Four months without a post. That’s crazy. In the last four months, I got a new gaming PC. It has a NVidia 2060 and 16GB of RAM, with a 500GB SSD boot drive. I want to keep it clean and free of garbage. Just games.
So I’m ready for Cyberpunk 2077 and Bloodlines 2. Right now I’m playing ESO with ultra graphics, which is nice. I’ve leveled from roughly 20 to CP 125. LotRO also has an anniversary patch out this week. I want to see LotRO in ultra as well. I installed last night.
Vampire: Bloodlines 2
Announced! Let us all dance in mad ecstasy under the blood moon at the mere thought! Thank you to the people who are financing this and making it happen. This is one of the very few times I will pray for business people to get stinking rich.
Some new info came out in the last day or two, including a peek at skill lines and story. I am worried this could be an overhyped train wreck and/or a 10-hour gameplay cash grab.
That can’t happen right? Right? This is the vampire game of the decade. It has to be right. The announcement keynote and developer interview were comforting to the lost vampire souls out there. We’ll see.
Hearthstone World Champs, Rise of Shadows
Hearthstone 2018 championships are this weekend on Twitch. I’ve watched several hours of the first round so far. I scored a free viewer payoff pack from Blizzard.
The crowd on Twitch is solid at 50,000 on a Friday night.
We are still waiting for the adventure pack coming soon. This is the first time in Hearthstone history that we will pay for both a card set and an adventure at the same time.
Blizzard is spacing out the content so they can milk another $20 per player for this particular 4 month segment of the Hearthstone calendar, instead of releasing it all at once.
The fanfare of the championship is a distraction. They postponed this World Championship four months (i.e. normally the 2018 champs are in January), to use it to sell their new expansion. Yeah.
Even if the adventure is incredible, we are getting no free hero portrait as normal for Rise of Shadows.
You have to pay $80 dollars to get a female priest portrait. The portrait is ugly. And you only get a fraction of the card set for those packs for $50 or $80.
Honestly, I don’t care what the adventure is. Hearthstone is a money gouging bank-fest. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone until Blizzard gives more value. The more the game struggles, the more they will give away, until it’s an acceptable balance.
Giving paying customers more cards, or even the whole set for $50 wouldn’t kill them. Instead, you get a sad fraction of the set for $50. You pay full price, and you can play competitive decks for three classes, more if you did all of your dailies for months.
Let’s see how my picks did from my last post. I said I was buying the crash.
I woke up first thing on Christmas Eve morning after my last post and followed through. I bought stocks. Turned out that was the exact bottom.
We’ve seen a monster rally since then – A totally absurd, straight-up monster stock rally that can’t possibly hold. Four months later, it is still holding. So overall, theoretically, I did well.
Pick by pick:
SQM (Socieded de Mineria, Chile), has been trending down, but with dividends I’m even on that and my REIT, which are lumped together as my dividend stocks. I also initiated only a half-position. I will double down on SQM after a breakout from the huge mult-month pullback. If the breakout doesn’t hold, I will be out.
I sold my cloud ETF (SKYY) during this rally, but I sold too soon. So I repeated my biggest mistake yet again – getting jittery and selling. So I really haven’t done that well on this really, because I just couldn’t believe it. I’m 40% invested now, down from 60%.
I gave up on JPM, especially since Trump is taking a crowbar to the fed to lower rates. Banks need higher rates.
My full-position Valero purchase (VLO) is up 15%, but so is the market. So ok.
My Tencent purchase, which I spoke at length about in my last post, is up 30%. Blizzard (my non-pick) is about 0% since December.
My goal this year is to do less selling, less trading, and buy dips. Currently I am watching Blizzard (ATVI), Lenovo (LNVGY), and the ROBO ETF.
Lenovo had surprisingly strong computer sales in the last quarter, and is soaring on that. If it gets hit hard by China news, I might add it for more China exposure.
Yesterday Intel announced some woeful chip news, and NVidia is down 5% today. I’ve been in no hurry to get back into NVidia after scoring a double on my last trade last year.
NVidia is worth watching this summer for a buyable bottom. The industry trend remains towards proprietary chips and control of technology, whether it is AI cars, AI networks, or whatever. Without going on and on about it, this is a huge headwind for NVidia.
Sony is talking more lately about a new Playstation in 2020. So that means a production ramp-up requiring AMD chips, unless those millions of chips are already bought, fabricated, and paid for. I don’t know. That would be another possible trade this year.
I could potentially be a re-buyer of Acti-Blizz (ATVI) on a summer swoon. The new console cycle should help quite a bit. I would like to wait for some upbeat news and outlook, but by then it will be too late.
If I am making big moves back into video game stocks in the coming 6 months, I will make another post.
Right now my only video game exposure is Tencent.
Video Game Project
I’ve been weekend warrioring hard on this. Last week I implemented interface support for multiple dialog speaker portraits in conversation.
In Elder Scrolls, you talk to one other person at the same time. Imagine three-way dialogs. Maybe the person in front of you wants to turn and say something to someone else. What a concept.
I’m working on three different PC’s now depending on the situation, so this week I started using my web server more to transfer files.
This led me to realize a lot of content on my game is broken online. This is because my new web host is not treating lower case and upper case the same as my old web host.
So whenever I was sloppy with upper and lower case in my crap code, things won’t load. I’ve also had other stupid server-side problems this week related to minified JS files introducing semi-colon parsing errors. I think I got that worked out.
So this weekend and going forward, I’ll be moving towards file-sharing and play-testing on live, instead of locally.
Yes, I could create a test folder on the server, but no one is playing my game. Maybe partly because it was broken, I don’t know. But things will be greatly improving.
My two dating modules are playable, module 4 in the main story should be uploaded and playable this weekend.
Module 4, Serpents, Curses, and Flirts introduces the “evil” storyline. You can move towards joining the character equivalent of Draco Malfoy’s squad (pictured above).
There is definitely not enough meaningful choice and branching storylines in my game modules. It’s sad. I’m getting old. My imagination and brain are getting crusty. I have a full time, low-paid job slowly killing me every day. So.
Basically, I’ve always considered pre-writing fiction in every detail to be a huge chore.
I like to make things up as I go along. This can work in a novel format. It doesn’t work in a video game format. It’s bad. Branching paths are also incredibly time consuming as an investment for a single developer.
Cheers, happy Friday, and happy gaming.