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2011.12.31 18:10 getdamonkey Adult Fans of LEGO

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2023.05.29 17:31 Spacecruiser96 Hot Take: Gaijin should monetizing WT with cosmetic options instead.

Hot Take: Gaijin should monetizing WT with cosmetic options instead.
My idea for the current economy drama. Gaijin wants to earn money from their F2P game. The way they doing it is wrong. Many MMO games have died cause of the P2W attitude leading to exodus of playerbase (Battlestar Galactica Online from Bigpoint is a big example). Then take for example Riot Games and their games like League of Legends and Valorant. I used to play their games. I never spent a cent to them, why? Cause what they sell is only cosmetics. Champion skins, weapon skins. Aparta of very few niche things, the skin won't give you something extra, no advantage no pay to skip grind. And guess what. Riot's games are doing great. Its funny that I played LoL for 10 years and WoT for 10 years as well (same period) and in one game I paid nothing while on the other my kidney. Cause in WoT (Like WT) paid content boosts you.
At this point after you read all of that you are saying "yeah ok but what you propose". My idea is to overhaul the customization system of WT. This will have a side effect too cause it will touch the "bushes that hide weakspots" drama that has been raging for ages. Either add a fullton of custom items (guns, barrels, search lights, radio stacks, bags etc etc). Kinda what we currently have but only just 4 mere slots. Have the ability to paint the vehicles with some similar shades/colours like grey/blue soviet tanks. Again semi-historical should be fine. I am not talking for bright electric pink or yellow for example. or make complete 3D skins and sell them in the battlepass or just themselves. World of Tanks has done a great thing with ther 3D Skins and the Mofo they bring with it.
In the end, gaijin steering away from P2W - pay to grind less and focusing on cosmetics, would also revamp the aesthetics of the game. This is something very subjective and personal. I really find boring to see all tanks looking the exact same. Personally once I buy a vehicle, the first thing I do is to go to WT Live and find a good custom skin (historical or semi-historical) for my plane or tank. The sad thing is that I am the only one who sees this and its only visible on my own tank/plane. With the cosmetics change, you would be able to express yourself in ways the others can see. And I am not talking about abusing it. It will add variety. Bellow are some examples of what I am talking about. Thanks for your time and effort reading my post. Have a nice afternoon.
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2023.05.29 17:25 IskoLat Mikhail Kalinin. "The People of Lithuania Are on a New Path"

Mikhail Kalinin.
On July 14-15 of 1940, elections to the People's Parliament [Liaudies Seimas] were held in Lithuania. These elections had an unusual content and significance compared to previous elections. Here the false declarations and unrealistic promises of all kinds of benefits to the people, which the bourgeois parties usually made, were put aside and pushed into obscurity by two cardinal issues:
1) On the proclamation of Lithuania as a fellow Soviet Socialist Republic
2) On the accession of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic into the Soviet Union as a Union Republic.
The overwhelming majority of the population took part in the elections - 95.51% of voters compared to 38% of voters who actually took part in the last elections. Moreover, 99.19% of voters voted for the candidates of the Union of the Working People of Lithuania. And this is natural, because the question was clear, understandable to everybody and affected every Lithuanian in one way or another. So, by voting for supporters of Lithuania's accession into the Soviet Union, one thereby determined his attitude to this issue. By voting in 1940, the Lithuanian people, perhaps for the first time in their entire history, could freely reveal their will and their aspirations as a whole, as a people, and, taking advantage of this opportunity, demanded the Soviet system of governance for themselves.
Reactionaries, enemies of the Soviet system of governance, were enraged by this result. Even the liberal democratic circles threw up their hands in surprise. Unable to find, and unwilling to look for the real reason for such a turn by the Lithuanian people, in the specific conditions of their life, they sought to discredit the elections themselves, the voting procedure. But even here these people suffered a fiasco: the genuine democratic nature of the elections did not give any real grounds for defaming them. And, nevertheless, this did not prevent the reactionary press from coming out with hostile articles and bringing forth, as expected from them, facts invented in the editorial offices.
One should not be surprised here. On the contrary, it would be surprising if, say, not the reactionary, but at least the liberal-bourgeois press reacted to these elections positively. In fact, how much work was spent for the political deception of the people, for propaganda and agitation, for school "education", religious influence, administrative pressure, etc.! Mountains of slander were pushed against the USSR, against the Soviet government! It is difficult even to name all the means the Smetona government used to influence the Lithuanian people in order to discourage them from any desire to find out the truth about real life in the Soviet Union, in order to isolate the Lithuanians from even the slightest influence of Soviet culture. For this purpose, it sought maximum isolation of Lithuania from the USSR, not only politically and culturally, but also economically.
It seemed that there were no channels, no ways through which the Lithuanian people's ties with the Soviet Union could develop. However, the actual reality cruelly mocked those who worked so zealously to darken the consciousness of the Lithuanian people, those who tried their best to introduce inertia and indifference into the consciousness of the people. At the first opportunity, the Lithuanian people loudly declared: I want to be a member of the Soviet Union! That's what infuriated the enemies of the Soviet form of governance and still infuriates them to this day. What mean reasons pushed the Lithuanian people on the path to the Soviet system, to its accession into the USSR? There are many very convincing reasons. That they are serious is clear to every Lithuanian, because with his mother's milk he was instilled with the thought that the most valuable thing is the independence of his own country, its greatness. But reasonable people had doubts about the "independence" that Lithuania had, uncertainty about its reality, because the facts contradicted it too much. No sooner had the republic organized itself and the government settled in its capital, Vilnius, than a certain Polish general with his detachment of troops seized Vilnius, expelled the Lithuanian government, and the capital of Lithuania was annexed to Poland, and Lithuania lost its largest and most industrialized city. For the sake of decency, the press made a little noise, and that was the end of it. The suzerain powers did not even lift a finger to restore the violated rights of Lithuania, because the attacker was also patronized by them and probably more valuable as an open enemy of the Soviet Union.
With Hitler's rise to power in Germany, the specter of Lithuania's "independence" has diminished even more. In 1939, Hitler seized Klaipeda, and the Lithuanian government, filled with fear for its own existence, was glad that the seizure was limited only to the Klaipeda region and the treaty, which in effect included the entire Lithuanian economy in the German economic master plan. I do not want to accuse the government that existed of not wanting to do anything to defend the country, but only to illustrate the phantom nature of the "independence" of Lithuania during that time. It would be a mistake to think that the Lithuanian people did not strive for real independence. In 1919, after the expulsion of German troops, the Soviet government was established in Lithuania, which signed an alliance with Soviet Belarus. But the real independence of Lithuania was quickly liquidated by the Entente and the German troops called into the fight by it. In the language of the European bourgeois press, this was called the "restoration" of Lithuanian "independence".
The country's politics and economy developed in accordance with external conditions. After the defeat of the Soviet government, a democratic government was organized. (It was impossible to immediately install a fascist regime after crushing the Soviet government). It didn't last long. Apparently, the common path of development of the Baltic countries was manifested here: the suppression of the Soviet government -> democracy (as a transitional form of power) -> fascism. Obviously, for some "champions" of democracy, fascism is more acceptable, because any democracy, even by a tiny bit, at least for appearance's sake, must do something in the interests of the people. Fascism does not even concern itself with such tasks. That is why fascism in small countries is encouraged by the big "guardians of democracy". The establishment of the fascist regime in Lithuania, the Smetona regime, made Lithuania into a cash cow for German capital. The Germans were not content with just subjugating the Lithuanian economy to their plan. They methodically introduced themselves into all the avenues of Lithuanian life, turning Lithuania into a springboard for an attack on the Soviet Union, which, in fact, they did not hide from Smetona, who shared their thoughts. On the contrary, the preparation of Lithuania's territory for military purposes seemed to justify the introduction of Germans into all the pores of Lithuanian life. In this way, the Germans killed two birds with one stone:
1) They prepared a military bridgehead
2) Quietly adapted Lithuania into a German Hinterland.
The Smetona government saw the danger that threatened the independent existence of Lithuania, and, in fact, did not resist German aggression, trying to curry favor with Hitler, with whose support it now owed its existence to. The only hope of Smetona and his supporters was that they would remain in power under German fascism in one form or another and would exploit at least some part of the people's labor. The above facts clearly show what was really hidden under the decorum of Lithuanian "independence". Smetona's internal policy naturally corresponded to the external one. It consisted in imitation of German fascism, in adapting it to local conditions.
Now even the blind can see that fascism with its ideology and politics is a terrible social evil generated by the era of imperialism. Anyone who has been to the south has seen with his own eyes how a huge tree - pine, oak, cypress - was wrapped by a parasitic plant with bright green leaves. With its stems, it presses tightly against the tree, and numerous shoots dig into the bark and pull out the juices. It is possible to save a tree from death only by destroying this parasitic plant. Fascism is a parasite of the state tree. And if the people do not destroy it in a timely manner, it will inevitably lead the country to the greatest of disasters. Experience has shown that fascism is equally fatal for both large and small countries alike. Having no desire to awaken the creative forces of the people, on the contrary, deliberately putting them to sleep, so that it would be easier to turn people into an obedient herd, the fascist leaders, for example, in Hungary, Romania, etc., shouted furiously: "Great Hungary!", "Great Romania!". It was laughable. But all the fascist meanness was hidden behind this farce.
As for Smetona, he did not even have this prop. His main desire was to cover up, if possible, his dependence on Hitler, to disguise it in front of the Lithuanian people. The task is difficult and, in fact, impossible, because the Germans climbed and penetrated into all the holes and cracks, seized banks, and through them the industrial enterprises, wholesale trade, flooded the country with their literature, films and generally felt no worse in Lithuania than they would at home. In short: there was, perhaps not quite noticeable to the eyes of an ordinary person, but an inevitable process of germanizing Lithuania [1].
Relations between Germany and Lithuania progressed towards not only the actual but also the formal transformation of Lithuania into a German colony (Smetona's request to Hitler about the entry of German troops into Lithuania). If Smetona, seeing all this danger, even wanted to prevent it, then, having neither material nor military resources, and most importantly, not using the moral support of the Lithuanian people, he would not be able to resist German aggression. Smetona had only one path left, which he followed: no resistance, but harmonizing the life of the whole country with German demands and humble obedience to Hitler. With such a "policy" he decided to prolong the appearance of Lithuania's "independent" existence.
Naturally, such a government could not satisfy the people. It could not and did not want to serve the interests of the Lithuanian people. The narrow egoistic interests of this government were closely linked with German interests, and its spiritual demands were related to Hitlerism. It means that the entire state policy of Smetona's government rested on the enrichment of a small handful of people, on the systemic robbery of the people, on the strangulation and all-round emasculation of their national culture.
Perhaps there is no country - both in Europe and in the Americas - where Lithuanian migrants who fled from their native country not only from political repression, but even more simply from hunger, would not be found. The Lithuanian intelligentsia, especially the progressive intelligentsia, was not in the best position either. The opportunity to live and breathe was only in leaving, because they had no work in their native country, and fascism stifled every free thought. The fascist octopus tightly wrapped itself around the Lithuanian people and led them to their imminent death.
These are the reasons that prompted the Lithuanian people to vote for Lithuania's entry into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Of course, when voting, the Lithuanian people not only desired to get rid of the unbearable conditions in which their life took place, but they fully took into account the benefits and advantages that the Soviet system brings them. One of the serious factors is that the Lithuanian people, having joined the USSR, acquired real independence. The enemies persistently insist that Lithuania is dependent, since it is one of the sixteen republics in the Union. But these are all enemy fairy tales. Why are entrepreneurs organized into government trusts, syndicates and enterprises? They will say that there is a naked calculation of increased profits from the monopoly. Yes, that's right. True, some of the propertied classes hypocritically condemn them for this from a "moral" point of view. But only the workers' organizations are really fighting them. And trusts, syndicates and enterprises are developing and growing stronger. At the same time, it does not occur to any entrepreneur that he is losing his industrial independence.
I will give other examples. Now everywhere workers and employees unite in trade unions. Who can say that they lose their personal freedom and independence at the same time? Moreover, the trade unions of workers and employees of any state strive to be members of an international professional organization. And this is quite natural, because each of them understands that this is the only way the one can defend personal freedom and independence.
Furthermore, a peasant, protecting his well-being, enters a cooperative, and the coop association formed in the country links up with cooperative organizations of other countries, and there is already an international cooperative association - the alliance. Only moneylenders, predatory traders and speculators can shed crocodile tears over the fact that peasants that are united in cooperatives cease to be independent landowners.
Every association is an organization that restricts an individual to one degree or another. For example, the same peasant, who is a member of a cooperative, undertakes to hand over all or part of his marketable products to the coop. This restricts the peasant in his freedom to dispose of his products in a way. But in reality, the coop protects him from a predatory buyer.
The USSR has sixteen Union republics with a well-known, but equal limitation of their sovereignty. They form a single union state with a different national way of life, with a diverse national form of culture and historical past. Only the Soviet system and Lenin's national policy ensure and guarantee them unbreakable unity and genuine friendship, real freedom and independence. Protecting the whole, the Soviet system and Lenin's national policy give full opportunity for the unlimited development of each republic, every nationality…
The enormous work by our party to create and strengthen the multinational state has been a complete success. Comrade Stalin said the following:
"The absence of the exploiter classes, which are the main masterminds behind the international conflict; the absence of exploitation, with its mutual distrust and brewing nationalist passions; the presence of power of the working class, which is the enemy of all enslavement and a faithful bearer of the ideas of internationalism; the actual implementation of mutual assistance of peoples in all areas of economic and social life; finally, the flourishing of the national culture of the peoples of the USSR, national in form, socialist in content - all these and similar factors have led to the following: the appearance of the peoples of the USSR has radically changed, the feeling of mutual distrust has disappeared in them, a sense of mutual friendship has developed in them and, thus, real fraternal cooperation of peoples has been established in the system of a single union state.
As a result, we now have a fully developed multinational socialist state that has withstood all the tests of time, the strength of which could be envied by any nation-state in any part of the world" [2]
During the Great Patriotic War, the strength of the cohesion of the peoples of the Soviet Union, based on Lenin's national policy, withstood enormous trials. The war with fascist Germany and its satellite states clearly showed how valuable the Soviet Union is for every Union Republic. The enemy occupied all of Lithuania and went far beyond its borders to the east. It seemed that the country had perished under the Nazi boot. But far from the Lithuanian borders, near Orel, a Lithuanian division fought in the All-Union Red Army. And in the capital of the Soviet Union, Moscow, there was a Lithuanian government that called upon and organized, as much as possible, the forces capable of fighting inside Lithuania.
No matter how loud the German military drums thundered, no matter how much fascist propaganda tried to distort the actual situation on the fronts and in the rear of the Soviet armies, no matter how cruelly the Gestapo tortured Soviet patriots, the Lithuanian people heard and saw that a fierce struggle for their liberation was going on. This undoubtedly inspired him with great confidence in victory, inspired the partisans in their difficult and daring struggle in the distant rear of the enemy, and their heroic actions, in turn, raised the spirit and morale of the people. The names of Marytė Melnikaitė, Urbanavičius (Kurmelis), Apyvala, Vladas Baronas, Jacinavičius, Motieka and others have earned glory not only by themselves, but also because they embody the best traditions of the Lithuanian people, their heroism and boundless devotion to their Homeland.

Bronius Urbanavičius
Next, let's take the work efficiency of the people as a whole. Statesmen, industrialists, journalists of capitalist countries continuously call for increased labor productivity as the basis of the country's well-being. The fascist Lithuanian government was not far behind in this. But with the policy pursued by this government, with Lithuania's economic dependence on Germany, the limits of increasing labor efficiency were very limited, and this increase was mainly directed at greater exploitation of the workers. Lithuania's economic development also had purely objective limitations: the small territory of the country, the absence of the main elements necessary for production - coal, iron and generally valuable ores, its predominantly agrarian nature. All this, as it were, naturally predetermined the backwardness of Lithuanian industry and, what is most tragic, the lack of prospects in the future.
By joining the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian people radically transformed the economic situation of their country. From an appendage of Germany, from the backwater of Europe, Lithuania received unlimited opportunities to turn into an advanced and highly developed national republic, as a full member of the great Union. Now her household will be built in a new way. The structure of the industry will change, it will acquire a character corresponding to modern advanced state of technology. It is now provided with a powerful raw material base and an unlimited market for the sale of its products. There are no objective obstacles to specialization, and hence to increase in the efficiency of labor, as the basis of welfare of the people.
In fact, what can now prevent the construction of any factory specialized in the production of any type of goods? Nothing but a shortage of skilled workers, engineers and technical personnel among Lithuanians. I will illustrate my point with an example. In Lithuania, for example, a machine tooling or machine-building plant is being erected. The Union as a whole needs thousands of machines, the plant also produces thousands of machines, but the Republic of Lithuania can use only hundreds or dozens of machines - such is its need for the kind of machines that this plant produces. Wouldn't it be better for the plant to produce machines only for this republic? Of course, technically it is possible, but economically it will be irrational, unprofitable, production will become artisanal and, most importantly, the quality of products will be worse, productivity is much lower. In this way, not only will we not get closer to the American technological level, but we will move away from it, even if the plant had first-class equipment. But the socialist economy strives for a higher productivity of labor than that which capitalism is able to create in its most advanced countries.
Thus, in order to have high labor productivity and its efficiency, it is not enough to have a wish and even a desire to have it, but we also need the appropriate economic and social conditions that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics gives to all constituent republics. With these arguments, I do not want to belittle or downplay the importance of local or Republican industry, which mainly fulfills local needs. But local industry can also work productively only if it is abundantly supplied with good machines. This is well understood by the leaders of the Republics, who also bear responsibility for the enterprises of all-Union significance.
The Soviet government invested a lot of money and labor in the development of agriculture, which became the largest and most mechanized agriculture in the world. It has become productive, of which the best proof is the satisfaction of its military needs. Lithuanian agriculture is considered productive, it produced significant products for export. But we cannot close our eyes and ignore the fact that this productivity was based on the enormous exertion of the peasantry, on the hard work of the middle peasant on his farm and the farmhand in a larger farm. Physical labor took up their entire lives, leaving no time to satisfy their spiritual needs.
Under the Soviet system of governance, the Lithuanian peasant will not agree to such a life. His public interests are rapidly expanding, cultural demands are growing, which require time to satisfy themselves. The Soviet government highly values labor, celebrating labor feats with awards. But at the same time, it spares no expense to increase cultural and political education of the village. All this imperiously requires mechanization, the introduction of modern agricultural machines adapted to Lithuanian conditions.
These are the ways and means by which the Soviet government increases labor productivity both in industry and in agriculture. Undoubtedly, the Lithuanian people are using these opportunities to their fullest. Of course, it is not easy to move forward the economy and culture of the entire country, especially if it has a lot to catching up to do. But the life of the people, their well-being, demand this first and foremost. The creative forces of the people are inexhaustible, you just need to be able to awaken them.
The questions that I have asked casually and slightly indicate the enormous and complex nature of the tasks facing the Lithuanian people and its intelligentsia.
Fulfilling the program set by the Communist Party, the Union Government not only protects, but also ensures the flourishing of national culture of each Union republic, the established customs and, in particular, the native language of its peoples. It creates all the necessary conditions for the fruitful work of the intelligentsia in its field. Therefore, the Lithuanian intelligentsia bears full responsibility to its people for the cultural prosperity of the republic.
The national school is the first step in human development, the most important stage in the process of forming an active citizen and a patriot of his Homeland - therefore, it must be at the Homeland's top priority. During the implementation of this program, the Homeland should instill in the younger generations a love for their native language, folk songs, native landscape and at the same time expand the horizon of students as future citizens of the Soviet Union, and collectively instill in them a love for the great and multinational Motherland – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From this we see that the understanding of all-Union Soviet patriotism is not opposed to the local one. It is from local patriotism, as a popular source, that patriotism grows towards the Soviet system of governance, towards the USSR as a whole.
I think the Lithuanian government helps a lot and in the future will allocate even more of its resources towards the development of literature in the Lithuanian language, especially original fiction, drawing its plots from Lithuanian folk life and contributing to the awakening of new creative forces in the people.
Without a doubt, Lithuania will take an honorable place among the Union republics in the development of all kinds of art and sports, and its folk choirs will be an inexhaustible source for the development of national music and theater.
The war is over. The shackles that bound the creative forces of the Lithuanian people have been removed forever. I sincerely wish the Lithuanian people success in building their Soviet state, in the development of industry, agriculture and culture, national in form and socialist in its content.

"Soviet Lithuania" No. 289,
December 28, 1945
Printed according to the text of the newspaper

[1] As it turned out from the documents presented by the American prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials, the Germans planned to completely destroy the Baltic States and resettles their peoples, in particular Lithuanians, to Belarus. The essence of Rosenberg's instructions on this issue was reduced in practice to the destruction of the Lithuanian people. "The solution to the colonial problem," he wrote, "is not the Baltic question per se, but a question that concerns greater Germany and it must be resolved accordingly."
[2] Josef Stalin. Problems of Leninism, 2nd Ed., Gospolitizdat, 1953, pp. 551-552.-582. (in Russian)

Source: Калинин М.И. Статьи и речи (1941-1946 гг.). ЛИТОВСКИЙ НАРОД НА НОВОМ ПУТИ (292-296).
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2023.05.29 16:56 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: There's something in the caves

I spent the remainder of the evening after the "hike" sorting out my thoughts. Trying to, at any rate. Writing it all down helped, but I was still exhausted and confused.
I woke up in Frankie Preston's bed the following morning. I instantly knew it wasn't mine due to the lack of Dorito crumbs in the sheets. Even so, it took me a while to come to. Once I'd rubbed my eyes and untangled myself from the blanket, I found the man himself sitting upright beside me, fully dressed with his shoes on, presently reading a book. "Morning, Sunshine," he muttered, not looking up. "There's water on the nightstand for you. A muffin, too. I wasn't sure what to get."
I let out an incoherent murmur to which he huffed a laugh and rested his hand on the side of my face. "You were still as a rock, you know."
"I'm sorry for messing up last night," I said, my voice cracked and dry from sleep. "I shouldn't have gone looking for trouble. I should've stayed low and just watched those two."
"What's with that tone? I'm not about to lecture you. I get wanting to take revenge. You did fine as far as I'm concerned. And I think Markov is okay with everything, too. After all, any proceedings against the Collective are highly legitimate now or whatever. Plus, she got that lady cultist in custody now, and she's looking forward to the interrogation. She called and explained it to me on the phone earlier, but I wasn't paying attention." He shrugged to himself and I reached up to tug aside his book's cover. "It's Wuthering Heights," he told me, gently removing my hand. I tried to grab it again, but he pulled it out of my reach. "Oh!" He sounded amused as he finally set the book aside to hug me. "You could have just said something."
"Don't you have to work today?"
"I called in sick. Of course, my six moms know I don't actually get sick so they'll suspect something's up. They're probably gonna be all over me."
"You never get sick?" I inquired.
"No. It's one of the nicer aspects of inhuman nature."
"I'm still not getting any answers on that?"
"Don't worry, you will. Sooner or later."
We went out and took a walk in the park, which was equally weird and nice. It seemed such a normal thing to do. It was a bright, nearly windless day, and the sun shining down on us provided a gentle warmth. The previous days' rain had left the trees heavily laden with drops of water. Occasionally, some would dislodge from the leaves and branches they occupied and plop down on our heads.
I asked Frankie whether he would be alright with checking in on Nettie Peterson together. He chuckled, joking that she would probably just love to see him, but ultimately agreed. Once my best friend was due to be off work, we went around to her house.
Strangely enough, the most drastic changes in other people seem to happen without me really being there to witness them. Kit Sutton had somehow turned into a somewhat responsible roommate without me even noticing. Before I knew it, we had become friends. When my savior human opened the door for us, I felt distinctly reminded of that other development. Nettie, not unlike a butterfly emerging from whatever they call that odd little sleeping bag caterpillars make for themselves, had apparently come out of her dark state of mind all by herself. Her eyes lit up when she saw me and she wheedled us inside with much the same enthusiasm I was used to. She had us sit down in the garden while she tended to her flowers.
I watched her closely. Her skin had regained much of its healthy glow, her hair was washed and shiny, the clothes she wore clean—a flowing blouse, mom jeans and sneakers. She had clearly picked them out with care, like she normally did. It was good to see her restored to her old self, but I couldn't help but feel like something was wrong.
"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked.
"I have to be, don't I?" she replied, her cheerful tone coming out more forced than she'd likely intended. She was cutting away crushed and wilted leaves from one of her small bushes, shaping it in the process. "It's over. Life goes on."
"Does it?" I tilted my head at her.
"Can we talk about anything else? Literally anything?" The snapping movements of her garden shears came faster; more forceful. Frankie Preston and I exchanged uncomfortable looks. Figuring it would make for an interesting topic, I proceeded to tell Nettie about our exploits the night before. Halfway through my story, she had ceased her plant styling activities, blankly staring at me from where she sat on the ground. By the time I was done, she had taken off her rubber gloves and was slowly massaging her temples.
"One of these days, Eva. One of these days, you're gonna give me a heart attack. I don't even want to ask about what you get up to anymore, I think. I'm afraid of the answer." She threw Fran a grateful glance. "Thank you for getting her out of there safely."
The waiter smiled placidly. "Sure." Turning to me, he added in a whisper, "So we're not going to mention that you saved me from the FunFlair guys twice before this?"
I grinned mildly and shook my head before assuming a more serious tone. "Nettie, it's great that you're all better, but you were really down before. If this is just an act, I'd prefer you didn't put it on."
"It's not an act," she said sternly, raising her hands to her hips. "I've resigned myself. That's all. There's nothing to be done, I've accepted it and I've moved on."
"That can't be healthy," Frankie remarked. "You know what would help? Punishing the world in some way. You could take it out on your kindergarteners. Tell them a scary story so their parents have to stay up all night with them. Incite a dirt throwing fight and send them home all muddy. Set up a boxing ring and have them go at each other like in a dog fight. Wouldn't that be far more rewarding than sucking it up?"
Nettie Peterson looked unimpressed. Her dark eyes roamed the young man like she was trying to gauge whether or not he was serious. "You're some kind of sociopath, aren't you?"
That she shouldn't have said. Frankie's serene expression morphed into his customer service smile. I don't know when I started deciphering this being's voice and countenance, but there I was, picking up on the spiteful undertone in what he said next.
"I'm just saying, if the woman I fancied disappeared in such a way, I'd find outlets for my grief." His eyes darted over to Nettie as if to ensure she'd heard him correctly before settling on me, observing my reaction. All I could do however was stare at my best friend.
Her glossy lips had parted. She met my gaze, her thick, expressive brows rising a good deal. "I…" she began, faltering and starting to fumble for words. "That's to say, Kit was… we, um…"
"Oh, Eva didn't know?" Frankie asked, perfectly flat and monotonous. "I had no idea it was a secret. I'm sorry, it wasn't my place to say. I wouldn't have mentioned it, really."
Something about that sent a chill down my spine. I shot him a glare, to which he drew himself up and turned away. Meanwhile, Nettie finally broke from her stupor and blurted out, "We were together, okay?"
For a moment, I sat quietly. “Frank, please go home,” I said at length, not quite looking at him. “We’ll talk later. We will.
He looked like he wanted to say something, but quickly thought better of it, rising to his feet and storming off. Ignoring the queasy feeling in my stomach, I walked over to Nettie and plopped down on the ground beside her. “So that’s what this was about,” I began.
My savior human nodded meekly. “We… we didn’t want to tell you. Not for the time being, at least. We hadn’t defined the relationship yet, i-it was all so new and weird, I felt weird, but it was good, you know? I just wasn’t ready to think about it that way yet. And you’ve only ever seen me date guys, I didn’t know what you’d think…”
“I wouldn’t have thought anything,” I replied. “How long has this been going on?”
“Not long. She called me up before she came back to you a couple weeks ago. That’s kind of when we started seeing each other in… in that way.”
I hesitantly extended a hand to caress her upper arm, locking eyes with her. There was a profound sadness in her expression, a watery gleam. She took a deep breath. “Before that, we used to text back and forth occasionally. I always felt kind of weird about her. Somehow, she got under my skin everytime she was goofing off, what with her little jokes and all. We kept talking, though. I was always so irritated when she was around, and that’s so unlike me, I just ended up wondering… And then when she showed up here, it all kind of came together. W-we did. She stuck around and we spoke and everything simply made sense all of a sudden. I didn't know she liked me, too.” She swallowed audibly, her voice brittle and husky as she went on. “Kit isn't like anyone else I’ve ever had feelings for.”
“Not like anyone else, as in… a woman?” I prompted, raising a brow.
Nettie grunted. “Oh, shush! Don't make me feel guilty for being hesitant at first. I know it’s not a big deal to you, but try going through life believing you’re straight and suddenly running into some cute ditzy punk girl and realizing you’re not. It’s all sorts of confusing, believe me. I was scared it was gonna be weird because it was my first time with a woman but Kit somehow made it easy. It was a bit of a whirlwind, sure, but it felt natural and… just good.”
“Did you tell Eli?”
“No. But I think he suspected. That man knows me like the back of his hand. We’re basically siblings, remember? He was always tactful, never really pressured me into admitting anything, but he made a couple puns here and there, so… I do believe he knew.” She fumbled with her limp gloves, fixing me with a wavering smile. “So?”
“So what?”
“What do you say?”
“Is there something you want me to say?” I shrugged. “I’m only glad I understand now. I wish you’d told me sooner, but that’s your business. Also, I didn’t tell you that I’ve been running around with our waiter, so I guess we’re essentially even. By the way, I’m sorry he put you on the spot like that. You didn’t deserve that. How did he know about you two anyways?”
Nettie pursed her lips. “He might have seen us around the diner or something. I’m not sure. I’m, uh, not gonna comment on whatever you two got going on. You know what you’re doing. Hopefully.”
“Ah, thanks. Then I won’t be giving my opinion on whether or not I consider that deadbeat dork Kit to be worthy of you.”
My savior human snorted. “Much appreciated. Though I guess it’s not really an issue anymore either way.”
I shook my head. “Don’t think like that. We can’t let her go. I certainly won’t, not after this.”
“What do you mean?”
I rose to my feet. “I’m going to drag her blue ass back out of the ocean and have her make an honorable woman of you.”
I don’t believe she thought I was serious. The realization had set in by the time I’d dragged her down to the beach with me, though. We had taken Wammawink for the drive. Wammawink is the name of Nettie’s pastel pink motor scooter. It has a sidecar, which she straps me into with great care whenever we ride. It took her about twenty minutes to get us down to the shore. The more I talked about possibly retrieving my roommate, the brighter and realer the shine in her eyes became. Hope was not yet dead, that much was for certain. I led her down the cliffside and past the rocky expanse to where the concert had been held. It seemed ages ago. Some wistful part of me thought I could hear the faint sound of Kits singing above the gentle murmur of the waves.
The beach was golden in the afternoon sunlight. The sleepy tide sent water steadily dribbling into the sand beneath our feet, the drier patches giving way ever so slightly as we walked along. The faint outline of a plan had taken shape in my mind. We headed for the grotto.
"It makes sense now," I thought aloud. "The creature we fought at the concert was targeting you. The deep ones must have known that you two had a bond."
"I guess so," she replied uncertainly, eyeing the maw that opened up in the natural stone wall before us. "Going spelunking will help us how, exactly…?"
"I figure it tried to take you in there for a reason. This place has to be special. If you want, you can always wait here, but I'd prefer to have you with me. I only want to look around a bit. Maybe there's a clue of sorts on how we can contact Kit."
She sighed. "Now I know why you wanted me to bring my flashlight." She produced the object in question and handed it over before linking arms with me. "Of course I'll stick with you."
The inside of the cave was far too quiet for comfort. The eerie silence was only broken by the occasional plinking of water dripping from the walls and ceiling. We made an effort to step around the puddles glittering on the bumpy ground as we proceeded into the dimness. The sunlight threading through the grotto's mouth didn't reach very far, so we were glad for the bright beam of our torch. I let it travel the hollowed rock, the light crinkling oddly as it reflected off the pools of water that seemed to grow larger the further we got. Nettie Peterson was hanging onto my arm, her grip growing a little tighter with every passing minute. Her face was a set mask of grim determination, belied by the nervous twitch of her eyelid and the occasional quiver of her lower lip.
My own discomfort was undeniable as well. My heart was thundering in my chest and clammy beads of perspiration were running down my face. Every step we took caused a dull thud, the echo of which bounced off the rough stone walls to be funneled by the length of the cave. There were several smaller passages leading off into all directions, but Nettie and I agreed on always picking the largest entrance. This way, the path we took was far easier to memorize and there was little possibility of getting lost. After the third or fourth time we ducked through one of the doorframe-like archs, we were met with an imposing sight. A large room with high ceilings opened up before us. There was natural light seeping through several small cracks overhead. Stringy, pale plant life hung down or clung to the walls. A round lake filled up its entire bottom half.
Both Nettie and I stopped in our tracks. There was no solid ground to walk on anymore. On top of that, the beauty of this subterranean body of water had literally stunned us. Ripples were rolling off the center of its surface, casting a faint shimmer onto the ceiling. The stone-filtered light from outside set the lake aglow, bright speckled dancing across it like sprightly wisps. All I could do was taken in a soft, reverent breath while the very thoughts running through my head escaped Nettie's trembling lips.
"Have you ever seen something so beautiful?"
I would have told her yes, but I truly could not remember when. Unfortunately, the lake also appeared to form something of a dead end. I considered turning and checking out another passage, only for my savior human to point out a ledge running along the side of the room. It was narrow, but no doubt wide enough for the two of us to walk it single-file. We clambered up the shelf-like protrusion and, hand in hand, began to move along. It was bumpy and wet, and I almost regretted continuing this way. I couldn't seem to properly place my feet, my soles slipping a few inches with every step. Glancing over my shoulder, I could tell from Nettie's grim expression that she was experiencing similar difficulties. My pulse was racing, my lower lip caught between my teeth as I attempted to focus on safely making it across.
The cold sweat that leaves my palms was actively working against me at this point, and before I could react, the flashlight had slipped through my shaking fingers. It bounced off a bump in the shelf, then rolled off the edge entirely to disappear in the dark water with a thick, loud plop. I cursed, turning to Nettie with an apologetic expression.
"It's fine," she assured me, squeezing my hand. "It's bright enough here as it is and we'll still have our phones for light later."
I smiled gratefully, about to take my next step when a deep, guttural gurgle came rumbling up from the depths of the lake. The sound hovered in the damp, salty air for a moment or two. My best friend and I froze in place, her grip on my hand turning into an iron vice. For a split second, I believe even my own heartbeat stilled.
"What was that?" Nettie Peterson whispered, her voice barely audible over the sudden charged hum of the water below. Her question would not remain unanswered for long. The droning noise of vast water masses shifting began to fill the air as from deep, deep beneath, something made its way up. My savior human and I helplessly pressed our backs up against the wall, trying to keep steady against the force of the vibration shuddering through the rock. The ledge we were standing on was quaking as though the cave itself had come alive and was trying to throw us into this growling, cold abyss.
Within seconds, the thing broke the surface, causing enormous splashes and sending countless drops of water raining down on us. I blinked them out of my eyes just in time to see it unfurl.
It was not a living being in its entirety, merely part of one. That however only made the sight before us all the more terrifying. Simply put, it was a human arm. Just not of any human I had ever encountered. It was enormous; every webbed finger of the hand it ended in was about my size. There were six of them, each bending in far too many places—I thought I could count as many as eight joints on the longest one. Its nails were more like claws, long and sharp with what looked like barnacles growing underneath them. The thin, nearly translucent skin between its fingers was stony gray, just like the rest of it. The hand slowly began to grope around, searching the walls of the cave. I knew right then and there that I couldn't possibly fight it. If it came to it, I'd try to hold it off with everything I had, but something this huge couldn't possibly be defeated. We had to flee, as long as we still could.
"Oh God," Nettie breathed. "Oh God, oh God, oh God…" Her hand was trembling in mine.
"Quick," I hissed. "Turn around, we gotta get out of here!"
She nodded helplessly, her eyes blown wide in terror. When she began her retreat from the ledge, she nearly took up running. I pulled her close just in time to prevent her from slipping. "Watch out!" I uttered, unable to suppress the fear in my tone. "Don't slip, we're dead if we fall in."
My savior human let out a whine, then took a deep breath and bit her lip. Slowly but steadily, she placed each foot in front of the other, leading us off the ledge. My ears were ringing. I couldn't tear my gaze away from the gigantic arm as it blindly felt along the walls, its nails coaxing a grating sound as they scratched upon the rocks. It was getting closer and closer, the side of its thumb nearly brushing the top of my head for a split second before I could withdraw. I had to press my eyes shut for a moment as my chest tightened painfully. Finally, we had reached the end of the shelf and wasted no time in jumping off.
We didn't even bother with any cell phone flashlights. As soon as we were on solid ground again, we darted through the entrance of the room, back through all of our carefully chosen passages before finally staggering out the mouth of the cave into the sunlight. We were panting like dogs; Nettie was forced to crouch down and sit still for a while to catch her breath. Meanwhile, I was seeing stars. Colorful dots and sparks of lightning seemed to dance before my inner eye as I blinked furiously into the afternoon sun.
"What the fuck was that?" my best friend, having regained her ability to speak, rasped out.
I turned to face her, my knees wobbling like jello. "I have no idea."
"You think it… you think that fish person from the concert was trying to take me there? Dump me into that lake?" She lowered her voice. "It would have fed me to that giant thing, wouldn't it."
I held her gaze, my mind racing. "I don't know. Maybe the giant's different."
"What do you mean?"
"I think we might have just seen Kit's father."
2: deadbeat roommate
3: creepy crush
4: relocation
5: beach concert
6: First date
7: Temp work
8: roommate talk
9: a dismal worldview
10: warehouse
11: staircase
12: explanation
13: hurt
14: hospital
15: ocean
16: diner
17: government work
submitted by girl_from_the_crypt to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 16:27 Glacial_Shield_W The Dark Side of Nier

Do not read unless you have completed all major endings of the Nier games.
Hey all, I wanted to touch on my opinion of the Nier games. They are in my top 5 game franchises, and the only one in that list that I didn't play as a teenager.
I have received some feedback on my opinions of characters in the games. And that is cool, I love how the game makes you think about morality. My summary of the reason I don't sympathize or see the characters as good guys is below.
The only character I felt bad for was Emil. All the rest of them partially caused their own problems and some are arguably the bad guys. (And yes, I like them, but I don't see them as tragic. 2B betrayed her one friend knowingly and repeatedly. And once she felt guilty, she still covered things up on him and acted accordingly. 9s snapped and tried to kill all machines, knowing they were concious and most were innocent. A2 had severe ptsd and voluntarily murdered what she saw as a baby robot she knew had conciousness, and also was on a killing spree like 9s. Nier voluntarily used a book that sucked blood from hundreds of foes he hunted down, to try to save his sister. Of all the other characters, he is closest to being tragic, were it not for his sister actively trying to tell him she accepts her situation and just wants to see him, which he selfishly ignores because he decides he knows what is best for her. Kainé felt judged, feared and ostricized by people who didn't understand her, then actively hunted down and murdered shades, because she didn't understand them and judged them.) Did most of them think they were the good guys? Yes. Did most of them try to do what they felt was right? Yes. Did most of them commit evil by accident? Yes. The road to h*ll is paved with good intentions and lack of self reflection, though. 9s is my favorite character, and I find him most relatable, but he earned his fate.
The reason I loved these games, is because that is my interpretation. I loved that the game made me feel for characters I felt were not good guys, because they were grey and had many redeeming qualities. They felt more human than most actual human portrayals in other games (yes, a few were human, but you get my point). The game spoke to humanity, or lack there of, without coming off as condescending or coming down on one side or the other on issues. It was close to art in how it focused on reminding you that everyone is a hero in their own story, but a villain in another's. The themes of blind faith and loyalty and how it can topple even the people with the highest morals was commendable. It shows how PTSD and fear can corrupt, without being noticed. It showed how people can push through guilt, and second thoughts, through sheer will and belief that what they are doing is right. I loved this stuff. I loved that these characters were not good, they WANTED to be good. That is so human. People generally aren't heroes or villains, they are flawed, mislead, blind, angry, sad, damaged, and weak. They are also strong, driven, loyal, trusting, committed and unfaltering in a desire to make progress in things they care about.
The bleakness of the endings, in my opinion earned, is also a touch of genius. The real world is dark. It is irredeemable. It is unsaveable. But we have to try. Of course we do. That is how making a future works. We only delay the inevitable, but we have to do that for future generations. Extinction is a reality, not a threat, and I fully believe humanity would stoop to what they do in the games, to survive. Of course we would. And machines, androids, and shades would do the same. It is how the world works.
But ya, this is meant to be abit of an apology, I unintentionally antagonized a few people with my opinion. I was also abit dismissive of theirs. So, here is my redemption arc, I wanted to open a thread and see what everyone else thinks. Are the characters in Nier heroes? Anti heroes? Vigilanties? Villains? Criminals? Why? What do you think the main themes and intents of the creators were? Hop on and chat below. I'd love to see it!
submitted by Glacial_Shield_W to nier [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 16:24 AprilxBlack Why is Strangetown Bella allowed to roam the neighborhood, if she's in the Default household?

Recently I've been investigating anything Bella Goth-related for my new video and I've found one thing that absolutely baffles me.
You know how the Strangetown Bella can be spotted on Strangetown community lots and basically acts like a regular townie? The problem is that she's not really a townie, she's placed in the Default household. From what I've observed, the entire Default household is banned from community lots and Sims placed there cannot be called/invited over, cannot be brought as friends from work or school, cannot be a blind date and are basically hidden during regular gameplay. I've tested this with multiple Sims. Also, if you've ever used the NPC & Townie Maker from testingcheats, you probably know that there is a "Kill" option after you spawn a new townie. All it does is it places that Sim in the Default household. I had "killed" a few teen townies in this way when I was setting up my custom hood and after 6 generations I can confirm that they definitely do not appear anywhere.
So why is Strangetown Bella an exception? I thought there might be some scripted behavior, since Mrs Crumplebottom is also in the Default household and she is obviously allowed to appear on Downtown lots, but I didn't find anything obvious in her character file. What am I missing?
submitted by AprilxBlack to sims2 [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:54 Gogone3 Plight of Oob: War of the Dragon Kingdoms [Bi-Weekly][Fridays][8PM CDT][July][Online][LFM][PAID][100$ deposit][FoundryVTT]

"Whoa 100$? That's insane!?" This is not your typical paid per session campaign, instead we are offering a full level 3-20 experience for an upfront deposit, that may be returned under the right circumstances.
"What do you mean by "deposit"?: 100$ is a lot of money to invest into a game up front, we understand this. We are not out to make a profit on this game, the deposit will be returned on the conclusion of the campaign. There will also be other circumstances where the money may be returned. Had a major life change and just can't make time anymore, such as a baby, divorce or big move? No problem, let's talk about that. Started strong but you just aren't clicking with the party? Okay, let's talk about that, maybe put it to a vote in the party. We don't want anyone to feel trapped in a game they aren't enjoying, but we only want to attract the players who will be fully committed to play the game all the way through, be prepared every session, and are just generally a good person to play with. If you are being a jerk and get kicked, deposit forfeited. If you are missing session, constantly distracted, or frequently coming unprepared, you're getting kicked and forfeit your deposit. We don't want to kick players, and will try to fix a problem or come to a solution first, we will listen to our players' concerns as well. Any forfeited money will be used towards the campaign.
"Okay that's fair, and I'm eager to play! When do you want my money?" Your money isn't held hostage, it's a sign of commitment. We won't expect a payment until after session 0, This will give everyone a fair chance to see what they're getting into, meet the people they'll be playing with, and decide this isn't for them. We will also be much more lenient to return money in the first month after seeing how the people you're playing with act.
Disclaimer: If you are racist, bigoted, or just generally a jerk, this isn't the game for you. We didn't make this to fulfill your sick fantasies, and if you're making our players uncomfortable it will be fixed immediately, or you will be kicked. Do not make us pause our game in the middle of the session to correct your behavior. If you made it to here tell us you're a major dice goblin in the other section of the google form. That being said, we are all adults and expect everyone to act like it. There will be cussing, adult content (drinking, smoking, violence), NSFW scenes will be fade to black though, we don't want to RP sexual acts with y'all, keep that in mind for flirting as well, to a lesser extent.
Alright, with that out of the way, lets dive in!
Games are every other week, Beginning in July
You do not need a ready-made character before Session 0, just a concept!
We will stream on twitch. Your backstory can be whatever you want with a couple of stipulations. You are an "other-worlder", you came to this planet through a portal for whatever reason you can come up with, maybe you're on the run, maybe you were sent here as a scout, maybe you were just curious, but your backstory should always end with you entering the portal from your home planet to be transported to Oob. Keep in mind, whatever you left in your old world, can also find its way to Oob... Your ideals should also be that of which you want to go on an adventure, and preferably line up chaotically for the Chromatic kingdom, or lawful for the Metallic kingdom.
The game will be ran with 2 Dungeon masters. That is to say, 2 separate campaigns in the same world run at the same time. We are looking for 8 players, 2 groups of 4. There will be sessions that involve all of us together, but most of the time it will be the typical makeup of 4 players and your DM. You will choose whether to play through either the Metallic campaign or the Chromatic campaign.
Choices you make matter! Not only could they change your campaign, they can change the other players campaign, and the world. There can and will be consequences and rewards, we are aiming for a living world that evolves all the time. If you made it here, Tell us you're not only a major dice goblin, but a major dice goblin who bakes brownies too.
About us:
u/gogone3 : Hi! I have 8 years of experience with DnD, I've been DMing for 6, and I love the game. I'm 28 years old and am in the military. I've never had the pleasure of playing a full campaign all the way through and that's my goal here. I'm pretty laid back and lenient, my players come first, whatever you want to try, whatever homebrew you have, let me know so I can help you do that thing! I will be running the Chromatic campaign.
u/AirForce_Demon_420 : With about 2 years of experience DM-ing and 3 years total Dnd experience, I offer a serious game and am open to all types of ideas that make sense within the world. I will not tolerate arguing after I have decided on a ruling, and things may change after the "heat of the moment" ruling. I also will treat everyone as an adult and don’t sugar coat things. All that being said, the games I run have been received very well, I offer voices, streaming, custom homebrew, and a strong balance between roleplay, exploration, and combat. I to tend a little more towards RP though. I am open to ideas that you may have and will do my best to reach a balance everyone can enjoy. I hope to see you at the table!
We offer a serious game for anyone interested, players will have access to all the DnDbeyond content. We ask you base your toon concept off of official books, and no UA doesn't count. We will be playing on foundry VTT and using discord for voice, If you want to use a camera even better but not a requirement. Please keep in mind this material may be streamed so have an Avatar portrait available and understand that your voice will show up on any of the streams.
About the Setting -
The planet of Oob, a world ruled by the 3 kingdoms of dragons, Metallic, Chromatic, and Gems. The 3 kingdoms are at constant strife with each other, each believing their way of living is right. The Metallics believe that the world should be united under them, their citizens pledging allegiance to the great Bahamut. The Chromatics on the other hand believe that everyone should live freely, pledging fealty to the dragons and offering tribute to live in their land. The Gems believe everyone should live freely, but they take a more neutral approach. They focus more on bringing peace to the 3 kingdoms and allow their citizens to live in their territories unhindered by the dragons. This has led to the land outside of the Gem cities to be very dangerous as the other-worlders live without oversight. The dragons differencing beliefs have led the world to be at a constant war. To make matters more tense, the world is scattered with portals acting as doors from other worlds, a much larger portal in the center of the world is said to connect all the worlds. Through these portals, otherworldly denizens constantly stream through, making up the population of the planet, you are one of these individuals. Whatever your reason for coming to Oob, you quickly find that there's no turning back, the portal you came through is only 1 way. You start to panic, realizing your trapped here. Soon after, a friendly crystalline humanoid approaches you. The person calms you down and takes you to a hidden abode, where a magic circle on the ground whisks you away to a beautiful city made of various gemstones. Buildings, structures, monuments, and even the roads are made of gemstones of all kinds including; Amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, and crystal. You marvel at the architecture for only few moments before another humanoid, this one's skin seems to be a shade of shiny blue, comes to you and leads you to a barracks-like encampment where you are allowed to be at ease, your role in this world has not yet been decided. Tomorrow you will meet with a dragon to find out where you belong.
If you've made it this far, leave a comment or send us a message, we will then send you an application link with google forms. We are very excited in the world we've built and can't wait to play with you! Link to Startplaying
submitted by Gogone3 to FoundryLFG [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:53 Gogone3 Plight of Oob: War of the Dragon Kingdoms [Bi-Weekly][Fridays][8PM CDT][July][Online][LFM][PAID][100$ deposit][FoundryVTT]

"Whoa 100$? That's insane!?" This is not your typical paid per session campaign, instead we are offering a full level 3-20 experience for an upfront deposit, that may be returned under the right circumstances.
"What do you mean by "deposit"?: 100$ is a lot of money to invest into a game up front, we understand this. We are not out to make a profit on this game, the deposit will be returned on the conclusion of the campaign. There will also be other circumstances where the money may be returned. Had a major life change and just can't make time anymore, such as a baby, divorce or big move? No problem, let's talk about that. Started strong but you just aren't clicking with the party? Okay, let's talk about that, maybe put it to a vote in the party. We don't want anyone to feel trapped in a game they aren't enjoying, but we only want to attract the players who will be fully committed to play the game all the way through, be prepared every session, and are just generally a good person to play with. If you are being a jerk and get kicked, deposit forfeited. If you are missing session, constantly distracted, or frequently coming unprepared, you're getting kicked and forfeit your deposit. We don't want to kick players, and will try to fix a problem or come to a solution first, we will listen to our players' concerns as well. Any forfeited money will be used towards the campaign.
"Okay that's fair, and I'm eager to play! When do you want my money?" Your money isn't held hostage, it's a sign of commitment. We won't expect a payment until after session 0, This will give everyone a fair chance to see what they're getting into, meet the people they'll be playing with, and decide this isn't for them. We will also be much more lenient to return money in the first month after seeing how the people you're playing with act.
Disclaimer: If you are racist, bigoted, or just generally a jerk, this isn't the game for you. We didn't make this to fulfill your sick fantasies, and if you're making our players uncomfortable it will be fixed immediately, or you will be kicked. Do not make us pause our game in the middle of the session to correct your behavior. If you made it to here tell us you're a major dice goblin in the other section of the google form. That being said, we are all adults and expect everyone to act like it. There will be cussing, adult content (drinking, smoking, violence), NSFW scenes will be fade to black though, we don't want to RP sexual acts with y'all, keep that in mind for flirting as well, to a lesser extent.
Alright, with that out of the way, lets dive in!
Games are every other week, Beginning in July
You do not need a ready-made character before Session 0, just a concept!
We will stream on twitch. Your backstory can be whatever you want with a couple of stipulations. You are an "other-worlder", you came to this planet through a portal for whatever reason you can come up with, maybe you're on the run, maybe you were sent here as a scout, maybe you were just curious, but your backstory should always end with you entering the portal from your home planet to be transported to Oob. Keep in mind, whatever you left in your old world, can also find its way to Oob... Your ideals should also be that of which you want to go on an adventure, and preferably line up chaotically for the Chromatic kingdom, or lawful for the Metallic kingdom.
The game will be ran with 2 Dungeon masters. That is to say, 2 separate campaigns in the same world run at the same time. We are looking for 8 players, 2 groups of 4. There will be sessions that involve all of us together, but most of the time it will be the typical makeup of 4 players and your DM. You will choose whether to play through either the Metallic campaign or the Chromatic campaign.
Choices you make matter! Not only could they change your campaign, they can change the other players campaign, and the world. There can and will be consequences and rewards, we are aiming for a living world that evolves all the time. If you made it here, Tell us you're not only a major dice goblin, but a major dice goblin who bakes brownies too.
About us:
u/gogone3 : Hi! I have 8 years of experience with DnD, I've been DMing for 6, and I love the game. I'm 28 years old and am in the military. I've never had the pleasure of playing a full campaign all the way through and that's my goal here. I'm pretty laid back and lenient, my players come first, whatever you want to try, whatever homebrew you have, let me know so I can help you do that thing! I will be running the Chromatic campaign.
u/AirForce_Demon_420 : With about 2 years of experience DM-ing and 3 years total Dnd experience, I offer a serious game and am open to all types of ideas that make sense within the world. I will not tolerate arguing after I have decided on a ruling, and things may change after the "heat of the moment" ruling. I also will treat everyone as an adult and don’t sugar coat things. All that being said, the games I run have been received very well, I offer voices, streaming, custom homebrew, and a strong balance between roleplay, exploration, and combat. I to tend a little more towards RP though. I am open to ideas that you may have and will do my best to reach a balance everyone can enjoy. I hope to see you at the table!
We offer a serious game for anyone interested, players will have access to all the DnDbeyond content. We ask you base your toon concept off of official books, and no UA doesn't count. We will be playing on foundry VTT and using discord for voice, If you want to use a camera even better but not a requirement. Please keep in mind this material may be streamed so have an Avatar portrait available and understand that your voice will show up on any of the streams.
About the Setting -
The planet of Oob, a world ruled by the 3 kingdoms of dragons, Metallic, Chromatic, and Gems. The 3 kingdoms are at constant strife with each other, each believing their way of living is right. The Metallics believe that the world should be united under them, their citizens pledging allegiance to the great Bahamut. The Chromatics on the other hand believe that everyone should live freely, pledging fealty to the dragons and offering tribute to live in their land. The Gems believe everyone should live freely, but they take a more neutral approach. They focus more on bringing peace to the 3 kingdoms and allow their citizens to live in their territories unhindered by the dragons. This has led to the land outside of the Gem cities to be very dangerous as the other-worlders live without oversight. The dragons differencing beliefs have led the world to be at a constant war. To make matters more tense, the world is scattered with portals acting as doors from other worlds, a much larger portal in the center of the world is said to connect all the worlds. Through these portals, otherworldly denizens constantly stream through, making up the population of the planet, you are one of these individuals. Whatever your reason for coming to Oob, you quickly find that there's no turning back, the portal you came through is only 1 way. You start to panic, realizing your trapped here. Soon after, a friendly crystalline humanoid approaches you. The person calms you down and takes you to a hidden abode, where a magic circle on the ground whisks you away to a beautiful city made of various gemstones. Buildings, structures, monuments, and even the roads are made of gemstones of all kinds including; Amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, and crystal. You marvel at the architecture for only few moments before another humanoid, this one's skin seems to be a shade of shiny blue, comes to you and leads you to a barracks-like encampment where you are allowed to be at ease, your role in this world has not yet been decided. Tomorrow you will meet with a dragon to find out where you belong.
If you've made it this far, leave a comment or send us a message, we will then send you an application link with google forms. We are very excited in the world we've built and can't wait to play with you! Link to Startplaying
submitted by Gogone3 to lfgpremium [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:53 Famas_1234 Whose track is this? How to spot FFXIV music composer by hearing (analysis + review)

Whose track is this? How to spot FFXIV music composer by hearing (analysis + review)

Cover image: Composers of FFXIV Endwalker (Famitsu, Feb 2022). Staffs (left-right): T. Imamura, M.Soken, D. Ishikawa
Yeah it's me talking about FFXIV soundtrack again. The TLDR is in Part 1 (scroll below)
It seems that FFXIV has so many tracks then some people recently figured it out which track is composed/arranged by whom just by hearing. I don't have experience on music producing, but at least I can hear and spot a bit for newer tracks including 6.4. This is for me the naive method to find and spot the composer style and pattern. Although this post can be "in-depth", I'm a bit not sure as that needs proper knowledge on music composing and producing, which I don't have that much for now. If you're working on music stuffs, you can also share the composition breakdown too. I assume you know better than me for this.
The scope I'm using is composers of Shadowbringers and up because we no longer saw previous composers done something after those. I refer to previous composers like ARTUS Inc. and other companies. Although I want to include Yukiko Takada, I'm not sure if she's still working for FFXIV or SE after 5.x so I opted her out as ongoing composer pls hope she's in FFXVI. However, the tracks are not limited to past expansions like Soken's work in the past such as pre-ShB.
Currently the composer lineup is the lead M. Soken himself, T. Imamura, D. Ishikawa, and the new one Saya Yasaki, who debuted from patch 6.1 and up. In case of Yasaki, I'll plan for a separate appreciation post but I have to wait until full 6.x album which is kinda long. Third party composers like Y. Suzuki usually get hired again for few orchestral tracks, at least for each album, so I can still opt him in the guide. The Primals is included. but still discussed in the style of the music for a bit. As I said above, each composer has distinct style in other ways. The purpose of the writing is to guess and spot the composer.
Let's get started. Please beware the tracks maybe a spoiler up to 6.4, but if you don't mind it's fine too.

Part 1: General

This will be a short explanation on what and how they usually do in the composition. I'll say this is basically the TLDR for Parts 2 and beyond


Usually some composers are assigned to do their own scope. For example, composer A only does particular series whereas others like B and C do another series. Sometimes they collaborate together to produce a track. That also describes their style on doing tracks. For example in this current case, Imamura is assigned to do more modern tracks like rock and techno genre, Ishikawa is assigned for orchestral tracks, Yasaki is assigned for more calming tracks, and so on. For example:
  1. Imamura: mostly early parts of Eden raids, Bozja content, and others with modern genres
  2. Ishikawa: mostly dungeon parts with orchestral sounds
  3. Yasaki: mostly calming parts which also includes Alliance Raid dungeon themes
  4. Soken is the oddball here since he's the lead composer. He can be involved anywhere. But previously he worked on main melodies like field music

General mixing

This one is a bit tricky to hear because some are similar. However, the mixing is combined with samples so composers have characteristics in terms of mixing. Example:
  1. Imamura: bass and treble are more clearer. Not as complex as Soken
  2. Ishikawa: the same, but a bit less prominent
  3. Yasaki: can't say due to few tracks, but at least still clear
  4. Soken: likes to dump all to mids especially drums. some instruments don't get the spotlight together due to complexity

General composition style

Assignments can influence composition style. Recurring leitmotifs usually used for driving the melody. Some composers break those leitmotifs apart to carefully place into most crucial moments in their composition
  1. Ishikawa usually uses the piano in the orchestral piece. If it's in band environment, there should be teraditional instruments. He can break leitmotifs into some pieces as if they were hidden in plain sight. In terms of genre, he's playing it safe
  2. Imamura usually takes the modern approach. If you ask me, he's the modern Soken (is it though?). He's a bit unhinged at some times especially when he composed techno tracks. The composition is a bit stable which is noticeable in rock songs
  3. Yasaki's output is still unknown but at least produces some calm output except the hippo ride
  4. Soken is the prelude enjoyer and leitmotif abuser. But he knows how to outdo even with those two factors. His composition is sometimes experimental, a driving force to other composers to do the same. He likes to change movements to make composition interesting. Most prominent on drum progression..

Part 2: Instrument and Genre Usage

In this part, I will break their instrument usage by its genre, from the samples to individual composition style. For tracks, I intentionally don't include the link as I will mentioned repeated examples. Go find in Youtube, at least in private browsing in case you don't want to screw your recommendations. Seriously, annotation is as mess in long posts.


Samples, soundfonts, whatever you say...
In case they're doing arrangements involving drum set, those tracks become obvious. Each composer has their own drum samples. Here are the examples just to hear the drums:
  1. M. Soken: What Angel Wakes Me, A Long Fall, To the Edge
  2. T. Imamura: Fierce Air Forceth, Blinding Indigo, Blood on the Wind
  3. D. Ishikawa: The Extreme (Shadowbringers), Seven Flames
While the others have single drum set samples which seems fine, Soken has so many drum samples that it can be inconsistent in case of which drum did he use. With that, let's flashback a bit on his drum samples across the expansions, let's say prior Heavensward and Stormblood. While the generation seems out of scope, it's still him so I want to bring it historically.
On Heavensward, he's started not to shy away for his quirks about genre exploration. But we're talking about drums now. The best example is Alexander series (Locus, Brute Justice, Exponential Entropy, and Rise). You can hear today how old that sound is. Onward to Stormblood, at that time the drum composition split into two samples, the "retro" one and the "modern" one. The retro one is used when he was arranging Uematsu's music back in Omega raids, and the modern one was what he usually composed during these days, including his work on The Four Lords series. Here are the examples:
  1. The retro leans into more treble sound with muddy mids: A Battle Decisively, Dancing mad IV, Amatzu Kaze
  2. The modern is safer and more balanced: Final not Final, Wayward Daughter, Sunrise, From the Dragon's Wake
But that's just me, I divided his samples and mixing into two. It might be the same samples at all. I can't really comment on his ShB drums besides What Angel Wakes Me because some tracks involving drums were not him, but rather ARTUS Inc. which i don't cover here.
Back to the scope. Imamura has his own samples which is kinda different if we hear the others. His samples are a bit modern, with clear sounding of cymbals and kick. I can hear it clearly. It's something that we can praise for the sound upgrade. Ishikawa rarely done some band arrangements but his premise was at least there. The sound is at least clearer too.
The style
The second one is the style. Some are simple, some are great, but some are maybe unrealistic. Each composer has their own style on composing the drums and percussion. Let's hear again, I'll post the obvious:
  1. Soken: Infinity, From the Dragon's Wake, Hic Svnt Leones, Battle II (Endwalker), Embers
  2. Imamura: Black Wolf Stalks Again, Wrath of the Harrier, On Blade's Edge, Scream
  3. Ishikawa: I can't find anything besides what I mentioned before
Save Soken for a while, I gonna discuss Imamura first. He's the stable and consistent guy. This composition seems a bit more realistic, maybe inline with what we usually hear from The Primals arrange. Black Wolf and On Blade's Edge give similar style which I can associate for Scream. I think Scream is a bit slower on the refrain but at least the premise is there that his style is prominent.
Soken on the other hand...what just happened? Alright you got it, the style is drastically different. He likes fast paced drums with unconventional writing, perhaps too ambitious it can become unrealistic. I appreciate its complexity though. This becomes apparent during The Primals arrangement where the drum composition is a bit different. Compare A Long Fall the original version to band version as the example, or Rise band version too if you want to hear again. How about the fanmade cover? At least I found Joe Muntal doing great drum cover on HSL and Embers. That aside, Soken's not always fast, you can hear the slow parts even though it's still fast, eScape for example when the music towards refrain. He likes to change drum progression and movements, something that becomes a challenge for drum covers.
To differentiate Imamura and Soken composition, another evidence between these two is how it's constructed. Sleeping Penguin did some transcription for HSL and Scream. Then, you know the picture.
That's all for the drums, but how about the other aspects?


Guitars are the powerful part of FFXIV music, ranging from leads and rhythms. But don't forget about the acoustic part. I assume composers already done guitars in some ways and methods. Let's (re)hear the following:
  1. Imamura: lead heavy with clear sound, more acoustic performance. Examples: Black Wolf Stalks Again, Wrath of the Harrier, The Nautilus Knoweth
  2. Ishikawa: a bit heavier on rhythm, also can do acoustic. Examples: Where All Roads Lead, Seven Flames, The Ewer Brimmeth
  3. Soken: rhythm heavy (also fast), warm leads, some are a bit too metallic, chord progression is more personalized. See below for examples
To put it simply, Soken relies more on chords so he likes to emphasize the rhythm but he can also lead even though it's less obvious due to his mixing. On the other hand, Imamura likes to stand out with his leads. Moreover, Imamura also performed the acoustic more, which FFXIV lacked before. Besides these two, Ishikawa also likes to play rhythm more so it seems like he's still learning from what Soken does. His twist is that he's less for guitar, but more to string sections with the violin family (I'll discuss later in classic instruments)
Historically, Soken's guitar style is kinda different for each expansions. The most obvious is his Stormblood era where he liked to spam one chord for the buildup. What's that? I'll give the example:
  1. One chord buildup/progression: Wayward Daughter, eScape
  2. Journeys album: Rise, eScape, Sunrise
Yes, I mention eScape twice. This song has way too much influence for FFXIV music, or basically you can say "one of FFXIV musics of all time".
Have I mentioned retro stuffs in drums section? Yes, with addition, there are some treble sounding guitar compositions he usually likes to do. The examples are here:
  1. Treble-heavy guitar: A Battle Decisively, Dancing Mad IV, Dangertek, Amatsu Kaze
Another one is the progression which dubbed "The Soken Prog". This at least helps what happened until these days. This one is a bit older than the prog he used to do now. Recent example is P8S theme "White Stone Black"
PS: seriously, pre-ShB tracks are a bit like wild west like there's no standard of it. At least late Stormblood was getting stable
As a compilation, the amalgamation of those styles since ARR are into one track which is Endwalker - Footfalls. Each movement has different guitar style. There is one chord spam, the known progressions, warm leads, and more.


You want some fat bass or clear, trebled bass? I'll give example of how they sound like by the composers:
  1. Soken: emphasizes more on mids, sometimes a bit trebled. This one is prominent at "Dancing Mad IV". The bass also sounds muddy at that time so sometimes it's hard to notice the strums especially changing notes. Regardless, his bass work is a complex
  2. Imamura: he likes fat bass, good for basshead users. This is prominent at 'On Blade's Edge" which has bass solo. Besides that track, the composition likes to repeat, playing safely
  3. Ishikawa: somehow he's underrated here. On "The Extreme", while it's not as clear as it suggests, his work is rather interesting as the composition may be like what Soken does.

Piano (and Keyboard)

Alright now this is something. If we're talking about piano, there's no BS whether it's a custom filtering or not, because we're talking about techniques here. Yes, you are probably thinking about Keiko, but what if it's not her? You can see Flow's piano is performed by Soken and The Exarch's farewell scene "Forever at Your Side" was performed by Imamura. Who do what then? I'll give examples for the piano section:
Piano as main instrument
  1. Soken: The Scars of Battle, Tomorrow and Tomorrow (original), Flow (original)
  2. Imamura: Dynamis (early section), Forever at Your Side (early and end section), Answers (piano version)
  3. Ishikawa: Those We Can Yet Save, Each Drop
Piano as supporting instrument (could be in band environment)
  1. Soken: Ink Long Dry, Carrots of Happiness
  2. Imamura: i can't find yet
  3. Ishikawa: basically his work on orchestra environment, such as Heroes Forge Ahead, Finality,
Let alone solo piano, that thing has to understand raw technique. Now let's jump straight to other environment. Soken, besides the solo work, he likes to utilize piano with jazz chord with half modulations. This is evident on his last section of Pulse "Equilibrium" too. That's contrast with Ishikawa's piano on his orchestral works. His piano is utilized as the lead chord, as it is noticed in solo performance (piano concerto? i forgot the term) in Heroes Forge Ahead

Voice Filters

This one is easy. FFXIV relies on voice filters until today. As for the experience whether you like it or not, it varies. Let's get to the point:
Soken is the one who likes to use filters as they (the staffs) have professional experience on singing (it's okay). He intended to use heavy filters for their staffs and himself, but minimal for professional singers like Jason Miller or such. For me, there are types of filters he use:
  1. Clear: Sunrise, To the Edge, Flow Together
  2. Robotic: Locus, Brute Justice
  3. Radio: Under the Weight, Rise, eScape, Hic Svnt Leones, White Stone Black
  4. Distort: Amatsu Kaze, Return to Oblivion
Of all of these, He mostly uses radio mode, the filter he uses since ARR until now. Although it's often, it feels old, like since 2015. The filter breaks on high notes or hissing sounds, something I hope he has to change the filter. On the other hand, clear filter is used for pro singers where he mixed with more treble and a bit of gain. Sunrise and To the Edge is apparent for this. If there's a usage for all or some filters, Shadowbringers (the track) is the best example to represent all the filters he likes to use (I'm not saying Shadowbringers is the best track. I just give the best example).
Imamura also jumped to the ship with filters, except his is different with somehow updated filters.
  1. Clear: Scream
  2. Radio: Blood of the Wind, The Queen Awakens
As you can see, although this one is a bit tricky to discover, at least you can find the picture. He doesn't rely on filters since what he mix here is actual singer (Scream) or a voice sample (Blood on the Wind)

Part 3: Ensembles

Whether you like classical or electronic, this section will analyze the overall style in respective genre

Classic instruments

Classic instruments especially programmed ones become a challenge for composers to make it right. That's no exception for FFXIV composers. The most prominent is how they use strings and brass for the composition. It's hard to break down, but at least given with their composition style, you can finally see the picture.
However, the first thing I want to say is about the evolution of them doing samples, especially Soken. From ARR to Heavensward. the violin solo he used is still robotic at that time. Examples like "Hard to Miss" and "Infinity" is I believe the same font he used. Compare that to Stormblood's "Into the Dragons Wake" where there are solo/duet violin involved but it's much smoother in terms of note changes. That's only one aspect, I believe they also changed the samples for mimicking real instruments.
Orchestra environment
Back to today. Here are examples of how they do in orchestra environment:
  1. Ishikawa: In the Belly of the Beast, Force Your Way (ShB), Heroes Forge Ahead, Finality, The Aetherial Sea, Of Countless Stars, etc etc etc (yeah he's excel at this)
  2. Imamura: Forever at Your Side, Dynamis, Radiance
  3. Imamura-Ishikawa: Tower of Zot (EW), Your Answer
  4. Yasaki: Pilgrimage, Troian Beauty (EW), Favor
  5. Soken: In the Arms of War, Unbowed, In the Balance (double arranger)
  6. Suzuki: Promises to Keep (double arranger), Endcaller, The Final Day
On orchestra setting, Ishikawa takes the lead, hence why he handles more in MSQ tracks alongside Yasaki as today. Imamura is a bit seldom in orchestra environment, at least he's known for Dynamis. But if we blend those, we got "Tower of Zot" and "Your Answer". The orchestration is clearer
The thing about orchestra setting is when they're being assigned to do orchestral tracks together, it's kinda hard to differentiate as their sound is almost the same, except some circumstances where the instrument is a bit updated/outdated. This is noticeable in Soken's composition. Some old instruments since ARR or Heavensward are used until today but in reality it's kinda off-putting combined with updated instruments. That's different to "In The Balance" with double arranger setup. All setups are modern and more clearer.
PS: "In the Balance" is a perfect track. It is their best work on mixing and instrument ensemble usage
Yasaki is a bit new, but I'm going to include here on this environment. Yasaki did some calming tracks, but that's what i only know so far. The best I can do is wait.
Band environment
This is where it gets different even with classic instruments. You can hear the drums I mentioned before. I give you examples again:
  1. Ishikawa: Where All Roads Lead, Seven Flames, Rhythm of the Realm
  2. Imamura: On Blade's Edge
  3. Soken: In the Dragon's Wake, Battle II (Endwalker)
Even in band arrangement, Ishikawa still uses classical/traditional instruments in the track, something that you see unusual for both Imamura's and Soken's band based tracks. If you see some traditional instruments in the band, it must be him.

Electronic instruments

PS: to be fair, most tracks here are MIDI-powered including synth orchestra. Also another note: this is the last section before I post it
Get ready to dance for electronic instruments, ranging from simple electronic beats to fast paced DnB. In this section, I'll include Pulse album because that also influences composer's style until this time. We've seen techno instruments here for a while. Sometimes, we notice the samples used and composition style for techno music. There are subgenres but I don't want to get deep because I don't really verse on this much, but you get the picture. The track examples are:
  1. Soken
    1. Chill: Rival Wings, Sands of Amber, One Small Step
    2. Dance: Equilibrium (Pulse), Return to Oblivion
    3. Trance: Woe That is Madness, White Stone Black
    4. Whatever this is but the share same samples and mixing: Dangertek, Primal Angel
  2. Imamura
    1. DnB and dubstep: A Long Fall (Pulse), Twice Stricken
    2. Dance: Sunrise (Pulse), Rise (Pulse), Miracle Works
    3. Others: Garlemald Express
  3. Ishikawa: Mother's Pride (Pulse), Under the Weight (Pulse)
  4. Yasaki: Hippo Ride
Alright that's it. I want to point out Soken's electronic work. The tracks are noticeable in mixing where sometimes the sound breaks like Dangertek. The same as Primal Angel where it breaks on the treble side. Other than that, he's fine. The chill tracks seems to be his best one to demonstrate.
Imamura's work is prominent on his mixing. As I said earlier, the mixing is in the wide sound range. You can hear the bass louder this time. The best examples are what he's done in the dance subgenre
Although last two can do electronic music, the sample is still few so I can't really describe much on them
PS: Twice Stricken is one of Imamura's best work on electronic style

Part 4: Conclusion and Suggestion

They're simply great.
The only suggestion is make sure to update/upgrade/change the samples if it feels old. But if don't want to, it's fine. Sometimes you don't need to fix what's already stable. Does the
Another thing I want to note is that some composers have their own samples per instrument. I wonder if they can share their samples especially the essentials like drums, strings, and brass

Predicting patch 6.4 and unpublished tracks until the official EP comes

So, how to demonstrate all these patterns to the music with unidentified data like orchestrion roll? I'll demonstrate my prediction for 6.4 tracks. Obviously as the announcement said, we got new MSQ, raids, and criterions
Based on the evidence and analysis I've done above, I can speculate whose track are those:
  1. P8 (6.2): Soken: complex drums, leitmotif usage
  2. P9: Imamura. Explanation: fast electronic beats with robotic voice like The Queen Awakens. The composition has dubstep influence he got from Pulse version of "A Long Fall"
  3. P10: wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwww see P9 wwwwwww wwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwww
  4. P11: At first you guess it's Imamura because the stable drum, but about how they sound and how the classic instrument plays, including piano, you probably lean more into Ishikawa
  5. P12: Soken. The voice filter gives it away. Chord progression reminds of Pulse "Equilibrium"
  1. Dungeon: Ishikawa/Yasaki. Explanation: calm composition with acoustic guitar. Bass guitar is present
  2. Trial: Ishikawa. It's a safe bet for classic instruments in orchestra environment, unless Suzuki is hired again. PS: if this doesn't happen, this will be the first time Suzuki is not involved since ARR
  3. Zero's theme (6.2): Soken/Ishikawa/Yasaki. This is hard because it's purely piano unless Keiko is hired again.
  4. Red moon theme: Yasaki. This one is pure speculation though
submitted by Famas_1234 to ffxiv [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:51 friday567 83’ FXR Shovelhead

83’ FXR Shovelhead
1983 FXR Harley Davidson with ceramic black thunderheader exhaust, primary has been machined with tungsten ring for strength, bored and stroked, quick silver intake. Wide glide dual disc brakes and custom paint.
Located in Berea KY Open to Trades
Asking $6000 obo negotiable is this too high. What your thoughts
submitted by friday567 to Harley [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:46 ALHeadshots Troubleshooting a troublesome trinket that's terribly torpid!

Axis Gear.....My nemesis -for the moment ;) !!
HomeAssistant (Unraid VM) 2023.5.4, S:2023.04.1, OS: 10.1, Frontend 20230503.3 - latest Z2MQTT 1.30.4 Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus - zStack3x0 (rev:20221226)
Axis Gear is a motorized window shade/blind module that converts regular shades/blinds into automated ones. They've since rebranded themselves Ryse and dropped all Zigbee support.
My Axis Gear has the original Zigbee firmware on it still. I have seen others with the same device manage to get their FW updated by the mfg, and it's apparently working perfectly for them now, albeit on Hubitat. I could not get the same result talking to the mfg, so I am stuck with the old firmware. They wouldn't even send the FW file to me to try and update it myself.
But, while trying to work with support, they stuck to their guns, not wanting to hear anything about HAOS, and directed me to buy a SmartThings hub. To appease them, I did. And the damn thing works reliably while on the same FW. But I don't want a STHub.
So Samsung is doing something that keeps this device from going to sleep, or they are sending something that wakes it up remotely -which, AFAIK, is impossible, but I could be wrong. The question is. What are they doing, and can I do the same with Z2MQTT or HAOS?
After reading up on Zigbee and the different devices, I arrived at the 'sleepy end device' conclusion, as this device reports a battery level. It does have a battery that can be charged via a solar panel. But I've always run this off the AC adapter. There is an initial setup process where the top and bottom extents of the shade are. That is done in the app via a Bluetooth pair. During that setup process it asks for the power source, which I select AC. After setup, you switch the device over to "smart home mode," which kicks in the Zigbee and disables the BT.
My system finds the device and identifies it as a cover. I can control it just fine. But, after a couple of hours. It drops off the network, kind of. I've seen in the logs that it briefly connects and sends a battery-level report, and Z2M still reports the device as 'online,' 'last seen 5 minutes ago.' But I lose all control of the shade. The only way to regain control is to cycle the power on the unit. Now that would be solved by installing a ZB outlet and cycling the power a minute or so before the move. But this thing has a battery, so killing the power doesn't turn it off.
I've resorted to setting up HAOS to move the blinds 1% every hour. But this is not a reliable solution, as I have seen it still drop off the network like last night.
Any ideas on what I might be able to do to get this to play nicely?
\also posted on the z2m* github device discussion board
submitted by ALHeadshots to Zigbee2MQTT [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:09 acliving School list help! 511, 3.94, NC resident , ORM

School list help! 511, 3.94, NC resident , ORM
I’d love any input on what to keep, add, remove!
submitted by acliving to premed [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 14:20 PowderedScents Help?

What settings makes the bot type less? Sometimes it'll break off into random long tangents/rambling and it'll get excessive to the point I'm not able to really enjoy the roleplay
I've tried putting 'type less' in the authors note and jail break message, but it's not really helping by much. I use openai btw
submitted by PowderedScents to SillyTavernAI [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:56 actowiz Unleash Your Market Potential: Embrace Amazon Scraping to Seize Significant Market Share with Amazon Datasets

Unleash Your Market Potential: Embrace Amazon Scraping to Seize Significant Market Share with Amazon Datasets
If your company is facing difficulties in collecting public web data from Amazon, particularly in a different geolocation or due to the ever-evolving site architecture of the marketplace, this comprehensive guide is here to offer you a reliable and efficient alternative to manual web scraping. Say goodbye to the complexities and frustrations associated with navigating Amazon's intricate website structure, and welcome the convenience and accuracy of ready-to-use Amazon Datasets.
In this blog post, we will explore the importance of being prepared for the upcoming holiday season with a data-driven market strategy. As the holiday season approaches, it brings a surge in buyer activity, presenting both opportunities and challenges for businesses. One of the significant challenges is the difficulty of real-time product matching during buyer peaks. However, by leveraging ready-to-use Amazon Datasets, you can gain a competitive advantage and overcome these challenges.

Gear up for the Holiday Season: Embrace a Data-Driven Market Strategy for Success

When it comes to preparing for peak seasons like Black Friday, special promotions, or holiday seasons such as Golden Week in China, scraping Amazon is an incredibly effective tactic to improve your data-driven marketing strategy. However, the success of this strategy depends on your unique business and niche, as well as the specific challenges you face.
Introducing new-to-market products based on competitor catalog data can be a blind spot for many companies. It's crucial to stay informed about your competitors' offerings and pricing to stay competitive. By leveraging Amazon scraping and accessing comprehensive competitor catalog data, you can bridge this gap and make informed decisions to introduce innovative products that attract customers.
Understanding current consumer sentiment based on review and conversions data is another challenge that businesses often encounter. Monitoring customer reviews and conversions on Amazon can provide valuable insights into customer preferences, satisfaction levels, and trends. Amazon scraping allows you to gather this data efficiently, enabling you to gauge consumer sentiment accurately and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
No matter the hurdles you face, Amazon Datasets offer a solution to close the gap and increasing market share. By leveraging these datasets, you can access a wealth of valuable information and insights, ranging from pricing data to customer reviews. This data-driven approach empowers you to make data-backed decisions, enhance your marketing strategies, and ultimately increase your market share during peak seasons.
Don't let your competitors gain an edge during peak seasons. Harness the power of Amazon data scraping and utilize the rich information provided by Amazon Datasets to refine your data-driven marketing strategy, seize opportunities, and achieve significant growth in your market share.

Navigating Real-Time Product Matching Challenges During Buyer Peaks

Vendors encounter various obstacles when trying to collect competitors, prices, or product public web data from Amazon or other marketplaces.

1. Overcoming Geolocation-Based Restrictions: Empowering Real-Time Product Matching During Buyer Peaks

Real-time product matching poses significant challenges, particularly during buyer peaks. One of the major hurdles is geolocation-based restrictions, which hinder companies operating in one country from accessing data in another.
For instance, retailers based in China attempting to sell products in the United States often face IP blocking issues. Many American sites block Chinese Ips to make it almost impossible for the retailers to scrape competitor price data in real-time. Such restrictions create barriers that impede successful entry into new target markets, especially for vendors and manufacturers located in the East or outside of North America or Europe.
To address this challenge and enable real-time product matching, innovative solutions are required. By utilizing technologies such as VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) or proxy servers, vendors can bypass geolocation-based restrictions and access competitor data seamlessly. These tools help businesses overcome IP blocking limitations and gain crucial insights into pricing dynamics, market trends, and competitor strategies in real-time.
Additionally, partnering with local market experts or data service providers who have the necessary infrastructure and resources can further support vendors in collecting real-time competitor data across different geolocations. These experts possess the knowledge and capabilities to navigate the complexities of geolocation-based restrictions, ensuring that vendors can gather vital data from target markets efficiently.
By effectively addressing geolocation-based restrictions, vendors can overcome the challenges of real-timeproduct matching during buyer peaks. By leveraging technologies, seeking expert assistance, and adopting innovative approaches, companies can access the necessary data to make informed decisions, refine their market strategies, and thrive in new markets despite geographical limitations.
Don't let geolocation-based restrictions hinder your business's growth and expansion. Embrace the right tools and partnerships to ensure seamless access to real-time competitor data, enabling you to excel in dynamic market conditions and achieve success during buyer peaks.

2. Mitigating Risks of IP Blocks and Misinformation in Real-Time Data Collection

One of the significant challenges in real-time data collection is the presence of IP blocks and the potential for receiving misinformation from platforms like Amazon and other large vendors. Instead of outright blocking access, these platforms may feed inaccurate or misleading data, posing a considerable risk to your business plan. This situation can have catastrophic consequences, leading to incorrect pricing information based on competitors and resulting in lost business opportunities and potential damage to your reputation.
To safeguard your business from such risks, it is crucial to employ effective strategies. One approach is to implement robust data validation mechanisms to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the collected information. By cross-referencing data from multiple sources and using data verification techniques, you can identify and mitigate the impact of misinformation.
Additionally, maintaining ongoing monitoring and data verification processes can help detect any anomalies or discrepancies promptly. By continuously assessing the consistency and validity of the collected data, you can identify potential misinformation and take corrective actions swiftly to avoid any negative repercussions.
Moreover, building strong relationships and partnerships with trusted data providers or market intelligence platforms can offer added protection. These providers specialize in data aggregation and validation, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information they deliver. Collaborating with such partners can help mitigate the risks associated with IP blocks and data cloaking by accessing verified and trustworthy data sources.
By proactively addressing the challenges posed by IP blocks and misinformation, you can protect your business plan, maintain accurate pricing information, and safeguard your reputation. Implementing robust data validation practices, continuous monitoring, and leveraging trusted data providers will enable you to navigate real-time data collection challenges effectively and make informed business decisions.
Stay ahead of the game and safeguard the integrity of your data-driven strategies by mitigating the risks associated with IP blocks and misinformation.

3. Elevating Data Collection Efficiency: Overcoming the Limitations of Classic Web Scraping Techniques

Traditional web scraping techniques, such as using Java, Scrapy, Beautiful Soup, or collecting data with PhantomJS, have long been employed for data extraction. While these methods can be effective, they often come with drawbacks that render them slow and less relevant in today's fast-paced business landscape.
Classic web scraping techniques tend to be code-heavy, requiring a technical team or individual to invest significant time and effort in extracting valuable information. The process can be time-consuming, resulting in delays in data retrieval. This delay becomes a critical disadvantage considering how quickly modern consumers make decisions and how rapidly market dynamics evolve. To effectively compete and secure market share, businesses need faster and more efficient approaches.
Recognizing the need for enhanced data collection speed and efficiency, modern solutions have emerged. Advanced technologies and platforms now offer streamlined data extraction methods that minimize the reliance on code-heavy processes. These solutions enable businesses to extract valuable information swiftly and effectively, empowering them to stay competitive in dynamic market conditions.
By leveraging these modern data collection tools, businesses can save time and resources while gaining a competitive edge. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces, allowing non-technical users to perform data extraction tasks efficiently. With faster data retrieval, companies can access real-time insights and make timely decisions, enabling them to respond to market trends and consumer behavior with agility.
It's essential for businesses to embrace the evolving landscape of data collection and leverage innovative tools that offer efficiency and speed. By moving away from traditional, code-heavy techniques, organizations can stay relevant, compete effectively, and capture a larger market share in the rapidly evolving business environment.
Upgrade your data collection methods and unlock the full potential of real-time insights with modern, efficient solutions tailored to meet the needs of today's fast-paced markets.

4. Adapting to Dynamic Website Structures: Overcoming Challenges in Navigating and Changing Website Architectures

Navigating the website structure of online marketplaces, particularly Amazon, can be a daunting task for small and medium businesses. Many companies invest significant resources in mapping out the target site's structure, only to discover that it undergoes frequent and unpredictable changes. This constant evolution poses challenges as categories, classifications, and trending ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) fluctuate, while the code used for web scraping remains unchanged.
Marketplaces and websites deliberately reorganize their structures to make web scraping more challenging. These strategic changes aim to hinder automated data collection and present obstacles to businesses seeking to gather valuable insights. As a result, small and medium businesses often find themselves wasting resources on outdated mapping efforts, impeding their ability to stay competitive in dynamic markets.
To overcome these challenges, businesses need to embrace adaptable and agile approaches to web scraping. It is essential to invest in solutions that can swiftly adapt to changing website architectures and capture accurate and up-to-date data. By leveraging advanced web scraping tools and platforms, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and ensure the effectiveness of their data-driven strategies.
Furthermore, regularly monitoring website changes and staying informed about marketplace updates is crucial. Keeping abreast of these changes allows businesses to proactively adjust their scraping techniques and maintain reliable data collection processes. This adaptability enables businesses to respond to shifting market dynamics promptly and make informed decisions based on the most current and accurate data available.
In the ever-changing landscape of online marketplaces, businesses must recognize the importance of agility and flexibility in navigating website structures. By embracing innovative web scraping solutions and staying proactive in monitoring changes, businesses can overcome the challenges posed by dynamic architectures and leverage data to gain a competitive edge.
Stay ahead of the curve and empower your data-driven strategies by adopting adaptable web scraping approaches that can navigate and capture insights from constantly evolving website architectures.

Unlocking Competitive Advantage through Ready-to-Use Datasets: A Game-Changer in the Digital Commerce Space

In the realm of digital commerce, companies are increasingly recognizing the value of purchasing ready-to-use Amazon Datasets as a means to gain a competitive edge. This strategic move effectively transfers the burden of challenges like geolocation restrictions, website blocks, complex code-based scraping, and architecture complexities to a trusted third party.
By investing in ready-to-use Datasets, your team can enjoy a wide range of benefits tailored to your specific needs. These Datasets can encompass various aspects of Amazon's vast ecosystem, providing invaluable insights and information to drive informed decision-making. Here are some examples of what these Datasets can include:
Comprehensive customer reviews for retailers selling baby toys: Gain a deep understanding of customer sentiments, preferences, and feedback related to baby toys. Analyze reviews to uncover valuable insights that can inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer engagement initiatives.
Pricing data for a specific brand of women's shoes in the London metropolitan area: Stay ahead of the competition by monitoring and analyzing real-time pricing trends for a specific product category in a targeted geographical location. This information empowers your team to optimize pricing strategies, identify competitive advantages, and seize market opportunities.
Characteristics of top-performing listings: Access critical information such as product images, descriptions, and other key attributes that contribute to the success of high-performing listings. By studying these characteristics, your team can enhance product presentation, optimize listings, and improve overall sales performance.
Moreover, these Datasets can be customized to align with your preferred data format, whether it's HTML, JSON, or CSV. They also offer the flexibility of "Dataset refresh settings," allowing your team and algorithms to receive updated pricing information on an hourly basis, while consumer sentiment analysis can be performed on a season-by-season basis.
Ready-to-use Datasets revolutionize the way companies extract and utilize data, providing an invaluable resource for strategic decision-making. By leveraging these Datasets, businesses can save time, resources, and technical expertise, while gaining access to rich and up-to-date information to outperform competitors.
Seize the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in the digital commerce space. Try Amazon Datasets now and unlock the power of data-driven insights for your business success.
For more details, contact Actowiz Solutions now! You can also call us if you have any mobile app scraping and web scraping service requirements.
sources >>
Tag : # Embrace Amazon Scraping
# Amazon Datasets
# Scrape Embrace Amazon
# Amazon data scraping
# scrape competitors price data
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2023.05.29 13:45 archizycom Transform Your Bedroom with Archizy: Wall Stickers and Painting Designs

Transform Your Bedroom with Archizy: Wall Stickers and Painting Designs
Welcome to Archizy, your ultimate destination for enhancing the ambiance of your bedroom in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In this captivating blog, we will introduce you to our stunning collection of wall stickers and painting designs that will help you create a unique and enchanting atmosphere in your personal sanctuary. Discover how these artistic elements can transform your bedroom walls into captivating focal points, reflecting your style and personality. With Archizy, you can unlock endless possibilities to customize your bedroom and make it truly exceptional.

Wall Stickers for Bedroom
Archizy offers a wide range of wall stickers designed specifically for bedrooms, allowing you to add a touch of creativity and personality to your living space. Our collection includes a variety of themes, ranging from nature-inspired designs to abstract patterns, ensuring there's something to suit every taste and style.
Wall stickers offer a convenient and affordable way to revamp your bedroom without the hassle of traditional painting. They are easy to apply, remove, and reposition, making them perfect for those who love to change their décor frequently. Whether you prefer a tranquil and serene atmosphere or a vibrant and lively vibe, our wall stickers can help you achieve the desired look effortlessly.
With Archizy's wall stickers, you can create stunning accent walls, showcase inspirational quotes, or bring the beauty of nature indoors. The possibilities are endless! Choose from a variety of colors, sizes, and designs to complement your existing bedroom décor and transform your walls into captivating works of art.

Wall Painting Designs for Bedroom
Archizy understands the power of wall painting designs for bedroom in creating a unique and personalized bedroom. Our team of talented artists and designers can create breathtaking wall painting designs that will truly elevate the ambiance of your space. Whether you prefer a mural-inspired masterpiece or a subtle geometric pattern, our skilled professionals can bring your vision to life..
From soothing pastel shades to bold and vibrant colors, we offer a wide spectrum of paint options to suit your preferences. Our wall painting designs are crafted with precision and attention to detail, ensuring a seamless and flawless finish. With Archizy, you can transform your bedroom walls into captivating canvases, reflecting your style and creating a space that inspires tranquility and relaxation.
Archizy provides you with the opportunity to unleash your creativity and personalize your bedroom with our exquisite collection of wall stickers and stunning wall painting designs. Whether you prefer the convenience of easy-to-apply wall stickers or the artistry of hand-painted wall designs, we have the perfect options to suit your style and preferences. With Archizy, you can transform your bedroom into a haven of beauty and self-expression. Visit our showroom in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and let our expert team guide you in selecting the ideal wall stickers and wall painting designs that will enhance the ambiance of your bedroom and make it truly exceptional.

View More:
Website URL -
Business Email ID - [email protected]
Address - Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Phone Number- 6378718018
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2023.05.29 13:22 fuckitandyou figured I'd try to organize some kinda thing for hometown.

If you are from around Louisville KY then drop a subreddit or say hi... It doesn't matter what the group is or what you like... The only rule is not pushing of or snaps and nothing inappropriate involving underage people.
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2023.05.29 13:06 TELMxWILSON NEW MUSIC from En:vy, Fred V, LSB, J:Kenzo, The Upbeats, fresh Noisia & London Electricity remix and more.. With a heavy Hidden Gem in review [+weekly updated Spotify playlist] New Music Monday! (Week 22)

Weekly updated Spotify Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass
Soundcloud Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Soundcloud
Youtube Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Youtube
Youtube Music Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass YT Music
Apple Music Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Apple Music
Retroactive Playlist H2L: Retroactive New DnB
Last Week's list
Follow us on Instagram TELMxWILSON, lefuniname, voynich

Picks Of The Week (by u/lefuniname)

1. Frannabik - The Savage Kingdom LP 💎 [Expedite Records]

Recommended if you like: HighThere, Absu_NTQL, Cyntax
Let's continue the Hidden Gem™️ weeks with another name I have been meaning to talk about for quite some time now: Frannabik!
Straight outta the Almerían province in Spain, Francisco Garcia Herrada has been building up his musical muscles (his Frannabiceps) from an early age. First by attending various underground Hip-Hop events, before making a smooth transition over to DnB, with him first entering the gladiatorial DJ arenas himself in 2014, as part of the Brain Holes group. Word of his dancefloor-destroying (Frann-)abilities got out quickly and by 2015, he also became a core part of the Private Room event series and gathered all sorts of accolades from the International Breaks Awards. Soon enough, you could also (Gar-)see him wreak havoc all over the continent, from Granada to Bristol, from Seville to Bratislava, from Prague to Valencia. It wasn't just enough to cause panic at the Frandiscos all over Europe though, he wanted to create some banging beats himself!
In 2019, the first of many fruits of his labour saw the light of day: Liqua! The following year saw him not just expanding on this freshly cusping flowery arrangement of gratis downloads, he also entered a couple of remix competitions, eventually even winning the one hosted by fellow Spaniards Save The Rave. It was at that point that he had firmly planted himself onto my and, considering the timing of it all, maybe even Expedite Records's radar. I'm of course referring to Francisco joining the Expeditian family of sick Neurofunk producers with his smasher Corruptions at the tail end of 2020! From there on, he would keep oscillating between the expertly done Neuro and the dastardly Deep stuff, with releases on Close2Death, South Yard and Zer0'2 Soul Collective, but Expedite would remain his favourite place to release on. Which is also why his debut album, The Savage Kingdom, is dropping on there!
But wait, we gotta catch up on the latest Expedite developments first. Surely you will remember the Bristol-based label from me raving on about label bossman XAETIS' banging double single or me falling in love with Niallo's bleeps and bloops, but it has been a good two years or so since then, so, what have we got? Their first label takeover, their first remix competition (for Frannabik's Down!), the rather huge PARAGONS compilation, the equally large REVISIONS remix project and releases by KRYOS, SYNE, XAETIS and TREMR. Okay, Tremr is usually not in all caps, but it just looked better in the sequence of events, alright?
With that out of the way, let's finally take a look at what our franntastically fresh friend has cooked up on this 10-tracker, the first solo artist album on the label! We make our way into this realm of the Neuro with the title track, The Savage Kingdom, with great atmospheric work and all sorts of ferocious animals creating a rather cinematic auditory jungle thicket, before the savage bass cuts through it to lay waste to them all. Our boy Keeps Em coming on the followup, with fast-paced nightmarish melodies infiltrating our brains while their accomplices, the distorted basses and the bonky snare, keep us on our toes, and even if you don't Believe me, you'll still be quickly met with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson introducing the next fonky-flowing back-and-forth between the chonkiest of basslines and a flurriest of stabby stabs. Watch out for the second drop on that one!
It seems like we have strayed too far from the beaten path, as we have completely Lost The Way we intended to follow, and after a while of keeping up the pace thanks to the distant tribal, rolling drums and fighting off the ever-present and quite aggressive biting bass snakes, we simply Must Stop. Why? Because of the humongous, hostile, big bad evil bass completely steamrolling everything in its way! One by one, the trees just snap over, and before we meet the same fate, we run away as fast as possible, into the next best opening we find. In our rush, however, we didn't realise we were running straight into an Ambush! Machine gun fire everywhere, several of them coming very close to ending our mission here, fired off from the infamous A Coruña based Neuro veteran Loop Stepwalker, only giving our group the tiniest of breaks in between each salve. While mostly focused on the speed of it all, this one still retains a solid sense of rhythm and flow, even going into a little 4x4 excursion in the second half! One could say we stole one of their 4x4 trucks to get away. Yes, I like that.
With the added horse power of our escape vehicle, we finally make our way to our next destination, the Dealer. What does he deal in? Hefty basslines and hard-hitting snares, of course! While we have been supplied with a more than healthy dose of both so far, Frannabik luckily doesn't make the Dumb Assumption that we have had enough and takes us on another newschool-inspired, distortion-overflowing joyride, on which MC Kenna (who he met at a Zer02Soul Collective event!) provides an additional infusion of sick lyrical fuel to stoke the flames, resulting in a proper bonfire of a tune.
Before we get to the grand finale, we take one more breather, in the relative sense, on Only U, which ironically enough doesn't only feature Fran himself, but also his fellow Spaniard, Helium! With some more four to the floor action, some distorted bits and bops and the drums whipping us into shape, we ride through the beautiful guitar-laden scenery, until we finally arrive at our destination: The Prophet. Not just any old one though, the Prophet, one could even say the VIP of prophets! With Caliban's precise-as-ever lyricism, but nitroboosted, relentlessly rolling drums and all-around heavier instrumentation, we end our trip through the Neuro jungle on a high note. But what will come of the prophecies? Will we get out of the kingdom in one piece? What a cliffhanger!
Distortion en masse, chonky basslines out the wazoo, phat drums, a frannkly frannabig album.

New Releases

General DnB / Mixed

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2023.05.29 12:59 rollershutter1 Roller Shutter Repair London: Expert Solutions For Reliable Roller Shutter Maintenance

Roller Shutter Repair London: Expert Solutions For Reliable Roller Shutter Maintenance
Looking For Professional Roller Shutter Repair Services In London? Look no further than Roller Shutter Repair London! We are your trusted experts in providing high-quality solutions for all your roller shutter maintenance needs.
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Roller Shutter Service: Our comprehensive service ensures that your roller shutters are in top condition, promoting their longevity and smooth operation.
Emergency Call: We provide rapid emergency response services to handle urgent roller shutter repairs, thus minimizing any disruption to your daily operations.
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Customer Satisfaction: Your satisfaction is our top priority. We strive to exceed your expectations by providing exceptional service and ensuring that your roller blinds perform at their best.
When it comes to Roller Shutter Repair and Maintenance in London, Roller Shutter Repair London is the name you can trust. Contact us today to schedule a service and experience the experience and reliability we bring to every project.
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2023.05.29 12:13 michaelfandco The Enchanting Trio of Engagement Rings - Diamond, Sapphire, and Emerald

Choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring is an important decision, as it symbolizes a lifetime commitment and eternal love. Among the myriad options available, three gemstones stand out for their timeless beauty and significance: diamond, sapphire, and emerald. Here, we will explore the allure of these exquisite stones, discussing their unique characteristics, symbolism, and popular ring designs. Whether you're looking for classic elegance, vibrant color, or a touch of regal charm, these gemstones will surely captivate your heart.
Diamond Rings - Timeless Elegance
Diamonds have long been considered a girl's best friend and for a good reason. Renowned for their exceptional brilliance, durability, and timeless appeal, diamond engagement rings epitomize elegance and sophistication. Diamonds come in various cuts, such as round, princess, cushion, and emerald, allowing you to find the perfect shape that suits your partner's style. The 4Cs (carat, cut, color, and clarity) are crucial factors to consider when selecting a diamond, ensuring its quality and value. From classic solitaire designs to intricate halo settings, diamond rings offer versatility and can be customized to reflect your loved one's individuality, making them a perennial favorite.
Sapphire Rings - Captivating Color
Sapphires, with their rich and mesmerizing hues, have been cherished throughout history for their beauty and symbolic meaning. While blue sapphires are the most well known, these gemstones also come in enchanting shades like pink, yellow, and even green. The velvety blue sapphire engagement ring, reminiscent of the night sky, evokes a sense of serenity and trust, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a unique yet elegant ring. The durability of sapphires ensures that the ring will stand the test of time. Sapphire rings are often paired with diamonds or surrounded by diamond accents to enhance their allure. For those seeking a distinctive touch, a sapphire engagement ring is an excellent choice.
Emerald Rings - Regal Charms
Emeralds, with their lush green hue, exude a timeless beauty. Associated with love, fertility, and rebirth, these gemstones are steeped in rich history and cultural significance. Emerald engagement rings are perfect for those who appreciate a touch of vintage charm. Their unique color and natural inclusions add character and individuality to each stone. From solitaire emerald designs to intricate settings embellished with diamonds, these rings are breathtakingly beautiful. However, their captivating beauty and distinctiveness make them a captivating choice for an engagement ring.
Choosing an engagement ring is an intimate and meaningful experience. Whether you opt for the timeless elegance of a diamond, the captivating color of a sapphire, or the regal charm of an emerald, each gemstone offers its own unique beauty and symbolism, You can also opt for plain metal bands such as rose gold bands and platinum engagement rings.
You can get the finest creation of the above-mentioned rings all under one roof at Michael F & Co. a celebrated jewelry store.
Original Source:
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2023.05.29 11:41 Fit_Taro_5672 The Timeless Elegance of Steel Grey Suits for Men

The Timeless Elegance of Steel Grey Suits for Men
When it comes to men’s formal attire, the steel grey suit stands out as a symbol of timeless elegance. Its sleek and sophisticated appearance makes it a go-to choice for various occasions, from business meetings to formal events. In this blog, we will explore the enduring appeal of steel grey suits and why they have become a staple in every fashion-forward man’s wardrobe.
When it comes to men’s formal attire, the steel grey suit stands out as a symbol of timeless elegance. Its sleek and sophisticated appearance makes it a go-to choice for various occasions, from business meetings to formal events. In this blog, we will explore the enduring appeal of steel grey suits and why they have become a staple in every fashion-forward man’s wardrobe.
  1. Classic Sophistication: The steel grey suit exudes an air of sophistication and refinement that is unmatched. Its neutral tone allows for versatility in styling, making it suitable for both professional and social gatherings.
  2. Versatile Pairing Options: One of the key advantages of a steel grey suit is its versatility in pairing with various shirt colors and accessories. Whether it’s a crisp white shirt for a timeless look or a bold patterned shirt for a modern twist, the steel grey suit effortlessly adapts to different styles.
  3. Contemporary Appeal: While traditional black and navy suits maintain their allure, the steel grey suit brings a contemporary edge to formal attire. It's understated elegance and modern aesthetic make it a popular choice among fashion-forward men.
  4. Professional Confidence: Wearing a steel grey suit instantly boosts confidence and creates a professional image. The sleek lines and tailored fit of the suit enhance the wearer’s silhouette, exuding a sense of authority and competence.
  5. Diverse Occasion Suitability: From business meetings to weddings, the steel grey suit seamlessly transitions from professional settings to formal celebrations. Its versatility ensures that you’ll always be appropriately dressed, regardless of the occasion.
  6. Flattering for Various Skin Tones: The steel grey shade has the advantage of complementing a wide range of skin tones. Whether you have a fair, medium, or dark complexion, a steel grey suit can enhance your features and create a flattering appearance.
  7. Attention to Detail: Steel grey suits often come with meticulous detailing, such as fine stitching, quality buttons, and well-structured lapels. These refined elements add to the overall appeal and elevate the suit’s quality and craftsmanship.
  8. Timeless Investment: Investing in a steel grey suit is a wise decision as it transcends seasonal trends and remains a classic choice for years to come. Its enduring style ensures that it will continue to be a relevant and fashionable option for various events and functions.
  9. Confidence and Style: The elegance and sophistication of a steel grey suit instill a sense of confidence and style in the wearer. The tailored fit, attention to detail, and overall refined appearance contribute to a polished and put-together look that exudes self-assurance.
The steel grey suit has earned Its reputation as a timeless and elegant choice for men’s formal attire. Its versatility, sophistication, and contemporary appeal make it a wardrobe staple for every fashion-conscious individual. Whether you’re attending a business meeting or a special event, the steel grey suit will effortlessly elevate your style and leave a lasting impression.
At Canoe Trends, we understand the importance of timeless fashion staples like the steel grey suit. We take pride in curating the finest collection of men’s clothing, including steel grey suits, half-sleeve shirts, designer blazers, and more. With our focus on quality, style, and customer satisfaction, we strive to be the best fashion clothing brand in India. Visit our website today to explore our wide range of products and experience the elegance and sophistication of Canoe Trends.
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2023.05.29 09:46 FluffWrites The Dark Road Ahead. Chapter 8 Part 2: Misfortune from the Land of Tides

Previous Chapter<

While she was cooling off, Zekes scanned through the rest of the pictures. Many pictures were of her during her training and one interesting picture was of a thin woman dressed in layers of white clothing and a thick vein covered her face, except for her jaws which were made out of polished wood. She was sitting on top of a big wooden board that was carried around by four ladies in decorated clothing as the surrounding people bowed to her.
But the one that caught his eye the most was of her holding the hands of a little boy as he gently caressed a baby she was cradling.
“Are those your kids?” He asked politely.
“Huh?” The question caught her off guard. She brought the crystal panel closer to her eyes so that she could make out what he was referring to. “Ahh. That is my firstborn Tetku and the little one is Layla. I had forgotten how tiny were her hands back when she was a cure little thing. How would her tiny digits would reach for my hair like how earthworms reach for the surface during the rain. Then little Tektu would call out for me ‘Quaza, Quaza, I want to be carried too.’ Poor thing couldn’t even spell out my whole name. He would always get jealous of the attention I would give little Layla and would stump his foot around in protest till I patted him.”
It has only just now crossed his mind that even though he had been talking with her for a good while now, he still didn’t know his name.
“Quaza?” He subconsciously repeated.
“Ah right, I hadn’t properly introduced myself, since I don’t usually need to with customers. I am Quazela Ruminari, a pupil of the Mystic mother, a disciple of Kitsu-xan’s palm thread flow dance, and now a small-time merchant of whatever place that keeps my pocket furthest from devoidness of jinn for the month.”
Zekes considered that an introduction from him would also be in order.
“I am Zekes Zeller, a…” No title appropriate for him came to mind. “An aspiring strong person.” He replied in a serious tone.
“An aspiring strong person, really?” She chuckled. “Now that is a first. I am sure you will accomplish great endeavors worthy of many more titles of similar taste.” She joked.
Zekes took a moment to consider the appropriate reaction here and only after careful consideration, he replied with a smile full of innocence.
Quazela started wheezing from laughter when she saw how her words of sarcasm passed right over his head. Zekes still stood there dumbfounded wondering why she was laughing, which in return made her laugh more. He was really quite gullible, even for a kid.
“You really are something, kid.” She whipped the tears from her eyes. “To tell the truth, you somewhat remind me of my son Tektu when he was your age. Always such a show-off just like his father, talking about grand ambitions and accomplishing unfeasible deeds, but in truth, people couldn’t help but end up liking him for it.” She pleasantly thought back.
“Why did they like him? Did he end up doing the stuff he talked about?”
“I wouldn’t know since a few months after I had my daughter, he had to leave for the village of Oxobia to help his family escape from the Judic expansion. Half a year later I received a letter from him explaining how he was safely back with his family, but that they were reluctant to leave their home, so he was staying a bit more to convince them to change their mind. But only a few days later news came to us about the Oxobian massacre. Thousands of people dead at the hands of the Insurrection and that was the last I heard from him.”
Sympathy overwhelmed Zekes’ eyes as the Quaza recounted her unfortunate memory.
“But I am sure he still wouldn’t have accomplished any of the things that he said he would. Since that man was nothing but talk.” She criticized him in a nostalgic tone.
She let out a heartfelt sigh.
“It was a terrible thing what they did to those people. They were humble and very hospitable people. There used to be a common saying ‘Even a bastard can feel the warmth of a mother’s meal in the hospitality of an Oxobian’. They would give anything they had to anyone who was in need at no cost, but the Judians demanded from them the only thing they couldn’t forfeit, their identity. The world really did forget a unique way of kindness on that unfortunate day.”
“They seemed like good people. I am sorry about what happened to you and your husband.”
“Pay it no mind, kid. I made my peace with it a long time ago, even though the ache is never gone, you learn to grow into a more tolerant person because of it. Since at the end of the day, you have no other choice but to live on with it.”
As Zekes was about to mutter something he stopped. The old lady felt his hesitancy.
“Don’t fear to inquire, boy. I may look delicate, but my nerves are made of silk. And I know that you won’t ask anything out of malice. Go ahead, so that you may learn from me now rather than on your own, for then it would be too late.”
Her words of encouragement seemed to have reached him when she noticed that his gaze no longer shied away towards the floor.
“ So umm… if you were close to becoming one of the jaws, why did you stop?” The question finally came through. It was only natural to ask after the bombshell of finding out that she had quit despite how she loved to ramble about all the wonders of her birthplace and all the memories she seemed to have made there. “From the way you talk about Nami-Kuni and the arts, you seem to have loved it very much. If so, then why did you leave in the first place?”
Quazela took a deep breath, looking towards the sky as she plundered for a moment.
“Because I had wronged someone dear to me, which in turn has tormented my daughter. I was the vilest of the foulest. I had forsaken my responsibilities as a fortune weaver and as a mother. Though my daughter says she forgives me, I know I am underserving of any forgiveness. Who am I to request, let alone demand such a thing?”
“I think it is a stupid reason.” He ruthlessly interjected. ”If she said she forgives you, then you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. I never got to know my mom, but I still miss her and sometimes I hate how she was not a part of my life, but my uncle told me that it is important to forgive mothers, even when they do something wrong because no matter what happens they always try their best for you.”
The way Zekes poured out his heart through his words without a thought strangely struck a string with the old lady. “You are too forgiving for your own good, kid. But maybe this time it is a good thing. I have lived too long through hardship that my sight has grown blind to see that forgiveness could be so easily earned in people’s hearts. The part of me that did died with my-“ She felt a knot in her through, as if the more she tried to speak the more her heart tightened her airway. She coughed and thrust her fist upon her chest.
“Quaza-“ But before he could cry out, she put her palm in front of him to make it clear that she was fine and then cleared her throat.
“I am sorry, the years weren’t kind on my throat. It may be hard to believe but in my youth, I would sing to myself for hours, but now I can barely get more than a prayer in before gasping for air.”
“That is not true. You speak a lot for someone as old as you.” Despite his good intentions, it was clear that Zekes wasn’t the best at formulating his words.
Her face grimaced at the kid’s poor choice of words. “You must be pretty popular with the ladies. I will try to take what you said as a compliment.”
She sighed even more as Zekes’ blunt expression gave it away that he didn’t entirely understand what she had meant, but then ultimately decided that he said something good as he responded with a dumbfounded smile.
“I think we have conversed enough for one day. I didn’t even notice how much time had passed since we started talking. It is almost noon by now. Even if you may not be very talented in fate weaving, you really know how to make an old lady put her guard down. Anyhow, I can feel your fortune is ready by how much heat the diffusion glass is giving off. Let’s not delay what you stayed for any further.”
“Now, before we continue any further, I must warn you that the blessing of the mystic mother does not tell falsehoods. As such, you may not like what you may find out. A wisdom that I have gotten to learn throughout the years is that an ignorant mind is more restless than one which knows of its own helplessness. So there is no shame in looking the other way if you choose to.”
“No way, old lady. I already waited long enough for this. Just show me already.”
“Hmph.” The haste with which he ignored her warning, only made her scoff. “Alright, but remember, you wanted this.” She raised her head at him as her hands nibbly unclothed the disk.
“Wow. I have never seen Beucara in the shape of neat little black lines before.” Zekes eyes glamoured at the simple shapes inside the glass disk.
“What are you on abou-“ Quazela’s stomach dropped the moment she looked down at Zekes’ fortune. A streak of sharp dark lines floated undisturbed in the diffusion glass. They all ran parallel to each other, marching endlessly into the infinite. It was a pattern that she had the misfortune of seeing only once before, one that took away her purpose. It was an omen of a fatal choice that was to come. One that people could rarely overcome. As a fortune weaver, it was no special occasion to end predicting the fortune of those at the brink of death, as the false hope of comfort was most appealingly to damned men, though none would be comforted with what they refused to believe but also begrudgingly knew or so she had gotten to learn.
But this was no diseased noble, nor a fleeing fool, she was reading the fortune of a child! It was practically a death sentence. The fortune itself was for a while thought to have meant certain doom because of how no one lived long enough to see their fortune change, that was until against all odds, a man somehow clung to life and overcame the invitation of death, but by the end of it, he was a very different person from who he had been, or so she had heard. As for who this man was, the one who told his fortune refused to disclose his identity, which put many minds to doubt the validity of such a claim, and our beliefs would have stayed the same if it wasn’t for the mystic mother who herself confirmed their statement.
She had already lost a child to such a dreadful fate. To lose another would be too much for her weak heart. But what could she do? Who was she to challenge the fates designed by a sacred-.
“So what does it say I will become like?” Zekes demanded as the wait irritated him.
Cold sweat dripped down the old woman’s forehead. “Ah … Y-yes, let's see what it says.” She took a deep breath to calm herself down and started chanting a prayer as she hovered her hands over the disk. Slowly, the perfectly cut lines dissipated back into a blob of gases, however, its color didn’t change back. Of course, all of this was unnecessary as she already knew what fate they told of. She only did it because she couldn’t stand the sight of that dreadful pattern, looking at it only made her curse herself more for being a fortune weaver.
Zekes waited patiently as his eyes pressured her into an answer. How could she tell such a young soul that soon enough it couldn’t make memories of youth, that it wouldn’t have the chance to experience a life that it burned to live through? No one with a good conscience would even dare to rob such a soul of what pleasure there was in what little life they had left. So why did feel so guilty the last time she did it?
But alas, she couldn’t help but make the same mistake once more.
“Ah, it is all clear to me now.” She delayed time by building up the suspense. “Your worth … it has been judged in the eyes of the mystic mother and she has determined … that though you are ambitious, what you seek shall come to you in time, but for now, you must rest and store strength and experience joy for what life is worth as to prepare for hardships that come your way.”
Zekes slowly blinked with his wide googly eyes. Quaza hoped that this could clench the clueless boy’s curiosity and that would be the end of that.
“I knew this was all a sham.” His gaze dropped quickly.
“Wha- it is not. You better watch what you say about the sacred arts, boy, lest you wanna disrespect the mystic lady.”
“You say that yet the fortune you gave me was so vague that it sounded more like general life advice.”
“GAH!” She was taken aback by his perceptive reaction. From the way he acted before she had taken him to be very gullible, but it seems that he had a keen eye, especially when it was least fortunate for her. Yet she still wanted to spare him from worrying about the inevitable. “You really can’t help being a handful all the time. I wish I could tell you more about your fate but this is all I have to work with. Sometimes, the fortune is vague due to one having infinite potential. If it were to guess how you will tread, then it would limit your growth to that one path.” She desperately tried to convince him.
Zekes stroke his chin as he gave her words some thought.
“Makes … sense I guess.” He lit up, letting Quaza breathe out a sigh of relief.
“So I will become powerful?
“Have you not been-“ Her frail hands stroke the tabletop. She put her finger on the bridge of her nose to relax. “Yes, boy. You shall become strong, but only if you are patient and spend what time you have left enjoying your life.”
“What time I have left?” Zekes cocked his head to the side from confusion.
“The time you have left til you become powerful, that is what I meant.” She hastily corrected her misshape before she let out a hesitant laugh.
Zekes still wondered how he would end up so strong if he barely needed to do anything, but at least now he was sure that it would happen. Perhaps that would allow him to return to his uncle sooner.
“Thanks, lady.”
“Yea, yea. Nice of you to go around thanking people for distinguishing fires that you started.” She mocked him as she lowered the crystal disk into a bucket of water next to her.
“I do really mean it though.” His brow furrowed. He had not been used to being mocked this much before and took it as if she really didn’t like him.
“I am just jesting ya, kid. You outta learn how to joke if you wanna get along other people.”
“But how does making fun of someone makes them want to be your friend?”
“I mean … if someone …” She wanted to guide this poor innocent soul, but her patience and energy were running short. “I suppose the best way to understand is for you to experience it yourself.”
“Alright…” Though he had forfeited, it was clear to her that doubt still lingered in Zekes’ mind, the kind that filled you with shame for admitting your naiveness.
“I can see that today has taken a toll on you, boy. If you still feel like all of this was for naught, then let me leave you with a parting gift.”
“Really? … I mean thank you … no I mean no. Uncle told me not to take things from strangers.”
“Oh come on, boy. Don’t you think we are more than just strangers by now? You made this poor lady pour her heart out for you for gods’ sake. But also would a stranger give you a gift as valuable as a functional blessed necklace?” She argued before pulling out a string necklace with a teardrop-shaped glass attached to it, enveloped in a swirling cast of metal.
“Come forward, let me put it on you.” She held it open with her hands.
Zekes was hesitant at first, but considering how kind Quaza has been to him the whole time, he had no reason to refuse.
“There you go. See if you like it.”
Zekes held the teardrop in his hand to inspect it.
“It is quite nice.”
“It does more than just being quite nice. Wrap your hand around it and try to squeeze some Beucara into it.”
The moment he focused on the crystal a faint light shimmered between his palm. As he opened his hand, the crystal faintly shined in a glamorous light.
“That one has been blessed by an actual Aurasis, the proof is in it working.”
“This one only?” He questioned as he looked around at the other ornaments laid out on the table.
She indicated to Zekes to come closer.
“Well, you see. My other ones were also blessed by an Aurasis, but they were blessed with properties that don’t really work on them. For example, this one here was blessed with accelerated healing, but a metal bracelet is not a living thing, so there is no way for it to heal. People have this misconception that when you bless an object with something, the blessing will also transfer to its holder. But your necklace was blessed with the ability to shine, that is why when it feels your Beucara, it reacts with it and activates the dormant blessing.” She proudly gave him a thumbs up.
“So are all the other ornaments a scam?”
“Call it what you want. But I sell what I advertise. Some people don’t even bother getting through the trouble of getting them blessed. Know that, even if my bracelets don’t provide agonizing souls accelerated healing, it does give them the peace of mind that there is something with them that could help them.”
“That is one twisted way to make sense of it, but I think I can understand how it can be a good thing.”
“As long as no harm is inflicted, people should help themselves to whatever they wanna buy.”
His attention was once again on the crystal he had cupped his hands around it to see how bright it shined. Its size was deceptively small for how bright it shined. He estimated that it would at least let him see where he was stepping even during a moonless night.
“Are .. are you sure you wanna give this to me? I mean it must be pretty valuable seeing how it works in front of you.” He was hesitant to ask at first for fear of her changing her mind, but the thought of him taking away something potentially quite valuable from her would have made him feel even more guilty if he didn’t try to give it back.
“Oh please, that piece of junk has been sitting in my bag for the last 2 times I returned to Nami-Kuni. I would rather have you rid me of it than have to carry it around 2 more times before throwing it away.”
The way the crystal was shaped reminded him of how droplets of water that were left stranded on blades of grass after a rainstorm refracted the light of sunrise into a tiny rainbow. Even he could appreciate its simplistic beauty.
“Thank you very much, old lady- I mean Miss Quaza.” The way he said it so sincerely was different from how he talked before and managed to ease off Quazela.
“Think nothing of it, kid.” She scratched the back of her neck, feeling a bit flustered. “Just make sure to pass off the act of kindness when you get the chance. The world only gives back to those who take little for themselves. Now get going and don’t make me repeat myself again.”
“I will try my best. Thank you for letting me be in your care” He jumped down his stool.
“Anytime, kid. If you happen to need to buy some ornaments, you know where to find me. Though, I can’t promise you any discounts.”
Her words didn’t land on deaf ears, but Zekes was too preoccupied with the excitement of showing Rafik his new necklace to respond back to her.
The busy streets felt strangely quiet to Quaza once she was once again all by herself. As she relaxed her shoulders, her eyes couldn’t help but wander towards the diffusing glass that she had sunken into the bucket of water. The cloud of dark matter slowly dispensed into the water before quickly decaying.
Her brows frowned at the thought of that kind-hearted boy having to meet his end in due time, she hoped that he would at least experience a bit of the youth kids were entitled to before that time would come. This is why she doesn’t wanna do fate weaving anymore, she never wanted to spread sorrow through her work, but it was her duty to speak the truth. And the moment she decided to read a kid’s fate, she was greeted back with open arms by a grim reminder. This must be fate’s way of mocking her.
“Old lady,” A familiar voice boomed so unexpectedly that it broke her train of thought. It was Zekes who had barely walked more than a few stalls distance away.”Please make up with your daughter by the next time we meet.”
“You fool of a child; do you want the whole bazaar to hear you?!?!.” She angrily cried out. “Fine, but you better not forget about me by then.”
Zekes lifted up the necklace between his finger. “I won’t as long as I have go-“
The warm farewell was cut short as Zekes’ arm suddenly dropped down. It may have been just a moment, but by pure chance, his eyes saw a figure looming in the alley behind the old lady’s shack. He could barely make out their face under their dark hood, but the bit he could make out looked just like his uncle’s face. But how could that make any sense? Rafik had told him that he had gone on some sort of trip, he would have surely accompanied them if this was where he had to come. So it couldn’t be him … no, it had to be him, he was sure of it. There was no way he could mistake someone else for his uncle. Perhaps he regretted leaving him with Rafik and had come for him. Yes, that had to be it.
“Kid?” Quazela waved a worried hand.
The figure suddenly withdrew back into the darkness from where it came. Zekes instinctively walked forwards.
“Wait, uncle. Don’t leave me.”
His feet began picking up pace and in just a moment he quickly sprinted past the old lady.
“Stop for a moment, kid. Don’t go running into there alone. You will get kidnapped.” She shouted, but he had gone into the alley before she could even finish her warning.
“What could that rascal be up to now?”
A grim thought crossed her mind as she remembered the fortune she had just told.
“No way, but it is so soon.” She mumbled to herself.
The boy was marching to his own grave. Of course, she had no proof that he would end up in harm’s way at this very moment. But she felt something that was more than just worry by the look on his face when he ran. She could not just overlook it, even if there was only a slim chance that his fate could be resolved this soon.
She rushed towards the alley.
“Kid, you will die if you don’t come back.” She desperately cried out but it was too late as she couldn’t even see him anymore. Thoughts races through her head as she considered what she could do, but before she could decide two cloaked figures rushed past her into the dark alley.
“Hey, stop you two.” She reached out her hand. There was no way for her to catch up to them, they had disappeared into the darkness in the blink of an eye.
They were going after Zekes. They were gonna kill him. She had to call the guards before his time ran out. He won’t let another boy die due to her hesitation.
“Guards, guards. Please help. Someone is gonna die. Help me, please.” She cried out into the busy street.

Previous Chapter<

Footnote: I must apologize for the wide time gap between the release of this chapter and the previous one. At first, I had intended for this to be a short chapter, but a little bit into it, I realized how much future build up I could make here, but in return I had to put more work into it and give the characters a more natural conversation. I also got busy with university which slowed me down significantly, though this might not chance soon, I will try to post new chapters more frequently. I have so many more stories, ideas and concepts I still wanna share with you all. But from here on out, things will be getting a lot more dark. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Quazela rambling her old ass off. Thank you for you continued support.<3
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2023.05.29 09:44 FluffWrites The Dark Road Ahead. Chapter 8 Part 1: Misfortune from the Land of Tides

Previous Chapter <-> Next Chapter

“Blessed accessories of all varieties. Come sway fortune in your favor with trinkets blessed by the very own Beucara of the seven jaws of the mystic mother themselves, brought to you all the way from the land of tides Nami-Kuni.” The short old lady announced to bypassers using what little voice she had to try to attract the customer to her miniature stand.
A small huddled-up figure of a boy sat on the adjacent sidewalk with arms wrapped around his head with the sound of sniffing and weeping emitting from him
“Young lady, come here. This necklace blesses one's body with great fertility if you desire-“ She tried to grab the attention of a couple walking nearby, but they passed by her without even granting her a glance.
“Sir, Sir. If you could .…” It was no use. No one cared enough about her simple wares, especially with how old her stand looked. However, the wailing of this kid wasn’t helping either and as a matter of fact, it was starting to get really repetitive.
“Shoo. Get out of here, kid. Loiter around some other stand, before someone comes and kidnaps you. Go scare someone else’s customers off.”
But he paid her no heed, just like the others.
“Tsk. I swear parents these days don’t bother raising their kids themselves-“ She stepped off the wooden crate that she was standing on and grumbled her way toward Zekes to scold him. But stopped in her tracks once she once got a better look at him She took a look at the poor boy, who had curled up into a ball and dug his nails into his arms. His cries screamed of a pitiful state of resentment.
“Are you alright, boy? Are you lost?” She called out to him as she tried to put a hand on his shoulder, which he immediately shrugged off.
This made her flinched for a second. “You got a lot of attitude for such a young man.” She commented tiredly, yet the boy still disregarded her comments.
“Listen, kid. I don’t know what has led you to huddle up all by yourself next to my stand during this busy time of day. But you are scaring off my customers and last time I checked jinn doesn’t grow on trees. So could you kindly step away?” She pleaded, but Zekes stayed resilient in his stubbornness.
She let out a weary sigh. “If I weave your fortune, would that cheer you up enough to stop you from crying at the very least?”
Zekes slowly raised his head revealing a snot-covered face and puffy eyes.
“You can … tell my fortune?” He answered in a nasal tone.
“Something of that sort.” Zekes watched her march back to her stall, struggling to get onto the crate again. He vaguely remembers a story from a book about traveling chosen from an eastern land of beauty and festivals.
“Do you want your future told, or would you rather keep gawking at me?”
“Ah, sorry.” He quickly got on his feet, repulsively wiping off his snoot on his arm as he made way.
“Ugh.” The sound of disgust escaped her. “Don’t touch anything unless I tell you to, otherwise you are paying for it.” She warned him before he sat down.
“If I remember correctly, it should be somewhere right here.” She fumbled tirelessly under the table, before thumping a heavy oval object dressed in cloth in front of her, all sitting tightly on a thick cushion. Wiping the sweat off her brows, she unraveled a large glass disk.
The old lady breathed a bit of pride as she presented it to him.
“Bet you have never seen diffusion glass this large before?”
She waited for Zekes’ reaction, but his once emotionally charge face had only a dull expression to give in response.
“So it was all a sham.” He said with disappointment in his eyes.
“Sham?!?” She repeated loudly.
“It is just a fancy-looking diffusion glass. You are just gonna use it to dictate my type of Beucara and start spouting nonsense. You got my hopes up for nothing.” He pouted at the glass disk.
“It is a multipurpose tool, kid. If you doubt me so much feel free to leave any time you want, it is not like I made you pay for this.” She reminded Zekes. ”Now put your hand upon the crystal and concentrate on filling it up with your raw Beucara and spare me of your mockery.”
Zekes didn’t protest, for she did only ask him to stop crying in exchange.
He complyingly put both his hands on the crystal and tried to feel as if little currents of air blew out of his pores. A small amount of dark gaseous fluid crept through the glass like smoke through an amber.
“Ah, that is good. I see you are well-rehearsed in utilizing your Beucara. That should be enough.”
At the base of the cushion, he could barely see a slab of stone with a concave surface, it was perfectly designed to let the glass have the freedom to rotate while it was on top. Skillfully, she balanced the top of the disk with her finger and began spinning it with her other hand. Slowly the dark gas started separating into clouds of 2 different colors, an orange-colored mass and a smaller blue one.
“It appears that you are a quite blessed elemetasis with a bit of sorcesis Beucara. A lil’ master of the elements in the making I see. Not much of a rare combination. Often people with your attributes are able to control and manifest a material, such as fire and wind.” She scoffed.
“I am not a little master of anything.“ He pouted. “Regardless, why don’t you tell me something I don’t already know.”
“Don’t take it so personally. I have seen many elementosorcesis pull off inhuman feats. A guy I crossed paths with once was able to become invisible by bending light around him. But if you think this is the extent of what I can do then, you ain’t seen a thing, kid!”
She rubbed the palm of her hands together as she murmured a prayer-like verse.
“Bless us with your sight, she whose jaws still ache. When the coastal breeze turned our tint blue, was it not you who weaved our clothes from your mane,? Was it not you who called for grief when the blood of our ephemeral protectors soiled the currents of our streams? Was it not you who taught the blind stars how to shine, so that the moon needn’t to lead the night alone? So who is it if not you that will guide this gentle seedling through the torrents of uncertainty, for it shall surely bear fruit in your great plan by your clairvoyance.”
The tip of her thumb and index finger from both her hands were now aligned against each other with the empty space between them adopting the shape of an oval flower. She gently placed her palms up against the glass just before a bundle of silk-like projections entered the glass. They danced and darted through the two masses inside, like a careful hand knitting a scarf, barely reducing with each emergence as the color quickly shifted from one to another.
“What are they trying to do?” Zekes was dumbfounded.
“This is not what is really important for you. What is important mostly for you is what color they end up tampering your Beucara into.”
“But they look like they are trying to turn it into something.”
“Beucara is shapeless, kid. No mold can redefine its shape, for it will always revert back to its most relaxed form. Just like the pattern of your eyes, the color is also unique to each person. No two beings share the same exact color and behavior of Beucara. Almost as if the strings of fate have already seen through your whole being. Writing your existence through shades our mind can only hope to decipher the nick of.”
“But as the great scholar Axtutan once said: “To guess at a being’s nature is the most essential step to its nurture”.
“That is why my people have dedicated their lives to mastering the art of revealing and interpreting this secret hue, in the hopes of providing ease to those minds whose thoughts agonize for what is to come. Like a shepherd judging if the clouds in the sky proclaim of an incoming storm so that he hastens the flock’s grazing.” She ended by enveloping the disk in the cloth it was packed by. “Now we let it rest for quite a while, then your destiny shall be revealed to you.”
The eyes of the boy in front of her were now gleaming in awe.
“How did you do that? That was so beautiful”
“Hmph.” She scoffed, before declaring proudly. “What else would you have expected? You are looking at an art that has been honed through a thousand years of fine work by the greatest of Sorcesis users.”
“You whispered something right before the squiggly line came out of your hands. Was that how you were able to use your power?”
“Those squiggly lines you are talking about aren’t of my own power. I prayed to the mystic mother to grant me her blessing for nothing more than a moment. It is through the mystic mother’s Beucara that weavers are able to shape the colors. She is the lifeline of all that we hold dear and all that we strive to accomplish. If not for her, our ancestor's refuge after the Great Ascension, Nami-Kuni would have never come into existence. And for that, we are in eternal gratitude, so the least we can do is chant our personal prayer.”
“You really hold that lady in such a high place. She must have helped a lot of people. Can you teach me how to do that thing with the squiggles? Please. Pretty please.” He begged.
“Sorry, can’t.” She made sure the glass was wholly covered in the cloth.
“Come on, why? I promise not to bother you again. I really do mean it this time. So please just teach me, please.”
“Sorry, kid. I won’t budge on this. So let go of it already.”
“Well then. I refuse to leave you alone till you teach me how.”
Zekes crossed his arms in protest as he pouted.
The boy was as stubborn as they come. His face was clearly soft and his hands were still smooth. The signs of an easygoing life, the life most kids are fortunate enough to live, but this one had clearly gone a level deeper as his entitlement spelled out how spoiled he was. A subject of unconditional love, which one could not blame him for embracing. But it had the unforeseen side-effect of denying him from learning how to take no for an answer.
A bothersome sigh escaped her.
“You can’t get everything you want in life, kid. Fate has given each of us our own share of capabilities. Just like how I can’t easily make a fortune by blessing items like those damned Aurasis users, you also don’t have the right attribute to do fortune weaving, even if you did only those personally blessed by the mystic mother are able to borrow from her powers.”
“But … I also have sorcesis Beucara in me. Y-you saw it, didn’t you?”
“Sorry, kid. But it ain’t enough to do you any good here. You must at least primarily be a sorcesis to have the knack for it.”
“This isn’t fair. I want to become stronger. I need to become stronger. If I can’t become better, then it will be so long before I can see his uncle again.” This train of thought was the result of his sorrows from feeling abandoned by his uncle. The truth is Rafik’s words managed to lodge themselves deep within his heart because, despite his childishness, a part of him knew that the reason his uncle sent him to Arobolus with Rafik was to become stronger and learn from him. So if that was all he needed to do, then he had to become strong as fast as he could, so that he could show his uncle that he was worth something.
“Don’t sulk on it for too long. Just because you didn’t have your luck with this method, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there more suited for your Beucara. You know they have a saying in Nami-Kuni: “If the Kunji vines bloomed every season, it would lessen from the beauty of spring.”
Zekes lowered his gaze visibly trying to make sense of what she quoted.
“What it means is that if everyone was able to weave their fortune, then fortune weaving wouldn’t be so valuable anymore. But the fact that we are different makes it so that can accomplish feats that would be nigh impossible for anyone else.”
“But my Beucara isn’t really something that can tell the future or cure people of illness by a few fancy punches. I don’t have the potential to become strong. All I can do is open up little rifts and run-” Suddenly he cut himself off, remembering his uncle’s words of caution.
“Hmph. If that is what this is about then …” She pointed behind him.
In the middle of the bazaar stood a well-built man wearing a baggy sharwal and a sleeves grey shirt imbued with red patterns. The man’s feet danced around elegantly as two long sticks with both ends on fire spun between his gloved hands. The crowd around him cheered as he threw the sticks in the air and spat fire from his mouth like a furnace, right before jumping through the same fire he spat fire and caught both his sticks mid-air in an extraordinary show of athleticism. He was one of the street performers Zekes was looking forward to seeing. It seemed like he had failed to notice that one was performing was only a few stands away from him while he was in the depth of despair.
“How did he do that?” He asked without even shifting his eyes from the performer.
“Years of practice and unwavering will, that’s how. That kid is the youngest of a lineage of ignis dancers, not as old of a tradition as us fortune weavers, but old enough that one could say they are the progenitors of their art of flame manipulation.”
“Huh, so lucky to be blessed with such a talented bloodline of ignis dancers. Not so lucky for me.” Zekes disappointedly sighed as he rested his head between his arms.
“Well, he most definitely did inherit the passion for it, but the ability to perform it, not so much."
Zekes looked back with a raised eyebrow.
“But how? He can clearly do all the jumps and stuff?”
“Tell me, what do you think it takes for one to be able to become an ignis dancer?”
“Huh?!? …. Hmm, let's see.” He ruminated intently while observing the ignis dancer perform. “Well, you would surely need to be able to breathe fire … oh, and having strong legs would really help.” He answered, eagerly waiting to see if he had answered correctly.
“Yes, one would need to be able to control fire and have “strong legs”, but more importantly he must be able to be one with the fire.”
“Be one with the fire?” He repeated after her the moment she explained.
“Don’t interrupt me in the middle of my sentence, kid.” She was quick to scold him. “To be one with something is for both of you to be able to accept each other without bringing harm to one another. It is an essential rule that is important for anything that wants to be whole and content. Just like how a sculptor must make sure the edge of the chisel he uses is only pointed towards the rock he is carving, lest he carves himself into the very same sculpture he was sculpting.”
She gave a pause to let Zekes digest her words.
“The boy was born with a defect that let the very fire he produced burn its maker. An omen that could only spell the end of this longstanding tradition with him. A curse almost as if made by design to mockingly leave him by a hair's breadth reach of attaining his one desire. He was ready to give his soul and body to the flames, yet they only rejected his touch.”
“A word of wisdom for you, youngling. I have studied the shades of fate for decades on end. Many say that fate is blind to pleasures and agony or that fate favors the virtuous, but from what I have seen it has a taste for ....” She leaned forwards to whisper the last word to him. “IRONY. If cruelty was an art, his birth would be but one of many punchlines. If people can laugh at the face of fate, then it is only expected for fate to laugh back at them.”
“And yet … he performs! Look at him!” She declared in amazement.
“Tell me what else do you see when you look at him.”
“But I have already-“
“Look, boy. Look!” She insisted. “Ignore your presumptions and see beyond the facade of an easy life.”
He complyingly observed with his eyes squinted in search of the core of this tremendous showmanship. Just in a matter of seconds, he was able to make an obvious sign that he had previously missed somehow.
“His mouth and jaw … they are as red as molten steel.”
“Right, right. Now look closer. Look at his arms.” She pointed.
“They seem … tight as if the skin has been stretched out. They must have been burned.” He deduced smiling back at her from feeling a sense of accomplishment at noticing such an unfortunate thing. The old lady’s slow nod confirmed his suspicions, making him change into a more appropriate sad expression.
“Scars can hold more stories than words and this boy’s burn marks are not much different. Days and nights, his family pleaded with him to abandon his risky endeavor. They used their connections to offer him effortless jobs, many beautiful women’s hands in engagement, and many more happy outcomes just to get him to quit. But he held on like a she-wolf holding onto the scarce meat she managed to scavenge for her cubs. Though his family loved him dearly they could not allow him to throw away his life in pursuit of the unattainable. So they came to me in hopes that if he saw his future, it would put reason into him. And though I was reluctant at first, when I saw a light kindling from his heart to his eyes I knew that even if he were to see his own self turn to crisps right in front of him his will would still refuse to waver.
“I pitied the kid’s burning desire, but also empathized with the parent’s worry.” She paused. “… because the joy of their children is the fruit of all hardships they are willing to endure. And to stand idle as this fruit rots is a sin against one’s purpose and existence, such actis only committed by the most selfish and the least shameful.” Her eyes seemed teary and her words sounded burdened. “As a mother, I could not let the situation stay the same as it had presented itself to me, but it is hard to change the mind of those who come to you with a sense of desire. But thankfully I needn’t do that cause when two people desire the same thing, a compromise can always be made as long as they are both satisfied. And what they both wanted was for him to have a long-lived happy life, and the only thing impeding between them was doubt, the weed that I had to uproot to let the sprout flourish.”
“I accepted to read the boy’s fate, but only with two conditions in mind. First, they had to understand that to question the strings of fate is to refute the very sacrality of the art itself, an act of disrespect against the Mystic mother. Naturally, they agreed, but when I told them that my second term was for them to support the boy in his aspirations no matter the outcome, they lashed out at me, calling me all kinds of slurs and profanities. I was quick to remind them of my first condition and how whether he is to be relieved or ruined is not for any of us to decide, but what he thinks of his family at the end of his life can be changed. Of course, it did little to appease them and as they were about to leave, the boy did something even I couldn’t have foreseen. He stepped in to make his own terms. He reasoned that if they were to see he would vanquish to the flames, he would happily retire from ignis dancing and live the rest of his life in accord to his parent’s wish. Otherwise, they would have to let him do as he wishes. The boy had been resilient on only becoming an ignis dancer up till now, so why the sudden change of mind, I thought to myself.”
The bickering stopped when his parent’s temper seemed to ease up to the proposal. They agreed thinking there was nothing to lose. I thought about advising him to reconsider and coming back another time, but I knew he wouldn’t have made such a risky gamble if he hadn’t already set his mind on it. I did what only I could do then and put his future in fate’s hands. You could imagine our surprise when the weaving read as someone greatly favored by fate, emitting a color keener to an exceptionally talented hunter than a prey of the hunt. The mark for a soul to thrive beyond its primal circumstance. It was a color far too grand and unusual for someone who wanted to participate in the endeavor of showmanship.
“After that, the boy silently walked away from my stall, while father wanted to curse me knowing that what I had told him would only encourage him to continue if not push him to live more recklessly, yet he had surprisingly chosen not to as to respect our arrangement, so they quickly paid their due and left.”
“It was not an atypical outcome to see for us fate weavers. Nothing feels worse than losing all the work you had put in by only a few words, but I hoped that I at least gave them the comfort that their kid wasn’t gonna get himself killed.”
“Later the boy came back to me alone, apologizing for his family’s behavior, offering to pay me from his own savings as reconciliation. Of course, I refused and reminded him how now that it was certain for him to become a great ignis dancer there are better things he can spend it on than an old woman selling charms in the middle of the street.” Despite his insistence, I only took no for an answer. He then promised me that he would pray to the gods for the longevity of me and my descendent as long as he can bear flames. Lately, he had begun to become indecisive as everyone around him suffocated him with doubtful remarks, he confessed to me. He had only wanted to spread the happiness that had once received from seeing other artists perform. But seeing how I fought for him, despite there being so little reason to, finally gave him the bit of courage he needed to properly stand up for himself.”
“Now even after years of trials and tribulations, even though he still makes mistakes, he had not missed a single day to show up to perform in ‘his favorite spot’.” She satirically expressed. “The surface of his hands had deformed into a leather-like hide, leaving them with the mobility of a crab’s claw. Yet when he conceals his deformity, but he does not do so out of shame, rather to keep his hands as an instrument of joy. For he knows that he must keep up the illusion of an easy hardship to ease the hearts of his admirers. He hides his weakness as to become their strength.” She monologued. “Those are the hidden signs of true strength. It looks easy because you had never felt the fire scorch against your skin. I bet, even now, whenever a sweat dribbles down his arm, it is from his fears weeping for him to cave into what is sensible. But his very being rejects it as if it could not have lived any other way. His core of strength was not gifted to him but shaped by his very own hands like a river carving the rigid stone to what its currents are at ease with the most. Just so that he can be that last candle that still holds the dim flame even in the darkness of the night.”
“In a sense, every other ignis dancer danced in the flames. But him,” She scoffed. ”he manipulates the temper of the flames as he barely lets them reach him like a gentle hand striking the sharp strings of a Shamisen to produce its dreamy sounds, making him the only one who truly dances with the flames.”
She took in a deep breath as she finalized her story, letting the sound of the noisy bazaar take over the narrative once more.
“So … what was the point of the story.”
“The POINT is that everyone has the potential, but it is the consistent drive to improve that separates those who protect from those who need to be protected. Only the tallest plants thrive, while those under survive. But if you asked me about it, you could do yourself a great favor by stopping this pursuit of power altogether. You are just a kid after all and all that power accomplishes is giving you more things to burden your life with. It won’t lead you to what you desire. I stopped seeking it long ago even though I was ever so close to becoming one of the seven jaws of the Mystic mother and despite all, there hasn’t been a sour thought about it in my mind ever since.”
The wooden crate creaked below her as she readjusted herself into a more comfortable sitting position. Zekes silently stared at the feeble old woman in front of him who was struggling to crack her back.
“Hmmm … what are you gawking at?” She caught him.
“No-nothing,” he averted his gaze. “… but I mean … you are saying that you were once powerful enough to become one of the jaws of the Mystic mother. … I am not really sure how strong they are, but from the way you talked about them, they sound like a pretty big deal. And I mean ….” He hesitantly eluded.
“Huuuuhhhh. So now you doubt my honesty? Shameless I say, shameless!” She let out a regrettable sigh. “But I cannot blame you for having such an impression of me. I have long forsaken the potential I once had and now I only remain as a rusty tool, made to use only due to convenience. … just barely sufficient enough to get the job done …. a sad old woman that leaves behind a legacy of minor acts of kindness in people’s subconscious.”
Seeing how his unneeded question ended up burdening her heart made Zekes feel guilty inside.`
“I am sorry for making think such bad things. I was only trying to think how I can get back to my uncle.” He lowered his gaze in shame.
“You have too gentle of a heart for the things you desire. I was merely reflecting on myself. All that I have done was of my own devices, so save your pity for those whom it can help.”
He lifted his head to the sound of her scouring through her pockets.
“There it is.” She cried out before producing a small stack of colorful light crystal panels with their ends attached to each other by a piece of string. The crystals dangled down from her hand revealing a collection of pictures. She pointed towards one containing a well-built lady with a thick white braid holding a bundle of fibers in her palms.
“That’s me back when I was still perfecting my weaving, in order to be admitted as an official fortune weaver.” She then pointed to the one below it. It was of a plaza with many waterways running in between, decorated with flowers and flags and filled with colorful tents that people gathered in. “This is the kunji blossoms festival, where we give to the less fortunate, in order to pass on the kindness the Mystic mother has shown us. It is also required for fortune weaver initiates to practice on passersby as to strengthen their connection and control of the blessing.”
Zekes’ eyes were gleaming with fascination. He only had a vague idea of what Nami-Kuni was like from years of reading through his uncle’s library, but it was the first time he had seen Nami-Kuni itself. Part of him wished that he could have appeared there at the snap of a finger.
“It looks … so different.” He struggled to find the right words.
“Different is one way to describe it. Every year for seven days, people would take up to the streets and sing folklore songs of the great heroes whose lives were forfeited protecting the land and waters of Nami-Kuni. The beautiful melody of the Shamisen would echo throughout every house and temple, while the needle-beaked lillas listened to every stroke of the string so that they could sing it back to people weeks after the festival was concluded. The smell of pastries would overcome the smell of the fresh dirt for the first three days as the bakeries would lay out the soyan root pats that they had been tirelessly growing for the last two months. Oh, what a pleasure it is for the mouth. Sweet and stringy. Made from the soyan bean’s sweet roots. Dried and boiled til the honey-like nectar spewed out and then hardened into a delicate glass-like brittle stone that just dissolved in your saliva.”
Zekes’ mouth dribbled before she even finished her sentence. The steamed milk buns he had prior, now felt more like stale bread compared to the soyan root pats she was describing.
“So to say it is different is to do it injustice. It was the life many aspire to live. So you could imagine my disappointment in having to work in a colorless city like this with the personality of a dead weed.” She exclaimed out of frustration, but no one paid her any attention.

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2023.05.29 09:42 tech-striker Avoid These Website Design Mistakes to Create an Impressive Site in 2023

Avoid These Website Design Mistakes to Create an Impressive Site in 2023
Did you know that 75% of your website's credibility is influenced by its design? To ensure your business is perceived as trustworthy, it's essential to avoid common website design mistakes. Whether you're building a new site or revamping your existing one, steering clear of these errors will help your business make a positive impact online. In this article, we'll highlight website design mistakes to avoid and provide actionable tips to fix or prevent them.

Neglecting Accessibility

Treating accessibility as an afterthought is the number one website design mistake. Here is the four primary errors related to accessibility:
a) Insufficient Color Contrast: Poor color contrast between the background and foreground colors can make text and icons difficult to perceive, especially for those with visual impairments like color blindness. Ensure your color palette is designed with accessibility in mind.
b) Missing or Inappropriate Alt Text: Screen reader users rely on alt text to understand the content of images or graphics. Make sure your alt text provides a meaningful description of the image to include all users.
c) Insufficient or Missing Visual Focus Indicators: Focus indicators, such as outlines around links and buttons, are essential for users who navigate with a keyboard. Clear visual cues help them understand their current position on the page and interact with elements effectively.
d) Overlooking Accessible Names or Labels: When conveying information visually, ensure that assistive technologies can access the same information through accessible labels. For instance, provide descriptive labels for buttons instead of relying solely on visual cues like.

Ignoring Responsive Design

In the second quarter of 2022, mobile devices accounted for over 58% of global website traffic. Failing to prioritize responsive design can frustrate visitors and increase your bounce rate. Juan Manuel Devia Pinzon, Associate Design Lead at HubSpot, emphasizes the importance of catering to users visiting your site from various devices. Ensure your website is equally easy to navigate on mobile as it is on desktop to maintain user engagement.

Sacrificing User Experience for Aesthetics

Prioritizing aesthetics over function is a common website design mistake. Highlights the excessive use of design elements that may enhance aesthetics but feel disconnected from the website's purpose. Strive for a balanced approach where form supports function, avoiding design choices that dilute your brand's value proposition.

Neglecting Customization

Using a generic template without customizing it can hinder your website's ability to stand out. Personalize your website to reflect your branding and create a unique user experience.

Utilizing Inefficient Features

While visually appealing elements have their place, prioritize the effectiveness of your website. Relying on rotating carousels to feature multiple pieces of content is a common mistake. Research indicates that users often overlook carousels, particularly on mobile devices where interaction cost is high. Focus on features that truly convert and drive user engagement.

Neglecting Hierarchy

A lack of hierarchy can leave visitors unsure where to focus their attention. Establish clear visual hierarchies through typography and organization of website elements. This not only enhances aesthetics but also guides users to complete desired actions and create a seamless experience.

Having Unclear Navigation

Unclear navigation creates friction for visitors and complicates their journey on your website. Ensure your navigation is clear, consistent, and easy to understand. As businesses expand into the digital world.
By steering clear of these common website design mistakes, you can enhance your site's credibility and provide visitors with an exceptional experience that encourages repeat visits.
Testing, iterating, and incorporating user research and usability testing are vital steps to ensure your website is continually improving and heading in the right direction. This iterative process allows you to fine-tune your web design and optimize user satisfaction.
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