Summer Update - 020

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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:32 am

Actually, we've seen our share of politico-philosophical debates. I've always argued that it's difficult to apply Earth morality to a game-like world seemingly designed to promote warfare and conquest and with a civilization that seems to be at the level of medieval Earth.

I would argue, vdragon, that some of what you call unnecessary is, in fact, of significant use. Or maybe I don't understand the distinction that you draw, suggesting that social conventions can be both unnecessary but still have good reason asides from aesthetic concerns, out of desire to avoid "ugliness."
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby vdragan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:06 am

All I was saying was that the update itself went in and dealt with some of the philosophy behind erfworld. The only thing we really had before this were ansom blowing his top at parson over his titanic mandate, stanley's "top of the dragon" lecture to parson, and jillian's and to a certain extent vinny's "i don't care" attitude. The forum is very philosophic, yes.
Useful and necessary are different. Necessary things are a subset of useful things. Clothes are useful. Lungs are necessary. Society (which is a collection of layers of etiquette) is useful, but not necessary. (unless you want to make the argument that people HAD to create societies in order to survive, which is a bit weak but can be done)
In either case, if you are arguing for abolishing things that are unnecessary, you revert to things which are, as a good nursery rhyme i used to know put it: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Also, it's vdragan, brother. with an a.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby jkosta » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:36 am

And now would be a good time to point out that the Titans are a bunch of Elvises.

You know: the King of Rock n' Roll.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby elkhantar » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:53 am

All this talk of necessary vs useful really is missing a lot of points. Lungs are not really needed when you don't mind about staying alive, right? I certainly need electricity to keep my way of life. We could go on and on, but the truth is that Don King is instructing Jillian because he wants to use her, plain and simple as that.

He wants Jillian to be seen as a royal by others and to perhaps make her claim her kingdom of FAQ, so he needs to get through her thick skull and make her behave to get support of other sides. Why? I don't really know, I'm not inside the Don's head, but I suspect that's what he has in mind with his little 'interview', and in fact I would really love to have a deeper understanding of his reasons behind this move.

At any rate I'm equally surprised and amused by the wolf and mice speech and people supporting Don in his view of the supremacy of royals in erfworld. Yeah, different units are wildly different in Erfworld and they are certainly not created the same, but what his little speech is missing (and I'd say Don knows, but doesn't want to point out) is that if the titans didn't want a non-royal to become a leader or whatever Stanley is, they wouldn't have put an inheritance system in the game allowing a non-royal to become the leader of a faction. I thought it was worth pointing it out, since nobody had thus far...
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:47 am

yeah can we keep real world politics out of our webcomic thanks. you can try starting that stuff as mature individuals and it's going to degrade into ugly arguements within a page.the internet is global and not everyone likes where your from, no matter where you hail from. so the most mature arguement on politics is not starting one.

don kings behaviour is wrong in my opinion. as much as i dislike her, i'm with jillian here, taking tea, all these other ridiculous little rules and rituals. don king has a proposal, jillian isn't actually under his command or restrained to his dungeon. he should get to the point. she asked not to be called princess, not to be treated as a royal. as a host he would be bound to be a gracious of his guest.
so far he's wasted her time for 2 turns (she could've gotten to TV one turn faster than the warlords, and even though they arrived on turn 3 the conversation is occuring within it) as a barbarian she needs to hit the ground and make upkeep. so unless he's planning on hiring her she has better things to do than put up with a him.

if i was her i'd be walking out the door.

as for these supposed "knee jerk reactions" stanley was never hunting down royals but they are certainly hunting him. just because those royals were popped to rule their kingdoms doen't mean better suited units can't achieve the same thing
stanley got promoted from piker to warlord, he was made chief warlord when he "attuned" to an artifact and proved how damn powerful he had become. he was later named as an heir for capturing so many cities for saline IV. then it looks like wanda killed off salineIV. the plaid tribe is no longer a royal side but that doesn't mean it's something to be exterminated. that tribe can still name heirs and can still exist as strong as any other nation. maybe stanley isn't a good ruler but he can pop an heir that likely would be better. if the mechanics allow for upgrading a piker to overlord. there is no reason for the "mousehunt"
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby HandofShadows » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:59 am

A highly interesting update. And the discusion it created is interesting as well. So the Don is trying to make Jillian into a Royal. But even if it takes, will she still buy the basic reasoning behind it or just act the part. And if she does buy it all, what happens when she meets Ansome, who now has the opposite set of belifies?
And there is the point (as someone else mentioned) that the Arkentools totaly blows the Don's theory out of the water. There are four Arkentools, all three known ones (to us) only work in the hands of Non Royals. (Stanley, Wanda and Charlie). Then of course there is Parson who breaks the rules of Erfworld. I really wonder how long it would take for him to screw her mind up (on a number of differnt levels)?
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby BarGamer » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:28 am

Don IS acting rather hypocritical, here. On the one hand, the Titans created and have a use for everything. However, as we've seen, not everyone agrees as to what the Titan's will happens to be. Yes, you can make the "wolves vs mice" argument, but you could as easily make it a "Gumps vs Dwagon" argument; some units are better in the forest, some units are better in the air. Mice might be small and weak in a straight-up fight, but they can hide, burrow, and otherwise avoid the wolf. It all depends on what you're using mice FOR. (The movie example of peanut butter and nitroglycerin comes to mind.) Not all units are popped equally. And an Erfworld full of Royals? Would be rather bloodthirsty, since at least ONE side would immediately start "power-leveling," at the expense of others. Then other sides would jump in, and it'd all come crashing down. Royals are useful and necessary, if only so that there is an alternative to auto-attacking.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby vdragan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:37 am

yeah can we keep real world politics out of our webcomic thanks. you can try starting that stuff as mature individuals and it's going to degrade into ugly arguements within a page.the internet is global and not everyone likes where your from, no matter where you hail from. so the most mature arguement on politics is not starting one.


real world politics are one thing. real world political philosophy is one of the things that makes us empathize with these characters. we can not discuss it, sure, but then i begin to fail to understand the purpose of these forums.

as a barbarian she needs to hit the ground and make upkeep. so unless he's planning on hiring her she has better things to do than put up with a him.


jillian's upkeep is most likely being provided by TV at the moment, in the same way that Al did, otherwise she would probably be more antsy.

All this talk of necessary vs useful really is missing a lot of points. Lungs are not really needed when you don't mind about staying alive, right? I certainly need electricity to keep my way of life.


the necessary versus useful distinction is premised on being alive as the point where necessary ends and solely useful begins (one more time: lungs are both necessary and useful). electricity may be important for your way of life but when given the choice between a power outage and death, who would choose death? self-preservation is one of the most hard-wired instincts all animals have. I figured that would be a good place to draw the distinction. there are holes, yeah, but do you really want to do an exhaustive analysis of that kind of philosophy on this forum? see the very first quote above. for the most part i agree with it.

all i'm sayin is: look guys, let's see where this goes. i have a hundred schmuckers on the fact that it's going to be a lot less black-and white than: he's trying to instruct jillian into being a royal so that he can use her. don king looks like a very subtle character. he doesn't say: stanley's a mouse because he's not royal and he tried to fight wolves which are royal therefore he is evil and must be eradicated. he doesn't thunder about titanic mandates. he never says that we have a duty to destroy all mice that may think of attacking wolves..just that when a mouse does attack wolves, it's a reversal on the way things normally go, so you have to expect a backlash. he hedges - says that royals are wolves "in many ways". uses analogies. he's trying to teach here. if you want to dislike him as a character, whatever. but let's not dislike pass judgement on him before we figure out what he's actually saying.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby balder » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:12 am

I made an addendum to the official forum rules about this. Unlike the GiantITP forums, real world political and religious discussion is not forbidden. Just don't be a jerk. (And "demagogue" may be considered a sub-class of "jerk.")
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby Hatu » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:20 am

BarGamer wrote:Don IS acting rather hypocritical, here. On the one hand, the Titans created and have a use for everything. However, as we've seen, not everyone agrees as to what the Titan's will happens to be. Yes, you can make the "wolves vs mice" argument, but you could as easily make it a "Gumps vs Dwagon" argument; some units are better in the forest, some units are better in the air. Mice might be small and weak in a straight-up fight, but they can hide, burrow, and otherwise avoid the wolf. It all depends on what you're using mice FOR. (The movie example of peanut butter and nitroglycerin comes to mind.) Not all units are popped equally. And an Erfworld full of Royals? Would be rather bloodthirsty, since at least ONE side would immediately start "power-leveling," at the expense of others. Then other sides would jump in, and it'd all come crashing down. Royals are useful and necessary, if only so that there is an alternative to auto-attacking.


I tend to agree. Don King's "wolf v. mice" analogy is farily flawed. He hasn't seen a mouse hunt a wolf, therefore he decides it must be impossible for a mouse to hunt a wolf, therefore when a mouse does hunt a wolf he declares it to be an anathema. I hate that sort of reasoning.

I'm still not sure what the point of all this is. TV really didn't seem to have much use for ettiquete and royal mandate before, so it seems odd that Don King would be so persnickity about it now. Did he really drag Jillian here just to make her behave properly? I hope not.

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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby elkhantar » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:28 am

Hey, I was never saying that we should ditch the philosophical discussion, but from my humble experience, drawing a line between necessary and useful is not a cut clear issue, particularly when using the term colloquially as is being done here. Otherwise, we would have to specify what the something we're talking about is necessary for, as vdragan just made in his last post. I, personally, do not use staying alive as the premise in everyday usage, but rather if I consider the item rather handy but superfluous vs. something I'm likely to need to carry out a normal life and that would make things considerably more complicated if I had it not.

BTW, I'm not going to bet against you, because I'm pretty sure too that it's going to be quite a morally grey area, and in fact one of the things that is keeping my interest is to find out the underlying motivation in Don's "invitation" and all this display. I'm still pretty sure he wants to present her as a royal, but the why and the what for is what still eludes me. Of course, this does not imply I dislike Don, rather the opposite :D I'm curious to see what his real point is.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:43 am

I don't think that Don King actually give's a rat's boop about tea or is actually trying to be Professor Higgins to Wanda's Eliza Dolittle. He can't really want her as an ambassador or intermediary or diplomat: it wouldn't be worth his time. He wants her for something that she already has or to do something for which she is singularly suited. He does need to win her over, to get her to appreciate where he's coming from, as it were. Tea and its concomitant trappings are only a symbol of her rejection of the status quo and, yes, of her responsibility as a unit popped for leadership. Don King needs her to shift her thinking.

MoD, we may be able to keep "real-world politics" out of the discussion but it seems that we can't keep our real-world notions of morality and, in general, our real-world hangups and our desire for "everyone to just get along." It's odd to me how someone can want peace and simultaneously disdain social convention. Society is necessary for us to remain human, just as societies in the past were very much the foundation of our becoming human. We would have had to remain apes if we had not found a way to cooperate and coexist. Ritual and tradition have been our tools and even our weapons from the time we first became sapient.

And about "walking out the door," MoD... Jillian does have some sense. One, she'd run out of resources pretty soon and really has nowhere to go. Two, she wants to listen to the Don because the Don is not a friend of Stanley. Three, she's not exactly in any position to dictate terms. She's savvy enough to know that she loses nothing by listening and that she can gain quite a bit, if only in terms of information about GK and the downfall of the RCC.

We've discussed the morality behind the RCC ad nauseum. But let's not forget that Stanley apparently attacked quite a few cities and had no compunctions about taking anyone down that stood in the way of his holy vision. (I could make a reference to realpolitik here, but I trust I need not do so.)

Why is the Don hypocritical? For all I know, he has a largely indifferent attitude to the "will of the Titans." He is, however, a king with a responsibility to protect his kingdom. That, by extension, includes anything that may threaten an "international" diplomatic system or a preexisting balance of power that helped TV to prosper without facing serious conflicts.

Even a high-ranking hippiemancer understands that Erf, as it stands, is not a place in which peace has a real chance of existing. Which may or may not connect to another important point: Erf chose Parson. Erf may want to be broken, to evolve. It's that smart a world, apparently even without the active participation of the Titans. And gods, lest we forget, have funny ways of building plans that make no sense to anyone on the ground.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby fehler » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:22 pm

jkosta wrote:And now would be a good time to point out that the Titans are a bunch of Elvises.

You know: the King of Rock n' Roll.


Actually, the Titans look more like Elvis impersonators: The quintensional example of Stanley's "Anyone can be King" motif.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:25 pm

fehler wrote:
jkosta wrote:And now would be a good time to point out that the Titans are a bunch of Elvises.

You know: the King of Rock n' Roll.


Actually, the Titans look more like Elvis impersonators: The quintensional example of Stanley's "Anyone can be King" motif.

Dunno... one could the young, svelte Elvis and another can be... well, we all know how that ended.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby vdragan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:55 pm

balder wrote: (And "demagogue" may be considered a sub-class of "jerk.")


awww. not even a widdle bit of demagogy?

This thread (and most of the threads in the reactions section, actually) reminds me of the part in the official erfoworld farewell from GitP where it was mentioned that one of the difficulties encountered was that each page was magnified by the update schedule. This is what's happening here, except with almost pure text updates, so that the reactions are focused almost entirely on the story, and not at all on, for instance, the art. It must be.. interesting for rob to see his work picked at and pored over one small piece at a time, with various story and thematic possibilities discussed. kind of like painting with a gallery of (amateur) art critics sitting behind you hum-ing and haw-ing at each stroke. Of course, the basic story framework has already been decided upon, so it's not quite the same..but still. must not be that pleasant.

oh, hey. did you guys see that? that was a flawed analogy. Guess it means that it holds no water whatsoever. Analogies are supposed to illuminate one particular aspect of a situation, not be true to it completely.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:00 pm

vdragan wrote:It must be.. interesting for rob to see his work picked at and pored over one small piece at a time, with various story and thematic possibilities discussed. kind of like painting with a gallery of (amateur) art critics sitting behind you hum-ing and haw-ing at each stroke. Of course, the basic story framework has already been decided upon, so it's not quite the same..but still. must not be that pleasant.

Seems to me that it would be fun to see people trying to tease and puzzle out the mechanics and the future story lines, analyzing the motivations of the characters and guessing at the realities of Erf, and even psychoanalyzing and "profiling" his characters. If anything, I'm sure that this feedback is helpful in tweaking the story, perhaps tweaking it to better tweak our noses.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby BRC » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:18 pm

King Don is giving Jillian a very important lesson here, he's grooming her to suit his purposes.

Right now, Jillian is just a powerful front line unit and warlord. But he doesn't need that, he needs her as a royal, which means being able to "Take Tea".

Concerning Transylvito's opinions towards royalty, and the Wolf/Mice analogy. Vinny says they don't care about royalty and nobility, and yet they have it. What do you bet all those warlords are Nobles of one sort or another, they may not call each other "Duke" and "Count" and all, but they hold those titles. The simply don't see a reason to constantly flaunt them. As for King Don's metaphor, maybe he doesn't actually feel that way, but he's explaining it like that for Jillian's purposes. Jillian is almost ashamed that she's a Royal, so King Don may be trying to infect her with a little of Ansom's viewpoints on royalty. Trying to make her proud of her royal heritage so she will be willing to use that to it's full advantages.

King Don's origional plan was to claim the FAQ site for Transylvito, but with the coalition falling apart, he's going a different tract. Instead, he's going to try to convince Jillian to go to FAQ and rebuild it, restarting the kingdom as an ally of Transylvito. If he simply makes it another city, all he gets is another Transylvito city, but a new Allied capital might be much more advantageous than one city. They could pop FAQ units to complement Translevitian troops, They would get to appoint a new chief warlord, plus get all the other baseline bonuses a side gets just for existing. And what's more, consiering Jillian's mindset, all of FAQ's resources will be directed towards beating Gobwin Knob, which is a boost for Translevito. If they beat Gobwin Knob, they may end up with a powerful ally that owes them alot of favors, or they may have a weak kingdom they can swoop into and capture for themselves now that it has outlived it's usefulness.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:40 pm

which is all well and good but why does she need to take tea? she's a royal no matter what. if she walks into faq it's hers. she can still do all those things and if anything those cities could give her money and units so she can take down stanley.

BUT the cities were more or less broke. that's why jillian wasn't there, they had no method of producing their own schmukers so she was doing merc work. even if she does occupy one of them it could take ages to build a city without a treasury, and if that's the case she's going to be stuck in the city.

the only way don can sweeten this deal and make her reform FAQ is with a loan, she rapidly reforms faq, and starts spawning the oriental style units it seems to have. when she has a sizeable army of gwiffon mounted samurai, don has a merc army that owes him.

to level maybe they'll bully the carpudlians for a while and have tv chase them off every once in a while.

anyway we wont see these questions work their way out now. it's all about progressing the story from here on out this will be revealed in the story proper as a "surprise! remember me?" moment, followed by pieces of the story leading upto the events being fed to us as needed.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:42 pm

BRC wrote:King Don is giving Jillian a very important lesson here, he's grooming her to suit his purposes.

Right now, Jillian is just a powerful front line unit and warlord. But he doesn't need that, he needs her as a royal, which means being able to "Take Tea".


If this discussion were only about etiquette, then why the "may" in the line below:

Don King looked at the empty cup and saucer in front of her, tilting his head slightly at it. "Why don't you like tea, Jillian?"

Jillian glanced down briefly, her brow wrinkled. "I dunno." She looked back up at her host. "Does it matter?"

"I feel it may."


BRC wrote:King Don's origional plan was to claim the FAQ site for Transylvito, but with the coalition falling apart, he's going a different tract. Instead, he's going to try to convince Jillian to go to FAQ and rebuild it, restarting the kingdom as an ally of Transylvito. If he simply makes it another city, all he gets is another Transylvito city, but a new Allied capital might be much more advantageous than one city. They could pop FAQ units to complement Translevitian troops, They would get to appoint a new chief warlord, plus get all the other baseline bonuses a side gets just for existing. And what's more, consiering Jillian's mindset, all of FAQ's resources will be directed towards beating Gobwin Knob, which is a boost for Translevito. If they beat Gobwin Knob, they may end up with a powerful ally that owes them alot of favors, or they may have a weak kingdom they can swoop into and capture for themselves now that it has outlived it's usefulness.


Faq was poor to begin with: they needed to rent out their soldiers just to get along. It's going to be much poorer and weaker now, and TV would have to heavily subsidize that kingdom if they expect a significant number of troops. It doesn't strike me as a worthwhile investment at this point. Besides, why not just send Caesar to take the ruins and save themselves the hassle of dealing with the unbalanced, uncouth "warrior princess?" I think that Faq's existence is low on the list of matters demanding the attention of the King in the post-TBfGK Erf. Whatever troops Faq could eventually contribute to fighting Stanley are likely not worth all this.

There's more here than TV wanting a tiny ally. Don King is likely a strategic thinker, and worrying about a few extra soldiers is not his concern at this point. What he needs is information, to find out what Stanley did, what his current capabilities are, and what he may do next.
Last edited by DevilDan on Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby SteveMB » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:46 pm

moose o death wrote:which is all well and good but why does she need to take tea? she's a royal no matter what. if she walks into faq it's hers. she can still do all those things and if anything those cities could give her money and units so she can take down stanley.

It depends on exactly what objection (other than the obvious one that Stanley had attacked Transylvito) Don King has to Stanley. Is it because Stanley is not royal, or is it because he's an uncouth lout with no respect for order and tradition? If it's the latter, then Jillian (as she currently is) would be every bit as objectionable.
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