Ch 10. Arithmetic Average Options and Asian Opitons

efficiency costs of purchase vs awakenings ideal ranks and their use in winning tournaments

efficiency costs of purchase vs awakenings ideal ranks and their use in winning tournaments

https://preview.redd.it/govc8j6lwaw41.jpg?width=720&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b53ae8c35f697ea53d6d292ec05f434f29578784
blue = gem cost of initial purchase of a hero at that starting rank, vs. red = gem cost of the awakenings needed to get them to R6 (800*each rank) - together being 100% of their total cost. The "box"-looking effect is the proportion that each rank takes up irt its' relative cost - e.g., the blue boxes are always larger b/c they offer less efficiency at 1500/rank instead of the 800/rank for each awakening; and they are different sizes b/c the heroes have different total costs (i.e., so the awakenings take up a smaller or larger relative proportion of it). The black line is then the % of tokens that can be skipped when starting off with a hero at that starting rank, and the green dashed lines represent each successive rank above that, which are always the same regardless of a hero's starting rank: so a R0 hero starts off with none, but then at R1 is 3% of the way through, then at R2, R3, R4, R5, and R6 is 9, 18, 29, 53, and 1005 of the way through. Speaking of, I did not make another one for R7 though I could if there is interest - still, this should help get across the main points. And yes, I realize that there are no heroes that start at R3, or R6 (yet!), but it was easier to leave those in than to take them out.
Also an accompanying table of other helpful numbers.

starting rank: R0 R1 R2 R3 (though no hero starts here) R4 R5 R6 (doesn't exist - yet!?)
total gem cost: 4800 5500 6200 6900 7600 8300 9000
remaining tokens to R6: 170 165 155 140 120 80 0
People keep asking questions about the "efficiency" of ranking up heroes for tournament usage, so I thought I would share this graph, in case it helps.
For instance, did you realize that once you buy a hero that comes pre-awakened to R2, you've already spent nearly *half* of their total gem cost to fully awaken them to R6? (4 more awakenings*800 each=3200, vs. their 3000 price-tag) Although you start off only skipping 9% of the total tokens needed to get them there ((5+10)/(5+10+15+20+40+80)). Especially for newer players considering which heroes to buy and rank up to unlock worlds, these heroes offer fantastic utility for the campaign, Endless mode, and higher-difficulty RS situations. And then once bought, they offer the same efficiency as any other hero to finish off to their R6 for use in tournaments. It's a matter of preference to get one or several of them early and enjoy their use in the campaign, or to avoid their high cost and just awaken more inexpensive ones for faster, though more difficult progress.
In contrast, the heroes that come pre-awakened to R5 are more expensive - but their purchase price represents 90% of their total gem costs, and they already have more than half the total tokens that would be needed to unlock their R6. In short, if you have the gems, it's way more efficient to purchase Yan or Narlax and then finish them off to their R6 than it is to start a new hero at R1 (although if you would have to save up the gems first, read this post instead: https://www.reddit.com/RealmDefenseTD/comments/g1mmg5/advice_about_awakening_existing_heroes_vs_buying/). (Also, do not buy Leif, at least not for the sake of tournaments, although he's great for campaign, and the #1 hero for RS, so especially good for getting a new event hero to higher rank.)
As far as it pertains to "ideal" ranks (those below R6 that are worth pausing at, to win during a hero's week), that is something that many newer players want to know about, but don't quite realize that it's not necessarily for them just yet. But for those that are keen to know, read https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Meta#Season_11_Meta.2FAnalysis for the utility of heroes in Tournament settings, and https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Awakening_Tokens#Most_powerful_Ranks for the utility of each awakening, plus https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Heroes_overview for some additional commentary on hero ideal ranks. For instance, Smoulder has 2 of them, for different purposes: R4 for anti-flier stun situational effect, R5 for his own week that adds stun & a reduced cooldown, although really for his own week he's mostly R6-or-bust, but that depends heavily on the league & the lateness of the season.
I should perhaps add that I've never had much luck with ideal ranks. They seem mostly to be useful in Diamond League, and then by Masters already they are no longer useful. That said, you should give each one careful thought, individually for each hero, b/c it can save you a TON of time from getting a hero's R6 when you didn't need it (yet). Perhaps the most (in-)famous example is Yan's R6, which she doesn't need on her own week (I've literally seen Gold- rather than Purple-outlined Yans among the *very* top scores of a league), probably b/c she doesn't have great skills to help turn her blessed stat boost into actual DAMAGE (being mainly a "support" hero, which she is good at), and especially if you don't even have Efrigid or Bolton yet to receive the synergy that her R6 talent would offer, then it is fairly useless. Though these things do tend to change over time - like Narlax's R6 also used to be unnecessary, until this past season (11) when on his own blessed week it became mandatory to pull several strong bosses. Also one of Hogan's ideal ranks used to be R3 iirc (when his R5 decreased rather than increased his attack speed, before it was switched), then last season it became R5 to keep him alive (also against a strong boss), and now this season it looks like his blessed week is strongly pushing even his R6? Oh yes, some heroes can't/shouldn't really be paused at all, like Lancelot who prior to R6 is flat-out replaceable even when blessed, but at R6 gains a STRONG anti-air utility that is absolutely mandatory to win that week (as in, if ANYONE else in your group has it, who isn't terribly unskilled, then you have little chance to get a higher score than them).
Where the concept of "ideal ranks" is most helpful then, is when you already have (most of) the Meta, and are looking to win more reliably each week. Having a hero at an ideal rank may not be required to win in Gold League for instance, but it can be helpful to use that along the way while you work on other things too (like a second hero's ideal rank, or their R6, or even continuing on with the same hero, just holding back on the actual gem cost - btw strong shout-out thanks to lanclos for sharing with me most of what I know about ideal ranks:-). I suppose it may be like identifying potential resting spots while climbing a mountain - once you identify them you can either pause and rest at them, or else of course skip them and keep going, but either way they may be nice to at least plan to pass by during your ascent, just in case you find that you need them.
SPEAKING OF, here are some additional thoughts on tournaments that might help in that regard, though first I'll have to cover some basics:
a) there is an effect I call the "leading edge" whereby the earlier weeks in the season are the hardest. e.g., *this week* in Gold League is literally the hardest week that it will ever be in this season, b/c *this* is the week that it contains the most senior players (like former GMs). Then, next week, Platinum League will be created, and will be populated by the top 3 players from each group that managed to get promoted - which lets face it tends to be the most senior players, with the deepest hero investments and also the most experience & skill; and thus *that week* will be the hardest that Platinum will ever see, and so on in Diamond, and Masters, and...actually Legendary is special, b/c once a player reaches GM, they remain there. But the other leagues get easier the further the season goes, b/c of all the more senior players getting promoted each week. So therefore the last week of each season (prior to Legendary) is literally the easiest to get promoted in.
There are some important modifiers to this, b/c it may be easy or hard in general but not for you b/c of the heroes you have, and also an effect where campers used to try to not get promoted so quickly, but then towards the end of the season get nervous and want to move upwards, but anyway, this is generally true. So when I say "in lower leagues, later in the season", what I mean is "further away from the leading edge". IN OTHER WORDS, the difficulty of Gold League on week #1 is nowhere NEAR the same difficulty as Gold League on week #15. On the other hand, Platinum League on week #2 is quite similar actually to the difficulty of Legendary League, anytime, b/c that is the league where at that time all the veterans are (with anything above Platinum not yet having been created). See what I mean? But b/c of this effect, any talk about "Gold League" or "Platinum League" must be merely an average of how difficult it is to win, which basically means mid-way away from the leading edge, although be aware of these variations where earlier means *much*-harder-than-average, and later means much easier.
b) Gold League further is special in its' being so small, and in having players that haven't finished the campaign yet, which (vastly) increases the number of total players, and has the effect of "diluting" / spreading the veteran players out between/among the various groups. Therefore, even on week #1, its' difficulty is nowhere near as hard as Legendary League, b/c of being mitigated by this effect. Platinum on week #2 also isn't *quite* as hard as Legendary for similar reasons (the group size being 30 instead of 50; and effects like even former GMs lacking Hogan and not being promoted while others who have Hogan's R6 can do even better), but...Gold is truly special in being the easiest league to win in (aside from the non-repeatable Bronze and Silver of course). Though again, for people having trouble getting promoted from Gold League, take heart: as the season progresses it WILL get easier!:-)
c) in Gold League, with Koi & Raida you can pretty much win by accident even w/o meteors (though this particular week requires Narlax too, and might even need meteors - though I have never used any to get out of Gold myself). This is b/c those heroes provide so much higher utility, compared to so MANY players that lack them, that you definitely have a good chance. And that chance keeps repeating every week, as it gets easier and easier later and later into the season, so if you don't get promoted one week, keep trying the next. The advice for players lacking Koi & Raida is the same: keep trying, and eventually you'll get into a group that lacks Koi, or perhaps someone who doesn't know how to use them yet, and you CAN win! And if you truly want to prioritize this aspect of the game, before you finish the campaign, get a hero to an ideal rank or even R6, and on their blessed week, if it's late enough, you'll have a VERY good shot (though perhaps also needing good generic heroes like Narlax and Leif, unless you get VERY lucky with your group placement, or outright R6 a few heroes for this purpose).
d) in Platinum, it gets a bit harder. Though, if you have the Meta, not by that much. For those who have Raida & Koi, also pick up Yan, necro-Connie, Narlax, and Smoulder's R4 and you'll do fine in Platinum, even without the blessed hero (though of course, earlier in the season you may need them, while later you can get by without them, having strong generic+situational replacements).
e) in Diamond, it gets harder still, where you start to need the blessed hero more often. Though not every week, and not necessarily at an "ideal"/pausing rank. Two seasons ago (while I was still R6ing Koi) I got promoted by having Obsidian, not at his ideal rank of R4 but just about level 20 and rank R2 - & even then he was replaceable with Efri's R6 (which I did not have) - though that was week #13 out of 15, so very late. Many other similar stories told by veteran players abound: Mabyn's R2, Helios's R4, and if you have Yan's R6, then also Efri's R4 & Bolton's R3, etc.
f) in Masters, it is pretty much R6-or-bust, and so you are already past the stage where ideal ranks can help you for the most part (I mean Yan's R5 would probably still work, and Helios's R4 b/c towers don't add much to tournament situations, but...not much else). *If* you use the blessed hero at all, you probably need them all the way to R6. Though there are a few situations where a hero is outright replaceable - chiefly Sethos, Leif, and Masamune (possibly needing to be quite late in the season for that one), all of whom lack anti-air capabilities (though Masamune's R7 is going to change that!).
g) that said, Masters League is still nowhere near as difficult as Legendary. Scores that would get you promoted out of Masters won't even get you a reward in Legendary (although THIS season looks to be changing that - thus encouraging promotion and concurrently discouraging camping in lower leagues - definitely a plus for both veteran and more junior players alike!). Also, for the most part you can get by without the whole entire cast of "situational" heroes that are needed in Legendary, to win a GM. What I mean is: when veteran players have ALL the heroes to choose from, and they are all at R6, they can find the absolute BEST one for any given week - which could be Efri, Mabyn, Azura, Caldera, Connie, Helios, Shamiko, Narlax, Smoulder, etc., and if you want to get a GM, you need to have whatever it is that week that is among the BEST. While in Masters, you most often don't - so actually, R6-or-bust isn't that hard to do, at least compared to Legendary where you need both the blessed hero that week AND one of a large(-ish?) cast of situational heroes, and of course their R6 as well.
h) an argument against ideal ranks is that it may spread out your hero investments too thin to let you win many weeks. On the other hand, an argument for it is that even having a hero's R6 doesn't guarantee a win (e.g., at first I was absolutely terrible at using Narlax - and still I have yet to ever win a week where he is blessed). Also aiming for ideal ranks lets you maximize your elixir income (https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Realm_Siege_Strategies). Though an R6 hero also offers the option to use that hero even when not blessed (and yet this works better for some heroes and not so well for others - e.g., Mabyn can perhaps win at R2 in Diamond, but as a situational hero needs her 5th meteor talent gained at R6 to truly be effective; while Bolton + Obsidian are mostly only used when blessed, and never outside of that - although this week may again be revealing that the devs may change that in the future!). Therefore there are many benefits to either using, or not using, ideal ranks.
Ultimately whether you want to pause at an ideal rank, or keep going all the way to R6 for every hero that you own, seems to be a matter of personal preference: how EXTREME of a personality are you? Do you want to work on increasing your MAXIMUM power, to possibly win a GM title sooner - but also maybe fail to even reach Legendary League at all, as a more junior player, and also have little chance at all on weeks that you lack the blessed hero (at least in Diamond League, or others earlier in the season, closer to the seasonal reset - i.e., take a risk, and maybe be #1 on the weeks you've prepared heavily for, but then score very low on (many of) those you've invested literally nothing into? Or do you prefer to aim for a more AVERAGE level of power, which may leave you unable to be promoted on a given week (maybe several of them), but yet still maybe get some rewards, not being the best but neither being the worst, and yet still get practice either way, and maybe win sooner with less of a hero investment needed into a particular week, leaving you free to focus your efforts elsewhere?
Like most things in life, the ideal path is probably somewhere between the most extreme of R6ing one hero before moving on to the next, vs. having all heroes at ideal ranks but none at R6. Though there are people who have pursued each of those strategies! (and I can tell you some of their names if you want:-) Ultimately you need 4 wins to get to Legendary League, and then at least 1 more if you want a GM title that season. So pick a few heroes to get to R6, another few to get to ideal ranks, and with that collection you'll do well. Another hint: do you want your strongest hero investments to be earlier in the season, in your lowest league, or later, in the highest? Watch the https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Blessed_Heroes_-_Tournament page to see how early a hero is blessed in the last few seasons, and pick one that will likely be blessed later rather than earlier, and then aim to buy that hero and work on increasing their power. e.g., Yan and Narlax are both in the Meta, and blessed mid-to-late-season.
Also there are a TON of other helpful tips - about towers, heroes and synergies and combo moves, and many other tournament topics on https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Basic_Info and https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Detailed_Strategy. So now all that's left is for me to wish you good luck!:-)

Edit: while I thought about adding these couple of thoughts before, they didn't specifically touch on ideal ranks, so I left them out. But so many are asking so I'll put them in after all...
i) there are 3 hero roles to fulfill each week: generic, situational, and blessed. If you want to think about it harder it's "really" 2 situational and 1 blessed, but since right now one of those slots is nearly ALWAYS Koi, the former formula is at least a nice way to think about/remember it.
generic: especially if you lack blessed heroes and/or Koi, this is about all you've got - so use it! When you get to W3, Helios or Sethos can work, to help get you promoted from Gold - though you shouldn't get them just for this purpose (it is terribly inefficient to buy new heroes all the time when you can awaken earlier ones for nearly half the cost, though that takes TIME so this is a strategy mainly for P2W players). In W4, Yan and especially Narlax can get you promoted in Platinum (though again, don't buy JUST for this short-term purpose), and in W5, Leif/Caldera can get you promoted even as high as Diamond (later in the season). I doubt that any of these can get you promoted in Masters, and if anyone ever actuall DID that, they should count their lucky stars, but it's not something that you should "expect" to happen. Once you get Raida and Koi though, you'll never use these other heroes for their "generic" utility again.
situational: usually there is some hero / class of heroes that will work best for a given week. Otherwise, for example, if the only powerful heroes you have are Koi & Leif, then every week you'll always bring them, for their *generic* power. But Leif hardly does anything against fliers - merely blessing towers which, while that work GREAT in RS on blessed tower spots, is virtually useless in tournament situations. Instead, if you brought Smoulder, especially with his R4 anti-flier slow-down talent, then you have a *much* better defense & offense against fliers, even though Smoulder seems to offer FAR less "generic" power than Leif - but even thoug it is "less", it is "more" appropriate to the *situation* - see? So for a level lacking fliers entirely, Leif would be better, although for a sitaution where fliers are the ones ending your tournament play, Smoulder can be a huge boon.
Also, sometimes situational utility can (nearly or even completely) win out over generic or blessed heroes! An example is where on Sethos or Leif's blessed week, a team of strong anti-flier utility can relatively easily get scores as good as or better than a team including the blessed hero at R6 (though skill also plays a role of course). Lancelot prior to his R5 is also replaceable, and Masamune even at his R6 is *somewhat* so (if it's not a binary yes/no, but rather a continuum, where his R6 provides *one* route to win, but a strong anti-air team is *another* way, which even though offers less power, and so can't win a GM, is offered at much greater efficiency and may let you get high rewards or even promoted with from Masters League).
-) anti-fliers: Raida, Smoulder, Connie are enough to get you started, then later you'll want to add Helios & Azura. Each offers something different - like Smoulder slows them down, Raida stuns them, Connie does both, Azura can charm up to 4 (good for when there are more rare but tanky ones like W3 crows), and others can be good too like Efrigid also slows them, Narlax pulls them back, etc. The Narlax+Raida pull+charge/stun combo is ESPECIALLY powerful (read more at https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Detailed_Strategy#Narlax_.2B_CC_combo). Note that while Fee is tremendous for fliers in campaign, she can't really keep up in this mode, except when she's blessed.
-) bosses: Koi & even Raida (& Leif if you got him for other reasons) can tank fairly well at first. Connie's bunny mamma does even better, and her little bunnies help slow it down. Narlax at his R6 can pull them back. Later, you'll want Azura who can help charm an enemy to use as a tank against the boss, and then there is Caldera who is immune to all physical damage, but extremely vulnerable to magic. Although the latter two are rarely blessed themselves, and often aren't as worth bringing as the blessed hero. If you are just getting started, Fee (at any rank) may actually work surprisingly well, as her wolves can delay a boss somewhat as it pauses to kill them.
-) delay: Connie, Raida to stun, Narlax to pull back, Efrigid to slow/freeze; or for just a few enemies that get past a checkpoint, Yan to teleport, or Mabyn for fear.
-) worlds: Mabyn works REALLY well for W3, to send enemies back whereupon the archer-bots can regain control of the situation after being broken through. Azura works really well for W4 since she is immune to the slow effect, can heal to help counteract all the ranged damage being thrown at you, and can charm strong enemies - like an armored tank to use against a boss, or a strong flier to use against other strong or weak ones, etc. Caldera isn't good in W3 (poison) or W4 (magic), but is very effective in W1,2,&5.
-) synergies: these can be stronger than anything else (yes even than Koi - in fact this is the ONLY reason why you might not want to use Koi if you have him) - basically you either have the synergy partners or you lose that week (except *maybe* in Gold?). Efri & Bolton need both Yan & Koi's R6, Bolton & Obsidian need each other, Fee needs at least 1-2 of her synergy partners, and Smoulder needs his R6 + Narlax to in. Read the wiki for more comprehensive details. Note that every one of Leif's synergies is absolutely useless and *never* worth bringing him along, unless you are a more junior player and lack anything better to do (hint: it might help once or twice, but it's REALLY not worth getting those 80 tokens and spending 800 gems to get his R6 - that should be one of it not literally THE last thing you do in the game; unless the devs change that soon? I personally would LOVE to see that!:-).
-) special mention 1: Yan hastes Koi, and is thus used more often than any other hero, after Koi himself. She can do this at her R5 though - no need to get her R6 until you are ready to take advantage of her 2 synergies.
-) special mention 2: Raida's extremely high generic utility (2nd only to Koi), AND his high situational utility (for fliers, stunning & damaging bosses, large CC, etc.) makes him the top #1 all-around utility / situational hero...though only providing a very "average" level whenever you lack some other hero who can provide a higher MAXIMUM power. When you have literally every other hero in the game, and to their R6, then you may never use Raida again (though even that's not quite true - players often use him in their first try at a level, to be ready for anything, even though he is always replaced with someone better to get the final maximum score), but until you invest that deeply (which will take YEARS of your life), Raida can provide a great deal of help. *Especially* on the days where you lack the blessed hero, though that is more of a generic functionality, and yet also when you lack the top situational hero for that week (Azura?). Use him as a stepping-stone.
blessed heroes: there is no getting around the fact that you need the blessed heroes to have the best chance to win on a given week. Especially by Masters League, though of course they still help a LOT to win more often in Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Until then, strong generic+situational utility can help fill in - some heroes are more replaceable than others as mentioned above - but after you get the Meta (Koi, Raida, Connie, Yan, Narlax), then you need to decide whether to prioritize more situational heroes, or more blessed heroes. Both ways work, and you probably want to split your efforts b/t the two. Often heroes work for both: e.g. Narlax is blessed every season, usually fairly late, and then last season (11) was also used another 4 times. In contrast, heroes like Fee, Lancelot, and Masamune are only ever used once, on their blessed week. But still, you only need 4 wins to get to Legendary, and especially if you already had these heroes at a high rank to help you unlock worlds in campaign, they can be a GREAT way to win, certainly much easier than trying to win with purely generic+situational utility that doesn't match what is needed on a given hero's blessed week. One tip: pick a hero that you like to work with, and get them to R6 - you'll likely do better with them than you would with some other hero that you don't enjoy as much.
j) R7 heroes and future predictions: many people, myself included, think that R7 will mostly be necessary for winning GMs. Thus, R6 becomes another ideal/pausing rank, though this one useful to win Masters League with. Many people want to know whether they "should" get an additional hero to R6, or focus that time instead to continue on to R7, though again this is up to your personal preference - do you want to win more often, though possibly not at the #1 spot and maybe not get promoted but do get rewards, so aiming for a higher "average" utility, or do you want to take a risk for a chance to get a GM, and aim for "maximum" utility instead (at the cost of being farther behind in terms of having fewer heroes to use whenever they are blessed)? It's a GAME, so go for what YOU want!:-)
TLDR: use ideal/pausing ranks for heroes blessed earlier in the season, and instead put your highest investments into heroes blessed later, where you'll need their power the most.
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MAME 0.219

MAME 0.219

MAME 0.219 arrives today, just in time for the end of February! This month we’ve got another piece of Nintendo Game & Watch history – Pinball – as well as a quite a few TV games, including Dream Life Superstar, Designer’s World, Jenna Jameson’s Strip Poker, and Champiyon Pinball. The previously-added Care Bears and Piglet’s Special Day TV games are now working, as well as the big-endian version of the MIPS Magnum R4000. As always, the TV games vary enormously in quality, from enjoyable titles, to low-effort games based on licensed intellectual properties, to horrible bootlegs using blatantly copied assets. If music/rhythm misery is your thing, there’s even a particularly bad dance mat game in there.
On the arcade side, there are fixes for a minor but long-standing graphical issue in Capcom’s genre-defining 1942, and also a fairly significant graphical regression in Seibu Kaihatsu’s Raiden Fighters. Speaking of Seibu Kaihatsu, our very own Angelo Salese significantly improved the experience in Good E-Jan, and speaking of graphics fixes, cam900 fixed some corner cases in Data East’s innovative, but little-known, shoot-’em-up Boogie Wings. Software list additions include the Commodore 64 INPUT 64 collection (courtesy of FakeShemp) and the Spanish ZX Spectrum Load’N’Run collection (added by ICEknight). New preliminary CPU cores and disassemblers include IBM ROMP, the NEC 78K family, Samsung KS0164 and SSD Corp’s Xavix 2.
As always, you can get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAME Testers Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Source Changes

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Square (SQ) 3/24/2020 AMC - Need to be Patient

Stock: Square (SQ) - 48.30$
Direction: Neutral Bullish
Price Target: 50$
Type: Short Put
Fundamental: Nothing in Square’s formula has changed since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. There is a note that due to the closure of many SMBs, Square’s transaction count will be significantly affected. Square’s price fell from about 85$ to about 49$ in the span of the first Coronavirus slide, bottoming out at 32$, which was quickly brought up to about the 40$ average. Since then, it has grown alongside the rest of the market. Square will face very little growth for the foreseeable future, but can be a great candidate for covered calls.
Technical: Priced below 20, 50, 200 day moving average. MACD slight shows bullish convergence. RSI shows around 40, coming up from oversold. Options sentiments are bullish in volume and Bearish open interest. Implied movement is a whopping 12.1% or about 5.85$ Short interest is at 7.83%, with 5.2 days to cover. Support at ~41$, with 52w high being 87.25$.
Sentimental: Square is a company that will not die. While the valuation was rich, Square was primely in the growth category, with its consistent revenue and EPS increases. The current coronavirus selloff has affected every stock on the market and Square was no exception. In addition, the recent purchase of Honey, alongside essentially halted SMBs, leaves SQ exposed to large risks. Analyst revisions have been entirely negative, as the outlook looks very grim.
Typically in an elevated IV environment, sell-side earnings play becomes less effective. In addition, because of the current volatile macro environment, the binary event’s sway over price points becomes mitigated as well, making earnings movement even less predictable. I believe the bottom line here is if SQ moves against you, it can be beneficial long term to absorb the shares and sell covered calls as a way to generate cash-flow. While this leaves many smaller trades on the sidelines, extraordinary times and risk management dictates safer plays.
Sell
SQ - 4/03 $40 Puts
4 of 5, Highly risky
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Nintendo Switch Reviews: Shmup and 2-Stick Shooters

Here's the games I have reviewed so far on the Nintendo Switch in each genre, from best to worst. Note: If multiple games have the same score, they will be sorted alphabetically.
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Shmup

Game Genre # of Players Score tl;dr
Ikaruga Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) A- Ikaruga is a Bullet Hell Shmup that's at its best on the Switch, which not only plays smoothly while docked, but even has features to make the best use of the Switch in portable mode. If you like this genre, you need this game.
Jamestown+ Bullet Hell Shmup 1-4 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards A- Jamestown+ is a Bullet Hell Shmup that has players blasting 17th century colonial European troops and aliens in outer space. The bonkers setting comes with a fantastic presentation, some wonderful and clever game mechanics that add a lot of strategy, plenty of variety and imagination, and a superb co-op mode. It's a shame the game's structure makes you re-play levels repeatedly and forces its story on you over and over again, but overall this is one of the best games in this genre on the Switch.
Dimension Drive Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Dimension Drive is a Bullet Hell Shmup with the unique hook of having players hopping back and forth between two screens. It's a great mechanic that's used very well here, though some players may have difficulty adjusting to it. Also, the game keeps interrupting things with its story. However, if you can learn how to deal with the unique gameplay, you'll find this to be a superb entry in the genre.
Graceful Explosion Machine Shmup 1 B+ Graceful Explosion Machine is a Shmup where players must cycle through four weapons to fend off different types of enemies. This weapon-managing element makes the game delightfully strategic for a Shmup, and the core gameplay here is really good as a result. I just wish it was properly implemented in an endless mode, and I wish the game's otherwise-excellent presentation wasn't marred by muffled sound. This is still a fantastic game, but a few small changes could have made this a must-have game on the Switch.
Horizon Shift '81 Arcade / Shmup 1 B+ Horizon Shift '81 is an Arcade-Style game with Shmup elements that incorporates elements of multiple early-80s retro arcade games while still bringing its own unique horizontal-swapping twist on the genre. This is a fantastic game and a wonderful love letter to an era of gaming, although like the games of that era it can be repetitive in places. Overall, this is a superb game well worth playing.
Indie Gems Bundle: Explosion Edition Compilation / Bullet Hell Shmup / Roguelike / 2-Stick Shooter / Match-3 Puzzle 1-4 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards B+ Indie Gems Bundle: Explosions Edition is a Compilation of three Action-packed games, each of them ranging from good to great. If you're a fan of Shmups and 2-Stick shooters, you're bound to find something to love in this package, even if the savings over purchasing these games individually is minimal.
Just Shapes & Beats Bullet Hell Shmup / Music-Rhythm 1-4 Co-Op (Local) B+ Just Shapes & Beats is a Bullet Hell Shmup where you can't shoot, you can only dodge as the screen throws all manner of obstacles at you to the beat of some amazing music. It's a difficult, punishing game, but if you fancy a challenge, this game is well worth a look.
Sky Force Reloaded Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Sky Force Reloaded combines quality bullet hell Shmup-style gameplay with RPG-style upgrades in a way that encourages players to keep coming back, along with a good presentation. Fans of the genre should definitely give this one a try.
Super Hydorah Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Super Hydorah is a Bullet Hell Shmup that is very clearly imitating the classic Gradius games, and for the most part, it succeeds at this brilliantly. The music is forgettable, and the power-up system is a bit more limited than the Gradius games, but the gameplay here is still superb, and the game does some really inventive stuff with Co-Op, especially with the surprisingly good Robot Chase minigame. Definitely worth a look for fans of the genre.
Aqua Kitty UDX Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local, Online) B Aqua Kitty UDX is a Shmup with three game modes - two being similar to the classic game Defender, and one like the classic game Uridium. The presentation here is very good, and the core gameplay is solid, with good co-op, but a number of frustrating design choices cause the game to be overly difficult and frustrating. It's still worth a look for genre fans and those looking for a more challenging experience, though.
Q-YO Blaster Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B Q-YO Blaster is a Bullet Hell Shmup. It's a decent game that plays well, but the most memorable thing about it are its absurd heroes and oddball bug-themed enemies. Definitely a solid pick for fans of the genre.
Sega Ages Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar Shmup 1, Online Leaderboards B Lightening Force, also known as Thunder Force IV, is a Shmup originally released on the Sega Genesis in 1992, and this version marks its only other US release since then. This is a game that has aged noticeably, with issues both in its graphics and gameplay. However, despite this, the gameplay is on the whole pretty good, and this is a solid port with a good amount of extra features. Fans of Shmups should definitely give this a look.
Steredenn: Binary Stars Bullet Hell Shmup / Roguelike 1-2 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards B Steredenn is a Bullet Hell Shmup that incorporates elements of Roguelikes into its game progression. The presentation here is phenomenal, with fantastic pixel art graphics and a great soundtrack, however, the randomized elements and some questionable design choices make for a game that's even more difficult than the usual Shmup, making this a game mostly only the biggest fans of the genre will have the patience for.
Startide 2-Stick Shooter / Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B Startide combines 2-Stick shooter and Shmup genre conventions and adds in some novel ideas of its own, with some excellent, fast-paced, quality gameplay... that's unfortunately marred by a slew of design flaws and annoyances. It's still very good, but it could have been so much better.
Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection Compilation / Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B- Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection is a collection of mostly Shmups that includes eight games that are mostly pretty good (and also mostly punishingly difficult). This collection gives players a wealth of options and bonus content, and on the whole this is a solid collection of games for Shmup fans
Don't Die, Mr Robot! DX Bullet Hell Shmup / Arcade 1 B- Don't Die, Mr Robot! DX is an Arcade-Style Shmup where you're dodging enemies and collecting pickups to set off explosions in your wake. Think Geometry Wars' Pacifism mode. The presentation is horrendous, but the gameplay is strangely compelling and there are enough features here to keep fans of Shmups coming back.
Inversus Deluxe Arcade / Shmup 1-4 Competitive (Local/Online) B- Inversus Deluxe is an Arcade-style game with Shmup elements where the shots you and opponents fire also limit the area you can move freely in. It's an interesting concept, but a limited number of shots players can fire before reload really mucks with the otherwise fast-paced battles.
Velocity 2X Action-Platformer / Shmup 1 B- Velocity 2X is a game that jumps back and forth between Action-Platformer and Shmup gameplay styles, with a focus on speed and being able to teleport around the levels as you zip through them. It's fun gameplay, but it's somewhat marred by a frustrating control scheme that you can't change.
Black Bird Shmup 1 C+ Black Bird is a Shmup that doesn't do anything truly unique in terms of gameplay, but its presentation is so bizarre that it compels you to see more. Not a game for everyone, but worth a look if you want to see something really different.
Black Paradox Bullet Hell Shmup / Roguelike 1-2 Co-Op (Local) C+ Black Paradox is a Bullet Hell Shmup that has you flying a ship designed to look like a Delorean. The game has good gameplay, but the high difficulty and slow upgrade progression makes this a game only fans of the genre are likely to thoroughly enjoy.
Rogue Aces 2D Flight Combat Game 1 C+ Rogue Aces is a 2D Flight Combat game with Roguelike elements that has players fighting off enemies and capturing bases using their plane. The game has some inventive mechanics and potentially fun physics, but it seems designed to frustrate players by making them die repeatedly not to enemies, but to the landscape. The result is a game that will only be enjoyed by those willing to really get used to this game's physics... and even then, they're still likely die a lot.
Sega Ages Fantasy Zone Shmup 1, Online Leaderboards C+ Fantasy Zone is a Shmup originally released to arcades in 1986, and some parts of it have aged pretty well, like its presentation. Other parts of the game, like its promising but frustrating upgrade system... not so much. While this is a solid port with a good amount of bonus features, it's ultimately still a game most will want to pass on.
Alien Cruise Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards C Alien Cruise is a Shmup with a cartoony art style that looks like it's been drawn by a child. This is a decent but unspectacular and forgettable Shmup that doesn't really stand out.
Cycle 28 2D Space Shooter / Roguelike 1 C Cycle 28 is a 2D Space Shooter that controls like Asteroids, but with a Roguelike game structure. There are some good ideas here and some classic arcade-style gameplay, but those good ideas aren't well-utilized, and overall the game is too repetitive.
Hyperlight Ultimate Bullet Hell Shmup / Arcade 1-4 Competitive (Local) C Hyperlight Ultimate is an Arcade-style Shmup where players bash into enemies with a charge attack instead of shooting them. It's a good take on the formula, but unfortunately some design issues makes this more tedious and frustrating than it needs to be.
Pacific Wings Shmup 1 C Pacific Wings is a Shmup that imitates classic games in the genre like 1942. This game does a great job capturing that nostalgia, but the lack of auto-fire makes this game tedious to play, and the underwhelming sound and lack of multiplayer limit how long you'll bother to stick with the game.
Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron Bullet Hell Shmup 1-4 Co-Op (Local) C- Aces of the Luftwaffe is a bullet hell shmup that has you controlling a squadron of four wingmen with unique abilities and personalities. This game has some really great and unique ideas, but it's also plagued with design issues and control issues that keep it from delivering on the game's potential.
Escape From the Universe Shmup 1 C- Escape From the Universe is a Shmup with a simple look and gameplay that makes the screen scroll more quickly depending on where you move onscreen. Unfortunately, both the visuals and gameplay get repetitive and boring pretty quickly, making for a dull experience.
Hyper Sentinel Shmup 1, Online Leaderboards C- Hyper Sentinel is a Shmup that aims to be the spiritual sequel to the classic game Uridium, and while fans of that original title may enjoy it, I honestly found it to be a bit of a confusing mess, and there are plenty of other games in this genre on the Switch I'd rather be playing.
Overdriven Reloaded: Special Edition Bullet Hell Shmup 1-4 Co-Op (Local) C- Overdriven Reloaded is a Bullet Hell Shmup that uses a color-switching mechanic like Ikaruga. However, unlike Ikaruga, this game doesn't seem to know how to use it, and otherwise the game is just a crowded mess - and not in a good way.
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2-Stick Shooter

Game Genre # of Players Score tl;dr
X-Morph Defense Tower Defense/Two-Stick Shooter 1 A X-Morph: Defense mixes the Tower Defense genre with the Two-Stick Shooter to create something even better, with impressively detailed environments and some really inventive gameplay. This game is a blast to play, and while the Switch version is sadly missing some features, it's still an absolutely wonderful game.
Assault Android Cactus+ 2-Stick Shooter 1-4 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards A- Assault Android Cactus is a 2-Stick Shooter that has some fun, unique mechanics and a lot of great, intense action. It's a blast to play in co-op, and the Switch version is the definitive version of the game. I only wish the sub-weapon dodge-swapping mechanic was better-utilized, and the levels looked more distinct. But those are minor complaints about what is a fantastic game on the Switch.
Hotline Miami Collection Compilation/Top-Down Action/2-Stick Shooter 1 A- Hotline Miami Collection is a pair of solid Top-Down Action games with a colorful 80s-inspired presentation and intense action that makes players consider their plan of attack. It's a solid experience, although the first Hotline Miami game is clearly the better of the two, thanks to the more cohesive story and better level design.
My Friend Pedro Action-Platforme2-Stick Shooter 1 A- My Friend Pedro is an Action-Platformer with Two-Stick Shooter controls that has players involved in acrobatic gunfights at the command of a talking banana. This game's intense, ridiculous action is a blast to play, and while there's a bit of repetition here and there, for the most part this game does an amazing job keeping things fresh and entertaining. A must-have for action game fans.
NeuroVoider 2-Stick Shooter / Roguelike 1-4 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards A- NeuroVoider is a combination of Two-Stick Shooter and Roguelike that has you fighting an army of robots, stealing their parts, and then using them to upgrade your own capabilities. It's an incredibly fun game with great co-op, a fantastic presentation, and tons of variety and customization. The randomized level design and enemy AI could have used a bit of work, but on the whole this is an absolutely fantastic game that should be owned by anyone who enjoys a good Action game.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ 2-Stick Shooter / Roguelike 1-4 Co-Op (Local) A- The Binding of Isaac is a Two-Stick Shooter Roguelike that places you in the role of a young child fighting grotesque monsters with his tears. It's a lot of fun, but the roguelike elements can make any given playthrough very hit-and-miss, which can be frustrating. It's still well worth playing, though.
Akane Top-Down Action/2-Stick ShooteArcade 1 B+ Akane is an Arcade-y top-down Action game that has players as a lone woman fighting off the entire Yakuza using only a gun and a sword. It's a game that channels Kill Bill and John Wick extremely well, with some really fun action. Unfortunately, the game is lacking in variety and progression, but the core gameplay here is phenomenal and well worth playing for fans of Action games.
Bleed 2 Action-Platformer / 2-Stick Shooter 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Bleed 2 is an Action-Platformer and 2-Stick Shooter with a simple, cartoony presentation and a silly story about a girl fending off an invasion. This game improves on the first one in almost every way, with even better action, better visuals, a great soundtrack, and the same wonderful variety, great level design, and excellent co-op. However, where it doesn't improve on the first game is value - the main campaign can still be finished in an hour or so, and the extra game modes don't stretch things out much more than that. For $20, I simply cannot recommend this game, but definitely get it if you see it on sale.
Bleed Complete Bundle Compilation / Action-Platformer / 2-Stick Shooter 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Bleed Complete Bundle includes Bleed and Bleed 2, both excellent Action-Platformers with 2-Stick Shooter gunplay, and both also extremely short and extremely overpriced games. Much as with the individual games, if you can get this collection at a discount, absolutely do so because the games are immensely fun. However, even with the savings this bundle provides, it's still horribly overpriced at its normal price.
Debris Infinity 2-Stick Shooter 1-2 Co-Op/Competitive (Local), Online Leaderboards B+ Debris Infinity is a Two-Stick Shooter that's like a mash-up of Geometry Wars and Asteroids. It looks good, plays well, and the Slow-Mo feature actually brings something interesting to the table. The game is a bit short on features, but what's here is top-notch.
Enter the Gungeon 2-Stick ShooteRoguelike 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Enter the Gungeon is a two-stick shooter with roguelike elements that packs a lot of fun gameplay and a high difficulty level. An excellent game for fans of the genre looking for a challenge.
Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2 Action-Platforme2-Stick Shooter 1-4 Co-Op (Local, Online) B+ Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2 is an Action-Platformer that takes the basic idea of the first game and greatly improves on it, adding in 2-stick aiming, fixing the controls, and making the gameplay much more fast-paced. It's still repetitive at times, but overall this is a pretty good game.
Indie Gems Bundle: Explosion Edition Compilation / Bullet Hell Shmup / Roguelike / 2-Stick Shooter / Match-3 Puzzle 1-4 Co-Op (Local), Online Leaderboards B+ Indie Gems Bundle: Explosions Edition is a Compilation of three Action-packed games, each of them ranging from good to great. If you're a fan of Shmups and 2-Stick shooters, you're bound to find something to love in this package, even if the savings over purchasing these games individually is minimal.
Inferno 2 2-Stick Shooter 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Inferno 2 is a straightforward 2-Stick Shooter that has solid gameplay, a slick presentation, and good Co-Op. It's a bit on the easy side, but fans of the genre will find it to be an excellent choice, especially for its low price tag.
Rive: Ultimate Edition 2-Stick ShooteAction-Platformer 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B+ Rive is a combination of 2-Stick Shooter and Action-Platformer that does a great job pushing intense action and a good amount of variety of enemies and combat situations. I wish the game's upgrade system was more fleshed-out, but what's here is solid.
Transcripted 2-Stick ShooteMatch-3 Puzzle 1 B+ Transcripted is a game that combines Two-Stick Shooter gameplay with match-3 Puzzle gameplay similar to Zuma. While the two gameplay styles don't always get along well with each other, for the most part this is a pretty cohesive gameplay experience that's satisfying, unique, and features a superb presentation.
Bleed Action-Platformer / 2-Stick Shooter 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B Bleed is an Action-Platformer and 2-Stick Shooter with a simple, cartoony presentation and a silly story about a young woman hunting down heroes to prove she's a better hero. The gameplay here is absolutely fantastic, with some really inventive level design, great controls, a lot of variety, and excellent co-op. Unfortunately, this game is painfully short and insultingly overpriced, and as good as it is, I cannot recommend spending $15 for what amounts to about an hour of gameplay. If you can get it on sale at a good price, definitely do, but otherwise it isn't worth the cost.
Iron Crypticle 2-Stick ShooteArcade 1-4 Co-Op (Local) B Iron Crypticle is an Arcade-style 2-Stick Shooter that plays like Smash TV with a Ghosts 'N Goblins aesthetic. It's a game with good, arcadey action that works well in co-op, though it's not without its issues here and there.
Rock Boshers DX: Director's Cut 2-Stick Shooter 1 B Rock Boshers is a 2-Stick Shooter styled to look like old ZX Spectrum games. Beyond its aesthetic, it doesn't do anything especially noteworthy, but it's still pretty fun. Worth a look.
Startide 2-Stick Shooter / Bullet Hell Shmup 1-2 Co-Op (Local) B Startide combines 2-Stick shooter and Shmup genre conventions and adds in some novel ideas of its own, with some excellent, fast-paced, quality gameplay... that's unfortunately marred by a slew of design flaws and annoyances. It's still very good, but it could have been so much better.
12 is Better Than 6 Top-Down Action / 2-Stick Shooter 1 C+ 12 is Better Than 6 is a Top-Down Action/2-Stich Shooter game where one shot kills, much like the Hotline Miami games. Unfortunately, graphical choices result in a game that's filled with a lot of frustration that makes this far less fun than the Hotline Miami games.
Battlesloths 2-Stick Shooter / Party Game 1-4 Competitive (Local) C+ Battlesloths is a multiplayer-focused 2-Stick Shooter with a Party Game atmosphere where players take the role of pizza-loving sloths fighting in various arenas with an assortment of weaponry. The core gameplay here is good, but the constant stop-go pattern of action and waiting is frustrating and makes it hard to enjoy that fun gameplay.
Blazing Beaks 2-Stick Shooter / Roguelike 1-4 Co-Op/Competitive (Local) C+ Blazing Beaks is a 2-Stick Shooter with Roguelike elements with a cartoony pixel art presentation featuring anthropomorphic birds with guns. Unfortunately, the game's high difficulty doesn't really fall in line with the cartoony presentation, and the nice unique features the game has only add to that difficulty. Action fans looking for a challenge might enjoy this, but I did not.
The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human Metroidvania / 2-Stick Shooter 1 C+ The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is a Metroidvania with 2-Stick Shooter gameplay where players command a submarine searching the ruins of humanity to see what went wrong. This game absolutely nails the atmosphere, but the challenge level on the bosses is so steep that most players will probably lost interest after dying a dozen times or so.
Implosion Action-RPG / 2-Stick Shooter 1 C Implosion is an Action-RPG with some 2-Stick Shooter mechanics that has players fighting mutants using a human-size mech. The game has some enjoyable combat and a promising loot system, but the combat gets repetitive quickly and the loot system isn't varied or deep enough to be engaging. Oh, and the 2-Stick Shooter elements are poorly-implemented. This isn't a terrible game, but players interested in this sort of thing have multiple better options on the Switch.
Utopia 9 - A Volatile Vacation 2-Stick ShooteRoguelike 1-2 Co-Op (Local) C Utopia 9 - A Volatile Vacation is a 2-Stick ShooteRoguelike that has a lot of inventive ideas for a different spin on the genre, but its dreadfully slow pacing saps much of the fun out of the experience.
Blacksea Odyssey 2-Stick ShooteRoguelike 1 C- Blacksea Odyssey is a Two-Stick Shooter with Roguelike elements that is basically Captain Ahab In Space. That sounds really cool, but the terribly slow combat and sluggish movement make it hard to get into, and players will likely find the game too tedious to want to play for very long.
Energy Invasion Arcade Brick Breake2-Stick Shooter 1 C- Energy Invasion is a cross between a 2-Stick Shooter and an Arcade-style brick breaker game like Arkanoid. Unfortunately, the game feels unpolished and not especially welcoming to players getting used to its odd concept.
Planetary Defense Force Tower Defense / Two-Stick Shooter 1 D+ Planetary Defense Force mixes the Tower Defense genre with the 2-Stick Shooter, having players defend a spherical planet from an alien invasion. Unfortunately, the spherical map makes it difficult to keep track of what's going on, the game doesn't do a good job of indicating important information the player needs, and the individual elements themselves are not very satisfying. The result is a frustrating game that's not worth playing.
Contra: Rogue Corps 2-Stick Shooter 1-4 Co-Op (Local, Local Wireless, Online) D Contra: Rogue Corps is a 3D Action game with 2-Stick Shooter mechanics that doesn't really play much like the other games in the Contra series, and has some severe, glaring flaws. That said, it's not completely unenjoyable, and it doesn't really earn its reputation as one of the worst games of 2019... but it's not a good game, by any stretch.
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Student Loan Default: The Guide (reuploaded)

The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/
I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado...

Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface.

Definitions:

Strategic Default: When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out.

Shills: People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information

Statute of Limitations: The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected.

Cosigner: The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are

Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion: A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about $100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.

Fraudulent Transfer: When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.

Lien: Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.

Income Based Repayment (IBR): Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount

Aggregate Student Loan Limit: The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans

Wage Garnishment: When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt

Bank Levy: When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt

Private Loans: Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.

Federal Loans: These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable

Sallie Mae: The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.

Forbearance: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.

Deferment: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.

Credit Score: A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.

Student Loan Tax Bomb: After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000.

Insolvency: When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change.

A note on cosigners before we begin: Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets.

Strategy

Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies.

Tactics

Paying Your Loans: [low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between $1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/

Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put): [low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below.

Default Private Default Federal: [medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it.

Cat and Mouse: [medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history.

Leave the Country: [medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than $100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/

Suspend Payment Without More Debt: [low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix

Convert Private Loans to Federal: [low risk] From this point on, these are my special tactics I’ve been thinking about. They might work really well for some people. So, you have a bunch of federal loans and a good amount of private loans. You don’t want to fight debt collectors or move around. Try this. This plan only works if you have a bachelor’s degree though. Anyways, there is a special loan offered by the US Federal Government called the Graduate Plus Loan. This loan is incredible, because there is no aggregate student loan limit. In other words, you can borrow as much money as you want here. Even a million dollars no questions asked. All you need is no delinquency or default on your credit report. If you do have these things, you can get a cosigner in on the plan. They won’t ever be responsible anyways because you will defuse the tax bomb at the end. This works to your advantage, because you could go back to school at the graduate level, get a diploma mill master’s degree online, use your room and board payment to start paying off your private loans ASAP. Just make sure you are doing whatever your school considers half time enrollment in order to avoid student loan payments while doing this. Once you’ve gone to school long enough and converted all of your private loans to grad plus loans, you could just go on an IBR plan. This will at least make your life manageable. You would have to defuse your student tax bomb once this is over. Tactic below.

Convert Federal Loans to Private: [medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?

Asset Creation Method: [high risk] What if you wanted to not just pay off your loans but get ahead in life? Maybe you feel like using your student loan debt to your advantage. Thanks to the work done by u/BinaryAlgorithm, you could really come out on top here. Remember those Grad Plus loans we were talking about? Well, there’s nothing stopping you from continually borrowing all year on these loans, investing the room and board, and acting as if you do not have the debt in the first place. While I had originally said that rental property does not count as income, I cannot find any documentation proving this. You can still invest this money however you want, and you just defuse the tax bomb at the end (if anyone can find that documentation, please let me know). I did find that rental properties offer a lot of ways to reduce your adjusted gross income (management fees, advertising, etc), and these could reduce your income closer to zero. We’re not done here. Moreover, you could get a job that qualifies for Public Student Loan Forgiveness, enjoy your investments, and then pay for the 10 years. Be sure to convert all loans to federal before starting this tactic. I only put this as high risk, because the whole plan falls apart if Grad Plus loans get capped. Will they? Probably not, because those are the loans doctors and lawyers take out to go to their professional schools. It would take an act of congress to change the way the law stands now, but still, you should know that. This plan spans decades, so a lot can change. Also, having this many installment loans may lower your credit score over a multitude of years, but based on what everyone has found out here, it's not by much. For more information, go to this subreddit's search bar and type in "aggregate" and go look at BinaryAlgorithm's two posts on the subject.

Defusing the Student Tax Bomb: [low risk] So lucky for you, I talked to an actual lawyer and an actual IRS agent about this. This is completely legal and doable. Okay, so you were a good person and paid your IBR for 25-30 years. What now? Well, you’re about to be hit hard with a tax bomb. All of that money that is now forgiven counts as income on your taxes. This could mean a bill in the tens of thousands if you combined this with any of the other methods here—or just borrowed a lot to begin with. Luckily for us, there is something called insolvency. This means you are unable to pay your debts, and there is a really simple formula for whether or not you are insolvent. As long as you have more liabilities than assets at the time of student loan forgiveness, you are considered insolvent. In other words, right before you are about to be forgiven, like year 24 out of 25, you would take out a loan on something. All you would need to do is buy a house, buy a car, or buy something with a huge price tag. As long as your liabilities are way higher than your assets (like aim for 100K or something more), you are considered insolvent and you don’t have to pay any of the tax bomb. Boom. The IRS agent said this is fine. The lawyer said this is fine. I cannot believe this is fine. Where could you get the money to borrow for a house? Check Asset Creation method above. You could always sell the asset after the tax bomb is dealt with. For more information on defusing the student loan tax bomb: https://lawyerist.com/defusing-student-loan-interest-tax-bomb/

Getting Your Cosigner Off the Hook: So 90% of us have cosigners based on some statistic I read. These people are going to pissed at you, because they get harassed. If you have a lot of time to plan your strategy out, you can simply convert all of your private loans to federal ones. They are no longer responsible. The plan is above. Check out “Convert Private Loans to Federal.” Furthermore, if you are attempting to go the default route with private loans, you could potentially get your cosigner off the hook by refinancing your student loans without the cosigner. After you refinance, you could just default then. You would need good credit and meet certain requirements for this. Also, if you plan on defaulting, you might want to get your cosigner to transfer their assets to their spouse or someone trustworthy. Even though liens are rare, this could give you some peace of mind. As long as about 3-5 years go by, this is no longer considered a fraudulent transfer. Your state will have certain rules about this. If you are from Florida, apparently houses are untouchable there. You will need a lawyer to plan the asset transfer. At the same time, you may not be able to get your cosigner off the hook. Make peace with that. Student loans are brutal, so all you can really do is educate yourself and your cosigner and hope you come out on top.

Madlad Method: [high risk] Now, here comes my personal plan. This is what I’m doing, because I want to live a life on my terms and not really work for anyone my entire life. I’m also not a normal person, so this will probably appear crazy to some or most of you. So at this point, if you understand all of the methods before you, you are a powerful player in the student loan circus. You can do anything from fight the man to maliciously comply and bankrupt the system while becoming upper-middle class. I don’t really care for any of that. I want to go to a tropical paradise and make music for 20 years, so here is my interpretation of everything. I have some federal loans and private loans. I net about 25K a year through the Grad Plus loans, and I work about 4 hours a week in the online classroom. I take that federal loan money, and I sock away a few hundred every month to save up for my private loan settlement in about five years. Since I save 300 every month, I’ll have about 18K in 5 years when I go into default. I will settle ASAP. At the same time, I will continue to go to diploma mill universities, get master's degree after master’s degree, and move to a Latin American country where the cost of living is even lower. This way, my 25K a year puts me in the upper class of that country. I can live where I want and really do whatever I damn well please for as long as the Grad Plus loans are around. As an added bonus, I will already be starting a new life in another country where I can make connections and maybe even get married. I studied linguistics, so I know how to teach English. I can do that if I want a source of income anywhere. So there is my plan, and honestly, one day we might get someone in office who just wipes out all of this debt anyways. If that’s the case, I can just play the waiting game until all of this is over. Here are the rules on adverse credit history and Grad Plus loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/plus-adverse-credit.pdf

Final Thoughts: Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.
submitted by PlsvoteforBernie to studentloandefaulters [link] [comments]

Dota IMBA 7.19g (plus Spring Cleaning 2020 Part 1)

So...this was originally meant to just be a bug-fix patch, but Valve dropped Patch 7.25 on the day that I expected to put this up. Not wanting to delay any of those changes for two or more weeks, I took most of the day to hastily shove in many of the vanilla changes, so this ends up being a standard balance patch, with a LOT of bug-fixes...
As fixing bugs inadvertently results in other bugs emerging (especially with a bunch of new stuff being added), I encourage players to continue reporting any discrepancies they run into. The Discord has a #spring_cleaning_bugs channel where these reports are consolidated and quickly addressed, so feel free to stop by and let us know how we can continue to improve the game.
As mentioned, this patch implements a majority of the standard Patch 7.25 changes. More "personalized" changes are still scheduled for Dota IMBA 7.20.

General

Neutral Items

Heroes

Bounty Hunter

Shuriken Toss
Jinada
Talents

Chaos Knight

Reality Rift

Clinkz

Death Pact

Dark Seer

Surge
Talents

Dazzle

Bad Juju

Earth Spirit

Talents

Elder Titan

Talents

Ember Spirit

Searing Chains

Enigma

Black Hole
Talents

Grimstroke

Phantom's Embrace
Talents

Gyrocopter

Flak Cannon
Call Down

Juggernaut

Blade Dance

Kunkka

Talents

Lich

Talents

Lycan

Shapeshift

Mars

God's Rebuke

Mirana

Sacred Arrow

Nature's Prophet

Wrath of Nature

Night Stalker

Talents

Pudge

Flesh Heap

Pugna

Nether Ward
Life Drain

Queen of Pain

Shadow Strike
Sonic Wave

Sand King

Caustic Finale
Epicenter

Silencer

Talents

Sniper

Assassinate

Spectre

Shadow Step

Spirit Breaker

Techies

Talents

Templar Assassin

Psionic Projection

Ursa

Overpower
Fury Swipes
Enrage

Vengeful Spirit

Magic Missile

Visage

Soul Assumption

Warlock

Shadow Word
Talents

Weaver

Shukuchi

Witch Doctor

Paralzying Cask
Death Ward

Items

Abyssal Blade

Bloodthorn

Boots of Travel

Boots of Travel (Level 2)

Buckler

Crimson Guard

Crystalys

Ethereal Blade

Force Staff

Hurricane Pike

Iron Talon

Kaya and Sange

Necronomicon Series

Nullifier

Nullifier EX

Pipe of Insight

Poor Man's Shield

Silver Edge

Vanguard

Veil of Discord

Yasha and Kaya

Bugfixes / Miscellaneous