The kangaroo market is in effect, but I haven't done much trading.
I gained a little empirical info on bonds. Going in, I bought bonds expecting to collect dividends and then get the principal at maturity. Some of my purchases quickly gained value based on etrade's "last sale" figure. This got me curious, since cashing out for the 10% gain some of them showed wouldn't be a bad month's work. I hit the button to solicit offers and within hours got quotes for $2-3 above my purchase price (per share or whatever) where the last sale showed about $10. That's too low-ball for me. I can wait.
Bounty of Blood
I just finished the new Borderlands DLC with J; Bounty of Blood.
I really dig the style: a mash up between a western and Japanese art/architecture. The story features heavy narration that captures the style and tropes of westerns pretty well.
That font is awesome. Relative to other content, the style on this one is fairly low-key, but feels more like a new experience than a reskin of the core game.
The DLC introduces new mechanics that are unlocked throughout the story:
Jump pads (well, kind of new)
Exploding walls that hide map progression and secrets
Warp points that make moving around the map a bit different
Flora you can melee to send out caustic balls or charm enemies
Nothing revolutionary, but a good variation on the standard BL gameplay.
We blasted through the story in a couple of sittings - pretty much on par with what DLCs have been and should be. The narration makes it dense enough to feel substantive, the plot is unambitious - these are a welcome change from the core game and previous DLC. The high country vibe and lack of tie-ins with the rest of the BL3 plot/universe make the DLC feel more like the first game.
After apologizing for memeing too heavily in BL2, Gearbox are back at it.
Naturally, where a western might have horses and cows, Bounty of Blood has lizard creatures. All the western tropes receive an adaptation - miracle tonics, cattle rustlers, cowboy wisdom, posses - as well as some other well-placed references. If this one isn't obvious, check the image url.
The lolbaters are back to exploring Europa by submarine.
After trying a few subs, we were fairly happy with the Mauser IV. It has a rail gun, shuttle, lots of storage, and a decent layout. Still, I thought the design could be improved on.
I fired up the editor, not sure what to expect. It's a bit unrefined, but it's not hard to become proficient. While the game/editor is about building something in a sandbox, a lot of the visual aspects of the sub don't actually matter. E.g. compartments ("hulls") aren't defined by walls and floors, but rather by meta information you provide.
There are a lot of undocumented rules, shortcuts, and best practices. These videos covered them pretty well. While it's tedious to wire the core and ballast pumps to the con, it's neat to see how open-ended that makes designs.
Sub design appealed to the lego kid in me, so I dove in (so to speak).
Inevitably you quickly start making 'assemblies'. Every design component is as primitive as can be - e.g. a storage locker has a space for an emergency light bar and nothing inside. So it's a huge time saver to affix said light and fill the locker with supplies appropriate for the part of the ship (dive, medical, engineering, etc.). No doubt the Steam workshop has a lot of these available - either explicitly or via loading up someone else's sub.
Beyond simple shortcuts, what really gets the creative juices flowing is making the sub smart. That is, the game is a struggle against enemies and the elements, so there's massive opportunity for to give the crew a fighting chance through technology. In it's simplest form, this could be placing junction boxes near each other so the mechanic doesn't have to run all over the ship to keep the electricity flowing.
But in addition to combining physical stuff, Barotrauma supports Computer Engineering 101-style wiring. That is, doors have 'toggle_state', 'set_state', and 'state_out' breakouts that you can wire to buttons, motion sensors, flashing lights. Also available are integrated circuit primitives that allow things like logic to ensure airlock doors are in opposite states. With just a few more gates, you can have some pretty neat designs.
Batteries and supercapacitors don't need to pull 100% charge rate all the time, so with some logic and the 'set_charge' and 'charge_%' pins you can progressively back off the charging. Using a relay, you can ensure batteries don't discharge while your power core is operational.
My motion-triggered doors require manual activation if the water detector on the other side thinks you might get a faceful of Europan h2o.
A coilgun is nice, but when you sync two searchlights to it, tracking mudraptors is a much easier job. Divers also appreciate the extra light.
Manually triggering discharge coils typically requires visual confirmation of enemies and for the captain to be at the con. I wired up my zappers to trigger on proximity detection. This is particularly useful for those mudraptors that appear out of nowhere while in transit. The proximity sensor has an off switch for when divers might be nearby, although it's more fun to leave them enabled.
Integrating the physical and the electrical, a bilge chamber can be used to make airlock travel much faster. When the diver is ready to re-enter the sub, the airlock drains to the bilge and the interior door can open almost immediately.
Divinity is on pause while we do some shlooting, but I'm eager to get back.