New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
I love that last panel.
I love the one playing Frigg.
A small part of me was hoping that it was actually the dude with the beard and vice versa.
She totally reminds me of Starbuck.
Now, just Best left to interview, right? Oh man, that should be great.
Don’t forget Bandit.
It has been established that there are only 5 people in the tubes. There have so far been 4, with only Best left. Chances are you will not see Bandit.
You are correct kind sir.
I realize the importance of backstory as a framing device for future comedy and drama, but damn do I miss Byron.
You know, I’m pretty sure I’m friends with Gravedust’s player. And Syr’nj could just about be me.
Poor Frigg, having to play PVE instead of the arena PVP she was hoping to focus on.
She did get to play Arena PvP once at the end. Got chumped.
S’what happens when a person playing a Shadow Priest’ for the first time goes up against a Fury ‘Warrior’ in 1 V 1 Arena. Hurr hurr.
Alt-text: So true. Best way to keep ‘em from climbing the kitchen window? The spray wand at the sink.
Comic goodness! MOAR! :D
Is anyone actually surprised that Syr’nj is a hippie?
A little bit, since in-world she’s rebelling against the hippiness of her hippy upbringing…by hippies.
She’s not rebelling against hippiness, Syr’s really into the whole “peace on Earth thing”. She’s rebelling against isolationism and trying to expand her horizons. Very much in sync with the character we see here.
Well, I expected a PhD student
She could be…sociology, anthropology, environmental engineering…
It’s not like being intelligent automatically makes you smart.
For those that don’t get the distinction; it’s okay, I’m sure you’re still very intelligent. :D
What’s with Frigg’s wristbands?
They’re bracelets I think.
figures frigg’s arms would be bigger than mine!
Girl’s built like a pit fighter. She’s probably bigger than most average guys.
Athletic, strong-willed, not afraid to speak her mind. I like that.
or the band with her recent lost love’s military indetification; ’cause he died in a war?!
Well, that’s what came to mind immediately for me when I saw that. Maybe they are too wide to count for that; plus, she’s wearing two? maybe her two brothers?
I’m probably way off.
BEARDS FOR THE BEARD GOD
SCARVES FOR THE SCARF THRONE!
SHAVE THE HERETIC!!!
In the grim drarkness of the future there are only MOUSTACHES!!
I love you guys.
THE EMPEROR GIVES ME FACIAL HAIR.
This line of comments is under suspicion of hairesy and shall face an Inquisitional questioning. Don’t expect to survive the questioning unshaved.
TRAITORS GIE UNSHAVED
The razors of the Inquisition can separate truth from lies.
it’s a good thing Gravedust got out of that hairy situation unshaved.
Yeah close shave that
The omnissiah blesses with the mark IV Gillette razor from the dark age of technology!
THE TRIMMED ONEZ GO FASTA!!!!
It is a sign! We must cast away our beards! Or, perhaps, gather beards unto us! the meaning is not entirely clear! But it’s deinitely a sign, oh, yes!!
“With one hand shall ye braid the beards, with the other shall ye pluck them outte!”
It’s Santa! He spent too much time playing WoW. Mrs. Claus stormed out in a huff and to find a man who could meet her needs, and was later discovered dead in the reindeer stable in what was later described to the press as a “tragic accident.”
BY ODIN’S BEARD!
BUY ODIN’S BEER!
Who knows what evil lurks in the beards and mustaches of men?
The Five O’Clock Shadow knows…
Its awesome that Frigg pwns as much in real life as her character.
Well… At least we didn’t end up having to suffer through a page for each of them. I love the story, I’m not going to bail, but I’d -really- like to see things pick up and get back to Arkerra.
I’m with you, pal.
I want to know what this whole “when everything went so… strange” business it.
Something clearly went wrong, and I think that is where the magical items come in, as well as Arkerra.
I owe Alice five bucks.
Now if Best is a chick I’d laugh my balls off.
And she’ll be very quiet and shy in person.
Your money’s no good here, sweetie. ♥ If you can swing some alone-time for Bandit and me, though… >.<
Adding my amusement should Best turn out to be a woman. Bonus if she’s Marigold from QC.
I see you’re an equal opportunist. Aggie, Penny and Bandit sandwich with a side of Alice? ;p
And lol at the Marigold comment. Best being that much of a shut in or some kind of priss would make my day.
I think Penny and Aggie need some time to themselves at the moment, lest I spoil them for each other. (Once you go Macher, you never go bac–stop laughing, Aggie.) So let’s say Lisa, Bandit and Vanessa from Something Positive.
Nice choice. Bandit tops I bet.
My my. I can’t even imagine that.
I too think it would be effin hilarious if Best was Marigold or someone like her.
Given Bandit’s size, I prefer to imagine some sort of monkey-in-the-middle or keep-away scenario.
Monkey in the middle, or hamster in the…somewhere else?
(oh god what is wrong with me >.<)
Oh my god what is wrong with you
I’ll be in my gorram bunk…
Seriously, Hawk, Alice? You need to get out more. :-D See kids, this is what happens when you fantasize too much about luscious cartoon berserker hair.
“Dear Dan Savage: I am a 20-year-old woman who is only able to enjoy sex with fictional berserker men, or those willing to dress and foam at the mouth like them…”
You forgot to sign it with something clever, like:
Loving Inked Berserkers Is Downright Orgasmic
… You know something, I might be able to do the whole “foamy mouth berserker” thing. You just have to promise to pay for the rabies shots afterwards.
“Dear Savage Love…is it safe sex if my berserker insists on axe play? I’ve asked him if he’s ever had an ‘axe-ident’ and he just sort of dodges the question. And for some weird reason he told me to stop putting my hair in pigtails and wants me to to wear platform heels.
Berserker-Addicted Bewildering Erotica”
“Dear Savage Love,
I’m afraid that I may have more feelings for my axes than I do for my woman. I mean, I do LOVE her, but, well, if I had to choose between my trusty choppers or the living, sentient love of my life, well… I think I need help.
Really-Angry-Guy, Erick the Sanguine.”
NSFW, but oh so fitting…. http://www.oglaf.com/pinkhaze/
Alechsa, that’s tooooo perfect.
BWA HA HA! The dude even looks kinda like Byron. What a great find!
Maybe we’re assuming wrong, and Frig is actually Waspinator.
aslan is lion in turkish….and Syr is adorable!
The slasher grin is a bit disturbing though. >.>
maybe but i had this friend at the fine arts faculty who resembles her so much, and she was an angel on earth. i dunno…Syr always has reminded me of someone pure and angelic, maybe that’s why i adore her.
She reminds me of a player I knew once on a Neverwinter Nights persistent world. Her character was mute; she played out revealing her backstory over the course of weeks. In particular, she let us know she was a cleric of Selune, by meticulously laying out the holy symbol of Selune in the town square, using in-game objects. It was absolutely perfectly executed — I still don’t know how she managed to do it with the game interface.
It’s just that eccentric hippy smile. Looks creepy but it’s nothing to be afraid of.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the grin was a little off.
I thought that was a lip.
This is kinda what I mean: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/pix/boobash04/AnnikaHippy1-m.jpg
Definitely disturbing but ultimately harmless.
Male version: http://www.balloons.co.uk/shop/images/hippy-spec.jpg
Ah, the Sixties; Peace, love, and nylon hair. :-)
First time I’ve genuinely liked the redirection. Feeling more optimistic now. (For what it’s worth.)
Agreed. ‘Bout damn time we got some good comedy again.
I thought I couldn’t like Syr and Frigg more, but then we got to this.
Also, in case you did get what Gravy was saying, Stael=Stale.
Apparently it is Stael: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germaine_de_Sta%C3%ABl
Had to look up what Gravy was talking about.
Slackers. What, did you folks spend all of Lit class drooling over the covers of the Dragonpants Series?
Mostly just secretly masturbating.
Not so secret now, eh?
Why would you violate the sanctity of an English course like that?! WHY?!?!
Do you know how many English courses I’ve been in? It’s like a different one every few weeks. I can’t get emotionally bonded to all those classes. They come and go and maybe one day I’ll find the course that I’ll truly respect, one that will be right for me. But until then I might as well play with my “Number One”.
ohhhh god. I will never look at the episode with the kids in the Turbo lift in the same way……….
@Jean-Luc, I want you to know that a great deal of my enjoyment of this comic comes from imagining that you actually are Patrick Stewart.
Just wondering, what on earth would’ve happend to Syr’s cat then? Poor thing must’ve starved to death.
Big bowl of kitty food, or they get unplugged daily.
Who do you think is playing Bandit?
It’s possible she doesn’t live alone and that she left her cat in the care of someone else, since she knew there was going to be complete immersion and she wasn’t certain how long play-testing would last. Sad thing is, the cat may not have even noticed she was gone… :|
Let’s hope the cat is cared for.
Or maybe the feral, starving thing will attack HR. That could be festive.
Bandit is the cat.
“Of all God’s creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Mark Twain
Can’t really put my reasons to words but I really love this. I wish each character got his/her own page or 4 panels at least like Byron.
I’d love it too, but what I wouldn’t love is it taking a week and a half for them to go through with it.
I can haz no rekspec of teh hooomans.
Oh and another interesting thing is how each character has a highlighted coloured item which responds to the colour that marks them most in-game.
Byron wears red like the ring, Frigg’s metallic bracelets correspond to her plate armour, same for others as well.
Hence HR’s purple tie may be a clue as to who his Arkerra persona is provided he is at all represented.
I was re-reading some of the earlier panels, and it seem as if Bandit did indeed dress in purple primarily.
Indeed! It would seem my hypothesis was correct!
HR is actually *whips off glasses* BANDIT!
Then, everyone who has had Perverse Sexual Lust for Bandit… Was actually lusting after a, albeit fictional, mustachioed, at least middle-aged business executive. God, someone call Admiral Ackbar.
It’s a Tra-
What do you mean I’m too late? Have you tried getting across town at this time of day?
I’d harbor Perverse Sexual Lust for THAT STACHE!
Talk about the “wrong side of the tracks”.
Rand, what is WRONG with you? I mean, you’d betray the great Colonel Pornstache for Ded’s measly upper-lip offerings?
Heeeey, I harbor Perverse Sexual Lust for all staches! I’m an equal opportunity stacher! Neckbeards, however, need not apply D8
I would go more along the lines that Big D doesn’t play her, but rather created her. I have the theory that Bandit’s a program he wrote meant to track down the ‘lost’ characters, bring them together and keep them together. Kinda like a looking for group function with a personality. It would also allow her to return to life.
Yeah, a Tron kind of thing.
Even though I already realized that it’s likely that’s the case, it makes me sad because that means would don’t get to see one of these adorable ‘behind the character’ panels on her :\
You know, I just re-read the cast page and “A suspicious kleptomaniac, Bandit Keynes functions well within a team, but her first loyalty is ultimately to herself. At least, that’s what she claims.”
seems as a hint towards Bandit’s role in keeping everyone together and HR’s motive of keeping everyone together for the sake of the company.
HE’s the Joker!
Where’s Frigg IRL? I’d date her in a heartbeat. So long, ya dick lovin’ cocksucks!
I’ll fight you for IRL!Frigg. Unless you don’t mind sharing 8D
Damn. Guess I’m involved in yet another life or death struggle. The two of you had better watch out if her IRL identity is also a redhead, though. Redheads affect me like PCP affects the judgment of a large man being arrested by the cops.
She strikes me as the type that would have a harem of men at her disposal if she could… or women.
Frigg’s player hopefully plays for both teams. I mean, she certainly sounds like she’d fight with both teams XD But I’d happily stick to the sidelines and watch if she doesn’t.
Something just occurred to me.
Given Frigg’s physical build in this strip, I wonder how much of her in-game fighting prowess carries over from the “real world”?
Quite a bit I think, but it would have nothing to do with her physical strength.
She’s actually a big argument against the idea that they’re “in-game”. Look at her backstory- she doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would be willing to play through an Arkerran childhood and spend years (real or perceived) away from her hardcore PvP roots, and yet she’s also (apparently) not the type who would write something that intricate and detailed and have the game “backfill” NPCs’ memories so she could interact with the Bloodshot Sisters. Even if she were, she got full-color panels in a strip that went back to her childhood- the use of the subdued colors seen in Byron’s flashback, at least for the part with her as a kid, would have been very subtle foreshadowing, and the fact that this wasn’t done is rather glaring if the party was just a group of PCs whose backstories never “really” happened because they used the game’s character creation mechanic. And if she was supposed to live through a childhood in Arkerra as part of the game? That’s not likely. Only RPers would really want to do that, and if AoA is really a WoW equivalent those guys aren’t going to be a big part of the population. Any halfway-competent businessman would have made sure the system had a character generator for the majority of players who either don’t care where their character came from or aren’t willing to spend 18 or so years figuring it out.
I really need to get better with paragraph breaks…
TL;DR: Frigg’s “player” isn’t the type to have such a detailed character backstory. This makes me suspicious.
who says she didn’t play through her backstory?
Or have it ‘implanted’, Total Recall style? :)
“Fighting Nun” goes really well with her personality and the fact that she’s having a hard time getting a boyfriend, whether the background is game or player generated.
“Fighting Nun”? Any relation to the “Flying Nun”?
Well, they’re sisters.
No gold star?
I’ve known some gamers who were strongly focused on combat, not so much on roleplaying, but still preferred to be associated with a roleplaying group. My sense was that they wanted to be part of a group, and wanted context for their actions; they would usually at least have some backstory worked out, but wouldn’t call attention to it, and were happy to have the dedicated roleplayers work it into their stories.
That seems to me consistent with Frigg’s player, as presented here: vigorous, frustrated, and lonely.
I think so, too. Frigg actually plays well within the larger party; foul-mouthed and crude, sure, but she doesn’t step on other people’s fun, and doesn’t blow up plots out of boredom.
That may be true, but I forgot to mention something- a later comment points out something I suspected, which is that these players seem to be drawn from different corners of the fanbase to test the “bubble” experience for as many player types as possible. My experience in WoW has been that RPers are a pretty small segment of the population, and I’d guess that at least 50% of players would be both utterly incompetent RPers (which 0% of the 5 are, given both their backstory detail and their 100% rate of IC actions) and horrified at the thought of the game implanting false memories- never mind the media backlash if anything like that got out. The idea of memory implants also isn’t mentioned, and it’s kind of a big thing for the HE guys to omit describing the Bubble, and a potentially catastrophic move on the part of Hurricane’s PR department if such a feature were kept secret. Thus, at least one of these presumably representative gamers should be constantly breaking character, using a really terrible backstory, or otherwise acting like a non-RPer forced to try to RP. Best isn’t showing any backstory, sure, but his persona is very constant, and he’s yet to utter a single word of out-of-place slang or otherwise be anything other than a douchebag RPer.
Oh wait, that was you who mentioned the “different types” idea, although in my defense I was thinking more about JarrysKid’s comment about the logic behind their selection. Still, I think testing a variety of RPers and not a single other player type would be a bad idea, unless AoA is completely different from WoW (either in terms of the ratio of Rpers/non-RPers or in terms of the parent company’s willingness to explicitly “favor” one type of player by doing something this big with only that kind of person).
She DID play through it. She’s a crusader, a holy warrior, like a paladin without heals. She started to play through the standard ‘ward of the church grows up in the bosom of the sisterhood and swears her life to her god’ backstory, got bored with the lack of ass-kicking, started beating on what she could, got in trouble, started beating on the sisters, fought her way out and burned down the convent. She played through what they had for her.. it just didn’t go the way the devs expected…
In that case, we know what Syr’s player does in the real world. “Please. I can always do science to it.” Good catch.
…so who’s taking care of kitty while Syr is in the big scary tank? D:
Her neighbor, Jadis.
Fortunately I did not have a mouthful of coffee at that moment.
Well played, Minion of the Dark One, well played.
You meant the big tube pre-amp, right?
That could be misinterpreted in so very many wrong ways…
We all know how well that went last time. She just doesn’t have the diligence required to take care of felines properly.
Nice update! Keep ‘em coming, and never mind the haters :)
Frigg, Gravedust and Syr’jin.
I’m not surprised to see Syr’jin be a hippie. I’m somewhat surprised Frigg didn’t use more internet slang. Dunno what to think about Gravedust.
Next update should (hopefully) tell us if Bandit or Best is the 5th player. I am excite.
The way Phil & co. have been toying with the readership lately, I’d actually put money on the next update being ‘Best vs. Land Sharks, Part 7′.
I think from the laws of narrative causality, there should be another sepia world update yet.
Yeah. Phil and Campbell have kinda been dicks lately in terms of hitting us with a cliff hanger right after teasing a bit of plot. But I keep reading, and I keep coming back…. Guys, I think I’m some sort of masochist for cliff-hangers. XD
Don’t forget you also like kinky pun action.
Where I can get in battles of wit with the deadliest of op-pun-ents.
Frigg’s basically me!
Not that I’m surprised~
but even the comment she makes about “nothing of worth lost “ios something I’ve said about my own scaring off of men
as a side note-I’m pleased to see the players are more less the same personality-wise
and that Syr’njj still has a sense of silly humor!
Cats are like that. And we love them for it.
I bet that a lot of their Arkerran backstory comes from their own subconscious.
Think about how the human mind deals with the unexpected and bizarre – it tries to twist as much as it can into a logical explanation using data it already has simply to give you a way to approach the situation without having you go into a mental breakdown.
This would be pretty much like the mechanism in dreaming – your mind takes various bits of information that have drifted from storage into your subconscious during sleep and tries to fit them all into a coherent story, even such extraneous things as the alarm clock going off, because the mind doesn’t know all that information it was given is not supposed to make sense.
For example, I once dreamed I was in the middle of the Battle of Trafalgar, and when I woke up, there was a storm outside and the wind had opened up the window, so that rain was occasionally splashing my face – in the world of the dream a “wooden ships and iron men” scenario was a far more likelier explanation for the sudden sensory inputs than the run-off-the-mill summer storm.
So my bet is the DEV team behind the Arkerra project simply gave “The Five” the main premises of the world and all of their experiences are self generated to fit memories they already have or maybe the fantasies they cherish…
For example, “Frigg” might have really been raised by nuns in an orphanage, something which marked her, even though the real world nuns were different from their demonised Arkerran projections.
Or, maybe she had a completely boring and normal suburban childhood and this is the backstory she would have wished for herself were she be given a choice.
My guesses have a pretty low rate of accuracy, but I’m guessing she’s a classic punk, from a working class background, who’s had a history of conflicts with authority: perhaps her parents, perhaps school, perhaps juvenile hall.
I like the idea that Arkerra is somehow generated from the subconscious of the players. However, from Chapter 9, Page 13, we know that Kingdoms of Arkerra was already an established game before “the bubble” was introduced. The five players may have some profound influence on Kingdoms of Arkerra, but it didn’t begin with them.
If you look carefully at my previous comment you will see I never said anything about Arkerra itself being generated by “the Five”, just that their subconscious must have generated their own backstories to explain their memories “in-universe”.
Most likely, Arkerra was originally only a “stock” fantasy realm, as it’s clear form the rather stereotypical races as well as some introduced for the “lulz factor” (Land sharks? Come on!)
So you did. Sorry.
I’m not sure if that’s the right expression — I picture Rose Tyler from Dr. Who, and that’s not quite the sort of person I have in mind.
I’m thinking more of the kids I’d see around punk clubs and anarchist communes in downtown Oakland and the San Francisco Mission District in the 90s, though that’s probably not much help to people who weren’t in the San Francisco area in the 90s.
Your theory might not be too far off. I can see Syr’s conflict with her father being something she deals with in her real life, possibly her beliefs or ‘the mild internet addiction’. It also makes the letter she wrote before giving Byron the elf favor far more poignant, especially if it turns out to be an actual e-mail he receives.
Same with Gravedust. Lit majors and historians are often accused of living in their books or the past rather than the present, so him being anti social and more comfortable with the dead makes a lot of sense.
With all the comments by people put off by the new developments, I thought I’d make my first comment to say that this change to the ‘genre’ and overarching story (and coming so long off the story was introduced!) has made this webcomic far more interesting for me. Guilded Age as it originally seemed was good – a clever, well written and drawn take on a fantasy world. It was fun and uncomplicated. But we are awash in stories like that. Now it is something far trickier, a cross-genre story, that could do something quite special (like Erfworld) or could not come together at the end of the day. Whichever happens, it’s become far more interesting to me now that it’s clear that it is doing something far trickier and with more potential for richer storytelling.
And waiting so long to clue us in that the story we’ve been immersed in is not the ‘real’ story (or all of it)? Gutsy and genius. Kudos all round.
I second that.
A fantasy comic story with somewhat anachronistic gags was just a nice diversion, but this definitely has potential.
Also, I like the careful colour-coding and how it still throws people off as to which is which, even though it is so straightforward.
Most likely specifically because it is so straightforward. We keep expecting a sudden twist, even when there are none to be had.
And that may be the cruellest twist of all!
The internet is “awash” in ‘clever, well written and drawn take (s) on a fantasy world(s)?’
I’m getting the wrong internet. Even the strips I like are mostly pretty poorly written/drawn, hopefully not both at the same time. And stuff that is good (as good as Guilded Age used to be) tends to update every Leap Year.
And Erfworld is a terrible example for a ‘special’ strip. Aside from being agonizingly slow, and padded (bloated!) with tedious and pretentious text pages, The original ‘special,’ concept (guy enters game yadda yadda) has barely been addressed since the very beginning.
Well, ‘stories’ not comics, Oamu. I was thinking of the ever growing stable of B grade fantasy novels within which one has to look hard to find the real gems.
I suspected Erfworld (or any other specific example) was going to be risky. People don’t like something and classify it as bad. Erfworld is good whether you like it or not. It is well written, well thought out, the art holds it own, and it’s touching on some fundamental questions of human existence in amongst the fun – and in all those ways it reminds me of Guilded Age. I’d imagine that the set of readers who enjoy both comics is reasonably small, but that doesn’t mean one is good and the other bad, just they appeal to different kinds of readers.
So far, the players each seem well-characterized, and almost archetypal of different sorts of roleplayers, all reminding me of roleplayers I’ve met, and all plausibly part of the same roleplaying group.
We haven’t seen the fifth, the one who presumably plays Payet Best. I expect it’s not an accident that Best’s player is last, and probably won’t share the page with another player.
It makes sense, really. If you’re going to test a RPG, you’ll want to test it with every type, or archetype, of player.
‘Cause there’s always going to be a team-breaker, someone who is such an incredible douchecanoe that no party can survive their presence.
@barsukthom: are you perchance referring to someone specific? Maybe someone who enjoys music and the opposite sex?
Frigg is much more amazing than before. I liked her, though I thought she was a little, well, rough around the edges shall we say…now I like her even more.
Though it puts a new light on the interaction between Frigg and Best. For a time there was a bit of speculation in my head that the two of them might (eventually) pair off for some period of time.
Seeing how Frigg’s player has that loneliness, it’s easy to see how Best might appeal to her – he’s capable, he’s easy on the eyes, and he’s not intimidated by her. But, Best being such a douche, I could see that relationship going very badly if he decided Frigg was just another one night stand. Could go badly for HIM if Frigg had decided otherwise! Now I am amused at the idea of Frigg beating the blue bejesus out of Best.
Of course, “Beating the blue bejeezus out of Best” sounds like a sacrament from Frigg’s childhood…
Gravedust is Jewish! :-D
HA HA HA!
“Before I immerse myself in this here mikveh of yours, Mr. Dedalus, I’ll have to ask my rabbi whether it’s okay to be hooked up to the game during Shabbat. Also, I look forward to being able to eat virtual treif.”
“How many dwarven shamen soes it take to scre in a lightbulb?”
“None, don’t worry about us, we’ll just sit here in the dark going blind and communing with spirits while our warriors go and hang around with drunken goyem…”
“They never write, they never send messenger pigeons…”
John, I’m keeping panel 1 in my examples folder.
(This is a folder on my computer that shows various things that I can’d draw done well, that I use when trying to learn a new thing. In this case, it’s a character in silhouette.)
Thank you, ahdok. I’m very honored.
I’ve always tried to set an example for others. ; )
Frigg’s player, why do you not swing both ways? :< And NGL the way Syr's player is drawn is so creepy. In the most delicious way possible 8DDDD
Sorry, Gravedust’s player, you got overshadowed.
Can someone get this fine one a ba-dum chh?
I’m willing to make a bet that tomorrow’s comic isn’t an interview with Best’s player, and that at some point an reason is given as to why they can’t interview the fifth player (such as “he’s already hooked up!” or the like.)
Loser of the bet draws some GA fanart of the winner’s choosing. Who’ll take me on?
Oh, some extra rules:
1) Writers and artists on the comic can’t take bets, that’s cheating,
2)I don’t draw nekkid people – unless it’s really funny.
I’d take that bet if I didn’t already agree with you.
Too bad I can’t draw to save my life. Otherwise, I’d take you up on that bet XD
Who says you need to be able to draw? :D
Am I allowed to get a proxy-artist? XDDD
I can’t draw *well* but I’ll take the bet.
You’re on :) If I win, you have to draw Bandit and Frig standing at the gates of heaven garbed in white, while a grumpy looking blootshot eye sister reads from a book of their sins on the gate :D
Hawk, you’re supposed to have a condition for if YOU win. Something like, have Ahdok draw “Colonel Pornstache flying into the heavens, with lightning shooting from each hand, moose artillery in the background, and a frightened Harki cowering before him.”
Of course, that was only an example…. *wink wink nudge nudge*
You can draw that.
I’ll take a pic of Byron in swim trunks at the beach, thanks.
Oh, I’m not involved. I can’t draw *that* well, even if I decided “What the hell” I have no means of scanning it, I have no means of storing it online, and, finally, I lack the drive and attention span to even do things that I absolutely NEED to do.
You’re on. You win if they interview the fifth player, or if the story moves on without them providing an excuse for not doing so.
(Might take a while to know for sure.)
Well, you’ll find out tomorrow, at least!
aw man, that totally implies I lost :p
either that or I won :)
There’s really only two options when it comes down to it.
Actually, there’s one other outcome.
Everyone wins, because, gee, GA fan art!
Heck, thats funny i might just draw that anyways
the whole frigg and bandit at the gate thing
Hmm. I just had a thought. The fifth player here could actually be some short, blonde, kleptomaniac girl with pigtails despite what we saw in the yellow tube. They could go with some kind of tragic story in which Bandit’s player died of something or another before she could enter her tube while her character was all ready for her and for some reason, be it lack of time before the launch of the project or indifference or whatever it was overlooked and left in the game despite Best’s player being brought in as a replacement and a whole new character being made for him. This basically means the Bandit we know would just be a remnant. An NPC loosely based off a real person. The player character who never got her player.
Or perhaps I’m just being needlessly depressing and she’s just a random NPC. Ohohoho.
I am begining to wonder if Arkerra is in fact a real place, more than just digital or not, that was generated by them. Did they in fact unintentionally create an alternate universe?
Another question bugs me, which is that this game is clearly very popular, yet aside from the tube folk, and Bandit who I assume is the man with the purple tie (I always wondered why her back-story literally made NO sense, I mean, did Gastonia LOOK thieved dry?), where are all the players? Are the players in fact the barbarian races? Or is the Arkerra we know separate from the one all the normal players are in?
After all, in an actual mmo, it is ridiculous to think that every single person would stay in character at all times, and we have yet to see anyone who has clearly been a player that knew of a world outside of Arkerra.
If it is the case that the Arkerra we have been reading about this whole comic is separate, and given that magical artifacts litter the tube room, I am thinking Arkerra is real in some sense, however it came to be, and is separate from the game millions of people are likely playing in the grey world.
If not, it means you are presented with altered memories in the normal game, which would mean some very terrifying consequences to the grey world. What would a world where those who played WOW, believed they were their characters, and never left the game world? 11 million or so people essentially disappearing into a game permanently. (No matter how much you play a game such as wow, unless you play it 24/7, you have not completely disappeared into it, for the sake of this argument)
Science fiction writes about this sort of thing all the time (of people abandoning the physical world/planet for a more enjoyable lifestyle in dreams, games, hibernation, on another planet, or as another species, etc), and the consequence is the collapse of society in the form we know it, an end of humanity as we know it.
Probably getting carried away, but as a fiction writer myself, this comic has gone from fun read, to falling in line with Gunnerkrigg Court for how anxious I am for each update.
Gunnerkrigg Court FTW.
One day, after finding it on TVtropes, I looked up Gunnerkrigg Court. However, it didn’t seem interesting to me, so I gave it a pass. Then, a year or two later, I decided to look it up again and try to give it an Archive Binge.
I never realized three days could go by so fast. 0_o
That’s why I’m glad I caught this webcomic early on. Didn’t have to stay up all night reading archives. But, then I looked up a little thing called “Homestuck”…
I don’t envy anyone the task of reading Homestuck’s archives in one sitting. Hell, I came in midway through Problem Sleuth and it took me several days to catch up. By then, there were maybe a thousand pages, and Homestuck has at least three times that, last I checked.
The recap pages illustrate the length and complexity quite nicely. They’re the Great Wall of China of walls of text.
Actually, if you go back to pages five and six (IIRC) where the CEO-type guy speaks of Kingdoms being important strategically and the new game only important from a revenue point of view, as well as his interest that “the five” are still alive having earlier watched events in the mmorpg (which suggests he wasn’t entirely sure they’d survive their deaths in the earlier chapter), I’m not sure that creating the world is unintentional.
I suspect the whole point is to create this world around the five. Revenue, dominating the market, all are means to that end (and possibly more ends flowing on from it).
But the world we’ve been watching is ‘real’, and that’s always been the intent.
making a fantasy world so realistic that people don’t return from it isn’t a very good business model, as they’ll soon stop being paid, and then they’ll stop paying you, and then you’ll get no more money.
Having said that, it’s still a credible theory.
I’m currently dealing with the “how come there don’t seem to be any other PCs” issue with instancing.
What if the strategy he refers to doesn’t have a thing to do with a business model of any sort?
What if he means a battle plan?
World domination via MMO?
Yes, I’d think there’s instancing with the quests. There was also that time when Payet was hailed as the destined hero in a village; when he left, another bard arrived.
I would guess they were encountering other (normal) players when in the Gastonian capital.
leaving the real world for a virtual alternative, you say?
Two words spring to mind: Second Life.
Now I’ll read the rest of your comment.
I saw another reason to think the Five aren’t in a game- look at the picture of the bubble. Now look at the tubes they’re in. They’ve been moved from “VR goggles and motion capture suit with no visible neural hookup (and thus no apparent ability to taste/smell, and unless the suit is higher-tech than it looks no real sense of touch)” to “life support, brain monitor, and no neural hookup”.
Also, reading the archives to make sure I remembered the look of the tubes correctly, I realize it’s KINGDOMS of Arkerra, not Age of Arkerra (which my brain presumably got from the strip’s title combined with being used to WoW’s alliteration).
We don’t know that the picture they showed of the vr-zorb isn’t one of those journalistic mockups that blog sites throw together to imagine what a new thing will look like.
That happens all the time.
Just popping in again. I love the last three pages – the writing is still perfect, the art is absolutely awesome.
But I still hate and am sorely disappointed about what this chapter does to the previous chapters. :( If we had started this way… ah well. It is, at least, a webcomic twist I had not forseen in the slightest. Well played, I suppose.
You get to where you kinda accept it, eventually. Unexpected genre changing plot twists are never fun, in my experience (Except in Assassin’s Creed, where the twist was literally at the beginning of the story), but it always seems to be WELL worth following the series through to the end after they occur. Even though these segments can be a bit disorienting, the Best bits of this chapter (pun not intended, for once) still retain some of the fantasy flavor and fun this comic had before the big tweest, which, to me, is a sign that the fantasy portion of this comic is FAR from over.
Besides, something tells me that we’ll be back to the party in a few weeks. And while in Arkerra, you can squint your eyes and act like this chapter never happened, if you so choose.
Oh yeah. That’s why I’m still here. So in a year, I can look back and go “Hey, remember when the whole setting turned out to be a videogame? What was _that_ about?”
I think it’s called the Spider-Man Clone defense.
Well, I still like the comic. It’s interesting.
I just can’t love it anymore, and it leaves me webcomic-heartbroken, thinking of the happy times we once shared.
Also, I’m even more of a drama-queen than Byron’s player. Just saying.
I guess I’m in the minority here, but I thought that that last person was Payet Best until someone mentioned the color coding.
Is Gravedust’s player wearing a tallit? I’m not sure wearing one at a convention would be remotely appropriate, but that was my first thought on seeing him.
I’m glad to see Frigg’s really female, I’m very curious as to whether my guess about Gravedust is right, and I like Syr’s player. This makes up for my disappointment in Byron’s player, I think.
So a crazy cat lady hippie and a history buff satanist walk into a secretive corporate experiment…
… The Aristocrats.
A bit of a tangent, but I’ve been puzzled by the relationship between Byron and Gravedust: they seem to me to have similar principles, but a few times Byron has reacted to Gravedust as if he’s done something offensive, and I don’t know what.
It also strikes me that their players have some similarities: in their short interviews, both made reference to 19th century European writers. Maybe someone who knows both Lord Byron and Madame de Stael can hazard a guess.
Last panel is very true, cats are bastards.
May I just hump the writer’s legs for giving us a bit of Frigg again? May I? Even if it’s just her ‘player’?
Also: WTF… if they’re the players for a beta… who’s in the vats? >.> The ‘failed alpha test’ players?
This is all in an old web cast, the people they’re interviewing ARE the ones in the vats.
…or thats what they want us to think.
….and this is all just the “create a character” screen.
Well, Dedalus, you’ve got your answer. It all went weird because SOMEone brought a radioactive peace sign to the proceedings.
So I was just thinking, what if Friggs was actually in a wheel chair?
What a twist!
That would bring some insight to her very overaggressive persona. Perhaps bitter feelings towards the “squishy walking pussies” coming out in the game.
“And nothing of value was lost”
BOOOOO !! Sexism !!
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