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#WINk Question & Answer Time
Why implement new UI (ultra super 4k) if old gives you money?
WINK has a big goal we want to play a big role in the online casino industry not limited to a tron dapp. The reason we implement the new UI is that it is fundamental for multi-currencies. Only with multi-currencies, can WINK grow big. WINk is not satisfied with being the best Tron DAPP. We will only be satisfied when we are the best of our kind, within the entire cryptocurrency community.
How does one win a drop?
Drops are not win a drop, drops are paid out every day for holding and freezing the tokens (WIN LIVE DICE & RAKE) from each drop pool.
Can I play dice with JST token?
It is a pity that you cannot now, but we’ll try to see whether JST token can be supported in the future.
Do you know when the monthly report will be released?
We are preparing for it. As the third party live game providers always provide their invoice on the 10th of each month, we need some time to calculate, finish the buyback and burn. So usually we will send the monthly report from 15th to 19th of each month.
joined momentarily just to say 8 months later price is still falling lolz. Could it be the massive supply of WIN or is it the fear people have of the team dumping. Or is it the fact that no one knows who the team is? I’ll leave this here, I don’t want to argue. Peace
The team is working to increase the value of WIN. WIN Price is undervalued we believe due to lack of knowledge about its utility. Mass marketing across all current large cryptocurrency platforms must ensue at our earliest convenience. Multi-currency is not performing to its full potential. By increasing the sizes of the sub token drop pools - WIN pool will dramatically increase also. As the mother token of the platform WIN will need to showcase its potential and the increased drop amounts will have a very positive effect on the WIN pool and market price. At the same time, Rake has great potential. According to the data from 2019, Dice contributed 60% to the entire platform revenue, Live contributed 36%, whilst Rake only 4%. This shows us that Rake has great potential. We are working to improve the Rake product. We are aware of the changes that need making and the areas that require attention to bring increased revenue to WIN. When the new website and multi-currencies support is complete, we will push out a new poker product combined with aggressive promotion and partners, we believe that there will be a dramatic increase in Rake revenue once this is completed. RAKE relinquishes 40% of its profits to the WIN drop pool, meaning it is by far the most underused and undervalued section of the platform in our current forecast. We aim to change this and bring our RAKE platform to a much higher industry-standard as is expected from our players. At this moment in time, we are in the process of upgrading the website. We are developing and designing a new user interface that allows for multi-currency drops to be enabled and a more user-friendly experience all around. We expect this to be completed by mid-June. The new website will support a swift and easy to follow login process, allowing players to easily access the WINK website via registration with an email address and experience the centralized LIVE casino games that are available and newly added Binary options trading that WINk offers under this section. Alongside this, it will support all major currencies from the top 100 cryptocurrency market. Which will exponentially expand the target audience and change the current playeuser base: who are currently only Tron DAPP users and open it up to every crypto user in the community as well as traditional online gamblers who seek gameplay that truly rewards them back for their wagering. When completed, WINk can quickly start mass marketing campaigns and greatly enhance its current market share, which in turn can bring the entire platform's revenue, user dividends, and WIN's tokens market price to a much higher level and standard. WINk is not satisfied with being the best Tron DAPP. We will only be satisfied when we are the best of our kind, within the entire cryptocurrency community. Date: 15/05/20
What was this big giveaway for? The giveaways we do on twitter are always to improve and increase our engagement and social media presence. We still feel that many people do not know about WIN and the more people that hear about is means the more chances we have of improving our user numbers and improve platform growth
For this Twitter Giveaway, we want to get some exposure on twitter and telegram. That is a normal way for promotion. Of course, it is not the massive promotion we mentioned before.
On May everything going according to the Plan and we can expect a new UI and Dice game at the end of the month? Or there any updates about that?
Everything goes according to the plan. It is supposed to be a new UI in May. About the Dice game, we will launch immediately once the new website goes smoothly.
Is that wheel of fortune game new on live ? Evolution games are available to us and when the game is released we will be requesting it for wink.
We are managing a great relationship with hub88. We will discuss the new game with them and I am sure they will give us a satisfactory answer.
Most big div pools come from mining, and if people stop to mine dividends are not so great. Do you have something in mind to keep people mine?
I think there are two reasons for people mining. The first, playing games for fun.Which is why we will continue to bring more content and great games to the platform. Secondly people want the tokens to be able to increase their daily dividends, we will bring more value to the platform by adding partners continually under the current sub sections. This will bring more players and more value which will bring people to mind which of course brings higher dividends
Is there any chance of getting a date for listing of dice and Live? We do not have a set date yet for the listing of LIVE or DICE the community will be informed when it has been decided
Regarding the listing, we have to negotiate the specific date with exchanges. We are doing some preparation works now to get the subtoken listed on time.
Where does the new scratch card(e gaming) game come?
In-house. Developed by WINk developers. We Will inform you where on the site it is going when it’s finished Thanks community! It is all about today’s Questions and Answers section. If you have more questions, please feedback in the main channel. The mods will forward the questions to the team and we’ll try to answer them on a daily basis. Thanks again for your support!Enjoy your gaming and WIN big!
Alternate CoS Asian Deiselpunk Setting PART 2: Reign of the Storm Shogun
Continued from previous Post: https://www.reddit.com/CurseofStrahd/comments/gwaj5b/alternate_cos_asian_dieselpunk_setting_part_1/ (Player) New and Variant Backgrounds: Some slightly altered backgrounds to give more ways to integrate your character into the world. Some of these backgrounds are simple reskins of existing backgrounds with new flavor text to help give potential character ideas. Variant Soldier: Samurai Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation Tool Proficiencies: One type musical instrument or Calligraphy Set, vehicles (land) Equipment: A banner bearing the crest of your clan or Daimyo, An ornate helmet and mask known as a Kabuto, a Calligraphy Set, A scroll stamped with the Imperial Seal denoting you as serving a Daimyo, a fine Kimono, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp Feature: Way of Bushido – Anyone may follow the path of Bushido but you have devoted your life to following a strict personal code of honor. Bushido demands service, and so you have sworn yourself to a master or " Daimyo ". A Daimyo may be a local noble, the Jade Emperor, or even a childhood friend. It does not matter who a Daimyo is to a Samurai, only that they serve them with Honor. As long as the Samurai remains Honorable and obeys the will of his Daimyo he may requisition basic equipment and horses for temporary use as well as dwell for free in most inns. The owners of the equipment and innkeepers do this with the understanding that the Samurai will have his Daimyo cover the costs with interest to them later, though there are limits to this trust no Gunsmith will provide a Gun to a Samurai even just to borrow for free. Variant Folk Hero: Ronin Some Samurai do not follow a Daimyo, but instead swear themselves unto the weak and the innocent making them collectively his Daimyo. These roaming Samurai are called Ronin and they venture to the remote reaches of Daichi to bring justice. The Ronin follows a strict personal code of Bushido that always includes " Protect the weak and innocent " among its edicts. As long as the Ronin follows this code his background Skill, Tool, and Language proficiencies as well as Background Feature are identical to the core Background Folk Hero with the exception of his equipment. Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a humble unadorned Helmet and Mask called a Kabuto, a warm traveling Kimono, Scrolls detailing your lineage and status as a Samurai stamped with the Imperial Seal, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp Variant Criminal – Shinobi: Sometimes referred to as Ninjas by common folk, Shinobi are a cloister of loosely connected and often competing clans of professional assassins and infiltrators. Shinobi are masters of stealth and subterfuge and while the image of the black clad warrior made popular in Kabuki plays is certainly a major aspect of the Shinobi it is not all that they are. Though there are always exceptions most Shinobi Clans work for coin or for an ancestral Daimyo in much the same way a Samurai does, though it is rare that individual Shinobi serve a singular master. The most infamous clan are the Rain Maidens who have long served the Storm Shogun. Shinobi are identical to the Criminal background in all ways except the following alterations to the background feature: Feature: Clan Contact You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as a liaison to your Shinobi Clan. You know how to get messages to and from your contact even over great distances; specifically, you know the local dead drop locations, secret handshakes to contact messenger Shinobi, and trained messenger raven rookeries who can deliver the messages for you. As long as you are in good standing your Clan is willing to aid you acquire basic supplies and occasional vital information to aid you in your personal endeavours. Variant Acolyte -Shrine Maiden: While men are permitted to watch over Kami Shrines it is traditional that a lone Maiden watch over the smaller way-shrines along major roads, these women lead very solitary and lonesome lives and it is not uncommon for them to occasionally be filled with a period of wonderlust where they seek out adventure before returning to their duties. Sometimes these Maidens have families that will live nearby but the Maiden is expected to live and sleep within her Shrine for most of the year. While this is tradition, there is no actual law requiring the Shrine Maidens to remain at their posts or to live solely within the Shrines and it is not particularly frowned upon for them to have lives outside their work. Variant Entertainer – Geisha: An exclusively female profession of extremely skilled entertainers who spend their lives training in matters of conversation, party planning, tea serving, singing, acting, and often many other skills that serve well in keeping rich and powerful guests happy. Geisha is a highly honorable and respected profession that takes years of practice to attain the lowest rankings, while there are males who have obtained the same degree of skill and who’s abilities are identical to a Geisha’s they are simply called Entertainers. Geisha are sponsored by great noble houses, there are strict requirements and examinations to attain rank and title the cost of which can often indenture common Geisha to service to one of the great noble houses. Variant Outlander – Vajra: A nomadic people of traders and merchants, they travel openly and without fear of the dark evils of the Storm Shogun under the protection of an ancient pact. They are reviled by many, refused entrance to most towns and villages but even so they are a peaceful people on whom the economy of Daichi depends. They revere their ancestors and believe in reincarnation, they do not worship the great Rakasha but do revere it and thus all Rakasha and tigers are sacred to them. They travel on the back of great elephants which carry their homes, their culture is rich and vibrant with a fondness for oral storytelling. Identical in all ways to Outlander core background except exchange language choice for Language: Vajra and add Tool Proficiency: Musical Instrument. You may begin play with a Sitar, a guitar like instrument. New Background – Invader: You are a descendent of the coalition of nations that came to conquer Daichi one thousand years ago. While many still serve the Shogun Ishin you have chosen instead to join the other defectors in living peacefully among the people you once conquered. While despised even more than Vajra you serve an even more vital function in keeping the engines and machinery within the cities and villages of Daichi running. While the Invaders are from many nations their culture has eroded and homogenized over time. Their legends speak of a " Homeland " but none can remember the name. All invaders have a special innate affinity for their blood magic fueled hemo-diesel technology and all can instinctively repair and maintain it. Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Arcana Tool Proficiencies: Tinker’s and Smiths Tools Languages: Invader’s Trade Tongue Feature: Born Engineer – You instinctively know how to perform repairs on all manner of machinery magic and mundane. You may cast as a Mending as an Artificer of your level. Further, whenever you are in an annex or industrial sector of a city you may call on the aid of your fellow Invaders for access to crafting machinery, temporary use of simple vehicles, and a place to lay your head in the factory barracks. (Player) New Subclasses: Editorial Note: Due to some of the listed subclasses being from 3rd party content that I have purchased I cannot directly copy class abilities into this listing. The actual subclass will be presented as Handouts in-game. PM me if you require further information regarding each subclass. Barbarian: Path of the Juggernaut: You have built, scavenged, stolen, or otherwise acquired a titanic Diesel Suit. While most barbarians disdain armor you have made it into a focus for your Rage. Ability Preview: Unstoppable – By expending a unique resource called " Momentum " you can burst through non-magical walls, furniture, and other barriers. Path of the Iron Rider: You have formed a unique bond with a Tsukumogami Dieselcycle which you can call as a Familiar. You channel your rage into heavy firearms as you ride against the storm. Ability Preview: Iron Horse – You can call a spirit possessed Dieselcycle to yourself using the Find Vehicle spell. Ability Preview: Bullet Rage – Instead of channeling your Rage into melee strikes you may instead empower Firearms, eventually reloading and firing with blinding speed. Bard College of the Geisha – You are a professional of beauty and grace, your words, songs, and dances inspire in ways no other Bard can compare to. This has cost you the potency of magic and martial knowledge of other Colleges but strengthening and supporting your allies is more than worth it. Ability Preview: Fascination – When an ally uses a skill empowered by Bardic Inspiration they also have Advantage on that roll. College of the Vajra Weather a true born Vajra or one who has adopted their ways and culture, you have earned many of the unique powers of the foreign nomads. Farsight, Curses, and other oddities to aid allies or confound enemies are yours to command. Ability Preview: Flash of Despair – You grant your enemies a moment of your own foresight, showing them their own imminent failure. You may use your Bardic Inspiration to grant penalties to your foes in the same ways you grant boons to your allies. Cleric Thaumic Engineering Domain: You have abandoned the old religions, accepting the new gods of Science and Reason. You are a man of logic not faith, but you do not ignorantly deny the existence of gods. Rather you recognize that they are a natural force in the world in much the same way as wind or fire are natural forces, and being a scientist at heart you have made it your speciality to put a microscope onto the powers of the divine. Ability Preview: Armor of Divinity – You have discovered the underlying magical force that grants moments of supernatural protection to the Faithful and applied this theory to a physical suit of armor. You can summon a suit of diesel armor at will that is empowered by your knowledge of the divine. Ability Preview: Theological Scholar – Where most Clerics dispense Wisdom you dispense Knowledge. Your spellcasting modifier is Intelligence, other class abilities that would scale off of Wisdom instead scale off of Intelligence. Ability Preview: Spark of Creation – You slowly begin to apply your theories regarding the creation of life and the universe, fabricating advanced Automata with a spark of divine life. Druid Circle of the Machine: While most Druids protect the deep forests and natural wonders of the world, you have chosen to see to the needs of the Cities and their people. Viewing the wonders of technology as a creation just as worth of protection as any waterfall or mountain you have found a way to channel the raw powers of technology through your body to overcome the limitations of other Druids. Ability Preview: Iron to Steel: You realize that Steel is just another form of iron, manufactured weapons are made from base natural components. You are proficient with Firearms and are not hindered by wearing metal armor or weapons. Ability Preview: Machine Shape – The ultimate expression of your beliefs, you channel the raw force of technology and creation through your flesh to become one with the Machine. When you Wildshape you may change the Type of your beast shape to Construct. Ability Preview: Automata Companion – As many druids surround themselves with the beasts of the forest you surround yourself with mechanized allies. You gain an Automata companion in the shape of a Beast. Monk Way of the Jade Bailiff You have sworn an oath to venture out into the distant reaches of Daichi bringing law and justice with you. You are trained well in the art of subdual and investigation, you never kill when arrest is a possibility. Ability Preview: Pacify Suspect – You use your advanced hand-to-hand combat training to grapple or disarm targets while overwhelming them with a flurry of blows. Way of the Singularity To obtain enlightenment is to comprehend infinity and eternity both, but flesh is finite and limited. In your journey to the nirvana of perfect understanding you have chosen to forsake flesh for augmetic steel. You have already installed numerous cybernetic implants within your body and will continue to do so, every pound of flesh lost bringing you closer to perfect understanding of the cosmos. Ability Preview: The Flesh is Weak – Among various other augmentations you replace a full limb with a cybernetic augment. You may channel your Ki through this augment to bend the universe to your will, casting specialized Automation Spells. Rogue Drunken Master You realize that life is about more than just fighting, obtaining wealth, or rising through social ranks. It is a vital necessity for all living beings to relax and enjoy themselves, to this end you have made it your lifestyle to spread your mastercrafted brews far and wide. Ability Preview: Good for what ails you – Your Sake is more than just simple rice wine, you have brewed it with ancient techniques gifted to the mortal races by the Kami at the dawn of time. These are not just booze but potent elixirs that replicate the effects of many Potions. Alternate Drunken Master – hanoyu MasteMistress – While mechanically identical to the Drunken Master you have chosen to master the complex and delicate art of the tea ceremony rather than the bar room brawl. You use mystical tea leaves gathered from secret sanctuaries in the deep woods often tended by forest sprites rather than hard liquor.’’ Ranger Automata Hunter Many in this world embrace technology, but not you. You hold special animosity and hatred for the industrialization that is poisoning Daichi, for the Automata that slaughter innocents, and for the slowly receding natural world. You have spent a lifetime learning the special weaknesses of machines, turning their own strength against them. Ability Preview: Breaker Weapon – You have constructed an Anti-Tank Rifle, Thermal Torch, Piston Hammer, or Buster Sword. These weapons are customized to your exact specifications to destroy machines and bypass their armor. They are also still effective against organic targets, though their size tends to get in the way. (Player) Misc. Player options, New Warlock Patron, Feats, Equipment, Familiars. Editorial Note: Much like with Subclasses as some of this content is 3rd party I only provide flavor descpritions rather than actual rules which are instead provided through the compendium legally. New Warlock Patron: Logic and Reason – Pacts with eldritch entities from beyond time are but a crutch to you. Through overwhelming knowledge of science and the deeper mechanisms that drive the cosmos you have become your own Patron. Ability Preview: Space-Time Recollection – By using advanced knowledge of light particles and chronology magic you can view past events within an area up to 24 hours past. While you cannot willfully speed up or slow down the viewing of these events you can specify a general time frame such as " Morning, Early Afternoon, 9:45 PM " Eldritch Invocations of Logic and Reason: Binary Linguist – You can communicate with any Construct flawlessly, it always understands you even through pure body language. You in turn can understand the same. Equipment: Prosthetic Limb 50 GP – Loss of Limb is a common reality to the people of Daichi, necessitating such crude augmentations. While gorgeous paragons of artisanal mastercraft, or cunning advanced combat prosthetics do exist this is neither. This limb represents a modest workman’s limb. It does not come with excessive adornments and his simple unpainted steel. This device runs on 1 sp worth of Diesel fuel per day and perfectly matches the function of an organic limb. While the limb can replicate strength of up to a score of 20, being set any higher than the user’s natural strength would result in the limb tearing itself free or otherwise damaging the user. DieselCycle, Price: Varies – The Dieselcycle is the most popular form of personal transport across Daichi, extremely rugged and reliable these two wheeled motorized vehicles can cross all manner of difficult terrain at breakneck speed. Many varieties of Dieselcycle exist, mirroring various breeds of horse and mule. Dieselcycles use the stat block of the specified Mount though with an intelligence, wisdom, and charisma score of 0, Type – Construct, double the listed HP and Speed, and with Bite or Hoof attacks becoming Ram attacks. Dieselcycles cannot move or operate without a Rider but unlike Horses do not feel fear and have no minds to warp with magic. A dieselcycle is destroyed when it reaches 0 HP and requires 1 GP worth of Hemo-Diesel to operate per day. Familiars For sake of simplicity these entries will be kept brief, giving a short description of each new Familiar instead of a lengthy stat block. Lesser Pheonix The smallest species of Pheonix, an extremely minor Kami. One should not summon such a creature if they are not prepared to give it proper reverance. Helper Automata A small robot built to aid it’s maker. These Automata can be built into any shape from very small humanoids to mimicking animals, or more crude and utilitarian bundles of spidery limbs and tool armatures. Some are even shaped as extra mechanized arms to hold things for their masters. Giant Silkworm Come in both " naked " and " fuzzy " varieties, these creatures provide the economic backbone for many mountain communities that make their living by weaving dazzling Kimono. They are calm tempered, vegetarian, and have no bite. Popular with small children. Giant Flower Mantis Temperamental hunters this creature is as likely to bite and slice at it’s handler as it is an enemy. One rarely refers to these beasts as a " Familiar " for they more tolerate than serve their summoners. Giant Hawkmoth The later stage of the SIlkworm’s life cycle, now possessing two great scythe limbs they become aggressive carnivores, though they retain the bonds they held in their larval stage with human owners and often are kept as beloved pets for many years. Fu Dragon The least of the Dragons is still a mighty Kami. These Dragons will serve entire family lineages for generations as long as they are properly revered and respected. Ancestor Spirit When a young Wu Jen or Warlock needs further guidance than can be given through mere rote memorization of ancestral tomes, sometimes an Ancestor will voluntarily leave Heaven to give spiritual guidance directly. Feats For sake of simplicity Feats are cut down to just brief descriptions rather than the entire Feats entry. Racial Feats are not repeated here, they are listed in or near their racial entries in the Race section. Bonded Weapon Wielder You attune your soul to a particular Weapon. You may call this weapon to your hand as a Bonus Action as long as it is on the same Plane as you. This Weapon no longer needs to be Attuned if magical. Hengeyokai Ancestry You either carry some Hengeyokai blood in your veins, or if you are already a Hengeyokai discover enough of your hidden ancestries to unlock a new Animal Form. You may shapechange into an animal ( though not a Hybrid ) or a new additional animal form if already a Hengeyokai. Tattooed Special Prerequisite: You have earned the respect of a master Monk or Maiko who has chosen to gift you one of these magical Tattoos. The tattoo is filled with magic and grants you a particular benefit dependent on the tattoo you earn. Firearm Mastery Countless hours with a gun in your hand have paid off by allowing you to engage in melee combat with a gun among other benefits. Novice Inventor Through constant experimentation you have dipped into the Automation magic of the Invaders. Gaining one of their spells and a Cantrip. Augmented You have taken into your body extensive cybernetic improvement. You become more faster, stronger, or tougher and your mechanical parts make you more resilient. If you could before, you can no longer hide your cybernetic nature, your limbs and organs are obviously artificial. (DUNGEON MASTERS) Okay with the general setting and player info out of the way we can talk a bit about the actual campaign. While I won't post all my notes here I will give enough of a general overview such that DM's can use it as a jumping off point if they so wish. The True Backstory of Daichi and the Storm Shogun: Isak was raised in a family of wealth and status with a glorious military history in a nation resembling 1920's America. He was brought up with the understanding that war was a glorious and honorable endeavor where the strong defended their ideals on the field of battle. Advances in technology and politics robbed him of this delusion however, wars of defense became wars of colonial conquest. Officers who once led from the front now telephoned their orders as men died by the thousands to machine gun fire. Isak grew to resent and hate his own people for failing to live up to the fantastical narrative he had been raised on. When Isak conquered Diachi he soon found solace in it's path of Bushido, the Samurai of Daichi embodied the world Isak wished to live in and so he sought to emulate them, eventually renaming himself the Storm Shogun Ishin. Ishin soon received orders that Daichi was to be colonized and her people marched onto reservations. Ishin's leutenant and childhood friend Mara ( Rahadin ) was of a people similarly subjugated and made certain Ishin knew fully what these reservations would do to the people of Daichi. Ishin promptly sought a means to betray his commanders and save Daichi. Delving deep into an ancient temple formed of Amber from the World Tree he uncovered the prison for the Four Great Perils. Hearing the whispers of Taowu who easily convinced Ishin that if he released them they would in gratitude draw Daichi away from the Material Realm such that it would be safe for eternity, however this act required a sacrifice in the form of the " ultimate betrayal of the one you love most. " Ishin despaired as he knew it could only mean killing his beloved sister. Ishin's Sister never entered the army but dissapointed her family by taking up the trade of a humble engineer, she was hesitant to accept Ishin's offer years ago to come to Daichi but relented to see her beloved brother again. During her stay at the former Imperial City she met a street thief named Yoko and the two quickly fell in love. Ishin returned to the city from his journey to the Amber Temple to discover the two being married beneath a sakura tree. Ishin quickly slew the Samurai Honor Guard ( The Player Characters ) and then murdered his own sister in cold blood. As life left her he looked to Yoko and knew that the betrayal was not sufficient, he had to first take from his sister the thing *she* loved the most before his betrayal would be truly ultimate. However with his sister dead Yoko flew into a rage and fought the Shogun with every dirty trick she knew, forcing the shogun to kill her. Taowu was furious at the Shogun's incompetent failure, yet with his betrayal half-complete the Great Perils were still able to manifest partiallin in Daichi and swiftly swept it away from the Material Plane while creating the eternal Typhoon in the process. Now empowered by the Great Perils, the immortal Storm Shogun has been trapped in a thousand year long cycle of murdering his sister, her lover ( Ireena ), and their four guardian Samurai ( The Player Characters ). On the thousandth anniversery of his failure the Great Peril's hold on Daichi will wane and it will crash back to the Material Plane, destroying the world in the process. To save the world either the Storm Shogun must prevail......or the Samurai must find a way to undo the damage he has caused. Meanwhile in the sleepy Kimkaro Village four humble Samurai are called to the home of the Daimyo who lies on his deathbed, he wishes to see his adoptive daughter Yoko one last time before he passes and has asked you to fetch her........ (Dungeon Masters) General Plot overview: This is how the game is intended to flow and be resolved. It is of course very much up to individual Dungeon Masters to modify this to fit their players and narrative. Obviously no plan or plot survives first contact with Players so adjust as needed. I've woven in plotlines from some other Modules I have to pad out areas I felt needed it. Level 1: The party goes to find Yoko at her home outside the village walls and discovers that an Automata ( Animated Armor ) she has been scavenging parts from has sprung to life, possessed by a ghost screaming about it's Hunger. The ghost is Shinzo the Eater, a spirit astrally projecting from his emaciated corpse in the Death House. After defeating the machine the party visits the Daimyo who offers his blessing for the party to leave the village.....after they help resolve the current issue with the polluted river. The River the village relies on for fish has been dying off with the river goddess refusing to answer prayers. The party spends a week searching without avail but while fishing Yoko finds a talking Koi Fish claiming to be the River Goddess! She needs to pass through the Dragon Gate at the top of a nearby mountain to resume her true form. (Dungeon Master) The " River Goddess Koi " is actually Jin-Hao the daughter of the true river goddess Jin-Zhi, he has been cursed into a koi fish as punishment for her arrogance and hubris in attempting to solve the poisoned river problem herself while her mother was away attending to matters in Heaven. Jin-Hao tried to use advanced magic far beyond the Wyrmling and accidently caused a massive lightning storm ( Nobody died thankfully ). It should be very obvious to the players that the Koi is lying and she will confess the truth under fairly little scrutiny as long as the party is kind. A journey upriver ensues where the party must brave several skill challenges to overcome obstacles, there is always an extremely easy path that merely takes a long time to navigate. Jin-Zhi has engineered this to teach her daughter ( and the players ) patience. Weather the players succeed or fail the skill challenges Jin-Hao comes to realize that taking time and being patient solves more problems more easily than rushing ahead. Try to reflect in roleplay her slowly becoming less of a whiny impatient child and more level headed and patient as the player's progress. Eventually they will come to the Dragon's Gate and pass through where a final challenge awaits, Jin-Zhi in the form of a Tiger. This test is not for her daughter but rather for the Players, to see if they will be worthy of the gift she has for them. After Jin-Zhi takes 40 HP damage ( adjust as needed for party size. ) or the party is reduced to 0 HP ( They cannot die while in the Dragon's Gate and Jin-Zhi will resurrect them if they somehow do. ) she will adopt her true form and do the same to her daughter who will become a Lung Dragon once more. If the party has taken the lessons learned during the journey to heart, encouraged Jin-Hao to do the same, showed honor, teamwork, and courage in the final combat ( weather they won or not ) , and generally been polite she will reward them with a Clam of Patience. Clam of Patience: Wonderous Item, Uncommon - This pearlescent creature produces a single use Pearl of Power once a Week. This pearl is known as a " Fruit of Time " and will crumble to dust when used or when the Clam produces another. Jin-Zhi will offer to allow Jin-Hao a second try at fixing the river but the young dragon has learned her lesson and says she is not ready. Pleased with this Jin-Zhi explains to the party that the River's poisoning is from a dam downstream that is flooding the river with pollutants. She allows the party to ride on her back as far downstream as she is able to go before she reaches the edge of her allotted domain. At this point the party should be Level 2. If the party has grown attatched to Jin-Hao consider allowing them to retain her as an ally for the coming dungeon ( Silver Dragon Wyrmling ), if not grant them Inspiration. Level 2: The party reaches the Dam which has an ancient house built on it in the style of the Invaders. This home belonged to Commander Durst, a cruel and wicked military officer who was " encouraged " to build his home far from any civilization as a form of exile by the Storm Shogun. This house is effectively identical to the Death House, however Rose and Thorn are replaced by Shinzo the Eater, Durst's son who was trapped in the deep watershed of the estate and starved, feeding on the corpses of his family after the Shogun slaughtered them upon his rise to power. ( The Shogun was ignorant of Shinzo's presence as he was hiding at the time. ) Shinzo soon became a horrifying emaciated Oni that is trapped within the building. Use the stats for the Shambling Mound though roleplay the Engulf Ability as Shinzo stuffing people whole into his horrid mouth lined with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth. Consider removing the Animated Armor ( The party already fought an Automata ) and making the Specter non-hostile. Replace the Grick and Mimic with more Asian themed monsters of equal CR.( I use creatures from the " Monsters of the Orient " complete Beastiary. ) Upon completing Death House the Dam begins to crumble and disintigrate, cue the party ( hopefully ) dramatically escaping just as the dam breaks and the poisoned waters are freed. Jin-Zhi in grattitude uses her magic to stop the dam from otherwise causing catastrophic flooding and the River is soon restored to health. The party levels to 3. Level 3: The funeral of the Daimyo was delayed due to the pressing issue of the River. Now as the party returns they may proceed with burying Yoko's adoptive father, the arrangements go off without a hitch. However a mysterious individual is present, a woman in the uniform of the Storm Shogun's tank battalions. This woman is Lieutenant-Commander Mara Strahd's right hand woman ( Rahadin ). This character embodies the role of femme fetale but is more honorable than Rahadin and if she witnesses the Feast of St. Andral's event she can be convinced to betray the Storm Shogun. She explains that she is an agent of the Storm Shogun and has come to declare the new Daimyo of the village. Considering the party single handedly are responsible for the River being cleansed she asks them for their recommendations and honors their requests, she holds relatively little regard for Shang as Daimyo and will only declare him if asked to. ( She dislikes anyone who acts through Proxy so make this clear unless Shang accompanied the party during any stage of the adventure ). She commands the party to go to The Imereial City to inform " the traitors " of the new Daimyo's appointnemt and issues them travel passes if they do not have them already. At this point the game proceeds as normal for Curse of Strahd with reflavorings where needed. Old Bonegrinder is now a Tea Plantation run by three White Haired Witches, Dream Pies are replaced by Dream Tea. The Abbot is now the Maiden who operates a vast shrine at the village of Kreza, where she creates horrid amalgamations of Flesh and Metal. ( Cyborgs replace the Mongrelfolk ) The Imperial City is Vallaki, I allow the option to have a " golden ending " to the questline in which the Jade Emperor is ousted but his wife the Empress enters a political binding agreement ( or marriage if you want ) with Evangaline Pentageist and the Jade City remains free while improving the lives of all citizens. Evangaline keeps the Shogun placated with hidden loyalty without turning the city over to him wholesale. The biggest departure is the removal of the Martikovs. I repalced them with The Troupe, a band of 36 highly skilled Kabuki Play actors and actresses who each own a distinct Mask. The party has hints of these masks throughout the adventure and slowly learn that there is a massive information network of these players. Inspired by the White Lotus from Avatar the Last Airbender, they preserve the story of the true origins of the Storm Shogun and help the party realize that they have been reincarnated dozens of times only to fail, this helps them learn from past mistakes. The second greatest departure is that the Shogun's Sister ( Sergei ) is also reincarnating. She and Yoko have over time retained memories of each other despite their constant reincarnations, though the memories are vague and dreamlike. This is how Yoko has slowly become a skilled engineer while the Shogun's Sister has slowly become a street thief in the Imperial City. The two should meet often throughout the adventure, first as adversaries but slowly growing to be lovers. NOTE: Doing a love story, particularly one that does not involve players, is hard to make engaging. Imply rather than show, have Yoko show up later than usual at night and say how much fun she had while out with a " Friend " etc. etc. I had Yoko be a Kitsune for this adventure and had the Shogun's Sister reincarnate as a Tanuki just for the fun of it but feel free to make them be of any race. You can make the Shogun's Sister Male if you wish, I personally just felt like adding some diversity to the campaign. Wooooo! That was a long journey but we mostly got through it. I know there's alot that's glazed over but that's just part of my DMing style. I don't really write down every possible thing because honestly my players are gonna blow 90% of those plans up before they even make contact with them. If your curious to know more about anything just let me know and hopefully I didnt' bore you too much!
This FAQ represents Q&A's over the last few days here. Fellow redditor u/iterateandgit was so kind to help me putting this document together. Big shout out to him please! The FAQ will be further extended over the coming days and weeks. Please keep the questions coming!
Sales, Shipping, Warranty
Q: Are you going to sell this on Amazon in the EU? A: We are working on getting the product up and running on Amazon. But our own BTO shop at www.bestware.com will always be our primary sales channel and will be the only one where you can customize and configure memory, storage, OS, extend your warranty and pick other options. Q: Do you offer student discounts or other sales compaigns like black friday? A: In general, we don't offer student discounts. Sales campaigns are planned just in time, depending on stock level and cannot be announced early. If you want to keep up to date about sales campaigns, please subscribe to our newsletter. Q: Do you ship to the UK? Can I pay in GBP? A: We ship to the UK - the pricing will be in EUR, so your bank will do the conversion. Warranty services will be available from UK, shipping to Germany. Currently, in the single markets, these resturn shipments are free for the end-user. In the worst case there might be additional customs fees for shipping. Q: What warranty options do you offer? A: All our laptops come with 2 year warranty. Warranty repairs in the first 6 months are promised to be done within 48 hours (+shipping). Both the "instant repair" service and the warranty itself can be extended to up to 3 years. Q: Do you sell outside of Europe? A: We are able to ship anywhere, but warranty for customers outside the region would always involve additional customs cost and paperwork for sending the laptop back to Germany in the rare event of an RMA. There is currently no agreement to let other Local OEMs (like Eluktronics in the US) carry the warranty for XMG customers and vice-versa. Some parts are customized (in our case the LCD lid and the keyboard) and it won't be easy to agree on how to share handling fees etc. - so I wouldn't expect a global warranty anytime soon.
Hardware, Specs, Thermals
Q: What is the difference between XMG FUSION 15 and other laptops based on Intel's reference design? A: The hardware of the barebone will be identical. Other Local OEMs might use different parts for RAM and SSDs. Our branding and service/warranty options might be different. We apply our own set of performance profiles in the Control Center. This will rebalance the differentiation between Silent, Balanced and Enthusiast modes. Q: What is the TGP of the NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q? A: Officially, it is 80W in Balanced profile and 90W in Enthusiast profile. You can toggle between these modes in real-time with a dedicated mode switch button. Inofficially, the TGP can go up to 115W in Enthusiast profile thanks to the Overboost mechanic, working in the background. However, those 115W may only be sustained until the system has reached thermal saturation, i.e. when the GPU is approaching the GPU Temperature Target of 75°C. Q: Can I upgrade the storage and memory after I buy? A: On storage: The laptop has two m.2 PCI-Express SSD slots. This will give you currently up to 4 TB of SSD storage. There is no 2.5" HDD slot available. Instead, the battery is enlarged to 93.48Wh. You can see pictures of the interior layouts here, here and here. On memory: the laptop has two SO-DIMM DDR4 memory sockets. You can chose during BTO configuration, if you want to occupy both of them when you order the product. We recommend running the laptop in Dual Channel for high-performance usage. Q: How easy is to upgrade and repair this laptop? A: Here are the key facts:
Only 10 chassis screws on the bottom plate.
All chassis screws are identical size and length. (no risk of mixing them up during re-assembly)
All chassis screws are directly exposed, not behind any rubber feet.
No "warranty void if seal is broken" stickers.
Bottom case can be removed very easily without any prying opening tools.
Keyboard does not need to be removed to access internals.
m.2 screws are already in their socket.
Battery is attached with screws, not glued.
Fans can be cleaned and (if needed) replaced without removing the heatpipes.
We would give this a solid 8 out of 10 which is pretty high for such a thin&light design. The 2 remaining points are substracted for BGA CPU and GPU, which is unfortunately unavoidable in such a thin design. Q: Does it support Windows Hello? A: A Fingerprint-Reader is not available, but the HD webcam comes with Infrared and supports Windows Hello. Q: Can I get a smaller, lighter charger for this laptop? A: XMG FUSION 15 requires a 230W power adaptor to provide full performance. If you max out CPU and GPU with furmark and prime, the 230W adapter will be fully utilized. There are currently two compatible 230W adapters. They have different dimensions but similar weight. Please refer to this comparison table: XMG FUSION 15 Power Supply Comparsion Table (Google Drive) Includes shop links. Will be updated with precise weight numbers in the next few days. I also included 120W, 150W and 180W in this table. They all share the same plug (5.5/2.5,, diameter, 12.5mm length). But 120W and 150W are only rated for 19V but the laptop expect 19.5V. Usually this will be compensated by tolerance but we haven't tested how a system would behave under long-term usage with such an adaptor. In theory, 120W to 180W are enough for charing the laptop and for browsing/web/media. Even a full CPU stress test could easily be handled. But as soon as you use CPU and GPU together, you'll run into the bottleneck and your performance will be reduced. Comparison pictures:
These 5 pictures show only the relevant 230W chargers.
Top: 230W Chicony A17-230P1A for XMG NEO.
Bottom: 230W FSP230-AJAN3 from XMG FUSION 15 (Intel Original)
Again, the weight is about the same. Q: Is it possible to boot and run the laptop while the lid is kept closed? A: Closing the lid under load is not recommended because it will limit the airflow and have a bad effect on keyboard and screen. The laptop likes to take air in from the keycaps. With lid closed, the performance might be limited due to reaching temp targets earlier. Q: Can I get the laptop without the XMG logo? I will be using it in public presentations and I would not like any brand names visible. A: We cannot ship without XMG logo, but you can use a dbrand skins to cover our logo. We have not yet decided if we want to invest into integrating XMG FUSION 15 into the dbrand shop. But you can already buy 100% compatible skins by using the page of the Eluktronics MAG-15 at dbrand. The chassis dimensions are exactly the same. Please be aware: you have to manually select the option "No Logo Cutout" if you want to buy these skins for your XMG FUSION 15. According to dbrand, there will be most likely no import fees when ordering from the EU as long as the order is below 100€. Check this thread for details. Q: Will you offer thermal paste upgrades like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Liquid Metal? A: Our ODMs are using silicon-based, high-performance thermal compund from international manufacturers like Shin-Etsu (Japan) and M.G. (USA). Intel is using MG-860 in this reference design. These products are used in the industrial sector, so they have no publicly known brand name. Nevertheless, their high thermal conductivity and guaranteed durability provide optimal and long-lasting cooling of your high-performance laptop. The thermal compounds are applied and sealed automatically by the vendor of the thermal components. They are applied in a highly controlled, standardized manner and provide the best balance of thermal performance, production tolerance and product lifetime. We are considering offering an upgrade to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut due to popular demand. Will keep you posted on that. Q: Could you please provide an estimate for how much regular usage (~10 browser tabs + some IDE) battery backup would this have? Will there be any way to trade-off battery backup with performance? A: Battery life vs. peak performance can be traded off by using the "Silent" performance profile. You can switch between profiles using a dedicated button on the machine. Your scenario (10 tabs + some IDE) sounds like mostly reading and writing. I would estimate to get at least 7 hours of solid battery life in such a scenario, maybe more. We have achieved 8 hours in 1080p Youtube streaming on WiFi with 50% screen brightness. Adblock and NoScript helps to keep your idle browser tabs in check.
I/O Ports, Peripherals
Q: Why are there not more USB-A 3.1 Gen2 or even USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports? A: USB-A 3.1 Gen1 is basically the same as USB 3.0. There aren't a lot of USB-A devices that support more than USB 3.0 speed. Faster devices typically use USB-C connectors and can be used on Thunderbolt 3, which is down-compatible to USB-C 3.1 Gen2. One of the USB-A ports actually supports Gen2 speed. For the following remarks, please keep in mind that I am not an Intel rep, so everything is based on our own experience. The mainboard design and the I/O port decisions have been made by Intel. Feedback and requests from LOEM customers have been taken into consideration. We would assume that USB 3.2. Gen2x2 (20 Gbit/s) was not considered to be important enough to safe space for 3rd party IC (integrated circuits) on the motherboard. Right now, all the USB ports and Thunderbolts are supplied by Intel's own IC, so they have full control over the hardware, firmware and driver stack and over power saving and performance control. The more IC you add, the higher your Idle power consumption will be, plus adding potential compatibility or speed issues as it often happens with 1st generation 3rd party USB implementations. I very well remember from my own experience the support stories during the first years of USB 3.0, before it was supported in the Intel chipset. On the one hand, Intel is aiming high in terms of performance and convenience, on the other hand: support and reliability still seem to be Intel's goal #1. Thus they seem to play it safe where they deem it to be reasonable. Intel is gearing up for USB 4.0 and next-gen Thunderbolt. USB 3.2 2x2 is probably treated as little more than a roadmap accident. Peripheral vendors might see it the same way. Q: Do you support charging over USB-C/Thunderbolt? Does it support docking stations? A: The Thunderbolt 3 port in Intel's reference design does not support charging. As you probably know, the 100W limit would not be enough to power the whole system and it would make the mainboard more complex to combine two different ways of charging. Intel consciously opted against it and will probably do so again on future high-end gaming/studio models. The USB-C/Thunderbolt port supports Dual-Link DisplayPort signals, directly connected to the NVIDIA Graphics. This makes proper docking station usage very convenient. The user still needs to connect the external power adaptor. Both ports (Thunderbolt and DC-in) are in the back of the laptop, making the whole setup appear very neat on the desk. Q: How many PCIe lanes does the Thunderbolt 3 provide? Are they connected to CPU or Chipset? A: XMG FUSION 15 supports Thunderbolt 3 with 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0. The lanes come from the chipset because all of the CPU lanes (x16) are fully occupied by the dedicated NVIDIA graphics. We are not aware of any side-effects of running Thunderbolt from the chipset. It is common practice for high-end laptops with high-end graphics. The Thunderbolt solution is of course fully validated and certified by Intel's Thunderbolt labs. Q: Does it have a standby USB to power USB devices without turning on the laptop? A: Yes, the USB-A port on the left side supports this feature.
Q: Which LCD panel is being used? Are there plans for 1440p or 4K panels in the laptop? How about PWM flickering? A: The panel is BOE NV156FHM-N4G. It is currently not known if the panel will change in later batches. This depends on logistics and stock. At any rate, the panel key specs will remain the same. There are currently no plans to offer resolutions above FHD in the current generation of this laptop. There are very wide ranges on reports of Backlight Brightness PWM control on this panel in different laptops. Ranging from 200Hz to 1000Hz to no PWM at all - all on the same panel model number. Intel informs us that there are many factors (e.g. freq., display driver, BIOS settings implementation, type of dimmers & compatibility with the driver etc.) that impacts the quality of panel dimming performance. To Intel's knowledge, no kind of flickering has been reported during the validation process. Furthermore, first hands-on data from Notebookcheck indicates that no PWM occurs on this panel. With a DSLR test (multiple burst shots at 1/4000s exposure time) I can confirm that there is not a single frame of brightness dipping or black screen, not even at minimum LCD brightness. Hence, we can confirm: BOE NV156FHM-N4G in XMG FUSION 15 (with Intel) does not use PWM for backlight control. Q: Some BTO shops, for an additional fee, manually pick out display panels with the least back-light bleed. Do you offer that? Even better, do you do that without the extra fee? A: Intel has validated this design to avoid backlight bleed as much as possible. Currently no plans to do further binning. All dozens of MP samples we have seen so far have been exceptionally good. Q: I'm coming from a 13" MacBook with Retina display. How am I going to fare with this 15.6" FHD screen in content creation? A: If you got used to editing high-res visual content (photography, artwork) on your 13inch retina, things will change. On the one hand, your canvas will be larger and more convenient and ergonomic to work with. On the other hand, you will find yourself zooming in more often in order to make out fine-detail. Assuming that you have sharp 20:20 vision. As it is, the screen resolution and specs are not planned to change within the lifetime of this product. The first realistic time-window for a refresh would be whenever Intel is releasing the next "H" series CPU generation. But even then, an upgrade on resolution will not be guaranteed. Comparison:
Pixel per inch
13.3" MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013)
15.6" XMG FUSION 15 (late 2019)
To compare: 141.21 is ~62% from 226.98. This represents the the metric difference in pixel density and peak sharpness between these two models. If you know the diagonal size and resolution of your screen, you can make this comparison yourself with the DPI/PPI calculator.
Keyboard, Backlight, Switches, Layout
Q: What can you tell us about the mechanical keyboard of XMG FUSION 15? A: The keyboard has already been reviewed in our XMG NEO series as being more crisp than typical membrane keyboards. Most reviewers attested it a very good score, both for gaming and for writing long texts. The keyboard backlight can be configured per-key. Default mode is all white. Keyboard Switch Specs:
2mm travel distance
60g actuation force
1000Hz polling frequency
Rated for up to 20 million keystrokes
Having no frame around the keycaps actually helps the thermals. The fans can pull in additional air from the top. This improves airflow and helps to keep the keyboard temperature at low levels during gaming. It also prevents long-term RMA issues on the keyboard. This specific keyboard switch is already in its 3rd generation and very mature by now. Q: Is it possible to dampen the mechanical keyboard with o-rings? A: The switch design does not lend itself to further dampening. The switch mechanic is too complex and has more moving parts than cherry. The 2mm travel distance also plays a role in not allowing more dampening. For reference, please use this video (Youtube). We compared XMG NEO with another membrane-type keyboard. XMG NEO and FUSION share the same keyboard mechanics with the silent tactile switch and the same sound profile. Q: Do you have LED keyboard backlight on the secondary key function, like Fn key icons? A: Please have a look at this picture.
Taken with full keyboard backlight brightness
In totally dark room
Edited in Lightroom (reduced highlights) to reflect the way it really looks to the human eye
F10 seems to have a slightly different color temperature than F8/F9 in this picture. This is due to the angle, open aperature and chromatic abberation of my camera. In real-life, all per-key LEDs behave identically to one another.
Btw, my working sample has blank keycaps. I took the 3 printed keycaps (F8, F9, F10) from a different sample just to demonstrate the Fn lighting for this picture. Facts:
Fn modifier key is on the left between Ctrl and WinKey
the Fn function don't have seperate backlight, but they benefit from the main per-key backlight
the position of the LED is centered above the mechanical switch. That's why the upper portion of the key is brighter than the lower portion. That's why in our layout, the primary function of each key is always located at the center top.
In my assesment, the Fn function symbols are clearly visible from the backlight in a dark room. A user should have no difficulty to recognize the icon and reach its function. Q: Which keyboard layouts do you offer in the EU? A: The following layouts are available, in alphabetic order: Belgium, Czech, Danish, Dvorak German, Dvorak US, Estonia, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish for Typists, Portuguese, Russia Latin, Slovakish, Spanish, Swedish / Finnish, Swiss, Turkish, UK, US International (ISO)All these layouts are based on the ISO matrix. See differences between ANSI vs. ISO here.
Q: Do you support Linux and dual-boot on XMG FUSION 15? A: We are in discussion to sell XMG FUSION 15 over Tuxedo with official Linux support. It might take 1 or 2 months to get this running. Q: Which LAN, Audio and WiFi card vendors will be used? Asking for a friend. A: From our HWiNFO64 report. (Google Drive link) LAN: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 [PCI\VEN_10EC&DEV_8168&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_15]Audio: Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) Audio Controller [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A348&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_10]WiFi: Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX200 [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2723&SUBSYS_00848086&REV_1A], can be replaced. For more information, please check the linked report file.
Q: What would you say are the advantages and differences with other laptops due to the fact the laptop was designed in collaboration with Intel? A: Disclaimer: I am \not* an Intel rep. The following remarks are based on my personal experience and opinion.* Advantages:
Very strict quality control on all levels. I can't quote numbers due to NDA, but Intel NUC has extremely low RMA rates, compared to average PC mainboards and systems. Intel is driven by strict internal regulation that strifes for perfection - this applies to the whole chassis, assembly and firmware, not only the mainboard. There are also certain regulations in place, for example in terms of electro-magnetic regulation and skin temperatures. The rating label is littered with regulatory seals from every region of the world, making this laptop especially safe to use.
Access to high-quality material: we have not seen any Gaming Laptops based on Magnesium alloy yet, especially not in the ODM/LOEM ecosystem. The battery cells are also much more dense than what we usually see. Intel has the buying power and the vision to not settle for mediocre parts.
Down-to-earth design: Intel has made this reference design for the ODM/LOEM eco-system. The design does not try to follow any specific corporate identity, thus it does not have any unneccessary "bling bling" like all the others have. Even the Razer Blade with it's sleek shape is quite obnoxious (iny my oppinion) with it's big backlit green snake logo. With XMG FUSION however, we can continue our typical style of "Undercover Gaming".
Security: you can expect stellar support in terms of BIOS and Firmware (TPM, Management Engine) updates whenever any security issues are found. This might also apply to global brands, but ODM/LOEM systems have not always been so quick to react. This is due to the huge fragmentation/customizations in ODM/LOEM systems. Intel however does now allow any fragmentation: every LOEM partner is getting the same firmware. There are many hooks for configurations in this firmware, but the source code / binaries are always the same. This makes support much easier down the line.
I can't name many, of course. But I would say the strict validation also makes the partnership less flexible from a product management perspective. There is no plan currently to phase-in any 4K or 300Hz screen (FHD/144Hz ought to be enough for everyone this year) or any Core i9 in this system. Other ODMs might be more open for costly modifications based on low quantities. Intel however has streamlined their production and logistics in a way that gives us (the LOEM) very short lead times and competitive pricing, but will not allow any short-notice upgrades or customizations.
Q: Will there be a 17 inch version? A: We can neither confirm nor deny plans for a 17 inch version at this point. [to be continued]
So to update you all on things, my hernia surgery went well and my intestines are back where they belong. Sadly I didn't have as much time to write as I would have liked, (pain meds will do that), but I managed to finally get chapter twelve done in time to give you all an extra dose of JVerse once you have finished our lord and savior's most recent chapter. (Story is continued in the comments) -------------------------------------------------------- <First><Previous><Next> -------------------------------------------------------- Date Point: 3 months, 2 weeks, 5 days A.V. Unnamed system Planet 4 ring system Requiem Michael Kepler "God damn I missed this," Michael said, flipping the Requiem around another asteroid, testing the limits of the inertial compensators. They had gotten lucky and found the perfect system to test out the newly retrofitted Requiem. The system in question turned out to be a binary system with some rocky bodies and a truly gorgeous blue gas giant that sported a system of ice rings that were just perfect for running the old girl through her paces. Michael gave the main thrusters all they could take, slipping through two asteroids seconds before they collided. There was a muffled cheer through the comms from the rest of the crew back onboard the Dawn. He had set up cameras all over the Requiem so his crew could watch. Right now only himself and Hephaestus were crazy enough to fly a ship built from scrap through one of the densest ring systems on record. Even Ralthin wasn't that crazy, having said that he'd rather shoot the rocks instead. They dodged, dived, and weaved their way through the belt for another half an hour before Michael got a comms ping. He angled the ship "up" and rocketed out of the belt so he could answer without having to dodge rocks. "What's up," Michael asked, angling the ship so he was cruising parallel to the rings. Goralin's face showed up on the screen, "We just synced with Haven's network, and you've got a message from Gabby." Before they had left Haven Michael had signed them up as Gabby's new security force. To keep in touch in case of an emergency Michael had purchased an FTL comms array and had set it up to sync with the local network on Haven every week. Of course, if there was an actual emergency he had spent a small fortune on a pair of quantum entangled arrays for instantaneous recall. The fact that Goralin's ears had a mischievous tilt meant that this wasn't an emergency. Meaning that it was probably the favor he had asked before they left. "Alright, prep the hangar bay. I'm gonna test the emergency recall drive," Michael said, cutting the thrusters and letting the ship coast. "Copy that Michael. Wait to jump until we give you the signal," Goralin said, closing the channel. Michael switched over to the intercom, "Sorry Hephaestus, looks like we're gonna have to cut this short." "It isss fine," Hephaestus said with the barest hint of a chuckle, "If the messsage isss from Gabby I can only think of one reassson. We are going hunting!" "Cool your jets, we still haven't heard it yet," Michael said, running the ship through the pre-jump sequence, "All set to jump?" One other little upgrade they did was to configure a jump drive onboard the Requiem so they could get back to the Dawn in a hurry. The only downside was that the hangar bay had to be depressurized so the sudden appearance of the Requiem didn't create a hull rupturing pressure wave. "All sssyssstemsss are green," Hephaestus said back through the comms, "Ready for jump." It was only a few more seconds until Michael got the comms ping signaling that the hangar bay was ready. Michael's finger hovered over the button, "Jumping in three...two...one." He pushed the button and the ship was inside the Dawn, perfectly centered in the hangar bay. The docking clamps engaged and the bay was pressurized in minutes. Michael ran through the shutdown sequence, unstrapped himself from the pilot seat and met Hephaestus in the airlock. They double-checked the atmospheric readout on the panel before opening the outer door. Even though Michael was wearing his armor and had no fear of stepping into hard vacuum, Hephaestus was basically naked, so it paid to be careful. They made their way up to the bridge, stopping by the mess to apologize for cutting the show short and so Michael could grab a quick snack. One downside of his new armor was that he burned a lot more calories than he ever did wearing his old suit. He walked the rest of the way up to the bridge with Hephaestus in tow. When he opened the door to the bridge Goralin turned around in the copilot's seat, "You enjoy yourselves," he asked with a slightly mischievous tilt to his ears. "Yeah!" Michael said enthusiastically, "and I gotta say, yinz missed a hell of a ride." "I'll have to take your word on that one," Goralin said with a chitter, "Anyway, while we were waiting, I went through the files that were attached to the message and it looks like she sent us a good one." "Oh," Michael asked, interested, "she send anything else?" "Just a few video files," Goralin trailed off. Michael looked around to see the rest of the bridge crew barely able to hold back their chittering. So they were those kinds of videos… Michael sighed, "Put the important one up on the main screen. I'll take a look at the rest later." Goralin flicked his ears in amusement and brought up the message file. Gabby appeared on the main screen, thankfully wearing her work outfit, with a cqcq cigarette in her hand, "Long time no see," she said, taking a hit and blowing the smoke off-screen, "I had my contacts do some digging and they found a good one. There's no bounty, sadly, but I don't think you'll have a problem with that. Everything you'll need should be in the files I sent along with some...other things I know you'll like," she winked at the camera, "Hoping to hear back from you soon." "Did she send a location," Michael asked, turning toward Goralin. "Already punched in," Goralin said with a pant-grin. "Good man," Michael said with a gentle clap on Goralin's shoulder, "Prep the ship for warp, I'm gonna head to my quarters to uhh…review the other files she sent and get a reply together to send over during the next sync." Michael left the bridge to sound of barely contained chittering from the crew and made his way back to his quarters. When he reached the mess heard raised voices coming from inside. So he stopped to eavesdrop just outside the door. "For the last time Jilink," Guln said, "I have absolutely no interest in your insane delusions. No matter how...impressive you may find the humans in their mating practices!" "Oh come now," Jilink said dismissively, "You seriously cannot believe that the way our species handles reproduction is good for our long term survival can you?" "What other choice do we have," Guln asked, "we have long since passed the point of being biologically able to reproduce, but that is beside the point," he lowered his voice, "it was simply proposing the idea of reverting back to biological reproduction that made you one of the few Corti that had their banner status stripped all the way down to yellow." "That was just because those in the Directorate are too narrow-minded to see past their own hubris," Jilink said angrily, "it was only when I started unlocking and splicing genes that had been previously bred out that I started to question their rhetoric. If you would just let me-" "No! I will not hear of it. Mess with your own genetic code all you want, but I will not have you turning myself and Kilnq into genetic freaks," Guln said, moments before storming out of the mess. He ignored Michael and headed off toward the med bay. Michael poked his head into the mess and saw Jilink sitting alone, forlornly picking at a plate of steamed mushrooms and cqcq. She looked up as he walked over, "If you are going to play at eavesdropping you might want to consider that we can feel your every step through the deck plating," she said with a shrewd look. "So what was your banner status," Michael asked bringing over a chair that could support the weight of himself and his armor. He sat down and took off his helmet, placing it on the table in front of him. "No remorse and straight to the point I see," she let out a deep sigh, "Before I began...experimenting...on myself, I was a silver banner." From what Michael knew about Corti social structure, Jilink had been next to royalty. To give all that up... "Fuck," Michael said, recovering from his jaw practically denting the table, "Why the hell did you give that up?" "To advance my species of course," she said, her eyes boring into Michael's, "we may be the most technologically advanced in the galaxy, but as a species we Corti have fallen behind tremendously. I may be too brazen in saying this, but we are on the brink." "On the brink," Michael asked, "the brink of what?" Jilink's expression hardened, "The brink of terminal decline, and unless something is done my species will fade into obscurity." "And that something was playing with your own genetics," Michael asked, confused. "Not playing," Jilink said, waving one finger back and forth, "Improving. As we are, the Corti are far from ideal. Intelligent and quick-witted yes, but we lack the physicality to endure as a species for much longer." "And that has to do with what Guln said about the way yinz reproduce," Michael asked, even more confused, "you mean yinz don't have kids naturally?" "As a matter of fact, we do not. Every Corti is grown in a birthing tank," Jilink said matter of factly, "there hasn't been a natural birth for millennia." "Well that's all kinds of fucked up," Michael said, shaking his head, "and they kicked you out for wanting to go back to the way things are supposed to be?" "Precisely. You see, reverting back to biological reproduction would necessitate drastic changes to our biology. It is also the reason why I am so fascinated with how other species reproduce. I have been able to get a wealth of medical data on the subject, but the one thing that most species lack is information on how to make the act more enjoyable. Your species, however," she pointed at Michael's chest, "seems to excel in that regard." "I can see your point," Michael said with a chuckle. "Needless to say there are some practices that simply watching recordings cannot fully explain. You do not mind answering some questions do you," Jilink asked excitedly. Michael shrugged, "I got time. Ask away." Jilink pulled a small tablet from her set of pouches and tapped in a few commands, "I'll start with something that has perplexed me for some time now. Tell me, what is the exact purpose of a bukkake?" ---------- Ten thousand kilometers astern of the Radiant Dawn Whispering Breeze Agent One Six Two Something was wrong. He had been trying to link to the infrared module that was hidden next to the engine cluster on that accursed human's ship for over [an hour] only to receive no response. He double and triple checked that his ship was aligned correctly and found not the barest hint of any discrepancy. This left two possibilities, either the module had malfunctioned, or it had been taken offline. Given the extremely stable nature of current solid-state electronics, the latter of the two options seemed the most probable. He was now forced to consider alternative plans to get the information he needed. One option was to take over one of the human's crew, but the chances of finding one of them alone long enough for him to adjust to the new sensory input were astronomical at best. There was always the option of simply biodroning all the implanted crew, but with the proven combat capabilities of the human and his pet abomination, there was no guarantee of successfully taking over the ship. That left only one option that had any probability of success. Once the human's ship was out of the system and had no hope of detecting him, One Six Two punched in the codes for the only jump beacon that the human had deployed. ---------- Date point: 4 months, 2 weeks, 5 days AV Sol system Earth Allegheny National Park Daniel Mackovich After the Vancouver incident life had gone on pretty much the same as always. As much as he hated to admit it, Daniel wished the aliens had caused more damage. As it was now, people had already moved on. Of course, every news outlet on the planet had milked the story dry within a week, but since nobody other than the aliens had died the story that humanity was no longer alone in the universe had been replaced by the same old shit. Shootings, trouble in the Middle East, China violating human rights, the usual stuff. Both he and David were sick of it. So they had planned a little something to get away. That little something happened to be a camping trip out in Allegheny National Park. Not the biggest excursion by a long shot, but it seemed a couple of days out in the woods was just what the doctor ordered. The first night was just perfect. No rain or swarms of mosquitos, just hours of watching caveman TV with a good meal cooked over the fire to finish out the night. They had been watching the weather and had made sure that there wasn't the barest hint of rain, but it looked like the curse of his old Boy Scout troop had followed him. It had started raining shortly after lunch on the second day. Thanks to a few tricks he'd learned in said cursed Boy Scout troop, Daniel was able to get the fire going, even though all their wood was soaked, so they were at least able to cook their dinner under the tarp David had rigged up over the fire pit. "Well, it wasn't what we were expecting," David said, looking out of the tent, "but I can think of worse ways to spend the evening." "My old scout troop was called the Rain Makers after all," Daniel said with a chuckle, snuggling a little closer to David, "At least the company's better this time around." They sat and watched for a while, listening to the gentle sound of the rain on their tent. David turned around and rummaged around in his bag for a few moments before turning back and locking eyes with Daniel. "Well...I was hoping for a better opportunity but," David trailed off. Daniel looked down at what David was holding in his hand and his breath caught in his throat. "Daniel, will you marry me?" ---------- Date point: 9 months, 1 week, 2 days AV Far Reaches Cimbrean Radiant Dawn Michael Kepler They had made the trip out in astonishingly good time thanks to the black box drive on the Radiant Dawn. Fast as their ship was it had still taken them around six months to reach this little speck of nowhere. However, the extra time gave Michael the chance to work out some armor for his Gaoian crewmates. They had to stop and resupply before they could manufacture any of it though. It seemed that they had burned through most of their supplies for the nanofac with the Requiem's retrofit. The armor they had worked out was much like Hephaestus' in the way that it relied heavily on lightweight composite plates instead of heavy alloys like Michael's. The plus side was that Hephaestus had worked out a composite that could take multiple hits from a heavy pulse cannon before failing. Not that the Gaoians would be taking much fire though, each one had a portable cloaking generator to make the best use of their natural talent for sneaking. There was one problem with the suits though, they had to be kept loose to accommodate the Gaoians' fur. Which meant that they would have to rely on shield harnesses for protection against the vacuum of space. Not the best prospect in Michael's mind, but they didn't seem to have the aversion to relying on forcefield tch like he did. And since Michael wanted some semblance of a uniform for his new band of mercs, the chest plate and helmet had kept as much of the standard Mandalorian looks as possible. The helmet was kinda tricky, considering that the Gaoians had much longer noses than humans, as well as ears that came out of the top of their heads. In the end, Gaoians had to deal with the minor discomfort of having their ears squished down, but it was worth it if they wanted to have their heads protected. As for the stereotypical "T" shaped visor, Michael settled on a shortened version, ending just above the Gaoians' snouts with a protrusion to cover their nose and mouth. It also had the benefit of allowing the Gaoians to personalize the lower portion, and once one of them had painted fangs on his, the rest had followed suit. Michael had to admit, it looked totally badass. The extra time also gave them the chance to develop their arsenal. The standard pulse guns were ditched in favor of coilguns. Most of the Gaoians went with something like an AR-15. They were lightweight, with a variable power setting so they didn't over-penetrate their targets if they were inside a ship or station. The real treat was what the brownies came up with though. The crazy fuckers had amped up their coilguns to a heavy machine gun type thing that could send a withering hailstorm of slugs at whatever unfortunate thing that happened to be on the receiving end. However, it seemed that all of the Gaoians took a liking to Hephaestus' fusion claws and had added their own to finish out their already terrifying array of weapons. They had spent three of the local days cloaked in a high polar orbit mapping the planet and trying to find the location of the palace that was supposed to be here. The only reason it took that long was that they were using passive scans to prevent the discovery of their ship. Since they were stuck in orbit Michael had left it up to the bridge crew to notify him when they found anything. To pass the time and get a better feel on things he had been going through the files on their target. After cross-referencing them with the data from the Twisted Suns it seemed that this particular fucknut had an affinity for ordering Rickytics and Vizkiticks among a smattering of a dozen other species. It couldn't be...could it? Michael dug deeper into the records until he found the right entry. Shit. "Ship," Michael said as he got up from his desk and stretched, still marveling at just how flexible his new armor was. He got a response ping. "Where is Irk?" "Irk is in hydroponics," the ship said through his room's intercom in a perfect replica of Cortana’s voice. Michael didn't know why, but using Cortana's voice for the ship just felt right. Michael grabbed his helmet and locked it in place. "Send him a message that I'm on my way. There's something I need to talk to him about." Michael went to hydroponics and found Irk in his personal corner behind their crop of cqcq minding his bonsai garden. He had originally got the idea from watching Karate Kid of all things. When they had stopped at Haven Irk had purchased a bunch of seedlings from all over the galaxy. As it turned out most of them had the same reaction as Earth trees when they were root-bound inside a small pot. With a little help from some space magic in the form of time acceleration fields, he had more than a dozen perfectly healthy miniature trees. With careful management, Irk had produced some truly fantastical shapes. Hell, he even had one "pot" that was levitating with trees growing out of both the top and bottom. When Michael walked over Irk turned around, "Ah, Michael. You have something you wanted to speak to me about?" "Yeah," Michael said, taking off his helmet and setting it down on the table next to the levitating bonsai trees, "It's about our target." Irk gave him a quizzical look, tilting his head slightly to the side. Michael took a deep breath, "There was a bit of a mix up on the part of the Twisted Suns. Your lifemate and child were actually supposed to be shipped here." "But...the Hunters," Irk trailed off. "That's not all," Michael said, shaking his head, "I really don't have a good way to say this...but it looks like the scumbag we're after wanted you and your family specifically." Irk slumped to the deck, lost for words. "I did some digging into the data we got from the Twisted Suns," Michael said, bringing up the file and sending it to Irk's tablet. It pinged and Irk pulled it out of its pouch with shaking hands. He hesitated for a moment before opening it. Delicately, he tapped the icon and read the file. Irk put the tablet back into its pouch and was silent for a few moments before he gathered his legs under himself and stood up to his full height. He looked directly at Michael, "I have only one request." "Name it," Michael said, locking eyes with Irk. "Bring the bastard to me alive," Irk said with enough bile dripping off the borrowed human curse word to make Michael flinch. No sooner had Irk walked out of hydroponics did Michael receive a notification from the bridge crew. He put his helmet back on and answered the comms. "Yinz found something," he asked, exiting hydroponics and making his way up to the bridge. "Yeah," Goralin said through the comms, "and you're gonna want to see this." "On my way," Michael said, breaking into a run for the hundred-ish meters to the bridge. He exploded into the bridge and skidded to a halt right next to Goralin. Michael was a little out of breath, but it wasn't too bad considering the weight of his armor. Practically living in the suit had its benefits sometimes. Goralin eyed Michael with a hint of amusement "Excited?" "Damn right," Michael said with a chuckle, "we've only been orbiting this dirtball for three days. What'd you find?" "See for yourself," Goralin said with a pant-grin, bringing up what looked like a palace on the main screen. Michael let out a long whistle, "Damn that had to cost a pretty penny." What was on screen was possibly the most egregious display of wealth that Michael had ever seen, aside from his own ship of course. Camera tech was really something else out here, they had to be at least a hundred and fifty kilometers up, but the pictures were clear enough that Michael could see the contents of the gardens surrounding the enormous palace complex. He'd read the specs when he had the sensor suite overhauled, but the fact that their ground facing camera was in the hundred gigapixel range never quite hit home until he had actually used it. "Cost a what," Goralin asked, tilting his head slightly. "Oh, sorry," Michael said, a little embarrassed, "it's an expression for a fuckton of money." Goralin chittered, "Well the palace isn't the only thing that cost a pretty penny. We found something else too." The next thing that came up on the screen left Michael totally speechless. Not too far off the coast was a yacht so big it was practically a floating island. Hell, it even had football-field sized space in the middle that was containing a miniature forest. "Well if they're anywhere, our target's probably on that yacht," Michael said, gesturing to the screen. Goralin zoomed in on it, "It looks like there's a landing pad big enough to land the Requiem near the back." "Well, it's our lucky day then," Michael said, turning back toward the door, "get an assault team ready. We're dropping in an hour." "An assault team," Goralin asked, his ears going slightly back. Michael stopped and turned back around, "Rich fucker like that's gotta be able to afford some really good security, and not the average Chennash mercs either." "Right," Goralin said, "I know Ralthin's gonna be damn happy to finally get a good fight for once," he finished with a slight chitter. The next hour flew by in a flurry of activity as the assault team got the message and scrambled to get into their armor. Thankfully they didn't need to load any cargo into the Requiem, and they already had all their extra weapons stored onboard. Michael made a stop by his quarters to grab his coilgun and its barrel attachments. On a whim, he dug out his antique revolver and strapped it to his hip. He had to stop and laugh at the absurdity of carrying a black powder revolver that was made in eighteen seventy-six, but something just felt right about bringing the old girl along. He made it to the hangar bay just as everyone was getting situated. Hephaestus was already onboard the Requiem running through the preflight checks from his station near the quantum stacks so all Michael had to do was wait for the rest of the assault team to show up. When everyone was strapped in and had their gear stowed for the drop he stepped out to the open space in the middle of the Requiem's cargo area. "Alright," Michael said, running his eyes over the seated Gaoians, "it's our first mission and from the looks of things, it's not gonna be an easy one. We're going in blind and this fucker's probably paranoid enough to have hired some decent security. They won't be like the pirate scum yinz are probably used to. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a company of Allebenellin mercs waiting for us." Michael paused and let that sink in for a moment, "The main problem is that the yacht we're gonna be landing on is fucking huge. So the plan's pretty simple myself, Hephaestus, Ralthin, and the brownies are gonna raise hell so all the rest of yinz can use your cloaking fields to the best advantage. Sweeping the ship for any other hostiles while looking for our target." That got some chittering out of them. "As for our target," Michael said, starting to pace back and forth in front of the seated Gaoians, "he's a Robalin with some… strong opinions on other sentient life. Apparently, this guy acquired his fortune thanks to some kind of breakthrough in medical tech and bought the palace at an auction when the previous owner's trading company went under thanks to some very poor business deals and Hunter raids on their ships. Ever since, he's lived a comfortable life on Cimbrean buying slaves from the Twisted Suns for God knows what reason," Michael let out a long sigh, "And as much as I'd like to end this guy the second we find him, Irk wants him alive. It seems that this fucker is the one that got Irk's family captured by the Twisted Suns." "An that's why we're not just gonna blast the boat," Yeg asked. "Exactly," Michael said, pausing to congratulate him, "there also might be slaves still on board, so any we find get to come back with us. Any questions?" "Yeah," one of the other brownies spoke up, "when are ya gonna quit talkin' so we can have some fun?" Michael laughed, "Alright alright, I get it," he said, vaulting up the ramp to the cockpit, "hold on to your tails, it's gonna be a bumpy ride." Michael entered the cockpit and closed the door behind him, and once he was in the pilot seat he opened the intercom, "We ready to go?" "The ssship isss ready to depart Michael," Hephaestus said back eagerly. Michael gave the signal to the hangar crew and waited while they depressurized the hangar bay and opened the outer door. Michael opened a channel to the bridge, "Yinz keep an eye out while we're planetside, we might need to come back in a hurry." "Just make sure you don't die down there," Goralin said with a slight chitter, "We'll be waiting for you." "We'll make sure to come back in one piece," Michael said with a chuckle, quickly running through the preflight checks. Hephaestus had already done them so all he had to do was to glance at the display and be sure that all systems were green, "but if yinz are that worried, I'll broadcast the view from my helmet cam." "You know," Goralin said, "I was gonna suggest the same thing. It'll make for good entertainment." "You got that right," Michael said entering the command to release the docking clamps, "Undocking now," Michael said closing the channel and backing the ship out of the hangar bay. Once he was clear of the ship Michael angled the Requiem toward the planet and threw the throttle all the way forward. "Uunngfhhh...Fyu's balls," Ralthin growled through the comms, "I forgot about that." "Yinz okay back there," Michael asked, pulling the throttle slightly back. "Other than bein' crushed inta our seats we're fine," Ralthin said back with a forced chitter. "Hey, I said it was gonna bumpy ride," Michael said with a smirk. They made the rest of the trip down in silence and before long they were punching a hole through the atmosphere leaving a flaming trail of plasma behind them. The yacht appeared on the radar when they were still twenty kilometers up, not that Michael needed sensors to find the thing, he could already see it. Floating island was right, the damned thing had to be nearly as big as the Dawn. When they were about ten kilometers out the comms panel lit up. Out of curiosity, Michael opened the channel. "Unidentified vessel you are appro-" Michael closed the channel, his curiosity stated for the moment. No use talking with them anyway. He closed the rest of the distance gradually slowing down so they wouldn't overshoot. When they got within a kilometer Michael had to admit that the yacht was a truly beautiful ship. It had three hulls connected together by an expansive main deck that swept into a sharp point at the bow where the main hull was cutting through the waves. The most prominent feature being the forest in the middle of the ship protected from the elements by the telltale shimmer of a forcefield. The landing pad near the stern was suspiciously empty, but when Michael brought the Requiem closer he noticed that it had some kind of door in the middle. No doubt it was used for bringing whatever landed down into some kind of hangar. There was no way the Requiem would fit into said hangar, but it looked like the pad was just large enough to set the ship down. Strangely, the yacht seemed to be holding course, almost inviting him to land. He activated the inter-ship comms, "Looks like they're actually gonna let us land. The second we touch down I want the brownies out first. Shoot first, ask questions later." Michael flipped the ship around so she was hovering just above the deck and matched speed with the yacht. He lined it up using the docking camera and set her down with a gentle thump. The very next thing he did was take control of the nose turrets, aiming them at the only door in the aft section of the yacht. He set the ship in low power mode instead of completely shutting down just in case they needed to make a quick getaway, and watched through the turret camera feed as the brownies stormed out of the ship and took their positions. Sloppy by any kind of military standards, but it didn't seem like there was anyone to greet them. Michael unstrapped himself and grabbed his coilgun from the rack next to the door. Walking down the ramp was always tricky thanks to the gravity weirdness, but thankfully he didn't stumble when he stepped off into the planet's own gravity. "No one to meet us," he said, stepping out into the sunlight. Ralthin glanced back at Michael over his shoulder, "I don't like this at all. Even through this helmet, it smells all kindsa wrong." Hephaestus came up behind Michael, "Thisss feelsss like a trap." "Couldn't agree with you more buddy," Michael said, walking forward to the door. "What'd ya wanna do," Ralthin said following close behind. Michael glanced at Ralthinand smirked, "Spring the trap."
Order is bottom (oldest) to top (newest). ------ #---# Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year #---# I’m sure you are all itching to join us in having a good ISW’mas and to kick this festive period off with a great deal of internet spaceship based chaos. It gives us great pleasure to open the alpha to you all, hopefully you will enjoy this, the first version, of many to come! Naturally there will be issues so please do let us know, give us feedback and suggestions and let’s try and make ISW bigger and better than it once was. Please join us in Click here for Slack and Click here for Discord Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Yours, The Dr’s #---# December Developer Update - Get HYPED Edition #---# Happy Holidays to everybody! Everything is infused with Peppermint, Christmas music is playing in every public place, Interstellar War is going to have an Open Alpha, people are decorating for the season, everyone is shopping for gifts, and hoping to find something great under the tree this year. Wait.... Did you just read that Interstellar War is having an OPEN ALPHA!!! That's right folks! Santa and his elves (aka the Doctors) are bringing something exciting for all of us. We have been chugging along aggressively over the past few months and think it is time to show off what we've got. Everyone is invited to this party, so spread the good news that ISW is coming to town! ISW Holiday Alpha-stravaganza Info
December 24th - January 4th: From Christmas Eve til the 4th the game will be an open alpha
You can register right now, and on Christmas Eve the account will be activated.
Or, on those dates you can go to the homepage, register, and start playing immediately.
Everyone playing is expected to the adhere to the Rules of Conduct.
The alpha will end Jan. 4th, and the game will be suspended while we recover from the mayhem of letting everybody go crazy, and fix everything you guys broke. At this time we do not know if a reset will be necessary. It will be a judgement call based on what happens.
Tips, Tricks, Recommendations and Warnings
The game is completely playable and we are still adding features and functionality through the end of this month. However, it is an alpha, so we suspect that there will be bugs and exciting things you will break.
There are still some feature gaps that we are hoping to get into the game, but we are choosing to open the floodgates with some missing functionality that we will add, rather than keeping you guys waiting.
Building: We intend to have some basic functionality for building, but you might want to hold off maxxing it out. There will be terraforming and planet claiming, but other functionality is pending.
Security: The redesign of how it will work is underway, but time constraints mean it is not functional. Don't bother putting points into it.
Cloaking Doesnt work. At all.
IMPORTANT - FACTION CHOICES: when we open it up, there will be NO faction changing or username changing. We recommend that people discuss joining different factions so we don't end up with only two factions with players. Try something other than Terran
On behalf of the Doctors, I want to thank all of you for sticking around and following our development. We are very excited to be able to bring something to all of you this holiday season. Interstellar Wars is back! (from December 24th to Jan 4th. Normal rules and conditions apply, the doctors cannot be held liable for angry spouses, grandmothers, parents, or other entities which may take issue with you spending Christmas morning playing ISW instead of spending time with loved ones) #---# November Update #---# Hey there everybody, I know this update comes a bit late in the month, but it contains exciting news. We can’t express how much we appreciate your support and patience through the process, and we believe that the wait will have been worth it. This is a labor of love for us, and we are pouring as much time and energy as possible into getting it up and running as fast as possible. Get HYPED, because we are so close. We are planning an opportunity to get people into the game and start having fun, breaking things, and getting a full blown dose of that good old fashioned nostalgia. Major updates:
We have been making incredible headway and are aiming for a Christmas Alpha release.
Much of our time is being spent on finishing up and polishing the existing game features as we try to implement as much as we can before the Alpha go-live.
How this will look and how many/who will be involved is still being determined, but we have some BIG plans.
Look for the Alpha Announcement at the beginning of next month, and instructions for how to join the Alpha shortly after that.
The Admin team has put together a preliminary Rules of Conduct, check it out at the end of the update. We needed to put this together so that the community has rules that govern behavior. We want everybody to want to play the game and know that they aren't going to run into issues.
Planets and Systems
Mapped planet locations and Imported to the game
Imported Planet minerals
Linked Mining to the Tick
Shield functionality added
Critical Hits! Will be implemented after the Alpha
Shared Experience Distribution pushed to later build, delayed until after Alpha~
Add enemy Ship Size and Rank to Tooltip
Experience implemented, includes experience from NPCs and Mining
Leveling up skills added and working
Architecture and UI Improvements (technical)
Created a Patreon
Supporter tiers and levels still in development
Arena, unsure if it will make first Alpha build
Building: we are hoping to push it into the Alpha build, but will depend on time constriants.
Implement Building Skill
Implement Terraforming/Claiming planets
Add the old ISW Building Tables
Add Size/Space Attribute to planets
Security (Unlikely for Initial Alpha build)
Mechanics for actual combat completed
Bug Fixing (edited)
Interstellar War Rules of Conduct Interstellar War is a game created by fans, for newcomers and fans, of the original Interstellar War. We aim to recreate the experience of excitement and player interaction that made it a great game. Cracking jokes, creating rivalries, pulling off impressive heists, and inter-player politics are a part of Interstellar Wars, but building a community of collective fun is about trusting that players are doing the right thing and treating each other properly. Our Code of Conduct is intended to outline the behavior that can take away from the collective and therefore will not be tolerated.
Offensive language - You must not use any language that is offensive, discriminatory, racist or obscene.
Player Abuse (includes spamming) – You must not threaten, insult, solicit, or abuse other players of this game.
Bug abuse (cheating) - Any bugs found within the game must be reported to ISW Admins immediately.
Using third-party software like bots or Macros - You must not use other programs to gain an unfair advantage at the game.
Account sharing/trading - Each account should only be used by ONE person.
Multiple logging in - If you create more than one ISW account, they must not interact or be used to gain an unfair advantage within or outside the game.
Password scamming - Asking for another player's password for any reason will not be tolerated.
Asking for personal details (addresses, phone numbers, emails, etc.) - To protect players' safety and privacy, you must not ask for personal details.
Advertising/website - You are not allowed to actively advertise in the ISW game or ISW forums.
Real world trading - ISW items must only be exchanged for other items/services within the game.
ISW Admin or Mod impersonation - You should not attempt to impersonate Admins or Mods in any way.
Misuse of official forums - Forums must be used respectfully at all times.
Encouraging others to break rules (all rules included) - You must not encourage others to break any of the rules.
All rules are at the discretion of moderators and Admins, but we are reasonable gods.
#---# October Update #---# Hey Community! Major updates:
The skeleton of the game is playable. You can start from the beginning, gain experience and credits by mining and killing npcs, buy better ships to get more EXP and CR, jump to Hyperspace and visit other Star Systems. IT FEELS LIKE ISW!
Arena (Nice to have, unsure if it will make first Alpha build)
Building (Unlikely for Initial Alpha build)
Implement Building Skill
mplement Terraforming/Claiming planets
Add the old ISW Building Tables
Security (Unlikely for Initial Alpha build)
~Mechanics for actual combat completed~
We are incredibly excited about the progress we've made, and a Christmas gift for all of us. We are targetting an Initial Alpha release in the last quarter before Christmas. ISW is almost back! - The Doctors #---# September #---# Hey Everybody! The progress on ISW continues in ernest. The summer has been busy, so thanks for not taking up the torches and pitchforks when the August Update did not come Major Updates:
The Arena is underway and being tested with 100 ships!
NPCs: We've populated the NPCs and have been testing combat against them to make sure it feels right and fun, and doing some tweaks where we felt appropriate.
NPC experience will be implemented next.
We have an exciting change where anyone who attacks and deals damage will gain a portion of the experience.
They attack and get aggressive after you have engaged.
Chat functionality has been progressing nicely.
Government systems and fuctionality is built out. We've been working on adjusting the way some of the systems work, and how the standings (At War, Cease Fire, Neutral, Friendly) Let us know if you think the standings should affect whether you can attack another faction.
I have been working on mapping the Star System planets, which is a manual, tedious, and exciting process.
We're feeling really excited about the progress and where we are getting to. - The Doctors #---# July Update #---# Hey there everybody! We Doctors have been chuggin’ along nicely, designing, coding, tweaking, and adding features as fast as we can. Some major accomplishments this past month despite us both moving homes: -Shield Design aligned with the way ships work, -Designed security both as a base functionality and planning for the future -Player Experience and Skill ups are LIVE! Designed the NPC experience gain. -Mining, unloading, and selling minerals is live! You even gain exp from Mining! -Government systems have been tweaked to align with the faction background material, and designed so that they should all be equally viable. They should be live pretty soon. We are feeling super positive about the pace and how nicely everything is coming along. We can’t say when the Alpha will go live, but we are aiming for SOON™, and it is well inside the realm of possibility that Christmas comes early. Our Current Project Plans Below
Ship System Control (On/Off binary)
Lock Repair to the Tick
Design Shield Functionality
Add Shield Functionality
Lock all Module Performance to Module % Health
Player Skills and Attributes
Add Player Skills (Command, Gunnery, Engineering, Piloting, Security, Building)
Add Player Experience Attribute
Experience Point Cost/Skill Level Up Calculation
Skill Level Ups (Spend Experience)
Link Skills to Various Systems
Planet Interaction Mechanics
Planet Attributes + minerals tables
Move to orbit
Ship Inventory Interaction.
Add/Create [Mining or loot etc],
Remove (see below)
Trade Screen: Xfer to Base/Another Player (Delayed)
Sell to Starbases
?Faction Mineral Tables?
Auction System for Minerals (Delayed)
NPC introduction to tactical. Attributes/tables there, just populate them
Create Base level NPC loot (exp, credits, minerals)
Design NPC exp awarding
Determine NPC placement coordinates
Ensure NPC behavior is correct (edited)
Design Security Combat
Implement MVP Security
Planets Coordinates in Core systems
Planet Coordinates in secondary/bonus systems
Government Systems Revamp
Adjust GovSys to be inline with Racial lore and feel
Design/Adjust Government to Bring them inline with eachother.
Implement high level government systems.
ARENA!!!! Do it
Test Chat UI
Update/Upgrade the test chat system
#---# June Update#---# Hey Community! As hinted in our last update, we've had a number of commitments that have halted our progress. Thankfully (as those of you in slack would have seen) progress has been made and we should be back on track in due course to start implementing the remaining features. Below as before is our current High level document for tracking design and implementation, less the now removed the completed tasks and updated with a few now complete/inprogress.
Design Shield Functionality
Implement Shield Functionality
Lock all Module Performance to Module % Health
Player Skills and Attributes
Skill Level Ups (Spend Experience)
Planet Interaction Mechanics
Ship Inventory Interaction.
Remove (see below)
Trade Screen: Xfer to Base/Another Player
Sell to Starbases
Faction Mineral Tables
Auction System for Minerals
NPC introduction to tactical
Create Base level NPC loot (exp, credits, minerals)
Determine NPC placement coordinates
Ensure NPC behavior is correct (edited)
Planets Coordinates in Core systems - In progress
#---# May Update #---# Hey Community! The Admin team wanted to provide an update on our progress and our current work being done. The members of the Admin team have had some personal responsibilities that briefly interfered with the pace of implementation, but we can assure you we kept the ball rolling. Below is our current High level document for tracking design and implementation. We’d like to be highly transparent with you guys. If you have questions or input let it rip on Slack.
Ship System Control (On/Off binary)
Lock Repair to the Tick
Design Shield Functionality
Implement Shield Functionality
Lock all Module Performance to Module % Health
Player Skills and Attributes
Add Player Skills (Command, Gunnery, Engineering, Piloting, Security, Building)
Add Player Experience Attribute
Experience Point Cost/Skill Level Up Calculation
Skill Level Ups (Spend Experience)
Planet Interaction Mechanics
Planet Attributes + minerals tables
Move to orbit
Ship Inventory Interaction.
Add/Create [Mining or loot etc]
Remove (see below)
Trade Screen: Xfer to Base/Another Player
Sell to Starbases
Faction Mineral Tables
Auction System for Minerals
NPC introduction to tactical
Create Base level NPC loot (exp, credits, minerals)
Determine NPC placement coordinates
Ensure NPC behavior is correct (edited)
Planets Coordinates in Core systems
You can see some screenshots below as well. Starbase and Star Ship #---# April Update #---# Many of you have been asking after the progress being made, and Dr. Strange and I wanted to give you all an update. Moving forward, I will be taking over the Project updates so Dr. Strange can use his superior abilities elsewhere. My aim is to go frequent, informative, and transparent. Dr. Boom (that’s me) is a Game Designer, rules engineer, and Project manager. He is responsible for most of the formulas that make use of ship statistics, player attributes, and leveling/experience. He is the guy who assembled most of the tables, and designed the NPC statistics. All of my ideas are bounced off Dr. Strange, dude’s a genius. Dr. Strange is the Lead Developer mastermind behind all of the actual code, systems interactions, and screen layouts that comprise the game. He manages the database that holds the tables that populate the information within the game. Anytime something new needs to be added to the game, an adjustment or tweak needs to be made, etc. he is the man doing it. Dr. Who is the Workspace Admin and he manages the web portals, and keeps everything online. Without him the lights go out. Together, we discuss ideas, determine prioritization, and then test our ideas once they’re live. We have made significant progress, but there is still work to do. First, I want you all to know what you can currently do in the game, and then in my next post I’ll give you a glimpse into our development project pipeline. Currently, the game is in an incomplete state. You can commission a ship, board it, turn the systems on, fly around, fire your weapons, repair the ship hull. You can even “Activate Hyperdrive”, and then scoot on over to another of the 9 current starsystems. But we aren’t quite "there" yet. The team has our project plan for the “Ultra-Minimum Viable Product” and we would like to share it very soon. Our goal is to complete that and then open up an Alpha testing phase. https://preview.redd.it/ep9srpoyf7841.png?width=1050&format=png&auto=webp&s=89988870ec5a1d4da1a71aba25ee8ad8b3c685cd https://preview.redd.it/k7hnmtdzf7841.png?width=1067&format=png&auto=webp&s=13e29691102bfe0ee22ea329d8a6bce6c863bdd9 #---# A year in review #---# Well, nearly, it’s been 9 months since the first update (but who’s counting). It was an exciting day for us all and although we’ve been working away as fast as possible, time and commitments permitting, it’s always been somewhat difficult to show (let alone describe) some of the work taking place. Hopefully however you will now notice the somewhat dramatic nature of recent changes and pop over to Slack with any feedback. Although it may seem minor, the update(s) you are now seeing is the result of 6 months of behind the scenes decisions, development and design. This new design also marks the first release since we first launched, to put that into perspective, 1520 files have been modified/created and 304347 lines of code have been written. We’ve still got a way to go but hopefully this will serve as a taster of what direction we are moving in; currently however we’ve got some troublesome NPC’s to wrangle and mechanics to tweak. Hopefully you all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to the year ahead. #---# All of your bases #---# As some will have likely seen on Slack, recently a picture of all of the starbases occupying the void was posted. Although this may seem a little greedy or indeed sinister the purpose was in fact quite the opposite. By bringing all the starbases into one system we’ve been flitting between them, grabbing different ships and having a bit of a free-for-all, although fun, this is in a view to test that everything is working as it should when ships are purchased, commanded, shot and destroyed. This effectively being what we’d all like to be doing. Although these areas are looking more rounded there is still quite a bit of work to be done and a lot to be tested. Much as the previous hinted, we are still considering a preview/testing session, although this may evolve to an alpha style release. Although limited, it would allow us to test a lot of the core mechanics and stresses of certain aspects of the game. As ever work is ongoing and I’ll endeavour to keep posting updates, feel free to pop into Slack and give us a poke however… we don’t bite. #---# Trigger Happy #---# Since the last update, we’ve been working tirelessly on the game mechanics, ship combat, engineering and module interactions. All of which have come a long way. Each has been tested (perhaps a little too much) and I’m excited to soon start considering a limited alpha… a date with a dev if you will.. where I will likely invite a select few on a number of dates for “supervised” testing. There are, as ever, still several issues to work out and balancing to consider but for the most part it should feel like the old game, with a few surprises. Tactical, for some time has been an issue for us. I’m happy to say this is no longer the case, we’ve achieved something which will hark back nicely to 2002 but also fit in 2017 (it’s really been that long!) and I suspect most will be excited to see. Special mention, for those that have joined slack and provided support/feedback, thank you (you know whom you are). For those that haven’t, join us: Slack PS, although updates have been less frequent, don’t fear, we are tirelessly working away. Find us on slack if you need constant reminders and sneak peaks of what we’re tinkering with. #---# Objectives #---# Buy a ship, launch, explore…. Then??... over the next few weeks we will be looking at the much needed “what happens next” aspect. Currently our one system is a little lonely… lacking much more than a few boring planets and a starbase. First up is NPC’s, what we have are NPC’s that are a little lifeless, they spawn as necessary and roam a system (within reason) … at this point we’re looking at adding some firepower and attitude into the mix. To start this off we will be looking firstly into how damage is delivered, which skills and modules have which effects and more importantly how this is relayed to you to make decisions upon. We have a few ideas of our own but are open to suggestions (forum if you please). This will likely be a time consuming processes so updates as ever may be few and far between but rest assured we are still here and toiling away. Lastly, we have a slack channel, please feel free to join and ask questions or be there purely for moral support... this will be rescinded if abused or if we’re harassed too vigorously . Slack Invite #---# What good is tactical anyway? #---# As many will fondly remember, starbases where the hub of most activity within ISW, mainly as this is where our vast arsenals of ships where stored. With this in mind our attention is now shifting away from tactical and it seems as good a point as any to delve into starbases. Currently we can purchase, dock, commandeer, repair and sell ships… all a good start but more critically we are now able to undock… it seems however docking is somewhat of an art form at present…. Over the coming weeks (once we get our ship back into the base and stop flying around tactical) we should hopefully refine some of the mechanisms involved and start to round of other areas off the game. Stay tuned. #---# Tactical Part 3 #---# Tough decisions ahead; for some time now the focus has been exclusively on the new tactical. The idea behind the new tactical is to allow us to slowly move away from turn based logic (but not too far) and add other dynamic layers to the gameplay. For example, previously ship moment was constrained to the ticks and was purely linear, the newer tactical allows real time ship movement by double clicking the grid, the fastest route (avoiding obstacles) is calculated and said ship will begin its movement. This allows greater use of ship characteristics such as a speed and range but also will add an element of piloting to the mix. Furthermore, the real-time aspect would also prevent the need to refresh the game which has various performance benefits. Here in lies the dilemma, the added complexity in delivering tactical 2 is putting a strain on development as naturally there are more hurdles to overcome. As a result it is consuming more time than anticipated. The existing or old tactical however has been implemented and does function as before (albeit slightly upgraded) however at this stage it feels a little out of place. At this stage in the project it might be worth taking a fork in the road and returning to tactical 2 at a later stage or it might be worth the delay to proceed as we are. Decisions decisions. Over the coming weeks I will be away on holiday, a higher power has banned the use of laptops for the duration and as such there will be a break in development. I will however endeavour to monitor the forum and answer questions so please discuss. #---# Tactical Part 2 #---# Having eluded to something a bit different being on the cards for tactical, I wondered how best to visualise something that we’ve been tinkering with… Alas words didn’t seem quite enough soo…. maybe look ... here N.b: Full disclosure this is a prototype (we are in closed development after all). #---# Tactical Part 1 #---# It’s been a while since the last update, mainly because we’ve been tirelessly testing different options which alongside other commitments has taken a fair bit of time. Some of these include:
TacticalXL: Expanding the tactical screen, somewhere in the region 1000px x 1000px.
TacticalDynamic: Expand the map to the available screen dynamically.
TacticalCamera: Have the player centred in the view (camera) whilst they move around a map (like the old starmap).
Unfortunately, there are issues with those among a few less notable options. We do however have another option albeit a complex one. Currently we’re exploring this further but as is likely evident we aren’t given too much away, but stay tuned… there may be a few surprises ahead. #---# Tactical #---# Over the coming weeks our focus is shifting to tactical. The tactical grid allowed for most of the games actual behaviour by using the 15 second tick to allow players to move, shoot and generally cause chaos (as I’m sure most will recall). Tactical however was quite basic, click here, go there, click here, shoot that. It also only spanned a whopping 580px by 440px (7 x 9 squares), this leaves us some room to get a bit creative in modernising the game. Here in lies a dilemma, how should we modernize tactical? Right now, we have a few ideas which we are exploring, ranging from the seemingly simple “make it bigger” through to some quite experimental ideas that could open several doors. We’re not 100% sure which route at this stage we will take but there will be a few more updates in coming weeks as we explore each accordingly. #---# The Tick #---# There have been a few posts in the past about which aspects of the game we are looking to keep and which are looking to improve or even replace. The 15 second tick being somewhat crucial among them. This past week we’ve been focusing on the tick, something that we had already put in place but thought it best to revisit. In the days of old the ill-fated browser refreshing and server unavailable slowly got the better of the game, to keep this in check we’re adopting a new approach. Instead of refreshing the browser or polling the server for updates we are now pushing data directly to your browsers, this has several benefits but key among them are that:
We can cut the number of browser refreshes (eventually to nil)
We can keep all users synchronised in real time (refreshing will be discouraged)
But why keep the 15 second tick? The game lends itself to a delay, you may need to type a message, cycle your weapons, pick a destination and ultimately choose whom to fire upon (or not). This will likely be revisited again over time but for now, we’ll be ticking. #---# Forum #---# Is it Back? In short, Yes. Over the recent weeks there have been numerous changes afoot. As a result, we’ll not only be breaking our radio silence but also aiming to deliver more updates on a more frequent basis. The first of which is the forum, we’ve been forced due to technical reasons to create a new forum. In the interim, both will be available and we encourage you to move any content/ideas and or suggestions from the old to the new (as well as signing up). OLD: http://community.interstellar-war.com/ NEW: https://iwcommunity.interstellar-war.com/ We will eventually close the old forum and have no plans at this stage to create any new forums. #---# Update #---# Comming Soon™
Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More
Win + Shift + S: Captures a user-selectable area of the screen to the clipboard (on Windows 10 Ver 1703+)
WIN + CTRL + F4: Close a virtual desktop
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
Win + E, win + left, up
Win + E, win + right, up
Win + E, win + left, down
Win + E, win + right, down
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one. Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button." This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them." Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such." To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one! Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory." Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one! This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator(alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe" Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)." Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one. Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip! Websites Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work. Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit. High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace. Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture." SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts." Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website." A Slack Channel Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration. Blogs KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world. The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration. An Infosec Slideshow This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules." Tech Tutorials Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012. The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed. SysAdmin Humor Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate! Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions. u/crispyducks
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