Church Of Monero: Enough is enough - How the leader of the Church tried to fool the community to make look like the Church is organizing the Monero Konferenco and even adding his own Monero address on the flyer (166 points, 268 comments)
[URGENT]Call for translators! - We have two days to submit as many translations as possible for the next release of the GUI wallet! We need your help! (123 points, 46 comments)
Monero translators, we need you to make one final sprint! The code freeze is imminent. (112 points, 15 comments)
I tell a lot of people about Monero who don't know anything about crypto and they instantly get it. They ask me the same thing over and over, so why do people still use Bitcoin? (127 points, 119 comments)
How trustyworthy is the Cake wallet for iOS? (80 points, 43 comments)
Why don't other coin devs like talking about fungibility? They seem to shrug it off even though it's a necessary component to being a currency. (77 points, 85 comments)
Week 48; Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico worsened with the inadequate response by the federal government. Amid criticism, Trump threatened to pull out, but later backed off. Although the death count officially stands at 45, reporting revealed possibly hundreds more preventable deaths related to the Hurricane Maria. Trump remains silent on both California’s deadliest wildfires and the deadliest combat incident since he took office. He continues to focus on undoing Obama’s legacy, piece-by-piece. The Mueller investigation hit Trump’s inner-circle, and social media’s role in aiding Russia continues to unfold.
On Saturday night, Richard Spencer led another white supremacist torch-lit rally at University of Virginia. The rally lasted 10 minutes and 40-50 people attended. Spencer vowed, “we will keep coming back.”
On Sunday, Trump attacked former ally Sen. Bob Corker in a series of incendiary tweets, saying “Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election” and “wanted to be Secretary of State.” Trump claimed to have said no to both.
Corker responded, tweeting it’s a shame the WH has become an “adult day care center,” and that someone “missed their shift this morning.”
On Sunday, Pence left a Colts game after a protest during the national anthem. Pence later issued a full statement opposing the protests. The Colts were playing the 49ers, a team known to protest.
Before the game, Pence tweeted a photo of him and the Second Lady wearing Colts gear. The photo was one he originally tweeted in 2014.
Shortly after, Trump tweeted he had asked Pence to leave the game “if any players kneeled,” and said he was proud of Pence and the Second Lady.
The pool of journalists covering Pence were not allowed into the stadium, and were told, “there may be an early departure from the game.” ABC estimated Pence’s flight cost taxpayers nearly $250k.
Bowing to pressure from Trump, the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, after kneeling with players in week 3 of the season, changed course saying any player who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling will not be allowed to play.
On Tuesday, Trump threatened the NFL over protests saying the league is “getting massive tax breaks” and the law should be changed. This claim is false: the NFL gave up its 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status in 2015.
On Tuesday, bowing to pressure from Trump and fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who previously had said players had the right to voice their opinions, sided with owners opposed to letting players demonstrate.
On Monday, Pence headlined a fundraiser in CA for Republicans including controversial, Kremlin-ally Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher had a previously undisclosed meeting in Russia with Veselnitskaya described in Week 47.
University of Wisconsin approved a policy which calls for suspending or expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations. The policy mirrors Republican legislation passed by the state Assembly.
On Columbus Day, unlike Obama, Trump celebrated the “arrival of Europeans,” but did not mention of the suffering of Native Americans.
On Sunday, the Trump’s DHS allowed the Jones Act waiver, which helped speed relief to Puerto Rico, to expire. No explanation was given.
Trump’s EPA announced it would repeal the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The statement described the regulation as the “so-called Clean Power Plan.”
On Friday, Trump addressed the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, which has been classified by SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. Trump is the first US leader to address the group.
Reuters reported the Trump regime has been quietly cutting support for halfway houses for federal prisoners, severing contracts with as many as 16 facilities, necessitating some inmates stay behind bars longer.
ABC reported the Treasury Dept’s inspector general is looking into allegations reported by BuzzFeed in Week 47 that agency officials have been illegally looking at private financial records of US citizens.
A report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at House and Senate Democrats’ request, found the Trump transition team ignored ethics officials and refused to cooperate with the GAO.
Trump named Kathleen Hartnett White to the WH’s Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White, a climate science denier, once also said, “fossil fuels dissolved the economic justification for slavery.”
In response to a filing by CREW, Trump’s DOJ told a court in DC that Trump can destroy records without judicial review, including tweets.
Brian Brooks became the second candidate under consideration for deputy Treasury Secretary to withdraw from consideration. Mnuchin said he has no plans to fill the number two slot in his agency.
WAPO reported at the Interior Dept, when Zinke enters the building a staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and puts up a special flag. The flag comes down when he leaves.
On Wednesday, NBC reported Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” was provoked by Trump suggesting a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a July 20 meeting with the high-ranking national security leaders.
In response to the story which he called “Fake News,” Trump tweeted a threat to revoke the broadcasting licenses of “NBC and the Networks.”
Later that afternoon, at a news conference, Trump again lashed out at the independent news media saying it’s “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
In a statement Wednesday night, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse asked Trump if he was “recanting” his oath to protect the First Amendment.
Indiana Republican lawmaker Jim Lucas drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police.
Under pressure to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, McConnell will no longer allow “blue slips,” used by senators to deny a nominee from their state a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation.
The Trump regime withdrew from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing anti-Israel bias and a being in arrears on a $550 million payment. Israel remains part of UNESCO.
NYT published an interview with Corker in which he said Trump is treating his office like a “reality show” with reckless threats at other country that could put our country “on the path to World War III.”
Corker said he is concerned about Trump, and Trump’s behavior should concern “anyone who cares about our nation.” He added there is no ‘good cop, bad cop’ underway with Tillerson — Trump is undermining diplomacy.
Corker said nearly all Senate Republican share his concerns: “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”
WAPO reported Trump is frustrated by his cabinet and that he is not getting enough credit for his handling of three hurricanes. Trump is lashing out and rupturing alliances with both Republicans and Democrats.
One confidant said Trump is like a whistling teapot, saying when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode: “I think we are in pressure cooker territory.”
Politico quoted 10 sources current and former WH aides who employed strategies like delays and distractions as “guardrails” in trying to manage Trump’s impulsivity.
Vanity Fair reported sources say Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” They say the WH is in crisis as advisers struggle to contain Trump who is increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.
Trump allegedly told his former bodyguard Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House!” Kelly is allegedly miserable in the job, and is staying on in a sense of duty and to keep Trump from making disastrous decisions.
One former official speculated Kelly and Mattis have discussed what they would do if Trump ordered a nuclear strike — “would they tackle him?”
According to sources, Bannon said the risk to Trump’s presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment. Bannon thinks Trump has only a 30% chance of making it the full term.
In a column “What Bob Corker Sees in Trump,” conservative columnist Peggy Noonan urged Republicans they have a duty to speak on the record about what they see happening with Trump.
On Thursday, at a signing ceremony for his health care executive order, Trump nearly walked out of the room without signing the order. Pence pulled him back in.
On Tuesday, Trump said in an interview with Forbes that he could beat Tillerson in an IQ test. Trump met with Tillerson later that day at the WH.
On Friday, Corker called out Trump for his effort to disempower Tillerson saying: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice.”
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said, “It’s very clear now that we essentially have no diplomacy going on in the United States,” adding the way Trump has treated Tillerson is “the most dramatic example of it.”
On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Parscale claimed he fine-tuned ads on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about. He also claimed he handpicked Republican Facebook employees to help.
Daily Beast reported the Kremlin recruited two black video bloggers, Williams and Kalvin Johnson, to produce incendiary YouTube videos calling Hillary a racist. The videos were spread on social media platforms.
WAPO reported Google has uncovered evidence about $100k of ads purchased by Russian agents to spread disinformation on across the company’s many products, including YouTube, during the 2016 election.
Google said the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-linked troll farm that bought ads on Facebook. Some ads touted Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, while others aimed to fan the flames of divisive issues.
Rep. Devin Nunes, who recused himself as Chair of the House Intel Committee’s Russia probe, unilaterally signed off on subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the Steele dossier. Democrats were not consulted.
Reuters reported Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is also taking steps to discredit the dossier according to Democrats on the committee.
Carter Page told the Senate Intel Committee that he will not cooperate with any requests to appear before the panel on Russia, and will plead the Fifth.
Daily Beast reported the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work from the Trump campaign as part of its Russian probe.
Cambridge Analytica, which has ownership ties to the Mercers and Bannon, was brought in to help the campaign by Kushner. The company is also under investigation in the UK watchdog for its role in Brexit.
NYT reported Israel caught Kaspersky Lab working with the Russian government to search the world for US secrets, using Kaspersky software to scan for classified words. Kaspersky software is used by 400 million people.
WSJ reported that Russia’s use of the Kaspersky program to spy on the US is broader and more pervasive than the operation against one individual in Week 47. Trump continues to deny Russian meddling in the US election.
Politico reported as part their posture to cooperate, Trump’s attorneys may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump. If Mueller doesn’t ask by Thanksgiving, attorneys may force the issue by volunteering his time.
Legal experts were surprised by Trump’s lawyers strategy noting Trump would be speaking under oath and he routinely distorts facts, and that Trump would be interviewed in connection with a criminal investigation.
CNN reported Russian operatives used YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokémon Go as part of their effort to interfere in the election, using a campaign titled “Don’t Shoot Us” to spread a divisive message.
NBC reported Manafort had a previously undisclosed $26 million loan from Deripaska through a series of transactions. It is unclear if the $26 million is a loan or an indirect payment from the Russian oligarch.
The loan brings the total financial relationship between Manafort and Deripaska to $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, initially responded to NBC with a statement including: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”
Maloni’s statement was later revised and that sentence was removed. Both Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas to supply documents and testimony in the Mueller probe.
Yahoo reported Andrew Feinberg, former correspondent for Sputnik, provided a guide and emails to FBI investigators looking into possible violations of the law which requires agents of foreign nations to register with the DOJ.
Further, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating RT and Sputnik as possible parts of the Russian state-run propaganda machine in the broader probe into Russia’s election meddling.
On Friday, Mueller’s team interviewed Trump’s former chief of staff, Priebus. Priebus’ lawyer said he voluntarily met with investigators and “was happy to answer all of their questions.”
Priebus was present during Trump’s efforts to limit the Russia probe, and for discussions that led to the firing of Comey. He was also asked to leave the Oval Office before the infamous Trump-Comey conversation.
Politico reported Twitter deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators in the Russia probe.
Federal investigators believe Twitter was one of Russia’s most potent weapons. Bots and fake accounts launched recurring waves of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton story lines that were either false or greatly exaggerated.
AP reported Twitter has turned over 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 election to Senate investigators. It is unclear if the posts associated with these accounts have been deleted.
CNN reported an attorney for Roger Stone said he has complied with the House Intel Committee request to provide the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks’ Assange.
WSJ reported Congressional investigators are homing in on connections between the Trump campaign, and Facebook, and Twitter. Digital director Parscale was paid $88 million during the campaign, the highest paid vendor.
Every vendor that worked with Parscale on the Trump campaign signed a nondisclosure agreement, and there are no federal disclosure requirements for online ads.
Both Congress and Mueller are investigating the role activity on Facebook and Twitter played in the 2016 election, and whether the Russian social-media activity was in any connected to the Trump campaign.
A Morning Consult poll found Trump’s approval has fallen in every state since he took office. The swings were as high as 30 percentage points in blue-states IL and CA, to 11 points in red-state LA.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities: in September 47 approve/47 disapprove, down from 55/39 in his first four weeks in office.
WAPO reported as of October 10, Trump’s first 263 days in office, he has made 1,318 false or misleading claims.
The Brookings Institute released a 108-page report which concluded Trump “likely obstructed justice” in his firing of Comey. If Mueller agrees, there are legitimate articles of impeachment that could be drawn up.
In a letter to Mattis, over 100 Democrats are demanding proof that Trump did indeed consult with the Pentagon as he claimed in a tweet, prior to announcing his ban of transgender individuals from military service.
A Kaiser Foundation poll found 62% of Americans say Puerto Ricans aren’t getting the help they need. 76% were aware Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico’s recovery effort, blaming the island for its infrastructure problems and saying and relief workers would not stay “in P.R. forever.”
The tweets follow harsh criticism from Puerto Rico of the Trump regime’s response to Hurricane Maria. One Puerto Rican said, “He doesn’t think of us as Americans.”
Trump also quoted a Sharyl Attkisson, a television journalist with Sinclair Broadcasting, in saying that while Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria, now “a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”
Later Thursday, the WH issued a statement committing “the full force of the U.S. government” for now, but adding “successful recoveries do not last forever.”
At a House Energy and Commerce hearing about efforts to rebuild the island’s energy grid, Sec. Rick Perry referred to Puerto Rico as a country.
Next day, Trump referred to the Virgin Islands’ governor as a president.
VOX reported although the official death count in Puerto Rico is 45, they found 81 death linked to Hurricane Maria, as well as 450 more reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and 69 still missing.
Puerto Rico’s governor said four deaths are being investigated as cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animals’ urine through contaminated water. A total of ten people have come down with the disease.
Rachel Maddow reported a doctor resigned from the disaster response team in Puerto Rico after seeing medical workers getting manicures and pedicures from residents of the island in medical triage tents.
NYT reported on Puerto Rico’s health care is in dire condition, and continues to suffer from mismanagement. The US Comfort ship with 800 medical personnel which can serve 250, has seen 82 patients in six days.
CNN reported Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site, having no other options for water.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 32% of registered voters think the federal government has done enough to help Puerto Rico.
Bloomberg revealed one of its reporters was inadvertently put on the Pentagon’s internal email list which detailed how to spin Hurricane Maria to convince the public that the government response was going well.
On Thursday, Trump also signed an executive order ending Obamacare subsidies for the poor. Not paying the subsidies could boost premiums for millions and send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.
NPR estimated consumers who earn 400% of the federal poverty level — $48k for individuals or $98.4k for a family of four — will see their the cost of their plans rise by, on average, 20% nationwide.
Doctors, hospitals, insurers, state insurance commissioners and patient advocates denounced Trump’s move. Trump actions puts pressure on Congress to protect consumers from soaring premiums.
WSJ reported if Congress doesn’t succeed, WH aides said Trump “will claim victory” for ending the Iran deal, cutting billions in payments to health insurers, and deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants.
On Friday, a coalition of attorneys general from 18 states and DC filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s halt to subsidy payments under Obamacare.
NYT reported as of Friday, Trump has taken 12 actions which could weaken Obamacare and curtail enrollment, including spreading negative news releases and posting infographics criticizing the health law.
On Saturday, Trump boasted on Twitter that health insurance companies’ stocks “plunged yesterday” after his steps to dismantle Obamacare.
A Kaiser Health poll found 71% of Americans say the Trump regime should work to improve Obamacare, while just 21% say make it fail.
On Friday, Trump slammed Iran as a “menace” and called for “decertification” of the nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), saying Iran is “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”
Trump sent the deal back to Congress with a 60-day window to address its “many serious flaws” or see it “terminated.”
Top officials on Trump’s national security team, including Mattis and Tillerson, said Iran has technically complied with its restrictions. The International Atomic Energy Association also confirmed compliance.
Daily Beast reported while McMaster also wanted to save the Iran Deal, Trump consulted Fox News’ Sean Hannity and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, two neoconservatives who pushed for decertification.
The leaders of Britain, Germany and France declared their commitment to stand by JCPoA. They deal was the culmination of 16 years of diplomacy.
After being added to Trump’s travel ban, Chad pulled its troops from the fight against Boko Haram in Niger. US officials had warned Trump his decision would have major consequences for the fight against terrorism.
California’s deadliest wildfires charred more than 221,754 acres of land in Northern CA, and left at least 35 dead and hundreds more missing. Trump has yet to publicly comment or tweet about the wildfires.
Nor has Trump publicly commented on the deadliest combat incident since he took office, which took place in Niger last Saturday while Trump was golfing. The ambush by ISIS left four soldiers dead and two wounded.
As the week ended, 24 days after Hurricane Maria, just 64% of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water, and only 14.6% had electricity.
Trump spent his fourth weekend since Hurricane Maria golfing. On Saturday, he visited Trump National Golf Club in VA, his 72nd day of golf since taking office.
A total of 70 respondents participated, considerably lower than the previous survey (202). Gender was once again fairly even: 49,3% male, 42% female and 8,6% non-binary. (Due to the considerable portion of non-binary respondents in each survey, from now on I'll supply a "non-binary" option in addition to the standard "Other" text box.) 52,9% respondents from the US, the remaining came from 14 different countries.
Participation in previous survey
46,6% had also participated in the previous survey. A link to the followup survey was placed at the end of its results post.
Amount of reposts allowed?
Respondents were asked how many times users should be allowed to repost their survey, given that the reposter waits at least 24 hours each time. By far most agreed there should be some sort of limit, with only 8 respondents (11,6%) indicating there should no be a limit (ie. the current situation). The most popular choices were two reposts per survey (37,7%) and one repost per survey (33,3%).
Marketing surveys: ban or allow?
Despite the low popularity of marketing surveys in previous survey (ie. few people indicated they specifically enjoyed them), only a small minority (10,1%) would like to see them banned from the subreddit. Overall 87% think they should stay. A majority (66,7%) of respondents think they should however only stay given that a rule is enacted that bans mislabeled marketing surveys (ie. marketing surveys disguised as academic surveys, see next section).
Changes to the subreddit
The next question was a list of 21 proposed changes to the subreddit policies, users had to indicate which ones they'd like to see happen. 10 of these were selected by 50% or more of respondents, and 5 of these were selected by exactly 41 respondents (59,4%). Here is the top five in order of popularity:
Warn and ban people who mislabel surveys (e.g. posting a marketing survey as [Academic]) (65,2%)
Remove surveys that require you to send an e-mail prior to participation or are otherwise not directly enterable (62,3%)
More [Results] post on the subreddit / *encourage* users to share results (60,9%)
Each option that was selected exactly 41 times (59,4%):
Stricter enforcement of the existing rules (i.e. appropriate tagging and titling, one repost per 24 hours)
A system to sort surveys by tags (e.g. sort by theme, sort by type [Casual/Academic/Marketing], result post vs. survey post, written reponse vs. multiple choice, ...)
No more surveys that *require* you to sign in to a website
Result notification system / an easier way to subscribe to results of surveys you've taken
Surveys with clear US bias (e.g. Democrat/Republican rather than left-wing/right-wing political spectrum, US-centered issues, GPA question, ...) in surveys that are TAGGED as (All) or (Everyone) must be removed and reposted with appropriate tags
Limited number of reposts per survey
Open letter to the mods
So, based on these two surveys, we have an idea of the most wanted improvements to /SampleSize. Based on this, I have written an open letter to the mods of this subreddit:
Dear /SampleSize mods First of all, thank you so much for helping make this fantastic subreddit possible. Thanks to /SampleSize, thousands have easily gotten the response they wanted for their survey, be it academic, marketing, or casual. And guess what? Users are generally quite happy with their experience here too! That's one of the results of the first (and unofficial) SampleSize user opinion survey (202 participants) I have shared on the subreddit this week. Nevertheless, there are several changes users would like to see on this subreddit, as evidenced from their response to that survey. That's why I've also undertaken a second survey (70 participants), to gain a clear picture of what people most want to see improved on /SampleSize. First of all, users would like to see the current rules more strictly enforced. Secondly, they want to see an end to deliberately mislabeled surveys (e.g. posting a marketing survey as [Academic], as well as a ban on surveys that are not directly enterable, whether an e-mail must be sent or a website account must be created prior to participation. They also want US biased surveys, which the AutoModerator bot already warns against, to be more strictly removed and reposted appropriately, and they want reposts of surveys to be limited (88,4% participants in survey 2 indicated two or less reposts per survey). That is for all the stuff people don't want on the subreddit anymore. As for what they do want to see, the result is clear: more results posts! A majority think result posts should be strongly encouraged, and equally there was great interest in a sort of result notification system that notifies survey takers that a survey they've taken has been completed and results are out. Finally, a system to browse surveys more comfortably by tag (e.g. only view results posts, only view academic survey posts, etc.) was a thing 59,4% of respondents agreed with. I understand this may be a long list, and I hugely apologise if this letter sounded demanding. I definitely do not mean it that way - all I ask from the mods is that they read this message, review it together, decide what stuff they agree with, how to implement it and if any of it is at all possible. If you could do that, I would be intensely pleased - regardless of outcome. (I would like to update the result posts of survey 2 with your reply to this letter, but only if you consent to that). The decision is ultimately up to you. Thank you very much, have a nice day and keep on making /SampleSize as awesome as it is! Maxim
An in-depth review of the "Ghost Mode" gameplay overhaul mod
As I'm sure you can all relate, the 10th Witcher Games Anniversary video brought a lot of feels. And with them came the itch to do yet another playthrough of my favourite video game. This time, to freshen up the experience, I decided to break from my tradition of only installing visual enhancement mods and look into the gameplay overhauls recommended on the sub. To my surprise in-depth assessments of these mods were nowhere to be found. True you can look up detailed descriptions of what they change, but that won't give you an impression of how the changes work in practice nor an objective look at how they impact the overall experience. Thus the goal of this thread is to help you decide if you would enjoy using "Ghost Mode" for your next playthrough and to serve as a resource for posterity. Note: the title of this post is no misnomer. This is a long read. If you already have an idea of what the mod is about and are just wondering "if it's any good", then feel free to skip to the TLDR rating section at the bottom.
First thing first, all the changes introduced by the mod remain true to the vanilla feel, flow and story of the game. There is no need to worry that the game you know and love will suddenly be unrecognisable, that you won't know your arse from your elbow. Secondly, I do not plan to rehash the full changelog in this review. Changes from Vanilla will only be mentioned if they are relevant to the point I am making.
Started playthrough on version 2.6, updated to 2.7 when it was released and finished the game on it. No other gameplay altering mods installed
All mod configuration options left at author intended, default, values
Full 148 hour run including all DLC, side quests & question marks (minus Skellige smugglers' of course)
Death March difficulty throughout with a light armour sword & alchemy build
Dsiclaimer: this review is written with the above in mind. I do not claim my experience to be completely exhaustive. For example, things which were difficult or annoying for my setup might be trivial for others and vice versa. Your mileage may vary.
The mod has been implemented in a competent way. I did not notice any performance decrease compared to Vanilla and encountered no game breaking bugs. There was only a single major issue in 2.6 which was repeatable and highly annoying, but thankfully it seems to be fully fixed with version 2.7. Immersion has been improved and the game world is more believable. Some examples:
You are more likely to find regional alcohol in its respective area, such as Redanian Herbal in Novigrad and Oxenfurt or Temerian Rye in Velen.
Bucketfuls of Alcohest are no longer found in every crate, nook and cranny. There is a new type of strong alcohol - "homemade pepper vodka", which is reasonably cheap and perfect for potion replenishment. It is sold by all innkeepers which gives you an actual reason to stop by your roadside tavern, aside from buying gwent cards of course.
You no longer find rare crafting materials such as dimeritium bars, runes & glyphs in peasant hovels.
Geralt can now actually perform normal daily activities in game, which would be quite useful on the Path, such as cooking food or shaving himself with a razor. The latter is especially great because it also solves the issue of enchanted beard sprouting during cutscenes.
You now get new books and notes during certain quests which enrich the stories and are lore friendly. If you've always wanted to read the letter Vlodimir penned for Olgierd now you can! The writing quality is a bit inconsistent in some of them, but overall they are a good addition.
The amount of coin you naturally accrue is a lot more reasonable. For example the Taxman Cometh at 15 000 crowns, instead of 35 000. Previously it felt a bit weird to run around with more wealth than Hierarch Hemmelfart in your pockets without even trying.
Quests and Experience
Quest level requirements have been reworked. No longer do you get quests which are of a lower level requirement compared to their predecessor. Some quests are moved later in the story to fit better with the narrative. One example of this is "Following the Thread". In the vanilla game this is a required level 11 quest, when sailing to Skellige requires level 16. In GM its level requirement has been increased to 17.
Quest rewards have been rebalanced. Experience rewards are more evenly distributed among main quests and "main secondary" quests (e.g. contracts), so you no longer feel like you get nearly nothing in terms of character progression by doing them. Gold rewards are also more appropriate to the task and the social status of the quest giver. Haggling has a much bigger impact on your final reward.
The stats on all monster trophies have been reworked to be more unique and have a greater impact on your character. This is a good change which will see you tailor your trophy choice according to your build and/or according to the enemy you are about to face, rather than all of them being practically useless homogeneous stuffed heads.
The way the experience penalty works has also been changed. Previously you would get 100% of quest experience if you were at most 5 levels above the quest level, and basically 0% if you were 6 levels above or more. Now for every level you are above a quest the experience reward is reduced by 16%. This also works the other way around, you will receive an experience bonus for doing quests which are higher level than you.
Experience rewards no longer vary with combat difficulty, which is a nice change. Total amount of experience seems to be slightly reduced overall. I would finish my Vanilla DM runs at level 52 and, playing the same quest order, finished GM at level 49.
Overall, I don't believe the new experience penalty system is an improvement over the original for one simple reason: it encourages more meta-gaming. Previously you could delay the main quest for a while because you knew you had a 5 level cushion before you would get punished. Now you are pushed to do the main quests as soon as possible because every single level difference brings significant experience penalties. Given that the main quest is where you obtain the bulk of your XP, GM tries to force you into a specific quest order which never feels good. Not to mention that losing 16% of the experience for gaining a single level is questionable, when very often that level brings an insignificant increase to Geralt's power.
The best experience system in my opinion would consist of:
GM's total experience amount, distribution and reworked quest level requirements
No experience penalty for overlevelling quests and no bonus for being underlevelled
This way you get the best of both worlds. You get to tailor the quest order to your liking, without having to suffer meta-gaming pressure, and at the same time Geralt will not end up overlevelled.
This is usually the number one reason why people recommend this mod and it is clear to see why. The author has implemented a great number of improvements to nearly all of the vanilla systems. Combat is more challenging and rewards players for their skill and preparation better. Geralt's overpowered traits and abilities have been toned down and your specialisation makes a much bigger difference to how you approach fights. Overall, most battles are more fun with GM compared to vanilla. However this comes at a cost: namely the "realism", feel and flow of combat have all decreased to facilitate the above. Let's examine the 4 main areas where GM changes combat and evaluate them in detail.
The first thing you will probably notice is that "all enemies have a reduced reaction time". The reason I put quotes around that phrase is because I don't know the actual inner workings of the mod and precisely how it has modified the AI scripts. Therefore I am just calling the effect as I saw and experienced it during my playthrough. The easiest way to describe it is: the time frame between you being in range of an enemy and the enemy starting their action is now much lower. The primary effect of this change is an increase in difficulty. You now have to have faster reflexes in order to be able to dodge enemy attacks. Additionally, enemies will spend significantly less time in a hit recovery state after you land a blow. Which means that you won't be able to chain as many attacks as you could before, since your enemy will dodge/retaliate much more rapidly. This change really shines when it comes to boss fights. The faster enemy reaction time forces you to play by the boss' rules and pay attention to their mechanics, rather than treating them as a higher health & damage generic enemy. To give a concrete example, let us look at the Olgierd fight at the burning manor. In Vanilla you can easily beat him on Death March by ignoring the fight's mechanics. You simply position yourself slightly outside of his melee range and start a rend which he walks into. Then you follow this up with a quick dodge to the side to avoid the sand in the eyes and immediately start another rend. The boss gets locked in the above AI loop and you win pretty easily. The reduced reaction time in Ghost Mode counters this perfectly. By the time you are winding up your rend the boss, instead of walking into your sword, starts his own attack which targets where you will be after you swing and hits you before you can deal any damage. So to beat him I had to actually play by the rules, which means conventional sword swinging is out of the question, especially as you also leave yourself open to a quick counter attack which kills you in 2-3 hits. The rules in this case are: counter his attack, swing once and go on the defensive. There are three different attacks he throws at you:
The red charge: when you are far away from him, it is the easiest to counter and the bare minimum required to win. If you can only counter this then you will win, but it will take ages.
The phase charge: is when he turns semi transparent and steps side to side. He only does this if your are slightly outside of melee range, so you have much less margin of error on your counter. If you are quick enough you can counter this type of attack with a close to 100% success rate, which means that a better player can defeat him much more rapidly.
Finally we have the slash combo, which he does when you are in melee range. This one is also counterable, but the reaction time is so small I didn't feel it was worth the risk. Especially because if you fail it and only parry you will be locked in that stance for a few of his hits which will drain your stamina significantly (and you cannot counter without stamina, but more on this topic later).
So as you can see from the above GM makes you pay attention to the intended mechanics and rewards skilled play. The change to reaction time also has its downsides however, and they are major ones. Most notably, enemies which have extremely fast attack animations by default become unfair in melee combat. Especially if they are in a group. The best example of this problem are all of the insectoid type enemies like the endregas and the kikimores. Their attack animation is fast and when you pair it with an increased aggression and run speed it means that you literally cannot attack them preemptively. If you start any type of attack (without dodging one of their attacks or parrying first) they will strike you first, even if you were outside of their melee range when you initiated your swing. As you can probably tell fighting groups of these enemies is extremely annoying especially early on. Later you can cheese them by unloading your entire reserve of Dancing Stars & Northern wind bombs for some semblance of crowd control, but even that is like putting a plaster on an amputated leg. What's strange is that looking at past feedback numerous people have complained about these enemies, throughout the mod's life cycle. Yet the author has failed to address the problem, which is that they shouldn't have reduced reaction time in the first place. Such empty difficulty, only for its own sake is never good. Another downside is that early on you cannot take on groups of certain enemies, like wraiths, nekkers or insectoids for example, without resorting to AI abuse. This probably only applies to the higher difficulties, but when the best way of beating groups in the early game is dragging enemies one by one to the edge of their AI leash it doesn't feel good. No matter how skilled you are in melee combat you cannot defeat such packs head on without numerous deaths, which doesn't make you feel like a witcher at all in those encounters. Finally, GM also implements monster "dodge" with a much more heavy handed approach compared to Vanilla. All sorts of enemies will now dodge your attacks more frequently. This is yet another example of where combat quality was sacrificed in order to increase combat difficulty. I write "dodge" in quotation marks because normally the word implies that the enemy sees your attack and reacts to it by getting out of the way. This mod makes the enemies which "dodge" the most feel like blatant AI bots with rigid if-then logic in their script, which harms immersion. Some examples:
Enemies dodging mid attack, when it makes no sense for them to do so
Werewolves dodging while airborne in the middle of their lunge
Humans dodging attacks that come from behind them and they cannot see
Shrieker glitching into its "on the ground" dodge animation while flying, after being shot with a crossbow
Occasionally enemies dodging attacks while burning, sirens dodging when knocked down etc.
Skill Balance changes
A lot of adjustments have been made to the skill tree in order to improve how balanced Geralt is in combat. The changes can mostly be summed up by saying "baseline Geralt was nerfed". What that means in practice is that witchering aspects you do not invest points into will be significantly worse compared to vanilla. For example the signs, crossbow and damage bombs are a lot less useful for my mainly sword focused build. This is a good thing as specialisation encourages more diversity in your playstyle. Here are some examples:
Quen no longer always blocks at least 1 attack, regardless of how much damage it's supposed to absorb. Now it's no longer the combat crutch it used to be in Vanilla as it will only absorb the value of the shield and the rest of the damage will go through.
Poison and bleed effects are no longer extremely overpowered boss monster killers. Their duration and damage are significantly reduced to the point where 1 poison application is equal to about 2 additional sword attacks. Still good, but now balanced.
Crossbow & Bombs now only deal half damage if they were auto aimed. And of course manual aiming during combat is way too slow unless you have invested into the related skills. There seem to be a few minor bugs related to these items. For example manual crossbow shots sometimes don't bring big flyers down despite hitting them successfully. Superior Samum, manually aimed, dealing 5 (yes five) damage on kikimores.
In general overpowered skills have been nerfed (rend, whirl, euphoria etc.) while underpowered abilities have been buffed (crippling strikes, undying, counter attack etc.).
Overall the skill tree feels significantly more polished and we now have a lot more viable choices to pick from.
The way dodging and rolling worked in Vanilla was a simple binary check. Did you press the appropriate button before the attack connected with your character? If yes then avoid all damage, regardless of where your character ended up going (for attacks which can be dodged). And while this was still a big improvement from the second game, the i-frames were way too generous and the moves lacked any stamina cost. Which made it all to easy to just spam the dodge button and be invulnerable. GM changes this behaviour by also taking into account the direction Geralt moves in when dodging/rolling with respect to the enemy attack. Now if you dodge in time but still end up connecting with the attack, depending on the angle, you will take partial damage and debuffs based on what direction you were going in. Parrying and countering have been significantly enhanced compared to the base game. Essentially now you can parry/counter nearly all attacks, those coming from monsters included. Taking counters as an example, you may counter light attacks just like before - by reducing all incoming damage - but now you retaliate against monsters with a "counter slash". This also applies to heavy attacks (including hammer and spear wielding humans) except that damage is reduced only by 50%. Both parry and counter now have a stamina cost depending on the attack you have deflected. This is a great addition to the game in my opinion. It plays perfectly with the risk and reward scale. Countering carries a greater reward because you spend your time negating the monster attack and dealing damage on your own, instead of just negating as you would with a dodge. However the risk is also greater because you confusing monster light and heavy attacks means you will take significant damage, especially if your build is not prepared for it. Yet another gameplay element where skill is rewarded.
Armour, stamina and different playstyles
Stamina management is now a big part of combat, rather than a mere afterthought with Tawny oil. The base regeneration rate is significantly reduced, all combat actions pause this regeneration for a short while and counter and parry stamina costs are increased. The armour you are wearing now also affects your stamina more than the Vanilla regeneration penalties. Light armour has no penalties and increases stamina regen, medium armour introduces a stamina cost for rolling & sprinting and heavy armour has stamina costs associated with rolling, dodging and sprinting. Armour now plays a much bigger role in the game thanks to its significantly increased damage absorption capabilities. Plenty of enemies now have high armour values which also makes the armour penetration stat on swords better. To help with this, your heavy attacks now have a significant amount of armour penetration by default. This means that quick attack spam is no longer maximum dps against all enemy types and you will have to mix in heavy attacks much more frequently. Some enemies like golems are so heavily armoured that using quick attacks against them is basically pointless. Similarly, high armour values on your gear now make a big dent in the incoming damage whereas in Vanilla they were useless and the only thing that mattered were the resistances on the gear. Both of these changes together translate into very distinct melee combat playstyles depending on which Witcher set you are wearing, which is one of the best features of GM for me.
Light Armour: the Cat set provides the combat experience which is closest to Vanilla DM, with a few important tweaks. Firstly, because you have very little damage reduction, Quen is practically useless. It won't even fully absorb a light attack from a drowner. This combined with the change to the defensive techniques means that you actually have to be quick on your feet and good at dodging, you can only rely on your own skill. Secondly you can also mix in counters for increased dps once you are familiar with the attack patterns of the enemies. However you still have to dodge heavy attacks due to your lack of defence. This makes the Feline armour playstyle a skillful dance combining counters & dodging which is extremely fun, especially against bosses and small enemy groups.
Medium Armour: the Wolf set is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. It has less damage compared to the Cat but more defensive stats and armour. This essentially means that your playstyle is similar to the Cat but you reduce some of the risk and settle for a lesser reward. You still can't afford to counter heavy attacks, but at the same time the stamina penalties for sprinting and rolling are mostly irrelevant as the latter is only necessary to get out of the way of enemy AoE attacks. As a result you will be safer against large groups compared to the cat but will have to settle for reduced offensive capabilities.
Heavy Armour: the Bear set in GM presents a markedly different combat experience compared to vanilla. The quickest way to describe it is as an "immovable object". The stamina cost for dodging means that you will spend all of your time holding your ground and countering ALL enemy attacks (apart from AoE). The high armour value and damage resists mean that you can shrug off heavy attacks with ease. Combine this with talents that use adrenaline to heal you and an Ekkimara decoction to create a true tank build. However, due to the slow stamina regeneration signs are pretty much out of the question because every sign costs 10+ counter attacks leading to a big dps loss. This playstyle is extremely fun against groups of enemies because it allows you to combine defense with offense and simultaneously negate enemy damage. It also has its weaknesses - namely big enemies and bosses who make heavy use of area effect attacks, such as Griffins and Imlerith for example. Overall I didn't spend much time testing this playstyle in my run, but I found it very satisfying and fun. Definitely keen on using it for a complete playthrough in the future.
Another highlight of the GM combat enhancements are the 1v1 fist fights (seriously). They are much more challenging, fun and skill intensive due to the reworked stamina system. In Vanilla these were pretty formulaic - keep your distance from the opponent so that they only lunge with a heavy attack, which is easier to counter compared to the fast jabs. Counter it, throw a one-two and then rinse and repeat. In Ghost Mode you no longer have the stamina to consecutively counter all attacks and must spend some time in between counters to recover, which introduces a great deal of tension and makes the fights more skillful. Remember, dodging pauses your stamina regeneration so you don't have an easy way around this. Especially as many arenas are quite small which make this process challenging. Furthermore blocking jabs costs significantly less stamina, so if you're confident in countering the opponent's fast attacks you have a great opportunity to skill display. In addition group fist fights are a lot easier compared to Vanilla, because the opponents aren't health sponges. This is another great change in my book as those were pretty tedious and the fist fight system doesn't really work great for group combat.
Finally, to finish off this section, I would like to spend some time looking at enemy balance in the Blood & Wine expansion. There were several problems with it in my opinion, which overall decrease the quality of the experience.
Giant centipedes deal too much damage. Yes they are generally easy to avoid, however them one shotting a character in master crafted Feline Gear + Quen + Superior Insect Oil + Protective Coating + 600 hp green mutagen at full life seems excessive. I'd suggest a 30% damage nerf. For comparison, level appropriate Giant Centipedes hit harder than red skull cyclopses and werewolves.
High concentration of monsters which work badly with the reduced reaction times due to their instant attacks.
Arachnomorph damage seems to be balanced against them hitting you once when most of the time they double tap you, which enables 1 small spider to pretty much instantly kill you from full life if you make a mistake. Damage should be reduced by at least 40%.
The two Guardian Panthers in the Professor Moreau quest are extremely overtuned for when you face them and, as a consequence, require extremely cheesy strategies to beat.
Alps are probably the hardest enemies in the whole game. Thankfully you only have to fight them twice. The first one's alone and she's manageable, but the second involves you getting tag-teamed by a Bruxa as well and that one is quite painful. It's a good thing Dettlaff can mind control other "lesser" vampires, because otherwise one of those ginger vamps would easily wipe the floor with both him & Regis at the same time.
Items and crafting
Witcher set bonuses now scale with the number of pieces equipped rather than being binary. Bonuses also apply from the lowest set tier and not just Grandmaster level. This is a good change in my book as they diversify your combat style from an earlier stage of the game. Set swords are no longer the best weapons for their level requirement, so exploring the world and doing contracts for relics feels much more rewarding.
The weapon & armour upgrade kits, sold by master craftsmen, are a great addition to the game. They allow you to increase the base damage/armour of your equipment by increasing its level requirement by 1 (i.e. the Aerondight effect). This enables you to make use of those special relic swords like: Hjalmar's Steel Sword, Pang of Conscience, Blade of the Bits, Winter's Blade etc. from the moment you obtain them to as long as you wish. This means that you must only pick a weapon based on if its secondary stats have synergy with your build, and this opens up a lot of choices and min-maxing.
Speaking of special relic swords, these now have significantly improved secondary stats which makes them stand out from the generic random relics. Depending on your build you will probably end up using one of these for most of your playthrough. It feels great to get a "special" sword reward for a quest which is actually useful and not vendor fodder like in Vanilla.
Equipment crafting now requires significantly less materials, so you are no longer forced to dismantle an entire army's worth of arsenal to craft something. Unfortunately the craftsmen will now rip you off much harder, comparatively to Vanilla, with their fees. So if you want to unlock all the levels of the Runewright and deck out Corvo Bianco in the various Witcher sets you will still have to pick up and vendor massive amounts of loot.
Crafting costs of random weapons in the early game, before you can access sets and contract relics, are prohibitively expensive.
White Gull isn't so difficult to produce anymore as it doesn't require Redanian Herbal and you can craft the Mandrake Cordial yourself, white honey now comes with more charges - both are nice QoL changes.
Potions and bombs require significantly less ingredients, so theoretically you would need to spend less time picking flowers. However considering that you could buy most of these cheaply from herbalists in the vanilla game (and still can) this change is more or less irrelevant in practice.
Cooking recipes are a good addition to the immersion in my experience. A witcher on the path should be able to cook himself a meal while squatting in some untamed wilderness. Unfortunately, in practice I did not use these recipes at all after leaving White Orchard. There are a few problems with the current implementation:
Food & drink healing is not balanced according to the amount of ingredients required to produce. For example, right at the start of the game you can learn how to make apple juice which is in the top tier of drink healing and costs next to nothing to make, in contrast with other much more expensive drink recipes which very often heal for less. Food recipes require way too many ingredients (the vast majority of which must be bought) and offer sub par healing in comparison.
Human enemies in Velen and onwards drop way too much food, often between 2-3 pieces each. Why should I waste money buying ingredients and cooking when I could obtain something nearly as good for free?
Coking recipes are too expensive for what they offer. They could use a 50% coin cost reduction across the board. Food recipes should require less ingredients. There should be more distinct healing "tiers" for different food & drink, less total recipes and bandits should drop less grub to incentivise people to interact with the system.
Enemies focusing more on NPCs during combat (if present) makes certain escort quests significantly more annoying on Death March: namely the Black Pearl and the Skellige mine clearing duo. Those NPCs could use a buff to their survivability.
All wolves/dogs & boars are significantly weaker compared to the vanilla game. Probably a design decision, but it feels out of place since all other enemies are harder. Wolves in the Land of a Thousand Fables do have level appropriate stats unlike all their siblings for some reason.
Kinks to the extra books/notes feature: fist fight quests keep giving you the same note after a brawl for every brawl, many texts are given out at weird times. For example, right at the beginning of some action sequence.
Early game bosses and contract monsters (level req < 15) could use a modest health reduction to prevent boredom. Later on the only enemy that felt too "health spongy" was Iris' nightmare. Those Olgierds could use a health reduction because at the moment the fight is quite repetitive, lacks the atmosphere of the burning manor fight and so becomes a bit tedious.
The base Yrden duration is too short and makes fighting Wraith bosses extremely tedious early on, until you get Enhanced or preferably Superior Moon Dust.
Superior Cursed Oil now requires berserker skin which is not obtainable in Skellige if you investigate the massacre with Ceris. Previously there was a bug where berserkers spawned near Kaer Morhen, but this seems to be fixed in the newest version. The only place I found berserker skin in the whole game was in the Borsodi vault (?), dropped by one of his guardsmen (??). Either put a copy of the ingredient somewhere in the Vildkaarls' village, or change it to some other more lore appropriate place. The current location makes no sense.
The inventory weight system is at best a sidegrade to Vanilla. Yes, it is unrealistic that Geralt is able to hold all these weightless ingredients in Roach's saddlebags. So this mod now gives them weight and forces you to regularly deposit all your ingredients in the stash. Then to access them more conveniently every time you are at an appropriate vendor (alchemist/blacksmith/armourer) Geralt is able to telepathically access said stash to obtain the ingredients. To me it seems like one unrealistic element was simply replaced with a different one equally as unrealistic, so what's the point?
In all fairness you can reduce the weight of all items from the mod options, but that slider leads to even more immersion problems. Because if you wish to compensate for the weight on all the ingredients you have to turn up the slider so much that all the swords and armour now weigh practically nothing as well. A better solution would be keeping the weight slider and adding a check box for "Zero ingredient weight", or just using the vanilla weight system because the current implementation isn't a clear improvement.
I find the name of the mod to be a bit unfortunate, since it has nothing to do with any of the content. Makes you wonder if it's one of the reasons why it is not more popular.
Grapeshot seems to deal insignificant damage to higher level enemies. Superior version of it hits arachas for 5 damage with an aimed shot for example. Even without bomb talents it shouldn't be this weak.
Aerondight has lost a great deal of its unique flavour (all items can now be upgraded) and the nerf to its secondary stats was too great. Before it would give 10% attack power per stack, up to 10 stacks, now this has been reduced to 5% crit damage. For comparison, random relic swords can spawn with 60%+ critical damage and have 4 other secondary stats as well. Not to mention free sockets, which cost ~8000 gold for Aerondight. Finally, while the bonus at maximum stacks is still great it's now harder to maintain due to the decreased enemy reaction time, is basically non-existent against all the instant attack foes (and for heavy armour builds) and has overlap with several consumables (thunderbolt potion & oils now give crit chance) and talents which reduces its effectiveness even further. Overall the sword feels underwhelming and not worth using.
Olgierd's sabre, Iris, no longer gains charges when enemies block your attacks and doesn't buff the damage of the fast attacks. To compensate it now deals 10% of target's maximum life in addition to the other bonus damage when charged. I was very excited to use this sword with the new item upgrade kits and was left moderately disappointed. The life loss penalty is still too big and basically forces you into using Katakan decoction which doesn't feel great. Furthermore, to charge the sword you must deliver 3 successful fast attacks in succession. Against armoured enemies this feels horrible as you're effectively whacking them with a wet noodle until you can charge the finisher. In addition, humans are much more likely to dodge your attacks compared to before causing you to often whiff on the charged strong attack while still paying the health cost. Overall the sword is still worth using and feels satisfying with the Severance runeword, however I would like to see some quality of life change: for example halving the health penalty.
This mod breaks the following achievements: equipping a full witcher set (Armed and Dangerous), equipping all the grandmaster set pieces (Dressed to Kill), equipping Aerondight (Embodiment of the Five Virtues). Tested on GoG. Probably irrelevant for 99% of people, but worth mentioning.
The Undvik set has less armour than the basic Feline set, despite having a higher level requirement and being heavy armour.
Superior Full Moon heal, based on current toxicity, either does not work or heals a minuscule amount.
Kill count bestiary section feels a bit too arcade-y and gimmicky for my tastes. Would prefer it hidden at the bottom of the list and collapsed by default or, better yet, an optional toggle in the mod options if possible.
I will now attempt to rate this mod based on an arbitrary scale I just made up. A score of 5/10 means that overall the mod neither improves nor deteriorates the experience when compared to the original game. A higher score than that is good, lower is bad.
-1 for the fast reaction times on enemies with instantaneous attack animations (and the fact that this hasn't been fixed for so long) and the balancing issues of Blood & Wine.
-0.5 for the overall lowered quality of the combat experience: namely its feel, flow & realism.
-0.5 for all the points listed in the Nitpick section.
-0.5 for the experience penalty system which promotes meta-gaming and for the subpar support of the NG+ mode
Overall: 7.5/10. Despite the occasional hiccups I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough with Ghost Mode. I found the mod to be an overall improvement to the base game and definitely recommend it.
Never Asked Questions
Q: What difficulty should I play on? A:
You are looking for a similar challenge to vanilla Death March or early game B&BB, to see if you like the other gameplay changes? Story & Sword. If you don't care about the combat then I would suggest that you also reduce monster damage from the mod options.
You played on Death March from level 1 and found it too easy? Blood and Broken Bones.
You played on Death March from level 1 with self-imposed limitations such as: no Quen, not using set swords, deliberately skipping some of the best talents and found it too easy? Death March.
Q: What build did you use? A:Combat/Alchemy - GM Death March I went for delusion & poisoned blades first. Muscle memory & strength training second, then back to alchemy for protective coating, afterwards filled out the combat tree. Undying was only equipped once the first B&W skill slot was unlocked and I could move an alchemy skill there, on lower difficulty levels I would replace it with Razor Focus. Delusion is optional. I pick it mostly for RP reasons although the extra stamina regen is nice, especially early on. If you don't want to use it then replace it with the Synergy skill from the alchemy tree.
Q: Any other interesting stats/tidbits from your run? A:
Hardest 1v1 fight: werewolf outside of the Whispering Hillock, ~10 deaths.
Other boss fights with number of deaths in parenthesis: WO Griffin (1), Imlerith (2), Toad Prince (0), Olgierd (3), Caretaker (1), Olgierds (2), Caranthir (0), Eredin (1), Dettlaff (0)
Hardest group fight: arachas cave south west of Harviken on Faroe, 8 deaths.
Found the "Tor Zirael" sword for the first time ever in 4 playthroughs, not sure if finally lucky or spawn chance increased in the mod. Unfortunately, stats wise it's still rubbish.
The pools are all reporting the wrong network data (I hope its this - but the rate of discovery of blocks by pools would suggest otherwise)”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6782852#msg6782852) -2192: “New source (0.8.8.1) is up with optimizations in the hashing. Hashrate should go up ~4x or so, but may have CPU architecture dependence. Windows binaries are up as well for both 64-bit and 32-bit." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6788812#msg6788812) [eizh makes official announce of last miner optimization, it is may 17th] -2219: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6792038#msg6792038) [wolf0 is part of the monero community for a while, discussing several topics as botnet mining and miner optimizations. Now spots security flaws in the just launched pools] -2301: "5x optimized miner released, network hashrate decreases by 10% Make your own conclusions. :|" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6806946#msg6806946) -2323: "Monero is on Poloniex https://poloniex.com/exchange/btc_mro" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6808548#msg6808548) -2747: "Monero is holding a $500 logo contest on 99designs.com now: https://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/monero-mro-cryptocurrency-logo-design-contest-382486" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829109#msg6829109) -2756: “So... ALL Pools have 50KH/s COMBINED. Yet, network hash is 20x more. Am i the only one who thinks that some people are insta mining with prepared faster miners?” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829977#msg6829977) -2757: “Pools aren't stable yet. They are more inefficient than solo mining at the moment. They were just released. 10x optimizations have already been released since launch, I doubt there is much more optimization left.” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830012#msg6830012) -2765: “Penalty for too large block size is disastrous in the long run. Once MRO value increases a lot, block penalties will become more critical of an issue. Pools will fix this issue by placing a limit on number and size of transactions. Transaction fees will go up, because the pools will naturally accept the most profitable transactions. It will become very expensive to send with more than 0 mixin. Anonymity benefits of ring signatures are lost, and the currency becomes unusable for normal transactions.” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830475#msg6830475) -2773: "The CryptoNote developers didn't want blocks getting very large without genuine need for it because it permits a malicious attack. So miners out of self-interest would deliberately restrict the size, forcing the network to operate at the edge of the penalty-free size limit but not exceed it. The maximum block size is a moving average so over time it would grow to accommodate organic volume increase and the issue goes away. This system is most broken when volume suddenly spikes." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830710#msg6830710) -3035: "We've contributed a massive amount to the infrastructure of the coin so far, enough to get recognition from cryptonote, including optimizing their hashing algorithm by an order of magnitude, creating open source pool software, and pushing several commits correcting issues with the coin that eventually were merged into the ByteCoin master. We also assisted some exchange operators in helping to support the coin. To say that has no value is a bit silly... We've been working alongside the ByteCoin devs to improve both coins substantially." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845545#msg6845545) [tacotime defends the Monero team and community of accusations of just “ripping-off” others hard-work and “steal” their project] -3044: "image" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845986#msg6845986) [Monero added to coinmarketcap may 21st 2014] -3059: "You have no idea how influential you have been to the success of this coin. You are a great ambassador for MRO and one of the reasons why I chose to mine MRO during the early days (and I still do, but alas no soup for about 5 days now)." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846509#msg6846509) [random user thanks smooth CONSTANT presence, and collaboration. It is not all FUD ;)] -3068: "You are a little too caught up in the mindset of altcoin marketing wars about "unique features" and "the team" behind the latest pump and dump scam. In fact this coin is really little more than BCN without the premine. "The team" is anyone who contributes code, which includes anyone contributing code to the BCN repository, because that will get merged as well (and vice-versa). Focus on the technology (by all accounts amazing) and the fact that it was launched in a clean way without 80% of the total world supply of the coin getting hidden away "somewhere." That is the unique proposition here. There also happens to be a very good team behind the coin, but anyone trying too hard to market on the basis of some "special" features, team, or developer is selling you something. Hold on to your wallet." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846638#msg6846638) [An answer to those trolls saying Monero has no innovation/unique feature] -3070: "Personally I found it refreshing that Monero took off WITHOUT a logo or a gui wallet, it means the team wasn't hyping a slick marketing package and is concentrating on the coin/note itself." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846676#msg6846676) -3119: “image” [included for the lulz] -3101: "[…]The main developers are tacotime, smooth, NoodleDoodle. Some needs are being contracted out, including zone117x, LucasJones, and archit for the pool, another person for a Qt GUI, and another person independently looking at the code for bugs." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6848006#msg6848006) [the initial "core team" so far, eizh post] -3123: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850085#msg6850085) [fluffy steps-in with an interesting dense post. Don’t dare to skip it, worthwhile reading] -3127: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850526#msg6850526) [fluffy again, worth to read it too, so follow link, don’t be lazy] -3194: "Hi guys - thanks to lots of hard work we have added AES-NI support to the slow_hash function. If you're using an AES-NI processor you should see a speed-up of about 30%.” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857197#msg6857197) [flufflypony is now pretty active in the xmr topic and announces a new optimization to the crippled miner] -3202: "Whether using pools or not, this coin has a lot of orphaned blocks. When the original fork was done, several of us advised against 60 second blocks, but the warnings were not heeded. I'm hopeful we can eventually make a change to more sane 2- or 2.5-minute blocks which should drastically reduce orphans, but that will require a hard fork, so not that easy." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857796#msg6857796) [smooth takes the opportunity to remember the need of bigger target block] -3227: “Okay, optimized miner seems to be working: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373” [wolf0 makes public his open source optimized miner] -3235: "Smooth, I agree block time needs to go back to 2 minutes or higher. I think this and other changes discussed (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg6701490#msg6701490) should be rolled into a single hard fork and bundled with a beautiful GUI wallet and mining tools." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6861193#msg6861193) [tail emission, block target and block size are discussed in the next few messages among smooth, johnny and others. If you want to know further about their opinions/reasonings go and read it] -3268: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6862693#msg6862693) [fluffy dares another user to bet 5 btc that in one year monero will be over dash in market cap. A bet that he would have lost as you can see here https://coinmarketcap.com/historical/20150524/ even excluding the 2M “instamined” coins] -3283: "Most of the previous "CPU only" coins are really scams and the developers already have GPU miner or know how to write one. There are a very few exceptions, almost certainly including this one. I don't expect a really dominant GPU miner any time soon, maybe ever. GPUs are just computers though, so it is certainly possible to mine this on a GPU, and there probably will be a some GPU miner, but won't be so much faster as to put small scale CPU miners out of business (probably -- absent some unknown algorithmic flaw). Everyone focuses on botnets because it has been so long since regular users were able to effectively mine a coin (due to every coin rapidly going high end GPU and ASIC) that the idea that "users" could vastly outnumber "miners" (botnet or otherwise) isn't even on the radar. The vision here is a wallet that asks you when you want to install: "Do you want to devote some of you CPU power to help secure the network. You will be eligible to receive free coins as a reward (recommended) [check box]." Get millions of users doing that and it will drive down the value of mining to where neither botnets nor professional/industrial miners will bother, and Satoshi's original vision of a true p2p currency will be realized. That's what cryptonote wants to accomplish with this whole "egalitarian mining" concept. Whether it succeeds I don't know but we should give it a chance. Those cryptonote guys seem pretty smart. They've probably thought this through better than any of us have." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6863720#msg6863720) [smooth vision of a true p2p currency] -3318: "I have a screen shot that was PMed to me by someone who paid a lot of money for a lot of servers to mine this coin. He won't be outed by me ever but he does in fact exist. Truth." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6865061#msg6865061) [smooth somehow implies it is not botnets but an individual or a group of them renting huge cloud instances] -3442: "I'm happy to report we've successfully cracked Darkcoin's network with our new quantum computers that just arrived from BFL, a mere two weeks after we ordered them." [fluffy-troll] -3481: “Their slogan is, "Orphaned Blocks, Bloated Blockchain, that's how we do"" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6878244#msg6878244) [Major FUD troll in the topic. One of the hardest I’ve ever seen] -3571: "Tacotime wanted the thread name and OP to use the word privacy instead of anonymity, but I made the change for marketing reasons. Other coins do use the word anonymous improperly, so we too have to play the marketing game. Most users will not bother looking at details to see which actually has more privacy; they'll assume anonymity > privacy. In a world with finite population, there's no such thing as anonymity. You're always "1 of N" possible participants. Zero knowledge gives N -> everyone using the currency, ring signatures give N -> your choice, and CoinJoin gives N -> people who happen to be spending around the same amount of money as you at around the same time. This is actually the critical weakness of CoinJoin: the anonymity set is small and it's fairly susceptible to blockchain analysis. Its main advantage is that you can stick to Bitcoin without hard forking. Another calculated marketing decision: I made most of the OP about ring signatures. In reality, stealth addressing (i.e. one-time public keys) already provides you with 90% of the privacy you need. Ring signatures are more of a trump card that cannot be broken. But Bitcoin already has manual stealth addressing so the distinguishing technological factor in CryptoNote is the use of ring signatures. This is why I think having a coin based on CoinJoin is silly: Bitcoin already has some privacy if you care enough. A separate currency needs to go way beyond mediocre privacy improvements and provide true indistinguishably. This is true thanks to ring signatures: you can never break the 1/N probability of guessing correctly. There's no additional circumstantial evidence like with CoinJoin (save for IP addresses, but that's a problem independent of cryptocurrencies)." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6883525#msg6883525) [Anonymity discussions, specially comparing Monero with Darkcoin and its coinjoin-based solution, keep going on] -3593: "Transaction fees should be a fixed percentage of the block reward, or at the very least not be controllable by the payer. If payers can optionally pay more then it opens the door for miner discrimination and tx fee bidding wars." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6886770#msg6886770) [Johnny Mnemonic is a firm defender of fixed fees and tail emission: he see the “fee market” as big danger to the usability of cryptocurrencies] -3986: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6930412#msg6930412) [partnership with i2p] -4373: “Way, way faster version of cpuminer: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6993812#msg6993812) [super-optimized miner is finally leaked to the public. Now the hashrate is 100 times bigger than originally with crippled miner. The next hedge for "cloud farmers" is GPU mining] -4877: “1. We have a logo! If you use Monero in any of your projects, you can grab a branding pack here. You can also see it in all its glory right here: logo […] 4. In order to maintain ISO 4217 compliance, we are changing our ticker symbol from MRO to XMR effective immediately." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7098497#msg7098497) [Jun 2nd 2014] -5079: “First GPU miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=638915.0” (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7130160#msg7130160) [4th June: Claymore has developed the first CryptoNight open source and publicly available GPU miner] -5454: "New update to my miner - up to 25% hash increase. Comment and tell me how much of an increase you got from it: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=632724" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7198061#msg7198061) [miner optimization is an endless task] -5464: "I have posted a proposal for fixed subsidy: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg7202538#msg7202538" (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7202776#msg7202776) [Nice charts and discussion proposed by tacotime, worth reading it] -5658: "- New seed nodes added. - Electrum-style deterministic wallets have been added to help in the recovery of your wallet should you ever need to. It is enabled by default." (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7234475#msg7234475) [Now you can recover your wallet with a 24 word seed] -5726: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7240623#msg7240623) [Bitcoin Pizza in monero version: a 2500 XMR picture sale (today worth ~$20k)] -6905: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7386715#msg7386715) [Monero missives: CryptoNote peer review starts whitepaper reviewed)] -7328: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7438333#msg7438333) [android monero widget built] This is a dense digest of the first several thousand messages on the definitive Monero thread. A lot of things happened in this stressful days and most are recorded here. It can be summarized in this:
28th April: Othe and zone117x assume the GUI wallet and CN pools tasks.
30th April: First NoodleDoodle's miner optimization.
11th May: First Monero exchanger
13th May: Open source pool code is ready.
16th May: First pool mined block.
19th May: Monero in poloniex
20th May: Monero +1100 bitcoin 24h trading volume in Poloniex.
21st May: New official miner optimization x4 speed (accumulated optimization x12-x16). Open source wolf0's CPU miner released.
25th May: partnership with i2p
28th May: The legendary super-optimized miner is leaked. Currently running x90 original speed. Hedge of the "cloud farmers" is over in the cpu mining.
2nd June: Monero at last has a logo. Ticker symbol changes to the definitive XMR (former MRO)
4th June: Claymore's open source GPU miner.
10th June: Monero's "10,000 bitcoin pizza" (2500 XMR paintig). Deterministic seed-based wallets (recover wallet with a 24 word seed)
March 2015 – tail emission added to code
March 2016 – monero hard forks to 2 min block and doubles block reward
There basically two things in here that can be used to attack Monero:
Crippled miner Gave unfair advantage to those brave enough to risk money and time to optimize and mine Monero.
Fast curve emission non-bitcoin-like curve as initially advertised and as it was widely accepted as suitable
Though we have to say two things to support current Monero community and devs:
The crippled miner was coded either by Bytecoin or CryptoNote, and 100% solved within a month by Monero community
The fast curve emission was a TFT miscalculation. He forgot to consider that as he was halving the block target he was unintentionally doubling the emission rate.
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