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Greed is Subtle
The morning alarm woke up Ghen. With an annoyed sigh, he stretched out his arm and silenced the foul-sounding chirps. Slowly sitting up in bed, he let out a deep yawn and got to his feet. Running a couple of chitinous fingers along his antennae to stimulate them to life, he made his bed and then went to his closet. Today was a work day, so he needed his suit. Once the pants were on, he stretched out his wings so that he could button up the shirt, then relaxing them once all the buttons were secured. Dressing for the day was done, now for the morning meal. Entering his kitchen, he took out the chilled leftovers of the evening meal last night and popped it into the radiator, first defrosting and then slightly cooking it. During that process, he also fished out a ceramic cup and placed it in his brewer, serving himself some synthesized caffeine. His idle thought led him to being amused that, when eaten directly off a plant, it has a concentration that could kill him three times over. But after going through some refinement and roasting, all it does is make him hyper. Once the meal was put together, his plate of heated leftovers and a cup of almost-piping-hot cup of Xia's, he took his time to enjoy it. His communicator vibrated. When he looked, he found it was from his boss. "Hello?" Ghen answered. "Ghen, the meeting's been moved up to a few minutes from now." His boss, Xkik, announced. "Apparently higher up has something important they want to say. We have a terminal ready for you, I'll message the login details." "Wha-, what's so important?" Ghen asked in bewilderment. "Did a water line rupture or something?" "No, nothing like that." Xkik replied with a slight chuckle. "It's actually about the rumors we've been hearing. That human corporation wanting to acquire us? That's what they're talking about." Ghen could feel everything inside his thorax drop to the floor. "That must mean it's true then, right? Did we get sold off by the Queen to this company then?" "Show up to the meeting and you'll get your answer." Xkik said simply. When he finished, Ghen got the notification on his communicator. There's the login details, allowing him to remotely attend the meeting. "They're about to start, hurry up." Once Xkik disconnected, Ghen worked fast to login and set up the remote viewing. Once everything was done, his screen started transmitting the meeting room. It was already packed. And off by the main board, he saw his answer. There was a human, resting against the wall on his two legs. Standing right in the center of everyone's view was the coordinator, Tizx, watching the clock periodically. As soon as the meeting's start time was reached, the coordinator began. "Alright everyone. I realize that this was rather short notice, so I want to say how appreciative I am that you made it. Now then, let's just get right to it. For some time now, many of you have been hearing rumors that a human corporation has been interested in us. Why? We never really knew. We're just an organization responsible for finding, extracting and providing water to the colony here all under the direction of the Queen herself. Well, as of now, I have the answer for you. Why don't I let Ryan say that?" Stepping back, Tizx motioned for the human, Ryan, to take over. With a nod, Ryan practically bounced over and then took the position. "Good morning to you all. I hope my Zazk is passable, heh. Anyways, the answer to those rumors, is yes. Terran Galactic Company is indeed interested in you all. Which now leads to me. I'm here to announce that, effective yesterday evening, this water company is now a subsidiary of Terran Galactic Company, under the name of Zilia Water Delivery." Many other sub-coordinators broke into hushed conversation, no doubt speaking their thoughts with each other about this move. Ghen could only wonder if this was even a good thing. What will the humans do? Will he still have his job? Will he have to learn how to deal with the ruthless humans? "Now, I am well aware this is quite the...uh, change." Ryan continued. "That's why I'm happy to inform you that, no, nothing negative or detrimental will happen to you. You just have new people to answer to. Operations will continue as normal, everybody here will still keep their jobs. The only real change any of you will personally experience is that Coordinator Tizx here will now report to someone else. On behalf of the Terran Galactic Company, we are extremely excited and are looking forward to working with you all. Thank you for your time." A week later. At least Ryan wasn't lying. After the initial shock wore off, things went back as they normally did. There were no terminations, no reductions in annual pay or anything. Nothing really changed. At least until this new meeting was called. Ghen was at the worksite this time, so he took his seat and watched as, once again, Ryan led the meeting. "Hello again, everyone!" He said cheerfully, his Zazk noticeably improved. "I hope I didn't end up looking like a liar, right? Everything's still normal, all that?" All the zazk in the room confirmed, providing comments to their pleasant surprise as well as lingering thoughts. "Awesome! Awesome." Ryan said jubilantly, his fleshy mouth revealing his bone-white teeth. "Now then, you're probably wondering why I'm here again, right? Well, I got another fantastic piece of news for you all! Two, actually. I'll start with the first: Zilia Water Delivery has just completed its IPO. The company is now publicly traded!" Ghen and the others voiced their confusion, having no idea what in the name of the Queen Ryan was talking about. What was Ryan talking about? What's an IPO? And why exactly is being publicly traded such a significant thing? "Oh, you guys don't know any of that?" Ryan asked in surprised confusion. After everybody confirmed, he let out a quick huff as he began his explanation. "Well, to begin, IPO is short for Initial Public Offering. Basically what that means is that, before today, Zilia was privately held. Only certain individuals could buy and sell shares here. But now that we're public? Literally anyone can buy and sell shares in the company, hence us being publicly traded." "Uh, what's a share?" Ghen asked, still completely lost. "Oh, boy..." Ryan muttered under his breath before returning to his peppy image. "To simply put it, a share is short for having a share of ownership in a company. When you buy a share, you're buying a piece of ownership, and when you sell, you're selling that amount." "So wait...if someone buys a share, they're a co-owner then?" One of the other team coordinators asked. "If they get enough, yeah." Ryan nodded. "You need a lot though, and that really depends on the company. If I had to give an answer though? I'd say usually you need to have a lot more shares than a lot of people combined to be officially a co-owner, but we call that being a majority shareholder." "And how do we do that?" Ghen asked, now growing curious but still not understanding why such a concept exists. "Simple. Buy shares." Ryan said simply. "And that leads into the second piece of awesome news. Zilia's corporate has a product in mind, a premium-package of water delivery. Instead of the usual water that you pump out, filter and ensure its potable before delivery, with the premium package, not only will you get that, but you'll also get all of the required nutrients and vitamins the zazk body requires! And they feel you guys have the best expertise and understanding to pull it off! So, here's what we're offering as a good-faith bonus: A 25% increase to your annual salary as well as being given stock options." Ghen wasn't sure about the second part, but the salary definitely got his attention, as well as everyone else's. Although his job was considered to have a good pay, Ghen isn't going to say no to a higher salary. In fact, he's been focusing his work on getting a promotion so he can come home with even more credits in pocket. "What do you mean by stock options?" Ghen asked after some time. Ryan let out that smile again, the one that revealed his teeth. "If you choose to transfer over to the new group, you'll be provided 50,000 shares in Zilia itself. Why's that awesome? Let me walk you through it. Right now, our last closing price per share was 3.02 credits. And if you have 50,000 shares during that time, you're sitting on 151,000 credits, if you cash it out immediately." "And why shouldn't we?" One of the coordinators demanded in an ambiguous tone. "Because the price per share changes a lot." Ryan explained promptly. "When we got done with the IPO? It closed at 2.73 a share. Right now? My money's on the closing price being 2.99 a share. However, we are extremely confident in this premium package being successful. If it does? Well, my bet is that the share price will skyrocket to 3.12 a share. If you hold those shares and the price gets to what my bet was? You'll instead get 156,000 credits. Just by holding onto them, you just made an additional 5,000 credits!" "And what if we have more shares?" Ghen questioned, now getting excited at the prospect of free money. "Even more money!" Ryan laughed a bit. "And don't forget about dividends, but that's for another time. The premium group is gearing up right now, we just need the workforce. If any of you wants in, I'll be back tomorrow with all the forms needed to make it official. Take the day and tonight to think it over, yeah?" Everything else melted into a blur. Ghen was practically on autopilot that whole day. Was this the secret to the humans' incredibly massive economy? How so many of them have amassed so much money out of nowhere? All you had to do was just buy this share out of a company and you get more money without even working? As soon as he got home, Ghen knew what he was going to do during the night. After feverishly looking through the galnet, now having the human race connected to it, he looked and gathered up as many books that were translated into zazk as he could find, all talking about the human economic system. The last time he undertook such an intensive study was during his primary education phase. And during his search, he even found forums on the galnet that were completely dedicated to the human's economy. All of them talking about strategies on what company, or stock, to pick. How to analyze a company's performance to determine if it was worth the money, or it had potential to grow over time. And that was when he discovered the humans found another method to the extremely simple buying and selling process. There were humans and some other immigrated aliens who made five times what Ghen could receive over a simple month just by watching the share prices during trading hours, and then buying and selling them at the proper times. Ghen's mind was just absolutely flabbergasted. He thought it was just some strange concept only aliens could make, but no, not with the humans. They've practically made their economy into an art or a science. No, not even their economy. Everything. If humans can see a way to make money off of it, they'll do it. And if there isn't, they'll look for a way. Healthcare was monetized. Galnet services, transportation, shopping at the store, they even made all of their utilities into profit-oriented companies. And it was there that Ghen paused, the realization slamming into him. Everything was monetized. Which means, if you don't have the money for it, you're not getting it. Right? Are the humans truly that ruthless? So obsessed with making money? To the point that they're willing to deprive their own people of the absolute necessities if it's a source of credits? Ghen let out a scoff. There's no way. Nobody is that cruel and callous. He's never been to the United Nations. He can't rely on what a bunch of random people on the galnet says. He decided that from here on out, he'll only go as far as saying that humans are a little obsessed with credits, nothing more. ... There he was. Ryan, sitting in the office provided to him. And there was a rather large line leading to him. Looks like word got around. Although, the line wasn't as large as he expected it to be. Maybe the others thought it was just a ruse? That there's no such thing as making free money by spending it on such a made-up concept? Ghen only knows that, if it is a ruse, it's an extremely elaborate one, where all of the humans are in on it. And he believes that's just extremely ridiculous. At the end, if he's unsure, he'll just take the transfer for the very real increase in his very real salary. And although he spent a very good chunk of the night reading up on how humans do things, he's still going to play it smart. He'll leave his 50,000 shares alone and see where it goes from there. "Good morning sir." Ryan greeted warmly once Ghen took his seat. "Now, name please?" "Ghen." He answered, barely keeping his nerves down. "Alright...and what's your position at this location?" Ryan questioned after scribbling on his form. "I monitor the pumping stations near the extraction sites." Ghen explained, staying on point. "To be more specific, I check to see if they're in need of maintenance, as well as reading the flow rate that's determined by the calculators installed there. If there's too little for what's needed, I pump out more. And if there's too much, I pull it back a little." "Nice...and how long have you been doing it for?" Ryan complimented with a nod. "As of tomorrow, ten years." Ghen replied, voice quickly changing to minor awe once he realized that fact. "Excellent. Do you have anyone in mind you'd like to replace you here?" Ryan questioned after another scribble. "If you don't have anyone, you're free to say so." Ghen took a moment to think it over. A bunch of names went through his mind, but one stuck with him. "Tilik. He's just been accepted here, but he's learned quickly. Very attentive and he always catches something subtle. I think he'll do really well in my position, even better actually." "Tilik, really?" Ryan questioned with a little shock, going through his completed forms. Ghen felt a short sense of panic in him. Did something happen, or was Tilik actually transferring? His answer didn't take long to reveal itself. "Right, Tilik was actually one of the first people to want to transfer here. He's actually requested to be part of the testing teams specifically. Do you have a second choice?" "Um...no, actually." Ghen replied, feeling a little ashamed. "Tilik was my only choice, to be honest." "Hey, don't worry." Ryan said assuringly with his hands raised. "Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, there's just nobody up to snuff, right? 'Kay, so, last question. Is there anything specific you'd like to do when given the transfer?" "If you need someone monitoring new pumps, I'd be happy to do that." Ghen stated. "So basically same job but with better payoff, am I right?" Ryan grinned. "I hear you. Sometimes, we're just not paid enough for what we're doing. I know I think that sometimes. Uh, our secret, yeah?" "Yeah, our secret." Ghen nodded, thinking it'd be better to have friendly relations with the human, just in case. "Awesome. Back on topic, that's it." Ryan announced, placing the form on his pile. "We'll give you a call when you're accepted." "Oh, uh, that's it?" Ghen questioned with a shrug in shocked surprise. "What, expecting a question like, why do you want to transfer?" Ryan chuckled a bit as he leaned in his seat. "You can bullshit all you want, but we both know the answer. Sweet money and stock options. Not saying that's a bad answer of course, just that it's pretty obvious." "I suppose it is." Ghen commented, realizing the point. "Also, you mentioned this...dividend? Is that for Zilia shares?" Ryan laughed a little bit before nodding. "Yep, announced before I came here. About 0.43 per share. Want to know why that's awesome? Instead of waiting for the proper price to cash out your shares, now? The company pays you for each share you hold." "A...Are you serious?" Ghen demanded, flabbergasted. Ryan nodded with his now-trademark grin. "Dead serious. If you get the transfer, and get those 50,000 shares? A little head math...right, if you hold onto those, in addition to your salary, you'll now annually be paid 21,500 credits, if you keep it at 50,000 shares. Only you can decide to sell or buy shares." Ghen just stood there silent and motionless, no idea of whether to believe it or not, to which Ryan just laughed. Once he walked out of the room, he managed to snap back to reality. Again, just focus on the very real pay-raise. He'll deal with the other parts later. After he returned to his spot, he spotted Tizx approaching by his desk. The coordinator seems to be as casual as always. "I saw you in that line a bit ago, Ghen." He said as he leaned on the desk. "Guess you're really taking that human's word?" "I mean, I don't know about all this share business or what not." Ghen began with a shrug, his tone sounding a little defensive. "But I mean, having a bigger salary? Course I'm going for it when I can. And if all this magic credits turn out to be real? You realize we can live like the royal servants, right? Get the best cars, the nicest food and all that?" "I'd be very careful, Ghen." Tizx warned in a sudden shift in tone. "Don't trust those humans. The way they just...obsess over money? Come up with more and more insane ways of getting credits? I don't know, it just makes my wings twitch." "You think this is a bad idea?" Ghen asked with a little surprise at the change-in-demeanor. "I think you should be careful, with the humans, and with what you're saying." Tizx replied, straightening his posture. "I wouldn't put it past those Earthmen to backstab you if it gets them a few more credits. And we all know how the royal servants get if any of us lowly commoners start thinking we can break into their circle." "I hear you, I'll be on my guard, promise." Ghen stated with a nod. With a confirming nod of his own, Tizx returned back to his duty, walking past Ghen's desk. Several weeks later. Everything became so much better. Ghen got the transfer. He didn't need to relocate to a new residence either. And after he was walked through into learning how to manage his stock account, and seeing that new form of payment in his hands, he already felt as though he made the best decision. But it was only when he decided to take those shares more seriously that he became privy to what he was given. After receiving the dividend payment, and actually seeing it was real, valid credits after transferring it to his main bank account, all he could describe was the most powerful high he ever felt. While his first thoughts were to buy himself a royalty-class car, some nicer furnishings for his home, or even a better home entirely, he ended up going the smarter route. After going back to his stock account, he discovered that Zilia's shares rose to about 3.22 credits in price. Knowing that this was the easiest money he could ever make, he took all of his dividend earnings and bought more shares in Zilia, bringing him to owning 56,891. And from his new regional coordinator, a human named Dylan, tomorrow is the grand release of the premium package. For just a monthly rate of 14.99 credits, the tap water will now include a sizeable portion of all nutrients and vitamins required in the zazk physiology. Still, Ghen has to admit. He's not entirely sure why anybody would want such a thing, if they'd even go for it. But, as long as he's practically swimming in easy credits, he won't pay much attention to it. And just like when he was intensively studying the basics of how the human economy worked, he barely got any sleep. His mind was constantly thinking about the things he would buy. Or rather, what other stocks to put his credits into. Even now he can still hardly believe it. Just spend your money on some, make-believe thing and, if you wait long enough and picked the right stock, you'll get more than you spent back? His mind even wandered onto what human colonies, or even their homeworld, Earth, was like. If everybody was making so much money, what kind of things would they offer? What kind of ridiculous service or product or item can you get? He's even debating on joining some forum and just asking around. Explain how he's new to how humans do things and was wondering what he should expect if he's successful. By the time he felt like he can go to sleep, the binary-stars of the system were rising from the horizon. After getting out of his bed and changing to clean clothes, his mind returned onto what-ifs. What if he bought better clothes? He's had his eye on that human brand of luxury clothes, Tessuti di Venezia, that's been all the rage amongst the royal servants. Or maybe he can go on vacation and just check out Earth for real? It was a short ride to his workplace from his home. After getting stuff his stuff and preparing to walk through the doors, he heard the roar of a car grow louder. When he looked, he saw the sleekest and quite possibly the coolest looking car he's ever seen. Each time the engine revved it would startle him, both from how harsh it sounded as well as just how intense it sounded. And after it parked, he saw the doors pop out and then slide along the body back. And there, he saw Tilik, the seat literally turning and extending out a bit before he got off. As soon as he saw Ghen staring, he struck a rather prideful pose after putting on his lab coat and then sauntered over to Ghen. "What do you think?" Tilik said, without any doubt inviting praise or compliments. "D...Did you actually buy that?" Ghen asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the car. "You're Queens-damn right I did!" Tilik laughed happily. "Thing takes off like a starship, has temperature-controlled seating, all-in-one center console, barely any bouncing on rough roads. Hoof, best decision I've ever made!" "How much did that thing cost?" Ghen asked after letting out an incredulous laugh. "Five million credits." Tilik replied, earning an absolutely shocked stare from Ghen. "And thanks to the incredible salary I have, in addition to all these shares and dividends, I'll pay back the credits I borrowed in no time!" Ghen needed a few moments before he could speak again. "All I've been doing is buying more shares." Tilik laughed and then patted the now-envious monitor's back. "Smart man. I got a little carried away, yeah, but not anymore. Any spending credits I got, going right back to investing. That's what it's called right, investing?" "Yeah, it is." Ghen nodded, feeling a fire light up in his thorax. "And also? Today's the day that the premium water thing is being released. Here's hoping it starts out well, right?" "Oh it will, trust me." Tilik chuckled as they both began making their way inside the workplace. "Lots of research, lots of study. By the Queen, so much of it...it'll make your head spin." And after hearing that, Ghen had a moment of realization. "Hey, Tilik? How did you get such a nice position anyways? Weren't you just studying under me before the humans came along?" Tilik let out a sigh after opening the door. "I'll be honest, I never wanted your job. Not because it's boring or terrible, just...I didn't suffer so many sleepless nights in the science academy just to be a glorified button pusher. This is what I've always wanted. Doing science, solving problems rather than just applying the solution, you know?" "Wait, you got an academic certificate?" Ghen questioned, completely floored. "How did you end up beneath me then? I should've been answering to you!" "Simple." Tilik gave a heavier sigh. "A royal servant was asking for the same job I was. Take a guess at who got it." "Ouch. Good thing the humans came along when they did, yeah?" Ghen was taken aback. He never heard anything about a servant taking a job at his place. "Looks like you're proving yourself to be well suited." "By the Queen, of course I am." Tilik nodded. "Like I said, I nearly broke my wings through so many nights, got certified top of my class, all just to get pushed to the dirt because someone who was born into a particular family wanted the same thing I did? I know I'm smarter than any of those empty-skull servants back in the Center. I know that, whatever, uh...corporate? Yeah, whatever corporate wants out of science, I will xeek give it to them." "Well, let me know how things go in the lab." Ghen said, admiring his drive as they neared the main office floor. "Because this is where the button pusher needs to go." Tilik let out a laugh as he nodded. "Hey, how about we meet up at Queen's Fine Eatery tonight. I'll pay, yeah?" Ghen, at first, wanted to admonish him for choosing such an outrageously expensive place to go. But he quickly realized that, he truly is good for it, thanks to the humans. "Well, hey, if you're paying for it." ... It was a fantastic opening. After being told what news sites to keep in mind for stocks, he first heard it from Dylan, and then got more detail on Business Today. There was such a massive demand right from the start that Zilia needs to increase extraction just to meet it. But what really got his attention was the effect it had. Zilia Water Delivery's share price just blasted off. After seemingly holding steady at about 3.15, by the time he got home and logged onto his account, it already reached 7.04 a share. The calculator on his account told him that he got a value-gain of 54.26%. Never in his entire life had he felt such...joy. With all of the shares he currently has? He's sitting at 400,512.64 credits. He knows that it is woefully pathetic compared to what the royal servants have just in their pockets, but the fact that he has such money, just by owning some intangible concept? Why even work at Zilia? Why doesn't he just sit at home, figure out what companies to invest in and make his money that way? What's even the point in working a real job, getting a pathetic pay when you can just take the money you have, determine where to spend it, and get triple back? All just sitting on your wings at home, researching? He was so wrapped up in his excited high that he completely forgot he was going to meet Tilik at Queen's. After quickly and haphazardly putting on his nicer clothes, he got to the place only a few minutes late. Tilik was there by the guide, no doubt having been waiting for him. As soon as he strode up, Tilik's wings stiffned out some. No doubt he must've seen the numbers as well. "I can see your wings, Ghen." Tilik began with an excited chuckle. "Made some serious credits?" Ghen let out an incredulous scoff, struggling to find the words for a moment. "Incredible. All I'm going to say." "Likewise." Tilik chortled some before nodding to the table guide. "All here. Table please?" "Right this way, sir." The guide said politely. It was a short walk, travelling between round tables. The vast majority were populated by zazk, but Ghen was surprised at seeing a few humans here as well. No doubt corporate workers checking out the local food. He did spot them having bowls filled with some kind of mass. Some were brown, others white with what looks to be black specks on them. They arrived at their table. A rather nice one, affording a view out the windows into the busy colony streets. Once Tilik and Ghen settled in, the guide handed out the menus. "May I suggest our rather popular option for tonight?" The guide began. "Human ice-cream. Ingredients sourced from Earth itself. Very cold, but incredibly sweet, and coming in many flavors. The most popular amongst us is called vanilla-bean. The vanilla itself soaks in the cream for much of the process, and then the innards sprinkled on top of it near the end. Rumor has it that the Queen herself has demanded personal shipments of such a treat straight from the home of vanilla, an island on Earth named Madagascar." Ghen didn't even spare a single thought. "Vanilla bean ice cream then, please." "Same." Tilik seconded when the guide glanced to him. With a slight bow, the guide proceeded to ferry their orders to the kitchen. Thankfully it was just a short wait before the guide returned, carrying a large plate containing bowls of ice cream. Ghen could feel the saliva on his mandibles as the bowl was placed before them. He could just feel the cold air around that glistening mass of sugary goodness. The white snow decorated with the black dots of vanilla bean. Once the guide left them, Tilik and Ghen both dived in at the same time. As soon as the ice cream entered his mouth, touched his tongue, he exploded in incomprehensible bliss. The sweetness, the smooth and creamy mass, even the taste of vanilla he wasn't sure about was just absolutely delightful. It was so overwhelming that his entire body limped, slumping in his seat as he was forced to ride on the surging tide of joy and happiness sweeping over him. Tilik was no different. He too was taken completely by the effects of the ice cream, his wings fluttering some against the seat. Ghen could hear some noise. It was the humans they passed by. They were chuckling, grinning, and glancing over at them discreetly. Unlike the two zazk, the humans seemingly just enjoyed the ice cream as if it was just another nice dessert to them. Or perhaps they couldn't allow themselves to succumb to the high? And as soon as the wave of indescribable bliss and happiness subsided, Ghen knew. He just knew. This was the life. He wanted this. The ice cream was just the beginning. So many things denied because he didn't have the credits, or worse, not the blood. Because he was just a drone in the great Collective, even if he had the credits, he wasn't allowed because of what caste he was born in. That fire that sparked in him when he saw Tilik's new car? It exploded into a raging firestorm. And when looking into Tilik's eyes, Ghen could see the same. He was on the same page as Ghen was. Both of them were sold. They have the credits. And the humans? If you can pay for it, they'll never discriminate. All they cared about is if you have the money. And by the Queen, Ghen and Tilik will endeavor to amass as much credits as physically possible. The rest of the night faded into a blur. A blur that evokes only one thing. Bliss. It was only when he walked through the door of his pathetic hut that Ghen's mind snapped back to focus. His mandibles felt sticky. And he felt a weight in his stomach. How much ice cream did he eat? Whatever it was, he ate such volume that the lower-section of his throax extended and rounded out, visible even under his shirt. He felt something odd in his pocket. It was a receipt. 43,000 credits for ten bowls of vanilla bean ice cream. Was that ten bowls for both of them? Or individually? Ghen didn't care. He's good for it. Returning back to his calculator, he acted upon the decision that he had made at that eatery. He's acquiring as many books about investing and stock trading as he could find, frequent and study all the discussions and arguments presented by other like-minded individuals such as he, all to ensure he can live the good life. And he had a very good feeling Tilik was doing the exact same thing. Well, first, the gurgling in his stomach, as well as the feeling of something rising demanded his attention. Looks like he'll need to take the night off to let his stomach get back to normal. Three Years Later. Ghen looked out beyond the horizon, seeing the colony that he grew up in. On the far side was where his old house was. With only a simple robe on, made from the finest silk from Earth's nation-state of China, he relaxed in his seat. It was a long road. Stockpiling credits from pre-existing investments and from subsequent pays, he and Tilik made it. From having only half a million in assets and cash, now transformed to over eight-hundred million. And now, his call contracts on American Interstellar? They've just announced a breakthrough in their next generation of warp drives, reducing the speed coefficient even further, resulting in far faster travel. And with that, their stock price climbed sharply. Another hundred million credits in the bank. Soon, very soon, he and Tilik are about to become the galaxy's first zazk billionares. But that's not enough. There are many humans who are billionares. Only those he can count on one hand are considered trillionares. He's going to break into that circle. He and Tilik. Looking beyond the colony, he saw the abandoned building of the workplace he transferred to when the humans arrived. Turns out, the reason for such a high demand was that the humans also slipped in sugar to the tap water. As soon as that broke, many influential royal servants demanded investigations and outright banning of Terran Galactic Company's influence over the former government division. Zilia's stock price plummeted. But thanks to an advance tip from his human coordinator, Dylan, he and Tilik made a put contract. And that's where they struck gold, as the human saying goes. Dylan warned that if they were citizens of the United Nations, they'd be investigated and convicted for insider trading. But, since they weren't, and the Collective were only just introduced to capitalism, there's no risk at all. Now the colony is going through a withdrawal phase, Zilia has been dissolved and reformed back as a government division and are currently at work re-establishing the standard, plain water delivery. "Well, shit." Tilik muttered as he walked up to Ghen's side, taking well to human speech. "Looks like you win. American Interstellar's announcement really was a good thing. There goes a million credits. Ah well, the Royal Shipyards will make it back for me soon." "Oh? Did they just go corporate?" Ghen asked curiously, glancing to Tilik. "Hell yeah they did." Tilik chuckled, sitting down. "Queen and her retard servants fought it hard, but Royal Shipyards is now officially a human-style corporation. And, to a surprise to all the xenophobes in the galaxy, they're already being offered contracts for ship production. That'll raise the stock price pretty good." "What's that human word...?" Ghen muttered, already having a reply in mind. "Dick? Yeah, calls or suck my dick, Tilik." Tilik roared in laughter. "Already made them. Forty credits a share by this day next month." "I have half a mind to go thirty." Ghen chuckled. "Either way, until then, I heard from Dylan that he knows a guy who knows several prime human women who happen to be into zazk." "You're interested in women?" Tilik said as his wings fluttered. "With how often you tell me to suck you off, I'd have thought differently." "Oh, I always thought it was you who was into men." Ghen responded dryly. "Just wanted to be a good friend, you know? Considering how you never seem to make it past, Hey sweet thing, I'm rich you know." "Oh, go fuck yourself." Tilik countered with a little laugh. After he stopped, wings stiffened, he looked to Ghen. "So, know any royal servants we can put the squeeze on for more revenue streams?" "I got just the one." Ghen nodded, sitting up. "Fzik. He's been fighting to control the ice cream trade. Worried it's a corrupting influence. Got done talking with the human CEO of Nestle earlier. If we clear the way, he'll know how to squeeze a little more gains in stock price when he makes the announcement." Tilik's wings stiffened even more, signaling his approval. "Alright, time to throw some credits around, yeah?" AN: Sorry for the period of no updates. College is starting up, lots of stuff to clear and work out. Not sure why but I just got a bug up my butt about incorporating money and the stock market into a short. Here it is. Sorry if it seems abrupt, character limit fast approaching. Let me know how you guys think about it!
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)
Hello, dummies It's your old pal, Fuzzy. As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great. What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. Idomybit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post. That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way. We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps. Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy. TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle. Ready? Let's get started. 1.The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows: Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself. Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part. You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus. That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it. Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets? 2. A Hedging Taxonomy The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now. (i) Swaps A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one. Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered. The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game. I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging. There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested. Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure). (ii) Forwards A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me. Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways. People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances. These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them. (iii) Collars No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray! To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts. (3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years. First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA. Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire. Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking? Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama. Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details. I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here. Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post. *EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
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Just doing a huge rant on champs that I hate. Let me know if you have any nice tips for playing against them. Champs in each category are generally in order from most hated to least hated. EDIT: Just a disclaimer: I'm just venting. I didn't mean for anyone to actually take this that seriously. I enjoy the game perfectly fine even if some of these champs end up showing, otherwise I wouldn't be playing. But yeah. Chill out people. I am fully aware there are more than 70 champions on this list, which makes up more than half the roster. EDIT 2: People are still commenting about how it's ridiculous that I hate "all the champions." Read my disclaimer, peeps. Thanks. I just think they're annoying, and I hate them, not that they're OP. I didn't expect anyone to agree with me or to get any upvotes. Just wrote this because I was bored and wanted to vent. Edit 3: I’m done replying to people who are taking this post at anything more than face value. Peace. Edit 4: Also, yes, Jinx is overpowered with all her resets and attack range, but she's by far not the most annoying ADC to play against. Her minuscule banrate reflects that. Maybe I can complain about her ult because you think you've just barely made it out alive but she snipes you last second and you're like "Oh." Overpowered ≠ annoying, and annoying ≠ overpowered. I keep explaining this over and over, lol. Edit 5: I'm gonna put a checkmark next to champs that I have played before in norms at a decent level just so people aren't like "durrr just play them so you know how to counterplay them!!11one" Edit 6: I've determined that the League community is just as toxic as ever. Keep ragging on me for being hardstuck silver for 6 years and doxxing me. I don't really care. Also, I've augmented my list with an annoyingness score out of 10, with 5 being average, just so you guys realize it's not binary hatred, but more of a spectrum. I essentially only have champs that have a score of greater than 5 on here, so you can expect with 5 being the average, and annoyingness being on a sort of bellcurve that around half the champions that exist are going to be on this list. That's what people aren't understanding, I guess. I probably should've done that from the start, tbh. My mistake. Also keep in mind that some of the champs on this list are "half" hated, so like only specific build on that champion will I hate, such as AP Shyv, lethality J4, AP Malphite, etc. etc., so those champions on the list should only count as half a champion, which should bring the total down to around 60. Mages: √ Veigar. That cage is huge, and the only way to counterplay it is to either be faster than the animation, sidestep his W if you end up not being able to do so, or flashing out. All of which is extremely difficult. He's especially annoying in lane when he can zone you off minions and also make it 10 times easier for the ADC to land a skillshot. Still have nightmares about Ezreal Veigar. Late in the game, if you end up getting stunned, you're basically dead for sure because of his 1000 AP. It's a race against time. 8.5/10. √ Xerath. So. Much. Damage. Honestly, I think he's just Brand but with just harder to avoid abilities and even more damage (before the Brand passive anyway). Ugh. 8/10. Karma. Level 1 empowered Q does 25% of your HP and slows. It's so, so, so unbelievably stupid. The MS boost and insane shielding is even more ridiculous. It's impossible to dodge her stuff too. 8/10. √ Vel'Koz. Another Brand/Xerath-like support. Just insane damage and CC. The Q is especially annoying because you have to think in two dimensions rather than just one, and it slows and chunks a quarter of your HP. 8/10. √ Full AP Malphite. Ult is basically just an instant kill with no real counterplay besides flashing. You can build MR, but ADCs only have Maw, PD, and QSS for that. Wit's End is a waste 99% of the time. 8/10. √ Lux, a good one at least. That Q is easy to dodge, but when she does land it, she can do a full combo for your entire HP bar. It was even more annoying when Aftershock shield support Lux was better. Used to be my permaban for that patch. 7.5/10 √ Brand. So much raw damage and he doesn't even need to build items for it. His W just chunks out half your HP, and then his passive burns you for the other half. Just really painful to play against. 7.5/10. √ Zilean. His ult essentially adds a sixth player to the game and I really hate it when he cucks me from a kill because of it. At least I can E the reviving person, but it's not always feasible. His bombs also do an insane amount of damage in lane if he's good and can land them. His speed boost makes his allies go 1 million miles per hour, which makes it extremely hard to do anything. 7.5/10. Vladimir. I don't understand his kit at all. All I know is that he has insane innate healing, insane burst, and a stupid blood pool that negates literally everything. I can't stand the guy. His late game is also insanely strong. 7/10. AP Shyvana. Those dragon form Es HURT A LOT. There isn't much counterplay to being oneshotted. 7/10. Kennen. He's insanely fast, and literally the only counterplay to his ult is flashing or QSS. Even with QSS, if he's too close to you, the damage is still gonna affect you and you're gonna die to it regardless. 7/10. √ Fiddle. The silence is really annoying, obviously. Especially as support. The ult is also really annoying because if you don't have a bush warded, he can pop out of nowhere and you're basically dead. Still mostly manageable, but just REALLY annoying. 7/10. √ Swain. I can't dodge his root thing no matter how hard I try. It's so weird and unnatural. Probably needs some practice, but regardless, it's insanely annoying. I also hate his insane lifesteal during his ult. He's basically unkillable before you have grievous wounds. The recent changes have made him nigh overpowered. Edit: I just did some target practice with a Swain main friend, so that helped a little. I still don't like it. 6.5/10. √ Kassadin. Ever since that insane buff from a while ago, he's able to carry games singlehandedly once he reaches late game. And I don't like playing him either. Just another race-against-time champ. 6/10. √ Zyra. Has a lot of free damage with her plants, and you can't do much about it because if you auto the plants, then it detracts from csing. It's really annoying, but the damage still is somewhat manageable, and her stuff is dodgeable. 6/10. √ Twisted Fate. He can just TP to anywhere on the map with a gold card up, and you die because it's a point and click guaranteed stun. So irritating. But definitely not that overpowered. 6/10. Malzahar. Space aids and voidlings do way too much free damage. The silence is annoying. The ult is obviously the worst part, but at least that's counterable with QSS. Ugh. 6/10. √ Kayle. She's basically not a champion until level 11, and then she just ends up carrying the game no matter what. I know she's getting a miniature rework on PBE, so hopefully that makes her better, but honestly it's just basically a race against time and statchecking. 5/10. √ Ahri. She can be annoying her with charm. It's a big game changer because it basically lasts forever and she gets bonus damage as well, so you basically insta-die. 5/10. √ Heimerdinger. Why are his turrets so hard to kill? They literally take like 4 autos. Why. He also ends up having 150 armor naturally for some reason. Just annoying. 5/10. Teemo. Classic hatred. He's very anti-ADC with his blind, and random shrooms that chunk out 40% of your HP. Plus, his ability to just go invisible after like a millisecond of being in bush makes it even harder to kill him. Thankfully, he doesn't provide must value to the team other than just serving as a tilt mechanism. 5/10. Enchanters: √ Lulu. Polymorph is annoying, but it doesn't last that long. My real gripe is with shields. I hate shields. About to kill someone? Nope, he has a 300 HP shield suddenly. So annoying. 6/10. √ A good Soraka. Her Q slows so much and heals her for such a ridiculous amount. I don't know how some people are able to land it so well. 5/10. Assassins: √ Shadow Assassin Kayn. My God. Even when he's not transformed, he can gank from wherever he wants, and you can't even ward against him because the spots are too far away and you can get caught, and even if you do it and then see him, it doesn't even matter because he walks through the wall and gets +100 MS, which you can't possibly outrun. And if you get camped? It's basically over. He gets transformation and you're basically permanently erased from the game because +200 MS from walls and then the W slow + his ability to move during it. Jesus. Current permaban. 11/10. Rengar. Inevitably, he'll get to a point where he can hop from a bush, press Q, and insta-kill anyone. He can just come out of nowhere, too. His ult gives free armor pen so building armor means absolutely nothing. Gray health is aids too. He ALWAYS gets fed too with like a 20+ KDA. I'll say that based off some complaints that he requires a little more timing and skill than I'd previously thought, but I'll have to determine that myself later. 10/10. √ Hecarim. Really, really annoying. At least he got somewhat nerfed, but man, he can just camp a lane and instakill over and over because of his insane movement speed and his ult which has an insanely long fear. Plus he can push you and get you out of position. Used to be a permaban. 9/10. Shaco. Dude just pops out of nowhere from a backwards flank while you're just minding your own business and instakilsl you. Control wards aren't enough. 9/10. √ Talon. He's thankfully not that popular, but there was one week a couple weeks ago where I saw him almost every game and he'd get fed every single time. Dude can legit just hop over walls willy nilly and has the same playstyle as Kayn but requires even less skill somehow. You just press WQ and instantly kill anyone. 9/10. √ Nocturne. Dude can just press R and instantly TP to you and kill you by autoattacking you to death. Not much more needs to be said. Thankfully he's not as strong as he once was, but still. 8/10. √ LeBlanc. Honestly, they should've just kept her rework. I don't know why we need yet another generic AP burst assassin in this game. I mean, she's gotten pretty manageable, but when she first got reverted, she was insanely ridiculous. 7.5/10. √ Ekko. Dude's super slippery and his ult makes him basically impossible to kill. He's not that popular, though, and not that OP either, but just REALLY annoying. 7/10. Full lethality Jarvan. This dude can straight up oneshot you with ult. If you don't get oneshotted, then you still basically are dead because there's no way to get out of it besides flash. 6/10. Lee Sin. Ironically, not that he's annoying to play against, but that I hate having him on my team. The Lee usually ends up taking literally all the kills early game, leaving none of the actual carries, and then he falls off 20 minutes in, starts endlessly dying because he thinks he's still relevant, and then we wonder why we lose. 7/10 on my team, 5/10 on enemy team. Kha'Zix. Generic AD assassin that doesn't really require much skill expression. Basically Rengar 2.0 but less damage. Idk why he exists. 6/10. Hook supports: Basically all of them, with heavy emphasis on √ Pyke and √ Blitzcrank and Nautilus. Their counter is to just sit behind minions, but those three can just walk through them and hook anyway. It's so stupid. Even if they don't, they just have to be lucky and hit ONE skillshot (even if they miss 10 in a row) and get a double kill. Blitz and Naut's hooks are also extremely fast and hard to sidestep. The recent buff that Pyke got also just makes him incredibly snowbally and ridiculous. Why does he get double gold??? Plus his passive that gives him free health and makes him super slippery. God. He used to be my permaban till I kind of got used to him and realized that Kayn is worse. Naut's hitbox is also needlessly wide, and it seems to prioritize champs instead of what the anchor hits first. I don't understand. The lollipopping effect is also really stupid. Thresh: 7/10. Blitz: 10/10. Pyke: 11/10. Naut: 9/10. ADCs: √ Draven. This guy would definitely be my permaban if he were more popular. He just gets so much free stuff. He needs to perform a basic part of his kit (catching axes) and he gets overrewarded with it by essentially getting 450 gold off every kill rather than just 300. I don't understand. His autos also do like a quarter of your HP, and slightly misstepping is basically a death sentence. Your hope is just poke him from him trying to catch axes. Literally, your win condition is to not die even a single time, including your sh**ty autofilled support whom you have no control over, because once he gets even a single kill, he snowballs out of control. Two kills and the game is over. It's a race to see who makes the first mistake. Either he dies first, or you die first. I've come to learn to play against his playstyle by basically just letting him win lane and making sure he doesn't cash in any kills, and hopefully my jungler can kill him and make him lose his stacks. But usually either my support plays overaggressive or their jungler ganks and I'm overextended. He's just a ridiculous snowball feast-or-famine champion. So stupid. 10/10. √ Tristana. She has SO MUCH free bullsh*t in her kit. Free waveclear, free ins, free outs, two forms of self-peel, strong all game, really long range, deletes towers. It doesn't matter if she's mispositioned AT ALL. She can be derping around and not paying attention to her support engage, and just hop in when her brain finally turns on, get a double kill, then hop out. Basically an assassin. I really hate her. 10/10. √ Twitch. I legit just don't know how to play against this dude. Control wards are supposed to counter his invisibility, but in this season (well in prior seasons too), my inventory gets filled up with so much garbage that I can't. He just pops out of nowhere, gets insane attack speed, and instakills me because I'm mispositioned. Especially lategame where he can just pop up with his ult and 1v5. Wtf? He spikes way too hard off his two core items, as well. 10/10. √ Jhin. His W is one of the most annoying abilities in this game. The support just needs to auto once, he lands his W which passes through minions and has infinite range for some reason, and then the support can finish the CC chain, or he can walk up and crit you for 1 million damage. Late game his crits are amazingly huge and he can run at 1 million miles per hour which makes him annoyingly slippery even though he's supposed to be "immobile." He used to be my permaban. 9.5/10. √ Ashe. Long range and permaslow. Basically if you get autoattacked once you're dead if you don't flash because you just get autoed to death thanks to her Q and probably her support CCing you shortly after. 8/10. √ Ezreal. He's not super strong right now, and I usually end up pooping on him, but he's so effing slippery. I hate it. He can just Arcane Shift out of everything. He throws out Qs which chunk your HP AND give him free gold with klepto, and on top of that, the WQ combo takes out at least 30% of your HP every single time. Really high annoying factor, but not really overpowered. 7.5/10. √ Lucian. One slight misstep and he combos you for half your HP. He's been pretty bad since he got hard nerfed, but still super strong in the laning phase with the right support. I really hate playing against him. At least I've learned to properly position a little. 7/10. √ Sivir. The spellshield is incredibly annoying and probably the only skilled part of her kit. She feels so boring to play as and against. 6.5/10. √ Xayah. She is basically an assassin with how much damage she's able to output. Sure, I outrange her, but real annoying even if she's just even. 6/10. √ Vayne. She's traditionally been a champ where I see her get picked and go "lul easy lane," however, I don't know what happened lately, but suddenly all the Vayne mains I've seen suddenly gained 200 IQ and actually dodge stuff, condemn correctly, and make plays. Late game too, she just deletes tanks because it's impossible to itemize against her. But yeah, if she's a bad Vayne she's pretty easy. Depends a lot on the support as well. 5.5/10. √ Kog'Maw. He powerspikes really hard with items and ALWAYS scales. His laning phase is also not even bad either. I feel like I always lose lane against him and then he never ends up falling off because his range is insane and he shreds armor and stuff. He's definitely not that overpowered, though. Just really annoying. 5.5/10. Bruisers: √ Tryndamere. God. I really hate this guy. I don't know why he doesn't get a rework already. He's so clunky and boring to play. If he's fed, he can just dive into the backline with E, get a triple kill, then walk away scot free because of his dumb retarded ult. There's no counterplay to him other than rooting while his ult is in effect, but you're most definitely already dead by that point because he's already E'd into you, killed you in 2 autos, then E'd back out with ult running. Even if he's behind, he can just splitpush all game and create priority. You basically have to keep one person on each lane otherwise he WILL end the game by himself. And if someone follows his splitpush he can just run away with E and ult. F**k this guy. One of the most unfun champs. He'd be my permaban, but he's not usually the one preventing my win. Just extremely unfun. 10/10. √ Jax. The basic antithesis of ADC. His E is the most ridiculous part of his kit. He has insane mobility with his hop, so he can just dodge all your autos, hop to you, press E again to do an AOE stun (???), and you're basically gone. His ult also makes him impossibly tanky. If he doesn't wanna teamfight, he also has the option of going the singleplayer route and just splitpushing like Tryndamere. So annoying. 9.5/10. √ Darius. Always gets fed toplane because people like to whack each other with auto attacks at top instead of doing efficient trades. While Darius just autos and gets his passive off and then ults, hooks, cripples, etc. etc. me later on because he's 20/0. Insanely fast with phage + ghost. Ugh. At least he's somewhat kitable. My experience playing toplane against him has also been terrible, so I feel the pain. 8.5/10. Mordekaiser. He just ALWAYS gets fed no matter what. And I know why; it's because he's really overtuned. But then I have to deal with it when he ults me and then I lose the 1v1 because one Q chunks half my HP. 8.5/10. √ Garen. If he gets fed and is smart and goes tanky, he's basically literally impossible to kill because of his flat damage reduction. He silences, he speeds himself up, still does damage because his Q does a lot and his ult does true damage + extra vs. the villain. I really hate him. He can splitpush hard too. If the trend isn't clear to you by now, I really hate splitpushing as a strategy in general. 8.5/10. Volibear. He can just run at you at a million miles per hour, throw you over, slow you, and then auto you and bite you to death while he heals. Extremely overloaded. 8/10. √ Gangplank. Basically another one of those ticking timebomb champions. Once his barrels start doing true damage, it's basically over because on top of slowing you by 90%, they also delete 90% of your HP too and there's absolutely nothing you can do to itemize against it. All you can do is hope you can auto the barrels fast enough. 7.5/10. Trundle. Generic splitpusher with stupid high innate lifesteal. Boring. 7/10. Yasuo. Classic hatred. He can be irrelevant all game, but still catch up later on because of his dumb double crit powerspike. His tornado is hard to dodge, his windwall blocks everything, and he has nigh infinite dashes so he can just walk up to you and land the tornado so you can't sidestep it. His ult does insane damage and has armor pen. But that's beating a dead horse. 7/10. √ Udyr. He just has so much DPS with PtA, and can rush in with Bear Form and stun you, then go to Tiger Form and auto you to death super fast. Really low skill expression. 6/10. Renekton. Dashes everywhere, AoE stun, insane innate lifesteal, etc. etc. He always ends up getting fed and then diving me and I instadie. 6/10. √ Illaoi. Just because people don't effing know how to play against her so I end up having to deal with her. She's pretty simple, but when she gets fed she's unbearable. 6/10. √ Nasus. He's usually manageable until he gets late game and then carries the game because he was able to freefarm and get 1000 stacks so he can just delete towers. The wither is also pretty aids. But I generally don't die to him since he's pretty easy to kite. He's just one of those race-against-time champs. 6/10. √ Riven. Mostly just really annoying and slippery. Dashes, stuns, and shields up the wazoo. But definitely not that overpowered. 5/10. Tanks: Cho'Gath. You straight up need 5 items to be able to kill him reliably (crit + LDR + botrk), and it's nigh impossible to get that far into the game. Even then, he still has nearly 8000 HP, and he can just flash ult you and do 1500 true damage point and click. It's so unbelievably stupid. 9/10. √ Rammus. The taunt, built-in thornmail, and damage reduction are just really anti-ADC and you basically kill yourself by attacking him. He can just come in at a million miles per hour, bump into you to knock up, taunt you, and you're basically dead because he bursts you despite being a "tank." 9/10. Zac. He can just hop from a bush and knock you up with his E and you can't do much about it. He also does a lot of damage for being a tank. 8/10. √ Leona. If they have ANY type of engage on their ADC, it's basically a free botlane. Her level 6 powerspike is just too strong against my squishy immobile Jinx booty. Her E is really wide and basically not side-steppable, and following that up with a Q and ult? Absolutely terrible. 8/10. Amumu. The hitbox on his bandage toss is insanely forgiving, and his ult is huge for an AoE stun. At least you can QSS it pretty easily. 7.5/10. Sion. Why are you able to Q from a bush invisibly? It's really dumb. I mean, you can be smart and ward and all, but it's just annoying. Plus, that ult + Q stun lasts forever. 5.5/10. Singed. What does this champion even do? Literally nothing. He's just like Teemo in that he doesn't provide value to the team and just exists to annoy people, while also doing less. I mean, yeah, he's pretty useful in that he can misposition the ADC, but I absolutely hate having Singeds and Teemos on my team. 7/10 when on my team, 3.5/10 on enemy team. Aaaaaaaaaaand that's pretty much it. Looking back at the list, I can deduce that I really hate champions that pop out of nowhere, AoE stuns, dashes/slipperiness, shields, innate healing, huge poke, invisible spells, insane damage, time/level-gated mechanics, solo pushers, and damage reduction. I dunno if anyone cares but I've been wanting to compile a list like this for a while, anyway. Feel free to discuss.
Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More
Win + Shift + S: Captures a user-selectable area of the screen to the clipboard (on Windows 10 Ver 1703+)
WIN + CTRL + F4: Close a virtual desktop
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
Win + E, win + left, up
Win + E, win + right, up
Win + E, win + left, down
Win + E, win + right, down
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one. Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button." This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them." Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such." To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one! Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory." Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one! This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator(alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe" Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)." Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one. Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip! Websites Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work. Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit. High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace. Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture." SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts." Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website." A Slack Channel Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration. Blogs KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world. The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration. An Infosec Slideshow This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules." Tech Tutorials Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012. The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed. SysAdmin Humor Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate! Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions. u/crispyducks
Help you to understand key words in Forex (Leverage ect.)
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Help you Understand chart patterns
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offer Forex signals for payment
TRADING MYTHS -
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'You need a large capital'
DEMO ACCOUNTS -
We will give you assistance on creating a realistic and completely free demo account in order for you to practice, many believe you shouldn't use a demo account for more than 6 months as it does not give you a real understanding of the market as there is no emotional fear of losing money, however, i strongly recommend using the demo account until you are confident and comfortable to trade the real market. (I traded a demo account for 2 years before i felt comfortable enough to live trade, however i did not have good learning material to speed up my progress)
WHEN AM I READY TO TRADE? -
Are you consistent with you profits?
Can you trade without being greedy and scared?
Can you afford to lose money to gain knowledge and money?
Can you manage your risk properly?
are you enthusiastic about trading?
Do you recognise the importance of your trading plan?
Do you have a positive attitude?
The main reason for this Subreddit is to educate you on up to date tips, strategies and advice. Please understand that we are NOT your financial adviser and we are NOT here to tell you when to make trades. All of our trade signals are from correct and professional technical and fundamental analysis. No trading strategy has a 100% win rate and we hold no responsibility for any losses you may encounter. *FOLLOW OUR TRADES AT YOUR OWN RISK* Stocks, Options, Binary options, Forex and Future trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in the stock, binary options or futures markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose especially with leveraged instruments such as binary options trading, futures trading or Forex trading. This Subreddit is not an indication to Buy/Sell stocks, futures or options. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this Subreddit. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results. You could lose all of your money fast due too: poor market trading conditions, mechanical error, emotional induced errors, news surprises and earnings releases just as well as grow your profits incredibly due to the same reasons.
Almost 100 new tips on top of dozens of smaller and bigger fixes. Includes current version of 1.1.0 beta patch. New and significantly altered tips are indicated by a “(+)” symbol in front of them. Ctrl-F and search for “(+)“ to cycle through them..
Everyone's favorite bridger, youtube.com/c/Bridger the author of famous pre-release video guides is, along with to lesser extent myself, organizing a Multiplayer event for Streamers and Youtubers playing Hearts of Iron 4! It is a very interesting 7 players, 3 faction format in which less experienced people will be paired with seasoned veterans. Fairly low intensity with 3 hours weekly (specifics tbd based on preferences of the players) should allow almost every streameyoutuber to participate. Are you a StreameYoutuber? Check details here and sign-up here. Are you a fan of a StreameYoutuber you want to see play with us? Go ahead and forward this post or BRIDGER'S VIDEO to them and perter them about it! EDIT2: Guide now also available on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=700983094 And we are over 300 tips as well! TL;DR, wonna watch to learn. My Youtube HoI4 playthroughs: Hearts of Iron 4 - Italy (Italian Introduction) - Basically an expanded tutorial. I won't be a full series, but I'll revisit Italy on Veteran Difficulty withing several weeks. Remade with better audio!
Almost all focus unlocks take 70 days. Use that to plan a "build" for a few years forward.
At the beginning try to get ones that give you extra research slots as well as free civilian and military factories.
Civilian factories are more important early on, unless you plan on going to war very early (like Japan).
Civilian and Military Factory focuses are extremely important for minor nations. Can't stress it enough.
Unlocks that allow you to peacefully annex a country are even better - usually provide much more factories of both types.
Democracies such as UK or USA have some focuses gated behind the World Tension requirements.
Fascist focus for nations using generic focus tree grants up to 7% of recruitable population. That's huge.
One-time research bonuses from focus tree won't be consumed by already active research.
Dotted line means that you need either of the prerequisite unlocks.
Green arrows with a red exclamation mark between them mean that those unlocks are mutually exclusive.
If in doubt read the damn tool-tips. They are actually quite good.
You can click on a focus to find more information along with some flavor text.
(+) Focus costs you 1 Political Power per day.
(+) Up to 10 political power will be applied to a new focus unlock equal to the number of days you had no focus active. If you had no active focus for more than 10 days, that number will be 10. You need to have that amount of PP to spare.
(+) You can’t switch or turn off the focus once it’s chosen.
(+) If your decryption is high enough you can see the focuses other nations are working on.
(+) If it is significantly higher than their encryption you can see their full focus trees with all unlocks.
(+) You can always see what mutually exclusive choice they made.
Different nations start with different techs unlocked.
Try to not research things ahead of time.
Especially more than 6 months ahead of time.
Some focuses will remove the ahead of time penalty for certain research.
50% research bonus may make ahead of time research worth it, especially for important equipment models such as planes, ships or tanks.
(+) You switch the research before it’s finished. You progress will be preserved.
You can stock up on up to 30 days of research before it goes to waste.
(+) If you switch the research those up to 30 banked days will “move” to a new research.
(+) Research bonus will be used if you are restarting previously paused research.
(+) Research bonus once used will still affect paused research. 2nd research bonus won’t be applied if that research is resumed.
Always try to keep your electronic and industrial bonuses up to date.
Concentrated Industry is almost always better.
Don't ignore Encryption and Decryption. Side with decryption advantage gains combat bonus in all land battles.
Doctrines, especially land ones, grant very powerful bonuses and aren't limited by years. It's good to keep researching them whenever we can.
Mobile Warfare doctrine is best suited for fairly open terrain and countries with powerful industrial base since it focuses on both motorized infantry and tanks.
Superior Firepower is best suited for more difficult terrain, countries will not-limitless manpower pool and not too powerful industry. It focuses on infantry warfare with heavy artillery support.
Grand Battleplan doctrine is most general one with bonuses useful for all types of forces as well as powerful increase in planning bonuses. Safe, but not very focused choice for most nations. Additional points if you want to utilize AI control of your armies a lot.
Mass Assault land doctrine can provide massive manpower bonuses on top of great for the wide range of units, but mostly infantry. It is a good choice both for nations who have deep manpower pool but weak industry, but also for minor nations who would otherwise struggle with low manpower.
You can only follow one of the doctrines. Attempting to research a different one will remove all the progress from the one you followed before.
All of the Land Doctrine side paths are mutually exclusive. You can change them later but will lose all the techs from other branch.
Not all paths in Naval and Air doctrines are mutually exclusive. Look for dark grey squares with arrows.
For Air and Naval doctrines see their respective sections.
Naval Invasion technologies can be found on the very bottom of the Naval tree, below battleships, carriers and submarines.
That small icon in the top right corner of an aircraft research allows you to research a carrier version of it.
Carrier versions of the planes are more expensive to build and are weaker.
Similar icon with the red rocket on the Motorized unlock in the Infantry tab allows you to research Motorized Rocket Artillery.
You don't need to have standard Rocket Artillery unlocked to research and use a motorized version.
Each unlocked tack chassis allows you to research a Self-propelled (SP) anti-tank, artillery or anti-air vehicle based on that chassis.
They are usually more expensive to build, but more powerful that the towed versions.
Production cost is, on top of required resources, a good indicator how expensive certain equipment is.
Researching a new type of basic land unit (tanks, motorized infantry, marines, paratroopers, mountaineers) will give you a division template utilizing that unit.
If you research tanks before mechanized infantry your tank division template will have standard leg infantry.
When choosing what and when to research keep in mind that it takes months before new equipment or kind of unit reaches front lines in amounts that can make a difference, while passive bonuses are applied instantly.
(+) Synthetic Oil research simply limits the amount of Refineries per state.
Laws and government:
On normal difficulty you will gather 1 political power per day (2, but 1 is always paid for your focus).
Most of the changes to your laws and government cost 150 PP.
Communists and Fascists can switch to War Economy at any time. You should do that using your 1st 150 Political Power.
(+) Democracies and Non-Alligned nations need to be at war with enemy of fairly equal power first.
(+) Democracies and unaligned can only change Economy law to Early mobilization if World Tension is above 5%. Usually it’s better to wait for Partial Mobilization.
(+) Democracies and unaligned can only change Economy law to Partial Mobilization if World Tension is above 15%. Change is asap, unless you know you’ll be at war within few months.
(+) Total Mobilization cuts you recruitable population by 3%. If your Conscription Laws and/or other factors provide less than 3% or you are already using the difference you will end up with no manpower. Be careful.
Increasing conscription laws will add people to your manpower in an instant. No need to increase those laws before it's absolutely necessary.
Trade laws allow you to sacrifice % of your resources for industrial and research bonuses.
You will NOT have access to those resources even if no one will buy them.
Theorists allow you to research doctrines faster and provide minor experience income. Some of them may be quite expensive.
IF you have access to advisors that increase the speed of your civilian and military factory production they are a very good early choices.
So is advisor that increases your Political Power gain by 15%, but keep in mind that he needs 500 days to even pay for himself.
Design company bonus is applied then research FINISHES. It isn't important if you had a designed factory chosen when research started.
If you have enough PP it may be a good idea to keep switching them around for major researches.
(+) Atm (including version 1.1.0) Military Staff hires that increase planes’ Attack, Defence and Agility either have no ingame effect or it isn’t shown in tooltips. It’s impossible to tell. Avoid.
(+) You can open diplomacy screen by r-clicking on a selected nation’s territory with in basic map mode (F1) with no units selected or by picking it from diplomacy screen (E).
(+) Once there you can switch the tab from “Diplomacy” to “Details” to see more information about the selected nation.
(+) If there are two numbers present they are the borders of the estimation based on your encryption level.
(+) World Tension is a mechanic that almost exclusively helps Democracies and Non-Aligned.
(+) Wargoal justification time is lowered by World Tension by 1% per every 2% of WT.
(+) Democracies can’t justify a wargoal against country that has not increased world tension.
(+) Democracies need 100% World Tension to be able to justify a wargoal. (50% for Non-Aligned)
(+) Claims only make justification slightly faster.
(+) Justifying for a single state is preferable.
(+) Democracies need 80% World Tension to create, join a faction or invite to one. (40% for Non-Aligned)
(+) Democracies need 70% World Tension to be able to send volunteers (40% for Non-Aligned)
(+) The amount of volunteers you can send depends on the number of divisions you control.
(+) Volunteers can’t be manually recalled. They will, however, return within 2 weeks if the war ends or you end up in a war.
(+) Democracies need 50% World Tension to be able to send Land Lease (40% for Non-Aligned)
(+) Democracies need 25% World Tension to be able to Guarantee Independence. (40% for Non-Aligned)
vGuaranteeing independence costs political power (more for every active guarantee) and lowers World Tension by 1,7% when used.
(+) If guaranteed nation is attacked and they both end up in the same war guaranteed nation can join the defender’s faction regardless of WT.
(+) AI will always do that.
(+) You can spend political power to boost your party (political option) popularity in the country.
(+) When it is high enough you can wait for a government change (can be peaceful or bloody) or stage a coup by spending 200 political power over 400 days and sending weapons.
(+) The power of the coup is determined by the party support when you start staging it. For whatever reason.
(+) You can send Expeditionary Forces to your allies in the war. It simply transfers control of certain units.
(+) Expeditionary Forces can be returned or recalled at moment’s notice.
(+) To learn about non-aggression pacts hover over the option and wait for a tooltip to appear.
(+) All of the WT requirements can be circumvented by focus tree unlocks. Specifics differ from nation to nation.
(+) Nation will surrender if it controls less % of its Victory Points (from core provinces) than its National Integrity. Hover over the surrender bar in the war manu to see more.
(+) On top of all the Victory Points assigned to specific provinces all the standard provinces are worth a fraction of a VP.
(+) If a nation is a part of a faction it will surrender only its core provinces. It will keep the colonies and there will be resistance on its lands.
(+) Nation that surrenders without being in a faction doesn’t produce resistance on its lands and all of its territory is annexed by a victor.
(+) Faction surrenders when all its Major Members surrender. Hover over surrender bar in the war screen for details.
(+) Faction members that have not been invaded cannot be annexed or otherwise affected by the peace deal. They will end up out of faction, at peace and with a peace treaty with the victor.
You have no control over the amount of your resources set aside by your trade laws. You won't have access to them no matter if anyone actually buys them.
You can buy 8 units of any resource per civilian factory used for trade.
Trade can be cancelled instantly. You factories will be back constructing your buildings.
Countries you are at war with won't trade with you.
Some countries can embargo you via their focus tree.
Countries will sell their resources to those who have highest trade influence over them.
(+) Hover over Export number to see who is buying from that nation and what is their trade influence.
(+) Hover over Influence number to see what makes up your trade influence with the nation.
Try not to buy less than 8 resources/factory. Especially early on.
If other countries actually buy resources that you export you will "get" the civilian factories they spend. Hover over "Exported: x" sections in the top part of that screen to see if anyone is buying.
You only get the civilian factory output if a nation actually buys anything from you. Rest of the "exported" goods are being wasted.
(+) You need enough convoys to be able to carry the resources home.
(+) Those convoys can be attacked. Green lines indicate the routes of your import convoys.
(+) Oddly enough supply convoys use the same colour. Hover over them for details.
(+) You need 1 point of suppression for every victory point in the state. (before occupation law modifiers).
(+) You can change occupation laws after clicking a button on the bottom of your country screen (shortcut: Q).
(+) To control the state you need to control the provinces with most of the VPs.
(+) You won’t get resources from the state that isn’t under your control.
Your civilian factories are used to construct all the buildings. That includes your military and civilian factories.
Up to 15 civilian factories can be used to produce one building.
They are assigned automatically from the top to the bottom of your list.
Hover over the progress bar to see details.
% of your civilian factories will be used to produce consumer goods. Those are basically lost to you.
That number is a % of all your factories (civilian + military ones) based on your economy law rounded up. For example if you have 50 civilian and 52 military factories and your economy law is War Economy 16 of your civilian factories will be used to produce civilian goods (15% out of 102 rounded up). With 50 civilian ones and 52 military ones you're left with 34 civilian factories to do your construction. Now let's assume that you have 20 civilian factories and 82 military ones instead. You still need to use 15% of all those factories for civilian production, so 16 factories, but since you only have 20 that leaves you with just 4 factories to do all of your constructions.
Military factories are two times cheaper than civilian ones and they get additional construction time bonuses from economy laws.
(+) Dockyard construction speed isn’t affected by worse economy laws the same way military and civilian factories are.
Synthetic Factories aren't worth building as long as you can buy oil and rubber since they are more expensive than civilian factories that can be used to buy more of those resources.
Resources produced by Synthetic Factories are affected by both your trade laws and being in occupied provinces. For example if you have a Free Trade policy your Synthetic Factory will only give you 1 Oil and 0 Rubber.
Airbases are really quick to build. Infrastructure and ports, not so much.
Amount of radar and synthetic factories you can build per state is limited by your radar and synthetic industry research. Radar is worth researching if you need it. Synthetics almost never are.
Converting factories to the other type is almost never worth it.
Military factories use Production Efficiency system.
Naval Dockyards don't.
When you switch the production to a different commodity (light tanks to medium tanks, infantry equipment to motorized etc.) your efficiency on that line is reset to 10%.
When you switch to a different level of the same equipment (Infantry Weapons I to Infantry Weapons II, Light tank model 1934 to Light tank model 1936 etc.) you efficiency is cut in half.
You can use experience to create new variants of armoured, airborne or naval equipment.
When you switch to a different exp. variant of the same equipment you only lose 10% of the efficiency.
Production Efficiency increases over time.
If you are missing some of the resources needed for production the equipment will still be produced, but slower. Hover over the yellow progress bar to see details.
Production Efficiency increase is also slower.
Support Equipment, Motorized and Convoys never get old. If in doubt produce some of those.
it may not be a bad idea to start producing an older model of an important new equipment that you are researching to get a some headstart on Prod. Eff.
You can't use exp to modify equipment from Infantry&Artillery tab.
You can still modify Self-Propelled artillery, anti-air and anti-tank pieces.
Division is made of regiments (columns) that are made of battalions.
You can rename, duplicate and change equipment options of a division for free.
You can also mark those divisions Reserve, Regular or Elite - it affects the order they get their equipment. You can change it at any time for free as well.
There is no way of creating a "blank" division template. All new templates must be created by first duplicating and then changing. Give it a few tries to find a cheapest option for your liking.
(+) You can, however, recreate basic division of your nation for free by clicking the “Division designer” button up top.
Anschluss of Austria gives you their division designs.
Adding or removing a battalion costs 5 army exp.
Adding a first new type of unit to a division (mobile or tank battalion to an infantry division or an infantry battalion to a tank division) costs 25 army exp. Next ones will cost 5 exp.
Adding or removing a support brigade costs 10 army exp.
Division has a combat width that is a sum of combat widths of all its lane battalions. All anti air and towed anti tank have width of 1, all artillery have width of 3, rest has a width of 2.
Division speed is a speed of the slowest battalion.
Support battalions have no width or speed. That makes support artillery a very good addition to your fast divisions.
Rocket artillery is a bit more offensively oriented than a standard one but their specific performance will depend on your techs.
Anti-air doesn't seem to be worth it at all.
Organization of the division is an average of the organization of all its parts.
Artillery, tanks and support battalions have very low organization making use of enough infantry battalions necessary.
9999/10000 of the battles are lost because one side ran out of organization.
Higher the hardness the better (unless enemy is actively spamming anti-tank guns or something).
If armor of a division is higher than piercing of the division it is fighting it will not only receive 50% less damage but it will also deal 50% more.
Recon and Engineer supports are worth it for almost every combat division.
Logistic company is also great, especially if you are fighting in a difficult, infrastructure-less terrain.
Field Hospitals are excellent choice if you are afraid of running out of manpower.
(+) Combat Width in every province is equal to 80 + 40 per every additional angle of attack.
For that reason you should aim for divisions of with combat width of 20, or even 10.
I find divisions with strength around 10 a step too far. The organization hit from support battalions and an equipment cost of them is too high, unless you counteract it with very specific doctrines.
There are very few advantages to having really big combat divisions.
If they are to be used in Army Group under command of Field Marshal with "Offensive Doctrine" ability (-10% combat width) then you can go for 22 and 11.
Optimal division designs depend on your chosen doctrines, enemies you're facing and the terrain you're fighting in.
You won't need anti-tank fighting China in 1937, but should probably get some against Germany in 1940.
Tanks won't achieve much in Iran or western China, but will shine in European Soviet union. Against comparable enemy that is.
Good basic infantry division is made of 7 infantry battalions and 2 artillery battalions. (or 8 infantry if going for 22).
Good enough Marine/Mountaineer divisions are the same as Infantry ones, but with those types of infantry instead.
(+) Very light infantry divisions (5/6 battalions with support artillery, recon and engineers) have their uses too, especially in difficult terrain and against a less powerful opponent.
(+) It may be a good idea to build some cheaper infantry divisions to have them hold easier parts of the frontline.
Tanks need infantry in their divisions to counteract their very low organization.
Decent early game tank division consists of 4 tank battalions and 2 motorized infantry.
Later on you can add another mot. infantry battalion and 2 self-propelled or motorized artillery units to get to the width of 20.
Once you unlock mechanized infantry you can replace your motorized units with it where they won't negatively affect the division's speed.
Motorized infantry division is a good, cheaper fast alternative to panzer divisions with less severe terrain penalties.
Later you can try replacing some of your regular infantry with mechanized units.
The more production-intensive, technologically advanced and equipped your army is the lower will be your losses. Mechanized divisions with a lot of heavy artillery or heavy panzer divisions will take a fraction of casualties standard infantry division would take on the offensive.
Try to adjust your strategy to the capabilities of both your industry and manpower pool.
Early on it should simply consist of desired amount of Mot. Infantry battalions, but later you may want to add a few self-propelled or motorized artillery battalions to mirror Infantry Division setups.
Speed is often a better firepower than firepower itself.
Cavalry has twice the suppression of infantry. It is the best kind of unit for your policing needs.
(+) Most cost effective military police unit is one consisting of a dingle cavalry battalion. Use them to garrison your conquered territory that still generates resistance.
(+) Few bigger (4cav to 6cav) units to manually put into more difficult states are also a good idea.
Do not ignore the resistance, it will wreck your infrastructure and factories, disrupt your supply flow and so on.
Police divisions aren't supposed to fight. Don't wait for them to be fully trained, just deploy them as soon as they are 20% done.
Freshly recruited divisions will have an experienced level of "Trained", unless it was deployed earlier.
Divisions that don't have enough experience to reach "trained" are considered "Green" and suffer -25% penalty in combat.
You can exercise your divisions further till they reach next experience level of "regular" granting them +25% combat bonus.
Performing exercise costs equipment (equal to 6% attrition) and lowers your organization to 15% of max value.
It also provides you army experience.
It is better to go to war with "trained" but equipped army than with "Regular" that is lacking supply. Do not exercise more than your military production allows.
Adding new units to the divisions (for example by adding new battalions to existing division designs) will lower the training level of your divisions.
It is better for your troops to have 1 less artillery battalion than to go to war as "Green".
You can duplicate your division designs to be able to produce slightly upgraded versions of ones you have without dipping those already in the field and fighting into "Green" territory. You upgrade those later.
If you have ports or coastlines that are prone to being naval invaded you may want to create dedicated garrison units.
Dedicated "garrison units" (not to confuse with garrisoning order) don't have to be limited to 20 width, since they are meant to fight alone. Stick some more infantry and artillery in them and an engineer support and you have a cheap, powerful unit. Unlike the police units you want them to be fully trained.
I prefer sticking such dedicated "garrison units" into ports by using s series of small “fallback lines". That makes sure that all of those places are well defended. AI would attempt to do that if you were to use a garrison order, but they sometimes fail. You would also need kore such divisions, since they also garrison major inland cities.
Breakthrough is a defense stat used when your divisions are attacking. Defense is a defensive stat used when they are defending.
Infantry tends to have much higher defense than breakthrough. Tanks have it the other way around.
Hover over combat stats of your and enemy's divisions. They will provide an amazing amount of useful information. Really. Keep doing that. Especially if you're losing.
Organization is binary. If you have some you fight at your max effectiveness. If you don't then you don't fight.
Divisions strength actually affects your combat stats - it is a representation of the % of available manpower and equipment.
Both defensive stats (Defense or Breakthrough, see above) only need to be equal to enemy attack stat after all modifiers are applied. All the enemy attacks in the battle up to the level of the defensive stat have 10% chance of inflicting damage. Once all of the defence is used up the rest of the attacks have 40% chance to harm.
For example if attacking infantry unit has 40 Breakthrough and the defenders have 60 soft attack then 10% of the 40 attack will do damage, but 20 that is left unchallenged will harm 40% of the time.
You units suffer attrition while moving, being out of supply or exercising. It is affected by terrain and weather condition.
Look out for mud. Mud is the most brutal of all terrain/weather modifiers. Do not attack into mud.
Russia has a lot of mud, especially in spring and autumn.
You can order your forces to assist in combat in a neighbouring province instead of attacking by Ctrl+r-clicking the battle indicator on the map. They won't advance into that province after the battle is won.
Make sure supplies are reaching your troops (press F4 to see the map). Lack of them will devastate your troops' performance.
(+) For supply to freely move from one supply area to another you need to control border provinces between those two regions.
(+) If your supplies are delivered by sea all of the ports in the supply area where they arrive are are counted towards throughput.
(+) Infrastructure level matters even in provinces made of a single island with a port.
(+) Game will chose the route for your supplies. You cannot manually adjust it.
(+) Atm supply-carrying convoys seem to be completely invulnerable and aren’t affected by any aerial or naval threats.
Units that are out of supplies for too long will start passively losing organization and will suffer from -33% combat penalty.
Encirclement penalty of -30% is brutal, especially coupled with supply issues.
Having Air Superiority in the Air region (F3) will decrease defences of enemy forces by up to 50% (!). It also lowers their movement speed by the same amount (!!!).
To achieve full Air Superiority you not only have to have more plains than the enemy, you also need to have enough planes in the region to cover it completely. Hover over that bar under the picture in Air Region screen (F3).
All the planes operation in the region count towards the air superiority.
Bombers providing air support not only deal damage to enemies in who are fighting battles, but also provide combat bonuses to our troops. They aren't however as big as Air Superiority ones.
Ships anchored in the adjacent sea zone will provide Naval Bombardment penalties of -25% to enemies in shore provinces.
Rivers are no joke. Attacking through a river into mountains or urban areas into entrenched enemy positions is one of the best way of disposing of excessive manpower.
Using division designer learn how your troops are doing in various terrain. For example you shouldn't attempt to perform naval invasions or attack into urban areas with tanks.
To gain planning bonus your divisions need to stand still at the frontline, while being assigned to attack order.
Planning bonus will slowly fade away while you aren't doing so. Be it if you are fighting, advancing or even standing in the same spot after the plan was deleted.
If you want to fully manually control your troops you should simply delete all the frontlines when you are starting the offensive. Planning bonus won't simply disappear (see above).
You can assign manual orders to units under Ai control. They will override AI ones, but unit will go back doing its thing the second your que-ed up orders are finished. That may mean your panzer divisions 1 provinces deep into enemy territory strategically redeploying to the far end of their frontline 30 provinces away.
If you want to keep one of your armies focused at the certain part of the front for example while advancing you can keep shortening their frontline, while holding Alt.
If you will have a line of frontlines one ending where other starts they will stay clipped like that. It doesn't prevent lines from expanding due to newly acquired territory.
Ctrl+r-click on a frontline or an order selects all the units assigned to it.
Ctrl+clicking on a frontline or an order assigns all selected units to it.
Assigning a unit to an order automatically assigns it to the proper frontline as well. Not the other way around if you have more than one order attached to the frontline.
Division can only be assigned to a single ordefrontline.
Ctrl+H unassigns selected units from any orders/frontlines.
"S" is a shortcut for unselecting half of currently selected units. Useful along with those Crtl+key commands for assigning different amounts of divisions to various orders.
By pressing the right facing arrow button on top of your army icon you can activate all the orders for that army.
You can also Shift-click on that button and then on a specific order arrow on the map to activate only that order.
Red square button to the left simply stops all the orders in motion for that army. Tooltip is incorrect.
Red exclamation mark means that the unit is not assigned to any orders or frontlines.
Yellow exclamation mark means that the unit can't for some reason reach the position required of it by an order it is assigned to.
Units will often bug out and stay in ports with the yellow exclamation mark. You need to manually select them and r-click on a port you want them to move on their way to their objective. They'll figure it out from there.
You can move units overseas by either assigning them to an order there or by moving them to the port and then manually r-clicking the port you want them to sail to. See the bug described above.
Units assigned to an order overseas will go to the nearest port and sail to the port that is nearest their desired position. They will not take the length of sea travel into account. For example Italian unit in Belgium ordered to move to Egypt with Gibraltar blocked will instead of going to the Marseille and catching a boat there embark in Belgium and sail all the way around Africa. Watch out for it.
Garrision order will do an ok-ish job of dealing with resistance, but won't help at all against enemy attack.
Use fallback line orders to establish defensive positions on your borders, shores etc.
You can use a fallback line behind your lines as a rally point for the troops that you're recruiting. Simply draw it and after clicking on that circle left from the location selection bar click on that fallback line. Your troops will go there after spawning. Useful if you are using AI to fight your battles since adding units straight to your fighting forces will confuse the battleplane AI and make your offensives stall.
Full shield indicator means maxed out entrenchment bonus.
Battleplan AI is, in general, way too conservative when on the offensive.
(+) In version 1.1.0 you can switch between Careful, Standard and Aggressive stances for your armies.
(+) As of today (26.06) in 1.1.0 divisions in armies with any active battleplans will never strategically redeploy on their own.
(+) They will only use standard movement.
(+) Units may decide to march to the opposite adge of a frontline – a feat that can take weeks in some cases.
(+) Once a unit starts such movement it will not change is or stop it till it arrives at its destination. No matter if it still makes any sense. It is less problematic if divisions are strategically redeploying since it doesn’t take weeks.
(+) You can opt into a beta patch (1.1.0 atm) by r-clicking on Hearts of Iron 4 in your Steam library, going to Preferences -> Betas and then selecting a proper beta from the drop down menu.
Italy is the best nation to learn the game with in my opinion. If you are totally new to it simply play tutorial, or, if you feel so inclined, check out my instructional Italian playthrough or other Youtube videos of that kind.
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