Book 2 – Page 38

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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Decorus » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:03 pm

I don't think Charlie has enough Archons yet to conquer all of Erfworld.
How ever I do think thats the direction he is headed in and thats one of the reasons Acquiring Parson and his bracer is on the top of Charlie's to do list.
I also think the reason Charlie does not want to appear to be involved in the current battle is so that he can continue to have a good relationship with Parson so he can turn him to his side.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Jallorn » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:38 pm

I'm not sure if I'm misreading, but it seems like a few people are speculating on Charlie's ability to handle multiple thinkagrams. Summer update 46 clearly says that he can handle unlimited thinkagrams, though it doesn't specify if that means "without using juice," or "At the same time."


I'd also like to say that lately, I've been rather disappointed with the amount of complaining going on on these boards. Among these complaints are, basically, (With any responses in parentheses) "The game isn't balanced/fair," (It's not a game, it's a world who's physics happen to model a strategy game) "Charlie is too powerful," "Jillian is a Mary Sue," etc. To all of this, I have two things to say: first, I have faith in the creators of the comic. I trust them to create an interesting and satisfying story. Just because I can't see it now doesn't mean it's not there. Second, if it's really that bad, WHY ARE YOU READING IT? It seems to me that the rational reaction is to stop reading it if it stops being enjoyable.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Nihila » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:59 pm

I'd also like to say that lately, I've been rather disappointed with the amount of complaining going on on these boards. Among these complaints are, basically, (With any responses in parentheses) "The game isn't balanced/fair," (It's not a game, it's a world who's physics happen to model a strategy game) "Charlie is too powerful," "Jillian is a Mary Sue," etc. To all of this, I have two things to say: first, I have faith in the creators of the comic. I trust them to create an interesting and satisfying story. Just because I can't see it now doesn't mean it's not there. Second, if it's really that bad, WHY ARE YOU READING IT? It seems to me that the rational reaction is to stop reading it if it stops being enjoyable.

What you call "complaining," I would call "criticizing". Also, people who criticize a work do not necessarily think that it is a bad work, just that it could be better. The "don't like it, don't read it" argument is simply rude, and I would prefer not to be told that I do not enjoy a work which I do enjoy simply because I criticize it.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Jallorn » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:35 pm

Nihila wrote:
I'd also like to say that lately, I've been rather disappointed with the amount of complaining going on on these boards. Among these complaints are, basically, (With any responses in parentheses) "The game isn't balanced/fair," (It's not a game, it's a world who's physics happen to model a strategy game) "Charlie is too powerful," "Jillian is a Mary Sue," etc. To all of this, I have two things to say: first, I have faith in the creators of the comic. I trust them to create an interesting and satisfying story. Just because I can't see it now doesn't mean it's not there. Second, if it's really that bad, WHY ARE YOU READING IT? It seems to me that the rational reaction is to stop reading it if it stops being enjoyable.

What you call "complaining," I would call "criticizing". Also, people who criticize a work do not necessarily think that it is a bad work, just that it could be better. The "don't like it, don't read it" argument is simply rude, and I would prefer not to be told that I do not enjoy a work which I do enjoy simply because I criticize it.

I would argue that there is a difference between criticizing and complaining. It has felt to me as if many of the posts were complaining, especially when there's a whole page (or just about) of people reiterating the more tired of the arguments. I probably could have chosen my words better, but it is certainly offputting when people continue to complain about something that's not even finished yet.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby DevilDan » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:54 pm

Jallorn, you have to take most things people here say with a grain of salt. The vast majority of "criticism" is more of a hobby or a pastime—or to push people's buttons.

I mean, yes, there are people who really mean their "criticisms" about some of the topics you raised. I just keep telling myself that that's not true for the majority. It helps me sleep.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Intruder » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:24 pm

Jallorn wrote:I would argue that there is a difference between criticizing and complaining.


And yet you continue to complain. Criticism at least has a framework. There can be a response, a meeting of ideas. If someone says Jillian is a Mary Sue I can refute or support that idea by contrasting what I know of Jillian with what I know about the Mary Sue concept. You just seem to be whinging.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Jallorn » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:55 pm

Intruder wrote:
Jallorn wrote:I would argue that there is a difference between criticizing and complaining.


And yet you continue to complain. Criticism at least has a framework. There can be a response, a meeting of ideas. If someone says Jillian is a Mary Sue I can refute or support that idea by contrasting what I know of Jillian with what I know about the Mary Sue concept. You just seem to be whinging.

My point was not to complain, but to point out that we should maybe have a little more faith in the story.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Squishalot » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:03 pm

omdorastrix wrote:
Squishalot wrote:Hard counters:

1) Maggie was wrapped up in a caster link for the first half of Book 1, while Charlie was taking merc duties from Jetstone.

2) Maggie acts on GK's turn, Charlie acts on a separate turn to GK.



Rebuttal:

1) We've seen Charlie utilize his archons to distribute his influence, and it has even been said that the Archons act semi-autonomously, rarely Charlie will direct orders through them. They could have been continuing on previous orders using their own leadership abilities. I wonder if the Arkendish's powers allow multiple 'conciousness streams' and Charlie is Playing into the 'Thinkamancers can only do one thing at a time' stereotype to not appear too powerful..

2) Thinkagrams appear to be a 'free action' as I understand it, unless it has been defined elsewhere.

Hey, could this also help explain Kingworld? What if it was used more as a ruse to disguise the fact that Charlie could end GK's turn through Maggie?


1) http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F042.jpg

"I have a mission for you, Archons. One of the sides in the great western conflict has finally met our price. I need you to proceed to X: -1218, Y:467 to provide escort to three commanders and their entourage. We are now allied with Jetstone."

You're suggesting that this isn't Charlie. It is possible that he left standing orders with his Archons to accept particular terms. However, unless units can affect who sides are allied with, Charlie would need to have allied with Jetstone specifically, not some top Archon. And in page 34, Ansom specifically asks for Charlie, suggesting that contracts are signed and negotiated with him directly, not with his Archons (in which case, he would have asked for Charlescomm).

2) Maggie does more than just Thinkamancy on GK's turn. She moves zones within the city, meaning that she has to be a defender. Therefore, she cannot be a unit of Charlescomm, or she'd be stuck in the tower.

Maggie also can't end turn on behalf of Stanley, nor can she prevent the end of turn (as evidenced by their need to act fast, in case Stanely ended turn early).
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Oberon » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:48 pm

CorrTerek wrote:
Oberon wrote:Unless this is a Arkendish-only spell, this should be known as a standard bi-mancer strategy. Requiring only two casters and the condition "being attacked" the Kingworld spell should have been easily research-able.

Indeed. Which means that a) there are more requirements for Kingworld than we suspect, or b) Erfworld's larger than we think. Because Kingworld was certainly a surprise to Jetstone and Gobwin Knob, and presumably to Transylvito and Haggar. If Kingworld's been used before, it hasn't been used by anyone any of those sides have encountered.
I'll agree that your point a) is valid, even if I disagree with there being any particular reason to withhold this information from the readers. But your point b) has some serious issues, as I see it. It's been pointed out that the MK is an information conduit, and a shortcut all kingdoms have access to. I disagree that this means that all information would be able to be propogated in this manner, such as the method by which the volcano was uncroaked. But other information is highly applicable to this concept. And we know that the MK sells spell scrolls and spell casting services to Sides. So, without some rather unique circumstances such as those required by the volcano uncroaking, it's a fair assumption that any spell of such enormous utility and potency such as Kingworld would be both known to the MK and actively sold as a spell service by the MK, just as they do with other spells and goods. And such sales would of course depend on telling the potential purchasers all about the spell and its utility.
DevilDan wrote:We don't know, not for certain, that this wasn't a three-caster (or more?) link. If Charlie doesn't need to be in the same hex as Vanna, then surely neither would another caster in the link.
a three-caster link is said to be very risky. We saw this statement carried through in act when Misty died and Jack went insane. And a four caster link was said to be impossible. If an "impossible" four caster link is casually carried out without any mention to the readers, then someone needs to review their basic writing guides once more.
Jallorn wrote:Second, if it's really that bad, WHY ARE YOU READING IT? It seems to me that the rational reaction is to stop reading it if it stops being enjoyable. [...] it is certainly offputting when people continue to complain about something that's not even finished yet.

The author publishes his incomplete work online with each new comic or text update, set up a forum with the specific header of "Reactions", and allows anyone to join the community who wants to sign up.

What part of the above makes you think that the author doesn't want to see exactly what he is seeing: Critique, both positive and negative, of his work? Why would you presume to suggest that people just go away rather than providing their reactions?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby CorrTerek » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:14 am

Oberon wrote:I'll agree that your point a) is valid, even if I disagree with there being any particular reason to withhold this information from the readers.


I suppose this would be a "wait-and-see" situation. There's always the possibility that details are being kept from us now to sweeten a later payoff. For instance, I would enjoy seeing Parson figure out all of Kingworld's inner workings and then either use it against someone (preferably Charlie) or develop a counter to it. If the author just straight up tells us exactly how it works, then where's the anticipation?

Granted, this may not be how things end up going, but to me it seems a valid reason to keep some of Kingworld's workings secret for now.

But your point b) has some serious issues, as I see it. It's been pointed out that the MK is an information conduit, and a shortcut all kingdoms have access to. I disagree that this means that all information would be able to be propogated in this manner, such as the method by which the volcano was uncroaked. But other information is highly applicable to this concept. And we know that the MK sells spell scrolls and spell casting services to Sides. So, without some rather unique circumstances such as those required by the volcano uncroaking, it's a fair assumption that any spell of such enormous utility and potency such as Kingworld would be both known to the MK and actively sold as a spell service by the MK, just as they do with other spells and goods. And such sales would of course depend on telling the potential purchasers all about the spell and its utility.


I wonder how much experimenting has actually been done with trimancer links. Is it possible that even the MK doesn't know all the possibilities that a given link can produce? Not trying to poke holes in what you're saying, here, just kind of thinking out loud.

Oberon wrote:What part of the above makes you think that the author doesn't want to see exactly what he is seeing: Critique, both positive and negative, of his work?


To be fair, there's a difference between complaining and critiquing. Most webcomics have a fair amount of complainers, and somewhat fewer people actually critiquing the comic.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Rosa Vernal » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm

Wild idea: Charlie has Thinkamancy call waiting. As soon as Parson hangs up, he'll get another call.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby DevilDan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Oberon, the quadri-caster links I posit would obviously depend on the unmatched mastery of thinkamancy granted to Charlie by the arkendish.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Oberon » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:16 pm

DevilDan wrote:Oberon, the quadri-caster links I posit would obviously depend on the unmatched mastery of thinkamancy granted to Charlie by the arkendish.
Yet another power for Charlie? Doesn't he have enough right now without adding even more and "impossible" level abilities to his arsenal?

It seems that many people are very willing to presume that "unmatched mastery of thinkamancy" naturally leads to just about any additional power Charlie might conceivably have. I say that we saw more than enough of that in Book 1, and that Book 2 would be a far better work without the repetition of Charlie demonstrating a new power any time the plot had a need for it.

Let's tally up Charlie's Book 2 additional powers:

1) The absent Gobwins;
2) The turning of Mountain Giants against their natural allies;
3) Remote bi-mancer link;
4) Kingworld (not necessarily a specific Charlie power, but likely);
5) Wiretapping thinkagrams (not yet proven);

Am I missing any? I believe that all of his other accomplishments fall in line with his previous abilities: Spying on Haggar to force Sammy to attack GK, etc.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby CorrTerek » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:23 pm

Oberon wrote:Let's tally up Charlie's Book 2 additional powers:

1) The absent Gobwins;


All we know for sure is that Charlie's probably involved with that. We don't know how, so we can't really call it a new "power" -- it could be as simple as him calling up the Gobwin chief and convincing him to move elsewhere. Or, alternatively, maybe Gobwin Knob has changed so much as a result of the volcano uncroaking that it no longer pops Gobwins in the area.

2) The turning of Mountain Giants against their natural allies;


See above. We don't know exactly how Charlie's doing what he's doing. There may be a very simple explanation.

Am I missing any? I believe that all of his other accomplishments fall in line with his previous abilities.


Of the five you mentioned, only two can definitely be linked to Charlie's Thinkamancy. One is not proven, and the other two may not involve new powers, if any powers at all.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby DevilDan » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:37 am

We don't know that the missing gobwins, the turning of the Western giants, or the remote bimancer links are exclusive to Charlie. In fact, we don't even know that the first two had anything at all to do with thinkamancy or even magic.

I strongly suspect that the turning of the Western giants had more to do with the use of good negotiating skills, special knowledge, bribery, and possibly extortion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby cdrcjsn » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:18 am

DevilDan wrote:We don't know that the missing gobwins, the turning of the Western giants, or the remote bimancer links are exclusive to Charlie. In fact, we don't even know that the first two had anything at all to do with thinkamancy or even magic.

I strongly suspect that the turning of the Western giants had more to do with the use of good negotiating skills, special knowledge, bribery, and possibly extortion.


How long was he linked to Vanna? Could the natural allies thing be as simple as a two-caster link with Vanna using her turnamancy powers at range?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Oberon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:37 am

CorrTerek wrote:Of the five you mentioned, only two can definitely be linked to Charlie's Thinkamancy. One is not proven, and the other two may not involve new powers, if any powers at all.
I'm not sure why there needs to be a qualifier of "linked to thinkamancy." I don't particularly care if Charlie's additional and previously non-demonstrated new powers are due to the Arkendish, a magic wand he found, or a can of tuna fish. They all mean the same thing in the context of the plot. People do seem to say "Oh, this new power? Well, naturally. After all, Charlie has the 'Dish!" But I don't particularly care about the source so much as the fact. Charlie has more than enough demonstrated powers to be more than a match for any known force on Erf. He does not need any more, nor do any more contribute to the plot in a meaningful way, especially if they are pulled out to solve problems presented by the plot (I'm looking at you, Kingworld). It's like this: "Oh no, Wanda has enough forces to have a decent odds chance to end Jetstone, but Jetstone has a further role to play, and so does Wanda. And if she engages either she or Jillian is likely to die, and we can't have that. But how can we resolve this dilemma? I know, Charlie will use two new powers, a remote caster link and a new spell, to END THE GK TURN! Cool!" Except, not cool.

But as an intellectual exercise, which two are you linking to thinkamancy? Maybe a better question is, which three are you not linking to thinkamancy, and why?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby robak » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:14 am

I wonder if we were reading the comic from Charlies point of view, would we complain the same way about the stuff Parson/GK pulls off? I still believe Charlie is from Earth, another super-gamer, who naturally has invented some nice tricks himself. Maybe they don't look as outlandish from the inside?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby splintermute » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:36 am

I'm sick and tired of people accusing Kingworld of being something Rob pulled out of his ass to "salvage the plot". Yes, it may be totally OP and game imbalancing and raises all sorts of questions about the extent of Charlie's powers and the game mechanics of Erf, etc., but Kingworld is clearly something that Rob had planned from the very beginning of Book 2 (or at least from page 4 onwards) and is an integral component, rather than peripheral DEM, of the plot, which is why I'm willing to give Rob the benefit of the doubt until at least the entire Book 2 situation plays out.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 38

Postby Oberon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:43 am

robak wrote:I wonder if we were reading the comic from Charlies point of view, would we complain the same way about the stuff Parson/GK pulls off? I still believe Charlie is from Earth, another super-gamer, who naturally has invented some nice tricks himself. Maybe they don't look as outlandish from the inside?
The issue with this approach is time. Parson is new to Erfworld, and thus as he learns more he is naturally able to develop new 'sploits. If Charlie is the same as Parson, but has been living on Erf for thousands of turns, he shouldn't be developing new tricks, he should be using the tricks he had already established long ago. Tricks which, given his mercenary nature, the Sides around him should have either seen used or purchased as a service.
splintermute wrote:I'm sick and tired of people accusing Kingworld of being something Rob pulled out of his ass to "salvage the plot".
My objection isn't so much that it was done, but that it didn't need to be done. As I've said, I find Charlie to have ample and potent powers already. He simply does not need more. He especially does not need more that cause the type of reversals seen in Book 1. Were Charlie to have unveiled a few dozen Archons to bolster the FAQ/Jetstone forces, I would have had no objection. This is an established capability of Charlescomm. Kingworld, not so much.

One final thought. Parson's doubt about his plan: "It's a cheat, and it may not work." How hard is it to input into the bracer: Will my plan work? Not "be successful", just work, as in not be labeled a "cheat" by the rules and disallowed, just allowed to be used at all. The result should be binary, either 0% or 100%. I'm just not understanding doubts about things being usable when you can check in advance...
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