Final Super-Amazing Post, Then KKBB On Break

World of Warcraft Westfall Quest
This is my final commentary for a while, and I plan to go out with a fizzle of glory. I’ve known for a while that live streaming was going to kill written bloggers, and that’s happening. Or maybe I just suck. Let’s go to bullet points, then praise World of Warcraft writing, and lastly talk stocks.

  • Scientific American reported last month on studies of brain changes in gamers. Gamers who play fast shooter-type games are shown to get various mental benefits:
    1. Improved ability to focus on visual details.
    2. Higher sensitivity to contrasts.
    3. Better reaction time to sudden events.
    4. Better making of correct decisions under pressure.
    5. Visual search improvement.

    I have to wonder if there are any drawbacks, however, versus controls. Are these gamers developing nervous disorders, sleeping more poorly, or overeating, for example.

    Scientific American also reported on the serious health risks of poor sleep, since scientists have discovered that brains flush toxins (like beta amyloid, responsible for Alzheimers’s) mostly during sleep, through the newly discovered “glymphatic system“.

  • Korean voice actress fired. She tweeted herself wearing a shirt that said “Girls do not need a prince”. The Mary Sue observes that South Korea is a painfully repressive country with low rankings in gender equality, and where supposedly 80% of young adults want to move somewhere else.In response to the charges, the young woman said: “she is willing to take responsibility if she did anything wrong.” My reaction is the same as Mary Sue’s – …..
  • Overwatch. Kotaku reported today on the strong characterization of Overwatch’s new heal/snipe character, Ana. Ana is a complicated, deep older woman, in contrast to all the young, pretty characters more common in games. The players apparently love Ana as a character, and that’s totally awesome. That’s Blizzard.
  • Gaming Hypnosis. The dark wizard Vive has produced two new gaming files: Healslut, which gives you a sexy submissive thrill of service and pleasure for healing in video games; and Blog!, which gives you a thrill of submissive service for writing up helpful blog posts … like this one.Remember these hypnosis files are no joke. They seem to “wear off” fairly quickly, but training the brain with pleasure can have long-term subtle influences.

World of Warcraft Writing: Exemplary

This week I re-subbed to WoW, and was playing through Westfall with a Shaman to unlock the Lady Liadrin paladin hero in Hearthstone. I also ran many dungeons with my lovable Death Knight.

The blog image above is exemplary of Blizzard’s game writing, so I took a screenshot when I saw it. Here are the great techniques this MMO quest dialog employs, aside from the cute name:

  1. Sums up the story in case you forgot. This is so important, yet all RPG’s routinely ignore the fact that players start and stop the storylines – very often.
  2. Involves you, the player. You’re actually a part of this story. You feel important. You’re called by a term of endearment, a rookie. It’s the norm for the player to go through the motions like a quest drone, a one-dimensional gopher.
  3. A mystery to solve.  The writing ploy often used in some MMOs, but just as often underused.  There should always be mysteries in game worlds. There should always be a sense that you’re seeing only the tip of a vast, dark iceberg.
  4. Using named and non-named characters. Some RPG’s (and writing by George Martin) overload you with character names. Biobreak posted a short, cryptic comment on this last week.That snippet of dialog from Durance in Pillars of Eternity made a great impression on me when I saw it in-game, because it’s so true. It’s important to only use so many proper names that the reader can brain. Everyone else’s name should be a generic yet clever, subtle device to give a greater impression of the game setting, its population, and its prevailing ways and emotions.

Game Stocks

NVidia soared yet another 2.7% today, which is insane. Intel had modest results this week, but cloud results so far this earning season have been extremely strong, so maybe that’s helping NVidia. I was close to breaking down and selling Nvidia yesterday to protect ridiculous profits. I’m glad I held.

Curiously, AMD is also up over 100% in the last year, but I was impatient and sold my little speculative stake long before that happened.

My #1 mistake, by far, in the stock market is being impatient, afraid, not being confident of my picks. I would be up thousands since last year in Amazon, AT&T, and AMD, if I’d simply held onto those picks since last summer and not panicked.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) stock had goblin rocket boosters this week after showing off their cloud results, which I’ve noted a number of times on this blog as a tailwind. If you’re in MSFT, you’re golden. Unfortunately, at some point the cloud ramp-up is going to level out. Cloud margins will compress under more and more competition.

On the other hand, cloud providers have security services on their side. I thought it was so stupid last year when Wall Street analysts were talking seriously about up-and-coming internet security companies like Palo Alto and FireEye. Those companies were soaring.

Not so much anymore. It was clear to this kitty that the big cloud companies would reap the biggest profits in security services. That’s happening.

On the other hand, the HACK ETF is showing some very solid chart strength lately, so that diversified internet security play is something to look at if you like that sector for a future cyberpunk world. It’s too bad they don’t have holdings in Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, but at least Purefunds has big trading volume in that ETF, unlike in GAMR.

So I remain in Google, which is a rear-runner yet to really ramp up their cloud, despite having a strong position, and in Alibaba, which has a huge lead in China cloud.

A number of U.S. companies in the last two weeks, like Starbucks, have affirmed a very strong China this quarter, so I’m glad so far that I have a 25% weighting, but not in an ETF, since I’m afraid of the banks and insurance companies, which weigh heavily in China ETFs.

My China picks are Alibaba, China Mobile, and Tencent. I’ve looked at the Chinese solar stocks for various good reasons, like massive China pollution problems, but those companies have had issues, including some big names wanting to pull out of the U.S. market completely for some reason. The solar ETF (TAN) still seems like a solid pick that offers investment in a diversification of international companies.

On the topic of energy, due to oil prices breaking down this week and lackluster earnings results from Kinder Morgan (KMI), I sold that stock at a modest $100 profit before taxes. This paves the way for adding a sentimental favorite refining stock (VLO or TSO) if they ever turn around.

My only defensive stock now is Verizon (VZ), which was up strongly today on news that they are a likely buyer of Yahoo assets. I’m not sure it should be up on that, but I’ll take it. I’m a long term heavy user of Yahoo-owned Tumblr, so it would be nice to be invested, even if it’s business-wise something of a failure.

So that’s my final post for a while. I think my stocks are set in stone unless there is a really massive collapse in August that would force me out of the market at break even, only to start all over.

If I were to look at gaming stocks right now, I might buy Electronic Arts (EA) during a significant selloff in August. Blizzard is really short on stock “catalysts” after their Legion expansion, while EA has a bunch of releases and press coverage coming this fall.

Any August investments, however, are subject to terrifying U.S. Fed interest rate whims in September. The market went off a cliff last December when the Fed raised interest rates even a quarter point.

Gaming stocks have become a playground lately for stock traders, and the significant moves on game releases are clearly a bit silly (i.e. see: Pokemon doubling Nintendo’s stock, Sony soaring on E3 and VR, etc.) I’m tempted to sell Blizzard now and switch to EA, but I’ve learned not to sell Blizzard.

So there isn’t much to talk about now. I’ll sit on my Kitty laurels with over 300,000 total views on this blog. I’ll watch readership of my famous LotRO and Rift Newbie guides continue to dwindle into history.

Cheers, and happy gaming. Be safe, and take care of your body every day. Also consider making some investments instead of going into credit card debt. Your older, uglier self will give you a big hug.

About Silverangel View all posts by Silverangel

6 responses to “Final Super-Amazing Post, Then KKBB On Break

  • Nimuera

    Oh no, you can’t do this! I hope your break is not too long, your blog is the only one I’m reading currently. Have a nice time though.

    • Silverangel

      Aw. Thanks so much for the note, Nimuera. This post has 12 direct views after a week, a 50% increase from the previous post’s 8. Sometimes you need to prune parts of your life to make room for new shoots, so that’s what I’m trying to do. I think we can also sabotage mindfulness and facing our problems by stirring up more drama and time-wasting activities to distract ourselves though, which is the problem I’m fighting now. We’ll see. I’m almost finished with the new season of OITNB tonight. Have a good weekend. 🙂

    • wumpus

      Another sad post here as well. But how do you have a “news of MMOs when most of your news is investing commentary, especially since there hasn’t been much in the way of MMOs since Elder Scrolls.

      Writing: I suspect that a lot of this is how WoW remains on top. I wouldn’t expect Star Wars or even Elder Scrolls to have enough great writing to fill an MMO, but WoW can spend the money confident that it will pay for itself. I wonder if the next “great MMO writers” are found in the fanfiction sites. Presumably *sometime* someone will make successful post-WoW MMO.

      As far as holding stocks, the question should be “why did you buy them”? Obviously you should avoid churn, but don’t look for reason to keep holding stocks once the original reason for buying is no longer true. I suppose if you live on the margin and only buy solid companies (not AMD) you could go the “buy and hold” method (and be in good company). It takes a different outlook than buying AMD and such.

      AMD: AMD looks like a company in a death spiral. You either need to keep until Zen is released or run away fast. I honestly don’t think anybody ever made money holding AMD long term (and I’ve bought more than my share of AMD CPUs. I used to say “buy AMD products and Intel stock. I’m no longer so sure about AMD products).
      nVidia: Like the classic interview question: “where do you want to be in five years”. The discrete graphics card business is dying. They can’t seem to break into mobile. This leaves three things:
      Is their supercomputer business going to take them far? Maybe so. But you have to buy stocks based on that and not the GTX1080. Are they ever going to be a force in mobile (they try, but don’t seem to ever pull it off. Not as bad as MSFT, but badly). Is VR going to be a force, and will it require a nVidia GPU? Possibly. But I fail to see any “nvidia special sauce” and plenty of things left all over the table due to lack of competition from AMD. Eventually something from the mobile space is waiting to eat their lunch.
      Blizzard: “I’ve learned not to sell blizzard”. And I learned to hold Lucent. Until it crashed.
      Now ask yourself why Blizzard is supposed to be four times as profitable (in the future) now as the start of the year? What in the world could increase profits like that?
      China: I’m clueless about China and would lose my shirt fast.

      wumpus logging off (but please keep your Lotro guides up, that’s how I found this post, looking for the multibox guide. Sadly less needed for leveling mules, but if you really wanted to grind…).

  • Shut Up Nerd!

    I will miss your stock update blog posts! Always interesting and I originally followed for your lotro mmo postings ….work that one out!

    Enjoy the break from posting ;o)

  • Silverangel

    @wumpus AMD does not look good, but it is up 150% in the last year. If I’d only held, I would have more than doubled my money. The consoles must be keeping them above water. A wall street analyst yesterday on CNBC said to buy more now, but that seems ridiculous.

    China’s government said earlier this year they are going for a big push into chips. They probably don’t like being so dependent on all of the big American chip companies. So that will at some point be a challenge to the current industry. China has crushed commodity prices in Steel and Aluminum in the last few years, for example, through overproducing. See also: Xiaomi vs. the insane prices and margins of iPhones. Cross-reference with Apple’s stock recently.

    In the past few days Nvidia has announced deals to work on new initiatives with Baidu (China), on self-driving cars, and IBM in AI.

    I actually sold Blizzard at the peak before it pulled back recently. I switched to EA like I suggested in my post. So we’ll see. That was going well until EA had trouble with its Battlefield beta.

    Blizzard has huge traction in China right now. Still, video game sales tend to be lumpy, so it seems like only a matter of time until they come up a little short of expectations, offering a re-entry point. The P/E is much higher than EA, I believe.

    Nice to hear from you, wumpus. Hope the guide works for you. 🙂

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