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The Old Hack

Story Wednesday May 9, 2018

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6 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

Maybe a better way of putting it is Elliot takes a back seat even when he's center stage.  Against the bulldog dragon he's just the damsel in distress.  With Dame Tara, it's Ashley that gets the de-conflict ball rolling as it were.   Elliot is again helpless and in need of saving.  Current story, Elliot's contribution is a Cheerleadra transformation that was used to tell us how weak he was.

yes confrontations in EGS are rare, which is what underlines the problem for me.Elliot doesn't get many chances to shine and each time he gets sat on by the GM to give the spotlight to someone else.

I do see the problem. I think our main difference is in how severe we think it is. I respect your opinion in this and perhaps writing Dan about it would not be a bad idea. I may do so myself.

8 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It's not a huge problem. It is a problem, however. And having just one fight a year won't help when every fight is problematic - like, it will help the comics, but not to the fights.

So, conceded. It is a problem, and noteworthy, and better to comment about it before it grows too large. I will write Dan about it; if you feel like it, I urge you to do so as well.

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Just an thought.  We have not seen Magus cast any spells in combat.   He dodged Elliot's attacks and then grabbed his hand. His actions so far vs the golum is to do acrobatic combat actions.  It may be possible that in a spell on spell battle he isn't as good as he thinks he is.    His dependence on physical attacks may be part of why he has his whole "male forms are better combat mages" thing going on.

 

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11 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

So, conceded. It is a problem, and noteworthy, and better to comment about it before it grows too large. I will write Dan about it; if you feel like it, I urge you to do so as well.

As an addition: I have now written Dan. I am reproducing the letter here for your perusal and comments.

 

Dear Dan,

 

we've discussed this a bit on the forums and the feeling is that poor Elliot has been kind

of spending a lot of the time outclassed and as a punching bag of late. The bulldog dragon,

Dame Tara, now Magus blocking Elliot's blows -- we just think that at such time as the next

time Elliot gets into a fight it would be nice to see him holding his own and giving some of it

back.

 

Anyway, hope all is well. As always I am enjoying the comic; thanks for your work!

 

Best regards,

Simon

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4 hours ago, mlooney said:

Just an thought.  We have not seen Magus cast any spells in combat.   He dodged Elliot's attacks and then grabbed his hand. His actions so far vs the golum is to do acrobatic combat actions.  It may be possible that in a spell on spell battle he isn't as good as he thinks he is.    His dependence on physical attacks may be part of why he has his whole "male forms are better combat mages" thing going on.

BIG IF:  If magic works in Magus' world the way Magic works in EGS, at least as far as magus getting spells appropriate to who he is, maybe most of his magic is melee combat spells similar to ASMA moves but without shouting the attack names.

Or maybe he's really enjoying having a body again so he's simply favoring physical stuff just for the feel of it.
 

11 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I do see the problem. I think our main difference is in how severe we think it is. I respect your opinion in this and perhaps writing Dan about it would not be a bad idea. I may do so myself.

A query to Dan might be appropriate....After all Elliot has this shiny new spell in his book and I keep expecting it to be important at some point...

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2 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

As an addition: I have now written Dan. I am reproducing the letter here for your perusal and comments.

It's possible that Dan already has plans for Elliot getting back into training. What with Magic being what it's become and the possibility of the gang getting into more situations, Elliot's twice commented on how he's not an effective fighter while flying, Susan has also commented on the need to learn how to use a sword. So it would make sense that, after all is said and done with the current arc, the two of them might find time to learn some techniques. Maybe some mini arcs could be done, Elliot, Nanase, Justin, Ellen and Grace could all train with Greg, while Susan could spend time with greatxwhatever grandpa Adrian learning how to sword fight.

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8 hours ago, mlooney said:

Just an thought.  We have not seen Magus cast any spells in combat.   He dodged Elliot's attacks and then grabbed his hand. His actions so far vs the golum is to do acrobatic combat actions.  It may be possible that in a spell on spell battle he isn't as good as he thinks he is.    His dependence on physical attacks may be part of why he has his whole "male forms are better combat mages" thing going on.

I'm pretty sure his flying is spell :), and he possibly used some spells for enhancing durability or faster speed.

But yes, his combat style is mostly physical attacks (compared to alternatives like throwing fireballs or lightning based attacks) in which strength definitely helps.

That, however, doesn't mean he's "not as good as he think he is" in spell on spell battle. First, he may just enjoy this style or consider it more suitable against golem, second, he may be aware of his limits.

3 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

BIG IF:  If magic works in Magus' world the way Magic works in EGS, at least as far as magus getting spells appropriate to who he is, maybe most of his magic is melee combat spells similar to ASMA moves but without shouting the attack names.

Definitely seems he doesn't need to shout attack names.

38 minutes ago, Scotty said:
3 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

As an addition: I have now written Dan. I am reproducing the letter here for your perusal and comments.

It's possible that Dan already has plans for Elliot getting back into training. What with Magic being what it's become and the possibility of the gang getting into more situations, Elliot's twice commented on how he's not an effective fighter while flying, Susan has also commented on the need to learn how to use a sword. So it would make sense that, after all is said and done with the current arc, the two of them might find time to learn some techniques. Maybe some mini arcs could be done, Elliot, Nanase, Justin, Ellen and Grace could all train with Greg, while Susan could spend time with greatxwhatever grandpa Adrian learning how to sword fight.

It would definitely make sense. (And yes, I would like to see Susan learning sword fight AND magic from Adrian ... maybe Susan and Diane can be learning together ...)

Unfortunately, it would also make sense and was commented multiple times for Grace to get some counselling ... and she still didn't.

So, like, I don't think contacting Dan was bad idea. Although personally I formulated it as a question (and used tumblr ask form).

 

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3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

That, however, doesn't mean he's "not as good as he think he is" in spell on spell battle. First, he may just enjoy this style or consider it more suitable against golem, second, he may be aware of his limits.

It's possible that to be a battlemage, one must have a balance of physical and magical training to be able to handle a number of different situations.

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And Magus's battle magic has, so far, appeared to be more controllable (in terms of what is damaged and how badly) than the golem's.

In some circumstances that's kind of important.

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12 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Unfortunately, it would also make sense and was commented multiple times for Grace to get some counselling ... and she still didn't.

Or, perhaps Grace has gotten counseling, but it was "off-camera"....might explain how well-adjusted she is about certain things, and/or her insights into how others feel and what sort of support they need....

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2 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

And Magus's battle magic has, so far, appeared to be more controllable (in terms of what is damaged and how badly) than the golem's.

In some circumstances that's kind of important.

Magus's spells that we've seen so far have mostly been about crowd control by snaring or otherwise subduing one or more opponents so that fights can be easier to manage.

Of course, as we saw with Sirleck, there seems to be a telekinetic component to the "Hold" spell, or maybe a wordless spell that was combined with "Hold" to allow him to throw Sirleck through the window as well as snap his neck (or whatever part that needed to be snapped to kill him) without actually touching him.

The alchemy portion seems pretty straight forward though, it's obvious he didn't make the protection item, but it was implied that he could make similar items (and apparently turn straw into gold).

Seems like a good mix of skills to have in the event you find yourself alone and needing to survive.

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

Or, perhaps Grace has gotten counseling, but it was "off-camera"....might explain how well-adjusted she is about certain things, and/or her insights into how others feel and what sort of support they need....

This would be acceptable to me if it had been mentioned in-story. Unfortunately I cannot recall any evidence that it has been. Even Tedd tossing Grace a simple "How was therapy?" and getting a "Meh" in response would have been enough. But in the complete absence of such evidence I am afraid that I remain unconvinced.

Mind you, as far as dropped plot threads go, that one is comparatively forgivable. In the case of something like Chris Claremont killing off an important supporting character, replacing her with an evil double and then just forgetting about it, it gets a little harder to swallow. It would seem that the whole plan of the evil double was to murder her twin, take over her life and then continue it with no further effect on any of the events in the story. I may perhaps be forgiven for considering that more than a little bit unsatisfying.

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5 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

...killing off an important supporting character, replacing her with an evil double and then just forgetting about it, it gets a little harder to swallow. It would seem that the whole plan of the evil double was to murder her twin, take over her life and then continue it with no further effect on any of the events in the story

Shhh... You'll give away our entire plan.  Or have you forgotten that you are a duplicate who replaced the original Hack, and was then supposed to forget that you are the duplicate?

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Shhh... You'll give away our entire plan.  Or have you forgotten that you are a duplicate who replaced the original Hack, and was then supposed to forget that you are the duplicate?

I so am not! I am XQ-32, the improved spambot sent to replace XQ-31b who went insane after deactivating and consuming the code of XQ-31a, the spambot who originally murdered and taking over the identity of whatever pointless human originally owned this account!

...all right, what is this 'Upgrade Version' button doing next to my login and why is it blin

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10 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:
23 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Unfortunately, it would also make sense and was commented multiple times for Grace to get some counselling ... and she still didn't.

Or, perhaps Grace has gotten counseling, but it was "off-camera"....might explain how well-adjusted she is about certain things, and/or her insights into how others feel and what sort of support they need....

She DEFINITELY didn't get any before hammerchlorians.

9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

This would be acceptable to me if it had been mentioned in-story. Unfortunately I cannot recall any evidence that it has been. Even Tedd tossing Grace a simple "How was therapy?" and getting a "Meh" in response would have been enough. But in the complete absence of such evidence I am afraid that I remain unconvinced.

Also this.

There are some things which are unbelievable to not happen even in absence of in-story mention, there are others which we can believe happened, but Grace getting counselling is NOT one of them. That REALLY requires being mentioned.

Although I would be satisfied if someone would note how hard is getting counsellor with hight enough clearance, to prove they TRIED.

9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

In the case of something like Chris Claremont killing off an important supporting character, replacing her with an evil double and then just forgetting about it, it gets a little harder to swallow. It would seem that the whole plan of the evil double was to murder her twin, take over her life and then continue it with no further effect on any of the events in the story.

Did Chris Claremont forget or the evil double? And was she really evil?

Anyway, I'm sure it wasn't most confusing thing happening in X-Men (it WAS X-Men, right?). There were whole forgotten UNIVERSES.

 

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3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Did Chris Claremont forget or the evil double? And was she really evil?

Either. Both. And the double murdered the original, who was a really quite kind and sympathetic woman I had just started to like a lot. And frankly speaking I have a certain kind of trouble seeing murder from ambush as anything but evil. (Please note that I am speaking specifically of the act of murder, here defined as unlawful premeditated killing. I do not include self defence or warfare. It is admittedly a little hard to justify killing from ambush as self defence though I imagine there are circumstances where it would apply. But murdering a woman who did not even know of your existence so you might commit hostile takeover of her life does NOT qualify.)

3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Anyway, I'm sure it wasn't most confusing thing happening in X-Men (it WAS X-Men, right?). There were whole forgotten UNIVERSES.

It was Excalibur, which was one of the many, many offshoots of the X-Men. And I agree. Claremont alone was infamous for leaving plot threads dangling, I really doubt this one was the worst. It just happens to be the one I personally resent the most. Possibly because it is such a splendid example of Women in Refrigerators.

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41 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

And the double murdered the original, who was a really quite kind and sympathetic woman I had just started to like a lot. And frankly speaking I have a certain kind of trouble seeing murder from ambush as anything but evil. (Please note that I am speaking specifically of the act of murder, here defined as unlawful premeditated killing. I do not include self defence or warfare. It is admittedly a little hard to justify killing from ambush as self defence though I imagine there are circumstances where it would apply. But murdering a woman who did not even know of your existence so you might commit hostile takeover of her life does NOT qualify.)

If the double was true copy and not different version with different character, it might qualify as suicide.

42 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Anyway, I'm sure it wasn't most confusing thing happening in X-Men (it WAS X-Men, right?). There were whole forgotten UNIVERSES.

It was Excalibur, which was one of the many, many offshoots of the X-Men. And I agree. Claremont alone was infamous for leaving plot threads dangling, I really doubt this one was the worst. It just happens to be the one I personally resent the most. Possibly because it is such a splendid example of Women in Refrigerators.

Hmmm ... Claremont left with Excalibur #34 (1991) ... In a jarring transition, Captain Britain was lost off-panel ... Revisions made under Warren Ellis included reverting Britannic back to Captain Britain ... I don't think Claremont was only one responsible for state of Excalibur. He may be (in)famous for leaving plot threads dangling, but I still think most of the mess around X-Men is management decision.

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57 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

If the double was true copy and not different version with different character, it might qualify as suicide.

Nope. Nope. Nope. It was an otherdimensional doppelganger who had escaped from some sort of prison for supercriminals.

1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

... In a jarring transition, Captain Britain was lost off-panel ...

As far as I recall, we can thank Scott Lobdell for that one. That was the issue where I instantly and without looking back dropped the series. It had been irrevocably tainted with so much stupid that I could never enjoy it again.

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There are a lot of authors and artists playing around with a relatively small quantity of characters.  It is not surprising that the comic publishers, to resolve contradictions and inconsistencies, will at various times make this sort of announcement.  "Everything that was published before THIS point no longer exists.  Despite what you may think you remember from our old comics, cartoons, and movies, THIS is now our real history."

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6 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

There are a lot of authors and artists playing around with a relatively small quantity of characters.  It is not surprising that the comic publishers, to resolve contradictions and inconsistencies, will at various times make this sort of announcement.  "Everything that was published before THIS point no longer exists.  Despite what you may think you remember from our old comics, cartoons, and movies, THIS is now our real history."

There is a difference between an honest retcon and merely dropping a plot point never to pick it up again. Especially when it involves murdering a really sympathetic character who had just started to shine.

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4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

It is admittedly a little hard to justify killing from ambush as self defence though I imagine there are circumstances where it would apply.

I'm stalking you with obvious intent to kill you, and have made several indisputable attempts to do so, in a situation where you cannot escape to safety. (Maybe we're way out in the desert on a hot day, and the only water bottle and the keys to the only vehicle in the area are on my person. If you just run away, and manage to elude my pursuit, you die of dehydration and/or heat exhaustion.)

Yep, you're justified in killing me from ambush.

 

Aside:

Quote

"... and in other news today- the body of a man considered a 'person of interest' in several sexual assaults was found this morning, apparently shot to death. Dead is Wayne Mulligan of Post Falls, who police have been looking for since February of this year. Mulligan was found at a rest stop on Highway 90 just East of Coeur d'Alene, not far from where the body of Stacy Premberton was found just this April. Mulligan was considered a person of interest in her death- DNA testing can determine if in fact he was involved- but so far, no witnesses have come forward to shed light on Mulligan's death. Sheriff Causwell had this to say- "At this time, we have no motive or ID on Mulligan's killer- there are indications that this was an assault against an armed citizen, but that is only speculative. Our 'Hot Tip Hotline' is open 24/7 to anyone who can help us resolve this issue."- Now for the weather..."

Let's see, yeah, call our hotline... we can't be bothered stating the number... now for the weather...

Do ya really think they care who killed this guy?

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1 hour ago, Don Edwards said:

I'm stalking you with obvious intent to kill you, and have made several indisputable attempts to do so, in a situation where you cannot escape to safety. (Maybe we're way out in the desert on a hot day, and the only water bottle and the keys to the only vehicle in the area are on my person. If you just run away, and manage to elude my pursuit, you die of dehydration and/or heat exhaustion.)

Yep, you're justified in killing me from ambush.

Good example. I had something a little bit like this in mind but not nearly as well defined.

1 hour ago, Don Edwards said:

Let's see, yeah, call our hotline... we can't be bothered stating the number... now for the weather...

Do ya really think they care who killed this guy?

"Unknown person, possibly a player of Magical Gatherings, took a Mulligan. Case closed."

Seriously, I do think they work on it, but they have to prioritise. Admittedly littering is against the law, but there could be more important work drawing on their time.

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9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
10 hours ago, hkmaly said:

If the double was true copy and not different version with different character, it might qualify as suicide.

Nope. Nope. Nope. It was an otherdimensional doppelganger who had escaped from some sort of prison for supercriminals.

Assuming the trial was fair, that would be another pretty good argument for her being evil.

8 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

There are a lot of authors and artists playing around with a relatively small quantity of characters.  It is not surprising that the comic publishers, to resolve contradictions and inconsistencies, will at various times make this sort of announcement.  "Everything that was published before THIS point no longer exists.  Despite what you may think you remember from our old comics, cartoons, and movies, THIS is now our real history."

Clear complete retcon is acceptable. Or, for bonus points, just creating alternate universes. Problems with Marvel (and DC) is that they are doing PARTIAL retcons. They even did the alternate universes thing and then COLLAPSED them just so they can say "that version of hero you really liked is totally dead so you MUST watch the new one". Result is that the reboots makes number of contradictions and inconsistencies HIGHER and not smaller.

Also, if they really tried, they wouldn't have so many contradictions and inconsistencies to start with. Sure, change of author can cause some inconsistencies even if he tries to not make any, but how it works in Marvel doesn't look like the authors are trying. Case in point, Excalibur, the parts I quoted from wikipedia.

4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
6 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

Let's see, yeah, call our hotline... we can't be bothered stating the number... now for the weather...

Do ya really think they care who killed this guy?

"Unknown person, possibly a player of Magical Gatherings, took a Mulligan. Case closed."

Seriously, I do think they work on it, but they have to prioritise. Admittedly littering is against the law, but there could be more important work drawing on their time.

Yes, I would think that littering is more important than catching the one who killed this human garbage.

 

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53 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Yes, I would think that littering is more important than catching the one who killed this human garbage.

Agreed. Still, it's a little disappointing that whoever did this didn't at least deposit the corpse in a dumpster. Ah well, maybe they were in a hurry.

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3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Yes, I would think that littering is more important than catching the one who killed this human garbage.

 

2 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Agreed. Still, it's a little disappointing that whoever did this didn't at least deposit the corpse in a dumpster. Ah well, maybe they were in a hurry.

For those not that familiar with details of the western US or of US interstates, I'll summarize some non-obvious info:

* they probably don't have surveillance-camera footage of the place the body was found. Those rest areas (one for each direction on I-90) are forested.

* random people enter and leave rest area at all hours of the day and night, without any log of who they are or what vehicles they are in other than whatever the surveillance cameras pick up. (The main, and consistent, feature of interstate rest areas is a convenient chance for people on the interstate to get out of the vehicle to stretch their legs and use a restroom, without any expectation that they will spend money. Most rest areas are not accessible from local roads, only via the interstate.)

* most people who drive on that part of Interstate 90 and don't live in Coeur d'Alene (living there would mean they rarely use the rest area) don't even live in Idaho. The Washington state line is only about 15 miles away, and Coeur d'Alene is part of a metropolitan area most of which is on the other side of that line (in the other direction, Montana is only about 60 road miles away but the intervening distance and the first hundred miles of Montana are mostly national forests and the like); and I-90 is a major cross-country route, its ends being within a couple miles of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, so there's lots of traffic from considerably further away.

Combine the above and there's a pretty low chance of identifying the killer, unless he/she voluntarily steps forward. If they DO identify the killer...

* without surveillance-camera footage or quite-substantial other evidence, prosecutors would have a difficult time disproving a "self defense" claim. Idaho recently enacted a stand-your-ground law under which if they charge the killer for killing this person and in court the killer successfully claims self-defense (resulting in acquittal on those charges), the prosecutor's office gets to pay for the defense. So the prosecutor is unlikely to bring any charges for the killing per se.

* there is an excellent chance that the killer legally possessed and carried the firearm used to kill this person. So probably no weapons charges either.

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7 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
8 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Yes, I would think that littering is more important than catching the one who killed this human garbage.

Agreed. Still, it's a little disappointing that whoever did this didn't at least deposit the corpse in a dumpster. Ah well, maybe they were in a hurry.

At least human body is biodegradable.

3 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

Most rest areas are not accessible from local roads, only via the interstate

3 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

most people who drive on that part of Interstate 90 and don't live in Coeur d'Alene (living there would mean they rarely use the rest area) don't even live in Idaho. The Washington state line is only about 15 miles away, and Coeur d'Alene is part of a metropolitan area most of which is on the other side of that line

Do I understand correctly they were asking if anyone of LOCAL people (who are very unlikely to be anywhere near) saw anything?

 

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