Summer Updates - 045

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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Decorus » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:46 am

It may be the changing of the terrain type by Parson is encouraging the Marbits to pop under Gk. It also might be the few survivors who were Marbits in the tunnels have driven the Goblins out of it.

Charlie wants Parson because:
1. Parson is a tactical Genius.
2. Parson has the Mathamancy artifact.
3. Parson still does not know the extent of the power of his Mathamancy.
4. Parson has managed to out Charlie Charlie on a few occaisions.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Lord Kasavin » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:50 am

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:I wonder if parson outsmarted himself. Charley knows that parson is smart, and he knows that Parson knows about the Bracer's ability to deliver predictions. Charley probably already made it part of his scheme to let parson know about his activities.


Well, first thing's first. Parson is going to question the Archons and THEN form an action plan. However, my own experience suggests "overthinking" is a common mistake for people who are just learning how to play strategy (complex strategy, anyways). The famous American example is the Union General McClellan who formed very sound strategies, inflicted higher casualties then he sustained (while on offense, mind you), yet somehow managed to loose to General Lee. When the enemy has a near infinte possible paths to take, its madness to try to deduce their exact strategy. So, you hedge a lot where you might be vulnerable (no leaving a city defenseless because you could use the troops elsewhere), and make your own strategy.

I think Charley bought these tribes for Faq and gave them to Jillian. Faq is strong with air units, but weak with ground units. They can't even send infantry out of their cities, because Faq is only accessible by air. And tunnels. The only tunnel units GK has in it's capital are decrypted units and Sizemore's golems. And they can only produce more of the latter, at least as long if Wanda is not in the town. And if the attackers have a caster with some croakamancer-scrolls with them, they can even keep Wanda from decrypting the dead units.


I don't think the city FAQ is accessible by tunnel, just the kingdom, if you get the difference. Meanwhile, GK has a ton of tunnel troops. Remember, any "infantry" unit can enter tunnels, only heavies (with exceptions) cannot enter tunnels. I guess gobwins (and probably marbits) get a bonus in tunnels, but inferior and unable are two very different things. Plus, Sizemore is such an enormous force multiplier in GK tunnels that I doubt anyone is going to try to take the tunnels again, especially Charlie who witnessed what happened to the last force to try to take GK by tunnel. Heck, even getting infantry to GK is a big ordeal, and without sufficient cover they'd probably be detected by scout and face several turns of hit and run or outright annihilation. So, if Charlie and Jillian plan a run on GK, its going to be by air.

Here again my little pet theory: they will wait till Ansom and Wanda stand before the capital of Jetstone and then Transylvito & Faq will attack GK itself. With Parson's bracers, Charley can determine how many troops they will need to take Gobwin Knob without the Chef warlord in the hex. Stanley will then be forced to appoint some warlord in the city to get the bonus for his defence, significantly weakening the forces in reach of the Jetstone troops. To avoid an dwagon relay, they will lay a trap between the GK and Jetstone, probably led by Jillian and her chief warlord.


I won't begrudge anyone their pet theories. However, yours does seem to rely on Charlie knowing GK's battle plans, and it took them long enough to figure out where GK was getting its troops. It's highly unlikely they know when and where the next offensive attack is going to take place. I don't doubt that Charlie and Jillian are planning a strike at GK itself and Stanley. There is just a ton of uncertainty.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:16 am

Lord Kasavin wrote:5. I must say I disagree strongly with Parson's analysis. If Charlie is gaming them, the more time he has to play the game the stronger his position becomes. Put together a stack of doom (Dwagons, Archons, Knights, Warlords, etc.), and go curb stomp Charlie is the correct course of action.


It might be a bit of a "I know that you know that I know etc" situation though. Charlie knows about Parson's bracer, knows Stanley etc - if he is the mastermind behind the mysterious Marbit conundrum he'd have to know that chances are the other side might catch on (not what he is doing, just he might be involved). And that Stanley's natural response might be "ok, lets get him". He'd be prepared for a dwagon rush (granted though forewarned isn't always... well)

And that is a problem - Charlie knows more about GK and what they are doing then GK seems to know about Charlie and what he might be able to do. If he is involved in the Gobwin/Marbit situation he is managing to influence things right near their capital, while GK can't do the same near his base. What is his force composition, what are his defenses etc. And sending a stack of doom strong enough to ensure Charlie goes down might put them out of the game for a while while they move. And if Charlie got wind of it he might have time to prepare while they are on their way.

So I'd agree with Parson - at the moment bide time, work things out, and if necessary deal with the situation with enough intelligence to avoid mistakes.

6. However, how could it be worth anybody's time to cut off GK from its natural allies? They are a sideshow at this point.


It is curious. Perhaps he and his allies are planning something underground, and they don't want GK to have a large force of tunnelers available.

Or he does know thinkamancy... maybe he is trying to put pressure on Stanley the old fashion way, ramp up his paranoia and drive a wedge between Stan and Wanda. Stanley is already uncomfortable with Wanda's forces, it might play on his mind if she is out their expanding while he struggles to boost his non-decrypted because their are no Gobwins to be had, and a high Marbit population GK has to keep under control, lest they become a (minor) second front right on their doorstep.

Or Yosarian's idea - goad Stanley into foolish attack.

Yosarian wrote:I suspect Charlie is not the kind of guy who only has allies and enemies; I suspect there's a lot of shades of gray in his book.


An enemy is just an ally who hasn't seen the value of working together yet. For a reasonable price of course.

dirocyn wrote:We can assume from Charlie's request for overflight and his threats about sticking things in his battlespace--that Charlie is close to Unaroyal.


I don't know if we can assume that, since it was likely Charlie was just trying to spy on GK. He might have just sent some high move scounts to the area. I always got the impression Charlie was held up in some remote, hard to reach place.

yay wrote:on free will, i think back to bogroll, in comparision to the troll in the update (zhopa? something with a Z). some units are unique, like jaclyn, and therefore exhibit greater free will than your average unit.


If only Jaclyn hadn't died (although she wouldn't be decrypted either). But Parson seemed to think Zhopa could develop since he said they'd talk. Maybe personality, and the strength of it, isn't just linked to class (caster, royal etc), but also how long it has been since they popped and experience. Is a newly popped twoll going to have the same "something" as Bogroll who had been alive for a while and had benefited from spending time in Parson's company?

Of course I don't doubt that it might just be some characters are uniquely predisposed towards intelligence/personality like Jaclyn and Bogroll.

Simons Mith wrote:Who ever heard of an evil side with a Guy in Charge as staggeringly stupid as Stanley the Tool?


The Space Balls? (Ninja'd I know). I'm pretty sure there is a trope out there that describes in fiction bad guys led by fools/incompetents (though sometimes aided by competent minions and henchies, just like Stanley is).
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:27 am

I think the writer is putting to much pressure on the new animator. A young single man will be intimidated walking into a dormitory full of females or other feminine sentient beings even if they are not comparable to models. The sorority comparison was good. We the readers can judge if it is the best soft porn on the net.

The wardrobe should also be left to the animator IMO. Lingerie seams wrong for archons, (at least most lingerie I am familiar with, I'll do some research :twisted: ). Something like a Victoria's Secret push up bra is completely useless for an archon. The apparatus is engineered to boost assets that are otherwise pulled down by gravity. Archons are not restricted by gravity. A small stretchy t-shirt would allow an archon to levitate the assets to fit the situation. An awesome capability that playboy models do not have.

A neat and tidy space would fit for a sorority especially if we assume gender roles are similar to parsons world. In erf-world twolls do a lot of maintenance. Cleansing happens automatically each turn, which means neither gender would have more or less cleanly habits. Any flying creatures are more likely to disregard the floor(compare cat and cockatiel for instance) . An archon can move directly from the balcony to her bunk. The archons could regard all of their floor space in a way girls in a sorority in Ohio probably regard the inside of a trash can, the inside of a sink drain and the gutters. All could be gross and everything would still seam to be in order. [note that sororities in Ohio might do their own plumbing at the same rate as fraternities. However, most college students do not.] Archons can completely disregard the condition of the floor.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby yay » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:32 am

there are alot of theories about why charlie is doing this (if he is doing this). everything from preparing a tunnel rush on GK to phychological warfare. and i think that if it is charlie, then this plan is complicated enough to probably contain every contingency mentioned, plus more.

alternate theory not involving charlie (for record i think it is charlie, but like to think of alternate theories). the gobwins do not want to deal with GK anymore. an entire tribe got dragged into a losing war that ended with there base exploding and killing everyone. that is human resource mangement up there with the red cat from dilbert
http://espanol.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-07-31/
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:41 am

yay wrote:alternate theory not involving charlie (for record i think it is charlie, but like to think of alternate theories). the gobwins do not want to deal with GK anymore. an entire tribe got dragged into a losing war that ended with there base exploding and killing everyone. that is human resource mangement up there with the red cat from dilbert
http://espanol.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-07-31/


Ah Catbert. I wonder if Stanley would get one well with him.

I know Catbert would probably love a workforce that just pops into being and disbands when they don't do exactly what they are ordered to. But then again the fact they are so completely bound to serve would probably spoil his fun.

Although that would be an interesting development, as it would mean a group had decided they were sick of dying and didn't want to be pawns in the war games of tools and royals anymore. Maybe Redcloak has stolen them away (not that working for Xykon is much safer, his bases tend to explode as well).
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby noxharrington » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:10 am

Cadrys wrote:Parson has never observed this himself. The BattleTable wouldn't have shown the conversation Jillian and the Archons had before saving Ansom from the Donut; neither was he present for Jaclyn's final words, much less aware that "they aren't paying for that service." All that Parson knows is "obey or disband." Anyone care to bet if Wanda permits her Decrypted much in the way of individual initiative with her orders?


Yeah, but the question is, why does Parson ASSUME a complete lack of free will? He has observed numerous instances of Erfworlders exhibiting initiative beyond that commanded from them, and we the readers know (from Jacklyn) that Archons are capable of exhibiting a notable, individual, lovable degree of self-determination.

If I had to guess, I would say that two very human tendencies are on display here: the Archons are intimidated by their Warlord and are trying to appear unit-desirable in an Erfworld/Charlescomm way (show nothing outside of commands carried out and loyalty honored) and Parson has low self-esteem and doesn't believe any female could find him genuinely desirable.

I hereby discount Parson's impression of the Archons from the overall debate over the degree to which Erfworlders have self-will. He is too fat and shy to judge on this issue.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Erev » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:31 am

Re: Free will.

There's been a ton of discussion on free will, especially that of the Archons. I cannot help but wonder if the Archons had it under Charlie (to a certain extent), but then lost it as part of the decryption process.

Yes, we all know that decrypted units aren't mindless, but there is a good chance that thier mental processes are filtered through Wanda in my opinion. I have a feeling that when it comes to decrypted units, the further they are beyond her immediate 'court' (for lack of a better word) the more thier initiative is curbed. Whether this is because she figures this is an easier/more precise way to control them, just a limitation of the pliers and the process, or something else entirely I could not say.

Anyways, regarding the Archons specifically, there may be a good reason that Wanda's turned down thier free will. While, yes, they are high up on the food chain, they are also not currently part of the battle group. In addition, I don't think Wanda would want some of the most clever units on Erfworld to be giving Stanley advice or ideas that he can 'creatively misunderstand'. She knows far too well what can happen when an idea gets lodged in his head and probably really only trusts herself (and now Parson to an extent) to influence him 'correctly'.

Just some food for thought.

Also, I'm surprised that Parson isn't a bit more squeemish about the fact that the Archons were dead just a few weeks ago. Sure, they are alive now (for a given value of 'alive') but it's still a rather disturbing thought IMO. I mean, that's even creepier than someone without free-will and definately creepier than worrying that Wanda might be watching.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby noxharrington » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:39 am

Erev wrote:Re: Free will.
I have a feeling that when it comes to decrypted units, the further they are beyond her immediate 'court' (for lack of a better word) the more thier initiative is curbed.


You might need to come up with a better word, because I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that the farther they are from Wanda's immediate presence/area of attention the LESS free will they have? Or are you saying Wanda can control each decrypted unit's degree of free will, and turns it way down when units are far away?
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Phædrus2129 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:24 am

Decorus wrote:Charlie wants Parson because:
1. Parson is a tactical Genius.


Wrong; he's a strategic genius. Tacticians are a dime a dozen; Anson for instance. But strategy? Much harder to come by.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Oberon » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:49 am

noxharrington wrote:As has been mentioned - the notion of Archons wanting to do things beyond their strict set of orders has been observed. It seems strange that Parson has concluded that they are totally incapable of having their own desires.
I agree. The archons "were all enthusiastically happy to see him" and took him by the arm to show him around, and this was no order he had issued or had even conceptualized. Unlike the situation with the Dwagon taking off because he had thought about it, Parson was completely out of his element and off balance. If we can accept the pov in Update 45 as being omniscient there is no reason to speculate that he was actually wishing that they "were all enthusiastically happy to see him." Given this, there is no reason for Parson to conclude that they reacted positively to his presence due to some kind of enforced behavior. Many other units have reacted far more neutrally to Parson (the units who witnessed his crash landing on the Dwagon, for example, and there are many others), and it can be assumed that Parson desires to be well liked by everyone, as this is a rather common desire. If a commanding unit simply wishing to be be well received made it so, we would not have seen the interactions of Ansom and his leadership cadre arguing and fretting about the orders Ansom was giving.

Furthermore, Stanley is shown to be a petty tyrant with his forces. If he could simply desire that Wanda throw him a lay any time he wanted and Wanda would have to react to that wish due to natural thinkamancy or Duty, the strip would be filled with the obligatory "Wanda screws Stanley" scenes in every turn. Instead, Stanley seemed surprised when she threw her robe on his desk. The only other scene even remotely like that which we have is Wanda giving Stanley a back rub while manipulating him in her efforts to secure an Arkentool. If the mere wishes of a superior officer were enough to cause the subordinate unit to react on that wish, I'm certain that Erfworld would be a pr0n comic with vast amounts of gratuitous sex scenes.

So it really can't be as simple as Parson appears to be making it. Maggy only affirmed that if Parson ordered a unit "to take off her clothes and drop to her knees" that it would be obeyed. Nothing about reacting to his subconscious desires. With the Dwagon, Maggy says "When you understand your command, the unit will", and she speaks about framing the intent of the command in the mind. Nothing about a unit being forced to react to every general desire or wish of the commander.

And the understanding (or misunderstanding) of the order also plays a role, as we see clearly when Stanley yells to Parson ""I order you to do a thing, you do the thing! If you don't do the thing, you disband!", and punctuates this with an order to slap himself which Parson not only acts upon, but acts upon without holding back on the amount of pain he inflicts on himself with the slap. Parson quite explicitly did not do as he was ordered, and yet he did not disband. But Parson was not aware that he had to walk the rounds in order to carry out the order correctly, and so he both did not obey and did not disband.

If it were true that simple desires had to be acted upon by subordinate units, too many other things in the strip would of necessity have to be presented differently. And they have not been presented differently. So there is clearly a major disconnect somewhere in the speculation about the relationship between being in a commanding position and the interactions with subordinate units.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby mhangman » Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:57 am

Im still supporting my old posts. They must first hit the Charlie. Its really annoying that Parson know about him but not acting aganist him. All time they wasting other sides Charlie and Faq become stronger and they have an arkentool... you know what tools can you know they ar edangerous more than everything at the erfworld and still you are wasting your time with others... Shame on you Parson shame on you :P
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Danetrix » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:28 am

1. I doubt we'll see Parson suddenly looking muscular once Book 2 starts.

2. I predict the next summed update, if we get one, is Stanley with the decrypted Archons, with him ordering them to do stuff that is kinky. Parson will be horrified by what he sees.

3. I'd prefer to hit Charlie last. RCII can produce more as itself the a single side could. Time spent delayed on Charlie (who is tricky enough to be able to get away and with his knowledge of how Parson volcano'd, come up with a similar trick and devastate the decrypted) would only allow the RCII to be a bigger and worse threat.

And, not that Parson knows, but the fact that he's not attacking Charlie hurts Charlie more, as it makes them appear allies in the "Battle of the Arkentools" (subject to how the other updates consequences were taken by the other sides.)
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby hanglekuk » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:31 am

Just wanted to point out that Marbits cannot be decrypted at the moment - because Wanda is far away. If they move before Wanda returns they might do some damage to Tool's side with no benefits at all. There isn't much defense in tunnels for now.

GK's worst defense is from tunnels and from air. That is what Charlie and Julian is about right now and marbits are in their advantage.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby hajo » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:41 am

Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
6. how could it be worth anybody's time to cut off GK from its natural allies?

Perhaps he and his allies are planning something underground, .. no Gobwins to be had, and a high Marbit population GK has to keep under control, lest they become a (minor) second front right on their doorstep.


I wonder if it is possible to use the lava-lake for underground defense, like flooding the tunnels.

Parson seemed to think Zhopa could develop since he said they'd talk.

I got the impression that Parson wanted Zhopa to make him a custom chair,
so he would talk about that after the picknic.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Megaduck » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:48 am

On the Free Will of the Archons.

I think everyone is looking at it the wrong way. The Quote is.

He then spent fifteen minutes trying to explain the concept of "volunteer."

Charlie didn't do "volunteer." Wanda certainly didn't. Nobody asked for volunteers in Erfworld. You ordered your units or you didn't.


It's not that the Archons can't volunteer, or that they don't have free will. It's simply that the very concept of volunteering is so far outside their experience that they don't understand it. This is a cultural issue, not a rules issue. Parson is literally speaking another language when he's asking them to volunteer.

They don't get it, not that they can't, but the concept of a superior officer asking their opinion on something is as far outside their experience as the President of the United States stopping by my house to ask my opinion on health care would be to me. Actually, it would be even more outside their experience then that, I at least live in a culture where I am expected to have an opinion. The Archons aren't.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:01 am

noxharrington wrote:Yeah, but the question is, why does Parson ASSUME a complete lack of free will? He has observed numerous instances of Erfworlders exhibiting initiative beyond that commanded from them, and we the readers know (from Jacklyn) that Archons are capable of exhibiting a notable, individual, lovable degree of self-determination.


It is possible he has jumped to conclusions, but he did try speaking to them as a group, and he didn't know of Jaclyn. Perhaps there are more individualistic Archons amongst this group of decrypted but they weren't able to stand out in that situation.

It seems a large part of his feelings though are based on the lack of the "volunteer" concept (I guess no Erf-commander has ever asked for volunteers for a suicide mission), and he has convinced himself he'd can't know for sure when it is due to duty compulsion or when it could be a units own wishes (which is fair enough for what Parson knows).

I'm half expecting one of the Archons surprise him and in some fashion "volunteer" to go on a walk.

I hereby discount Parson's impression of the Archons from the overall debate over the degree to which Erfworlders have self-will. He is too fat and shy to judge on this issue.


Of course he did share his concerns (that we now know are based on the impression he got from his early dealings with the Archons) with Maggie who essentially confirmed what he had been thinking. Granted the way he presented the question might have reinforced a misconception, but for now he isn't comfortable with what his role might be in such a situation.

mhangman wrote:Im still supporting my old posts. They must first hit the Charlie. Its really annoying that Parson know about him but not acting aganist him.


Except they don't really know about him. Erfworlders don't know much about him either. And there is the RCII which is at war with GK, while Charlie isn't (at least not overtly).

All time they wasting other sides Charlie and Faq become stronger and they have an arkentool


Well Unaroyal and Jetstone are lot closer to GK then Charlie seems to be. Plus GK doesn't really know about Faq's refounding yet (that I know of), and they don't know that Charlie is doing anything (Parson has his suspicions due to the Gobwin situation) to make himself stronger. In fact Charlie has been putting it around he is in a bad position because no body wants to hire him, and making himself seem harmless.

... you know what tools can you know they ar edangerous more than everything at the erfworld and still you are wasting your time with others... Shame on you Parson shame on you


I don't know if I'd go so far as to say they are more dangerous then everything in Erfworld - Stanley nearly lost despite having one after all. And Charlie has been around for a long while without being an overt threat to anyone (the mercenary thing - he isn't out to conquer it seems). I think Parson is doing the sensible thing not wanting GK to launch into a blind attack on Charlie and his side, because Parson knows Charlie is smart.

Plus I like Charlie, it would be disappointing if he went out in the summer updates. ;)
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby KiltedNinja » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:01 am

Megaduck wrote:On the Free Will of the Archons.

I think everyone is looking at it the wrong way. The Quote is.

He then spent fifteen minutes trying to explain the concept of "volunteer."

Charlie didn't do "volunteer." Wanda certainly didn't. Nobody asked for volunteers in Erfworld. You ordered your units or you didn't.


It's not that the Archons can't volunteer, or that they don't have free will. It's simply that the very concept of volunteering is so far outside their experience that they don't understand it. This is a cultural issue, not a rules issue. Parson is literally speaking another language when he's asking them to volunteer.

They don't get it, not that they can't, but the concept of a superior officer asking their opinion on something is as far outside their experience as the President of the United States stopping by my house to ask my opinion on health care would be to me. Actually, it would be even more outside their experience then that, I at least live in a culture where I am expected to have an opinion. The Archons aren't.



In my opinion, this is the best interpretation yet.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby Lightbender » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:45 am

I'm half expecting one of the Archons surprise him and in some fashion "volunteer" to go on a walk.


I think it'd be more fun if they all volunteer. =p
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby warriortribble » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:23 am

Megaduck wrote:They don't get it, not that they can't, but the concept of a superior officer asking their opinion on something is as far outside their experience as the President of the United States stopping by my house to ask my opinion on health care would be to me. Actually, it would be even more outside their experience then that, I at least live in a culture where I am expected to have an opinion. The Archons aren't.
Well, it depends on their personality, and loyalty stat I think. If the Archons are like a prettier and eloquent version of Bogroll then yes, the notion of volunteering is foreign since all they'd want to do is serve. It's somewhat analogous to the commander-in-chief going to a random military base and asking some Private to please get him a bottle of water.

On the other hand if they're more like Sizemore and have hobbies outside of serving their lord, I could see them deciding not to volunteer for something. Albeit it might require some prodding, and of course their loyalty stat would determine how eager they are to please.

Parson: Gee, that pillow fight looks mighty fun, are you really really sure you'd want to go on a boring walk with me? I really won't mind if you say no. Right now you being content is more important then having someone to bounce my silly ideas off on.

Then again, I guess all that goes out the window if they all assume Parson is screwing with their minds in order to test their loyalty.
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