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Comparative Review: John Danaher's Pin Escapes and Lachlan Giles' Fundamentals of BJJ Escapes (long)
During quarantine, I watched all 18 hours of Danaher’s Pin Escapes and Giles’ Fundamentals of BJJ Escapes instructionals, and took careful notes on everything, eventually totaling 48 typed, single-spaced pages. These are my thoughts. TL;DR Both are excellent sets, and both are applicable to both gi and no-gi. Danaher’s wins on depth, while Giles’ wins on breadth. I recommend Giles’ set for white belts, due to lower price and greater number of positions dealt with, while Danaher’s is better for those further along who still have trouble getting basic mount and side control escapes to work for them and need extra details. Value Danaher: $197 for 10 hours, 52 minutes, 17 seconds = 3 min 19 sec per $; produced 26 pages of notes = $7.57 per page of notes; information density of 25 minutes per page Giles: $127 for 7 hours, 14 minutes, 12 seconds = 3 min 25 sec per $; produced 22 pages of notes = $5.77 per page of notes; information density of 19 minutes 42 seconds per page Introductory Blather Danaher: 1 hour, 24 minutes. Lots of repetition here, in an “I just said this in voiceover to PowerPoint slides, and now I'm going to say it again while looking into the camera” way. On the other hand, he presents a lot of careful analysis on what constitutes a pin, and based on that, presents a 5-step heuristic for escaping pins, worked examples of which constitute the rest of the Pin Escapes instructional. Giles: 28 minutes. No Danaher-esque theoretical analysis here, but he does include some useful practical advice on how to go about learning the material on the instructional and how to incorporate it into one's game. Much of the content is in the titles of the sections listed on the order page for this product on bjjfanatics.com. Have you ever watched the fundamentals section of the Grapplers Guide? You know the videos that have a clear title, like “Don't chew gum on the mats,” and you click on it, and it's a 7-minute video of Jason Scully talking about why you shouldn't chew gum on the mats, and you watch until the end like the fool you are, and you get to the end, and you think, “Why the heck was this a video? And how could he talk so fast for so long and still say nothing more than the title?” Well, much of this is like that. (Sorry, Jason. You know I love Grapplers Guide and I'm only kidding. Kinda.) (Sorry, Lachlan. You know the only reason I got Grapplers Guide was for your videos, and I'm only kidding. Kinda.) Fundamental Moves Danaher: 39 minutes. Everything in this section is covered more in depth, with better camera angles and better explanation, in Danaher's free instructional, Self-Mastery: BJJ Solo Drills. The content is fantastic, but the only real reason you'd watch this instead of BJJ Solo Drills is because it's shorter and covers only the movements you need for this escape instructional. Pin Escapes covers seven basic body movements (counting sliding shrimps and rising shrimps separately); Solo Drills covers about two dozen movements, depending on how you divide them. Giles: 22 minutes. Covers eleven basic body movements. Of these, the hip escape, reverse hip escape, and gongoa shoulder roll are basically the same as equivalent techniques shown by Danaher. The Bridge and the Bridge and Roll are very similar to what Danaher teaches, but each has a couple of details missing or added from what the other shows. Interestingly, on the Bridge and Roll, Giles teaches to do a side crunch toward the side you're rolling, which is exactly the opposite of what Matt Thornton teaches. I haven't had the opportunity in quarantine to try them both out and decide which one I like best. Mount Escapes Danaher: 2 hours, 8 minutes. As expected, it's long-winded and repetitive. He literally takes 8 minutes and 55 seconds to say “Don't put your hand on his knee unless you keep your elbow from being exposed.” Also, the chapter titles are supremely unhelpful, e.g. “Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 1” through “Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 7.” Here are my subtitles to help distinguish one from the other; more will follow in other sections: Bridging Escape From Mounted Position (Basic Version) Bridging Escape From Mounted Position 2 (Misdirectional Bridging) Bridging Escape From Mounted Position 3 (Dealing with the Grapevine) Bridging Escape From Mounted Position 4 (Dealing with Crossface Hold) Bridging Escape From Mounted Position 5 (Bridging as Setup for Elbow Escape) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position (Basic Version) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 2 (Serpentine Motion & High Mount) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 3 (Going Directly For the Knee) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 4 (Use of Hand and Elbow) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 5 (Don't Expose Your Back) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 6 (Leg Shimmying) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position 7 (Dealing with Crossface) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position - Ankle Trap Method (Transitional Escape from Knee Drive to Mount by Turning Away) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position - Ankle Trap Method 2 (Transitional Escape from Knee Drive to Mount by Turning In) Elbow Escape From Mounted Position - Ankle Trap Method 3 (Transitional Escape from Stepover Method) As you can see, Danaher basically only teaches two escapes, and focuses on giving details, options, strategies, and applications of these rather than exploring other escapes. Giles: 1 hour, 10 minutes. Giles is straightforward and concise in his explanations. Unlike Danaher, Giles shows many of his techniques in footage of actual rolls with upper belts, with a voiceover explanation, which I found quite illuminating. Content-wise, Giles covers the two major escapes Danaher covers, but in less detail. For instance, he doesn’t even touch on the “knee-down” variation of the elbow-escape that Danaher prefers. He covers the importance of inside leg position in mostly the same way Danaher does. On the other hand, he spends a significant amount of time discussing the battle for inside arm position, which Danaher seems unconcerned with. Giles also covers escapes from S-mount and includes a high-percentage escape directly to SLX. Giles covers a couple of submission escapes (cross-collar choke, americana, and armbar), whereas Danaher only addresses positional escapes. Side Control Escapes Danaher: 5 hours, 16 minutes. Here’s the meat of the set: five hours of side control escapes. This is what you bought the set for; admit it. You’ve always had trouble escaping side control, and you’re willing to shell out whatever Danaher asks if he can just share the secret to escaping side control. You imagine the look on that 300-lb. Bubba’s face as you slip your scrawny, pencil-necked 130-lb. frame out from under him, laughing deliriously, and scurry up his back. You imagine the admiring looks of that cute purple belt you’ve been trying to impress, as well as the satisfied nod of your coach as you see him thinking Yep, he’ll be ready for the next belt come promotion day. So, does he deliver? You betcha. In spades. Twenty minutes into this section, my mind was blown at how little BJJ I knew. I knew the gross muscle movements, of course, but the difference was all the fine details – all of which I had been blind or oblivious to thus far. I felt like all my escapes so far were the equivalent of peering into the storefront windows of a BJJ gym, watching furious action from a distance, unable to hear or understand the significance of what was happening. Sometimes the audio quality is poor. About 38 and a half minutes into Volume 7, a sound like a wobbly fan is heard in the background. It never prevents you from understanding what Danaher says, but it’s pretty distracting. It makes me think their mats are in a basement, and just off camera is a washing machine, surrounded by piles of dirty laundry and a big orange box of Tide detergent. Unfortunately, although he includes escapes from north/south, knee on belly, and kuzure kesa gatame (sitout with far side underhook), and even reverse kuzure kesa gatame, he does not include any escapes from standard kesa gatame (scarf hold). I consider this a serious oversight, as anyone with a judo background is bound to use the scarf hold. Elbow Escapes from Side Position 1 (Introduction) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 2 (Moving His Head) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 3 (Inserting the Knee) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 4 (Dealing with Crossface) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 5 (Asymetrical Bridging) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 6 (Misc Tricks) Elbow Escapes from Side Position 7 (Dealing with the Hip Block) Knee Escapes from Side Position 1 (Introduction) Knee Escapes from Side Position 2 (Beating the Crossface) Knee Escapes from Side Position 3 (Fighting for the Underhook) Knee Escapes from Side Position 4 (Anchoring on his Leg) Knee Escapes from Side Position 5 (Finishing the Single Leg – Leg Hook) Knee Escapes from Side Position 6 (Finishing the Single Leg – Elbow to the Floor) Knee Escapes from Side Position 7 (Finishing the Single Leg – Moving Under the Sprawl) Knee Escapes from Side Position 8 (Hand Grips) Knee Escapes from Side Position 9 (Opponent’s Knee Position) Knee Escapes from Side Position 10 (Putting Things Together) Giles: 2 hours, 15 minutes. While Giles’ escapes from standard side control are certainly serviceable and effective (the frame and guard recovery and the underhook escape to knees), they didn’t wow me in the details like Danaher’s did. On the other hand, his escapes from related positions – north/south, knee on belly, and kesa gatame variations – are systems that are generally more complete than the ones Danaher presents, covering almost every variation you’ll encounter. Back Control Escapes Danaher: 36 minutes. Thirty-six minutes? That’s it? After spending five hours on side control escapes, you couldn’t even manage a full hour for back escapes? What happened? Did Matthias decide not to put up with the abuse your lapdog Placido was always willing to take? Or did Bernardo Faria set a hard limit of 11 hours to a set? Not even a body triangle escape? Lazy, Danaher. Lazy. And as always, the chapter titles are unhelpful. My subtitles: Sliding Escape (Basic Version) Sliding Escape 2 (Escape from Lapel Choke) Sliding Escape 3 (Escaping to the Opposite Side) Sliding Escape 4 (Preventing Face-Down Rear Mount) Giles: 1 hour, 38 minutes. Here’s a turn-around: Giles spends nearly three times as long as Danaher on back escapes. And it’s far more comprehensive: Giles shows escapes from both the overhook side as well as the underhook side, escaping the shoulders first and escaping the hips first, including how to deal with hooks and the body triangle. Plus, Giles caps it off with some excellent rolling footage. Turtle Escapes Danaher: 48 minutes. Solid escapes for both one arm around the waist and the seatbelt/harness grip. Giles: 35 minutes. Doesn’t cover the one arm around the waist situation, but makes up for it by covering turtle positions where your opponent’s got a hook in, an underhook, or two underhooks, none of which Danaher covers. Front Headlock Escapes Danaher: Doesn’t cover this at all. Not even on his Front Headlocks instructional. Bad Danaher. No cookie for you. Giles: 47 minutes. Very good escapes for both chokes and attempts to take the back from the front headlock position. Thorough with important details highlighted.
This is a crucial off season, but it's not all doom and gloom...
THE CURRENT SITUATION Much of our roster construction is up in the air and I get very little satisfaction from needless speculation in this regard. There are a lot of hypotheticals floating around about what we should do, and there are a few key points. Firstly, I think there is a high chance that one of Harris or Horford is traded/dumped and this will require a good chunk of our remaining assets and possibly even include someone like Thybulle to get this done. At this stage we don’t know what offers are on the table, but its clear that we should simply be taking whatever deal is better for one of these guys as getting rid of both contracts seems almost impossible. Personally I am more in favour of offloading Horford as the market for backup centers is far more flooded than for shooting wings. There’s also the chance that we may see some Simmons at center lineups next year which would help alleviate some of the playoff rotation woes we have had in this regard. All this being said, I think there are some other crucial factors to consider which are more important, and are within our control. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Floor spacing has been a consistent sore point for our team for a number of years however I think there are some crucial differences that have become more apparent in these playoffs. Firstly, we do not need 4 shooters at all times around Embiid. While this would obviously be an ideal set up, its not realistic. In the playoffs we have seen that even average shooters are often getting ignored. In our series vs the Celtics, even guys like Richardson were getting left at times. Plenty of teams are surviving with 3 on the perimeter and a strong cutting presence as the ball can move a lot faster with 3 on the perimeter instead of 4 - Brett mentioned this several times in press conferences and it is vital against teams like Boston/Miami/Toronto that can rotate and recover extremely quickly. HOW DO WE FIX THIS? The more important thing we need to surround Embiid with is at least 1 or 2 high level shooters at all times. For those who have watched the Denver series you will notice how crisp the offensive play is when Jokic is doubled in the post, they will consistently have their 2 most deadly shooters in good spots for the most direct kick outs, and have their most athletic or worst shooting wing (Grant/Craig/Millsap) make a hard basket cut to suck in the defence as you can see here. With no Simmons, this cutter role often fell to guys like Horford or Thybulle who could not attract the same attention. On our roster there are perhaps 4 guys currently who fall in to the category of high level shooters who should take every open 3. These are Milton/Korkmaz/Harris/Scott. Yes, I know Harris has struggled, but over his last 1000 attempts he is at 39% from 3 on a reasonable volume. I think there is a ton of room for him to fire 3s at a much higher rate, as he is still guarded like he’s an elite shooter. IMO it would be much better if Harris was shooting 3/10 from 3 in a game, rather than shooting 1/2. While everyone is down on Harris right now, I think there is definitely a possibility that with a new coach we can unlock this part of his game. As for the other two, Milton is clearly a steal of a contract, and despite his defensive inadequacies right now, he is a good fit next to Simmons and Embiid and is on a very team friendly deal. In the playoffs, we have generally seen most teams floating at least 1 or even 2 subpar defenders, provided they have elite help defence surrounding them, which we fortunately do with Embiid. Korkmaz might not have a spot in a playoff rotation but he will be cheap to retain (UFA this year). Mike Scott also has a role to play here. Philadelphia’s offensive struggles were much more severe than the defensive struggles and cheap shooters like Scott are hard to come by. This season Scott and Embiid played 500 minutes together for a 113 ORTG and a 105 DRTG. Even if he has his flaws we were still a very effective team provided he had good help behind him. NON SHOOTERS CAN STILL EXIST To elaborate further there are plenty of non shooters getting significant roles in the playoffs. Ben Simmons needs to take some serious lessons from Bam Adebayo about how to command space against good defences. Obviously a lot of this is unlocked by Miami’s two elite shooters in Robinson and Herro, but there is clearly an aggressive style of play that Simmons can use which capitalises on the space he is afforded. A mid range/floater will be very crucial for this to happen. As well as an effective post game, which we have seen signs of at times but has never been used consistently. DHOs were a huge part of our Simmons led offences in 2018 and Redick was crucial for this but if guys like Milton can draw even a fraction of this defensive attention on hand offs, this will open up a lot of space for Simmons. Jimmy Butler also has been a fantastic player these playoffs and as much as we were ridiculed at times for having Simmons in the dunkers spot, I think there is a resurgence of this 3 out basketball coming as teams go a little smaller on the wings allowing good finishers inside to take advantage. While Simmons and Embiid are often touted as being a poor fit, they have consistently produced very good offences when surrounded with well fitted players over the last 4 years. This year alone Simmons and Embiid without Horford sported a 4.5 Net rating despite some appalling shooting stats from role players in those lineups (Tobias 26.9%, Scott 32.2%, Korkmaz 25.9%, Milton 33.3%). Even moderate upticks on those shooting %s and our Net rating would skyrocket. THE EMBIID OF IT ALL Joel Embiid is the cornerstone of our franchise. Even even in a down year this year, he showed his dedication and heart, and most of all, his commitment to this circus of a franchise. While many bigs are being phased out of the game due to their lack of versatility, especially on the defensive end, there was increasing importance placed on protecting the rim this year, all at the expensive of leaving mediocre shooters. While Simmons was voted deservingly to the all NBA defensive team, advanced defensive stats still paint Embiid as our most effective defender and deservingly so. This year we had a 102 DRTG with him on the court (good for #1 in the league), and a 110.5 DRTG with him off the court (12th in the league) despite having a very effective backup in Al Horford. Joel’s presence alone deters so many shots at the rim and completely stifles offences at times. We’ve seen glimpses across the years of what Embiid can do when we play a more aggressive defensive scheme, and with the right players and coaches around him theres no doubt in my mind that he can and will be the best defender in the league. His IQ and instincts, combined with his size and length are almost unparalleled. We’ve seen at times how effective Embiid can be such as in the Raptors series last year where we were forced to trap Kawhi more aggressively to great effect. Simmons and Embiid’s defensive talent was on full display the last 3 games as Kawhi was held to 7/16, 9/20, and 16/39 in the last 3 games. During the series as a whole, Phildelphia had an astounding 95.9 DRTG vs the Raptors with Embiid on the court, and a 125.9 DRTG without him. Embiid at his best is a mind bogglingly good defender. So whats the problem? Well to put it simply, and despite the pressure from the old heads to be an old school back to basket player - I’m looking at you Shaq - that is simply not how the game is played anymore, and it’s something that we simply have to accept. Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic have been the two best big men in the playoffs this year by a large margin. They’ve been complete game changers on both ends (yes even Jokic at times has showed the value of his size on defence). For those of us watching these guys closely, you will notice they initiate the majority of their offence from the perimeter and this is simply a reality of how modern basketball is played. While Embiid is the most unguardable post player in the league, it is an exhausting strategy to play and has often left Embiid fatigued at the end of games when we most need his isolation offence. Embiid post ups are definitely a valuable tool, but DHOs, Pick and rolls, and pick and pops, inverted picks undoubtedly need to be a part of his game. Furthermore, his passing on the perimeter has actually improved a lot, and I think its a misuse of his ability to be working so hard for deep position where he can be doubled easily and we can’t even throw a proper entry pass, as opposed to be spacing the floor a little more, and trying to facilitate a little more in the mould of Bam and Jokic. He’s not the same passer those guys are, but he’s also a much more significant scoring threat and he will have his opportunities when playing this role. The final piece of the puzzle is Embiids shooting. A very good free throw shooter (80.7%), and having shown flashes of being an elite mid range shooter (41.3% from 10-16ft), his 3pt shot has been steadily improving. He has exceptional mechanics, a smooth, easy release and its a shot he is given whenever he wants it. While I’ve stressed the importance of elite 3pt shooters, there’s no doubt that at times, Embiid will be called upon to space the floor and launch some 3s. In his final post game presser this year he actually made note of this, acknowledging the shift in the modern game and the different things that bigs are asked to do now. I highly recommend you all give it a watch. THE PROCESS REBOOT While there’s no doubt this franchise has made far too many mistakes in the last few years, this era isn’t over. With the disbanding of the KD Warriors, the league has never seen so much parity. The Heat and Nuggets have proven how much just a few little changes can make to a team to catapult yourself in to contention. The Sixers are blessed by this situation as we are nowhere near as far off the pace as people would have you believe. The Sixers are one playoff calibre shooter and some small improvements from Simmons/Embiid away from getting back in this race. While I have limited confidence in our FO, I think these are all the types of lessons that hopefully have become apparent after our disaster of an off season last year, and could completely shift the perspective on how we have to build. I’m not going to fall in to the trap of trying to say we need X player or Y player would fit very well, but there are options out there, and Embiid’s defence makes a whole lot more players viable than we might have thought.
Liverpool look back to the pre-Watford loss level of skill, but it's only one game.
Thiago subbed in at halftime for Hendo, and excels.
Christenson's red card is the turning point in the game.
Is there any reason he should not have let Sadio through and likely score?
Is he doing what he's instructed to, and engaging in the dark arts? Or did he panic?
Thiago Silva now likely to start next week?
Kepa’s no good very bad day.
Decision making to rush out to Salah that almost led to a goal.
Pass out to Jorginho that got intercepted by Mane which led to a goal.
Only adds to his low confidence.
What should Lampard do with Kepa?
Sell? Loan? Rest?
Defensive loss of trust.
Is part of the problem the reliance on playing it out of the back?
Timo Werner’s decision making seemed off.
Tried to dribble past fabinho instead of around.
Had an open lane on the left but chose to be selfish and took a weak shot.
Has a lot of refining to do.
Chelsea are likely to progress and gain cohesion as the season goes and the next matchup is likely to be different.
Ryan Compares the managers:
Klopp has a PHD and knows his stuff
Lampard is overly cocky and taking his SAT.
Both are talented in their areas, but Klopp is in a different league.
Taylor confirms Klopp is one of the two best managers in the world, Lampard has a huge gap.
Klopp tells his players “Are you crazy? We never do that!” after they celebrate a red card.
Shows the discipline and mental discipline required to be in the squad.
Manchester United v Crystal Palace (24:34) [Highlights]
Taylor was not surprised by the result
Feels like the same old United
Haven’t gotten deals done
Have identified areas of need that have not been addressed.
Van De Beek is depth and currently he is not playing that.
Narrative was “after the restart, they couldn’t stop winning” but that doesn’t speak about at the end of project restart, they were struggling.
Fatigue issues and lack of depth are biggest problems.
United did not show the resolve to come back from Palace, who have addressed their issues.
Possession was only 22% for Palace, but they still looked like the more dominant side.
Luke shaw was not great, Townsend was
Lazy defending led to the goals.
Is this sub par performance by individuals, or is this a sign of the system?
Daniel James was played out of position and isn’t up to the level to start, yet randomly starts games with seemingly no consistency in style or position.
Exemplifies the problem with United.
Woodward is not great at transfers
Sends lawyers to transfers who do not even know who the player is.
Is the fix to throw MORE money at the problem?
Lots of money already thrown and they are a textbook example of wasted money in the post Ferguson era.
Team still feels like a mish-mash with no identity and does not seem to be able to compete at the top level, despite all the money already thrown at the team.
United still feel as though they have financial power they can flex, but the Sancho saga exemplifies that teams do not need to bend to United anymore and they just wait until they meet their original asking price, or don’t sell.
Panic buying 4 new players is not the solution- they will be overprices and will now have to bed them in for the 2 months that could have been done in preseason.
This was Zaha’s best performance at Old Trafford, despite having played for United.
United players were subdued and underperformed.
Daniel James’ development has been…not progressive.
Compared to if he was under the structured guidance of Klopp or Guardiola.
A week has passed since last and the meta continues to slowly evolve as time passes. Additionally we're not too far away from Code Geass Collaboration either and i'd expect them to start teasing that more over the coming week. But what has happened in the previous week ? Read on and find out ! Forestcraft In the great Forests amidst buzzing fairies we find Arisa and Selwyn in heavy discussion about Wolfraud and where he keeps getting all those things he's carrying around. The only thing they've been able to get out of him so far is that it just "Merely fell of a truck" though they're not buying that one. After pressuring him some more all they get is "Well you can't spell Wolfraud with Fraud!" and then he runs away.. For Forestcraft there's Terrorformer forest at the peak, followed by Amataz Forest, Roach Forest and Evolve Forest. Overall Forestcraft possesses quite a bit of deck diversity though overall strength of the class remains more modest despite that, still there is a selection of decks to pick from. Terrorformer forest A midrange.. combo deck thing built around the Terrorformer and accelerate cards that looks to either kill the enemy with the Terrorformer or overwhelm them with a number of other threats. By now Colosseum on high has become a standard inclusion as it allows for more effective stalling and additionally makes Terrorformer and other storm followers bigger giving the deck a bit more punch though overall its success remains mostly modest though it is relatively popular. A decent deck that does require some skill to pilot properly. Amataz Forest An aggro combo deck built around Amataz that looks to swiftly overwhelm the enemy with Fairies typically by giving them storm and can occasionally chain multiple Amataz or Divine smithing for a combo. A somewhat inconsistent deck it has nonetheless climbed in popularity as it can blast through some of the decks in the meta with ease though will struggle quite a bit with the recent surge in Elana decks. A solid deck it will require some decent skills to make the most out of . Roach Forest A combo deck built around roach. It's seemingly getting a smidge more popular as of late as there are slightly fewer aggressive board decks about and more stalling control decks which gives the deck more room to maneuver though it still has a very bad time against Reanimate Shadow and other board decks as it can't effectively slow them down. a decent deck but with high skill requirements for proper success. Evolve Forest A control deck built around evolve synergies. It remains mildly popular and while it performs well against certain decks it does have a terrible time against Dirt rune and other burn/combo decks as it can't do enough to really slow them down. So definitely not a deck for the average player at the moment. Swordcraft In the halls of the Eternal Castle Swordcraft Albert suddenly is suffering from a small case of panic as he suddenly realizes that he and most of the Levin troops will be rotating out but Latham is quick to appear and calm him down and assure him it won't be that bad.. Just that Sword is almost unplayable in Unlimited, but it's no big deal. A guy as popular as Albert should easily get a remake.. Latham on the other hand.. who knows ? For Swordcraft Evolve Sword remains steadfast at the vanguard followed by Rally Sword, also there's a bit of Hybrid Sword going on currently pushing things up to 3 decks. Overall though Sword struggles due to a lack of a finisher in a meta filled with AoE and a lack of ways to protect its boards or build really big ones fast and consistently like reanimate shadow. Evolve Sword A midrange deck built around Evolve synergies. The deck continues to be the most popular Sword deck as it can handle a variety of threats and has some counter plays but even then it does struggle from a way to close out matches at times which does leave it hanging a bit. Overall a good deck but one that will require some skill to pilot succesfully in the current meta. Rally Sword A tempo deck built around triggering rally synergies and either running down your opponent fast or building a big board your opponent can deal with. Notably less popular as the AOE heavy meta is quite discouraging for it, though it can still win in it, just not as easily and the lack of a consistent finisher means you're gameplan in a lot of cases is to hope to build a big enough board your opponent can't deal with, which Rally Sword can struggle to pull off consistently. Still a decent deck if you know how to pilot it, but it is on the more skill intensive side of things at the moment to get the best out of it. Additionally there is some experimentation with a Levin Variation for Lounes, Levin Justice and Jeno for a bit extra push at the low end and a way to help Amelia draw other cards more consistently. Hybrid Sword A mix of Evolve and Rally for a slightly faster Midrange deck that can get more aggressive and under decks but like the other two will struggle to close out in certain situations. Additionally as a hybrid deck it will be tougher to pilot as you have to manage the two halves of it. Not sure how relevant Honoured frontguard general is, but it looked neat. Ultimately just one build of Hybrid Sword so keep that in mind before delving into it, not a recommended deck for new players. Runecraft In the mystical academies of Runecraft it is Erasmus great Triumph ! .. or so he'd like to believe but he is starting to feel like it's actually Karyl who's pulling the strings and he is doubting how much in charge he actually is.. The girl is frightening he quickly concludes and he wonders how much longer he may actually be in charge if he ever was. For Runecraft Earth rite Rune remains the leading deck by far followed by Arcane Item shop, additionally there are signs of the return of Karyl rune. Overall Runecraft is in a strong position due to multiple strong cards like Vergewalker and Madcap Conjuration that can easily keep a board clear while allowing it to advance to its win conditions at the moment. Earth Rite Rune A midrange deck built around Earth rites. Overall the deck continues to change and by now is actually featuring fewer earth rites as Madcap Conjuration has become a full part of the deck allowing it to clear all boards, cycle through cards and even put threats into play, all for 2pp. A strong deck with few direct weaknesses currently. Arcane Item Shop Rune A combo deck built around the Arcane Item Shop. It's steadily been getting less popular as Earth Rite rune and other decks appear in larger numbers like Reanimate Shadow which it struggles with heavily so while it can win out here and there the small 15 minutes of fame of the deck are over. That said it can still win here and there. Overall the cheapest deck in the meta which is one reason it was so popular in the first place and probably what sustains it for now. Decent but hardly all powerful. Dragoncraft In the great caverns of Dragoncraft it's the big cleanup day as all the trash is discarded with all sorts of means and everyone is effectively trying to discard Valdain as well. But he is proving to be a tough nut to crack in that department and continues to stick around having learned a lot of the place by now. Rowen swears he'll get rid of him one way or the other and Forte joins him in that vow!. For Dragoncraft Discard Dragon is by far the most popular followed by Natura and the occasional Big Dragon deck. Dragon remains in a steady position largely by virtue of Discard Dragon which can handle a lot of decks in the meta though the rest of Dragoncraft at the moment is a bit vestigial. Discard Dragon A midrange deck built around discarding cards. The deck remains a solid deck that can threaten a variety of decks though it may struggle with Elana Haven which can easily get under it and ignore most of what it does so that could pose a problem for Discard Dragon down the road. A trickier deck to pilot due to having to manage hand size and discard the right cards at the right time it is not recommended for everyone. Natura Dragon A midrange deck built around Valdain and Natura synergies. The deck seems to be making a tiny comeback as of late though i am less certain why, perhaps a rise in less interactive decks has given it an opportunity to prey but it is still going to struggle against Reanimate Shadow. A sort of decent deck it is not one i'd particularly recommend to the average player. Big Dragon A combo deck built around Titanic Showdown. It's a weaker one on the fringes that sees play mostly for fun. Not one i'd particularly recommend but it does see play and it does have its fans. Shadowcraft In the great Catacomb of Shadowcraft where Death Reigns with a rusted fist. We find Aisha dealing with the shocking revelation that everyone had actually forgotten her. Finding herself unable to deal with this fact she decides to pretend like it never happened and just act like everything is fine rather than accept the facts. Luna and the rest decides that is an excellent plan of action and goes along with it as they quickly catch on. For Shadowcraft Reanimate Shadow remains at the top of the Necropolis followed by Hades Shadow, at the very farthest fringes there is some Natura shadow but i don't even have any lists to use for that so won't make a writeup for it. Overerall Shadow is largely succesful thanks to the power of reanimate and its ability to throw up big boards other decks will struggle with. If that were to get nerfed Shadow would be in a worse spot than Sword most likely. Reanimate Shadow A midrange deck built around burying and reanimating big threats and overall build a big board most decks can't easily clear out. A potent deck base off that though it still has its issues and can struggle to gain back board if it first loses it. But a potent and relatively straight forward deck to pilot in the current meta. Hades Shadow A combo deck built around Hades. The deck continues to see some play but by now has for the most part been eclipsed by Reanimate Shadow as its win condition will be too slow in a lot of cases though may find some success against Elana Haven. A decent deck but not particular popular and rather dependent on player skill for success. Bloodcraft In the great and decadent manor of Bloodcraft where sin runs like rivers. We find Vania wondering when she's going to get her remake. Garuda is back and theren's an awful lot of new things out there that sound suspiciously much like her. So where's her remake ? ANd preferrably something a bit more playable this time she asks out loud.. to no one in particular since Medusa is off doing a cross over event in some other game. For Bloodcraft Control Blood remains the most played by far followed by Midrange blood and Wrath Blood. Overall reliant on Control as it has no great threats in the current meta to consistently play aggressively with and most attempts at Aggro so far seem to have little success, but who knows, success may be found eventually. Control Blood A control deck built around Burn and AoE. It continues to be the most popular blood deck as it can handle a variety of threats and even deal with some finishers thanks to Azazel, that said it is coming under pressure and is seeing a slight drop in play as a result. Overall a more challenging and skill intensive deck but in the right hands quite good. Midrange Blood A midrange burn deck. It continues to see some play but as of late not that much and the increase in Elana Haven poses a significant issue for it as it effectively counters Midrange bloods strategy leaving it out to dry. So while decent it is a bit tougher to recommend at the moment. Wrath Blood A midrange deck built around Wrath and self harm. The deck is not seeing that much play as it lacks the strong tools of Control blood and can't quite push faster in its current incarnation either. So a decent deck but from my experience mostly sees fringe play at the moment. Havencraft In the great Cathedral of Havencraft Elana's Prayers ring out, even as Elana Herself has yet to appear. With the good seraph serving as a stand in for now.. even as she mumbles about getting a remake soon. Garuda meanwhile is despondent that his remake took off as well as the previous one and that his reign of angry birds has yet to materialize.. once more. For Havencraft Elana Haven is by far the most popular followed by a smattering of Amulet Haven and at the very fringes, the occasional Ward haven deck. Overall haven is in a decent position thanks to recent successes of Elana Haven, if that were to fail, the rest of the class would be worse off too. Elana Haven A midrange deck built around Healing. Having seen some restructuring the deck is back in some force with a more aggressive plan built around storm followers and buffing them up, additionally Blind Justice is starting to be run. with some running a single copy and others a full 3. It is starting to see a lot of competetive play with these changes as it can handle a lot of threats thanks to its healing and ability to pump up big threats fast and even dodge some amulet removal thanks sweetwing seraph. A solid deck that will require some skill in piloting properly. Amulet Haven A midrange deck built around Amulets. It sees some fringe play here and there as it can make for some spectacular high rolls, but owing due to a lack of consistenty it does see minimal play as it ends up as a sort of highrolly reanimate shadow that when it does not highroll.. performs very poorly. A weaker deck that is mostly played for fun. *Portalcraft In the Vertex Colony, amidst alien technology. We find Nexus all on her own as the rest are off to buy a new wafflemaker as the last one grew sentient and proceeded to go off on a quest to seek the holy sword Excalibur and Nexus.. well doesn't do too well in social situations. So she is left behind with a box of crayons and some paper to draw on and the rest hope the Vertex colony hasn't crashed and burned in the meanwhile. For Portalcraft Artifact Portal leads the pack followed by Control Portal. Overall Portal remains in a weaker spot as it has no strong finishers and lacks any ways to build consistent big boards or any counter play to all the big finishers at the moment. So while it can win, it has a tougher time of it. Artifact Portal A midrange deck built around Artifacts. More and more decks are starting to run Zelgenea and Ragna Awakens as the deck seems to be heading in a more controlling direction which does help in some situations but does leave it vulnerable to decks with faster finishers. So it is a bit of a tradeoff there. A decent deck that does require a good amount of skill to perform succesfully with in the current meta. Control Portal A control deck built around Floating play points. The deck continues to see some play but owing to a lack of more aggressive decks and and increase in combo decks or decks with strong finishers it is having a tougher time of the meta until it can get some combo counter or something else happens. A decent deck but one that requires a good deal of skill. Not something i'd recommend personally. So there you have it. The meta seems fixated around decks that can either build big enough boards to not be easily wiped or decks that can finish consistently enough fast. It is starting to look like the nerfs to Sword were too hasty and it might be an idea to revert them or at least lessen the degree of them perhaps, we'll have to see though. That said there is some deck diversity and variety, but i do think it would benefit from more aggressive decks. Another option could be to perhaps tone down some of the AoE though that may necessitate nerfs to Shadow then. So it's a bit of a tricky one there. We'll have to see what happens over the coming weeks as with the upcoming Collaboration there could be balance changes.. and maybe the beginning of the next story arc. So until next week. Have fun playing Shadowverse!
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My guide to efficient tanking - for both beginners and experienced players
This guide is a collection of rules and strategies, plus my personal mindset, all of which I implement onto the battlefield, and that, so far, have worked wonders for me. Note: these rules apply to all tankers, but especially to solo-tankers. Let's begin: -Patience is not the only key to success. Surprise and accuracy are also fundamental to winning any engagement. You wanna know what feels better than knowing your tank can take some hits? Not having to. Think about it: In real life, a tank's commander mindset is always something like this: 1) Don't be seen 2) If seen, don't be shot (by shooting first & possibly ending the engagement there) 3) If shot, don't be penetrated 4) If penetrated, don't die See? Step 3 and 4 become an option only if you fail to respect 1 and 2. About step number 2; my mindset has stayed the same since the day I bought the game (possibly because of my past WarThunder experience): The ambusher (most times) wins. When shot, the ambushed will need time to find your position, bring his tank's cannon towards you, and then aim at your weak-spots, while also being scared and confused. This is a time-limited advantage you must exploit as quickly as possible... but you need to actually penetrate your enemy's armor if you want to win, which is why an experienced and fast-thinking gunner is a tank's backbone. You must know all tanks' reliable weak-spots to solo-tank efficiently, or, if you're in a crew, actually making sure the gunner knows what he's doing isn't a bad idea. You don't want hin to panic shoot at a Panther's front plate. Now, why did I add "reliable" before weak-spots? Because some are even... weaker, or easier to hit, than others, especially from an angle, and I whole heartly suggest going for the weak-spots you know you can actually hit. (I am not in any way saying that the driver and spotter aren't important, but a tank is not just any vehicle - it's a fighting vehicle, and its crew must know how to fight) Thus, always remember! Armor is something you want to fall back on when there simply is no other choice. You always gotta assume your enemy knows all your machine's weaknesses (of which there are at least three per vehicle. If you want to learn them, it shouldn't be that hard to find a guide for that here on reddit) and that you being spotted will most likely result in your death. Which leads us to rule two: -Tanks aren't the only thing that can kill you. This may seem obvious at first but I have seen my fair share of tank crews completely disregarding first, clearing an area of infantry, and then, going after the tanks. Engineers and ATs are extremely dangerous. But that doesn't mean the other classes aren't. If a squad is efficient and is using comms, any of its members can relay information to the officer and get a marker placed on your head for everyone to see. You are never safe if you know you've been spotted. Which leads us to rule three: -Mobility is better than armor. Since we've already established that armor is only a fallback plan, we must remember that mobility is what will keep you alive. Let me explain. Say you just destroyed a tank. Congrats. Now move your fucking ass. Even if you shot first and destroyed the enemy in a single hit, possibly without being seen by the tank's crew, you can bet that somebody, somewhere, saw you, or, at least, the direction your shell came from. I cannot stretch this enough: NEVER, EVER, stay in the same spot for a long period of time. Do, and congratz! Some AT infantry will have made it their lives' only goal to blow your ass up into the next bloody dimension. -Always be listening to command chat, but not necessarely always trust what's being said. A tank is but a unit that, just like every other, must coordinate with command to succeed. This doesn't mean that command chat is always right, though. Do not blindly follow orders that will get you killed. Do not push a field to go and help your teammates defend a objective if you can't be sure that field is clear of enemies. Do not always trust tank markers on the map, and always be asking for updates. And finally, if damaged, try to call for help in command chat by asking a officer to send their engineer or AT over to repair, while simultaneously trying to leave the battlefield, and - if there is no confermation within a minute - go back to HQ. Standing still somewhere waiting for unconfermed aid to arrive is never a good idea. Remember the first rule. And finally, the last rule: -Do not expect your enemy to be stupid. Yes. There are many bad tankers (including high level players! Since it's not uncommon to find people who've never been in a tank before despite being level 40) but that does not mean you should understimate them. This is a message to everyone, but especially to those solo tankers who believe they are gods on Earth and that their IQ is over 300 - or Micheal Wittman reincarnated. Because drum rolls experienced players aren't limited to your faction only... nor newbies or players who don't communicate, either. Indeed, I often find myself locking my squad for the sheer fear of getting a level 4 crewman with no mic (and rarely a headset too, or a keyboard to write with), and I usually ask in chat if people who want to join have a mic before accepting / denying them. And silence means "no" to me. This was my guide. I hope you like it. The one described may not be the most fun way of tanking, but it is the most efficient. TL;DR So, in the end: 1) Use your fucking brains 2) Actually know what you're doing 3) Never rely on your armor 4) Mobility, surprise, and accuracy are fundamental to success, not just patience 5) Not having / not wanting clueless crew members isn't a bad thing 6) No. Most solo tankers do not have 300 iq, but that doesn't mean fully manned tank squads are the only viable way of tanking. (In fact, I'd argue a good solo tanker, that follows all the rules above, could quite litterally carry an entire team. And while the same could be done by an equally capable full man crew, they are rare, and 1 dude knows he can only rely on his own skills and acts accordingly)
I replayed (almost) all Metal Gear games... Here are all my thoughts on them!
Background: Given the current state of the US and the world as a whole, it is not a good time to be a college student. Academic institutions have stopped to a grinding halt and have uncertain plans for the upcoming school year. Despite this, I have had no shortage of things to do. Even though I just finished my summer classes, I still have a lot to do. I continue to work remotely for my school's IT department and also do research with my professor in artificial intelligence (yes, Metal Gear influenced my career choice). My intent is not to flex my credentials or anything, but to explain my motivations. I realize how lucky I am to work on the things I love and build my career when many others can't at this moment. Still, I occasionally feel like I'm more active than I'd like to be. This is where Metal Gear comes in. I grew up with the series and haven't touched many of them in years. I was planning on revisiting the series for some time now too. Since I was at home and needed a way to destress, I said fuck it and decided to revisit all the games. I'll be explaining my thoughts with some version notes and the difficulty I played on in release order. I hope this is an entertaining read! Metal Gear (PS3 HD Collection), Difficulty Played: Original The one that started it all. IIRC, Kojima started development on a shoot em' up inspired by Commando but had to change direction due to the MSX2's limited hardware capabilities. Instead of fighting enemies, your objective is to avoid them. Simple, but a brilliant solution. Thus Metal Gear was born. I feel like this game has aged surprisingly well. It's not incredibly refined, but it definitely has that arcade charm and gameplay. Tactical espionage action at it's simplest. You can even see the origins of many modern MGS classics like the cardboard box, radio team, etc. This game is in desperate need of a Resident Evil-style remake though. The game's design leaves a lot to be desired. There's meaningless backtracking and the way ID cards work to open doors is absolutely moronic. And sometimes it's not really clear how to progress in the game like obtaining the bomb blast suit for example. Guards can only see in lines and the bosses are uninspiring. And despite 30 years of retcons and plot developments, the story is still vague and underdeveloped. FOXHOUND commander Big Boss sends Solid Snake to infiltrate Outer Heaven, also commanded by Big Boss (retconned as Venom Snake) to rescue Gray Fox and spread misinformation to the West (retconned as the Patriots) by... getting captured? Killed? Acquiring a false report? Not clear. And what kind of misinformation? To keep up appearances? To report Metal Gear isn't nuclear armed? Fake Big Bosses' death? Also not clear. Still, it's a humble beginning to a beloved franchise and should be appreciated. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (PS3 HD Collection), Difficulty Played: Original This is where Metal Gear really becomes Metal Gear. MG2 is an improvement over MG1 in every way. Graphics are better, gameplay is a lot better, and most importantly, it has a coherent story. It's incredibly impressive how this was developed for the same MSX2 system as MG1. And this is where Metal Gear adopts its quirky, goofy yet serious identity. You have dumb shit like "poisonous Zanzibar hamsters" juxtaposed with strong, anti-war themes. Absolutely brilliant. For an 8-bit game, it's very concise and articulate with this message. This game was so good, that the story and gameplay for MGS1 reused many of the ideas present in MG2. I think that if MG2 was remade, it would be better than MGS1 since they are the same game, but MG2 has a more interesting premise. Big Boss as the main villain is already reason enough. Not all is perfect though. The game design suffers from the same issues present in MG1 with unnecessary backtracking, the crappy card system, and confusing progression. I really think that everyone should give this a game a try since it is often underappreciated and overlooked in favor of the later games. Metal Gear Solid (PC Integral), Difficulty Played: Extreme If MG2 created the modern Metal Gear identity, MGS1 perfected it. Kojima and the team really outdid themselves when making this game. This game set a groundbreaking precedent in attention to detail and cinematic storytelling not just for future MGS games, but all video games that came after. To this day, I still think that MGS1 has one of the best atmospheres in gaming. The characters in this game are incredible and in my opinion have the best performances in the entire series. Every single one of them is iconic and memorable. As Otacon says though, "it's just like one of my Japanese animes." Revisiting MGS made me realize that the entire series is basically a long-running, edgy shonen anime based in video game form. You have all the iconic tropes like: a giant mecha, technobabble, superpowered characters, excessive chit-chat with villains and too much dialogue in general, every character having some sort of tragic backstory, some life lesson as a theme, and so on. None of this is bad though. In fact, it enhances the charm. The love of American action movies combined with the oddities of Japanese storytelling is what makes MGS so memorable. Unfortunately, some of the writing in this game is really jarring. MGS has really bad writing at times, but for some reason it was much more painful in this game for me than the others. The romantic elements were cringeworthy, the twists were handled poorly, and Liquid Snake, despite allegedly having an 180 IQ, has no grasp on basic genetics, among other issues. The gameplay isn't much of an innovation over MG2 either. It's just the same thing, but rendered in 3D. It added first-person mode, but that's about it. Regardless, this game is a classic. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS3 HD Collection), Difficulty Played: Extreme My personal favorite of the series. Once again, it innovates on the gameplay. Although the controls take an unwieldy, maximalist approach that uses way too many buttons sometimes, it presents you with a lot of options. It's very slick and versatile once you master it. I've seen some people on this sub say that the camera is not conducive with the game design for an enjoyable experience, but I think this is exaggerated BS. I played on Extreme with no radar and did fine. You're given all the tools you need to succeed. The bosses of this game are insane though. Even the more exploitable fights like Vamp and Solidus can still be tricky. The RAY fight on Extreme has got to be my favorite boss from any video game though. It's was incredibly tense with so many opponents who could potentially one-shot you. A single mistake could be fatal. The gratification I had after decommissioning 20 of those assholes can't be described with words. As for story, I can understand how some may not like the postmodern, artsy, almost pretentious approach the it takes, but I love it. MGS2 parodies MGS1 in the most brilliant way possible. It's an amazing deconstruction of sequel expectations and many of its ideas regarding society and technology are becoming more and more relevant. I also liked Raiden as a protagonist because of how well he contrasts with Solid Snake. He also has more noticeable character development. I would like to point out that I was still a baby when this game came out in 2001. Therefore it was impossible for me to get memed by Kojima's bait-and-switch. When I first got into the series, I already knew that Raiden was the main playable character. I can understand why many were/are frustrated with this change or simply just don't like Raiden. But I think the writing just works better in this game than MGS1. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of examples of bad writing and questionable narrative choices in this game. However, while bad writing hurts MGS1, it actually strengthens MGS2. All the incongruities and ridiculousness present in the game build on its message that there is no objective truth. Seriously, MGS2 makes me question everything that I believe in. I've never been more terrified of a video game than the entire Arsenal Gear segment, and this isn't even a horror game. Resident Evil zombies and Silent Hill fog monsters will never hurt me. But censorship, authoritarianism, and misuse of technology can. The real terror is reality. And for that, I treat this game like the Bible. I will say that my veneration of this game is a recent development. It was actually my least favorite until a few years ago. It was after seeing several analyses on this game that my opinion shifted. And since I'm older now, I naturally have a different perspective on life than I did before. MGS2 definitely gets better with age. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS3 HD Collection), Difficulty Played: Extreme Over the years, I've had a growing sentiment that MGS3 is overrated. I was glad to be proven wrong. I still like MGS2's existential edginess more, but I concede that this game is the best MGS experience overall. This game deserves every word of praise that it receives. This entire game is an adorable homage to James Bond and other spy thrillers. Seriously, listen to that opening! The story is also the most sensible and best-written in the series. At first glance MGS3 doesn't seem to do anything bold, appearing to be very orthodox and conventional. Despite this, it never failed to excite and maintained that signature MGS personality the entire time. Additionally, the characters are all so likeable. Despite looking and sounding exactly like Solid Snake, Naked Snake has his own distinct personality. He's much more of shit-eating jokester and is a lot more social. And despite the mission he's sent on, he's super unprofessional and I love it. His characterization really adds to the atmosphere of blissful naivete this game goes for. And his chemistry with the rest of the characters is great. You have the radio support team who are also a bunch of lovable, unprofessional jokesters. Then there's EVA, who is an equally awesome female lead. The romance and sexual tension between EVA and Naked Snake actually feels natural, like normal people. It's not painfully awkward like Meryl and Solid Snake or artificial like Raiden and Rose (although that may have been the point with them). Then there's the Boss, who is one of the best supporting female characters in gaming. The contribution her powerful, motherly presence has on the story cannot be understated. The Cobra Unit was pretty shallow to be honest, but they were still memorable and were a fun collection of superpowered weirdos to fight. They didn't really need more than that. Oh, and Ocelot being retconned as a Snake fanboy is hilarious and fitting. There's too many good things about this area of the game and I need to go on. Once again, gameplay innovations! It still has the awkward MGS2 controls, but now you can use them to their full potential. While MGS3 is a super linear game, the number of strategies you can use are limitless. Look at James Howell's FOXHOUND guide on YouTube. He demonstrates multiple methods of entering and exiting the SAME room. Seriously, the dude shows like four different ways to defeat the Ocelot unit and that's barely scratching the surface. Every obtainable item can be meaningfully and that is brilliant... I need to move on but this game fucking rocks. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PC Emulated), Difficulty Played: Normal I gotta say this right of the bat. This shit was not fun to play. I don't really mind if a game has bad graphics, but bad performance makes me want to DIE. 20 FPS physically hurts. Literally. The choppiness gave me a few headaches. I could have increased the framerate, but I read several user reports say that it messes up cutscenes. Plus, I figured I should suffer playing through it in its pure, unadulterated form. The game controlled like garbage and the recruitment mechanic sucked. Still, it's impressive that the development team ported the Snake Eater engine to the PSP. That is an achievement that deserves to be commended. Story wise, it's standard Metal Gear. It's a good time, but I don't really like the direction it took. The inclusion of Gray Fox and Campbell was kinda random and didn't meaningfully develop their characters. They were just there for the sake of being there. Not a good or bad thing, but they could have been totally new characters and the roles would be exactly the same. I also didn't like the implication that Big Boss got the idea and resources for Outer Heaven from Gene. It just rubbed me the wrong way. And what I really didn't like was retconning the entirety of Operation Snake Eater as some elaborate assassination ploy by the CIA because The Boss was "too charismatic" or some BS like that. Like, why? She was loyal to the end. Her being a threat to the US is not consistent with her character. It implies that obtaining the Philosopher's Legacy, destroying the Shagohod, and keeping the Khrushchev administration in power is not enough justification for the US to sacrifice the Boss. It's an unnecessary complication of the story that sets a bad precedent for using "the Bosses' will" as a convenient MacGuffin to explain character motivations or conflicts. Good thing the game is considered semi-canon so I can pretend these parts didn't happen. Still, I appreciate it for what it is. It's proof that a Kojima-less Metal Gear can still be Metal Gear. Not to mention, "Calling to the Night" is an incredibly underrated theme. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3), Difficulty Played: The Boss Extreme The greatest movie game I've ever watched. It's such a shame that this game never got an official port outside of the PS3 because this game is stunning despite the meh performance. The 30 FPS didn't really agree with me, but it wasn't headache inducing like Portable Ops. I have a pretty beefy PC rig so I could've used the custom RPCS3 build to play it at 60 FPS, but I wasn't willing to gamble on the program's stability especially when the cutscenes are so long. Just like Portable Ops, I had to experience it in its raw, unadulterated form. I really wanted to hate this game for being a fanservice disaster... but I couldn't do it. This was the first Metal Gear I completed start to finish. This is the game that got me into the series. I was like 11 or 12 at the time and I had no idea what was going on, yet every little piece of lore kept me wanting to know more about the rest of the series. Nostalgia aside, this game is the most endearing trainwreck I've ever experienced despite the clear disdain and borderline self-hatred Kojima put in while making this game. MGS4 was always going to happen, but Kojima’s involvement was uncertain. I’m genuinely curious what direction this game would’ve took if he quit the series back then. MGS2 alone is already hard to follow up on, and by also having to relate all the events in MGS3, Kojima inadvertently placed the story into a position where writing successive games would become very difficult. I wonder how Murata or whatever writer would approach the story without Kojima’s input. Would it be more or less of a clusterfuck than what it is now? Who knows? Regardless, I think MGS4 is a worthy conclusion to the series. It hits every emotional chord it needs and gives a sense of closure. It really hits you with a feeling that this is indeed the end. The “war has changed” speech gets me every time. In many ways, I feel that MGS4 is as much of a critique on gaming industry trends as it is on the military industrial complex (although it is ironic since this game features so many licensed firearms). Think about it. Forcing Snake (Kojima) back into a life of battle (video games) not because they want to (MGS2), but because they have no choice. The nature of warfare (game development), has shifted from ideology (the messages he tried to tell in MGS 1-3) to profits (fan satisfaction, corporate responsibilities, etc). The war economy strengthens this point by demonstrating how war has infiltrated ever aspect in the MGS universe, like gamer’s seeming obsession with war games like MGS. And the fact that MGS4 demystifies everything with nanomachines or some bloated conspiracy relating back to The Boss is a big middle finger to everyone who clamored for explanations. Kojima was probably like “You couldn’t think of an explanation yourself? Okay, I’ll give you an explanation appropriate for your handicapped intelligence.” In a way, it’s just as postmodern as MGS2 if not more. The metanarrative has always been MGS strong suit after all. But this is one extremely expensive art project in that case. I realize that I also need to be objective in this retrospective. Once you get into this mode of thinking, a literal pile of shit can be interpreted as a gold mine. I am not likening MGS4 to a pile of shit by the way. I’d say that MGS4 did well given what it was tasked to do. All the loose ends are tied up and it (mostly) deals with its characters very well. The characterization of Old Snake is so well done. His depiction as a fallen legend from a bygone era seeking peace is so tragic and powerful. And I really liked Raiden too, but not for the typical reason. I thought he was a good representation of the fans who failed to understand MGS2. Rather than move on and become a better person, he becomes a parody of those who just want to be “cool” and “edgy.” It reverses the dynamic in MGS2. Now that Snake is a decrepit senior citizen, epic ninja dude Raiden is the guy that everyone wants to play as now. And Meryl was excellent too, representing people who were able to mature and move on. She’s all grown up and has found her own purpose in life. It was sad seeing how far she’s moved on from Snake. The whole “marry me Johnny uwu” part was awful, but I suppose it adds to the point of moving on. Liquid Ocelot was a real treat to watch in this game as well. I thought the whole cast was pretty strong. The only character I thought was bad was Naomi. None of her actions make any sense. Even fucking Revolver Ocelot makes more sense than her and he is the king of convoluted conspiracies. She did a total 180 from her MGS1 self for no real reason and she killed herself because? Sniper Wolf and Gray Fox nostalgia? There’s a ton of cheap fanservice in this game but most of those are minor, have some purpose to the plot, or aid characterization. This instance was none of those. And in her debrief video after the virus upload, she never bothered to tell Snake that the new FOXDIE replaced the old one and he could live the rest of his life. Like seriously? This dude almost shot himself to prevent a now nonexistent threat. Plus her hot British accent is gone which is big sad. Also, Sunny contributing to FOXALIVE was kind of jarring. I understand her entire character is to show the new generation inheriting the ideals and problems of the old, but it’s just so random to have a seven-year-old prodigy. She should’ve been a little bit older. She was 11 in Rising and I was totally chill with that. Minor gripe I suppose. As a self-contained narrative, the game isn’t that confusing. However, the way it fits with previous games is super awkward. Big Boss appearing at the end of the game is also very random and has got to be the biggest violation of the “show don’t tell” principle I’ve ever seen anywhere. But given how the Japanese dub literally reconciles real-life father and son, it’s nothing short of beautiful. I prefer this over the original execution ending. Snake has suffered enough. He’s been punished since the day he was born. Personally, I will contend that the twist that the Patriots were the MGS3 support cast isn’t that bad. The identity of the Patriots has been hyped up so much that the answer could never be that satisfying. Would it really be better if they were new, original characters? Considering that they would most likely all be dead anyways, I doubt it. The hive-mind, collective consciousness that MGS2 depicted them was good, but the MGS community has proven itself incapable of abstract thinking after not understanding MGS2 in general. The whole thing would’ve worked better if Major Zero acted more like Colonel Campbell in MGS1, a “trusted” friend who knows more about the operation than he seems and is actively lying to you. The Paramedic, Sigint, and rest are whatever, but Zero wasn’t fleshed out enough to have this huge role. Hindsight is 20/20. They had no idea the plot would go this way. But shoehorning the Bosses’ will as a motivation for everything is stupid. Like I said for Portable Ops, it just became a convenient MacGuffin. There’s a sort of irony here. I could see how Zero’s world government can be traced back to the Boss with “the world can be one again”, but aside from a few throwaway lines he barely has a connection to her. What, did he really hear her entire speech from Snake’s radio? On the other end, I don’t understand how Big Bosses’ warmongering mercenaries can be interpreted from the Bosses’ ideals and he is the one who has a fleshed-out relationship with her. This is where I go “bruh moment” on the writing. Yeah, Liquid Ocelot was also stupid, but the writers had no choice and that kind of shenanigan totally makes sense for his character anyways. This is just an objectively bad cop-out. Gameplay is pretty good. Just the same as MGS3 but now it doesn’t handle like a Rube Goldberg machine. Unfortunately, you don’t really get an opportunity to use the mechanics to their full potential. The game is super cutscene heavy and only act 1 and 2 are truly conducive with experimentation. Overall, I think this game gets shit on too much and I love it. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PS3 HD Collection) This was actually the first Metal Gear game I ever played. My Dad got it for me on PSP close to when it was released. Unfortunately, 10 year old me was shit at video games and rage quit at the Hind boss fight so I put it on hiatus until the HD release came out. Online co-op came in clutch. I don't know why I found this game so difficult back then because now I find Peace Walker to be the easiest game out of all the Solid titles. Even the red skull vehicle missions aren’t too bad as long as you’ve grinded for the appropriate equipment. I have to mention that it was here where I was started to feel burnout from cycling through so many games so quickly. This one took me a bit longer to complete because I needed to extended breaks between sessions. But this game was still a treat. I was really confused with the plot because it seemed like Snake totally forgot about EVA’s debriefing and misremembers his fight with the Boss, but once I realized this game was about him coping with the truth rather than learning the truth, it finally clicked. For me, it cleared up a lot of the baggage left from MGS4. Outer Heaven is less of an interpretation of the Bosses’ will than it is an active rejection of it. When finally accepts the title of Big Boss, he refuses to resign himself to the same fate. That makes a lot more sense to me. Additionally, while it didn’t do that good of a job in this regard, it showed the origins of the alleged conflict between Zero and Big Boss that MGS4 mention. It also did some cool foreshadowing of the Patriot AI. I must mention that this game came out at a super awkward place. It’s post-MGS4 yet it chronologically takes place towards the beginning of the timeline. I also really liked the characters in this game. I was shocked to see how lively and colorful the entire cast was. You could tell they had a great time in the recording booth and most of it was just optional tapes! Unlike Campbell in Portable Ops, Miller is a much more realized character and has depth. He has great business acumen but is also as much of a dipshit as Snake. Then you had the bisexual chad Strangelove. I’m studying computer science, so her tapes were super interesting and relevant to me. I’d love to have her as a professor in real life. Even Cecile, a totally unimportant throwaway waifu, has some great moments in optional tapes. And it’s all very well acted too. Sadly, Hot Coldman was very uninspiring, lame villain. He was just kinda there. But it seemed clear that the real focus was the Boss AI and Cipher. Unfortunately, I don’t like David Hayter’s voice in this game. The Old Snake aesthetic doesn’t suit Big Boss. It sounded too forced to me. I’m not a big fan of Portable Ops, but they should have given Hayter the same voice direction. I am very satisfied with how they decided to expand this “Big Boss arc.” I know many don’t like how they continued the series, but I think this was a meaningful contribution. Although this is when the tech in Metal Gear got weird. Strangelove made an AI that replicated the Bosses’ thought patterns from brief personal experience and a bunch of documents. The best we have in real life is Alexa. It’s too advanced. Sure, there were always nanomachines and nuke tanks but that was all speculative fiction. I didn’t have a problem with the AI bosses. I think they were all fun and engaging. All of you who wished for human bosses are a bunch of homicidal maniacs. Although the breadth of vehicle missions suck. They’re not hard if you grind for equipment, but they are very tedious. And the grinding itself is a huge problem. So much of it is the just the same repetitive junk to farm soldiers or wait out development time. Good thing it’s only side content. I also understand that this was initially developed for the PSP, but the missions are way too short even if they are supposed to be bite-sized. Most of them can be completed in five minutes or less. But I appreciate the effort needed to put this much content into the game. Peace Walker is a great game. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PC), Difficulty Played: Hard This whole game is a meme and I live for it. This is the only hack-and-slash I’ve ever played so I don’t consider myself super qualified to talk about its merits. But with what I’m given, I’ll say that the gameplay is slick and well-polished. Very fun to play and on top of the power-metal soundtrack, it was an adrenaline high the whole way through. It momentarily cured me of my burnout. Rising also made me to buy Devil May Cry for more of the same. Eventually I will get around to playing those games. I felt like the writing of this game was weak. To me, it was so unfocused with what it wanted to do. It went all over the place from child soldiers, free will, patriotism, and a whole bunch of other things. This game touches on a lot of interesting topics but it’s so haphazard with how it deals with it. It’ll mention some new topic and then barely develop it. It’s a shallow ocean. And it seems like the writers weren’t really sure what they wanted to do with Raiden. His “Jack the Ripper” persona is so inconsistent when it manifests. He’ll be totally normal in the game but then you call the codec and he’ll do this gravelly voice and talk about how he loves fighting or vice versa. He just has this weird multi-personality disorder that I don’t think was fully intended. But considering that this game is spinoff and a parody of the series, I give it a free pass. Raiden’s character development from MGS4 may have been completely invalidated, but since it was so over-the-top and wasn’t afraid to make fun of itself, it doesn’t offend me. All the characters from Raiden to Armstrong were all so colorful and lively. Even the radio support team has a ton of good codec moments that give a good laugh or provide good worldbuilding. It’s a blast to experience it all. And I think it’s all because Platinum nailed the tone for this game. The level of edginess in Rising was the perfect balance of both cringe and cool. And come to think of it, it barely has anything to do at with the rest of Metal Gear aside from Raiden and Sunny. Yet, it perfectly uses that Metal Gear aesthetic and fits into the universe. It feels like it “belongs” in the series. I seriously want a Rising 2. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PC) I skipped this game at launch because even 14-year-old me knew it was a cash grab (and I had no money anyways lol). Funnily enough, I finally played it in like 2018. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, this game is just tech demo. An excellent tech demo, but a tech demo nonetheless. The Fox engine is a marvel in both graphics and performance. Easily one of the best game engines in recent years. And I’m not sure how, but I have over 30 hours on this game recorded on Steam. I probably idled the game overnight on accident, but I’m not sure. Still, it has a deceptive amount of content. I’d say it’s about the same as your average DLC. As for story, it’s a good transition from Peace Walker to MGSV. It effectively establishes the tonal change between the two games. And I really liked the little “side quest” of collecting Chico’s tapes. The way the plot unraveled itself even after you complete the main mission is a neat storytelling trick. And obviously I have to address the huge change that occurred in this game... The voice actor change. I like Kiefersnake. As much as I love David Hayter, Kiefer Sutherland’s voice really suited the character in my opinion. He sounds much more natural and gives a better impression of a non-accelerated aged man. I’ve heard some people say that it just sounds like Jack Bauer to them. This wasn’t a problem for me since I don’t watch 24, but after watching some clips of it I think this is a totally valid frustration. Anyways, decent game. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PC) I call this one “Blue Balls: The Video Game.” I love this game. In fact, I’ve 100%ed it twice. However, my franchise fatigue got really bad at this point. I wanted to be done. My burnout was so bad, that I just skipped missions non-essential to the story. And the fact that I was able to do this what I think is the game’s biggest weakness. Many of the missions are inconsequential and only tangentially related to the main story. I really wish the whole story followed the example of missions 28, 29, 30, and 31, which comprise the segment where you meet Code Talker, cure the parasite outbreak, and then confront Skull Face. You had a little bit of cutscene and exposition before the mission, and then a little bit of cutscene and exposition afterwards. Sometimes there isn’t even a helicopter ride in or out. It doesn’t even have to be that much, just enough to ensure that a consistent and comprehensible story can be told. Basically, just follow Peace Walker’s example. If it were up to me, I would restructure the story entirely. I would have most of chapter 1 hype up this bombastic, lofty, hate-filled crusade against Cipher and Skull Face. Then, missions 28, 29, 30, and 31 happen as they did normally. Huey still kills Skull Face. I think that a boss fight with him misses the entire point of what this game was going for. The end of chapter 1 should remain dissatisfying and anticlimactic to preserve the message that revenge is a wasted effort. Then chapter 2 is where you put all the mundane missions like mission 10: rescue some guy or mission 15: get rid of these Walker Gears. Juxtapose these basic “job” missions with all the misfortunes like the second outbreak, Quiet’s sacrifice, Eli stealing Sahelanthropus, etc and you strengthen what chapter 1 was going for. After the characters get their “revenge,” life just goes on for them. The major threat is gone and all there is to do is to keep doing more jobs. And that’s when you realize that they really haven’t solved anything, and nothing has changed since this new state of normalcy. And finally, you learn the truth after becoming far too entrenched in the body double ruse to ever find a way out. Not to put myself on a pedestal since this is my idea, but I think this is a better way to tell the story. It preserves the writer’s intent but reordering it in such a way that it’s not a disjointed mess. It’s such a shame since I think that MGSV has a cool story with a lot of great ideas but is hampered with a botched presentation. All that stuff about language really grabbed my attention. It really got me thinking. And where MGS4 had too many cutscenes, MGSV had too little. Which sucks since the cinematography is so well done. Not only that, but I don’t like how the tapes were handled. In Peace Walker, they were entirely optional and provided additional context or characterization while the voice actors goofed off in the recording studio. Now, some of those tapes hold important plot points that easy to neglect due to the formatting. And when you do listen to them, you’re probably half paying attention since you’re also doing a side op at the same time and then you get Ocelot’s daily reminder to hide from a chopper or some other distraction. You could listen in the ACC or on base, but that hurts the pacing of the game since it forces unnecessary inactivity. And a lot of this information should’ve been better integrated into the cinematics. But objectively, the content of the tapes are interesting and well-performed. But again, botched presentation. This “audio diary” method works best in games like Bioshock that make heavy use of atmosphere and environmental story telling. MGSV was not well-designed with those in mind given the open world. And it really failed to capitalize on the cast’s talent. Especially Kiefersnake who was such a wasted opportunity. He doesn’t need to be super talkative, but I would’ve liked a little bit more than what we got in the game. The characters are a weak point in general. Kaz is a one-dimensional. Ocelot is still a devil’s advocate kinda guy but it’s a lot more subdued. Quiet was alright. And Volgin, Liquid, and Psycho Mantis honestly didn’t add anything meaningful. Huey and Skull Face were fantastic though. Huey being an absolute piece of shit actually enhances the Otacon and Solid Snake bromance. It gives them a shared trauma of wanting to absolve the sins of the father and illustrates how much better they are than their predecessors. Plus, despite how despicable Huey was, many of his accusations towards Diamond Dogs were very valid. So even is the good guy anymore? And Skull Face was epic. He is an amalgamation of many MGS villain traits. He’s got Volgin’s cruelty, Ocelot’s cunning, Solidus’ charisma and idealism, etc. He’s a delightful cocktail of evil. Too bad he didn’t show up more. Kojima claiming that his absence as well as other things to enhance the “phantom pain” just comes off as an excuse to me. I also really like the body double twist. I made a comment on another post addressing this so I’ll just copy paste it here: MSGV’s ending is not an acknowledgement to the fans and is a brilliant inversion of MGS2’s ending. In MGS2, Solid Snake encourages Raiden to break free and form his own identity separate from the Snake persona as well as the player. In MGSV, Venom Snake’s identity is completely erased and replaced with that of Big Boss. The title of “Big Boss” is extended to Venom and is depicted like some kind of “gift.” What kind of deranged, mentally ill person would accept ever accept a gift like that? 9 years and your entire identity lost while becoming a human shield just to get some lousy recognition. Big Boss has to carefully word himself so you don’t completely lose your mind. While Raiden became his own man independent of the fans, Big Boss and Venom (you the player) are now one in the same. You’re just an expendable tool doomed to a life of eternal warfare. I think it’s Kojima’s way of saying “Thank you for you contributions... Wait, you’re not satisfied yet? Here, you can be Big Boss too. You get no peace now, keep fighting these meaningless proxy wars (video games).” I interpret it as a final “fuck you assholes!” that Kojima disguised as a compliment and I love it. The dude has always had a tumultuous relationship with fans. But again, we must do an objective analysis. My only problem with it is that I feel like it wasn’t incorporated well into the story and it’s somewhat obvious from the beginning. In comparison, MGS2’s twist is handled with a lot more care, with it slowly unraveling throughout the whole thing rather than character creation, a couple throwaway lines, and then boom you remember the prologue differently. And in general, the reveal itself is not handled well. Mission 46 is exactly the same as the prologue aside from the beginning and end of it. I wish there was more effort to differentiate them from each other. Maybe play as Ishmael? The overall mission would play out the same, but it would be enough difference to justify replaying it. Anyways, gameplay is easily peak of the series. If you let go of tranquilizing everything and start formulating weird, unorthodox strategies you can have a lot of fun with this game. It sucks to have to budget your resources, especially with the higher tier equipment, but it’s manageable. The main ops are all pretty good, just wish that they hall had perfect stealth, subsistence, extreme, etc. But thank God for PC modding. The side ops a trash though. Peace Walker’s had issues but at least they had variety. MGSV’s are all the same thing. Overall, I think the game was too ambitious. The gameplay is phenomenal, but the story comes off as a less elegant MGS2 to me. Still like it though. They tried. Metal Gear Survive (PC) I actually skipped this game on release and have not played it until now. I actually planned on stopping at TPP, but this game was like $7 on Steam sale and I wanted to experience all its shitty glory for myself. It's not great..., but not terrible either. Just very mediocre. I don't know why I should invest my time into this game when I can go play Resident Evil or Fallout instead. The story is meh and the characterization is laughably terrible. I chuckled when Nicholas said he would miss Dite if we left, as if I had any attachment whatsoever to the location or characters. I had a soft spot for Miranda though since she looks and sounds like a girl I used to date, but that's about it. And you thought Venom didn't like talking? I think the Captain says less than five words the entire game. The silent protagonist thing doesn't work well here. Admittedly I spent way too much time making the player character look like me. Finally, a Filipino video game protagonist lmao. Anyways, the gameplay itself is not satisfying. I found it boring and repetitive. Doesn't help that the world is uninteresting and a pain in the ass to explore. Everything looks the same and the way that the map works is an inconvenience that doesn't add any challenge or depth. It was also depressing to see all MGSV assets so blatantly and lazily reused. I screamed when I saw Luftwa Mansion. And nanobot zombies is such a stupid and novel idea, so why didn't the devs at least have fun with it? This game had some serious potential to be a hilarious meme loved by the community like Rising, but it's too lifeless and dull to come even close. I don't know why the game was directed this way. I could see how this game could be a good co-op experience, but the underlying experience is so unimpressive that I don't want to invest more time into it. A total waste of the FOX Engine and the team's talent. It's such a shame since the intro of the game hooked me by showing the aftermath of Ground Zeroes. They should have made a game where they followed MSF remnants continuing operations in Central America, a sort of Peace Walker-lite. Or they could have made a game following XOF with Reeve as the main character. Anything above those lines would have been better.
After hours of research, I had found what I thought to be the perfect pickup line. I walked up to a beautiful girl and said, “Hey, I thought you were cute, and I had to say hi.”
She smiled, said thank you, and we talked for a couple minutes until she paused and said, “It was nice to meet you,” and walked away. I never saw her again.
I’ve read dozens of books teaching men how to attract women with lines, tactics, and tricks. But after 10 years in the game, thousands of approaches, and yes, a good number of “lays” – I’ve found that attracting women isn’t something you can force. In fact, the harder you try to get a woman to like you, the less attractive you will be to her. When that girl from the above example rejected me, I could have blamed it on the line I used. But truthfully, no matter what I said, the result would have been the same. This is because attraction isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. Of all the times I attracted a woman, not once did I attract her because of some technique I used. Every single time, I attracted her because of who I was. There’s a saying, “The self is always shining through.” Basically, no matter how hard you try to “make a girl like you” using some tactic, it won’t work because using a technique to attract a woman is in itself a form of overcompensation. We only use techniques because on some level we don’t believe we’re good enough by default, so we try to make up for our inadequacy with a line or a trick(1). I can’t teach you how attract a specific girl using techniques, but I CAN teach you how to be an attractive man who naturally draws women in. There’s no quick-fix. Becoming the most attractive version of yourself requires that you invest both time and effort in yourself. But the end result is easily worth it. Over-time - by following the 4 tips in this article - you will become exponentially more appealing to the opposite sex.
How To Be An Attractive Man Key 1:
Develop your Self-Confidence
It’s no secret that self-confidence is attractive, but what is it, really? If asked, most people would say, “Self-confidence is belief in yourself.” And that’s true, but there’s a key component missing in that definition. Self-confidence isn’t just belief in yourself, it’s the belief that everything will turn out okay when you attempt something. Self-confidence doesn’t mean you expect every girl to like you, it simply means that you’re okay with the consequences of taking a risk, even if the girl doesn’t like you. When we lack self-confidence with women, we think that rejection is the worst thing that could happen to us. That fear causes us to filter ourselves in conversation, to adopt defensive body language, and even to speak with a weaker vocal tonality. Our inner lack of confidence causes us to behave less attractively. The more confident you become, the more attractive you will be - because you’ll stop getting in your own way. How do you actually do that? Well, how do we become confident in anything? Take driving for example. We become confident drivers by giving our brains proof that when we take the wheel, disaster will not ensue. Every time we drive - and we live to tell the tale - we become a little more confident in ourselves as a driver. The same applies to dating. Every time you take a social risk, and come out the other side unharmed, you will become a little bit more confident. For example, the more women you approach, the lower the stakes will feel when you walk up to a girl, because you’ll become comfortable with the possibility of getting rejected. What this means will vary from person to person. For many guys just starting their journey, the first step to developing self-confidence will just be getting out of the house, for others it will be something bolder. As you develop your self-confidence, you will become more attractive to women. Fortunately, if you utilize tip 4, the process of confidence building will largely take place automatically. The most important take-aways from this are that you can’t fake confidence, and that it will take time to develop – BUT your level of confidence is completely under your control and improving it will make you more attractive. Further resources on how to become more confident:
The more women you’re willing to reject, the more attractive to women you will become. This is counter-intuitive, but it’s true. If there is one thing that turns women off more than anything, it’s neediness. A guy acts needy when he is so desperate to be with a girl that no matter what she does or says, he would still sleep with her. Neediness is suffocating. It shows that you take getting with a girl way too seriously and that you see yourself as incapable of getting another girl of her caliber if you wanted to. Most of the guys I’ve met who have trouble attracting women (and there are many) have a problem with neediness. They see girls as a means to an end. They will happily sleep with any girl because that makes them feel like they “won”. Men with this mindset don’t meet women to connect with another human being, but to get a sense of accomplishment from sleeping with a girl. These guys don’t have standards for themselves. They see a hot girl as a prize to be won, so they are desperate to get her. Her personality is irrelevant. Her values are irrelevant. When you see women as mere sex-objects, it’s impossible to have a real human interaction with them. And, naturally, a man who sees a woman as a human being is much more likely to attract her than a man who sees her as the fleshy equivalent of a gold coin. The best way to eliminate this neediness that derives from seeing attractive women as prizes is to develop standards. Instead of being the guy who will do anything to get with the hot girl, you want to be the guy who’s interested in the hot girl but hasn’t decided if he wants to sleep with her yet. Just like confidence, this can’t be faked. Pretending that you have standards by disqualifying a girl or negging her won’t make her see you as a high-status guy. You have to develop actual standards. A good place to start is to make a clear list of what you won’t accept in a woman you’re considering dating (in whatever capacity). For reference, here’s a few of the things I won’t accept in a woman: -If a girl has any kind of drug addiction, I’m out. -If she’s unhealthily narcissistic, I’m out -If she has a negative mindset, I’m out. -If she is uninteresting, I’m out. When I’m interacting with a woman, I’m screening her for the above traits. She might be a perfect ten in appearance, but if she’s narcissistic and uninteresting, I’m not going to sleep with her. To do so would be selling myself short. The only reason I would sleep with that girl is because it would give me a sense of ego-gratification. I’d be doing it, so I could tell my friends about, not because to do so would actually be enjoyable. In my experience, at least, sex is better when you actually like the person. Physical attraction is important, too, sure. But I’ve been with extremely beautiful women in the past who I didn’t have any chemistry with - and it was crappy. Writing a list of the things you won’t tolerate in a potential sexual partner and rejecting women who don’t meet those standards is a powerful strategy for becoming more attractive to women. (Btw, it’s also useful to write a list of the things you do want in a partner.) When you’re interacting with a beautiful woman and you’re willing to reject her depending on what she does and says, the entire dynamic changes. Instead of acting like a guy who would do anything to get laid, you will act like a guy who has an abundance of options. Your non-neediness will make you infinitely more attractive than all the desperate guys pining after her. But this starts with taking a moment to write out what you want (and don’t want) in a girl you’re considering having a sexual relationship with.
How To Be An Attractive Man Key 3:
Improve your Appearance
Looks matter. The better looking you are, the higher percentage of women will make it easy for you to pick them up. At the same time, no matter how unattractive you are, some percentage of women will be attracted to you if are confident, non-needy, etc. (and that percentage is probably higher than you think). There are two important misconceptions about looks that must be cleared up: -Waiting to get in shape before meeting women is a silly idea. -Your looks matter, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. A lot of guys realize that looks matter, so they decide that once they’ve got their looks “handled” they’ll start approaching women. This is problematic because it can easily turn into a form of procrastination. Your appearance is something that you can constantly improve, but you’ll never reach a particular point where you’ve “made it”. Furthermore, improving your looks won’t make game easy. I’ve seen numerous good-looking guys fail at game. These guys expect their looks to do all the work for them, but truth is you still have to be very confident and assertive to succeed with women. The vast majority of guys don’t have the confidence necessary to take a woman home, and that’s something you can only develop through practice. Thinking you look good helps, but it’s not magically going to make you comfortable with social risk taking –(if only it were that simple). Improve your appearance while also improving your social skills. It’s not one or the other, it’s both. Focusing on your looks while neglecting to actually interact with women is a recipe for failure. Social skills, confidence, and physical attractiveness are all important when it comes to dating, don’t sell yourself short by improving one and neglecting the others. To do so would be as silly as learning how to shoot in basketball, but not how to dribble or pass. That said, you can make a staggering improvement in your appearance in the course of a single day. Get a high-end salon haircut. Buy some clothes that fit well and don’t make you look like you live in your mother’s basement. Simply dressing better and having a sense of style will make you more substantially more attractive. It’s not going to make up for a lack of confidence and experience, but it’s a good start. And really, 95% of guys in the seduction community have plenty of room to improve their style. I’m no expert on fashion, but here are a couple resources you can look at to get started with: http://masculine-style.com/rugged-refined-and-rakish/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiAubtXLnFs Obviously, when it comes to improving your looks, style is only half the battle. There’s no reason not to be in good shape. If you’re not already working out regularly, the easiest way to start is to go to the gym with a friend of yours who’s already in good shape. Having a gym buddy will help keep you accountable to working out even when you don’t feel motivated. Plus, if your friend is in good shape, they’ll be able to help provide you with guidance. If you don’t have a friend who can help you, there’s an unlimited number of fitness guides you can download. Find someone you resonate with and trust and follow their plan. If you have trouble being consistent, get a trainer to hold you accountable and provide guidance.
How To Be An Attractive Man Key 4:
Treat Dating Like A Skill
Whatever you want to accomplish in life, there are certain elements that are outside of your control. - If you want to be a doctor, a low IQ is a disadvantage that’s outside your control. - If you want to get rich, having a poor family is disadvantage that’s outside your control. - If you want to date beautiful women, factors like your height, race, etc. can be disadvantages that are outside your control. Dating coaches who say factors like your race and height don’t matter are lying. Sure, they matter, but they’re out of your control: worrying about them is only going to hurt you. When you tell yourself, “Girls don’t like Asians,” you’re going to see your interactions with women through that lens. If you walk up to a girl, and she rejects you, you’re going to say, “It’s because I’m Asian. If I were white that wouldn’t have happened.” This narrative becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you’re interacting with a woman, and you expect her not to like you, you’ll act different than if you expect her to like you. Your insecurities will show up in your behavior, and when she rejects you, you’ll think, “It’s because I’m Asian.” Then you’ll become even more insecure, women will like you even less, and so on. You can’t change your race, but you can change many of the other factors that create sexual attraction. The guy who wants to get rich but has a poor family can work twice as hard as his competition, and within a few years he can get to a point where he’s making a six-figure income. Similarly, a short Asian guy with a below average face can succeed with women IF he works twice as hard as his competition and focuses on the factors that are under his control. His level of self-confidence is under his control, his style and fitness are under his control, and his ability to take social risks is under his control. Look, with the above example, I said that the guy with a poor family could make six-figures, I didn’t say he can become a billionaire. Being a billionaire probably requires a certain amount of luck, the right family, being born in right time and place, the right genetics, etc. But anyone can make six-figures with enough time and effort. The same is true in dating. If you’re naturally a four on a looks scale, I can’t promise that you’ll be able to date Victoria’s Secret models, but you can still bat way out of your league and hook up with attractive girls. By treating dating as a skillset, you can date higher quality women than you would otherwise. If you fixate on whether you can get “perfect tens” you’re just going to cause yourself frustration. We have these fantasies, whether it’s to be a billionaire or to sleep with “10s”. These fantasies stifle us because they’re so far outside of our reality. Worry about pulling “10s” when you can already pull “9s” easily. Treat dating like a skillset by taking it one step at a time. Don’t spend much time learning how to build attraction when you still have crippling approach anxiety. -I know a guy who’s great at getting women attracted to him, but he always chokes by leaving the interaction before anything sexual can happen. He would massively improve his results if he focused on leading interactions forward by inviting the girl to the dance floor, to another area, etc. -I know another guy who is great at opening girls, but he’s so quiet they don’t pay attention to him. He would gain so much by working on his volume. -I know a third guy who is great at dating girls who aren’t particularly attractive. But he won’t even approach girls who he thinks are pretty. He’s unnecessarily limiting himself to only date women that are far worse looking than he is! I could give countless examples like the above. No, these guys can’t change their race, but they can learn to lead interactions forward, to speak louder, or to approach more attractive women. In dating, there countless factors that are under your control. Worrying about the things outside your control is silly when there are so many things you can proactively improve on. Don’t think about your race, think about your confidence. Don’t think about your height, think about your inability to approach attractive women. Treat dating as a skill, and you can improve your results dramatically. Treat it like something entirely based on your genetics, and you’ll just drown yourself in self-pity.
Skill Only Comes with Practice
The other key to treating dating like a skill, is to practice. If you spent 5 hours a week reading about how to pass a basketball, but never went out and played the game, people would think you’re an idiot. Yet it’s common for guys to spend dozens- if not hundreds - of hours learning about how to attract women, without going out into the world and practicing. Intellectual learning is only useful if you’re spending most of your time in the real world getting real feedback. Imagining what a good basketball shot looks like is completely different from taking the actual shot. Similarly, imagining what a good approach looks like is completely different from doing the approach. Information is only helpful to provide some guidance, it can’t do the work for you. Only real practice can. It’s a lot easier to read about picking up women than it is to actually do it. I know this as well as anyone. When I first learned about the seduction community, I spent over a year wat ching videos without doing a single approach. Was it helpful? No. If anything, my social skills got worse because I became so overanalytical. Learning how to attract women without practicing is just as absurd as trying to learn any other skill without practicing. Treating dating like a skillset is difficult. It takes patience, time, and effort to do so. Here are some resources that can help you if you get stuck:
Conclusion: How To Be An Attractive Man
There you have it, how to be an attractive man. Any of the four tips can change your life individually, but master all four and you won’t believe the successes you’ll have. Reading is how to do this is the easy part, becoming more attractive to women is a long-term process. Remember, anyone who tells you it’s going to be easy - that you can use some “hack” to succeed with women – is more interested in making money than in helping you improve. Changing your life is hard, but what’s the alternative? Approaching women can be painful, but not nearly as painful as it would be to settle for a woman you’re not happy with because “she was the best you could get” (which is what the majority of men end up doing). Fortunately, most of the factors that make a man attractive to women are under your control. If you’re willing to treat dating like a skill, you can master it. If you found this article useful, check out my YouTube channel for more content like this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4kTcVi-b_9qQnMCRG9WggA References:
This isn’t to say you should NEVER use a technique. They can be useful to get a feel for a principle of social dynamics that you don’t naturally utilize. For example, if you’re a nice guy, it could be useful to practice using some push-pull to get a feel for what being polarizing means and to get comfortable with being less agreeable. The technique isn’t going to attract women on its own, but it might help you get over your insecurities/limiting beliefs.
Looking for a business idea? Here are three companies that are ready for disruption!
How did you find these companies?
Every week, I find VC-backed or profitable, upmarket companies that bootstrappers can compete with. Here's how it works:
If a multi-million dollar company exists and has significant revenue, then they have proven demand in that market.
However, whether it's due to being funded or just needing to massively grow revenue to appease private shareholders, the company has no choice but to go upmarket and sell to massive enterprises
I've analyzed downmarket niches where VC-backed companies can't play. If the niche can only support a $1-$10 million ARR company, these organizations turn their back, leaving the opportunity wide-open.
For each company below, I've listed
The name of the company and other basic details
An analysis of the company and market
One niche to compete in
A unique selling-point (USP) that beats the big company in that niche
A clear vision of how you could build the MVP, and...
The next steps you should take to get started with the idea
Sound good? Let's get started. (Warning: This is a 15+ minute read. Brace yourself!)
Opportunity 1: ReviewTrackers
"We like ReviewTrackers, but we have also recently started using some other tools that also include review tracking. We plan to evaluate those before renewing our ReviewTrackers contract." Chris H. pic
Background: Estimated revenue range: $10M to $50M Number of employees: 51 to 100 Funding raised: $17.7M Founded: May 25, 2012 Metrics: Monthly web traffic: 129,194 visitors Monthly web traffic growth: 14.91% Price: Custom quote only, but plans used to begin at $49/month. Opportunity Size: Indie Hacker This is an opportunity that is of moderate ambition, relying on a minimum market size to drive out bigger competition.
ReviewTrackers began in 2012 as a VC-backed company focusing on review management and review generation for small and medium businesses.  Their customers love them for their powerful consolidation of different review sites and custom reporting alerts. This product is most frequently used by businesses with multiple locations, such as franchises.
Review management and review solicitation are life-or-death activities in many service industries, including hotels, restaurants, and residential cleaning. Services such as ReviewTrackers are essential for businesses in the service industry, and, by extension, agencies that handle online interactions for these companies. Products in this market tend to have one of two customer audiences:
Directly targeting the business operator, or...
Targeting marketing agencies
Be careful when investigating this area, as the two have notably customer bases, features, and prices.
Competitors targeting agencies include:
Vendasta: Starting at $345/month, plus a $200 onboarding charge 
Vendasta is one of the largest players in the market, offering an all-inclusive experience (including a paid B2B app store), at the most premium price.
NiceJob is a great platform for small businesses who wish to upload to general review sites like Yelp, but struggles with some of the more niche websites. 
The self-serve market is comfortable anchored to the $40 - $50 price range, and another product could fit there comfortably.
This is the classic example of a niche opportunity. The major players in the market reach their size by needing to appeal to all the users in the market. By specializing your positioning to a particular type of service, you would be able to hyper-focus on a specific group of people, find them easily online, and incorporate niche review sites that only their niche will care about. Which market you chose should depend on your own personal connections, which niche you would most prefer to serve, etc. However, I'll use a specific niche for the example: Reputation Management for Chiropractors. (Looking for an example of this strategy in the market? Check out ReviewRight: Reputation Management for Dentists )
Out unique selling point is a simple, traditional niche offer: We are specifically for chiropractic businesses, and we offer review management on niche sites that are specific to the chiropractic industry, as well as the general, more popular ones.
An MVP could look like the following:
Offer a consolidated dashboard for monitoring reviews of all the popular review sites (Yelp, AngiesList, etc.), as well as the following niche review sites:
Note that we don't need to offer integrations yet (where you can reply directly in the application). That can come later
(Bonus): Offer review solicitation via SMS. This has become a "must-have" feature due to how much more likely customers are to leave a review if they can do it on the phone.
a simple implementation: Via SMS, allow the chiropractor to send an automated email that includes a link to review the website on a given platform.
If you want to pursue this idea, you should investigate the following: 1) How can I reach chiropractors? What channels can I reach them through? Likely answers include online communities (Reddit and Facebook), cold email, LinkedIn, organizing online webinars, and paid advertising. You should investigate these channels and see if you are able to get traction in any one. 2) Which service are chiropractors already using, and why? How much do they tend to pay? This allows you to identify any other notable competition, as well as build a roadmap of critical features for beyond the MVP.
Opportunity 2: TapInfluence
"I find the price is a little outrageous for a small agency. The platform has been designed for enterprise level purchasing and re-licensing out to clients - this is really prohibitive when first trying to sell the product to clients as we can't show them results without huge initial investment."  pic Background: Estimated revenue range: $10M to $50M Number of employees: 51 to 100 Funding raised: $22.7M Founded: June 1, 2009 Metrics: Monthly web traffic: 30,624 visitors Monthly web traffic growth: 14.02% Price: $10,000/month .Opportunity Size: Bootstrapper This is an opportunity that is of large ambition, best suited for someone willing to commit over multiple years.
TapInfluence is an Influencer Marketing software, whose main pitch is that it allows you to find and buy influencers for campaigns, all on one proprietary platform. Customers of TapInfluence love the ease of use for finding influencers, while agencies in particular love the ability to sell it to clients. 
TapInfluence, previously named BlogFrog, began to exist in its modern form in 2013.  Their main pitch is that they are able to maintain a list of 100,000 influencers for brands to connect with. (Click the link to see Rustin Banks, the Co-Founder of TapInfluence, on how the influencer market works, and how TapInfluence operates)  The influencer market is huge, rapidly changing, and growing over time. Click the link to take an in-depth look at the influencer market data from 2016. 
There are a large number of competitors that do not offer a self-serve option for agencies. These agencies are all trying as rapidly as possible to move towards the "Holy Grail" in this industry, which is a product that offers the following:
Connect with influencers
Engage with influencers (unpaid)
Recruite influencers for a paid campaign
Display reliable metrics / reporting data
(Want to know more about this? Check out the link here:  ) "Hopefully one day creating an influencers campaign is as easy as setting a facebook ads campaign."
The following companies aim to be the all-in-one solution listed above, and have custom-only pricing:
Join marketing focuses specifically on European influencers and companies, and offers both a brand-based plan and agency-based plan.
The lower-end of the market is wide open for a white-label "Land and Expand" opportunity at the small agency level. Land and Expand is a strategy where you launch a small initial offering to a smaller audience, and slowly grow to compete in a bigger niche. This is a good strategy for when the highest-level of the competition is too stiff to break into, but the lowest-level of competition is quite weak. A white-label product is a product that your customers can customize the logo and branding (as well as the subdomain it lives on) to appear as though it is software owned by the marketing agency. It is then resold to the customer at a premium. By targeting small marketing agencies of 1-5 people who want to add influencer marketing to their services, you can launch a competitor product in the low-end of the market.From there, slowly expand your product offerring to vertically integrate into all five aspects of the influencer campaign management process.
The unique selling point is to explain that you are a company that specifically works with small marketing agencies to enable them to run influencer campaigns for clients via white-label software. Most agency-focused solutions are incredibly expensive, in the range of thousands of dollars per month. Instead, you can offer a more reasonable amount for a small agency, and use that time to grow and expand the project to be able to service larger agencies. (Note: There is opportunity here to run a service-oriented SaaS model, where you offer up-front training and guidance for as a productized service, with the SaaS fee trailing afterwards).
The MVP might look something like: 1)A facetable list of influencers (see "Next Steps" on how to acquire this data) 2) White-label: Ability to customize domain, branding, and logo 3) Profile analysis - Investigate if an influencer's following is real and heavily engaged. Note: This can be done in a more niched way by focusing on one particular medium, such as only YouTube influencers. However, doing this would require you to likely adjust your strategy to target individual brands instead of agencies, which is why this concept hasn't been covered in depth.
1) Create a list of small marketing agencies, either via LinkedIn or through some other curated list. These should be easy to find, since marketing agencies want companies to be able to get in contact with them. 2) Reach out and offer to interview for a company round-up that you will be publishing to your audience. This allows you to do customer research while still offering something of value. (You can mention you will publish the article to IndieHackers, which is home to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs who may be interested in such a campaign). 3) Investigate the following questions:
Do they offer influencer marketing to their clients?
How do they manage their influencer marketing?
Are they happy with the software they use?
4) Acquire the data: The majority of the industry uses a database called Demographics Pro, which offers API access to their information. This is also what TapInfluence uses for thier software (at least, as of 2015.)  You could either utilize this data or find a different source for the list and attributes of influencers.
Opportunity 3: BugHerd
pic "It removes any ambiguity about bugs and feature requests. Being able to annotate a comment directly on a live / staging website, is a huge perk and something that I now cannot live without."
Background: Estimated revenue range: $10M to $50M Number of employees: 11 to 50 Funding raised: $1.5M Founded: 2011 Metrics: Monthly web traffic: 138,468 visitors Monthly web traffic growth: -12.05% Price: $39-189/month Opportunity Size: IndieHacker This is an opportunity that has limited technical complexity, a clear niche with visible channels, and does not involve incredibly stiff competition, making it a great product for an IndieHacker-type entrepreneur.
BugHerd is a visual feedback tool for websites. Their tagline is, "It's like using sticky-notes to capture and pin client feedback directly onto a page." Customers love BugHerd for it's ability to easily get feedback from clients, and some customers are even using it to help generate feedback from QA testing. BugHerd is unique in this list, as it originally was a VC-backed company, having raised almost one million dollars, before their upmarket play crumbled and they were forced to scrap two projects and repay their investors.  As such, this opportunity is not necessarily a downmarket play of a VC-backed company, but an alternative positioning play to a cashflow-positive one.
The user / site feedback market has been around for a while with a wide diversity of tools available. No single product has been able to dominate the market, which makes it unique when compared to the other markets in this analysis. Below are the two main competitors:
Marker.io: $59 - $199/month
Marker.io is a company that came about in 2015, and focuses equally on project managers, QA testers, and agency clients for its feedback tool.They are also a VC-backed company, having raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round in 2016, and have not had to take funding since. 
Usersnap: $79 - 149/month
Usersnap focuses on feedback from users, instead of internal teams. While its customers enjoy the integrations to the platform, there seems to be a lack of flexibility with the automatic ticket that is created. 
There is a strong opportunity for a positioning play here. A strong focus on the QA niche is a promising opportunity for a competing software. Currently, all of the major projects attempt to appeal to multiple niches, notably agencies. The mix of their positioning prevents them from diving deep into what would make the ideal QA experience. The QA market itself is already worth over 5 billion dollars, and is still growing rapidly.  As more and more companies begin to take a OpEx hit in this category, solutions to improve workflow will naturally improve in value as well. As such, a fast follower to BugHerd and Marker.io can quickly reach feature parity by focusing only on the features that QA want/need.
The unique selling-point of this product is simple: You aim to make the manual UI-testing process as efficient as possible. While manual testing is being reduced throughout the industry as a result of increased DevOps practices (such as CI/CD), manual testing remains a large part of the testing process for critical flows. By positioning this product as a solution for QA teams to more easily return feedback to developers, the market and value-add is clear.
Allowing for video, GIF, or multiple screenshot feedback
Additional integrations (Intercom, Slack, etc)
Automatic generation of a QA report for the session (to assist with documentation)
And much more
The next steps for this task is to communicate with software development teams, such as agencies, that have QA departments, and validate this angle of approach. My preferred method to do this is via the "Company Roundup" hack I mentioned in the TapInfluence section above. Once you are in contact with companies, you'll want to ask these questions:
Do they do manual testing?
If so, have they considered one of these tools?
Do the tools offer the integration they need?
If not, what is their workflow for recording bugs from QA?
Based on their responses, you'll gain an understanding on the language, pain, and context around this problem. Then, assuming signs look good, you can either pre-sell the product for increased validation, or go straight to building the MVP. There are likely many channel plays for this product. You can attempt to reach QA directly via inbound marketing, such as content creation and SEO, or you could target agencies directly via an outreach approach. A combination of both will likely be needed in the beginning. If you liked this post, and are an entrepreneur who is serious about finding a viable business idea, I'd love for you to check out my website: softwareideas.io. Every Thursday, I release a newsletter just like this one, available exclusively to those subscribers. I'll also eventually be doing a free version of this newsletter, so stay tuned!
How I Help Intelligent but Deeply-Pained INTPs *FINALLY* Rapidly Progress toward Living their Dream Lives! >>LONG POST<<
I help intelligent but deeply pained INTPs finally become winners who enjoy executing efficient plans to achieve their dream lives from states of increasing harmony, flow, joy, bliss, and ease.
Why do INTPs tend to have high IQ levels, but lower income & less life satisfaction compared to most MBTI types?
I'd elaborate on that in great detail, but most of you seem pretty self-aware as to why that is. But in short, these seem to be some of the top issues (directly related to the question at hand):
So many interests / scattered focus
Lack of desire to commit to a definite plan
So aware of the arbitrary nature of reality that it gets in the way of taking action
You are incredibly aware that you have NOT found an objective meaning or purpose to life
Total lack of motivation -- sure, your dream life would be nice, but you are...
Too aware of how many things could go wrong... so better just to do nothing...
just to name a few. Also, you're an NT-- and as many will point out, we live in an SF society. Whether you agree with that or not (I tend to, generally, to an extent...) So many of you have so much to offer-- perhaps the most to offer in terms of accuracy and just being able to see what is TRUE in the situation-- so it's a waste that INTPs can sometimes get stuck working under management and leadership hierarchies which often prevent the INTP person from really shining in that environment. You might know that on some level you want to live a different life, but executing on it is a completely different animal if you even get started, which for many INTPs, seems just overwhelming.
What types of pain does this cause down the line?
You know you're smart and have a lot to offer, but youknowyou're not living up to your potential which a part of you, deep down, really does care about*-- and this is a potential which seems higher, to me personally, than most of the other MBTI types when correctly harnessed.* What I've noticed about a lack of motivation in many people is that sometimes the lack of motivation can be a defense mechanism to avoid facing the fears in the way of what really excites us most-- but the mind is incredibly capable of playing all sorts of tricks on us like this.
Many of you see people who are less intelligent and far less original than you... but become wildly successful. Deep down, it's natural to feel frustration and envy over this (HECK, I SURE DID!). You can talk to them for five or ten minutes and find so many logical fallacies in their arguments and express beliefs based in ignorance of facts you yourself already verified much more accurately. They aren't doing anything groundbreaking... they are the cog in the system and it can be kind of annoying seeing all of these people getting rewarded for everything. WHY NOT YOU? You can see how all the pieces of the system fit together accurately, and you're capable of finding all of their mistakes. I believe firmly that you DO have the potential to accomplish everything they can on a worldly level, and more.
Although there may not be an OBJECTIVE purpose to life, you might feel separated from the subjective purpose which is true TO YOU--a purposeYOU DOactually care about.
Although there may not be an OBJECTIVE purpose to life, again, and it seems more trouble to invent one on your own... It's still a lot nicer to have control over your life--- to show up to your problems from a place of lavish comfort of your choice.
Sure, you might not be motivated to go for it, but if you were to write down your ideal life... what would be on that list? Think about it. Consider everything. EVERYTHING.
How does that list compare to your current life? See what I'm getting at?
For some reason... you're JUST NOT connected with living the life you ACTUALLY WANT-- and that's what it comes down to! It's nice to...
have ideal friendships and romantic relationships
be able to show up to life in comforts (house, car, clothing, healthcare)
have your source of income actually aligned with what you ENJOY doing
have a certain amount of FREEDOM in your life to make the circumstances of your work life and lifestyle what you desire instead of having to conform to the system around you.
Okay, so what do we do about it?
I have found it useful to address these problems on multiple levels:
We dig deep and gain clarity on who you really are, in multiple phases of the growth process, to assure we're working with who you really are as a person at the deepest level and purge all of the incorrect beliefs society and the world around us installs (something so many of us actually ignore).
Using proven techniques to completely change what the mind does automatically, without you thinking about it (yeah, your mind just having free reign can bea pretty big pain in the ass, huh?haha! Yeah, thistotally helps*). And* YES, when we CHANGE THIS, do NOT UNDERESTIMATE how powerful that is!After all, if you were to write down a list of all of your thoughts in the last week, how, uh... helpful were they in helping you directly solve your life goals? ... ... exactly. The crazy thing is (and I'm surprised more people haven't figured this out yet) YOU CAN change that after all. Sure maybe "you" have a lot of problems, but a version of yourself we can systematically engineerno longer does!
On a deeper level, although we can change what the mind does to a large extent--- it's even more powerful to learn how to be totally unaffected by the mind to see beyond that programming (conscious and unconscious-- which is what you are experiencing now). Although this is something I've wanted to do for a long time, it took me at least SIX YEARS OF PAIN(and this is a special interest to me too!) after trying all kinds of meditation and yoga (and frankly giving up a lot because so much of what I tried did not work) to finally get to the breakthrough which shows me how anyone can accomplish this.
Specifically we can and will systematically engineer desire and motivation where you have none using proven techniques.
Because you now ARE someone who ENJOYS what you are doing and HAS the character traits necessary to do things... you don't have to FORCE yourself to do hard work anymore--- especially if you are (a) doing what you now realize you love / (b) systematically, using techniques I can teach and guide you with, increasingly learn how to enjoy and love everything else you need to do / become to complete your goals.
**NOT ALL PLANS ARE EQUAL. NOT ALL STRATEGIES ARE GOOD. NOT ALL BUSINESS IDEAS EVEN WORK! Few of these strategies work as EFFECIENTLY as YOURS SHOULD!**It's been a pet peeve of mine to see people perusing entire life strategies based off of things that really don't contribute to their goals as easily or as efficiently as they could. For example, there are a number of high income skillsets which are relatively simple to acquire but which most people won't do. There are many business models which have very high ROI people aren't interested in. And for SOME reason (this will also apply-- that's right... to YOU, INTP perfectionist!) people decide to spend all kinds of time and energy on things which don't actually contribute to the goal correctly when they work on something. I systematically work with MY clients to IDENTIFY what those things are and within the systematic frameworks I use... and the lists of high-output / low-input skills and strategies I've compiled over the years... I make sure the clients I help \are* focusing on the right actions and have the right knowledge to be *ARMED* effectively with what the best opportunities are to get to their goals most efficiently\.* Areas I have additional specialized expertise in ( include:
various entrepreneurial business models (especially solo-entrepreneurships for true introverts who are interested)
the strengths / weaknesses of various marketing strategies, and simple rules few people seem to be aware of to make it big
sales strategies which are likely to (a) be far more effective than most (b) harmonize with your personality type, based on the context of whatever you'd like to create
things to do with PRACTICAL dating / relationship psychology as a MALE interested in females (for the ~2/3 of INTPs who happen to be male) which are not, well... \*common* * knowledge* --- For females, a lot of the same things could apply, but for a lot of you, it's going to be a lot easier than for your male counterparts!;)-- the way I see it, what's life without being able to have a good love life as well?I may not be some Casanova(with like a 500+ notch count; I think that would kill me!), but I USED TO to be entirely socially inept when it came to relationships, and now I've done pretty well for myself(worrying about bringing attractive females in my life, as someone interested in them, isn't really a problem anymore)--- so get more "bang" (LITERALLY😉***) for your buck here if you care about this!!*** -- That being said, upon deeper introspection & awareness of what I've learned, you might choose to make it less of a focus... all up to you.
Even if you are working in a different area... the fact that I have learned patterns which create incredible results in certain fields also helps me figure out patterns which are likely to figure out success in other fields-- which means, especially when working with a client, we can formulate a mastermind and combine this information to determine what are these home run strategies which give you the 1% RESULTS in YOURarea of interest?
Because this can also be a serious issue for INTPs, we will ORGANIZE in a way which is ENGINEERED to create success with the type of plan which is right for you. Different methods and different ways of laying out information are going to be more useful for certain types of plans. After years of dealing with ADHD hell, I've finally figured out how to organize the chaos of the world into something which is pretty much always functionaleven within utter external chaos-- and for those whose plans and goals have more definite requirements (clear and obvious in terms of how long each major step takes etc), we would use an entirely different set of tools. But your brain is still going everywhere-- every which way, and considering everything, to an extent, even when we learn to retrain its focus. This is something we can harness this and use it to your advantage, and I've got that covered.
Uncommon sense health for the 21st century. So, doctors really don't seem to be able to help EVERYONE ALL THE TIME with ALL of their health issues, physical, and mental, do they? This certainly wasn't the case in my life--- and when one looks at the literature on INTPs and how many are unhappy and turbulent, this shows me there is a lot to get done. I've suffered from serious neurological issues and learned an extremely large list strategies to both (a) increase mental focus / clarity or reduce anxiety in ways which are harmonious with the rest of the body (I've taken the supplements... tested the diets... tested the herbs) in terms of short-term "band-aid" type solutions you could use the rest of your life if you wanted (b) for the long-term, I believe I may have discovered some of the root causes which could be going unrecognized in our modern world of issues which could disproportionately affect INTPs. Really the health tips I'm talking about in (a) should help everyone, but for those who want a more long-term roadmap, the things I am talking about in (b) provide plenty of options, ways to potentially identify things which could be real physiological issues and seem psychological on the surface. Either way, what I have noticed is WE CAN still attack these problems from ALL angles and whatever the "root cause" might be, it is possible to make much more of a difference than you believe currently.
ACCOUNTABILITY-- Don't think you're disciplined enough to take a plan and execute on your own? I'll keep you accountable and provide you with the philosophical understanding which allowed me to move from my apathy / sense of futility to the determination which will empower you to create what you desire.
That's pretty much it for WHAT we're going to do... but the HOW it's good for you to know is that this is designed to be a VERY enjoyable FLOW BASED process that builds natural momentum and helps you enjoy the process of becoming the person your "higher" (long-term-desire over short-term-desire focused) self would like to be! And know something else? It's all very personal and individualized-- although I could show you (almost) exactly everything I've done... it's going to work much better when we match my techniques to what really lights you up--- and I've got this down to a systematic enough level, it'll be abundantly clear on exactly how to implement that. And the way it works... sometimes it might even feel like magic.
One thing this work has confirmed on a deeper level for me is... there is a very profound aspect of ourunseen realitywhich actuallyDOES affect our livesin ways that most scientistsaren't talking about-- in ways you AREN'Tgoing to be learning in school. You don't have to believe me... I know the methods I use work on a psychological level--- but there are those who think they can also work on the level of, say, controlling coincidences in the worlds around us. If you have heard someone talk about, for example, "The Law of Attraction" or "The Secret", those might be watered-down understandings (not entirely "complete" or fully applicable on their own) of very strange aspects of our reality which I happen to believe (for GOOD reason based on EXPERIENCE) DO exist! (personally, my only questions are on the more specific practical details and the whole cosmology of it all... 10/10 "weird" phenomena, however... CONFIRMED!) ---- That being said, I am not going to make any promises about THIS area just yet. However, if you've ever been curious about those topics, the modalities I teach and work with harmonize quite well with what others attempt to practice using metaphysics--- but I try to come at this first and foremost from the perspective of your psychology--and if the metaphysical aspects work for you, that's great too!There is definitely sufficient evidence for what I teach, coach, and guide clients with on the psychological side already. I'm going to avoid making promises in this other area, but it is likely an aspect of how and why the type of work I do tends to be helpful for so many people in strange ways which leave them scratching their heads-- "Wth!? I can't believe reality is this weird!! o__o"~ ...Welcome to my life... ;) But it can be very fun and interesting, I promise!
And when I finish working with you or succeed in my goals, what then? What's that like?
That's up to you. It's your dream life we're working with... and you can always do more if you decide you'd like to with the tools I provide.
These gifts last a LIFETIME and it BECOMES a way of life to empower your success long after we finish working. ---- It's MY GOAL to make sure YOU no longer need me... that I empower you (with knowledge) to become a master of all I know in your own right.
When you learn how fun this process is, you might find yourself enjoying finding more dreams to create, making it a game, and having fun living a life filled with experiences you never thought were possible before working with me.
At the end of the day... When I see INTPs... I see a lot of incredibly smart people who the world could use way more insight from, particularly their most-empowered-and-healthy-(mind/body/"spirit")-possible selves. I looked at the world and said, "Hey, this could use quite a bit more more Ti (logical accuracy) and insight into much better paths it's not walking yet (Ne)" ... and I realized I have just what it takes to do that... because I managed to overcome so many of these INTP-related problems myself and... I love it. You can have that too! Want help?
Send me a DM and let's see what we can do. :)
But, major rule: this stuff is powerful so make sure it is only used for good!!!<<<< You must promise!
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