Why is Parson in Erfworld?

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

Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:47 pm

There is a big elephant in the room of Erfworld -- one big huge question that Parson recognizes at the end of Book 1, but does not state -- that many readers trivialize. The question is fundamental, but suspension of belief causes us to ignore it. Quite simply:

"Why is Parson in Erfworld?"

Oh, there's a simple, superficial answer to that question. A conspiracy of casters created a special spell which summoned him to fulfill their purpose. Fine. That's an answer, and if that's as deep as you want to go, it works.

But it's not enough for me. Parson doesn't talk to the casters taht summoned him, but to Erfworld itself when he declares he is not bound by the system. Parson sees the deeper truth that some force wanted him in Erfworld, not just a bunch of pacifists. There's a missing piece to the puzzle.

"Why was Erfworld built such that the barrier between it and another universe could be ripped wide open?"

And that also leads to:

"How could the Casters find out that the universe had such a flaw?"

Me? I don't think Erfworld was created such that simple magic like Predictamancy would tell its inhabitants, "You can rip the barrier to other universes." Even with a Link-up. At least, not without something influencing the spell to provide that answer. Someone may try to break the barrier to escape!

I've seen people here mock the existence of Titans. Sorry, guys, but this is a novel, and your personal views of a deity in our world doesn't hold in Rob's Erfworld. Page 1 Book 1 tells us that the Titans existed, they created the world with purpose, and some randomness was included. As another reader pointed out, it is neutral narration, uninfluenced by the inhabitants' views. It contains accurate information they did not have, and is not presented as a belief system, but as fact for us, the reader, not for the inhabitants.

If you don't think they exist because my explanation is inadequate for you, or if you think they abandoned Erfworld long ago for whatever reason, then "Buh-bye, have a nice day, don't bother replying," because it is not up for debate. I think it's adequately proven, but anyone that doesn't should treat it as an assumption. If you can't, just accept that we believe differently, and go on your way now.

So, if the Titans wanted Parson in Erfworld, the question is still "Why?" But now that we have a suspect, we can analyze the world for motivation.

What is the fundamental function of Erfworld? Obviously, War. Constant, neverending warfare. Sides rise and fall. Alliances form and dissolve. Barbarians become Overlords, just to get wiped off the face of the world. We're talking about a world where if a particular Ruler doesn't want you, you disappear. You are a slave to the orders of your Ruler. Death is capricious, merciless, instantaneous, unavoidable. The concept of "old age" doesn't exist. To us, we see a world of game rules. People aren't born, they are created, fully trained to function with none of the nasty childhood problems that might prevent the viciousness of combat, like empathy and sympathy. Only one small element of the world, the discipline called Flower Power, seems to have Peace as a goal, but they rail against a system in which they are unavoidably enslaved.

Why create a world that resembles Civilization and Axis and Allies?

Why else? To play a game. It looks like a game world because the Titans wanted to play a game.

The Judeo-Christian-Islamic paradigm promotes a one-god concept. It promotes the idea of an enemy that fights to corrupt our souls. From one (extremely callous) perspective, our world is a game where souls are the point score. Ultimately, as a creation of the Good power, the Evil power is weaker and will fail. The game is rigged in one side's favour, or so they would have us believe. The point is that the game motif can be applied to our world, too.

How many Titans are there? At least 3. Perhaps as many as 12. But there is one really big difference... they appear to be equally powerful. Adn that would make them equally intelligent. How intelligent is anyone's guess, but smart enough to create the physics of an entire world. Butthey aren't omniscient, since that would prevent any game playing: they would knwo the outcome before the table was set.

So, at what level do they play the game? When we play Civilization, we make all the decisions for all the people. Erfworld appears to be running on its own, so the intervention must be inherently subtle. For minds of demigod status, simply forcing people to your will is dissatisfactory. You want more complex, more difficult decisions to make -- a hint of insight here, a detail fo a spell's effect there. But fundamentally, even in a game where everyone is equal, where there is luck, there should be a winner.

And that is what Erfworld is missing. No one has won. No one was even coming close. Isn't the point of a game to find a winner, and then play again? This game goes on and on. Why? Because the Titans team up against each other as one gets near winning? No, I don't think so. The Titans themselves can determine the Rules by which they deal wiht each other since that isn't ingrained in the world, and so could choose to agree not to team up and let someone win if they wanted it to end. No, the problem is somewhere in the game itself. It doesn't let anyone win.

People don't see games in Beta development. When you play a game, you see it after it has been tested beyond belief. Games go through many iterations before release, and some of those are entirely unwinnable, due to an oversight in the mathematics.

In this case, we have several issues that may be wrecking the possiblity of creating a winner.

1) Royal Sides split

First and foremost, the simple fact is that Royal Sides split. This rule ensures that no Royal Side can ever win the game, because when it grows large enough to threaten a victory, it creates its own competition by dividing into two Sides.

2) Royal Sides gang up on Non-Royal Sides

A non-Royal Side could win the game, because it will not create its own competition, but the Royal Sides ensure none becomes large nough to threaten victory. Sides that can't win ensure Sides that could win will not win.

3) Revenue vs. Expenditures

The Law of Diminishing Returns dominates our Earthly economies. Adding one more worker increases company productivity by less than the percentage of the work he represents. Some games include this function, but Erfworld doesn't seem to. At least, there's no mention of it. The only place I can detect that it would be present is in the upgrading of a City. If a Level 3 City costs 2x as much as a L2 City, does it generate 2x as much revenue? The Law would say no, it would generate less than 2x. This is a game world where people can simply blink out of existence: these things don't have to make a lot of sense, so we can't know for certain until someone tells us.

The issue of expenditure is more complex than that. We know that as a unit increases in power (ie. gains levels) it costs more upkeep. This means that a Unit costs more from the treasury as it levels up. This can explain some things like why Don King is considering getting rid of Caesar, who may be extremely expensive. But what it really means is that through levelling, Units can cause their Sides' treasury to drain. Higher level units drain more revenue until their Sides' revenue turns negative. Money must be made to ensure Units don't have to be disbanded (read "murdered"), so the Side must go to War to pay its bills. Peace is not permitted on Erfworld. Even peaceful FAQ funded its population via mercenary work.

We can see Transylvito solve this problem by plundering Carpool. That's not inconsistent with Earth, if you're wondering. Julius Caesar didn't invade Gaul to conquer it, but to turn a profit he could use to gain power in Rome. The cost of raising an army was more than offset by looting for much of our history. And how does this turn out for Transylvito in the long run? All attacking units wiped out. The profit from plundering that small city would replace all of that firepower? If it didn't, they would stop risking their forces.

4) The Ineffectiveness of Fixed Defenses

Erfworld is a game where controlling Cities is important, but land is irrelevant. On Earth, the more land feeding your City, the more poeple you could feed and the larger your City would be. This would allow larger armies. To control more land, you build Forts that housed troops that protected more land that could be safely farmed.

Forts also defended against invasion. The soldiers they housed, if bypassed, could attack supply trains or hary the enemy's rear. Rations from upkeep, however, prevent the need for supply, making this function nonexistent.

In Erfworld, Farms are inside Cities. (Note that Natural Allies can survive by farming and mining, so farming outside Cities is permitted by the Rules.) Controlling terrain to farm provides no economic advantage (At best, it provides provisions that reduce upkeep.) It splits your forces, making them easier prey for Barbarians or long range enemies.

So Forts provide no military advantage, and are not built. They might be useful in restricted terrain, like the road into Gobwin Knob, but on open terrain the occupants can't interdict enemies, since they can't cross hex boundaries anytime an enemy is in their region of influence when on-Turn.

By taking defensive works out of the picture, the fights stop being anywhere, and the concentrate on fixed points. Predictable battles are cause crushingly large losses. It's called a Pyrrhic Victory... a battle win that costs you so much you lose the War. I suspect there are a lot of Pyrrhic Victories in Erfworld. To win, you need to keep your troops alive longer on average than your enemies.

5) There is Nothing to Control

The concept of power projection is fairly simple. Navies are the best example of power projection. It is the capacity to use your military power at range. Navies do this best because movement through oceans is unrestricted by terrain features, like rivers and mountains. All you need is fuel and food, and your power can threaten people across the world.

Power projection for infantry is much shorter range. Movement is slower. You aren't taking your home with you, like a sailor. The infantry walks, and then must build a home and defences every night, which reduces the amount of time you can march. But it is also more complex. The ability to interdict (intercept) the enemy as it moves through the region you can move into ensures that enemies cannot pillage the villages.that feed your Cities. Obiously, this cannot be done in Erfworld. An enemy can move in, attack, and then retreat on its own Turn when you can't move out of your Hex to get in its way. That means you have no capacity to project power, even in your own self defense. (In many games, to prevent this, you can move then attack, but afterwards, you can't move away, ensuring the local defenses can respond to your intrusion.).

With no ability to project power, controlling terrain is a meaningless concept. I know this doesn't superficially seem to prevent victory. What this does is limit the entire world to a number of fixed points where cities can exist, making the world itself illusory. Controlling points, instead of area, linearizes the system and strangles growth. On Earth, if you could double the range of your men (by mounting your troops on horses, for instance), you controlled 4x as much territory. This raises income by 300% since doubling radius quadruples area, allowing you to increase your troop capacity to 4x original, simply by being able to feed 4x as many troops. On Erfworld, mounting your troops confers no extra power. You can attack more Cities with more strength, but you control nothing more (because there is nothing to control) and your revenue does not rise by increasing the area you can control.

6) .No Technology Tree or Control over Production

This game is truly restricted to military conflicts. Other games of this nature will include Technology developments, allowing victory through creating more efficient units, or units for which the enemy has no defense. And by focusing on developing production, a Side could simply produce more units than enemies can face. In Erfworld, Cities are fixed points, with Rulers that cannot rezone to optimize production and overwhelm enemies with numbers.

Look at Stanley at the beginning of Book 1. He has an enormous treasury, enough for a fleet of Archons, but he can't spend it. His Side's production is strictly controlled, regardless of revenue, and so the treasury builds even though he is producing units as fast as permitted.

7) Weak Cities are a Money Drain

Again we look to the conflict between Transylvito and Carpool. Transylvito uses Carpool's smaller cities as leverage for tribute, or pillages the cities to increase revenue. The only way to increase your Unit production is to increase your number of cities, but smaller cities are vulnerable and a drain. In most games where this is a problem, I save up powerful forces to defend it, and the money to develop it, and then ensure when I take the city, it will be powerful and capable of self-defense before the enemy can gather enough forces to abuse it. For some reason, this is not done in Erfworld. I ahven't figured out why, yet. Some cities are limited in growth, and will never be larger than Level 3 or whatever. When there is no technology to boost the defenses of those cities, they can never be made less vulnerable without making your Main City less vulnerable. Having to defend small cities drains your treasury and prevents building up forces to swamp a nearby enemy. The constant replacement with green troops obviously prevents Side growth.

8) Losing on Defense means 100% losses

You can't leave the Hex. You can't hide until dusk falls and wait out the night. If your Leadership falls, you are even forced by the Laws of the environment to attack an enemy you see. It is impossible in a military situation to always be invulnerable, unless you have overwhelming power. What this really means is that if your units are vulnerable even once, they are destroyed and need to be replaced. This causes your firepower to constantly degrade, losing veteran troops and setting you back in a major way if you have gained an advantage. Parson points out a clear fact to that all gamers understand: no one never loses, no matter how much of a genius you are.
__

So you can't win through production. Can't win through technology. Can't win if you're Royal. Aren't allowed to win if you're not Royal. Can't strengthen cities. Can't create defenses. Will eventually see your units destroyed.

No one can win. And if Erfworld is a game for Titans, then that is a huge problem. So, why not tip the board, wipe it clean, and start again? They are god-like after all, right?

How do you prevent cheating? You lock the world so that no one can change it until the game has ended.

Whoops. It's perfectly arrogant. When someone of great intelligence and ego creates something, he does so with the self-confidence necessary to believe that if he is infallible, anything he creates is infallible. And when it isn't, there's nothing that can be done to fix it.

And that brings us back to the weakness between universes. If not created intentionally in the birth of Erfworld, this may have been the only thing they could change that would break the game and bring forth a winner to allow the Rules to be changed to allow victory..

And so that answers, "Why Parson was brought to Erfworld?"

The Titans created a game that could not be won. In order to reset the board, it must be won, so an external force needed to be brought in to win the game. To that end, the Titans used what influence they had to ensure that the right combination of people came together to create a non-Royal Side that had the power, ambition, and right combination of abilities to win, and an alien force not restricted by the Rules that could ensure Victory..

And that's all, folks!

(Ain't it enough?)

Except for one thing I suppose. Will Parson realize the board will be wiped out after he wins, before he "wins"?
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:01 am

You throw in a whole lot of unfounded assumptions.

1) You assume that the Titans are still active. Yes, the Titans created Erfworld, but there is no evidence that they are still active in the present. They could just as easily be the original force that sets everything in motion, then no longer interferes. (I suspect that they do interfere, but not in Parson's favor; more on this in a moment.)
2) You assume that the Titans created EVERYTHING. We don't know whether they created 'the whole universe' in which Erfworld exists, so we don't know whether they were able to create it in such a way that things can be summoned from other dimensions intentionally, or whether that was an inherent property of the universe in which the Titans themselves came to be.
3) You assume that the Titans want to "win". Why do the Titans want to find a final winner? They may just want to be continuously entertained. Soap operas goes on for years, with constant 'winners' and 'losers' in the story, and continuous permutations of the same basic stories, yet people watch them avidly. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey... they're the same basic event every single time, and yet people follow 'their teams' for generations. Some teams come and go, yet the games continue indefinitely.

You have correctly itemized a whole series of conditions that make ultimate victory impossible. You have, however, arrived at an entirely incorrect conclusion. The Titans don't want Parson in Erfworld to break their game. The pieces in Erfworld - primarily the Hippiemancers aided by the Predictamancers - want the game to end, so that they might live. These pieces are opposing the will of the Titans, and by summoning Parson, have set in motion events that might actually end the game.

I'm not sure that the Titans can actively interfere significantly with the game once it is set in motion at all, but if they can, they are the ones who arranged every possible outcome against Parson in Book 1 deliberately, in order to crush the side that had already acquired an attuned Tool and had the stated desire of collecting the rest. Charlie didn't invoke their wrath because he uses the 'Tool he attuned to in order to further their entertainment, by causing as much trouble as he can.

It's quite possible that the Titans are now cheating as much as they can within the framework they created: the Kingworld spell, for example, may have been Titanically inspired.

But the Titans gave their pieces Free Will, and now they can't control the results.
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby drachefly » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:48 am

I'm not sure what to think of this on the whole, but I would like to point out that there is a point to building forts - they would be a defensive hard point that houses both a defensive garrison and mobile forces capable of taking out raiders, so your outlying farms remain unmolested.
User avatar
drachefly
 
Posts: 1592
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Saladman » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:20 am

I don't think the board will be wiped out if Parson or any other one side wins. At the very least, we have no reason in story to think it will be. I agree that the normal structure and economics of the world preclude one side winning.

I speculate the end game is for Parson, directing the attuned Arkentools, to either unlock some hidden content or flat-out rewrite the rules of the game-universe to break the can't-profit dynamic, probably by unlocking or creating "citizen" units to fill up all those empty city houses, and work in the empty butcher's shop, treasury and jail that warlords managing cities just look in on. Kind of upgrading the whole world from Warlords to Civilization.

There's a potential hint in the word Decrypted - re-animated dead units with their full previous stats and no upkeep or decay. It could be they literally are decrypted out of the world's coded high score list. (And that raises the possibility that dusting is likewise literal, that a croaked Decrypted isn't just dead again but erased from the archives. Shivery stuff.) And that's just one Arkentool attuned to an appropriate caster. Who knows what all four together could do or unlock.

---

Kreistor wrote:In Erfworld, Farms are inside Cities. (Note that Natural Allies can survive by farming and mining, so farming outside Cities is permitted by the Rules.) Controlling terrain to farm provides no economic advantage (At best, it provides provisions that reduce upkeep.) It splits your forces, making them easier prey for Barbarians or long range enemies.


This is not quite correct. Farms are found outside of cities.

summer update 33 wrote:The city hove into view as their stack crossed hexes. It was a Level Two, set on a low green hill. Its outer walls were little more than a man-height ring of stones on an earthen berm, with a front gate of wrought iron, flanked by stone blockhouses. Its garrison was a fort of logs around a round stone tower with a wooden roof. There was an orchard and a water mill outside the city, just above a ford in the brook.
...
He circled over the rows of green rye beside the road. The farms around this city were its real value. It would be good to reclaim them for Gobwin Knob.
...
She did not so much as nod, but he sensed her acknowledgment. One hex to go. They would not negotiate. They would break down the gate, and take the first of many, many cities. Maybe all the cities in the world.


My emphasis added - it's a little ambivalent, but it looks to me like farms and fields can be found not just outside the walls but outside the hexes of cities. "Nearest city" in the following suggests that also.

summer update 36 wrote:And there was also a slaughterhouse and smokehouse. This struck Parson as particularly weird, because of how farms worked. As he understood it, if you had a farm, then one turn a piglet would pop on your farm. It would live there for a few turns, becoming a bigger pig each turn. Then at the start of another turn, it would depop and various pig-related foods would pop in the larder of the nearest city and/or the capital.

Gobwin Knob's slaughterhouse stood clean and empty, fresh sawdust on the bloodless floor.

But he had to go and look at it, or it wouldn't "work" as efficiently. They would get more bacon next turn because he had walked in and out of the slaughterhouse this turn. Or possibly the act looking at it would doom the pigs, cows and chickens on some farm. He wasn't really sure.


Though I agree Erfworlders do seem to treat farms as a fixed commodity. It's not clear whether they're truly hard-wired on the map, whether you could expand farming but it's cost-prohibitive compared to raiding, or whether Erfworlders just can't conceptualize it to do it. In any case it'd be interesting to see what a tri-mancer linkup with a Dirtamancer and Hippiemancer could do to create orchards and fields (an idea I'm not the first to have).

More broadly, provisions off-setting upkeep is nothing to scorn. Units being able to support themselves by mining, farming or foraging (as Jetstone's were doing even after they dismissed their natural allies) means that provisions can entirely replace Schmuckers for upkeep, not merely reduce it, at least for some units. Probably that falls apart for casters and anything else as expensive.

---

Despite my nit-picks, I'm in broad agreement that Parson was summoned for something. I'm inclined to take Wanda's assertion that "You didn't wish for Erfworld. Erfworld wished for you." as true. Maybe biased, or more correct than she knows, but not wrong. Possibly Erf itself, in a kind of Gaia sense, is rebelling against the rules set by the Titans so long ago. Or is even playing against them directly, if they're still involved. My own unsupported guess has been that they set it up but lost interest, moved on, or perhaps watch it play out independently.

In one sense we may not know exactly and officially what that for is, but in another sense I don't think it's such a great mystery. It is, broadly, to break war, to break perhaps the very world, or at least it's normal conventions, to really win and to bring peace thereby. I think the Grand Abbie, the Predictomancers and even Wanda are all right to some degree, even if they have hold of different pieces of the elephant. Throw the Thinkamancers in there too, since Charlie does seem to be so invested in business as usual.
Saladman
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:46 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:36 am

Saladman, Parson describes in your quote needing to visit those farms to make them more efficient. He was Garrison at the time he wrote that, so he couldn't leave the City, not even step beyond the walls. Gobwin Knob's farms, therefore, must be inside the City.

Smaller cities may have farms outside the walls, but they still must be inside the City Hex in order to be visited by a Warlord assigned to this task.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:19 am

MarbitChow wrote:You throw in a whole lot of unfounded assumptions.

1) You assume that the Titans are still active. Yes, the Titans created Erfworld, but there is no evidence that they are still active in the present. They could just as easily be the original force that sets everything in motion, then no longer interferes. (I suspect that they do interfere, but not in Parson's favor; more on this in a moment.)


Considering Erfworld is a vicious world of mass enslavement and constant war, you're describing some pretty malevolent beings here.

2) You assume that the Titans created EVERYTHING. We don't know whether they created 'the whole universe' in which Erfworld exists, so we don't know whether they were able to create it in such a way that things can be summoned from other dimensions intentionally, or whether that was an inherent property of the universe in which the Titans themselves came to be.


Occam's Razor. We have no indication of any force powerful enough to influence the Titan's creation. Since there are an infinite number of possible things that could exist fr which there is no evidence against their existence, I don't consider such speculations. My assumption is not that there is no force against the Titans, my assumption is that anything that does exist will have evidence presented to us to prove their existence.

3) You assume that the Titans want to "win". Why do the Titans want to find a final winner? They may just want to be continuously entertained. Soap operas goes on for years, with constant 'winners' and 'losers' in the story, and continuous permutations of the same basic stories, yet people watch them avidly. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey... they're the same basic event every single time, and yet people follow 'their teams' for generations. Some teams come and go, yet the games continue indefinitely.


No, it isn't an assumption. That theory forms from extending the game world motif. Basically:
1) Erfworld bears many characteristics of a world created as a game. Assume it is a game.
2) Games must have players or it isn't a game.
3) The only known entities that could play the game are the Titans
Therefore: 4) The Titans are playing a game.
5) People play games to win.
Therefore: 6) The Titans are competing against each other to win the game.

You have correctly itemized a whole series of conditions that make ultimate victory impossible. You have, however, arrived at an entirely incorrect conclusion. The Titans don't want Parson in Erfworld to break their game. The pieces in Erfworld - primarily the Hippiemancers aided by the Predictamancers - want the game to end, so that they might live. These pieces are opposing the will of the Titans, and by summoning Parson, have set in motion events that might actually end the game.


Which doens't explain why the Titans permitted the game world to tell the pieces that there is a hole in the barrier between universes.

I'm not sure that the Titans can actively interfere significantly with the game once it is set in motion at all, but if they can, they are the ones who arranged every possible outcome against Parson in Book 1 deliberately,


I think yo're trying to say that the Titans ensured Parson was summoned into a nightmare scenario in order to try to prevent him from influencing the world by destroying him? Under that theory, the Titans want the world to retain the status quo of viciousness and malevolence. Erfworld is, then, hell, designed to torture the inhabitants with lives of pain and horror. Perhaps its the Judeo-Christian in me that finds it entirely unsatisfying to believe in creatures that want such wretchedness being capable of creating anything with Erfworld's natural beauty. (the lakes, streams, sunsets, rainbows, etc.).

But the Titans gave their pieces Free Will, and now they can't control the results.


Why not? Under my scenario, the Titans locked themselves out of direct influence on the world to prevent cheating by the players. Your view is that the Titans are amused by the inhabitants' struggles. What do they fear that would cause them to lock themselves away from altering the world, the way gamers might? Your Titans aren't personally invested in anyone, so someone altering the world in some way, and they might actually be even more amused by creating specific scenarios to watch the hilarious endeavors as the victims tried to find a way out of it. Under your concept, the Titans should be able to flcik parson back to Earth anytime they want.You view Erfworld as a cruel sitcom, so the idea of writers creating situations for the amusement of the viewers should prevent the lockdown you need that keeps the Titans from fixing the problem you think Parson represents.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:54 am

Kreistor wrote:No, it isn't an assumption. That theory forms from extending the game world motif. Basically:
Therefore: 4) The Titans are playing a game.
Therefore: 6) The Titans are competing against each other to win the game.

MMO Games create a persistent world in which their are continuous winners and losers, and yet the world continues without a game-ending "winner". If the Titans are 'players', the MMO motif can explain a perpetual Erfworld. If they are 'observers', the Sports motif describes a perpetual Erfworld. The assumption that the Titans desire a final victory condition does not automatically follow. You are choosing to impose it.

Kreistor wrote:Which doens't explain why the Titans permitted the game world to tell the pieces that there is a hole in the barrier between universes.

If the Titans are limited to the single universe of Erfworld, they do not have control over the interaction between universes. The Titans created Erfworld, but they may not have created the universe in which Erfworld exists. (They made the game, not the operating system...) The Titans have not been shown to be omniscient.

Kreistor wrote:I think yo're trying to say that the Titans ensured Parson was summoned into a nightmare scenario in order to try to prevent him from influencing the world by destroying him? Under that theory, the Titans want the world to retain the status quo of viciousness and malevolence. Erfworld is, then, hell, designed to torture the inhabitants with lives of pain and horror. Perhaps its the Judeo-Christian in me that finds it entirely unsatisfying to believe in creatures that want such wretchedness being capable of creating anything with Erfworld's natural beauty. (the lakes, streams, sunsets, rainbows, etc.).

I'm saying that Parson's summoning is NOT the will of the Titans. It is the will of the inhabitants, living in a world created by malevolent deities. Take care to avoid equating the Titans to Jehovah. The Titans are fallible (one dropped gem accidentally), while Jehovah is not.

At the end of Book 1, Parson rages against a world that can allow mass slaughter to exist but censors verbal obscenities. This attitude seems to match those of some religious elements, who object to being exposed to obscenities but have no issue waging war against other religions.
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby kagato23 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:42 pm

One big assumption here I'm seeing is that people assume parson is the first.

While I suspect his indeed the first from his particular world... consider the big moment of PLOT, when Lord Stanley gave wanda her instructions.

He specified things. Has to breathe air, has to speak language. Little things, but important that a less then brilliant man knew to ask these.

I don't think parson is the first summoned. The fact Stanley even had something to say about the basics meant he was aware of summoning going across worlds. Again, since he is not the most forward thinking man, I have to assume it's something he got knowledge of rather then reasons through.

There probably have been incidents in the past, on lower-level summoning spells. The warlord who's head exploded after his first breath. The caster who's voice sounded like a dwagon and who disbanded the next turn because she couldn't obey her warlord (or, as the some suspected, couldn't even understand him). The tentacled thing that spoke just fine but was completely incapacitatingly bonkers, screaming to unknown titans that there weren't enough angles in this world. The barbarian warlord who had been a heir to the side they conquered some 5score turns ago... wow, he just turned on his first engagement there.

I'm thinking Stanley heard stories. This has been done before, summoning. Just not the PERFECT summon.
Portal X Parson OTP!
User avatar
kagato23
I am a Tool!
I am a Tool!
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:31 pm

MarbitChow wrote:MMO Games create a persistent world in which their are continuous winners and losers, and yet the world continues without a game-ending "winner". If the Titans are 'players', the MMO motif can explain a perpetual Erfworld.


Yes, it does; however, this game does not resemble an MMO. Combat is mass, with a few individuals given a higher place. That is more consistent with a Strategy game like Axis and Allies/Squad Leader than WoW or EQ, which is about individual conflict without the mass combat. If this was an MMORPG, you'd have a much greater prevalence individuals operating alone to individual success. Sorry, but that model just doesn't fit as well as the strategy game model.

Kreistor wrote:Which doens't explain why the Titans permitted the game world to tell the pieces that there is a hole in the barrier between universes.

If the Titans are limited to the single universe of Erfworld, they do not have control over the interaction between universes. The Titans created Erfworld, but they may not have created the universe in which Erfworld exists. (They made the game, not the operating system...) The Titans have not been shown to be omniscient.


But what they do have control over is the magic that tells Casters what is possible. Even if the barrier has a flaw, they can ensure the magic they create does not inform the players of that flaw, or backlashes against anyone that attempts to exploit the flaw. they can protect it, if they want it protected.

I'm saying that Parson's summoning is NOT the will of the Titans. It is the will of the inhabitants, living in a world created by malevolent deities. Take care to avoid equating the Titans to Jehovah. The Titans are fallible (one dropped gem accidentally), while Jehovah is not.


Fine, but it has noting to do with my theory. Make a thread for your own and present your case, so that we can all analyze your thoughts. This is about my theory, not yours. I began by acknowledging that there was insufficient information to prove my case, so you're not beating on a point that I don't already know quite well. I know alternate theories exist, and that we're not done gathering facts yet.

At the end of Book 1, Parson rages against a world that can allow mass slaughter to exist but censors verbal obscenities. This attitude seems to match those of some religious elements, who object to being exposed to obscenities but have no issue waging war against other religions.


Don't care. Doesn't affect my points. Go stick your neck out in your own thread. I've already presented what I believe Parson was thinking, and it has nothing to do with religion. He recognizes that someone is playing a game and telling them he's playing, too. Nothing religious about that. Why scream that he's a "player" if he's not casting down the gauntlet to the other players?

Kagato23 wrote:One big assumption here I'm seeing is that people assume parson is the first.


No, that isn't the assumption. AS I told MarbitChow, the assumption is that any relevant facts will have evidence attached. If there is no evidence against something occurring, and no evidence for, it is not an assumption that it doesn't exist, but an assumption that all things that lack pro and con evidence don't exist. If I accepted your "assumption" claim, then there are an infinite number of other possibly unprovables that I am assuming don't exist, too.

I completely disagree that a previous alien summon would in any way affect my theory. That someone else was summoned to Erfworld first does not change why Parson was summoned. That Prometheus was summoned to teach the Erfworlders how to make fire doesn't mean Parson was summoned to teach them to make fire, too.

Sorry, but it really is an irrelevant belief that has no impact on the comic nor on my theory.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Lamech » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:02 pm

Kreistor wrote:Saladman, Parson describes in your quote needing to visit those farms to make them more efficient. He was Garrison at the time he wrote that, so he couldn't leave the City, not even step beyond the walls. Gobwin Knob's farms, therefore, must be inside the City.

Smaller cities may have farms outside the walls, but they still must be inside the City Hex in order to be visited by a Warlord assigned to this task.
No in the quote Parson looked at "it". Both the thing before and after the "it" that make any sense are the slaughter house.
But he had to go and look at it, or it wouldn't "work" as efficiently. They would get more bacon next turn because he had walked in and out of the slaughterhouse this turn. Or possibly the act looking at it would doom the pigs, cows and chickens on some farm. He wasn't really sure.
So I suspect Parson is referring to the slaughterhouse and NOT the farms.

Also you point out a bunch of flaws, preventing Erfworld from ever ending, but I think these can be overcome by a clever unit.
1) Royal Sides split

First and foremost, the simple fact is that Royal Sides split. This rule ensures that no Royal Side can ever win the game, because when it grows large enough to threaten a victory, it creates its own competition by dividing into two Sides.
This can be overcome. Place a few suggestion and similar spells on who the new king/queen. Or just use a decrypted Tram for the King. Boom! Loyal sub-side. Or just keep the king in your dungeons. Then you can have a side under your control, and you get all the benefits of the split. Translovito tried something similar, (but wasn't you know effective about it.)

2) Royal Sides gang up on Non-Royal Sides

A non-Royal Side could win the game, because it will not create its own competition, but the Royal Sides ensure none becomes large nough to threaten victory. Sides that can't win ensure Sides that could win will not win.
Fix'd already. GK is getting ganged up on and it doesn't matter. No one is ganging up on Charlie.


Erfworld is a game where controlling Cities is important, but land is irrelevant. On Earth, the more land feeding your City, the more poeple you could feed and the larger your City would be. This would allow larger armies. To control more land, you build Forts that housed troops that protected more land that could be safely farmed.

Forts also defended against invasion. The soldiers they housed, if bypassed, could attack supply trains or hary the enemy's rear. Rations from upkeep, however, prevent the need for supply, making this function nonexistent.

In Erfworld, Farms are inside Cities. (Note that Natural Allies can survive by farming and mining, so farming outside Cities is permitted by the Rules.) Controlling terrain to farm provides no economic advantage (At best, it provides provisions that reduce upkeep.) It splits your forces, making them easier prey for Barbarians or long range enemies.
No. We know natural allies can farm in the wild, and its really strongly implied that there are farms outside the city. But we don't know enough about farms/mines, to really understand this. I suppose we do know that the hippiemancers maintain farms and they require maintenance. (Sizemore has rice patties to maintain.) Presumably those are artificial, but we don't know about other farms. And the artificial farms we have no idea what their requirements are, which may make artificial farms prohibitive (or farms in non-ideal terrain). For example, GK hasn't built farms all over the city.

Also one thing that area of control does give you is more tamable units. More bats, more dwagons, more breakable feral mounts ect. Although costs may prohibit making large-scale use of this. Or costs might simply make invading your neighbor easier.

6) .No Technology Tree or Control over Production
This is interesting, we certainly see many flavours of production. Parson's armor, Hippie-farms, Sizemore mining, casters making items ect. Some of those things have at least a short tree. Magic-->Rice patties-->Rice. And we see minor inventions, such as new spells or the jetpack. Or Parsons idea of turnamancer+dittomancer--> free upkeep. So optimization is possible, but the degree is unknown.

I do note that a bigger problem both with farms and the like and general invention was mentioned in a text update. Tram was pondering improving Erfworld. A near by warlord shot this down as silly trying to improve on what the titans made.

Huh, Parson seems to be the key to all these problems.
Lamech
 
Posts: 1378
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:23 am

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:47 pm

Kreistor wrote:Yes, it does; however, this game does not resemble an MMO. Combat is mass, with a few individuals given a higher place. That is more consistent with a Strategy game like Axis and Allies/Squad Leader than WoW or EQ, which is about individual conflict without the mass combat. If this was an MMORPG, you'd have a much greater prevalence individuals operating alone to individual success. Sorry, but that model just doesn't fit as well as the strategy game model.

I didn't say an MMORPG, although I could easily see such a game where every commander and overlord was played by a player. There are MMO games where sides are built, with each player running a side. (Google MMO Strategy to find dozens.) You can't win such games, and those are closer to the Erfworld model. My point being, your assumption that the Titans have set up a world where they want a winner is flawed, and the evidence you've enumerated actually shows that the intention of the creation is more likely to be continuous, eternal warfare.

Kreistor wrote:But what they do have control over is the magic that tells Casters what is possible. Even if the barrier has a flaw, they can ensure the magic they create does not inform the players of that flaw, or backlashes against anyone that attempts to exploit the flaw. they can protect it, if they want it protected.

You're assuming omniscience on the part of the Titans. Assuming that they created the magic system that exists in Erfworld, and made it such that it can interact with or modify Erfworld reality in endless combinations, then it may be that they did not foresee the ability to summon items from 'elsewhere' - or it may be that the ability to summon items from elsewhere is inherent in the nature of the Universe. Perhaps every unit popped into existence actually lives an entire life prior to being popped, but has it's memory (but not knowledge) erased.The point is that, just because the Titans 'allowed' the ability to summon Parson does not mean that they approve or even desire his summons. To use a Christian theology simile, Jehovah allows humans to commit evil, after all, but not desire that outcome.
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:05 pm

Lamech wrote:
Kreistor wrote:Saladman, Parson describes in your quote needing to visit those farms to make them more efficient. He was Garrison at the time he wrote that, so he couldn't leave the City, not even step beyond the walls. Gobwin Knob's farms, therefore, must be inside the City.

Smaller cities may have farms outside the walls, but they still must be inside the City Hex in order to be visited by a Warlord assigned to this task.
No in the quote Parson looked at "it". Both the thing before and after the "it" that make any sense are the slaughter house.
But he had to go and look at it, or it wouldn't "work" as efficiently. They would get more bacon next turn because he had walked in and out of the slaughterhouse this turn. Or possibly the act looking at it would doom the pigs, cows and chickens on some farm. He wasn't really sure.
So I suspect Parson is referring to the slaughterhouse and NOT the farms.


Fine. But it's still irrelevant. It's not the type of Farming that I'm talking about. I'm talking about assigning your Units to Farm. The farms that are already present operate without being populated, so the enemy can't slaughter your peasants. Maybe it can burn down the farms and stop a turns worth of stuff going to your city's larder, but it will rebuild itself if it truly is outside the city. Forts are still irrelevant, because you aren't responsible for farm maintenance.

1) Royal Sides split

This can be overcome. Place a few suggestion and similar spells on who the new king/queen. Or just use a decrypted Tram for the King. Boom! Loyal sub-side. Or just keep the king in your dungeons. Then you can have a side under your control, and you get all the benefits of the split. Translovito tried something similar, (but wasn't you know effective about it.)


None of those have been confirmed to work. Since the King decides on just about everything related to production, I suspect capturing him will shut all of the cities down.

But would having other sides under your thumb count as a "win", anyway?

And remember that Units for the Side that the King has been captured can feel that it is in the King's best interest to rescue him, so you may find them constantly attacking your city, instead of doing as they are told.

Killing an Heir ends the "Heir" state: we know that from Ansom's death. Decryption would not necessarily restore it. Since the Decrypted is on the wrong Side, I would expect it to be an invalid target for the Heir state.

2) Royal Sides gang up on Non-Royal Sides

Fix'd already. GK is getting ganged up on and it doesn't matter. No one is ganging up on Charlie.


Parson is the exception to all Rules. GK is not evidence of others being able to overcome something.

No. We know natural allies can farm in the wild, and its really strongly implied that there are farms outside the city. But we don't know enough about farms/mines, to really understand this. I suppose we do know that the hippiemancers maintain farms and they require maintenance. (Sizemore has rice patties to maintain.) Presumably those are artificial, but we don't know about other farms. And the artificial farms we have no idea what their requirements are, which may make artificial farms prohibitive (or farms in non-ideal terrain). For example, GK hasn't built farms all over the city.


Excellent example. Others, besides Natural Allies, can Farm. Supports my point. They don't. Why? See original post which was written assuming they could.

Also one thing that area of control does give you is more tamable units. More bats, more dwagons, more breakable feral mounts ect. Although costs may prohibit making large-scale use of this. Or costs might simply make invading your neighbor easier.


Does not require area of control. Only requires visitation by Units capable of taming them. One enemy can only prevent you from Taming in one Hex, but you can visit as many as you have Move in order to Tame.

6) .No Technology Tree or Control over Production

This is interesting, we certainly see many flavours of production. Parson's armor, Hippie-farms, Sizemore mining, casters making items ect. Some of those things have at least a short tree. Magic-->Rice patties-->Rice. And we see minor inventions, such as new spells or the jetpack. Or Parsons idea of turnamancer+dittomancer--> free upkeep. So optimization is possible, but the degree is unknown.


Typically, spells are designed to be somewhat balanced. It would need to be proven that the Jetpack confers more or less advantage than an equivalent expenditure on a Battle Bear. (Note that you need to ensure Unit balance, too. Shortcake like Bears, Ace Jetpacks, so Shortcake may simply be better at BEars than Ace, while Ace is better at Jetpacks than Shortcake. Caasters must be reasonably balanced for such tests.)

But that's not exactly what I'm talking about. In Civilzation it was called Hording and later Zerging once Starcraft popped. You build lots of production facilities for simple, cheap units and flood your enemy, while wasting nothing on tech tree advancement, and just take huge amounts of terrain fast, which gives you a gross advantage in natural resources, so that you can produce even more units faster. You swamp the enemy with production. The danger was that an enemy would get to a defense that your units couldn't overwhelm, and then his few, overpowering units race back through your useless horde. Stanley can't command his city to produce buildings that increase Spidew production, and that's what he would need to use production to win.

[quote[I do note that a bigger problem both with farms and the like and general invention was mentioned in a text update. Tram was pondering improving Erfworld. A near by warlord shot this down as silly trying to improve on what the titans made. [/quote]

It was Antium.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2010-02-20.png

But that's not what was said.

"You know what I've always thought?" said Tramennis. "I've always suspected that perhaps it's up to us to improve upon it."

"Improve...upon the Titans' work?" said the Duke dubiously. "Highness, we are the Titans' work."

"I know! But perhaps that's the real test. Perhaps they want--"


Nothing about being silly.

Huh, Parson seems to be the key to all these problems.


He has the relevant knowledge of a universe where problems can be overcome. The Erfworlders are born knowing everything they need, so they don't seem to try to extend tehir knowledge. What's in their libraries? Not books of learning.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:21 pm

MarbitChow wrote:I didn't say an MMORPG, although I could easily see such a game where every commander and overlord was played by a player. There are MMO games where sides are built, with each player running a side. (Google MMO Strategy to find dozens.) You can't win such games, and those are closer to the Erfworld model. My point being, your assumption that the Titans have set up a world where they want a winner is flawed, and the evidence you've enumerated actually shows that the intention of the creation is more likely to be continuous, eternal warfare.


Actually, I play one. You're describing games where you can lose (if you stop playing or get curb stomped), but can't win (because you can't capture enemy cities). This bears no resemblance to Erfworld, where Sides do capture cities, and can, superficially, win by conquering all. So, again, your mocel lacks key features that Erfworld contains. Civilization and Axis and Allies are still much better models.

You're assuming omniscience on the part of the Titans.


Not omniscience. You don't need to know everything to know some things.

Assuming that they created the magic system that exists in Erfworld,


Clearly stated as an assumption in the first post. Will not defend this point.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:05 pm

Kreistor wrote:This bears no resemblance to Erfworld, where Sides do capture cities, and can, superficially, win by conquering all. So, again, your mocel lacks key features that Erfworld contains. Civilization and Axis and Allies are still much better models.

Lord of Ultima allows you to capture cities, assuming that both you and the other player has built a castle (essentially, turned on the PVP flag). Neither Civ nor Axis & Allies are persistent MMOs.

Kreistor wrote:
Assuming that they created the magic system that exists in Erfworld,

Clearly stated as an assumption in the first post. Will not defend this point.

You completely misread the comment, it seems. On the assumption that the Titans made the magic system, and it's not an inherent part of the universe in which Erfworld resides, it doesn't necessarily follow that they desire, or were even able to foresee, all possible actions that resulted from their creation of such a system:

"The point is that, just because the Titans 'allowed' the ability to summon Parson does not mean that they approve or even desire his summons. To use a Christian theology simile, Jehovah allows humans to commit evil, after all, but not desire that outcome." And Jehovah is omniscient; we have no evidence that the Titans are, so we don't know whether they realized their system was capable of such a summons. Perhaps they are only finding out now, through play-testing.
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:31 am

MarbitChow wrote:Lord of Ultima allows you to capture cities, assuming that both you and the other player has built a castle (essentially, turned on the PVP flag). Neither Civ nor Axis & Allies are persistent MMOs.


I didn't say they were MMO's. I just said they bore more traits in common. WE're looking at a max of 16 Titans. That's not enough for the "massively" part of MMO. But that's semantics and irrelevant.

SO, could you bring that point about "Lord of Ultima" back to your original point of an MMO basis with an intent that Erfworld is not intended to be won? Because once you add the capacity to capture cities, the game can now be won in theory, and is not necessarily intended to never be won. In other words, your example undermines your point that the game isn't supposed to be won, because now it can, regardless of how difficult that may be..

You completely misread the comment, it seems. On the assumption that the Titans made the magic system, and it's not an inherent part of the universe in which Erfworld resides, it doesn't necessarily follow that they desire, or were even able to foresee, all possible actions that resulted from their creation of such a system:


I think that was my point. You just want them to have had different unintended consequences from me.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:02 am

Kreistor wrote:SO, could you bring that point about "Lord of Ultima" back to your original point of an MMO basis with an intent that Erfworld is not intended to be won? Because once you add the capacity to capture cities, the game can now be won in theory, and is not necessarily intended to never be won. In other words, your example undermines your point that the game isn't supposed to be won, because now it can, regardless of how difficult that may be..

Any game with diminishing returns (where each level requires an exponential increase in resources from the previous level) cannot be won unless the number of players are relatively small (under 10ish). Lord of Ultima is such a game, and we have some indications that Erfworld is as well (Parson mentions that the number of cities they are holding have reached the point of diminishing returns, which is a similar concept).

But that's not the point. The point is that NO persistent world game can be won unless it's been intentionally designed with clear, achievable victory conditions, and I'm not aware of any that have been created as such to date (maybe Warhammer? - but that splits people clearly into one of two or three sides). The very points you enumerate are all elements that I would expect to find intentionally embedded into a game that was not supposed to be able to be won.

Kreistor wrote:I think that was my point. You just want them to have had different unintended consequences from me.

I guess I'm just amazed at how you can look at a world that looks as if it were specifically, intentionally designed for continuous warfare with no possibility of winners, and somehow leap to the conclusion that the creators did not intend for that to be the case. You seem to want to believe that the Titans are NOT malicious in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, which you have painstakingly enumerated in your original post.

I think the ability to summon Parson was an unintended consequence. I think that continuous violent conflict in Erfworld is NOT an unintended consequence - I believe that it is the true goal of the original creators.

The image of Titans you create is one in which they look over their creation and think "what have we done?" and allow for Parson to enter, in order to right the scales and allow the game to come to a final conclusion.
I see Erfworld as a realm in which immortal beings create endless conflict for their own amusement, and believe that Parson threats to break that pattern and eventually eliminate the conflict, thus ending their entertainment.
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby mortissimus » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:33 am

5) People play games to win.


Or just for fun

persistent world game


This got me thinking. Really long term, Erfworld is going to experience a shortage of gems as those do not respawn. Depending on how much mining means to the Erf-economics, this might mean that the game winds down into a lull with small garrisons provided for by farms and more expensive units like warlords or casters simply being uneconomical. In Dune2 (ancient history of real-time strategy) if you lost a map you could later return to it, but the spice that was mined the first time around would be gone. IIRC, zerg-rush (or just "rush" as it was known in those pre-Starcraft days) was then the only strategy, sending even the harvesters in to draw fire away from the useful units. Anyway, that was only possible due to there being just two players on each map.
mortissimus
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:04 am

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:37 am

MarbitChow wrote:But that's not the point. The point is that NO persistent world game can be won unless it's been intentionally designed with clear, achievable victory conditions, and I'm not aware of any that have been created as such to date (maybe Warhammer? - but that splits people clearly into one of two or three sides). The very points you enumerate are all elements that I would expect to find intentionally embedded into a game that was not supposed to be able to be won.


No, I don't agree. No single point I make is adequate to, on its own, prevent victory. It's the cumulative effort that reduces the probability of Victory to nothing. If you wanted to prevent Victory, you generally put one solid unwinnable effect in the game.

Kreistor wrote:I think the ability to summon Parson was an unintended consequence. I think that continuous violent conflict in Erfworld is NOT an unintended consequence - I believe that it is the true goal of the original creators.


I don't disagree that continual violence is the intent, at some level. I only think they intended there to be a winner, a board wipe, and a restart periodically.

The image of Titans you create is one in which they look over their creation and think "what have we done?" and allow for Parson to enter, in order to right the scales and allow the game to come to a final conclusion.


And a Titanic victor declared, the game reset, and restarted.

I see Erfworld as a realm in which immortal beings create endless conflict for their own amusement, and believe that Parson threats to break that pattern and eventually eliminate the conflict, thus ending their entertainment.


Okay, let's look at that. Your Titans want a state of permanent conflict. I have a number of points that I think are inconsistent with that.

1) No non-combatants

Farmers, blacksmiths, butchers... the only positions people fill are those directly involved in combat, those that produce weapons of war, and those that work directly with the Ruler. If you want a place of merciless, continual conflict, why remove the farmers from the world? They would be massacred regularly as armies passed by to reduce the City's food intake. Sure, they can burn down a farm, but with no people there's less murder.

2) No peasants means no rebellion

Rebellions are a great source of violence. We can set up game rules that ensure conflict between the Ruler and his people.

3) Absolute obedience by Units to Ruler

No internal strife over succession. In fact, the Side ends without an Heir. A source for intrigue strangled.

4) Disbanding is clean.

Disbanding means instant depop with no body., Where's the merciless demand for blood? If we are that malicious, shouldn't we be forcing the Ruler to execute those he can no longer afford to pay?

___

You see, your version of the Titans are inconsistent. They are malicious, but have removed some of the most malicious things from the world. If they were that malicious, why not just create a world where all humans pop and are tortured by demons for years before dying? That's much more malicious. Your Titans want to be entertained, but they removed the best sources of struggle.

There's only one goal I could really come up with for your version, and that is that the Titans for some reason need the souls of combatants the same way the Norse Gods did. My problem there is that they don't need to put them through this existence. They pop humans with full knowledge of what they need. Units that pop with full knowledge of the way the world works can also be created with full knowledge of how to fight, and so there's no point to the actual conflict. POp combat veterans instead of greenhorns.

So, no, I don't think "entertainment" is their ultimate goal. They've removed the best entertainments, and focused on one type of comflict, even going so far as to make rebellion against the Ruler nigh impossible.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:24 pm

Kreistor wrote:No single point I make is adequate to, on its own, prevent victory. It's the cumulative effort that reduces the probability of Victory to nothing. If you wanted to prevent Victory, you generally put one solid unwinnable effect in the game.

Again, you're making assumptions. The Titans are intelligent enough to create all of Erfworld, but not intelligent enough to see that a limited collection of fundamental elements of the creation prevent victory, when we can clearly see that this is the case? I'm not buying it.


Kreistor wrote:Okay, let's look at that. Your Titans want a state of permanent conflict. I have a number of points that I think are inconsistent with that.
1) No non-combatants
2) No peasants means no rebellion
3) Absolute obedience by Units to Ruler
4) Disbanding is clean.


You're assuming malicious automatically means evil - you're not allowing for a middle ground. People watch boxing - a violent conflict between two skilled opponents. People don't generally want to watch Mike Tyson beat up a girl scout. My version of the Titans want continuous conflict, not continuous slaughter. The two are not the same thing.

Kreistor wrote:You see, your version of the Titans are inconsistent. They are malicious, but have removed some of the most malicious things from the world. If they were that malicious, why not just create a world where all humans pop and are tortured by demons for years before dying? That's much more malicious. Your Titans want to be entertained, but they removed the best sources of struggle.


I said that they were malicious, not diabolical. I don't think they revel in suffering - they simply enjoy conflict. I'm only using 'malicious' in the respect that if they were 'benevolent', they'd have created a world that was best for the inhabitants.

Kreistor wrote:So, no, I don't think "entertainment" is their ultimate goal.

Your whole premise is that they create a game-like world, and games having winning as a goal, but you disregard the fundamental assumption that underlying goal of playing a game is entertainment? Really?
Equilateratoria is now underway. New players are welcome to join at any time! (Rules)
User avatar
MarbitChow
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why is Parson in Erfworld?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:48 pm

MarbitChow, for every assumption you accuse me of, you make a corresponding assumption yourself. Try again.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
User avatar
Kreistor
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: K-W, Ontario, Canada

Next

Return to Everything Else Erfworld

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest