Last week I was impressed with the LotRO writing. A Moria revamp resulted in more friendly dwarves deep in the murderous murk, and more connecting quest sequences.
Sometimes you get the impression that the devs don’t play their own game, or can’t see the forest for the trees. The revisions reflect the opposite, the perspective of a lot of time actually playing the content.
Strong characters were a dire weak point when I left the game a few years ago, but the current LotRO writers are bringing a good game with the Bingo Boffin quest line for example. If you see a character’s name mentioned frequently in World Chat, you’re probably on the right track.
I was questing with my Lore-Master in Ringlo Vale in Gondor. The characters were actually outstanding, especially Jajax. I hope I see that guy again down the road.
On the other hand, Ringlo Vale was dark, all the time. It’s the “Dawnless Day”, and inexplicably the world has no sunlight. So all last week I was in Moria and Mirkwood with one character, and in endless dark with another character. I logged into my third character hoping for a 50% chance of daytime in Rohan, and it was day, but actually pouring rain.
Over and over you hear people mired in Moria, tired of the dark. Just last night a kinmate expressed enormous relief at emerging from Moria, and another kinmate echoed him. This is on top of LotRO being 50% dark just from the day/night cycles. Sometimes I log out when it’s night, or take a break.
The point is that happy sunlight = happy games. Happy games = happy players. We all know what happy players bring.
LotRO needs a lot more sunlight, and more 100% daytime set areas, instead of 100% dark. I’ve always disagreed with the 50/50 day night cycle for reasons, so this isn’t a revelation. Darkness should be the dark side of the golden ratio, otherwise it isn’t special. It isn’t the deadly underdog.
Last week I discovered a Youtube video game news series by a pro Wall Street analyst. It’s called the “Pachter Factor”. Here are the links from the last couple weeks (I didn’t mean to get the videos themselves – oh well? D:)
To follow the whole series at SIFTD:
Pachter likes Zynga and Activision. He says if Zynga’s release of Dawn of Titans game is a success, the stock could double. He says Activision will make a lot more money off of King than people expect.
Pachter likes EA in the near term, noting it has great assets and some phenomenal games coming out. Battlefield is coming out without a lot of competition, for example.
Tuesday was a pivotal day last week. A higher inflation number came in, resulting in a big selloff. Many had written off an interest rate hike in June (including me), but inflation puts it back on the table.
The estimated chance of a rate hike went from 5% to something like 30% midweek, but by the end of the week, analysts were more skeptical. The market held steady.
T.J. Maxx (discount retailer) reported strong earnings on Tuesday, which I was looking for as a signal on Ross (ROST), but the stock went nowhere. It went down on Wednesday instead of up. So I didn’t buy Ross into their earnings on Thursday, even when Walmart also reported very strong earnings.
This was good. Ross ended up flat on its face, the disappointing result of the three.
NVidia (NVDA), Electronic Arts (EA), and Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) all made the CNBC coverage on Tuesday. NVidia was picked as a “final trade” by Guy Adami http://www.cnbc.com/guy-adami/ on Fast Money, and was surging for the rest of the week.
Electronic Arts was called overbought after its earnings surge, and at risk for a reversal, while Blizzard was smashed for over 3% on one day, rejected at its previous peak around $40. Blizzard received another vote of confidence, however, by Paulson & Co., a large hedge fund that reported taking a new stake of 3140000 shares of ATVI last month.
E3 hype hit on Wednesday with Sony announcing its plans for E3, and the stock was up almost 4%. Sony also announced a new beautiful Xperia Ultra smartphone.
Sony also announced a major push into AI (Artificial Intelligence), since they are lagging behind. This is the same AI that’s going to ruin the job market in coming years by replacing humans.
I was watching Yandex very closely this week. It has pulled back, but I noticed it had 19% short interest in April, which means the big move after earnings was in significant part a short covering rally. Volume also seems not particularly high. So I remain wary and watching for a more extended consolidation near the new level.
I was also watching ANET. The stock is surging strongly, more than my other picks last week, and is just about too high for a buying opportunity now.
Overall, the market is lurching forward with huge bearish sentiment, with lots of cash on sidelines. As many have noted, the high P/E ratio of the S&P, with earnings in modest decline, has a lid on the market.
Bulls nonetheless expect an upturn later this year, because that’s what bulls do, while a rate hike is expected to make things more difficult. The U.S. needs to hike, while other countries can still ease, and this is a problem for the U.S., which is has been already been squabbling with China and Japan over the currency issues.
This is so exciting. Yawn. Except wait, every time I abandon the market and don’t pay any attention, I seem to go along with the crowd. When the crowd abandons the market, it tanks, and then there is a buying opportunity. Ideally the market needs to go down to relieve the pressure from inflated P/E ratios (and other things).
So I can’t blink and fall asleep. This kitty must remain on guard in the dark, ready to pounce on any opportunity.