New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Guys. You will never believe this. Guilded Age is looking for guest comics!
Wow…if that program runs all those NPCs…greatest MMO ever. Why spend time with friends when you have real virtual friends!…hah
Byron: One, two, orange…
Scipio: Frog, sir.
So, after we answer the orange questions –
Frog questions, sir.
Bah. This is why you don’t meddle in things you don’t understand, H.R.!
This only adds questions. I wish I wasn’t so sick, then I could think on them clearly.
I believe that it was Pratchett who noted that you have to meddle in things that you don’t understand; how else do you ever expect to understand them?
He would never have made it to executive if he had the good sense not to meddle in things he doesn’t understand.
How much trouble has been caused by people who were fully convinced they understood the principled involved in something only to be blindsided by some unconsidered factor? Any time you pioneer in an area you’re going to be ambushed by reality at times. Comes with the territory.
Releasing the sculpture from it’s marble prison.
This idea came up somewhere else in my life recently, but I can’t remember where.
Releasing the statue from it’s marble prison didn’t work out too well for Pigmalion, but at least he was clear on the fact that he was praying to Venus to bring Galatea to life. I’m not sure H.R. clear as to who he was praying to and what the end result would be.
Because everybody loves comics and cartoons with metaphysical messages, right?
It can’t be an adventure story, no, its got to be tied to a metaphysical rehash of the writer’s highschool philosophy class.
Magic is metaphysics. Most fantasy adventure stories will, at some point, talk about the nature of magic, which is talking about metaphysics.
Come to think of it, the only exception I can think of is the Harry Potter series, which seemed to deliberately avoid explaining the nature of magic — quite a trick, given that it’s about a school for wizards.
The trouble with explaining magic is that if magic is comprehensible, then it’s physics, not metaphysics, and thus not magic anymore.
There are ways to talk about magic without pulling a reference to The Allegory of the Cave and so on. Ways to steer the plot towards “There are there higher forces at work” plot point that don’t seem so fumbling.
As I recall, part of the premise of the allegory of the cave is that someone in the cave realizes that the shadow puppets aren’t real. We’ve just been told that the shadow puppets are real.
Also, Plato was an atheist, and the parable of the cave isn’t about the existence of supernatural beings.
Actually, Metaphysics is the study of Ontological and Epistemological opinions. In short, how we assume the universe functions, and how we pretend to verify those assumptions.
The nature of physics is just physics.
Huh. I wouldn’t have thought of epistemology as a branch of metaphysics, though I suppose that’s a consequence of my being an inveterate materialist. I usually think of metaphysics as more or less those things we can’t really talk about sensibly, because we can’t even frame the questions properly.
I think most people would agree that epistemology is something we can’t talk about sensibly. Whether you’re materialist/foundationalist or idealist/constructivist, there are basic assumptions you make about the nature of reality (not necessarily including that reality has a nature). There isn’t any basis to them (from eihter side); the assumptions just make sense to you. Therefore, it’s really difficult to discuss them in a helpful manner because it very quickly breaks down to “reality exist. No it doesn’t. Yes it does. No it doesn’t…” and so on. The fact that we’re trying to discuss the nature of (theoretically) fourteen-dimensional reality in a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is doesn’t make matters any easier.
I bet you liked DeathStalker, too.
Hey, as long as “orange – 2 = 2″ everything should work out fine. Right?
Would that mean that Orange/2 would have to equal two? *Mind=blown*
Actually 2 + 2 = orange does not necessarily imply that orange – 2 = 2. The fact that our normal mathematics is transitive does not mean that arcanometric math is. We don’t even know if it’s a closed set. I think that Gangler has the right idea. The problem is not integer + integer = color, but that the actual result is off.
This may be more like the problem with the orbit of Uranus, before Neptune was discovered. The math is off because there’s another influence involved.
Ok so “2 + 2 + X = Orange” so “X = Orange – 4″ therefore “2 + 2 + Orange – 4 = Orange” and “4 + Orange – 4 = Orange” -> “Orange = Orange” Which kinda makes sense when you think about it. :P
You found reason.
Finding the rhyme is gonna be a stone-cold bitch.
it’s cool, i’m sure the authors are more than willing to (eventually) snitch.
The rhyme for orange is door-hinge.
actually, wouldn’t that be “2 + 2 + (Orange – 4) = Orange”?
Since it’s just addition/substraction it doesn’t really matter. Then again, who can say what’s right with “orange”.
Orange is whatever you don’t want it to be, baby.
I think we’ve moved from maths to fashion.
That’s because orange is the new black – all maths works with orange.
What if H.R. is a daltonic…and he doesn’t know about it?
It would also imply that Red and Yellow both have a value of 2. Boggling.
No, that would mean red=yellow, therefore orange=2red. It could be any number of things, from r=-2, yellow =6, to red=1, orange=3.
However, given that both additive and subtractive colour tend to create averages, it would make sense as red+yellow=orange, just as 1+3=2. Ergo, 2+2=orange because orange=2, and orange+orange=orange.
Sure, but make one fencepost error, and all Hell breaks loose.
Okay, how poor was his understanding of Arcanometric mathematics if he consistently adds numbers together to create secondary colors.
Or is that just how Arcanometric mathematics work? Then the problem isn’t that he’s not getting four. The problem’s that he’s not getting green.
You know what? This sounds like a really confusing area of study. I’m just gonna take his word on it that 2+2/=orange.
if 2+2=orange, what is 42 the answer of? dark grey?
No, it’s still the meaning of life, the difference is that it makes sense for it to be.
Uhm, What makes you so sure that the is talking about the color and not the fruit, hmm?
one doesnt exclude the other, though. the fruit is the color, after all. and the color is named after the fruit.
I find it hard to believe that the color is named after the fruit. That would imply the English had no word for “that middley color, like when you put some red with some yellow” before the orange was imported from Asia.
Before the English-speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the colour was referred to as geoluhread (yellow-red) in Old English and Middle English
wait, i wasnt trolling? oh shi-
Additionally, there are many languages that do not differentiate colours the way we do. Afterall, colour is a continuum, and the seven divides are completely arbitrary because it was thought that colour must be like music, just because that would be pretty. Thus, many languages don’t actually split green from blue. Numerous studies have then shown that people who are native speakers of those languages interpret paintings completely differently to native English speakers. Monet is completely different when you halve his pallet.
HR’s starting to look like a true (stereotypical) gamer–he needs a shave. And a comb. And an iron. And some food that would not be found in the “snack” section of the grocery store. And probably a shower
Excessive gaming doesn’t do that to me nearly as much as exam season. I’m thinking this is more a case of his work consuming him. The nature of this world he’s created is really getting under his skin.
Mr. Bandit is so smart
This chapter brought to you by Lays ™. Grab one of our new flavors today! We’ve got Berserker Barbecue, Elvish Dill Pickle, Paladin Hot Pepper, Mystic Sour Cream and Onion, and Gnomish Salt and Vinegar!
I’ve never had lays. :/
That’s a bit private of a thing to be admitting online.
Yeah but I really crave some fuckin’ chips if you know what I mean.
You really want to get Layed, I presume? XP
If we all lay down our chips, we can solve Picard’s problem.
Blah Blah fucking Blah. Nothing has changed here. Same room, same tubes, same conversation. “Is it real or is it a game?” Why do we keep revisiting this scene?
Are we learning about what these characters are going to do next? No. They’re still restating the situation as the audience already understands it. ‘It’s a game but it’s acting like it’s more than a game and we don’t know why.’ This is a plot cul-du-sac. Again.
Are we gaining insight into their incredibly boring characters? Sorta. But it seems like only on the art side. They have complete faces now. With eyes and everything. The glasses guy is becoming a slob. Perhaps he’s losing his grip? Perhaps he’s letting go of his incredibly rigid persona? Maybe he’s just exhausted. In any case, eating junk food and missing a shave is the most interesting thing he’s ever done. Considering how many panels this guy has shown up in, that’s pathetic.
Please, either figure out what these two are going to do next or quit making us visit them. I’m fairly certain watching Syr’Nj mixing potions for three updates would be more satisfying than…this.
judging by the other satisfied readers so far, including myself, i’d say that there opinion goes in the ‘outlier’ bin
Oamu, you stated like 3 or 4 updates and points and bits of information in this comic but disregard them. of course you arent going to get much out of something if you ignore the entire point of it. Its like saying Looney Toons is pointless because the only thing it does is make you laugh. Thats its sole one purpose. This is exposition and is one of many pages that flesh out the story and confirm or deny information we have. For instance before we didnt know what was going on. only that there was a world with people in it, and there where associated people in a coma in our world. i think the confusion is that you where taking the most common ASSUMPTIONS we made as fact, so when finally this strip comes up and actually says whats what, you act like it says nothing, just because it happens to be what you expected.
This is a story, and there is a reason why most books are over 200 pages long, if they are short, or often a thousand pages long. Its exposition, its transitive character development, its the book/movie/comic showing a conversation between these two people and not these other two people because the first group informs the reader of something they dont know, and the second would just be redundant and all you have to write is an implication that the 2 people had a conversation about that subject matter.
If you want mindless violence or comedy, go to another of the thousands of webcomics out there that hash out jokes or violence until they have to recycle the same jokes or result to going into more obscene mediums just cus they have done everything they could with such a limited form of entertainment.
If you want a Good story with good plot good art good comedy and interesting expostion…keep reading.
I read that as “transvestite character development”. This comic just got about 20% more awesome.
Not for nothing, but it’s comments like these that make me glad I put in the “Snooty Barmaid” avatar.
Oamu, I understand your frustration, and hear your concerns. No sarcasm here. These segments of Guilded Age are definitely what we’d call the “experimental” part of the project. Which isn’t to say that it’s immune to criticism, because nothing is.
I guess my point is that there’s reasons we do things and while you don’t have to like it, I invite you to patiently wait and see what they develop into.
i’m just curious to see the story unfold. how you unfold it, to be honest, i dont want to change one iota.
I can’t be sure, but it looks to me like there’s a correspondence between how people react to a comment, and the emotional state expressed in the avatar. I also wonder if there’s some correspondence between what people write and what their avatars look like. That is, it’s known that we depend upon body language, especially facial expressions, for a lot of communication — including communication with ourselves — and I think the avatars may influence our perceptions of each other and ourselves, slightly.
Like anyone needs advice from an Owl. Jeez.
Hey, if the Ocarina of Time has taught me anything, it’s that Owls can be exceptionally helpful. Until the zillionth play-through.
It’s a very chicken/egg type of deal for sure. But as far as I know, wordpress has no algorithm included that scans the content of the comments before assigning the avatar, especially since it’s assigned by e-mail address (and retroactively changes old icons, to boot).
All I know for sure is that it’s awesome and I love it. And that I can’t wait to upload the next salvo when Chapter 12 is done.
>drop major plot point
>get criticized for not advancing the plot
Not to confuse things further, by responding to both of your comments, here and below, but what major plot point?
Arcanometrics was used to make Arkerra–revealed in March.
Glasses guy might be a god–revealed in March.
It’s a game, but it might be a universe–revealed in March.
We can’t control the game like we should be able to, I.E. we can’t get the five out–revealed in March.
There is no new plot point, here. Finding a new way to restate what the audience already knows is called padding. Having glasses guy talk about how For some unknown reason, he can’t get the five out is gravely inferior to having him demonstrate that for some unknown reason, he can’t get them out. Showing, in visual media, is better than telling.
And they did show us. Back in March. http://guildedage.net/webcomic/chapter-9/chapter-9-page-22/
Oh no, it has a name. :( But I’ve always thought padding was a type of armour.
But to be honest I think it’s called clarification (definitely not an armour btw). Things were a lot more vague “in March” and we’re gradually getting to better understand what H.R. is dealing with.
We didn’t really know (not for sure anyway) that Arkerra “behaves autonomously” (beyond HR’s inability to release the 5) or what Best’s fall into the vortex meant or that nobody besides the five needs to go potty or that there were other factors at work here besides HR (his mathmagic) and Arkerra itself.
But if not, you can tell your grandchildren how you got “padded” once and lived to tell of your ordeal.
Yes, yes, very clever. You have shown me the error of my ways. None of the things I said have any truth or value to them, because of your little quip. Maybe you can make up some new puns now.
I am slain.
Maybe if you would just wait for this segment to be all the way over, you might find something worthwhile in it.
This is only the third page of this little detour in the chapter. There’s more to be said.
no, guys. the authors are WRONG for doing what they please! they’re WRONG. DAMN THEM.
Post the 23,456th comment!
I’m gonna agree with both Oamu and Joe. At *this point* in the detour to Sepia-World, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting much new info. However, Guilded Age has an episodic format–just like some TV shows have to reprise what’s already happened (briefly) before they can get to the new stuff, H.R. and his assistant are reaffirming the situation here, before they reveal something new. Though, I’m a big fan of the sculpture metaphor, and I think we’re getting a little something “new” n that H.R. believes he may have tapped into something pre-existing.
That’s all I’m getting at. From what I can see, there’s nothing new in these three pages. I feel like restating already-established facts in the narrative is a waste of updates, and I don’t think these characters have established enough of a presence in the storyline for the audience (me, specifically) to care if they’re gonna fart around for three pages, not moving the story along.
Again, I understand the idea that could be a a recap for new readers, but in a situation where the entire story is available in the archives, I don’t think that’s necessary.
Hey guys, we appreciate the support, but everyone’s entitled to tell us they don’t like how things are going. I can’t go on for hours about how disappointing the new Justice League #1 is without allowing others the same privilege of slamming my work as well.
Oamu doesn’t see what’s going on as necessary. Obviously, as the creators, we do. We disagree. This is allowed.
The challenge we’re undertaking with these segments is making the blurry truth ever so slightly clearer without spoiling it outright. Our success in this task, as in all art, is pretty subjective.
What I’m getting that’s new is that HR didn’t just use magic to create an immersive experience for the Five- he used it in the construction of Arkerra, which opens up a lot more possibilities for speculation. It also closes off some theories- Arkerra can’t have existed prior to HR’s involvement, since he created at least its first generation of NPCs, and we now know that the Five and other players are in the same Arkerra. Is that important for anything besides speculation? Not now. Will it be necessary to know when the big reveal takes place? Yes, and thus this isn’t a wasted comic. I love this kind of storytelling, where the characters and the reader are both working on understanding the world, even if does lead to exposition-heavy moments like this.
Grats, Oamu. Your guesses back in March about the conclusions to be drawn from some comments that could have meant many things were correct.
Your prize: You get to be bored now.
This happened to me when watching Anime series all the time, and somehow I still loved the shows.
All humor aside I did actually make some arguments here and give examples so instead of just insults perhaps you could’ve graced me with insults and a counter-argument.
Either way I do apologize for liking some of the things you don’t (not talking about padding here). I shall chastise myself with an unhealthy dose of chocolate milk.
This sounds like the work of Tzneetch
Obviously you mean Tzeentch.
It’s the bloody Chaos god of change.
If it wants to change how it’s name is spelt, it’s welcome to.
So that’s what they’ve been doing. Watching the Five use the toilet.
All these MMOs turn into fetish fuel eventually.
I just realized H.R. has been watching Best do… ‘everything.’
Nah, he doesn’t need a shave… I look like that after my usual 9 hours of sleep, besides stubble is in style atm…. right?
I look like that ten minutes after shaving. Or I go against the grain for an extra-close shave, turn my face into hamburger and look like that four hours later anyway. I have very thick black beard hairs.
Perfect image for both the reply you gave and the comment you replied to.
Well contrary to the naysayers, I’m still enjoying the comic and the current conversation…so yeah.
I never really understood people who follow a long, ongoing work just to talk about how much they hate it.
I mean, I can understand firing off one shot and leaving, but some people…
Hehe, I think you just described a true fan. How does TV Tropes say it?
‘You can tell I’m a true fan because I hate it more than anyone else!’
Some people just like to moan, not constructively, they just whine, like I am at the moment. Best thing you can do is put them on your ignore list until they grow up a bit.
With this and with every webcomic I read I take the stand that it is the creator’s world and that as an outside observer, I have no real control. If a comic is so bad as to make me unable to enjoy it, I will simply stop reading it. This comic, though, is cutting a new and unexpected swath through the field of the continuity. This new path I view with the same feeling I get when I see a new path through a forest, a slight tingle of excitement and and urge to follow it. In short, DON”T STOP!
So wait, the characters they’ve thought they’ve created for some computer MMO turn out to be in some fashion real people with their own personalities?
That’s just crazy-talk. Woops, that’s my time, need to go do those strangely repetitive tasks to support the Firelands invasion.
+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++
>Fiddle with magic
>”Now why doesn’t this outcome make sense?”
>He doesn’t understand Arcanometrics.
Wait, does this mean that with Arcanometric mathematics 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 we might finally equal six? Great, now I need a candlestick…
We could always fire the gun at the chandelier to find out…
Obviously, the extra value is coming from his tie! Yes, PURPLE is the mystery influence!
It’s not purple – it’s octarine! This all makes sense now. *nodnod*
-puts on polkadot tie-
[1,7,Orange / Aardvark, Velocity, Lenticular / Metaphor, 5, *Pop* / 12, -3, Diagonal] X [1013, Cold, 114 / Silence, Vertigo, Tentatively / Nostalgia, Batman, Chocolate] = ?
No no NO!!
2+2 = BLUE.
2 TIMES 2 to get Orange. Sheesh.
Also, for some reason “Paint It Black” is now running through my head.
You mean “Paint It 7″.
so to Carol, Magic: perfectly normal, Alternate Dimensions: Preposterous!
Sepia World looks like the “real” world, but we don’t know how close the resemblance is. For all we know at this point, in Sepia World, Alan Turing wrote the book on arcanometrics.
and then got professionally lynched for an inconsequential part of who he was anyway. >.>
HR sounds like he’s personally been involved in the development of arcanometrics, or at least this branch of it. Maybe that’s just me, but it would explain why he didn’t even see where a problem could arise, why AoA dominates the MMO market, and why Carol reacts like she does- she thought HR had a way to make code change itself in ways that neither computer science nor the laws of physics would allow, and now he’s talking like he stumbled on a way to build a new universe, or maybe several depending on what that void was.
Sometimes I wish that guy didn’t remind me so much of William Macy, because I hear about one quarter of his dialogue in Fargo-speak.
Well, at least its bringing a little more clarity to “what in the world is going on??!?!”
So are they hiring? I want to work in customer service.
GMConnie: Thank you for helping us make Arkerra a better place. We are well aware that 2+2 = Orange. This is actually a feature hard-coded into the system to provide a bit of the unexpected into your gaming experience. We thank you for your diligence and hope you enjoy your travels. Unless you’re a shit elf. Then you can EABOD and die.
Are we allowed to give you a Gold Star for giving out a Gold Star? o.O
You make customer service sound fun. That’s magic all by itself! ;D
Mechanical Whores are REAL!?
Delicious Chaos theory..
Wasn’t there a scientist who recently said that there’s a better than 50% chance that what we call our universe is actually an incredibly complex sim program? Can’t recall names.
As the great Picard once said, “All this could be an elaborate illusion, running inside a little device, sitting on someone’s table.”
Just being a scientist doesn’t make one’s untestable, mystical, cosmological wool-gathering any more likely that the guy screaming on the corner wearing a sandwich board.
I was reading a blog post by the writer Charles Stross, in which he was arguing that a Vingean singularity was implausible. There were links to a few key essays on the idea, and somewhere in there was the suggestion that one of the things a post-singularity culture would be likely to do is run simulations of its past — which quickly leads to the idea that the majority of subjective experiences of human life would be within such simulations.
The main difficulty with running a simulation of the past, even in a post-singularity culture, would be fooling the subject brain to the necessary degree. Neuroplasticity makes brains very bendable, so it might well be possible to tweak the appropriate synapses (or synapse replicas within the self-evolving software), but simply harnessing a singularity is unlikely to have given us the necessary insight to tell us which synapses to tweak.
So, it IS the Star Ocean option. Sweet.
I love my snooty barmaid avatar, and I love the strip. Someone (Chris Rock?) once said that you can only criticize something you are a fan of, and that’s what I’m doing.
This strip is my favorite webcomic, bar none. When it stumbles, artistically, and it’s not telling the best story it can (in my opinion, of course), I’m gonna criticize. The comments section is for me, just as much as it’s for people who want to discuss the story or practice making puns or whatever.
So any argument along the lines of “If you don’t like it, read something else,” will be ignored. Of course I like it, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t care.
In any case, I understand there are reasons behind these characters, this subplot, this boring-ass room. My complaint (which Phil seems to get) is that this subplot is moving. Too. Slow. And every time we visit this subplot, we spend a week restating what these characters are about.
The only plot points ‘revealed’ in the past three updates are Arcanometry (being used to make the game), discussion as to whether Glasses guy is a god, and posing the question as to whether Arkerra is “real.” Y’know when these questions were also posed? Back in March: http://guildedage.net/webcomic/chapter-9/chapter-9-page-21/
We know all this. It’s been covered. The fact we keep having this same set of reveals says to me that the author(s) is having trouble getting these characters to their next objective. The next time we see these characters, it really needs to be: “All right, I have a radical new plan for getting the five out of Arkerra. This may be dangerous, but we are going to…” We can’t keep watching them restate the problem every four months.
Obviously, I was trying to reply to the thread about a mile up. Sorry for the confusion.
You do realize that months are passing Arkerra while MINUTES are passing in the ‘real’ world, right? they’re still having the same conversation because THEY’RE STILL HAVING THE SAME CONVERSATION.
Why does the audience need to watch that? The same plot points restated over and over? What purpose in the narrative is served? How is watching them continue this circular conversation more interesting, narratively speaking, than watching the new guys show off their skills some more, or watch what Harki is doing, or view literally any other corner of the story’s universe? If, in this boring brown tube room, nothing of note has changed since March, then why not wait until something changes–moves forward–to return to these characters?
The only possible reason (I can think of) would be to catch up new readers who weren’t here five months ago. If this were a published paper comic, that might make sense, but with the entirety of the story available one click away, in the archives, there is no reason for it. Anyone who wants to can catch up, at any time.
Watching him fail to get them out of the system might be more dramatic, but I don’t see any problem with him hypothesising about the underlying reasons behind his failiure.
The characters are approaching this as they should: like scientists. Step one is test, step two is working out why it went wrong, and step three, which you are incredibly anxious to get to asap, is to remove the factor that’s unbalancing the equation. To go straight to step 3 might have been more interesting, but I personally wouldn’t have had the foggiest idea that they were proceeding on the basis that 2+2=orange. This scene, however slow you may find it, is serving a valuable function.
Another key point, which was certainly not mentioned back in March, is the idea that he is less a God that can create something out of nothing, and more a God that has attempted to sculpt order out of Chaos. Hence the ‘boring’ philosophical debate to clarify this.
In any case, I have faith in the writers, and will continue to watch unless it becomes apparent that Arkerra is the result of experimentation by Nazis on aliens during WW2. After all, we can only sit here and see the world that they chisel from their imaginations, which sort of makes them our gods…..as long as we choose to believe in them.
You are clearly getting more out of this subplot than I am. I am less interested in watching ‘scientists’ dryly reiterate things that have already been clearly demonstrated. Actual science takes decades, sometimes, to get concrete results, and I hope we aren’t in for that long a wait.
However, you do express yourself very eloquently, without a lot of arm-waving hyperbole, and reading your measured and reasonable response was in no way a waste of time or bandwidth. I’m totally interesting in hearing opposing opinions (art is subjective, and I don’t think I’ve ever said otherwise), especially when they’re actually about the storyline, and not just lame digs at me being a negative nancy.
You wouldn’t be commenting if you didn’t care :-p kudos for upholding your opinions in the face of adversity. Also, you didn’t say that you don’t believe in the writers as I thought you might, which first and foremost means that you’re not saying you could do this better, which would be silly as we have no idea what they envisage for the future: We’ll only know how complete their story, indeed their world is when it’s a finished product. Unfortunately, it also means that I didn’t get to reference ‘shun the non believer’ from Charlie the Unicorn, which makes me sad D-:
That’s wonderful, but while you’re proposing yourself as the only True Arbiter or Taste and Writing Style, many of us over here are actually enjoying watching the people behind the game discuss the problem.
Especially since he’s preparing to ask Carol to take action about it. You call them boring-ass. I call this a necessary build up to a future plot element, since it’s clear that Daedalus has no intention of playing a passive role in the story.
Plus, they’re the only source of info we have about the whole techno-magical experiment that drove the existence of the whole scenario. No Daedalus == no Arcanometrics.
Yes, yes, very nice. I don’t recall making such a proclamation, but your avatar certainly seems worked up about it. Sorry opposing opinions get you so riled up.
I swear, randomized avatars is the best decision we’ve made since Guilded Age started.
Now I’m a bit jealous of my gravatar not being a randomized drawing. But then again, it is me in a pink dress so I guess it’s not so bad.
I don’t think I have the authority to give Gold.
I disapprove it, because I got kid-and-midriff.
If you had once made a post about this before that suggested that you considered this merely your personal taste, instead suggesting the authors are simply DOING IT WRONG because, to paraphrase, they don’t know how to advance a plot, I’d be less inclined to think you are completely stuck-up about your opinions.
Maybe there’s some development here you missed, Oamu? I think there’s a difference between 1. HR can’t take the Five out because it would destroy his profits, and 2. that he can’t get the Five out because he doesn’t know how.
HR (and Carol) are not corporate moneygrubbing villains. They are not the Big Bad, they are (relatively) nice people.
It’s new. Maybe you hang around nicer corporate types than I do, and expected it, but I didn’t take them being human beings for granted.
I hadn’t considered number 1, honestly.
The scene in Chapter 9 where he makes his eighth attempt to free them, and fails, seems to heavily imply that he can’t get them out, under any circumstances.
I also didn’t think of Carol’s suggestion of unplugging the servers as being a practical possibility, with regard to freeing the five. I kind of assumed that it would have a negative effect on the tube-pilots, although I’m not sure why.
I’m also not clear on why it would end their careers (don’t MMPORGs have patch days/service outages pretty frequently?), although ‘Arcanometry’ may be more delicate than simple software.
And aside from the blurb implying that these two were the “Real Villains” of the story, I haven’t seen these two do anything particularly villainous. They seem pretty bean-counterey, swirling spells and giant candles notwithstanding.
For what it’s worth, Oamu, I agree with everything you’ve said above. This conversation between H.R. and Carol has been a bit too cryptic for my tastes, and as you say, it hasn’t revealed anything astounding as of yet.
Still waiting for a punchline, though.
Mostly what it’s done is confirm some of the epileptic tree theories running around. Oamu talks aobut all these things being revealed in March. Actually, they were hinted out, and the comments section went crazy with random hypotheses, in March. Now we have confirmation and clarification. Both are very useful things.
I’m really not trying to be contrarian here, but what do you consider ‘hinted at?’ The scene from March has H.R. explicitly say that the game is “not real,” he calls it a “synthesized universe,” and states that the game’s properties would not be possible without the “aid of Arcanometry.” He then rhetorically asks if he is the “God” of this universe.
He then, on the next page, attempts to free the tube-jockeys, using Arcanometric powers, and fails, destroying a monitor. He mentions that it was his eighth attempt to do so. How are these “hints?” These are things explicitly and economically communicated.
I’d also like to point out that the earlier scene took only two pages to more elegantly tell us the exact same stuff that this one (using talking heads, the worst kind of comic exposition) took three. This scene is padding.
Before anyone brings up that H.R. might be an unreliable narrator in the earlier scene–yes, he might. Unfortunately in the new scene, he’s still the narrator. Which means if he’s somehow mistaken, or relaying information to the audience that is somehow flawed, then he’s relayed the same, flawed information, twice. Which is an even bigger waste of time.
Also, what is an “epileptic tree theory?”
I hate to do this, but http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EpilepticTrees
In case it’s TL;DR, it refers to wild, off the wall speculation by fans pertaining to fiction. Coined by Lost, after the fans speculated that the rustling trees were having epilectic fits.
I always look at things like this as “book pages”- things that annoy people now but will be a non-issue when you’re reading the book or going back through the archives in a few months.
Sure, because you skip scenes like this on the re-read. Which is kind of a shame.
I’m sure, for instance, that it takes J. Waltrip the same amount of time and effort to draw these pages as it does to draw scenes like the dinosaur-powered-city-razing from a couple weeks ago (which was, of course, awesome). Telling the artist that these scenes are a chore to wade through, and you’ll likely never look at them again can’t go down easy, especially since quiet talking head scenes are amongst the most boring to illustrate.
If I hadn’t had such feelings of deja vu reading these pages, I never would have gone back to look at the brown tube room scenes from Chapter 9.
Actually, it took a bit longer to do the dino-razing scene.
I think there’d be less complaint if H.R. and Carol both smoked cigars. Everyone should smoke cigars. RAEG- er, I mean, Scipio has shown that cigar-smoking increases the affability of a character by at least 75%.
…worst god ever.
Obviously you’ve never played the Elder Scrolls Series. Some of the Deadric Gods were pretty sucky at, you know, being gods.
Except for Sheogorath, of course. He was the best.
What I love about the Elders Scrolls saga is that the eschatology gets more and more complicated the more you examine it, what with the suggestion that various entities keep rewriting the universe and getting in fights with each other over it, and everyone is related to everyone else, in some bizarre fashion. And everything keeps looping back to Lorkhan, the Missing God, and Lorkhan’s heart, and how everyone seems to be driven to try to recreate Lorkhan and try to prevent the return of Lorkhan — the main thing in the way of which is the Empire, which tries to keep Lorkhan out by sitting in his chair.
I dunno, Arthas kind of sucked. As a god, I mean.
Since when was Arthas ever a real god? Lich King =/= God.
Just making funny, Greek Gods where much worst considering they used their near Infinite powers just to be assholes and fuck with people, quite literally in many cases (I’m looking at you Zeus)
Zeus, or, as I call him, the “Love” Swan.
The Love Swan, the Love Bull, the Love Gnat, the Love Chariot, the Love Geriatric, the Love Stone, the Love Tree – let’s fae it, he got around.
So apparently the people they meet aren’t necessarily also tubed or npcs. Some of them are just regular players on a regular computer playing regularly.
The 5 are Byron, Syr’nj, Gravedust, Frigg, Best who are the only fully immersed “players” and, since apparently they think they’re actual citizens of the land, it seems unlikely they’ve got alts or anything like that.
Guess that Best = Bandit theory is out the window now.
Well, there are no other players period outside of ‘the 5′ considering Carol just referred to them as ‘NPC’s.’
Well, they are actual people sense this appears to be a actual universe but they have nothing to do with our own reality.
This raises a whole new set of questions about Bandit.
I’m not sure you’re right on that count. How the hell would a game this complex make them any money if the few players who actually played it weren’t paying for it?
Carol also clearly referred to actual players: “Our players get what they came for, and no more. Standard MMORPG stuff.”
I was always under the impression that The Five were on their own private server.
That belief wavered a little bit when The Other Party showed up, but there being magic in the coding making NPCs seem more real helps the idea keep its footing.
Huh, hadn’t thought of that. Still, I don’t think so- the Five were supposed to be part of something huge, something that was going live starting with them. Arkerra’s construction wouldn’t be conducive to any separate servers anyway, since the “Test Realm” would have to be somehow kept static and overwritten with a copy of the “live” every time it was opened, or forced into lockstep with a realm where players were changing things, without disturbing the magical underpinnings of the game.
On a side note, I think they’re thought of as NPCs by other players. I’d bet anything that The Other Party and Bandit are regular players, acting in character at all times because NPCs don’t respond well to OOC talk. I’d even take it further and say that the Five are identified as NPCs by the game, either because of HR intervening to hide their special status or because they’re full Arkerrans.
H.R needs to call Capital Laundry Services
Even more irritating than having your fantasy suddenly turn into science fiction, is when your fantasy turned into science fiction turns back into fantasy..
this reminds me of the double slit experiment, i wonder what would have happened if no one would have observed the computers during the making/discovering of arkerrans, or maybe the computers count? that experiment drives me insane, i think my new goal in life is to get to a position where i can go through it more throughfully
this avatar fits me perfectly, id like to thank the programers and entropy for allowing it to happen again
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