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Installing ALOT, ALOV, MEUITM, and other mods for Mass Effect on Linux
Valve's Proton allows Steam users to run games that don't have a native Linux implementation on their Linux machines. It's amazing. Mass Effect is has a Gold rating on ProtonDB which means it runs well when using Proton, with minor adjustments. If you have the game on Origin or you have a physical copy, you can also play on Linux, but you'll have to use Lutris or something similar instead. Unfortunately, there's not much out there on how to install mods such as A Lot Of Textures (ALOT) and A Lot of Videos (ALOV) for Mass Effect on Linux. It took a lot of work to figure it out, but I was able to do it. Here are some notes I've compiled in my quest in case you want to give it a go.
This guide is assuming you're using Steam. Origin and physical copy users might find these notes useful though. These are the system specs of the machine I played Mass Effect on:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPU: AMD Radeon 5700 XT
GPU Driver: 4.6 Mesa 20.0.7
RAM: 16 GB
OS: Manjaro 20.0.3
Kernel: Linux 22.214.171.124-1
This guide should apply to most Linux distros, I suspect. For example, GrayDog on YouTube is running Fedora 32 with ALOT and ALOV installed according to this video. In this guide, I will assume the following:
You have experience in Linux, e.g. permissions, using the terminal
You know experience with Steam on Linux, e.g. you know how to backup games and how to run games with SteamPlay/Proton
You have experience modding Mass Effect, e.g., you know that some mods are not compatible with each other and that texture mods are installed last
Finally, this guide is not exhaustive as it's entirely based off of my experience. There might be multiple ways to install these mods or some steps that aren't actually required. If you have any interesting information about installing mods for Mass Effect on Linux, let me know!
Install and run your game once
First, install a fresh copy of Mass Effect. Then run the game to make sure it works and so that Steam creates compatibility files that it needs for Proton to work its magic. I highly recommend that you backup your game if you have the storage space because it's possible you'll mess up and need to reinstall. If you have any saves in /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuseMy\ Documents/BioWare/Mass\ Effect/Save/, make sure to back those up too.
Installing DLC + The Audio Issue
Next, you should install at least the Bring Down the Sky DLC first because some mods, like ME1 Recalibrated, require it. If you want Pinnacle Station, you should install that now too. Read this Steam guide by Flabdad. It explains how to download and install the DLC. It also specifies a way to fix the audio issue, but there have been reported problems with that method according to this GitHub issue comment. The method to fix the audio issue that I recommend is by LennoxLuther on ProtonDB.
Before Installing Any Mods
First thing to do is to download binkw23.dll and bink32.dll from here. Put those files in /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/Binaries/. While testing, I've actually installed texture mods without these two dlls and I didn't run into much trouble. I would still install them anyway.
Downloaded the exe version of this mod because installing the exe is the same as installing Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station exes. Below is an example. export STEAM_COMPAT_DATA_PATH="/home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/17460/"; python3 /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton\ 5.0/proton waitforexitandrun /home/useGames/mass-effect/mods/ME1-recalibrated/ME1\ Recalibrated\ \(overwrites\ using\ exe\ installer\)-114-2-2-3-1590649034.exe
Installing this mod is very similar to how you would do it on Windows. Keep a copy of the old BIOGame.ini somewhere in case you want to change back. Extract BIOGame.ini from the archive you downloaded and put it in /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuseMy\ Documents/BioWare/Mass\ Effect/Config/ to replace the existing version. Alternatively, you can edit the original BIOGame.ini. Look for RBPhysicsGravityScaling under the [Engine.WorldInfo] section and change it to 1.27 or your desired gravity levels.
Installing this mod is also very similar to how you would do it on Windows. Keep a copy of the old dinput8.dll somewhere in case you want to change back. Extract dinput8.dll from the archive you downloaded and put it in /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/Binaries/.
Installing this mod is also very similar to how you would do it on Windows. Extract the rar archive into /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/Binaries/. To uninstall, just delete those same files that you extracted.
Extract all desired files from the archives you downloaded. From the main ALOV archive, you'll get two directories, BaseGame and BDTS. In BaseGames, there is a Movies directory. Replace the contents of /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/BioGame/CookedPC/Movies/ with this directory's contents. In BDTS, there is also a Movies directory. Replace the contents of /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/DLC/DLC_UNC/Movies/ with this directory's contents. To install the optional FTL loading screen, take the lone UCW_Loading_Flyby.bik and replace /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/BioGame/CookedPC/Movies/UCW_Loading_Flyby.bik with that file.
Before downloading texture mods...
Disclaimer: I had a lot of problems installing texture mods. I was not able to install MEUITM and ALOT with 100% stability, i.e. my game crashed a couple times when I clicked "Investigate" in conversation. Also, I ran into issues where shadows didn't function properly when I installed MEUITM first then ALOT after, e.g. default male Shepard's face became completely black. Download the Linux zips from here and extract. If the Linux zips aren't in the current release, try another. First, run ./MassEffectModder.AppImage. Set the game path, e.g. /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Mass\ Effect/Binaries/MassEffect.exe, and the user path, e.g. /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuseMy\ Documents/BioWare/Mass\ Effect. What this will do is create a configuration file named /home/use.config/MassEffectModdeMassEffectModder.ini. The reason I use the GUI instead of the CLI version is that MassEffectModderNoGui gets stuck at this line due to an error. I've never written any program in C++, but I know that a single C++ program might run differently on different OSes as well as different machines. In any case, the owner of the MassEffectModder repository removed the Linux programs in the latest release at the time of writing. If you're using Steam and the version of Proton you're using is 5.0 or newer, you can skip to the next section. If you're using an older version of Proton, you'll should enable the PROTON_FORCE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE launch option because it's not enabled by default unlike Proton 5.0 and newer. You can skip to the next section. Otherwise, you should use ./MassEffectModderNoGui to apply the large address awareness fix to ME1. Below is an example. /home/useGames/mass-effect/mods/MassEffectModderNoGui --apply-me1-laa I say "should" because the crashes I experienced usually occur due to LAA not working properly, according to C3Anderson the creator of MEUITM. However, I did try Mass Effect with LAA disabled and I felt that my game crashed more than when I had LAA enabled. In short, I believe there is nothing to lose by enabling LAA.
This section will be to install both MEUITM and ALOT. Once you have the zip archives, extract the contents. For MEUITM, in the mods directory, there will be many mem files. Some mems will overwrite each other. Check installer.ini, which was also extracted, to see which files correspond to which texture packs. Choose one of each type and move or delete the others. For example, I deleted Eyes_Vibrant.mem and kept Eyes_Vanillastyle.mem. There will also be some zip archives in the MEUITM directory. I've never tried installing them, but I suspect installing them only requires extracting the files to the proper locations similar to the SweetFX mod. Consolidate the MEUITM and ALOT mem files into one directory. Typically, the MEUITM is installed before ALOT. With all mem files in one directory, the ALOT mems will be installed first since those files come first lexigraphically. If you want to ALOT textures to override MEUITM textures, I would add some z's to the beginning of the ALOT mem files. To check if the ALOT files were properly installed after MEUITM, compare your game to these photos. Use ./MassEffectModderNoGui to install the textures. Below is an example. /home/useGames/mass-effect/mods/MassEffectModderNoGui --install-mods --gameid 1 --input /home/useGames/mass-effect/mods/MEUITM/mods/ --alot-mode --limit-2k If you want to try the 4K textures, remove the --limit-2k flag. If you run into issues here, you'll need to reinstall your game (I hope you have a backup!) and all other mods.
After installing texture mods...
This section is optional. The reason this section is optional is because although the textures looked better when I did, I felt that the game crashed more than when I skipped this step. Skipping this step should reduce and possibly eliminate crashes. I say "possibly eliminate" because I played the last 10 hours of a playthrough with the original BIOEngine.ini and experienced no crashes. Use ./MassEffectModderNoGui to update the BIOEngine.ini. Below is an example. /home/useGames/mass-effect/mods/MassEffectModderNoGui --apply-lods-gfx --gameid 1 --meuitm-mode --limit-2k I would not recommend removing the --limit-2k flag. My game crashed on startup when I did. If you want to undo this, you can move /home/use.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuseMy\ Documents/BioWare/Mass\ Effect/Config/BIOEngine.ini out of the Config directory and run Mass Effect. This should generate the original ini.
Feel free to ask questions if something doesn't work. I tried a lot of things to get these mods to work so I might have forgotten to add a step or something. Okay, that's all. Good luck and have fun! Edit: Changed my confidence level on reason why MassEffectModderNoGui didn't work for setting game paths
Last Updated: April 8th, 2020, at 8:27pm PDT - Added tips for The Problem Solvers and Wheat from the Chaff for brand new players Last Updated: April 2nd, 2020, at 3:15pm PDT - Updated Melf's upgrade info; guide complete unless I missed something Last Updated: April 1st, 2020, at 9:41pm PDT - Updated Melf's Feat info Last Updated: Initial Post
The start of spring is traditionally marked by a day of peace and rejoicing, featuring beautiful displays of flowers in celebration of Lathander, God of Spring and The Morninglord. Unfortunately for the town of Triboar on the Sword Coast, their celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of a githyanki raiding party... Greengrass runs from Wednesday April 1st, 2020, at Noon PST, thru Monday April 13th, 2020, at Noon PST. You can find the official Greengrass blog post here.
General Event Tips
I highly recommend reading my Guide to Event Planning for basic progression information and ways to maximize your gains/efficiency during Events. There is too much information to put here as this specific Event guide is long enough already.
Don't be afraid to ask questions in the comment section! Also, I stream the game now and welcome any and all questions there as well! You can find all of my Idle Champions guides here. Good luck & have fun! ~ Gaar
Note: Event guides are always a work-in-progress and will update over time so check back frequently! I'll note at the top in the revisions area when it's complete. Important: In Year 3 and beyond, there will be a lot to do to unlock all Champions Gear from an Event if it's your first time doing it. I recommend focusing your time and resources on Gear for no more than 2 Champions as a new player. You can still unlock all 3 Champions though, and should. Your Event tokens are a finite resource, as is your time, and it can be challenging enough to complete two full sets of adventures as a new player, not to mention have time left to do Free Plays for more gear. You also end up with fewer Chests for each Champion if you go for 3+ Champions per Event. Feel free to ask in the comments about which Champions are recommended in the current iteration of the game so you can make an informed decision on how to spend your time.
Year One Champion - Nrakk, the Githzerai Monk
You can find their Event Guide here. Feel free to ask questions about them and their formations here in the comments as the linked discussion may be locked to new comments.
Year Two Champion - Aila, the Wild Elf Barbarian
You can find their Event Guide here. Feel free to ask questions about them and their formations here in the comments as the linked discussion may be locked to new comments.
Year Three Champion - Melf, the Elf FighteWizard
You can read their original Champion Spotlight here. Slot 12: Swaps with Arkhan, Azaka, Nerys, & Zorbu. Good with: Elves; everyone Eligible for Patrons: Mirt, Vajra, & Strahd
Bio: Born into the royal family of Celene, he assumed the simple name of Melf eschewing a life of comfort as a noble to study the arcane arts and train as a swordsman. He delved in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk, the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and many other harrowing places honing his skills, knowledge and amassing powerful magic items. Melf sees himself as a weapon of weal hurtling toward the heart of the darkest evils in the realm. He is opinionated and has a touch of conceit that he is blissfully ignorant of possessing.
Base Attack Speed: 5 seconds Basic Attack: Zagyg’s Needle - Melf leaps out and attacks the nearest enemy with his magic spear. If Melf has any Minute Meteors active, he fires one at a random enemy as well. Ultimate: Melf's Minute Meteors — Melf summons six Minute Meteors that float around him. They are fired when he attacks normally and deal BUD-based damage to all enemies in a small area.
Melf's Adaptive Support Spell: Melf creates a new spell to assist the formation. He customizes it based on the Champions in the formation and where Melf is placed within it. It increases the damage of Champions adjacent to Melf by 100% and that value is augmented based on some other parameters, each of which applies multiplicatively.
If there is another Elf (aside from Melf) in the formation, increase the effect by 50%
Increase the range by 2 if Melf is not in the front-most or rear-most columns in the formation (affects all champions within 3 slots)
Increase the effect by 10% for each unique race in the formation
This ability is buffed by upgrades and equipment (buffs apply to the final calculated value, not the individual increases). Melf's Augmented Support Spell: Melf augments his Adaptive Support Spell for each Champion it affects.
Increase the effect by 50% on the non-dominant gender in the formation (applies to non-binary champions all the time)
Increase the effect by 50% for each slot away from Melf a Champion is (multiplicatively)
Melf's Speedy Supplement: Melf provides one of the following effects at random. A new effect is chosen at random every 50 areas (though it could pick the same one multiple times in a row).
Increase chance to spawn an additional enemy with each wave by 25%
Increase enemy spawn speed by 25%
Increase chance of double quest drops by 25%
This ability is buffed by equipment; note if the chance of double quest drops gets above 100% it will then always cause double quest drops with a chance to cause triple quest drops, etc. Likewise with spawning additional enemies with each wave. Melf's Righteous Determination: Melf knows exactly what evil is. Whenever an enemy spawns it has a 50% chance of being deemed "evil" by Melf. Enemies that are deemed evil take 100% more damage from all Ultimate attacks.
Bonus Adaption: Increases the effect of Melf's Adaptive Support Spell by 100% Extra Supplements: Increase the effect of Melf's Speedy Supplement by 100% Absolute Righteousness: Increase the effect of Melf's Righteous Determination by 100%
Slot 1: Spear - Increases the damage of all Champions Slot 2: Shield - Increases the damage of all Champions Slot 3: Cloak - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability Slot 4: Spellbook - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Speedy Supplement ability Slot 5: Chainmail - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Righteous Determination ability Slot 6: Meteor - Buffs Melf's Ultimate attack Damage
First slot is available at 60 while the second is available at 1140. Default: Selflessness - Increases the damage of all Champions by 10% Default: Supportive Ally - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 20% 12,500 Gems: Inspiring Leader - Increases the damage of all Champions by 25% 12,500 Gems: Melf's Medium Meteors - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Righteous Determination ability by 40% Gold Chest: Encouraging Ally - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 40% Gold Chest: Rushed Plans - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Speedy Supplement ability by 40%
20 - Melf's Adaptive Support Spell
40 - Increases the damage of Melf by 100%
50 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
60 - Melf's Righteous Determination
65 - Increases the damage of Melf by 100%
70 - Melf's Speedy Supplement
80 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
85 - Increases the damage of Melf by 100%
90 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
95 - Ultimate
100 - Specialization Choice
110 - Increases the damage of Melf by 100%
120 - Melf's Augmented Support Spell
140 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
150 - Increases the damage of Melf by 100%
160 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
210 - Increases the damage of Melf by 200%
230 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
250 - Increases the damage of Melf by 200%
300 - Increases the damage of Melf by 200%
350 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
360 - Increases the damage of Melf by 200%
370 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
430 - Increases the damage of Melf by 200%
490 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
500 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
550 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
560 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
585 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
645 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
655 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
725 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
765 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
775 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
815 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
825 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
920 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
935 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
950 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 200%
1010 - Increases the damage of Melf by 300%
1025 - Increases the damage of all Champions by 100%
1035 - Increases the effect of Melf's Melf's Adaptive Support Spell ability by 200%
Current max upgrade level is 1035
Formation & Mission Information
Once you complete the first mission, three Variants and a Free Play show up. There is a new formation that holds 10 Champions. It has an Event-specific format that I've done my best to re-create below.
New Player Formation & Specializations:
Bruenor - Shield Master
Minsc - Humanoids
Calliope - College of Lore
Nayeli - Oath of Devotion
Asharra - Elves & Dwarves
Jarlaxle - Leader of Bregan D'aerthe
Celeste - Life Domain
Hitch - Charismatic
This formation is for the first couple of runs where you're just not going to get enough Gold to get everyone on the field, let alone level people up into their power curves. At this point, Jarlaxle is focusing on being your Primary DPS while everyone else is set up to support him. The following formation is for once you can get Hitch up into his power curve for damage and he starts outpacing Jarlaxle. You'll have to figure this out during your runs by swapping him and Jarlaxle around every now and then and seeing who's doing better in that Primary DPS slot.
Tyril - Moonbeam
Makos - Dark Blessing
Bruenor - Shield Master
Asharra - Humans
Calliope - College of Lore
Nayeli - Oath of Devotion
Jarlaxle - Leader of Bregan D'aerthe
Hitch - Charismatic
Celeste - Life Domain
Minsc - Humanoids
This formation should get you through the Event as a new player. If you have other options or think a different DPS is geared better, try it out and see what happens! Swapping DPS around like this can help you figure out what works best for you with your specific items. If you need assistance with formations, ask in the Comment section and be sure to list out what extra Champs you have so people know what to work with. These are the rough Favor values you need to reach to make a Variant (Second through Fourth missions) show as Easy in terms of Difficulty. Keep in mind that this is just a generic rating system and some Variants may be harder than others, even when they show as Easy.
Favor Level (Normal)
Favor Level (Scientific Notation)
Initial Mission: The Endless War (Melf)
Cost: 100 Bouquets Complete: Level 50 Reward: Melf + whatever Lathander's Favor you earned Info: No restrictions.
Second Mission: Honorable Discharge
Cost: 1,000 Bouquets Complete: Level 75 Reward: Gold Melf Chest & whatever Lathander's Favor you earned Info: Each Champion can only be used to complete 50 areas. Gaar's Notes: Not gonna lie, this could be rough if you don't have much Favor. New players will need to remove all Champions from the formation and rely on Click Damage only through the first 25 levels and then build a formation on 26 to beat this due to lack of swappable Champions. Make sure it shows as Easy before starting. Even then, maybe wait until The Problem Solvers shows as Easy as well before starting this one.
Third Mission: The Problem Solvers
Cost: 2,500 Bouquets Complete: Level 125 Reward: Gold Melf Chest & whatever Lathander's Favor you earned Info: Only Champions with an INT score of 13 or higher can be used. Gaar's Notes: Well, this is basically your introduction to Strahd as a Patron, only in an Event. Here's a list of viable Champs with those that can be used with a Feat in ():
Slot 1: Sisaspia, K'thriss, & Turiel
Slot 2: Regis & (Celeste)
Slot 3: Artemis
Slot 4: Jarlaxle, Paultin, & Stoki
Slot 5: Dhadius, Xander, & Qillek
Slot 6: Asharra, Krond, & Shandie
Slot 7: Jim, Catti-Brie, & Farideh
Slot 8: Delina, Vlahnya, Hitch, & (Nrakk)
Slot 9: Makos, Morgaen, Birdsong, & (Drizzt)
Slot 10: Tyril & (Rosie)
Slot 11: Strix, Dragonbait, & Avren
Slot 12: Melf, (Zorbu), & (Nerys)
If you don't have a viable formation after this restriction, stock up on Favor before attempting. Get it to Easy, or even better, get Wheat From the Chaff to show as Easy before starting. As a brand new player who may only have Core Champs and Melf, you may end up at a point where your Champs just aren't doing damage. At that point, try leveling up your Click Damage. Normally I don't recommend this, but I beat it that way on my gearless account with Core/Melf in the formation. So keep it open as an option.
Fourth Mission: Wheat From the Chaff
Cost: 5,000 Bouquets Complete: Level 175 Reward: Gold Melf Chest & whatever Lathander's Favor you earned Info: Melf starts out in the formation with Melf's Righteous Determination unlocked. Only enemies that Melf deems evil can be damaged. Blockers, bosses, and boss trash mobs are always deemed evil. All non-evil enemies are invulnerable and can not even be attacked. Gaar's Notes: Oof. Make sure you have a reliable tank for this one because they're going to get some work. Do not attempt this before it shows as Easy if you're new. This is going to be difficult without AoE DPS options. It's also going to take a long time... (pssst...set up your formation, level up your Champs, place familiars to level them up if you can, then go offline...) If you're brand new and only have Core/Evergreen Champs plus Melf, here's a formation setup that should help get you through the early levels until you can get another tank in front. Basically, you're splitting damage between two Champs to help you die slower. Bruenor has his Overhwelm Feat slotted while Nayeli is in Devotion spec and Calliope is in Lore spec to increases survivability. Good luck!
Cost: 500-2500 Bouquets Complete: Level 50 to earn a random Melf chest Reward: See above + whatever Lathander's Favor you earned Info: No restrictions.
Recruit Melf - 1% Recruit Melf, the Elf Wizard/Fighter Melf's Vigorous Variants - 1% Complete all three variants of the "The Endless War (Melf)" adventure. Melf's Marvelous Equipment - 1% Obtain a piece of gear for each of Melf's six equipment slots. (Event Champ gear does not come from regular SilveGold Chests. You can earn Event Champ gear from their specific Event Chests, Time Gates, and other limited-time Chests as noted.) Melf's Free Play Slog - 1% Complete area 275 in any "The Endless War" free play. Melf's "Broken" RNG - 1% Complete 200 consecutive areas with Melf's Speedy Supplement providing the same buff.
Dota IMBA 7.19g (plus Spring Cleaning 2020 Part 1)
So...this was originally meant to just be a bug-fix patch, but Valve dropped Patch 7.25 on the day that I expected to put this up. Not wanting to delay any of those changes for two or more weeks, I took most of the day to hastily shove in many of the vanilla changes, so this ends up being a standard balance patch, with a LOT of bug-fixes... As fixing bugs inadvertently results in other bugs emerging (especially with a bunch of new stuff being added), I encourage players to continue reporting any discrepancies they run into. The Discord has a #spring_cleaning_bugs channel where these reports are consolidated and quickly addressed, so feel free to stop by and let us know how we can continue to improve the game. As mentioned, this patch implements a majority of the standard Patch 7.25 changes. More "personalized" changes are still scheduled for Dota IMBA 7.20.
Tier 1 neutral item drop rates increased from 10 to 14%
Reworked Aghanim's Scepter.
Before: Hurls a second shuriken after a 1 second delay, and increases cast range (800/900/1000/1100) and stun duration (0.75 seconds).
After: Upgrades Shuriken Toss. Applies Jinada to it, reduces cooldown (6 seconds) and increases cast range (800).
Removed Critical Strike IMBAfication
Replaced Level 20 Talent "Shuriken Toss procs Jinada damage on bounced targets" with "+60 Attack Speed"
Rescaled cast range from 500/750/1000/1250 to 550/780/1010/1240
Death Pact no longer has a neutral level requirement
Soul High no longer has a hero level requirement
Surge movement speed changed from 80% to +250
Replaced Level 10 Talent "+15% Evasion" with "+125 Ion Shell Radius"
Added (another) Aghanim's Scepter effect:
Causes all of your abilities to fire an attack at nearby (800 range) enemies (up to 8) when they are cast.
Dark Seer: Vacuum/Wormhole now "properly" works against invulnerable/sleeping units
Dark Seer: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+400 Surge Cast Range" not updating on clientside
Dazzle: Shallow Grave's Gravely Mistaken now stacks with itself
Diffusal Blade/Purgeblade: Fixed Purge/Combust's slow not properly scaling with status resistance or debuff duration
If the modifier duration is increased for too long, the target would start gaining movement speed
Drow Ranger: Fixed Frost Arrows not slowing movement speed
Drow Ranger: Fixed Marksmanship being able to trigger on allied units
Drow Ranger: (Pre 7.23 Form) Fixed Level 15 Talent "Marksmanship Chill Aura" movement speed slow not showing on client-side
Drow Ranger: (Pre 7.23 Form) Attempted fix for Level 20 Talent "Trueshot Burst" sometimes not working
Ember Spirit: Fixed Flame Guard blocking damage in binary (it would always block an entire instance of damage as long as the shield had any amount of health)
Ember Spirit: Rough fix for Refresher Orb/Refresher Shard not replenishing Fire Remnant charges
Ember Spirit's charge system as a whole is very cobbled together, and the hero as a whole may require a large overhaul in the near future. Because this would constitute a "balance change", this will not happen for this patch.
Enchantress: Fixed Untouchable showing four levels for the IMBAfications instead of three
Regret Untouchable stacks increased from 2/3/3 to 2/3/4
Enchantress: Fixed Enchant's Kindred Spirits not benefitting from Level 20 Talent "Peace Was Always An Option" Untouchable slow
Faceless Void: Pseudo-fix for Time Walk not adapting to cast range bonuses
Faceless Void: Fixed Aghanim's Scepter Chronosphere reducing allied cast speed by 0.5% instead of 50%
Faceless Void: Fixed Aghanim's Scepter Chronosphere reducing allied projectile speed by 50 instead of 50%
General: Cleaned up a lot of tooltips (not going to list them all)
Grimstroke: Fixed Stroke of Fate's Your Stain Spreads triggering on every unit within range of a Soulbound target, instead of every Soulbound unit within range of a target
Grimstroke: Ink Swell can no longer be cast on units affected by Ink God's Incarnation
Grimstroke: Fixed Ink God's Incarnation not properly tracking units to prevent consecutive stuns
Hand of Midas: Fixed Midas Touch not affecting bounty runes
Heart of Tarrasque: Fixed Health Regeneration not being affected by cooldown reductions
Heart of Tarrasque: Fixed Health Regeneration going on cooldown from 0 damage instances
Hood of Defiance: Fixed having a shared cooldown with Pipe of Insight
Hurricane Pike/Lance of Longinus: Fixed enemy cast range being 800 instead of 400
Huskar: Fixed Burning Spears still applying if the target turns spell immune while the projectile is mid-flight
Huskar: Fixed Level 25 Talent "Burning Spears Pure Damage" not applying through spell immunity
Items: Attempted fix for items infrequently not applying their passive stats/modifiers
Jakiro: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+20 Fire Breath DPS, +8% Frost Breath slow" not showing on client-side
Javelin: Fixed not displaying its +10 bonus damage in item tooltips
Javelin/Monkey King Bar: Fixed Pierce not showing the overhead spell damage alert numbers
Juggernaut: Fixed Blade Dance not working during Omnislash
Lich: Fixed Level 20 Talent "Death Blossom (Frost Nova Auto-Cast Option)" not working if acquired while dead
Lion: Fixed Impale still triggering Hell Spike when triggering spell block
Pudge: Fixed illusions not copying existing Flesh Heap stacks (made it very obvious when they were illusions due to model size differences)
Pugna: Fixed Decrepify's From the Nether Reaches IMBAfication being damaging/healing for 1% of its intended values
Pugna: Fixed Life Drain being castable on magic immune enemies for 0.25 seconds before being cancelled (no longer pierces at all)
Queen of Pain: Fixed Scream of Pain's Overwhelming Pain not being tagged as reflection damage
Riki: (Pre 7.23 Form) Fixed Level 20 Talent "Martyr Strike's Marks" breaking Aghanim's Scepter Tricks of the Trade's Martyr Strikes if self-cast
Rubick: Spell Steal no longer copies Void Spirit's Aether Remnant (source of crashes)
Rubick: Spell Steal no copies deletes existing stolen abilities if a "banned ability" is attempted to be stolen; instead, the caster will get a cast error and be prevented from stealing in the first place
Rubick: Pseudo-fix for Spell Steal not properly copying Primal Spring
Will result in permanent ability slot issues until Primal Spring is stolen again
Rusty Old Shotgun: VERY rough fix for Shotgun! not displaying projectiles
Shops: Fixed some items missing in the Upgrades tab due to IMBAfications
Skywrath Mage: Fixed Arcane Bolt not having a visible projectile when reflected
Silencer: Fixed Glaives of Wisdom's Tranquility of Aeol Drias not working
Silencer: Glaives of Wisdom's Tranquility of Aeol Drias glaive debuff checker now ignores status resistance
Sniper: Fixed Headshot's knockback and slow and Perfect Shot's stun piercing spell immunity
Sniper: Fixed Assassinate not removing its vision modifier early if it does not hit the target
Sniper: Level 20 Talent "True Assassination" now increases the vision modifier duration by the increased cast time
Sniper: Level 20 Talent "True Assassination" now does not remove the vision modifier until the final projectile lands
Sogat Cuirass: Fixed Damage Block not working
Spirit Breaker: Fixed Nether Strike's cast phase vision modifier being affected by status resistance
Storm Spirit: Ball Lightning now disjoints at the end of its modifier
Templar Assassin: Fixed Psionic Trap Psychic Inhibitor not working when activated by the trap's own spring ability
Templar Assassin: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+200 Psionic Trap Damage" not working when activated by the trap's own spring ability
Tinker: Fixed March of the Machines dealing 16/24/32/40 damage instead of 24/36/48/60 damage
Transient Boots: Fixed Glimmer of Tranquility potentially interrupting attacks when turning invisible
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 10 Talent "Ranged Proficiency" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+20% Whirling Axes (Ranged) Movement Slow" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+6 Fervor Attack Speed Per Stack" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 25 Talent "-0.2 Battle Trance BAT improvement" not showing on client-side
Ursa: "Fixed" Fury Swipes being affected by status resistance against Roshan
Vanguard: Fixed Damage Block not working
Visage: Fixed Grave Chill's Death Enticement IMBAfication not working
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed not affecting invulnerable units
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed using a custom damage calculation formula for lifesteal instead of using the standard values
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed some units benefitting from the lifesteal twice
Wraith King: Attempted fix for Level 20 Talent "Reincarnation can revive allies" not setting Reincarnation on cooldown if a non-self ally dies while Wraith King is holding Aegis of the Immortal
Zeus: Fixed Arc Lightning not having 80 mana cost
Minor Patch for Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Bugfixes / Miscellaneous
Ember Spirit: Rough fix for Fire Remnant charges being inconsistent when manipulating having Aghanim's Scepter in inventory
Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Fixed both versions having separate cooldowns
Gyrocopter: Fixed Call Down cooldown not being updated as per patch notes
Nullifier: Fixed both versions having separate cooldowns
Minor Patch #2 for Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Bugfixes / Miscellaneous
Centaur Warrunner: Minor improvements to Hoof Stomp's Gladiators' Pit logic
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate's damage return not being affected by spell amplification
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate being able to get charge stacks while the damage buff is active
Centaur Warrunner: Retaliate's Remnants of Return now sources the strength bonus from the modifier owner instead of the aura owner
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate's Bulging Hide using a custom block system instead of the standard (and potentially not working)
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+100% Double Edge Shake It Off" not working, instead increasing Retaliate's Remnants of Return strength percentage by 1%
Centaur Warrunner: Level 25 Talent "Retaliate Upgrade" no longer triggers Bulging Hide from spell damage
Satanic: Attempted fix for lifesteal unocassionally not working
Tidehunter: Fixed Kraken Shell's Aqueous Leviathan not immediately updating health values due to strength changes
Tidehunter: Fixed Level 15 Talent "-25% Anchor Smash Damage Reduction" not showing on client-side
continuing As I was picking myself up off the shooter’s shack floor, I glanced over to the TV. The ballplayers were all wandering around the field, looking skyward. Evidently, there was this hellacious explosion…even the television sports commentators were speculating as to what happened. Whoops. I looked out into the quarry. The wall that I had charged had receded some 75 feet. There was rather a large amount of shattered, blasted dolomitic limestone now in the quarry. Enough, I found out later, for a full month’s worth of orders. We never did find the blasting mats. I think they sort of evaporated. Luckily, the quarry is essentially an open amphitheater in plan view; basically a big hole in the ground with vertical limestone walls. The shockwave of the blast that didn’t spend itself shattering the limestone into which it was housed, blew out laterally, hit the opposite quarry wall, rebounded, and then dispersed, rather energetically, vertically upward. I set off car alarms for a 20 block radius. There were no broken home windows, as the lion’s share of the shock wave was redirected upward. Good thing there were no low flying zeppelins or dirigibles in the area... I waited the requisite time to allow for any loafers. There were none, so I jumped into the nearest wheel loader and began clearing the quarry floor. Hell, I had to so I could open the front gate. As I was clearing the floor, making pile number eight of the loose rock I had liberated, I heard the characteristic whoop-whoop of emergency vehicles. I parked the wheel loader, opened the front gate, and raised the green flag. That was enough blasting for one day. A few minutes later, three police cars zoom into the site. Two were local city cops, and one was a state trooper. “Hi, guys!” I waved, “Nice day, innit?” “Doctor Rock! We should have known.” One of the local boys groaned. “Hey, I did call you beforehand, as per procedure,” I said. Polack the cop walks up, just knowing I was responsible. “Yeah, but we didn’t figure on you terrorizing the entire city.” “Polack! How goes it?” I asked. The other local cop and the state trooper look to Polack, “You know this maniac?” “Oh, hell yeah. For years. Don’t worry, the good doctor is mostly harmless.” He chuckles. “Damn. OK. I guess everything’s OK. Just no more shooting today, please, Doctor. It’s going to take hours to calm everyone down.” He laments. “Yes, sir. I’m done for the day.” I reply, snickering slightly. The one local and state trooper depart, shaking their heads in amazement. This left Polack to follow me over to the shooter’s shack to mooch a cigar and whatever else he can find. “Jesus Hula-Dancing Christ, Rock. What the hell was that? I was all the way out in Whitewatosa and heard you.” He asks as he sneakily snakes a smoke out of my case. “Just some common chemicals in the proper proportions.” I snicker. “Which were?” he asks. I go in the back of the shed and toss him an empty container of one of the parts of the binaries I used. He catches it, reads the label, and drops it like a live grenade. “Binaries? Fuck! Like what you used at the tower?” he asks. “Yep. I used just a little more.” I reply. “Little more? Damn, as I said, we’ve been briefed on the stuff. This shit’s nasty.” He shakes his head. “Yeah. Fun, too.” I reply. Polack grabs a Sprechler’s Cream Soda out of the fridge as I opt for a cold Cream Ale and shot of potato juice. Hell, I was done for the day, so… We sit around and have a chat, just shooting the shit, as it were. Manly topics, so the conversation eventually steered over to guns. “Hey!” Polack remembers, “That’s right! You fucking owe me. Let me borrow that fucking cannon you carry. I want to show the chief a thing or two.” “Yeah, that’s right”, I agree, “When do you need it?” “This Friday, after shift. It’s the monthly qualifiers for us.” He notes. “Are pyromaniacs allowed in?” I ask. “To observe? Sure. To shoot? Nope. Insurance regulations.” He says. “What time?” I continue. “1800 hours.” He tells me. “I’ll be there. I’ll bring my gun and an assortment of loads. Hey, this could be fun!” I evilly smile. “Doctor. You’re doing that thing again. You’re grinnin’ like a shithouse rat. You know how much that scares me. Stop it.” He pleads. “No worries. Friday at 1800 hours.” I reply, grinning. Polack slurps down his Sprechlers, snitches another stogie, and squeals out of the quarry in a cloud of dense dolomitic dust. I arrive back at our flat, after stopping for two frozen custard Turtle Sundaes, to go. I give one to an appreciative wife and I ask her about her day. “Oh, went shopping with Oma. Got the cutest shoes, and a new purse, and…oh well, never mind. You’ll see.” Between bites of Turtle Sundae, she asks how my day went. “Oh, my dear. I had a real blast.” I replied, not lying in the least. Monday, after my first classes, I’m back in the faculty lounge, savoring a Greenland Coffee. There was the usual instructor chatter when Dean Vermiculari walks in. “Good morning, Dean!” I say. “Care for a sit-down and a coffee?” “Good morning, Doctor Rock. Yes, please to both.” He replies. I fix us both a fresh Greenland Coffee and return to our table. I hand him one and sit down to savor my soupçon. “How was your weekend?” I ask the Dean of the College. “Oh, very nice. Had a fine time catching some perch and crappie out on Lake Genever. I see you had a victorious weekend as well. Twice.” He smiles. “Twice?” I asked. “Well, your handling of the tower demolition made all the papers. Very, very well done, Doctor. I congratulate you.” He smiles. “Thank you, Dean. That means a lot. Just doing what I can with what I’ve got. But twice?” I replied. “It wasn’t front-page news, but I saw there was some, well, let us just say, ‘energetic activity’ out at the Silurian reef limestone quarry yesterday.” He grinned. “Oh, yes. I had a job to do and well, as I always say: ‘Nothing succeeds like excess.” I smile back. “Quite. This beverage you’ve created is really rather extraordinary, Doctor. Again, I thank you.” He tips his mug my direction in the age-old Midwestern salute. “It’s a little recipe I picked up on my last expedition to the northlands. I grew rather fond of the concoction.” I replied. “Ah, I see. Marvelous.” He smiles. “Thank you, Dean. High praise indeed.” I reply. “Which leads me to…ah, Doctor Rock. I have another favor to impose upon you.” He says, all serious. “Yes, Dean? How can I be of service?” I ask. “We, as you no doubt know, have many, many fine extractive mineral company connections. We actually receive quite a large amount of funding and endowments from them. They recruit here extensively for our young geoscientists. Now, since Dr. Pataariki has left for industry himself, I would like to appoint you as the College of Natural Sciences corporate liaison.” He explains. “Indeed?” I replied, too stunned for words for once. “Yes, indeed.” He continues, “It will require travel, mostly domestic, and delivering symposia at various companies on differing extractive geological subjects. You will also serve as host and university coordinator when they are present on recruiting tours. There will, of course, be additional remuneration to accompany the added responsibilities.” I slurped my coffee, thinking furiously. “Could I please first discuss it with my wife before I answer?” I ask. “Oh, Doctor. Of course, of course. Take your time. I will not require a reply until… tomorrow.” He smiles, finishes his coffee, thanks me again, and toddles out. “Yow, Es!” I exclaim, “This is one hell of an opportunity. It’s never before been offered to a junior professor. This will cement my tenure-track. It’s going to be a bitch with time, though. What do you think I should do?” “Well, Rock, honey, I think you should do…” Es begins. “No! None of that ‘do what you think is best’ stuff. I want your own thoughts, just like when I decided to go after my doctorate.” I explained. “OK, then.” Esme looks all serious like she’s going to deliver a bipartisan political speech. “Yes.” She says, firmly “That’s it?” I ask. “Yep. You asked I answered. We’ll make it work. We always do. You can’t let the Dean down. You will accept tomorrow without fear or qualms of your wife’s hesitations, of which I harbor none.” Esme proclaims. “Did I ever tell you of the myriad reasons I love you so?” I ask. The next morning I meet with Dean Vermiculari. He’s pleased that I accept and hands over to me the charter. Then the lists of company representatives, their contact information, and some other secret stuff that I can’t divulge right yet. A raft of oil companies will be coming in the late spring semester, so I need to contact each and every one to solidify dates, times and positions for which they’re recruiting. But that’s for then, I have something more proximal for now. I have a Friday appointment with Polack the cop at the town police shooting range. I arrive spot on time with my Casull .454 Magnum pistol, in its carry bag, along with a small duffel crammed with Pyrodex, Tannerite, and selection of specialty loads I had Herman the German, the inveterate gunsmith, create. Herman the German, his actual sobriquet, was this incredible gunsmith, craftsman, and all-around artillery specialist. Have any sort of problem with a rifle, shotgun, or pistol? See Herman. Gun holding too high? See Herman. Barrel warped? See Herman. Need solid gold projectiles for a certain one-off job? See Herman. Herman the German can sort it out. Just never ask him: “How?” “Ach! I’ve lived so long to learn, and you want it free? I’ll fix it, you pay, but I am only one knowing how!” Herman was a cranky old Kraut, and has lived here for as long as anyone can remember. Even my Grandfather had deferred to Herman when he had some particularly delicate machining operation that need special attention and was unique. As far as anyone knew, Herman had no family, but was never at a loss for friends. He was one of the most popular, and well known, but still oddly really unknown, kind of mysterious, old bastards in the entire community. Herman the German liked me because I could obtain for him certain high-energy things he couldn’t. All were entirely legal, but some were sort of out there in the gray zone. He also liked that I was educated, as he held education in the highest esteem. He also liked that I was of German extraction myself. I often made it a point to drop by with odd and unusual high-octane potables while never expecting anything in return other than a story or a shared cigar. Herman created some special loads for my .454 Magnum, which he prized. “I like your gun, Doctor Rock, it is so big! I can still see well enough to build things for it.” He told me one day over cheroots and Schnapps. Herman was a character to be certain. It must have been the pixie in him to dream up some of the specialty rounds he created for me to share with the local constabulary. He lived out in the county by himself in an old farmhouse. He had a full machine shop in his basement, complete with forge, metal handling equipment, and a firing test range. He handed back my .454, rather solemnly. “Doctor, I am afraid to say I couldn’t test all the special rounds I’ve created for you. I need to patch the hole in the cinder blocks in the downstairs range. Your gun punched right through the back…” he apologized. Now, Herman does all sorts of work on the local’s deer rifles, the police’s ordinance and has even worked some with the Baja Canada National Guard. Some of the little novelties he’s dreamed up for me are the first to escape his homemade basement test range. I felt oddly honored. After proving who I was to the nice range officer, I looked around trying to find Polack. “It’s 1550. Where the hell is Polack? I wondered. “Rock! Over here.” Polack calls to me. He motions me outside to the police department’s tactical outdoor range. I had thought all along he was referring to the indoors police target range. This might pose some problems. The tactical range was a series of clapboard shacks, all setup and designed to represent some downtrodden urban inter-city landscape. There were a couple of junked cars, broken sidewalks, storefronts, houses, bus stops…in short, all things necessary to replicate the seediest sections of a settlement where malefactors live and breed. The cops all run around this range, shooting at bad guy pop-up cut-outs and avoid the not-bad-guy pop-up cut-outs. They’ve got music blaring, firecrackers going off, all trying to re-create a shady deeply urban environment. Points are awarded by the accuracy of fire on the run, time to maneuver the course, and the ability of not gunning down innocent bystanders. It is not the best place to test a .454 Cusall. This hand cannon recoils like a fundamentalist Christian being solicited for donations to Anton LaVey, shoots flames and incandescent gasses like Smaug after a hard night of drinking and a stop at the Taco Bell buffet, is louder than a dime-store Karen demanding to see a Manager, and more powerful than a Ghost Pepper suppository. To quote Joe Piscopo: “It shoots through schools.” Especially faux-schools made of plywood. A .32 or .38 cop special is the correct weapon here; even a 9mm is a little heavy. Enough power to make a serious dent, easy on control, light on the recoil…a good tactical weapon. But, nothing succeeds like excess. Polack’s Chief is running around, capping off his ‘big ol’ .44 Magnum, and making the valley echo. He punches considerable holes in the pop-up cut-outs, but has such a hard time handling the recoil, his score is barely passable. Polack runs his test with his standard 9mm sidearm and qualifies easily. However, he’s nowhere near done with his Chief yet. I suggest to Polack we have a shoot-off. And since a .44 Magnum bullet ‘is so close to a .454 Magnum’, which it isn’t…the .454 Casull generates nearly 85% more recoil energy than the .44 Magnum; that we’d need something other than holes punched in plywood to judge the efficacy of each. We are literally just down the road from Max Yazzer’s farm and market. They’re the place you go for your Halloween jack-o-lantern. However, now, he has a surplus of melons. I think you can see where this is headed… I borrow Polack’s personal conveyance and run down to Max’s farm. I return with a trunk-load of elderly, overripe, cheap as chips, melons. Watermelons, Honeydews, Musks, and Casabas. We place them in strategic areas on the course, five for the Chief to find, and five for Polack. A .44 vs. a .454 melon-wise results in pretty much the same sort of mess: high-velocity fruit spatter. Although, the Chief was very impressed by the report of the .454. So, after running the tactical-melon course, clear demarcation of a winner was elusive. OK, OK, clever dicks. How about this? A standing shoot-off? We’ll set up 3 melons each at 30, 20, and 10 yards. Beginning at 30 yards, your time will be until you take out all three melons. But, they’re not going to be in a straight line, we’re going to make them somewhat camouflaged. You will stand in one small demarcated area, hunt those miscreant melons, and bring them to justice. Fastest time and greatest display wins, as determined by the Police Peanut Gallery. Polack and the Chief agree. The Chief goes first and dispatches the melons, with a fair amount of spatter, in 15.3 seconds. Not bad. Polack is next. He wipes out all the melons and creates some thoroughly impressive displays with Herman’s ‘special’ rounds. Normal ballistics for the .454 are, for a 250 grain (16 g) bullet, a muzzle velocity of over 2,400 feet per second, developing up to 2,800 ft-lb of energy. Herman’s hot loads are double that. Polack wins the day on impressive high-velocity melon distribution, but misses, so close, with a time of 17.0 seconds. Recoil’s a bitch. Then there are Herman’s ‘specialties’. The Chief is duly impressed and even comments that his ears are ringing even with the ear protectors. He asks to inspect the weapon. He is even more than duly impressed. Polack knows what’s up and asks the Chief if he’d like to give a whirl. Of course, the Chief can’t back down. Polack loads the .454 with 5 of Herman’s specialties: hollow-point rounds loaded hot, compressed, and tipped with alkaline earth metals, like metallic sodium and metallic potassium… We set up the nastiest, glorpiest, just barely-holding-together, overripe, laced with Tannerite (an impact-actuated low-explosive) watermelon at the ‘Concealed Carry’ distance of 5 meters. We slowly fade back into the distance to avoid the inevitable ‘Gallagher reaction’. The Chief fires one, and just nicks the top of the melon. Don’t laugh, with the type of recoil and heft of the sidearm, and tensing up in anticipation, it’s easy to be off the mark initially. The second round impacts dead-center. Now, alkaline earth metals and water don’t get along really well. In fact, their relationship is explosive. Especially explosive when delivered at 2,900 feet per second. The Chief catches a huge smattering of vitamin-packed watermelony back blast goo. He’s not entirely happy. He looks positively grisly with all that blown-up melon schmoo on his nice, neat uniform. He returns my gun and bans me from ever showing up at the police range again. Polack is on traffic duty for the next month. He figures it was well worth it. Back at the flat, Esme is shaking her head and wondering if I’ll ever grow up. “I may grow old, but I’ll never grow up.” I reply. I see I have several missed phone calls. Ah, me; no rest for the weary. Back to company-university liaison duties. After I had contacted these companies, I receive no less than 12 requests for symposia, talks, and seminars to be given to various level of industrial scientific employees in their respective companies. I am now slated to give academic conferences on stratigraphy, sedimentology, and seismic structural geology to different companies in Houston, Oklahoma City, Denver, Casper, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, and Tulsa. In the next 12 weeks, I’ll be giving no less than 8 talks in seven cities. I speak with Dean Vermiculari on how best to handle the situation. He understands and appoints two graduate student teaching assistants to handle my classes while I’m on the road. That relieves me of being physically there, but I still have to grade papers, compose lesson plans, and keep things running smoothly until finals. Besides giving the talks, there’s travel to oil fields, production facilitates, manufacturing plants, hotels, restaurants while I’m in town…the pace is excruciating. I’m gone more than I am at university. Plus in my time back home, I’m still the ad hoc master blaster for the limestone quarry. Then, there’s the companies arriving on campus, and the roles are reversed. Now I’m the welcome wagon and have to sort out the logistics of receiving the company representatives. I need to set up the colloquia to introduce the companies to the prospective students, arrange lodging, arrange passes for the university, transportation, “Meet-and-Greet’s, ad infinitum. I knew this was having a bit of effect on me when I came back to the flat after one particularly grueling ordeal of canceled flights, full hotels, missed connections and lukewarm reception by the company workers. “Hello”, I said, as I walked in the flat, “I believe you have a reservation for…” Esme just stood there, wondering if I was having a laugh. No, I wasn’t. I was completely hallucinating from road weariness, lack of sleep, jet lag, and total disorientation. This continued on for the next approximately 18 months. Esme was beginning to have second thoughts about all this. My teaching load was diminished by one whole introductory course. However, I was still flying hither and yon, delivering symposia, meeting with young geoscientists and getting to know the ins-and-outs of the Oil Industry. I found it particularly fascinating. Time marched on and it was once again it was the recruiting season. We had no less than eight oil companies visiting the university in their quest to swell the roster of their junior scientists. I’m still busier than a one-armed paperhanger in a windstorm, but have settled into a groove of sorts. I know the company recruiters and they now know me. I’ve actually struck up friendships with several. Particularly since I take them to the best local restaurants and bars after their recruiting duties are finished. I’ve met with recruiting representatives of Shrill Petrol, Mexxon, Nobil, Nocono Oil, Flug, Geddy, Brutish Petroleum, and Qexaco. The recruiting season is winding down and I find myself with Red (not Adair), of Nocono Oil. “Well, Doctor Rock”, Red states, “Another fine recruiting run. We’ve snagged two of your young geologists and one geophysicist. I’d say it was almost a perfect score.” We’re sitting in the Norton’s Steakhouse. After a couple of prime pink porterhouses, we’re working on the post-dinner double vodka and bitter lemon for me, and Lagavulin for Red. “Almost perfect?” I ask. “Yeah. There’s been this one small nagging concern from our company higher-ups.” Red continues. “What’s that?” I ask. “We need some more senior people. For one thing, we’ve recently opened a new petroleum laboratory down in our Houston office. Going to need some serious talent to run that show.” Red says. “I see”, I reply, “And…?” “We need mentors. Those with varied and far-flung knowledge. They must be well educated, global in experience and stature, with an [ahem] diverse set of skills.” Red notes. “Whew”, I agree, “That’s a tall order. You want my help with names of possible candidates? Is that it?” “Not as such, Doctor.” Red drains his drink, motions for me to do the same, and orders another round. Our drinks arrive and Red downs half his in one gulp. “Well, then”, I continue, “How can I help?” Red chuckles, “For someone so educated, you can really be thick as two short planks at times.” I sit back, and sip my Old Thought Provoker. The mercury-vapors light off. “No!” I say, incredulously. “Oh, yes.” Red smiles. “No?” I ask, slowly taking in the possible effects of what he’s hinting at… “OK, Doctor Rocknocker”, Red gets all serious and corporate, “We’d like to offer you a position at Nocono Oil as Senior Laboratory Manager and Head of Corporate Continuing Education.” You could have knocked me over with a grenade. I was stunned. I fumbled with my drink. “Red, you old con artist” I reply, “Is this a set-up?” Red, serious as a heart attack, looks directly at me and replies, “Doctor Rock, absolutely not, it’s a genuine offer.” He slides over a folder with some papers inside. “Here are the particulars.” Reeling, I accept the folder. I open it and right after the corporate logos and legal bullshit, I see a tall figure with a whole raft of zeros trailing behind it. I read furiously. The job would be both interesting and challenging. It would be in Houston, with travel and teaching at all other company outposts on a regular basis. I reexamine that figure from before and verify that I’m not now hallucinating. The job comes with furnished, corporate-paid housing, incredible benefits, loads of opportunity for advancement, more opportunity to travel, really generous vacation time… “Right. On the level?” I ask again. “Yep.” Red bluntly says. “Well”, I gulp, “you know I have to discuss this with Esme”, whom he’s met several times previous. “Of course, and you probably want to finish out the semester, correct?” red asks. “Oh, yes.” I reply. There would be a monsoon of paperwork and other grunt work I’d need to conclude or hand over if I were to accept this offer. “OK, then”, Red finishes his drink, motions for me to do the same, a real rarity; but I was in another dimension at this point. He orders another round and sits back, waiting on a refill. “You have two weeks to reply” Red states. “I know that’s not a terribly long time, but we need to fill this position ASAP. Can I ask for that? Your answer, yea, or nay, within a fortnight?” Red demands. “Yes”, I reply. “I at least owe you that.” And that was the end of the discussion for the night about me joining the private sector. We stayed a few more hours, chatting, smoking my cigars, and discussing everything but the lumbering elephant in the room. We part outside as I need to head back to our flat. Red wants to go downtown to one of those “Gentleman’s Clubs” he’s heard were so famous at the time. I was flummoxed the whole cab ride home. It was late when I returned, but I simply had to wake Es with the news. “Rock, for pity’s sake, its 2 o’clock in the morning!” Es protests. “Can’t this wait until later?” “Sorry, my dear” I reply, probably as serious as I ever had with Esme. “This is a potential game-changer.” “What is it? Are you OK?” Esme trembles. “Oh, I’m fine. Better than fine.” I reply. She’s relieved. “Then what’s so important?” she asks. “Um…how would you like to move to Houston?” I ask. “You going to teach at Cougar High (University of Houston)?” she inquires. “Nope. Brace yourself. I’ve been offered a job with Nocono Oil.” I finally spill the beans. Esme is slightly stunned and sits down. I go to the wet bar, fix me a bracing potato juice and citrus and Esme a stiff white Zinfandel. I hand her the wine and she is still semi-dazed and digesting the information. I slurp a good portion of my drink, retrieve her Sobranjes and me a cigar from my Turkmenistan humidor. I sit on the couch next to her and hug her soundly. “Esme? Es? Earth to Es? You in there?” I joke. “Oh, Yeah. Rock. Really? Hang on”, she leaves, returning with her housecoat as this might take a little time. “So?” I ask, “Your thoughts. Now! Immediately! Initial reaction!” I try to jar her back into reality. “Well, what do you want?” she asks. “C’mon, my dearest. You know I hate that. No, what do you think? What do you honestly think?” I reply. We both fire up our smokes, and I refresh our drinks. We return to the dinner table where Red’s folder lies. “Es, here. Look at this.” I say, sliding the portfolio over to her. She reads like a hungry man at a Vegas casino buffet. I can tell where she was stopped by something extraordinary. “This is for real?” she asks, “Red’s not pulling a fast one?” “Nope. It’s the genuine article”, I tell her, “He needs my reply within two weeks.” “Rock, Rock…I just don’t know. It’s a lot to process at 0230 in the morning. Let’s go to bed and have a think in the morning. You have the luxury of at least that amount of time.” She notes. “Right again, as usual”, I say, “Stuff it. It can wait.” We toddle off to bed. The next morning, over Cuban omelets and Greenland Coffees, we sort through the particulars. “Rock, it’s an extraordinary offer. But, do you want to leave teaching? I remember how you got all animated by Dean Vermiculari giving you the corporate liaison job and how that would improve your shot at tenure.” She notes. “I just don’t know. I’m still shell-shocked.” I tell her. “Let me go to school and we’ll pick this up tonight. We both have work to do no matter what. Oh, bloody hell. I hadn’t considered your job. Another wrinkle in the mess.” “Don’t you worry about that”, Esme smiles. “One catastrophe at a time.” “I do so love you.” I hug her soundly. “Think I should mention this offer to anyone at school?” “No. Definitely not.” Esme shakes her head. “Let’s figure this out on our own.” “I agree”, I say, kiss her and depart for school once again. The next week was a blur. Recruiting duties were dragging and I was being preoccupied. Even my students noted the lack of in-room explosions lately. I spend the next Saturday at the quarry, doing some small amount of blasting. I quiz the quarry owners about their progress in acquiring a new master for the quarry’s operation. “Oh, Doctor Rock” they gush, “You’re doing such a fine job, we haven’t really looked. Why do you ask?” “No particular reason at this time, I reply, “But perhaps you might want to begin looking” The chinks in my armor were finally starting to show. Sunday was spent out on Sliver Lake, with Esme and me chasing the elusive crappie, perch, and bucketmouth bass. It also gave us a chance to clear our heads from work, school and other such intrusions. We both needed a bit of downtime. Later that night, after a meal of beer-battered fillet of crappie and perch on the barbie, we sit down at the dinner table. The portfolio sits there, taunting us. I get up, makes us both our drinks, sit down and declare that this is it. “Es, darling” I say, “its nut-cuttin’ time. We need to make our decision.” “You’re right.” Es agrees, “Time for risk-reward analysis. Get some paper and some pencils.” We spend the next few hours listing the pros and cons of accepting the Houston position or staying here and pursuing my tenured professorship. After several hours, I stretch, stand, and go to the fridge. I retrieve the bottle of Bollinger Les Vieilles Vignes Francaises I had purchased the other day. I return to the table with the wine and the glasses, pop the cork and pour us both a glass of high-brow bubble water. I hug and kiss Esme like I had just returned from a long, solo expedition. “Esme, my darling. I’d like to propose a toast. First to us. Hа здоровый!” “Cheers!” Esme replies. “Secondly to Red, Dean Vermiculari, the quarry guys, Polack the Cop, and all the others that makes our life weird around here.” “Seconded”, Es echoes. “Finally: to Houston, Texas. Our new home!” I finally add. The next morning, Dean Vermiculari peers over the top of his pince-nez glasses. He’s not looking overly happy with me right now. “Why is it, Doctor, that everyone that receives the job of corporate liaison ends up going with corporate?” he asks. “Perhaps it’s just the exposure to another world that exists beyond academia.” I reply, truthfully. “Doctor Rocknocker,” the Dean gravely states, “I am not at all happy about your decision. We had great hopes for you here and you were riding right up the tenure track. Another five years and it would have been assured.” “Five years is a long time, Dean”, I state the obvious. “Yes, indeed.” The Dean replies frostily. “However, you are young. Perhaps you need to get this private sector nonsense out of your system, then you can return to academia where you belong.” “Perhaps, perhaps”, I reply. “Please, do consider this option down the road. You and your antics will be missed here, by students and faculty alike.” He says. “I will, Dean, I promise.” I reply “However, for now, it’s time for my boot heels to be wanderin’.” “Doctor, I will miss your strange and unique way of looking at life. I reluctantly accept your resignation at the end of the current semester and wish you all the best in your newest endeavors. Please remember us when corporate support for academia is mentioned in your new company.” he says. “I promise you, Dean, I will not forget what I’ve learned here and what you’ve taught. It’s the least I can do,” I reply. “I will never forget my roots.” “All I can ask”, he concludes. He stands to shake my hand. We shake and my audience is over. I resign from the quarry a week later. They haven’t found a new blaster but wish me well on my new journey. I tell them I’m here until the end of the semester, so I won’t leave them high and dry. I tell Polack the Cop about all the goings-on. “Who the hell can I roust for beer and cigars now?” He whines. “Let me know when you get to Texas if they need any cops. I wouldn’t mind trying’ that. Hell, maybe a Texas Ranger!” “A Cheesehead Ranger…?” I assure him I will and pass a box of cigars to him as a parting gift. He gives me a mayoral-signed get-out-of-jail-free card. “Now you can drive that old Harley just as crazy as you want.” He chuckles. “Thanks, Polack.” I say, shaking his hand. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I sold my bike a week earlier. Red was very chuffed with the news. “Snagged me a big one this time!’ He laughed, over the phone. There was enough paperwork, considerations and decisions to be made to last the remaining time Esme and I had in-state until our move. Already, a moving company had arrived, done inventory, and was preparing for our move to Houston. Esme resigned her position and decided she wanted to take some time off. She wanted to be a housewife, a colleague, and not have to work for once at an outside job. My new position allowed for that in spades. Besides with her credentials, anytime when she wants to re-join the workforce, there are myriad opportunities in the Bayou City. We made the choice of housing out west of town, in Katy, Texas. We could have chosen Sugarland, Addicks, Greenspoint, Greenway, or the Memorial area. However, these west Houston company properties were closest to the job and largest in square footage. My students got wind of my resignation and relocation. They threw me an unexpected farewell party at the Gast Haus. It was nickel-beer night and since they were footing the bill, it all worked out just fine. I would miss the old place. The camaraderie, the seasons, the university; hell my home these last many years. I’ve been on many, many expeditions, but I always returned home. Now, home was moving and was awaiting our arrival. Esme and I said our farewells to our families as well. We were the first through college, the first ones to travel international, the first Doctor in the family, and the first to leave the state. That’s a lot of familial firsts. I had to keep reminding everyone it wouldn’t be the last. Hell, we’re just moving to Texas, it’s not like we’re off to Greenland or Mongolia… [Gasp] We saddled up Es’s old Chevy Nova, took one last, lingering look in the rearview mirror, and said fare thee well to our previous lives. “We’ll be back. Someday. I promise” I told the city of our youth and young married adulthood. We decided to drive to Houston because we had the luxury of a bit of time. We needed the stretch to chew over some interpersonal and private things on the way to the next chapter in our lives. Besides, the weather was good, the roads ahead open and clear, and Texas had no ‘Open Container’ law, yet. We pointed the old Nova south and hit the gas. A week later, we’re wandering around our new house in Katy, Texas. Our belongings, scant though they may be, arrived the day after we did. Esme and I spent the next couple of day rearranging the house, buying necessary domestic bits and pieces, and getting to know our new neighborhood. First thing, though, Esme wanted to replace the old Nova. I concurred, but insisted we keep it as a second car and went out to purchase our first new car as a couple. I wanted a Land Rover. We ended up with a glossy black Toyota 4-Runner. Close enough. I was scheduled to show up at my new job the next Monday. I had my own parking spot, complete with “Reserved for Dr. Rock” painted on the bumper block. I was shown my new lab and was introduced to my seven laboratory assistants. I was shown the catalogs I could use to order what I needed and went over the requisition procedures. I was trotted around to meet the company CEO, CFO, CIO, VPs and many, many more company executives and managers. I’ve met with presidents and heads of state, I was impressed but not overly. They seemed like a more or less nice bunch of chaps. Almost exactly five weeks to the day from our arrival in Houston, I come home, yelling “Darling, I’m home!” Esme comes to greet me with a rib-rearranging hug. She tells me to sit at the dinner table, where my long hard day at the office drink, cigar, ashtray, and lighter are already set. “How was work, dear?” she asks, sitting down with her Perrier water. “Oh, it’s going great. The knotheads let me have an open-ended budget until I get the labs sorted just the way I want it. These guys pay their bills on time and I have carte blanche at Wards Scientific, and other supply houses. My crew is great, no interpersonal crapola, and hard workers. I can smoke in my office and no one dares give me shit about my cigars. I’m getting to know the exploration department quite well. They’re really interested in our expeditions and are more interested in my opinions of their new exploration directives.” Esme just smiles and sips her water. “Odd”, I thought. “That’s great, dear.” She says. “I am so glad to hear it.” “Me too”, I say, “How are you holding up after all these weeks alone?” “Oh, I’m getting used to it.” She smiles. And smiles. Beatifically. Glowing. “What?” I ask. “Remember what we talked about in the car on the way down here?” She asks. “We talked about a lot of things…” I say, suddenly my eyes grew very, very wide indeed. “Yes. You’re going to be a father. I’m pregnant, Rock.” Esme smiles.
Here we are with some results from the Pre-TDF Survey! Sorry for the delay, I realise that this is a bit too long of a wait and we could possibly have gone into more depth in places but rest day is the best day for this.
Slightly more respondents than last year, though dwarfed by 2015 again.
Top 15 Countries
No major surprises at the top of the list, with the USA & UK still dominating. But down almost 10% betwen them on last year, whilst the influence of Bora's German superstars helps them out, and Fuglsang's scintillating year lifts the number of Danes. Worth noting that whilst some major European countries get a look in, Spanish representation is dreadful, with just six users or 0.62% claiming to be from the host nation of four WT races.
What's your age?
Year on year it's as you'd expect for Reddit demographics as a whole, with slightly fewer teenagers around and a few more people over 30.
What's your Gender?
More generic reddit samples, with a mostly male contingent and very few women in comparison.
How much of the season do you watch/follow?
March '18 (%)
August '18 (%)
WT Stage races
WT One day races
Non WT Stage races
Non WT One day races
Literally everything I can consume
The results for GTs & monuments are pretty stable no matter what part of the year we poll this, but after that it varies depending on spring and summer. Far more spring viewers are inclined to watch Le Samyn and other glorious 1.1 races than the ones who tune in in the summertime, though that number is ticking up, probably because race coverage is getting more and more accesible.
How long have you been watching Cycling?
under a year
2 - 3
3 - 4
4 - 5
5 - 6
8 - 9
9 - 10
10 - 11
11 - 12
13 - 14
14 - 15
15 - 20
20 - 25
'18 March (%)
'18 August (%)
15 & more
Lots of viewers have been watching for a while now, having switched into 15 years plus bucket, or post 2004. These age brackets will change next quiz as suggested!
Which teams do you like or not like?
14.5% of people don't really care for any team in particular. Of those that do, the results are:
So then, the most popular team from this year's survey is EF Education First, followed by Bora-hansgrohe & Quick-Step. Least popular are UAE and Bahrain, the two petrodollar fuelled teams. Oh and no one cares about CCC. I've illustrate that with this particular graph, and it also shows Ineos are the most polarising team in the bunch. Who'd have guessed. For a historical comparison, here are the normalised results of every time we've conducted this kind of question over time What you'll notice is that the usual suspects are still negative: Ineos, Bahrain, Katusha & UAE. They've been joined by the woeful Dimension Data Team, and in stunning fashion Astana have finally escaped the negative karma ranks after years and pop up in the positives. At the other end of the scale, EF Education First are up in popularity despite less US respondents, so it seems like they've picked up a worldwide audience. Otherwise most teams have slightly regressed towards the mean.
Do you ride a bike regularly?
No, I don't
Fewer of us are bike riders, and less than one in six of us are racers.
Is Cycling your favourite sport?
Usual themes of more casual fans in summer than spring.
What other sports do you follow?
I don't follow other sports
Association Football / Soccer
Esports (yes, this includes DotA)
Track & Field
Motorsports (Not including F1)
Many, many others
Notably others include swimming, Speed Skating, Martial Arts, Darts & Ski Jumping that were all above 3% As per usual, Soccer is top of the tree, with just over half of all respondents following it. Otherwise Formula 1 is next up, followed by American Football. Esports is in the top five, whilst lower down Ski Jumping has a small following and Jousting is just for the one person. Other cycling disciplines
How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?
I always participate in Race Threads during races
I follow Race Threads during races
I often participate in Race Threads during races
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races
More or less the same numbers as usual, reverting to the norm after the very invested 2018 Summer crowd.
How do you watch races?
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights
Paid Streaming services
Pirate streams more or less level with last year, and paid streaming services now up to nearly 40% of the sub base, the main grower over time as it is easier and easier to get coverage. In most countries at least.
Where do you follow races (in addition to watching them)?
The new big kid on the block is the PCS live ticker which they introduced this year, and since its introduction it has become an exceptionally handy resource especially for following ITTs live.
Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?
Fear it. Run from it. Reddit is embracing redesign.
With what version of reddit do you browse the sub mostly?
3rd Party App
Most of us use the Classic browser, but next best is third party apps like Reddit is Fun, Relay and so on.
How did you find the sub?
How did you find the sub?
Honestly it has been so long I don't remember
Linked in another thread on another sub
My mate/friend/enemy told me
Short of memory issues, incredibly most people found the sub via reddit search of all things. And at least two people really, really wanted to talk about their exercise bike. And one person from 4chan.
How much racing do you think the sub should automatically cover in terms of race & results threads (obviously can cover more if there's interest on the day in the race)? Bear in mind that next year the UCI will roll some (but not all) .HC & .1 events into a new "Pro Series" that exists below the WT.
Type of racing
WT & HC
WT, HC & important .1
All televised racing
I think it's fair to say that it's a toss up between everything and most of the important races of the season, .1 and up. By automatic the idea was to mean stuff we'll make race threads for, anyone is always welcome to make a race thread if the race deserves it in your opinion (if it's a UCI one anyway). Next year the ProSeries will change the make up of racing anyway!
This survey we picked up on feedback and decided to poll women's racing with a variety of questions! First up:
Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?
Nice and split down the middle. Next up:
If (big if here) Women's World Tour racing received at least the level of broadcast time that you'd expect out of the men's WT, would you watch it?
Unsure without viewing said productions
Women's cycling suffers from broadcasting issues, with many of the WWT races nor even televised, including the biggest one of the year, the Giro Rosa. Happily that will change next year with the new reforms being installed, but being able to actually watch the damn thing is part of the hurdle of following the women's calendar.
Do you think the UCI is doing the right thing for the women's side of the sport, in regards to steps taken regarding minimum wages and the creation of WorldTeams starting next year?
So next year the whole sport is getting rewritten by the UCI, and a good chunk of that is on the women's side. There will be minimum wages for the new WorldTeams, mandatory broadcasting for WT races, as well as employee rights like sick day, maternity leave, and a prize money going up. Our thoughts on the subject were:
Is the UCI doing the right thing?
I don't follow UCI press releases
So yes, the UCI is doing better, but most people are not aware of what they are doing to make it better. Hopefully this survey made it more obvious what changes are afoot. Lastly, we had more of a wide ranging question on how women's cycling is treated on the sub. Obviously since it was an open form answer, there's no specific feedback but most people seem to think we should keep it here, and that we generally do enough for the sport. It's just that user participation is somewhat lower than mens and it is fairly obvious. Also it seems that a lot of you have missed the Womens Reddit Fantasy League (WRFL) that is run for all WWT races, so rest assured the fantasy side does exist. Having read every single bit of feedback there's some good ideas in there regarding a content filter for womens cycling and other things we will try to work on so thanks for that! Over time with the reforms, televised races and so on the interest should likely trend upwards. We shall see!
Do you think the reworking of the invite system in 2020 is a good thing or not?
So next year the UCI is redoing the very structure of professional cycling, by changing the classifications of races in a new hierarchy & redoing the invite system entirely. How it essentially works is that the top two PCT teams from the previous year get automatic invites to every single WT event, and sometimes the top three. The usual wildcard invite system is partially gone, that means for the GTs only two invites can be offered. Teams can deny these mandatory invitations of course but only then can the race organiser offer that slot to another team.
Is it a good thing?
I'm not entirely sure who Gianni Savio is and why he is mad
Outside of the 58% of people who unacquainted with the man/legend hybrid who produces a stream of riders for big WT teams after grounding them at Androni, we're kind of split on the subject, and it's easy to see why. It does streamline the process by making it so that there is essentially a season long reward for PCT teams in terms of sought after GT invites or monument invites. However, for a system that has forever relied on wildcard organiser invites it will restrict some teams from ever seeing these races again potentially. One of the classic Italian teams Nippo Vini Fantini has already announced it is folding next season, and you can see why the lower achieving teams might look worriedly at this reform.
Who will win the 2019 TDF?
Here's a good one. Two weeks into the race and what did we think beforehand?
And the winner is:
Bernal was the clear fan favourite, and not a single person mentioned Alaphilippe for the overall. And that's it for multiple choice questions. There was a huge amount of feedback on the women's longform question which we covered earlier but it had over 300 responses from simply yes to longer answers so thank you for that. There wasn't nearly as much feedback on the more general end of survey questions so we'll briefly cover a couple of responses here. Whoever the poster is that asked about content filters you will be happy to know they've been implemented in redesign & classic reddit using some changes to the flairing of threads and how automod works. Though redesign has a slightly fancier format currently, both options now live in the sidebar. Also to the user who asked about Velogames flairs, we have them! Just that one user continually hoards them (you know who you are). And to the person who wrote "Free Talk Friday?", we do have one, every Friday. Also for the more technical question on thread collections, unfortunately it's a feature of new reddit, and whilst we were trialling it during the Tour de Suisse, the fact it takes up half the page is not ideal, and the size is not adjustable... which means that commenting is a pain. Still thing it's a good idea though. Lastly it's very clear that HerHor is the loved one of this sub though unfortunately we do not have infinite money to give him infinite gold as one user suggested.
Hi guys, first off I just wanna say a huge thank you to you all for taking part in the survey! I was aiming for 5,000 within a week and we got 10,000 in less than 48 hours! I closed the survey off at 10,013 responders – sorry to all who didn’t get to take part, there will be more! Here is the information in a very simplified format. If you would like any more specifics please just ask below and I will try my best to help! Thank you all for taking part – hope you enjoyed it and hope you find some interest in the results! Please note – This information is not a representation of the entire Overwatch community/player base, but is a somewhat good indication of the users who frequent this Sub. Even so, there 10,000 responses while there are over a million subscribers so take the information with a grain of salt. Make of the following information what you will! Results are posted in order of most votes, second most, third most and least due to time constraints. I will post more later along with the actual raw data. UPDATE: Sorry it took so long, but here is a spreadsheet of all 10,013 responses for whoever is interested. Again guys, thanks for taking part! Link: https://goo.gl/JQgR54 Gender
Last – 40+ (0.9%) (combined % of all ages above 40)
North America (63.3%)
Australia & New Zealand (5.7%)
Last – South America (1.7%)
Between Launch and Christmas 2016 (35.8%)
Between January & March 2017 (8%)
Last – Between June 2017 and Now (5.1%)
Statements on Sexism/Racism/Homophobia
41.6% of Female players have been subject to, or have witnessed, sexist abuse on Overwatch.
24.8% have not.
20.9% do not use voice chat out of fear of being abused
9.2% do not use voice chat
The remainder do not remember if they have experienced it or not
23.1% of Male players have been subject to, or have witnessed, sexist abuse on Overwatch.
61% have not.
9% don’t use voice chat.
The remainder do not remember if they have experienced it or not
45.2% of players have been subject to, or have witnessed, racist abuse on Overwatch
54.8% of players have not
40.4% of players have been subject to, or have witnessed, homophobic abuse on Overwatch
59.6% have not
400 (99 votes)
250 (93 votes)
300 (89 votes)
Last – 155 (15 votes) | Also note, over 5820 different levels were recorded.
Most Played Hero
D. Va (8.3%)
Last – Torbjorn (0.5%)
9.7% have no favourite and choose the hero necessary for the team
Last – Bastion (1%) (no pun intended)
Class which needs a hero the most (even when Moira is considered)
Last – Offense (2.4%)
Class least fun to play
All are fun to play (26%)
Last – Offense (8.6%) (Many minute percentages were placed in the “other” category, stating a distaste for playing specific characters, but not classes)
Most played Game Mode
Quick Play (40.8%)
Most popular Skill Rating
Last – Bronze (2.7%)
Favourite Arcade Mode
Mystery Heroes (27.1%)
3v3 Elimination (8.8%)
Last – 6v6 Elimination (2%)
Would you consider playing Arcade even after you get all your loot boxes?
Maybe/Depends how I feel (50.4%)
Favourite Assault Map
Temple of Anubis (25.3%)
Volskaya Industries (18.4%)
Last – Horizon Lunar Colony (8.7%)
Favourite Hybrid Map
Kings Row (40.2%)
Last – Numbani (7.1%)
Favourite Escort Map
Watchpoint: Gibraltar (24.6%)
Route 66 (24.5%)
Last – No preference (9.2%)
Favourite Control Map
Lijiang Tower (28.7%)
Last – No preference (11.1%)
Favourite Arcade Map
Chateau Guillard (33.8%)
No Preference (25.8%)
Black Forest (16.4%)
Last – Castillo (7.1%)
Uprising 2017 (26.5%)
Enjoyed them all equally (23.2%)
Halloween Terror 2017 (14.3%)
Last – Summer Games 2016 (1.9%)
Loot Boxes Purchase Frequency
Never Purchase (50.1%)
Only at Events (46.1%)
Once every few Months (3.1%)
Last - Once a Month (0.5%)
Loot Boxes average spend per transaction
Last – 50$+ (5%)
Overwatch Improved in Year 2?
Yes it has (81%)
No improvement or decline (12.4%)
Overwatch community improved in Year 2?
No improvement or decline (32.5%)
Season Length - too long?
Fine the way it is (52%)
Yes – I get bored of it very quickly (26.1%)
Other responses/Unsure/Don’t know(21.9%)
Would you like a Clan System?
More options to spend Competitive Points on?
Is content released at a reasonable pace?
Would you consider paying for an expansion including an array of maps, characters, cosmetics, game modes or Story?
Would you like to see an Overwatch animated mini-series/movie?
Not concerned/don’t care (6.8%)
Would you like an Overwatch story mode?
Not concerned/don’t care (10%)
Have you lost interest since purchasing?
A little bit, I still play a lot though (50.8%)
Not at all, still play as much as when I first got it (21.9%)
A lot, I rarely play now (13.8%)
Last – Nope, I play even more now (13.5%)
Do you follow Overwatch ESports
Not really, but I’ve seen some matches (39%)
Console players, do you want a PTR?
What’s a PTR? (6.1%) #lul
Top 3 most recommended features – excluding Clans & Story Mode
0:35: There's a new feature the Course World selection screen: a pair of gold or silver tokens that appears near the bottom-right corner of each course in the menu. Seems like it has something to do with the "Medals" system.
0:38: The ring of Boo Buddies is moving horizontally (toward Mario) without a visible track. Another example can be seen at 15:25.
0:40: The SMB3 Style won't have a proper Jungle Theme; the theme resembles a factory or 'pipe world' instead (we know this because of the purple poisonous water at the bottom of the screen, which is exclusive to the Jungle Theme).
0:44: Red switch blocks are seen here with smiling faces on them. Maybe that's just how they look in the SMB3 Style? Also, what course theme is this? It's not the SMB3 Grass Theme, but it's not a night theme either. It has elements of the SMB3 Jungle Theme (see above), but the background is completely different.
2:13: Platforms can be made shorter (in addition to being lengthened).
2:41: Every time we've seen the Angry Sun, we've seen it hovering in the corner of the screen. We've also never seen it manually placed. It seems like its location is fixed (just like it was in SMB3).
3:14: On/off switches can toggle tracks on and off.
3:31: The SMB3 Underground Theme pictured here has orange-colored ground blocks (not blue).
3:36: The swinging claw is bolted to a hard block with one of those mysterious screws. This seems like evidence that you can affix more than just the swinging claw onto any given block.
3:39: The twiggy bushes here seem like one-tile-high extensions of the ground block in the SMB3 Desert Theme.
3:43: Water can only be placed in the Jungle Theme ("in this course style...").
5:15: The NSMBU Sky Theme has transparent semisolid platforms.
5:17: The checkpoint flag no longer turns Mario into Super Mario.
5:41: I don't remember ever seeing this particular asset-placement menu before. Neat.
5:47: Here's a list of all the Clear Condition prerequisites featured. The tabs pictured are: Actions, Parts, Status, Remove.
Reach the goal (after defeating [X] [enemy type]).
Ex: "reach the goal after defeating all (20) Bullet Bills."
Ex: "reach the goal after defeating all (1) Hammer Bros."
Ex: "reach the goal after defeating all (3) Munchers."
Ex: "reach the goal after defeating all (2) Piranha Plants."
Ex: "reach the goal after defeating all (19) Koopa Troopas."
Reach the goal after grabbing [X] coins.
Ex: "reach the goal after grabbing 20 coins."
Reach the goal with [power up].
Ex: "reach the goal as Super Mario."
Reach the goal without [performing action].
"Ex: "reach the goal without taking damage."
And: "reach the goal without landing after leaving the ground."
Reach the goal after [performing action.]
Ex: "reach the goal after picking up all (1) 1-Up Mushrooms."
6:02: During the "AND MUCH MORE!" segment of the Direct, the announcer says that "from enemies to allies to items, a Twister will suck up anything." Allies is plural; could this refer to more than just Yoshi?
6:15: Red Yoshi can breathe fire at-will, without having to swallow a Koopa Shell (or anything else) first.
6:19: A Fishbone is pictured in a completely dry Underground Theme course.
6:20: A Thwomp with no parachute gains one after smashing through a coin that does have a parachute.
6:59: Fireballs are able to activate on/off switches.
8:29: In a Night Theme Ghost House, the arrow asset has a ring of light around it. The arrow is not centered inside the ring; rather, the ring is centered a block or so away from the direction that the arrow is pointing. The 50-coin has a ring of light surrounding it, too.
8:59: The Game Styles menu has a very conspicuous space next to 3D World, and the menu itself uses the plural "Styles" in "Extra Game Styles." In light of this (and all the four-playable-character action), I guar-an-fucking-tee we will get a SMB2 style as DLC.
9:15: The narrator scrolls through literally every asset wheel in the 3D World game style (and there's nothing we haven't seen before).
9:28: This is a new 3D World course theme (Block Theme?). Nope! Just the Sky Theme.
10:00: The warp box deposits Mario into a new area and then disappears. You can use these as one-way doors. Also, warp boxes can be locked, requiring keys.
10:36: The track block moves without a visible track onscreen. In fact, no visible tracks are ever shown in the 3D World style.
11:11: The Koopa Car drives over several two-block-wide gaps. Also, the giant Magikoopa here appears to be floating above the donut block he's been placed on.
11:25: The real Pom Pom can be distinguished from her clones by the color of her shuriken and by the green beads in her hair.
11:41: Peepa are confirmed for the 3D World game style (a variant of the Boo Buddies ring, since Peepa does not appear in any of the asset wheels featured earlier in the Direct.
11:42: The Big Bully shown here can break through hard blocks and walk across two-block wide gaps.
11:43: The Hop-Chop shown here does not transform into a spring after Mario jumps on him (though Mario does get a big boost after the jump). Strange! Maybe the transformation animation takes a while, or maybe Hop-Chop no longer transforms at all.
11:46: A giant Meowser leaps onto the screen from off-screen, below. (straight through a line of ground blocks). A boss that can leap out from off-screen, out of nowhere. Neat!
11:46: The giant Meowser's fireballs can break blocks.
11:57: Leaderboards for the Endless Challenge. Also, the 100-Mario Challenge seems to have been removed.
12:26: No more starring courses; there's a binary rating system instead ("Boo!" or "I like it!"). Also, no "restart from checkpoint" option is pictured, and there's no space on the menu for a context-specific "restart from checkpoint" button.
12:28: You can comment with stamps. Here's a list:
12:29: You can leave text or hand-drawn comments, and you can require a player to clear a course before they can see your comment. It appears that you can also attach a "mood" to your comment; see the icons to the left.
12:37: Here we can see a level description in action; it appears just below the course preview in a speech bubble next to the uploader's Maker Profile avatar.
12:47: Makers have "maker points" now, and can achieve medals of some kind, which are displayed on their profile.
13:14: Levels cleared in Endless Challenge are represented by icons corresponding to their course theme. The hills appear to represent Grass Themes, the trees: Jungle Themes, the cloudy mushroom: Sky Themes, the castle: Castle Themes, the pipe: Underground Themes, and the snowy mountains: Snow Themes. A pyramid is later shown to represent Desert Themes.
13:15: Is this a new Mountain Theme? Nope, just a desert theme.
13:51: ? blocks can now contain more than one item!
13:54: Off-screen players are represented by an icon at the edge of the screen.
14:07: Defeated players re-spawn in Multiplayer Versus mode.
14:58: If the Clear Condition hasn't been met yet; the battleaxe or flagpole appears as an outlined silhouette.
Also, we can observe throughout the Direct that all four playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Toadette - do play identically. No unique behaviors or properties. Whew! Hell of a list... and that's just the non-obvious stuff I missed during my first watch. So excited for this game, guys. I'm gonna play the shit out of some multiplayer co-op.
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