Do you need to be under 5/24 to get a Chase business card with EIN?

TLDR: You cannot bypass 5/24 by using an EIN instead of a SSN.

If you’re looking to maximize the number of cards you can get from Chase before being locked out by their 5/24 rule like me then you’re likely targeting business cards offered by Chase to maximize the rewards you can get from them.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I can sign up for the Chase cards that suit me with my SSN and then get an EIN and use that later on once I’ve passed 5/24 to get more Chase business cards. Alas, after a bit of research I’ve confirmed that you cannot bypass 5/24 by using an EIN instead of a SSN.

See sources/references below.

From reddit (r/churning):

The 5/24 rule can also be bypassed by applying using a paper application instead of the electronic one with a BRM. This only bypasses the 5/24 auto-denial. You can still get denied for having too many cards, among various other reasons.

Getting Approved for Chase Business Cards from churning

 

Sources

Getting Approved for Chase Business Cards from churning

How Does the Chase “5/24” Rule Affect Businesses With Separate EINs?

Comparison of Major Internet Providers in the Bay Area (Primarily San Francisco)

Tier Breakdown

Name Tier Level Speed Cost Reliability Additional Notes
Sonic (Fiber) A 1000 up/down $40/mo Excellent No annual contract
Webpass A 1000 up/down $60/month or $550/year ($45/month) Excellent Choice between annual or monthly contract
Monkeybrains (if in the right service area) A Excellent $105/3 months ($35/month) Good No annual contract, pay in 3 month increments, no modem required
Wave Broadband B 1000 up/down $62/month (12 month plan, doubles at end of term), may be able to reduce monthly cost by providing own modem Good Looks like recently service and pricing may have become significantly worse. I had a good experience with them back in 2015/16 though.
Comcast B 150 down $60/month Good Make sure you use your own modem or they’ll charge you a fee. Avoid the TV bundle as it includes a $8 fee that gets tacked on
AT&T C 1000 down 90/month (plus taxes) Good
Sonic (Non-Fiber) C 15MBps down 50/month Good Forced to take a home phone as part of your service
Race Communications Circumstantial 1000 up/down $60/mo Unknown
PAXIO Circumstantial 1000 up/down $99.50/mo Unknown

Gallery of all screenshots

Sources

best internet in SF? from AskSF

Best ISP in SF? from AskSF

Cheapest *internet only* service provider in San Francisco? from bayarea

What are the best ISPs out there? from bayarea

This site is kind of awful but sort of useful for getting a sense of what is available out there at a glance.

 

Official Google Adwords Coupon Link

Just want a code? Go here.

If you want to get an introductory offer for the Adwords account you’re setting up you’ll see a bunch of results from random blogs claiming to have coupon codes that give you a certain amount of credit but inevitably those codes don’t work because they’ve been used, are expired or the author is lying. The only way to reliably get an intro offer is to go to Google themselves and get a promo code from them. This was surprisingly difficult information to find so I’ve brought it together here to benefit you, :)!

The current offer is to get a $75 credit once you’ve spent $25 on Adwords (which is much better than a $0 credit once you’ve spent $25 on Adwords, :P). Make sure that your budget is 10$/day or more otherwise you won’t qualify for the credit (I got burned by this, 🙁 )!

You can find the Google offer here.

I’ve also included the page in an iFrame below if you’re lazy and don’t want to navigate to the site, :).

Important note: You can’t make use of this coupon if you’re using an account that was already signed up with Adwords so make sure that that you use a new email address to sign up for this. There are many folks posting on forums and the like complaining about having used the coupon and it not applying (since they weren’t applying it to a fresh account).

Once you provide your email and generate the offer you’ll get an email like this containing your coupon code, :).

Terms and conditions of Offer (for anyone interested)

Dosh, $5 Referral Link

$5 offer for new users joining Dosh.

I recently came across Dosh in r/churning and looked into it a bit. When signing up, I did my due diligence on checking for any referral or signup promos. If you just create an account regularly you don’t get any initial cash on signup but if you use a referral link you do. So make us both happy and use mine, :P!

Briefly, Dosh gives you cashback for purchases made on credit and debit cards that you’ve added to the app with participating merchants.

Use this link (https://link.dosh.cash/X59CPi2WQQ, make sure to open on your mobile device) to set up a Dosh account and get $5 for linking your first card (debit or credit).

In my opinion, its worth setting up because you can earn cashback on purchases you’re already making without having to even think about it. Do bear in mind that they will be able to monitor transactions for the cards that you sign up with (if that’s a concern for you).

Here’s a screenshot of nearby offers for me if you’re curious

Do note that, unfortunately, you need to earn another $20 in Dosh (minimum $25 balance to withdraw) before you’re allowed to cash out.

How to Pair Hush (CB3) Bluetooth Headphones

I recently got a pair of Hush Bluetooth Headphones at work and couldn’t figure out how to pair them to my computer for the life of me. After a bunch of searching online I finally found the answer!

  • If you look at your headphones with the noise cancelling toggle on the left you’ll see the other three buttons on the right.
  • The top one on the right side has a play/pause symbol on it (and a little circle nib).
  • When you hold it for long enough you’ll hear a “Power On”.
  • Keep holding that same button and you’ll hear “Pairing On” and that’s when it’ll enter pairing mode
  • Note: You won’t be able to enter pairing mode if your headphones are already on (no matter how long you hold the button).
References:

https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx2FMWOIF6GKQXC?_encoding=UTF8&sort=helpful

When holding the button down and you hear device is powered up keep holding the button down and you will hear pairing mode on. It took a little while for me to figure that out as well.

Marcus Bank: ACH Transfer Fund Availability

I recently opened a Marcus bank account (for the purposes of then transferring funds to another account and triggering a Direct Deposit). I funded with a transfer from Charles Schwab and it was taking forever for my funds to be available so I inquired how long it would take for them to available.

Turns out that funds become available in your account 5 business days after they’ve been deposited into your account.

Hope this proves to be helpful for anyone else looking for this information!

A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Cards & Churning

So you’re interested in starting churning (or maybe you just want to sign up for the best credit cards available to you)? I too was at that same point just a short time ago. I’m still learning a bunch and getting into but I’ve acquired enough knowledge and have a newcomer’s perspective which may be helpful for those starting off.

What is churning?

I would describe churning as moving through credit cards at a pace that is faster than a typical consumer with the specific goal of extracting as much value as possible out of them as possible. If you consider the value provided to you by a credit you have some baseline of underlying benefits (cashback, points earned, etc) but the blended value when taking into account a signup bonus is much higher.

Because of that, if you can manage the complexity and hit signup bonus spending goals, bouncing between cards and closing/downgrading them once you’ve hit the signup bonus will you leave with a higher effective value/dollar spent ratio than if you just use a few cards in a more typical fashion.

Steps

1) Building credit and checking your score

First step to starting to apply to credit cards is to make sure that your credit score is high enough. I would recommend opening an account at Credit Karma and using their free credit scoring to keep track of where you’re at. They’ve also got approval odds by card which I’ve found to be helpful so far so that you can get a sense of how likely it is that you’ll be approved before taking the hit to your credit with the application.

Note: If you’re like me and didn’t have a credit history until recently you’ve basically got three options.

Open a secured card (I happened to do one with Wells Fargo) to build up credit history before getting a real credit card. Secured cards are like credit cards with training wheels. You put up a certain amount of money and then are allowed to spend against it. You’re not actually being given any credit. You can only spend up to what you gave the bank as a deposit. That being said, within 6 months of getting one I was able to apply & get a better credit card (CapitalOne Quicksilver 1.5% Cashback).

Get added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. This is probably the best route to take as generally you won’t want to keep using your secured card (they’re all pretty terrible) and may end up closing it eventually (which will hurt your credit score in the short/medium term).


Find a credit card with a very low threshold for approval and hope that your application will be accepted.

2) Types of cards

Second step is getting a sense of what kinds of cards you would like to get. Broadly, there are a few types of credit cards:

  • Cashback cards
    • Cards with cashback that give you a certain % back for every purchase.
      Some of these cards give you more cashback for certain categories of spending either on a permanent or rotating basis
  • Points cards
    • Cards that give you points that you can redeem for different sorts of things depending on the card.
    • Points can be very flexible like Chase’s cards (Chase Ultimate Rewards, a favourite of the churning community) where you can transfer them to a variety of partners or much more specific like an airline card where you’re earning points that are only usable for that airline.
    • Points are generally more valuable on a value/dollar spent (explained in more detail below) but less flexible than just receiving direct credit or cashback.
  • Cards with perks
    • Some cards have excellent perks that can make getting them more appealing to you depending on what you happen to value.
    • For example
      • Entry to airport lounges (Chase Sapphire Reserve)
      • Rental car insurance coverage (a standard benefit but better cards have much stronger protections)
      • Cell phone damage protection (Chase Ink Preferred)
      • Purchase price protection (if price falls you get money back
  • Cards with annual fees
    • Generally cards with better sign up bonuses, benefits and cashback/points have annual fees
    • You should take into consideration the annual fee when evaluating the benefits offered by the card
    • A common tactic is to get a card with an annual fee, make use of as many of the benefits as possible in the first year (sometimes double dipping is possible based on benefit renewals and when annual fees are charged – see more below ) and then downgrade the card to another card from the same company that doesn’t have an annual fee (which will avoid your credit score taking a hit from lowering average credit age, utilization, etc).
    • Sometimes annual fees are waived for the first year but will generally be charged after that

3) The 5/24 rule

Before you make your choice you should be aware of some curious limitations that exist in the world of credit cards. Mainly, what’s known as the 5/24 rule which applies to Chase credit cards. Basically, when applying for a personal Chase credit card they won’t approve your application if you’ve gotten 5 credit cards over the past 24 months (i.e. you need to have gotten 4 or less credit cards in the last 24 months). This rule is why there are particular flowcharts (like r/churning’s Credit Card Recommendation Flowchart) that provide you with what’s deemed to be the optimal order to apply for credit cards in.

4) Evaluating the value of a card and its benefits to you (cpp & value/$ spent)

Now that you have an idea of what kind of card you can qualify for, what sorts of cards you might be interested in and what the recommended routes are depending on your situation you can start to make an informed decision on what sort of card/cards you’d like to go after.

I’m mostly following optimized routes based on maximizing returns from signup bonuses currently but I anticipate that I’ll eventually build out some basic spreadsheet models to make decisions between cards based on the types of rewards they are offering (airline miles, cashback, multipliers for certain categories, etc).

I’m proposing a model where you consider value/$ spent. So, consider a scenario where you’re spending $3000 on a card, with that card returning an equivalent of $500 worth of benefits to you, and that card costing you $95 in annual fees (or some other form of direct costs to you). That card would then have an value/$ spent ratio of 405/3000 or 0.135 (with the 405 coming from 500 – 95). Using this model you can evaluate cards more objectively. Ideally you would mock up a spreadsheet with anticipated expenses (and accompanying categories) to get a sense of the return that you would get on your spending from each particular card.

I would generally value Chase’s UR points at 1.5 cpp (cents per point) and Amex’s MR points at 1.25cpp.

5) Applying for business cards

Business cards are interesting because they can have great sign up bonuses and some have great perks (for example the cell phone protection offered by Chase Ink Preferred see below). With regards to Chase, business cards also have the advantage of not counting towards the 5/24 rule so its often recommended you get those first in order to get as many Chase cards (and Ultimate Rewards points) as possible.

Business cards be a bit tricky to obtain as they are meant to be used by businesses and, hence, come with a requirement that you have a business if you want to get one. Don’t fret too much though, something as simple as this blog that I write can count as a business. If you’re earning income and have expenses tied to your business you’ll probably qualify so give it a shot, :)!

Once you’ve applied you may find yourself awaiting review. In that case you can follow this flowchart to figure out what your chances of being approved are and whether you should take any next steps.

Note: If you’re applying under a sole proprietorship and using your own SSN (if you have an EIN then you should use your business name instead) make sure that you use your own name when filling out the form. Here’s an example of Chase’s business card application flow.

6) Acronyms

Once you get into the world of churning you’ll come across a wide variety of confusing acronyms used without much understandable context for a newbie (like you or me). Here’s my collection of acronyms that I’ve come across so far and managed to grasp an understanding of the following acronyms:

CPP: Cents per point (cents of value per point earned, a typical comparison metric used when looking at the value of points earned through credit cards)

  • MO: Money Order
  • MS: Manufactured spending
  • VGC: Visa Gift Card or Vanilla Gift Card
  • MSR: Minimum Spend Requirement

7) Manufactured spending (gift cards, bank sign ups, Plastiq, etc)

I’m just started reading about manufactured spending so I don’t have much to write here yet but the gist of it is that the best way to do a large amount of manufactured spending is to get a certain kind of gift card and then buy a money order with it under a debit transaction. It seems like this has become hit or miss as the most convenient route (buying MOs from the United States Postal Service) doesn’t work the majority of the time. More to come on this later as I continue to read about it.

Update: If you’re not looking to Manufacture Spending for a massive amount of spending then it seems like the best route is to open accounts with banks that accept credit card funding. That way you can open an account, fund it with your chosen card (but make sure you have things set up so you don’t hit with a cash advance fee on your end, more on that here), add extra money beyond the maximum for credit card funding if you’d like to meet conditions for account open bonuses, then withdraw your funds & close the account when it suits you.

You can find a great list of banks that allow for credit card funding here.

For more on Manufactured Spending check out this great breakdown from Frequent Miler.

8) Referral Links

You can find all my referral links here. Consider using them if you found this post helpful, :).

9) Other Links

Chase Business Reconsideration Advice: https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/6hclj4/i_survived_the_dreaded_chase_business/

Chase Business Reconsideration Flowchart:  https://i.imgur.com/AZuA0tj.jpg

Credit Card Recommendation Flowchart: https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/9hf4ex/faq_credit_card_recommendation_flowchart/

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/kevlarlover/Card+Recommendation+Flowchart+v11.html

Banks that allow credit card funding: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/does-funding-a-bank-account-with-a-credit-card-count-as-a-purchase-or-cash-advance/

Avoiding cash advance fees: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/how-to-avoid-cash-advance-fees/

Manufactured spending breakdown: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/manufactured-spending-complete-guide/

Chase business card application flowchart (reconsideration/approval): https://imgur.com/a/oXlPW

Product Manager’s Perspective: Onboarding in Aigo Capture

“Recently I had the pleasure of playing through a friend’s game, Aigo Capture, and offering tips on how to make it easier for players to understand the game and make it through the tutorial into regular matches. I’ve included my suggestions to him below.

Aigo Capture: Player Onboarding Feedback
My initial impression of Aigo Capture was that it was a complicated and unintuitive game. I didn’t get the sense that I would want to play it repeatedly. But, I stuck with it and now I’m actually a little bit addicted to it! Aigo Capture is great fun to play once you understand how it works but getting to that point (a point of understanding) is incredibly difficult. Fortunately, it is much easier to revise a game’s onboarding system than it is to completely overhaul its mechanics and strategy.

Based on a lifetime of playing games and my experience in the games industry I’ve come to understand that the best way to have a player learn how to play a game is to simply encourage them to dive right into and begin interacting with the systems. Although this sounds astonishingly easy to do it actually requires a great deal of careful thought for it to be executed correctly. Having players learn a game simply by playing it is somewhat akin to designing a product so that someone who has never seen or heard of it can pick it up and immediately start using it. It’s the ultimate design goal and, as with many things worth pursuing, an elegant and simple illustration of a complex system is not easily obtained. Fortunately, we have a number of fantastic examples that we can draw inspiration from and a solid base of a game to work with. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
The current tutorial system front-loads the entirety of the game’s mechanics and UI flow with a series of text boxes highlighting different portions of the game’s systems and attempting to communicate how the game works across these twenty or so tidbits of information. At first glance, you might assume that this is perfectly fine. The purpose of a tutorial is to teach, and what better way to teach than to provide a detailed explanation of a game’s mechanics and then set the player free?

Unfortunately, humans are not reasonable. They are impatient and get confused easily. Which means that even if you describe in detail how every part of the game functions they are most likely going to turn away due to boredom (not wanting to read through all the various text boxes), confusion (reading through all of the different text boxes but not being able to understand all the mechanics or losing track of what’s important), or being overwhelmed (making part of their way through the tutorial but not being able to cope with learning all of the game at once). So, to avoid losing players for reasons other than them just simply not liking the kind of game that you’ve chosen to create we want to design a tutorial that eases players into the depth and complexity of Aigo Capture and makes it abundantly clear how cool the game is.

I have two primary suggestions for Aigo Capture.

1. Instead of many text boxes explaining each component of the game start with one text box providing a summary of the game mechanics and let the player move on from there on their own.

2. Follow the design template of a game like Super Mario Brothers and let the player learn by playing.
Summary of Mechanics
For folks who are unfamiliar with games it can take them a bit of time to acclimatize to a new genre or rule set that they hadn’t interacted with before. We can expedite this acclimatization period by providing the player with a brief description of how the game functions and what its about. Some games do this in their Steam description, or with a brief tutorial video or interperse it with narrative or bypass this process entirely and rely heavily on arrows and visual cues to try and guide the player through understanding what the game is about.

For some games like Aigo Capture, a note from the creator about the game and how it works adds character to the game and makes players feel welcome while giving them a framework for understanding how the game functions. Here’s an example of a user flow and summary of the game that could help new players get to having a ton of fun a lot sooner!

Once a new player has signed up push them immediately into the game play scene and present them with a brief summary of how the game functions before moving them through the tutorial missions where they’ll be learning the specifics of how to succeed at the game. The summary could be as follows
Aigo Capture is a game about capturing units on the board. Based on the cards available in your hand you can capture cards on the board, try and prevent your opponent from making a match or clearing the board or even clear the entire board yourself. It’ll seem simple at first but prepare to be surprised by the depths to which your opponents will go to to try and outwit you. Lastly, remember to watch out for Mega Captures! Good luck!
Learn by Playing
By designing a game to teach players how to play as they move through the game we can avoid many of the pitfalls of complex, discouraging tutorials and ramp the player up with bite-sized pieces of the game’s mechanics that come together seamlessly and leave them with an in-depth understanding of how the game functions without having to go through the unpleasant exercise of reading a bunch of text and trying to memorize rules and mechanics. Basically, we’re leveraging the medium of a game to disguise learning as playing. Interestingly, the learning that the player goes through as they get better at a game is part of what makes playing games in the first place so engaging as that sense of skill, ownership and knowledge increases.
My specific suggestion for Aigo Capture would be to break down teaching new players into a few separate tutorial missions.
1. Basic rules of play
a. Must play card every turn (unless you use the skip a turn power, but introduce this later)
b. If the card you play matches a card on the board, or matches a sum of some or all of the cards on the board, you will capture those cards.
c. If you clear the entire board you get a Mega Capture and earn bonus points for each time you can do that!
d. The round continues until both players have used all of their cards at which points are tallied.
2. Various point rules (illustrate each of these with a separate round where the player is prioritizing earning each type of point & then demonstrate at end with score screen why this is important)
a. Cards captured
b. Power earned (cards captured & power earned is important because of the balancing between lower numbered costs with higher power values and higher numbered cards having lower power values)
c. Elites captured
d. Gold card captured
e. Mega Captures
3. Powers and when to use them (create three different scenarios where it would be most advantageous to use either of the powers)
a. Swap
b. See
c. Skip
4. Dark Matter and calling for backup
a. Why is Dark Matter important
b. Why is calling for backup better than putting one of your own cards out there (for the most part)
5. Introduce the user to the other parts of the system (this you can do quickly with your text box prompts)
a. Quick Match System
b. Challenges
c. Leaderboard
d. Profile
e. Matches
f. Achievements
g. Energy

It’s clear that players who have made it through the tutorial and understand the mechanics of the game do really enjoy it. As is evidenced by my newly minted account being challenged by a veteran player eager to assess my competency in the ways of Aigo Capture.

Although this type of game won’t likely end up being a mainstream juggernaut (too much strategy and not enough action for the average player) I do see it having a vibrant community with a constantly evolving meta and perhaps a fledging tournament scene. Keep up the great work Matthias!”

How to Get Netflix on the Razer Forge TV

“If you’re like me and you got a Razer Forge TV but were dismayed by the lack of Netflix you’ll be happy to hear that it is in fact possible to get it working on your Razer Forge TV despite the launch and support of the device being completely fumbled and the product outright discontinued (apparently the Forge TV has not been discontinued despite many signs seemingly pointing to that fate).

You have two choices, download from the link that I’ve uploaded the APK file to, or from the APK mirror place that I got it from in the first place.

Obtaining the file

  • Getting it from the link I’ve uploaded it to
    • Open  your default web browser app.
    • Type in: “”goo.gl/VqhHAX””
    • Click on the link to download the APK from the link that you’ve been navigated to should be (http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=98549926711484639747).
    • Install Netflix!
  • Getting it from the mirror site
    • Download the app ES File Manager through the Google Store on your Razer Forge TV.
    • Navigate to favourites and go to Google.
    • Search APK Mirror
    • Select the first search result, apkmirror.com
    • Navigate two presses to the right and hit the select button on your remote.
    • Search for Netflix
    • Scroll down and select Netflix 3.16 Build 5294.
    • Navigate down until you see a box around the Google Play store icon and then navigate one to the right. Hit the select button to start your download. Once it’s downloaded go ahead and install.

Once you’ve finished your install you’ll have to go to Settings > Apps and then select Netflix there to open it.

Enjoy using Netflix on your Razer Forge TV device.

This article was inspired by instructions from MaterializeBD’s Youtube video here.

That’s all for now. Have a pezant day!

Note: If you liked this article. Consider donating or installing this Chrome Extension I made that gives me credit for your Amazon purchases (by adding in my referral tag when you’re browsing Amazon).

[sdonations]1[/sdonations]”

The Creature of the Black Mist: Lord of the House Avernus

“They were fools. Fools without the minds capable to understand. They would never comprehend the true nature of the mists… They knew nothing of the power contained within the font yet they thought themselves to be so superior that they could mock me- the  only one who truly understood its powers- for not falling in line with the others. They did not understand my relationship with the font. It was a well of power that no one before me had ever bothered to investigate further. Every newborn was bathed in its mists but I was the only one who had ever truly recognized them for what they were. They were not simply vapors meant to serve a ceremonial purpose and imbue those of the House Avernus with a slight boost to their capabilities they were much much more. These mists came from a primordial place and had a purpose, a calling that came with them. We had always explained our motivations to hold onto this desolate, craggy and dark piece of land as a valiant and noble defense of the House Avernus but I knew it ran deeper than that. The mists had allowed for us to deceive ourselves in this way but it wasn’t about the House Avernus or our honor it was about protecting this place of power and the mists that swirled up from within from those who might seek to use it for their own unscrupulous means. I knew this because the mists had spoken to me. They saw the potential within and sought me out.

As I was placed in the mists everything became clear. They held so much more knowledge than anyone ever realized or knew. But it was not so simple as telling the others about the powers of the mists. They would not understand. They could not understand. From that day onward, from the first moment where I could fend for myself – I embraced the mists and delved deeper into the mysteries that they held within themselves. With time came comprehension and as I grew more familiar I could reach further into their powers and the knowledge that they offered me. I gained clarity regarding the precarious balance between life and death and how one might succeed in achieving control over its unruly nature. I was capable of imbuing weapons and armor with the power of the mists, calling upon energies held within myself to bolster allies or decimate my foes and of conjuring an impenetrable shield to surround a being of my choosing. A shield of such power that it could protect them from harm, cure them of any ailments and push enemies back when it comes to its glorious end.

My brethren trained with weapons and armor and mocked me for my relationship with the mists. They made jests regarding my lack of a partner and her apparent replacement with the vapors that swirled about me day in and day out. They questioned the absence of a physical manifestation of my powers but those questions were quickly put to rest when I handily defeated any comer in hand to hand combat. Yet, they still lacked understanding and failed to see what I was accomplishing during my time spent in commune with the mists. Those above me questioned the utility of my meditation and unhealthy obsession with the mists. After my display of strength, which was meant to create respect for my time with the mists, they pressed harder demanding to know why I wasn’t putting those talents to use with training, and swords and armor. The friends that I had made in my youth grew distant as their patience regarding my devotion to the mists grew strained. All they saw was a shirking of traditional duties that a royal of House Avernus would be beholden to. They did not see the concentration that my studies required or the battle raging inside between myself and the mists. They would not understand but they could not stop me either. They could never keep me from achieving what was meant for me.

As my relationship deepened with the mists I began to lose touch with the physical world. I was slowly becoming one with them. Some claimed that I was being consumed by them. That I had gone too far. That I was losing control. That they were taking me from their world forever. But I knew better. I had learned from the mists and realized the weaknesses that a physical form forced upon you. A need to sleep, eat and drink. Susceptibility to your surroundings and environmental conditions. Emotions that toyed with your better judgement and encouraged you to make poor decisions. Becoming one with the mists meant that I could tap into their cool, calculating power and bring them to bear on behalf of House Avernus. I alone understood our true relationship with the mists, and, I alone would be capable of extending our reach beyond the caverns of Avernus and out into the world that awaited our noble presence.

Finally, after years of preparation the time to prove myself had come. I finally would have the opportunity to prove all of my naysayers wrong. Our foes had gathered once again for an assault on House Avernus. Except that this time they had a new ally. Streghal, a general known throughout the lands for his combat prowess, his ability to marshal his troops and most of all the strategic depth with which he executed his maneuvers. The House Avernus had fought off many assailants but this was a whole new type of foe. We’d heard stories of their blood thirst, their ruthlessness and their obsession with the font of Avernus held deep within our ancestral lands. They thought themselves superior to us. They called us mist-addled madmen. But they knew not of Abaddon, my years of study and deep relationship with the mists. They would see the power held within me. They would see the true power of Avernus!

The battle grew nearer. The time had come to surrender my flesh to the mists. I paid the font a final visit. As I approached the familiar cracks in the stone the mist seemed to rise up in anticipation of my arrival. It must have sensed my intention to give myself fully to it. To finally achieve my true form. I knelt down, lowered my head and let it take me in. My flesh, forever an impediment to my interactions with the mist slowly faded away. As my muscles and bones left me, I felt my powers growing. The connection between me and the mist grew stronger. Memories and thoughts from long-ago rushed through my mind. Far-away lands, plans laying in wait for the right time, aspirations for the House Avernus and the origins of this blessed mist. It all became clear. Through the mists I could see everything. I could see it all.

I stood up and turned my attention to the battle raging outside the caverns of House Avernus. The yells of the bloodthirsty warriors echoed through the caverns, orders being barked by Streghal reverberated off the walls, swords sliced through flesh, clashed against armor and clattered to the ground. It was unclear which side was winning the battle but it was more feverishly fought than the battles I’d calmly observed many times before. I covered my ethereal body with the armor of my house. The armor glistening and glowing as it found its place on my limbs and torso. I was ready. I’d prepared for this moment for all my life. My time to prove the worthiness of my studies. To show that I was a valuable contributor to the House Avernus. I mounted one of the few remaining steeds and made my way to the battlefield. Everything slowed down as I examined the chaos that was raging before me. And then, I laid waste to those who chose to oppose me.

I struck faster than the foe, saved our warriors with injections of vitality as they were about to fall, sucked away the life of their archers from afar with coils of death, protected our fragile but deadly elders with energy shields that shimmered and exploded as they dissipated, and rallied the troops around me as I struck down our foe with the mark of frost snatching their dexterity for my own uses. Gradually they began to flee in terror as the creature of the black mist (a name granted to me by my comrades that I accepted reluctantly with a hint of pleasure) bore down upon them. The mists surged through me as I delivered swift justice to my foes. Gradually I drew closer to their general, the foundation of their newfound strength,  as I struck aside any who opposed me. Streghal had his brow furrowed in confusion as he sought to understand this being of power before him. He’d planned for any eventuality but hadn’t ever considered this possibility. That confusion quickly turned to determination as he rallied his troops for one last strike at the heart of House Avernus. Abaddon himself.

The troops, encouraged by their commander’s decisiveness, rallied beside him and rushed in unison towards Abaddon. Abaddon shielded himself and annihilated those before him as his fellow warriors fought beside him. But Streghal’s soliders gradually gained ground. Without Abaddon to support and protect his allies they began to fall and as he fought so many at once there was only so much he could do to mitigate and avoid their strikes. Gradually he began to weaken as the occasional stray stab and well-placed projectile took their toll. As the colour began to fade from his vision more bloodthirsty savages set upon him. This was not the way it was meant to be. He could not fall to these vagrants. Streghal’s sharp-toothed grin filled what was left of his vision he laughed as he spat at Abaddon.

“Looks like even House Avernus’ champion could not stand against me.” He snarled. “I will make short work of the rest of your clan and let you fade away into the nothing that you are.”

“Finish this monster!” He barked as he turned to lay blow upon viscious blow to the noble members of House Avernus.

The hordes tore into him with pleasure as they exacted their revenge. But, as the blades cut into him, Abaddon began to feel a new power surge within him. What should have been ending him was making him stronger. Each blow brought him further to full strength and finally Abaddon fully understood the depth of the power available to him. He had truly mastered the balance between life and death. He shoved his assailants aside and shouted a challenge to Streghal.

“You thought me bested by your puny forces. Are you ready to face the Lord of Avernus, fool?” Pride welled up within Abaddon, he knew he’d proven himself to be a champion of the House Avernus. As the mists swirled around him he let the satisfaction envelop him. Streghal would lose this battle, of this he was certain and the mists needn’t even whisper it to him. He was Abaddon, creature of the black mist, Lord Avernus himself. Let all who stand against him fall. House Avernus would not be belittled ever again.”

Preventing Keyboard Language Switching

“Hi everyone. I’ve been gone for a while but I’m back with what I consider to be a very helpful tip. I’ve been playing a lot of WoW recently and have been frustrated multiple times by my keyboard changing to French keyboard thus preventing me from being able to type “”/”” until I manage to revert it. After some searching I realized that if I hit Left Alt and Ctrl at the same time it switches to my other keyboard. I’ve included a step by step approach below to remove the hotkey for switching keyboards (you can still easily swap between them using the menu accessible through the toolbar).

That’s all for now. I hope you found it useful. Have a pezant day!”

Heroes of the Storm – Black Screen Fixes

“I just started HotS a few days ago as my girlfriend got an invite (I have yet to receive one) and she has been kind enough to let me use her account to play. It’s an interesting game with a very different feel from DotA 2 and I have been enjoying it thus far. But, as soon as I installed it on my computer. I was met by a strange black screen where it swapped between the desktop and the black screen until I would forcibly close the program. After looking online for some fixes I eventually came to a combination of approaches that worked for me and wanted to share them with everyone.

Step 1: If you have a high resolution like 1920 x 1080, set your display resolution down to 1280 x 720. Apparently the game has issues with loading into a higher resolution like initially (on the first run). Once you’re in the game you can return your display to its previous levels and adjust the in-game resolution values accordingly.

Step 2: Once I booted up the game I could only see the UI with a bit of the game showing up in the minimap area. My fix was for this was to follow the instructions posted by Velnrak (a mod) on the Blizzard forums. After changing Antialiasing to Application-controlled for HotS in the Nvidia control panel I was able to see the entirety of the game properly again!

Step 3: If you’re still having trouble, you can try changing the variables file in your x:User/Documents/Heroes of the Storm folder and adding in a value:displaymode=0 to the variables there (a reader also suggested changing it to value:displaymode=1 if you’re still having issues. Might work for you!) . I didn’t have to end up doing this but it may help.

These are the fixes that I found worked for me. Hopefully they help you out as well.

That’s all for now. Have a pezant day!

Note: If you liked this article. Consider donating or installing this Chrome Extension I made that gives me credit for your Amazon purchases (by adding in my referral tag when you’re browsing Amazon).

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