What the hell happened to this comic

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby leshabirukov » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:11 am

MarbitChow wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:Guys, guys, let's not fight. Let's instead find something we can all agree on.

That the Russians are attempting to contaminate our precious bodily fluids?

Such a terrible lies! We are gentle and peaceful nation. Unforgivable. I'm out of polonium right now, but I can feed you to my mishka, if you don't mind.
On topic. When I paid for year of toolship, it was gratitude for the comic at the moment, rather then prepay for service, but I doubt I will prolong it.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Jay » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:00 am

Tensor wrote:drunken stepbrother killed your cat by falling asleep on it.

Uck.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Khift » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:25 pm

I recently realized something: Erfworld makes an utterly amazing book, but a pretty poor webcomic.

It does move too slow. Not just the updates, honestly the rate of updates is pretty typical for a comic of this quality both with regards to the writing and art style. It's the plot. The plot moves very slowly, and yet we love it so much that we cannot wait to see it progress.

And you know what? That's a good thing. The fact that the plot moves slowly is a credit to the comic's writing. Sure, it could work if it were more bombastic, but it's the character development and drama that really makes the thing tick. It just means that Erfworld doesn't do too well in the comic medium is all.

I think that I might stop reading Erfworld til Book 2 is complete, then read it all at once like I did with Book 1. I honestly think it would be a more enjoyable experience.

I still love Erfworld, I just think it would make a better book than it does a comic.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:09 am

Slow pacing is not something to be proud of.

Nor is fast pacing opposed to stuff like character development and drama (quite the contrary). Fast pacing, description, "character study"- these tend to be antagonistic to some extent, meaning that when you do one you can't do the others that well.

And then there's times when the author feels the urge to regale the reader with authorial wisdom and go off on a long, and really totally useless, tangent. Famous authors do this as a giant boop you to the editors that used to torment them before they became famous authors.

And then there's times when the author doesn't know what to do next, so they slow down the plot machine and look at the map or ask for directions so to speak.

Not talking about Erfworld here- it appears to be picking up speed, and long may this tendency last.

But yeah, slow pacing often (not always, definitely) is something to avoid.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby leshabirukov » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:15 am

Khift wrote:...

It works. I stoped reading comic after book 1 until this spring, and I liked it. But I diagree on "book better then comic" part. Story and world are greatly depends on graphics. I would prefer cartoon, indeed.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Khift » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:38 pm

leshabirukov wrote:
Khift wrote:...

It works. I stoped reading comic after book 1 until this spring, and I liked it. But I diagree on "book better then comic" part. Story and world are greatly depends on graphics. I would prefer cartoon, indeed.
I think you misunderstood my meaning. Comics can be books too; ever heard the term comic book? I wasn't advocating dropping the art and going full text but rather deploying it in large episodic groups (chapters, perhaps?) instead of one strip at a time. Like a comic book would.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby leshabirukov » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Khift wrote:I think you misunderstood my meaning. Comics can be books too; ever heard the term comic book? I wasn't advocating dropping the art and going full text but rather deploying it in large episodic groups (chapters, perhaps?) instead of one strip at a time. Like a comic book would.


Uh, ok then.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Oberon » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:51 pm

Seerow wrote:I've been a tool since almost day one. [...] If they had done something like that, I probably would have saved myself about 20 dollars since I joined.
So, let's put this into perspective. Your $20 is valued dollar for dollar in store credit. This is what you agreed to when you became a Tool.
Seerow wrote:I don't really care about the high res archives, and while the store credit is nice, given even book 1 still isn't available in the store, and book 2 is looking like it won't be ready until GRRM finishes ASOIAF as a whole, it is completely useless to me. I could get a shirt or a plush I guess, but I wouldn't have bought those without the store credit, so it's basically like a consolation prize "here, you didn't get anything you actually wanted since I'm busy working on another project, but have this t-shirt!"

I'm wondering what else you felt you were entitled to, for your $20? Realize that you cannot count on any other Tool subscribers existing. So we are talking about your $20, and not your $20 and some potential hundred or thousand other $20.

And the answer seems rather clear to me: You have a right to feel entitled to exactly what you paid for. Which is store credit and access to some content which is not made generally available. And you had access to the store beforehand, to evaluate if the Tool store credit was worthwhile to you. Anything else added as a deliverable is scope creep which needs to be clamped down on before it ruins the contract.

Arguing that some other model would have saved you money is like arguing that you deserve a refund because you would have saved money if you had bought a product during a sale. No one likes to pay more, but sometimes we can't get the product we want at the lowest possible price.

You, it appears, have paid for a product which you do not value. I suggest that you cancel your Tool membership immediately, if you expected some other remuneration.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Tensor » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:46 pm

Oberon wrote:I'm wondering what else you felt you were entitled to, for your $20?


As stated multiple times above, the answer is more comics. I do get a kick out of how that answer appears to be undigestible to some.

There have been some questions about how to cancel recurring tool-memberships via paypal. When I originally did mine, I don't remember there being anything regarding recurring payments, so maybe this was added in after. I checked out my account and it was a one-time payment, that's it. If yours is recurring, you should simply be able to log into your account and cancel the recurrent nature of the payment, i.e. stop it from being pulled again.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Nihila » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:02 pm

Seerow wrote:But for your argument of what my 20 dollars entitles me to. I said in the post you decided to pick at that it's not just my money, it's the money that the community as a whole has put forth towards this project. Given a lenient estimate of 2500 dollars a month (I say lenient given current tool subs are at close to a thousand, making actual revenue more like 3000 a month, and most of the tools joined within the first few weeks), and the site having been here for a year and 4 months now, that's $40,000 that has been paid by subscribers to Rob to fund Erfworld. Now tell me, do you think the amount of effort shown, especially in the last few months, is worth that much money?
raphfrk wrote:There are 971 users in the Tool usergroup. It is possible that that isn't the actual number of active/paying tools, since they might not remove a user for a while when their subscriptions run out.

That gives around $3k per month, if they have 2/3 overhead, that is $1000 per month profit split between 2 creators. Ofc, given that the points can't be used for shipping, the overhead might be lower. $12k a year isn't much to share between 2 people as the only source of income.

I have no idea what rates are per page for producing a comic. Maybe they were hoping for more than 1000 Tools in order to maintain a faster update rate. It would be interesting to see a time series of the number of Tools.
...
However, at this point, I am sure Rob/Xin have read this thread and it is not like much more is going to be added.
Just some thoughts that have been posted before, and I would say that raphfrk's last point is probably the best one. You know, the one about "not much more is going to be added." More correctly, nothing new is going to be added at this point.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby -D- » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:47 am

So am I the only one who uses RSS to monitor webcomics these days?
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Sixty » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:00 am

I think the major disconnect in this topic is that a lot of people had different reasons for donating that each came with different expectations and most seem to be arguing with the assumption that everyone donated for the reason they did.

So did you donate as a thank you for work already rendered, did you donate for the bonus stuff/store credit, or did you donate with the idea that you were allowing the comic to keep the pace/quality high? Because until we can agree what the donations were for arguing is useless for the most part. It is likely that we won't be able to agree on that. Of course venting is fine too.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby raphfrk » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:38 am

Sixty wrote:So did you donate as a thank you for work already rendered, did you donate for the bonus stuff/store credit, or did you donate with the idea that you were allowing the comic to keep the pace/quality high? Because until we can agree what the donations were for arguing is useless for the most part. It is likely that we won't be able to agree on that. Of course venting is fine too.


In the interests of beating the dead horse some more :), I created a poll in the Tool's forum.

What were the main reason(s) that you became a tool?

to thank the Rob/Jamie for book 1
to thank the Rob/Xin for book 2 - issue 1
in order to support comic production
because all subscriptions become store credit
to access the hi-res archive
to access the tool's forum
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Magentawolf » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:13 am

By this point, I'm annoyed enough at the update speed that I'd cancel my Tool membership... except then the store credit would expire without Book 1 ever being offered.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Sieggy » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:48 pm

Look, I follow LOTS of webcomics that update weekly and/or sporadically. Some of my favorites are weekly, and it gives me something to look forward to. However, I take the attitude that it's free, and as a result, I'm simply grateful that it's there. OOTS, ferinstance, updates whenever, no schedule, and I'm just happy and pleased when a new one comes out.

Art can't be rushed - deal with it and quit griping. Personally, I'd much rather have a quality work that I can savor than something slapped together to make a deadline . . .
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby zilfallon » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:07 pm

Sieggy, you are just about to restore this argument to where it was months ago. Erfworld isn't Rob's free-time-hobby-which-he-does-for-fun. Read previous posts for what i exactly mean please, if you haven't.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Sieggy » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:32 pm

No, but reading it is what I do for fun. To Rob, this is a job. To me, it's a gift. I don't have any expectations, though I can get seriously antsy when I'm Jonesing for my next fix of Erf . . . When the books come out, I will DEFINITELY buy them, as I like having something I can hold in my hands. A monitor lacks the . . . Erfiness of something I can carry about and share with my friends. Rob COULD just write this comic and release it when finished; instead, he's allowing us to enjoy it as it's being produced. He gets criticism (in a positive sense) which will improve the finished product, and we get to see creativity in action. And kvetch a great deal . . .

But joggling the author's / artist's elbow is just bad form. A weekly update is just fine by me. I wish for more, but am quite happy with the pace, as I am with other webcomics. I also realize that Rob & Xin have lives, and sometimes Attacks of Life slow things up.

I learned long ago that poking my head in the oven doesn't do a souffle a bit of good, and others have learned that bugging me about WHEN the souffle is going to be ready is very counter-productive . . .
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Ansan Gotti » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:39 pm

Look, once again, no offense at all intended (truly), but you are not a Tool and so I really don't think that lecturing Tools about how they are supposed to feel is going to be a productive endeavor, either with respect to you or with respect to your implicit goal of increased goodwill toward the author. And I say this as someone who supports the author and is continuing his Tool membership.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby arin » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:33 pm

Sieggy wrote:Look, I follow LOTS of webcomics that update weekly and/or sporadically. Some of my favorites are weekly, and it gives me something to look forward to. However, I take the attitude that it's free, and as a result, I'm simply grateful that it's there. OOTS, ferinstance, updates whenever, no schedule, and I'm just happy and pleased when a new one comes out.

Art can't be rushed - deal with it and quit griping. Personally, I'd much rather have a quality work that I can savor than something slapped together to make a deadline . . .


Please don't forget, OOTS fails to update frequently in large part due to the health of it's author. Rob is not half-infirmed with any debilitating diseases (anyone who's seen Party Rob knows exactly how much punishment that man's body can take). Also, Rich has never put out a subscription model for his business.

Just to add my voice to the ranks of the angered, Erfworld has been a disappointment for a long time now, ever since I ran over 800 miles down to Maryland because Rob promised this "unique opporunity related to the launch of book 2" only to find out it was just to get signatures from Jamie and Xin (not to disparage either of their work, but I'm not a signature collector, I'm a story fan). I passed him $50 at that party just for some silly drinking mugs, and I'll tell you right now - it wasn't about the mugs. Like many people here I was coughing up to support the cause (I actually tried to become a Tool once but Paypal had not yet added the functionality of letting one proceed without logging in, and therefore wouldn't let me proceed because they had a record of my card on file associated with an account I could no longer access. Prophetic, really, and hearing from so many Tools about what the so-called experience is like, I'm glad it didn't go through.)

The simple truth here? Rob sold out. If we're all anxiously clicking on the website daily, his site gets that much more traffic, which means he gets that much more money. If he stuck to a schedule, then traffic would taper off on the off-days and he'd make less. KEEPING US FRANTICALLY CLICKING IS FINANCIALLY IN HIS BEST INTERESTS. Not to mention that it's con season - who's got the time to bother with keeping online fans happy when there's another bunch of folks gathering with cash to buy T-shirts and another excuse to get drunk in a hotel room? Even the decision to concentrate on relettering Book 1 - and I'd bet anything that if he asked, 90+% of us would prefer to see the delay on Book 1 take longer in favor of having a regular and frequent update schedule - is financially motivated. Get Book 1 on the shelves faster so that there's even more money.

It's fine to be financially motivated, to a point. But when it comes at the expense of the thing that got people interested in giving you money in the first place, it becomes WRONG. So I make this ultimatum, and I challenge the rest of you to follow through with me on this - I will purchase Book 1, Issue 1 of Book 2, become a Tool for a year, and buy some stuffed dwagon plushies from the store, and I will do it all in EXACTLY as many days as it takes to get from here (Page 42 Ink and Text Update 32) to Page 100 of Book 2. Until that day, I will not support the comic in any way - I will stop talking to people about it or showing it to people, I will ensure that it gets not a penny of my money, and until the update situation improves I will cease checking daily for an update, because as stated above, that generates revenue for the site on it's own. If the comic returned to it's original goal of an ink update every 5 days starting tomorrow, it would reach Page 100 in 286 days, or on July 18th, 2011. At it's /current/ rate of production, it will only have reached Page 62 by then. Can you imagine that? Only 20 pages of progress in the next YEAR? At it's lowest, OOTS has never been that low, and the man is practically dying some days.

For $3000 a month, art can be rushed. Rob made the statement somewhere after the end of Book 1 that Erfworld had become his full time job and that he was no longer working a day job. That was supposed to make the delays prevalent in Book 1 DISAPPEAR, not MULTIPLY. I was patient for a few months. Now - and yes, not in small part because of that failed junk called a Duel in the Somme that took precious time away from Erfworld - I'm LIVID. I hope he doesn't recoup costs from that, maybe it'll teach him to remember where his bread is ACTUALLY being buttered.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:30 pm

You know guys, conviction is a weird beast.

You think you believe something, and make some noise about it, you know, push for the cause. And then you meet a true fanatic.

Nothing breeds self-doubt like meeting a true fanatic sharing your cause.
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