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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    And it is rather dubious to criticize V's abilities after she took out the devil. Nor will it do here to say his tactics could have been better. The scene is written to show V at her best [and arrogant worst] and any improvements in his tactics largely represent writer or reader error.
    No.
    The scene shows V's tactical errors clearly.
    V initially refuses to cooperate and blasts away ineffectually.
    Meanwhile Durkan and Hinjo cooperate and wound the devil.
    Then V changes tactics, asks for Durkon's assistance and together they take down the devil.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    I must say that I am starting to feel bored with OOTS. I have spent a long time now waiting for the Order to get their act together and actually follow some kind of plot, but instead it is quite obvious that the Order is No More, and probably never will be again. Instead we are going to be treated to more and more plot-jumping and lack of progress (and please don't give me the "character growth" thing, you know what I mean with progress).

    I have realized several strips ago that we will never see Roy again. I have come to understand that the Order will never be reunited, and if they meet again it will be as enemies.

    I loved the zapping by V, feeling that we were finally getting on with some kind of plot advancement and adventuring. But unfortunately the opposite happened, and I am now hoping someone else will do to V what V did to Kubota: put him out of his misery so the plot to stop the Snarl can continue.

    The only light spot right now is that Elan gets more screen time.

    So, right now my feelings towards the characters are:

    Elan: Good. Funny. Want More. Liked him from the beginning, he as always been my second favorite character.

    Durkon: Eh. (yes that is my feeling towards Durkon, but then he has never been an interesting character to me. He has always just been an "eh".)

    Haley: Was funny in the older strips, was hilarious in her solving the riddle with the red and green guys. Now she's just a boring distraction.

    Roy: Was a great character, Lawful Good with Sarcasm (tm). Loved him, missing him dearly.

    V: For the Love Of... Something, die already. or become an Arch-lich and be done with it. You are slowing the plot down just as bad as anyone else. Just... Disappear!

    Belkar: Used to be my absolute favorite character until after the village; I hope the Giant will somehow have him not die, but unfortunately I think he is done for. He will be dearly missed.

    As for my feelings towards the story:
    I loved it when the plot went from Rule Jokes to actual Plot, but it is too much now. It is tedious, boring, unfunny and slower and slower all the time.


    ...Yes I will still read this, at least for a while to see if the humor and the flow of the story will come back. But I doubt it will, since the Order is forever lost.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2008-10-09 at 08:21 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Red XIV View Post
    What exactly could they do? They're not the ones with scrying abilities, after all.
    Durkon does - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/scrying.htm
    Most like he has tired, seen his attempts fail like V's, and decided long ago to try something different.

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    I must say that I am starting to feel bored with OOTS. I have spent a long time now waiting for the Order to get their act together and actually follow some kind of plot, but instead it is quite obvious that the Order is No More, and probably never will be again. Instead we are going to be treated to more and more plot-jumping and lack of progress (and please don't give me the "character growth" thing, you know what I mean with progress).

    I have realized several strips ago that we will never see Rob again. I have come to understand that the Order will never be reunited, and if they meet again it will be as enemies.

    I loved the zapping by V, feeling that we were finally getting on with some kind of plot advancement and adventuring. But unfortunately the opposite happened, and I am now hoping someone else will do to V what V did to Kubota: put him out of his misery so the plot to stop the Snarl can continue.

    The only light spot right now is that Elan gets more screen time.

    So, right now my feelings towards the characters are:

    Elan: Good. Funny. Want More. Liked him from the beginning, he as always been my second favorite character.

    Durkon: Eh. (yes that is my feeling towards Durkon, but then he has never been an interesting character to me. He has always just been an "eh".)

    Haley: Was funny in the older strips, was hilarious in her solving the riddle with the red and green guys. Now she's just a boring distraction.

    Roy: Was a great character, Lawful Good with Sarcasm (tm). Loved him, missing him dearly.

    V: For the Love Of... Something, die already. or become an Arch-lich and be done with it. You are slowing the plot down just as bad as anyone else. Just... Disappear!

    Belkar: Used to be my absolute favorite character until after the village; I hope the Giant will somehow have him not die, but unfortunately I think he is done for. He will be dearly missed.

    As for my feelings towards the story:
    I loved it when the plot went from Rule Jokes to actual Plot, but it is too much now. It is tedious, boring, unfunny and slower and slower all the time.


    ...Yes I will still read this, at least for a while to see if the humor and the flow of the story will come back. But I doubt it will, since the Order is forever lost.
    As much as it pains to say this, I don't agree with many points but I agree on the overall spirit and feeling of this post.

    I'm still happy to be able to read the comic because it is a great masterpiece, but I miss the "party" feeling a bit, and the story arc, albeit interesting, is somehow too shattered at the moment to give a good feeling.

    I miss the good old days when Xykon was the enemy and the mixed up group fo good and almost good (and Belkar) guys worked as a team.

    Side characters are fun, but what we love is:
    Roy
    Belkar
    Elan
    Haley
    Vaarsavius
    Durkon

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    We're really seeing how lost the party is without Roy. He was the thread that bound them together: without him they're losing cohesion. Vaarsuvius is too arrogant to be given free rein to do what he wants, and Belkar is sociopathic, so I'm unsurprised by their respective breakdowns. Durkon's a poor replacement for Roy because of his lack of charisma, but I've been pleasantly surprised by Elan. He's really trying to do the right thing, despite his self-doubt, and we've seen a depth to him that he formerly lacked.

    And for my part, I actually really like the current story arc. It's like Empire Strikes Back; the second act where everything is going horribly wrong for the protagonists. It might be kind of depressing to see the characters you like the most fragment and crumple under pressure, but it'll be all the more satisfying when they co-operate and defeat Xykon. (You know, assuming they do. If they don't I guess it'll be a downer ending.)

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    I'll admit that I hope V's departure is short-lived so that we can get back to the main plot, but I've enjoyed all this character development and cast broadening. I understand where the frustration and boredom comes from, mind you; it has seemed slow, if you're keeping up with the strip in real time. But I'm confident that when this whole epic is collected in book form (or hell, even just read through again in the archives), it'll flow well and restore your faith in Giantmanity.

    That said, it'd still be nice to get Roy and the primary storyline back soon.

    EDIT: Yeah, so, what Faceist said. Total Empire Strikes Back stuff.
    Last edited by TheNovak; 2008-10-09 at 05:13 AM.
    "Thus, we are all composed of stardust, or if you're feeling a tad more cynical, solar excrement." -- Dr. James Kakalios

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  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Same here I'm afraid. The core party mechanic was a strong positive for the comic, which has now gone, and it's hard to see how they will come back together.

    I still enjoy the comic, the jokes are still strong enough to keep me interested, but I must admit I'm hoping the Order can meet up and 'get to it' in the very near future. V excluded of course, in his current state he's more of an irritant than Belkar used to be, because he doesn't have the sense of humour the halfling did.

    The bonus at the moment is that Elan's been taking centre stage. He has always been my favourite character, and will remain so. He's such good value in the joke stakes, and shows more character development than any of the others. It also helps that he's easily likeable, I find myself routing for the guy even though he's just a collection of lines and shapes on a computer screen.


    Excellent Elan & Yoshi avatar by Mr Saturn

  8. - Top - End - #278
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Faceist View Post
    And for my part, I actually really like the current story arc. It's like Empire Strikes Back; the second act where everything is going horribly wrong for the protagonists. It might be kind of depressing to see the characters you like the most fragment and crumple under pressure, but it'll be all the more satisfying when they co-operate and defeat Xykon. (You know, assuming they do. If they don't I guess it'll be a downer ending.)
    I agree. But this "The Empire Strikes back" movie is getting a bit too long.
    It's true that every good story needs the dark moments, often not long before the heroes unite and finally do the right thing... but if it takes too long, it gets boring. You accept it as part of the characters development, as part of the process to make the plot darker and seemingly hopeless, and to prepare for the conclusion...

    But (again, ASSUMING there will be the happy ending or at least a moment in the future when all the party joins forces for the last dramatic fight - big assumption here, but I hope so) this is just getting too much time to reach the shiny pages we all want to see.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by banjo1985 View Post
    Same here I'm afraid. The core party mechanic was a strong positive for the comic, which has now gone, and it's hard to see how they will come back together.

    I still enjoy the comic, the jokes are still strong enough to keep me interested, but I must admit I'm hoping the Order can meet up and 'get to it' in the very near future. V excluded of course, in his current state he's more of an irritant than Belkar used to be, because he doesn't have the sense of humour the halfling did.
    Exactly. The characters worked together, their personalities worked together (not necessarily always in a Sit Com way but sometimes it was that funny) and I think that is my core problem: The characters lacks anything to "bounce off on" now when they are not together. Every time someone says something I miss the others replies.

    And Jan, I definitely agree. This "Empire Strikes back" has been way too long. I no longer believe there will be any kind of satisfactory conclusion, it will just continue deeper down in pointlessness.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2008-10-09 at 07:11 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #280
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    So does anyone else here think that strip 600 will be titled "Four Right Words?" Because I'd be willing to put down money that that's what it will be called. Or at least that we're going to hear the "Four Right Words at the Right Time for All the Wrong Reasons" in the next strip.

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    I think Rich is doing a good job, and heck the price is right, let's not ignore that.

    But I wonder if the goal is to split the party up completely? One is the loneliest number.

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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    [B]I have realized several strips ago that we will never see Rob again. I have come to understand that the Order will never be reunited, and if they meet again it will be as enemies.
    Rob?? Who is this Rob person you speak of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    And Jan, I definitely agree. This "Empire Strikes back" has been way too long. I no longer believe there will be any kind of satisfactory conclusion, it will just continue deeper down in pointlessness.
    Reading that just makes me think that Rich The Writer is doing his job properly. You're supposed to feel despair at this point in the story. Things can't get too much darker and then soon we'll be off for the final chapter(s) (book, whatever) with everyone back together but, you know, changed because of everything that's happened to them.

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by maxon View Post
    Rob?? Who is this Rob person you speak of?



    Reading that just makes me think that Rich The Writer is doing his job properly. You're supposed to feel despair at this point in the story. Things can't get too much darker and then soon we'll be off for the final chapter(s) (book, whatever) with everyone back together but, you know, changed because of everything that's happened to them.
    ROY. (edited)

    ...And yes, I see your point. But as Jan and I said already, this has been going on for way too long. It's like this version of "star wars" is in 10 parts, and the middle (if there actually is an ending that is more upbeat) is 8 parts. Imagine Empire Strikes Back times 8...

  14. - Top - End - #284
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    I think it feels too long because this arc has been going on for just over a year. The 100 strips it comprises is about half or 4/7's of the next book. Many people complained that the trial took so long, but I wasn't around when that happened, and so when I read it, I didn't notice.

    I think it feels longer to us because we're waiting on each page to advance the story, but when we read it in a book, it will be much more straight forward.
    "They couldn't know that the points from the mainline to the siding were frozen, and the signal should have been set at 'DANGER', but snow had forced it down."
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  15. - Top - End - #285
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    Planetar

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    I'm still happy to be able to read the comic because it is a great masterpiece, but I miss the "party" feeling a bit, and the story arc, albeit interesting, is somehow too shattered at the moment to give a good feeling.
    QFT.

    Yes, I understand the Giant needs to show that the party is belly up without Roy. I get it. We've seen it for more than a hundred strips.

    And for those comparing this to "The Empire Strikes Back" -- ESB only lasted two hours. This arc has been going on for months of real time.

    And for those comparing to Tolkien -- TBH, I don't think splitting the party into four or more pieces and following everyone's adventures for hundreds of pages was such a good idea then, either.

    Let's be truthful; Tolkien wrote some of the best fantasy literature of the 20th century. But it's still not in the First Rank of general literature the way, say, Paradise Lost is. A big part of that is his decision to split the party and add hundreds of pages of exposition, songs, and plot irrelevancies such as Tom Bombadil.



    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    QFT.

    Yes, I understand the Giant needs to show that the party is belly up without Roy. I get it. We've seen it for more than a hundred strips.

    And for those comparing this to "The Empire Strikes Back" -- ESB only lasted two hours. This arc has been going on for months of real time.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Exactly. Either let the whole thing go belly up for real, or get it together and DO something!

    Boredom is one thing you don't want to inspire in your readers. Depression is another...

  17. - Top - End - #287
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pjackson View Post
    No.
    The scene shows V's tactical errors clearly.
    V initially refuses to cooperate and blasts away ineffectually.
    Meanwhile Durkan and Hinjo cooperate and wound the devil.
    Then V changes tactics, asks for Durkon's assistance and together they take down the devil.
    That should be:
    V initially refuses to cooperate with Hinjo and blasts away.
    Durkon helps Hinjo, but Argent gets dismissed after only one effective attack.
    Finally V asks for the assistance Durkon hasn't previously offered, and instantly solves the problem.

    Vaarsuvius could perhaps have done it earlier by asking Durkon to ignore Hinjo's request and throw the save reduction spell instead. Would telling Durkon to ignore Hinjo have been "more cooperative"?

    Meanwhile, the bard who could probably also help with saving throw reduction has snuck away from the battle, and no one else is offering to help. Durkon could have offered to help Vaarsuvius in a useful way earlier, too, and didn't.

    There's no question the party was disorganized, but it's everyone on the party, not just Vaarsuvius.

    With respect to Elan, I've started to like him, but that doesn't mean we need more stuff about him. When he was hogging the spotlight, he was annoying or worse; he's only better in the last few strips because he's been in a supporting role to Vaarsuvius.

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    And for those comparing this to "The Empire Strikes Back" -- ESB only lasted two hours. This arc has been going on for months of real time.
    We the comic readers are experiencing the story in real-time. Don't forget that when the story is read all together as a book (and the comic has been paced for book format since the first one was released), the storyline is much better (I'd say perfectly) paced.

    We web readers are getting the books for free; the price is that we can only read the strips as Rich releases them. That can be a bit frustrating for an extended story, but I'd say it's worth it!
    Last edited by Darkhands; 2008-10-09 at 09:54 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #289
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pjackson View Post
    No.
    The scene shows V's tactical errors clearly.
    V initially refuses to cooperate and blasts away ineffectually.
    Meanwhile Durkan and Hinjo cooperate and wound the devil.
    Then V changes tactics, asks for Durkon's assistance and together they take down the devil.
    To take your point even further, he didn't even really "ask" for assistance. It was more like he was telling D how he could help in some utterly unimportant and insignificant way, if he absolutely INSISTS on this stupid "teamwork" idea.

    This smacks of chaos to me, or at least neutral with chaotic tendancies, in the D&D alignment system.

    If V was turning Lawful Evil, he'd be bossing his team-mates around to maximize their tactical value as if they were his own personal minions, and giving passionate, strangely compelling speeches about how they need to work together as a team to achieve their goals, and that is why you guys hold down all these nuns and orphans while I sacrifice them to horrible nameless gods. See how much we can accomplish by working together? That's Lawful Evil.

    Neutral Evil is just pure Evil, with no fixed loyalty to Law or Chaos to get conflicted over. A Neutral Evil wizard in V's shoes might have validly ignored Elan as utterly useless, because he doesn't care about the Lawful principle of teamwork unless it advances his Evil goals, but he could have been taking advantage of Durkon's "bestow curse" from the beginning of the battle if he was not so obsessed with proving (to himself as much as anyone else) that he is the ONLY one that matters.

    And that brings us back to Chaotic Evil, the impetuous red-headed stepchild of the evil family tree that screams "you're not the boss of me!" and locks itself in it's room when anyone tries to tell it what to do. It ought to be familiar, Belkar's been Chaotic Evil since the very beginning of the strip.

    There's obviously wiggle room in all of these categories, but I'd say V is generally heading more in the direction of Xykon (Chaotic Evil) than Redcloak (Lawful Evil)

  20. - Top - End - #290
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by stevekgoodwin View Post
    I think Rich is doing a good job, and heck the price is right, let's not ignore that.
    The three books so far have cost me about $90. What I'm currently reading is a pitch for that next $30. Odds are I'll pay it, but if the pacing and focus don't improve consistently by then, it's not looking good for the next $90 or more.

    I do think today's strip is a step in the right direction. Things are moving toward the goal, and the obstacles don't necessarily take the party off course (the way a certain bone golem does). In fact, this one might just make the path more interesting.

    In regard to LotR comparisons that used to be dragged out, I have to point out that the title of this epic is The Order of the Stick, while the other epic wasn't called The Fellowship of the Ring.
    Last edited by Shatteredtower; 2008-10-09 at 09:58 AM. Reason: Fixed tags.

  21. - Top - End - #291
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Again, I think it's our perspective of the pace, having to wait every few days for the next installment, that makes it seem slow. As I said earlier, the trial seemed fine to me, while at-the-time fans found it dragged on. It doesn't help in that regard that Rich is on an irregular update schedule, so we have no idea when the next strip comes out, but this is just unfortunate, and I have no problem waiting to see what happens next.
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    And thus we can wait for lame Quarr the Raven jokes..

    Furthermore I second the idea that #600 isn't going to be any more or less plot critical than the previous ones have been, although I can't tell how important the other ones were unless perhaps somewhere in the distant future. Last, I predict Roy will remain dead and all the other partymembers will be going solo soon enough, perhaps with a fast forward of their older versions telling about how great the band was until they decided to split up because of creative differences or the rest weren't vegetarians or something.. If they get together again, it'll be at the ultimate climax of the story, after which it ends. As long as that will be written well enough to pull it off, I won't mind..
    It might have been yours, perhaps, but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Hithros View Post
    Wait....how does talking(or something) to V get the imp back on the boat?
    Qarr may have a total change of plans, depending on how this "opportunity" works out. If not, well, he can go back to figuring out how to get back to the boat later.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RMS Oceanic View Post
    Again, I think it's our perspective of the pace, having to wait every few days for the next installment, that makes it seem slow.
    No, it's the actual page count. From the time of incarceration (#260) until the point Roy confronts and bests the "presiding judge" (#293), the trial -- an event that helped define the overall plot -- ran a mere 33 strips, or a little under an eighth of the series' run until that date.

    Roy has been dead for 156 strips now, or a little over the series' run to the present date. In terms of percentage of current storyline, it's more than twice as long and unlikely to be done within the next two or three percentage points. In terms of page count, it will easily exceed five times the trial's length.

    That is the perspective.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek Kommander View Post
    It ought to be familiar, Belkar's been Chaotic Evil since the very beginning of the strip.
    Ah ha, good point! Belkar and V seem to be slowly swapping alignment charts. Soon Belkar will be chastising V!

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RMS Oceanic View Post
    Again, I think it's our perspective of the pace, having to wait every few days for the next installment, that makes it seem slow. As I said earlier, the trial seemed fine to me, while at-the-time fans found it dragged on. It doesn't help in that regard that Rich is on an irregular update schedule, so we have no idea when the next strip comes out, but this is just unfortunate, and I have no problem waiting to see what happens next.
    When I first started reading the comic, IIRC I read everything from the 1st strip up to sometime after the fall of Azure City in one (admittedly rather long) evening. Read it that way, and it certainly doesn't seem slow. Read it a strip at a time, and wait a few days before reading the next one, and any plot is going to seem to move a bit slow.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Graymayre View Post
    Dun Dun Duuuuuuun!
    I was going to do that! sigh

    OMG! can't help feeling sorry for V tho... s/he's not in his/her right mind.
    Avatar by me...yup that's how good my drawing is. As in not very good.

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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    wow..... and I'm sure someone else has already mentioned it, but V's "four words" maybe spoken to the imp???
    "Hey, look. I just regenerated a finger... Guess which one?"

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    Location
    Roma
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LordSintax View Post
    wow..... and I'm sure someone else has already mentioned it, but V's "four words" maybe spoken to the imp???
    Mentioned, with a natural 20 that threatened and killed the thread. Then it has been zombified, and it's infecting other threads.

    Ehm... but yes, could be. Sorry, sarcasm is half of my communication.

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Northern Ireland
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    Default Re: OOTS #599 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Roy has been dead for 156 strips now, or a little over the series' run to the present date.
    Haley was aphasiac for almost 150 strips, and people felt that was long. The pay off at the end was worth it, so hopefully, so will Roy's revival.
    "They couldn't know that the points from the mainline to the siding were frozen, and the signal should have been set at 'DANGER', but snow had forced it down."
    - The Flying Kipper

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