Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning October 12th, 2020
Good Saturday morning to all of you here on stocks. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning October 12th, 2020.
Earnings could be a positive force for stocks as Washington continues to wrangle over stimulus - (Source)
Stock market optimism for a stimulus package has been rising, but the focus swings to earnings and that could be a positive for stocks in the week ahead. JPMorgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley all release earnings in the first big wave of corporate reports. There is also some important data, including CPI inflation data Tuesday and retail sales for September on Friday. “It looks like earnings season might turn out better than expected, based on early reports,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA. “The guidance looks pretty good. So, we have earnings season upon us, the stimulus talks go back and forth, and it looks like maybe there’s a will to get something done.” On Friday afternoon, the White House raised its offer for at stimulus package to $1.8 trillion but was still below the $2.2 trillion sought by Democrats. “It’s really hard to read,” said Keon. But he said even if there’s no agreement on stimulus now, there should be a package after the election, regardless of who wins. “I actually put some money to work in small caps on the belief if we get further stimulus either soon or a few months from now, you do want to own economically sensitive stocks,” said Keon.“We’re reasonably constructive on the market and valuations are not cheap, but compared to the 10-year [Treasury yield] at less than 80 basis points, stocks don’t look that bad.” Stocks in the past week had their best performance since early July, with the S&P 500 up 3.8% at 3,477. The small cap Russell 2000 was up 6.4%. The 10-year Treasury yield had a big move during the week from about 0.70% to as high as 0.79% Friday. Yields move opposite price, and the 10-year yield has now broken out of a range its been stuck in below 0.70%. Earnings could provide positive momentum for stocks, if companies continue to beat estimates at a healthy pace, like last quarter. “Q2 reporting season saw S&P 500 earnings beat at an unprecedented rate, both in terms of breadth (85%) and size (+20%), prompting historically rare, strong upgrades to forward estimates, especially for the cyclicals, and one of the strongest earnings season rallies on record,” wrote Deutsche Bank strategists. The summer earnings rally came before the big September decline, which took the S&P 500 down about 10%. The S&P 500 is up more than 8% since Sept. 24. “While the bottom-up consensus for Q3 is for a sharp rebound in headline earnings, the bulk of it is being driven by reductions in loan loss provisions and Energy sector losses. Excluding these, underlying earnings growth is forecast to barely move up (-15% to -13%), despite rising Q3 GDP growth estimates pointing to a strong macro rebound,” they noted. The Deutsche strategists said the question remains, however, whether the market will respond to earnings beats or election uncertainty. Keon said the market has been moving up as former vice president Joe Biden extended his lead in the polls because there’s less chance of an uncertain outlook the more one candidate leads. According to RealClearPolitics, he was leading President Donald Trump by 9.7 percentage points, from just about 6 points at the beginning of the prior week. “I think from the market’s perspective, it doesn’t really matter who wins, as long as we have a clear winner,” said Keon. “I think the direction of the polls are suggesting that we’re going to have a clear winner either on election night or a few days after that. The risk of a messy contested election is going down, and the market is relieved by that.” Tom Block, Washington analyst at Fundstrat, said Trump appears to be hoping for a stimulus bill signing before the election to help his re-election effort. “There are many moving parts here, and they’re all moving in different directions,” said Block. “It’s not impossible a deal comes together but the pathway to a deal is not clear on Friday afternoon because of the mixed signals that have come out over the last seven days from the White House.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has opposed a large package, and the two sides have been stalemated. “I think the president believes that he will be helped by having a signed ceremony at the White House approving the bill, that the optics of signing the bill that’s going to send relief to people is an optic he desperately wants, and it can’t hurt,” he said. The economic recovery is going on in the background, and some parts of the economy have shown real improvement, like housing. Retail sales on Friday is a good look at how the consumer has been faring, now that enhanced unemployment benefits have been gone for the past two months. Economists expect 0.6% gain in retail sales, the same as August. Keon said it is important to get some more help for the economy through stimulus. There is expected to be one-time payments to individuals and enhanced employment benefits. “That would be good news for the market, if we could get more help where it is needed. We really just need to get a bridge for a more normal circumstances next year,” said Keon.
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
In our prior post we looked at the best and worst performing S&P 500 stocks since Election Day 2016. In this post we've broadened our filter and looked at the Russell 3,000, which is an index that covers more than 98% of all publicly traded market cap in the US. Within the Russell 3,000, there are 32 stocks that are up more than 1,000% since Trump was elected. These 32 "ten-baggers" -- as Peter Lynch liked to call them -- are listed in the table below. At the top of the list is Enphase Energy (ENPH), which is up 8,892% since Election Day 2016. While Enphase has "Energy" in its company name, it's actually a Technology sector stock that "manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage and web-based monitoring and control." Next up is Zynex (ZYXI) with a gain of 7,211%, followed by Digital Turbine (APPS) up 5,320%. ZYXI markets itself as a "better and safer way to manage pain" than opiods using electrotherapy devices. APPS is an app marketing company that helps app developers get their product on as many devices as possible. Of the 16 best performing Russell 3,000 stocks since Election Day 2016, 15 come from either the Technology or Health Care sectors. XPEL is the only stock in the top ten that's not in either the Tech or Health Care sectors. Up 2,341% since Trump was elected, XPEL is a Consumer Discretionary stock whose main product is to provide auto-paint protection. Along with the names mentioned already, other notables on the list of ten-baggers under Trump include Jack Dorsey's Square (SQ), pet-food maker Freshpet (FRPT), digital health company Teladoc (TDOC), the arts and crafts social media company Etsy (ETSY), and of course, Tesla (TSLA). With a gain of 1,002% since November 8th, 2016, Tesla just barely makes the cut!
On Monday we published our asset class performance matrix showing total returns for key ETFs since Election Day 2016 (11/8/16). Today we wanted to highlight the individual stocks traded on US exchanges that have performed the best and the worst since President Trump surprised the world with a victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. First off, below is a chart showing the average performance of stocks in each S&P 500 sector since Election Day 2016. (These are based on stocks currently in the index and not as the index stood on 11/8/16.) As shown, the average stock in the broad S&P 500 is up 67.3% since Trump was elected. Four sectors have posted stronger average returns than that -- Technology (+160.4%), Health Care (+100.3%), Consumer Discretionary (+74.6%), and Industrials (+69.9%). The Energy sector stands out like a sore thumb in the chart below. While every other sector has at least averaged double-digit percentage gains, the stocks in the Energy sector are down an average of 52.3% since Trump was elected! Other sectors that have been weaker than the broad market include Real Estate, Consumer Staples, and Financials. If you were to ask most people back in November 2016 which areas of the market should outperform under Trump and which should underperform, you'd likely see results that are the exact opposite of what has actually happened. Sectors like Energy, Real Estate, and Financials would have been expected to benefit from Trump since those are the industries he's most associated with, while Tech is a sector that's usually expected to benefit more when the Democratic party is in control.
Looking at individual stocks, below we show the 46 stocks currently in the S&P 500 that are up at least 200% since Election Day 2016. Two stocks -- Etsy (ETSY) and Advanced Micro (AMD) -- have been "10-baggers" with gains of more than 1,000%, while another three -- Paycom (PAYC), NVIDIA (NVDA) and DexCom (DXCM) -- are up more than 500%. Other names on the list are a who's who of the most popular stocks over the past few years, including Adobe (ADBE), Netflix (NFLX), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), salesforce.com (CRM), and PayPal (PYPL).
While there are 46 stocks in the S&P 500 up more than 200% since Election Day 2016, there are 32 stocks that are down more than 50% over the same time frame. The Energy sector is the most represented on this list by far with 14 stocks overall and 10 of the worst 11! The only non-Energy stock in the top ten is General Electric (GE), which is down 76% since Trump was elected. Other notable losers include airlines and cruiselines like AAL, CCL, and NCLH, and consumer stocks like TAP, KHC, UAA, WBA, and LB. General Electric (GE) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are the two names that stand out the most. Each of these stocks were at one point in time the largest company in the world, but they're both now shells of their former selves with huge losses over the last four years. Remember these two examples when you're looking at the largest companies in the world right now. Chances are a few of them will experience similar fates as GE and XOM over the next ten to twenty years.
Yesterday, the S&P 500 closed at its highest level since only a few days after the early September high. While the index has yet to reach a new high, many individual stocks in the index have. As shown in the charts below, 11.71% of S&P 500 stocks closed at a new 52-week high yesterday while no stocks closed at a new 52-week low. That makes for the second-highest net new highs reading of the pandemic with the only higher reading (17.62%) occurring just over a month ago at the last all-time high on September 2nd. Before that, the last time net new highs were as high as now was on February 19th: the last all-time high before the bear market began. As for the individual sectors, there has also been a significant pickup in the net percentage of new 52-week highs. Industrials currently has the highest reading of net new highs among the 11 sectors at 26%. Just like the broader S&P 500, that is the highest since September 2nd when the net percentage of new highs rose above 30%. Consumer Discretionary is the runner up in being the sector with the highest percentage of net new highs. One distinguishing factor, though, is whereas every other sector has seen higher readings at some point since the bear market in the spring, Consumer Discretionary's current reading of 18% is tied with the reading from August 24th. On the other end of the spectrum, both Communication Services and the Energy sector have seen no new highs over the past few days. Granted, there have not been any new 52-week lows either. Meanwhile, Financials and Real Estate have both seen an uptick in net new highs, but it has been much more modest than other sectors.
One of the most notable aspects of the rally off the late September lows has been broad participation. As shown below, breadth is very strong as the 10-day advance-decline lines for several sectors are at some of their highest levels of the past year. For the S&P 500, the 10-day advance-decline line is at its highest level since June 8th. The same can be said for Communication Services, Consumer Discretionary, Financials, and Real Estate. For Consumer Staples, the sector's 10-day A/D line is at its highest level since June of 2019 and for Health Care it is at its highest level since May of 2019. In the case of Technology, it has been even longer as that sector's line is at its highest level since last April. While broad participation is healthy for the long-term prospects of a rally, these 10-Day A/D lines have gotten extremely overbought in the near term, suggesting a cool-down period is likely in the days ahead.
With short term breadth running very hot, the cumulative A/D lines of several sectors are breaking out to new highs as well. Utilities and Materials are the only sectors to have seen prices reach a new high in the past few days alongside their cumulative A/D lines. As for the other sectors, Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Materials, and Tech have also all seen new highs for cumulative breadth. The same applies to the S&P 500, but again, none of these have yet to see price do the same.
Election-Year October Market Performance Volatile since 1950
October’s history of volatility was recapped in the October Almanac as well as it being the worst performing month of election years since 1950. In the following chart we have plotted election-year October performance for DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 since 1950 (NASDAQ since 1972 and Russell indexes since 1980) alongside their historical performance excluding gruesome election-year October 2008. With or without October 2008, historical performance has been uninspiring in election years. Excluding 2008, October has generally started off on a positive note, but by around the fourth trading day, strength has tended to fade with weakness persisting until around the eighth trading day. Then a modest rally ensued through mid-month followed by more weakness and finally a rally to end the month. Grey shading highlights the two historical windows of weakness that could setup our Seasonal MACD indicators.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:55 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.35 per share on revenue of $28.25 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.47 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 47% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 12.31% with revenue decreasing by 22.03%. Short interest has increased by 1.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.4% below its 200 day moving average of $104.75. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,290 contracts of the $102.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:40 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.99 per share on revenue of $20.40 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 72% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 6.13% with revenue decreasing by 1.59%. Short interest has decreased by 19.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.4% above its 200 day moving average of $144.63. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, September 23, 2020 there was some notable buying of 5,050 contracts of the $160.00 call expiring on Friday, December 18, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 2.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 1.7% move in recent quarters.
Citigroup, Inc. (C) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.01 per share on revenue of $17.12 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 42% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 48.99% with revenue decreasing by 34.43%. Short interest has decreased by 23.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 12.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 17.9% below its 200 day moving average of $54.74. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 18,737 contracts of the $50.00 call and 18,010 contracts of the $50.00 put expiring on Friday, November 20, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 5.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.53 per share on revenue of $20.59 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.55 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 55% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 29.33% with revenue decreasing by 27.85%. The stock has drifted higher by 6.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.1% below its 200 day moving average of $26.18. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, September 28, 2020 there was some notable buying of 33,467 contracts of the $25.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.
Progressive Corp. (PGR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.71 per share on revenue of $10.56 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.87 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 51% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.42% with revenue increasing by 10.80%. Short interest has increased by 8.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 17.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 22.1% above its 200 day moving average of $81.77. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 there was some notable buying of 728 contracts of the $95.00 call and 710 contracts of the $95.00 put expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.9% move in recent quarters.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $3.10 per share on revenue of $3.09 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($3.21) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 11% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 233.62% with revenue decreasing by 75.40%. Short interest has decreased by 24.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 28.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.6% below its 200 day moving average of $34.75. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 4,729 contracts of the $34.00 call expiring on Friday, November 20, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 7.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.
BlackRock, Inc. (BLK) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:20 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $7.46 per share on revenue of $3.92 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $7.81 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 4.34% with revenue increasing by 6.18%. Short interest has decreased by 36.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 17.1% above its 200 day moving average of $522.35. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 6.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.6% move in recent quarters.
UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (UNH) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:55 AM ET on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.98 per share on revenue of $63.73 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $3.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 23.20% with revenue increasing by 5.60%. Short interest has decreased by 6.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 8.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 13.3% above its 200 day moving average of $289.47. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, September 21, 2020 there was some notable buying of 2,031 contracts of the $260.00 put expiring on Friday, November 20, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.
Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:50 AM ET on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.46 per share on revenue of $17.79 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.46 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 34% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 50.00% with revenue decreasing by 33.83%. Short interest has decreased by 15.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 21.6% below its 200 day moving average of $32.26. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, September 28, 2020 there was some notable buying of 29,138 contracts of the $27.50 call expiring on Friday, December 18, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 5.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.6% move in recent quarters.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $5.37 per share on revenue of $9.20 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $5.81 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 54% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 12.11% with revenue decreasing by 27.98%. Short interest has decreased by 5.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 7.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.4% above its 200 day moving average of $200.79. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, September 24, 2020 there was some notable buying of 3,311 contracts of the $200.00 call expiring on Friday, November 20, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 1.3% move in recent quarters.
Fallout: Hawaii You awaken in a cell, a gentle rocking is the first thing you notice. Across your cell you can see the choppy waves causing the rocking. A mirror is on the wall opposite your cot, you get up and go over to the mirror. This is where you will create your character. Many more options would be available compared to Fallout 4, with Tattoos and hair dye being available from the start. You would also be able to more customize your body, being able to be fat, skinny, muscular, tall, short, old, young etc. You look over to see the man who awoke you, a soldier with an NCR insignia on his shoulder knocking on your cell with his baton. He begins to make a conversation with you- “Someone has got to be a real sick fuck to do anything like what you’ve done, I hope you rot for what you did to that poor man” You’re presented with a few options to respond a. “Yeah I killed him, I enjoyed it, and when I get out of this cell, I’m gonna skin you alive.” b. “Please sir, I feel such guilt for what I’ve done, but I’m a changed person, can you please let me leave.” c. “I didn’t kill anybody, there’s been a huge mistake!” d. “I’m telling you, jackass, I’ve done nothing wrong, now let me out of this cell and let me go home.” The guard will respond according to what you said, then continues by telling you to fill out some information, of which he hands you a clipboard through your cell bars. This is where you can fill out your name, SPECIAL stats, and traits. The ship suddenly lists to the side, you and the guard stumble and the lights flicker. Another violent crash and a lamp falls from the ceiling, cracking the guard on the head. His keys drop and tumble just outside your cell. You reach for the keys and you are able to unlock your cell. You begin making your way to the top deck (movement tutorial). Once you reach the top deck you see other escaped prisoners and guards trying to flee onto the limited number of life boats. You hurry around the deck trying to make it to a life boat, but boats launch and crowds block your path. Just as you are about to reach one of the boats the boat lists all the way to the right and you slide along the deck, you look down, and fall to the dark, churning waters below. You black out and the title displays: Fallout:Hawaii You awake to the sound of birds chirping, and find yourself face down on a white sand beach. All around you lies the wreckage of the ship. To your right lies a box, half smashed, inside containing a Pip-Boy. You strap the device to your arm and stand up, making sure to grab a conveniently placed 10mm pistol on your way up. Several mutated crabs (think Skyrim mudcrabs) emerge from the wreckage around you, qué combat tutorial. You are now free to begin exploring. Fallout: Hawaii would take place on the Island of Oahu The hot, humid climate would be something not seen before in Fallout. Two major locations that come to mind would be the city of Honolulu, and the Pearl Harbor military base. The city of Honolulu would be a maze of skyscrapers with the street level flooded. You would be able to navigate the upper levels through bridges made by both people and caused by buildings falling together or walls that have fallen to create bridges, along with the freeways. The rooftops would be home to several towns and raider camps, while the flooded streets are infested with mutated sharks and snapping turtles. Pearl Harbor would be the main plot point of the game. It can be assumed that prior to the war, Pearl Harbor would have been a highly important military base as it would be one of the first places to see a Chinese invasion headed toward California. As such, many weapons and advanced technologies were stored away in the base-including the FEV. Unfortunately for the island of Oahu. Pearl Harbor was almost directly struck by a nuke in the opening minutes of the war. The nuke actually detonated high up and over the ocean, so damage to the base was minimal, except for two things: 1. The base and all it’s occupants received a massive dose of radiation. 2. The power to the base was knocked out, blocking access to the weapons within, and it hasn’t been turned on since. So the base is full of ghouls in powerful gear, and deep in the base is who knows what, abominations formed by the mixture of FEV and radiation, trapped for 200 years in the base. The factions on the island would, of course, be fighting over the base, along with fighting the 1000’s of juiced up feral ghouls at the base. A few factions I’ve come up with:
NCR: The republic would have a reasonable presence on the island, including the prison you were going to be sent to before you were ship wrecked. They want the weapons so no one else can have them and so they can fight the BOS (the BOS will NOT be making an appearance)
Enclave remnant: The locals speak of a group of people who have been camped out in the jungle for several decades. Military types. You later learn it’s an enclave remnant that fled the oil rig at the end of Fallout 2 and has been upholding tradition for years, believing themselves the last true Americans. They want the weapons because they believe themselves the rightful owners, them being what remains of the old US government
Tribals: Pearl Harbor isn’t the only place with advanced tech. A tribe deep in the jungle was founded around a bunker full of pre-war military tech, including laser weapons, plasma weapons, and a few suits of power armor. The tribe believes that this technology is actually magic and considers all of it highly important to their religion, that is, worshipping the “old ones”. They have the knowledge to maintain these weapons. They know of the cache and believe it is the ultimate challenge given by the “old ones,” to defeat the ghouls and claim their ultimate bounty.
Waianae: Simply the people of the largest settlement, Waianae, located on the volcano. They can use the heat of the volcano to generate power. The volcano was made active again by a nearby nuclear detonation that caused a shift in the Earth’s crust. They want the weapons so they can protect themselves from raiders and drive the NCR and enclave off their island, they also want to eradicate the tribals.
The Blood Sharks: The largest raider gang on the whole island, the blood sharks simply want those weapons so they can bring everyone under their control.
Weapons and armor: Ditch the legendary weapon system, I’d rather have unique weapons and armor attained through quests/exploration. As for crafting, I think it can return. One change Id like, however, would be the removal of straight up upgrades. No more “advanced” receivers that can magically do more damage. I’d rather see weapon and armor mods that have trade offs, I.e. a receiver with a fast fire rate but low damage, or a fast fire rate, regular damage, but insane recoil. Or an armor mod that makes your armor more protective but less stealthy, makes you sprint slower, and slows your reload. Also being able to color your armor as you please to identify with your faction would be appreciated. Armor and weapon degradation would also return, allowing you to repair with components found around. More weapon variety would also be appreciated. Pipe weapons are a great concept for a post apocalyptic game, so can we please also get a pipe shotgun? More shotguns in general rather than just double barrel and combat. Settlements would return, but I’d prefer to just have 5-6 really good locations, like the Castle or Sanctuary, rather than 30 Oberland Stations. Settlement would be tied more toward your faction, for example, if you’re in deep with the Blood Sharks, establishing a settlement for them would mean setting up a new raider outpost. Perks and skills: Perks and skills would be just like New Vegas. With each level up rewarding skill point and perk points. Some skills that would be nice would be a crafting skill that affects armor and weapon crafting/mods. A skill for settlement building. And some other water related perks. I’d also differentiate “small arms” into rifles, shotguns, autos, and pistols. More factions: Beside the big 5 listed above, I’d like more small factions. Smaller raider gangs (rather than just generic “raider”). Other tribes, towns other than Waianae, and some mercenary groups perhaps I’ll probably add more to this post tomorrow, but I’m tired. So there you’ve had my concept for a Fallout set in Hawaii.
[Video Games] The reboot that got rebooted: The rise and fall of DmC: Devil May Cry
Let's cut through the pre-amble:
What is Devil May Cry?
Devil May Cry is an action series developed and published by Japanese company Capcom, beginning with Devil May Cry 1 in 2001 for the Playstation 2 (Here's an advert showing it as part of Sony's holiday lineup that included landmark gaming titles such as Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and... Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance). The game series began as a prototype build for Resident Evil 4 that had more of an overt action focus than the acclaimed horror franchise was known for. Rather than scrap the build, Capcom saw potential in the idea of a stylish action game, and gave director Hideki Kamiya permission to make it a full title. Kamiya would involuntarily leave the series after DMC 1 as Capcom didn't ask him to work on DMC 2. Instead, a still-to-this-day unknown phantom director was put in charge of the game and he ran it into the ground. With less than half a year before DMC 2's 2003 release, Capcom brought in a new director to course-correct and get the game out for release: Hideaki Itsuno. In less than six months, Itsuno would rally the team, basically make the entire game, and create several features that would go on to become series staples, and while DMC 2 sold well, it was critically panned for being a very boring game. Itsuno, not wanting his reputation to be sullied, came back in 2005 with Devil May Cry 3, generally considered one of the greatest action games of all time. From here several core traits are instilled: chief among which being style meters that track the player's skill with combos and Dante having a style system that lets him use different movesets. And it's in 2008 with the release of Devil May Cry 4, marking the series going multiplatform for the first time as it came out on the PS3 and Xbox 360, that this story really begins:
The build up to 2010
With DMC 4's release in 2008, Capcom set the sales expectation that the game would sell 1.8 million units by the end of the fiscal year. DMC 4 would sell two million units in under a month, but Capcom were a bit unimpressed. They were hoping that now that DMC was on a wider range of platforms that the sales would correspondingly go up, but instead the game just saw a modest increase over DMC 3. The cost of game development had also shot up in the new console generation, making Capcom more concerned about DMC4's sales just being fine, especially coming off of huge sales juggarnauts from 2007 such as Halo 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Bioshock. (It doesn't help that DMC 4 had a very rushed development leading to the now infamous case of Dante's playable chapters just being Nero's but backwards) Japan at the time was also in a weird place when it came to gaming. The mobile phone gaming market was about to take off, and the playerbase in Japan was already smaller than the worldwide market for obvious reasons. In the home regions, it was safer to look into handheld gaming, and while Capcom had dallied with the idea of a DMC game on the Playstation Portable (at one point considering a remake of the first game that reached in-game screenshots and box art that was quietly shelved for unknown reasons, alongside a prequel focusing on Dante's father Sparda), these ideas never left the ground. Seeing how Western markets were more traditionally concerned with console gaming at this time (and the success of the God of War franchise proved Action was a genre people wanted), Capcom's idea was simple: Give their IPs to Western studios and let them take a crack at it, with the idea being their knowledge of what the West wants would let the games sell better. The results were mixed. The Bionic Commando reboot is nowadays more known for the twist of YOUR WIFE IS THE ROBOT ARM and only sold 27,000 units in a month, but Dead Rising did fairly well under a Capcom Vancouver branch until Dead Rising 4 happened and uh... kinda killed the series because it was awful. Capcom eventually set their sights on giving the West a crack at DMC, leading to them eyeballing several studios. This worked out well for them in that Itsuno was also burnt out. After having spent five straight years on DMC and having redeemed its image after DMC 2, Itsuno was ready to take a break and make his dream game: Dragon's Dogma, a dark fantasy game that is very fun. It got a Netflix anime adaptation recently that is... not as fun. But while Itsuno was making Dragon's Dogma, Capcom had some time to spitball handing the series off. They eventually settled on Ninja Theory, an up and coming British team best known for Heavenly Sword (a very pretty game with mediocre action combat and a priority on storytelling), and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (a modernisation of Journey to the West that was very pretty but priotizied story over gameplay). Rumors began to circulate in early 2010 that Ninja Theory had acquired the license and would be making a prequel focusing on Dante's early days, but it would only become clear at Tokyo Games Show that year when DmC: Devil May Cry* was formally announced. And the fanbase collectively hated it. (* Yes that does technically mean this reboot's name is Devil may Cry: Devil May Cry. I'm going to call it DmC from here to differentiate it from the core series)
The TGS Trailer
For those unaware of DMC, I should stress that by 2010, it had a reputation for a certain flair and theatics. Dante was known to be a goofball in cutscenes, taunting enemy demons and making a mockery of them. He has an entire cutscene in DMC 4 where he acts like he's on the stage of a theatre with how grandious he is. People liked Dante for this reason, he was a breath of fresh air in a time when most protagonists were stotic, gritty jerks who only talked in curse words and gravelly shouts. And his flowing white hair was also certainly iconic. So here comes the new take on Dante, the West giving him a go and oh... hoo boy. There's no charisma, there's no panache. The trailer has no gameplay. Dante doesn't look like a trash talker, he looks like a meth addict. He's smoking, something the DMC 1 design documents said Dante would never do as (per Kamiya) smoking is uncool. His hair isn't even white! Now let me be clear: I am not opposed to a new take on Dante. Certainly, the idea presented in the reveal trailer that Dante is imaging the demons he fights as an acute case of psychosis is an interesting idea, as it raises the question of whether or not the demons are real or if he's senselessly killing random people. But the execution would have had to be perfect, and opening with just a fancy trailer that had no signs of gameplay for an action franchise was not the right foot to start on. What doesn't help was that the entire Western Capcom initiative was one pushed by a very controversial figure in gaming called Keiji Inafune, who would leave Capcom right after DmC's announcement in 2010. Inafune was the one most strongly advocating for the western development approach (Something Capcom were quick to stress in 2010 after his departure), but with his departure the movement had less steam. Inafune would go on to make Mighty Number 9, a Kickstarter that went miserably wrong on every turn and is usually seen as one of the most disappointing games of the 2010s. I should also point out here: Dante's radically different design from the norm of the series was a mandate imposed by Capcom.Ninja Theory's original concept art for Dante was much more closer to his traditional design- white hair, red coat and all. But Capcom, and Itsuno especially, were adament that if Ninja Theory were going to be doing something new with the franchise, that they needed to go off the cuff- in Capcom's own words, "Go crazy."
When asked by Venturebeat how he felt about the fan reaction to the TGS trailer, Tameen (and I am quoting them word for word here) “took a drag of his cigarette and without blinking or pausing to exhale the smoke from his mouth, said: ‘I don’t care.’”
Capcom likely stepped in behind the scenes and encourged a few changes. Notably, Dante's design underwent a few shifts, including making him more muscular and rewriting portions of the game to give him a few more of Old!Dante's trademark quips. A few voice actor was also cast, named Tim Phillips... though NT wouldn't budge on the haircut as it was part of the story. The Dante psychosis/prisoner angle from the TGS trailer was also completely scrapped from the final product, having Dante instead be confirmed to be sane and fighting demons, not people. Even though Capcom had encouraged NT to go off the rails... money still reigns supreme and Capcom wanted to turn a profit. So closer to release, Capcom made a point of stressing that Itsuno and several other DMC veteran staff were supervising the combat system and offering guidance. Combat designer Rahni Tucker spoke positively of the exchanges she had with Itsuno:
The damage however, was long done. Even with the post-TGS revisions, DmC was facing an uphill battle from the community, with a minority waiting to give it a try themselves before casting judgement, but the majority either being apathetic or downright hostile to the game, not helped by Tameen's attitude creating the idea that Ninja Theory inherently hated what made Devil May Cry good (again, keep in mind most players wouldn't learn that Capcom were pushing for the radical Dante changes until years post-release). Ultimately though, Capcom themselves are to blame for the choices that impacted DmC: Ninja Theory were only doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and for the most part many of the staff clearly loved getting to work on such a popular franchise and boosting their studio's name. It came down an unfortunate blend of Capcom misreading what people wanted from future projects, an attempt to appeal to a Western market that fell on its face, and a director unprepared for the mass backlash his product got. Either way, the game finally came out in early 2013.
The game itself
Eh, it was OK. DmC launched in March 2013 and got decent reviews on all platforms, getting a consistent 8/10 on all platforms on Metacritic. The PC port was especially praised for its sheer variety of features including an uncapped framerate. Critics quite liked it, praising the story and art direction, feeling it was a necessary step for the series to make the games somewhat easier to let newcomers in without facing as daunting a challenge as the games could be (I'm pretty sure learning how to fly a plane is easier than mastering Dante in Devil May Cry 4). Old Dante's most famous voice actor, Reuben Langdon, spoke on a podcast about the game and admitted that while he wasn't fond of the new Dante's characterisation, he applauded Ninja Theory's craftsmenship. The fanbase were colder, even with the pre-release biases set aside (this wasn't helped by Platinum, helmed by several ex-DMC 1 developers including Kamiya, releasing Metal Gear Rising Revengeance also in 2013. Metal Gear Rising is a very good game that involves flipping giant robots and fighting a very actractive Brazillian man with a gun-sheath sword). The game's framerate on consoles was capped at 30FPS for technical reasons when all prior games ran at 60FPS. Dante had lost a lot of his mechanical complexity (including DMC 3 and 4's style system which offered Dante special abilities he could switch between such as more sword and gun combos, blocking and dodging) in favour of a more universal moveset. The Devil Trigger super mode was pretty lame and automatically knocked all enemies into the air, which people didn't like as it made most encounters too easy. Building up style was too easy and the game had no systems to stop you spamming the same combos over and over. The game's weapon system of angel/demon themed weapons included color-coded enemies that forced you to use the right gear or you'd be punished. There was no Turbo Mode, a feature in most games that automatically boosted the game's speed by 20% on average. Ninja Theory still made a good action game, albeit one that needed a bit more refinement to reach its true potential. But the lack of several core features (or worse, poorly implemented iterations of said features) led to the fanbase adopting a term:
"It's a good game, but it's not a good Devil May Cry."
The fanbase were willing to concede to the good aspects of the game- especially in audiovisual aspects. Enemies now got a subtitle during their first appearance, weapons getting a slight glint when the player pauses to let them know they can launch a pause combo attack, the soundtrack was now dynamic and evolved up the higher your style rank got, alongside the killing blow at the end of a fight getting a cinematic camera angle. Ninja Theory's sense of style itself was something that impressed the Capcom team, as all of these aspects were modified and adopted into the mainline games come 2019. The game was also very beautiful in places, leaving the Gothic archetecture of the main games for a more European feel in Limbo City. Madrid in Spain and Genoa in Italy are clear influences on the archetecture, and the design team adapt them well in making Limbo a city that is itself a weapon trying to kill Dante through compressing alleyways, closing off paths or mocking him through writing on the walls, Splinter Cell Conviction style. Combichrist and Noisia's collaberations for the soundtrack were also praised between their licensed work and new music composed just for the game, especially the songs Never Surrender and Throat Full of Glass. But for all the praise, reluctant or otherwise, that game got mechanically, the story that the critics had acclaimed as mature and a right step forward had few supporters among the playerbase. There's been a lot written and said about DmC's story so I'll cap off the highlights here:
Despite Tameen's comments about women in video games and "prostitutes with guns," DmC was reviled for how deeply mysoginistic the game truly was. Kat (the one heroic female character in the game and the only female character to survive the game), had several far more revealing costumes planned in concept art (Alongside the idea that Kat fought with a violin weapon pre-Lindsay Sterling which was pretty cool). Here's one of the better pieces of art where Kat was planned to be a biker chick with platinum blonde hair. Kat is ultimately a vehicle for Dante's character development as he softens up around her, only for her to be kidnapped and brutalized by the police. Dante and Vergil then kidnap the mistress of Mundus (the main antagonist) who is pregnant with his child, and trade the two women off like Pokemon cards (the camera in the trade scene, linked above in the Vergin section), leading back to the Sniper Rifle Abortion. The fanbase got very creative with memes relating to that part of the game. Kat's main involvement in the final act of the game is just to give Dante a map of the building she was tortured in, then hide behind a dumpster when Dante and Vergil come to blows over whether or not they should rule humanity. And in the re-release of the game, the final cutscene is modfied so the last shot of the game is Dante copping a feel of Kat's ass.
The end was an OK game let down by a bad story. The tale of many a game. And unfortunately, partly thanks to the game just not being good enough for the DMC pedigree, DmC underperformed. Capcom initally hoped for 2 million units to be sold like DMC 4, but later quietly lowered their projections down to 1.2 million.Some rumors speculate that Capcom had to artifically boost the game's sale numbers by counting anyone who downloaded the game when it was for free as part of Playstation Plus in January 2014 (games that go on PS+ or Microsofft's Xbox Live Games with Gold service are usually games that are either selling so well they can take the hit, are past their lifespan and looking to reignite the playerbase, or did very badly and this is a last ditch effort to get interest into the game). While not speaking directly about DmC, Capcom spoke frankly in a financial report regarding their Western outsourcing, attributing the lack of success to a "delayed response to the expanding digital contents market," "insufficient coordination between the marketing and the game development divisions in overseas markets," and a "decline in quality due to excessive outsourcing". The long and the short of it was: DmC flopped commerically, failing to meet the sales of DMC 4 in the West (which remember was Capcom's entire reason for the reboot) when it was released on the exact same platforms, and the consoles had a larger install base due to five years having passed. For what it's worth, Itsuno himself support the game and approved of Ninja Theory's efforts, even saying he'd have been honored to work on a DmC Devil May Cry 2 had Capcom gone with that project. Some post-launch support would follow, including DLC costumes based on concept art for Dante and several alt skins based on his DMC 1 and 3 appearances, Bloody Palace (basically a time trial gauntlet run) and a campaign focusing on Vergil that sets up a sequel hook which never gets followed up on. Some Ninja Theory staffers didn't take the news well, especially as they knew that their reputation was going to take a large hit after DmC. Art director Alessandro Taini gave a GDC talk where he went on a weird rant involving editing DMC 4 Dante into stills from... Brokeback Mountain and Batman and Robin, while also saying reboot Dante was based on... Tyler Durden from Fight Club (for those who don't know Fight Club, you're not meant to agree with Tyler or find him a role model). Keep in mind that this is Taini basically shit-talking character designs he had no hand in making. In a hilaripus twist of irony, Dante would later in the series get a cowboy hat as a weapon. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Capcom up to this point had been going back and forth on what DmC even was- was it a prequel, a reboot, an alternate universe? They seemed to change the answer every month. But after the game's failure to meet expectations commercially, they quietly settled on it being based on an alternate universe, as was confirmed in of all things, Donte appearing as a DLC alt skin for Dante in Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.
In 2015, Capcom re-released the game for the new consoles as DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition. This was largely helmed by the Capcom team in Japan who modified the game to make it more in line with DMC's series standards of gameplay. And you know what? It's really good! Genuinely, it actually makes the game and takes it from "A good attempt" to "one of the best Western attempts at action games period." 60FPS on consoles, all DLC included, Turbo Mode was back, a new mode called Must Style where you have to get an S Rank in combos before your attacks do damage, all alongside an insanely detailed changelog penned by Rahni Tucker. The one downside? It never got released on PC for unsaid reasons, presumably that most of the new gameplay additions... were based on mods made by the PC fanbase. Mods you can no longer find as the site storing them has gone down. However even with this, DmC would get sand in its eye one more time. In the same year, Capcom released a similar re-release of DMC 4 called Special Edition. It was far more bare bones than DmC: DE, only adding three new playable characters in Lady, Trish and MOTIVATION Man himself, Vergil. Despite the game only getting a physical release in Japan and being digital only here in the West (whereas DmC: DE got a full release), Capcom eventually said that DMC 4 SE obliterated the DE in sales, with Capcom specifically saying that 4SE's digital sales led to a better quarter in 2015 than they were anticipating. As of 2020 (due to Capcom counting their re-releases of games separately than the original release when it comes to sales), we know that DMC4SE has sold 1.5 million units, while DmC: DE sold 1.1 million. However, ultimately, I'm very joyful to admit that everyone got a happy ending! No, literally, everyone came out of this for the better. Ninja Theory in 2017 would release Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, a critical and commerical darling made on a self-styled "AA" budget that was praised for its handling of mental health through the lens of its MC Senua. It made its budget back easily, they're now owned by Microsoft and they're currently working on a sequel called Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2. Capcom would bounce back from their slump in the Early 2010s, beginning in 2017 with the releases of Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter World and a certain title I'll mention in a minute. They've been releasing hit after hit for the last four years and they have more on the horizon. And Itsuno, now having made Dragon's Dogma, came back raring to go with more Devil May Cry. Though there are some rumors by Dante's voice actor that he had to threaten to leave Capcom to get it, at E3 2018 as part of the Microsoft panel, Itsuno took to the stage and announced: "DMC IS BACK!!!" (Watching people react to this trailer and freaking out when they see it's DMC gives me so much serotonin) Thanks for reading this... long disaster of a post. Have a good one, and remember to keep this party crazy. Let's rock. :)
Additional reading if you'd like more words on this reboot:
I have had almost nothing but pleasant exchanges with guys on here, sometimes more than once. The deals have been fair, swift and properly executed. Thank you all, and here's to more in the near future!
Definitive list of companies to support / re-consider / avoid (and reminder that a rifle in the hands of a socialist is a socialist rifle.)
EDIT: Thanks for all the feedback. So heads up this list was originally part of this AR-15 build guide spreadsheet, hence the frequent mentioning of that gun/platform and some arbitrary shout outs to specific AR-15 makers. (Ironically I'm primarily a shotgun guy at the moment.) So PLEASE look elsewhere if you are looking for recs devoid of any political consideration. The original intention was this as a disclaimer / FYI oriented list of companies with good, iffy, or straight-up bad Ppolitical affiliations/etc. as well as US made and/or unionized companies. It's been muddled with quality mostly apolitical budget-oriented recs as well. I am likely not listing many (like dozens if not hundreds) and I don't want to open a can of worms and end up listing general gun suggestions / lists. I might even par it down for that reason. So that said I'll leave additional recs to the comments. Will edit and add any companies to overtly avoid for shitty politics/ownership and likewise will add any that are inclusive and/or liberal or left leaning. Thanks! ////////////////////////// The information below is aimed at informing gun enthusiasts with moral, ethical, and ideological reservations about certain supporting manufacturers. It lists reputable apolitical and professional manufacturers to consider, is then followed by disclaimers about other reputable manufacturers, then concluded with manufacturers to consider avoiding. Full disclaimer: this effort stems from frequent and incessant debates and discussions I've seen among gun owners from center to far-left and from my own concerns personally as a leftist. That said if you are neither left-wing nor liberal but nonetheless want to support honest and sincere gun manufacturers this information is worth reviewing. This is not aimed at calling out any company with remotely right-wing political affiliation or leadership, that would be not just flippant and needless but absurdly futile. In fact the only ones I recommend to avoid have overtly engaged the following: pandered to destructive and vitriolic identity politics, bootlicked and idolized authoritarian entities and leaders, or in a few cases literally touted fascism and right-wing extremism. I would argue these are not mere red flags to myself or others on the left but more broadly sentiments that sincere conservatives and libertarians should also wholeheartedly condemn. It is my sincere belief that gun ownership rights are a not only universal right and a necessity for the working-class but also potentially a unifying ideological issue that will hopefully transcend contemporary politics. Fundamental respect for gun safety and handling and willingness to include all who want to be involved in legal and responsible gun ownership is common ground for anyone who believes in basic equality and freedom. Lastly, if you are still rolling your eyes, ready to list a litany of dismissive rants as one of those "better dead than red" edgelord dolts, than by all means F.O.A.D. Manufacturers To Consider: /// Solid Companies in every regard:Much of this intel gathered from this helpful post on reddit from u/tanksuit who help spurred on this effort and also from this extensive Something Awful Thread. Further info gleaned from a private FB group I will not name. If anyone from there sees this, many thanks. Windham Weaponry - Mostly lateral organizing, employees treated as collective owners (to clarify no indication they are literally collectively owned). Broke off from Bushmaster after Freedom Group buyout. Wide arrange of models. Fair pricing, great customer service and high quality (Kudos to tip-off via FB Group) Rocket Armory - Arguably the only overtly liberal AR part manufacturer. Not quite leftist (I'd skip the LGO logo lower - elements of LGO have been adverse to leftists) but nonetheless an outspokenly progressive maker is a worth supporting IMO. Lowers and fixed mags only. Current stock shipping in mid-December 2020. CMMG - Apolitical, high quality, and unionized. Good selection of various caliber platforms both complete, uppelower reciever packages, or stripped parts. Known for their 22LR conversion kits that provide affordable training option for AR platforms. JP - Expensive but high quality, anecdotal stories of apolitical / non-CHUD atmosphere from employee that appears to be reflected in their PR. Whiskin Tango Foxtrot (WTF Guns) - Gun building/customization business in Fort Worth, TX in process of acquiring machinery. Veteran owned and liberal friendly. Liberal Gun Club Member Business - A list of firearm accessory businesses and not manufactures but nonetheless worth looking at to support liberal gun enthusiasts Smith & Wesson - Mostly apolitical, huge company but American made and makes solid entry-level AR-15s Cz-USA - US distro/importer of the venerable Czech manufacturer. Atlantic Firearms - apolitical and reliable merchant and they are helpful with compliance guns for ban states Ace High Armory - Small CLP maker, affliated/supporter of LGO (see above) Off Color Decals / Dorner Tactical / Red Stone Creative / John Brown Armory / Space Dog Laika / Outcast Society / Flank Left / Sleep of Reason / PraxStudio / Cultivated Laser / JohnBrownFunClub / Left Queer & Sticky / LeftFist / LGO Store / fildiDesign / Slay Shop / Liberal Gun Club - Stickers, patches, etc. Lot to find on Redbubble as well. John Brown Prints - Shirts and stickers, though specifically these proceeds go to BLM and bail funds Others...There are far more smaller American AR-15 manufacturers of varying quality and pricing, consider smaller and local options as politics aside they are employing enthusiasts making firearms for fellow enthusiasts. Regarding quality: research forums and comment sections before you buy! /// Unionized: Colt (UAW) - The original maker of AR-15s after they bought ArmaLite in 1964 and patent holder on design until 1977. Big law enforcement / military supplier. Good but arguably a redundant consideration now with so many AR-15 options. Savage (IAM) - Mostly non-AR-15 style rifles like bolt action, hunting semi autos, competition, etc. Good and often affordable consideration for those platforms. Unionized Non-AR makers>>> Browning - IAM, Douglas - IAM, Winchester - IAM, Remington - UMW (Bankruptcy impending and Navajo purchase fell through, post-Freedom Group quality dip after 2007) /// Solid but with disclaimers/caveats: Aero Precision / Ballistic Advantage Barrels - Huge selection, affordable, well-touted and potentially the benchmark of non-gucci lower receivers. Not innocent, the tone deaf AF blurb for Rhodesia camo comes to mind, but otherwise less CHUD-y. Excellent "default" manufacturer to use for builds that are budget and mid-tier / entry level oriented. Mid State Firearms - Great PSA alternative, far less knee-jerk and pandering. Offers discounted bundles and kits of cancelled orders, blemished but good parts, and "oddball" assortments. Read multiple testimonies of good customer service in response to any issues. Like Aero they aren't perfectly apolitical as they sell 3%er dust covers. Thanks for the tip datcatburd KE Arms - Mostly solid and somewhat under the radar, competition quality oriented - collaborators in the WWSD 2020 rifle with InRangeTV's "What Would Stoner Do?" gun projects and InRangeTV is notably inclusive. Allegedly friendly staff but Russell Phagan, aka longtime SomethingAwful poster SinistralRifleman, was banned after relentlessly defending the Kenosha shooter. More FYI than anything, to be seen if it affects the WWSD collab with InRangeTV as he was a core part of that development. Brownells - Well-regarded and has budget part options, owns a lot of AR-15 related ventures including AR15.com and family has major NRA ties and lobbying industry. Distro for InRangeTV + KE Arms What Would Stoner Do? WWSD 2020 AR-15. Again not perfect, they had a cringe-y fellowkids level nod to boogaloo shirts in a recent vid Midway USA - Comparable to Brownells, lot of options, reliable vendor, etc. Some NRA connections but nothing crazy. More info here thanks to u/rocketboy2319 SGAmmo - not the only ammo supply company by any means but a solid bulk option with no BS apolitical tone. Primary Arms - Another distro to consider, mostly because it's been keeping a lot of AR-15 parts in stock despite panic buying Bravo Company USA [BCM] - Bit pricier but another solid and popular choice for upper tier ARs, had confederate battle flag engraving option. As u/mp8815 pointed out they are a great option for more serious milspec than Aero, PSA, etc. Little Creek Trading - Distro/online store - lot of expensive / high end stuff but also good deals on lower recievers, parts, accessories, and built ARs. Pleasant website layout so worth browsing for ideas if nothing else. Sell affordable slings. Sig Sauer- 75% +/- US made, reactionary "US anthem" anti-kneel BS commemorative models but fairly tame jingoism in context Ruger - Excellent guns including the classic 10/22 and various other models, some have US components and assembly, well-regarded starter AR-15, major NRA donor (interestingly and ironically the late Rugar was outspoken about magazine limitations) Glock - Universally know and solid handgun maker, USA distro / service is well regarded. Gaston Glock allegedly a right-wing donor in Austria but from his coffer. Note: Polymer80 guns are an option for anyone wanting to build their own Glock style handgun. LaRue Tactical - Expensive but well-regarded and established, their triggers (MBT-2S esp.) are well touted and affordable ($80) upgrades over milspec; FYI they send gimmicky overt right-wing bumper stickers with orders and the owner is cozy with right-wing and GOP leaders. Geissele makes well regarded triggers and parts but owner is allegedly tyrannical, work environment is rough and has high turnover. BCG options: Toolcraft and Cryptic Coatings offer affordable options and appear fairly apolitical. Primary Arms - Affordable scope options, some stereotypical law enforcement pandering but that's the case with most peers. Daniel Defense - Update: previously reputable and touted brand but according to this previous indication of good worker environment are unfortunately obsolete. QC is allegedly slipping and ownership attitude has become negative and toxic. On the flipside recent buyers report satisfactory quality and originally I had read the work environment was unusually inclusive. Maybe opt for different high end brand? Jury's out TBH. Still likely a solid choice quality wise but keep an eye out for them. Springfield Armory / Rock River Arms- Decent but FYI some shady legislative lobbying efforts heads via this post disregard, they've since left IFMA Sons of Liberty Gun Works - Tip off here about one of it's owners, Mike Mihalski, being unhinged in the past - assaulting his mother and numerous threats against cops actually doing their job that were then brushed off by law enforcement superiors he was friendly with, DUIs and public intoxication at a hotel while armed (albeit he cooperated) Update: Mike has apparently been sober and straight for awhile, more a disclaimer to be aware of. It's otherwise a solid manufacturer akin to other mil-spec AR makers. Trijicon - continues practice of subtle but cringe-y bible verses inscribed on products that spurred a military contract controversy, actually well-regarded optics though arguably getting too expensive compared to alternative options Del-Ton - PSA alternative and alternative to cheap "iffy brands" with more notorious QC issues - def more entry-level and milspec but generally good reviews - consider if budget is a major factor Radical (see more below) - Allegedly better but QC issues in the past...(see details below) Ammo Supply Warehouse - good selection, pricing and service but FYI their logo on their main page has fucking SS totenkopfs on it. That said the also obliged a customer request to sing the Soviet anthem while packing their order, so perhaps they use the iconography naively and flippantly and not as a dogwhistle. Palmetto State Armory (see more below) - *Only listed because of historically affordable parts, products, and supplies, though this is arguable. Hit or miss customer service, including customer info leaks and inadvertent doxxing customers. Most notably one of the worst offenders in cranking out right-wing and jingoist bullshit ~ MAGA drooling, ID politics crap, etc. More on this under "Reconsider" List Others...Many, many others out there but like anything else you can easily drop a lot of money seeking out "the best," >>> mediocre rifle in the hands of a qualified shooter is a better than a high-end rifle in the hands of a inexperienced shooter. /// American Made not yet mentioned: Mossberg - Factories in Connecticut and Texas. Not sure 100% if MMR is US made. At least one model is Turkish made (SA20), and the Maverick 88 has Mexican made parts that are assembled in Eagle Pass, TX. IMHO the best pump action shotgun catalog to choose from, the Maverick 88 along with the H&R Pardner or Savage 320 are solid budget pump actions. American made brands (non-AR-15)>>> Thompson/Center, Henry (some expensive MAGA nonsense FYI), Marlin, Ithaca, Kimber, Beretta (some models) /// Reconsider / Possibly Avoid: To re-emphasize no shame if you own or bought the below and the "line in the sand" is very arguable, but these, especially if pricing is not as much of an issues, these can be easily opted out of in your AR-15 procurement and builds. Palmetto State Armory - Mentioned again because easily the most debated manufacturer. Numerous examples of racist and fascist etched lowers aside I agree with the sentiment that their motivation is capitalism above all else and not so much right-wing worship although those pair well together. Case in point - they cancelled their planned Kekistan lower due to backlash, i.e. didn't double-down nor apologize but reaffirmed business first. They also sell some self-deprecating, humorous and more apolitical lower engraved options. Beyond this crap they have also had customer service hiccups including personal info leaks. Your call. Last ditch option for me personally but I wouldn't completely rule them out either especially as parts and new guns are increasingly expensive and hard to acquire. To sum up I rather a comrade have half a dozen of these than some sole spiffy new gucci AR-15. Bushmaster - Quality has been criticized by many, Windham broke off to establish better quality gun line and ultimately they closed shop this year. Avoid any you might find out there post-2007. Anderson - Popular but notoriously entry level choice (hence the "poverty pony" nickname) but bootlicking MAGA bullshit so honestly it's pointless to tout over Aero Precision, PSA, or MSF. Tennessee Arms - Mixed feedback about their polymer lowers, gloated over Infowars showout/endorsement, dumb (like okbuddyretard level) memes on FB Enoch Industries - 10/22 Takedown parts and custom builder, some quintessential grey area Odin/Pagan stuff that could be harmless warrior aesthetic stuff or a dog whistle. Esstac - Solid and affordable pouch and other accessory maker including shotgun cards I rec, that said they came out as Kenosha shooter stans Classic Firearms - Used auction site/seller. Not politically iffy, just often overpriced and waste of time to browse, use gunbroker.com or even cautiously use armslist instead [edit: to clarify "waste of time" for anyone looking for pragmatic deals to skim, not niche stuff to collect.] Kel Tec - This one is tricky, the off very affordable non-AR-15 9mm carbines - same working class price niche as High-Point - but just FYI they've had cozy PR with George Zimmerman in the past H&S Precision - Hired Ruby Ridge FBI participant Lon Horiuchi in the past Cheaperthandirt - Tread carefully even if you see a deal - plethora of complaints about service, pricing, turnaround, etc. Check with other options first. Note on foreign manufacturers (IWI, Canik) - This another debate point that leads to a lot gray area and arbitrary claims whether it's regarding companies based in countries with authoritarian governments, human rights abuses, war profiteering, etc. One could argue that applies to all American makes. When it comes to state made guns most state owned firearms companies of the past either have been privatized (like IWI in Israel) or are not legally importable in the U.S. (Norinco in China, various Russian companies). Ironically while the U.S. bans certain Chinese guns many U.S. manufacturers rely heavily on Chinese plants and parts. The general reality is most non-American and non-Western manufacturers are part of multinational conglomerates or distribution networks, as is the case with many Turkish guns like Canik. History ebbs and flows too, a 60s/70s era Galil is different case than a new Tavor in terms culpability, South African guns now are less arguably problematic than apartheid era stuff. Overall, it's up to you. /// Companies with noted QC issues: Radical Arms - Issues in the past but reportedly the QC is improving so could be a potential budget option and arguably the best of the iffy makes. Your call. Bear Creek Arsenal - Formerly Moore's Machine. People have touted BCA as an effective and reliable budget rifles but their QC seems risky, others have had major issues. Apparently they have a good warranty option though so there's that as an option. Anderson - See above. Stripped lowers are probably a-ok. DPMS / Bushmaster - Easy avoid, dead as of Jan 2020 - another post Freedom Group brand that declined after 2007 as mentioned above - mixed reviews but needless consideration considering so many other options in the NOS and used market. Vulcan/Hesse/Blackthorne - Easy avoid, multiple name changes and near universal dismissal or negative reviews. /// Avoid if you can in the future: Blackwater Worldwide / Iron Horse - Invested, touted, and overtly marketed by longtime mercenary, grifter, and war criminal and profiteer Erik Prince, the poster child of the present day world military industrial complex. Collaborated with Spike's Tactical (see below). Formerly Iron Horse Guns and original company unchanged product wise but they're-branded as Blackwater Worldwide in exchange for Prince's investment. At least they are honest and transparent about it I guess. Spikes Tactical - Hysterical anti-antifa (i.e. fascist lol) CHUD to the max, many note iffy / overrated products compared to peers - don't sweat it if you have one but ditch this option in the future and spend your money elsewhere. Fenix Ammunition - anti-Antifa hysteria and with a boog angle too boot DS Arms - Overt Rhodesia glorifying, not just camo fetishism Griffin Armament - "Front Towards Arabs" engraved suppressors, lazy racist shit (notice it isn't ISIS) compared to the more snarky "infidel" dust covers and decals Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance (thanks u/Oldskoolguitar) - Literally run by major cult (Moonies) i.e. the Unification movement Apparently Kahr is crappy anyway but Auto-Ordnance makes 1911, M1, and Thompson replicas so seek other options for those models (mispelled earlier, meant Kahr, not Khar) Smith Enterprises - SS iconography sold, i.e. actual Nazi stuff not the Iron Cross aesthetics T-Rex Arms - Quiverfall membersmore on that group here and Lucas has posted cheap homophobic crap. (thanks u/eyetracker) Troy Industries - Apparently tits up but backlash for hiring Dale Monroe - i.e. FBI veteran and Ruby Ridge participant DesertTech - Owner is fringe Mormon sect member with racist views Non-AR makers/businesses to avoid... (Sourced from Something Awful thread above) DE Guns - Neo-Nazi ties Glockstore - White Supremacist organization ties LGBT Gun Rights (facebook and twitter) - faux progressive social media run by Neo-Nazi, do not join either as they are aiming to misinform and glean info on progressive and leftist gun owners ^ these are the tip of the iceberg TBH. There are likely problematic owners of stores and companies who will never be outed. Always look out to avoid local gun stores, distros, and individual sellers with bigoted and fascist sentiments and/or scammers - this kind of trash has always been the nasty underbelly of gun culture. Def be subtle and unassuming IRL while shopping - be cautious and tactful in interactions. Alternatives include more apolitical / hunting and hobby oriented stores like Bass Pro/Cabelas, Academy, Dick's, Big 5, etc. Love it or hate some Walmarts often have good deals. There are plenty of individuals, stores, and companies that are politically more conservative or libertarian but well-meaning and honest and worth patronage, i.e. you can hold to your ideology without limiting yourself to strict arbitrary choices as a customer. Try to embrace the shared sentiment of gun ownership as a right and launching point to reaffirm that owning firearms is an universal and inclusive right for personal and community self-defense. Opportunity to praxis is likely rare, but it might emerge. /// YT personas to stop subscribing from - IV8888, Brandon Herrera, CRSFirearms, etc. (there's a shitload TBH, feel free to tell me others to avoid) - Most are coming as bootlickers in recent times (not a shock), and if a YT channel isn't focused on guns over right-wing edgelord bullshit move on. For leftist/liberal/non-right wing content check out Forgotten Weapons, InRangeTV, Tacticool Girlfriend, Armed Margins, thegunpenguin, Beau of The Fifth Column, Sapper Gentleman, and DeviantOllam has a few. More apolitical and great content but likely right-wing and/or hinted such sentiments: Honest Outlaw (no idea, he plugs a local food shelter and is seemingly apolitical), Hickok45 (arguably the nicest and least pretentious YT gun personality, old timer who is passionate about sharing knowledge with others), Luckygunner, #itsonyou, 32icon, Katharina Vikør, C&R Aresnal, Rob Ski, 9-Hole Reviews, 22plinkster, Paul Harrell, Garand Thumb, gunthots, mixup98, Demolition Ranch. Wild card is Yankee Marshall - bit of a nutter but he's sincerely unabashedly pro-2A / anti-NRA and shit stirrer in away that's amusing. To his credit - although it was likely a weird fluke - he lost a bunch of subscribers for calling Garrett Foster a patriotic veteran. List of POC youtubers here - Colion Noir is probably the best known black gun YT persona, unabashedly pro-2A, like Hickok45 dropped his NRA affiliation fairly recently; the did so both over disagreements in their budget spending and ad agency contracts respectively. /// Editorial / Op-ed from original AR Build Spreadsheet Some advice and food for thought regarding reconciling ideology with present day gun enthusiasm: If you are a liberal, progress, moderate, etc. who has come into gun ownership more recently, or has been reckoning with shifts in gun laws and gun culture in the U.S. over the last few decades, than you've likely managed to cut through the noise surrounding the debate, discussion, and frequently knee-jerk hysteria that surrounds semi-automatic rifles and the AR-15 platform. Now you're probably navigating the persistent injection of right-wing identity politics via stamped receivers, accessories and apparel with cheap shock value and superficial pandering, tacticool veering into authoritarian fetishism, tribal jingoism, etc. You've pushed aside misguided liberal identity politics that mis-characterize and attack gun enthusiasm only to have it's reactionary core shoved in your face. It can easily be reconciled with a concept you've likely seen: “There is no ethical consumption under capitalism.” It's been overused and even widely applied in dubious scenarios but I'd argue it's highly relevant when it comes to buying any new firearm or firearm component. All that aside it's still perfectly reasonable to not inadvertently throw your hard-earned cash at bootlicking goons, so when it comes to manufacturers this list should at least help you navigate and plan your purchases armed with information and awareness. If anything, supporting more apolitical and progressive manufacturers who aim to focus first and foremost on making quality firearms for all should be spurred on, not stymied. If you're a leftist of any variety and interested in AR-15s you are likely already past the idea of committing to firearms that seemingly align with your views - AKs, milsurp SKS, Mosins, anything from cold war era socialist or communist states, etc. You've likely realized the last era of true Nazi-eliminator rifles are now 75+ years old. Futile seeking out new firearms and parts from non-capitalist states in 2020 will only reinforce this sincere but arbitrary hill to die on. A more pragmatic approach some make is to focus on buying only used firearms and parts already in circulation but this could still involve the financial patronage to a distributor, store, or individual of bad character. On a personal tangent, I first warmed back up to the idea of owning a semi-automatic that wasn't an AR-15 either by following the same arbitrary classification that deems a used M-14 or old M-1 carbine a better choice, but beyond classic value and aesthetics they are in the same niche. Even though defenders of the AR-15 sometimes veer into obnoxious and flippant ackchyually territory, especially after tragic gun massacres, they are often technically correct. The blunt fact is the AR-15 platform is fundamentally as legal as other semi-automatic rifles. It's popular for that reason and that's why it has so many fans, defenders, and apologists in so many forms. When it comes to broader ideas of firearm ownership in relation to one's ideology, something I reflect on often is the fact that history has always involved the oppressed using the weapons of their oppressors both past and present. It's a moot point what the firearm is, it is a tool that reflects the individual who wields it. A rifle in the hands of a fascist is a fascist rifle andlikewise a rifle in the hands of a socialist is a socialist rifle. To further make the case for the AR-15 many have made in some variation is that it is the present day rifle of the proletariat, the M1 Garand or PPSh-41 of it's time. When it comes to affirming your support for gun ownership, advocate for more widespread gun education, training, and positive and inclusive gun culture. Put lawmakers to task for pushing gun regulations that discourage law-abiding citizens - especially lower income citizens and people of color - from lawful ownership of guns. Support instead substantive reform and funding of mental health resources, de-militarizing law enforcement, and ending gun lobbying that side steps gun owners to only further corruption and complicity. If those who wish to do you harm are armed and will likely always be armed, there's no point in handicapping yourself or your peers. Buying or building an AR-15 is an exercise of one's 2nd amendment right. For those outside of the U.S., and to all lawful and well-meaning comrades, arm yourself however you can legally and responsibly. Marx put it more bluntly in 1850 than the 2A's far more nuanced wording and arduous historical establishment: “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary” Lastly, above all else, with tensions rising and outright violence being perpetuated by the far right, it is more imperative than ever simply to arm oneself as quickly, effectively, and safely as possible, regardless of the manufacturers, stores, and distros involved. A well made affordable gun you can acquire ASAP is a lot more imperative than your ideal build/choice. This is a guide not a plea. It's better to be armed with a gun from the "avoid" list today than to wait around for some ideologically preferable firearm weeks or months from now.
Source: https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/49612 This week at Bungie, we’re summoning some ghosts. Next week, we’re getting spooky up in the Tower again. Festival of the Lost returns on October 6 for more fright-filled fun. This year’s festival is going to rock! Video Link Check out our Festival of the Lost 2020 page for a quick look at what to expect during this year’s event. Eva Levante, or as you all affectionately call her “Space Grandma,” has returned to the Tower to lead Guardians in a celebration of those we’ve lost. We miss you, Cayde. The Haunted Forest is back and filled with ghoulish enemies. This year, we’ve added five chests to the end of the activity for five times the loot! Image Linkimgur To open the chests, you are going to need some Cipher Decoders. Talk to Spider to get started and then they will drop from playing any of your favorite activities across the solar system - similar to Umbral Engrams. Braytech Werewolf and Horror Story will both be rewarded from these chests and each have new perk combinations to hunt for. You’ve probably been hearing this a lot lately, but it goes double for Festival of the Lost: don’t forget to put on your mask. There are new masks available this year as well as some favorites from the past. Eva has a Masquerader Helmet which you can apply your masks to as ornaments before you head out in the world to start stockpiling candy. The mask mods for the Haunted Forest also return from last year’s event. Image Linkimgur Before we wrap up the event on November 3, you are going to want to complete three of the Triumphs for opening chests in the Haunted Forest. Once you finish off the required Triumphs you will be able to trade in some of your candy for a mummified Exotic Sparrow, ship, and Ghost. Image Linkimgur Image Linkimgur Image Linkimgur Finishing the “Wrapped and Ready” Triumph required to get the Exotic Ghost also unlocks the ability to purchase the Restless Shell Ghost pin through Bungie Rewards. Speaking of Bungie Rewards, we also have a terrifying new emblem available for free if you finish the initial quest during Festival of the Lost. Image Linkimgur That’s the gist of it, but here are a few quick notes that may answer some questions you have:
Minimum Power to enter the Haunted Forest is 750.
You can hold up to 25 Cipher Decoders before you need to go open some chests in the Haunted Forest.
There will be both earnable masks and masks available for SilveBright Dust.
Any Triumphs involving masks do not require masks from Eververse.
Bounties will return from last year and will once again offer Bright Dust.
All-new Eververse items will be available for both Silver and Bright Dust except for the “One-Inch Punch” finisher which will be available for Silver.
The toothbrush is still just a toothbrush.
It seems like 2020 has been one disaster after another. It’s easy to get discouraged when times get tough, but the Destiny community always comes together to support those in need. Here in the United States, more than 500,000 people having been evacuated from their homes across California, Oregon, and Washington, entire towns devoured by flames, and there has been a serious impact on the respiratory health of millions of individuals in and around these areas. The Bungie Foundation is once again supporting the relief efforts of Direct Relief to provide N-95 masks, medicine, and other resources to healthcare agencies and first responders in wildfire-affected communities across California, Oregon, and Washington. All profits from the sale of the Empathetic Ghost Shell pin from October 1 until October 15 will benefit Direct Relief’s wildfire relief efforts. If you purchase an Empathetic Ghost Shell pin you will also instantly receive a code for the “Benevolent Hue” emblem as a thank you for your support. Image Linkimgur Thank you all for continuing to step up to every challenge that this year has sent our way and for truly being the most generous and caring gaming community there is. Double Ordeal Festival of the Lost is not the only reason to log in next week. Double rewards in Nightfall: The Ordeal is back! Grab a few friends or meet some new ones in the matchmade difficulties. It’s a great time to stock up on Enhancement Prisms and Ascendant Shards for your Masterworking needs as well as to grab any missing Exotics or upgrade to a better stat roll. The strike will be “A Garden World” so watch out for those killer robots.
PSR BUT IT’S HAUNTED
Image Linkimgur Now we turn things over to our Player Support team with the latest on known issues. This is their report.
Festival of the Lost
Festival of the Lost 2020 is set to begin on October 6, and will conclude at the weekly reset on November 3. Players can view our updated Festival of the Lost Guide for information on event specific activities, rewards, and triumphs. During the event, players may encounter the following issues:
Inspecting a Cipher Decoder will incorrectly display Masterworked versions of the Braytech Werewolf and Horror Story auto rifles as potential Haunted Forest Cache drops.
The Wrapped and Ready Festival of the Lost Triumph refers to the Restless Shell as the mummy Ghost, when it should be called the Festival of the Lost Ghost.
The lower half of the Warlock Blood Lineage Robes Universal Armor Ornament will experience a visual texture error at the launch of Beyond Light. This issue will be resolved in a patch soon after release.
Players who observe issues during the event should report to our #Help forum.
While we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help Forum:
Players using the feminine character model may see gaps between the neck of Hunter cloaks and certain chest pieces.
The Artifact is sometimes enabled in Iron Banner.
Bounties/progress is sometimes not counted in Iron Banner.
For a full list of emergent issues in Destiny 2, players can review our Known Issues article. Players who observe other issues should report them to our #Help forum.
Image Linkimgur Let’s take a quick look at some of the best community-created movies we saw surfing the web this week. Do people still say that? “Surfing the web?” or is that a relic from the early 2000s? Anyways, here’s “Wonderwall.” Movie of the Week: The Fast Find a Way Video Link Honorable Mention: Smashing Video Link Did you win? Congrats! Now please make sure you have your Bungie.net profile in the description of you video so we can get you your emblem. I love this time of year. Any time it’s socially acceptable to put on a costume and eat sweets until you get a stomachache is a good time. It’s extra fun if you have kids/pets to dress up. Can’t wait to also start dressing up my Hunter next week as well. I’m going to make him look so hideous that it gives Dmg a stomachache. <3 Cozmo
A Deep Dive into Nikola's FCEV Design and Price Model
Hey everyone. I'm a mechanical engineering student with a hobby interest in finance. I've spent the last few days figuring out if Nikola's leasing model is actually possible. There's some really wacky stuff going on in Nikola's presentations and financial projections, and I wanted to share my findings. This is an absolute wall of words, and I wouldn't be offended if you didn't want to read it all. In the first half, I try to tease out the cost per mile of an actual Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) given the specification Nikola lists. Next there is a portion where I look at the discrepancies between their Financial Projections and their Lease breakdown. Then a quick little peanut gallery where I look at their unrealistic assumptions and the hypocrisy of their comparisons. Finally, a more serious portion where I discuss the design, efficiency, and utility implications of Nikola's chosen power output and battery capacity. Hope you guys enjoy! Let's get started: Nikola claims that they have the industry first holistic leasing program, including maintenance, fuel, and use of the vehicle. They plan on leasing for $.95 per mile @ 30% margin. This implies an expense of $.73 $.67 per mile to Nikola. Hydrogen costs: According to the DoE, it currently costs $5.10/kg to produce, compress, and dispense hydrogen. Nikola claims they can do this for $2.47/kg. I highly doubt their estimate, and will elaborate on that later. Hydrogen has a specific energy 33.3 kWh/kg. A Fuel cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) has an average thermal efficiency of 55%. A diesel semi tractor, which easily compares to Nikola’s offerings, consumes about 1.25 kWh of work per km (or 2.125 per mile) of useful work loaded. This implies the Nikola truck will use 3.86 kWh of hydrogen per mile, at a cost of $0.59 per mile, or $.29 using their estimates. The DoE estimate could be pretty rosy as well, Hindenburg cited a practical price of $16 per kg for hydrogen in their report. Nikola’s estimate in the leasing breakdown is 7.5 miles per kg of hydrogen @ $2.47 per kg. That works out to $.33/mile. Our estimates are pretty close, excluding hydrogen costs. It looks like, in a surprising twist, they actually overestimated the energy consumption of a tractor. Or maybe not. We’ll get to that ICCT Tractor-Trailer Fuel Consumption: https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/EU_HDV_Testing_BriefingPaper_20180515a.pdf Why do I doubt their hydrogen cost estimates? $2.5 per kg implies $.075 per kWh of hydrogen produced The average price for Industrial electricity in Arizona, the state they are headquartered in, was $.068/kWh, some of the cheapest in the US. Of course, there isn’t a 1:1 conversion of electricity to hydrogen: an electrolyzer uses about 50 kWh per kg of hydrogen ( specific energy of 33.3kWh/kg), making the electricity expense alone in excess of $.10 per kWh of hydrogen. Electricity must also be used to compress the hydrogen. This would take another ~4 kWh, though we’re already over budget. God forbid they use California electricity at an average cost of $.15 per kWh. The electricity expense for the Electrolyzers alone exceeds their estimates, much less depreciation expense, cost of capital, maintenance expense, salary expense, etc. Clearly a bogus number. I suppose they can use renewable excess during off-hours for cheap, but the rapidly decreasing costs of energy storage will likely level out those low prices rather quickly. This also only works in Arizona and a select few other states; California not included. There is the issue of a startup paying to build huge electrolyzers that might have a utilization factor of ~30%, and additional high pressure storage will be needed. The abhorrent upfront capex needed to try and drive down operating costs is not viable for them. EIA electricity prices nationwide: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_3 NREL H2 cost analysis from 2011. This is just about the most recent research I can find. The abject lack of new material tells me it’s not exactly a hoppin’ field: https://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/production-cost-analysis.html#fn3 Fuel Cell costs: Part of the reason there are currently so few FCVs on the road today is the limited service life of a fuel cell. Fuel cells are precision manufactured components that degrade quickly when jostled & vibrated too violently. This is not good when combined with the rock-hard suspensions of semi tractors. The DoE targets a useful life of 150,000 miles for a fuel cell. Currently, there is no information confirming this target has been met. A Toyota Murai comes with a 100,000 mile warranty on its FC. For the sake of argument, I will assume Nikola FCs can meet this target. The DoE targets a cost of $40/kW for fuel cell production in 2020, provided mass hits 500,000. This hasn’t happened yet, but I will again assume this to give Nikola the best chance. As an aside: Nikola’s decision to use exclusively GM FC technology in their Badger pickup indicates to me they have nothing “up their sleeve” to make the technology more viable, despite my optimistic assumptions. I’ll assume the Nikola Two’s Fuel cell is 500 kW, less than the 750 kW claimed output. I think it likely their horsepower claim will be a peak power figure only achievable when the motors draw on the battery & FC. I cannot confirm this, because Nikola does not list the output of their motors and FC separately (along with myriad other questionable, or lack of, claims). I think this is reasonable, considering FC thermal efficiency is maximized between 20% and 30% load, and a semi will average ~90 kW of useful work required on the highway, translating to ~170 kW of FC usage. This is near the peak efficiency band of a PEMFC. This assumption also allows steady-state operation at 66% of the “rated” output. This implies an upfront cost of $20,000. A targeted useful life of 150,000 miles implies a depreciation expense of $.13 per mile. NREL Stack Durability and Performance vs load chart: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy19osti/73011.pdf Battery costs: Using BNEF 2023 battery cost estimates of $100/kWh, that equates to $25,000 of battery expense. Assuming a useful life of .25M miles, more than any existing warranty currently covers, that results in a depreciation expense of $.125 per mile. Chassis and the rest: Lastly, I extrapolated an FCEV COGS of $175,000 per truck from their Financial projections, minus the $45,000 of equipment already listed, and a 15% scrap value I pulled out of my ass to try and help nikola here, leaves $104,000 depreciated over 700k miles, or a $.15 depreciation expense per mile. Maintenance costs: Nikola assumed a $.061/mile maintenance cost. Any engineer should be able to see such a claim and immediately question it. Tires alone should account for $.03 per mile. That leaves…. $.031 for brakes, air lines, HVAC, wiring, electrical equipment, motors, inverters, those battery and FC expenses I already calculated, sensors, etc. They make no additional provisions for the battery/FC in their leasing breakdown. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. The ICCT puts BEV per mile maintenance at ~$.19/mile. How they squeezed 70% of those costs out, as an unproven startup, by going for a more complex FC-BEV hybrid is beyond me. Cost of trucking: https://www.thetruckersreport.com/infographics/cost-of-trucking/ Nikola Leasing cost breakdown, p19: https://d32st474bx6q5f.cloudfront.net/nikolamotouploads/investopresentation/presentation_file/5/NikolaInvestorRoadShowPresentation042720.pdf Leasing Conclusions: Adding their laughably low per mile maintenance expense of .061 + .15 + .125 + .13 +.59 gives us an aggregate $1.06 per mile expense for Nikola. Using their fuel expense estimate of $.29, this equates to $.76; still more than their projected gross expenses. The first estimate is 50% over they need for their claimed 30% gross margin at $.95 per mile. Note: I used a projected battery expense, projected FC service life target, and projected FC production expense. None of these have been met. I used the average resitive forces acting on a US tractor-trailer, which appear to be lower than the number Nikola uses. I did not include warranty expenses in my estimate. Additionally, these are EXPENSES, and includes 0 profit for the suppliers of these parts. The GM-Nikola deal clearly shows there will be little vertical integration in their production, and such allowances would have to be made. A more reasonable estimate, including a still optimistic 3% interest expense for truck capex, a .4% annual warranty expense (corresponding to their presented 3% estimated reserve). That reserve, btw, is very optimistic: Tesla used a higher reserve on the S for years, while building a simpler product with a warranty length/distance a literal order of magnitude lower than the Nikola truck. A *STILL* low maintenance expense of $.12, and a 10% margin for battery & FC production, we end up with an $.92 per mile expense, or more than Nikola can afford, even when using their untenable $2.5 per kg hydrogen estimate. This is before G&A expenses. Their leasing business model is not possible. Lease Projections v. Income Projections: Internal Chaos or Outright Fraud? It’s possible some of the folks at Nikola have already found those problems out, though. Nikola says they have plans to Lease their trucks. They’ve had presentation slides including the idea, and their truck descriptions on their website include a leasing plan. In their most recent presentation at the DB Global Auto Industry Conference in June, however, the Leasing cost breakdown slide was conspicuously missing. Their Financial projections slide showed 2,000 FCEV trucks being produced in 2023, and 470 million in revenue from FCEV sales. This represents $235,000 per truck, and their FCEV revenue scales exactly linearly into their 2024 projected sales; no room for residual from the 2023 trucks. They’re projecting to sell them! Revenue from maintenance and Hydrogen sales are also listed separately. Their Financial projections clearly show the upfront sale of trucks with additional Hydrogen fueling and maintenance revenue, and the leasing model slide has disappeared. It’s easy to see why. Their projected combined expenses and capex exceeds $7.5 billion through 2024, significantly more than their current $1 Billion in assets and a couple of lease payments would allow for. This would take some intense share dilution (not something I think Trevor would be on board with) or extremely expensive leverage. It’s not like they’re going to get cheap loans secured against their proprietary trucks, requiring their proprietary stations, to run only their customers’ preset routes. A bank wouldn’t want that kind of collateral. The leasing idea is a real mess. Nikla DB presentation, projections are 2nd to last page: https://d32st474bx6q5f.cloudfront.net/nikolamotouploads/investopresentation/presentation_file/7/Nikola_and_VectoIQ_Conference_Presentation_DB_Global_Auto_Conference__6.10.2020_.pdf One can claim that the lease model is still in the description of the trucks, but so are battery and fuel cell specifications for the Nikola one. The Nikola one was, ostensibly, never actually powered by hydrogen, and development has since been abandoned. It looks like their leasing Idea may have been abandoned as well. I’ll also point out that an expected 2024 FCEV maintenance revenue of 56 million on 7000 trucks sold, assuming an average of 50,000 miles per truck sold in 2024 (the average mileage if the trucks are sold at a constant rate through the FY) and 100,000 per truck in 2023, equates to 12.4 cents per mile, more than double the $.061 projected maintenance costs in the april lease presentation. Either they plan on making a killing from maintenance, or there was some aggressive re-shuffling of numbers when maintenance went from an expense to revenue stream, or vice versa. The same analysis of hydrogen expenses puts their per kg revenue at $4.08. Still low, but a hefty sum above their $2.47 cost average on the leasing slide. If we use their projected FCEV maintenance revenue of $.124, $4.08 per kg H2 revenue, and $235,000 truck price depreciated over 7 years w/no interest expense, the cost of ownership, according to their income projections, is $1 per mile for a 100,000 mile year. More than they say a diesel will cost. OOPS! That’s most of what I wanted to talk about. It’s pretty clear that Nikola cannot possibly make a profit with their lease model, and Nikola’s finance department has indirectly acknowledged this. Hydrogen tech is still many, many years away. Nikola’s move fast and break things approach (though I’m not convinced we’ve seen much moving outside of gravity assists) will end up a “move fast and bankrupt things” strategy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I now want to take a few moments to look at some of the sillier things I found in my research: In a laughably exuberant turn of events, Nikola projects 25% gross margins during their first year of production. That’s downright cute! They plan on, ostensibly, slapping GM FCs & batteries on IVECO platforms, and beating the margins of all publicly traded auto companies sans Ferrari within a few months of production start. It's that easy. Get your shit together, Ford! On Nikola’s website under their trucks, they have a comparison of FCs, BEVs, and Diesel where they seem to forget their trucks have hundreds of kWhs of battery storage onboard. They claim “Hydrogen acts as a buffer and grid balance,” while “batteries are a drain on the grid.” You heard it hear first, folks, batteries can’t be used as a grid buffer, only a grid drain. They also claim H2 is the “most abundant element on the planet,” while “Batteries [are] made of non-renewable resources; dangerous/costly to mine.” Makes me wonder why they chose to put so many on their trucks. Also hilariously hypocritical, considering Platinum -required for PEMFCs- is one of the rarest metals on earth. Design considerations and odd choices: I want to take a moment to talk about chassis design and the implications of Nikola’s set power parameters. And I want to start with a quote from Elon Musk during the Tesla Semi reveal: “We designed the Tesla truck like a bullet,” Musk said. “A normal diesel truck is designed like a barn wall.” The Tesla Semi is more aerodynamic than a $2 million Bugatti Chiron sports car, he said. A bold claim, but I believe this to be correct. Cheesy, but correct. Why? Cooling requirements. The more cooling air you need, the less favorable aerodynamics you’ll have. In the simple representation of an engine, there is a fuel input, a work output, and a heat output. A gas engine -especially one not designed with fuel efficiency in mind like the Chiron’s- will likely only output ~20-25% of its fuel input as a work output. The Chiron makes 1,500 hp, and needs to reject 4,500-6,000 hp of heat at full throttle. The goal of a Chiron isn’t to slip through the air, au contraire. It’s designed suck in as much air as possible for cooling and brute it’s way to 270 mph through raw horsepower. Most modern sedans have more favorable aerodynamics than a Bugatti. On the other hand, about 90% of the inputs from an EV charger make it to the wheels -- a major factor that makes EVs so efficient. This means Elon can put, for example, 1000 hp of motors in his truck and only worry about rejecting 100 hp of heat at full load, an easy task. That’s less cooling than a Prius needs, and the truck can be designed with virtually zero air input constraints. He can swing his “3x the acceleration” dick around, and the only tradeoff is beefier driveline bits for the extra torque and bigger motors. C_D lists on wikipedia: Note almost every production car below Cd=.24 is either a small displacement diesel or electric. No supercars in sight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficient The Chiron’s standard Cd is .38. A 1995 ford windstar minivan has a standard Cd of .35. Not exactly a prestigious club, haha: https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a32329/these-rare-development-photos-tell-the-full-bugatti-chiron-story/ Hydrogen is a different story. The thermal efficiency of a FCEV -above 50% load- will dip down into the 40-50% range. The average efficiency of a diesel truck is ~45%, and it will dip to ~35% at max rpm, full load. ‘Ever seen the video where Trevor says the production trucks won’t need as much cooling as their current prototypes? He’s lying through his teeth. A 1000 hp FC would need more than 1000 hp of cooling; as much if not more than a 500hp diesel. It's also important to note that less heat is lost in exhaust from a PEMFC, and lower operating temps mean that actual cooling airflow required is significantly more than an equivalent diesel would require. 500 hp diesels are already built like a brick with a front aftercooler & radiator the size of a football field. Trevor’s dick swinging has major consequences. More cooling means more drag, more weight in heat sinks/radiators, and more power draw to move coolant. These all create positive feedback loops, e.g. more air requirements mean less favorable aerodynamics & more drag, which means more power draw at speed, which means more cooling, which means more air requirements... It’s not all fun and games like the pure BEV Tesla is making. Daimler’s recently announced H2 semi offering only has 300 kW, and they can recycle their waste heat to warm up incoming liquid hydrogen, Nikola uses compressed hydrogen and won’t have the same luxury. Running so much horsepower is a real head scratcher; one would think their head of R&D’s only experience was pouring concrete or something. It’s also important to note US tractor-trailers are hard capped at 80,000 lbs. This means that every pound of tractor weight is a pound taken from potential cargo. Y’know… the part that actually makes money. One has to wonder why Nikola is keeping ~5000 lbs of batteries on the tractor; their website showed they aren’t fans of the stuff. It’s enough to run a loaded tractor two full hours on battery alone, more than a regenerative braking system would require or power peaking during a hill climb. It’s dumb; 100 kWh would be more than enough when an on-demand primemover like a hydrogen cell is also onboard. It’s an expensive and opulent display to the vexation of customers, who would, in all likelihood, much prefer an extra 2 tons of cargo capacity. Features like 1000 hp and 250 kWh of battery appeal more to retail investors than trucking companies. Actual conclusion time: I think that I pretty conclusively showed that:
Nikola’s hydrogen cost projections are bogus. There isn’t even enough money there to pay for the electrolysis and compression, much less maintenance, depreciation, or labor.
Nikola’s leasing costs undercutting diesel is bogus. One can disprove that with their own financial projections, much less the real costs of FCs and H2 electrolysis.
Nikola’s plan to lease the trucks is totally divorced from reality, according to their own financial projections.
Nikola’s projected per mile operating & maintenance expenses are beyond indefensible.
A myriad of odd, marketing focused design choices limit the trucks on-road efficiency and utility to potential customers.
[USA - UT] [H] Massive pile of games, guides, accessories, collectibles, and more; great stuff for DS, 3DS, Dreamcast, GB, GameCube, N64, NES, PC, PS1/2/3, PSP, SNES, Wii, Wii U, Xbox OG/360/One [W] PayPal. All sales help raise money for a family member battling cancer.
HELLO ALL!!! I have returned to continue offloading my game collection in to raise money for a family member battling cancer. We already owe a huge thank you to the many amazing people in this sub; your purchases have been a tremendous help. Also want to extend a thank you to the mods that keep this place running. Selling here has been an amazing experience, circumstances notwithstanding. UPDATE FOR THE CURIOUS: my family member is doing very well thus far. One surgery down and the first round of chemo has been completed. It was utter hell during that time. We don't yet know if more chemo is required, but are optimistic it won't be necessary. A second surgery is planned, possibly in 2021, which may also need its own round of chemo afterward. For now we are just focused on recovery. PLEASE THOROUGHLY READ the item notes, if applicable. All games are CiB unless noted and all items are coming from a smoke-free home. I did my best to note any issues like missing content or damage. I can add photos for an item once interest is expressed, but please be patient as responding to comments and adding photos will take time. Ask any questions! I am even open for some trading as there are many titles my friends desire and will gladly purchase from me. ATTENTION MOBILE USERS: please follow the previous suggestion. The reddit mobile site should display all table columns. App users may need to horizontally scroll the tables to see all columns, including the price and notes. DO NOT SEND A MESSAGE WITHOUT FIRST COMMENTING. It's sub policy and is meant to protect all of us. Plus it helps me best respond to comments in order received. REGARDING PRICE: Per sub rules, I am required to list a price. However, I had so many items to catalog with limited time available each day for price research. I did my best to factor in the condition and rarity, but I am certain my pricing is off with many items. If you see anything that is severely oveunder priced, please let me know; I won’t consider it threadcrapping as long as you’re polite about it (though I have no control over how the mods feel). If you are interested in an item with a bad price, then please make an offer; I am sure we can agree on a price that will leave both parties happy. I’m here to help a family member, not run a business. REGARDING SHIPPING: Extended shipping times and delays are to be expected due to the current pandemic. Also, please indicate if you desire a faster shipping rate and/or insurance. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR PAYPAL ADDRESS. Ensure the address on your account matches the address you want items shipped to. Helps avoid shipping to the incorrect location. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE! Please let me know if you're no longer interested in something so it can go to the next interested party. If at least 24 hours have passed with no response then I may sell the items to someone else. I'm flexible and am willing to work with any reasonable requests as long as you openly communicate. My confirmed trade thread. Thank you all! Oh, and f*ck cancer.
Majora's Mask Limited Edition; CIB; 3DS is in mint condition and was only played once for a few minutes to try out Smash Bros; the box is torn on the back from someone attempting to steal it (long story), but the box is in fantastic shape on the front and sides; includes a universal USB charger that can also charge a DS Lite
Inside a replacement case as the original was cracked; the original case can be provided on request
Game Boy Color travel case with accessories
MadCatz; case has pockets to hold various accessories and 8 games; includes the transfer cable, screen magnifier (with light), joystick, speakers, and the comfort grip with rechargeable batteries (and its charger and splitter cable); not sure if the batteries are good after all these years, but ironically you cannot use the grip and the speakers at the same time and I definitely preferred the speakers.
Hyperkin Tomee; purchased brand new and only used for maybe an hour; I couldn't find my official ones at the time and needed them for a project; loose
NES game plastic clamshell protectors
Hard plastic cases to protect NES games; I believe these were officially produced by Nintendo in the 80's/90's; I have 5 blue, 2 white, 1 pink, and 2 purple in stock
Mike Tyson's Punch Out
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Bust a Move '99
Includes, game, box, and manual; box has creases from being flattened and some tears on the tabs; could be corrected by a patient collector with an iron; also includes a copy of the manual from the video rental store that used to own it; fun fact: Blockbuster was sued by Nintendo because they did the same thing, forcing them to create their own instruction manuals for game rentals
Includes game, box, manual, and Konami postcard; small crease on top of box; manual has some creases but they look like they could be ironed flat; cartridge is in great shape; this is the kind of shape you'd put into a plastic protector and display
Command & Conquer
Game and box only; cartridge is in good shape; box has creases from being flattened; could be corrected by a patient collector with an iron; fun fact: game has exclusive cutscenes and missions not included in the original PC version; those levels and scenes are being added to the upcoming remaster
Cartridge only; sticker on the back label and a scuff
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour
Includes game, box, manual; small crease on top of box; small inventory labels on the box that could be safely removed with the right cleaner; manual has some bent corners but they look like they could be ironed flat; cartridge is in great shape; overall condition: kicks ass and chews bubblegum; stick this one in a plastic protector for display
Includes game, box, and manual; box has tears, tape, and a sticker from the rental shop that used to own it; manual is in good shape; cartridge is in amazing shape
Includes the box, manual, and Game Boy transfer pak; box is in great shape, but has damage from when the sealing stickers were removed
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Cartridge only; back has a price label that could probably be removed with a little heat and the right cleaner
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Box and cartridge only; box has some creases but is in ready-to-display shape
The New Tetris
Includes box, game, manual, and other doc inserts; box has some scuffs and freys, but still good enough to put on display; one of the inner tabs is torn; cartridge is in great shape, but the front and back labels have stickers from the rental shop that owned it; labels could be removed with the right cleaners and patience, or left on as-is if you just wanna put this on display
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Cartridge only; has Blockbuster labels on the back and their engraving on the front
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