Between 8.3-8.4

Welcome to December.


What in particular made this bleak for you? Tattletale’s death? Named character death? The amount of death? The fight against an apparently indestructible enemy?

Does Taylor’s lack of agency in this fight make it bleak? Stuff is happening, and there’s very little she can do to help. Characters placed in that kind of situation make me uncomfortable, probably because I don’t like situations where I lack agency.

It was mostly the sheer amount of death and the apparent hopelessness of the battle. Taylor’s trouble with finding a way to help certainly didn’t help, either.

I’m okay with the named character deaths, including Tattle’s (though I’m not happy that my favorite Undersider died, I was sort of expecting one of them to – besides, I don’t really count her death towards 8.3, since we saw it happen in Interlude 8), but the way so many people died without making much headway against Leviathan at all, and the way the chapter essentially ended with “fuck this, we can’t win, let’s focus on surviving”… it was, quite simply, a chapter designed to tear down every shred of hope in the reader.

This is not a criticism. This is a situation that is very clearly supposed to be bleak, and Wildbow pulls that off quite effectively. Bleakness in itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a mood that I don’t always enjoy in my fiction as a matter of personal preference. (I sometimes do, though – you may note that I quite like Madoka Magica, for example.)

I think what will determine whether I like this Arc in retrospect will be whether or not Wildbow is going somewhere with this bleakness. Will the bleakness be employed effectively to emphasize the victory? Is it meant to convey a message that isn’t just “the world sucks”? Will we get to see Taylor deal with having been through this experience, and the death of Tattletale? It seems that what will make or break this Arc is what happens at, and after, the end of it.


Without getting into bleakness, I do think this arc is often the make or break point. (The first one is probably the first chapter/first arc). If someone is invested and interested after this arc, they have a good shot at pushing on through.

We’ll see how I feel about that at the end of the Arc!

(Either way, I’m not stopping immediately at the end of Arc 8 if I don’t find myself liking it. I want to at the very least make it to the blog anniversary in the late middle of January, which ought to be partway through Arc 9.)


Bastions group was people who could restrict Leviathans movement, by forcefields, telekinesis, etc

Oh, right!

(I still don’t get why Regent wasn’t in that group, even if it turned out once Leviathan actually arrived that he wouldn’t have been useful there.)


“Does Taylor not remember how Trickster’s power works?” I think she was wondering why he would bother to apologize to a dead body when they need to get Clockblocker out ASAP. They don’t know when he/Leviathan will wake up.

Ah, yeah, that’s fair.


It’s not just that Vista’s 12 and fighting an Endbringer – it’s that she just brought a building down on Bastion for his heroic sacrifice. She killed him. (And we did know his powers, generally – he was leading the force field group during Legend’s instructions.)

+

Vista caused the building to collapse on Bastion and Leviathan, which is why she was suddenly upset.

+

In case you missed it, Bastion “Do it” was telling Vista to use her powers to bring down the building on him and Leviathan.

Ahh. It was a little unclear that she was the one keeping it from collapsing, rather than the whole forcefield team.

Either way, someone get this child some therapy, please.


To be fair to Taylor here, the “losses” thing WAS kind of ambiguous. In the past, the armbands were announcing both people who were injured and people who were killed. It’s not quite clear here if the armbands were only listing out the dead, and not mentioning the people who were just injured, or if they were listing out everyone who was either injured or killed, and not distinguishing between those.

True, though if I were in that situation, I’d assume it meant the dead ones (as I did while liveblogging it). Not only is that usually the meaning of “losses” in this kind of context as far as I’m aware, but the armband was doing it that way in the first place because it couldn’t handle the sheer number of people all at once. Cutting out all the “down”s seems like a reasonable way to handle that.


Ah, the old “who’s on first” gag. As someone from the southeastern US, I pronounce “hew” as “hyou”, not as “who”. People from the northeastern US might. It’s not a frequently used word.

Here’s a little secret: I too pronounce “hew” as “hyou”. I only acted otherwise so I could make the “who’s on first” gag. 😛


craftycowboyenemy:

Just did a blog search. This is the first time Intrepid the castle has been mentioned.

Good to know.

(Although it’s worth noting that it seems like blog search can be a bit unreliable for the early chapters.)

[But yes, this was the first mention of them.]


Sure would be nice if Lung was still around Brockton Bay to fight Leviathan, wouldn’t it?

I mean, sure, another soldier is good to have, but I don’t think there’s that much he could do before getting close to full dragon form, which takes a while. (And that’s before you consider that Leviathan has type advantage.)


mrcatfishing:

“Bad news, when you got here half your face was missing. The worse news is that we spilled fire on you instead of bandaging the wounds. The good news is that at least your face is symmetrical now!” -Dr. Krixwell

Ahahaha!

Sounds about right. Gotta focus on the positives, y’know!


You ever make water waves with your hands? You can kind of skiing them about, make them little tendril-y whips if you know what you’re doing. Requires a bit of bringing your arm back and then swinging it forward, just barely underneath the water’s surface. Leviathan’s basically doing that, but with his whole body instead of just an arm. Further consider that he’s a macro-scale hydrokinetic and well… Fun times.

Ahh, yeah, I think I see what you mean.

And I suppose the hydrokinesis does help him with things like coming to a stop and using the water created as he rears back a little as an attack. He can easily change the momentum so that it goes forwards instead of backwards, and since the water was just created by the water echo, that still sort of counts as using the water echo to attack.


[submission] sharedvi:

Saw this on reddit, credits to /u/zeek0. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it

[screenshots of D&D homebrew spells]

ASHEN DOUBLE
3rd-level conjuration
Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock

Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a pinch of black ash)
Duration: Instantaneous

You instantly teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see. At your point of origin, an exact copy of you remains. The copy is under your control and can take one action on its turn, which immediately follows your own.
That action can only be used to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Hide, or Use an Object action. The copy cannot expend any resources or use an ability with a limited number of uses.
At the beginning of your next turn or if the copy reaches 0 hit points the copy bursts into a cloud of white ash, which creates a heavily obscured area in its space.

CLOCKBLOCK
3rd-level transmutation
Bard, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a cube of granite)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You still a humanoid or object in space and time, such that it becomes fixed in place. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed for the duration. If the target is an object, it must be able to fit within a 5-foot cube.
Until the spell ends, the target doesn’t move, even if it is defying gravity. The target can’t be harmed or affected in any way, and time stops for it. The target can hold up to 8,000 pounds of weight. More weight causes this spell to end. A creature can use an action to make a DC 30 Strength check, moving the fixed target up to 10 feet on a success. An affected humanoid can make another Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the spell ends.

Nice!

D&D has a lot of cool spells, so it’s a pretty good idea to take superpower inspiration from some of those. And hey, being able to more easily expy Worm characters to D&D campaigns is a neat bonus. 😉

Meanwhile, I (and some Discord friends following my example) have been playing around with making up powers via combining a random verb generator and a random noun generator – for example, let’s have a cape who can strip weeks (um… remove all clothes in the area for the duration of the current calendar week? lewd), cycle whistles, interrupt theories, disappear language (make it so people temporarily can’t talk, read or write?), scatter badges, level details (minor scale terraforming?), attack days, water boys (no, we’re not talking aquatic boys here, we’re talking watering boys, like with a watering can), mend lumber, carve accounts, vanish views (no wait, that’s Grue), or maybe collect bulbs!

If you try this, feel free to let me know a few of your favorite combinations you come across and how you interpret them. 🙂


What is the point of having a screener blog, when discord is constantly spoiling Krixwell?

Well, preventing further spoiling, of course.

For what it’s worth, the spoilings on Discord are always accidents, with Worm coming up in places I didn’t expect or conversations that tangentially involve Worm leading into spoilers by people who didn’t know better. Worm isn’t a usual topic on the servers I frequent (though admittedly it’s become slightly more common), so I usually feel rather safe there, and the two servers I frequent the most also happen to have #worm_spoilers channels specifically for my protection.

Also, this is one of the reasons I don’t have a server of my own. As a moderator of several liveblogger servers, I know well how easy it is to spoil something by accident in casual conversation, and having a server of my own would be inviting loads of casual conversation about Worm that I would be reading. Another reason is that I have a policy of keeping everything on the blog, due to seeing how archival readers miss out on some things from livebloggers with Discord servers. This is also why I post screenshots of almost all relevant Worm talk I do on Discord.

As a liveblogger, I must do my best to avoid spoilers, but occasionally coming across them is kind of to be expected. In a sense, I’m lucky to be liveblogging a work with a smaller fandom (compared to Homestuck, SU and the like), as it reduces the number of places where I have to always be on the lookout.

[What kind of question is that? “What’s the point of having an umbrella if you can still get splashed by a passing car?”]


evilsuitsme:

I can’t believe that Grue being the scentless man was held off for what seemed like years because it was a spoiler but shards or whatchamacallit slipped through. :I

Well, it’s not like that was intentional. Sharks would’ve prevented it if she had the power to.


This has absolutely nothing to do with Worm, but what’s your extended zodiac sign? We Must Know

(About this Homestuck thing)

The test gave me Caprira, the Sign of the Undying (Capricorn, Prospit, Mind), but my choice based on which descriptions fit best for me is Taurgo, the Sign of the Divine (Taurus, Prospit, Space). 🙂


I think I’ve found out what powerset I could give a Worm OC if I were to make one.

Imagine being a parahuman whose powerset changes, like Eidolon’s, but instead of being able to pick and choose, your power changes regularly (on a daily basis, I’m thinking) and is randomly selected according to the method I talked about in this ask response [see above].

So every day at the same time (midnight, perhaps), your power picks a random verb and a random noun, and sticks them together into a phrase describing what you can do with your power that day. Maybe it makes three or so phrases like this each day, so that the powerset is a bit more versatile and a little more likely to not be entirely useless or nonsensical.

One day your power is to “offer suits”, “pat blades” and “fence science”. The next day, you can “float covers”, “question sleep” and “communicate corn”. Anything you can reasonably describe with the phrases of the day, optionally adding a “with” in the middle, is in your powerset.

It’s a capricious power that could be incredibly powerful some days, and incredibly stupid on most.

(#I’ll be over here #dripping wilderness #ruling cannons #and lightening baskets

#i actually started using the rwgs for power gen specifically because sharks was looking for a power for an oc

#she found one long before i came up with this though)


if you end up quitting Worm, do you think you’ll break away entirely, or would you want some summary of what happens in the rest of the story so you aren’t left wondering?

Hmm. I think I’d prefer to not get a summary, in case I were to change my mind.


I hope you don’t feel offended by what I’m telling you now but don’t suffer so much, please (and put so much emotions and soul) because of a work of fiction like Worm. Its not real life, its not like real life people dying and getting injured/traumatized for life. They’re fictional characters, you should try to read it more detached and not give up at it because you find the story too bleak or sadistic or crazy or whatever. Please, I LOVE your liveblog, don’t give up, please.

Oh, I’m already fairly detached. It’s my default state, really, and for all its good points, Worm is not actually all that good at making me empathize with the characters (except Taylor, who has a distinct advantage by being the main POV character).

My issue with bleakness is less one of emotional response to the individual deaths and more that it’s a mood I don’t really enjoy very much. In fact, the feeling of additional detachment that induces only makes it worse for me. We’ll see how it goes, though.

Either way, I’m not giving up anytime soon. I’m not saying “Arc 8 is too bleak, fuck this shit I’m out”. I’m saying that if the current mood turns out to be representative of the story as a whole from now on, I’m probably not going to enjoy it as much as I have up to this point, making me more likely to quit further down the line.


Krixwell it’s the other way around 😛 Worm’s superpower inspired the DnD spells that sharedvi showed you.

I’m unsure if you’re joking or not, but if that’s true, that’s even more awesome. 😀

[I think past me still didn’t realize the spells were homebrew, here, and read this as “Worm inspired official spells”.]


thebsdude:

RE: DnD shield; they’re homebrew, made by fans as references to Worm, kinda like the Magic the Gathering photoshops.

+

I’m not joking, there is a Wildbow fan out there who likes to make stuff for DnD inspired by his stories.

Ah, I see. That’s pretty neat!


I read a fic where one character had a similarly unpredictable power that often changed inconveniently… to be whatever power would be most dramatic at the moment.

Nice! Sounds like something I should read someday.

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