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 Post subject: Thoughts on Erfworld
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:22 pm 
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First things first, Hello everyone. I am new to the Erfworld forums, though I have been reading Erfworld since they were still hosted on Giantitp.com.

Now, onto business. I will be putting a TL;DR down on the bottom if no one wants to read this.

Does anyone else kind of feel as though everything is working out way too well for Gobwin Knob? These may just be my feelings from when GK faced insurmountable odds in Book 1, but I really enjoyed watching how Parson handled the situation as it got worse and worse. Book 2 started off well enough, with Jetstone facing those same odds, as well as GK having to deal with the unexpected factors such as Jillian's involvement. As the siege progressed, however, I feel as though everything is shifting far too much in GK's favor.

-Count Artemis: I loved Count Artemis, I only knew her for a short time, but I enjoyed every second of that time. I had really hoped that she would come forward as a new main character, but she was, shall I say, killed off. I can understand this move, as it was a symbolic death of the Titan's abandoning Jetstone.

-Prince Ossomer: Ossomer was an immensely annoying character for me to follow. He seems very uptight, yet incredibly stupid. The entire time he was going through his emotions during parley, I was hoping that King Slately would finally step up and dust him. It was a great surprise to me when he turned back to Jetstone. I was looking forward to seeing him fight for Jetstone and dealing damage to GK's forces, but his incredibly simple death left something to be desired.

-Prince Trammenis: Prince Trammenis is a lot of fun for me to read. Other than Charlie, he seems to be the only tactical mind capable of competing with Parson. I would have loved to see how he would have saved Spacerock and began fighting to reclaim Jetstone's lost land. Judging from his previous actions, it seemed a really unfitting move for him to be in a place to be incapacitated by the purple dwagons like he did.


TL;DR
Gobwin Knob is winning too much and stop killing off major Jetstone characters please.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:11 am 
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    Welcome to the forums :)

    I view book 2 in a different light. While most of the plot if focusing on the battle for Jetstone, I see it as the secondary consideration. Through that battle, we are being shown a much wider conflict between Fate and free will, with signs it is coalescing toward the end game. Jetstone is being crushed because Fate has decided that GK cannot lose this battle (or potentially just lose Wanda) and is tilting the odds. The way Artemis died is indicative of this, especially when we add in the understanding of Luckamancy we gained in the prequel. We are also getting a taste of just what it means when Arkentools are deployed in combat (decrypted vs Kingworld).

    We care about Jetstone because it is full of interesting characters. However, it is not going to be a major player in the story to come (which is bad news for its interesting characters). I expect it to survive, but the alliances I see forming are not Royal vs Overlord but Fatalist vs ....don't have a good name for the Free Will side.

    Most of this is complete speculation. But I forgive lots of what is playing favorites in this book because i see it as setting the stage for the main event. And it is doing the very important task of humanizing those who must die because Fate has decreed it.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:23 am 
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    I actually disagree...but only in a way. Our perception of the situation is skewed slightly because of how we're reading the story (in periodic updates, after a long hiatus)

    I think it also has to do with Parson's growing familiarity with combat in Erfworld. Things are going well for GOBWIN KNOB because Parson knows what he's doing, and he's putting Jetstone in a position of surprise and unbalance. They're so unfamiliar with his tactics, that even their attempts to help themselves are actually helping GK (Trying to save Slately actually has kept the portal open longer). So yes, things are going GREAT for GK....

    ....but not for PARSON. Parson is the "losing side" in this Book, he's the one with odds starting to stack up against him. The various groups who had a hand in bringing him here, and those who have an interest in him, are moving into position. The Great Minds, The Predictamancers, Janice's "Peace on Erf" crusade, Charlie and whatever he is, all of them want Parson's fate to go a different way. His challenge in Book 1 was figuring out Erfworld...his challenge in Book 2 will be figuring out it's residents.

    The Battle for Jetstone looks big, and is obviously important...but the Battle over Parson is just beginning.

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    GJC wrote:
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    There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:20 pm 
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    I find that it's really tempting to overthink stuff since updates are a bit spaced out and the content is so dense with information. When you compare the number of pages to sides' turns, it puts the crawl into focus. It's also tempting to say something about "for reasons of dramatic tension, both forces need to consistently be put in an an evenly matched conflict so therefore GK will be systematically stripped of it's steamrolling advantages over Jetstone and the blabberty blah blah blah."

    But I find that, for me, thinking that much into it sometimes subtracts from my ability to enjoy myself. So instead I try to find fun stuff in the panels of the art that I might have missed. Like how in one panel, an ORLY closing on an Archon shouts, "FTW!" and in the next panel, the Archon's fingerbang beam has actually penetrated the back of that ORLY's head and the ORLY's shout becomes "FML!"

    That's what helps me anyway. Take joy where you can find it, and have a good time is the best bottom line.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:07 am 
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    piezombi3 wrote:

    TL;DR
    Gobwin Knob is winning too much and stop killing off major Jetstone characters please.


    Definitely. I think it's pretty obvious that Gobwin Knob is due for some sort of major reversal. I was actually really surprised when Parson found a way to save them after the turnamancy spell, but I guess they need a way to have Gobwin Knob lose it's massive army but without any main characters dying, so that's why Jack and Wanda are in the Magic Kingdom now.

    It just wouldn't be interesting if GK rolled over everyone like they're threatening to do. They need to lose, and Jetstone has to stay alive because Jetstone is the main opposition we've seen so far... I guess there's also Charlescomm, but they're basically just one character, and Faq/Transylvito seem too weak to do anything. My guess is that Charlescomm comes in at the last minute to save Jetstone and kill all the decrypted archons.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:53 am 
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    I think things ARE going very well for GK. I think this might be because GK is in transition from 'protagonist side' to... something else. The side Parson happens to be attached to, and his agenda differs from its. GK's success will no longer mean the story is resolved in any meaningful way.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:07 pm 
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    Agreed....a lot of things point to this transition. Every commander in GK is actively "side-stepping" Stanley, who we have seen is a poor Ruler. Add to that Wanda's independence, and third parties taking such interest in Parson...things aren't looking promising for GK as a side.

    I think Stanley is going to be a victim of his own side's success. They're going to win a resounding victory at Jetstone...and he's going to lose almost his entire command. Wanda has remained loyal to Stanley because of the 'Tool thing...but I think she realizes how increasingly difficult it is becoming to work FOR him rather than with him. I know she won't want to...but I think once they capture Jetstone she will either use it to establish a new side, or turn to FAQ. And I think all of GK's casters will follow her, along with Parson. Then all she has to do is turn around and take Gobwin Knob back, Stanley will lose.

    I don't think ti will be too long before GK stops being Parson's side, and by translation, stops becoming the side we "root" for.

    _________________
    "I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
    GJC wrote:
    Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
    There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.

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     Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:46 pm 
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    Most people are seeing this as "GK vs. Jetstone", and GK has the advantage. GK may very well roll over Jetstone still, but that's not the primary antagonist.

    The way I see it, the over-all story is Parson vs. both Charlie and Erfworld itself. Charlie as antagonist is obvious, but Erfworld as antagonist can be interpreted a couple of different ways.

    1) The Abstract - Erfworld represents war without end. The very mechanics and physics of Erfworld encourage continuous unending warfare. This abstract is something Parson seeks to eliminate, and it is a daunting task.

    2) The Personified - Erfworld Titans may be actual entities, who desire Erfworld to behave as it does (continuous warfare mode) and will actively resist a change to it. Perhaps they can even be fought and defeated.

    I personally am a fan of the 2nd interpretation, but either interpretation allows for an 'antagonist' that dwarfs GK, no matter how powerful or victorious they currently are. Conflict is more than just "side vs. side", and a story that's limited to only that conflict is limited in where it can go. There are three main types of conflict (according to narrative theory) : Internal, Relational, and External. Erfworld is filled with examples of all of these types.

    Internal : Jillian is conflicted by her love for both Ansom and Wanda. Sizemore struggles with being a peace-loving killer. Parson wrestles with ordering people (not units) to their death.
    Relational : Caesar struggles with trusting Don King. Parson attempts to guide Stanley to the path of good leadership.
    External : The GK/Jetstone conflict. The Thinkamancer/Charlie conflict. The Hippiemancer / Predictamancer conspiracy to bring about peace in Erfworld.

    GK's power doesn't actually impact most of these conflicts; I'm perfectly content personally to see them start to become an unstoppable juggernaut, because that will unite all of Erfworld against them, possibly leading to the ultimate, conclusive conflict.

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