Vera wang 800 thread count sheets

Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18" Deep Pocket, Soft Smooth Sateen Weave, Extra Long Staple Cotton Fitted Sheet...price $29.99free for amazon USA 🇺🇸 product testers Interested people DM me

2023.05.29 12:58 Cuvujo Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18" Deep Pocket, Soft Smooth Sateen Weave, Extra Long Staple Cotton Fitted Sheet...price $29.99free for amazon USA 🇺🇸 product testers Interested people DM me

Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18 submitted by Cuvujo to AMZreviewTrader [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 12:56 Cuvujo Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18" Deep Pocket, Soft Smooth Sateen Weave, Extra Long Staple Cotton Fitted Sheet...price $29.99free for amazon USA 🇺🇸 product testers Interested people DM me

Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18 submitted by Cuvujo to ReviewRequests [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 12:53 Cuvujo Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18" Deep Pocket, Soft Smooth Sateen Weave, Extra Long Staple Cotton Fitted Sheet...price $29.99free for amazon USA 🇺🇸 product testers Interested people DM me

Premium 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Feel 100% Cotton Queen White Fitted Sheet, Easy Snug Fit, Upto 18 submitted by Cuvujo to AmazonReviewClub [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 10:54 Pandriant Ryujinx began crashing suddenly for totk

I honestly have no idea, after 30 hours+ of gamemplay without problems, the game crashes after selecting a loading point (just after finishing loading) in the title screen. Im posting the log in case anyone has any idea why, thanks!

00:00:00.077 I Configuration LogValueChange: ResScale set to: 1
00:00:00.085 I Configuration LogValueChange: ResScaleCustom set to: 1
00:00:00.086 I Configuration LogValueChange: MaxAnisotropy set to: -1
00:00:00.087 I Configuration LogValueChange: AspectRatio set to: Fixed16x9
00:00:00.088 I Configuration LogValueChange: BackendThreading set to: Auto
00:00:00.089 I Configuration LogValueChange: GraphicsBackend set to: OpenGl
00:00:00.090 I Configuration LogValueChange: PreferredGpu set to:
00:00:00.090 I Configuration LogValueChange: AntiAliasing set to: None
00:00:00.091 I Configuration LogValueChange: ScalingFilter set to: Bilinear
00:00:00.092 I Configuration LogValueChange: ScalingFilterLevel set to: 80
00:00:00.094 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableDockedMode set to: True
00:00:00.108 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableVsync set to: True
00:00:00.108 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableShaderCache set to: True
00:00:00.108 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableTextureRecompression set to: False
00:00:00.109 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableMacroHLE set to: True
00:00:00.109 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnablePtc set to: True
00:00:00.109 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableInternetAccess set to: False
00:00:00.109 I Configuration LogValueChange: EnableFsIntegrityChecks set to: True
00:00:00.109 I Configuration LogValueChange: FsGlobalAccessLogMode set to: 0
00:00:00.112 I Configuration LogValueChange: AudioBackend set to: SDL2
00:00:00.112 I Configuration LogValueChange: AudioVolume set to: 1
00:00:00.113 I Configuration LogValueChange: MemoryManagerMode set to: HostMappedUnsafe
00:00:00.113 I Configuration LogValueChange: ExpandRam set to: False
00:00:00.113 I Configuration LogValueChange: IgnoreMissingServices set to: False
00:00:00.113 I Configuration LogValueChange: UseHypervisor set to: True
00:00:00.118 N Application PrintSystemInfo: Ryujinx Version: 1.1.841
00:00:00.126 N Application Print: Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10.0.22621 (X64)
00:00:00.126 N Application Print: CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U with Radeon Graphics ; 16 logical
00:00:00.128 N Application Print: RAM: Total 7542 MiB ; Available 3513 MiB
00:00:00.132 N Application PrintSystemInfo: Logs Enabled: Info, Warning, Error, Guest, Stub
00:00:00.132 N Application PrintSystemInfo: Launch Mode: UserProfile
00:00:00.120 I Gpu : Backend Threading (Auto): True
00:00:00.730 N Application LoadApplication: Using Firmware Version: 15.0.1
00:00:00.730 I Application LoadApplication: Loading as NSP.
00:00:00.782 I ModLoader QueryContentsDir: Searching mods for Title 0100F2C0115B6000
00:00:00.783 I ModLoader QueryContentsDir: Searching mods for Title 0100F2C0115B6000
00:00:00.788 I Loader Load: Loading rtld...
00:00:00.802 I Loader PrintRoSectionInfo: rtld:
Module: nnrtld
00:00:00.802 I Loader Load: Loading main...
00:00:01.483 I Loader PrintRoSectionInfo: main:
Module: D:\home\Project\EX-King\App\Rom\NX64\Product_Optimize\code\EX-King.nss
SDK Libraries: SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoWare_Vfx2-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoWare_Font-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoWare_Ui2d-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoWare_G3d2-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoWare_Meshoptimizer_For_MeshCodec-0_15_0-Release
SDK MW+Microsoft+Havok_Cloth-2022_1
SDK MW+Microsoft+Havok_Animation-2022_1
SDK MW+Microsoft+Havok_AI-2022_1
00:00:01.484 I Loader Load: Loading subsdk0...
00:00:01.540 I Loader PrintRoSectionInfo: subsdk0:
Module: multimedia
SDK Libraries: SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoSDK_movie-15_3_1-Release
00:00:01.540 I Loader Load: Loading sdk...
00:00:01.685 I Loader PrintRoSectionInfo: sdk:
Module: nnSdk
FS SDK Version: 15.3.1
SDK Libraries: SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoSDK_libz-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoSdk_nnSdk-15_3_1-Release
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoSdk_BuildTarget-64Bit
SDK MW+Nintendo+NintendoSDK_NVN-15_3_1-Release
00:00:01.895 I Ptc Initialize: Initializing Profiled Persistent Translation Cache (enabled: True).
00:00:07.031 I Ptc Load: Loaded Translation Cache (size: 242744233 bytes, translated functions: 181446).
00:00:07.173 I Ptc Load: Loaded Profiling Info (size: 631273 bytes, profiled functions: 181443).
00:00:07.196 I Loader LoadNsos: Loading image 0 at 0x0000000008000000...
00:00:07.199 I Loader LoadNsos: Loading image 1 at 0x0000000008004000...
00:00:07.386 I Loader LoadNsos: Loading image 2 at 0x000000000c66a000...
00:00:07.404 I Loader LoadNsos: Loading image 3 at 0x000000000cd13000...
00:00:07.448 I ModLoader LoadCheats: Build ids found for title 0100F2C0115B6000:
7501ABFE55FA41CFFEB46BD619BDCBF45B9CAE3A000000000000000000000000
082CE09B06E33A123CB1E2770F5F9147709033DB000000000000000000000000
A6BB7C6FFA9673769FA74ED3D7B054191F25D29C000000000000000000000000
B9046C31EB5D31271BE970FE732D38DF49C6AA21000000000000000000000000
00:00:07.453 I Application EnsureSaveData: Ensuring required savedata exists.
00:00:07.591 I Loader Start: Application Loaded: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom v1.0.0 [0100f2c0115b6000] [64-bit]
00:00:07.602 I GUI.WindowThread Hid Configure: Configured Controller JoyconPair to Player1
00:00:08.429 I GUI.WindowThread Hid SetupNpad: Connected Controller JoyconPair to Player1
00:00:08.508 N GUI.RenderLoop Gpu PrintGpuInformation: ATI Technologies Inc. AMD Radeon(TM) Graphics (4.6.0 Compatibility Profile Context 22.20.44.24.221223)
00:00:08.546 I GPU.MainThread Gpu LoadShaders: Loading 501 shaders from the cache...
00:00:09.992 I GPU.MainThread Gpu LoadShaders: Shader cache loaded.
00:00:13.616 I HLE.GuestThread.21 Ptc LoadTranslations: 181443 translated functions loaded
00:00:13.800 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm GetAppletResourceUserId: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1}
00:00:13.815 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm AcquireForegroundRights: Stubbed.
00:00:13.816 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetFocusHandlingMode: Stubbed. {unknownFlag1: False ; unknownFlag2: False ; unknownFlag3: True}
00:00:13.816 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetOutOfFocusSuspendingEnabled: Stubbed. {outOfFocusSuspendingEnabled: False}
00:00:13.832 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServicePctl Initialize: Stubbed.
00:00:15.803 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetFocusHandlingMode: Stubbed. {unknownFlag1: True ; unknownFlag2: False ; unknownFlag3: True}
00:00:15.803 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetOutOfFocusSuspendingEnabled: Stubbed. {outOfFocusSuspendingEnabled: False}
00:00:15.804 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetRestartMessageEnabled: Stubbed. {restartMessageEnabled: True}
00:00:15.805 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetOperationModeChangedNotification: Stubbed. {operationModeChangedNotification: True}
00:00:15.805 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetPerformanceModeChangedNotification: Stubbed. {performanceModeChangedNotification: True}
00:00:16.224 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv FinishInitialize: Stubbed.
00:00:16.243 I HLE.OsThread.22 SurfaceFlinger CreateLayerFromId: Creating layer 1
00:00:16.246 I HLE.OsThread.22 SurfaceFlinger CreateLayerFromId: Creating layer 2
00:00:16.290 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv InitializeEx: Stubbed.
00:00:16.323 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv GetActiveSlotMask: Stubbed.
00:00:16.436 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv SetNvMapFd: Stubbed.
00:00:16.438 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv AllocGpfifoEx2: Stubbed.
00:00:16.439 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv AllocObjCtx: Stubbed.
00:00:16.441 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv SetErrorNotifier: Stubbed.
00:00:16.442 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv SetUserData: Stubbed.
00:00:16.443 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv SetTimeout: Stubbed.
00:00:16.443 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv SetTimeslice: Stubbed.
00:00:16.448 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv ZcullBind: Stubbed.
00:00:16.510 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAcc InitializeApplicationInfo: Stubbed. {TitleId: 72324500776771584}
00:00:16.515 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAcc IsUserAccountSwitchLocked: Stubbed.
00:00:16.515 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceNs CheckAddOnContentMountStatus: Stubbed.
00:00:16.544 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid ActiveNpadImpl: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1 ; revision: 3}
00:00:16.547 I GUI.WindowThread Hid SetupNpad: Disconnected Controller JoyconPair from Player1
00:00:16.551 W GUI.WindowThread Hid Remap: No matching controllers found. Application requests 'ProController, Handheld, JoyconPair, JoyconLeft, JoyconRight' on 'Player1, Player2, Player3, Player4, Player5, Player6, Player7, Player8, Handheld'
00:00:16.551 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid SetSupportedNpadIdType: Stubbed. 9 Players: Player1,Player2,Player3,Player4,Player5,Player6,Player7,Player8,Handheld
00:00:16.552 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid SetSupportedNpadStyleSet: Stubbed. {pid: 98 ; appletResourceUserId: 1 ; type: ProController, Handheld, JoyconPair, JoyconLeft, JoyconRight}
00:00:16.553 I GUI.WindowThread Hid SetupNpad: Connected Controller JoyconPair to Player1
00:00:18.091 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv ZbcSetTable: Stubbed.
00:00:18.091 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv GetActiveSlotMask: Stubbed.
00:00:24.070 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid ActivateMouse: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1}
00:00:24.080 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid ActivateKeyboard: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1}
00:00:24.328 I HLE.OsThread.6 AudioRenderer AcquireSessionId: Registered new renderer (0)
00:00:24.332 I HLE.OsThread.6 AudioRenderer Initialize: Initializing with REV11
00:00:24.378 I AudioProcessor.Worker AudioRenderer Work: Starting audio processor
00:00:24.379 I AudioRendererManager.Worker AudioRenderer SendCommands: Starting audio renderer
00:00:24.381 I HLE.OsThread.6 AudioRenderer Start: Starting renderer id 0
00:00:24.441 S HLE.OsThread.6 ServiceAudio QueryAudioDeviceOutputEvent: Stubbed.
00:00:24.444 S HLE.OsThread.6 ServiceAudio GetActiveChannelCount: Stubbed.
00:00:24.689 I AudioProcessor.Worker Audio EnsureAudioStreamSetup: New audio stream setup with a target sample count of 240
00:00:25.082 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetOperationModeChangedNotification: Stubbed. {operationModeChangedNotification: True}
00:00:25.083 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetPerformanceModeChangedNotification: Stubbed. {performanceModeChangedNotification: True}
00:00:25.538 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv ZbcSetTable: Stubbed.
00:00:25.538 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv GetActiveSlotMask: Stubbed.
00:00:25.539 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv ZbcSetTable: Stubbed.
00:00:25.539 S HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv GetActiveSlotMask: Stubbed.
00:00:27.605 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm GetMainAppletExpectedMasterVolume: Stubbed.
00:00:27.605 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm GetLibraryAppletExpectedMasterVolume: Stubbed.
00:00:27.606 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetExpectedMasterVolume: Stubbed.
00:00:27.904 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid StartSixAxisSensor: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1 ; sixAxisSensorHandle: 5}
00:00:27.905 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid StartSixAxisSensor: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 1 ; sixAxisSensorHandle: 65541}
00:00:27.955 S HLE.OsThread.6 ServiceAudio GetActiveChannelCount: Stubbed.
00:00:28.154 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: bootup_time
Report: {
"BootupTimeUs": 23498,
"system_report_tag": 2175206328
}

00:00:28.159 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: erepo_region
Report: {
"Region": 1,
"Language": 1,
"StandardTimeName": "UTC",
"UtcOffsetSeconds": 0,
"system_report_tag": 2759414308
}

00:00:28.159 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: erepo_time
Report: {
"ActiveTime": 14,
"UpdatedTime": 0,
"system_report_tag": 2759414308
}

00:00:28.159 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: erepo_playstyle
Report: {
"system_report_tag": 2759414308
}

00:00:28.161 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: erepo_network_status
Report: {
"NetworkInterface": {
"TypeCode": 64,
"Value": "0x00000000000000000000000000000000"
},
"LinkLevel": {
"TypeCode": 65,
"Value": "0x00"
},
"FrequencyBand": {
"TypeCode": 66,
"Value": "0x00000000000000000000"
},
"system_report_tag": 2759414308
}

00:00:28.220 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: erepo_active_beacon
Report: {
"IntervalTime": 0,
"UpdatedTime": 0,
"system_report_tag": 0
}

00:00:31.046 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid SetSupportedNpadStyleSet: Stubbed. {pid: 98 ; appletResourceUserId: 1 ; type: ProController, Handheld, JoyconPair}
00:00:31.048 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid DisconnectNpad: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 4294967296 ; npadIdType: Player2}
00:00:31.048 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid DisconnectNpad: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 4294967296 ; npadIdType: Player3}
00:00:31.048 S HLE.OsThread.9 ServiceHid DisconnectNpad: Stubbed. {appletResourceUserId: 4294967296 ; npadIdType: Player4}
00:00:37.649 W HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv Wait: GPU processing thread is too slow, waiting on CPU...
00:00:38.649 E HLE.OsThread.10 Gpu WaitOnSyncpoint: Wait on syncpoint 1 for threshold 824 took more than 1000ms, resuming execution...
00:00:44.284 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: event_player_start
Report: {
"PlayTime": 3,
"ReleaseVersion": 1296,
"PlayDataUniqueID": 663952521,
"EventInfo": "Dm_OP_0037",
"system_report_tag": 2175206328
}

00:00:44.562 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: event_player_start
Report: {
"PlayTime": 3,
"ReleaseVersion": 1296,
"PlayDataUniqueID": 663952521,
"EventInfo": "Dm_OP_0038",
"system_report_tag": 2175206328
}

00:00:44.894 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetIdleTimeDetectionExtension: Stubbed. {idleTimeDetectionExtension: 1}
00:01:10.891 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: option_data
Report: {
"PlayTime": 3,
"ReleaseVersion": 1296,
"PlayDataUniqueID": 663952521,
"BoolOptions": 1035,
"CameraRotateSpeed": 2,
"DisplayMode": 0,
"MessageWindowTransparency": 0,
"VoiceLanguage": 5,
"Action": 1,
"Cancel": 2,
"Jump": 3,
"Attack": 4,
"SpecialPower": 5,
"Attention": 6,
"Throw": 7,
"Bow": 8,
"PlusMenu": 9,
"MinusMenu": 10,
"SpecialPowerShortcut": 11,
"CompanionShortcut": 13,
"PouchShortcut": 14,
"Whistle": 12,
"Crouch": 25,
"Scope": 33,
"PresetType": 0,
"system_report_tag": 2175206328
}

00:01:10.902 S HLE.OsThread.22 ServiceAm SetIdleTimeDetectionExtension: Stubbed. {idleTimeDetectionExtension: 0}
00:01:17.174 W HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv Wait: GPU processing thread is too slow, waiting on CPU...
00:01:19.718 W HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv Wait: GPU processing thread is too slow, waiting on CPU...
00:01:21.478 I HLE.OsThread.16 ServicePrepo ProcessPlayReport:
PlayReport log:
Kind: Normal
Pid: 98
UserId: 00000000000000010000000000000000
Room: event_player_start
Report: {
"PlayTime": 51500,
"ReleaseVersion": 1296,
"PlayDataUniqueID": 880783166,
"EventInfo": "DmF_SY_SmallDungeon3Arrive",
"system_report_tag": 2175206328
}

00:01:21.802 W HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv Wait: GPU processing thread is too slow, waiting on CPU...
00:01:24.399 W HLE.OsThread.10 ServiceNv Wait: GPU processing thread is too slow, waiting on CPU...
00:01:25.400 E HLE.OsThread.10 Gpu WaitOnSyncpoint: Wait on syncpoint 1 for threshold 2998 took more than 1000ms, resuming execution...
submitted by Pandriant to NewYuzuPiracy [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 05:59 Determination7 An Outcast In Another World (Subtitle: Is 'Insanity' A Racial Trait?) [Fantasy, LitRPG] - Chapter 198 (Book 5 Chapter 24)

Author's Note:
Reddit was having issues when I posted the last chapter, so just in case anyone missed it, the previous chapter (197) starts here.
Also, the next chapter will come out a week from now, on June 5th.

--

Two Days Later
"AMBUSH!"
Rob's eyes snapped open. Panicked shouts were resounding from outside his tent. The first notion that popped into his sleep-addled mind was relief, as an ambush was preferable to the nightmare he'd been having. That sentiment lasted until a distant explosion obliterated the final remnants of his drowsiness, sending him and Keira sprinting out of their tent with weapons in hand.
Chaos awaited them outside. People weren't quite running around like chickens with their heads cut off, but it was close. While the coalition had known that a night attack was possible and prepared themselves accordingly, no one was ever truly ready to be assaulted with spells and Skills as they frolicked through dreamland. Arrows peppered the ground at their feet, the majority landing harmlessly away, although Rob spotted a few soldiers with fresh wounds seeping blood.
He spared a passing glance for the numerous banners the coalition had erected across their campsite. Each one was raised twenty feet high, decorated with lights in order to glow in the dark, and marked with wartime symbols indicating a desire to engage in peaceful negotiations. The Harpies answered by filling the banners with arrow holes and setting many of them on fire. Diplomacy's plan had been doomed from the start.
Kicking his brain into high gear, Rob activated Quick Thinking and sent Messages checking on Riardin's Rangers. His eyes traveled up towards the night sky, seeing a canvas of pure darkness broken up by stars and moonlight. It must have been the dead of midnight or close to it. Arrows were impossible to see coming before they'd already hit the ground, and the only indication of Harpies flying above were the shadows blotting out the stars every so often.
Thankfully, the coalition had planned for this. As if on cue, multiple orbs of brilliant light shot upwards, mages from each faction contributing to the effort. The orbs hung in the sky like floating lighthouses, banishing enough darkness to allow Rob to see what he was dealing with.
A resigned expletive slipped out of his mouth. There had to be at least four hundred of the fuckers up there, maybe five hundred, swarming like a colony of feathered bees. It was the worst-case scenario of what the coalition envisioned – Elnaril sending the maximum number of Harpies he could realistically field without leaving the capital undefended.
How am I supposed to fight them? Rob wondered, asking himself a recurring question that he'd never been able to answer. They can't kill me with piddly arrows and long-range spells, but my allies aren't so durable. Somehow I doubt they'll listen if I tell them to stop being cowards and come fight me in melee range.
All thoughts of attacking were swept aside when the Harpies began dropping a very different projectile towards the coalition base camp. Rob opened and closed his mouth several times, shock suffusing every cell in his body. He recalled the explosion that had awoken him, the moment now disturbingly re-contextualized.
The Harpies were airdropping crates of Firebombs.
"THAT'S COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, YOU LITTLE SHITS!" Rob summoned his own crate from his Bound Items, tore open the cover, and grabbed a Firebomb in each hand. He activated Bulk Up for extra Strength and hurled Firebombs towards the falling crates with the best baseball throws he could muster. One, two, three, four, five, six – the crate's supply rapidly depleted as Rob threw again and again, trying to intercept as many payloads as possible, Keira following his lead. They were joined by coalition archer support, arrows sniping at crates that were out of reach.
Dozens of roaring explosions lit up the sky. While some of the crates had gotten through, most were turned to dust before they could hit the ground, reducing the Harpies' shock-and-awe tactic to an impromptu fireworks display.
Throwing Proficiency Level Increased! 6 → 7
Throwing Proficiency Level Increased! 7 → 8
"THAT'S RIGHT!" Rob whooped. "LEAVE THE KABOOMS TO THE EXPERTS!" He paused, then turned to Keira, looking abashed. "Um...was this my fault? Are they actually copying me?" Please don't tell me I accidentally advanced warfare by a century.
"We can ruminate on that later," Keira answered, skillfully dodging the question. "For now, we should focus on retaliating by any means available."
No sooner had the words left her mouth than a glowing yellow projectile shot up into the sky. Orn'tol's Chain Arrow nicked a Harpy on the edge of their wing – which was all it needed to begin the process. A tenth of a second later, the arrow veered to the right and struck a different Harpy in their stomach. It ripped out and through the other side, taking another ninety-degree turn to spear an unsuspecting Harpy in the back. And so it went, chaining from target-to-target with ruthless efficiency. By the end, twenty Harpies had been struck, eight of them falling out of the sky, unmoving.
Rob saluted the display. "Yeah, I don't have any ranged attacks on that level. I think we'd be better-off guarding the people who do."
They rushed over to where the Fiend mages resided, discovering the group huddled under cover, besieged by a stream of arrows and spells hammering down around them. Rob sent off a quick Message to Vul'to, then jumped in front of an icicle spell that would have gored a Fiend through her neck. "Sup."
"Lord Roy!" The Fiend's jubilation froze when she saw the icicle sticking out of Rob's shoulder. "Are–"
"No time for chitchat. If I cover you, can you fire back?"
After some thought, the mages nodded. Rob gave them a thumbs-up with his left hand and deflected an arrow with his right. He turned his full attention to the projectile storm raining from above, calculating which ones he'd be able to block and which ones he'd need to take on the chin.
The next few minutes became a blur of activity. Arrow. Skill. Arrow. Spell. Spell. Skill. Arrow. Arrow. It never ended. His slow walk towards Harpy Settlement #4 was proving to be an invaluable experience, because he wasn't sure if he could've kept up now without already knowing how to handle a barrage of small projectiles. Even Keira was struggling; while Danger Sense told her where she needed to move, it was reaching a point where she physically couldn't execute the motions fast enough. Rob would've expected the Harpies to lay off once they noticed that he was there to play defense, but if anything, they were attacking more fiercely than before.
Almost as if they held a grudge against him or something.
Outwardly, he was projecting the supreme confidence of a Leader. Inwardly, he was honestly starting to get a bit worried. While he'd only taken about 300 HP of damage, a different resource was beginning to wane: his Stamina. Quick Thinking consumed 3 Stamina for every second it was active. That combined with his constant movement was...tiring. He'd activated Second Wind to restore 35% of his Stamina, but unlike his Vitality-based abilities, this one had a cooldown of 24 hours. In a couple minutes, he might actually need to ask for a short break.
Was that the end of the world? No. Was it embarrassing? Potentially. Leaders weren't supposed to ask for breaks. At least, he thought they weren't. Elatrans could be weird about what constituted a good Leader. Rob was still figuring out when he was supposed to act like an invulnerable pillar versus when he was allowed to be a real person. I miss when I didn't have to care about this sort of thing.
His reputation was saved by Vul'to's timely arrival. The Soul Guardian burst onto the scene in a mad dash, skid to a halt, took a stance, activated Auto-Guard, and proceeded to swat away the Harpies' projectiles as if they were no more than gnats. "I will protect the mages from here on out," he calmly stated. Vul'to's movements flowed like water, his voice showing no sign of exertion as he spoke. "Put your efforts towards an offensive strike."
Rob suppressed a relieved sigh as he deactivated Quick Thinking. "For the record, when our Party inevitably complains about my risk-taking later, I'm going to say that both you and Keira signed off on a Rob Plan."
"You can't be serious," Keira blurted out, panting heavily as she rested. "Our enemies are in the sky. What scheme could you have possibly concocted that would put you at risk?"
Rob hesitated. He was distinctly aware of the mages listening in as they fired spells, devoting a portion of their brainpower to gathering gossip material. Anything he said here would reflect on his status as Leader. That included overly-casual speech and devising schemes that by all rights should get him a one-way ticket to the loony bin.
Then he remembered that allies were dying around him, and he stopped caring so much about what other people thought.
"My usual method for dealing with mobile enemies is Rampage spam," he began to explain. "That isn't viable here. I'd run out of MP long before I reached their altitude, and even if I somehow made it, what then? I can't dodge mid-air. They'd turn me into a pincushion. So here's what I was thinking..."
His explanation was brief. By the time he'd finished, the mages were staring at him with eyes wide as saucers. Keira merely nodded. "Very well. I'll accept it."
"No complaints?"
"You left yourself an escape route. That already makes this plan safer than most." She turned away, gesturing for him to follow. "Let's go find Malika. If I'm not mistaken, she'll be at Orn'tol's side."
It wasn't hard to locate her. They only needed to trace the empowered spells blasting upwards like rocket launchers. Rob did a rough headcount of the Harpies' numbers, estimating that, despite their ambush, the battle wasn't going well for them. Over forty had been felled by Malika's spells, Orn'tol's arrows, and the other coalition mages and archers. The Dwarven riflemen were also putting in work, gunshots echoing as Harpies were struck by blindingly fast projectiles they'd come entirely unprepared for, their race inducted into a new era of war with a baptism of lead and gunpowder.
Conversely, Rob would bet his life savings that not even fifteen coalition members had perished. While he didn't have any proof of this, he knew from experience that basic arrows and mediocre spells lost striking power when fired from a long range. And unlike the Harpies' army consisting of everyone-they-could-get, the coalition soldiers were the elite of each territory. They were tougher, stronger, and had access to superior healing magic. In this instance, quality trumped quantity.
Especially when the quality was so lopsided. As Rob ran, he saw a lightning spear shoot up towards the sky and explode into a ball of electricity, frying a dozen Harpies in an instant. Moments later, the surrounding air seemed to dry out, like a heat wave passing through, as moisture was collected into a towering plume of water. Once it was ready, the plume burst upwards and casually washed away another dozen Harpies as if they were drowned rats.
Sylpeiros and Cyraeneus. Ambush or no ambush, long range or close range – didn't matter. Leaders were terrifying in every scenario.
Rob found Malika and Orn'tol in good spirits. The siblings had a whole squad of Vanguards protecting them, like a pair of pint-sized siege cannons with ground support. "Rob!" Malika exclaimed, the instant she saw him. "MP Potions! Forthwith!"
In a flash of blue mana, he produced three Potions from Spatial Storage. "Your humble servant is here," he remarked, in a tone drier than the air.
"Only three Potions? Bah! Give me more!"
"Your humble servant has no wish to deal with an Archmage with a hangover."
Grumbling, she grabbed the Potions and chugged them like a frat boy on spring break. Rob rated her chugging prowess at a solid 7 out of 10, judging that – while she'd grown considerably – there was still room for improvement.
"Should..." Orn'tol started to say something, then thought better of it. Rob could guess what he was thinking. The boy was worried that they weren't being properly respectful of the situation, joking around in the middle of a warzone where allies were suffering. He'd likely come to the same conclusion as Rob: that letting Malika keep her morale up was more important. "Are we winning?" he instead asked.
"Easily," Rob affirmed. That was never in doubt. It would've taken something going catastrophically wrong for them to be in danger of losing. In reality, today's battle was just another leg in the extended marathon that the coalition was running. Rather than obsessing over a transient victory that was all but guaranteed, they needed to minimize casualties so that taking the Harpy capital was a feasible prospect. That meant being careful, guarding their back lines, and only attacking when it was safe.
Oh, and crushing the Harpies so that they wised up and retreated.
"I am...concerned," Orn'tol admitted. "The Harpies should have been aware of our strength. Yet by the end of this night, unless they soon retreat, their losses will mount in the hundreds. Why waste so much life?"
Rob narrowed his eyes at the sky. "Couple possibilities. Elnaril could be screwing around. Blights think that wasting life is absolutely hilarious. He is part Leader, though, so I can't imagine he'd be quite that frivolous with his resources. With that in mind, I don't think the Harpies are going to fight to the last man – they probably came here intending to thin our numbers and skedaddle. Severe losses would prevent us from being able to seize the capital. Their initial Firebomb barrage could've potentially done that on its own."
"And it failed."
"Sure did. Now they're stuck trying to do it the old-fashioned way." Rob shrugged. "They might have a backup plan. If so, we'll handle it, no worries." He faced Malika. "Speaking of plans, I've got one. Do you mind holding onto some MP for me?"
She opened her mouth to respond – then froze, her head turning sideways. Rob followed Malika's gaze towards the Gellin encampment, his brow furrowing at what he saw. All thirty Gellin were exiting their tents in near-perfect unison. They reminded Rob of a collection of wind-up animatronics, with movements that weren't entirely synchronized and robotic, yet also weren't dissimilar enough to appear fully lifelike. As the Gellin drifted forward, moonlight mixed with the light emanating from the mages' sun orbs, bathing them in an almost ethereal glow.
A small shiver crept up Rob's spine. He didn't know why, but something about the situation was giving him the heebie-jeebies. Maybe it was because he'd never seen a Gellin awake at this hour before. He'd gone on more than one midnight walk to clear his head after a bout of nightmares, and while he'd met the occasional Fiend, Dwarf, Elf, or Merfolk, the Gellin were always sequestered in their tents.
His shiver crawled up to the back of his neck, making its little hairs stand on end as a thrum of mana built within the Gellin. Even Rob's meager Sense Mana could feel it. Thirty Gellin had joined into three Mage Circles, linking their power, creating...something. A force. An aura. It lacked physical form, yet felt no less threatening than one of Sylpeiros' lightning spears.
The space above them seemed to shimmer, as if viewed through a lightly-smudged eyeglass. Virtually invisible if you weren't paying close attention.
Or if you were flying hundreds of feet in the air.
The Harpies didn't try to avoid it. They didn't even know it was there. Lightning spears and plumes of water were obvious. Flashy. The Gellins' something simply wafted upwards, like rising heat, until it reached the sky and engulfed a multitude of Harpies in a devouring fog.
Piercing screams cut through the din of warfare.
The affected Harpies reacted in different ways. Some went still as statues. Some writhed as if electrocuted. Some began attacking invisible enemies. But regardless of how they reacted, they all fell, and they all screamed.
Rob covered his ears. It was the worst sound he'd heard since Elnaril laughed at him through a Message Crystal. The battlefield didn't completely grind to a halt, but it definitely slowed, with both the attackers and defenders needing to process what the fuck just happened.
"Was that Mind Magic?" Malika whispered, her bravado gone and vanished.
"It appears so," Keira quietly answered.
"I...did not know it could do that."
"Neither did I."
After shaking his head to reset his thoughts, Rob stepped back from everyone, ensuring that he was out of their line of sight. Much as he wanted to take a breather, he couldn't. The Harpies were reeling – this was a perfect opportunity to execute his plan.
He just needed to finish the prepwork. Hefting his longsword, Rob turned it around and pointed it at his heart.
And paused.
My hands are shivering, he realized. Why are my hands shivering? I've done this before. He willed his hands to stay still, nearly snarling when they failed to cooperate. This is a waste of time. Don't be a fucking bitch, Rob. Just lie back and think of England.
Stab.
Stab.
Stab.
Lifesurge.
Living Bomb ready.
Rob used Spatial Storage to switch his clothes for an unbloodied ensemble, then tapped Malika on her shoulder. "Do you have enough MP for a big wind spell?"
She blinked, jolted out of her reverie. "Oh. Um, yes. Why?"
He told her of his plan. A broad grin split across her face, transitioning into an excited cackle. "You're a madman. Let's do that straight away."
As Malika charged her spell, Rob attached a Waymark point to the ground, then summoned the Dwarven Sheet Metal from his Bound Items. Keira, Orn'tol, and the Vanguards spread out to give them some space. The Vanguards were looking on in awe; Rob could only hope that they'd enjoy the show.
"We have to time this just right," he told Malika. "Fire the spell on three. Understand?" She nodded so hard that she probably gave herself whiplash. Rob placed his longsword in Storage, holding the Sheet Metal with both hands.
"One." Malika held onto her spell, ready to unleash the fury of an Archmage with a cause.
"Two." Rob leaped into the air, positioning the Sheet Metal under his feet like a surfboard.
"Three!"
A miniaturized tornado slammed into the Sheet Metal, propelling Rob up, up, and away. He lost his balance pretty much immediately, tumbling onto the Sheet as wind pressure buffeted him without mercy. His ascent skyward was so sudden and so jarring that he was actually surprised when he came face-to-face with a Harpy. The two of them exchanged bewildered stares. Rob felt tempted to say a variant of one of the classics, like 'You come here often?'
Then he remembered why he was there.
This was it. No going back. Justified or necessary or otherwise, once he activated Living Bomb, he will have spilled Harpy blood on Harpy soil. There was a sense of finality to it that almost made him hesitate.
Almost.
"I wish you'd stayed home," Rob muttered. The Harpy's survival instincts kicked in, his wings flapping in a hurry, yet it was already too late. You couldn't outrun a thought.
Living Bomb.
The world became obscured by flame, heat, and noise. Rob wasn't sure how many Harpies he'd caught in the blast radius, but the EXP infusing his soul informed him that it was more than a few. Without waiting, he cast Rampage to push himself out of the Bomb's center, then Waymarked to safety so that the Harpies couldn't take revenge after the Bomb faded. The Rampage movement was a necessity; he wasn't taking any chances that using Waymark while in the middle of the Bomb might somehow bring it back with him.
His feet now on solid ground, Rob was treated to an awe-inspiring spectacle. A colossal sphere of fire hung above, like the core of an angry sun, its surface twisting with unbridled energy. The sound it emitted was one long, continuous, ear-splitting explosion, as if the Bomb was a sentient creature noisily lamenting the ones who'd escaped its grasp. This was the first time Rob had seen his Skill from an outside perspective, and in that instant, he truly understood why it was so effective at shattering morale.
As it did now. Living Bomb rapidly faded, but by then the Harpies were already in retreat. The one-two punch of the Gellins' mind attack and a giant fuckoff explosion had doubled their casualties in a matter of seconds. Even if that combo hadn't broken their spirits, not withdrawing at this point would be tantamount to suicide.
Rob allowed his shoulders to relax as a collective sigh of relief passed through the coalition. Their battle was over. Victory was – Wait, what's up with that guy?
Relief gave way to confusion as they noticed a figure in the distance sprinting towards them. It was an...Elf? One of Sylpeiros' Scouts? As everyone watched, the Elf in question passed straight under the fleeing Harpies, neither faction looking at each other as they traveled in opposite directions. The sight was borderline surreal, adding another obstacle to the emotional gamut that Rob was still running. Maybe I can go to bed and pretend I didn't see anything.
Plausible deniability was taken from him a moment later, when the Elf got within range of the coalition's Heightened Senses and started bellowing at the top of his longs. "MONSTERS! PACK OF MONSTERS AND BEASTS! LEVEL 50 AND ABOVE!"
His declaration just left them more confused. There was no such thing as a pack of high-Leveled monsters roaming the surface of Elatra. At first Rob thought that a Dungeon had grown for too long and was beginning to overflow, but the truth ended up being far stranger.
"About...thirty...monsters and animals," the Elf Scout wheezed, once he'd gotten close and could speak in full sentences. "Coming this way. Some are...natural-born. Beasts who've lived for centuries. Others are monsters. Used Identify. Think they...were plucked from Dungeons."
Everyone glanced at Sylpeiros, an unspoken message in their eyes: "He's your Scout. You sort out this mess." The Seneschal put on a deep scowl, somehow managing to direct it at over a dozen people simultaneously. Once he was sure they'd received the full force of his ire, he composed his features and turned towards the exhausted Scout.
"While I don't doubt your words, what you've described is nonsensical. Setting aside how such an eclectic group of creatures was brought together...monsters and natural-born animals are hardly allies. They'd rip each other to pieces under normal circumstances. Animals from differing species would be at odds as well."
"I am merely reporting what I've seen. In one such example, I witnessed an enormous bat flying alongside a misshapen creature of mana that could only have been spawned within the depths of a high-Level Dungeon."
"Are the animals infected?" Rob asked. "This sort of thing happened back when The Village of Ixatan Forest was invaded. Animals got possessed by the Blight."
The Scout paused, searching through his memories – or rather, his log of system notifications. "Yes. An 'Infected' Status Effect appeared when I Identified the animals. Until you provided context, I was unaware of what that implied."
As Sylpeiros continued speaking with the Scout, Rob stopped to think, constructing a timeline of events. This pack of high-Level creatures couldn't have been assembled on short notice. It must've been years in the making, Elnaril searching Harpy territory with a fine-tooth comb, scooping up wildlife and plundering Dungeons.
Rob resisted the urge to shake his fist at the sky. When Kismet warned him that Elnaril had 'strong creatures' to use, it would've been nice to have some extra fucking details. Vague omnipotent asshole.
Anyway. Elnaril corrals his Pokemon, then prepares to ambush the coalition along with his Harpies. Except...the timing went wrong. Or maybe the position? Controlling that many powerful creatures couldn't be easy. Like attempting to drive thirty cars at the same time. It was probably why the coalition hadn't been ambushed until now – Elnaril was waiting for them to get closer. Regardless, the plan was likely supposed to be the Harpies attacking in tandem with the monsters...but the bombing run largely failed, and the monsters were late to the party.
Rob grimaced as he realized how much of the coalition's victory came down to blind luck. Elnaril's plan was unsuccessful due to logistical issues on his side, not because of any stratagem on the coalition's part. If the Harpies had successfully used their pets as distractions, unloading crates of Firebombs while high-Level creatures ran amok through the battlefield...
The coalition still would have won. But their casualties would've been enormous. Enough to make invading the capital untenable.
Everyone else came to the same conclusion as they listened to the Scout's tale. Sylpeiros remained silent for a time, looking more pensive than someone might expect from a Leader who'd just prevailed in battle. "We shall discuss areas of improvement at a later date," he said, sighing. "How long until the monsters arrive?"
"Roughly four minutes."
Sylpeiros drummed his fingers on his thigh. "While we could swarm the monsters with superior numbers, the vast majority of our soldiers are unsuited for combating enemies over Level 50. The monster will fall, but not before inflicting casualties. Instead, I propose that myself, Cyraeneus, and Riardin's Rangers go forth and hold the line. The rest of our soldiers will defend base camp, kept out of harm's way, firing projectiles at whichever beasts draw near."
He frowned. "Even so, thirty monsters above Level 50 aren't so easily repelled. They may be able to fly, or have carapaces that blunt conventional attacks. It would be best if the entire lot focuses on our group, but some will choose to bypass the front line in favor of assaulting the coalition base camp. Casualties are inevitable."
"No. They aren't."
Rob stepped forward, walking in the direction the Scout had come from. A familiar swell of anticipation built within him. "Counter-proposal. I go. Alone. You all stay and deal with whoever slips past."
Numerous opposing voices exploded in unison. Rob countered them with an explosion of his own, summoning a crate of Firebombs and chucking it into the distance. The faint BOOM bought him a moment of stunned silence.
"No bullshitting," he said, fixing them with an intent gaze. "You want to minimize casualties? This is how we do it. Base camp will be vulnerable without high-Level people to protect it. Hell, some of you might die if you try to 'hold the line' in the middle of an open field. It only takes one screwup to get your head bitten off, and the monsters outnumber us. But me?"
With a flourish, Rob summoned his longsword and activated Step of the Wind. "They. Can't. Kill. Me."
He was off before anyone could raise another protest. None of them followed, perhaps sensing something in his voice indicating that it would be a bad idea. Just as well – Rob would've physically thrown back anyone who tried.
No one else needed to risk their lives today.
It only took him three minutes of running at full speed to locate the monster stampede. They were impossible to miss; a menagerie of oversized animals and abominations with the strength to depopulate a city. For almost anyone else in Elatra, the sight would have filled them with the dread of someone who knew their death was imminent, and that they could do nothing to stop the reaper's scythe from swinging.
Rob waved. The monsters screeched when they saw him, letting out a symphony that could be graciously described as hideous. Music to my ears. Out of curiosity, he cast Identify on the first one in line to die.
Name: Lord of the CavesLevel: 57Race: Blighted BatStatus Effects: Infected, ThirstyDescription: An existence well above Ixatan's Lord of the Forest that nearly killed you three times over. Gee, I wonder what happens now that you're 70 Levels higher and with pent-up resentment towards big beasties? Play nice, Rob, or you'll break your toys.
"Sorry, but breaking them is the fun part." Inwardly, Rob sent thanks to Elnaril for delivering him a herd of acceptable targets to use as living stress balls. After the unpleasantness of being forced to kill his first non-Blighted Harpies, this was a golden opportunity to let loose – and he was going to make damn good use of it.
The monsters drew closer. Any second now, the carnage would commence. Elation and certainty mingled within him, letting him know that he was in his element. He emptied his mind of worries, soaking in the view. There were no war strategies, allied casualties, or moral quandaries to concern himself with.
Just him, and his prey.
Rampage. Rob flew upwards towards the Lord of the Caves. It was a freakish behemoth of a bat, its head as large as a man's body. The creature sank its fangs into Rob's torso, biting down as if four longswords were piercing through him, vital organs shredded to confetti.
637 Piercing Damage Sustained!
It tickled. Rob completed his swing, landing a direct hit on the Lord's head. He didn't activate any additional offensive abilities, because he didn't need to. Blood for Blood increased his damage based on his missing HP. Rampage highly increased the damage of his next attack. Headsman increased his damage by 25% when attacking an enemy's head. Bone Breaker doubled the damage he dealt to an enemy's bone structure.
With all those passive effects stacking onto each other, the bat's neck was almost severed in one clean stroke. Thanks to Lifesteal, Rob immediately recovered most of his lost HP, like nothing had ever happened. Despite the bat's head hanging by threads, it stubbornly clung to life for a few moments longer – but only a few.
Swordsmanship Level Increased! 9 → 10
One down. Plenty to go. Rob pivoted to the next-closest monster, a gargantuan bear that reminded him of an Ixatan beast that had caved his chest in, once upon a time. Emboldened by nostalgia, he put a bit more oomph into his next attack, stacking Rampage, Power Slash, and Imbue Vitality.
The bear's outer hide was abnormally tough, similar to a Vanguard's armor. That mattered up until the point Rob broke the skin, after which Imbue Vitality's quadruple damage effect savaged the beast from within, its insides reduced to crimson mush.
Level Increased! 84 → 85
5 Stat Points Gained!
BERSERKER Level Increased! 82 → 83
An apelike creature with distended arms leaped ahead of the rest of the pack, enormous hands wrapping around Rob before he could dodge. It let out a warbling bellow, squeezing down with enough pressure to bend steel. Rob's bones, durable as they were, started to crack.
Vitamin D(efense) Level Increased! 10 → 11
Cute. He flicked on the Flames of Vengeance, azure fire covering his body. A grin spread over Rob's face as the beast shrieked and let go. "No, no, we were having a moment. Don't hide from your emotions." Rampaging forward, he jumped on the ape's head and gave it a big ole' hug. The shrieks intensified, mighty fists pounding at his body, fracturing more bones in a desperate attempt to dislodge him.
It was all for naught. The ape's struggles slowed, then ceased, its brain cooked from the inside like spaghetti in a microwave.
Pyromania Level Increased! 2 → 3
The next one on the chopping block was an honest-to-god giant spider. Rob shivered as he summoned a crate of Firebombs and promptly Riardin Special'd the skittering menace into the hereafter. Arachnophobia's 300% damage bonus against spiders combined with Pyromania's 30% fire damage bonus – well, 40% now – meant that it lasted about two seconds before crumbling like a pile of chitinous kindling.
Good riddance. Monsters and abominations were one thing. Spiders...ugh.
Rob checked back the way he'd come from, narrowing his eyes when he saw that a couple monsters had skirted past him while he dealt with their friends. He chased after something that must've been birthed in a Dungeon on a bender, its body comprised of flying limbs and harsh edges that hurt to look at if he stared for too long.
The floating Picasso painting in monster form suddenly whirled around, aiming multiple sharpened points at Rob's head, neck, eyes, heart, and liver. It was a phenomenally well-executed attack that would have been the envy of any Combat Class user.
Unfortunately, Picasso had chosen the one target in the world that could turn lethality into a detriment. With a thought, Rob deactivated all of his defensive Skills, then activated Dauntless Reprisal, reflecting the damage of five grievous blows back onto the creature. It collapsed into itself, twitching on the ground, silently pleading for mercy as a longsword ended its suffering.
Swordsmanship Level Increased! 10 → 11
As Rob reactivated his defensive Skills and chose his next target, something in the monsters' attitudes shifted. Several of them went from stampeding ahead to turning towards him on a dime. Their movements were stiff and jerky, as if puppeteered by an unseen force.
"Hi Elnaril!" Rob twirled his longsword. "Hope you don't mind me Old Yeller-ing your pets here. I'm sad to say that you didn't train them prop–"
The creatures pounced in unison. Claws and fangs savaged Rob's from head to toe, tearing off limbs and pulling apart flesh. A good chunk of his body mass disappeared in seconds.
Platelet Party Level Increased! 20 → 21
1021 Combined Damage Sustained!
"Wow, that's a lot of damage." Rob grinned, blood dripping from the corners of his mouth. "On an unrelated note, guess what Skill just came off cooldown?"
BOOM.
Level Increased! 85 → 86
5 Stat Points Gained!
BERSERKER Level Increased! 83 → 84
BERSERKER Level Increased! 84 → 85
Rob stood in the center of a crater. Living Bomb had ripped the ground open like scooping ice cream. He was once again back to full health, Lifesteal having converted 50% of the damage he'd dealt into HP.
And he'd dealt a lot of damage.
"It's like I said," he whispered, to nothing in particular. "They can't kill me. When I put my mind to it, I'm a better monster than they could ever hope to be."
The thought didn't distress him like it would have back home on Earth. It wasn't so bad, being a monster to monsters. Kept his friends alive, put food on the table...there were worse careers, he supposed.
Rob jumped out of the crater, searching for new targets. Living Bomb wasn't nearly large enough to take out all of them at once. He set his eyes on a fleeing wyvern and gave chase. As the gap closed, he checked his available Skills, and oh would you look at that, Imbue Vitality was off cooldown now.
Swordsmanship Level Increased! 11→ 12
One monster fell. Then another. Then another. Rob alternated his Skills, rotating between whatever abilities were available.
Swordsmanship Level Increased! 12→ 13
More creatures tried ganging up on him. It didn't work.
Platelet Party Level Increased! 21 → 22
Headsman! 4 → 5
He sliced and cut and Firebombed everything in his path.
Pyromania Level Increased! 3 → 4
Until eventually...
Level Increased! 86 → 87
5 Stat Points Gained!
BERSERKER Level Increased! 85 → 86
There was nothing left.
Rob found himself surrounded by a pile of mangled corpses. He tried counting to see if he could reach thirty, then gave up. Too many mixed-up body parts. It was likely that a couple monsters had gotten past him, so he'd just have to hope for the best.
His prayers were answered when he arrived back at base camp. A wide smile split across Rob's face as he counted a mere six monster corpses littered around the outskirts. They hadn't even gotten close. Most importantly, there wasn't a single allied corpse anywhere in sight.
Zero casualties.
Everyone was staring at him with various looks on their faces. Rob didn't bother trying to decipher all of them. They could think whatever they wanted to think – results were what mattered. The coalition may have lost some soldiers in the Harpy attack, but from the monster stampede?
Zero goddamn casualties.
Rob took a bow, then went straight for his tent. He wasn't going to find a better note to sleep on than this. His consciousness faded the moment he closed his eyes.
And the nightmares didn't dare to come for him.

--

Changes, Character Sheet, Skill List
Thanks for reading!
submitted by Determination7 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 03:49 The_dots_eat_packman [Railroad Preservation] People have been debating what color a defunct railroad painted its steam locomotives longer than I’ve been alive.

This post expands on a comment I made in last week's scuffle thread about a multi-decade disagreement about what color the now-defunct Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) used to paint its steam locomotives and by extension, what color the 491, a now-restored locomotive operating at the Colorado Railroad Museum (CRM), should have been painted during her restoration. Tie a red bandanna around your neck, grab some popcorn, and sit back for a two-for-one hobby history and drama.
First, four short disclosures. One, I am associated with CRM, but I did not participate in the restoration of 491. Second, I have no preference what color 491 should be, I'm just glad she’s running. Third, this is US-centric, because I'm not going to eat up word count clarifying international differences every paragraph. Fourth, 491 uses she/her pronouns. That’s not woke, it's historically accurate. Deal with it, you friggin’ lopsided, melting snowflake.
Before we get to the drama, let’s get a bit of context and background. The D&RGW railroad was founded in 1870 and eventually became a part of Union Pacific in the 1990s. D&RGW built and operated routes in the US states of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. For a long time, these tracks were among the very few ways to easily travel west of Denver and through the Rocky Mountains. Those corridors were, and still continue to be, foundational parts of the US rail network.
Over time, D&RGW became renowned around the world for operating in some of the most beautiful but technically difficult terrain in North America. The passenger trains themselves became destinations, and the mountainous routes fascinated historians, railroad photographers, and model railroaders. Seriously--just look at this train going up a mountain like a goat. In addition, the railroad was notable for operating an extensive network of "narrow gauge" tracks—the rails were 3' apart instead of the standard 4' 8.5". Without getting too far into the technical weeds, narrow gauge worked better than standard in mountainous terrain.
Another thing that made the D&RGW a darling among railroad enthusiasts is that while they got rid of the steam locomotives on its mainline tracks in late 1940s or early 50s, just like most other railroads did, they kept on chuggin' down the narrow gauge tracks until 1968. To put that in perspective, that's the year the White Album came out, and the year that Planet of the Apes and Night of the Living Dead were released. 1968 was the year before Woodstock and Apollo 11, and only 15 years before the Internet was invented.
1968, in other words, is incredibly recent. It is within the lifespan of some of you reading this post. It should be kept in mind that when we talk about the D&RGW and the 491’s service life, those things, while distant, have not yet faded into history. There are many still-living people who worked on this railroad, operated specific pieces of equipment, and saw it around their communities. There are far more people who had a father, grandfather, uncle, or other relative involved in this industry. We aren’t discussing events in the distant past, and the people who care about this aren’t just hyper-fixated on arcane details of history. For many people, the presence of this railroad, and the continued preservation of its remnants, are intensely personal.
Before we move on, let's take a moment to get some additional context on how railroads used color on their equipment. Today, you might notice that most railroads have a set "livery" that they paint on their locomotives. (UP yellow, BNSF orange, CSX blue, ect.) Prior to about 1900, steam locomotives were just as colorful, and were often decorated with elaborate trimmings made of polished metal. This is actually where the idiom "all the bells and whistles" comes from. Most toys, clip art pictures, and children's television programs depict locomotives from this era.
However, after roughly1900, the appearance of most steam locomotives became far more utilitarian. The Victorian maximalist style started to fall out of favor across the board, especially after the wars, and most railroads in the US accordingly preferred unembellished equipment. Now, their locomotives were most often painted black with minimal amounts of gray, white, or silver trimming.
By about 1900, railroads companies had also noodled out that keeping a brightly colored and decorated locomotive clean enough that it didn't reflect poorly on the company required a lot of labor. Remember, these machines— this is worth harping on both because it's going to be a plot point in a little bit and because modern readers might not fully grasp what “steam power” means—are ON FIRE AT ALL TIMES WHILE OPERATING. A very messy chain of events results from this intrinsic property:
1.Where there’s fire, there’s smoke.
  1. Where there’s smoke and exhaust steam going out the same smokestack, there is the creation of a thick, jet-black sludge of train-dirt.
  2. The smokestack belching train-dirt is attached to a locomotive that is usually moving forward, which means that cancerous inky puke blows back onto any and every part of the locomotive situated behind the smokestack.
If anything on the locomotive isn’t painted black, in other words, it will very quickly become black unless it is being cleaned almost daily. Since corporate penny-pinching is always historically accurate, most railroads did the math and realized it was better for their bottom line to paint things the same color as train-dirt than it was to pay people to clean up train-dirt.
There were some exceptions to this preference. Often, railroads painted passenger locomotives to distinguish them from freight locomotives or to fit into the paint scheme used for every piece of equipment on a specific train. Two good extant and operable examples of colorful locomotives are the Southern Pacific 4449 and the Norfolk & Western 611. Other railroads preferred colorful, but very dark shades of paint for at least some of their locomotives. One of those railroads just so happened to be the D&RGW: There's documented evidence that instead of using black, they painted some of their locomotive a shade of dark green. For the curious, it is approximately hex code 1E3D0E.
Speaking of D&RGW, let's jump back to the 1960s and introduce the specific steam locomotive at the center of this drama: D&RGW no. 491. For you nerds—you know who you are—she is a K-37 Class superheated, outside-frame, 2-8-2 Mikado. She and nine other K-37s were built in-house by the D&RGW in 1928. 491 was taken out of revenue service in 1963.
As an aside, it was actually really rare for railroads to build their own steam locomotives. D&RGW decided to do this because of an entirely different historical drama which, though at the time was complex enough to max out the character limits of gossipy telegrams, can with hindsight be briefly summarized as:
Baldwin Locomotive Works: "Fuck you, pay me."
D&RGW: "NO."
Luckily for the K-37s, by the time they were taken out of service, there had emerged a very dedicated coalition of people actively working to preserve steam power in general and Colorado’s unique railroad history specifically. They were resoundingly successful: All but 8 of the 10 K-37 locomotives, and numerous examples of many other classes, were saved. All tolled, there are about 15 former D&RGW steam locomotives in operable condition or being considered for restoration at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec railroad, and the Colorado Railroad Museum. Additionally, most of the heritage railroads in Colorado operate on routes decommissioned by the D&RGW.
Two of the K-37s—the 491 and the 493—have been restored to operating condition. The 491 got her second lease on life at CRM in the early 2000s-2010s, and the Durango & Silverton returned the 493 to service in 2020.
While D&S made some purposeful modifications to 493 to render her more suited to 21st century operation, CRM set out with the goal of restoring 491 as close to historically accurate condition as possible. They were in fact contractually bound to do so, since the museum had applied and received significant funding from the Colorado State Historical Fund, and the terms of that grant required that any change made to the locomotive would have to be backed up by records or photographs preserved from her days in revenue service.
That should be easy, right? We just talked about those revenue days that were very recent, didn't we? Hit the independent and the automatic brake, and throw on a handbrake just for good measure, because historical accuracy can be VERY tricky for railroad preservation.
Given that, the revenue service life of most pieces of equipment was, on average, about 40 years, many have been overhauled or significantly modified while in service. Others have been subjected to "Red Green this thing out of my shop and get it back on the mainline" types of repairs that, while technically accurate to the period, were not the typical or best practice and are inappropriate in a preservation setting.
There are, in other words, sometimes multiple and equally well documented versions of “historically accurate,” and it becomes a matter of opinion as to which one is best to recreate. Because of the very powerful personal connections to the equipment we discussed earlier, those opinions are often VERY passionate. It's at this point where we FINALLY where we get to the meat of this drama, because the restoration of the 491 put one specific question in the crossfires of that passion:
What color did the D&RGW paint the 491 and, more importantly, what color should CRM paint her?
Most people assumed that since the 491 showed up at the museum painted almost all black and silver, she would be painted the same way during her restoration. However, given that she had been in service for 35 years, it was possible that she had been repainted at least once or twice. In fact, for a long time, and I mean longer that the internet has even been around long, there has been a dogged faction of people who that believed the 491 operated at least some of her revenue service with her boiler jacket(a thin, metal sheet that holds insulation against the boiler and protects the boiler itself from the elements) painted dark green. As evidence, they pointed to old shop records, a few eyewitness testimonies, and cans of paint found in various facilities. This faction made it known that they wished the 491 to be painted green, and those who preferred black or thought black was better documented raised their objections.
It should have been easy to figure out which color was 'correct,' right? Didn’t you say there are records? There are, but the catch is that while those records amount to a pretty good body of evidence that the D&RGW used green paint at some point, on some of its locomotives, they don't provide a comprehensive record of exactly which locomotives were painted what color at what time. There’s nothing substantive that the 491 herself was painted green.
The next best bet, you'd think, would be to look at photographs. Unfortunately, this isn't reliable. Most of the revenue service photographs of the 491 and her sisters are in black and white, and it is difficult to conclusively determine which colors are being depicted, especially when they are very similar like black and the shade of green in question. Team Green indicated that some pictures render the boiler jacket in slightly lighter shades of gray, meaning it must be a different color, and Team Black counters that the difference might be due to shadows or that paint being more glossy than what was used on other components. Besides, they say, if 491 had been painted green, wouldn't more people REMEMBER her that way? Team Green has a hand answer for that, too: The K-37s simply spent most of their service lives too dirty for the green paint to be seen. That sounds like a stupid ass-pull of an answer, but until we cleaned her up a few weeks ago, I genuinely forgot that 491 was (spoiler alert) painted green.
For YEARS, this was such a hot debate that it probably could have raised 491 up to operating pressure. Some of the source threads I’ve linked to are from the early 2000s—note that many of them mention discussing this issue in the 80s and 90s—and this debate was brought up in pre-internet railfan publications and correspondences. It came to a head when, in the process of the restoration, staff at CRM found flecks of green paint while inspecting and cleaning 491 for restoration. The samples were collected, compared against known samples, and shown to people who were familiar with 491 and other D&RGW locomotives while in service. This exhaustive, almost forensic investigation proved that the 491 had, in fact, been painted green, so proponents of a black boiler jacket revised their position in the face of new evidence.
Just kidding of course.
While there was no question that CRM's restoration of 491 was very well done, there was, and is, a lot of grousing about whether those paint flecks were enough to prove that she was ever painted green. Some say that they were not present in great enough quantities to prove definitively that the paint came from the 491 or to determine exactly what parts of the locomotive had been painted that color.
Others point out that while the 491 and her sisters were built by the D&RGW, the railroad used boilers that had been assembled by Baldwin Locomotive Works earlier than 1928. Unless their customers requested otherwise, Baldwin painted the locomotives and parts it produced green as a default. The presence of the flakes, this opinion states, is only proof that the boiler was painted green at some point, not that it was painted green while it was part of 491.
The complicating factor is that Baldwin appears to have been very inconsistent with how they mixed up their “Baldwin Green:” Sometimes it was a very dark emerald. Other times, as with some paint on the tender 100% established to be Baldwin Green, it is an almost tan shade of olive green. Since we don’t have extant representations of all of those variations, the counterargument goes, we can’t definitively rule out that the boiler jacket samples came from Baldwin.
The most vehement of the anti-green coalition imagined a full-tilt, “Red Alert, folks, Andi in Kansas, you're on the air” level conspiracy about where the paint chips actually came from. They propose that they might have been, *ahem,* conveniently put there by someone who definitely wasn’t a D&RGW employee and who most certainly was not working on the 491 between 1928 and 1963. I don’t want to say much on this, because these folks just won’t be convinced, but that opinion is out there.
Who was convinced that the chips were good evidence, though, was the State Historical Fund, which approved changing the color of 491's boiler jacket to green. That’s how she is to this very day. There’s still some grousing that the she should have been painted black, and the broader debate about exactly which members of the D&RGW fleet was painted green is still a point of contention among narrow gauge railroad enthusiasts. I want to stress again that even though this drama might seem overwrought, most of it comes from a heartfelt dedication to preserving things “correctly,” and very personal reasons to prefer a certain version of “correct.”
I’m going to end this post, though, by saying this: It doesn't really matter what color the 491 actually is, because we also strive for historical accuracy in how often we wipe her down.
Finally, if you ever get a chance to visit the museums or heritage railroads mentioned here or others that weren't relevant, please by all means do so! There are many people working as hard as they can to keep this history alive, and we can always use your support, advocacy, and patronage.

Source
Another source
Third source
submitted by The_dots_eat_packman to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 03:08 Lolasglasses To help with the Sunday Scaries, Marcus Pike sexy A-Z. I wrote this during quarantine in NYC. Please feel free to judge me.

A = Aftercare (what they’re like after sex) Marcus is content to stay inside you after you both orgasm, but when he finally slips out of you, he grabs a warm washcloth to sweetly clean you up so you don’t have to do the awkward walk to the bathroom. When you do get up to pee, he’ll find your panties for you in the sheets at the bottom of the bed, just in case you want to wear them while you sleep. If he’s planning a special evening, he’ll fill up the bath with steaming hot water in advance, and lead you to the tub afterwards for soothing warmth and soft kisses and caresses. He knows he’s big, so he’s always concerned about whether you’re in discomfort after sex, and he’ll offer extra cuddles and soft strokes over your entrance if you’re feeling sore. If you’re at his house, he keeps an extra blanket in his bedroom to throw over you before you fall asleep, because he sleeps warm but knows you get chilly. And of course, he sleep-cuddles with you all night long, making you feel safe and secure.
B = Body part (their favorite body part of theirs and also their partner’s) First, your hands. He loves holding your hand, playing with it, feeling that connection with you. He is fascinated with how tiny your hands are compared to his, and you love how he holds your hand during mundane everyday moments, like walking to dinner, riding the metro, or simply sitting together on the couch while you read or watch TV. He loves your skin in general, how soft you are, how good you smell. He softly rubs his fingers over you when you cuddle together on his couch, like you are his source of comfort. But he is also a boob man, and nothing gets him going like seeing a glimpse of your cleavage or a taut nipple through thin fabric. The first time he took your bra off, he couldn’t stop holding you in his big hands, thumbing your nipples, suckling your soft skin. If you are going on a special date, you’ll purposefully wear a shirt or dress that shows off your chest, then tease him when he flushes stealing glances at you.
C = Cum (anything to do with cum, basically) Marcus is all about intimacy, so he loves finishing inside you. At first you used condoms, but after getting tested, you both agreed to go without, and the first time he was able to cum in you without any barrier, he was so turned on by the feeling of filling you with his cum, he got hard again before even pulling out. You love giving him an intimate lingam massage, and at the last moment, when you see him start to pulse, take him into your mouth and swallow as he cums down your throat. He almost passed out the first time he experienced this with you, and now it’s your favorite way to make him feel special. But, for everyday intimacy, he still loves finishing in you and staying inside to savor your tight warmth, gently stroking and kissing all the soft parts of you he can reach.
D = Drunk (what they’re like when they’ve been drinking) Believe it or not, Marcus gets even MORE affectionate when he’s been drinking. If you’re home, he’s pulling you onto his lap and whispering sweet adorations in your ear while his hands stroke your arms and legs and ass. If you’re in public, his hand is running up your leg under the table, and in the backseat of the taxi, he’s slowly making his way up your thigh and teasing you over your panties until you are holding back whimpers, gripping his wrists and closing your eyes in pleasure. He never gets so sloppy drunk he needs help, but he’ll have a few extra drinks if he knows he gets to take you home and make sweet, tipsy love to you for the rest of the night.
E = Emergency Situations (what they’re like in an emergency) I mean, he’s an FBI agent. You’ve never felt safer than when you’re sleeping in his arms. He hates having to bring his gun on dates, but you assure him you understand, and you secretly feel a little better knowing he’s prepared if anything goes south. And he looks hot wearing it. The first time he came to your apartment, he checked your locks and alarms (with your permission) to make sure you were safe. He has some quirks, like never sitting with his back to a doorway, or silently checking out every person who walks in the room, but you understand it’s a part of his training. You feel safe walking with him through the streets of D.C. at night, and you often suggest walking back to either your or his apartment instead of taking the metro or a taxi. You both love these moments together walking hand in hand through the city, sometimes in silence, just enjoying each others’ presence.
F = Favorite position (this goes without saying) This man loves missionary because it allows him to be close to your sweet face, but there is nothing boring about it. He thinks like both an artist and a cop, so he's going to pay close attention to your moans of pleasure and how your body responds to his touches. He'll take his time stroking and building your desire with his hands and mouth, and then when you are absolutely aching for him, he’ll cage you in his strong biceps and slowly, sweetly, inch by inch, fill you completely, your hands gripping his muscular arms and back as he stretches you. And when he finally starts moving, his big hands stroking your hair and face, he’ll use his tongue to do to your mouth what his cock is doing to you elsewhere, until you lose yourself in pleasure in his arms.
G = Goofy (are they more serious in the moment? are they humorous? etc.) Marcus is definitely more sweet than goofy, but he does like tickling you out of nowhere on the couch or in bed in the mornings, because he knows it leads to more touching and soft kisses and sex. During sex, he is usually too worried about making sure you feel good and safe to joke around too much, but he can laugh when things go wrong, like accidentally leaning on your hair or an awkward position change. Or that time you got a little excited and spilled the red wine sitting on the side table all over the bed. (Oops!)
H = Hair (how well groomed are they? does the carpet match the drapes? etc.) Judging by his well-groomed head and facial hair, you guessed he would also be well-groomed below, and you were right. Not bare, but closely trimmed. It made his dick look even bigger. As if he needed it.
I = Intimacy (how are they during the moment? the romantic aspect) Marcus believes intimacy starts long before sex. He’ll cook for you, give you massages, and tell you all the things he loves about your body as he notices them. At first, it’s a little hard for you to accept, because you’re not used to hearing what someone loves about you, but you soon realize he wears his heart on his sleeve, and you learn to appreciate how openly he adores you. You give him compliments, soft touches, head scritches, and splurge on his favorite bakery treats as a way to make him feel loved, too. And by the time you are in bed, the world-shattering orgasms you share are the natural progression of your intimacy.
J = Jack off (masturbation headcanon) Marcus would prefer to cum in you, not kleenex, so he doesn’t jack-off very often any more. If its been a while since he’s been able to see you, he’ll gladly engage in mutual Facetime sex with you. It’s especially hot if you’re both in hotel rooms. Oh, and that one time you texted him that picture, and he had to shut his office door and quickly stroke himself to completion so he didn’t walk into his next meeting with an erection.
K = Kink (one or more of their kinks) You suggested once that Marcus stay in his suit, complete with badge and gun, and slowly undress you, until you were fully nude. You sat on his lap, and being able to hold you naked against him while he remained fully clothed uncovered a slight domination kink he never knew he had. It was still important to him he didn’t hurt you, but you encouraged him to touch and explore you, and by the time he finally took out his cock, you were both on the verge of cumming as soon as he slid into you. He also loves cockwarming, because it satisfies his need for intimacy and closeness. He’ll cuddle in behind you in bed and slide himself inside you, and you love feeling full and warm and safe. Or, sometimes he’ll stay on his back while you sleep on his body, chest to chest, and he’ll put his arms around you while you sleep with his cock buried deep inside you. You especially love when you wake up in the middle of the night to his sleepy moans and the feel of him growing hard inside you.
L = Location (favorite places to do the do) Definitely his bedroom. He takes pride in having created a bed worth fucking in: high thread count sheets, down pillows, soft, gray-toned bedding, flattering lighting, candles, and a very sturdy headboard. He loves seducing you on the sofa or in the kitchen, then leading you by the hand to his bedroom, and falling into the luxurious bed with you. His side table always has lube, and other sweet, sensual enhancements. And of course, his master bathroom is elegant and warm, with a tray for washcloths next to the sink, and thick, fluffy towels outside the bathtub and glass shower. It’s his favorite place to spend hours and hours with you, and some Sundays, he only gets up to answer the food delivery driver at the front door, or to grab more wine.
M = Motivation (what turns them on, gets them going) Marcus is motivated by love and how much he adores you. He expresses himself through touch and sex, so just spending time with you puts him in the mood. He loves your hair, your eyes, the way you lean into his soft caresses and use his belly or biceps as a warm pillow. When you lovingly scratch his back and stroke his scalp? Forget about it. Instant erection. And whether you are dressed for comfort or for going out, he loves your style and is turned on by the thought of being lucky enough to be with the most beautiful woman in the room. But, don’t even get him started on lingerie. His first erection was seeing a Victoria’s Secret catalog on the kitchen table as a boy, and he’s never gotten over the titillating thrill of lace, satin, and shyly exposed curves. He has a degree in Art History, and definitely has an eye for beauty and sensual experiences. He buys you panties and chemises to keep at his place, and on special occasions, spends all evening fantasizing about what you’re wearing underneath, and just how you’ll disrobe for him later. (You love surprising him with a merry widow, garters, and thigh highs in his favorite color.) In fact, given the chance, he’ll try to convince you to let him undress you before you even have a chance to go out for the night, and just stay in.
N = No (something they wouldn’t do, turn offs) Degradation is off the table, as well as anything that hurts you. He’s nervous to leave a mark. And you’ve asked him to explore light choking, but he’s just not there yet.
O = Oral (preference in giving or receiving, skill, etc.) Marcus is a pleaser, and his love language is ‘touch’, so he prefers to give, and his oral game is off the charts. He starts by kissing and caressing your whole body, so you’re completely warmed up and tingling before he even reaches your center. He loves focusing on you and hearing your moans and sighs of pleasure, and the way you say his name over and over, like a prayer, when you’re close to cumming. You’ve felt like you nearly passed out a few times, just from the intensity of the orgasms he gives you. (And as a bonus, it’s a little easier for his large member to slide in afterwards.) As far as receiving, you’ve finally convinced him you also get turned on when he finishes in your mouth, but what he really loves is the attention you pay to his body: the feel of your hands on his thick thighs, kissing your way down his neck and chest and belly trail, using your hands and mouth together to massage and suck his cock and sensitive head. And if he does come in your mouth, he enjoys the intimacy of you swallowing, if you’re up for it. He especially loves when you slide your thumb firmly up his cock after he finishes, emptying the last bits of cum from him, licking the head to get every last drop. And then gently cleaning him with a washcloth in the warm candlelight. He looks at you with such love in his eyes, and reaches for you, pulling you tightly against him.
P = Pace (are they fast and rough? slow and sensual? etc.) In the dictionary next to ‘slow and sensuous’, there is a picture of Marcus. His preference is to spend hours and hours in bed with you, incorporating soft music, candles, wine, oils, and adoration of your body, bringing you to the edge with his tongue and hands, then plunging you over the edge when he thrusts into you. In fact, sometimes you just want it hard and fast, but it’s foreign to him. Why take 20 minutes when you can take 2 hours? You know to keep your Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings open for Marcus and his love of sensuality.
Q = Quickie (their opinions on quickies, how often, etc.) Marcus likes to make a fuss, so quickies go against everything in his heart. He’ll do it to please you, such as if you only have a little while before dinner, or if you are feeling stressed or in pain and need a release. But he doesn’t really initiate them.
R = Risk (are they game to experiment? do they take risks? etc.) Listen. Marcus is all about risk. It’s why he became an FBI Agent, and why he enjoys the cat-and-mouse game that comes with chasing art thieves. He has never had an idea he didn’t act on, no matter how inappropriate or impetuous. So when it comes to sex, he’s more than willing to introduce some risk, as long as you are not going to be hurt. Sex in the evidence room? Fuck yeah. He’ll teach you about the art while he fingers you next to a priceless statue. Role playing FBI Agent and sexy art thief? Oh yeah, he’s down for that, and knows exactly what to do with you once he catches you. You plan to give him fur-lined handcuffs for his birthday, just so he feels more secure about not hurting you. And you can’t wait.
S = Stamina (how many rounds can they go for? how long do they last?) The great thing about Marcus Pike is he knows sex is more than just penetration. He usually is good for two rounds before he needs time to recover, but that doesn’t mean you are only going to experience a round or two. When it comes to giving you pleasure and making you feel adored, his stamina is endless. He’s always ready to caress and kiss and stroke you, massage you, feed you sensuous bites of the special meal he’s made for you, and stay awake until you are satiated.
T = Toys (do they own toys? do they use them? on a partner or themselves?) His side drawer has a few little goodies you never expected, like nipple tingle cream (he loves applying it!), oils for massaging your back, thighs, and ass when you have stressful days, and a heavy feather pillow to put under your hips, raising you into the perfect position to take him as deeply as possible. You recently stashed a silk scarf in the drawer, and he’s open to you trying it on him, this time. Perfect for heightening the lingam massage experience. He’s not opposed to battery toys, but he’ll wait for you to suggest it, because he’s not sure what you’d like, and he wants you to enjoy it.
U = Unfair (how much they like to tease) Marcus wears his heart on his sleeve a little too openly to be a tease, but the exception is when he incorporates his love for art into foreplay by painting your semi-nude portrait. You’ll never forget the first time he showed you his home studio; you had no idea he was an artist, but his talent inspired his art history degree and career, and he softly asks you, while stroking your bare arm with the back of his fingers, if you’d be willing to pose for him. You nod in agreement, swallowing nervously. He chooses what you’re (barely) wearing, and keeps you warm with a heater while he sketches and paints. Every now and then, he’ll stop to just admire you, and when you self-consciously ask him, “What??” he smiles and says, “Just making some decisions, sweetheart.” Or, “Just admiring the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen.” But he won’t let you see the painting until he’s finished, and it takes several sessions. No matter what, he won’t budge. You didn’t know he had it in him to say “No” to you! But when he finally unveils your portrait, it was worth the wait.
V = Volume (how loud they are, what sounds they make, etc.) Marcus isn’t very loud, but what he lacks in volume, he makes up for with expressive words of adoration and sensuality. He’s usually whispering to you, rather than loudly moaning, but you love his voice in your ear, urging you to orgasm with his words, tongue, and cock. And when he stops talking and uses his mouth to kiss and lick your ear? Instant cum button.
W = Wild card (a random headcanon for the character) Marcus has been married 3 times. No kids, though.
X = X-ray (let’s see what’s going on under those clothes) He stays in shape running, and is proud of his muscular legs. As he’s gotten older, he has a soft little tummy you love, and both his belly and his broad shoulders are perfect for your head when you’re cuddling on the couch. As far as his cock, he’s above average in both length and girth, so he takes extra care to make sure you are wet and soft before sliding inside you. In fact, after the first time you had sex with him multiple times in one night, you were bleeding a little bit the next morning, just due to how stretched you were inside by his huge erect cock. He felt terrible, but you assured him it didn’t hurt, due to not having many nerve endings up there. But, he is now mindful to ask if you’re okay before starting another round, and you have to assure him it’s always worth it.
Y = Yearning (how high is their sex drive?) High. Sky high. International Space Station high. He can’t get enough of you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a fancy gown, comfy yoga pants and t-shirt, or sexy lingerie: he wants you.
Z = Zzz (how quickly they fall asleep afterwards) Marcus never falls asleep first, if he can help it. Sometimes when you’ve given him a lingam massage and warm washcloth cleanup, he struggles, and you are quick to whisper in his ear it’s okay to fall asleep, his arms around you, using your breasts he loves so much as his favorite pillow. But usually he stays awake to make sure you’re not shivering from cold or uncomfortable in any way, and only falls asleep when he hears your breathing soften and slow down, and your body relax into his cuddling embrace. Usually the last thing you remember is his soft kiss against your temple. But first to wake up? Always you. Sometimes you wake him up by stroking his hardening cock, sometimes with gentle kisses on his face, and sometimes with soft fingers stroking the fair away from his peacefully sleeping face. He’ll gladly stay awake after you if it means he gets to wake up to your gentle ministrations.
submitted by Lolasglasses to Pedro_Pascal [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 19:05 rustaaaaaagh Stuck in a loop choosing homelab upgrade

I'm stuck in a loop making a decision on what hardware to pick for my homelab upgrade.
Currently, it consists of a rpi 4 with 8GB, and an odroid hc4. I run k3s, with the rpi as the master. The odroid is used for storage (NFS) and backups, not just for the PVs, but also for media and other stuff.
I run the following on this cluster:
Now the rpi4 isn't maxed out on cpu, although it's load is usually around 6 (iowait, usb attached sata disk). But the apps feel sluggish. And if I do anything with argo, update an app for example, the whole rpi grinds to a halt. I use around 4GB on the rpi.

Now I was looking for a better alternative for the rpi. Something that isn't an SBC, and amd64 compatible. I first looked into HP BL460c g9 blades, as I found a place to get them cheap, until I found out that it was so cheap because they only sell to companies. Other sites were quite more expensive. Also, I found that it runs 50W on idle, which would cost me around 100 euros per year. So I backed out of that idea (even though someone offered me to help me buy it as a company), mostly because of the energy costs, and it being way more power than I need (10 cores, 20 threads).
Next I found the HP prodesk / elitedesk desktops. Quite nice little things, and not too expensive! After filling up a google sheet with all the local options I could find, I find myself stuck. I narrowed it down to:
Now I think it could make sense to have more than 1 node in the cluster (specially for that last one, as it's very cheap - I don't think I would run just one to fit my needs). But then again, if the nodes are beefy enough, the extra's are just going to sit there burning money. Like that ryzen looks like an excellent bang for buck, but I don't want to by more than one for that price. I'm not even sure why I'd want multiple nodes in the cluster. It could be nice to run longhorn on it for storage, and have it distributed. And maybe distribute the etcd (as opposed to built-in sqlite). But that's all the reasons I can come up with. Right now, you could say that I actually have a single node cluster, as the odroid is only doing storage and one pod related to that.
What's also a thing is that the SFF's run at around 15W idle, whilst the mini's do about half that. And related to that, my space is limited. It's going to have to fit in a small cabinet (where our energy meter and fuse box is), where it's also pretty warm (we have city warming that terminates there into the heat exchanger).
As it's a homelab, I do want to use it for experiments as well. I like to explore new tech, to see how it works and if it could fit my professional life as well (I work as a tech lead / architect for an semi-ecommerce store). Playing with tools like proxmox, maas.io, is fun - just because you can. But then running proxmox on some of these machines..?
Who can help me tip over the scale, or come up with things I didn't even think of or take into consideration?
submitted by rustaaaaaagh to homelab [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 18:38 Pavke How does Magic Find actually work? An Advanced Guide to Magic Find Formula

Warning: This will be a long nerdy post with a lengthy explanation of Magic Find mechanics, including math and graphs. (18 graphs, 4280 words, 20342 characters).
If you don’t want to read this wall of text, you can Ctrl+F and search for TLDR

Frequently, people inquire about the optimal amount of Magic Find. The typical response is that more Magic Find is generally better, but there are diminishing returns. Often, an EffectiveMF graph is referenced to illustrate this point. For example, one of such posts from a month ago.
However, relying solely on EffectiveMF graphs and diminishing returns can be highly misleading! Effective Magic Find is just one small component of the overall Magic Find formula! The Complete Magic Find formula takes several values from the game into the account when calculating your chances to get Unique / Set / Rare / Magic items. The final results are intricate and influenced by various factors. it is not as simple as this graph:
https://preview.redd.it/7uwnr9sa1n2b1.png?width=792&format=png&auto=webp&s=563dcea5172691d997c4c5c59f5e9905a009dae2
Why is this graph misleading? What does it actually tell us? Effective Magic Find is a rational function, grows rational but it has diminishing growth! Great! So, what does that mean? How does Magic Find and EffectiveMF actually affect our chances to get Unique, Set, Rare items? How many rare items do we get with 100 MF vs 500 MF? EffectiveMF for blue Magic Items grows linearly. Great, but what does that mean? How many more Magic items do we get?? Is there a limit to MF? This graph doesn’t tell us much unless you are very knowledgeable about the Magic Find process!
To answer all these questions, I have developed my own Drop Calculator with some advanced functions that showcase the actual distribution of items based on player Magic Find stat. My Drop Calculator takes into account all possible variables of the Magic Find function and displays the results in nice Graph form. Before showing the Item distribution graphs, I will first try to explain the complete MF Formula.

Selecting the Base Item

Selecting the Base Item is the initial step before the game applies the Magic Find formula to determine the magic quality of the item (Unique, Set, Rare, Magic). Examples of Base Items are: Diadem, Shako, Short Sword, Long Staff, Mage Plate, Sacred Armor etc..
Magic Find has no effect on Base Item selection! The Base Item is decided through Treasure Class selection and random roll mechanism. It is a fairly complex topic and deserves a post on its own. I won't go to much into details since Treasure Class selection is not the main focus of this post, but in short:
Each monster in the game from Act Bosses through Elite Packs to white trash monsters is assigned a “Treasure Class”. A Treasure Class is essentially a group or collection of items that can drop from that particular monster. There are many different TCs in the game typically comprising combinations of Item Drops (Base Items), Gold Drops, Junk Drops, Rune/Jewelry/Charm Drops, and NoDrop (indicating that no item will drop).
With random rolls, the game determines the type of item that the monster will drop, be it equipment, potion, rune, gold, etc. Once the item type is established, the game then checks if the item can be upgraded to Unique, Set, or other rarities. For the purposes of further discussion about Magic Find formula, we will assume that the game has selected an equipable item (Base Item, be it a Weapon or Armor). So what happens next? How does the game decide which quality to drop?

Selecting the Item Quality

Now that the game has the Base Item (Diadem, Shako, Mage Plate, etc.), two functions are called one after another to give the Base Item a specific quality. (There is some other stuff in between these two functions but this is the gist of it). Functions are pseudonym named: RollMagicQuality and MakeItemUnique (or MakeItemSet, MakeItemRare etc. depending on the roll from RollMagicQuality function). RollMagicQuality function is the main function that determines if the items will be a Unique, Set, Rare, Magic item. But let's first talk about MakeItemUnique:
MakeItemUnique (or Set, or Rare, or Magic) function confirms the roll from RollMagicQuality and double checks if the selected Base Item can drop as a Unique item. This is where you get those “Failed Uniques” as triple durability Rare item drops.
The MakeItemUnique function also determines which Unique item will drop if there are more Unique items for the selected Base Item. It adds up the Rarity value from the UniqueItems.txt file and rolls a random number to pick a Unique item. Examples are Tyrael’s or Templars Armor for Sacred Armor, The Cranium Basher or Earth Shifter for Thunder Maul, Azurewrath or Lightsabre for Phase Blade, etc.. Selection is fully random and can not be influenced by the Player.
There are 3 ways that Unique Item can fail to pass the MakeItemUnique check:
  1. A Unique item will fail to roll if the Quality Level (qlvl) is higher than Item Level (ilvl). Quality Level refers to Level value from UniqueItems.txt file and its fixed. Each Unique item has a predetermined fixed Quality Level. Item Level is a different stat, basically ilvl is a level of the monster that dropped the item. When ilvl is lower than qlvl, a Unique item will fail to drop! Example of this is: Arachnid Mesh can not drop from Pindleskin! Qlvl of Arachnid Mesh is 87, Pindleskin is a level 86 monster that drops items with ilvl 86. Since qlvl of Arachnid Mesh is 87 and always higher than ilvl of Pindle items, Base Item Spiderweb Sash will never be a Unique item.
  2. A Unique item will fail to roll if Base Item has no Unique version. The Item can pass a Unique check of RollMagicQuality function, but MakeItemUnique is the one that actually makes the item Unique. If there is no Unique version of the selected Base Item, the Base Item will fail this roll. Examples of this would be the Unique Archon Plate. There is no Unique Archon Plate, so every time the Base Item AP drops and passes the RollMagicQuality check for Unique item, it will drop as a Rare item with triple durability.
  3. A Unique item will fail to roll if the same Unique item has already dropped in the current game session. Everytime the MakeItemUnique function makes the Unique version for a selected Base Item, it logs the Unique drop in a special List of dropped Unique items. The function checks the List every time it tries to roll a Unique item. If the Unique item is already on the list, the selected Base Item will drop as a Rare item with triple durability.
Base Item needs to pass all 3 checks of this function for the item to successfully drop as a Unique Item! Same thing applies for MakeItemSet, only now the Failed Set Items drop as a Magic Items with double durability.
Before the MakeItemUnique function is called, the Base Item needs to pass the RollMagicQuality selection.

RollMagicQuality Function

RollMagicQuality is where the magic happens! (pun intended!). RollMagicQuality is the function that actually picks the quality of the Base Item, based on your "% Better Chance of Getting Magic Item" stat and other variables in the game. This function determines your Unique / Set / Rare / Magic / etc probability.
Based on your %MF and other variables, RollMagicQuality function will first try to roll for a Unique item. If that random roll is lower than a certain number, the Base Item will not be a Unique item and RollMagicQuality will try to roll for a Set item. If that fails, the function will try to roll for a Magic item and so on.
The order for selecting Item Quality is always: Unique > Set > Rare > Magic > Superior > Normal. This order will be very important later on. If the Base Item passes one of these checks, the RollMagicQuality function stops and the above-mentioned MakeItemUnique(or MakeItemSet, or MakeItemRare, etc) will be called.
Step by step walkthrough on how RollMagicQuality function actually works. After the explanation, I will use my Drop Calculator to showcase the drop rates of different quality items based on Player Magic Find.
Step 1) Chance = (BaseChance - floor((ilvl-qlvl)/Divisor))*128
This is the code of the Magic Find Formula. Game reads the required values from a few sources, the main one, and the most important is itemRatio.txt file. This file determines your drop rates of Unique, Set, Rare and Magic items more than your Magic Find stat!
itemRatio.txt and values within it are extremely important. The game utilizes different values depending on the Type of the Base Item. In other words: Class Specific items, Exceptional/Elite and Normal items have different chances to become Unique items. If we look at itemRation.txt we can see 6 rows:
From this, we can conclude that there are 3 types of different Base items: Normal Base Items, Exceptional/Elite Base Items, Class Specific Items. When the Base Item drops, the game checks item version values from weapons.txt and armor.txt and class specific values from itemTypes.txt. Based on those values, the game loads required BaseChance and Divisor values needed for the Magic Find formula and calculates your Chance: Chance = (BaseChance - floor((ilvl-qlvl)/Divisor))*128
Step 2) Chance= floor(100*Chance/(100+EffectiveMF))
After the first step, the game adjusts your chances with EffectiveMF. EffectiveMF is calculated with the formula: EffectiveMF=floor(Factor*(MF-100)/(Factor+MF-100)) Where
This is where that intial Graph comes from. It shows the EffectiveMF with diminishing returns. Here is the Graph again in more detail:
https://preview.redd.it/y3t2x7pd1n2b1.png?width=1408&format=png&auto=webp&s=0f1e43f98d5de4c9ba6a4652cc1a793cfa5755d6
Here, we can see something interesting for the first time in this post. Graph is NOT continuous but has rather discrete jumps. This is the result of the game using integer division for its calculation. For example:
  1. You have 697% Better Chance of Magic Items on your gear. To calculate the EffectiveMF for Unique drops, you first add 100 to get Character Magic Find and then use this formula: floor(250*(797-100)/(250+797-100)) = 184% EffectiveMF for Unique items
  2. You get two more Small Charms with 7% mf and now you have 711% Better Chance of Magic Items on your gear. EffectiveMF for Unique items is now: floor(250*(811-100)/(250+811-100)) = 184% EffectiveMF for Unique items! Exactly the same!
Going from 697 MF on your gear to 711 MF on your gear did nothing to improve your chances of getting Unique items. There are “Break Points” for Magic Find!
So, the game calculates your EffectiveMF and uses that value to get your new Chance: Chance= floor(100*Chance/(100+EffectiveMF))
Step 3) Chance=max(Chance,minChance)
Where the minChance is the value from the "UniqueMin" column from itemRatio.txt. Game checks if you have reached the maximum Chance for selected rarity. There is an upper limit on how many Unique, Set, Rare, Magic items you can get even with millions and millions of Magic Find on Hero Edited items!
That limit is unreachable for Unique items with standard game gear. But it is easily accomplished for Set, Rare and Magic items. Effects of this upper limit will be seen later in the Graphs.
Step 4) FinalChance=Chance-floor(Chance*QualityFacto1024)
Game adjusts your chances once again based on the QualityFactor of the monster that dropped the Base Item. Higher the QualityFactor of the monster, the better chance you have of getting Unique, Set, Rare, Magic items from that monster. This QualityFactor has a huge influence on your overall chances.
QF of 1024 means that ALL dropped Base Items will roll that quality and QF of 600 means that 4.8% of dropped Base items will become the desired quality at best. Here is the table with all monsters that have specified QualityFactors:
https://preview.redd.it/3j1hx4te1n2b1.png?width=587&format=png&auto=webp&s=4089a11e6ae143aa850130e038109c0212740121
You can see that Andariel has the highest QF of them all. That is because of “Quest Bug” that now became a feature in D2R. Act Bosses also have high QualityFactor. QF of 1024 for Magic items means all these monsters will always drop at least a Magic item and won't drop standard White items.
Final Step 5) random(FinalChance)<128 than: item is Unique
Game randomly rolls a number between 0 and your FinalChance. If that number is lower than 128 then the selected Base Item will become an Unique item and the above-mentioned MakeItemUnique function is called to double check if the selected Base Item can become an Unique.
If the randomly rolled number is higher than 128, selected Base Item fails and the game goes back to Step 1 and redos the process all over again for Set Item check. If that fails, the game redos the process for Rare Item check and so on. Again, the order for selecting Item Quality is always: Unique > Set > Rare > Magic > Superior > Normal.
Now that we know the process, let's look at one example: Let’s say you have 500 Magic Find on your gear, you just killed Hell Baal and the game dropped you a Diadem as a Base Item. What is the chance for that Diadem to be a Unique Diadem (Griffon’s Eye)? Lets go step by step while looking at itemRatio.txt file:
  1. Chance = (BaseChance - floor((ilvl-qlvl)/Divisor))*128. Diadem is an Elite Expansion item, so BaseChance will be 400 and Divisor will be 1. Qlvl of Diadem is 85 and ilvl is 99. Chance = (400 - floor((99-85)/1))*128 = 49408
  2. Chance= floor(100*Chance/(100+EffectiveMF)). To calculate EffectiveMF we use =floor(250*(600-100)/(250+600-100)) = 166 Now we can calculate the Chance= floor(100*49408/(100+166)) = 18574
  3. Chance=max(Chance,minChance) minChance for Elite Expansion items from itemRation.txt is 6400. Our number is higher so we use 18574
  4. FinalChance=Chance-floor(Chance*QualityFacto1024). The QualityFactor of Hell Baal is 983. So we now have: FinalChance=18574-floor(18574*983/1024) = 744
  5. random(FinalChance)<128. we randomly roll a number between 0 and 744 and compare it to 128. It's basically: 128/744 = 0.1720430108
Everytime you kill Hell Baal with 500 Magic Find on your gear and it drops a Diadem, you have a 17.204% chance for that Diadem to be a Griffon’s Eye. With 100 Magic Find on your gear you have 11.063% chance for that Diadem to be a Griffon’s Eye. Going from 100 MF to 500 MF will increase your Unique chance by 6.141%!

Graphs, Graphs, and more Graphs

Now that we know how to calculate our Unique chances, it's time for some Graph! Please keep in mind, these graphs do not show your chance to get a specific item. These graphs show your chance for the Base Item to become an Unique item based on your Magic Find on your gear!
Drop Calculator goes through the complete Treasure Class list for the selected monster, pulls all Base Items that can drop and their probabilities, goes through all necessaries files like treasureclassex.txt, itemRation.txt, weapons.txt, armor.txt, itemTypes.txt, uniqueItems.txt and gets all needed values we talked about and calculates the probabilities for each point of Magic Find and for more or less, each monster in the game… But let's start with something simple:
Chance for a Base Item to become an Unique item (Boss)
Above graph shows the chance for a Base Item to become an Unique item when killing the Act Boss (Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo, Baal). Nothing abnormal here. The more Magic Find you have on your gear the better chance you have for a Base Item to become an Unique item. With 300 MF you have a pretty high chance to get a Class Specific Unique item at 25%! Here are some key details:

Chance for a Base Item to become an Unique item (Unique monster)
Above graph shows the chance for a Base Item to become an Unique item when killing the Unique monster in Area level 85. (standard Pit run, CS run, AT run, WSK run), just for the reference point, Our chances are much lower than from killing an Act Boss. It is because the QualityFactor for Act Bosses is 983 while QF for Unique monsters is 800. (all other values are basically the same except qlvl-ilvl difference which does not affect drop rates that much).

Chance for a Base Item to become an Set item (Boss)
Above graph shows the chance for a Base Item to become a Set item when killing the Act Boss. Now things are starting to look interesting! Why does it look like this? Because you can reach the maximum chance for Set items easily with enough Magic Find! After reaching that limit, your chances won’t increase any further. In fact, your chances for Rare items start to drop off with more Magic Find! It is because the game always checks for Unique > Set > Rare etc in that order. So more Base Items will become Unique items before they can become Set items.
For Normal Items, it maxes out at 290 MF, for Class Specific items it maxes at 255 MF and for Exceptional/Elite items it maxes out at 520 MF. After those values, you will see less Set items.

Chance for a Base Item to become an Rare item (Boss)
Above graph shows the chance for a Base Item to become a Rare item when killing the Act Boss. Now things are starting to look really strange! You reach the maximum chance for Exceptional/Elite and Class Specific items early on; you never reach the maximum chance for Normal items. Your chances for Rare items start to drop off with more Magic Find! More Base Items can become Unique items and Set items (or Failed Set items) before they can become Rare items.

Chance for a Base Item to become an Rare item (Unique monster)
For reference, chances for the Base Item to become a Rare item from a Unique monster are more flat but they still have maximum values and very slowly drop off with more Magic Find.
Now that we know the chance distribution per Unique / Set / Rare, let's look at some graphs for Normal, Exceptional/Elite and Class Specific items per monster kill.
For this part, we can pick the Monster that we are interested in, we can pick an Item Type we are interested in and the quality level of the item (qlvl). If we look at the initial formula above, the quality level is used in the calculation for a Base Item upgrade. Qlvl only affects the drop chance a little, but I wanted to be accurate as much as I can:

https://preview.redd.it/vujwr8ft2n2b1.png?width=351&format=png&auto=webp&s=3214af2f3708fcaea6684bf86a714fd07e9fd8fd

Chance for a Exceptional and Elite items to upgrade to specified magic rarity (Boss)
Above graph shows the Chance distribution for all Exceptional/Elite Items that drop from Diablo. Something looks strange… After 420 Magic Find, NO Magic quality Exceptional/Elite Item will drop! But you are sure you saw some Magic items when you were farming Bosses, right? That is because the vast majority of Magic Exceptional/Elite items are Failed Set items! (when farming bosses). There are very few Set items compared to all Base Items. So when RollMagicQuality Function is successful for Set check and calls MakeItemSet, the MakeItemSet function can’t successfully make a Set item because there is no Set item for selected Base Item. Value of 71 for qlvl is used. It is a median level value of all Exceptional/Elite items that can drop from Diablo.
We can see chances for Unique Diadem (Griffon's Eye) is about 17.181% while chances for set Diadem is 46.292%. Ratio between the two is 2.69. If we go to any Online Drop Calculator, Maxroll Drop Calc for example, and we pick Baal (Baal because Diablo can't drop Diadems Base Items) and we compare the chances. We can see the chances for any Player count has same ratio as 2.69.

Chance for a Class Specific items to upgrade to specified magic rarity (Boss)
Above graph shows the Chance distribution for all Class Specific Items that drop from Diablo. Same thing is true for Class Specific drops. Vast majority of Magic quality Class Specific drops you see from Act Bosses are actually Failed Set items. Value of 43 for qlvl is used. It is a median level value of all Class Specific items that can drop from Diablo.

Chance for a Normal items to upgrade to specified magic rarity (Boss)
Above graph shows the Chance distribution for all Normal Items that drop from Diablo. Things look a little better for Normal Items. Magic quality items slowly drop off but never reach the bottom. It is because of Divisor value for Magic quality in itemRatio.txt file. Value of 28 for qlvl is used. It is a median level value of all Class Specific items that can drop from Diablo

Chance for a Exceptional and Elite items to upgrade to specified magic rarity (Unique monster)
Above graph shows the Chance distribution for all Exceptional/Elite Items that drop from standard Unique monsters from Level 85 Area. Just showcasing the upper limits of monsters that are farmed regularly. After 490 MF your chances for Unique items will continue to increase, but chances for every other quality will flatten out or start to decrease. Same goes for Class Specific items, while Normal items for Rare quality will continue to rise slowly.
Now, let's combine all Graphs per Item Type into one Graph that shows Base Item chance to upgrade for selected monster and its Treasure Class:
https://preview.redd.it/ssro5blt3n2b1.png?width=376&format=png&auto=webp&s=035e84edee488ea5daaeaf05f33254ee1c7514c9
Based on selected settings; (what monster are we looking at, Player and Party Settings and if the monster is Terrorized or not), the Drop Calculator picks the corresponding Treasure Class for that monster. It calculates the probabilities for each single Base Item drop for that selected Monster. it checks what Type each Base Item is (is it Normal, Exceptional/Elite or Class Specific item) and calculates the cumulative upgrade Chance for each Unique / Set / Rare / Magic version based on Normal, Exceptional/Elite or Class Specific distribution…
For Diablo kills (for Act 5 (H) Equip A Treasure Class) Item distribution is:
If we apply what we have learned so far, we get a Final Graph that looks like this:

Final Chance Graph
Above graph shows the final Chance for Base Item upgrade. I would like to point out that the reason we are seeing Magic items here it’s because Normal Base Item drops make up 67.85% of all Diablo item drops. Normal Items like Clubs, Maces, Flails, Cap, Quilted Armor, Light Plate etc.
We know that not all Base Items have Unique and Set versions. If we apply that to our calculations and move every item that will always Fail the Unique check and Set check, we get the Final Item Distribution percentage per Magic Find with our gear:

Item distribution
Let's look at Andariel's final Chance for Base Item upgrade and Item Distribution percentage:

Final Chance Graph (Andariel)
Item distribution (Andariel)
Because Andariel is now “quest bugged” by default, her Quality Factor for Rare items is 1024. Which means, technically, no Magic item will drop from her. ALL Magic items from Andariel are Failed Set items.
Let's look at Unique Monsters final Chance for Base Item upgrade:
Final Chance Graph (Unique monster)
Chance for Unique upgrade flatlines rather quickly. It goes from 3.510% at 500 MF to 3.959% at 1000 MF. Chance for Set upgrade basically maxes out at 300 MF. Chance for Rare continues to rise slowly but it is because of Normal item types. Exceptional/Elite reaches max around 490 MF and Class Specific reaches max at 220 MF.

TLDR

More Magic Find is always better for Unique items. But for everything else (Set, Rare, Magic items), more Magic Find can mean less! No matter your clear speed or players in the game!
If you want to maximize your chances for that elusive item you are looking for you need to have the optimal amount of Magic Find for that specific item
Just considering EffectiveMF graph is misleading because it doesn't show the true extent of diminishing returns of your Magic Find Gear.
If you have any questions or remarks, please let me know.
EDIT:

Drop Calculator

Since few people have asked for a link to Drop Calc I made, here it is. But before you try it, please read this:
The sheets that you will use are "mfGraph" and "drop". All other sheets are used for calculating.
mfGraph sheet is the one you want. Pick the monster, pick a item type you are looking for (Normal, Exceptional/Elite or Class) and pick the items qlvl. Graph should update. Everything works here
drop sheet gives you overall chance and item distribution for selected monster. Some monsters do not work here: Duriel, Countess, Cow King, Super Uniques, Champions and trash monsters. It takes about 15sec for Google Sheet to update the graph, keep that in mind.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AlCaXvXqKbpfPTUCzKUUZJ6rMH2esyVWPvNCONXFivk/edit?usp=sharing
submitted by Pavke to diablo2 [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 03:38 polarbearhero Should I return my Kirkland brand sheets?

I bought a set of Kirkland Signature 680 thread count Pimacotton King sheets either one or two years ago. This month the bottom sheet tore crosswise and the same month the top sheet tore around both sides plus smaller rips near the top. I wash them once a week following directions. I’m pretty sure they are close to two years old. They were about $90 for the 6 pc set. The 4 pillowcases are still rip free. I loved them- both how they fit the bed and felt against my skin. Even how they sounded. I will buy 2 more sets this week. Should sheets like this last longer? Or should I return them? I already returned one set of sheets three years ago because the top sheet was not a King size but was sold as part of a king set. Would that return count against me as someone abusing the return policy? We are not overweight (I’m underweight) so we are not hard on the sheets. Thank you.
submitted by polarbearhero to Costco [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 17:43 4ShotBot My Roommate is Slenderman Part 24: (Revised)

Part 23: https://www.reddit.com/Viidith22/comments/13o2jsg/my_roommate_is_slenderman_part_23_revised/
Pushed off the left of my desk, I worked on the laptop. I’d gotten through to the data Scott stored on the drive, and while it wasn’t encrypted, it was definitely corrupted. Some of it was in tact, but for the most part, the documents were filled with errors and random text. After scrolling through a few more useless documents, a familiar ache took over my side. I raised my fist then hesitated, taking a deep breath, I relaxed. Standing, I headed to the kitchen to make some food.
I turned on the TV as I heated water for the rice, opting to just throw on cable, happening across a show about a guy that went by the name Earl. I turned back to my stove, throwing a couple pans on the available spots. I opened several cans of veggies, pulled out the mildly expired ground beef, sniffed it, and set to work with a canned stir-fry and rice, topped with some seasoned beef.
“...two unknown wayfarers discovered just outside the city limits…” A news station had caught my attention. The voice was distorted with an audio mixer, but something about it sounded familiar, “...one male, one female, both seemed to be wearing suits at the time of their deaths…” I looked at the tv, two scorched corpses side by side.
“What the hell?” It was staticky, and the quality wavered. For a brief moment, Earl made an appearance through the static, but the news footage overtook it.
“Their IDs are melted along with their wallets and clothing, however, considering there are no missing person reports in the area, I’ve concluded they were from out of town…” I stared as the amateur camera work scanned the area, a small patch of forest within city limits.
“It’s fair to say government officials likely weren’t responsible given the people’s confinement within the walls. However, it’s im–” there was a brief period of static, “...eir intentions were unknown, as for why they’d come here is anyone’s guess.” The camera panned over the bodies again, their height giving me pause.
Heading to the living room, I scanned the ground, eventually finding the card under the TV stand. I looked it over,
“The Remnants of the Crystal Age
“If you need help, give us a call
“But remember, we expect the same help from you”
Flipping it revealed three phone numbers. Ryouka, Jericho, and Kalthrulre. “Was it really them?” I looked back up at the silent screen, static overwhelming the bodies, an actual news station taking over.
“We apologize for the interruption, it seems someone decided to play some kind of prank, and our signal was taken over. To quell any worries, there were no unmarked deaths as of late. Why anyone would pull such a sick joke is anyone’s guess.”
The co-anchor laughed nervously, “Quite a mystery. Let’s get onto the weather now, shall we?” A sizzle came from the kitchen, followed by burning starch and a wave of steam. I dropped the card, rushing to pull the rice off the stove. For a split second, it crossed my mind that the show I’d been watching never continued.
-------------------------------------------
Once I’d gotten back to the laptop, I did find traces of intact information. I made note of all of them, but unfortunately there wasn’t much in the way of useful data. I had an address, a few notes about other organizations in town, and my name completely out of context. That last one was in an over 100 page file of nonsense thanks to the corruption.
Not having much else to go on, I took to checking out the address, have a look around, see if anyone was living there, assuming it was a house. Then if the stars, planets, and moon alined, I might actually learn something.
As I zipped my hoodie, I looked to the liquor cabinet above the fridge, craving a bottle. But I turned away, promising myself I’d have one when I had answers.
Having left the chains on my car, it wasn’t much of a pain heading to as bumfuck nowhere as you could get in town. Next to the small amount of forest we had access to, only accompanied by a few other homes, there was a dingey, unkempt crackhouse. There was only one car, but having lived in Salem most my life, I knew a crackden when I saw one.
I parked a couple blocks away. Sighing, I got out of my car and took to walking around the house. All the windows were intact, the backyard was a mess, patches of random objects only obscured by the snowfall stood out in the otherwise flat foliage. Looking closer, it was less of a crackhouse, more of a farm house, just without the space. Sheet metal laid propped against the house and other currently invisible objects, random patches where tools and other metal things lay discarded seemed to melt the snow in their wake.
Strolling around the rest of the house told me nothing about who was actually living there. Despite my better judgement, I went up to the door and knocked, and knocked, and knocked. When I hit the doorbell, a shuffling sounded from the other side.
A familiar voice lifted the mail slot, “Who is it?”
A whiff of stale weed smoke wiggled its way into my nose, making me cringe as I groaned, “No, fucking, way.”
“Oh God.” There was a metal clink as the slot fell into place.
Shink, clunk, rattle, rattle, clunk, clunk, shink, rattle. The door opened leaving me to stagger for just a moment. The overwhelming power of days old mexican food and bong water causing my head to go light for a moment, “How the hell did you find me?”
Once I’d regained my composure, I stared Scott right in the eyes, “You really needa find a way to encrypt your drives.”
“Allow me to rephrase. The fuck do you want?”
“Information.”
He looked around behind me, “You might wanna come in.”
He stepped to his side gesturing for me to enter. I hesitated, making sure he didn’t have any weapons at the ready. When nothing immediately stood out to me, I took a deep breath, trying to focus on my ears like I had when we were kidnapped. A few seconds later, I crossed the doorframe, and braced myself.
Scott took the lead, glanced back at me, then led me to the livingroom. A bong sat along side an open grinder and air tight metal case at the center of a dusty coffee table. He flopped onto the pleather couch in front of it, a cloud of ash puffing up thick enough to rain.
I stood across from him as he packed a bowl. He gestured to me before lighting, “After all that shit, you really are just some fuckin asshole.”
He a blew out a cloud, packing the bowl back down, “You got that right.” As he took another massive toke, I noticed the dark yellow water, and gagged, “So?”
“You know who I am.”
“Yeah, we’ve met–”
I rolled my eyes, ready to put my fist through his mouth, “Really, that’s what you’re going with?”
He paused, setting the bong and lighter down. He twiddled his thumbs for a moment, testing a few facial expressions before resigning to a neutral dead-eyed gaze. He stood with a groan, “Come on.” With a wave, he headed to a new room. It was an office, desk against the back wall, the laptop Darren gave him sitting in the center of it, “You should be able to read them now.”
He turned it on, clicking a few times before hopping out of the seat, “You’re up.”
I sat, keeping the bat in my right hand, one ear out for anything, “This it?” The door shut without a response, looking around, he was gone.
I sighed, swiveling to the screen. My vision seemed to collide in on itself, the image left behind was oversaturated. I dry heaved, clutching my stomache, desperately vacuuming in air. The air around me held a bloody mist as I struggled to face the screen again. A lengthy document, the first page listed every basic aspect of my life like a table of contents. Each word on the screen shocked a different neuron starting it back up like a mini defibrillator. A migraine pulsed from the back of my head, amplified in the front, sending waves of nausea straight to my stomach, making me lightheaded.
When the door opened, I stood, hanging onto the chair stand upright. Just behind my right eye sat a knife, stabbing me any time I moved too suddenly. Eventually balancing myself, I stared at Scott who held a steaming mug, “Sit your ass down. I’m not gonna hurt you.” I collapsed to the chair, rolling back a few inches, “Here, man.” He put the mug on the desk, “It’s ginger turmeric.” The smell of it brought me back a bit, the pain receding just that bit to let me set my hand down.
I took a sip from the mug, my throat warmed, and I sat back in the chair. “What the hell man?” I let out a sigh filled with stale, moist air.
“I think old memories coming back. Never had it happen so I’m not sure.”
I took another swig, “Really?”
“Really.”
He stood there for a moment, hesitating at the thought of turning around, then went through with it.
Taking the hottest gulp of my life, I finished the mug off and turned back to the screen, finally able to read what it held. I drank in the summary of my life, it went down just as hot as the tea, a nail hammered into the back of my head, but I managed. Though as the pain waned, fresh memories made themselves known. Not new, but it was like they’d been vacuum sealed, saved for later. As if the information was compressed into a file, and reading what was on the screen decompressed it. Tears streaked down my face as I remembered Jane, my Jane, and I suddenly pieced the odd experience in Darren’s doorway together. My mind had been fighting to remember ever since… ever since the mushroom incident. A mental exhaustion tried to take over as the pain left me entirely. So I scrolled to the first written page of my life.
Everything dimmed, and suddenly my brain wasn’t decompressing a gigabyte over five minutes, but ten terabytes in seconds. My skull throbbed, fluid sloshed around my brain, my vision went black, and every single memory since I was a baby reformed more vivid than ever, even before the town. Like dropping a match into a puddle of nitro glycerin, my entire body was on fire, the air in my body sucked out until everything stopped.
When I awoke, the room was too bright to see anything, I squeezed my eyes shut. I screamed and could hardly move, “We still have one more, hang in there miss.”
I tried to stop and ask what the hell was going on, but the atmosphere was oppressive, I was weak, and everything was hot and cold and wet. Someone moved me, but my skin was wrong, I couldn’t tell what I was laying on.
“1, 2, 3, push. 1, 2, 3, push. Come on, give me one more of those, we’re almost there.” I heard a woman screaming over me, when suddenly everything stopped. All that could be heard was panting and concerned murmuring. “He’s not crying, someone get a flashlight!” I noticed then that the light wasn’t torturing my eyes anymore. Slowly, I opened them, I was in a hospital, laying in a bassinet. Understanding filled me as I looked around. My mom and dad looked so young, and my twin brother… twin brother?
A suckerpunch came in that moment, the shards of glass finally coming together, just needing the glue, “Is Scott okay?”
A flashlight flicked on, and a nurse made her way out of the room, the doctor observing my brother, “He’s responsive, just not crying. I’m sorry, I’ll have a nurse come to keep you all updated.” The doctor left the room, baby in his arms. My mom cried, the darkness enveloping us before the emergency lights flicked on.
It shouldn’t have taken this long. Should it? We stayed there for a good half hour, in that time I’d been given to my mom. She held me, stroking my head, tears flowing down her cheeks. My dad had tried to get information out of the nurse several times but in the end simply paced around the room.
That was when a man in a suit came in, nothing but emergency lights illuminating him, “His name is Joseph right?” My mom nodded, and the suit nodded to the nurse, “Take care of Joseph for a moment will you? Take him to the infirmary.”
“No! You can’t have him!”
“Miss, please, Joseph is fine, he’ll just be resting.”
My dad sized the suit up, chest puffed up, his serious face on, “What authority do you have to make a call like that?”
The man flashed a badge, one that look almost, but not quite like it said FBI, “We’re inspecting the power outage, we suspect it’s come from somewhere in this hospital. It’s possible this is a terrorist threat. As such, we are securing all the children first. We’re on top of the situation sir, I assure you this will be the safest option for your child.”
The nurse attempted to pull me from my mom a couple more times. By the third, she’d given me up, and I was taken. But as the door shut, a muffled voice made it’s way out, “Unfortunately, Scott didn’t make it–” before he was cut off by the diminishing sound of screaming.
-----------------------------------
I woke in high alert, thrashing, but I was handcuffed to a medical table. I looked down and saw some of the links were misshapen, almost stretched. I scanned the room, lifting my head as far as it would go before something around my neck tugged me back down. It was mostly barren aside from a rolling table of medical supplies, and a chair with a single person sitting in it.
“You’ve got to be the biggest asshole I’ve ever met.”
He feigned sadness, wiping a crocodile tear from his eye, “I can’t believe you’d treat your own brother so harshly.” His face rose to neutral.”
I looked him in the eyes, a strange sense of calm washing me, pacifying me, “You’ve got more faces than a d6 I swear.” I tried to force a laugh, but it just made me cringe, “God, how do you keep that shit up?”
“I do what’s necessary, I’ve gotta think about myself here.”
I grimaced, “What the hell man? I mean seriously, who the fuck are you really? What’s your game?”
“Eh…” He glanced at the door, then shrugged, turning back to me with a smile that never reached his eyes, “Well, had you joined in with the revolution, you might not be here. Heavy maybe though, vampires are rare, and humans that have turned, even partially, oh well that’s a commodity. So whether or not you being with them would change the minds of the Axons, eh, come to think of it…” He trailed off, “But yeah, everyone in this town wants a piece of you for a different reason, whether they know what you are or not.”
I remembered the guy who spoke in metaphors, my brain tagging something. “What about that news interruption? The voice was distorted, but that was definitely you.”
He threw up a “whoopsie” gesture, then laughed to himself, “Well, guess the jig is up on that one. You can call it… brushing the pond, gotta bring the scum up every so often to keep things interesting.”
“So what’s that? Number three?”
“Four if you count…” His face went blank, “Damn, guess I am a bit soft on you.”
“Who’s four?”
“Eh, you wouldn’t know them, I think they go by the mechanics or something though?”
“Metaphor man?” I mumbled to myself.
“Well I’ll be.” He looked panicked for a moment before the door opened.
The man held a clipboard and wore a white apron over scrubs, the lack of a mask showing the tip of his nose was missing and scarred over, as well as three scars down his bottom lip, giving it separation lines when he smiled, “I am very excited to work with you Joseph.”
Scott walked to him, whispering in the man’s ear.
“Oh, I see. Feel free to check his belongings. If it’s there, make sure it’s taken care of.” My brother left in a hurry, leaving the doctor and I to ourselves. He sat in the rolling chair Scott had been in, rolling over to me and pulling a lamp from behind me over my face, “Hello, my name is Doctor Fräger.” He peeled my eyes open wide, observing them, “I am a crypto anatomist, and I will be giving you a FULL checkup today. It is my understanding that you have been uh…” He let go of my eye lids, pulled down his glasses, and looked down at his clipboard, “Genetically modified through a vampire bite by your wife.” He looked at me with feigned sadness, “I am so very sorry to hear that. Now, before we get started, do you have any unusual pains or discomforts you’d like to discuss with me?”
I looked at him with as much “what the fuck” as I could manage, my emotions coming back to me, “Yeah, these fucking chains!”
He looked down at his clipboard, “I would love to help you, however it says right here that if I were to do that you’d likely rip my throat out. That doesn’t sound pleasant, so I’ll have to leave you with them on. I’m sure you can understand.” He stood, setting the clipboard on a metal table out of sight. Pulling a wooden stick out, he asked me to open my mouth. When I tried to say something, he grabbed my lower jaw, forcing it open with his grip on a couple pressure points, “Very good, now say ‘ahhhhh.’”
I bit down , chopping the stick in half, then spitting it in his face, “Let me go.”
His face dropped for the slightest moment, revealing the dry ice behind his gaze, “But there’s just so much to learn! Now, if you’ll follow me.” He walked to the feet end of the table, dragging me out the door to a few rooms down.
An x-ray welcomed me into the sterile white room, “While we wait on your MRI results, what say you and I have some fun in here. I’ve never gotten a good look at how vampires tick.” He set me up, the x-ray hovering over my right hand, before snapping my thumb, I yelped, but the pain hadn’t been as bad as I expected. I remembered all the broken bones I’d gotten during the bunker. A massive gap in my memory suddenly filled in, clearer than ever, as if the memories were just waiting their turn. I remembered Terry, the way he’d treated me. Somehow, it felt odd, the caring nature he had for my well being, it didn’t feel real.
The doctor hurried behind a wall, and a few moments later let out a, “Fascinating!” that came from somewhere on my left, “I’ll definitely need some blood samples too, so if you don’t mind, once we’re done here we can get you a proper blood panel.” We spent another hour in the x-ray room, enough time to regrow a couple fingers and start on one of my thumbs.
My body vibrated as Fräger shoved me through the door, “How about some grub before we get some of that red nectar of yours. I hear vampires have quite the appetite.”
“Sure.” I dwelt on how everyone had treated me back then. Despite everything Fräger had put me through, it was like I had a shark on my line, but it was only meant for salmon fishing. The thread could snap any moment, and I’d lose whatever revelation was sitting there.
“I must say, you’ve been one of my best patients to date. I’ll be sure they supply you with plenty of nutritious food for your politeness.” As we entered another room, the smell of garlic and onions soothed my mind, “If you want the truth, I wasn’t planning to feed you, I wanted to see what would happen. But we’ll save that for later, sound good?”
“Yeah, sounds great doc.” He smiled.
I was fed two full chicken breasts, a large helping of rice, and a side of grilled vegetables along with a fruit smoothie. Then I was quickly carted into an empty room, the pain in my side already fading.
“Now, before I leave you here, is there anything at all you need?”
“Yeah, a bathroom.”
He laughed, “Please, like we’re going to let a vampire walk around all willy nilly. Once I’m done testing you, we will set up a room just for you. But for now a catheter and a bedpan will have to do. My sincerest apologies we won’t be able to accommodate you a toilet.”
I didn’t respond.
“Alright, enjoy the next few days. I have someone coming in to take care of you in just a moment.”
When he opened the door to leave, I heard a familiar set of footsteps take the doctor’s place. The unsettling relaxation taking me over yet again, “Hope you enjoyed your meal.”
“So what are you, the baby sitter?”
“Depends on how you look at it.” He grabbed my face, sticking things around it before moving down to my chest and so on. By the end, my body was covered in sensors. At some point someone had rolled in a machine that let out a continuous beeping. Leaving nothing but a metronome-like ticking to fill in the gaps.
“I’m tired of beating around the bush, what’re you guys really doing?”
“It’s a study, I figured that was obvious by now.”
“And you’re fine knowing I’m the one they’re putting through all this?”
“You’re still on that?” He blew a raspberry, chuckling to himself, “Yeah, okay, I’m real choked up about it.” He shook his head, rolling his eyes, “You can starve, I don’t mind.”
“Fuckin psychopath.” I muttered, letting out a sigh.
“Pretty sure they call it antisocial personality disorder these days.”
“I don’t hear you denying it.”
“Who said I would? You’re kind of an arrogant asshole you know that? I’m almost excited to see what’s going to happen.” He finished putting the last sensor on, heading to the door, I could him murmuring to himself, “...doesn’t kill this one…” Then, I was alone.
The first day wasn’t too bad, aside from the boredom, beeping, and having to piss and shit myself whenever the occasion arose. The lack of food did start getting to me after those first 24 hours though. I was overly aware of every little thing, the beeping behind me that initially fell into my subconscious became the only thing I could focus on. Every little movement of my body sent a miniscule echo of sound bouncing around my skull. It was around that time the throbbing in my side returned. What started as a mild ache eventually became the only physical sensation I noticed. It became a beacon of sensation that compiled with the beeping to piss me off. Everything was annoying, the way the ceiling looked, the faint buzz from the presumable monitor behind me, the way the ceiling was just barely lit, the fact my toes were just slightly cold, it was all so frustrating.
A craving began to emerge then, the desire to rip someone’s arm off, just cause that pain to someone, then eat it.
Around 36 hours, my attention shifted, every light flicker of light caused me to jump, everything just out of my line of sight was suddenly a person watching me. The tingle in my feet was someone dragging their fingers along them, I wanted to rip their throat out with my teeth. I tried to sleep, but my body was too alert, it wouldn’t allow it.
By day two, I was wide awake, I could feel the difference in time between each beep. It was no longer a sound, but a measurement of time. I could tell, it’d been approximately 173,000 beeps since I was locked in. The pain in my side was fire, I could feel the magma churning in a tiny spot on my right side. It wasn’t just a vague ache anymore, I could feel every nerve fiber that interacted with whatever the pain was coming from. A 3D model had formed in my head, it was like a worm wrapped around my intestine, as thick as a hose and about 6 inches long. With each pulse, I saw the worm grow just that much larger.
By hour 60, my vision had tinted red, the pain wasn’t a part of me anymore, I was pain. I couldn’t think anymore, I just needed food. I felt the chains strain against me, slowly bending as I pulled at them. I screamed and a metallic snap reverberated in the claustrophobic room. I screamed again yanking the other chain off. I tore the chain from under my neck when someone rushed in. He shoved me down, trying to hold me in place, but my body ran on instinct. I sat up with enough force to shove him back, immediately grabbing his wrist, pulling him in, and ripping a chunk out of his forearm.
The man screamed, stumbling back, giving me enough time to rip my legs free and yank out the catheter, a pain that somehow eclipsed all others in that moment. I jumped on the man, ripping chunk after chunk out of him. When he stopped moving, I took a moment to breath, my vision clearing, and my brain easing up on adrenaline. I was able to think again, but despite my desire to cry, my brain wouldn’t allow it.
I stumbled to my feet, wiping the blood from my chin. Then I was on the ground, my head pressed against the linoleum floot. I tried lifting my head, but it was to no avail. The person flipped me onto my stomach, one arm behind my back giving me a chicken wing. I chuckled, the pain throughout my body already subsiding. He had both legs on the backs of my knees, but it took both arms to keep my right in check. So with the left, I grabbed his left arm at the elbow and yanked, it took a few more tries, but when his arm was loose enough, I freed my right, pushing myself as hard as I could, flipping him onto his back.
His cheek bones were sharp, and as each of my fists made their mark, it sent a shrill pain through my knuckles. But as fist met face over and over again, he fell unconscious.
With the pain still agitating my side, I took a few bites from the man. My human and vimpiristic mind at odds, but with each taste of human flesh, my humanity was persuaded just that much more. My body didn’t stop until my mind allowed it, and when I stood, the only sensation that didn’t feel right was my sleep deprivation.
I bolted out of the room, seeing a few doorways in a short hallway with an elevator at the end. I ran for it, but just as I got there to press the button, it opened, revealing two men with pistols waiting for me.
The banging deafened me, forcing me into the elevator. The guy on the right lost his gun as I slammed my fist down on his wrist, snapping it, the guy on my left grabbed me by the back of my neck, shoving me into the metal wall. He put a bullet through my tailbone, sending molten tungsten through every nerve fiber in my body. My vision flashed, then flickered, then went black momentarily.
When I came to, both the men were on the floor, throats ripped out, and I was laying between them, mostly unable to move. I twitched my finger and felt the metal fragments pushing out of my tailbone in slow motion. With each piece of metal, a new wave fried my nerves like thermite. Before I could stand, the elevator door dinged, opening. I pulled myself up with the railing when five prongs dug into my back, like were trying to grab my spine. I was yanked from the railing and thrown into the short hallway, one that looked identical to mine.
I looked over, staggering to my feet, it was a skinwalker, looked like a more traditional one, “God you’re weak, Jacob would mop the floor with you.”
The creature lunged at me, “I’m getting out of here!”
I put up a forearm, unable to dodge. He scraped down to the bone, but couldn’t break it. I grabbed him with my other arm, yanking him down and kneeing him in the face. He staggered, attempting to reorient, but I kicked him in the jaw, knocking him to the floor, jumping on top of him. I punched, my fist crunched into his face like a scarecrow. I kept going until he stopped moving.
I panted as I made my way back into the elevator, taking a few bites from one of the security guards for good measure, and hitting the “ground floor” button. I leaned against the railing, looking down at my arm, which is when I first noticed I was healing faster than usual. It wasn’t quite scabbed over, but the wounds were already about half their initial size. The elevator dinged and I readied for a fight.
After a few seconds, I took my first step out, then another. When I made it into the room, I looked around. Desks, computers, and monitors galore took up most of the room. The chairs were flung about, and nobody was around. Doublechecking my surroundings, I took off through one of the door looking for anything to cover up.
Eventually, I came across a “personal belongings” hall that was really just a bunch of lockers like one you’d find in a school. They all had padlocks, but when I found mine, I yanked a metal snapping bouncing around the hall. Everything I had on me when Scott knocked me out was in there, except my phone. “Better hope you never see me again shitstain.” I muttered, before getting dressed and running to find an exit.
After some searching, I made my way out, revealing I’d been in one of the few abandoned buildings in town. It was an old office complex that I remembered being open when I “moved in” but I couldn’t say for certain, the building looked about a month overdue for a power washing.
It was about a 5 minute jog to my house, and while the snow had melted some, there were still a few inches, and by the look of the clouds, that night it’d be coming down again. When I shut the door behind me, I hoped no one had see the blood and called the cops, but it couldn’t be helped even if they did.
I took the most satisfying shower of my life, it felt like I hadn’t had one in a month, and as I scrubbed myself down, it felt like I was the grill boy scraping gunk into the grease traps. When I slipped on a fresh set of clothes and had a minute to take a breath, the exhaustion took hold. Surprisingly though, it only felt like I’d had a 14 hours shift… after not sleeping for a couple days. Either way, I knew I couldn’t fall asleep in my bed, everything about the town was fucked. I felt like if I fell asleep, I’d be waking up somewhere new and I’d have to escape again, I needed to get somewhere safe, somewhere I knew I could sleep without being captured. That was when the realization struck me, “The revolution.”
Part 25: Coming Soon!
submitted by 4ShotBot to Viidith22 [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:38 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to BlackestFridayDeals [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:30 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to LivingSpaceSales [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:30 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to AmazingDeals [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:30 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to DayOfDeals [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:30 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to dealsonamazon [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 13:29 Alexu1122 Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off

Elegant Comfort Luxury Soft 1500 Thread Count Egyptian 4-Piece Premium Hotel Quality Wrinkle Resistant Coziest Bedding Set, All Around Elastic Fitted Sheet, Deep Pocket up to 16inch, Queen, Turquoise For $21.67 After 15% off submitted by Alexu1122 to DealForDays [link] [comments]


2023.05.26 20:48 Drippedsauce For $25.96 from $45.99: Mueller Ultratemp Bed Sheets Set, Super Soft 1800 Thread Count Egyptian 18-24 Inch Deep Pocket Sheets, Full Size

For $25.96 from $45.99: Mueller Ultratemp Bed Sheets Set, Super Soft 1800 Thread Count Egyptian 18-24 Inch Deep Pocket Sheets, Full Size submitted by Drippedsauce to DripDeals [link] [comments]


2023.05.26 20:10 RanByMyGun Color Coded Program Player Tracking Spreadsheet

This is an update to previous spreadsheets made by Reign_of_Wes. I originally updated his season 1 sheet in an older thread to add formatting which automatically changes colors when the players are owned and completed, and did the same for TA Season 2 and added Incognito.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/161H0Hm6RWG8NhjluGTkVuDAKsK6DD3KsOiojA3rQneo/edit?usp=sharing
Just select "File" then "Make a Copy". I got many requests for access in the previous version and it's not necessary. If you already used the previous version, you can right click the tabs for the new programs on the bottom and select "Copy to > Exisiting sheet" to add the new pages to your sheet.
submitted by RanByMyGun to MLBTheShow [link] [comments]


2023.05.26 12:43 NimbleThor 5 Quick tl;dr iOS Game Reviews / Recommendations (Episode 177)

Happy last Friday of May, everyone :) And welcome back to this weekly mobile gaming recommendation thread based on some of the most interesting games I played and that were covered on MiniReview this week. I hope you'll enjoy the read.
Support these posts (and YouTube content + development of MiniReview) on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/NimbleThor <3
This episode includes a fun Peggle-like roguelike, a cute puzzle game, a squad-based tactical RPG premium game, a massive and insanely complex gacha RPG, and a fun 1-2 player strategy digital board game.
New to these posts? Check out the first one from 177 weeks ago here.

Let's get to the games:

Roundguard [Game Size: 196 MB] ($6.99)

Genre: RPG / Roguelike / Peggle-like / Dungeon Crawler - Offline
Orientation: Landscape
Required Attention: Full
tl;dr review by NimbleThor:
Roundguard is a super fun Peggle-inspired game with typical roguelike RPG gameplay, which means our goal is to get through a dungeon full of stages while gradually upgrading our character.
Each stage in Roundguard consists of a one-screen level full of clay pots, enemies, and health and mana potions that are all spread out like the pegs in the original Peggle game.
To complete a stage, we must defeat all the enemies by hitting them with our character. We do this by aiming and launching our circular hero from the top of the screen and then watch as it bounces between objects until it eventually reaches the bottom.
Just like our hero, all the enemies have health and attack stats, which means we both deal and take damage whenever we hit one of them - and that’s exactly where the potions come in.
But this is where it gets interesting because we can also equip two skills that we trigger by tapping either side of the screen. Using these strategically is crucial to winning, and they’re fun to experiment with.
Whenever we complete a map, we may get a new skill or piece of equipment that drastically increases our stats and makes it easier to defeat the final boss. Unlocking these and deciding which to use is part of what makes the gameplay great.
Before starting a new run, we select one of four distinct classes and may equip a relic that drastically changes the game to ensure each playthrough feels different. The game also features quests, daily puzzles, and even a weekly speed-run mode where we compete against all other players.
The controls work surprisingly well, and the art-style is well-executed.
Roundguard is a $6.99 premium game and it’s one of the best roguelikes I’ve played this year.
App Store: Here

inbento [Total Game Size: 116 MB] ($2.99)

Genre: Puzzle / Casual - Offline
Orientation: Portrait
Required Attention: Some
tl;dr review by AlexSem:
Inbento is a cute minimalistic puzzle game about a cat preparing breakfasts for her kid by arranging ingredients into correct patterns.
Each of the game’s 127 levels is made up of a rectangular grid onto which we arrange food ingredients that are represented as tiles of certain colors. The available ingredient tiles are found at the bottom of the screen, and our job is to rotate and drag them onto the grid, making sure that the resulting layout matches the required recipe.
Some tiles are connected to one another and must be placed at the same time. Later levels also introduce special tiles that move, swap, replace, or copy existing tiles, which forces us to figure out the correct sequence of actions that let us reach our goal.
In addition to the streamlined gameplay, Inbento also just delivers an amazing overall experience, thanks to its complete cuteness, comfortable controls, relaxing music, and juicy sounds. The developer’s love for their creation is clear to see, and they’ve successfully created a game that not only features interesting puzzles but also tells a heartwarming story through lovely pictures that unlock as we progress through the levels.
Inbento is a $2.99 premium game without ads or iAPs. Despite its seeming simplicity, its later levels present a great challenge that will definitely appeal to any fan of clever spatial puzzles.
App Store: Here

Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords [Game Size: 1.5 GB] ($9.99)

Genre: Strategy / RPG - Offline
Orientation: Landscape
Required Attention: Full
tl;dr review by AlexSem:
Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North is a squad-based tactical strategy game in which we assemble a party of heroes to fight through a campaign full of enemies and epic loot.
At the start of the game, we get 16 distinct classes to choose from. Thankfully, we can switch characters mid-game too, which is a nice and rarely-seen mechanic. While following a simple story of a band of mercenaries on a quest for fame and glory, we participate in a range of missions with different goals - usually eliminating all enemies on the map.
The battles take place on hexagonal grids, where we move our characters to advantageous positions, perform attacks, and spend our limited action points on executing special abilities.
To win, we must attempt to shoot all melee enemies from afar, get close to ranged enemies, hide behind covers, stay close together for morale boosts, and reduce the chances of successful counterattacks. It’s a great tactical experience.
While playing on the easy difficulty, it’s entirely possible to just push through the missions without strategizing too much, but the harder levels force us to calculate our every move, perfectly utilize inter-character synergies, and choose the correct equipment that amplifies the distinct traits of each hero. This level of micromanagement may become a turn-off for more casual players.
The biggest downside is that combat eventually gets repetitive, and the battles feel a bit dragged out.
Shieldwall Chronicles is a premium game that costs $9.99 on iOS.
The game demonstrates PC-level visual quality, with detailed 3D models, rich backgrounds, and lots of spectacular effects. Although it might look too tiny on small screens and occasionally lag depending on your device, it’s a great game for anyone fond of squad-based tactical battles and deep character development mechanics.
App Store: Here

Limbus Company [Game Size: 5.2 GB] (Free)

Genre: Gacha / Strategy - Online
Orientation: Landscape
Required Attention: Full
tl;dr review by NimbleThor:
Limbus Company is a polished strategy RPG with a neat story-driven campaign, and the most complex combat system I’ve ever seen. It’s also the third game in a popular series by developer ProjectMoon.
In Limbus Company, we play as Dante and his team of 12 Sinners as they fight their way through hundreds of enemies and special dungeon-crawling boss encounters across a dark and eerie universe.
Interestingly, the combat system is a mix of real-time and turn-based, which means we first select which attacks to use, and then all units on both sides attack simultaneously. Each hero is also locked to a specific enemy, and during the attack phase, we only deal damage if our hero’s final power is higher than the enemy’s. If not, we take damage instead.
We attack by chaining skills together across a 2x5 grid that represents each of our five hero’s two skills. There’s an absolutely insane depth to this system, with lots of things to take into consideration. As just two of many examples, chaining skills of the same color provides a damage boost, but we may want to pick a different skill to better counter the enemy’s attack.
After combat, all our 12 heroes gain XP – not just the five we took into battle. The game’s gacha system focuses on unlocking new identities for these characters, and we’re bombarded with free premium currency to do so.
The story is undoubtedly good, but there is a lot of it, which led me to eventually skip it. The biggest downsides, however, are the bad menu UI and the incredibly long and very frequent load screens. I let the latter count as a negative for the "gameplay" score.
Limbus Company monetizes via a battle pass, an energy system, and iAPs for more gacha pulls. Thankfully, the game can easily be completed as a free player.
Unlike most gacha games, the combat doesn’t simply feel like a numbers game. The deep level of strategy really makes the game stand out, and I think many hardcore players will enjoy it. But just be aware that it is VERY complex to get into.
App Store: Here

King Tactics (Game Size: 169 MB] ($2.99)

Genre: Strategy / Board - Offline + Online
Orientation: Portrait
Required Attention: Full
tl;dr review by AlexSem:
King Tactics is a two-player abstract strategy game about area control that bears a resemblance to Go and Reversi.
The gameplay takes place on a grid with a special coin tile placed in the middle. Each player has five cards in their hand that each define the direction and number of spaces the coin will be moved when this card is played. So, when we play an “Up 2” card, the coin moves two squares up and paints the tile it landed on with our color.
The opposing player plays their own card but moves the coin relative to the position it landed on at the end of the previous turn. The goal is to take over the most tiles, but make sure they are all connected to each other, forming the largest possible area.
The interesting strategic challenge of the game is that we can always see our opponent’s cards, which enables us to come up with a clever plan that puts our opponent in a disadvantageous position or forces them to skip a turn by drawing a new card. It’s also possible to re-capture the opponent’s tiles, which, when used wisely, may turn the tide of the battle at the very last moment.
We can play against a rather smart AI, friends on the same device, or random people over the internet. The game even features a single-player campaign that tells the story of a real period of English history known as “Wars of the Roses”. Not only does this campaign contain interesting historical facts, but it also models the levels after the real battles that took place, with the different sides being handicapped in accordance to genuine historical events.
King Tactics is a $2.99 premium game. Despite the low player base, it still provides great entertainment for all fans of intellectual abstract strategy games.
App Store: Here
Special thanks to the Patreon Producers "marquisdan", "Lost Vault", "Farm RPG", and "Mohaimen" who help make these posts possible through their Patreon support <3
Google Sheet of all games I've played so far (searchable and filter-able): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bf0OxtVxrboZqyEh01AxJYUUqHm8tEfh-Lx-SugcrzY/edit?usp=sharing
TL;DR Video Summary (with gameplay) of last week's games: https://youtu.be/ED1TnAyhKko
Episode 161 Episode 162 Episode 163 Episode 164 Episode 165 Episode 166 Episode 167 Episode 168 Episode 169 Episode 170 Episode 171 Episode 172 Episode 173 Episode 174 Episode 175 Episode 176
submitted by NimbleThor to iosgaming [link] [comments]


2023.05.25 17:02 BottomShelfVodka Nana's house.

[May 2013]
Devon's Nana was ecstatic to see her oldest grandson pulling into her driveway with that adorable little wife of his. She gave us the biggest, tightest, squeeziest grandma hugs ever. She was so warm and welcoming.
I also have a Nana, my mom's mom. She sucks. My Nana was absolutely no fun whatsoever growing up. She had no sense of humor, just as straight edge as they come. She certainly wasn't the "bake you warm, fresh cookies" type of Nana. She never even sent me one single birthday card. What kind of Nana is that?
Devon's Nana was so sweet. She invited us into the house and asked how the drive had been so far. Then she told us we looked exhausted and offered us both coffee and Bailey's Irish Crème.
What? A Nana with alcohol in her house?
My Nana was so strict in her religion, she would have never even purchased cooking wine or beer for battering out of fear of another church member seeing alcohol in her cart at the grocery store.
Papa was a more reserved man. He greeted us with a hug, but then reclused back into the shadows. He never contributed much to the conversation, but he'd give the occasional chuckle from time to time.
Nana was hilarious. She'd let little swear words slip occasionally to spice up a story, and I thought it was absolutely adorable. The closest my Nana ever came to cursing was when she'd drop something and say "Oh, fiddle-sticks"...but she'd say it with so much passionate anger, then get frustrated when I'd giggle about it.
It was fun getting to chat with his Nana without feeling like I had to keep my guard up. We could just relax and enjoy effortless yet meaningful conversations with her. I could just be myself. She was awesome.
She put us up in the softest Queen sized bed I had ever slept in. If a high thread count is important, then this bed set had at least 500,000 threads. It felt like I was sleeping on cotton candy. I would have been perfectly content spending the rest of my life tucked up in those sheets under that weighted blanket.
I was bummed we had to go to Wyoming. I wanted to just abandon the wedding and chill at Nana's for the remaining duration of Devon's leave, but alas, we must continue our journey to Bumfuck-Nowhere, Wyoming.
submitted by BottomShelfVodka to bottomshelfvodka [link] [comments]


2023.05.25 15:20 SpreadSpain Spread Spain: Bedsheet with 400 thread count

Spread Spain: Bedsheet with 400 thread count
Spread Spain is a top home decor company in India that offers bedsheets with 400 thread count. Our bed sheet is made of pure cotton, which gives it an exceptionally soft, smooth, and silky texture. Its long-staple cotton fibers enhance the strength and resilience of the fabric, ensuring it retains its luxurious feel and appearance even after multiple washes. The bedsheet has ample softness and is a fitted size, which gives it a luxurious touch.

Bedsheet with 400 thread count
submitted by SpreadSpain to u/SpreadSpain [link] [comments]