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Frontier Pass - Patch Notes

FEATURES Includes the Maya civilization with Lady Six Sky, the Hul’che unique unit, and the Observatory unique district. Civ Unique Ability: The “Mayab” ability gives Maya housing and gold bonuses from Farms, and Amenity bonus for Luxury resources adjacent to the City Center. Settling adjacent to Coasts or Fresh Water does not provide housing bonuses. Leader Unique Ability: Lady Six Sky’s “Ix Mutal Ajaw” ability lets the Maya gain yield bonuses to non-capital cities, and a combat bonus to units, within six tiles of the capital. Unique Unit: The Hul’che, a stronger replacement for the Archer and receives bonus combat strength when attacking wounded units. Unique District: The Observatory replaces the Campus and adds a minor adjacency bonus with Farms and a major adjacency bonus with Plantations. Also includes the Gran Colombia civilization with Simón Bolívar, the Llanero and Comandante General unique units, and the Hacienda unique improvement. Civ Unique Ability: With the “Ejercito Patriota” ability, Gran Colombia receives a movement bonus to all units, and promoting a unit does not end the unit’s turn. Leader Unique Ability: Simón Bolívar has the “Campana Admirable” ability, granting a Comandante General when entering a new Era. Unique Units: Gran Colombia features two unique units: - The Comandante General is a Great General with unique abilities, including Passive and Retire effects. - The Llanero replaces the Cavalry. It requires less maintenance, receives a combat bonus for every adjacent Llanero and fully heals when in range of a Comandante General that activates. Unique Improvement: The Hacienda provides Production, Gold and Housing bonuses, and a Food bonus for each adjacent Plantation. Plantations and Haciendas receive Production bonuses for adjacent Haciendas. New “Apocalypse” Game Mode (Requires the Gathering Storm expansion to play) Adds Forest Fires and Meteor Showers as disaster types to all games. An optional, specialized game mode with exclusive rule changes: New disasters: Comet Impact and Solar Flares. Larger versions of existing disasters. New military unit: Soothsayer, a Support unit that can trigger natural disasters at the player’s command. New scored competition: Sacrifice units to volcanoes. Requires Soothsayers to use their unique action on friendly units near a volcano. The world enters an apocalyptic state when climate change reaches its maximum level.
New Resources: Honey. Luxury. Maize. Bonus. New Natural Wonders: Bermuda Triangle. Naval units that pass through it receive a movement bonus and get teleported to another ocean tile. Paititi. Gold bonus on trade routes for the city that controls it, major adjacency bonus for Commercial Hubs and Theater Squares. Fountain of Youth. Grants units that pass it a healing buff. New City-States: Caguana. Cultural. Suzerain bonus: access to Batey improvement, which grants Culture based on its placement. Singapore. Industrial. Suzerain bonus: Production bonus for each foreign trade route. Lahore. Militaristic. Suzerain bonus: Access to a Faith-purchased combat unit – Nihang – with a unique promotion tree. Vatican City. Religious. Suzerain bonus: Religious pressure spread when activating Great People. Taruga. Scientific. Suzerain bonus: Science bonus per strategic resource in cities. Hunza. Trade. Suzerain bonus: Gold bonus for trade route distance.
Here are the full notes on today's update:
Maya & Gran Colombia Pack
[NEW FEATURES]
Maya Civilization Unique Ability – Mayab Farms provide +1 Housing and +1 Gold. +1 Amenity for every Luxury Resource adjacent to the City Center. Settling adjacent to Fresh Water and Coast does not provide extra housing. Unique Unit – Hul’che: replaces the Archer. Stronger than the Archer and receives +5 Combat Strength when attacking wounded units. Unique Infrastructure – Observatory District: Replaces the Campus Science District. Adds a minor adjacency bonus with Farms and a major adjacency bonus with Plantations. Leader - Lady Six Sky Unique Ability – Ix Mutal Ajaw Non-capital cities within 6 tiles of the Capital gain +10% to all yields. +5 Combat Strength to units within 6 tiles of the Capital. Non-capital cities outside of the 6 tile range receive -15% to all yields. Agenda - Solitary Builds cities close to the Capital. Likes: civilizations that settle far away. Dislikes: nearby armies and settlements
Gran Colombia Civilization Unique Ability – Unique Ability – Ejército Patriota +1 Movement to all units. Promoting a unit does not end that unit’s turn. Simón Bolívar Unique Ability - Campaña Admirable [Base Game] Earn a Comandante General when entering a new era. [Rise and Fall/Gathering Storm] Earn a Comandante General when the game enters a new era. Comandante Generals are a new type of Great General unique to Gran Colombia. Unique Unit – Llanero: Replaces the Cavalry. Less Maintenance and +4 Combat Strength for every adjacent Llanero. Fully heals when in range of a Comandante General that activates. Unique Infrastructure – Hacienda Improvement: +1 Production, +2 Gold, and +1 Housing. +1 Food for every 2 adjacent Plantations (increased to every Plantation with the Replaceable Parts technology). Plantations and Haciendas receive +1 Production for every two adjacent Haciendas (increased to every Hacienda when you discover the Rapid Deployment Civic). Can be built on Plains, Plains Hills, Grassland, and Grassland Hills. Leader – Simón Bolívar Unique Ability - Campaña Admirable [Base Game] Earn a Comandante General when entering a new era. [Rise and Fall/Gathering Storm] Earn a Comandante General when the game enters a new era. Comandante Generals are a new type of Great General unique to Gran Colombia. Comandante General Antonio Jose de Sucre Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: [Base Game/Rise and Fall] Instantly creates the strongest unit you can build. This unit receives a free promotion. [Gathering Storm] Instantly creates the strongest unit you can build. This unit receives a free promotion. This unit requires no resource maintenance. Francisco de Paula Santander Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: [Base Game] Gives a Random Civic. [Rise and Fall/Gathering Storm] Gives a Governor Title. José Antonio Páez Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: +4 Combat Strength to all Heavy and Light Cavalry units within 2 tiles. Rafael Urdaneta Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: All your units within 2 tiles regain all their Movement and can attack as if they had not made attacks this turn. Santiago Mariño Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: +4 Combat Strength to all Melee and Anti-Cavalry units within two tiles. Gregor MacGregor Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: Grants 1 promotion level to a military land unit and Gold equal to the 50% of the purchase cost of the unit. Manuel Piar Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: +7 Combat Strength to a unit. Antonio Nariño Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: Increase Trade Route capacity by 1. Receive a Trader in the nearest friendly city. Mariano Montilla Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: Units within 2 tiles gain +4 Combat Strength vs. District Defenses. José Félix Ribas Passive Effect: +5 Combat to units within 2 tiles. Retirement Effect: Opposing units within 2 tiles lose 30 HP. Agenda – Carabobo Builds Encampment District buildings to earn more experience with units Likes: civilizations with promoted units. Dislikes: civilizations with unpromoted units.
Apocalypse Game Mode [Gathering Storm] New Unit – Soothsayer Can call upon the God of Destruction to cause a Natural Disaster. Doing this requires a Unit Charge. Once all charges have been used, the unit is removed. Unit starts with 1 charge, but additional charges can be gained through their promotion tree. New Scored Competition – “Appease the Gods” Players can use Soothsayers to sacrifice units to a volcano to gain points. Soothsayers gain a new action: Appease - Target a friendly unit adjacent to a volcano and sacrifice them to gain score equal to their production cost. Rewards include a free Soothsayer, Soothsayer promotions, and additional Faith per turn. New Game Ending Final Climate Stage – The Apocalypse The world enters the Apocalypse upon hitting the final temperature increase. Disasters are more powerful, frequent, and capable of destroying entire Civilizations over several turns. New Disasters Comet Impact: Smashes into land tiles destroying improvements, units, districts, or even cities in the impact zone. Impacted tiles are replaced with an impassable Comet Lake. Solar Flares: Affects the entire map. Pillages power-generating districts/buildings/improvements (except the Dam). Damages advanced units (GDRs especially).
Mythological Natural Wonders Bermuda Triangle 5 Science to adjacent tiles. Naval units that enter the tile gain a Unit Ability called “Mysterious Currents” that grants +1 Movement and are teleported to another Ocean tile somewhere on the map. Paititi 3 Gold, 2 Culture to adjacent tiles. Major adjacency for Commercial Hubs and Theater Squares. City that has it in its territory receives +4 Gold on its outgoing International Trade Routes. Fountain of Youth 4 Science, 4 Faith Units that enter it gain a Unit Ability called “Water of Life” that gives +10 HP when they heal in any territory. Provides Fresh Water Resources Maize: Improved by Farms. Bonus Resource. 2 Gold. Grassland, Plains. Honey: Improved by Camps. Luxury Resource. 2 Food. Grassland, Plains.
Disasters [Requires Gathering Storm] The following disasters are not tied to the Apocalypse game mode. These disasters can occur during standard games. Forest Fires: Starts in a random Forest/Rainforest and spreads to adjacent Forest/Rainforest/improved plots every turn. Tiles on fire damage units and pillage improvements. Forest/Rainforests grow back with additional bonus yields. Meteor Showers: Pummels unowned land tiles pillaging improvements and damaging units. Exploring impact sites grants players a free Heavy Cavalry unit with no resource upkeep.
City-States Caguana Type: Cultural The Suzerain’s builder can build the new Batey Improvement. Bateys provide +1 Culture and additional +1 Culture for every adjacent bonus resource and Entertainment Complex (becomes +2 with Exploration Civic.) +100% Tourism from Culture. Cannot be placed adjacent to another Batey. Placed on any flat terrain without a feature. Singapore Type: Industrial Player’s cities receive +2 Production for each foreign civilization that they have sent a Trade Route. Lahore Type: Militaristic Suzerain's of this City-State can purchase the new unique Nihang unit with Faith. The Nihang unit has 25 Combat Strength. Has a unique promotion tree. Receives +15 Combat Strength for every Encampment building when trained. No maintenance cost. Vatican City Type: Religious When the player activates a Great Person, they spread 400 Religious pressure of the player’s founded (or majority) religion to cities within 10 tiles. Taruga Type: Scientific +5% Science in all cities for each different Strategic Resource they have. Hunza Type: Trade Receive +1 Gold for every 5 tiles a Trade Route travels.
Free Game Update
[BALANCE/POLISH] Updates to Diplomatic Victory Diplomatic Victory Points Resolution becomes +2/-2 (previously +2/-3) Victory is now determined upon player turn start, rather than upon receiving points. Players now lose Favor per turn for each occupied Original Capital. Aid Request penalty for pollution is doubled. Increased Favor penalty for pollution to -1 Favor per 3 pollution more than average (Previously per 5 pollution, capped at -20 per turn from -10). Anti-Air Combat Strength increased to +7 once formed into Corps and Armies (Fleets, Armadas). Greatly reduced the chance that City-States will spawn adjacent to Natural Wonders or on top of resources. Fixed an issue that was allowing aircraft based on Carriers as well as embarked units to count toward the Flanking bonus when attacking. Unmet players now get a visible pie wedge in the CO2 chart. Tweaked volcano spawn spread. Volcanoes will no longer spawn adjacent to each other. Large portions of the map are no longer skipped over. 1 volcano per continent is guaranteed. Tweaked mountain spawn locations for more intelligent placement. Palenque City-State renamed Mitla.
[UI] Players can now manually resize the Offers and Inventory panels during trades. Players can now select different text sizes for the chat panel. Added page history trail to Civilopedia for easier navigation. Fixed an issue that was causing “click” sounds to play whenever a notification was auto-dismissed. Base unit costs and maintenance are no longer shown in the Production Panel. Production Panel now shows only the cost relevant to the city in which the item is being produced. Base values are shown in the Civilopedia as well as the Tech and Civics screens. Added a fix to allow Barbarian Sighted and New Camp icons to properly show in notifications. Fixed an issue where the Tech/Civics Tree scrollbar was being clipped by the background. Improved Deal and Deal Cities presentation by adding item grouping, sub-categories, and collapsing categories. Added icon for Reef adjacency bonus Altered some team colors to be more visible. Better dynamic sizing of various menus – Save/Load, Hall of Fame, Mods, Setup Menu Fixed an issue where buttons in multiple World Tracker menus have partial functionality during World Congress sessions.
[AI] Improve Religious Belief analysis - Tends to stop Warrior Monks from always being first chosen Adjust importance of Great Person Points for city projects for AI to make them more competitive with other buildings for AI attention. Fix an issue where the AI was not always using its land ranged units to attack hostile sea units. Fix an issue that could cause the AI to identify a target city for a missionary based on gossip without knowing the actual location, causing the missionary to freeze in place. Improved coastal city ability to recruit naval units for city defense. Adjusted city priority to target wounded units over siege when under attack. Improve air attacks in operations Conditions changed for AI to pursue Culture Victory. [MP] Fixed an issue where the Diplomatic Victory displays nothing in the World Rankings when teams are enabled. Fixed an issue where the Scored Competition prompt would overlap the chat panel when viewing the World Tracker during a Multiplayer game.
RED DEATH [PC ONLY] Fixed an issue causing the Matchmaker to fail when overloaded. Overall improvements to AI: AI will more aggressively explore in the early game. AI will now target enemy units with nukes. AI will use better protection of Civilians in all phases. Additional fixes to improve AI play. Fixed an issue where nukes were applying a maintenance cost to certain units, causing them to be removed from play when the player went bankrupt. Updated the Diplomacy ribbon to show the eliminated players. Fixed an issue that could cause the AI to cease attacking enemy units once they are in the final Safe Zone ring. Fixed an issue that could cause the AI to act too passively with ranged units. Fixed an issue that was causing the overlay to either not show up or show up inconsistently.
[MODDING] [PC ONLY] WorldBuilder Advanced Mode: when placing a district, if the placement is going to fail because of a missing tech, civic, or population, auto-fix that so it succeeds. Placing a feature over an incompatible resource will now delete the resource. Fixed an issue where using the right mouse button to paint would successfully change all tiles except the tile initially clicked on. Plot Selector now allows changes in the rotation of an existing feature. Various additional UI and quality of life improvements. Fixed various crashes.
[BUGS] Fixed an exploit allowing multiple Pantheon bonuses (e.g., infinite builders/settlers) by hitting ESC immediately after selecting a Pantheon. Fixed an exploit where unit Movement Speed and Combat Strength could be retained by upgrading near a Great General. Fixed an exploit where the same District could be built in a city multiple times. Fixed an exploit where a free Policy change was granted after ending a turn with a completed Civic selected. Fixed an issue where Great Generals Horatio Nelson and Georgy Zhukov’s Retirement Abilities were incorrectly granting Combat Strength equal to the number of units a player owned. Fixed an issue where Neighborhoods built by Brazil were failing to gain additional Housing from adjacent Rainforests. Fixed an issue where the Foreign Culture Victory Imminent notification had no functionality when selected during gameplay. Fixed an issue where the amount of Science already spent when viewing the Technology Tree during gameplay was not being displayed. Fixed an issue where Phoenicia was gaining multiple GDRs with Golden Age Dedication, Automaton Warfare. Fixed an issue where Capture Unit ability was successful even when not attacking. Fixed an issue where incorrect information was present when viewing the resource tooltip in the CO2 Contribution section of the World Climate menu. Fixed an issue where the incorrect "Turns Remaining" numerical value was displayed in prompts for completed Emergencies while another Emergency Competition was active. Fixed an issue where Settler tooltips were not showing up. Fixed an issue where the Arrow Storm unit promotion was applying while defending. Fixed various text bugs. Fixed various audio bugs. Crash Fixed an issue causing Mac to crash when trying to run DX12 full-screen Various additional crash fixes addressed. Perf Multiple performance and memory improvements.
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My Full Hitman III Concept (Repost)

Update: Obviously, Dubai is confirmed as one of (maybe the first) missions... so one of my levels has to go. That said, I'm not going to pick, I'm going to leave them all in. Maybe IO will do 7 main missions ;) I also know that this post is outdated and it's very likely some of my suggestions have either been confirmed, will be confirmed, or will not be possible. This is very simply a thought exercise.

Original Post:
I know IO already know what they're doing, but I enjoy pretending I can do their work for them, so here's my overall concept for Hitman 3. I've posted a version of this once before, but I've added more to it and have adjusted some things.
Basic Plot Synopsis: 47 continues to hunt down remaining key members of Providence with the help of Lucas Grey, as it becomes clear that Grey has a hidden agenda, culminating in a final showdown between 47 and Grey to tie up all loose ends.
MAIN MISSIONS (summaries posted here may different somewhat from the full versions linked)
  1. Ireland - Murder at Black Valley (Murder Mystery Dinner): A trio of crucial Providence members are celebrating the grand opening of their joint venture; a prestigious Castle Hotel in Black Valley, Ireland, by hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner theater for wealthy elites. A portion of the hotel is open to the public, but the "First Class" wing is restricted for the elites only, and is where the Dinner is taking place. 47 has many devilishly poetic opportunities to kill his targets in plain site with guests possibly believing that it's all part of the game.
  2. Ohio, USA - Power Struggle (Nuclear Power Plant): The grand opening of a Nuclear Power Plant (built out of a retrofitted century-old coal plant) owned by a Providence Member as part of a wider scheme to control the US Power Grid is threatened by an Cultist Terrorist who plans to cause a meltdown. An opportunity to eliminate another member of Providence is met with the chance to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, a world concern that can't be ignored even by the typically a-political Agent 47.
  3. South Dakota, USA - The Ecstasy of Gold (Wild West Resort Town): Low-key Providence Members operating a Wild West themed resort town as a front for human trafficking are on the menu this time. All staff of the resort town remain in character as guests try live out their Wild West fantasies. Daily scripted shows such as show-downs in front of the saloon, hangings, and jail breaks take place on schedule, and can provide 47 with some excellent opportunities to stage unfortunate "accidents" for his targets.
  4. Puerto Rico - Safe Harbor (Cruise Ship): Word is spreading that it's not just the higher-ups being taken down; ALL notable members of Providence are being hunted. A few more of these Providence members are attempting to vanish via a Cruise Ship which is currently moored in Puerto Rico awaiting the clearing of a storm at sea. One of the Targets is the owner of the Cruise Line; the other two are a married couple who have worked with the Cruise Line owner on a number of different Providence-related ventures. Intel acquired by Olivia Hall suggests that the three are planning on sinking the ship at sea after escaping via a small watercraft, sacrificing the hundreds of innocent lives aboard to cover up their own disappearance. With the ship stuck in port, this is the best opportunity for 47 to get aboard and take down this trio before their plans come to fruition.
  5. Alberta, Canada - Terminal Departure (Airport): As the remaining key Providence players are on the run, Olivia Hall tracks down two more as they attempt to board a private aircraft at a Providence-owned small airfield in Alberta. A looming blizzard has grounded flights and the duo is nervously held up at the airport, giving 47 an opportunity to take them out.
  6. Copenhagen, Denmark - Enemies Within (ICA Headquarters): With Providence almost entirely eradicated, the remaining members have enacted a "scorched Earth" protocol to take down several pillars of control throughout the world - the ICA being one of them. With the ICA destroyed and its secrets exposed, world governments will have been revealed for having contracted the ICA, leaders will be overthrown, and in the ensuring chaos and confusion, any number of other Providence contingency plans could essentially spell the end of civilization as we know it. On top of this severe problem, Lucas Grey's ultimate agenda has finally been revealed- manipulating 47 and The Constant alike in order to fulfill his desire to see the world burn. This location provides 47's greatest challenge yet - getting around in a highly secured facility full of other highly skilled field agents and handlers who know 47's appearance and tactics. Of course, it also gives 47 the opportunity to play with new gadgets and weapons not yet cleared for field service... as well as his own personal vault, containing numerous weapons and items he's obtained throughout his career. The main conflict of this mission is a "Boss Battle" with Lucas Grey, which is sort of a cat and mouse game during the whole mission - Grey knows 47's tactics and will use them against him, including set ups for "accident kills", use of disguises and so on. Apart from taking down the Providence operatives in the mix, 47 will also need to keep a keen eye out for Lucas Grey's attempts to catch him by surprise.
BONUS MISSIONS/DLC MISSIONS: These missions will be released over time as part of regular updates.
  1. Hawke’s Bay - The Human Inferno: An illegitimate festival involving the burning of a massive effigy representing human greed is taking place on the now abandoned remote beachfront property in Hawke’s Bay, formerly occupied by Alma Reynard. The target is the organizer of the event, who has already taken payment from many eager party-goers that arrived only to find provisions and utilities very limited and inadequate for the number of people in attendance - and ultimately, not much to do other than stand around. This happens to be the second sham event put on by this organizer, and the client, the son of a wealthy film producer and previous victim of the festival scam, feels this to be the appropriate time and place to exact revenge on the organizer, who can be found milling about the abandoned house, or participating in the lighting of the effigy.
  2. Mumbai - Blackout: A power vacuum in the wake of the deaths of Vanya Shah, Dawood Rangan and Wazir Kale has left the slums of Mumbai to be preyed upon by both the remants of The Crows gang as well as an insidious real estate mogul with nefarious intentions. Although the ICA doesn’t concern itself with the political and social fallout resulting from their contracts, in this particular case it would seem that fate had intervened - The ICA has accepted a contract from an anonymous source in Mumbai to take down the heirarchy of The Crows as well as the Mogul and end this strife once and for all. The majority of the city has been plunged into darkness as the The Crows have destroyed a utility sub station leaving citizens without power or running water. 47 infiltrates the chaos under the veil of darkness to eliminate his targets. This mission plays with light and darkness in a new way, allowing 47 to use the dark as cover if he remains motionless. This works the same way as hiding in tall brush and would be easy to program - dark areas are simply flagged as "tall grass" hiding areas.
  3. Miami - Fire Sale: The quest to destroy the remnants of Providence leads the team back to Miami during the 4th of July Celebration to intercept and destroy an armored briefcase which houses an off-network computer containing Kronstadt's top-secret, advanced research and development, blueprints, and schematics, as well as eliminate two key players in Providence between which the briefcase is to be traded. This mission takes place in the late evening as hundreds of people celebrate the 4th of July holiday.
  4. Whittleton Creek - Holiday Hoarders 2: Lost in Whittleton Creek: The same client that hired the ICA to take down two thieves in Paris have contracted the ICA once again to eliminate two more members of the same theft ring who are prowling Whittleton Creek for a score, right before Christmas.
  5. Whittleton Creek - Fright Night: A social media star who victimizes society with tasteless and dangerous pranks for internet fame is under the gun from an angry father whose daughter died in an accident during a previous stunt. The star has set up a Halloween party in the suburb of Whittleton Creek as a cover for the staging of his latest stunt. The client wants him dead.
  6. Paris - Eye of the Beholder: A priceless 13th Century Brooch is on display at the Palais de Walewska's annual "Arts and Artifacts" Exhibit and Auction. The event draws in wealthy individuals from all over the world to view many rare and valuable works of art and historical artifacts, and/or to bid on a selection of art and relics. Two obscenely rich men have a seemingly equal interest in the Brooch, and are willing to shed blood in order to take ownership. Money seems to be no object for either of them... which is why, in a unique twist, EACH of the men have hired the ICA to eliminate the other. The ICA Board of Directors deliberated for nearly an hour on how to approach this situation and ultimately concluded to leave the choice up to the Field Agent - either of the contracts is valid, so it should not make a difference which contract the Field Agent chooses to complete, as the other will be void upon the client's death.
  7. Colorado - The Ghost of Vengeance: A team of fraudulent “ghost hunters” with an extremely popular internet video channel has honed in on the abandoned Apricot Farm in Colorado, after hearing the urban legends about a series of mysterious deaths that befell 4 members of a militia that once resided there. Instead of merely filming their fake ghost hunting shenanigans, they’re hosting a massive Halloween party on the premises as well. The client was formerly one of the two creators of the ghost hunting series, but was ousted by his partner after objecting to the staged hauntings that his partner had been arranging. The client, wealthy from years of internet stardom, has put up the money to have his former partner as well a the two crew members that were complicit in the ousting eliminated partly out of revenge - but this isn't purely about revenge. The client discovered shortly after the ousting that his former business partner was directly responsible for the drug-fueled car accident that claimed the life of the client's girlfriend, and two of the show's crew members share a portion of the blame, as well. The client wants all three responsible parties eliminated at the Halloween Party at the old Apricot Farm.
NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE:
  1. Target Hunt: The premise of this mode is very similar to Gmod Murder. One player is the Assassin and must eliminate the other players, before the other players collect enough clues to unlock weapons and eventually reveal the identity of the Assassin. If you've played Gmod Murder, you know exactly how this works - however, there is a Hitman twist by way of disguises and the ability to covertly kill and hide bodies.
IMPROVED CONTRACT CREATOR:
  1. A distinction will be made between Challenge-Based Contracts and Standard Contracts. Standard Contracts involve OPTIONAL additional challenges only, allowing players to complete them as they wish without suffering penalties for not using the right exit, or having only one exit available, for example. Challenge-Based Contracts will have those additional complications in effect.
  2. Creators can now select certain objects and designate them as an Objective Item. For example, you can now require the Player to obtain a specific object on the map in order to complete their mission. Safes and locked wall Cabinets can also be targeted for breaking into, and a random object will be placed inside for the player to collect.
  3. Creators can now designate certain number of NPC's as Enforcers for 47's default Suit.
WEAPON/ITEM INVENTORY CHANGES:
  1. Each main type of firearm will now be represented as it's own category in the weapon selection menus. For example, there are many variants of the ICA19/Silverballer - The Chrome one, the standard Silverballer, Black Lilly, basic ICA19, etc. Instead of having each variant of this gun listed in the pistols menu, you will now select the ICA19 category, and from there you can choose which variant you wish to use. Your last-used variant will become the Default, so selecting the ICA19 in the weapons menu will equip that gun, should you choose not to select a different variant. This is true for all firearms that have multiple versions - shotguns with and without silencers, the different variations of Jaeger 7 or Sieger 300, etc.
  2. Mark 2 weapons/items have been removed entirely.
  3. Players can now Save up to 4 individual Load Outs (and name them individually). Load Outs can be selected in the mission-prep menu as a new option. The current tile which says "PLANNING" will be split in half horizontally, and just below it will be a new option, "SAVED LOAD OUTS". Within this menu are your named custom load outs, and selecting one will equip it to the "PLANNING" menu.
  4. The Suit Menu is now organized based on Categories - Casual, Formal, Tactical, Special. Casual includes things like the Italian Suit or Tourist Suit, etc. Formal includes anything with a Tie, essentially. Tactical are things like The Raven Suit, Hunter's Gear, Wet Suit, etc. Special are things like the Clown Suit, Flamingo, Santa, and so on. Your last-used Suit is the default for each Category, and simply selecting the Category and backing out of the menu will equip the Default suit.
NPC/AI CHANGES:
  1. Super Enforcers: Some Enforcers, referred to as "Super Enforcers", who are particularly observant, are able to "inspect" found bodies. If allowed to complete their inspection, they will discover things like needle-marks, dart-gun darts, or other suspicious circumstances regarding a death/knockout/sickening. For example, two guards are standing near each other. One is a Super Enforcer. You shoot the other guard with an Emetic Dart, causing him to become sick. The Super Enforcer looks at him (as NPC's do) and the little "awareness" circle above his head slowly begins to fill, indicating that they are going to notice the dart sticking out of their partner and realize something is up. Super Enforcers are recognized by the Gold Color of the dot above their head and on the mini-map.
  2. Armed Targets: Some Targets are now designated as hostile toward the player and carry their own firearms. Their behavior when the player becomes compromised is the same as any Guard, except for one difference - they do not actively hunt the player down. They are programmed to retreat to a safe area (as a Guard would if they were escorting a target, for example) and stay there, but will engage if they see the player. This is retroactively effective for targets such as Reza Zaydan, Sean Rose, Maya Parvatti, Rico Delgado, Andrea Martinez, Wazir Kale, Nolan Cassidy, and Zoe & Sophie Washington.
  3. Buddy System: Certain Guards are paired up with one another in such a way that if one goes missing, after about a minute or two, the other will go searching for them. This may create opportunities, or it may create challenges.
  4. Lost and Found: Guards will take found Cell Phones to the nearest Security Hub and leave them on the desk. They will still answer the phone if activated.
GAME PLAY CHANGES:
  1. Pistol-Whip: Non-Lethal weapons such as the Kalmer can now be used to pistol-whip NPC's into unconsciousness. The works exactly the same as an Elimination with a lethal pistol does - sneak up behind, and hit the prompt to "Eliminate" (it will say "Knock Out" instead), and 47 will simply bonk them over the back of the head with the butt of the pistol, instantly knocking them unconscious.
  2. Long-Weapon Eliminations: It is now possible to perform an up-close elimination with a long-weapon such as a shotgun or rifle. If within range, tapping the "Eliminate" button will cause 47 to hip-fire into your target's back, killing them in one shot. This is obviously only a silent kill if using a silenced weapon. This action is not available for Sniper Rifles.
  3. Dual-Use Syringes: Poison Syringes of any type can now be used to poison drinks and food. This is an illegal action regardless of disguise.
  4. NPC's Use Briefcases: Some NPC's may be carrying Briefcases, depending on the situation/location. If you happen to notice them leaving their Briefcase unattended, you can place an item inside and that may carry the Briefcase past a Checkpoint for you - assuming they have security clearance to avoid inspection. Otherwise, they may be arrested (taken to a Security Room) and the Briefcase and item confiscated.
  5. Point-Blending: When wearing certain disguises and/or in certain circumstances, 47 can "blend in" to avoid Enforcers simply by standing still. If wearing a Guard uniform, for example, standing still for a few seconds will cause 47 to assume a Guard-like Posture, helping him to blend in to the role. If dressed as a waiter, he may pull out a note pad and pretend to be reading or writing something. In his Default Suit, he may pull out his Smart Phone and pretend to be on a call.
  6. Smashing Cameras: Certain heavy items can be used to destroy cameras by throwing them. These items include things like Bricks, Hammers, Wrenches, etc - anything heavy enough to damage the camera.
  7. The Warning System: On Casual Mode, you are given up to 3 warnings for certain illegal actions before your Mission Rating is affected. For example, if you are caught trespassing once and you allow yourself to be escorted away, you will receive one warning marker. These are represented by 3 translucent X's beneath the mini-map, and they are made opaque when you receive a warning. You may earn up to 3 warnings, and a 4th will void Silent Assassin. Professional Mode allows for ONE Warning, and Master allows for none. NOTE: The Warning System is VOID once a Target has been killed. The disappearance of a Target makes issues such a trespassing more notable to Security Forces.
  8. Trespassing Areas now visible with Instinct: When using Instinct, a Red "laser grid" will appear on the floor of Trespassing areas. This is based on disguise, of course- the grid will not appear if you are in the correct disguise.
NEW WEAPONS/ITEMS:
  1. Umbrella Gun- Small Caliber single-shot Rifle cleverly concealed within the form of a fancy Umbrella. Very quiet, limited range, and can only be fired once. Make it count.
  2. Silverballer Custom- Includes a red laser sight and an extended magazine.
  3. Silverballer Custom Auto- Includes an extended magazine and automatic-fire capability.
  4. Emetic Gas Phone- A decoy Cell Phone that emits a small cloud of Emetic Gas when a call is answered.
  5. Tracker Coin- A coin with a discreet GPS tracker inside. Allows 47 to track certain individuals of importance (they are highlighted blue when using Instinct).
submitted by Left4DayZ1 to HiTMAN [link] [comments]

Seven Bizarre Ancient Cultures that History Forgot by u/CuteBananaMuffin

Seven Bizarre Ancient Cultures that History Forgot
by Stephanie Pappas July 18, 2016 from LiveScience Website


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The ancient Egyptians had their pyramids, the Greeks, their sculptures and temples. And everybody knows about the Maya and their famous calendar. But other ancient peoples get short shrift in world history.
Here are a handful of long-lost cultures that don't get the name recognition they deserve.

1 - The Silla


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The Silla Kingdom was one of the longest-standing royal dynasties ever. It ruled most of the Korean Peninsula between 57 B.C. and A.D. 935, but left few burials behind for archaeologists to study.
One recent Silla discovery gave researchers a little insight, however.
The intact bones of a woman who lived to be in her late 30s was found in 2013 near the historic capital of the Silla (Gyeongju). An analysis of the woman's bones revealed that she was likely a vegetarian who ate a diet heavy in rice, potatoes or wheat. She also had an elongated skull.
Silla was founded by the monarch Bak Hyeokgeose.
Legend held that he was hatched from a mysterious egg in the forest and married a queen born from the ribs of a dragon. Over time, the Silla culture developed into a centralized, hierarchical society with a wealthy aristocratic class.
Though human remains from the Silla people are rare, archaeologists have unearthed a variety of luxurious goods made by this culture, from a gold-and-garnet dagger to a cast-iron Buddha to jade jewelry, among other examples held at the Gyeongju National Museum in South Korea.


2 - The Indus


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he Indus is the largest-known ancient urban culture, with the people's land stretching from the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan to the Arabian Sea and the Ganges in India.
The Indus civilization persisted for thousands of years, emerging around 3300 B.C. and declining by about 1600 B.C.
The Indus, also known as the Harappans, developed sewage and drainage systems for their cities, built impressive walls and granaries, and produced artifacts like pottery and glazed beads.
They even had dental care: Scientists found 11 drilled molars from adults who lived between 7,500 to 9,000 years ago in the Indus Valley, according to a study published in 2006 in the journal Nature.
A 2012 study suggested that climatic change weakened monsoonal rains and dried up much of the Harappan territory, forcing the civilization to gradually disband and migrate to wetter climes.

3 - The Sanxingdui


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The Sanxingdui were a Bronze Age culture that thrived in what is now China's Sichuan Province.
A farmer first discovered artifacts from the Sanxingdui in 1929; excavations in the area in 1986 revealed complex jade carvings and bronze sculptures 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall.
But who were the Sanxingdui?
Despite the evidence of the culture's artistic abilities, no one really knows. They were prolific makers of painted bronze-and-gold-foil masks that some archaeologists believe may have represented gods or ancestors, according to the Sanxingdui Museum in China.
The Sanxingdui site shows evidence of abandonment about 2,800 or 3,000 years ago, and another ancient city, Jinsha, discovered nearby, shows evidence that maybe the Sanxingdui moved there.
In 2014, researchers at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union argued that at around this time, a major earthquake and landslide redirected the Minjiang River, which would have cut Sanxingdui off from water and forced a relocation.

4 - The Nok


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The mysterious and little-known Nok culture lasted from around 1000 B.C. to A.D. 300 in what is today northern Nigeria.
Evidence of the Nok was discovered by chance during a tin-mining operation in 1943, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Miners uncovered a terra-cotta head, hinting at a rich sculptural tradition.
Since then, other elaborate terra-cotta sculptures have emerged, including depictions of people wearing elaborate jewelry and carrying batons and flails - symbols of authority also seen in ancient Egyptian art, according to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Other sculptures show people with diseases such as elephantiasis, the Met said. Contributing to the mystery surrounding the Nok, the artifacts have often been removed from their context without archaeological analysis.
In 2012, the United States returned a cache of Nok figurines to Nigeria after they were stolen from Nigeria's national museum and smuggled into the U.S.


5 - The Etruscans


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The Etruscans had a thriving society in northern Italy from about 700 B.C. to about 500 B.C., when they began to be absorbed by the Roman Republic.
They developed a unique written language and left behind luxurious family tombs, including one belonging to a prince that was first excavated in 2013.
Etruscan society was a theocracy, and their artifacts suggest that religious ritual was a part of daily life. The oldest depiction of childbirth in Western art - a goddess squatting to give birth - was found at the Etruscan sanctuary of Poggio Colla.
At the same site, archaeologists found a 4-foot by 2-foot (1.2 by 0.6 meters) sandstone slab containing rare engravings in the Etruscan language. Few examples of written Etruscan survive.
Another Etruscan site, Poggio Civitate, was a square complex surrounding a courtyard.
It was the largest building in the Mediterranean at its time, said archaeologists who have excavated more than 25,000 artifacts from the site.

6 - The Land of Punt


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Some cultures are known mostly through the records of other cultures.
That's the case with the mysterious land of Punt, a kingdom somewhere in Africa that traded with the ancient Egyptians. The two kingdoms were exchanging goods from at least the 26th century B.C., during the reign of the pharaoh Khufu.
Strangely, no one really knows where Punt was located. The Egyptians left plenty of descriptions of the goods they got from Punt (gold, ebony, myrrh) and the seafaring expeditions they sent to the lost kingdom.
However, the Egyptians are frustratingly mum on where all these voyages were headed.
Scholars have suggested that Punt may have been in Arabia, or on the Horn of Africa, or maybe down the Nile River at the border of modern-day South Sudan and Ethiopia.

7 - The Bell-Beaker Culture


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You know a culture is obscure when archaeologists name it based on its artifacts alone.
The Bell-Beaker culture made pottery vessels shaped like upside-down bells. The makers of these distinctive drinking cups lived across Europe between about 2800 B.C. and 1800 B.C.
They also left behind copper artifacts and graves, including a cemetery of 154 graves located in the modern-day Czech Republic.
The Bell-Beakers were also responsible for some of the construction at Stonehenge, researchers have found: These people likely arranged the site's small bluestones, which originated in Wales.
submitted by BakaSandwich to outsideofthebox [link] [comments]

[Silver Bullet] - Part 1

Casey Winter sighed. Details in a murder case were like a magician’s secrets. Once the audience knows them, you’re screwed. The sniper might not be Corpus Christi’s first serial case, but she couldn’t think of another. The bullets he fired were silver plated, and it was bad, bad, bad that she knew about them now.
She folded up the newspaper and put it back in the stand beside her register.
Corpus wasn’t a large city. You could fit its population into Houston three or four times and have plenty of room left over. The perks of living on the coast, though, compensated for small town misfortunes. Beachfront property, camping trips where the ocean sang you to sleep (and sometimes soaked you awake), and all-you-can-eat fried shrimp at the tourist dives. Some even counted the mild winters. Personally, Casey felt broiling in summer wasn’t worth a forty average in December.
Crime here was mostly drug related. There was a gang problem; people locked their doors, stayed off certain streets. The last month, though, had changed everything. Four people had been murdered, and not in domestic disputes or drug deals. At random, via custom made armor piercing silver bullets. Though the public hadn’t known about that until yesterday. Sitting on unique details, like gun caliber and specific wound patterns, was standard operating procedure for cops. After all, if the information didn’t come from them, they could track it back to the hands that fired the shot. At least, that was the plan before the local news broadcast CCPD’s hole card to the world.
Silver bullets. Silver freaking bullets. Way to go, Channel Ten. Casey shuddered. Now, anyone with psychotic delusions, impulse control problems and an electro-plate kit could go wild and blame it on the crazy already roaming the streets. Thank God, this Leopard Street gas station was a regular stop for cops. Corpus’s few nasty places all empty into Leopard Street. Even the anemic weeds crawling through the sidewalk cracks looked desperate. A few blocks over, Loaves and Fishes offered a free meal for the homeless every day. Gang signs proliferated on pawn shop windows. This time of year, autumn fog draped curtains over everything. Nothing was hidden. If you were on Leopard Street, chances were you’d given up.
A sniper was not something they were ready for.
The first man killed had been a Hispanic gangster down on Staples Street. People assumed drive-by. One week later another gangster was killed, this time on Airline and Williams on the opposite side of town. He’d been waiting for a bus ride home. The men were connected—best friends, cousins, members of the same gang—so the press speculated about a gang turf war. Then the next two victims were killed. Neither had ever been in a gang.
Working retail usually devolved into massive amounts of polishing, sweeping and window-scrubbing. The door alert rang. Casey gave off dusting the candy bars and turned with her happy customer face in place. A black buzz cut walked past the five-foot-two mark by the door, followed by a blond, and if reality had any justice he would be modeling underwear a thousand miles from here. She smiled. Arthur Ramirez was a Hispanic fireplug disguised as a cop. His drank biblical amounts of coffee; cuppa of black joe every hour, on the hour. Casey ran the only twenty-four-hour convenience store in his patrol area, so he bought his fix from her.
Though she wondered how much of that habit had to do with discovering a crippled woman behind the cash register of Leopard Street’s favorite stop-and-rob. When the attacks started, Arthur’d been given the Leopard Street patrol. He’d come back two times that first night, three times the next night, then settled into a four-cups-a-night coffee habit.
Casey tried to argue with his concern, but she was five-five of skinny, pale and brown. And no matter how fit she’d been a couple years ago, her ex husband had blown a big hole in her world when he’d shattered her right knee with a rolling pin. She’d divorced him the second she’d recovered enough to hold a pen. Free at last…which didn’t count for much. She was still picking broken-life pieces up every time she turned around. In one aching moment of now, Jackson Winter had turned her life into a whole before and a broken, nasty after. Coffee addiction and overprotective nature were, well, endurable. But Arthur Ramirez also had a heavy case of hero worship, and it kind of sucked. She finished dusting candy bars just as he came to the counter with his tall cup of liquid rocket fuel. The odds of someone in Corpus Christi knowing who fantasy novelist K.C. Winter was, these were pretty good. Relms’ Con would commence over at Bank of America Center in a couple weeks, and nerds galore would flock to the seller’s tables. Knowing K.C. equaled Casey, those odds were a little slimmer. Knowing her by sight, you’re moving into lottery-winner territory. For the cop assigned to her working neighborhood to be a rabid Ambercross fan? God’s irony fairy was working overtime.
And he’d been horrified to find her working here. Like everyone else on planet earth he’d assumed that “successful published writer” meant “millionare in Victorian mansion”. Okay. So Casey could have lived off her writing income alone, if Jack hadn’t gone nuts and ended their marriage with a bang. Between the legal bills, the medical bills, and the general costs of living, she couldn’t make enough money writing to stop working. But she also couldn’t make enough working to stop writing. At least, not at the kind of job that would hire a cripple pushing forty without a college degree. Even she knew she deserved better. No one should waste time selling coffees and gas with a big target pinned to her back. But escaping the grind required effort, and she just had nothing left to give. And why should she try, anyway? Jack was gone, her money was gone, her body was shot, her family had pretty much disowned her, and her career…contrary to popular opinion, midlist author was pretty much a dead end. A gas station on Leopard Street was a perfect fit from that perspective. If you didn’t have a future, this was where you belonged.
And it had a couple perks. Arthur Ramirez’s first visit of the night usually came with Marco Creed, Arthur’s extraordinarily hot best friend. His pattern was even more predictable than Arthur’s: Buy one hot-dog with mustard, take up residence at small yellow table, read and do paperwork until dawn. There was a big sign on the door that said no Loitering, an identical sign over Casey’s register. But Marco and Arthur had taken the owner aside two weeks ago and had a talk. Marco could camp here if he wanted, as long as he escorted the nightshift girls in and out of the store.
It certainly improved the view. She glanced over at Marco. Six-two of blond, blue eyed gorgeous. Twenty years too young for Casey, goddamn it. He came to the register with money and the hotdog. She took the money. His garage, Anderson-Creed Auto, was a few blocks over. He made very glossy custom jobs, and guarded them with a large fence and a very ugly dog. The yellow table he’d staked out two weeks ago sat beside the door. Now he loaded it down with paperwork and a paper bag full of books.
All but one of the sniper attacks had happened between two and four a.m. Casey traded shifts with her relief at three. Marco would be here when Jeannie came on and she clocked out, and he would leave with Jeannie when the day manager finally showed.
This was all because of that first dead girl. Two dead gangsters weren’t scary. Nicole Hartman, however, had been a pretty blond college kid studying history. She had good family, good grades. She had type two diabetes, though, and didn’t like the stuff in Del Mar College’s vending machines. She’d made a run to the Stripes on a corner, like she did every night, and had been standing on the median between highway lanes. A black car had passed her on the left, and a rifle had fired.
Casey had read every news story obsessively. Nicole had been studying Celtic history. She had a little brother named Jerry and a gap between her front teeth that turned her smile dazzling in its imperfection. She wanted to be a teacher. The bullet had shattered on her pelvis and she died after three hours of pain.
The bell over the door rang again, this time admitting two Hispanic men. One of them looked okay, Casey thought. Only one tattoo, a skillful tangle of roses across his upper back which must have been a considerable chunk of change and pain. The other one looked like he’d gotten out of jail two days ago. Arthur stiffened like someone had stuck a broomstick up his spine. Marco just read and ate his hotdog. It was nice of Arthur to engineer protection, Casey thought, but she’d rather have had the garage’s ugly dog. At least Marco’s puppy knew when bad guys had shown up.
“What are you doing here, Julio?” Arthur asked.
“Hey man,” the rose tattoo said. “We just buying groceries, man. Can’t a man buy groceries, man?”
Oh, please. Casey rolled her eyes. Julio put a hand on the little guy’s shoulder. Cool it. “My lady blew through her cigarettes. Tony here needs to get some beer, too.”
“It’s your probation if you drink, bro,” Arthur said.
“And I’m not doing a goddamned thing to risk it. I got two kids now, Artie. I got one more shot, and I’m gonna make it count.”
Tony the Rose Tattoo, meanwhile, leaned into a cooler and pulled out a six pack of beer. He looked old enough to buy it, barely. There was a mermaid amid the roses on his back, and Casey was stunned by its beauty and realism. Whoever had done it was really talented. Tony dropped the beer on the counter and said, “Pall-Malls.”
“Where’d you get the ink done?” She asked.
“What’s it to you, bitch?” Tony asked. He puffed up like a fighting rooster, sans spurs. “Gimme a pack of fuckin’ Pall-Mall already.”
Okay. Sorry, kiddo. You watch too many gangster movies. She rang up the beer and the cigarettes. “ID?” She said.
“Bitch, do I look like I’m under age?”
“You look twenty two. I have to check. Sorry.” She shrugged. Grudgingly, a wallet was produced. He was twenty-five.
Behind him, Arthur and Julio appeared to be deep in conversation. Casey heard the name Amaya Hernandez, and her stomach lurched. Amaya had been a slightly overweight itty bitty Hispanic woman with gray hair, a big heart and nerves of steel. And she, too, had died.
Charity, Casey thought as she handed Tony his change, was a nice, big word. You felt good dropping a fifty dollar check in an envelope addressed to Ethiopia. You win the Cheerful Giver merit badge…but make sure it's the right charity. Make sure that your drop in the bucket goes to some college fund for the deserving, or a teen mother choosing adoption over abortion. Make sure your charity is socially acceptable. Places like Loaves and Fishes weren’t that kind of charity. They didn't ask for blood tests, or your status in AA. They didn't check to make sure you were furthering your education through the socially approved networks. It’s one thing to give to people who are trying hard. It’s another thing entirely to devote your life and time to people who have already given up. Perhaps it’s not a better gift, but it certainly is a bigger one.
Amaya Hernandez had been an administrator for Loaves and Fishes, until she resigned to become a social worker for CPS. She was a children’s advocate in CASA. She connected needy families to Habitat for Humanity. She had touched the hearts of wealthy philanthropists and gangsters with three or four murders under their belt, she had probably saved more lives than she could count, and she’d been gunned down on Leopard Street two nights ago, while escorting a pair of children home.
Today the news had leaked: She'd been shot by the same killer as the gangsters and Nicole Hartman. All linked by a silver bullet.
Julio shook his head at Arthur. “Look…I don’t know who killed Miz Maya, alright? You can bank on that, sir.”
Tony rolled his eyes and took his beer. Arthur said, “Alright, man.”
Julio’s eyes had a crazy white cast to them now. “Because if I did know, you’d be arresting me right now, Artie. She took care of my kids. She took care of my mom. My wife, when she had nobody, she knew Miz ‘Maya would be there. I find out who did it, I shoot the motherfucker. And then I’ll call you, and shit on the son-of-a-bitch’s face ‘fore you get there.”
“Get in line,” Casey said quietly. Julio, Arthur and Marco all looked at her, then smiled. The tension broke like clouds.
“Hey, Miz Winter, right? When we gonna get another book? You left that Leythorne dude in a nasty mess last time.”
Oh for God’s sake. Can we give Irony Fairy a break, already? Arthur and Marco looked like puppies begging for treats. Even Tony looked interested. She sighed. Fantasy novels. Elves and Faeries. Even things out of her personal nightmares. For some people, it was better than candy. “You’ll get it when you get it, mkay?” She said, demurely. Julio laughed.
“Let’s get, dude.” Tony said, and shuffled out of the store. Julio took a minute longer, clapping Arthur on the back, shaking Marco’s hand, and giving Casey a smile that left her craving a shower.
“That guy,” Marco said, “is bad news.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. “Julio and I went to highschool together. He’s screwed up. Bad. I don’t know if he can pull himself out of it, but I think he is going to try.” He rubbed his scalp.
“I meant the kid.” Marco turned a page.
“What’s wrong with Tony?” Casey asked.
Arthur sighed. “He’s nothing. Gangster wannabe. If he gets busted for selling one more time, he’s going in for longer than Julio. I’ll see you kids later.” He waved at Marco, at Casey, and then went back to his patrol car. Marco settled onto his stool and took a book out of a paper bag. Naturally, it was one of hers.
(2)
For the last few nights, walking out to her car had been Casey’s personal hell. Her tiny red Nissan glowed in the October fog like a bulls-eye. Footsteps echoed off walls like a gunshot in a concrete canyon. Stoplights blinked like eyes; orange streetlamps caught the air on fire. Cars drifted out of this haze like sharks. If you wanted to sneak up on someone, all you had to do was sit just up the road, lights off, and wait.
It was two-forty-five. She got off this shift at three.
“I’m amazed you’re not more worried.” Marco’s words startled Casey out of her reverie. She shook herself, studied his face, and smiled. He wore a ball cap even indoors, and would have looked naked without it. Nobody, she decided, should look that pretty. “You saw the news. Sniper’s packing silver plated bullets with the ends filed to points.”
“Hell,” Casey said. “I still have to walk to the car, you know? Damned if I’m gonna crawl on the ground because some lunatic’s tired of shooting at target posters.”
Marco chuckled. “You know…you’re a lot braver than you come off.”
“Thanks,” she said, dryly. Then she chuckled to herself.
“What?”
“I will bet you money, I’m the only person to hear about the bullets and not immediately think ‘werewolf.” She grinned at him, and he smiled back.
“You’d lose,” he wraggled the book at her. In Casey’s novels, Faeries reacted to steel the way vampires reacted to holy water. A stainless steel fork could burn them worst than napalm, not that they had forks in Ambercross. Or napalm. Or gunpowder, for that matter. The darker species of Faerie—she supposed they’d be the unseelie court, though she didn’t divide them that way in her novels—were just as badly injured by silver. In Ambercross, it was standard for an Elf to carry a silver plated knife in a boot so that, if one such nasty should appear, he could kill it without damaging himself or another Faerie. If an Elf owned a gun, he’d carry silver bullets.
Two-fifty. Two fifty-five. Casey closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Jeannie Weston pushed through the door at exactly two-fifty-nine. Casey’s relief was an overweight red-headed single mother of two. She slammed the door behind her and said “Safe!” dramatically. You only saw the white skin and trembles if you knew her really well. Jeannie was terrified of the sniper, but she’d turned her anxiety into a running gag. She was, Casey decided, an okay human being to know.
Jeannie nodded to Marco as she made a b-line for the back room time clock. Casey followed. In an hour, she would be home. Thirty minutes later, she’d be asleep. Wake up at noon, try to get some writing done, shower, drive out here. Life was like the instructions on a shampoo bottle. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Marco stood as she neared the door. “Walk you out, Lady Winter?” He asked. She let him open the door for her. He tapped the brow of his ballcap as she passed. It was their evening ritual. Part of her would be very sad when this was over and Marco stayed at his body shop all night again. God he was handsome. Why couldn’t he be forty? Or even thirty five?
They stepped into the banks of October fog. Cars and buildings across the street were hunkered shapes. She shivered. Given the events this month, not being able to see was—
Tires squealed, and the world slowed down.
A car broke through the fog like a glossy black bullet. Light gleamed off its mist shrouded curves. The grill was chrome teeth, and the rear driver's-side window was down. A long, narrow tube poled out of the window. Reality melted like an icicle. The car oozed forward, motor purring. The gun barrel had a wide and staring eye, and it was looking right at her.
Run, she thought, and came down wrong on her bad knee. Fire shot through her bones and her good knee gave out. Marco grabbed her, twisted her under him, and the retort echoed off buildings. Something hard grazed her shoulder. A small black hole opened on the back of her car. Marco’s weight pulled her to the ground. She rolled across asphalt, scraping her bad cheek against the gravel. Another shot fired, and something wet and hot splattered over her. Marco screamed. There was a third shot, and then the murderer’s engine roared. Red tail-lights flashed once in the darkness, and then the car was gone.
Life exists in terms of before, now, and after. Casey thought, in the shocked silence that followed. I was in before. This is now, and when this passes everything that follows will be changed. So are we done? Am I after, yet?
Warmth dribbled across her cheek. Marco’s blood. It dribbled out of a hole in Marco’s shoulder. He rolled away, groaning, and she stared at the harsh lights of the gas pump overhang. Blood pumped furiously through Marco’s fingers.
Blood, she realized, that was the wrong color. A shallow and transparent amber, far removed from human blood. It was pouring out of his body, and she felt cold. She knew what bled like that. Oh God, oh God, oh yes she did.
This is it. This is now.
Jeannie poked her head out of the convenience store. "What the hell--"
"Call the police!" Marco shouted. Casey couldn’t move. His hat had fallen off, and through his tangled curls Casey saw the tip of one pointed ear. He met her eyes and smiled ruefully. One pale finger arched to his lips, shhhhh. Slowly, a little theatrically, he put the ball cap on with his uninjured hand. The blood flow slowed, then stopped. Whole white flesh showed through the bullet hole in his shirt.
It had healed. Completely.
The only reason, Casey thought, to shoot a silver bullet is to hunt a monster…or to avoid killing a Faerie.
This is after.
The man who saved her life was an Elf.
submitted by Christwriter to redditserials [link] [comments]

Silver Bullet--Part 1

(note: This is an old story that I self published back in 2010. Please enjoy!)
Casey Winter sighed. Details in a murder case were like a magician’s secrets. Once the audience knows them, you’re screwed. The sniper might not be Corpus Christi’s first serial case, but she couldn’t think of another. The bullets he fired were silver plated, and it was bad, bad, bad that she knew about them now.
She folded up the newspaper and put it back in the stand beside her register.
Corpus wasn’t a large city. You could fit its population into Houston three or four times and have plenty of room left over. The perks of living on the coast, though, compensated for small town misfortunes. Beachfront property, camping trips where the ocean sang you to sleep (and sometimes soaked you awake), and all-you-can-eat fried shrimp at the tourist dives. Some even counted the mild winters. Personally, Casey felt broiling in summer wasn’t worth a forty average in December.
Crime here was mostly drug related. There was a gang problem; people locked their doors, stayed off certain streets. The last month, though, had changed everything. Four people had been murdered, and not in domestic disputes or drug deals. At random, via custom made armor piercing silver bullets. Though the public hadn’t known about that until yesterday. Sitting on unique details, like gun caliber and specific wound patterns, was standard operating procedure for cops. After all, if the information didn’t come from them, they could track it back to the hands that fired the shot. At least, that was the plan before the local news broadcast CCPD’s hole card to the world.
Silver bullets. Silver freaking bullets. Way to go, Channel Ten. Casey shuddered. Now, anyone with psychotic delusions, impulse control problems and an electro-plate kit could go wild and blame it on the crazy already roaming the streets. Thank God, this Leopard Street gas station was a regular stop for cops. Corpus’s few nasty places all empty into Leopard Street. Even the anemic weeds crawling through the sidewalk cracks looked desperate. A few blocks over, Loaves and Fishes offered a free meal for the homeless every day. Gang signs proliferated on pawn shop windows. This time of year, autumn fog draped curtains over everything. Nothing was hidden. If you were on Leopard Street, chances were you’d given up.
A sniper was not something they were ready for.
The first man killed had been a Hispanic gangster down on Staples Street. People assumed drive-by. One week later another gangster was killed, this time on Airline and Williams on the opposite side of town. He’d been waiting for a bus ride home. The men were connected—best friends, cousins, members of the same gang—so the press speculated about a gang turf war. Then the next two victims were killed. Neither had ever been in a gang.
Working retail usually devolved into massive amounts of polishing, sweeping and window-scrubbing. The door alert rang. Casey gave off dusting the candy bars and turned with her happy customer face in place. A black buzz cut walked past the five-foot-two mark by the door, followed by a blond, and if reality had any justice he would be modeling underwear a thousand miles from here. She smiled. Arthur Ramirez was a Hispanic fireplug disguised as a cop. His drank biblical amounts of coffee; cuppa of black joe every hour, on the hour. Casey ran the only twenty-four-hour convenience store in his patrol area, so he bought his fix from her.
Though she wondered how much of that habit had to do with discovering a crippled woman behind the cash register of Leopard Street’s favorite stop-and-rob. When the attacks started, Arthur’d been given the Leopard Street patrol. He’d come back two times that first night, three times the next night, then settled into a four-cups-a-night coffee habit.
Casey tried to argue with his concern, but she was five-five of skinny, pale and brown. And no matter how fit she’d been a couple years ago, her ex husband had blown a big hole in her world when he’d shattered her right knee with a rolling pin. She’d divorced him the second she’d recovered enough to hold a pen. Free at last…which didn’t count for much. She was still picking broken-life pieces up every time she turned around. In one aching moment of now, Jackson Winter had turned her life into a whole before and a broken, nasty after. Coffee addiction and overprotective nature were, well, endurable. But Arthur Ramirez also had a heavy case of hero worship, and it kind of sucked. She finished dusting candy bars just as he came to the counter with his tall cup of liquid rocket fuel. The odds of someone in Corpus Christi knowing who fantasy novelist K.C. Winter was, these were pretty good. Relms’ Con would commence over at Bank of America Center in a couple weeks, and nerds galore would flock to the seller’s tables. Knowing K.C. equaled Casey, those odds were a little slimmer. Knowing her by sight, you’re moving into lottery-winner territory. For the cop assigned to her working neighborhood to be a rabid Ambercross fan? God’s irony fairy was working overtime.
And he’d been horrified to find her working here. Like everyone else on planet earth he’d assumed that “successful published writer” meant “millionare in Victorian mansion”. Okay. So Casey could have lived off her writing income alone, if Jack hadn’t gone nuts and ended their marriage with a bang. Between the legal bills, the medical bills, and the general costs of living, she couldn’t make enough money writing to stop working. But she also couldn’t make enough working to stop writing. At least, not at the kind of job that would hire a cripple pushing forty without a college degree. Even she knew she deserved better. No one should waste time selling coffees and gas with a big target pinned to her back. But escaping the grind required effort, and she just had nothing left to give. And why should she try, anyway? Jack was gone, her money was gone, her body was shot, her family had pretty much disowned her, and her career…contrary to popular opinion, midlist author was pretty much a dead end. A gas station on Leopard Street was a perfect fit from that perspective. If you didn’t have a future, this was where you belonged.
And it had a couple perks. Arthur Ramirez’s first visit of the night usually came with Marco Creed, Arthur’s extraordinarily hot best friend. His pattern was even more predictable than Arthur’s: Buy one hot-dog with mustard, take up residence at small yellow table, read and do paperwork until dawn. There was a big sign on the door that said no Loitering, an identical sign over Casey’s register. But Marco and Arthur had taken the owner aside two weeks ago and had a talk. Marco could camp here if he wanted, as long as he escorted the nightshift girls in and out of the store.
It certainly improved the view. She glanced over at Marco. Six-two of blond, blue eyed gorgeous. Twenty years too young for Casey, goddamn it. He came to the register with money and the hotdog. She took the money. His garage, Anderson-Creed Auto, was a few blocks over. He made very glossy custom jobs, and guarded them with a large fence and a very ugly dog. The yellow table he’d staked out two weeks ago sat beside the door. Now he loaded it down with paperwork and a paper bag full of books.
All but one of the sniper attacks had happened between two and four a.m. Casey traded shifts with her relief at three. Marco would be here when Jeannie came on and she clocked out, and he would leave with Jeannie when the day manager finally showed.
This was all because of that first dead girl. Two dead gangsters weren’t scary. Nicole Hartman, however, had been a pretty blond college kid studying history. She had good family, good grades. She had type two diabetes, though, and didn’t like the stuff in Del Mar College’s vending machines. She’d made a run to the Stripes on a corner, like she did every night, and had been standing on the median between highway lanes. A black car had passed her on the left, and a rifle had fired.
Casey had read every news story obsessively. Nicole had been studying Celtic history. She had a little brother named Jerry and a gap between her front teeth that turned her smile dazzling in its imperfection. She wanted to be a teacher. The bullet had shattered on her pelvis and she died after three hours of pain.
The bell over the door rang again, this time admitting two Hispanic men. One of them looked okay, Casey thought. Only one tattoo, a skillful tangle of roses across his upper back which must have been a considerable chunk of change and pain. The other one looked like he’d gotten out of jail two days ago. Arthur stiffened like someone had stuck a broomstick up his spine. Marco just read and ate his hotdog. It was nice of Arthur to engineer protection, Casey thought, but she’d rather have had the garage’s ugly dog. At least Marco’s puppy knew when bad guys had shown up.
“What are you doing here, Julio?” Arthur asked.
“Hey man,” the rose tattoo said. “We just buying groceries, man. Can’t a man buy groceries, man?”
Oh, please. Casey rolled her eyes. Julio put a hand on the little guy’s shoulder. Cool it. “My lady blew through her cigarettes. Tony here needs to get some beer, too.”
“It’s your probation if you drink, bro,” Arthur said.
“And I’m not doing a goddamned thing to risk it. I got two kids now, Artie. I got one more shot, and I’m gonna make it count.”
Tony the Rose Tattoo, meanwhile, leaned into a cooler and pulled out a six pack of beer. He looked old enough to buy it, barely. There was a mermaid amid the roses on his back, and Casey was stunned by its beauty and realism. Whoever had done it was really talented. Tony dropped the beer on the counter and said, “Pall-Malls.”
“Where’d you get the ink done?” She asked.
“What’s it to you, bitch?” Tony asked. He puffed up like a fighting rooster, sans spurs. “Gimme a pack of fuckin’ Pall-Mall already.”
Okay. Sorry, kiddo. You watch too many gangster movies. She rang up the beer and the cigarettes. “ID?” She said.
“Bitch, do I look like I’m under age?”
“You look twenty two. I have to check. Sorry.” She shrugged. Grudgingly, a wallet was produced. He was twenty-five.
Behind him, Arthur and Julio appeared to be deep in conversation. Casey heard the name Amaya Hernandez, and her stomach lurched. Amaya had been a slightly overweight itty bitty Hispanic woman with gray hair, a big heart and nerves of steel. And she, too, had died.
Charity, Casey thought as she handed Tony his change, was a nice, big word. You felt good dropping a fifty dollar check in an envelope addressed to Ethiopia. You win the Cheerful Giver merit badge…but make sure it's the right charity. Make sure that your drop in the bucket goes to some college fund for the deserving, or a teen mother choosing adoption over abortion. Make sure your charity is socially acceptable. Places like Loaves and Fishes weren’t that kind of charity. They didn't ask for blood tests, or your status in AA. They didn't check to make sure you were furthering your education through the socially approved networks. It’s one thing to give to people who are trying hard. It’s another thing entirely to devote your life and time to people who have already given up. Perhaps it’s not a better gift, but it certainly is a bigger one.
Amaya Hernandez had been an administrator for Loaves and Fishes, until she resigned to become a social worker for CPS. She was a children’s advocate in CASA. She connected needy families to Habitat for Humanity. She had touched the hearts of wealthy philanthropists and gangsters with three or four murders under their belt, she had probably saved more lives than she could count, and she’d been gunned down on Leopard Street two nights ago, while escorting a pair of children home.
Today the news had leaked: She'd been shot by the same killer as the gangsters and Nicole Hartman. All linked by a silver bullet.
Julio shook his head at Arthur. “Look…I don’t know who killed Miz Maya, alright? You can bank on that, sir.”
Tony rolled his eyes and took his beer. Arthur said, “Alright, man.”
Julio’s eyes had a crazy white cast to them now. “Because if I did know, you’d be arresting me right now, Artie. She took care of my kids. She took care of my mom. My wife, when she had nobody, she knew Miz ‘Maya would be there. I find out who did it, I shoot the motherfucker. And then I’ll call you, and shit on the son-of-a-bitch’s face ‘fore you get there.”
“Get in line,” Casey said quietly. Julio, Arthur and Marco all looked at her, then smiled. The tension broke like clouds.
“Hey, Miz Winter, right? When we gonna get another book? You left that Leythorne dude in a nasty mess last time.”
Oh for God’s sake. Can we give Irony Fairy a break, already? Arthur and Marco looked like puppies begging for treats. Even Tony looked interested. She sighed. Fantasy novels. Elves and Faeries. Even things out of her personal nightmares. For some people, it was better than candy. “You’ll get it when you get it, mkay?” She said, demurely. Julio laughed.
“Let’s get, dude.” Tony said, and shuffled out of the store. Julio took a minute longer, clapping Arthur on the back, shaking Marco’s hand, and giving Casey a smile that left her craving a shower.
“That guy,” Marco said, “is bad news.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. “Julio and I went to highschool together. He’s screwed up. Bad. I don’t know if he can pull himself out of it, but I think he is going to try.” He rubbed his scalp.
“I meant the kid.” Marco turned a page.
“What’s wrong with Tony?” Casey asked.
Arthur sighed. “He’s nothing. Gangster wannabe. If he gets busted for selling one more time, he’s going in for longer than Julio. I’ll see you kids later.” He waved at Marco, at Casey, and then went back to his patrol car. Marco settled onto his stool and took a book out of a paper bag. Naturally, it was one of hers.
(2)
For the last few nights, walking out to her car had been Casey’s personal hell. Her tiny red Nissan glowed in the October fog like a bulls-eye. Footsteps echoed off walls like a gunshot in a concrete canyon. Stoplights blinked like eyes; orange streetlamps caught the air on fire. Cars drifted out of this haze like sharks. If you wanted to sneak up on someone, all you had to do was sit just up the road, lights off, and wait.
It was two-forty-five. She got off this shift at three.
“I’m amazed you’re not more worried.” Marco’s words startled Casey out of her reverie. She shook herself, studied his face, and smiled. He wore a ball cap even indoors, and would have looked naked without it. Nobody, she decided, should look that pretty. “You saw the news. Sniper’s packing silver plated bullets with the ends filed to points.”
“Hell,” Casey said. “I still have to walk to the car, you know? Damned if I’m gonna crawl on the ground because some lunatic’s tired of shooting at target posters.”
Marco chuckled. “You know…you’re a lot braver than you come off.”
“Thanks,” she said, dryly. Then she chuckled to herself.
“What?”
“I will bet you money, I’m the only person to hear about the bullets and not immediately think ‘werewolf.” She grinned at him, and he smiled back.
“You’d lose,” he wraggled the book at her. In Casey’s novels, Faeries reacted to steel the way vampires reacted to holy water. A stainless steel fork could burn them worst than napalm, not that they had forks in Ambercross. Or napalm. Or gunpowder, for that matter. The darker species of Faerie—she supposed they’d be the unseelie court, though she didn’t divide them that way in her novels—were just as badly injured by silver. In Ambercross, it was standard for an Elf to carry a silver plated knife in a boot so that, if one such nasty should appear, he could kill it without damaging himself or another Faerie. If an Elf owned a gun, he’d carry silver bullets.
Two-fifty. Two fifty-five. Casey closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Jeannie Weston pushed through the door at exactly two-fifty-nine. Casey’s relief was an overweight red-headed single mother of two. She slammed the door behind her and said “Safe!” dramatically. You only saw the white skin and trembles if you knew her really well. Jeannie was terrified of the sniper, but she’d turned her anxiety into a running gag. She was, Casey decided, an okay human being to know.
Jeannie nodded to Marco as she made a b-line for the back room time clock. Casey followed. In an hour, she would be home. Thirty minutes later, she’d be asleep. Wake up at noon, try to get some writing done, shower, drive out here. Life was like the instructions on a shampoo bottle. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Marco stood as she neared the door. “Walk you out, Lady Winter?” He asked. She let him open the door for her. He tapped the brow of his ballcap as she passed. It was their evening ritual. Part of her would be very sad when this was over and Marco stayed at his body shop all night again. God he was handsome. Why couldn’t he be forty? Or even thirty five?
They stepped into the banks of October fog. Cars and buildings across the street were hunkered shapes. She shivered. Given the events this month, not being able to see was—
Tires squealed, and the world slowed down.
A car broke through the fog like a glossy black bullet. Light gleamed off its mist shrouded curves. The grill was chrome teeth, and the rear driver's-side window was down. A long, narrow tube poled out of the window. Reality melted like an icicle. The car oozed forward, motor purring. The gun barrel had a wide and staring eye, and it was looking right at her.
Run, she thought, and came down wrong on her bad knee. Fire shot through her bones and her good knee gave out. Marco grabbed her, twisted her under him, and the retort echoed off buildings. Something hard grazed her shoulder. A small black hole opened on the back of her car. Marco’s weight pulled her to the ground. She rolled across asphalt, scraping her bad cheek against the gravel. Another shot fired, and something wet and hot splattered over her. Marco screamed. There was a third shot, and then the murderer’s engine roared. Red tail-lights flashed once in the darkness, and then the car was gone.
Life exists in terms of before, now, and after. Casey thought, in the shocked silence that followed. I was in before. This is now, and when this passes everything that follows will be changed. So are we done? Am I after, yet?
Warmth dribbled across her cheek. Marco’s blood. It dribbled out of a hole in Marco’s shoulder. He rolled away, groaning, and she stared at the harsh lights of the gas pump overhang. Blood pumped furiously through Marco’s fingers.
Blood, she realized, that was the wrong color. A shallow and transparent amber, far removed from human blood. It was pouring out of his body, and she felt cold. She knew what bled like that. Oh God, oh God, oh yes she did.
This is it. This is now.
Jeannie poked her head out of the convenience store. "What the hell--"
"Call the police!" Marco shouted. Casey couldn’t move. His hat had fallen off, and through his tangled curls Casey saw the tip of one pointed ear. He met her eyes and smiled ruefully. One pale finger arched to his lips, shhhhh. Slowly, a little theatrically, he put the ball cap on with his uninjured hand. The blood flow slowed, then stopped. Whole white flesh showed through the bullet hole in his shirt.
It had healed. Completely.
The only reason, Casey thought, to shoot a silver bullet is to hunt a monster…or to avoid killing a Faerie.
This is after.
The man who saved her life was an Elf.
(Part 2)
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Full Hitman 3 Concept

I know IO already know what they're doing, but I enjoy pretending I can do their work for them, so here's my overall concept for Hitman 3. I've posted a version of this once before, but I've added more to it and have adjusted some things.

Basic Plot Synopsis: 47 continues to hunt down remaining key members of Providence with the help of Lucas Grey, as it becomes clear that Grey has a hidden agenda, culminating in a final showdown between 47 and Grey to tie up all loose ends.
MAIN MISSIONS (summaries posted here may different somewhat from the full versions linked)
  1. Ireland - Murder at Black Valley (Murder Mystery Dinner): A trio of crucial Providence members are celebrating the grand opening of their joint venture; a prestigious Castle Hotel in Black Valley, Ireland, by hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner theater for wealthy elites. A portion of the hotel is open to the public, but the "First Class" wing is restricted for the elites only, and is where the Dinner is taking place. 47 has many devilishly poetic opportunities to kill his targets in plain site with guests possibly believing that it's all part of the game.
  2. Ohio, USA - Power Struggle (Nuclear Power Plant): The grand opening of a Nuclear Power Plant (built out of a retrofitted century-old coal plant) owned by a Providence Member as part of a wider scheme to control the US Power Grid is threatened by an Cultist Terrorist who plans to cause a meltdown. An opportunity to eliminate another member of Providence is met with the chance to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, a world concern that can't be ignored even by the typically a-political Agent 47.
  3. South Dakota, USA - The Ecstasy of Gold (Wild West Resort Town): Low-key Providence Members operating a Wild West themed resort town as a front for human trafficking are on the menu this time. All staff of the resort town remain in character as guests try live out their Wild West fantasies. Daily scripted shows such as show-downs in front of the saloon, hangings, and jail breaks take place on schedule, and can provide 47 with some excellent opportunities to stage unfortunate "accidents" for his targets.
  4. Puerto Rico - Safe Harbor (Cruise Ship): Word is spreading that it's not just the higher-ups being taken down; ALL notable members of Providence are being hunted. A few more of these Providence members are attempting to vanish via a Cruise Ship which is currently moored in Puerto Rico awaiting the clearing of a storm at sea. One of the Targets is the owner of the Cruise Line; the other two are a married couple who have worked with the Cruise Line owner on a number of different Providence-related ventures. Intel acquired by Olivia Hall suggests that the three are planning on sinking the ship at sea after escaping via a small watercraft, sacrificing the hundreds of innocent lives aboard to cover up their own disappearance. With the ship stuck in port, this is the best opportunity for 47 to get aboard and take down this trio before their plans come to fruition.
  5. Alberta, Canada - Terminal Departure (Airport): As the remaining key Providence players are on the run, Olivia Hall tracks down two more as they attempt to board a private aircraft at a Providence-owned small airfield in Alberta. A looming blizzard has grounded flights and the duo is nervously held up at the airport, giving 47 an opportunity to take them out.
  6. Copenhagen, Denmark - Enemies Within (ICA Headquarters): With Providence almost entirely eradicated, the remaining members have enacted a "scorched Earth" protocol to take down several pillars of control throughout the world - the ICA being one of them. With the ICA destroyed and its secrets exposed, world governments will have been revealed for having contracted the ICA, leaders will be overthrown, and in the ensuring chaos and confusion, any number of other Providence contingency plans could essentially spell the end of civilization as we know it. On top of this severe problem, Lucas Grey's ultimate agenda has finally been revealed- manipulating 47 and The Constant alike in order to fulfill his desire to see the world burn. This location provides 47's greatest challenge yet - getting around in a highly secured facility full of other highly skilled field agents and handlers who know 47's appearance and tactics. Of course, it also gives 47 the opportunity to play with new gadgets and weapons not yet cleared for field service... as well as his own personal vault, containing numerous weapons and items he's obtained throughout his career. The main conflict of this mission is a "Boss Battle" with Lucas Grey, which is sort of a cat and mouse game during the whole mission - Grey knows 47's tactics and will use them against him, including set ups for "accident kills", use of disguises and so on. Apart from taking down the Providence operatives in the mix, 47 will also need to keep a keen eye out for Lucas Grey's attempts to catch him by surprise.
BONUS MISSIONS/DLC MISSIONS: These missions will be released over time as part of regular updates.
  1. Hawke’s Bay - The Human Inferno: An illegitimate festival involving the burning of a massive effigy representing human greed is taking place on the now abandoned remote beachfront property in Hawke’s Bay, formerly occupied by Alma Reynard. The target is the organizer of the event, who has already taken payment from many eager party-goers that arrived only to find provisions and utilities very limited and inadequate for the number of people in attendance - and ultimately, not much to do other than stand around. This happens to be the second sham event put on by this organizer, and the client, the son of a wealthy film producer and previous victim of the festival scam, feels this to be the appropriate time and place to exact revenge on the organizer, who can be found milling about the abandoned house, or participating in the lighting of the effigy.
  2. Mumbai - Blackout: A power vacuum in the wake of the deaths of Vanya Shah, Dawood Rangan and Wazir Kale has left the slums of Mumbai to be preyed upon by both the remants of The Crows gang as well as an insidious real estate mogul with nefarious intentions. Although the ICA doesn’t concern itself with the political and social fallout resulting from their contracts, in this particular case it would seem that fate had intervened - The ICA has accepted a contract from an anonymous source in Mumbai to take down the heirarchy of The Crows as well as the Mogul and end this strife once and for all. The majority of the city has been plunged into darkness as the The Crows have destroyed a utility sub station leaving citizens without power or running water. 47 infiltrates the chaos under the veil of darkness to eliminate his targets. This mission plays with light and darkness in a new way, allowing 47 to use the dark as cover if he remains motionless. This works the same way as hiding in tall brush and would be easy to program - dark areas are simply flagged as "tall grass" hiding areas.
  3. Miami - Fire Sale: The quest to destroy the remnants of Providence leads the team back to Miami during the 4th of July Celebration to intercept and destroy an armored briefcase which houses an off-network computer containing Kronstadt's top-secret, advanced research and development, blueprints, and schematics, as well as eliminate two key players in Providence between which the briefcase is to be traded. This mission takes place in the late evening as hundreds of people celebrate the 4th of July holiday.
  4. Whittleton Creek - Holiday Hoarders 2: Lost in Whittleton Creek: The same client that hired the ICA to take down two thieves in Paris have contracted the ICA once again to eliminate two more members of the same theft ring who are prowling Whittleton Creek for a score, right before Christmas.
  5. Whittleton Creek - Fright Night: A social media star who victimizes society with tasteless and dangerous pranks for internet fame is under the gun from an angry father whose daughter died in an accident during a previous stunt. The star has set up a Halloween party in the suburb of Whittleton Creek as a cover for the staging of his latest stunt. The client wants him dead.
  6. Paris - Eye of the Beholder: A priceless 13th Century Brooch is on display at the Palais de Walewska's annual "Arts and Artifacts" Exhibit and Auction. The event draws in wealthy individuals from all over the world to view many rare and valuable works of art and historical artifacts, and/or to bid on a selection of art and relics. Two obscenely rich men have a seemingly equal interest in the Brooch, and are willing to shed blood in order to take ownership. Money seems to be no object for either of them... which is why, in a unique twist, EACH of the men have hired the ICA to eliminate the other. The ICA Board of Directors deliberated for nearly an hour on how to approach this situation and ultimately concluded to leave the choice up to the Field Agent - either of the contracts is valid, so it should not make a difference which contract the Field Agent chooses to complete, as the other will be void upon the client's death.
  7. Colorado - The Ghost of Vengeance: A team of fraudulent “ghost hunters” with an extremely popular internet video channel has honed in on the abandoned Apricot Farm in Colorado, after hearing the urban legends about a series of mysterious deaths that befell 4 members of a militia that once resided there. Instead of merely filming their fake ghost hunting shenanigans, they’re hosting a massive Halloween party on the premises as well. The client was formerly one of the two creators of the ghost hunting series, but was ousted by his partner after objecting to the staged hauntings that his partner had been arranging. The client, wealthy from years of internet stardom, has put up the money to have his former partner as well a the two crew members that were complicit in the ousting eliminated partly out of revenge - but this isn't purely about revenge. The client discovered shortly after the ousting that his former business partner was directly responsible for the drug-fueled car accident that claimed the life of the client's girlfriend, and two of the show's crew members share a portion of the blame, as well. The client wants all three responsible parties eliminated at the Halloween Party at the old Apricot Farm.

NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE:
  1. Target Hunt: The premise of this mode is very similar to Gmod Murder. One player is the Assassin and must eliminate the other players, before the other players collect enough clues to unlock weapons and eventually reveal the identity of the Assassin. If you've played Gmod Murder, you know exactly how this works - however, there is a Hitman twist by way of disguises and the ability to covertly kill and hide bodies.

IMPROVED CONTRACT CREATOR:
  1. A distinction will be made between Challenge-Based Contracts and Standard Contracts. Standard Contracts involve OPTIONAL additional challenges only, allowing players to complete them as they wish without suffering penalties for not using the right exit, or having only one exit available, for example. Challenge-Based Contracts will have those additional complications in effect.
  2. Creators can now select certain objects and designate them as an Objective Item. For example, you can now require the Player to obtain a specific object on the map in order to complete their mission. Safes and locked wall Cabinets can also be targeted for breaking into, and a random object will be placed inside for the player to collect.
  3. Creators can now designate certain number of NPC's as Enforcers for 47's default Suit.

WEAPON/ITEM INVENTORY CHANGES:
  1. Each main type of firearm will now be represented as it's own category in the weapon selection menus. For example, there are many variants of the ICA19/Silverballer - The Chrome one, the standard Silverballer, Black Lilly, basic ICA19, etc. Instead of having each variant of this gun listed in the pistols menu, you will now select the ICA19 category, and from there you can choose which variant you wish to use. Your last-used variant will become the Default, so selecting the ICA19 in the weapons menu will equip that gun, should you choose not to select a different variant. This is true for all firearms that have multiple versions - shotguns with and without silencers, the different variations of Jaeger 7 or Sieger 300, etc.
  2. Mark 2 weapons/items have been removed entirely.
  3. Players can now Save up to 4 individual Load Outs (and name them individually). Load Outs can be selected in the mission-prep menu as a new option. The current tile which says "PLANNING" will be split in half horizontally, and just below it will be a new option, "SAVED LOAD OUTS". Within this menu are your named custom load outs, and selecting one will equip it to the "PLANNING" menu.
  4. The Suit Menu is now organized based on Categories - Casual, Formal, Tactical, Special. Casual includes things like the Italian Suit or Tourist Suit, etc. Formal includes anything with a Tie, essentially. Tactical are things like The Raven Suit, Hunter's Gear, Wet Suit, etc. Special are things like the Clown Suit, Flamingo, Santa, and so on. Your last-used Suit is the default for each Category, and simply selecting the Category and backing out of the menu will equip the Default suit.
NPC/AI CHANGES:
  1. Super Enforcers: Some Enforcers, referred to as "Super Enforcers", who are particularly observant, are able to "inspect" found bodies. If allowed to complete their inspection, they will discover things like needle-marks, dart-gun darts, or other suspicious circumstances regarding a death/knockout/sickening. For example, two guards are standing near each other. One is a Super Enforcer. You shoot the other guard with an Emetic Dart, causing him to become sick. The Super Enforcer looks at him (as NPC's do) and the little "awareness" circle above his head slowly begins to fill, indicating that they are going to notice the dart sticking out of their partner and realize something is up. Super Enforcers are recognized by the Gold Color of the dot above their head and on the mini-map.
  2. Armed Targets: Some Targets are now designated as hostile toward the player and carry their own firearms. Their behavior when the player becomes compromised is the same as any Guard, except for one difference - they do not actively hunt the player down. They are programmed to retreat to a safe area (as a Guard would if they were escorting a target, for example) and stay there, but will engage if they see the player. This is retroactively effective for targets such as Reza Zaydan, Sean Rose, Maya Parvatti, Rico Delgado, Andrea Martinez, Wazir Kale, Nolan Cassidy, and Zoe & Sophie Washington.
  3. Buddy System: Certain Guards are paired up with one another in such a way that if one goes missing, after about a minute or two, the other will go searching for them. This may create opportunities, or it may create challenges.
  4. Lost and Found: Guards will take found Cell Phones to the nearest Security Hub and leave them on the desk. They will still answer the phone if activated.

GAME PLAY CHANGES:
  1. Pistol-Whip: Non-Lethal weapons such as the Kalmer can now be used to pistol-whip NPC's into unconsciousness. The works exactly the same as an Elimination with a lethal pistol does - sneak up behind, and hit the prompt to "Eliminate" (it will say "Knock Out" instead), and 47 will simply bonk them over the back of the head with the butt of the pistol, instantly knocking them unconscious.
  2. Long-Weapon Eliminations: It is now possible to perform an up-close elimination with a long-weapon such as a shotgun or rifle. If within range, tapping the "Eliminate" button will cause 47 to hip-fire into your target's back, killing them in one shot. This is obviously only a silent kill if using a silenced weapon. This action is not available for Sniper Rifles.
  3. Dual-Use Syringes: Poison Syringes of any type can now be used to poison drinks and food. This is an illegal action regardless of disguise.
  4. NPC's Use Briefcases: Some NPC's may be carrying Briefcases, depending on the situation/location. If you happen to notice them leaving their Briefcase unattended, you can place an item inside and that may carry the Briefcase past a Checkpoint for you - assuming they have security clearance to avoid inspection. Otherwise, they may be arrested (taken to a Security Room) and the Briefcase and item confiscated.
  5. Point-Blending: When wearing certain disguises and/or in certain circumstances, 47 can "blend in" to avoid Enforcers simply by standing still. If wearing a Guard uniform, for example, standing still for a few seconds will cause 47 to assume a Guard-like Posture, helping him to blend in to the role. If dressed as a waiter, he may pull out a note pad and pretend to be reading or writing something. In his Default Suit, he may pull out his Smart Phone and pretend to be on a call.
  6. Smashing Cameras: Certain heavy items can be used to destroy cameras by throwing them. These items include things like Bricks, Hammers, Wrenches, etc - anything heavy enough to damage the camera.
  7. The Warning System: On Casual Mode, you are given up to 3 warnings for certain illegal actions before your Mission Rating is affected. For example, if you are caught trespassing once and you allow yourself to be escorted away, you will receive one warning marker. These are represented by 3 translucent X's beneath the mini-map, and they are made opaque when you receive a warning. You may earn up to 3 warnings, and a 4th will void Silent Assassin. Professional Mode allows for ONE Warning, and Master allows for none. NOTE: The Warning System is VOID once a Target has been killed. The disappearance of a Target makes issues such a trespassing more notable to Security Forces.
  8. Trespassing Areas now visible with Instinct: When using Instinct, a Red "laser grid" will appear on the floor of Trespassing areas. This is based on disguise, of course- the grid will not appear if you are in the correct disguise.

NEW WEAPONS/ITEMS:
  1. Umbrella Gun- Small Caliber single-shot Rifle cleverly concealed within the form of a fancy Umbrella. Very quiet, limited range, and can only be fired once. Make it count.
  2. Silverballer Custom- Includes a red laser sight and an extended magazine.
  3. Silverballer Custom Auto- Includes an extended magazine and automatic-fire capability.
  4. Emetic Gas Phone- A decoy Cell Phone that emits a small cloud of Emetic Gas when a call is answered.
  5. Tracker Coin- A coin with a discreet GPS tracker inside. Allows 47 to track certain individuals of importance (they are highlighted blue when using Instinct).
submitted by Left4DayZ1 to HiTMAN [link] [comments]

What QoL changes would you most like to see in the game?

what things would generally improve your playing experience, other than specific buffs to your preferred profession?
Bold items have been requested by multiple people separately.
edit: My first gold! :o Thank you, kind reddit stranger!
Wow! This majorly blew up while i was asleep. I've updated it as best i can, if i've missed your comment, missed your point, or you just don't feel like your suggestion has been accurately represented by what all is here, please send me a PM!
Tutorials!!!

u/Maya_Hett:
u/Forgword:
u/itsag_undam:
u/thalandor46
u/BlackfishBlues
u/shinitakunai
u/bigwhiteshogun
u/cospaok
u/Rhywolver
u/Stinkepups
u/UroshUchiha
Here's my list: uroshs_qol_wishlist_for_2018
u/Kulinda
u/Mangoniter
u/mz80
u/shaggy_15
u/tffiad
u/painstream
(u/JasonLucas)
u/senpaiofthemists
Ability to re open raid wings on a account you already cleared. Every major guild has the own guy who has 2-3 differnt accounts that bought expansions just to re open differnt bosses instances after the first clear. Just I know Eris exists but a real in-game solution would be nice. You are locked out of doing fractal dungeon or even story content after the first clear I don't understand why raids. Like rewards are turned off after first clear so it's not like there would be any economic impact at all.

u/2RelaXed
u/eronth
When combat locked (or perhaps if map was opened while out of combat), allow force teleport and just break an armor piece (effectively just treating it as though I got killed in the fight) OR let me queue the waypoint and when I exit combat a prompt appears asking me if I want to TP now (of course, giving me time to loot or whatever before I head out).
Also, search bar on the map?

u/painstream
u/Blackops606
submitted by Narrrz to Guildwars2 [link] [comments]

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is too mediocre to be the end of this series

After playing through three times now, (one for deadly obsession, and one because of the damn 100% bug), I am absolutely disappointed with this game and all its little faults. It's buggy, lazy, poorly written, lacking in immersion, and worst of all utterly boring. This game has had a lot of money thrown at it, but besides all of the environments, I can't tell what they even worked on these last few years since everything else is phoned in and put on top of an engine and mechanics that were already there.
"This is Commander Rourke"
My guess on why the ball was dropped so hard here is just because Eidos Montreal took over. I cross referenced all of the leads found at the top of the credits and mobygames and about 75% have not worked on a Tomb Raider game before and if they did it was just to support Rise. Only one of the main design staff in that section has a Tomb Raider credit to their name. All listed names for the writing staff has only worked on either Assassin's Creed or Deus Ex Revolution. Almost all of these people are people who formerly worked at Ubisoft Montreal on some Assassin's Creed or other. And with that I think they brought all of the tedium, filler, and disengagement from the AssCreed series and put it in Tomb Raider, where it didn't belong.
" All full up, can't carry anymore"
I could nitpick the main story but there's not much of a point, it's a bit confusing on why Dominguez is so important in Trinity or where the hell Commander Rourke came from, but mostly the game seems really uninterested in it's own storyline, going from generic plot point to generic plot point and boy was that ending an underwhelming way to finish a series. See Uncharted 4 for the real way to do it. Also the sacrifice at the end may have stunk a little of colonial racism, just because Lara was sacrificed in the place of literally anyone else. If the weak and abrupt death of Unuratu meant she couldn't be there, just sacrifice a subdued Dominguez. Don't force some silly twist where Lara is suddenly to be sacrificed, when she isn't even really, the knife just hovers over her and the magic goes away like the end to a Harry Potter. The new lead writer just brought her dull AssCreed sensibilities in lieu of anything engaging started by Rihanna Pratchett.
"Impossible, I can't carry anymore"
Okay the Jonah and Lara stuff is mostly great though, I'll give them that. I think though if you want to see how lazy the writing on this can get, just pay attention to Commander Rourke's lines. "This is Commander Rourke" "This is Commander Rourke" "This is Commander Rourke" I swear you could play a drinking game with how many times this dumb character introduces himself. And Suddenly he's some guy high up on Trinity? I'm sure the voice actor loved recording these redundant lines.
Also the artifacts and relics in this game are designed and written so incredibly lazy. If they couldn't do these justice, then don't put so many. Designers shouldn't feel obligated to leave in mediocre things if the artists can't finish them. First notice every single one of these boring knick knacks is read only be Camilla Luddington, who phones this in at best. She reads so slowly and takes so many breathes, it's agonizing. It's like they did one take for each and she became so bored she was falling asleep. At least little Lara speaks at a normal pace.
In Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise, there were a variety of voice actors that painted the world well and helped with the atmosphere. Now it's just one. And beyond that, in Shadow, almost everything you pick up barely has anything to do with what is going on in the game, almost 90%. In the previous 2, the artifacts and docs almost always pertained to the main storyline. I swear 200 of the collectibles in Shadow were done by an intern who lazily copied and pasted every Maya god story on wikipedia into the game and had Camilla slowly read in.
Then beyond that, on the relics where you investigate further, pretty much none of those make sense. In the previous two games, you investigated to find more information based on zooming in on something. Now it's just about rotating the object arbitrarily (slowly and tediously) to get Lara to say a sentence that show have been a part of the main description. Sometimes she even describes things that aren't even on the 3D model. Why even do this if you are just going to do a bad job?
Then there's another problem where every mural is the same image. No one put any work into these. Camilla boringly describes a mural in which you can't see and have no context for. Maybe somewhere some artist did a sketch of all these murals they couldn't bother to make and that's where this writing comes from, but for now you have to imagine it. Just don't even bother if you are going to use the same image for every god and mural. This is pure laziness.
Also five 3D models of the same doll and same description? What are you even doing Eidos Montreal?! The game has enough filler as it is!
To go more on all of these illogical fillers, Paititi and the towns in general are a mess. Copying and pasting 3D models is fine, but every designer should know DO NOT REUSE MODELS FOR SUBQUESTS. I guess all brown people are the same so it won't matter who we switch around between Peruvians and Paititians but boy is this lazy. Also everyone who is not a main characters looks a little awkward and funky, like modeled by people fresh out of art school. Plus not one of these village or town characters has good animation. It's all awkward and bad and often breaks or stretches the 3D model in an unpleasant way.
Paititi is inconsistant because it seems like barely any men wear clothes and all women wear bags, yet the guards, Unuratu, and Dominguez is dressed up. Fine. You could make an argument that the higher class are the ones who have the clothes. But then we get to the problem where you are required to wear Unuratu's clothes for over half of the game. Why does Lara need Unuratu's clothes? They all know she's an outsider anyway and constantly say so, so you should really be able to wear whatever you want.
This is another problem with design where they completely mess it up and it's almost like they shouldn't have even bothered with outfits with perks in this game because by the time you get the really cool stuff, you can't really use it. Either most of the combat is over or it's because you spent 60% of the game wearing the Blue Heron or Achu outfit. So whoever designed the outfits was killed by another designer who felt that these "disguises" were so important to the story.
I played on immersion mode for the voices first way through. It's not really immersive if Lara and all the main characters still speak English but only lowly robot characters and subquest givers speak their native tongue. It's just awkward and silly to hear the two factions have a conversation. I turned it all on English the next time I played and boy was the voice acting for the villagers poor. Did they just get people around the office for those? Again they shouldn't have even bothered if they were going to do a bad job.
The writing in the hub worlds is also poor. It's all very bland whether Lara and speak with them or not. A lot of monologuing with generic stories and gossip that go on forever but are far from memorable in any way. I sat and listened to every character even when Lara was not talking to them and on subsequent playthroughs I couldn't remember if I had heard their yammering before or not.
Tomb Raider did not need new hub worlds injected with the copy and paste sensibilities of any generic open world game. There's nothing to be gained by it and it's boring to run back and forth through these villages just madly getting generic collectibles in every hut or house you see. It should have never been done further than the Remnants and Rise. That was good enough and did not detract from the story or gameplay. Instead all of these hubworlds are just a ton of filler for the gameplay that is barely there in Shadow.
To touch on the subquests, I have no idea who thought it was a bunch of fun to run around and talk to Character A B and C until you are done. They shouldn't have even made these. The engaging subquests, the horn, the medallion, and rescuing Makan are all killed with poor animation. These crappy closeups should not have been in this game. I know a lot of games lately have used these autopilot animations where the lip syncing is poorly auto generated and the animations are randomized like in Mass Effect Andromeda and Horizon Zero Dawn, but Shadow barely has that many characters and subquests that the animators could not spend time making these actually look good. They should have just stayed zoomed out of they were going to be so lazy. There's so many people on this animation team and so much money thrown on this game that I don't know where it was funneled with all this incompetence.
I think the worst part of this lazy animation is when Lara collects the horn and medallion. No character that hands the horn to her nor anything she hands to Uchu ever actually has a widget in their hand. It's all just hands moving off screen and characters looking down at their crotch. The developers seriously did this and called it a day? They couldn't manage to just have someone holding something? I don't get it. And as a broken record they shouldn't have even done these scenes if they couldn't do them right.
Also the money system in this game is absolutely bonkers. Lara is now encouraged to kill rare animals for hard cash. So the game is now about big game hunting? Rise sure, you killed some bears and cats, but they were only done so for upgrading things and then you could leave them alone once you had everything. Plus Crystal Dynamics nerfed the amount of XP you could earn from killing animals if you did it too much. Now it's just encouraged because you have to constantly keep trading to buy bullets or guns (or simply prevent Lara from saying "All full up"). The former games, the guns were part of the collectibles, now they are just lazily crammed in shops where people in Paititi are just loaded with stuff they shouldn't have or old women making stew in Peru are selling assault rifles. Do they even understand immersion? The one shop in Rise was great because it was a guy who had only mechanical things and only took the scattered coins. Also why would people in Paititi have currency? Especially currency shared by Peruvians?!
So all of that junk above, collectibles, towns, and subquests are over half the game. The rest we are left with in terms of pure gameplay mostly filler. Challenge tombs were fine I guess but nothing was memorable. That mirror one was tedious and felt really uninspired as far as the staple with platformers and moving mirror puzzles go.
Then it's all mostly swimming and trying to pick up things where you can't carry anymore. I don't know what I can say about the swimming that hasn't already been said but it's just slow and easy so there's nothing amazing about it. You just go from point A to B at the most part and while it's cool at first, you then feel disheartened by the end when you realize swimming was half of the level design. It's like no one even wanted to design any actual levels on this team. What were these people doing all day?
And what dumbass programmer decided that Lara saying she was "All full up, can't carry anymore" should interrupt lines of dialogue pertaining to the main storyline?. No game should ever have those statements take priority over the main character speaking to another character or commenting on the story or environment! But nah, I guess they couldn't be bothered in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. That's how little the developers cared about the story themselves. Also the line plays even when you are doing something else because you press square and it just targets everything around Lara. In that solve the murder subquest, I could never examine the body because Lara felt it was more important to tell me she was all full up on the medicine plants sitting RIGHT NEXT TO THE BODY!
I can't even prevent Lara from saying "All full up" anymore because I maxed out the coins at 64,000 and you can't sell after that.
I don't really think anyone played this game in QA because no one should have thought it was okay to hear the "All Full Up" lines 500 times each. Just don't have Lara say anything. We can read it's full, we are not stupid. You spend millions of dollars on a game and it's almost like no one who designed it actually played the damn thing from start to finish. I mean I expect this sort of thing from Ubisoft... oh wait, most of these developers use to work at Ubisoft.
Playing this game is just molasses. There are like 100 crevices to slowly go through in this game because I guess the loading screens on this game take forever and the developers needed every second they could get to load. (You can't even skip most cutscenes because the game is still loading by the time they are finished) So it's like, you play the game a little bit, go to the next crevice and wait 10-15, play some more, repeat crevice. Oh sorry, sometimes they mix this up with thick mud for Lara to slowly and painfully walk through. Again, I don't think they played their own game.
And last the two new moves are just ill inspired. The rope swinging is fine, but dull. I think they played Uncharted 4 and decided they needed to mimic that but in an even more simplified way. Meanwhile Tomb Raider Anniversary and Underworld had awesome rappeling rope swinging and climbing! They even used them to solve puzzles back in the day. But I doubt anyone on this team played Anniversary or Underworld and they might not even know those games exist. Oh well. The other one, climbing up rocks horizontally, what? So here's the slow climbing that seasoned players just jump through, but this time we rotated it and made it even slower and now you can jump out of it? Absolutely pointless. This added nothing.
So I just had to get that all off my chest. Thank you if you read this far and laughed at any of these faults. I am just so disappointed that this game ends this trilogy with such a whimper. I expected big things after Rise, which I found to be amazing. I guess I should blame Crystal Dynamics for handing this game off to lesser developers but that's probably all a business decision in the end. I kind of just hope for a fourth game in the new series just to finish on a better note for these characters and this type of crafting game.
submitted by syntheticgerbil to TombRaider [link] [comments]

Nuke: Part 1: The Conservation of Happiness

Nuke: Part 1: The Conservation of Happiness
https://preview.redd.it/acqoco8gg0w31.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1448506dc3cd85fc236361f422a6feac335c2fe3

NUKE

Section 1: The Conservation of Happiness (?)

"Happiness is neither created nor destroyed, merely changes form." - Google it

Taylor Miller
Founder, LabMonkey [CREATIVE]
LabMonkeyCreative.com
2019

The Premise: I am a former Navy nuke serving from 2009 until 2013. I qualified from both Power school and Prototype in Charleston before I served on board the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush from 2011 to 2014. That particular ship has been in the news a lot lately because it's had high numbers of personnel suicides in its relatively short time in the fleet. But I need to talk about the same problem in the Navy Nuke program as a whole, not just the Bush. This project is basically equal parts biography, depression and mental health awareness campaign, and personal creative outlet. This story, and The Thought Experiment in general is about figuring out what fucked me up, what's fucking up other people like me, and how we can help others like us. And to do this before stories and stats like the mental health conditions of this select community within the military become even more common and out of hand.

DISCLAIMERS
1: This is a less Reddit thread and more like cross between an essay and a blog. It's not a news clip, or a sound bite. It's not a short read, and it's not a joke, though I definitely do have a sense of humor. I will be enforcing pretty strict moderating on this specific thread as appropriate. Jokes, controversy and ganging up on the Air Force in fun is fine in most places on this page, but please not when you see this disclaimer. Thank you
2: I am writing this for an audience OF nukes or former nukes, and I literally battle some of the worst of my health symptoms to keep focused as it is. So to eliminate too many tangents I may use language or vocabulary unfamiliar to people not from that community without explaining it yet. I'm sorry, I will do my best to link explanations in citations but not until AFTER I post the thread, as workload dictates. I don't mind people correcting me or offering explanations to others questions below in comments and I will monitor responses to ensure a level of quality control.
Table of Contents:
Section 1: The Conversation of Happiness
  • 1.1 My Dumbass Tries to Join the Marines
  • 1.2 What is a Nuke?


Intro: A note in the name of transparency:
A lot of things happened besides just what I cover in this initial essay. I may or may not discuss those things at some point in the future in my own time. I had a lot of stress from within and outside of the Navy, and a lot of it hit me during the time I was on board the Bush. I only want to mention that quickly before beginning because I'm being open and transparent about one of the worst times in my life and it involves me taking a shortcut during an important job because I was a dumbass and overloaded myself with responsibility my 21 year old sheltered child's mind was definitely not ready for. So in the name of transparency, just know that I do become the villain of my own story at one point, but not to worry as I come back around and is why I am writing this today.
I also want to clearly state that I'm not here to talk bad about the Navy in any way, and if my story doesn't paint them in a favorable light, it's not from a malicious place. Despite all that I experience in the military, I still tell people I never regretted my time serving, only some of the choices I made. I've even still talked to others considering joining whether as a nuke or otherwise, and I've never tried steering anyone away. I still believe the Nuke program CAN be an amazing opportunity for those who come into it with the correct attitudes and some luck getting a few good supervisors. This project is merely to bring some light to the real problems that I believe face a lot of the very people the Navy seem to be good at finding when recruiting Nukes.


1.1 My Dumbass tries to join the Marines

My first time being labeled a "Nuke" comes to mind. It's 2008, I'm in the first semester of my senior year of High School and my plan is set: graduate and sign up to join the Marines with my best friend, A.J. and we go try and be like the cool guys in the video games we played together. Rock solid plan, not dumb, not naive, moving on.

1.1 (a) Who is A.J. Hamilton (1989-2011)
I'd grown up with A.J. as my friend for a long time, we'd been going to the same preschool and church for as long as I could remember and he got Pokemon Red when I had Pokemon Blue. So duh we became best friends by trading Pokemon. We caught all every Pokemon for four generations together. We also got different consoles, so we'd spend entire weekends staying up for three days straight trying to get Halo 2s scarab gun, or beat every colossus' hard mode time trial in Shadow of the Colossus.
We were best friends for years when I had just moved to a new school district and no longer saw the friends I'd gone to school with for 7 of my 11 years alive. We hung out every week at church and afterwards and it was great. He even had younger sisters we could pick on together and I'd had only a much older brother so it wasn't an experience I got to have myself much.
So, A.J. and I were close, and we'd come up with this dumb plan to join the Marines together. I'm sure a lot of people who have been that age can understand or have done similar things.
I was preparing to join the Marines as had been the agreement between my best friend, A.J. and I. Except this asshole had gone and already signed up and went to boot camp before I even graduated instead of waiting for me. So after giving him the "What the fuck, man?" speech I accepted it and, determined to hold up my end of the bargain honorably and Ned Stark my way in over my little sheltered red head, I went through with the plan. I went to the Marine recruiter, took the ASVAB and was in the delayed entry program for about three months with the Marines. While I was going through this process, my mom was giving me a lot of shit for this decision, and rightfully so.
I grew up considered very mature for my age. I was always at a very high comprehension level, reading and writing at levels much higher than my classmates pretty much since at least kindergarten thanks to my mom reading stories with me damn near every night before bed and actually having me read along. So I performed rather well in school, at least when I was interested enough to apply myself anyway. This is covered in The Unexpected Side-effects of My Wonderful Childhood [COMING SOON]. But basically I could understand my moms shock when her artistically talented and scholarly "takes calculus and physics for fun" kind of kid decides to sign up to be a front line infantry soldier and put myself in that kind of harms way when I should be looking for scholarships or grants. Well, I'd grown up poor, like super poor, like "Genuinely excited at 14 years old when I found a Top Ramen Cookbook at Goodwill" poor. I hate asking for help, I hate asking for discounts, I hate using coupons, accepting charity or tips, being the kid at the birthday party who has to have other kids' parents chip in to pay my way to theme parks or field trips, I hate all of it. So the chance to join the military, have some real adventures and experiences for a few years and serving my country at the same time sounded perfect. And yeah, I'd get to go to college, and not because somebody pitied me into handing me a check because I'm poor but smart. The feeling of having made it out of that situation on my own merit and effort was very important to me, though at the time I didn't quite see how much. In that simple, honest way I still agree with my decision, joining the military was absolutely a good thing for me to do at the time and I'd do it again if I could.
There was another reason I wanted to do it.
At some point while going through the process to join the Navy, we were asked to stand up in at MEPs and tell the group of 20 or so other recruits why we were joining the Navy. Most people said things like "I'm joining the Navy to see the world and pay for college." "To see other countries, and to go to college." "Because it's family tradition, and to pay for college." I got up and said, "I'm joining the Navy to have some stories to tell."
"And to pay for college." (let's be real). Well, I was a nuke. A lot of the stories I have to tell aren't really funny or interesting unless you were also a nuke because you wouldn't understand. Then some probably contain some kind of classified info I shouldn't be throwing out into conversation in the first place. But, six years after receiving my honorable discharge and walking off the ship for the last time (...and then going back onto the ship the next day because a YNSN made a huge mistake on my DD214 then leaving for the last time again...) I now have a story worth telling. It's not the story I signed up all those years ago to get, but it's the one I've got and I think it can help some other people. And if I can help even just one other person get out of the dark places I've been over the years, then it's something I've got to do.
Story telling has always been a big thing for me. I grew up watching any and every movie and TV show my mom and I could get our hands on at the movie rental places. Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 opened up the world of literature to me and I then became as obsessed with other book series. I had literally grown up attending summer camp and had heard Lord of the Rings told by a camp counselor as a camp-fire story, seeing it come to life as a movie was unbelievable for me at that age. Final Fantasy X did the same thing for video games. Tool then did the same for music.
1.1 (b) Some context on my educational experience effecting my love of storytelling:
I grew up attending a visual and performing arts MAGNET school in Bakersfield, CA. Here, I spent hours every day after school for seven years engaged in creative activities. Painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, music, student film making, then stuff like math club and sports on top like most kids. I then went to a high school and participated in AP classes, including math beyond the minimum requirements because it was fun, physics, and most importantly Drafting and Design (all four years).
In this class I got to implement a lot of that creative passion I still had from my younger years and create all sorts of real world applicable things in this class. In Drafting and Design we learned programs like 3Ds MAX, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Maya, Inventor, and several other lesser known ones. The first two years we were instructed along projects solving real world problems like land plots and residential zoning restrictions. We would then been handed info on real-world plot to design a house, from hand written schematics to 3D plan and presentation using Chief Architect. The third and fourth years were basically given to us to run free. There were only a handful of students who stayed to level 4 and those who did were given completely free choice of project. I spent the year diving into 3Ds Max and bring some cool digital sculptures to life. I created a small scene of a werewolf, some trees, and a little red riding hood characted. Unfortunately I cannot locate any pictures from that far back, but if it's somehow stored on the schools servers and I can track it down I'll attach it, because it really was something I was proud of.
I developed this plan to join the Navy and use it to pay for art school so that I could go and help tell stories for movies and video games, like those that I loved so much myself and with my friends. I saw myself going on to work for a small studio somewhere making things like commercials or special effects for small projects nobody would see, then eventually somehow working myself up and maybe working for a real storytelling powerhouse like Disney, or Pixar.
So, like I said, my mom was giving me shit about joining the Marines, lots of "My baby is gonna die!" kind of stuff driving home from Youth Group or tennis practice. My brother had joined the Navy and she convinced me to speak to him about what it was like to see if I may change my mind. I also agreed to at least speak to the Navy recruiter as well. So the next time I was leaving the Marines DEP workout day, I passed the door to the Navy recruiter and there was one guy in there reading a book with his feet up when I entered. I gave him the rundown and he looked up my ASVAB on the computer. He saw that I had gotten a 99 and his reaction was "Wow, you could be a Nuke if you wanted." My ears perked up.
Up until this point, I'd said I would speak to others to help my mom feel better, but I was a grown man and grown men make informed decisions like joining the Marines with your best friend to be a Marine photographer far away from the bullets and that's exactly what I was promised so I have no doubt that's what would have happened... But I humored my mother and heard what the recruiter had to say and everything he said sounded amazing. Nukes were the special forces of the geeks, they get paid huge signing bonuses and run the nuclear reactors that powered the carriers and subs in the fleet. It was an enticing offer. I'd always loved challenges and earning entry into this small community on my merit was attractive. The thought of telling me friends and family that I was going to be Nuke sounded cool, and sounded like a challenge I was interested in much more than what the Marines had to offer.

1.2 What is a Nuke?

Speaking of Disney, what's a Navy Nuke? (Welcome to an essay written by recently plagued with ADHD, btw) Well that's kind of what this project is all about. So, Nukes. Ask anybody else in the Navy or military in general, they'd say we're "the nerds" or the "weird ones" in the military. Described with characteristics such as: social awkwardness, smart but lazy or reckless, over thinkers, and then there are those who are too smart for their own good or are real-life Sheldon Coopers. Terms like "don't nuke it" are used widely, meaning not to overthink this situation or problem. The same phrase to "nuke it" also meaning to destroy something completely, to overdo something. Interesting parallel, comparing our overactive brains to an unstable nuclear process like a bomb or reactor. I don't think the people who made up the phrase of endearment knew how close they may have been to reality.
But what if you ask Nukes themselves "What is a Nuke?" Well, first of all we are all aware of what we are and of the things said about us, and we all absolutely agree if we're being real with ourselves. But we also get paid quite handsomely to endure that. We Nukes come in a few flavors, but there are some things we all share in common. The first is this: No matter how loudly, how often, the quantity of exotic language used, or the overall severity of bitching Nukes can do, at the end of the day I truly believe all of us are proud of what we are doing.
Another thing I think we all have in common is that I think, on some level, we all like to think of ourselves as the Navy S.E.A.L.s of the nerd world. We all go through a couple of the "Butt of the Spear" speeches during Power School. In case some Nukes somehow never got this speech or have a different name:

1.2 (a) The Butt of the Spear Speech
"You guys don't know how well you have it. Wait 'till you get to the fleet." the class of thirty-five baby Nukes look at each other side-eyed or awkwardly stared at their notes while their mind raced.
Worse than this place? Seriously? Are those rumors true after all?
It was what we were all thinking. Knowing this, the Chief strokes his glorious mustache and slowly shakes his head to himself. He'd been there before too, but he made it through and the Navy had done great things for him and his family, and these kids needed to focus on class, not the future.
"So I want you guys to think of the Navy as a spear." He chalks a basic drawing of a spear on the board facing the class, with a pointed end, and the staff. "We all know the Navy S.E.A.L.s are described as "The Tip of the Spear", but "The Butt of the Spear" is never talked about." He sets the chalk down, puts his on his hips and definitely not in his pockets and continues, "So a spear with just the tip doesn't really mean anything. The wedge shaped head holds significance to the weapons use too. As does the staff. As does the dirty ass end stamped on the ground before you storm the castle walls."
So then the chief goes on to describe to the class how integral we are to the Navy, us on the bottom of the ships and boats doing just what the butt of the spear does, just kinda making the other stuff go forward.
I don't know about anyone else, but as cheesy as this speech was, it actually came back to me a lot over my time and really did make me feel good about what I was doing when times got hard later.
Nukes are responsible for a tremendous amount of the vital systems on board both submarines and aircraft carriers. Not the least of which is just simply moving the things in the first place. We operate fucking (oh I will swear btw) full-blown nuclear power plants on board these vessels. Propulsion not only moves the carrier through the water, it's also used to create cross wind to help pilots take off from the flight deck up above. The reactors also provide power for the ships electrical loads, steam for ship services and catapults to launch planes, high and low pressured air, water distilling, and other vital, auxiliary and tertiary systems. So yeah, we're important and that's not really up for debate. We don't get attention and rarely got acknowledgement from anyone higher than our first level of command, and it sucks sometimes, but we also get paid to deal with it.
Rather than the Navy S.E.A.L.s of the nerd world, we're more like the kids who were smart enough to learn how nuclear reactors operate to the point that we're handed massive responsibilities over their operation, but were also the kind of kids still watching Dragon Ball Z and Ed, Edd 'n Eddy on hard drives filled with torrented media.
Nukes are some goofy guys, some can be weird and have our quirks. But we all kind of get it and understand each other in some of the few ways we all are similar.
Unfortunately, a large part of this project is to shed light on a dark part that a lot of us Nukes have in common as well.

1.3 Sad Out


1.3.(a) The Naval Nuclear Power Training Pipeline
Understanding at least a little bit about the training curriculum Nukes go through is essential to understanding the community of people we are.
Recruits that pass an ASVAB at sufficiently high score for the current quota and demand (or take an additional test in a specifically weak area i.e. math or electronics if that part of the ASVAB was low), go through the process and are screened and cleared slightly differently than other rates. We're separated frequently during the MEPs and boot camp phases, similar to special forces recruits. We're taken aside for additional psychiatric screenings, background checks, tests to determine which of the three types of Nukes we will be, etc. And honestly sometimes it seemed like the Nuke chiefs at boot camp pulled us out of some training just to shoot the shit with us. We're immediately endowed with this sense of uniqueness and that we're special. We're one of the few rates that almost always have a signing bonus as mentioned, but I'll go into the money in detail later.
After boot camp, assuming we pass everything fine, Nukes are sent to NNPTC (Naval Nuclear Power Training Command) in Goose Creek, SC just outside of Charleston. Here We are officially split into our three rates, or jobs for enlisted Navy. There are Mechanics (MM), electricians (EM) and operators (ET). There's also a secret fourth rate, lab techs (ELT) which I later became, but that qualification doesn't happen until near the end of our training. NNPTC includes what's known as A-School, where each of the three base rates learn basic functions of that job. This school is pretty identical to non-nuclear variants of these rates out in the fleet taught at other A-Schools, except it's formatted and ran in a way to help prepare us for the next step of the training pipeline, Power School. After the A-School (3 months for MMs and 6 Months for EMs and ETs) we all class up into a graduating class together for 6 months of Power School.
Power school is where Nukes ability to retain a shit ton of knowledge to prove we can understand and competently explain how the systems involved in a Naval Nuclear reactor on board a submarine works is tested. 0600 to 1500 every day is classroom lectures with short breaks every hour or so. Then outside of class hours was the study hour system. Those students slipping in their grades, about a C+ standard minimum, would be expected to study more after school than those performing better. For example, I was usually floating around a 3.60 to 3.80 GPA during my time in Power School, and most of the time I was there my study hours looked something like 10-0. This meant I was required to do 10 hours of extra study time a week (Sunday to Sunday) and 0 mandatory on a daily basis. So I'd normally do about 1 hour per weekday, this was usually enough to get through the homework. Then an additional few hours each weekend night to study for tests we normally had on Monday mornings. This was a full time, 7 day a week job to learn, and it was the most fun I'd ever had. There were definitely people who didn't have fun, however.
Many students didn't find the material as easy as some of us and they had study hours that looked more like 25-5s or (with special permission from the Power School Commanding Officer) 35-5s. Meaning a lot of kids, I'd say at least three in my class of 20-30, were in the classroom until 3PM in class, and then had an additional 5 hours minimum every day, and making sure they got at least 35 after-class hours each week.
After power school, Nukes then await classing up for the last leg of their training, Prototype. There are two prototypes operated right now and while I was a student, the one just down the road from NNPTC, NPTU (Naval Power Training Unit) and the other in Balston Spa, New York. Prototype is where we put the book knowledge from Power school to use and qualify as nuclear operators on board training vessels, converted submarines in South Carolina and a prototype reactor at a naval research reactor facility in New York. After getting through this six month process of rotating shifts, in-depth operations procedures, drills, tests, simulations, start ups, shut downs, transient operations, casualty operations, maintenance procedures, etc. we are awarded with the ability to go qualify all of that all over again out in the fleet on plants decades newer than the ones at school. Unless you're in the top percentages of the MMs academically, then you have a chance to be held back for an additional three month course to become ELTs.
So an even more elite group within this already elite group, I was definitely in.
Keep in mind, during this whole time classmates are dropping out or failing out left and right. The dropout rate of the pipeline is crazy, from beginning to end, I'd say it's somewhere around 50%. You have to be a certain kind of person to make it through this program and I was definitely very proud of myself for doing so, but some didn't.
I personally knew 2 kids who killed themselves during my four years through the Navy, and there were at least four more that occurred around me in other classes or divisions at that time. A friend who sat right behind my in A-School every day jumped off of the berthing balcony and he was found the next morning dead on the pavement below. Within several days an even newer student was found in his closet with his neckerchief tied around his neck. The story of a student who ran the barricade down the road at prototype to force the guards to shoot him reached us. In power school, two students were pulled out of class and put on psychiatric hold, one for joking about attacking other students and one for literally beating his head into his locker one night hard enough to dent it. He wasn't questioned because of his mental well-being, he was pulled out of class because after bashing his head into the locker and denting it, it was deemed a security risk to continue storing his material in the locker and he was first asked to move. To which this student understandably but unfortunately replied, and I quote, "Fuck you, sir." One of these kids I never saw again, the other happily rode out his time in the Navy as a conventional electrician. Another kid went AWOL and faced charges of desertion and and refused to come to school one day. We all knew he was there, his car was outside, he was texting some friends, we could see his girlfriend at the window when we knocked. He just gave up and chose desertion charges instead going back to prototype one day.
And these kinds of stories just...happen, a lot. It was called "Sadding Out". If a Nuke "Sadded Out" it was basically a shorthanded way of saying he'd mentally broken. At least enough to get some attention brought to him and for him to get pulled. Students leaving the schools or going into hold limbo and never classing up happens throughout the pipeline quite often. Some were for illnesses, security clearance holdups, pregnancies, etc. But those kinds of holds, and students simply failing out and quietly leaving to become a conventional (non-nuclear) Navy rate didn't seem nearly as common as students leaving in some manner of flair or tragedy. There wasn't actually a bell like there is at BUD/S but there was a sense of failure that we were all certainly trying our hardest to avoid.
We were given Butt of the Spear-type speeches on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis to keep moral up. When Sheldon killed himself, not that his death had been the first, but something about the gruesomeness of it hit all of the students hard and during that time we were all shepherded into group therapy sessions. Students were openly talking about two back to back suicides of kids 19 years old or younger over lunch like it was the weather. These sessions were basically 10 of us together with a navy doctor asking if any of us had anything we wanted to talk about for twenty minutes then handing us a powerpoint about destressing techniques. Yeah, our friend who could ramble on about Warcraft and anime for hours and hours at a time and went bowling with us the other day and seemed fine just dove off of his third story balcony and smashed his head on the ground outside Skipjack. But we were also all waiting on those enlistment bonuses and weren't about to jeopardize that time frame talking to this bozo. I'm definitely not saying everyone took Sheldon's, or any of the suicides or events I've mentioned, as seriously as I did. But I'm sure I'm not the only one, and I know for sure these all effected my mindset going forward through the pipeline. Part of the problem was the attitude of much of the enlisted staff.
It's widely understood that staff at NNPTC is more selective than anywhere else Nukes can go to as part of their shore-duty. A big reason for this is to make sure the instructors getting Baby Nukes through the pipeline are those of the best material, the best and those who will paint a pretty picture for the students to keep their moral up while they go through school. And to their credit, many of the staff I interacted with myself were pretty good. During this time especially, however, several problems arose. As soon as these group sessions were announced by the command, our instructors (upper enlisted Nukes themselves, mostly) all hung their heads and wasted no time in commenting on how ridiculous this was. We were called weak and sensitive, the Class Leading Chief Petty Officer at the time literally walked into our class at one point laughing, "Now you babies need therapy sessions to complain about us to? Are you serious?"
Two students took up the psych techs offer to speak to professional therapists about their experiences and, like many others, they were taken out of class and held back.
In this place, sitting outside the side door of NNTPC facing the old medical building, a student on Prototype hold (as I was 6 months behind on Power School hold) told me about the Law of the Conservation of Happiness.

The Law of Conservation of Happiness
Happiness cannot be created nor destroyed, merely change form.
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