft 7 Propital.
me_irlgbt survey results! really long post! this took me 6 days! exclamation mark!
Long post. REALLY long post. buckle in.
TLDR at the end
First off, thanks to everybody who responded! There were 467 responses in total, which is amazing. I know filling out surveys online can be boring, so I really appreciate you all indulging me for this. A few notes before we get started!
The aim of this research was to get a better picture of the people who involve themselves in this shitposty mess. Nothing was too strenuous, and as this was basically just research for funsies, it’s obviously not fully academic. I did try to follow general good practices, but I’ve also fucked about a little. This isn’t going in a fancy journal.
I have presented the data with the finest graphs Google Sheets has to offer. I am not an expert in using spreadsheets, so some of it may be, in academic terms, somewhat fucky.
I am not an especially adept researcher or statistician. I’m studying this shit in college but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it yet. I know we get some researchers round these parts, and I’d thank you to not cringe too hard at my work.
Now. Let's get started with the results.
Total survey responses: 467
AGE: 460 responses
https://imgur.com/thGOvqi As we can see here, the majority of respondents are between the ages of 13-24, with most being 18-24. No surprise, this pretty much tracks with the general demographics of reddit. We have 3 tiny kiddos who responded, bless them. One person over 60, heyhowareyougorge. It’s interesting to cross-reference the age demographics with the type of posts we see here. I’m in my early 20s, which in gay years is like being in your early 40s, and i’ve been out for years. I see a lot of closet or coming out type posts, which I personally don’t relate to as much any more, but that totally tracks with the amount of youngins we have here. If you’re looking to karma whore, here’s the data you need.
COUNTRY: 457 responses
https://imgur.com/xwAb3g8 So, clearly very US-heavy. Again, not a surprise here for a US-based website. I would like to confess to purposefully splitting up the UK demographics out of sheer curiosity too; I’m Scottish and wanted to know how many fellow Scots I had. Happenin troops. I also wanted to use this to see how many people were from countries with less legal protections for being LGBT. The countries in here I’d particularly like to highlight are: Dominica, where it is illegal to be gay. Penalties include a 10 year prison sentence, or “incarceration in a psychiatric institution.” Absolutely no legal protections for any LGBT people. That’s pretty fucked. India has no legally recognised same sex unions, no same sex marriage, no adoption, but all of these things have been proposed. some anti-discrimination laws. They have a third gender option, called hijra. Trans people do have some legal recognition of gender, which is nice. As far as I’m aware, this situation is pretty unique to India. Qatar, where same-sex sexual activity is punished by fines, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Obviously no legal protections. Russia, where same-sex sexual activity is technically legal, but in Chechnya, it is heavily punished. Gay people are abducted and sent to concentration camps in this region. Russia has done little to prevent this. Singapore, where there is technically punishment of up to 2 years in prison for male same-sex sexual activity, but this is apparently not enforced any more. F/F is legal though. Malaysia, where it remains illegal to be gay. Punishments can be up to 20 years in prison, fines, or whippings, just for engaging in same-sex sexual activity. However, a 2016 court ruling did recognise gender changes as a fundamental constitutional right, according to wikipedia. I’d like us to take a moment to remember, especially if you’re from the US, that the fight for LGBT rights is far from over. It’s not some distant thing. Even people on this good gay subreddit could face severe punishments for their identity. If you are in a country with legal protections, take a moment to be thankful. If you can, please educate yourself on the state of LGBT rights in these countries, and see if you can do anything to help.
ETHNICITY: 463 responses
https://imgur.com/hk6KINj Again, not particularly surprising results here. Reddit is a pretty overwhelmingly white website. I’m a full blown white person so I’m not sure how much I can really say here without verging out of my own lane. I do think we should keep this in mind however, because as a largely white subreddit we may not have so many people calling out racism when they see it. I don’t want POC to feel ignored here just because they make up a smaller percentage of our demographics, so I welcome any POC responses here as to how we’re doing with that. I personally haven’t seen too much racism, as the bigotry we tend to get is centred around our lgbt identities. Whenever I see it it tends to be anti-black, and usually confined to usernames. I do try to ban that whenever I see it, but I’m only one person, so I do rely on you to report things to me!
GENDER: 467 responses
https://imgur.com/GOMLltE https://imgur.com/BY9eRfU Now, this is the one I’ve had to go in and fuck with. This, and all the other charts, are basically just the raw data in visual form. The chart above is each individual response, allowing for those who selected multiple options. So, rather than counting every time someone selected “male”, then “nonbinary”, etc, it’s counting every time a person selected “male + cisgender,” “nonbinary + queer”, if that makes sense. This chart here is the one I’ve fucked with, that just has the amount of times an option was selected. https://imgur.com/ejdAKm9 I basically simplified the data here. Whenever someone said something like unsure, unknown, etc, this was put under “questioning”. The “other” responses are the only ones that received significant editing. These were long-form responses that could not be parsed into simple answers, so here they are in their entirety.
“Something like that lol”
“I don’t have one of these ‘gender identities’ everyone keeps talking about”
“Lol i’m absolutely fucked and i have no idea”
“What is this ‘gender’ you speak of”
“My sex is female”
Now, I could probably have parsed them into other categories, but honestly I thought this was more entertaining. Some important things to remember when reading this data! * I collected it pretty poorly. I wasn’t aware of how google would collate it and i done goofed a bit. Take it with a pinch of salt. * once i “simplified” the data to look at how many times each option was selected, I ended up with almost 800 pieces of data. You’ll recall that only 467 people responded to the survey, so there is significant overlap. This is why I'm showing you two versions. The crossover is not fully clear, and there’s probably ways I could process this data better, but i’m gonna be real with y'all it’s a lot to wade through and I'm honestly just bad at this * This question allowed people to choose as many or as few labels as they wanted. Some people listed their gender as just “transgender” with no other qualifiers, for example. Therefore this data should be treated as only a partial picture of the gender demographics of this subreddit
PRONOUNS: 464 responses
https://imgur.com/lsP8661 Again, I arguably messed up on the collection of results here, BUT, I do think it’s very interesting to see the combinations of pronouns people use. For example, I think it’s cool to see that, among those who use they/them pronouns
25 respondents use they/them as their only pronouns
31 use he/him and they/them
30 use she/her and they/them
Now obviously it’s gonna be difficult to argue for these results to be generalised to the population at large, but this does support what I’ve seen anecdotally for a while; neutral pronouns are often used alongside non-neutral pronouns. We might not have seen this if I had been a better researcher. Here is the version with my own editing, simplification, and parsing of “other” results: https://imgur.com/6sR4w3U Other results are as follows, presented without comment
”A variety of neopronouns”
”Whatever is right in the moment”
”in the closet for everyone except online friends”
”well i would use those pronouns if i was out or if anyone respected them lmao help me”
”the normal ones”
”All? IDK it’s been a very confusing time”
”he/him among general public, they/them among close friends but out in public, would like to use she/her but only when out and fully transitioned”
”I don't know what this means”
Among neopronoun usage, we have specific examples of: * ve/ver * it/its If we put this alongside the “other” responses that indicate neopronoun usage, we can say that 5 of our respondents use, or are comfortable using, neopronouns. I think this is an interesting point to highlight, because common transphobe rhetoric is that people are using a “confusing” variety of pronouns. We have a generally trans-friendly sub (at least I hope so), and out of 464 respondents to this question, only 5 people indicated neopronoun usage. Could it be that this line of thinking, that people are using confusing newfangled pronouns, is just an uninformed scream from the ignorant?
SEXUALITY: 467 responses
https://imgur.com/CXVxEKc Again, raw data. For this one I don’t feel it’s super necessary to go in and parse out who picked multiple things, because the data here seems kinda straightforward, if you’ll pardon the pun. We have a lot of bi and pan people here. Again, it’s difficult to argue for the generalisation of these results, but this does support evidence of bisexual people making up the majority of the LGBT community. If we compare this to the by now well known findings from the Kinsey institute, this does support the belief that most people are likely neither a Kinsey 1 or a Kinsey 6, but somewhere in the middle. It’s not directly comparable because I didn’t use the same metrics, but it’s interesting to think about. I also think it’s interesting to see so many straight respondents. Of course, this could just be trans people who are straight, but I know from the comments I’ve received that some people who responded are totally non-LGBT, just allies. Also, shoutouts to “an absolute mess” and “just desperate for love”. Same, babes.
EDUCATION: 461 responses
There were enough “other” responses that I felt like I needed to go in and take those out, so here’s the raw data before I did that. https://imgur.com/eguYGeK And here is the simplified version https://imgur.com/DZClNVV Here are the “Other” responses
have not completed high forms of education
IDK not american
middle school (x4)
wasn't allowed to go to school by parents, currently studying for high school entrance exam
2nd year degree
in 5th year of phd but no master's earned on the way
professional degree (Juris Doctor)
certificate of achievement, 1yr college
What’s a diploma
My favourite response is “IDK not american”. As we all know, education only exists in America. Anyway, this pretty much tracks along the age demographics. With a population mostly aged between 13-24, it makes sense that the majority are high school or college educated. Of course, it should be kept in mind that not everybody’s education is a linear or traditional experience, and won’t completely track with our age demographics. Shoutouts to the 3-4 people with PhDs tho, mad respect. And that wraps up our demographics section! Onto some of the cool shit.
PERSONAL LIFE SECTION
POLITICAL ALIGNMENT: 477/467
https://imgur.com/TUQNBVJ Here’s the raw data. As you can see, there’s a lot of write-in responses. If you’ve spent any time hanging out on this subreddit, I don’t think it’s any shock to see how overwhelmingly left-leaning we are. I think this sort of goes with the territory of being an LGBT subreddit though, we do tend to develop liberal politics as an attempt to avoid homophobia and transphobia, and then from there it’s easy to fall into leftist politics, especially on places like Reddit. Simplified data: https://imgur.com/isja5Kc Other responses:
Don’t have these words in AUS
I have a hard time understanding all the different words, but I know I’m the opposite of Donald Trump
Hard to say since these terms mean slightly different things in different places/political climates
Whoever isn't a racist bigot
slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut and shoot capitalists
angry *Governmental axis: libertarian. Economic axis: centrist. Social axis: progressive
I don't have a strict political alignment, I just think that every politician can have good ideas whatever their alignment is
I vote based on the current goals of each party
regulated markets, welfare capitalism, taco trucks on every corner. thank you for coming to my ted talk.
Whatever is Civil Rights
no one changes anything but rich mens pocket books
Prefer not to say
We’re clearly a very left-leaning subreddit here. I think it’s interesting that out of a total of 447 responses, only 9 disclosed that they were on the right-hand side of the political spectrum. Is this because only 4% of people round these parts are on the right, or is due to an unwillingness to identify with conservative politics, even on an anonymous survey? Difficult to know for sure. Interesting data tho amirite. Also whoever answered “slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut”, same girl
Raw data: https://imgur.com/oQQWZH9 Again, a fuckfest here, but even before we go in and parse things out we can see that 336/460 indicate atheist or agnostic beliefs. This sort of goes along with my hypothesis/unscientific belief that a majority of LGBT people are non-religious, or will find religion themselves later on. I personally would love to do research on the prevalence of found religion in later life, especially pagan/wiccan type beliefs, in LGBT people. I think a lot of us do really desire that sort of connection to spirituality, but can’t always get it from the religions we were raised in. This is from my perspective as a western white person raised around christian/catholic beliefs; I know there’s differences with, for example, Judaism, where it’s fully baked into the culture to question and argue with your own beliefs, so I know there’s a hell of a lot of cultural bias going into this assumption. Simplified data https://imgur.com/FimSsoh I’ve kept Atheist/agnostic as separate categories, grouped the different Satanism responses, and again created an “other” category. Other responses:
Both Christian and agnostic
I don't believe in a conscious force making decisions, but there is some sort of force underlying the physical world
idk man. dudeism?
Its a mix
None (not explicitly atheist or agnostic, just...ehhhhh)
Given that this is Reddit, I’m not surprised by the high amount of atheist/agnostic responses, given that the site still has a strong legacy left behind by the glory days of /atheist. With this bias in mind, I do still think this presents a compelling basis for further research on the religious affiliations of LGBT people.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS 465/467
https://imgur.com/vcrZae3 This one actually didn’t require much fucking with, so I’ve just presented the gently simplified data. Other responses
In a queer-platonic relationship
I walk a lonley road, the only one that i have ever known.
I’m not really sure rn
In a polyamorous relationship
I have a domme
On a crash course to divorce :(
Wow we’re a single lot aren’t we Honestly I think this correlates with the age demographics. If I were a better data analyst I’d go in and confirm this with the data, but I’m not, so I won’t. Knowing that we have a lot of younger people, who are more likely to have either no relationship or a frequently changing/unstable relationship status, this kinda seems about right. It would be interesting though to compare this with relationship data from other LGBT communities. I think we all know the struggles of finding available partners, especially when you are, as the data suggests, in high school or college. It’d be interesting to see if the high rate of single people here is due to a desire to seek out other LGBT people in order to gain a sense of community as well. Maybe LGBT people in a relationship feel they already have enough of a sense of community and belonging and are therefore less likely to seek out LGBT spaces online. That’ll require some good qualitative data tho which is time consuming. Could be really cool tho.
[Dislike] However, I do not condone jokes of violence against Terfs
I don't even know what that is.
I don't know or care what that means
I hate them so god damned much even the mention of the word terf makes me wanna punch a *wall then vomit.
I have never heard of this
I have no idea who they are
Idk bout them
Never heard of them
Not sure exactly what that means but if I understand it right I dislike them because I support transgender people
strongly dislike is not enough
[just a transphobic pro-terf comment]
strongly dislike isn't strong enough.
TERF is a slur lol
terfs r trash
They can go to hell
They have no place
Too little experience with them to form a meaningful opinion
we should set them on fire
trans rights babey
I think this is a pretty conclusive result. Of the 29 “other” responses, 20 of them indicate Dislike to Strongly Dislike. 5 respondents said Strongly Like, and 1 said Like. These respondents were the only ones who also put in positive “other” responses. 82% of responses were Strongly Dislike. This is honestly going to inform my moderation style. I always remove outwardly transphobic comments, especially if they mirror the “rational people” comment in the responses above. However, seeing such a strong dislike of TERFs will likely mean I’ll remove more comments that are gently TERFy but not as explicit. I do want to reiterate, this is a feminist space. I personally am a strong feminist. I hold some more radical feminist views. I also believe trans women are women, they have a place in the feminist movement, and in women’s spaces. You can absolutely be a trans INCLUSIVE radical feminist. Feminism is almost useless without intersectionality. Trans people are valid and welcomed here. Transphobia will never be tolerated here. Not up for debate.
At first glance, this notion makes sense to me, but I know to little about the issue to form a meaningful opinion
Dissagree w/ but not dislike as people
Don't know whether they're right or wrong since I'm not trans therefore can't confirm shit
I can understand where they're coming from, but i think it's a harmful ideology all the same
I don't agree transition is necessary, since sometimes staying in the closet is the only way to survive. But dysphoria of some kind is necessary.
I don't understand how people can be trans if they've never experienced Dysphoria. Not being a dick, i just can't find an explaination.
I get where they're coming from
I have no opinion. If somebody says they're trans, all i want are their preferred pronouns.
I haven't heard about this before, I'd have to read up on it before giving an opinion!
I just need to shout about the exclusionary nature of the stance
I think dysphoria is necessary, but not medically transitioning
I’d err on the side of caution because it sounds like it could be ehhh. I don’t know enough about *the trans part of the LGBT+ community to properly answer this one
I’m not sure about them yet
It isnt nessacsry but many people do experience it
Neutral as long as they aren’t excessively pushy or rude about it.
New to this concept tbh
Non-binary trans is still trans.
Not enough reading or research done on my part to have an informed opinion
Not familiar with this topic enough to say
punch them too
Therapists should treat it
There is background to their points but their attitude stunts progress for all trans people
they're very flammable too
trans people are trans regardless of what gender affirmations, if any, they choose to undergo. ❤️
trans rights babey
uncle terfs, more or less.
wanting to be a different gender = gender dysphoria, so 90% of the time transmedicalism is just *pointless gatekeeping
This is the one I definitely needed trans people’s opinions on. I am cis-ish (androgynous butchy lesbian who occasionally likes a cheeky they/them pronoun but is for all intents and purposes a woman/dyke) and so feel entirely unqualified to weigh in and decide which side of the issue is “correct”.
56.2% of responses indicate either Dislike or Strongly Dislike transmedicalists
Of the “other” responses, 15/29 indicate a dislike or disagreement with transmedicalist ideology
There is a large amount of “neutral” or “no opinion” responses. I can assume a lot of these are from cis people who, like me, feel unqualified to weigh in.
This is also likely to inform my moderation style somewhat. Again, I always remove blatant transphobia when I see it, and this includes anybody stating that nonbinary people are not valid, not real, etc. From these results, I’m going to assume this is the right move, and continue with this strategy. I personally lean towards not believing in transmedicalism. Some of this may very well stem from my feminist views, but I generally think gender is extremely fluid, and that labels are only worth what the individual believes they represent. If any of you have an understanding of sociology, I tend towards a Weberian/symbolic interactionist approach towards labels in general. Therefore I believe whatever a person identifies as is probably the right identity for them, regardless of what I may think of it. This isn’t necessarily relevant to your understanding of the survey, but it may be relevant to your understanding of my moderation actions. That wraps up this section! This was a long one, thanks for sticking with us <3
THOUGHTS ON THE SUBREDDIT 457/467
https://imgur.com/VUwfXtq Finally, some data i don’t need to fuck around with. Note to self, do more ratings like this. Obviously as a mod I’m happy to see that opinions trend above 5 here. The average score we’re getting here is 7.87 (2dp) and honestly, I’m down. If that was a movie on IMDB, that shit would be a pretty well-received movie. The most frequent response here is 8/10, and most responses are between 7-10, which tells me people generally enjoy hanging out here. I know there’s always a strong chance for bias here, because the people who are likely to respond to a kinda long survey for a subreddit are likely to be people who either really enjoy it, or really don’t. However, even with that bias, I’m gonna just take the W if that’s cool with you.
THOUGHTS ON MODERATION 445/467
https://imgur.com/pmkKyuC Slightly lower trend than overall subreddit opinions, but the average is almost the same at 7.73 (2dp). Since sending out this survey I have made some slight tweaks to my moderation style, as well as making some additions to the automoderator. We’ll chat about that later. I’m glad the overall trend here is positive though; I don’t want this to be a place where you all just end up resenting me.
i dont have a reddit account, and i very rarely check comments. I dont think i'm the best person to answer this.
I dont pay attention enough to say
I just discovered this subreddit like yesterday so I don't really know
I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)
idk i just enjoy the memes
idk im just lurking here
Idk. How many moderators do you have?
if they're good moderators
maybe? i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes. i enjoy the hands-off approach but that doesn't mean i don't ever wanna see more mods chilling out and sorta like.,..... making their presence known and joining in on the fun!!! yknow it makes it feel safer
no idea tbh but it seems to be running ok
So the general answer here is that we maybe need more mods. Far more people said no than said yes. Personal interpretation is that people may have felt more comfortable answering “maybe” than answering “yes”. I know that having one active mod for a 90k subreddit is not usual, and by now most subreddits will have gotten a couple more people in. I won’t speak for parlayv but, if you think i’m hands-off, she’s like, not even got hands. Hands not on this plane. We did create the subreddit together (IIRC I came up with the name and she was like “omg that needs to be a subreddit” and then, all of a sudden, it was) but I’m the one who pretty much runs it. I don’t think she’d take issue with me saying that. She’s too busy playing runescape and smoking weed anyway lmao So, given the general results, I will look at bringing more mods on. I’ll probably pull from people I know first, and if that doesn’t work, may open up applications later. If this happens you’ll all know about it. I’ll address some of the comments at the very end. Your concerns are not going unnoticed!
THOUGHTS ON RESEARCHERS 459/467
https://imgur.com/Px4XqGQ Another very similar score, but this time the most frequent response by far is a 10. Average score is 7.84 This one was kinda important for me. I made the decision to allow researchers to post their surveys here. Full disclosure, when researchers come to me in modmail, my key concern is that they’ve followed all ethical procedures. So far, every single one has been done through a university in an official capacity, which means they have to prove they’ve gone through the ethics of their work and it’s been approved before they can even start researching. Whenever I’ve checked them out they seem completely fine, and I’ve so far not received any complaints, which makes me feel good. I personally believe research is incredibly important for us to understand ourselves, as well as other people. I’m obviously biased as hell here because I’m a social sciences student but the whole reason I’m interested in this field is the benefits I believe it can bring to us. So if it’s cool with you all, I’m going to take this result as support for research posts. For now I don’t foresee any issues with frequency but we’ll revisit this if that becomes a problem. I’d like to give you all a sincere thank you for your positive reception to these posts <3
SHOULD WE BAN TERFS OR TRANSMEDICALISTS? 461/467
This question specified “regardless of rulebreaking”, meaning should they be banned on sight if they say they identify as either a TERF or a transmedicalist. I also meant if they posted in TERF or transmedicalist subreddits, but I didn’t specify this, so I won’t use that in my analysis of this data. https://imgur.com/o1fevKC Other responses
Allow them only if they don't say anything transphobic on me_irlgbt
ban 'em when they post inflammatory stuff to bait responses
allow transmeds to flair their posts/create separate sub
only ban Transmedicalists if they’re being dicks about it
don't know enough about transmedicalists to say
Ban transmedicalists, do not ban TERFs
Definitely ban TERFs, I just don't really know much about trans medicalists, so I feel weird making a definitive statement about them.
Definitely ban TERFs. I’m neutral on transmedicalists
Forum should not be allowed to become a hostile environment. They can easily do that.
I don't know the context behind transmedicalists but if they're anything like terfs then yes ban them
I think a distinction must be made between hate and ignorance. Obvious hate should naturally be answered with a ban, but rule-breaking content arising from possible ignorance should be met with a removal, private warning and, most importantly, directing the poster toward resources to educate themselves.
I think there is more ground to talk with transmedicalists but that I would prefer not to deal with them. TERFs should be banned regardless of circumstance.
I’m not sure how i feel about just “banning” people but i disagree with them both
if being mean
If making people uncomfortable
If they are strongly voicing there options, even in other sub, that may be harmful.
Keep them on a shorter leash
Maybe? Or at least make posting that stuff against the rules
Only ban when breaking rules, but dismissing trans women & gnc/nb trans peeps should be against the rules
Only if they are putting forth their beliefs in a way to claim that people are not valid.
Still don't know anything about the transmedicalists but ban the terfs
TERFs have no rights and should go. Transmedicalists are... Kinda difficult? I used to consider myself trans and sorta get where they're coming from. I think it's just a generational issue? I don't think they should be banned outright, like TERFs should, but it should be made very clear that MeIRLGBT isn't the place to discuss that
Yeah, but only if you are sure they are terfs/transmed
yes, because they're harmful to trans communities and this subreddit should be safe.
Again, a generally anti-terf attitude, which is expected from previous questions. Once again, this is mostly to inform my moderation style. I am hesitant to ban people because I don’t want to be seen as a powertripping mod out to get everybody. These results, alongside the other terf/transmed ones, are kind of encouraging me to take a slightly heavier hand than I currently am. Again, some specific responses at the end!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF? 98/467
This was complete free-entry, so I’ve gone in and grouped a bunch of the responses together.
Ace content: 3
Bi content: 4
Positivity/wholesome shit: 4
Trans content: 5
Commie shit: 2
Garlic bread: 2
That Gay Shit: 13
More activity in general: 5
allowing different titles
mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
more response to reports
peace, love, and understanding
a monthly challenge to make themed memes
clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
Other responses were generally just “nothin, we good”, so that makes up the rest of the responses. Further answers at the end!
[i removed these comments for being transphobic lol]: 2
That Het Shit: 3
That Gay Shit
non-meme content: 6
Christmas decorations in October
self-deprecating humour: 2
equating tops/bottoms to personality or body types. this isn't yoai it's real life, and i know this is more of an overall issue with the gay community but it's pretty prevalent on this sub
i hope the rest of your day is the best of your day.
Okay to the people who said they want less of themselves and less gay shit you are in the wholeass wrong place are you okay Reposts seem to be a common issue. Could you lot do me a favour and post in the comments what you think are common reposts? I come on and browse the sub but I really rely on things you report to me, so I don’t always see common reposts. As far as specific content you don’t like, I’m afraid that’s gonna be a self-directed thing for yall. Downvote the non-rulebreaking content you don’t like and hopefully people will get the message! Lol @ the one person who said less surveys. Ur in one. Cant stop wont stop x
ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD?
ily, thank you, etc
This shit sweet as hell thank you for taking the time to add it in at the end ily
“all my answers need the addendum of “I am an idiot, and there are many things I don’t know”
Hi. how u doin
I am a gay
Absolutely. We love that for you.
[bee movie script]
Hi. no. dislike.
Comrades! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
There’s like 5 of you that said this and i love it
imagine being sega and not working towards creating and publishing a new jet set radio future game; absolutely criminal
Imagine being sega. Can’t relate
Perhaps a link in the side bar we can click to escape the subreddit, especially on mobile if possible.
Honestly not a bad idea. I’ll look into this.
Please just add the QA to the name. It’s 2 letters
I’m sorry, i can’t change the subreddit name. I’ll add it to the sidebar tho <3
Sexual attraction is bourgeois
Idk what this means but it is now one of the central tenets of my faith
Thanks for all the “other” options
You’re welcome it made like, 100x more work for me, but i kinda like that we have a smidge of qualitative data alongside all the quantitative shit.
Thanks for letting me participate despite my non LGBT status
Thanks for being chill!
You people need to calm down. I can sense that this energy primarily comes from North America, so I will explain. The level of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights are so extreme, people cannot stand it anymore even if they are not fully aware of these subconscious vibes, so they need to pull extremely in the other direction to make up for this. And hence you have this kind of subculture that emerges as result. The problem is that, you people are as bad as the other end of the problem because you're as extreme, and it translates into over the top aggression and people so insanely touchy they see an attack in absolutely everything, even if they are not being attacked. Become aware of these energies, and chill.
Gurl are you like okay? Do you need a lie down? Some fruit snacks? Everything okay at home?
“I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)”
I’m gonna hold my hands up here, I have generally sucked ass at this. I rely almost completely on you lot reporting things to me, but for the longest time I had a big ol mod queue that was just overwhelming to look at. I’ve made changes to this in the past few weeks, including *expanding automod scripts. Automod now deletes certain slurs automatically, as well as any comment that might be mentioning or encouraging suicide. This is a big help because obviously trolls will rely on their old faithful slurs. I was hesitant to do this because I think we all have a right to slur reclamation, but I think the benefits outweigh that right now. *I got a fancy new mod plugin! It’s called toolbox, and basically just tells me whenever a new post is made so I can approve it or not, and it tells me when I have new reports. It’s made the whole experience less stressful *I spent a day addressing all the shit in the queue. The subreddit used to be like, full anarchy, so there were reports going back 2 years. Again, I take responsibility for that. I’ve been a shitty mod and I am addressing that. I hope these changes help address those concerns.
” i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes”
I’ve honestly been thinking about this comment for a while. I try to avoid posting here because, again, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of mods who participate too much in their own subs, especially when they distinguish their posts. I don’t wanna look like a dick, yknow? But I like this comment and I’m gonna try and just hang out with you lot more <3
Mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
I kinda think this idea slaps. Does anybody have a calendar of important LGBT dates? I think we could tie this into the other comment about challenges for themed memes, where appropriate.
Clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
Me_irlgbt is a queer shitposting subreddit. It’s generally for memes and queer fuckery. Not selfies. That’s about it.
Okay, so, the reason I’m not going to do this is because I feel that if I post a thread for support, I then have a duty of care to anybody who posts in it. I do not have the capability, time, or knowledge to provide that duty of care, so I feel it would be strongly unethical to do this, regardless of how good the intentions are. I think it’s a well-meaning idea, I just wanted to clarify why I’m personally not comfortable with it.
Not everybody in me_irlgbt is gay. Can we have more inclusivity?
When I use “gay” on this subreddit, especially if I’m referring to the general mass of users, I wholeheartedly mean it in a community way. Like, “we, the gays” as contrapoints once said. You are welcome here. This isn’t the only response along these lines, so I will keep it in mind when making changes. And we’re done! Holy shit that was a long post. This has taken me 6 days to edit. Again, reiterating from the top, I’m not an adept researchedata analyst, so I’m sure many people could’ve done a MUCH better job looking at these results, but I think this will do for now. Thank you so much to everybody who responded. It’s been really interesting for me to have a look at this, and pretty cool to get to fuck around with all this data. Thank you ilysm <3
The population on this subreddit trends young, mostly 18-24
Most people live in the US
Most people are white
We have slightly more male-identified people than female, but not significantly so.
Roughly a quarter of respondents are trans-identified.
Most people use she/her or he/him pronouns. Around 18% use they/them, with the rest “other” or neopronouns.
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Chromie's latest rework - a mathematical breakdown, where it failed, and what it can improve on moving forward.
So, as I'm sure some of you have noticed, I post a lot about Chromie, and frankly have for a very long time. To clear the air about my position and expose any bias I might have, I will state that I don't think the hero has ever been OP or "unfun to play against", probably because I played her a lot and thus when going up against one on the enemy team had a pretty good idea of how they would play and how to counter them. I do respect the viewpoint though, and that's why my upcoming post on her rework and possible changes that could be made to it does it's best to keep that in mind. I'm not even close to GM, I'm not even the highest-leveled Chromie on this sub by a long shot, I'm just someone super passionate about the hero who nerded out over the past few days and did some MATHS and shit. Thus, the stated goals of this post: -Make Chromie more fun to play for the people who enjoyed playing her prior to this or other reworks. From my general anecdotal experiences in various Twitch chats, it feels like most players including many former pros and GM players say that while the hero is stronger numerically, she's much less fun to play, and IMO her pick rate sitting at a fairly lackluster 11% in Storm League confirms that. She only has a 50% winrate, so it's also clear that she's not excelling even when played by those still enthusiastic about the hero or in situations that would be good for her to be drafted, as is the case with most niche picks. She's not the WORST hero in the game by a long margin, but if the dev comments on her 8-28 buff patch are any indication, it's clear that Blizzard's internal data probably has her struggling a bit too. -Make her emphasis fully on spells rather than her current combination of spells and sand clone auto-attacks. She's a mage hero, and one with the longest range in the game. Nobody plays her to be a right-click bot, and yet right-clicks are a pretty big part of her damage - more than half her Q DPS if we're being exact here. This obviously isn't Whitemane rework levels of AA-focus, but it's still pretty high and if we look at other mage AA talents as any indication, it's obvious that people don't prefer or like those talents and prefer the focus for mages remain firmly on their spells. Yet because Chromie's AA gimmick is a baseline part of her kit, and not just an individual talent, obviously other parts of her kit were made deliberately weaker to compensate for that. I'd like to see that addressed, and think it would go a loooong way towards achieving stated goal number 1, which is to make her more fun to play. -Buff her slightly in ways that aren't straight numerical changes. See my above point about why she could probably use some slight tweaking. I think throwing numbers at Chromie is exactly why her last rework (with Temporal Loop/Timely Surprise one-shot shenanigans) grew to be so problematic, and I don't want to see that become the case here and see this sub fill up with posts again about how she needs to be dumpstered. Frankly she's finally almost at a good place in the game and I think with some slight changes she could basically be almost perfect, or at least as perfect as she can be without pissing off people en masse. -Fix her problematic level 1 and level 18 talent tiers. There are no real choices at 1 or 18, and I personally think this is a shame because if those tiers were fixed, the hero could actually have THREE separate, viable builds IMO - a Q build, a W build, and a generic "spellpower" build that doesn't hyperfocus on either ability but rather buff them both mildly. -What these changes are NOT proposing are increasing her burst, range, or other factors that players typically associate with frustration when playing against her. I can't stress that enough. I think her current damage is fine for the most part, albeit a bit too reliant on Q pierce at 18 to do anything meaningful. I think Loop is a nice setup ability but the full one-shot potential behind it again, isn't realized until 18 and even then only on the squishiest heroes in the game. As I've said already, Chromie is MOSTLY fine and my goal isn't to make her OP, just improve her talent diversity on certain tiers and make her a bit more fun to play for people who liked playing her previously. The numbers breakdown: -Q = 122 damage per second, reliant on a line skillshot that can be blocked by PVE, structures, or other enemy heroes other than your intended target. 20 mana cost, 15 range. Q damage per second calculated assuming you land both the primary Q missile as well as the sand clone Q missile that does 40% damage. -W, assuming all 3 drops land on a single-target = 43.71 damage per second. Unlikely that all 3 drops will hit, however has the benefit of being AOE. That said, even assuming a unicorn situation where all 5 members of the enemy team potato into all 3 hits of the ability it is still only a baseline 218.55 DPS...that's sad, IMO. Slightly less than double damage per second compared to hitting both Q missiles, a situation that is far more likely to occur, though obviously significantly more mana-friendly due to W's cooldown vs Q's cooldown. 65 mana cost, 13 range, but due to the nature of the vector can reach around 21 range (rough estimate). I wouldn't consider the max range that valuable given the drop delay - enemies will be able to predict the drop of the third hit and dodge it completely, making that range useless. -AAs = 76.5 damage per second during Q setup period (basically casting a Q first to set up the sand clone), then 114.8 damage per second for every second thereafter, point and click, can't miss barring blinds or evade abilities/talents. No mana cost, 7.5 range. So we can already see two things: number one, that Chromie's AAs are not an insignificant part of her damage, even assuming you are a god and can constantly land both the primary Q missile AND the secondary Q missile, and number two, that her W unless operating under basically impossible conditions is very lackluster damage-wise. This leads to a pretty boring playstyle where your Q feels like a clone setup for braindead free AA damage until level 18 when suddenly your power spikes off the charts, and your W feels like something you just use for waveclear, and MAYBE to pressure an enemy team in a chokepoint. A "waveclear-only" ability isn't strictly a problem for a mage except that Chromie's has the unique advantage of getting completely dicked by long CC chains - unless someone is actually capable of moving you will only hit someone with 2 W hits (there's a small Venn diagram area where the hitboxes of two Ws overlap). This "Venn diagram" area is actually so small that you cannot fit two hero hitboxes into it, meaning you'll only get that particular value on a singular target, even if there are multiple people caught in something like a RoF/Mosh Pit. Other mages do not have this issue, not even Gul'dan due to the size and drop speed of his vector spell. Note that I use Corruption as the comparison here because not only are Corruption and Dragon's Breath both triple-drop circular vector spells, they also share an identical cooldown and identical damage on each hit (lmao). The original comparisons to new Dragon's Breath being "Sand Corruption" were not far off, even though Chromie mains were called hyperbolic for saying as such. Fundamental problems with Chromie's rework: -To put it simply, auto-attacks on sand clone are too strong and thus make the level 1 Q talent where you gain a third sand clone auto-attack too valuable to pass up. They also make Mobius Loop at 5 wholly unappealing because it does fuck-all for your sand clone autos, though Proper Greeting and Bronze Talons mathematically both have their strong suits and have a healthy competition with one another (tl;dr Talons is good if you have a target you want to hit who is unlikely to be affected by CC or your spells and the enemy has an easy fat target like tanks/Azmodan/Fenix that you can nail with Q to get the proc - so basically hypermobile heroes and heroes with spell shields who can pop them to as a response to Proper Greeting procs, OR in comps where you have literally 0 CC outside of your own Trap slow and Slowing Sands). -Because the level 1 Q quest is so good, it basically makes taking Piercing Sands at 18 somewhat inevitable to get maximum value out of the triple Qs you can set up. Bear in mind, I think Chromie's Q hitting PVE was fundamentally a nerf and I don't think it was a good idea in retrospect. I get that the goal was to "increase counterplay/reduce frustration" by making it so that players could juke behind minion waves or their buildings and not get gibbed over walls and whatnot, but because of this change the hero is now very reliant on her AA gimmick to deal consistent damage AND you could argue that she honestly doesn't feel like a real hero until you get pierce at 18. Regardless, I understand that this change is probably here to stay and I think there are ways we can work around her jank power distribution while still keeping the PVE Q block in. (More on this in "Proposed Changes" below.) -Building into W just feels like shit because of how lackluster the damage is. It's clear that her power pie was distributed based on the rare unicorn chance that she will hit all 3 Ws on a single target, but given the winrate and pickrate of W talents we can honestly see that this isn't a winning strategy, especially when Q gives you more consistent value (and probably would even if sand clone AAs were removed tbh). To clarify, W would have to hit at least 6 times (as in, any combination of players in any combination of hits that would equal 6) to match the DPS of just Chromie's primary Q missile...saying nothing of her sand clone AA damage and secondary Q missile damage. Obviously Chromie talenting into W doesn't mean she can't use Q, so I did the math on simply the bonus 3rd sand clone AA and tertiary Q missile, and landing each one is an increase of 67.66 DPS. W talents are only an increase of 32.14 DPS, though bear in mind this is for 3 hits on a single target only. Here's where it gets stupid: the third sand clone AA by itself is an increase of 32.8 DPS. This means that unless you are consistently hitting at least two people with W for multiple hits of the ability or you simply cannot stay in 7.5 range to AA* at any given time it is universally better to build into Q talent at 1 solely for the extra AA, even if you never land a single tertiary Q missile in your goddamned life. See where this is a problem? The Proposed Changes (aka the meat of this post): Suffice it to say, I think Dragon's Breath at this point needs a fundamental change to its design to not only be effective at what it is supposed to do, but also in general just to be fun to use. Its current design is a move that largely punishes potatoes or players stuck in a "no-win" situation where they either have to eat the second and third W hits or face greater threats like CC chains for trying to facetank it by not moving during the first hit. My proposed change is to simply turn Chromie's W into a single ability with 3 separate charges, keeping its current damage, radius, and drop speed, giving each charge an individual mana cost and allowing all charges to return at once similar to Junkrat Q/Zarya grenade. What this does by default is make W talents more appealing by allowing good Chromie players who can "read" their opponents correctly the option to build into that move and deal respectable damage, especially as an alternative to matchups where Q may not be a reliable source of damage (into summoners, Anub'arak, Nova/Samuro/Rexxar, etc). What this would NOT do is bring back Loop one-shots, because with a .75 drop delay the Looped target will only eat one charge of the damage same as they do now...they will have to be more careful on how they move immediately after Loop though to make sure Chromie doesn't read their movement and plop another in their path. I think this is a fair change, even if it comes with slight numerical nerfs to W to compensate. (I don't think she will need this though due to other proposed changes I have below.) To follow to that, I think that the sand clone gimmick should either be scrapped, or if nothing else the AA component of it needs to be removed. I actually like the sand clone thematically and am fine with it mirroring Q - I think it would be neat if it could go further and also mimic her W, adding further dimension to Chromie's "prediction mage" theme. I get that two invisible Ws dropping anywhere would definitely be tilting AF for the enemy team though, so this change could either come with W returning to being visible or, as I stated earlier, simply keep the sand clone mirroring only Chromie's Q and nothing else. What this change would aim to do is frankly tone down how stupidly effective her AAs are compared to her actual abilities. I can't think of a single person who originally picked up this hero to be an auto-bot; IMO there's Hanzo and Junkrat for that long-range/AA hybrid flavor and they were both designed around that purpose (Junkrat with splash AAs, Hanzo with AA-related talents/build). Nothing about Chromie's 2016 release hinted at "right-click guys for the same DPS as your spells", not even OG Bronze Talons which for the record I do think suffered from a lack of meaningful competitive options until Timely Surprise in 2018 and that's why it was picked all the time. Regardless, I think Sand Blast should have 1-target pierce made baseline if sand clone autos are removed. I think if you remove clone autos the damage numbers will simply default to W being unilaterally the best build outside of playing for the very binary power spike at level 18 from Piercing Sands, which I don't think is super healthy for her design. Chromie's autos paired with clone autos were actually one of the few ways the hero could damage people standing behind a Zagara minion, and if you remove the strength of those she'll need some sort of extra power to compensate, IMO. That said, this is a change that might not wholly be necessary if other aspects of her kit are made better, such as the W change I proposed above. This could be a wait-and-see sort of change, I admit. Alternately, if 2-target Q is too strong baseline, it could be an alternate reward to her level 1 quest, removing the tertiary missile altogether. Incidentally this would give her more power in the early game by completing the quest, while not completely dumpstering the 18 talent's viability, while also giving players the freedom to pick something else on 18 if they feel like 2-target Qs are good enough to pressure the enemy team. I think this is a pretty healthy change that makes her a little less hot-and-cold when it comes to damage dealing, especially when it comes to early game vs late game. Her level 5 talent tier will need a bit more parity, especially if clone autos are removed. Bronze Talons' power budget currently factors in the extra autos from clone, including if you complete the level 1 Q quest - while I like the synergy between the two talents, I think if clone autos are removed Bronze Talons as a whole will need to be redesigned. I think the simplest change is to bake in a functionality that mirrors the strength of her old sand clone when this rework originally went live, which is that sand clone's Q damage is increased from 40% to 50%. This was originally nerfed in an attempt to increase parity between her level 1 talents, but failed miserably, and I think with the other changes I've proposed here the extra 10% clone damage could probably come back. Mobius Loop in its current form is really bad, and even with a full mana refund or something added in will probably continue to be bad. While my proposed changes to W would make it get more value by default, I think we can do better by making the ability an active on a 60-90 second cooldown that returns all her W charges at once instead. This seems kind of strong and I'm open to feedback on this one, but I think without some bold changes to W and W talents that Q will still be the dominant build and this was just one thing I could think of to make W more appealing. For her heroics, I think Slowing Sands could probably use the level 18 functionality made baseline to make it more appealing compared to Loop. I like Sands as an easy way to proc her current Greeting talent at 5, but since the straight nerfs that came with her latest rework that made it only a 5% slow baseline it just has really minimal use outside of Greeting procs, and you can rely on your Time Trap slow talent or allies for those procs. It could probably use some slight buffs. I honestly have no idea what to make the 18 upgrade if the spell armor reduction is added to the level 8 version. Suggestions more than welcome here. Her survivability options on 11 are actually okay except for Here and There. This is where I actually make a pretty bold change for her baseline Q sand clone, which is actually that rather than leaving a clone where Chromie previously cast her last Q, sand clone is now an active that Chromie can choose to place anywhere within 7.5 radius of her, with say a 10-20 second cooldown. I think this is a bit of a "berf" in that it's probably a nerf to fairly aggressive/mobile Chromie players who are constantly moving and placing new Qs in very forward locations, but probably a buff to more strategic Chromies who want to aim their shots at the perfect angle to hit their intended target. The change is kind of playstyle-defining and I'm not 100% sure it's what she needs, but I also think this could not only serve as a way of making Here and There more appealing (by giving more control over where you teleport to), but also a decent workaround to Q being blocked by various things until level 18. This might serve to reduce reliance on her level 18 pierce talent as well, which I always welcome. Fast Forward is in a similarly poor spot compared to the other 14 options. By 14 Chromie basically has zero mana tension, making half the talent effectively useless. With some simple MATHS we can see what sort of DPS increase Fast Forward is vs the other two: -Fast Forward, assuming you always get the proc and ALWAYS hit your secondary Q missile from sand clone, turns Q from a 122 DPS move to an 282 DPS move. This however doesn't affect her W, so the overall total DPS is 282 from this talent under perfect conditions - basically spamming because the CDR is so fast, never moving, and always hitting Q WITH also hitting the secondary Q missile. Bear in mind that this talent does not proc from a long-range sand clone Q, meaning you must position in such a way that the primary missile will always travel 50% of its distance. Shifting Sands works similarly so I don't factor that into DPS contributions, though Quantum Overdrive does in fact get CDR from all sand clone hits, making its actual DPS higher than what I calculated in theory. -Quantum Overdrive, assuming you always achieve the CDR from Sand Blasts for it (again, we're assuming perfect conditions for everything here), will be available every 24 seconds and is a flat 25% spellpower increase for 8 seconds - or basically, two Q casts and one W cast (we won't factor in Loop usage here for simplicity's sake). Factoring in the CD, this is a 54.1 DPS increase - not nearly as impressive, though worth noting that the upfront damage is much larger AND and as I stated above, you actually get CDR from every sand clone missile, meaning its value increases exponentially with the Q quest on level 1 as well as how good you are at landing multi-Q hits. -Shifting Sands has math that is much harder to calculate due to its stacking increase, but because I love you all I did. Suffice it to say, assuming you do not let the stacking spellpower buff fall off, it is a 151 DPS increase on Q until it ramps up at 38.5 seconds (not directly, mind you, this is just on average, I wasn't calculating 10 individual DPS increases and pasting them here lol), then a 181 DPS increase for each second it remains fully stacked. This is actually less than Fast Forward, though you can also add in 58ish DPS for W hits (again, assuming all 3 hits on a single target only), making the total value of the talent 209 DPS until stacked, then 249 DPS after. So this is still less than Fast Forward, right? So why the hell are people picking it, you might ask? Simply because at any point if you miss a Q, the entire value of Fast Forward is lost, whereas with Shifting Sands you retain the spellpower unless you whiff a second Q hit in that original 8-second window. Basically, you have to land 1 Q every 8 seconds to get value out of Shifting Sands. Fast Forward, if you ever don't proc it, you don't have a level 14 talent during that and the window between your next Q. (That said, doing this math actually made me realize that Fast Forward might be better than I think it is and I might give it a try in my next match, hehe.) To be honest, all Fast Forward might need to be competitive is for the CDR to occur even if a secondary or tertiary Q missile hits, rather than requiring it to be the primary one. Since Fast Forward only buffs Q and not W, I think this is a fair buff that would reward consistently good aim with more sustained damage relative to Q, while still leaving Shifting Sands the favorite for a more forgiving slow spellpower increase and Quantum Overdrive for Loop/burst shenanigans. As a final point, while I think that a lot of my proposed baseline changes to the hero would by default make Piercing Sands mildly less appealing at 18, I'm still not sure what to do to completely increase her talent diversity on this tier, especially because her ulti upgrades are frankly kind of lackluster. This is an area where I sort of ran out of steam brainstorming, to be completely honest with you. I actually think both of her ultis are really boring baseline and couldn't come up with interesting 18 upgrades for either. Lend me your brains on this one, HotS subreddit! What would you do to make Chromie's Piercing Sands talent less appealing while making her ulti upgrades more appealing? I'd love to see what we can all come up with! In Closing: These changes, whether implemented as a whole or by their parts in certain areas, would IMO serve to give the hero three viable build paths: -1st build path, "Q path": Q talent at 1 for second pierce target, newly-designed Bronze Talons at 5 for the extra clone Q damage, Here and There at 11 for mobility shenanigans thanks to being able to manually place your clone target in advantageous locations, Fast Forward at 14 to put a further emphasis on landing good Qs and edging out W as a big part of your damage pie, and Piercing Sands at 18 for obvious reasons. -2nd build path, "W path": W talent at 1, Mobius Loop at 5, any survivability option at 11, Quantum Overdrive at 14 to take advantage of the new Mobius Loop W charge reset, Piercing Sands at 18 could still be appealing with this build but I also think Blessing of the Bronze or Temporal Loop upgrade depending on your ulti choice could be good here. And a final "generic spellpower path" that doesn't build strictly into improving Q or W separately and would instead opt to modestly increase the damage of both, with perhaps less binary gains than building fully into one spell: which would feature Timewalker's Pursuit at 1, Proper Greeting at 5, any survivability option at 11, Shifting Sands at 14 (though I think Quantum could work here too), and maybe Q pierce or Blessing at 18. While I appreciate anyone who has read this far, for those who don't have the fortitude here is a simple tl;dr: -W is no longer 3 vectored hits that drop at the same time but rather 3 circular AOEs that can be dropped individually but all return on the same cooldown similar to Junk Q/Zarya Q. If this is OP, reduce the size of the AOE so opponents have greater windows to dodge, or (possibly) make the landing point visible again (less a fan of this though tbh). -sand clone autos removed to put more damage back into her spells and less into boring right-click talents/builds (her right-click damage is about 2/3rds the DPS of Q!). Her current design with sand clone AAs means that the level 1 Q quest that adds an extra sand clone is dramatically more value than the other two quests simply for the extra AA damage, which is a bongos DPS increase in comparison. Rather than gut the entire sand clone thematic, which I think is cool, I think simply removing the AAs would do loads for her talent diversity. -manual sand clone placement on a modest cooldown to work around the newly-implemented Q PVE block. An alternate solution is to change her level 1 Q quest from a third sand clone to a singular pierce upon completion, allowing her once the quest is completed to have Q hit two targets for each missile instead of just 1. Either way if sand clone placement is made manual I think the level 1 Q quest will have to be changed, because otherwise manually placing two clones would probably make her a bit too "busy", and I don't want her to be butt-blastingly difficult to play for anyone who isn't a main. I think both manual Q placement and changing the Q quest at 1 to reward one-unit pierce would be fine, without sending her balance out of control, but obviously I can't say for sure. -Some talent retooling and rebalancing to promote better diversity on certain tiers (namely 1, 14 and 18). I could use some help on brainstorming better ult upgrades at 18 than what she currently has. -NO increases to damage or range except incidental increases from things like easier Q secondary missile hits or more control over W landing points. These would be offset by the removal of sand clone autos, as well as less reliance on Q pierce talent at 18, making her power curve less exponential. -no changes to Time Trap, which I think after the rework is a beautifully-designed ability as-is and the talent tier representing it (level 2) is one of the most balanced talent tiers we actually have in the entire Heroes of the Storm game. If you made it through all this without rage-quitting over the mere mention of Chromie, I appreciate your time, and am looking forward to having some discussions here. Are these changes too much? What do you think the hero needs to become a bit more fun to play, while not dramatically increasing her power level or the frustration factor that other people have playing against her? How would you improve her talent diversity with her current design? I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say!
The following is an excerpt from The Green Book: Answers to Common Questions About Northern Secession, which is slated to go to press this spring.
Seven Points for Freedom
Remaining in political union with a country ruled by criminals is not in the best interest of our People. It has become increasingly clear in recent years that D.C. values have radically diverged from New England values on issues ranging from peace and security to natural resources, the environment, and respect for science and education. Since the Federal government will neither willingly reform itself nor willingly devolve power back to the States as required by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, the only remaining options are secession, or acquiescence to tyranny. The latter is unacceptable; and the following seven points are an illustration of some of the causes which impel us to the separation.
1. Peace and Security
The criminal Federal government spends more on its military than the next nine countries combined; much of this spending is wasted on useless wars of adventure in the desert and billion-dollar boondoggles like the F-35 which are almost useless in combat, but excel at bringing lucrative Federal contracts to military-industrial corporations. Not only is New England forced to subsidize this insane budget with our taxes, New Englanders are sent overseas to fight and die in wars which do not abate terrorism, but perpetuate it. And even this is not enough. Even now the Federal government beats the war drum, calling for Russian and Iranian blood. Do they wish to return to the Cold War era? Why should we and our families be dragged back into such a nightmare? The North remembers what happened one clear blue September morning sixteen years ago. We will never forget. But if we’re to go avenge our fallen brothers and sisters by “fighting terrorism”, it must be on our terms, according to our values, not the values of insane warmongerers a thousand miles away. We must fight effectively, and prudently, and with discretion, with honor, and after much sober consideration. Most terrorists don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us because the criminal Federal government plunders their lands for imperial tribute. (That’ll make anyone angry.) Severing the political bonds which tie us to a dying empire, and focusing instead on our own defense, our own well-being and prosperity, is not only fiscally prudent, it is the moral thing to do as well. When we say that we have no need for an empire and then prove it with actions, this makes our land a less likely target for those who wish us harm. Let us focus first on building our nation up—so that we can then help other nations, not tear them down. We will gather together in strength, and we will welcome the best and brightest from all over the world who share a vision for a saner, safer, more secure future for everyone.
2. Trade and Regulation
What the criminal Federal government does not do with force of arms, it does with economic warfare, both domestically and abroad. The several international trade agreements made by the Federal government in recent decades have been a disaster for our nation and our People. They have served only to enrich D.C. elites and New York City financiers. They put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage against transnational megacorporations (who, in point of fact, helped write the very agreements themselves). Severing the political bonds which tie us to a rapacious, exploitative hypercapitalist horror-film funhouse will give us the opportunity to renegotiate trade agreements with the rest of the world which are to everyone’s mutual benefit—true benefit, as among friends and equals—which are fair and honest, which reflect the best of our values. It will also give us the opportunity to vigorously investigate, prosecute, and eliminate the rampant fraud and dirty dealing among Wall Street’s den of thieves, who are currently being protected by their cronies in the Federal regulatory apparatus. If we’re to be respected in the international community, we must purge corruption from our midst. We must communicate that New England is a place where business may be conducted honestly and ethically, where people do not double-deal and lie to each other, where the rule of law is sacrosanct, and where no person or corporation is permitted to be above it.
3. Elections, Government, and Rule of Law
There are those who say we must “work within the system” to achieve a better future; those who believe that the few tame, domesticated, inoffensive protocols and methods deemed acceptable by the ruling class can actually bring about meaningful change. While this may have been true forty years ago, anyone who continues to believe it now is just plain gullible. To “work within the system” is to continue giving the system legitimacy and support; but it has abandoned the former and does not deserve the latter. Wealth inequality in the United States is at Great Depression levels. Our children’s future prospects and current quality of life are now going down. Banks are bailed out while ordinary people lose everything. Rules of law are routinely and flagrantly ignored, changed, or subverted as needed, according to the whim of the one with more money to spend. The approval ratings for all institutions of government swirl slowly, fœtidly, about the muddy bottom of a tidal flat, a brackish swamp along the Potomac. We can chart a clear path over the past decade or two that led us here, to this place of putrefaction and decay, and many key Democrats and Republicans who were players in it or benefited off it are still within its power structure. They care about little else but remaining there; and what elections they cannot buy, they will steal. They will not let us vote their power away. They cannot be shamed, they cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be made to care about human ideals and human principles which are genuinely an anathema to all their for-profit, for-power, for-corporatism orchestrations of corruption, because they are not entirely human anymore. They are sociopaths, who are physically incapable of empathy or human compassion. Once more, with feeling: We—the People—lack any form of legitimate, meaningful representation. We are currently being held hostage without our consent, crushed under two opposable thumbs, the left one blue and the right one red; a double regime of domestic terrorists who are destroying our laws, our lives, and our lands. They’ll never let us vote them away. With no ethics to stop them, why not just engineer particular electoral results? (The source code that runs inside voting machines is kept secret, under lock and key, specifically exempted from disclosure under the freedom-of-information laws. Why would this be? Surely if everything is above-board and secure, there is nothing to fear from publicly proving so.) We've seen this exemplified over and over again lately. The only thing a Democrat is willing to be is slightly, superficially more compassionate than a Republican. No more. That's their job now; manipulating their respective voting bases, agreeing to disagree on social hot-button trivialities while simultaneously pursuing center-right policies which crush the People, so that the elites may then eat up their remains, like jackals in fancy tailored suits. We cannot continue to play by the same rules, the same structure, the same patterns we always fall into. They simply do not work. If we want to organize, it can certainly be through the formation of a new party—an Atlantic National Party—but that party must be made of fighters, not craven cowards; of real folk speaking plain truths; of tough, proud, resourceful, tenacious Yankee citizens—not mere subjects—who are not afraid to call out oligarchy and tyranny, who fearlessly shine sunlight into the dark places where those things hide, and wilt their leaves with blinding beams. The wishy-washy non-message of establishment manipulation must be made irrelevant—even more so than the Green Party. We ought to treat both Blue Team and Red Team as the interloping bad jokes they are, until the very words “Democrat” or “Republican” are synonymous with pure corruption: with a swamp, full of knee-deep, stinking muck, where only bacteria can live. That's how we’ll win—not by working within the system, but by transcending the system, reducing it to irrelevance. We’ll win by pulling no punches, by refusing to make excuses for the duplicity of the ruling class, by throwing away the latest batch of false promises from lawyeristic duplicitous Parseltongue confidence men. Their job is not to serve us, but to scam us; and admitting that is the first step. Real folk are not Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, or any of the other false binaries shoved into our minds by an insane society. We are human beings, all of us, and we have been caught between two equally evil sides, who have been playing us off one another from the day we were born. But just because it has been that way in the past doesn’t mean it must be so tomorrow. We can demand a better future for ourselves and our children. We can demand a return to our nation’s founding principles. We can demand true democracy. But this will not happen if we cannot sever the political bonds which bind us to the status quo, like choking vines climbing a proud oak tree. Both sides stay in power by framing themselves as the only possible paths toward change. They stay in control because we've been conditioned to let them be; their criminal non-representation has been normalized in our minds. Break the false barrier, and change will begin occurring naturally, rationally, organically, from the ground up, in such form as shall be, by the community of the People, judged most conducive to our future safety and happiness. (see Vt. Const. Art. 7). This is truly what we're facing—long overdue healthy growth and maturity, falsely held back to protect the profits of the 1% or the dignity of corporate sponsors. What we have is no longer governance, but merely a systematic managing of public relations via the media with increasingly less and less success. None of this will change if we “work within the system”, for as Frederick Douglass wrote:
Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Real change isn’t keeping two private, proven con artist parties as our only options; real change is eliminating them totally, and banning them from our country, like the criminal organizations they are. Either the corporate stranglehold over our government ends, or we do. It's that simple. The two criminal parties know it, and they play by those rules; so shouldn't we recognize it as well? And given this reality, with all due respect, why should we waste time and energy on four-year (or even two-year) takeover strategies? A new party—an Atlantic National Party—with a clear message—freedom, independence, and resilient prosperity for New England—gives our people the hope they deserve. Battling all of the entrenched, recently-reaffirmed neoconservative tyrants on their own turf is not and cannot be a winning strategy. Should we infiltrate Daesh and alter their agenda to favor peace, instead of brutal decapitations? Should we have joined the Third Reich to introduce them to morality? Both criminal parties need to be called out for what they are: corrupt businesses, sponsored by and working for the highest bidder at our expense. That’s what lobbying is. That’s why there’s a revolving door between government and the upper echelons of business. Whatever the Democratic and Republican Parties used to represent has become nothing more than two hijacked empty legacies. They are now pirate ships which plunder the People of what few rights and opportunities we still have, because this is a successful business model. And whatever makes a profit in America is defended. But it’s not just the parties that must be changed; it’s the underlying principles motivating them, too. If we are to build a new Northern government which deserves respect and legitimacy, people must come before private profit. Human rights must be regarded as more sacred than property interests. The only paths forward are radical change or acquiescence to tyranny, and anyone who says otherwise is, quite frankly, fooling themselves. We have a civic, legal, and ethical obligation to do more than a demonstrably ineffective minimum—and if not for ourselves, then for our children, and for humanity itself.
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