Another bi-monthly post. The LotRO devs are working towards releasing LotrO Update 23 soon, which will take us to the Iron Hills and Grey Mountains. I’m kind of psyched.
The level cap will increase to 120. There will be new resource instances to plunder, a new crafting tier, and various balancing changes. I’m not a huge dwarf fan, but new dungeons using dwarf tile sets (i.e. Moria-like) might be nice.
In the past few months, I’ve mostly just done LotRO and Hearthstone dailies. I’ve played a lot of Fallout 4. I might be finished with Hearthstone. It’s a been-there done-that situation, and Blizz is just milking the mobile game cash cow at this point.
Last night I was searching desperately for a vampire game! It’s hard to believe the best vampire game, action, RPG, or otherwise, is 14 years old now. (Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines). The game has such high ratings. Why can’t anyone make another one?
I found a cool mod for Fallout 4 that lets you play as a vampire (Atomguard), but I feel like I’d have to start my game completely over with an evil character.
I don’t know. I’d probably rather go back and play Saint’s Row The Third more with the Bloodsucker Pack. So I’m re-installing that right now with Steam. We’ll see.
Upcoming Call of Cthulhu looks interesting, but you’re forced to play a bearded old male protagonist, just like Red Dead Redemption 2. Evidently allowing people to play the character they want isn’t important.
It’s frustrating that the game industry almost universally would rather force you to play their pre-set character than go to the extra effort allowing you to be who you want to be.
I still need to play Far Cry 5, but I’m waiting for a sale. I’m mostly looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077. We saw a spectacular teaser video for Cyberpunk 2077 at E3, and some very positive word of mouth coming out of Gamescom last week.
Edit- Also, today a 48-minute gameplay video for Cyberpunk 2077 was released. Still no release date for the game, though.
Stocks and Market
Looking back at my last post 2 months ago, I’m not holding any of those stocks anymore. I took profits in GAMR ETF, and sold JD, LH, and TAN for either small gains or small losses, while the market bounced up and down.
JD.com was a pick in my last post, but it was a disaster due to the Trump trade war. Everything China is down pretty big now. I also picked Sony (SNE) in my last post in June, and that was a good pick. It’s up about 10% since then.
Tencent stock was slaughtered last week partly due to China problems, and partly because the Chinese government is holding up their new game approvals, including Fortnite. So they can’t publish any new games right now, for no apparent reason. This is crazy.
I took profits in Tencent (TCEHY – OTC) a few months ago, thankfully. The stock has developed a very well-established bearish trend line since then. If the stock breaks from that line, I might be a re-buyer. Until then there is no point in taking the risk.
edit 8/30/2018 – actually, China appears to be declaring war on video games. Netease and Tencent, and Japanese companies are getting crushed today. This casts a long-term cloud of uncertainty over all companies doing game business in China.
Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are seeing some strong bids right now, as in, yesterday. And probably Monday. I predicted a weaker year for video games and stocks. That has mostly come true in the earnings reports. Blizzard’s stock dropped after earnings on August 3, and they gave a mixed to weak outlook.
The stock charts of EA and ATVI are setting up very nicely right now though. If you’ve been wanting to get in, Monday could be a decent buy on these two stocks. If you look at the GAMR ETF, however, representing the gaming industry as a whole, the chart is making a “lower low”. The chart isn’t quite as good, and might be bearish.
My only video game holding right now is NVidia. After taking profits earlier this year, I bought in again after the stock sold off on earnings last week. I am up 8% already.
I am also buying the cloud ETF (SKYY), which has been a free ETF on TD Ameritrade all summer. The chart for it is beautiful. Cloud companies have reported generally very strong results in the past month. Cloud is kind of old news now, but SKYY is still significantly outperforming the S&P index.
Video games are increasingly going to be cloud-based, Barron’s reports. “There’s going to be more change in videogames in the next five years than there has been in the past generation,” predicts EA’s chief technology officer, Ken Moss.
My Kitty stock pick for this post was going to be Arista Networks (ANET), based on a breakout from several months of consolidation, and some news/research reasons. I purchased Arista a few days ago, then doubled down at market open yesterday, and in two days it’s already up about 10%.
So it’s too late to tell you to have a look at it.
It was partly the chart, and partly lucky timing. They announced ANET will be added to the S&P index on ~August 28, which means a bunch of S&P index ETFs will need to buy the stock. A 8-10% price boost from that news seems typical. I knew that from experience, so doubling my initial position immediately after the news, when the stock was up only 4%, was a play I made, and it paid off.
In other news, J.P. Morgan Chase is offering a new trading app with like 100 free trades a year. If you are with Chase bank you might want to check this out.
Personal, Game Project
This summer I completed a small number of in-game library books (in addition to the Botany book I mentioned in my last post.) These include a poetry book, a book on T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, a book on the great courts of the Underworld, and a book about crystal magic.
I think I’ve solved my game save code bug, so you should be able to go check out my game and WIP at gatokitty.org. Click on in, and from your room you can visit the library. Or go on an adventure! I would welcome any feedback.
I’m working on random encounters right now for the Haunted Library. So the start of the library is unfinished. And the outfits are all unlocked, but the “exotic” outfits are not finished. I need to do that also.
The game is obviously a bilingual reading game, but you can control the language options if you only want to play in English. I spent the entire last week translating adventure module A2 into Spanish.
I want the game to be like a Tunnels and Trolls module, a Choose Your Adventure with some gear, limited combat, and saving throws, with companions and a small party.
And I want a lot of Scooby Doo influence, but for a more mature modern world that isn’t so afraid of demons and boobs. Oh wait, it’s 2018 and boobs are still illegal.
That’s about all for now. Happy gaming, and I’ll hope to see you in the lands of the dwarves soon in LotRO.