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 Jay » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:07 pm

Here's some perspective:

The last "interesting plot thing" to happen was the Kingworld spell that ended turn early. We're literally still on the next turn of the same day right now.

That was posted FEBRUARY 17.

More than six months ago.

I've seen other comics vanish into a wasteland for this sort of thing (I still check http://www.wtfcomics.com/, but I'm not sure why, because I've forgotten most of the plot and he does maybe 5-6 updates a year now). I like Erfworld. I'd rather not completely forget what's going on by the time the next thing happens. I hope they decide to make this story a higher priority soon.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Nihila » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:10 pm

Jay wrote:The last "interesting plot thing" to happen was the Kingworld spell that ended turn early. We're literally still on the next turn of the same day right now.
So, Ansom's capture, Sammy getting blackmailed, Parson getting promoted to Chief, Wanda being an emo optimist... just not interesting. Okay. Whatever floats your boat.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Jay » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:19 pm

Nihila wrote:
Jay wrote:The last "interesting plot thing" to happen was the Kingworld spell that ended turn early. We're literally still on the next turn of the same day right now.
So, Ansom's capture, Sammy getting blackmailed, Parson getting promoted to Chief, Wanda being an emo optimist... just not interesting. Okay. Whatever floats your boat.

Really.. no, not that interesting, despite how dismissive you feel you need to be.

Parson calling Wanda an Emo Optimist: um, yes, very droll. But really that's how she was before.. she believes he's an agent of Fate. That one-liner isn't making me check the site twice a day for more updates.

Ansom's capture: No, I haven't been hooked by whatever passes for a relationship between Jillian and Ansom, and his capture isn't interesting with respect to much else that's happening, except that it made Parson chief warlord again.

Sammy getting blackmailed: No, not interesting, except that Charlie really wants Gobwin Knob weakened. I'm sure THAT will eventually become interesting, as will finding out more about the Arkendish. But that's foreshadowing.

Parson getting promoted to Chief was interesting only if he DOES something. Which he hasn't yet. THIS is what everything is waiting for. THIS is what was foreshadowed months ago, at the end of book one, and a number of times since. When we see Parson's plan, THAT will be the "next interesting plot thing". Ultimately this story is about Parson (and secondarily about Charlie and Wanda, imho), not Ansom or Sammy or whoever.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Tensor » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:24 am

Thing is, Rob does read this forum. You'd be a fool to think otherwise.

As such, criticizing is part of the creative process. I'm disturbed that some people think it's ok to just sit back and accept whatever you're fed, and that critical analysis of a situation is somehow bad, or makes you a bad person. As one astute member pointed out, Erfrworld isn't some amateur "whenever he can" kinda of thing anymore. It's now a business model where there's a product, people paid cash for it, people expect results. To continue to offer less than that Rob is a disservice to your fans and yourself. Such are the evils when you want to make a commercial success of a hobby. There are many sacrifices you have to make, and if you don't, you dwindle into mediocrity, then you die. You can only coast on past success so far, and no, fans don't always come back.

I won't even get into the whole other comic thing, except to say that I think it's uninteresting. Rob, Erfworld is a better investment for your time. Believe me, you put more into Erfworld and you'll get much more out.

As for me, it's all about passion, but it goes both ways. Sure I'm upset and angry that Erfworld has progressed at a snail's pace for many months. What do you get in return for this? Well, you get notes like this, but more importantly, when you DO kick ass, and kick it well, I'm the person who is telling everyone I know about it, and selling it with great passion.

Make the pendulum swing the other way Rob. It's not too late.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:53 pm

So, aside from the HD images, what is it that you're paying for that you feel you're not getting? The store credit? The Erfworld extras? The special Tool forum and Tool badge on your forum avatar?
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Tensor » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:28 pm

CorrTerek wrote:So, aside from the HD images, what is it that you're paying for that you feel you're not getting? The store credit? The Erfworld extras? The special Tool forum and Tool badge on your forum avatar?


Um, a comic?

Do you honestly think I would have paid a cent for a forum, a badge, etc, without having a comic behind it?
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:03 pm

Tensor wrote:Um, a comic?

Do you honestly think I would have paid a cent for a forum, a badge, etc, without having a comic behind it?


But see, here's the thing -- you didn't pay for the comic. You paid for all those wonderful things listed above, and you've got them. There was a product, you paid cash for it, and you got results.

By all means, keep up the criticism. But keep in mind that when you became a Tool, you weren't guaranteed that updates would be on time, that important things would happen in the plot, or that you'd always be 100% satisfied with what was going on. What you were promised is what you got. Sure, you probably signed up with the belief that you were helping support Erfworld financially (and you probably are -- unless Rob's diverting all that money to a hidden bank account or something), but what you were actually paying for was bonus features and a discount at the store.

Which, incidently, is why I never signed up to be a Tool anyway. The bonus features don't interest me, I try to avoid subscriptions in general, and when the books are ready I'll just purchase them and support Erfworld that way.

So, long story short, I really don't have any beef with what you have to say about Erfworld. But you did get what you paid for.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby raphfrk » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:59 am

CorrTerek wrote:Sure, you probably signed up with the belief that you were helping support Erfworld financially (and you probably are -- unless Rob's diverting all that money to a hidden bank account or something), but what you were actually paying for was bonus features and a discount at the store.


I disagree that this is just a belief.

Subscriptions are clearly billed as a way to support the comic. For example, from here,

"We think there are enough people out there who will make a reasonable pledge of support that we can make a reasonable living doing it."

Also, on the toolbox sign-up page itself:

"We reserve it for readers and fans of Erfworld who pledge their support to the comic and the website, so that we can continue making more Erfworld."

The bonus material is just an added incentive.

Now, granted they haven't made any promises about update rates. However, reasonableness should still apply, especially, since their business model depends on the good will of their customers.

If you have to start quoting contract terms to your customers, then you are already in trouble.

Which, incidently, is why I never signed up to be a Tool anyway. The bonus features don't interest me, I try to avoid subscriptions in general, and when the books are ready I'll just purchase them and support Erfworld that way.


This may be the best plan, since it creates the appropriate incentives. Rob and Xin don't get paid anything until the product is actually produced. Subscribers are trusting the creators.

They are using the subscriptions model to reduce the risk on their side, so that they get a more even income rather than a more more intermittent stream.

In addition, given the way the system works, it looks like subscriptions don't actually result in Xin being paid early anyway. She won't get paid until the books are produced whether you buy the books or use subscription credit, so she has intermittent income anyway.

Also with a subscription cost of $33 per year and the current update rate, it is quite possible that they won't actually release enough books to actually spend the credit.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:28 am

raphfrk wrote:Now, granted they haven't made any promises about update rates. However, reasonableness should still apply, especially, since their business model depends on the good will of their customers.


To be sure. But Rob and Xin haven't exactly shown signs of being unreasonable, just...uncommunicative.

This may be the best plan, since it creates the appropriate incentives. Rob and Xin don't get paid anything until the product is actually produced. Subscribers are trusting the creators.


Indeed. I tend to not hand over money unless I've got something substantial in return. Right now, Erfworld hasn't really made anything substantial for me to spend money on, so I'll just continue reading the comic (at whatever update pace it chooses) for free.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby zilfallon » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:14 pm

CorrTerek wrote:Indeed. I tend to not hand over money unless I've got something substantial in return. Right now, Erfworld hasn't really made anything substantial for me to spend money on, so I'll just continue reading the comic (at whatever update pace it chooses) for free.


CorrTerek, what you said here is the reason fans are complaining about:

Erfworld hasn't really made anything substantial for me to spend money on


But think from the fans (who paid while it didn't have such problems) perspective. Best way is to spend money when it is done, for you. And I am not going to argue if paying BEFORE it was done is a simply stupid mistake OR a show of faith in the creator's abilities and resolve, it is another topic. But they did the latter, and they are right to be disappointed about all those facts mentioned in previous pages. And it isn't just some retard complaining and whining about something he doesn't care, to cause chaos. They care about it: spending money and bothering to write complaints in such detail, prooves it.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:46 pm

zilfallon wrote:Best way is to spend money when it is done, for you. And I am not going to argue if paying BEFORE it was done is a simply stupid mistake OR a show of faith in the creator's abilities and resolve, it is another topic.


And please don't misunderstand me -- I'm not saying that those who paid beforehand are stupid or anything like that.

But they did the latter, and they are right to be disappointed about all those facts mentioned in previous pages.


Sure. Any fan can be disappointed when something doesn't measure up. But my point was that just because some people paid to be Tools, Rob and Xin are under no "business" obligation to them. What they paid for, they got.

Do Rob and Xin have a, I don't know, moral or "good faith" obligation? I believe so. They took people's money, people who wanted to show their support for the comic. That would certainly motivate me, if I was in their place. Right now, though, we don't know what's going on exactly. Sure, Rob posts status updates, but we're not privy to what's going on behind the scenes. Can't really make a judgment call about whether they're ignoring their fan or not doing right by them when we don't know everything.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Tensor » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:19 pm

CorrTerek wrote:Sure. Any fan can be disappointed when something doesn't measure up. But my point was that just because some people paid to be Tools, Rob and Xin are under no "business" obligation to them. What they paid for, they got.


You seem to be a reasonable person, especially with your last note, all except for this and something you responded to me above. I just wanted to make my point clear about what I paid for. What other people perceive what they paid money "for," is beyond my control. I can only tell you what I paid for. I paid for a comic, pure and simple. I paid to be a tool and bought stuff from the store* to help support the staff of that comic so that I would get more comics. That may sound self-serving, but this isn't a charity. I pay for a product, I expect to get that product.

I honestly don't care at all about the badge, though the HD images are cool. All of those extraneous pieces I would never have "paid for," nor even thought about buying had there not been a worthwhile comic behind it. Looking back, I wouldn't have bought them seeing how I'm now being treated by Erfworld inc. and that technically my Erfworld support has been diverted to support "other" comics I don't care about. I certainly won't be paying for anything else unless there are improvements.

CorrTerek wrote:And please don't misunderstand me -- I'm not saying that those who paid beforehand are stupid or anything like that.


No, from my viewpoint you were right the first time.




* Which I still haven't received after quite a while, a whole separate issue
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:37 pm

Tensor wrote:You seem to be a reasonable person, especially with your last note, all except for this and something you responded to me above. I just wanted to make my point clear about what I paid for. What other people perceive what they paid money "for," is beyond my control. I can only tell you what I paid for. I paid for a comic, pure and simple. I paid to be a tool and bought stuff from the store* to help support the staff of that comic so that I would get more comics. That may sound self-serving, but this isn't a charity. I pay for a product, I expect to get that product.


Yeah, I understand that. The problem with that is that's not exactly what they were selling. The whole Tool thing is a "pay X amount of money and get bonus stuff, while also supporting the comic!" You can't say "Well, this is what I'm paying for" and then get upset if it's not given when the other party never agreed to "sell" in the first place.

"Supporting the comic" is such a vague statement that you really can't be sure where or how the money you send will be spent, just that it'll be spent to keep Erfworld running. That covers a lot of ground -- publishing costs, cost of running the site, cost of actually working on the comic, etc. Those things don't always translate to "getting the comic up on time or at a faster pace". And you are still getting comics, just not at the pace you (or any of us, really) would like. This is supposed to be a temporary thing -- presumably updates will pick up again at some point in the future.

Morally/ethically, I believe they owe everyone who's donated money a good comic, posted on time to the best of their ability. Business-wise, I believe their obligation was fulfilled by giving you the stuff they said they would (though since you haven't received some of it I can certainly understand you feeling you've been gypped).
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Ansan Gotti » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:52 pm

I just want to say that I appreciate these last several posts, as I think it's an interesting and illuminative discussion that has not devolved into either a stereotypical bashfest, or a stereotypical fanboy flamethrower defense.

Regarding the fulfillment of obligations to Tools, I agree with you CorrTerek, I think they have satisfied their obligations... BUT I also think raphfrk is right on here:

raphfrk wrote:If you have to start quoting contract terms to your customers, then you are already in trouble.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby CorrTerek » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:25 pm

AnsanGotti wrote:Regarding the fulfillment of obligations to Tools, I agree with you CorrTerek, I think they have satisfied their obligations... BUT I also think raphfrk is right on here:


As do I. I feel that the communication needs to be a bit clearer between the creators and the readers -- or, at the very least, the readers who chose to be Tools. As I said earlier, we have no way of knowing whether the delays are something that couldn't have been prevented or not -- and it seems that many people (not pointing any fingers, mind you, just generalizing) think there's been some sort of mismanagement somewhere along the line, and that maybe they made a bad investment. If we had a clearer understanding of what was going on and why, perhaps there'd be less unrest here on the forums.

Lack of information is the key here.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Godsire » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:27 am

Anyone else have the feeling of almost getting pissed off at the Duel in the Somme comics posted everyday?

I mean, I don't even read them because I just want my erfworld page. I'm very close to setting an alarm on my phone 1.5 years from now only to check back at that time and not trouble myself with hopes of a page every day.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby Ansan Gotti » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:19 pm

Godsire wrote:Anyone else have the feeling of almost getting pissed off at the Duel in the Somme comics posted everyday?


You should see some of the boards buzzing about George RR Martin whenever yet another Wild Cards book (or whatever other project he might do, aside from his big project) comes out.

It is a foreseeable response. Some would argue unjustified, some would argue presumptuous, some would argue unfortunate.

But it is foreseeable, which means that ramifications ought to be considered.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby zilfallon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:42 pm

Godsire wrote:Anyone else have the feeling of almost getting pissed off at the Duel in the Somme comics posted everyday?

I mean, I don't even read them because I just want my erfworld page. I'm very close to setting an alarm on my phone 1.5 years from now only to check back at that time and not trouble myself with hopes of a page every day.


Yes Godsire, I posted about that in the first page, exactly.

well, slow updates never bothered me much, until i saw another comic getting updated, daily. (another comic of the same author, actually)
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby effataigus » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:04 pm

I'm a believer in the motivating force of economic incentives, and I didn't think through becoming a tool well enough before I did it. I was hoping to use my subscription to reward the creators of Erfworld for creating Erfworld and to encourage future work on it. Upon further reflection though, it almost does the opposite. If the Erfworld books are ever finished, then the tool box users will use their cached tool-bucks to buy the book at a net monetary loss for the authors (since they'll pay for the printing, but only get money that they already have (admittedly this will reduce their store-cash liability)).

In retrospect, perhaps just pledging to buy the book once it became available would have been a better motivator.

Though I suppose a mixture of the two is ideal... one takes the pressure off of the creators to rush out an unfinished product, and the other ensures that there is a motivation to eventually finish without adding in too much extra chaff (ahem OotS). That said, perhaps ad revenue is enough to keep the authors going in the short term.

Duel in the Somme is fine, but not why I started subscribing. I just hope the break adds to Erfworld in the long run instead of detracting from it.

Also, someone mentioned something about subscriptions not going to Xin at all..? Is this true?

I suppose either way, I wanted to reward the creators of book one, and what better way to do it than the way that they suggested.
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Re: What the hell happened to this comic

Postby raphfrk » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:04 pm

effataigus wrote:I suppose either way, I wanted to reward the creators of book one, and what better way to do it than the way that they suggested.


Well, then market forces don't matter since they can't unmake book 1 :).

I guess I am more mercenary, I would prefer the money to go towards new comics.

effataigus wrote:Also, someone mentioned something about subscriptions not going to Xin at all..? Is this true?


Subscription points which haven't been spent yet are in limbo.

If you eventually spend them on book 1 stuff, then the profit is split between Rob and Jamie and if you spend them on book 2 (and onward) stuff, then it is split between Rob and Xin. However, they can't know what you are going to do if you don't spend them.

Balder confirmed that this was the system in the tool's forum.

Presumably, points which expire are split 3 ways and it is could be more complex than that behind the scenes (like say Xin gets an advance pending figuring out how the points will be split).
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