Book 2 – Page 23

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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby gazes_also » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:55 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
OneHugeTuck wrote:{IRT Time warp is seen as problematic to everyone}
Except for the people who don't think there's any problem with the spell.


Duh. But I'd expect those people to be rather rare, or to have switched off their thinking caps. Sorry, but true. This thing is huge, as it can alter one of the holy mechanics of Erfworld (turns). To be incurious about how it works/how it is possible to cast is to wilfully suspend questioning.


Oh dear.
Bland, you do realise that the moment you question the intellectual capacity of those who disagree with your opinion the discussion over and you lose?
Pity, I thought you had some interesting points.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby Ditto » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:11 am

Robak has really hit it on the head, Bland, and it's the same mechanic I've suggested before. You have to have someone from the other team in your hex - maybe even in one of your cities - for the spell to work. Or maybe as someone else suggested it 'moved the clock forward' and accelerated the last few 'relative' minutes of GK's turn, rather than being a big 'END NOW' button that could be used at the beginning of GK's turn. It's really one of those highly situational trump cards that ONLY Charlie could fuel, and he himself has never been in such an 'under seige' predicament nor presumably been working with a side in just-such a situation.

There are plenty of ways for KingWorld to *not* be completely unreasonable. I totally understand your position about it being a mix of game balance and story balance. But I think it would be boring if Rob spelt out every nifty trick in advance. The fact is, we can come up with tons of logically sound theories on why and how this spell works based upon the information he provided us prior to (and a bit immediately after) the spell was cast. That's just the collaborative nature of the storytelling medium - you get to fill in the blanks using the breadcrumbs the author has dropped previously, even if it wasn't directly foreshadowed in a breadcrumb trail.

JustDoug, that is the perfect analogy for why trimancer hijinks are not the rule instead of being the exception that they are. You only get 4 or 5 chemists in Erfworld.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:12 am

gazes_also wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
OneHugeTuck wrote:{IRT Time warp is seen as problematic to everyone}
Except for the people who don't think there's any problem with the spell.


Duh. But I'd expect those people to be rather rare, or to have switched off their thinking caps. Sorry, but true. This thing is huge, as it can alter one of the holy mechanics of Erfworld (turns). To be incurious about how it works/how it is possible to cast is to wilfully suspend questioning.


Oh dear.
Bland, you do realise that the moment you question the intellectual capacity of those who disagree with your opinion the discussion over and you lose?
Pity, I thought you had some interesting points.


A lesson that I should be more careful and avoid giving people easy reasons for dismissal.

But note what I wrote: "switched off their thinking caps {...} willful suspension of questioning". This is not calling anyone stupid, just not interested enough to ask certain questions.

PS: Ditto:

Agreed that several other reasons/mechanics are possible to make this thing, as Lord Kasavin elegantly put it, "more ... palatable".

With a few exceptions, about which I'm having an argument right now caused by my own ... inelegant ... phrasing, everybody does this (considers this important enough to be worth talking about) and I kinda take it as a given.

My issue of contention is just that, there were not enough bread crumbs this time.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby splintermute » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:34 pm

I'd only require one limitation on the KingWorld spell to make it "palatable" - if it could only be performed through use of the Arkendish.

The Arkentools were used to make the world, and can, presumably, be used to break the world. The attuned pliers have already demonstrated "game-breaking" power, and I'd be perfectly satisfied if the dish had game-breaking powers as well. The hammer, at present, seems to be the weakest of the three, but perhaps it has other abilities as well, or is situationally powerful (e.g. an entire air force of dwagons "rocking out").

I think, despite being attuned, the wielders are not necessarily aware of the full range of abilities of their tools. Until Charlie learned of the zombie-cano, it might have been the case that no one on Erf had considered the offensive potential of bi-/trimancers - they might have just been thought of as dangerous tools for surveillance/management work and for making powerful magic items. Wanda seems to only be aware of one power of the pliers, probably because her initial instinct was to cast her one croakamancy spell on Ansom and it came out as "decrypt." Stanley actually seems to be aware of the widest range of his tool's powers - Charlie just augments thinkamancy (and maybe pops archons), Wanda just decrypts, but Stanley can tame dwagons, fly, shoot lightning, rock out, turn walnuts into birds and vice versa ...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby Wender » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 pm

I think the difficulty here is that we have only seen Erf under extraordinary circumstances. We can see a glimpse of "normal" Erf in the account of the battles leading up to TBFGK, and we can see what were considered good Erf tactics in Ansom's attempt, at least early on before he, too, was desperate enough to think quickly and laterally: Overwhelming conventional force. No casters. There are variations depending on each side's terrain and trust in force multipliers (TV's trust is high; Jetstone's, low).

Casters are clearly rare and fragile things, deployed to a battle front only when the battle is for the capital. Linked casters are even more rare, because of the fragility of the bond and the (considerable) risks to the linked casters. Remotely linked casters are probably only possible with the Arkendish, which means any kingdom desperate enough to subordinate a caster to a link with him would probably be asked to pay an extraordinary amount of money, leading to this option being an almost unheard-of desperation ploy by a wealthy side.

But now things are different. Parson's gambit worked because he didn't care that the nuclear-force spell was centered on the same hex that he and his casters were in, and because Parson was not disbanded by the magic kingdom's gateway, and because Stanley was off to a remote location, not commanding from his capital as an ordinary ruler would be. Under any other circumstance, the undead volcano ploy would have ended the side lucky enough to have three casters of the necessary type.These are not ordinary circumstances.

Normally, Charlie would be acting as he did between Jetstone and GK, but he can't anymore. Parson is no longer the de facto leader of GK (and he has wised up to Charlie and become dangerous anyway). The royal sides no longer trust him at all. He has a proxy in Jillian, but he's learning that she simply doesn't feel beholden to anyone or anything. He can't extort a huge fee from Jetstone for the use of the linkup because Jetstone will tell him to shove off. He can't extort a huge fee from Jillian. He needs to get back in Jetstone's good graces. So he does the linkup for free, an extraordinary thing, and links to a caster within line of site of an enemy force, also an extraordinary thing, so that she can effect a powerful spell in the hex she's in. Even then it all only worked because Wanda was naive enough to trust Jillian again. All Wanda had to do is smile and say she'd talk terms after she'd finished what she came for, there would have been the distinct possibility of Vanna croaking while linked, and who knows what risk Charlie would be exposed to if that happened?

High risk, high reward.

I don't see a risk that this will suddenly become a favored strategy, because: a) Charlie isn't doing this for free more than once; b) most rulers will still prefer to use the turnamancer as much as possible until under direct threat, then order them to the Magic Kingdom, and; b) most attacking warlords are not going to be crushing on their defenders. They'll be crushing them.

All that said, we really don't know what this spell does yet. We know of exactly one consequence of casting it, that GK's turn ended and Jetstone's began. We don't know if, after Jetstone ends turn, GK gets a partial turn before starting its natural turn, or a similar bonus to make up for the interruption. Until we've seen all the consequences of the spell shake out, any judgment of its power or balance is premature. But we do know that the circumstances under which it was even possible to cast the spell are extraordinary, the risks in casting it were high, and there was an Arkentool involved, so a big payoff is no great surprise.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby Oberon » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:51 pm

ftl wrote:ALL that we actually know about the spell is
1) It used both Charlie and Vanna.
2) It used "nearly two turns worth of juice."
3) It ended GK's turn prematurely.
Yes, and even point 2 is somewhat hazy. Vanna has, after all, enough juice left over to attempt to turn a unit at range, which makes the juice cost for Kingworld somewhat of a non-cost as far as any visible effect goes.

name lips wrote:Trimancer links are broken. All of them have been so far.
Hmmm, not really. The map table was potent, but not game breaking. It eliminated the fog of war for GK, and that was a huge advantage. GK still lost every city save the capitol, despite significantly better battlefield intelligence.

The volcano also wasn't really broken. Look at the limitations:
1) You have to be at an extinct volcano. We've seen only one so far, and it is now active again. So a one-shot use of a very rare terrain feature.
2) You have to be willing to lose every unit other than the casters (and Parson, if you've got him) in the hex and the surrounding hexes. Which means that in most cases the side will end, as the King or Overlord needs to give the order to the casters and with the casters linked there is no indication that a thinkagram is possible.
name lips wrote:As far as I can tell, they're the most broken thing on Erf. But for some reason, the Erfworlders themselves have no inherent knowledge of what can be accomplished with them.

This is unusual. Very unusual. Most units are popped with all the knowledge they need to perform their duties. But every time a Trimancer link is used, everybody falls over themselves in surprise wondering what the boop just booping happened.
I agree. Casters even go to the MK to learn new things, and we have been shown that the MK casters link to create magic items (the summoning scroll). You'd think that the MK would have researched all of the trimancer options, if only to have more product to sell to the rest of Erfworld. The MK is the perfect research facility for such an effort. You have casters in plentiful numbers, even spares to help gently unravel the links.

Ditto wrote:Robak has really hit it on the head, Bland, and it's the same mechanic I've suggested before. You have to have someone from the other team in your hex - maybe even in one of your cities - for the spell to work.

I've listed many different ways to game this condition in prior updates. I'll summarize here with the single easiest method: You are in battlespace if you have non-allied units in your hex. Which for Jetstone is as easy as having a single TV bat hanging out. Which we know to be the case. So Spacely breaks his alliance with TV and suddenly his casters are able to freely cast, as they are now "defending" during someone elses turn. This easily applies to Charley and Vanna as well. Hell, Charley is not allied to Jetstone, and is still linked with a caster in a hex of theirs. Seems like a reasonable excuse to start casting to me. And as for your assertion that there must be a unit from "the other team" present, this seems unlikely, and is speculative. There must be a non-allied unit present, this has been established (weakly) as a limitation on casting out of turn. But Kingworld was not cast on Wanda or any other GK unit, it was cast on Gobwin Knob. Whose Overlord and capitol were hundreds of hexes away.
Ditto wrote:There are plenty of ways for KingWorld to *not* be completely unreasonable. I totally understand your position about it being a mix of game balance and story balance.
The trouble with this is that we have seen Kingworld in action. We haven't yet seen any drawbacks or penalties. Even "two turns juice" is just words if Vanna can still cast and if Charley isn't seen suffering for lack of juice. Call it 100 turns juice if you like, or 1000. It is still meaningless without any context showing real cost. There are ways for Kingworld to not be unreasonable, but right now it is unreasonable. Charlie should be ruler over all Erfworld with a power that potent at his disposal. It remains to be explained why this is not the case.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby splintermute » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:14 pm

Oberon wrote:The trouble with this is that we have seen Kingworld in action. We haven't yet seen any drawbacks or penalties. Even "two turns juice" is just words if Vanna can still cast and if Charley isn't seen suffering for lack of juice. Call it 100 turns juice if you like, or 1000. It is still meaningless without any context showing real cost. There are ways for Kingworld to not be unreasonable, but right now it is unreasonable. Charlie should be ruler over all Erfworld with a power that potent at his disposal. It remains to be explained why this is not the case.

Perhaps what we just witnessed was Charlie's first nuke test. Maybe the stress in his voice was his realization of the awesome power at his disposal ('he is become death, destwoyer of turns"), and he'll go on to conquer Erf from here.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby djones520 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:49 am

Oberon wrote: The trouble with this is that we have seen Kingworld in action. We haven't yet seen any drawbacks or penalties. Even "two turns juice" is just words if Vanna can still cast and if Charley isn't seen suffering for lack of juice. Call it 100 turns juice if you like, or 1000. It is still meaningless without any context showing real cost. There are ways for Kingworld to not be unreasonable, but right now it is unreasonable. Charlie should be ruler over all Erfworld with a power that potent at his disposal. It remains to be explained why this is not the case.


And like I pointed out earlier, where was the drawback in Wanda decrypting two armies at once? She showed no fatigue what so ever. She was even decrypting uncroakable units, but she just kept going and going.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby Oberon » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:12 am

djones520 wrote:
Oberon wrote: The trouble with this is that we have seen Kingworld in action. We haven't yet seen any drawbacks or penalties. Even "two turns juice" is just words if Vanna can still cast and if Charley isn't seen suffering for lack of juice. Call it 100 turns juice if you like, or 1000. It is still meaningless without any context showing real cost. There are ways for Kingworld to not be unreasonable, but right now it is unreasonable. Charlie should be ruler over all Erfworld with a power that potent at his disposal. It remains to be explained why this is not the case.


And like I pointed out earlier, where was the drawback in Wanda decrypting two armies at once? She showed no fatigue what so ever. She was even decrypting uncroakable units, but she just kept going and going.
You have a valid point. Decryption has been shown to be a rather potent capability. And yet, it has specific limitations, which Kingworld has not been shown to have. I tend to forgive the Decryption as necessary to the story, and also supported by the story. Wanda was destined to attune an Arkentool as described via the story, and the 'pliers made the most sense for her particular inclinations. Her ability to insta-conjure an army was only possibly due to the specific circumstances surrounding the uncroaking of the volcano, leaving a large number of dead units around for her to Decrypt. This was such a unique situation that Wanda's instant army would not be possible under most other circumstances, and so I am not as critical of this as I am of the Kingworld spell. Kingworld has no such mitigating circumstances, as yet detailed. It is a game/world breaking ability which does not as yet have any mitigating limitations to temper it's potency. Kingworld was also neither necessary to the story, nor limited by the story. It was not the result of a predestination, for example. Decryption is and was both necessary to the story and supported by the story. Kingworld introduces a failure here, it is an ability which is so potent as to undermine the story itself. Each update in which it is not addressed and described with limiting context only further serves to undermine the validity of the plot.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 23

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:21 am

djones520 wrote:And like I pointed out earlier, where was the drawback in Wanda decrypting two armies at once? She showed no fatigue what so ever. She was even decrypting uncroakable units, but she just kept going and going.


*cough*
BLANDCorporatio wrote:I don't give a frozen fig if the game is balanced or not. What I do care about is the story.

Wanda was well-foreshadowed to be attuned to the Pliers, and she (or at least, GK) earned them after a series of interesting events, involving characters that are sympathetic to us being placed in risky situations. That we also got to watch.

{blah blah}

Also, it is not the ending of the story yet, so it seems poorly timed. Then, it {KingWorld TimeWarp} raises a bona-fide plot-hole possibility: if this thing were easy to cast, why isn't Charlie ruling Erfworld or something? Why didn't Charlie step in for Unaroyal (surely there are other Turnamancers than Vanna, and the Magic Kingdom portal works both ways, and Charlie's reputation among casters is a good one) and thus earning himself a good reputation with the new RCC?{blah blah}


Ok, so the Arkenpliers are overpowered. Not only did the story give them to Wanda after that sequence of events, making it look like she/GK earned them, it then went on to explore just how overpowered the pliers were, by showing us GK rebuild from nigh sratch AND expand AND demolish Unaroyal. Even the Magic Kingdom was concerned.

Pre-Wanda, that is, pre-attunement, it made sense that nobody had this power.

But Charlie has had the ArkenDish for lots of turns, Turnamancers have been around for quite a while, the possibility of caster link-ups was already known to Erfworlders ... given all this, why are we to suspect that Charlie/MK couldn't have known about this for quite some time and used it previously? Or maybe not this specific linkup, but surely there are others that could have saved, for example, Unaroyal. Charlie can long-distance link, it makes sense to do so with some random caster from the MK, send them to Unaroyal's capital and inflict the hurt on GK's troops. Or on anyone Charlie desires.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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