Summer Updates - 006

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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:59 am

Binty wrote:
shneekeythelost wrote:However, the problem everyone is forgetting is that Erfworld doesn't operate on Physics, it operates on Game Mechanics, which are variously interpreted by various characters which Parson has interacted with. Straining out urea and other biological waste products may not create a nitrate-rich sludge to turn into saltpeter in Erfworld because such things simply do not exist.


To some extent. I think we'll see Parson exploring this. The author is on record as saying Erfworld is not a game. In any case. I'am not wholely convinced Parson will be making gunpowder anyway.

p.s. If Parson could generate Nitric Acid in volume. The Mysterious Island anyone...
Last edited by Binty on Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Bobby Archer » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:08 am

The main problems with gunpowder as I see it seem to be time needed and usefulness. In the end, Parson has better ways of getting better results by just cutting out the middleman and using magic.

Anton Gaist wrote:I mean, Stanley betrayed Saline I.V., who was his Overlord. So what's stopping Parson from betraying Stanley?

Stanley has no Heir named that we know of. Considering he got the job after allies gacked his predecessor (even if he wasn't behind it), I doubt he'd be willing to pony up the "considerable expense" to name a new one. Especially since he doesn't seem to trust most of his units that much. Without an Heir, croaking Stanley's a death sentence to all Gobwin Knob units.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Skorj » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 am

I'm sure Parson rememebrs how to slay a Gorn - diamond bullets or no, it's something wargamer geeks just seem to know. But there's no guarentee that gunpower would actually work in Erfworld, so who knows it that idea would pay off.

The incredible breakthrough in thought that brough the rise and dominance of Western culture after the crusades was not an idea like gunpowder, but the idea that if you want to know what works, or how to make somehting better, you experiment, as opposed to looking up the rules written by the accepted experts. When coupled with an economic system where investing in new ideas could make you rich, technology was born, and the world has never been the same. You really need both to change the world, however: empiricism and great reward for risking capital on new ideas.

Parson brings the incredibly revolutionary idea of :the scientific method", but of course there's no capitalism as such. There might, however, be great military reward for backing new ideas that turn out to work, and maybe that's enough.

In any case, I love this update - Parson is clearly thinking about changing the world, but he's grown enough to realize he needs to ask both "can I?" and "should I?".
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:34 am

Bobby Archer wrote:The main problems with gunpowder as I see it seem to be time needed and usefulness.


Time is an interesting thing in Erfworld. Outside the wargame 'actions' (attack and move) time appears unlimited. Magic use within a turn is also limited. However, maybe working like Realworlders (tm) isn't time limited...
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby moose o death » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:22 am

time must flow from day to night eventually.

i have to assume it would create issues if you had a never ending turn until someone entered your battlespace. eg no time to prepare, never being able to explore past your move distance. better people than i could speculate other issues that need resolutions.

and i do agree with the point that erfworld's laws of physics don't follow ours so making gunpowder could be impossible, different or just pops if asked for. this is a world where dance fighting is not only plausible but a contingency to prepare against.

and not the agressive styles of dancing, grease, thriller and dance dance revolution. i fully expect to see ball room, ballet and various others in book 2 and beyond.

real world physics do NOT apply in erfworld. heck they are instantly clean and fully healed at the start of every turn. and despite the book not saying so i swear parson lost weight eating nothing but stupid meals. oh an pidgeon pies with a hint of walnut.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:26 am

moose o death wrote: time must flow from day to night eventually.

i have to assume it would create issues if you had a never ending turn until someone entered your battlespace. eg no time to prepare, never being able to explore past your move distance. better people than i could speculate other issues that need resolutions.


Normally a side would declare its turn over when it had done whatever the normal Erfworld mechanics allow. Their new turn would than start at dawn.

We can speculate that there maybe a time cap on a day, but none is given so far.

moose o death wrote: real world physics do NOT apply in erfworld. heck they are instantly clean and fully healed at the start of every turn. and despite the book not saying so i swear parson lost weight eating nothing but stupid meals. oh an pidgeon pies with a hint of walnut.


Your overstating here. Your observations do not preclude realworld chemistry working in Erfworld, its unknown. As Parson observes, anyone can throw a brick off a tower and have a chance of hitting someone below; they don't need to have the Archery special - physics.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Doktor Jones » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:33 am

Two observations here...

1) I think there may be gunpowder or something similar - see #108: what is the golem in the fourth panel making? He seems to be mixing a barrel of black powdery stuff with a barrel of whitish powdery stuff, and it magically redoxes.

2) Parson is contemplating the ability of non-archery units to lob projectiles... and then (assuming literal fireworks) Wanda goes setting off fireworks. I think this may turn into a "EUREKA" moment for Parson, finding some way to use fireworks to improve a non-archery unit's ranged hit chances.

My 2¢...
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby moose o death » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:29 am

Binty wrote:
Your overstating here. Your observations do not preclude realworld chemistry working in Erfworld, its unknown.


first law of chemistry is matter can neither be created or destroyed, erfworld starts every day on pretty flimsy footing with chemistry

parson my be able to invent things, and clearly the update is alluding to this being a focus on how he'll give the rules of erfworld a big F U. but don't assume erfworld will just let parson use his earthworld rules. remember the trash gets cleaned up at the end of every turn too. the likelihood parson is "fermenting" anything is pretty slim if the world itself removes it everyturn.

i actually do agree with you it's little things like arming several thousand decrypted units with blunt throwable objects that makes parson the force to be reckoned with. and i assume he will invent some weapons of war. but in all likelihood the universe he now inhabits will fight against this. the weapons may need to be re made everyturn.

in erfworld your requirements cost schmukers, you get fed, you get medical. everything is supplied to you as long as you fight and die with unwaivering loyalty. for all we know gunpowder and indeed guns could be something the tool doesn't want to invest in. pretty useless against magic anyway. more of an epic level archery unit the old guns were pretty inaccurate at the best of times. not to mention slow loading. two rounds of rifles later the archons will have annihilated entire stacks of them.

As Parson observes, anyone can throw a brick off a tower and have a chance of hitting someone below; they don't need to have the Archery special - physics.

he didn't observe, he asked what would happen.this implies not even someone living there can be sure how physics works. the first response to his question was " you wouldn't be able to" you may argue parson may not be bound by those rules but he couldn't deny stanley's orders to laugh at jokes or shut up until ordered not to. so very plausible that he literally could not throw that object had he wanted too. this is once again pointing to erfworld physics not being conventional.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby DarkNewton » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:53 am

The whole discussion around parson remembering how to make gunpowder reminded me of this time travel cheat sheet.Something everyone should make sure they keep on them just-in-case
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Anton Gaist » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:51 am

DarkNewton wrote:The whole discussion around parson remembering how to make gunpowder reminded me of this time travel cheat sheet.Something everyone should make sure they keep on them just-in-case


Oh, good one. Good one indeed.

Thing is, researching technology is an expensive and slow process. In a world were magic is readily available, I don't see much need for someone to spend turns and schmuckers building, say, a turbine to generate electricity, when a spell can do the same. Now if magic was scarce or simply unavailable, that's be a whole other story.

Now, if he could somehow come up with magic-powered war machines... say, now that would be interesting.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby parson4president » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:29 pm

lets go simple simple simple.... Parson asked about throwing a brick that is about a simple as it gets. Cavemen could throw bricks (rocks). some how we jump to gunpowder.... not to rule out the use of gunpowder but lets allow for a little growth before we go to a level of technology that is way ahead of what we have seen of erfworld. catapults, hot liquids, slings equipped on all troops. these are the first logical steps, not jumping to the conclusion of projectile evolution...

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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby atteSmythe » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:52 pm

I'm going to quote two somewhat dissimilar posts..please bear with me a moment:
raphfrk wrote:The process for manufacture of the saltpeter would get him some pretty weird reactions.

Basically, it is often made from urine and/or manure mixed with straw and left to ferment for a few months. The resulting decomposed mass (which contains lots of nitrates) is washed out with water. The water is passed through a filter containing the ashes left after burning wood (which converts the various nitrates into potassium nitrate). The resulting nitrate rich water is then left to evaporate, and the saltpeter is left as a residue.

Anton Gaist wrote:Thing is, researching technology is an expensive and slow process. In a world were magic is readily available, I don't see much need for someone to spend turns and schmuckers building, say, a turbine to generate electricity, when a spell can do the same. Now if magic was scarce or simply unavailable, that's be a whole other story.

I think one direction that the story could go is to have Parson introduce Industry to Erfworld. So far, the only industry we've seen is mining. (edit: Just remembered we've heard of farming, as well)

Fireworks leading to gunpowder would be an interesting test case. It's complicated enough to have fun with, and to show some similarities and differences between Earthworld and Erfworld. For instance, the only decay we've seen to date is the uncroaked. Everything else just depops. Perhaps gunpowder cannot be produced in the manner described above - I would expect that manure does not decay, and if 'unclaimed' by a dirtamancer simply depops. I would expect wood ash to depop as waste, in the same manner. On the other hand, if fireworks exist, perhaps they just pop...pay for them with shmuckers, and they pop with gunpowder inside of them. Parson would have to learn what can be harvested and what raw materials must be 'ordered.'

The purpose, of course, would be to artificially raise your side's production cap. Sure, magic is readily available, but a caster can only do so much in a given turn. If you're running at full capacity, that will happen every turn...but if you're not at war yet, what is your enormous standing army doing? Nothing.

What Parson would need to do is to figure out how to make the army's contribution multiplicative, not additive. Likely, the army's contribution will be relatively small compared to the magic contribution to whatever project he has in mind. The key will be coming up with something for the army to do that will ease the caster's burden in the next turn.

Then, the economics of the project come into play - the process of making improvised weapons for the troops must be less expensive than just ordering more expensive troops in the first place! I think that's an interesting aspect, but I doubt it'd make good reading. ;)
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Drissl » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:58 pm

There’s something else this information represents I haven’t seen anyone mention yet: Units can use equipment not related to their function.

Why is this important? It could be the core of Erfworld counter-intelligence tactics. (Please pardon me if I get any details incorrect)
As far as is known, units on opposing sides are identified by how they look and attack. Opposing commanders cannot see the stats of opposing forces, so they have to judge the strength and abilities of opposing forces by visual cues. If those cues are deliberately falsified, then actions taken on the opposing side will be based on misinformation.

For example, picture a squad of Piker-class infantry who have been given bows in addition to their pikes. Mix in a couple of actual archers, than have them hit an opposing stack, then immediately retreat into a forest hex. As far as the opposing side knows, they had a stack of archers stumble into them and promptly retreat. If this occurs a number of times in different areas of the same forest, the opposing commander may draw the reasonable conclusion that that forested area is filled with archers. That misinformation would change his actions, such as having him choose to divert any aerial units from moving through the forest – which would be the ultimate goal of the entire action.

Parson could do a lot of damage with such ruses – and it’s precisely the out of the box thinking he’s been seen doing.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Infidel » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:06 pm

Darkside007 wrote:
Aris Katsaris wrote:
Anton Gaist wrote:I mean, Stanley betrayed Saline I.V., who was his Overlord. So what's stopping Parson from betraying Stanley?


It's just an assumption you're making that Stanley betrayed Salive IV. It seems an obvious conclusion based on the suspiciousness of those events, but we still don't have confirmation that Stanley actually betrayed his Overlord.


Unless the writers deliberately contradict all the evidence presented, Stanley set up the revolt. I'm getting tired of the small number of people screaming "OMG SPECULATION!" every time somebody builds on something that wasn't explicitly said, but heavily implied or evidenced.


It is speculation. And unless the readers stop confusing speculation with facts, then they will be called out. This is a good thing. They are not being called out for building on something that wasn't explicitly said, they are being called out for stating their speculation in the form of a fact.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby raphfrk » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:55 pm

atteSmythe wrote:The purpose, of course, would be to artificially raise your side's production cap. Sure, magic is readily available, but a caster can only do so much in a given turn. If you're running at full capacity, that will happen every turn...but if you're not at war yet, what is your enormous standing army doing? Nothing.


Also, it is implied that it is possible to stretch out turns. Stanley has to specifically end turn. Casters use up "juice" in order to perform actions, so they are balanced and there is no advantage in letting the turn run for ages.

However, most people can move within their own zone without getting tired. If it was possible for generic units to perform assembly tasks, then there may be no hard limit to how much they can achieve per turn. Since they aren't really supposed to do these things, there would be no reason to include the hard caps.

If Stanley's patience doesn't crack, by leaving otherwise "idle" turns run their full length, Parson may be able to have his non-caster units produce lots of stuff per turn (while other turns would just be fast-ending their idle turns, waiting for stuff to pop)
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Darkside007 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:06 pm

Infidel wrote:It is speculation. And unless the readers stop confusing speculation with facts, then they will be called out. This is a good thing. They are not being called out for building on something that wasn't explicitly said, they are being called out for stating their speculation in the form of a fact.


Actually, it's mostly a case of "Just stfu" with a less common "My speculation > your speculation" appearing as well. I don't think most people are thick enough to confuse someone's speculation on the forum with in-comic fact.

Additionally, building on speculation is how deductive reasoning works. So definately a bad thing. The worst part is when is happen in the speculation forum.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby parson4president » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:53 pm

ok so to beat a dead horse about the projectile discussion... just looked at the secend summer update and on the two towers are non other then 2 catapults....
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Infidel » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:42 pm

Darkside007 wrote:
Infidel wrote:It is speculation. And unless the readers stop confusing speculation with facts, then they will be called out. This is a good thing. They are not being called out for building on something that wasn't explicitly said, they are being called out for stating their speculation in the form of a fact.


Actually, it's mostly a case of "Just stfu" with a less common "My speculation > your speculation" appearing as well. I don't think most people are thick enough to confuse someone's speculation on the forum with in-comic fact.

Additionally, building on speculation is how deductive reasoning works. So definately a bad thing. The worst part is when is happen in the speculation forum.


As long as speculation in not stated as fact, then I've no problem with it. And whatever your problem might be with some random posters, the ones quoted did not fit your "my speculation > your speculation" argument.

And I disagree, the way the comment sparking this mini-discussion was phrased pretty much shows that people can confuse speculation with fact when not phrased correctly. Yes, building on speculation is how deductive reasoning works, but deductive reasoning has certain phraseology to differentiate known facts from speculation in order to segregate the more likely from the less likely.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Darkside007 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:29 am

This isn't a high-school debate squad. The exactly correct words and phrases don't need to be used; normal people talk to be understood, not to score points on style and form.
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Re: Summer Updates - 006

Postby Binty » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:52 am

Darkside007 wrote:This isn't a high-school debate squad. The exactly correct words and phrases don't need to be used; normal people talk to be understood, not to score points on style and form.


This is a web-comic forum, so I have two points to make:

* This is a place for written debates, not casual verbal conversation
* How many 'normal' people do you think post comments here? :)
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