Binary options - Python for Finance - Second Edition

Bluehole - Let's talk Wellbia/XINGCOD3 user privacy risks for the sake of transparency

For those who don't know..
XINGCODE-3 is a kernel (ring0) privillege process under xhunter1.sys owned by the Korean company Wellbia (www.wellbia.com). Unlike what people say, Wellbia isn't owned or affiliated with Tencent, however, XINGCOD3 is custom designed contractor for each individual game - mainly operating in the APAC region, many of them owned by Tencent.
XINGCODE-3 is outsourced to companies as a product modified to the specific characteristics of the game. The process runs on the highest privilegied level of the OS upon boot and is infamous for being an essential rootkit - on a malware level, it has the highest vulnerability to be abused should Wellbia or any of the 3rd Party Companies be target of an attack.
It has been heavily dissected by the hacking community as being highly intrusive and reversed engineered (although nowadays still easily bypassable by a skilled and engaged modder by created a custom Win Framework).
While most is true for a standard anti-cheating, users should be aware that XINGCOD3 able to scan the entire user memory cache, calls for DLL's, including physical state API's such as GetAsyncKeyState where it scans for the physical state of hardware peripherals, essentially becoming a hardware keylogger. Studying the long history of reverse engineering of this software has shown that Wellbia heavily collects user data for internal processing in order to create whitelists of processes and strings analyzed by evaluating PE binaries - having full access to your OS it also is known to scan and having access to user file directories and collecting and storing paths of modified files under 48 hours for the sake of detecting possible sources of bypassing.
All this data is ultimately collected by Wellbia to their host severs - also via API calls to Korean servers in order to run services such as whitelists, improve algorithm accuracy and run comparative statistics and analysis based on binaries, strings and common flags.
Usually this is a high risk for any service, including BattleEye, EasyAntiCheat, etc. but what's worrying in Wellbia, thus. Bluehole's are actually a couple of points:
(not to mention you can literally just deny the service from installing, which by itself is already a hilarious facepalm situation and nowhere does the TSL call for an API of the service)
  1. Starting off, Wellbia is a rather small development company with having only one product available on the market for rather small companies, the majority hold by Chinese government and countries where the data handling, human rights and user privacy is heavily disregarded. This makes my tinfoil hat think that the studio's network security isn't as fortified as a Sony which had abused rootkits, just due to budget investment alone. Their website is absolutely atrocious and amateur - and for an international company that deals with international stakeholders and clients it's impressive the amount of poor english, errors and ambiguous information a company has in their presentation website - there's instances where the product name is not even correctly placed in their own EULA - if a company cannot invest even in basic PR and presentation something leaves me a bitter taste that their network security isn't anything better. They can handle user binaries but network security is a completely different work. The fact that hackers are easily able to heartbeat their API network servers leaves me confirming this.
  2. This the most fun one. Wellbia website and terms conditions explicitely say that they're not held accountable should anything happen - terms that you agree and are legally binded to by default by agreeing to Bluehole's terms and conditions:" Limitations of Company Responsibility
  1. IGNCODE3 is a software provided for free to users. Users judge and determine to use services served by software developers and providers, and therefore the company does not have responsibility for results and damages which may have occurred from XIGNCODE3 installation and use.
(the fact that in 1. they can't even care to write properly the name of their product means how little they care about things in general - you can have a look at this whole joke of ToS's that I can probably put more effort in writting it: https://www.wellbia.com/?module=Html&action=SiteComp&sSubNo=5 - so I am sorry if I don't trust where my data goes into)
3) It kinda pisses me that Bluehole adopted this in the midst of the their product got released post-purchase. When I initially bought the product, in nowhere was written that the user operative system data was being collected by a third party company to servers located in APAC (and I'm one of those persons who heavily reads terms and conditions) - and the current ToS's still just touch this topic on the slightest and ambiguously - it does not say which data gets collected, discloses who and where it's hold - "third party" could be literally anyone - a major disrespect for your consumers. I'm kinda of pissed off as when I initially purchase the product in very very early stages of the game I didn't agree for any kernel level data collection to be held abroad without disclosure of what data is actually being collected otherwise it would have been a big No on the purchase. The fact that you change the rules of the game and the terms of conditions in the midst of the product release leaves me with two options Use to Your Terms or Don't Use a product I've already purchased now has no use - both changes ingame and these 3rd party implementations are so different from my initial purchase that I feel like it's the equivalent of purchasing a shower which in the next year is so heavily modified that it decides to be a toilet.
I would really like for you Bluehole to show me the initial terms and conditions to when the game was initially released and offer me a refund once you decided to change the product and terms and conditions midway which I don't agree with but am left empty handed with no choice but to abandon the product - thus making this purchase a service which I used for X months and not a good.
I really wish this topic had more visibility as I know that the majority of users are even in the dark about this whole thing and Valve and new game companies really make an effort in asserting their product's disclosures about data transparency and the limit of how much a product can change to be considered a valid product resembelance upon purchase when curating their games in the future - I literally bought a third person survival shooter and ended up with a rootkit chinese FPS.
Sincerely, a pissed off customer - who unlike the majority is concerned about my data privacy and I wish you're ever held accountable for changing sensitive contract topics such as User Privacy mid-release.
-----
EDIT:
For completely removing it from your system should you wish:

Locate the file Xhunter1.sysThis file is located in this directory: C:\Windows\xhunter1.sys

Remove the Registry Entry (regedit on command prompt)The entry is located here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet001 > Services > xhunter


For more information about XINGCOD3 and previous succesful abuses which show the malignant potential of the rootkit (kudos to Psychotropos):

- https://x86.re/blog/xigncode3-xhunter1.sys-lpe/
- https://github.com/Psychotropos/xhunter1_privesc
submitted by cosmonauts5512 to PUBATTLEGROUNDS [link] [comments]

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Instruction Manual for Windows Powershell

Introduction to the manual
This manual is made to guide you step by step in setting up an OpenShift cloud environment on your own device. It will tell you what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, what you will be doing and why you will be doing it, all in one convenient manual that is made for Windows users. Although if you'd want to try it on Linux or MacOS we did add the commands necesary to get the CodeReady Containers to run on your operating system. Be warned however there are some system requirements that are necessary to run the CodeReady Containers that we will be using. These requirements are specified within chapter Minimum system requirements.
This manual is written for everyone with an interest in the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and has at least a basic understanding of the command line within PowerShell on Windows. Even though it is possible to use most of the manual for Linux or MacOS we will focus on how to do this within Windows.
If you follow this manual you will be able to do the following items by yourself:
● Installing the CodeReady Containers
● Updating OpenShift
● Configuring a CodeReady Container
● Configuring the DNS
● Accessing the OpenShift cluster
● Deploying the Mediawiki application
What is the OpenShift Container platform?
Red Hat OpenShift is a cloud development Platform as a Service (PaaS). It enables developers to develop and deploy their applications on a cloud infrastructure. It is based on the Kubernetes platform and is widely used by developers and IT operations worldwide. The OpenShift Container platform makes use of CodeReady Containers. CodeReady Containers are pre-configured containers that can be used for developing and testing purposes. There are also CodeReady Workspaces, these workspaces are used to provide any member of the development or IT team with a consistent, secure, and zero-configuration development environment.
The OpenShift Container Platform is widely used because it helps the programmers and developers make their application faster because of CodeReady Containers and CodeReady Workspaces and it also allows them to test their application in the same environment. One of the advantages provided by OpenShift is the efficient container orchestration. This allows for faster container provisioning, deploying and management. It does this by streamlining and automating the automation process.
What knowledge is required or recommended to proceed with the installation?
To be able to follow this manual some knowledge is mandatory, because most of the commands are done within the Command Line interface it is necessary to know how it works and how you can browse through files/folders. If you either don’t have this basic knowledge or have trouble with the basic Command Line Interface commands from PowerShell, then a cheat sheet might offer some help. We recommend the following cheat sheet for windows:
Https://www.sans.org/security-resources/sec560/windows\_command\_line\_sheet\_v1.pdf
Another option is to read through the operating system’s documentation or introduction guides. Though the documentation can be overwhelming by the sheer amount of commands.
Microsoft: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-serveadministration/windows-commands/windows-commands
MacOS
Https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/mac-terminal-commands-cheat-sheet/
Linux
https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/command-line-for-beginners#2-a-brief-history-lesson https://www.guru99.com/linux-commands-cheat-sheet.html
http://cc.iiti.ac.in/docs/linuxcommands.pdf
Aside from the required knowledge there are also some things that can be helpful to know just to make the use of OpenShift a bit simpler. This consists of some general knowledge on PaaS like Dockers and Kubernetes.
Docker https://www.docker.com/
Kubernetes https://kubernetes.io/

System requirements

Minimum System requirements

The minimum system requirements for the Red Hat OpenShift CodeReady Containers has the following minimum hardware:
Hardware requirements
Code Ready Containers requires the following system resources:
● 4 virtual CPU’s
● 9 GB of free random-access memory
● 35 GB of storage space
● Physical CPU with Hyper-V (intel) or SVM mode (AMD) this has to be enabled in the bios
Software requirements
The minimum system requirements for the Red Hat OpenShift CodeReady Containers has the following minimum operating system requirements:
Microsoft Windows
On Microsoft Windows, the Red Hat OpenShift CodeReady Containers requires the Windows 10 Pro Fall Creators Update (version 1709) or newer. CodeReady Containers does not work on earlier versions or other editions of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Windows 10 Home Edition is not supported.
macOS
On macOS, the Red Hat OpenShift CodeReady Containers requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or newer.
Linux
On Linux, the Red Hat OpenShift CodeReady Containers is only supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS 7.5 or newer and on the latest two stable Fedora releases.
When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the machine running CodeReady Containers must be registered with the Red Hat Customer Portal.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or newer and Debian 10 or newer are not officially supported and may require manual set up of the host machine.

Required additional software packages for Linux

The CodeReady Containers on Linux require the libvirt and Network Manager packages to run. Consult the following table to find the command used to install these packages for your Linux distribution:
Table 1.1 Package installation commands by distribution
Linux Distribution Installation command
Fedora Sudo dnf install NetworkManager
Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS Su -c 'yum install NetworkManager'
Debian/Ubuntu Sudo apt install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemonlibvirt-daemon-system network-manage

Installation

Getting started with the installation

To install CodeReady Containers a few steps must be undertaken. Because an OpenShift account is necessary to use the application this will be the first step. An account can be made on “https://www.openshift.com/”, where you need to press login and after that select the option “Create one now”
After making an account the next step is to download the latest release of CodeReady Containers and the pulled secret on “https://cloud.redhat.com/openshift/install/crc/installer-provisioned”. Make sure to download the version corresponding to your platform and/or operating system. After downloading the right version, the contents have to be extracted from the archive to a location in your $PATH. The pulled secret should be saved because it is needed later.
The command line interface has to be opened before we can continue with the installation. For windows we will use PowerShell. All the commands we use during the installation procedure of this guide are going to be done in this command line interface unless stated otherwise. To be able to run the commands within the command line interface, use the command line interface to go to the location in your $PATH where you extracted the CodeReady zip.
If you have installed an outdated version and you wish to update, then you can delete the existing CodeReady Containers virtual machine with the $crc delete command. After deleting the container, you must replace the old crc binary with a newly downloaded binary of the latest release.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc delete 
When you have done the previous steps please confirm that the correct and up to date crc binary is in use by checking it with the $crc version command, this should provide you with the version that is currently installed.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc version 
To set up the host operating system for the CodeReady Containers virtual machine you have to run the $crc setup command. After running crc setup, crc start will create a minimal OpenShift 4 cluster in the folder where the executable is located.
C:\Users\[username]>crc setup 

Setting up CodeReady Containers

Now we need to set up the new CodeReady Containers release with the $crc setup command. This command will perform the operations necessary to run the CodeReady Containers and create the ~/.crc directory if it did not previously exist. In the process you have to supply your pulled secret, once this process is completed you have to reboot your system. When the system has restarted you can start the new CodeReady Containers virtual machine with the $crc start command. The $crc start command starts the CodeReady virtual machine and OpenShift cluster.
You cannot change the configuration of an existing CodeReady Containers virtual machine. So if you have a CodeReady Containers virtual machine and you want to make configuration changes you need to delete the virtual machine with the $crc delete command and create a new virtual machine and start that one with the configuration changes. Take note that deleting the virtual machine will also delete the data stored in the CodeReady Containers. So, to prevent data loss we recommend you save the data you wish to keep. Also keep in mind that it is not necessary to change the default configuration to start OpenShift.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc setup 
Before starting the machine, you need to keep in mind that it is not possible to make any changes to the virtual machine. For this tutorial however it is not necessary to change the configuration, if you don’t want to make any changes please continue by starting the machine with the crc start command.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc start 
\ it is possible that you will get a Nameserver error later on, if this is the case please start it with* crc start -n 1.1.1.1

Configuration

It is not is not necessary to change the default configuration and continue with this tutorial, this chapter is here for those that wish to do so and know what they are doing. However, for MacOS and Linux it is necessary to change the dns settings.

Configuring the CodeReady Containers

To start the configuration of the CodeReady Containers use the command crc config. This command allows you to configure the crc binary and the CodeReady virtual machine. The command has some requirements before it’s able to configure. This requirement is a subcommand, the available subcommands for this binary and virtual machine are:
get, this command allows you to see the values of a configurable property
set/unset, this command can be used for 2 things. To display the names of, or to set and/or unset values of several options and parameters. These parameters being:
○ Shell options
○ Shell attributes
○ Positional parameters
view, this command starts the configuration in read-only mode.
These commands need to operate on named configurable properties. To list all the available properties, you can run the command $crc config --help.
Throughout this manual we will use the $crc config command a few times to change some properties needed for the configuration.
There is also the possibility to use the crc config command to configure the behavior of the checks that’s done by the $crc start end $crc setup commands. By default, the startup checks will stop with the process if their conditions are not met. To bypass this potential issue, you can set the value of a property that starts with skip-check or warn-check to true to skip the check or warning instead of ending up with an error.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config get C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config set C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config unset C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config view C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config --help 

Configuring the Virtual Machine

You can use the CPUs and memory properties to configure the default number of vCPU’s and amount of memory available for the virtual machine.
To increase the number of vCPU’s available to the virtual machine use the $crc config set CPUs . Keep in mind that the default number for the CPU’s is 4 and the number of vCPU’s you wish to assign must be equal or greater than the default value.
To increase the memory available to the virtual machine, use the $crc config set memory . Keep in mind that the default number for the memory is 9216 Mebibytes and the amount of memory you wish to assign must be equal or greater than the default value.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config set CPUs  C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc config set memory > 

Configuring the DNS

Window / General DNS setup

There are two domain names used by the OpenShift cluster that are managed by the CodeReady Containers, these are:
crc.testing, this is the domain for the core OpenShift services.
apps-crc.testing, this is the domain used for accessing OpenShift applications that are deployed on the cluster.
Configuring the DNS settings in Windows is done by executing the crc setup. This command automatically adjusts the DNS configuration on the system. When executing crc start additional checks to verify the configuration will be executed.

macOS DNS setup

MacOS expects the following DNS configuration for the CodeReady Containers
● The CodeReady Containers creates a file that instructs the macOS to forward all DNS requests for the testing domain to the CodeReady Containers virtual machine. This file is created at /etc/resolvetesting.
● The oc binary requires the following CodeReady Containers entry to function properly, api.crc.testing adds an entry to /etc/hosts pointing at the VM IPaddress.

Linux DNS setup

CodeReady containers expect a slightly different DNS configuration. CodeReady Container expects the NetworkManager to manage networking. On Linux the NetworkManager uses dnsmasq through a configuration file, namely /etc/NetworkManageconf.d/crc-nm-dnsmasq.conf.
To set it up properly the dnsmasq instance has to forward the requests for crc.testing and apps-crc.testing domains to “192.168.130.11”. In the /etc/NetworkManageconf.d/crc-nm-dnsmasq.conf this will look like the following:
● Server=/crc. Testing/192.168.130.11
● Server=/apps-crc. Testing/192.168.130.11

Accessing the Openshift Cluster

Accessing the Openshift web console

To gain access to the OpenShift cluster running in the CodeReady virtual machine you need to make sure that the virtual machine is running before continuing with this chapter. The OpenShift clusters can be accessed through the OpenShift web console or the client binary(oc).
First you need to execute the $crc console command, this command will open your web browser and direct a tab to the web console. After that, you need to select the htpasswd_provider option in the OpenShift web console and log in as a developer user with the output provided by the crc start command.
It is also possible to view the password for kubeadmin and developer users by running the $crc console --credentials command. While you can access the cluster through the kubeadmin and developer users, it should be noted that the kubeadmin user should only be used for administrative tasks such as user management and the developer user for creating projects or OpenShift applications and the deployment of these applications.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc console C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc console --credentials 

Accessing the OpenShift cluster with oc

To gain access to the OpenShift cluster with the use of the oc command you need to complete several steps.
Step 1.
Execute the $crc oc-env command to print the command needed to add the cached oc binary to your PATH:
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc oc-env 
Step 2.
Execute the printed command. The output will look something like the following:
PS C:\Users\OpenShift> crc oc-env $Env:PATH = "CC:\Users\OpenShift\.crc\bin\oc;$Env:PATH" # Run this command to configure your shell: # & crc oc-env | Invoke-Expression 
This means we have to execute* the command that the output gives us, in this case that is:
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc oc-env | Invoke-Expression 
\this has to be executed every time you start; a solution is to move the oc binary to the same path as the crc binary*
To test if this step went correctly execute the following command, if it returns without errors oc is set up properly
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>.\oc 
Step 3
Now you need to login as a developer user, this can be done using the following command:
$oc login -u developer https://api.crc.testing:6443
Keep in mind that the $crc start will provide you with the password that is needed to login with the developer user.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>oc login -u developer https://api.crc.testing:6443 
Step 4
The oc can now be used to interact with your OpenShift cluster. If you for instance want to verify if the OpenShift cluster Operators are available, you can execute the command
$oc get co 
Keep in mind that by default the CodeReady Containers disables the functions provided by the commands $machine-config and $monitoringOperators.
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>oc get co 

Demonstration

Now that you are able to access the cluster, we will take you on a tour through some of the possibilities within OpenShift Container Platform.
We will start by creating a project. Within this project we will import an image, and with this image we are going to build an application. After building the application we will explain how upscaling and downscaling can be used within the created application.
As the next step we will show the user how to make changes in the network route. We also show how monitoring can be used within the platform, however within the current version of CodeReady Containers this has been disabled.
Lastly, we will show the user how to use user management within the platform.

Creating a project

To be able to create a project within the console you have to login on the cluster. If you have not yet done this, this can be done by running the command crc console in the command line and logging in with the login data from before.
When you are logged in as admin, switch to Developer. If you're logged in as a developer, you don't have to switch. Switching between users can be done with the dropdown menu top left.
Now that you are properly logged in press the dropdown menu shown in the image below, from there click on create a project.
https://preview.redd.it/ytax8qocitv51.png?width=658&format=png&auto=webp&s=72d143733f545cf8731a3cca7cafa58c6507ace2
When you press the correct button, the following image will pop up. Here you can give your project a name and description. We chose to name it CodeReady with a displayname CodeReady Container.
https://preview.redd.it/vtaxadwditv51.png?width=594&format=png&auto=webp&s=e3b004bab39fb3b732d96198ed55fdd99259f210

Importing image

The Containers in OpenShift Container Platform are based on OCI or Docker formatted images. An image is a binary that contains everything needed to run a container as well as the metadata of the requirements needed for the container.
Within the OpenShift Container Platform it’s possible to obtain images in a number of ways. There is an integrated Docker registry that offers the possibility to download new images “on the fly”. In addition, OpenShift Container Platform can use third party registries such as:
- Https://hub.docker.com/
- Https://catalog.redhat.com/software/containers/search
Within this manual we are going to import an image from the Red Hat container catalog. In this example we’ll be using MediaWiki.
Search for the application in https://catalog.redhat.com/software/containers/search

https://preview.redd.it/c4mrbs0fitv51.png?width=672&format=png&auto=webp&s=f708f0542b53a9abf779be2d91d89cf09e9d2895
Navigate to “Get this image”
Follow the steps to “create a registry service account”, after that you can copy the YAML.
https://preview.redd.it/b4rrklqfitv51.png?width=1323&format=png&auto=webp&s=7a2eb14a3a1ba273b166e03e1410f06fd9ee1968
After the YAML has been copied we will go to the topology view and click on the YAML button
https://preview.redd.it/k3qzu8dgitv51.png?width=869&format=png&auto=webp&s=b1fefec67703d0a905b00765f0047fe7c6c0735b
Then we have to paste in the YAML, put in the name, namespace and your pull secret name (which you created through your registry account) and click on create.
https://preview.redd.it/iz48kltgitv51.png?width=781&format=png&auto=webp&s=4effc12e07bd294f64a326928804d9a931e4d2bd
Run the import command within powershell
$oc import-image openshift4/mediawiki --from=registry.redhat.io/openshift4/mediawiki --confirm imagestream.image.openshift.io/mediawiki imported 

Creating and managing an application

There are a few ways to create and manage applications. Within this demonstration we’ll show how to create an application from the previously imported image.

Creating the application

To create an image with the previously imported image go back to the console and topology. From here on select container image.
https://preview.redd.it/6506ea4iitv51.png?width=869&format=png&auto=webp&s=c0231d70bb16c76cd131e6b71256e93550cc8b37
For the option image you'll want to select the “image stream tag from internal registry” option. Give the application a name and then create the deployment.
https://preview.redd.it/tk72idniitv51.png?width=813&format=png&auto=webp&s=a4e662cf7b96604d84df9d04ab9b90b5436c803c
If everything went right during the creating process you should see the following, this means that the application is successfully running.
https://preview.redd.it/ovv9l85jitv51.png?width=901&format=png&auto=webp&s=f78f350207add0b8a979b6da931ff29ffa30128c

Scaling the application

In OpenShift there is a feature called autoscaling. There are two types of application scaling, namely vertical scaling, and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling is adding only more CPU and hard disk and is no longer supported by OpenShift. Horizontal scaling is increasing the number of machines.
One of the ways to scale an application is by increasing the number of pods. This can be done by going to a pod within the view as seen in the previous step. By either pressing the up or down arrow more pods of the same application can be added. This is similar to horizontal scaling and can result in better performance when there are a lot of active users at the same time.
https://preview.redd.it/s6i1vbcrltv51.png?width=602&format=png&auto=webp&s=e62cbeeed116ba8c55704d61a990fc0d8f3cfaa1
In the picture above we see the number of nodes and pods and how many resources those nodes and pods are using. This is something to keep in mind if you want to scale up your application, the more you scale it up, the more resources it will take up.

https://preview.redd.it/quh037wmitv51.png?width=194&format=png&auto=webp&s=5e326647b223f3918c259b1602afa1b5fbbeea94

Network

Since OpenShift Container platform is built on Kubernetes it might be interesting to know some theory about its networking. Kubernetes, on which the OpenShift Container platform is built, ensures that the Pods within OpenShift can communicate with each other via the network and assigns them their own IP address. This makes all containers within the Pod behave as if they were on the same host. By giving each pod its own IP address, pods can be treated as physical hosts or virtual machines in terms of port mapping, networking, naming, service discovery, load balancing, application configuration and migration. To run multiple services such as front-end and back-end services, OpenShift Container Platform has a built-in DNS.
One of the changes that can be made to the networking of a Pod is the Route. We’ll show you how this can be done in this demonstration.
The Route is not the only thing that can be changed and or configured. Two other options that might be interesting but will not be demonstrated in this manual are:
- Ingress controller, Within OpenShift it is possible to set your own certificate. A user must have a certificate / key pair in PEM-encoded files, with the certificate signed by a trusted authority.
- Network policies, by default all pods in a project are accessible from other pods and network locations. To isolate one or more pods in a project, it is possible to create Network Policy objects in that project to indicate the allowed incoming connections. Project administrators can create and delete Network Policy objects within their own project.
There is a search function within the Container Platform. We’ll use this to search for the network routes and show how to add a new route.
https://preview.redd.it/8jkyhk8pitv51.png?width=769&format=png&auto=webp&s=9a8762df5bbae3d8a7c92db96b8cb70605a3d6da
You can add items that you use a lot to the navigation
https://preview.redd.it/t32sownqitv51.png?width=1598&format=png&auto=webp&s=6aab6f17bc9f871c591173493722eeae585a9232
For this example, we will add Routes to navigation.
https://preview.redd.it/pm3j7ljritv51.png?width=291&format=png&auto=webp&s=bc6fbda061afdd0780bbc72555d809b84a130b5b
Now that we’ve added Routes to the navigation, we can start the creation of the Route by clicking on “Create route”.
https://preview.redd.it/5lgecq0titv51.png?width=1603&format=png&auto=webp&s=d548789daaa6a8c7312a419393795b52da0e9f75
Fill in the name, select the service and the target port from the drop-down menu and click on Create.
https://preview.redd.it/qczgjc2uitv51.png?width=778&format=png&auto=webp&s=563f73f0dc548e3b5b2319ca97339e8f7b06c9d6
As you can see, we’ve successfully added the new route to our application.
https://preview.redd.it/gxfanp2vitv51.png?width=1588&format=png&auto=webp&s=1aae813d7ad0025f91013d884fcf62c5e7d109f1
Storage
OpenShift makes use of Persistent Storage, this type of storage uses persistent volume claims(PVC). PVC’s allow the developer to make persistent volumes without needing any knowledge about the underlying infrastructure.
Within this storage there are a few configuration options:
It is however important to know how to manually reclaim the persistent volumes, since if you delete PV the associated data will not be automatically deleted with it and therefore you cannot reassign the storage to another PV yet.
To manually reclaim the PV, you need to follow the following steps:
Step 1: Delete the PV, this can be done by executing the following command
$oc delete  
Step 2: Now you need to clean up the data on the associated storage asset
Step 3: Now you can delete the associated storage asset or if you with to reuse the same storage asset you can now create a PV with the storage asset definition.
It is also possible to directly change the reclaim policy within OpenShift, to do this you would need to follow the following steps:
Step 1: Get a list of the PVs in your cluster
$oc get pv 
This will give you a list of all the PV’s in your cluster and will display their following attributes: Name, Capacity, Accesmodes, Reclaimpolicy, Statusclaim, Storageclass, Reason and Age.
Step 2: Now choose the PV you wish to change and execute one of the following command’s, depending on your preferred policy:
$oc patch pv  -p '{"spec":{"persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy":"Retain"}}' 
In this example the reclaim policy will be changed to Retain.
$oc patch pv  -p '{"spec":{"persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy":"Recycle"}}' 
In this example the reclaim policy will be changed to Recycle.
$oc patch pv  -p '{"spec":{"persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy":"Delete"}}' 
In this example the reclaim policy will be changed to Delete.

Step 3: After this you can check the PV to verify the change by executing this command again:
$oc get pv 

Monitoring

Within Red Hat OpenShift there is the possibility to monitor the data that has been created by your containers, applications, and pods. To do so, click on the menu option in the top left corner. Check if you are logged in as Developer and click on “Monitoring”. Normally this function is not activated within the CodeReady containers, because it uses a lot of resources (Ram and CPU) to run.
https://preview.redd.it/an0wvn6zitv51.png?width=228&format=png&auto=webp&s=51abf8cc31bd763deb457d49514f99ee81d610ec
Once you have activated “Monitoring” you can change the “Time Range” and “Refresh Interval” in the top right corner of your screen. This will change the monitoring data on your screen.
https://preview.redd.it/e0yvzsh1jtv51.png?width=493&format=png&auto=webp&s=b2c563635cfa60ea7ce2f9c146aa994df6aa1c34
Within this function you can also monitor “Events”. These events are records of important information and are useful for monitoring and troubleshooting within the OpenShift Container Platform.
https://preview.redd.it/l90vkmp3jtv51.png?width=602&format=png&auto=webp&s=4e97f14bedaec7ededcdcda96e7823f77ced24c2

User management

According to the documentation of OpenShift is a user, an entity that interacts with the OpenShift Container Platform API. These can be a developer for developing applications or an administrator for managing the cluster. Users can be assigned to groups, which set the permissions applied to all the group’s members. For example, you can give API access to a group, which gives all members of the group API access.
There are multiple ways to create a user depending on the configured identity provider. The DenyAll identity provider is the default within OpenShift Container Platform. This default denies access for all the usernames and passwords.
First, we’re going to create a new user, the way this is done depends on the identity provider, this depends on the mapping method used as part of the identity provider configuration.
for more information on what mapping methods are and how they function:
https://docs.openshift.com/enterprise/3.1/install_config/configuring_authentication.html
With the default mapping method, the steps will be as following
$oc create user  
Next up, we’ll create an OpenShift Container Platform Identity. Use the name of the identity provider and the name that uniquely represents this identity in the scope of the identity provider:
$oc create identity : 
The is the name of the identity provider in the master configuration. For example, the following commands create an Identity with identity provider ldap_provider and the identity provider username mediawiki_s.
$oc create identity ldap_provider:mediawiki_s 
Create a useidentity mapping for the created user and identity:
$oc create useridentitymapping :  
For example, the following command maps the identity to the user:
$oc create useridentitymapping ldap_provider:mediawiki_s mediawiki 
Now were going to assign a role to this new user, this can be done by executing the following command:
$oc create clusterrolebinding  \ --clusterrole= --user= 
There is a --clusterrole option that can be used to give the user a specific role, like a cluster user with admin privileges. The cluster admin has access to all files and is able to manage the access level of other users.
Below is an example of the admin clusterrole command:
$oc create clusterrolebinding registry-controller \ --clusterrole=cluster-admin --user=admin 

What did you achieve?

If you followed all the steps within this manual you now should have a functioning Mediawiki Application running on your own CodeReady Containers. During the installation of this application on CodeReady Containers you have learned how to do the following things:
● Installing the CodeReady Containers
● Updating OpenShift
● Configuring a CodeReady Container
● Configuring the DNS
● Accessing the OpenShift cluster
● Deploying an application
● Creating new users
With these skills you’ll be able to set up your own Container Platform environment and host applications of your choosing.

Troubleshooting

Nameserver
There is the possibility that your CodeReady container can't connect to the internet due to a Nameserver error. When this is encountered a working fix for us was to stop the machine and then start the CRC machine with the following command:
C:\Users\[username]\$PATH>crc start -n 1.1.1.1 
Hyper-V admin
Should you run into a problem with Hyper-V it might be because your user is not an admin and therefore can’t access the Hyper-V admin user group.
  1. Click Start > Control Panel > Administration Tools > Computer Management. The Computer Management window opens.
  2. Click System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Groups. The list of groups opens.
  3. Double-click the Hyper-V Administrators group. The Hyper-V Administrators Properties window opens.
  4. Click Add. The Select Users or Groups window opens.
  5. In the Enter the object names to select field, enter the user account name to whom you want to assign permissions, and then click OK.
  6. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Terms and definitions

These terms and definitions will be expanded upon, below you can see an example of how this is going to look like together with a few terms that will require definitions.
Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Openshift is based on Kubernetes.
Clusters are a collection of multiple nodes which communicate with each other to perform a set of operations.
Containers are the basic units of OpenShift applications. These container technologies are lightweight mechanisms for isolating running processes so that they are limited to interacting with only their designated resources.
CodeReady Container is a minimal, preconfigured cluster that is used for development and testing purposes.
CodeReady Workspaces uses Kubernetes and containers to provide any member of the development or IT team with a consistent, secure, and zero-configuration development environment.

Sources

  1. https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenteen/SSMKFH/com.ibm.apmaas.doc/install/hyperv_config_add_nonadmin_user_hyperv_usergroup.html
  2. https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/openshift_container_platform/4.5/
  3. https://docs.openshift.com/container-platform/3.11/admin_guide/manage_users.html
submitted by Groep6HHS to openshift [link] [comments]

# /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey 2020

Gentlemen, Ladies and those otherwise addressed - we know you've been waiting for a good thing, and the survey results are finally ready!
The answers were collected from you all during August 2020 with 1428 unique replies. That's a participation of 0.5% of all subscribers! That's really not too bad, when you keep in mind how popular these kind of surveys are. But we here at /peloton want to show you that this is all about presenting the information in the subreddit to cater better to our audience!
Updated after a few hours to include some more historical data the final edit that for some reason wasn't copied properly
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20 2019-07-22 2020-10-12
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928 986 1428
Without further ado, let's get cracking on the response

You and Cycling

1. Where do you live?

Country 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32% 20.23% 24.59%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13% 15.48% 14.80%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58% 10.01% 11.01%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39% 7.84% 6.65%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79% 7.64% 5.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57% 5.78% 5.36%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27% 5.26% 3.50%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22% 4.95% 4.50%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00% 4.33% 3.93%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30% 1.14% 2.14%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95% 2.58% 1.86%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41% 1.75% 1.43%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19% 0.72% 1.36%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52% 1.34% 1.14%
Italy 1.45% 1.44% 0.65% 1.03% 1.07%
Largely the same picture as ever, with the US leading the way, the UK in second and then a sliding scale of Europeans countries. Slovenia continues to pick its way up the pile for obvious reasons!
World Map to demonstrate

2. What's your age?

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
2019 1.5% 6.6% 33.2% 27.5% 16.4% 7.1% 5.8% 2% 972
2020 1.3% 6.8% 31.7% 28% 16.6% 7.2% 5% 2.5% 1420
Pretty much the same as last year, with the usual reddit demographics of majority 20 somethings dominating.

3. What's your gender?

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2) '19 '20
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6% 95.1% 94.9%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7% 4.8%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% - -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99% 1.2% 0.4%
More normality here for reddit.

4. How much of the men's season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%) 2019 (%) 2020 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0 90.2 87.3
Monuments 79.1 74.9 79 75.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4 70.5 71.7
WT One day races 73.3 59.8 62.3 60.7
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7 17.4 25
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7 17.4 20.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1 21.1 27.1
Whilst GT following may be down (somehow), all the lower level stuff is up, which makes sense considering how desperate we have been for any racing during the season shutdown.

5. Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?

Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing? '19 '20
Yes 49.8 49.2
No 50.2 50.8
Still very much a half/half interest in women's cycling on the subreddit.

6. How much of the women's season do you follow?

The following is true for the half of you that follows womens cycling.
How Much %
Just the biggest televised events 63.15%
Most of the live televised/delayed coverage stuff 29.08%
All televised racing 5.09%
Down to .Pro & beyond 2.69%

7. How long have you been watching cycling?

How Long %
Under a year 2,95%
1-3 years 19,50%
4-6 years 19,85%
7-9 years 14,10%
10-12 years 13,81%
13-15 years 7,15%
15-20 years 10,73%
20-25 years 6,17%
25 years + 5,75%
Simplified the years a little this time, but whilst we have a fair number of newbies, most people have picked the sport up since around 2013/14.

Sporting Favourites

8. Do you have like/dislike feelings about WT teams?

Once more, 14.4% of people really don't have feelings on the subject.
Of those that do:
AG2R Astana Bahrain Bora CCC Cofidis Quick-Step EF FDJ
Like 352 213 127 770 156 116 847 724 423
Meh 775 620 773 415 889 896 310 448 700
Dislike 52 356 263 31 112 141 71 37 53
Karma 300 -143 -70 739 44 -25 776 677 370
Israel Lotto Michelton Movistar NTT Ineos Jumbo Sunweb Trek UAE
Like 135 364 517 231 101 304 925 279 383 118
Meh 740 764 626 646 931 414 282 805 765 734
Dislike 302 40 52 326 121 562 53 97 42 331
Karma -167 324 465 -95 -20 -258 872 182 341 -213
So, the most popular team this year is Jumbo-Visma, followed by Quick-Step & Bora-hansgrohe. Least popular are Ineos & UAE.
As per usual, no one cares about NTT & CCC, with nearly 81% of users rating NTT as meh. Pretty damning stuff.
Lastly, we have the usual historical comparison of how teams have fared over time, normalised to respondents to that question on the survey.
Things to note then, firstly that the Astana redemption arc is over, seeing them back in the negative, maybe Fulgsangs spring issues helped aid that? The petrodollar teams of UAE & Bahrain are stubbornly negative too, with Israel keeping up the Katusha negative streak. Meanwhile, at the top end, EF & Jumbo go from strength to strength, whilst some others like Sunweb are sliding over time - their transfer policies no doubt helping that.

10. Do you ride a bike regularly?

Answer 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
For fun 61.5% 63.4% 59.9% 62.9%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6% 54.8% 59.8%
For commuting 46% 46% 45.6% 40%
For racing 20.6% 20.6% 15.9% 17.7%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9% 14.8% 13.6%
Still a fairly small group of racers out of all of us

11. Out of the sports you practice, is cycling your favourite?

Yes No
58,29% 41,71%
A new addition to the survey prompted by a good point last time, just over half of us rate cycling as the favourite sport we actually do.

12. What other sports do you follow?

Sport #
Association Football / Soccer 50.78%
Formula 1 35.81%
American Football 26.27%
Basketball 22.46%
Track & Field 17.58%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 17.30%
Rugby 14.27%
Skiing 14.12%
Ice Hockey 13.63%
Baseball 12.15%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 10.59%
Cricket 10.52%
Tennis 9.53%
Chess 8.97%
Triathlon 8.69%
Biathlon 8.12%
Snooker 7.06%
Golf 6.92%
Swimming 6.85%
Ski Jumping 6.78%
Climbing 5.72%
Martial Arts 5.65%
Handball 5.44%
Darts 5.01%
Speed Skating 5.01%
Football always tops the charts, and Formula 1 continues to rank extremely highly among our userbase. Those who have a little following below 5% include Sailing, Fencing, Surfing, Boxing & Ultra-Running.
Other cycling disciplines
Sport #
Cyclocross 22.10%
Track Cycling 14.34%
MTB 8.97%
BMX 1.20%

13. Out of the sports you follow, is cycling your favourite sport?

Yes No
61.79% 38,21%
Good. Makes sense if you hang out here.

Subreddit stats

14. How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2.8% 2% 2.2% 4% 2.5% 3%
I follow Race Threads during races 41.7% 36.7% 38.1% 42.1% 42.5% 38.9%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16.8% 19% 16.5% 18.9% 15.2% 13%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38.7% 41.3% 43.1% 35% 39.8% 45.1%
Slightly less invested than before, reverting back to an older trade.

15. How do you watch Races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5% 50.2% 47.9%
Free Local TV 55.7% 64.5% 59.6% 53.9%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2% 28.2% 24.9%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4% 38.3% 46.3%
Year on year, paid streaming services go up - the increasing availability of live content legally continues to improve, and so do the numbers on the survey.

16. Where else do you follow races live (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4% 80.2% 76.9%
Twitter 30.5% 34.7% 33.3% 38.3%
PCS Liveticker - - 30.2% 32%
Official tracker (if available) 24%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5% 21.5% 18.9%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5% 10.8% 10.8%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8% 7% 9.2%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5% 10.2% 8.2%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4% 7.5% 7.2%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1% 7.6% 7%
feltet.dk - 2.2% 5.4% 5.2%
Facebook 3.8% 5.4% 4% 4.2%
BBC Ticker - 3.5% 2.1% 4.1%
DirectVelo - 1.3% 1.6% 1.8%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3% 1.2% 1.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3% 1% 0.6%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8% 0.4% 0.5%
The PCS liveticker continues to have a strong following, whilst the cyclingnews ticker slowly slides into less usage over time.

17. Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Classic 75.1% 67.2% 46.2%
Redesign 24.9% 32.8% 53.8%
Time to abandon ship. The end has come.

18. With what version of reddit do you browse the sub?

Version 2019 2020
Official App 17.9 31.1
Desktop Classic 37.8 25.8
3rd Party App 18.3 17.2
Mobile Web 12.4 14.7
Desktop Redesign 13.7 11.2
Phone browsing is very much in vogue.

19. How did you find the sub?

How %
Through other forms of reddit, f.e. /bicycling 48.33%
Too long - can't remember 38.65%
Google search 9,11%
My friend told me 2,28%
I wanted to talk about my exercise bike 0.78%
Twitter 0.5%
Lantern Rouge Youtube 0.28%

Other bits and bobs

20. Did you think back in March we would see any more racing this year?

Yes No
52,81% 47,19%
Despite the threat, we have seen racing again

21. Will we manage to fulfill the rest of the UCI calendar without further Covid-19 issues postponing more races?

Yes No
25.3% 74.7%
Sorry to you 25%, Amstel, Roubaix & a bunch of other races have falled foul of COVID-19 related cancellations.

22. When did you become aware of Alexander Foliforov?

When %
Before the 2016 Giro 3,25%
22nd May, 2016 15,55%
On /pelotonmemes in 2020 21,13%
Who? 60,07%
If you didn't know of the man, watching him demolish the Giro field in 2016 on the stage 15 ITT should help to gain understanding

23. Who will win the 2020 Tour de France?

Rider %
Roglic 52,12%
Bernal 16,57%
Pinot 9,24%
Dumoulin 7,9%
N.Quintana 2,82%
Pogacar 1,41%
Richie Porte 0,35%
We can safely say that most of us were wrong about this one.
That's not a lot of confidence in Richie Porte either, the man who was to finish on the third spot of the podium. Alexander Foliforov (0,23%) had just a tiny number of votes less, and that man wasn't even in the race.

24. What for you was the defining cycling moment of the previous decade?

We had a lot of brilliant suggestions, but these were the clear five favourites when we tabulated the results.
Honorable mentions go to the Giro 2018, which had Tom Dumoulin winning, and of almost identical fascination to many of you - Tom Dumoulin going on someones porta-potty in the middle of the stage.
Little bit of recency bias perhaps, but that's better than ignoring that this was for the last decade and firmly insisting Tom Boonens 2005 WC win was the biggest thing. Special shoutout to almost all the Danes present in /peloton who voted for Mads Pedersens WC win last year. It's an understandable reaction.

25. Any suggestions for the Survey?

New Questions
We promise to feature one of these suggestions in the next survey
Suggestions
We will try to implement this. But it will also skew results.
About the Survey
The subscribers are torn on Women's cycling, nearly a 50/50 split there as the survey showed - The moderators at /peloton are firmly in the "more cycling is better" basket, and we will continue to get as good coverage of womens cycling as possible.
Are you trying to give the moderators PTSD? Because this is how you give the moderators PTSD.

26. Any suggestions for the sub?

ALSJFLKAJSLDKJAØLSJKD:M:CSAM)=#/()=#=/")¤=/)! - Your moderator seems to be out of function. Please stand by while we find you a new moderator
The Weekly threads are great for these types of questions, where several people can contribute and build up once it is understood which information is relevant.
Our experience is that "limited" will never be so, if we're going to moderate it fairly. Moderating is not a popularity contest, but believe it or not, we're actually trying to be as fair as possible. and for that, we need rules that are not subjective. Unless you have a stationary exercise bike.
All of these are good suggestions, but remember that all of you can also contribute - The mods are sometimes stretched thin, specially in the middle of hectic race schedules. It's easier if one of you has a way to contact a rider or a person of interest and can facilitate the initial communication.
We've worked on this! The Official Standard is now as follows: [Race Thread] 202x Race Name – Stage X (Class)
This sounds as a nice community project for the after-season, and hopefully many of you subscribers can contribute.
Come with suggestions on how to tidy it up!
We have chastised all the mods. They are now perfectly trained in gender-neutral pronouns. Be well, fellow being.
If we can implement this for hard liquor, you know we will.
The spoiler rule is one that is discussed frequently - in general - some users absolutely hate it, but a majority love it. Perhaps we'll include a question in the next survey to see how this divide is exactly.
We actually do - whenever there is a matter of life or death, we think public information is more important than a spoiler rule. But at the same time, we try to collect all the different posts into one main thread, so to keep things focused and letting very speculative posts meet with hard evidence from other sources.
This is a tough ask of the internet. While we can agree that voting should be done accordingly to what insights they bring, not subjective opinions, it is very hard to turn that type of thinking around. We can ask of you, our subscribers, that you please think twice about hitting that downvote button, and only do so because of you think a post is factually incorrect, not because it differs with your own subjective opinion.
That's the primary analysis of the survey! Feel free to contribute with how you experience things here!
submitted by PelotonMod to peloton [link] [comments]

Star Trek games you can get right now

Hi everyone, my last post about wanting to see more star trek games got a lot of comments (if not a lot of Karma) and so I thought you might be interested in what Star Trek games are around right now.
Edit: Please feel free to add your own, or add links to games with mods (though please include the link to the mod as well if you can) that convert them into Star Trek games! I only limited this to official star trek games in the hopes that maybe people might buy them, and thus produce sales data that might make CBS see that there's a good monetary incentive to make more games available.
First off, the original Starfleet Command is a great game that still holds up, even if it's graphics look like they're rendered in cardboard. You can install it, go to skirmish, and make yourself a 9 on 9 fleet battle between any of the TOS factions they included. I just went three rounds in a half hour and it's honestly probably, pound for pound, the best currently downloadable Star Trek game available. Go watch the Battle of the Binary Stars and set yourself up a round, it's real fun I promise!
https://www.gog.com/game/star_trek_starfleet_command_gold_edition
Next up, Star Trek Bridge Crew. Looks really cool and fun, but I lack a VR headset and playing without one was, for me at least, basically impossible. I imagine it's better with friends and with the appropriate equipment, but unless you've already got those it's kind of hard to justify buying it.
https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/7939/Star_Trek_Bridge_Crew__Bundle_Game_and_The_Next_Generation/
Star Trek Online has been around for a while, and you likely already know it. It's an MMO on the decline and I haven't personally played the expansions, but there is plenty of trek themed content around a serviceable MMO that once upon a time admirably carried the burden of being our only way to play past the end of Voyager in the prime timeline. And hey, some of the stories are cool! (It's great for people who love buying lootboxes!)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/9900/Star_Trek_Online/
Star Trek Starfleet Academy is a flight sim that has footage of the original trek actors, and is well reviewed, though I couldn't tell you how it is personally. Might pick it up on sale, but if I'm being honest, probably not.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/364810/Star_Trek_Starfleet_Academy/
I don't really count Star Trek Timelines, because it's basically a fancy UI over a random number generator phone game, but it exists, technically, so here.https://store.steampowered.com/app/600750/Star_Trek_Timelines/
Also, for the sake of completeness, there are some adventure games (that seem neat but I'm not buying for $10 a pop)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/364800/Star_Trek_Judgment_Rites/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/359650/Star_Trek__25th_Anniversary/
And, unless you wanna go trolling around for an old physical copy of Elite Force or The Fallen somewhere, that's it!
...
...
Unless of course you consider piracy as an option to get games no longer being sold, in which ca-*transmission lost*
submitted by Wareve to startrek [link] [comments]

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

Hello, dummies
It's your old pal, Fuzzy.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great.
What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. I do my bit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post.
That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way.
We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps.
Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy.
TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle.
Ready? Let's get started.
1. The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life
The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows:
Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself.
Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part.
You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus.
That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it.
Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets?
2. A Hedging Taxonomy
The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now.
(i) Swaps
A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one.
Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered.
The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game.
I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging.
There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested.
Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure).
(ii) Forwards
A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me.
Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways.
People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances.
These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them.
(iii) Collars
No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray!
To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts.
(3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs
You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years.
First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA.
Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire.
Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking?
Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama.
Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details.
I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here.
Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post.
*EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
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THE SEARCH FOR THE GREATEST SHMUP: EPISODE 27 – Darius Cozmic Collection Console

This is it. We have finally managed to reach the shmup that started it all. The one shmup I played before any other and which inspired me to devote my time to the genre. It isn’t the best Darius game by any means, but it is certainly the one closest to my heart. We are finally reviewing Super Nova!
Ok, maybe we’re not just reviewing Super Nova. We are going to be taking a look at the entire Console Cozmic Collection and seeing how it stacks up against the Arcade Collection. They say console ports are usually downgraded versions, but will it also be the case here?
Publisher: ININ Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: Jun 16, 2020
Price: $59.99
Tate: Please don’t use your flip grip on this one
The Darius Cozmic Collection Console is a compilation of Darius games released on consoles. This port was also developed by the brilliant M2. You can definitely set your expectations on high, because this collections is as high quality as the arcade collection, albeit with some notably absent features.
The titles included in this collection are:
THE BESTEST PORTS ARE M2 PORTS
If you read my review for the Arcade Collection, then you know what to expect from this collection. Each of the 9 included games feature a wonderful wrapping of quality of life enhancements as well as customization options.
Each title can be accessed from a main menu that features a museum style listing for each game. When highlight a game, you will be presented with an image of the title screen and a brief description of the game on its right. I found the descriptions extremely helpful when deciding which game to play. Having several versions of the same game is great for collection purposes, but the descriptions provided some much needed guidance.
While in-game, you can pull a special menu at any point by pressing ZR or ZL. This menu lets you customize several aspects of a game, such as the controls and the visuals. Just as the arcade collection, you can set your controllers to map buttons to be fire+bomb and even adjust the rapid fire setting. The visuals have less options, but staples such as the display type and scanlines are available. The “other” tab is quite lacking, as it only has the volume setting.
It wouldn’t be much emulation without some save states! Each game has a quick save option which lets you save your current state in one of 12 different slots. The saving and loading process is very smooth, and it doesn’t take any time at all to load any given state. Unlike the arcade collection, there are no ranking penalties for using save states. Rather than being a good thing, it mostly relates to a lack of rankings, but more on that later.
THE MISSING FEATURES
Whereas the arcade collection felt like a love letter to the arcade culture, the console collection lacks a lot of the charm. It’s in part understandable due the nature of consoles not being as flashy as arcades. I don’t mean to say that the work in this collection is lacking in comparison, it’s just that in general arcades had much more going on.
One of my highlights in the arcade collection was my introduction to Darius I with controller vibration in sync to the music. Sound and vibration fanfares were not available on console because there is no such thing as coin operated credits. As a result, rumble is completely absent in this collection.
All of the gadgets are missing from this edition as well. Rather than getting the art of the arcade panels or useful information, all the console collection gets is a background. When looking at both collections side by side, the console collection like extremely empty, as you only have the game screen and nothing else. The only exception is Darius Alpha, which has a boss gadget on the right side of the screen.
THE LONG LOST GAME CHANGERS
To the detriment of gameplay, some of the more useful gadgets won’t be making a return. Losing the boss analyzer and life gauges is rough, but pales in comparison to losing your arm counter. Other than relying on in-game visuals, you no longer have additional graphics showing arm strength, weapon strength or even bonus score counters.
Another addition I was really fond of was the map/zone overview on the pause screen. Most of the games show the route progression in-game (except for Darius Plus). What is lost is the ability to see the map at any time by pressing ZZL, and even worse is losing the information related to a zone. I really enjoyed knowing how many power-ups were present in a given stage, but I absolutely loved knowing which bosses would appear on which route. My routing decisions have 100% been influenced by fighting cool fishes.
To make matters worse, the replay system has been completely revamped. You can no longer save replays of your playthroughs in most of the main games. Instead, replays are reserved only for the special modes of Darius Alpha, the boss rush of Darius Force and the boss rush of Darius II. While this means there’s still a way to relive some of your greatest moments, it is limited to some modes which pale in comparison to the actual games. Oh yeah, the leaderboards are also limited to the special modes as well.
But enough about the collection, let’s get to the games.
DARIUS II/SAGAIA
Darius II and SAGAIA are ports of the original arcade game into the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis. As with arcade ports, the game had to undergo some changes in order to be playable on consoles. Sprites were redrawn to be smaller, gameplay was adapted to a single screen and co-op had to be removed. Still, it manages to fit the entire Darius II in both versions, as opposed to arcade SAGAIA which was a reduced version.
Just to clarify, Darius II and SAGAIA are the same game. The difference in naming comes from localizing the game to North America.
I’ll be honest, out of all the games in the collection, this was the one I played the least. I don’t mean to say the game isn’t good. My reduced play time comes from the fact that I already played A LOT of Darius II for the arcade collection, so for an in-depth overview I recommend checking out the Arcade Collection review.
However, I did get a couple of full playthroughs and I gotta say that it does a great job at capturing the original game’s essence! Gameplay is essencially untouched, so expect to go through the same all-or-nothing upgrade system, branching paths with Darius II bosses and some wacky endings! One of my thoughts that I have to rehash is that the game is either a cakewalk or extremely brutal depending on your upgrade level. If you keep it maxed, then the game is a breeze. If you fall even once, it’s a very tough hill to climb.
SAGAIA MASTER SYSTEM – THE BUDGET DARIUS
In an odd turn of events, a version of SAGAIA was released for the Sega Master System. For those unfamiliar, the Master System is basically the equivalent of the NES. This game exists because the 8-bit market was still going strong in Europe when it released.
As impressive as it might be to have SAGAIA on an 8-bit console, we have to consider that it had to be downgraded from an already downgraded version. If it sounds rough, it is because the game itself is extremely rough. The framerate is lower, the sprites flicker on screen and the game lags when there are too many sprites on screen.
I found it next to impossible to play this game for long periods of time. It really is hard to justify playing the lesser version when I have better alternatives in this same collection.
DARIUS TWIN
Darius Twin was the first Darius to actually be made for consoles. It isn’t an arcade port or a game adapted from a multiple screen format into a single screen. Darius Twin is a completely original entry, and as such it takes full advantage of the console format for the better!
Out of the box I have to say this: Darius Twin is easily my favorite game on this entire collection. The biggest reason is that this feels like a game that doesn’t try to be a coin sink. Instead, it plays around with the concept of a single credit and balances the game around it. The result is a shmup that feels much more fast paced, but never overwhelming and certainly not one where it’s impossible to repair from death.
In terms of mechanics, it is by all means a Darius game in its fundamentals. Pilot the Silver Hawk through branching paths, collect red/green/blue upgrades and beat the fishes. One distinct difference is that you do not lose your power level on death. Although it doesn’t sound like much, I do believe this is the one difference that greatly improves the experience.
Previous Darius games have felt, to varying degrees, as games that should be played without getting hit or else risk not being able to recover. Since Darius Twin doesn’t have this hindrance, you are always in your best shape and it helps keep the fun going. You do have to be careful, as you respawn without arm, but other than that it’s never a lost cause.
SNES AND SUPER FAMICON
Darius Twin comes in 2 different versions: One for the SNES and the other for the Super Famicon. Unlike other entries, the versions are for the most part the same. The difference is that the SNES version has localization. It also features stereo sound, whereas the SFC version had mono. Although it is nice to have the SFC version, in reality you probably want to play the SNES version all the time. Unless, of course, you want humanity to create weapons made from the bones of its kill instead of wood and rocks.
One of the most surprising aspects about Darius Twin is the sound. I’m unapologetically a SNES fan, so when I heard the game’s OST and sound effects, I felt a wave of nostalgia. The tracks and sounds are very SNES-ish and it is a style that I’m very fond of.
I really encourage everyone to go hard on this game. I really enjoyed it and I think you might share my love if you give it a go! It offers a perfect blend of action and challenge which pushes you to your limits, but is never unfair. As an extra bonus, it features several different endings depending on how many lives you lost, with the best ending being unlocked on a true no death run. Also, once you max your wind slash, don’t pickup the weapon swap.
DARIUS FORCE/ SUPER NOVA
Super Nova is a special game for me. It is the one game I remember seeing on the video store and renting thanks to the cool box art. The first stage is a memory I can vividly remember. The first enemy waves, the trilobyte miniboss, the boss theme and even his name: Biohazard.
As a side note, to this day I don’t really know who is the boss on the Super Nova box art. Judging by how long it is, it might be Peace Destroyer, but I’m not really sure.
Darius Force was released after Darius Twin. It certainly has console gaming in mind, but it draws several gameplay elements from arcade Darius. Sadly, they brought my least favorite: the checkpoint system. Dying in Darius Force has to be one of the most disappointing experiences. Upon death, the screen blacks out and you are taken back to the last checkpoint you crossed. Your beam and bombs are reset to level one, although you keep your arm upgrade levels.
It’s also the first game to feature bosses other than marine organisms. Expect to see prehistoric creatures and dinosaurs.
To counter balance the checkpoint system, Darius Force is much more generous on the power-ups. After returning to a checkpoint, you are always treated to a beam and arm power-up. A level 2 beam is quite a downgrade, but at least you get an arm to claw your way back into the game.
A TRIBUTE TO THE CLASSICS
One of the new features of Darius Force is the ability to choose your ship. At the beginning, you are given a choice of 3 different models of the Silver Hawk. The green Hawk is based on Darius I and has the wave upgrade path. The blue Hawk is based on Darius II with the napalm beam. Finally, the red Hawk is an original ship.
Another change is the fact that beam and bombs upgrade together. There are 8 different upgrade levels, with your main beam switching fire type until its final form. Collecting a red power-up will upgrade both of them 1 level. As mentioned before, dying will set you back to level 1, so it becomes crucial to stay alive once you reach level 8. A neat change is that, for the first time, you can switch your bomb type between bomb and laser. Bombs will deal more damage, while laser will go through weak enemies.
The merger of beam and bombs also has a neat strategic implication. For one, you can no longer freely shoot your beam in tandem with your bombs. If you attempt to press both buttons at once, you will fire a downgraded version of both the beam and bombs. This means you need to be more mindful of whether you want the power of your beam or the power of your bombs.
INTENTIONAL WEAKNESS
Luckily, downgrading your weapons might actually be a desirable outcome. For me, the middle levels of the green Hawk were too awkward to use, as they were piercing lasers. By pressing both buttons, I was able to revert to the trusty spread shot until my level was high enough to bypass the beam in favor of the wave shot. If you think about it, the laser is a lot like puberty. No one really likes puberty, but it is an important transition phase we can totally avoid by firing and bombing.
Darius Force includes an extra boss rush mode that was previously accessible with a special code. Rather than needing complicated button inputs, the boss rush mode can be directly accessed when choosing Darius Force from the main menu (not available for Super Nova). It is also one of the few modes which have been blessed replays and leaderboards.
DARIUS PLUS/ DARIUS ALPHA
Finally rounding up the collection are the PC titles. You can think of them as parallel universe versions of the main game.
Darius Plus is a “lite” version of Super Darius, which itself is a souped up version of the original Darius. So you can think of it as just a port of Darius on a single screen format.
As a port of Darius, it has all the levels you are familiar with, while boasting 16 different bosses. The rest of the gameplay is straight up Darius, with the notable exception being that the action is reduced to a single screen instead of having 3.
In terms of where I stand on Darius Plus as a game, I gotta say it is fun but a straight up worse version. The game doesn’t look as clean as the arcade version and the sound is also worse. I also feel like the levels are longer, or perhaps it’s just the screen reduction making levels seem longer than they should be. One thing for sure, is that the gameplay feels dragged on to the point of feeling boring at times. There are sequences that felt like they repeat endlessly until you reached the end of the stage.
The one thing it’s got going over the its original arcade counter part is the 1cc gameplay. Rather than being able to pump credits endlessly, Darius Plus plays on a single credit and is balanced around that as a result. One particular change that makes me happy is that you don’t return to a checkpoint upon dying.
This game exists to remind me how much I hate the laser on the original Darius.
DARIUS ALPHA: THE BOSS RUSH: THE GAME
Finally we have Darius Alpha, the compilation of the extra modes. Instead of being an actual game, Darius Alpha is a boss rush against the 16 bosses. Just like Plus, you have a single credit to beat the whole game. Power-ups are automatically acquired in between boss rounds, but the same restrictions as the main game applies. This means that you will lose your power level if you die, up until your latest upgrade.
The selling point of Alpha in this collection is that it has most of the ranking modes for the collection. The extra modes are the following:
LAST WORDS
Out of the gate, I have to say that this is the worse of the 2 collections. The arcade collection has the Darius games in its pure arcade form. Games which stand strong even to this day when it comes to quality. M2 took these games and made them even better with their porting expertise and several love letters to the games. The console collection not only contains downgraded versions, but also lacks some of the finer details that made them great in the first place.
Despite having more games, Darius II/SAGAIA and Darius Plus are basically downgrades of Darius II and Darius I respectively. This leaves us with Darius Twin and Darius Force to carry the collection, and they actually do! Darius Force might not be as fantastic as I remember, it certainly feels slower than I remember, but I did constantly revisit it while creating this piece because it is a very enjoyable game. Darius Twin was the great surprise, as I find it to be my absolute favorite in this collection, and a strong contender to Darius Gaiden in my opinion.
With all that being said, I consider the contents of this collection to be very good, but with a very notable flaw: the price. At $59.99, this collection is a very tough sell. I can’t in good faith recommend it highly, as the same amount of money can purchase several highly rated titles in this list. In fact, it could even get you the arcade collection and the #1 shmup Ikaruga. Still, the quality of the collection is something I can’t deny, so I’ll be weighting that much more than the price in its final ranking.
THE RANKING SO FAR:
  1. Ikaruga
  2. Psyvariar Delta
  3. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
  4. Devil Engine
  5. Rolling Gunner
  6. Blazing Star
  7. Jamestown+
  8. Darius Cozmic Collection Console
  9. Tengai
  10. Steredenn: Binary Stars
  11. Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  12. Sky Force: Reloaded
  13. Strikers 1945
  14. Black Paradox
  15. R-Type Dimensions EX
  16. Sine Mora EX
  17. Shikhondo – Soul Eater
  18. Ghost Blade HD
  19. AngerForce: Reloaded
  20. Aero Fighters 2 (ACA Neogeo)
  21. Q-YO Blaster
  22. Lightening Force: Quest for the darkstar (Sega Ages)
  23. Pawarumi
  24. Red Death
  25. Task Force Kampas
  26. Switch ‘N’ Shoot
  27. Last Resort (ACA Neogeo)
submitted by AzorMX to shmups [link] [comments]

RESULTS of the State of the Game Survey: September 2020

Hi all,

It’s time for the results!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond - we had over 1,750 responses, which is great! These insights wouldn’t be possible without your time and support.

As always, neither myself nor this survey are associated with Intelligent Systems or Nintendo in any way. Please direct feedback about the game itself to the official channels.

Now let’s get into it!
 
Previous Survey Results:
April_2020_State_of_the_Game_Survey

~ Demographics ~

53.8% began playing FE:H in February 2017, with 20.0% more joining during the first year of the game. 12.0% of respondents joined during the second year, 8.7% joined during the third, and 4.0% joined during the fourth year (the last ~7 months).

The age range breakdown of respondents is as follows:

75.8% of respondents identified as Male, 18.4% as Female, and 3.0% as Non-binary.

24.6% of respondents have never missed a daily login, while a further 38.8% have missed less than a month’s worth of logins, 11.7% missed 1-2 months, 9.9% missed 3-6 months, 5.8% missed 7-12 months, and 4.7% missed over a year’s worth.

33.5% report being F2P, while 28.7% have spent less than $100, 18.3% spent between $100 - $499, 7.3% spent between $500 - $999, and 8.7% have spent over $1000.

46.6% last spent money on FE:H during the fourth year of the game (the last 3 months), while 6.6% last spent money during the third year of the game, 5.8% last spent during the second year of the game, and 5.1% last spent money during the first year of the game.

~ Summoning ~

“Which of the following banners have you used orbs on at least once?”
  • (86.8%) A New Future (CYL 4)
  • (60.2%) Overseas Memories (3H Summer)
  • (59.8%) Dark Burdens (Fallen Heroes)
  • (57.9%) Legendary Heroes: Edelgard
  • (55.2%) Legendary Heroes: Corrin
  • (53.1%) Book IV Mid: Mirabilis and More
  • (52.9%) Hero Fest
  • (52.2%) Pirate’s Pride
  • (44.5%) Mythic Heroes: Hel
  • (44.2%) Mythic Heroes: Mila
  • (43.7%) Bridal Beloveds
  • (39.6%) Summer Passing (Sacred Stones Summer (mostly))
  • (37.5%) Legendary Heroes: Seliph
  • (31.1%) Light and Shadow (New Mystery)

“Which of the following banners did you use the most orbs on?”
  • (44.8%) A New Future (CYL 4)
  • (8.6%) Overseas Memories (3H Summer)
  • (5.9%) Legendary Heroes: Corrin
  • (5.8%) Dark Burdens (Fallen Heroes)
  • (5.5%) Pirate’s Pride
  • (4.9%) Legendary Heroes: Edelgard
  • (4.5%) Hero Fest
  • (3.5%) Mythic Heroes: Hel
  • (3.0%) Bridal Beloveds
  • (2.8%) Book IV Mid: Mirabilis and More
  • (2.5%) Summer Passing (Sacred Stones Summer (mostly))
  • (2.5%) Legendary Heroes: Seliph
  • (2.3%) Mythic Heroes: Mila
  • (1.7%) Light and Shadow (New Mystery)

“What was your favorite banner?”
  • (37.4%) A New Future (CYL 4)
  • (10.9%) Dark Burdens (Fallen Heroes)
  • (8.9%) Pirate’s Pride
  • (8.5%) Overseas Memories (3H Summer)
  • (5.7%) Hero Fest
  • (5.4%) Legendary Heroes: Corrin
  • (3.3%) Legendary Heroes: Edelgard
  • (2.9%) Legendary Heroes: Seliph
  • (2.6%) Book IV Mid: Mirabilis and More
  • (2.6%) Bridal Beloveds
  • (2.5%) Summer Passing (Sacred Stones Summer (mostly))
  • (2.3%) Light and Shadow (New Mystery)
  • (1.5%) Mythic Heroes: Hel
  • (1.4%) Mythic Heroes: Mila

“Did you spend money specifically to summon on any of the banners below?”
  • (17.6%) A New Future (CYL 4)
  • (10.3%) Overseas Memories (3H Summer)
  • (8.9%) Legendary Heroes: Corrin
  • (6.8%) Dark Burdens (Fallen Heroes)
  • (6.6%) Pirate’s Pride
  • (6.5%) Legendary Heroes: Edelgard
  • (5.8%) Hero Fest
  • (5.1%) Bridal Beloveds
  • (4.9%) Mythic Heroes: Hel
  • (4.8%) Book IV Mid: Mirabilis and More
  • (4.8%) Mythic Heroes: Mila
  • (4.8%) Summer Passing (Sacred Stones Summer (mostly))
  • (3.4%) Light and Shadow (New Mystery)
  • (3.3%) Legendary Heroes: Seliph

~ Summoning Mechanics ~

33.7% spent orbs on the Hero Fest banner AFTER Intelligent Systems announced how they would be compensating players for the Hero Fest banner glitch, compared to 61.7% who did not.

30.5% say that knowing about the compensation for the Hero Fest banner glitch caused them to spend more orbs on the banner than they would have otherwise, compared to 41.5% who say it did not. 28.0% did not spend orbs on the Hero Fest banner.

34.3% feel positively or very positively about the quality of 4* focuses on regular banners, compared to 26.9% who feel negatively or very negatively.

69.7% feel positively or very positively about the quality of 4* focuses on seasonal banners, compared to 7.8% who feel negatively or very negatively.

53.8% report that the system guaranteeing a free 5* after 40 summons generally makes them summon more, while 5.4% report that it generally makes them summon less and 36.1% report no change in their summoning habits on New Heroes banners.

“If all New Heroes Banners used the permanent 40-summons-for-a-guaranteed-5* system that CYL4 used, how would your orb-spending habits on New Heroes banners change?”
  • (1.8%) I would spend fewer orbs than I did before
  • (22.3%) I would spend the same amount of orbs I usually do
  • (10.3%) I would spend more orbs than I did before
  • (62.2%) My spending would depend more on the Heroes offered

~ Choose Your Legends IV ~

“Which CYL4 Brave Heroes have you summoned, whether from the guaranteed choice banner or the regular banner?”
  • (78.0%) Dimitri
  • (73.4%) Claude
  • (65.7%) Edelgard
  • (56.6%) Lysithea

Of the summoning milestones on the CYL4 banner:
  • (20.2%) did not reach any of these summoning milestones
  • (79.7%) reached 40 summons
  • (41.0%) reached 80 summons
  • (19.8%) reached 120 summons
  • (11.1%) reached 160 summons

45.7% say that the free 5* hero at 40, 80, 120 and 160 summons caused them to spend more on CYL4 than they would have otherwise, while 50.3% say it did not.

22.8% say that the potential use of a new Brave Hero in future F2P Guides for content such as Hero Battles influenced their Brave Heroes summons, compared to 74.0% who say it did not.

“If you could only get ONE of the new Brave Heroes, which one would you choose?”
  • (36.8%) Dimitri
  • (28.9%) Edelgard
  • (22.9%) Claude
  • (7.8%) Lysithea

“Which Brave Hero do you believe is the overall strongest?”
  • (60.7%) Edelgard
  • (21.9%) Dimitri
  • (7.9%) Claude
  • (1.2%) Lysithea

“Which Brave Hero do you believe is the overall weakest?”
  • (61.2%) Lysithea
  • (13.7%) Claude
  • (7.0%) Dimitri
  • (1.7%) Edelgard

“Which Brave Hero do you believe has the best art?”
  • (32.9%) Claude
  • (27.3%) Dimitri
  • (20.1%) Lysithea
  • (13.3%) Edelgard

“Which set of Brave Heroes is your favorite overall?”
  • (24.2%) 1st CYL (Ike, Lucina, Lyn, Roy)
  • (19.4%) 2nd CYL (Ephraim, Celica, Hector, Veronica)
  • (11.2%) 3rd CYL (Alm, Camilla, Eliwood, Micaiah)
  • (39.9%) 4th CYL (Claude, Dimitri, Edelgard, Lysithea)

23.6% feel positively or very positively about the addition of Jorge as the CYL4 GHB hero, compared to 33.0% who feel negatively or very negatively.

86.3% believe CYL5 should add further protections against vote botting, compared to 4.4% who do not.

70.1% believe CYL5 should require Nintendo Account sign-in to vote, compared to 12.6% who do not.

~ Feh Pass and Resplendent Heroes ~

41.2% feel negatively about the addition of the Feh Pass (down 15.8% from the last survey), compared to 11.6% who feel positively (up 1.5% from the last survey). 46.1% are neutral (up 14.3% from the last survey).

40.2% have purchased the Feh Pass, compared to 59.8% who have not. This is a 9.5% increase compared to the last survey, following a 6.7% increase before that.

Of those who have subscribed to Feh Pass, 17.4% have purchased Resplendent Heroes separately (up 12.9% from the last survey), compared to 82.6% who have not.

“Which Resplendent Hero has your favorite art?”
  • (13.4%) Cordelia
  • (12.8%) Eliwood
  • (8.7%) Eirika
  • (8.4%) Olwen
  • (7.5%) Sophia
  • (7.3%) Minerva
  • (6.0%) Azura
  • (5.7%) Lyn
  • (5.2%) Ike
  • (4.1%) Sanaki
  • (4.0%) Roy
  • (3.7%) M!Robin
  • (2.3%) Hector
  • (1.6%) Linde
  • (1.3%) Alm

“Which Resplendent outfit theme is your favorite?”
  • (16.3%) Muspell
  • (15.0%) Askr
  • (14.8%) Nifl
  • (11.5%) Embla
  • (11.5%) Hel
  • (10.3%) Ljosalfheimr

~ Miscellaneous ~

15.8% feel positively about the introduction of Harmonized Heroes, compared to 31.3% who feel negatively.

29.5% have a Harmonized Hero, compared to 70.1% who do not.

14.6% feel positively or very positively about the Resonant Battles game mode, compared to 51.5% who feel negatively or very negatively.

4.6% say that the Resonant Battles game mode influenced them to pull for Harmonized Heroes, compared to 94.5% who say it has not.

34.8% believe the new Arena maps are better than the maps they replaced, while 7.4% believe they are worse, and 36.7% believe they are about the same.

“How often do you use Auto Dispatch in Aether Raids?”
  • (34.3%) All of them, always
  • (0.2%) All of them, in Light Season
  • (3.6%) All of them, in Astra season
  • (24.3%) Only sometimes
  • (37.6%) I never use it

“IV Mango” is the preferred term for Trait Fruit according to 32.2% of respondents, followed by “IVcado” at 28.9%, “Fruit” at 7.6%, and “Dragonfruit” at 6.6%. The remaining 24.7% prefer to just call them Trait Fruit.

39.3% say they will use their first Trait Fruits on a Heroic Grails unit, while 32.9% say they will use them on a Summonable unit, and 1.3% say they will use them on an Askr unit.

58.7% prefer Stat Boosts for Legendary Heroes, compared to 26.3% who prefer Pair-Up.

56.5% generally prefer Regular Duo Heroes, compared to 8.8% who prefer Harmonized Duo Heroes.

1.8% say that the update that raised the minimum hardware/software required to play the game affected their ability to play FE:H, compared to 95.8% who say it did not.

~ Recurring Miscellaneous ~

“Which game do you want a New Heroes banner from the most?”
  • (26.0%) Three Houses (-1.9%)
  • (9.7%) Radiant Dawn (+0.5%)
  • (7.7%) Sacred Stones (+0.2%)
  • (7.5%) Awakening (-3.1%)
  • (6.4%) Genealogy of the Holy War (-1.3%)
  • (6.1%) Path of Radiance (-0.9%)
  • (6.0%) Gaiden / Shadows of Valentia (+2.7%)
  • (5.9%) TMS #FE (+1.9%)
  • (5.4%) Blazing Blade (+1.3%)
  • (5.0%) Fates (+1.0%)
  • (4.2%) Thracia 776 (+0.8%)
  • (2.4%) Binding Blade (+0.6%)
  • (0.8%) Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light / Shadow Dragon (-1.0%)
  • (0.8%) Mystery of the Emblem / New Mystery of the Emblem (-1.1%)

“How much do you care about your rank in the following modes?”
  • (2.90/5.00 average) Arena
  • (2.82/5.00 average) Aether Raids
  • (2.48/5.00 average) PvE game modes with player ranking boards
  • (1.82/5.00 average) Arena Assault

“How have recent changes to FE:H changed your opinion on the game as a whole?”
  • (39.3%) My opinion was positive and has stayed positive
  • (5.7%) My opinion used to be negative, but has turned positive
  • (40.1%) Neutral
  • (9.9%) My opinion used to be positive, but has turned negative
  • (5.1%) My opinion was negative and has stayed negative

~ Intelligent Systems Approval Ratings ~

The approval ratings are calculated by the proportion of Approve responses compared to the number of both Approve and Disapprove responses.

Percent who approve of the way Intelligent Systems is handling:
  • 74.6% - The addition of new heroes / characters to the game (+11.9)
  • 69.4% - The gacha mechanics and summoning banners (+5.5)
  • 59.2% - The story/plot (+9.4)
  • 85.2% - Unranked PvE game modes (Hero Battles, Forging Bonds, Tactics Drills, Lost Lore, Hall of Forms) (-1.2)
  • 50.7% - Ranked PvE game modes (Voting Gauntlets, Tempest Trials, Grand Conquest, Allegiance Battles, Rokkr Sieges, Mjolnir's Strike) (-2.6)
  • 34.6% - Arena (-6.2)
  • 48.0% - Arena Assault (+6.7)
  • 45.8% - Aether Raids (+12.7)

40.5% believe Intelligent Systems cares about its Free to Play userbase (up 10.1% from the last survey), while 34.7% do not. This continues the upward trend from the previous survey, bringing us to 8.8% down from where we were before the February drop).

42.9% approve of the way Intelligent Systems is handling Fire Emblem: Heroes as a whole (up 14.8% from the last survey), while 16.9% disapprove. This continues the upward trend from the previous survey, bringing us to only 2.5% down from where we were before the February drop).

A NOTE ABOUT METHODOLOGY: The overall approval ratings question above has traditionally been the exact percent of Approve responses, as a proportion with both Neutral and Disapprove responses. Note that this is different than the way approval is calculated for individual modes (the proportion of Approve responses compared to the number of both Approve and Disapprove responses), where Neutral responses are excluded. The difference in calculation has continued this way in order to maintain comparability with previous survey results.
For comparisons sake, the overall approval rating trend going by raw Approval percentage over the last 4 surveys is: 50.6% (Dec) -> 22.9% (Feb) -> 28.1% (Apr) -> 42.9% (Sept)
Whereas the overall approval rating trend going by proportion of Approve/Disapprove with the Neutrals excluded over the last 4 surveys is: 82.2% (Dec) -> 41.0% (Feb) -> 51.3% (Apr) -> 71.7% (Sept).

~ Bonus Questions ~

“Who is your Favorite Hero added since the last survey?”
  • Dimitri (Brave) is the winner, followed by Edelgard (Brave), then Claude (Brave).
  • Full results here: [Graph]

“Who is your Most Wanted Hero added since the last survey?”
  • Tibarn (Pirate) is the winner, followed by Corrin (F, Legendary), then Micaiah (Duo, Bridal).
  • Full results here: [Graph].

“What would be the best Harmonized Hero (a pair of two heroes from different games) and why?”:

Rather than selecting a subset of responses this time, the link below is to a google sheet of almost all unique responses. I cleaned it up a little bit to remove “idk” type answers, duplicates, and partial string duplicates, so don’t worry if you don’t see your exact response in it.

[Full Responses].

~ Feedback ~

As always, I received lots of great feedback, both in your survey responses and in the thread itself. A heartfelt thank you to all participants for your encouragements and criticisms - these surveys wouldn’t be where they are without your feedback. But it’s not all serious; feedback messages also included:

  • #FloofMomGang #GiveLeoAGoodFuckingAltForOnce #NowiRefineWhen #TelliusNewHeroesPlz #ElinciaResplendentWhen #JusticeForDedue #PleaseRemoveLChromInstysIAmBeggingYouICantLiveLikeThisAnymore
  • “There once was a CYL4 banner / That hit my orbs hard like a hammer / The very next day / FloomMom Duo came our way / Now I'm stuck bartering with a loan planner”
  • bonk, go to survey jail”
  • “Am I also allowed to put in "Norne and Azura" for a Harmonized Hero pair? No reason.”
  • “Brace yourself. Winter (armours) are coming!” “Brave Hector's refine has made me so very happy with it's inclusion. Go shove your bow up your butt Legendary Chrom.”
  • “Give me villager alts or give me death”
  • “I expect the next survey to come with +12 to attack, null follow up, and special cooldown reduction.”
  • “The true best Harmonized Hero would be Azura and Roy since it would make me uninstall the game and never want to play a gacha ever again”
  • “My headcanon for the dream storyline is that the evil fairies have the Summoner off picking up pebbles that look like orbs. Fredrickson would be proud.”
  • “Where's the most wanted unit to add to the game question so I can shout my want for Seteth into the void?”
  • “I no longer dab, for Legendary Seliph has finally appeared.”
  • And greetings from Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, Vietnam, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Toronto, and St. Louis, as well as from many fictional locations!
And some personal/meta comments:
  • “Any chance we end up seeing another Super Serious Survey in the not-so-distant future?” -> I could not believe it’s been over a year since the last one! We’ll have to do one soon!
  • “Feels like the end of an era, not having to count all my five stars” -> I know, right? I may have it return in a side survey for the most hardcore of respondents at some point, since some people are asking about it and it would be good to get data on it every once in a while.
  • “I was looking through your Nornes skills and saw you haven't given her live for bounty yet! It's the best skill for her, what are you doing!?” -> I am a fraud :( I have given her Live for Honor though :P
  • “What do you hope for in FEH?” -> Norne alt, Resplendent Jaffar, and Shamir
  • Multiple people mentioned that they had returned after a long break and were surprised to see Norne instead of Azura! Welcome back!
  • I also missed a bunch of other possible Trait Fruit nicknames, which I knew would inevitably happen. Sorry!

Note: Please don’t ask me to feature your feedback comment; it’s the only guaranteed way to not have your comment added!

Finally, the suggestion to have separate options for serious vs non-serious feedback was a good idea, I’ll try that out on the next survey!

~ Closing Remarks ~

If you missed out on responding to this survey when it was available, consider subscribing to FEHSurveys. This subreddit serves as a place to organize FE:H-related surveys, make new releases more visible, and make it easier for users to see when surveys are active.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! I hope you find the results interesting, and if there’s anything else you think can be discovered from the data, let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige!
 
 
Weekly/Important Megathreads:
Weekly Discussion Megathread
Tempest Trials+: Dancing Affinity Megathread
Forging Bonds: Beyond Blood Rebout Megathread
Limited Hero Battles Megathread
submitted by ShiningSolarSword to FireEmblemHeroes [link] [comments]

[Review] Ranking all the Switch shmups Ep27 – Darius Cozmic Collection Console

This is it. We have finally managed to reach the shmup that started it all. The one shmup I played before any other and which inspired me to devote my time to the genre. It isn’t the best Darius game by any means, but it is certainly the one closest to my heart. We are finally reviewing Super Nova!
Ok, maybe we’re not just reviewing Super Nova. We are going to be taking a look at the entire Console Cozmic Collection and seeing how it stacks up against the Arcade Collection. They say console ports are usually downgraded versions, but will it also be the case here?
Publisher: ININ Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: Jun 16, 2020
Price: $59.99
Tate: Please don’t use your flip grip on this one
The Darius Cozmic Collection Console is a compilation of Darius games released on consoles. This port was also developed by the brilliant M2. You can definitely set your expectations on high, because this collections is as high quality as the arcade collection, albeit with some notably absent features.
The titles included in this collection are:
THE BESTEST PORTS ARE M2 PORTS
If you read my review for the Arcade Collection, then you know what to expect from this collection. Each of the 9 included games feature a wonderful wrapping of quality of life enhancements as well as customization options.
Each title can be accessed from a main menu that features a museum style listing for each game. When highlight a game, you will be presented with an image of the title screen and a brief description of the game on its right. I found the descriptions extremely helpful when deciding which game to play. Having several versions of the same game is great for collection purposes, but the descriptions provided some much needed guidance.
While in-game, you can pull a special menu at any point by pressing ZR or ZL. This menu lets you customize several aspects of a game, such as the controls and the visuals. Just as the arcade collection, you can set your controllers to map buttons to be fire+bomb and even adjust the rapid fire setting. The visuals have less options, but staples such as the display type and scanlines are available. The “other” tab is quite lacking, as it only has the volume setting.
It wouldn’t be much emulation without some save states! Each game has a quick save option which lets you save your current state in one of 12 different slots. The saving and loading process is very smooth, and it doesn’t take any time at all to load any given state. Unlike the arcade collection, there are no ranking penalties for using save states. Rather than being a good thing, it mostly relates to a lack of rankings, but more on that later.
THE MISSING FEATURES
Whereas the arcade collection felt like a love letter to the arcade culture, the console collection lacks a lot of the charm. It’s in part understandable due the nature of consoles not being as flashy as arcades. I don’t mean to say that the work in this collection is lacking in comparison, it’s just that in general arcades had much more going on.
One of my highlights in the arcade collection was my introduction to Darius I with controller vibration in sync to the music. Sound and vibration fanfares were not available on console because there is no such thing as coin operated credits. As a result, rumble is completely absent in this collection.
All of the gadgets are missing from this edition as well. Rather than getting the art of the arcade panels or useful information, all the console collection gets is a background. When looking at both collections side by side, the console collection like extremely empty, as you only have the game screen and nothing else. The only exception is Darius Alpha, which has a boss gadget on the right side of the screen.
THE LONG LOST GAME CHANGERS
To the detriment of gameplay, some of the more useful gadgets won’t be making a return. Losing the boss analyzer and life gauges is rough, but pales in comparison to losing your arm counter. Other than relying on in-game visuals, you no longer have additional graphics showing arm strength, weapon strength or even bonus score counters.
Another addition I was really fond of was the map/zone overview on the pause screen. Most of the games show the route progression in-game (except for Darius Plus). What is lost is the ability to see the map at any time by pressing ZZL, and even worse is losing the information related to a zone. I really enjoyed knowing how many power-ups were present in a given stage, but I absolutely loved knowing which bosses would appear on which route. My routing decisions have 100% been influenced by fighting cool fishes.
To make matters worse, the replay system has been completely revamped. You can no longer save replays of your playthroughs in most of the main games. Instead, replays are reserved only for the special modes of Darius Alpha, the boss rush of Darius Force and the boss rush of Darius II. While this means there’s still a way to relive some of your greatest moments, it is limited to some modes which pale in comparison to the actual games. Oh yeah, the leaderboards are also limited to the special modes as well.
But enough about the collection, let’s get to the games.
DARIUS II/SAGAIA
Darius II and SAGAIA are ports of the original arcade game into the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis. As with arcade ports, the game had to undergo some changes in order to be playable on consoles. Sprites were redrawn to be smaller, gameplay was adapted to a single screen and co-op had to be removed. Still, it manages to fit the entire Darius II in both versions, as opposed to arcade SAGAIA which was a reduced version.
Just to clarify, Darius II and SAGAIA are the same game. The difference in naming comes from localizing the game to North America.
I’ll be honest, out of all the games in the collection, this was the one I played the least. I don’t mean to say the game isn’t good. My reduced play time comes from the fact that I already played A LOT of Darius II for the arcade collection, so for an in-depth overview I recommend checking out the Arcade Collection review.
However, I did get a couple of full playthroughs and I gotta say that it does a great job at capturing the original game’s essence! Gameplay is essencially untouched, so expect to go through the same all-or-nothing upgrade system, branching paths with Darius II bosses and some wacky endings! One of my thoughts that I have to rehash is that the game is either a cakewalk or extremely brutal depending on your upgrade level. If you keep it maxed, then the game is a breeze. If you fall even once, it’s a very tough hill to climb.
SAGAIA MASTER SYSTEM – THE BUDGET DARIUS
In an odd turn of events, a version of SAGAIA was released for the Sega Master System. For those unfamiliar, the Master System is basically the equivalent of the NES. This game exists because the 8-bit market was still going strong in Europe when it released.
As impressive as it might be to have SAGAIA on an 8-bit console, we have to consider that it had to be downgraded from an already downgraded version. If it sounds rough, it is because the game itself is extremely rough. The framerate is lower, the sprites flicker on screen and the game lags when there are too many sprites on screen.
I found it next to impossible to play this game for long periods of time. It really is hard to justify playing the lesser version when I have better alternatives in this same collection.
DARIUS TWIN
Darius Twin was the first Darius to actually be made for consoles. It isn’t an arcade port or a game adapted from a multiple screen format into a single screen. Darius Twin is a completely original entry, and as such it takes full advantage of the console format for the better!
Out of the box I have to say this: Darius Twin is easily my favorite game on this entire collection. The biggest reason is that this feels like a game that doesn’t try to be a coin sink. Instead, it plays around with the concept of a single credit and balances the game around it. The result is a shmup that feels much more fast paced, but never overwhelming and certainly not one where it’s impossible to repair from death.
In terms of mechanics, it is by all means a Darius game in its fundamentals. Pilot the Silver Hawk through branching paths, collect red/green/blue upgrades and beat the fishes. One distinct difference is that you do not lose your power level on death. Although it doesn’t sound like much, I do believe this is the one difference that greatly improves the experience.
Previous Darius games have felt, to varying degrees, as games that should be played without getting hit or else risk not being able to recover. Since Darius Twin doesn’t have this hindrance, you are always in your best shape and it helps keep the fun going. You do have to be careful, as you respawn without arm, but other than that it’s never a lost cause.
SNES AND SUPER FAMICON
Darius Twin comes in 2 different versions: One for the SNES and the other for the Super Famicon. Unlike other entries, the versions are for the most part the same. The difference is that the SNES version has localization. It also features stereo sound, whereas the SFC version had mono. Although it is nice to have the SFC version, in reality you probably want to play the SNES version all the time. Unless, of course, you want humanity to create weapons made from the bones of its kill instead of wood and rocks.
One of the most surprising aspects about Darius Twin is the sound. I’m unapologetically a SNES fan, so when I heard the game’s OST and sound effects, I felt a wave of nostalgia. The tracks and sounds are very SNES-ish and it is a style that I’m very fond of.
I really encourage everyone to go hard on this game. I really enjoyed it and I think you might share my love if you give it a go! It offers a perfect blend of action and challenge which pushes you to your limits, but is never unfair. As an extra bonus, it features several different endings depending on how many lives you lost, with the best ending being unlocked on a true no death run. Also, once you max your wind slash, don’t pickup the weapon swap.
DARIUS FORCE/ SUPER NOVA
Super Nova is a special game for me. It is the one game I remember seeing on the video store and renting thanks to the cool box art. The first stage is a memory I can vividly remember. The first enemy waves, the trilobyte miniboss, the boss theme and even his name: Biohazard.
As a side note, to this day I don’t really know who is the boss on the Super Nova box art. Judging by how long it is, it might be Peace Destroyer, but I’m not really sure.
Darius Force was released after Darius Twin. It certainly has console gaming in mind, but it draws several gameplay elements from arcade Darius. Sadly, they brought my least favorite: the checkpoint system. Dying in Darius Force has to be one of the most disappointing experiences. Upon death, the screen blacks out and you are taken back to the last checkpoint you crossed. Your beam and bombs are reset to level one, although you keep your arm upgrade levels.
It’s also the first game to feature bosses other than marine organisms. Expect to see prehistoric creatures and dinosaurs.
To counter balance the checkpoint system, Darius Force is much more generous on the power-ups. After returning to a checkpoint, you are always treated to a beam and arm power-up. A level 2 beam is quite a downgrade, but at least you get an arm to claw your way back into the game.
A TRIBUTE TO THE CLASSICS
One of the new features of Darius Force is the ability to choose your ship. At the beginning, you are given a choice of 3 different models of the Silver Hawk. The green Hawk is based on Darius I and has the wave upgrade path. The blue Hawk is based on Darius II with the napalm beam. Finally, the red Hawk is an original ship.
Another change is the fact that beam and bombs upgrade together. There are 8 different upgrade levels, with your main beam switching fire type until its final form. Collecting a red power-up will upgrade both of them 1 level. As mentioned before, dying will set you back to level 1, so it becomes crucial to stay alive once you reach level 8. A neat change is that, for the first time, you can switch your bomb type between bomb and laser. Bombs will deal more damage, while laser will go through weak enemies.
The merger of beam and bombs also has a neat strategic implication. For one, you can no longer freely shoot your beam in tandem with your bombs. If you attempt to press both buttons at once, you will fire a downgraded version of both the beam and bombs. This means you need to be more mindful of whether you want the power of your beam or the power of your bombs.
INTENTIONAL WEAKNESS
Luckily, downgrading your weapons might actually be a desirable outcome. For me, the middle levels of the green Hawk were too awkward to use, as they were piercing lasers. By pressing both buttons, I was able to revert to the trusty spread shot until my level was high enough to bypass the beam in favor of the wave shot. If you think about it, the laser is a lot like puberty. No one really likes puberty, but it is an important transition phase we can totally avoid by firing and bombing.
Darius Force includes an extra boss rush mode that was previously accessible with a special code. Rather than needing complicated button inputs, the boss rush mode can be directly accessed when choosing Darius Force from the main menu (not available for Super Nova). It is also one of the few modes which have been blessed replays and leaderboards.
DARIUS PLUS/ DARIUS ALPHA
Finally rounding up the collection are the PC titles. You can think of them as parallel universe versions of the main game.
Darius Plus is a “lite” version of Super Darius, which itself is a souped up version of the original Darius. So you can think of it as just a port of Darius on a single screen format.
As a port of Darius, it has all the levels you are familiar with, while boasting 16 different bosses. The rest of the gameplay is straight up Darius, with the notable exception being that the action is reduced to a single screen instead of having 3.
In terms of where I stand on Darius Plus as a game, I gotta say it is fun but a straight up worse version. The game doesn’t look as clean as the arcade version and the sound is also worse. I also feel like the levels are longer, or perhaps it’s just the screen reduction making levels seem longer than they should be. One thing for sure, is that the gameplay feels dragged on to the point of feeling boring at times. There are sequences that felt like they repeat endlessly until you reached the end of the stage.
The one thing it’s got going over the its original arcade counter part is the 1cc gameplay. Rather than being able to pump credits endlessly, Darius Plus plays on a single credit and is balanced around that as a result. One particular change that makes me happy is that you don’t return to a checkpoint upon dying.
This game exists to remind me how much I hate the laser on the original Darius.
DARIUS ALPHA: THE BOSS RUSH: THE GAME
Finally we have Darius Alpha, the compilation of the extra modes. Instead of being an actual game, Darius Alpha is a boss rush against the 16 bosses. Just like Plus, you have a single credit to beat the whole game. Power-ups are automatically acquired in between boss rounds, but the same restrictions as the main game applies. This means that you will lose your power level if you die, up until your latest upgrade.
The selling point of Alpha in this collection is that it has most of the ranking modes for the collection. The extra modes are the following:
LAST WORDS
Out of the gate, I have to say that this is the worse of the 2 collections. The arcade collection has the Darius games in its pure arcade form. Games which stand strong even to this day when it comes to quality. M2 took these games and made them even better with their porting expertise and several love letters to the games. The console collection not only contains downgraded versions, but also lacks some of the finer details that made them great in the first place.
Despite having more games, Darius II/SAGAIA and Darius Plus are basically downgrades of Darius II and Darius I respectively. This leaves us with Darius Twin and Darius Force to carry the collection, and they actually do! Darius Force might not be as fantastic as I remember, it certainly feels slower than I remember, but I did constantly revisit it while creating this piece because it is a very enjoyable game. Darius Twin was the great surprise, as I find it to be my absolute favorite in this collection, and a strong contender to Darius Gaiden in my opinion.
With all that being said, I consider the contents of this collection to be very good, but with a very notable flaw: the price. At $59.99, this collection is a very tough sell. I can’t in good faith recommend it highly, as the same amount of money can purchase several highly rated titles in this list. In fact, it could even get you the arcade collection and the #1 shmup Ikaruga. Still, the quality of the collection is something I can’t deny, so I’ll be weighting that much more than the price in its final ranking.
THE RANKING SO FAR:
  1. Ikaruga
  2. Psyvariar Delta
  3. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
  4. Devil Engine
  5. Rolling Gunner
  6. Blazing Star
  7. Jamestown+
  8. Darius Cozmic Collection Console
  9. Tengai
  10. Steredenn: Binary Stars
  11. Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  12. Sky Force: Reloaded
  13. Strikers 1945
  14. Black Paradox
  15. R-Type Dimensions EX
  16. Sine Mora EX
  17. Shikhondo – Soul Eater
  18. Ghost Blade HD
  19. AngerForce: Reloaded
  20. Aero Fighters 2 (ACA Neogeo)
  21. Q-YO Blaster
  22. Lightening Force: Quest for the darkstar (Sega Ages)
  23. Pawarumi
  24. Red Death
  25. Task Force Kampas
  26. Switch ‘N’ Shoot
  27. Last Resort (ACA Neogeo)
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