Source: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 IM: We are now in a position where we can choose the level of suffering in the entire living world, why do it? submitted by
DP: Around 850,000 or so people worldwide take their own lives each year. Tens of millions self-harm. Hundreds of millions are chronically depressed. These grim figures are just the tip of an iceberg of misery. Words and statistics can’t begin to convey the awfulness of suffering. Yet there is hope. For the first time in history, biotechnology turns the level of suffering in the living world into an adjustable parameter. The biosphere is programmable. Even a handful of genetic tweaks could massively reduce the level of suffering in the world. If used wisely, a combination of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and synthetic gene drives could eradicate experience below “hedonic zero” altogether. Life on Earth deserves a more civilised signalling system – a motivational architecture based entirely on information-sensitive gradients of well-being. Today, a few fortunate genetic outliers enjoy hints of how such an architecture of mind will function. In future, life based on gradients of intelligent bliss can be the global norm. CRISPR makes paradise-engineering technically feasible.
On a more sober note, the easiest way to reduce to reduce suffering in the world doesn’t rely on gene editing, advanced technology or posthuman superintelligence. The biggest source of severe and readily avoidable suffering today is animal agriculture. Factory-farming is inherently abusive. Factory-farms and slaughterhouses are morally indefensible. Our victims are as sentient as small children, and they should be treated accordingly. The death-factories must be permanently closed and outlawed. Any civilisation worthy of the name will be invitrotarian or vegan. IM: Isn’t suffering a necessary part of life?
DP: Misery and malaise are so common that it’s easy to believe they are integral to life itself. Gautama Buddha’s “Life is suffering” sounds like a simplistic slogan to temperamentally optimistic life-lovers; but for billions of human and nonhuman animals, it’s true. For over 540 million years, suffering has been endemic to the animal kingdom. A predisposition to mental and physical pain has been genetically adaptive. Discontent promotes the inclusive fitness of our genes. Evolution via natural selection is underpinned by random mutations and the genetic casino of sexual reproduction. Natural selection is “blind” and amoral. But a revolution in genome-editing promises to transform the nature of selection pressure. Parents will shortly be able genetically to choose the pain thresholds, hedonic range and hedonic set-points of their future children. Prospective parents will pick genes and allelic combinations in anticipation of the likely effects of their choices. As the reproductive revolution unfolds, selection pressure in favour of “happy” genes will intensify at the expense of their nastier cousins. Barring revolutionary breakthroughs, growth in subjective wellbeing may only be linear rather than exponential; but genetic engineering plus the pleasure principle are a potent mix. IM: If we do raise the hedonic range, do we lose other values/attributes worth keeping?
DP: Engineering a world of indiscriminate bliss wouldn’t merely be risky. Uniform bliss would undermine human relationships, social responsibility, personal growth and intellectual progress. Most people aren’t classical utilitarians: getting “blissed out” would entail losing a lot of what we value as well as the miseries we hate. By contrast, ratcheting up hedonic range and hedonic set-points doesn’t entail adjudicating between different secular and religious values or sacrificing anything we hold dear. Hedonic recalibration doesn’t subvert existing preference architectures. An elevated hedonic set-point can also enhance the diversity of experience; compare how depressives tend to get “stuck in a rut”. Information-sensitive gradients of well-being can preserve what humans find valuable while enriching our default quality of life. Hedonic uplift will vanquish the feelings of emptiness, futility and nihilistic despair that stain so many lives today. Post-Darwinian life based on gradients of bliss will be saturated with meaning, purpose and significance.
For sure, there are tons of complications. The biohappiness revolution will be messy. We’d do well to preserve the functional analogues of depressive realism. But the basic point stands. IM: How is genetic engineering different from eugenics?
DP: Just as the Soviet experiment polluted the whole language of social justice, likewise the early twentieth-century eugenics movement polluted the whole language of genetic health. Consider the commitment to the well-being of all sentience enshrined in the Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009), or the World Health Organisation’s definition of health as set out in its founding constitution (1948): “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Lifelong health as so defined is impossible with a Darwinian genome. A living world where all sentient beings are innately healthy can be created only via genetic engineering. Societal reform on its own can’t manufacture the molecular substrates of happiness. Etymologically speaking, transhuman civilisation will be the product of eugenics. So in that sense, the critics are right. But genetically engineering the well-being of all sentience is far removed from the coercive “eugenics” and race hygiene policy of the Third Reich.
That said, a multitude of legal of legal and ethical safeguards will be essential to navigate the transition to post-Darwinian life – humans are untrustworthy creatures. Not least, we should uphold and extend the sanctity of life. IM: How do we ensure genetic engineering is used safely?
DP: All genetic experimentation is inherently risky, not least the gamble of having children. Antinatalists might support a hundred-year moratorium on untested genetic experiments; but such prudence is unrealistic. For evolutionary reasons, most people are determined to have children via sexual reproduction. So we should focus on minimising the risks of such genetic experimentation. Let’s try to balance risk-reward ratios. Preimplantation genetic screening will be hugely cost-effective. Later this century, all babies could and should be CRISPR babies. In the meantime, access to preimplantation genetic screening and counselling ought to be universal.
For example, consider the genetic dial-settings that regulate pain-sensitivity. What level of pain tolerance is optimal for our future children – and our older selves? Even now, medical science could eradicate pain altogether simply by knocking out the SCN9A gene – the so-called “volume knob” for pain. However, instant eradication of pain is too hazardous. SCN9A-knockouts would lack not just the ghastly experience of pain but also the vital function of nociception. Children with congenital analgesia need to lead a cotton-wool existence or else they come to serious harm. For now, choosing benign “low pain” alleles for our offspring is much safer. In tomorrow’s world of advanced AI and neuroprostheses, even the mildest “raw feels” of pain could be abolished. In the meantime, we can ensure that new children (and maybe our future selves) have the same exceptionally high pain-tolerance of today’s high-functioning genetic outliers: folk who say things like “Pain is just a useful signalling mechanism.” IM: Should we still pursue genetic engineering if there was peace on earth?
DP: Suicide rates typically go down in wartime. There isn’t peace on Earth for the same reason there isn’t peace among chimpanzee troops. Nature “designed” human male primates to (be genetically predisposed to) wage territorial wars of aggression against other coalitions of male primates. Let’s assume, optimistically, that we can prevent future armed conflict without any of the biological-genetic interventions discussed here. The negative-feedback mechanisms of the hedonic treadmill would ensure that countless people would continue to suffer – even in a peaceful world without war, poverty and disease. By its very nature, Darwinian life is sentient malware. Only a biohappiness revolution can fix our sinister source code for good. IM: What other types of human enhancement technologies will considerably affect the nature of humans?
DP: Safe and sustainable analogues of empathetic euphoriants like “hug drug” MDMA will revolutionise human relationships. Compare the quasi-psychopathic indifference to most other sentient beings that humans display now.
Robolovers, sexbots and designer aphrodisiacs will revolutionise sexual experience.
Novel psychedelics, novel genes and novel neurons will open up billions of state-spaces of consciousness as different from each other as waking life is different from dreaming life.
“Augmented” reality will be followed by full-blown multimodal immersive virtual reality.
“Narrow” superintelligence-on-a-neurochip will be accessible to all; with digital intelligence implants, sentient beings can do everything machine intelligence can do and more.
Opt-out cryonics, opt-in cryothanasia, and finally tools to defeat the biology of aging altogether will transform our conception of life and death. Transhumans will be quasi-immortal.
But in my view, mastery of the pleasure-pain axis will inaugurate the biggest revolution of all. The end of suffering promises an ethical watershed. Invincible well-being for all sentience will mark a momentous evolutionary transition in the development of life. IM: What are some ethical considerations worth arguing about at this stage?
DP: As a transhumanist, I look forward to a glorious “triple S” civilisation of Superhappiness, Superlongevity and Superintelligence. But more concretely, I’d like to see a coordinated hundred-year Plan to overcome suffering throughout the living world under the auspices of the World Health Organization. Here are four policy proposals for a Biohappiness Revolution:
- Accelerate the development and commercialisation of cultured meat. Close and outlaw factory-farms and slaughterhouses. Rehabilitate the surviving victims.
- Genetically raise pain-tolerance. Genetically recalibrate the hedonic treadmill. Create life based on gradients of intelligent bliss.
- Offer CRISPR gene-therapy and preimplantation genetic screening and counselling to all prospective parents.
- Spread low-pain “happy genes” across the biosphere with CRISPR-based synthetic gene drives that cheat the “laws” of Mendelian inheritance.
At times, Darwinian life can be desperately grim. Yet depressive, pain-ridden people shouldn’t feel their lives are worthless. Even malaise-ridden lives can be valuable if one prevents more suffering than one undergoes. We should all aspire to be not just transhumanists but also effective altruists. Let’s use biotechnology to phase out suffering. Humans are stepping-stones to something better – something inconceivably sublime. IM: In 2015, Bill Gates gave a chilling warning on a TED Talk that the world was in danger due to global pandemics or bioterrorism. These predictions have raised conspiracy theories that Bill is responsible for creating the novel coronavirus and the reason for his interest in developing a vaccine treatment. There are also conspiracy theories circulating about 5G technology being connected to the spread of the novel coronavirus which has led to the recent burning of 5G towers in the UK. Conversations about the use of microchips and biometrics in order to prevent future epidemics are also fueling conspiracy paranoia. Are these fears reasonable? Do they serve an evolutionary purpose or detriment?
DP: “Only the paranoid survive”, said Intel boss Andy Grove. There’s a lot that medical science still doesn’t understand about the pandemic viral respiratory illness COVID-19. However, the new corona virus was not created by Bill Gates, nor is it spread by 5G towers. Nor is it a bioweapon. The truth is more sinister. COVID-19 is a by-product of humanity’s monstrous treatment of nonhuman animals. Zoonotic disease and consequent global pandemics are inevitable as long as humans practise meat-eating. Animal abuse is catastrophic for humans and our victims. Details of the spillover infection in a dirty Wuhan meat market in November 2019 are still murky; but this viral pandemic would not have happened if humans didn’t practise animal agriculture – and then butcher sentient beings to gratify a gruesome taste for their flesh. Rather than being the villain of the piece, Bill Gates is a sponsor of “clean” cultured meat. The cultured meat revolution promises to end zoonotic pandemics, save billions of nonhuman and human animal lives, and yield cost-savings of tens of trillions of dollars by preventing future pandemics. Yet human health and safety needn’t wait for the commercialisation of cruelty-free cultured meat and animal products. Wet markets, vivisection labs, factory-farms and slaughterhouses are crimes against sentience; they should be outlawed. Future civilisation will be vegan. IM: Humanity’s self-sabotaging nature exists in many forms. One, in particular, a form of self-assertion by denying, ignoring, or attacking what others consider to be true - the fear of others - is as subtle and universal as it is destructive. This form of self-defense mechanism so prevalent in modern society prevents people from establishing effective communication channels that are all-encompassing, flexible, and effective, in particular towards problem-solving. Could humans ever turn mindfulness, gratitude, hope, and a sense of solidarity into sustainable practices?
DP: Evolution didn’t “design” humans to be nice to each other – except insofar as friendliness promoted the inclusive fitness of their genes. Some transhumanists worry about the spectre of unfriendly artificial general intelligence; but our biggest challenge is creating sentience-friendly biological intelligence. Maybe the shock of COVID-19 will help persuade killer apes to close the death factories and accelerate an anti-speciesist revolution. Maybe the shock of COVID-19 will help persuade free-market fundamentalists that all people have a fundamental right to basic income, homes and healthcare. I’d love to believe that humans will “turn mindfulness, gratitude, hope and a sense of solidarity into sustainable practices”, as you suggest. But unless we combine dietary, political and socio-economic reform with remediation of our sinister source code, the well-being of all sentience remains a utopian dream. Depravity is hardwired into our DNA – a lot of it, at any rate. The worst of “human nature” must be genetically cured. IM:To establish a global pandemic immunity for the novel coronavirus, our priorities are: 1. to keep people safe from getting the coronavirus through social distancing, 2. to figure out a way to contact-trace and test millions of people a day to know who can resume working, 3. to come up with treatments and vaccinations that can prevent coronavirus flare-ups, in particular third world countries, 4. to continue travel restrictions and global collaboration, 5. to improve our supply chain and infrastructure. Do you think this plan is aligned with the transhumanist goal of improving the human condition?
DP: Becoming transhuman will entail overcoming deeply-rooted ethnocentric and anthropocentric bias. COVID-19 has already triggered an upsurge in racism and xenophobia. Coronaviruses and future pathogens could be readily tamed with the aid of ubiquitous testing and tracking apps. But many people are (rightly) afraid that tracking measures introduced to tackle catastrophes like COVID-19 – biometric scanning, phone location data, credit-card information, security footage and so forth – will be used by authoritarian regimes to control rather than protect us. IM: The success of a global plan to turn the economy around towards the sustainable implementation of a universal health care system that can successfully handle crisis depends not only on improving our own neural architecture but on re-defining our value system. Professor Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, also a distinguished philosopher of posthuman studies from Cabo University, Italy, whom I'm also interviewing in this issue of Immoralists Magazine (See: “The Future Of Digital Surveillance and Healthcare - A Conversation with World Leading Philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner” APR-MAY 2020), makes a bold argument stating that when it comes to health and privacy, the problem isn’t about giving up privacy, but our understanding of what privacy means to us. He argues that people aren’t afraid of giving up privacy, but being sanctioned by the government. We soon realize that the fear isn’t the loss of privacy but the inability to live as one pleases. Stefan believes that the collection of digital data by means of total surveillance is needed and can be established through mutually beneficial contracts where citizens give access to their biometrics to governments in exchange for a free health care system that keeps everyone safe and healthy. He adds, "in order to collect all the relevant data, the data needs to be sold in between the companies or the companies and the government." Do you think that a decentralized, non-commercial, peer-to-peer system would be more effective, or could we instead establish a hybrid system that restricts government and companies access to people's biometrics?
DP: Let’s step back for a moment. Why exactly does privacy matter? The Borg has no concept of privacy. Many Christians believe that a benevolent and omniscient God is privy to their innermost thoughts and feelings. But we needn’t invoke science-fiction or theology. If mutually “loved up” on oxytocin-releasing euphoriant empathogens like MDMA (Ecstasy), people can forget about privacy and be honest with each other: oxytocin has been dubbed the “trust hormone”. More radically, the conjoined craniopagus twins Krista and Tatiana Hogan share a thalamic bridge. In a sense, they are distinct persons. But Krista and Tatiana can partially see though each other’s eyes and taste and feel what the other is experiencing. So in another sense, the twins can share a mind as well as a body. Maybe our transhuman successors will be able to “mind meld” via reversible thalamic bridges. If so, mind-melding technologies will inaugurate a revolution of true honesty – and (lack of) personal privacy – as understood by archaic Darwinian lifeforms. Science, morality and decision-theoretic rationality will be revolutionised too. By contrast, “normal” humans today are profoundly ignorant of each other. Moreover, most prefer to stay ignorant – and prefer others stay ignorant of them. For sure, humans want to feel loved, appreciated and respected. But we also want to prevent others from truly understanding us – as distinct from acknowledging our idealised public personae. Some of the reasons why contemporary humans want to preserve their privacy may be irrational – for example, embarrassment over bodies and their functions or a taste in porn. But the problem goes deeper. Social, personal and business life depends on a web of deceptions. If our dark, Darwinian minds practised “radical honesty”, then human society and personal relationships would collapse. Today, we have the justified suspicion that if other humans learned our secrets, they might exploit such knowledge to harm us.
Anyhow, to answer your question more directly: if adequate safeguards can be established, then everyone’s mental and physical health would be best served by allowing medical authorities to have full genetic and biometric data for all citizens, ideally from birth if not conception. Later this century, universal access to preimplantation genetic screening and counselling and CRISPR genome-editing should be available for all prospective parents. Centralised genetic knowledge-banks available to medical researchers would promote public health and benefit individuals and society alike.
However, the risks to personal freedom from sharing such knowledge are far-reaching. I will need to study Stefan Sorgner’s proposals properly before offering comment. But in my view, universal access to free healthcare, basic income and adequate housing shouldn’t depend on surrendering genetic privacy and other biometric details. Universal and unconditional access to healthcare, basic income and adequate housing is a precondition of any civilised society. One possible solution to the privacy dilemma may involve artificial intelligence. If implemented wisely, the practice of sharing intimate personal and biometric details with smart digital zombies won’t involve embarrassment or scope for human-style abuse. We’re already heading for a world of robo-carers, robo-nurses, robo-doctors and robo-surgeons: insentient robo-epidemiologists aren’t so different – not a Nanny State, but “Nanny AI”. But I believe this kind of AI option would need rolling out over decades. The devil is in the details. IM: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are planning to partner up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to begin exploring possible COVID-19 treatments. It is known that the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative is also on a mission to “eliminate all diseases within our children’s lifetime”. How are super longevity initiatives relevant to our quest to establish a universal health care system and happiness?
DP: Humanity needs a more ambitious conception of health – the kind of conception laid out in the founding constitution of the World Health Organization. I hope that we can indeed “eliminate all diseases within our children’s lifetime”. Yet even if all recognised genetic disorders and infections were eradicated, horrific suffering would persist in the world – all sorts of physical and mental pain. Under a regime of natural selection, a predisposition to suffering and discontent is genetically adaptive. So we wouldn’t really be healthy, just not sick. Our genomes need fixing. Hence the need for a biohappiness revolution – a civilised information-signalling system underpinned by gradients of intelligent bliss. Superlongevity? Only revolutionary medical breakthroughs can abolish death and aging. We don’t yet have the knowledge. Organs and bodies can be replaced, repaired and/or enhanced indefinitely with recognisable extensions of existing technologies; but the central nervous system is more challenging to re-engineer: I’m more pessimistic than some of my transhumanist colleagues about credible time-scales for eternally youthful mind-brains. Therefore we need a twin-track approach: SENS and Calico should work together with Alcor. Universal access to cryonics and cryothanasia could potentially make a transhumanist civilization available to all sentient beings – even the elderly and infirm for whom talk of posthuman paradise is apt to sound personally irrelevant. Hormonally, I’m one of Nature’s pessimists; but I think we are destined for a glorious “triple S” civilisation of superlongevity, superintelligence and superhappiness. IM: How does transhumanism address issues of racism and injustice?
DP: The Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009) affirms our commitment to the well-being of all sentience.
This goal sounds impossibly utopian. Consider just one form of injustice, economic inequality. Traditional routes to a fairer world involve “winners” and “losers”. Zero-sum games are endemic to human society. Worse, the enforcement mechanisms of greater fairness often turn out to be as bad - or worse - than the injustices they attempt to remedy. Consider the fate of socialist experiments of twentieth-century history.
Transhuman society will be different. Information-based technology promises to erase traditional left-right distinctions by creating effectively unlimited abundance of anything that can be digitised – and that embraces almost everything. (Some transhumanists claim that everything can be digitised, but let’s postpone discussion of whether conscious minds are a classical phenomenon.) Digital information is egalitarian. Intellectual-property owners may blanch, but we can now take for granted that everyone can enjoy access to the world’s musical resources, electronic games, movies and computer software. This unfolding revolution will continue into an era of augmented reality and immersive VR. Most importantly, access to genetic information and mastery of our reward circuitry will soon be democratised. Code for the biological substrates of subjective well-being doesn’t need to be rationed any more than the source code of digital music needs to be rationed. We could all become hedonic trillionaires. Many of the world’s worst inequalities aren’t economic or socio-political, but biological-genetic: disparities of mood, motivation and hedonic range. Just consider who is better off: a rich, angst-ridden depressive or a poor, healthy hyperthymic? Transhumanism promises a civilisation based entirely on gradients of intelligent bliss. Potentially, everyone can be a hedonic “winner”.
Yet what about tackling injustice now?
In my view, universal basic income (UBI), decent housing and free healthcare shouldn’t be a political left-right issue, but a precondition of civilised society. Thus broadly libertarian transhumanists such as Zoltan Istvan support UBI no less than transhumanists in the left-liberal tradition. My own gut instincts have always favoured the underdog. But the neocortex is a more effective tool of cognition than the enteric nervous system. Rich and poor, black and white, human and nonhuman animals – we are all victims of our legacy wetware. Everyone will benefit when our Darwinian source code is fixed. Any prospective parent who believes that creating new life is ethically permissible should consider preimplantation genetic screening, counselling and (soon-to-be) professional gene-editing.
Defeating racism? This really demands a treatise, but here goes. From antiquity to the present, dominant groups have convinced themselves they are intellectually, morally and spiritually superior to stigmatised outsiders – and touted “objective” measures to prove it. The evolutionary roots of racial discrimination, bigotry and xenophobia run deep. Everything from cultural stereotypes to the institutional racism in our criminal justice systems and even transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (i.e. transmission of epigenetic information through the germline) mean that the effects of systemic racism will take generations to overcome. Our posthuman successors may find the differences between human ethnic groups akin to the differences that humans discern between different dogs or mice or beetles. Yes, there are differences between different breeds of dog and mouse – and beetle! But humans can recognise that these differences are trivial compared to what all dogs, mice and beetles have in common. Likewise posthuman superintelligence vis-à-vis archaic humans. Education harnessed to intelligence-amplification can help overcome racist prejudice and other cognitive deficits of perspective-taking ability. But creating empathetic superintelligence will be a monumental challenge. IM: How can transhumanism positively affect policies that affect all sentient life?
DP: A “triple S” civilisation of superintelligence, superlongevity and superhappiness can benefit all sentient beings.
Everyone could benefit from “narrow” superintelligence on a neurochip; Neuralink is just a foretaste of tomorrow’s implantable brain-machine interfaces. Some doomsters fear a zombie coup from runaway software-based AGI; but all the benefits of “narrow” AGI can be incorporated within one’s own CNS. So transhumans will be supersapient and supersentient. Full-spectrum superintelligence will be us, not some fanciful zombie overlord. Transhumanism also offers a richer conception of intelligence than the narrow, “autistic” component of general intelligence measured by simple-minded IQ tests: enhanced social cognition, superior co-operative problem-solving skills, an expanding circle of compassion, and the tools to explore alien state-spaces of consciousness.
Yet who will live long enough to enjoy triple-S civilisation? Unless you’re a hydra, you and your loved ones suffer from the lethal hereditary disease we call “aging”. Rejuvenating interventions such as regular therapeutic blood exchange can potentially turn back the biological clock. “Cyborgisation” and synthetic body parts will increasingly enhance, repair and replace biological organs. But full-blown body-replacement is still decades away. Therefore we need not just medico-genetic advances, but also a medico-legal revolution: opt-out cryonics and opt-in cryothanasia for life-loving oldsters. At its best, transhumanism is all-inclusive.
Critically, the biohappiness revolution won’t be race- or species-specific. Transhumanists aspire to transcend ethnocentric and anthropocentric bias. Everyone can potentially benefit from genetically programmed well-being – a civilised signalling system to replace the dismal dial-settings of a Darwinian hedonic treadmill. There is a crying need for the World Health Organization to live up to its obligations as set out in its founding constitution. Good health should be the birthright of all sentient beings – or else they shouldn’t have been conceived in the first place. I’m personally gloomy about timescales for the abolitionist project. Centuries? Millennia? I don’t know. However, a hundred-year blueprint to eradicate suffering is technically feasible. The world’s last experience below hedonic zero will mark a major evolutionary transition in the development of life on Earth.
My own focus is the plight of nonhuman animals – humble minds as sentient and sapient as small children and worthy of equivalent care. Currently, the abuse of nonhumans by humans is systematic. Factory-farming and slaughterhouses are nastier than even the most virulent racism and child abuse. Ideally, moral argument alone would suffice: I’d implore everyone to adopt a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle. But transhumanists are hard-headed. We tend to favour technical solutions to ethical problems. Cultured meat and cultured animal products once belonged to science fiction. Yet over the next few decades, the cultured meat revolution will end the horrors of animal agriculture. The death factories will close. The surviving victims will be rehabilitated. Zoonotic plagues like COVID-19 spawned by animal abuse like will pass into history. And looking further ahead, what Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus called “the great slaughterhouse of Nature” can be civilised too. The biohappiness revolution can be extended to the rest of the living world via genome editing, cross-species fertility-regulation and synthetic gene drives. The entire tree of life is programmable. For sure, pilot studies in self-contained mini-biospheres will be prudent. But post-Darwinian ecosystems won’t resemble today’s snuff movie. Post-Darwinian ecosystems will be engines of bliss. IM: What approach would you recommend for someone that intends to recalibrate their hedonic set-point and live "better than well" in a sustainable way in the current technological paradigm, before the democratization of gene-editing arrives, assuming that all the typical healthy habits (sleep, nutrition, exercise, meaningful social interactions) have been already maxed out?
DP: Most people today have not “maxed out” their genetic potential. Optimising sleep, nutrition and exercise is more often preached than practised. Yet what about depressive people who done everything right and still aren’t happy? Maybe they have also tried nutritional supplements (omega-3 fatty acids, S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe), St John’s wort, etc) and worked their way through the officially sanctioned mood-brighteners – “antidepressants” such as the SRRIs, MAOIs, tricyclics, bupropion and so forth. Meditation, cognitive-behavioural therapy and other non-biological interventions hasn’t produced lasting relief. Nothing works. The set-point of their hedonic treadmill is too simply low.
It’s tragic. I’ve no easy answers to the hardest cases. One of the biggest challenges to pharmacological (as distinct from genetic) remediation and enhancement is that the neurotransmitter system most directly involved in hedonic tone is the opioid system. We are all born dysfunctional opioid addicts with cravings to fix. Alas, exogenous opioids have well-known pitfalls for users, their families and society at large. That said, there is still scope for creative psychopharmacology. For example, the “French” antidepressant tianeptine - a full mu and delta opioid receptor agonist – can be combined with a selective kappa opioid receptor antagonist. (Kappa agonists induce dysphoria.) Also, perhaps add the novel agent LIH383. LIH383 blocks the atypical “scavenger” opioid receptor ACKR3. Blockade of ACKR3 increases the availability of opioid peptides that can bind to classical CNS opioid receptors, thereby increasing their “natural” mood-brightening action. The negative-feedback mechanisms of the hedonic treadmill can be sabotaged. However, this kind of cocktail of creative psychopharmacology is best explored with the aid of a medical specialist. If all else fails, the modern equivalent of “wireheading” would work. Intracranial self-stimulation is not the transhumanist vision of paradise engineering: superintelligent life based on information-sensitive gradients of bliss. Wireheading is clearly a last resort. But no one should be forced to suffer: it’s unethical.Fortunately, future sentience will be blissful.
I'm looking to purchase my first robo-vac. House has approximately 2 floors and a basement of 1000 sq feet each. The first and 2nd floor have a number of larger area rugs to contend with and I'm trying to get a sense of how well these models perform when transitioning. Any recommendation on which option to go with? I've read that the i7 is worth it only if you get the dust bin which would come out to $700 - a $300 price difference versus the 960. submitted by
Shark IQ sells a robovac with dust bin for 450 but I've heard mixed things about the Shark.
I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.
Edit - thank you for all the responses. This was incredibly helpful - I think I’m going with the i7
I wonder what the balance changes a few days back were supposed to do. We're all thinking that. Here are my balance changes
, if I were to make the decisions.
DISCLAIMER: this is a brainstorm,
not all of these would be implemented at the same time. I'm just exploring the possibilities.
If you just want the interesting ones I recommend Mortis, Poco, Bibi, Emz and Bo.
Honourable mentions listed first, then everything else is sorted by rarity.
Part 2 link: https://www.reddit.com/BrawlStarsCompetitive/comments/fdlq1h/march_balance_change_brainstorm_part_2/
By the way, I don't think anyone agrees with the devs that Mortis doesn't need a buff. I get it, Mortis is very high skill, but there is simply no way you can play well with only three viable modes, and taking a lot more effort to kill any brawler than they'll take the other way round. And let's not forget getting stuck on that wall, we want a fix to that.
- Damage increased from 900 to 1000 (1260 1400)
Screw it all. Mortis is completely unplayable without Star Power, and can't approach properly, defend, or even assassinate right anymore,. He dies to Spike and Colt, let's be honest with ourselves. He's basically just not allowed to play Heist, Solo SD, any ticketed event, and Brawl Ball and Siege to some degree (if you aren't Rey/Yde. Fear those Morti.) He's basically just confined to Bounty, Gem Grab and SD because he dashes.
Right now his attack just isn't paying off very much at all, and the recent spam of health buffs just suddenly made his already tough time even harder. A low-trophy player isn't going to be able to do anything if they take three more hits to kill a random enemy than the other way round, and a high rank player is putting a lot of skill and effort in, without enough reward.
This buff gives him a 'less worse' time against tanks, since he'd take one less hit to kill Darryl, Pam, El Primo and Frank. Other honourable mentions include Colt, Dynamike, Brock, that pesky-ass Jessie turret, Sandy, Poco and Nita.
I originally wanted it to be 960, but the heaps of health buffs, especially Poco and Pam, didn't leave me much of a choice.
I'm using this to try and make him a bit more viable in Solo SD, since right now it takes impossible skill, combat maths and admittedly, cojones
to just attack someone.
- Super damage increased from 900 to 960 (1260 1344)
His Super works differently to everyone else's. Usually they have a powerful ability, and admittedly that does apply to Mortis, since he can stack Supers, and in a way, do better against three enemies than against one or two and keep spamming bats until the whole enemy team dies, but as an attack it doesn't do much, nor does it heal enough. Overall it just doesn't do very much at all for the amount of effort and time invested into charging it up. It shouldn't actually do as much as his main attack, so now that his attack is increased there's some freedom for Super damage values. I decided on 960, a number relatively easy to calculate, and because you can use it like a Screeching Solo, except now there's more choices on what to pick off. It also makes crippling an enemy, running back, then Supering a viable tactic.
I think this will make him actually do better in Siege.
Siege, despite the similar goals, is not similar to Heist. It has a lot of parts control (Gem Grab), assassination (Bounty), and control (power cube tyrant). These are things that he's at the very least decent at, and now he can kill enemies better, even picks not seen in Bounty, some brawlers like Max, Bibi and even Rosa. I've pushed Mortis to 900 solely
in Siege because my classmates dared me to, and I reached a point where randoms consistently wanted to play again with that comp, and I was getting Star Player roughly half the time. This is Mortis without a buff, in January.
He's really not bad there, and given this Super buff in particular I think we'd see a lot more bats in the factory. With good reason, someone has to get rid of those Ticks. With pleasure.
- Health increased from 3800 to 4200 (5320 5880)
Yep. Come on, if Poco, Nita, and even Emz
get a health buff, why doesn't he? It looks drastic on paper (or on glass), but it's really not that big. Notice how people are really questioning Poco/Emz's HP buffs, since they're basically negligible, and if a brawler could kill you before they still will. Adding 400HP is when it really starts to make a difference, where you could survive as Mortis on one bullet's worth of health, and stop getting melted by everyone. He's a close range brawler, who unlike Leon or Max can't do ANYTHING at long range. Not that he doesn't do much damage, it's because he's physically unable to attack from that far. I think it's only fair that he receives such a health count to give him a slight edge over most brawlers, sort of like Carl without SP, big and strong but still mortal.
Realistically it'll only ever help against Crow, Bull, Primo, Bibi, and most of all Nita. (I do NOT like Nita when playing Mortis.)
If brawlers like Rosa and Shelly beat him up before he's still gonna die nonetheless. Any brawler that was able to be killed previously like Penny or Rico is still gonna die all the same.
Again, viability. I think this one will definitely help in Brawl Ball, where that sudden rush is easier to pull off without being melted into purple goop. He'll also survive better given all those previous buffs, and provide good pressure against your average squishy, and do more than just stand there against tanks.
So at the moment, Creepy Harvest is kinda useless. It's outshined by CS, and only really works if you're winning already. It's hard for Mortis himself to secure a kill, and if you can kill one enemy out of three, the other two are screwed anyway.
Here's my fix to it: 'Creepy Harvest - Mortis heals 400 health for every attack that he hits something. If he is on full health that health is converted into damage for the next attack.'
Maybe it sounds too strong, but just hold on. The healing per attack is better, since the extra health can be applied in the fight, not after it, and he'd definitely do good as a mid-tank himself. It's just roughly the same health (assuming 4-shot) given, but it's within the battle and much more useful. It also means if you don't hit anything, you won't heal. You'll heal if you hit bots, boxes, safes and IKE's, as well as brawlers.
As for the damage, it says 'when you are on full health.' What kind of Mortis player, for a millisecond of the battle, can sustain full health against someone at a range where they simply cannot miss hitting you? See? The 1800 damage can't really be used against brawlers, so he won't be OP in Gem Grab or Bounty. So why's it a thing? Now he can break an SD box much faster given he's not damaged, or make him slightly less useless in Heist, giving him a hefty 40% DPS increase in a base race.
Now the largest incentive for not using CS has been used, and it's either 'ease of access' or ' a stat buff to health/damage.' Mortis - Overall
For me, he doesn't actually feel that weak and unplayable,
since I did
push him in off-meta places. Other people feel differently, so those buffs were definitely for the community. These changes mostly addressed his viability, and gives him two-and-a-half more modes he can play. It'll also stop the backwards circlejerk within F2P/noobs, where they're all telling each other Mortis is bad. Or if they believe he's good in Brawl Ball, let's fulfil their wish.
No reload buff or range buff, since that would give him wayyyy to much mobility. He's meant to be fast but not that fast.
A Super charge buff would mean he could throw his bats, attack three times and use them again. That gives him a total burst of 6300, enough to kill Bibi, 8-Bit and Carl without stopping to reload. Yeah... not gonna happen.
Do you want a Mortis Super range/width nerf? Let me know in the comments.
I don't want Coiled Snake to be part of the base kit either. Shoutout to u/Kasai_worx
for talking some sense into me over this one, I realise now how horrific CS + CH would be, or the power we're giving to smol brain randoms.
Poco Poco - Overall
Perhaps Poco changes aren't necessarily the most urgent, but I just wanted to share my insight on Poco.
I get it, Da Capo is OP, once his best bud Rosa is on his team you are either guaranteed a win or very, very screwed. But the main ingredient to that nightmare is the Rosa. Poco is nothing without Da Capo or the tanks on his team.
Behind the golden coat of Da Capo is a dead, rotting brawler that has the LEAST balance activity of any beta brawler (almost half the changes of everyone else), and since all the other low damage brawlers have been buffed his damage is just completely negligible and useless. Supercell has just slapped an OP Star Power twice on him to stop his fall, and he's just always sucked when that didn't happen. He's just a shit Sandy when using Screeching Solo, where I can't name a single case where he'd be more useful than Sandy, and without SP he's unplayable, and his existence independently just doesn't do much at all. It's only a matter of time before Da Capo is nerfed without any other buffs to mitigate the drop, and Poco becomes useless. He needs a buff, desperately. Currently he can only be played well in two modes, which I imagine is the same viability as a purple punch bot from Robo Rumble.
- Da Capo heal decreased from 700 to 600
I want to see an end to this tank madness. This is the first step, making healing with SP less rewarding and not so endless. A good Poco can make just about anyone immortal.
But of course, why 600 in particular? Because 700 is still going to give off the same effect, still sustaining teammates faster than natural regen can. It'll still be okay.
- Reload time decreased from 1.6 seconds to 1.5 seconds
This will catch the fall of Da Capo a little, making it still viable but not strong since he'll heal less but more often. Also because for 900 damage, his reload is comically slow, taking longer to reload a guitar
than Crow, Pam, Mr. P, Shelly, Rico, 8-Bit, a lot of brawlers. This will help his 1v1 interactions too.
- Damage increased from 660 to 740 (924 1036)
Hear me out first. This is a big buff, so big that you can now three-shot a Tick (lil mofo gets what he deserves, am I right?) but one that's certainly needed. EVERY SINGLE low-mid damage brawler has been buffed in the past one year (Nita, Jessie, Penny, Crow, Mortis, Max, Tara, Bo, Barley) except Poco. Now he can't keep up with anybody, and his damage is close to nothing given this power creep that everyone but him seems to be riding. He's just been forgotten, basically. Now he can actually start doing stuff and having an individual effect in terms of DPS/burst. This also encourages people to stop using him entirely
as a healer, since he should be able to independently do stuff, because at the moment his attack just doesn't do anything at all.
It's only ever going to help against Shelly (you'll die anyway if up close), Tick, and a Showdown box since he takes one less hit against them. This will help him in SSD and DSD, and at times even Siege if you're looking for a bolt hog. This buff will stop him from being punished to losing access to most of the game modes in Brawl Stars just because he can heal.
- Screeching Solo damage increased from 800 to 1000
It just doesn't do anything anymore. It doesn't do anything, is a great waste of a Super, and takes away a decently sized piece of your average Poco's IQ once he starts being a bushcamper who's targeting the Crow the whole match. It wasn't strong at 1000 damage before anyway, and in this tank meta it wouldn't be used to initiate an attack anyway. Besides, since SS's release, a bunch of tankier brawlers have been released so 1000 damage isn't much to them anyway.
Overall what I am trying to achieve with Bibi is fixing her inability to find a way to reach and attack enemies, and make her consistency better since a long attack delay brings instant counters with it.
- Speed increased from 770 (tank) to 820 (assassin)
Currently, a non maxed Bibi has no way to approach enemies given her very short range. And at least the other melee brawlers can do quick, consistent damage. This speed buff will allow her to run considerably faster than normal brawlers, and even tanks, which could also allow her to play as an assassin, shoot the bubble and start running very fast towards targets. It also gives Home Run SP a boost.
- Home Run speed increase decreased from 11% to 10%
This is ultimately still a buff, as before she had 862 speed, and now she has 912.
- Attack delay time decreased from 1250ms to 1000ms
People were beginning to believe Bibi and Frank are similar. They really aren't, and their playstyles are completely unrelated. This also allows her to attack faster, making it harder to juke in front of her nose despite having a 140 degree spread.
- Reload speed increased from 0.8 seconds to 1.1 seconds
She just basically never ran out of ammo. Of course, it took a while to unload the shots, but she could just pass the ball to the enemy over and over again. Also psychologically stops people believing she reloads so fast; it roughly cancels the delay out. Also the sheer fury of watching a Bibi teammate on 900 health try to smack the Mortis for so long that he's got his CS charged up.
- Home Run Bar charge time increased from 2 seconds to 2.2 seconds
It was simply charging too fast. The knockback was being used so often, and her Star Powers kicked in way too fast. I think now people would stop playing Bibi like Primo, just running forward on a suicide mission.
- Health increased from 4200 to 4400 (5880 6160)
Despite Bibi being able to knock enemies back, you don't see her getting kills very much. Against tanks she just gets vaporised, if anything she has a harder time against some tanks than Mortis, and by the time you reached a Colt or something you were as good as dead. Indirect buff to Batting Stance.
Everyone has mixed feeling around Shelly. Some say she's game-breakingly OP with insane Super chain potential, that thing where you can't really do anything but die, and then at the same time she can't do anything unless completely point-blank, gets outclassed by Darryl and Rosa in everything, and lacks in all stats from health to damage, to even speed since she's miserably slow compared to the tanks (should be that way though). My plan is to make her better in 3v3, with a separate role and a purpose, but make Super chaining a lot harder in SD.
Note that her winrate in SD is affected a lot by teaming; most matches are Shelly vs not Shelly.
- Shells per shot reduced from 5 to 4
This contributes directly to her Super stack thing, which really does need to be fixed. But this isn't a damage nerf.
- Shell damage increased from 300 to 400 (420 560)
This is an overall +100 damage for Shelly. Nobody would ever use her for damage, since there's better options that can do the same thing but at long range. Now that she has one less projectile chipping at long range will hurt more, and she won't have to be on top of someone to do damage.
- Shot spread reduced from 30 degrees to 15
...which is the most acute marked spread in the game. Now this would make autoaiming at long range harder, but she'll consistently hit two or three shells at max range, which would even encourage aiming for new players.
- Shells to charge Super increased from 11 to 13
Just so she won't charge her Super in three shots, which makes the Super stack harder to pull off. It would also encourage not bushcamping, since Shelly players would then need that extra shell to get their Supers.
- Super shells reduced from 9 to 7
This stops her from charging her Super with one Super and an attack. Also just part of a Super damage nerf.
- Super damage per shell increased from 320 to 360 (448 504)
This is actually a nerf, an overall damage decrease from 2880 to 2520 at power 1. There is simply no coming back once you're Supered, and this would give tanks a better time, since Rosa, Bull and Primo now all survive two Supers.
- Range increased from 7.67 to 8
All part of the 'long-range bushcamper' rework. Shooting further will make randoms smarter and Shelly more rewarding to play, especially against brawlers like Tara, Carl and Pam who just destroy her.
He's much better now, but not all the way there yet.
- Health increased from 3200 to 3400 (4480 4720)
He's supposed to be an assassin, but that doesn't change the fact that Leon often loses a fight he's rightfully got in the bag, because he dies before the enemy does. For a close range Brawler Leon feels awfully frail, and is really the key point of why he struggles in 3v3. This gives him more solid consistency, and because it's really not fair that he has the same health as a turret brawler. Why does he get three-tapped by Brock and two-tapped by Dynamike? I don't know.
- Minimum damage increased from 178 to 200 (250 280)
This one is much more subtle, but I think it would allow him to be better at mid-long range. Before the buff he got yesterday, he was useless unless you were on top of enemies. This one makes him able to be used like Bo as well, so this change is mainly to provide Leons with a lot of freedom of their attack.
- Invisheal healing decreased from 1000 to 900
Leon's Invisiheal is a bit too strong. People are now saving their Supers to fight Genes and Taras, suddenly press their Super, and bamboozle them as they waste their ammo on a basically immortal Leon. 1000 healing per second takes roughly Primo's DPS to cancel out
his heal. It's too strong and really takes away the original purpose of his Super. So why no invis duration buff?
I feel like Leon's invisibility was a bit strong anyway. A Leon was allowed to travel freely for 19 tiles, off the grid, wherever he likes with 7 seconds. Bringing his invisibility back to 7 seconds gives his Star Powers too much value and makes him too brainless to play.
Details here https://www.reddit.com/BrawlStarsCompetitive/comments/equ8eq/the_way_to_buff_leon_nobody_knows_about/
- Range decreased from 3.67 to 3
No, this isn't overkill. It just gives her the shortest attack range in the game. I think that is the way it should be, since she has spread on her punches, and easily the lowest skill to play of any Brawler. This would stop her from just pushing endlessly until her extra 50 speed finally pays off.
- Damage per punch increased from 460 to 480 (644 672)
To compensate, she should be able to do more damage. So now if you get caught in a Rosa's range, bad luck, but at least it's harder to get caught in the first place.
She's either OP at something or god-awful at it, no in between. If you think about it, she's not actually that strong, since most brawlers either out-range her (literally everyone but tanks, Sandy, Bibi, Mortis, and Nita), or have a way of getting up close quickly (Mortis, tanks, Bibi), or just straight-up storm her out of nowhere (Rosa and Sandy).
That leaves only Nita and Frank who are truly countered by Emz, and their ranges fall perfectly in her 'sweet spot' of three ticks of damage (4.67-6 tiles). Everyone else just doesn't want to go near that particular three-tick range.
Besides her DPS, when she's not using all three ticks of damage she just becomes a weaker version of Tara. Overall just a very skewered brawler who needs substantial fixing, in both directions. Even her SPs; one is OP and one is horrible.
- Health decreased from 3800 to 3400 (5320 4720)
Emz is a brawler about AoE, just like Poco and Sandy, but uniquely she struggles at close range. She's currently quite strong in spacey situations, so opening up a weakness of less health makes her slightly easier to approach without taking 7000 damage. Also increases the value of Hype since it now restores a bigger percentage of her health.
- Range increased from 6.33 tiles to 6.67
She can't hit shots. Not because it takes aim (it really doesn't; how do you miss a 55 degree spread attack?), but because people are physically just running away far enough so that they don't get hit. In modes like Siege and Gem Grab playing her is tedious because her attack is like Frank's delay; it takes her attack 1.5 seconds to reach the end, and in that time a normal brawler can run roughly 2.6 tiles back, giving her an effective range of 3.67 tiles (same as Mortis' attack indication). I'll speed the attack up too, but this one is also going to make her 'sweet spot' slightly harder to pull off since there's an extra length of two ticks of damage.
- Hairspray linger time reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1.2
This... is a buff and a nerf at the same time. While it addresses her lack of range since the spray doesn't travel enough, it also does punishing damage while it just sits there, and often people strafe back into the hairspray accidentally.
This change will make the spray travel faster so Emz will have an easier time hitting enemies at the end of her range, it won't spend as much time staying on the map so enemies won't take that
much damage, and even give her a subtle offload buff of roughly +200ms (cooldown is still a thing so it's not 300).
- Bad Karma Rework: Emz's first spray now does +300 damage.
Bad Karma is OP. We all know that, and how much an AoE brawler whose playstyle is similar to Poco
is being used everywhere in Heist.
Now she'll do less overall damage (2520 2316), which will help since she can't burst Rosa down anymore, makes her less hopeless at close range (arguably the most defenseless in the whole game, no way you can hit shots for more damage, no escape, no special ability since Super does such little damage), and stop the exponential growth of Bad Karma when collecting power cubes (used to be +20% per tick, got gradually stronger in SD with power cubes), which basically made the pesky 11 cube Emz completely immortal.
- Hype Rework: Emz heals 500 per second, and her teammates in the range of the Caustic Charisma will heal 200 per second.
Hype won't ever be good, even if it heals 800, because if you ever have to use your Super, there's generally someone at close range, which means you're toast anyway. But giving value to teammates would increase her overall utility, sort of like Gene's Magic Puffs. This one is just a little idea, and one I'm quite proud of. What do you think?
- Remove her fourth ammo slot.
Why is that a thing? All this hype and memery built around Brock's fourth ammo slot, and then it's all come crashing through the floor because Max has four ammo and nobody knows why. I'm watching Max players in SD just go face-to-face against a Shelly and win because of the extra ammo slot. That said, she should be viable at close range, but not like this. People have reached new levels of cockiness with that extra ammo, and this will bring Run'N'Gun down a little too.
- Damage per blade decreased from 300 to 280 (420 392)
This one is subtle and doesn't slow her box break speed down. I personally strongly discourage close range combat as Max, and people are using her in Heist and even Boss Fight for her DPS. This makes her better designed for mid-range combat.
- Health increased from 3500 to 3800 (4900 5320)
Just to compensate. It also makes her playstyle much closer to Bo, Tara and Leon, and less like Rico and Colt. She feels rather frail anyway, and often gets three or four tapped in the blink of an eye.
- Run'N'Gun efficiency increased by 15%
Now if she doesn't have a fourth ammo slot at least she can reload ammo faster. It takes a while to shoot anyway.
- Super Charged now charges in 24 seconds instead of 32
It was too slow, and people were better off annoying some random Sandy instead of spinning in a bush for half a minute to get their Supers. Now playing passive also has its reward since there's no risk of dying when spinning inside a bush.
- Damage decreased from 900 to 860 (1260 1204)
For a support, Sandy did a lot of damage. He'd just walk up to some random Pam and start melting her away with a constant stream of an attack that's impossible to dodge. This one punishes that Power 6/7/8 Sandy at 800 trophies (what a piece of shit that random is, no Star Power at that trophy range...) since they won't be able to do 1.2k damage anymore. It also brings him back down to earth and a 'Support' instead of 'specialises-in-Bo-Assassination-who-can-kill-anyone'.
- Rude Sands damage increased from 120 to 150
It's anti-regen, I understand that. But right now some are choosing just to stay in the shroud. Now it'll sting a bit more since your average brawler that isn't Frank the Tank will lose a third of their health by staying there.
- Hits to charge Super increased from 6 to 7
You know why, and so do I. The Sandy just has perpetual invisibility, just like Leon, but it charges easier, lasts longer, can have effects on enemies, can heal teammates, AND APPLIES TO THE WHOLE TEAM. Quite a lot of perks for something that just charges as you flank people down.
- Attack range increased from 6 to 6.33
His range is a little bit short, which is encouraging bushcamping and brainless gameplay. Given the damage reduction, I want hitting a mid-range to be plausible as well. At least now he can shoot further than Nita, Darryl and Frank, brawlers he struggles against.
It's also a subtle nerf to his projectile speed, since it now takes longer for the attack to reach the end. He can literally shoot around walls at the moment.
- Speed reduced from 770 (tank) to 720 (normal)
Of all Brawlers, how come he gets extra speed? I notice it a lot when playing Sandy, and he's just an outlier in the data. Putting it back where it belongs. It's also what really makes his attack stand out, since it travels so fast, and since Sandy is fast that makes his shot so easy to connect.
- Mine spread increased from 1.33 tiles to 1.67 tiles
Put simply, Tick's mines would still be in a triangle, but further away from each other. This takes away the possibility that two mines hit you at the same time (a brawler's hitbox is ~1.33 tiles), but make him better at pinching down.
- Mine duration decreased from 2 seconds to 1.6 seconds
Tick made the whole game slow. Once he starts vomiting ammo at a bottleneck, it's just a traffic light. The match just stops while the opposite team sits there waiting for his mines to go. Players are basically just denied the ability to travel to certain places just because there's 8600 damage worth of mines lying there.
- Range decreased from 8.67 to 8
Tick's furthest mine could hit you from just longer than the screen vertically, at 10.67 tiles. That was not okay. Having 8 tiles still gives him an advantage over the other throwers, but at least you can see where the airstrike is coming from now.
- Reload time increased from 1.25 seconds to 1.4 seconds
She just never runs out of ammo. With her recent health and big damage buff, it's possible for her to just keep juking enemies at close range, consistently being able to kill 8-Bits and Pams at close range just by running in circles, and it's impossible for Nita to miss her attack. In team play, given her pierce attack she'll charge her Super much faster than most brawlers, and little effort was paying off a lot. Even with this change she'll still retain her quick ammo, but it's enough to make most Nita players hesitate before throwing ammo away.
- Hits to charge Super increased from 7 hits to 8
Other brawlers can use their Supers when in a duel, such as Tara using her portal to initate attacks, or using Bibi's bubble as a finisher, but Nita's bear is simply not meant to help her in a duel. It should not be able to charge fast enough, since it's capable of moving and fighting on its own. This will stop Nita, an already independent and strong brawler, from spontaneously spawning an extra half a brawler every single duel. The bear is much more intimidating with a Star Power, to the point where once the bear is in the battle whoever is it Nita is fighting is usually doomed.
- Bear movement speed increased from 620 to 670
That said, the bear does
have a lot of weaknesses. It's basically a single-use, not just short range, but literally coded to chase enemies until it dies. This gives a non-SP bear more potential in pursuit and even agility to some degree.
- Health increased from 2800 to 3000 (3920 4200)
So just to recap, before his damage buff, Colt sucked. A lot. That was because he was too similar to Rico, but with less range, no spread, thinner bullets, no bounce, less DPS, less bullets in Super, and slower Super charge speed. The only edges he had over Rico were 200 more health and 200 more damage. Highlighting these changes by adding more buffs to them would set them apart, and give Colt situations where he would be used.
Giving him that subtle health boost also provides another option of gameplay, sort of like how Leon was when he was at his worst, like a glass bushcamper. A frail brawler that could be used well at close range due to sheer burst damage, which is made even stronger with the recent buff. (Can confirm, the amount of effort it takes to kill a Colt as Mortis/Bibi means he'll easily qualify.)
- Added bullet spread of 5 degrees.
In perspective, 8-Bit and Rico both have 5 degrees of spread. Shelly has 25 degrees, and Poco has 80 degrees of spread. Sometimes a few of Rico's bullets will bounce on a corner but the others won't.
The bulleted brawlers shoot multiple attacks, which means it's like landing a sniper shot except the bullet moves slower, you must keep strafing along to keep doing damage, and only then are you able to possibly do it four or five times per ammo slot.
So a lot of people naturally turn toward autoaiming, also nobody has time to think and act when it's Overtime in Brawl Ball. The spread of 5 degrees does not show up on Rico and 8-Bit's attacks, but it does give their projectile size a boost. Autoaiming with Colt does not have the same effect, since he shoots entirely in a straight line. This applies to Dynamike too, no matter how much damage is increased, if you can't hit a shot in the first place the buff won't do anything.
So giving Colt spread finally gives him equal autoaim privileges to 8-Bit and Rico, and the absolute newbies who've chosen to play Colt will have a much better time playing without skill.
- Reload speed increased from 1.6 seconds to 1.8 seconds
Colt takes a relatively short amount of time to physically shoot out the ammo slot, and once these buffs are in place the flow of ammo should be slowed down. This stops his DPS from being high as a kite in Heist, which he's probably going to dominate really hard soon with a DPS of almost 1200, and gives him a new role of 'if you get hit and strafe with him that is going to suck a lot'.
- Health increased from 4900 to 5200 (6860 7280)
Bull just doesn't feel like much of a tank right now. He has a whopping 100 more health than Pam.
With one of the shortest ranges in the game, he basically gets melted by everyone. There even was a point where Bull didn't stand a chance against a Steel Hoops Darryl. That may not be so anymore, but that doesn't change how badly he needs a buff. This is bringing back the health he had before that October nerf that nobody can explain to this day.
Also subtly buffs Berserker and Tough Guy since they'll activate at a higher health now.
- Damage increased from 840 to 880 (1176 1232)
At the moment Jessie's damage is basically ignored because of her sad reload, and depends on her turret way too much. Often those who pick Penny instead are also trying to inflict the extra damage, though Jessie should never do the same damage as Penny, because the bounce can potentially be more dangerous to enemies in more situations. She'll now be able to kill a box with five attacks instead of six, but can't go around picking off Shellies like Penny players can with 1260 damage. It'll help her in a base race since randoms insist on picking her in Heist.
She'll also take one less hit to kill Carl, who is pretty much her hardest counter in the whole game.
- Detonation time reduced from 1.3 seconds to 1 seconds
At first this might actually mess Dynamike mains up quite badly. But once they get used to it I believe it'll be easier to land shots and not die up close since there's less possibilities of enemy movement when the bombs blow quicker (less time to juke). Mostly the buff is to make landing one stick of dynamite more painful, since hitting two is extremely difficult, and that's how it is meant to be.
It's also a slight nerf to Dyna-jump, which should only really be used to dodge a Super or flip over an annoying wall generating a bottleneck, not constantly jump and refuse to take damage in the poison. Strong players were too skilled with Dynamike and bad players were too... bad.
- Damage per dynamite increased from 800 to 840 (1120 1176)
Dynamike =/= Tick. Tick does a ridiculous amount of damage, but it takes a lot of brainless gameplay to actually get hit by all three mines. Dynamike's attacks should be sort of accurate but hurt the most consistently. So now with this buff there's the possibility that if enemies don't juke well enough at close range they might actually die.
This is also very FUCKYOUINPARTICULAR
to Mortis, who takes exactly five sticks of dynamite to kill now. Just some defense against a brawler who can now three-shot him without taking much damage at all.
According to the automatically gernerated subtitles on youtube, these are the most used words from PLA shows. submitted by
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