This weekend is an unannounced “Welcome Back Weekend” to LotRO, with a 25% bonus XP to monster kills, quest turn-ins, legendary items, etc. So if you’ve been neglecting your yearning to return to Middle Earth, this weekend is better than many.
I’ve been shocked at the features LotRO has added in the last couple years, things people have always asked for i.e.
- Cosmetic Weapons and Shield.
- Emote panel, slot your emotes as skills. A good example of F2P leading to features beneficial for both players and devs (trying to sell emotes.)
- Legendary Items that you actually keep and treasure instead of tossing every few levels.
- Toggle craft item inscription.
- More bag space, etc.
I’m also impressed by Turbine’s customer support. They quickly restored my deleted level 88 Rune-Keeper for free (VIP) with a simple GM ticket.
A big part of my re-interest in LotRO is admittedly my Lifetime subscription and pile of TP. If I were paying monthly, that would be a harder choice. My new Warden is level 52 now and exploring Moria.
I need a big kinship on Landroval.
Almost every kin has only 1-2 people playing at any time, and the influx of transfers isn’t assimilated. I’m not going back to the LGBT kin that kicked an LGBT person twice for inactivity, i.e. this kitty. Kitties don’t like kicking.
They look almost dead, anyway, but I’m convinced now that at least one of the LotRO devs is a leading member.
Gaming Stock Analysis
This was a big week for gaming stocks, as Electronic Arts (EA) and NVidia (NVDA) celebrated big upside surprises on the heels of Blizzard’s performance. I remain skeptical about EA, but I’m very happy to have pushed into NVDA last week. NVDA was up 15% today.
So after a year and a half, I think I’ve found a method for investing. Since I only pushed half into both Blizzard and NVidia, I won’t feel so compelled to sell to protect profits if the market turns down, as in January. The problem is higher broker fees for less risk.
This summer could turn ugly for the U.S. market. On the other hand, bearishness is extreme at this point. How long can the selling continue? It depends on how much stock is sitting in “weak hands”. Outflows from hedge funds have been intense in recent months. I’m still sitting in 75% cash, like a lot of people.
I noted the turn in the Yen this week, and Sony’s consequent big bounce up that I mentioned last week (that I was watching for). I was there on the right day to pull the trigger, but trading on currency is silly. That, combined with the perilous look to the U.S. markets, is just too risky.
So I’m probably looking only for big drops between now and September to add any more risk, but at the same time I’m FOMO. I’m afraid to miss out, and here are the stocks I’m afraid to miss out on.
Apple (AAPL): This is a huge topic. Hedge fund monthly reports are already showing massive dumping of Apple shares on the back of Apple’s revenue miss this quarter. Today Apple pushed a 1 billion investment into Uber’s competition in China, Didi Chuxing. I like the idea of buying Apple at the worst possible sentiment, but analysts on CNBC are certain that too much bullishness still exists on Apple, and a final washout hasn’t happened, at least until July quarterly reporting.
Ross Stores (ROST): Ross stores is discount clothing and household wares. It was dragged down, more like pummeled, this week due to a massive meltdown of other clothing sellers with bad earnings. Some analysts downgraded Ross, citing that no clothing store can escape this carnage. Doom! Jim Cramer pointed out tonight on CNBC that the pain of big-name labels is the second-run seller’s gain, and I agree. Also, Ross’ stock chart has a similar consolidation setup right now as NVidia and EA.
Ross reports earnings on 5/19. Is it worth a shot? Well, T.J. Maxx reports on 5/17.
Sprout’s Farmer’s Market (SFM): This stock has been pummeled by downgrades, a revenue miss, and margin pressures on organic foods. I shop at Sprouts every week though, and I feel sure Sprout’s dependence on organic for sales is a little overrated.
Yandex (YNDX): This is the dominant Russian-speaking search engine, and also for Turkey. I own Google and Baidu stock, and I’m interested in Yandex. It had a massive jump on 4/28 due to great numbers, and now it has consolidated.
Arista Networks (ANET): This is a cloud networking solutions company built by brilliant former Cisco employees, with a brilliant female CEO, Jayshree Ullal. Arista is now two years after its IPO in June of 2014, and it finally looks like it’s trying to emerge from under the brutal legal burdens of Cisco lawsuits, legal actions attempting to destroy Arista (and its rebel founders) any way they can. This is really tempting as a “speculative” investment, but the legal issues aren’t entirely resolved yet.
I’ll look at Electronic Arts if they announce a single player campaign for their next Star Wars game. “Bigger and better planets”, or whatever, isn’t going to cut it. Casuals might buy one title, but real fans keep franchises going.
Visits to my blog are at an all-time low. Every time I write an article, I wonder why I still bother. I appreciate the two people who occasionally comment though. Happy weekend and gaming.