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Leewei
2009-04-24, 12:24 AM
The foreshadowing was done pretty well -- probably uncroaked units, likely on a scale of power comparable to dwagons and devas. Stanley's Arkenhammer was described as giving him power over dwagons; Charlie's ability to pop devas seems to be heavily implied as an ability of his attuned Arkendish.

I've seen some good suggestions in the main update thread, but figured this was a worthy topic. So, starting my own speculation...

The two special units we've seen before were dramatic in their power as well as mobility. This makes me think that we'll see a new, flying uncroaked. Since Ansom was primarily melee-focused, a death knight-type of unit seems very likely. "Croak Knight" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, though. Maybe "Arkenwraith"? Alternately, "Arkenwaith" -- Erfworld has a distinct tendency to replace "L" or "R" with "W" in unit names. Examples include dwagon, gobwin, and twoll. Elves aren't subject to this, so the rule isn't absolute.

Other possibilities:
Wevenant (snerk)
Bwack Weavew (Stwike him, Centuwian! Fowce him woughwy to the gwound!)
Shadow Prince (not so funny)

DevilDan
2009-04-24, 01:10 AM
By "devas" do you mean Charlie's archons?

I guess uncroaked dwagons is too easy.

zz_tophat
2009-04-24, 02:44 AM
Archons and Dwagons are very powerful but being undead usually means trading raw power for some insidious effect. Of course Erfworld being what it is I have trouble picturing a gooey black magic spewing monstrosity.

Ideas I like:
Croaknights: Yum
Liches: (Wiches?) Uncroaking fully functional casters sounds like win to me.
Golems: Frankenstein esque flesh monsters. Let the stitching being at once!
Fully uncroaked: Regular uncroaked units but without any messy decay.

Or maybe they give no units whatsoever! indeed the arkendish gives unmatched thinkamancy, so perhaps the pliers simply give an unmatched croakamancy ablity. The boosted croakamancy, by extension, creates "super" uncroaked units (stronger, smarter and or longer lasting units).

R. Malcovitch
2009-04-24, 02:52 AM
I'm thinking something like Nazgul. Free willed (but enslaved to Wanda), non-decomposing, just as strong as living, and imbued with the ability to uncroak dead units themselves, just not commanders.

This would be as strong as dragons/archons, keep Ansom as a functioning character in the story (but warp his loyalties to Wanda instead of Jetstone), and mesh with the wielder's basic philosophy.

Kasavin
2009-04-24, 03:00 AM
I expect a totally free willed and mind intact Ansom (of some other form perhaps) to emerge. Mainly, because that would make the best drama. Bringing Ansom back to be nothing more than a mindless puppet is pointless. On another note, it would suddenly demonstrate to Wanda that she is not in control of the Pliers, they control her causing a crisis of identity. That'd make a much better "twist" than OMG, she's the BBEG!

Oslecamo
2009-04-24, 03:56 AM
I expect a totally free willed and mind intact Ansom (of some other form perhaps) to emerge. Mainly, because that would make the best drama. Bringing Ansom back to be nothing more than a mindless puppet is pointless. On another note, it would suddenly demonstrate to Wanda that she is not in control of the Pliers, they control her causing a crisis of identity. That'd make a much better "twist" than OMG, she's the BBEG!

From what've seen, all the other tools "unlock" units with unquestionable loyalty to the tool wielder.

So we may get a thinking Ansom, but he would be compeled by the pliers to fight for Wanda with all his strenght, wich personally I think it would make an even better drama, seeing Ansom the pretty boy become Ansom the emo-boy as he cries while slaughtering his ex-allies.

raphfrk
2009-04-24, 04:00 AM
This would be as strong as dragons/archons, keep Ansom as a functioning character in the story (but warp his loyalties to Wanda instead of Jetstone), and mesh with the wielder's basic philosophy.

It would an interesting anti-climax for Wanda if she uncroaked him, hoping to be able to torment him that he had to serve her, and the effect of the pliers was that it created a willing slave.

Kasavin
2009-04-24, 04:29 AM
From what've seen, all the other tools "unlock" units with unquestionable loyalty to the tool wielder.

A better comment might be ALL units have unquestionable loyalty to the chain of command. Also, the relationship between Charlie, the Archons, and the Arkendish is pretty ambiguous. The Archons might be a tribe with one of these semi-permanent alliances with Charlies. The only thing known about the Arkendish is it gives Charlies very powerful thinkamancy. Meanwhile, the Arkenhammer appears to be associated with no particular magic type. It tames Dwagons, shoots thunder, levitates, and apparently turns nuts and bats into pidgeons.


So we may get a thinking Ansom, but he would be compeled by the pliers to fight for Wanda with all his strenght, wich personally I think it would make an even better drama, seeing Ansom the pretty boy become Ansom the emo-boy as he cries while slaughtering his ex-allies.

Ugh... what a droll scenario.

First off, Ansom deserves better than being termed "pretty boy." He was a highly accomplished Warlord who led numerous front line attacks on dangerous positions. I usualy liken his character to the Operative from Serenity (great movie, must see). He has total belief in his cause (royalty as divinely ordained keepers of Erfworld) and from this the rest of his personality, conviction, and motivation flows, his raison d'etre. Arising to discover he had lost to Stanley the Worm and Lord Hamster ought to permanently end that belief. This is a lot more interesting than the cliche of "forced to battle the ones you love."

Second, what you propose is drama much delayed. If Ansom retains free will, then we'd probably get a fight right now between a ragtag band of castors and a high level warlord. Maybe Ansom escapes vowingto raise another army (nice place for a cliffhanger). This will give subsequent books a second plotline to follow Ansom's quest to reunite with Jillian and Vinnie and end before its to late the re-emerging Gobwin Know side.

On another note, the Arkenpliers destroyed uncroaked in Ansom's hands... it could be that they have ultimate power over any uncroaked and it can only manifest itself in destruction in the hands of an unattuned weilder... or it could be that the pliers are the opposite of croackamancy and are based on "Life" magic.

paddyfool
2009-04-24, 06:26 AM
Speculation: 4 "known" arkentools.

Hammer - Dwagons
Dish - Archons
Pliers - [uber-undead, as discussed above]
"Saw" - Giants (haven't seen any yet to speak of on any side - the biggest walking units seemed to be those trees and some of the golems - and one of these tools at least should have an uber, ground-based combat unit to match the air-dominating Dwagons, the casters, and the scary all-rounder I'd expect the uber-undead to be)

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 06:48 AM
Ya know, by itself a unit does not need to be powerful (stat-wise) to be a game-breaker.

Think of the ghosts from Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (the expansion). Stat-wise weak, but they had the ability to grow in number, one ghost for each unit they killed. Considering how many units were yet weaker than ghosts and very plentiful (peasants, say), it was very easy to get to ludicrous amounts of ectoplasm in your armies. And then, they were nigh unstoppable.

To top that, 60% or so of the enemies you killed, if you had Expert Necromancy*, would return as skeletons also. Leading me once to get a stack of -32768 skeletons. Yes folks, it's not just an xkcd joke.

Alas I don't have pics.

*: Using HoMM 2 conventions here.

jmsl
2009-04-24, 07:10 AM
Possible new units for Wanda:
Vegas Showgirls: the Titans would approve.
Succubus Dominatrices
Bloodsucking Leeches err Lawyers
F22 fighter jets
an army of Tim the Toolmans
an army of Bob the Builders
an army of Dozers (Fraggle Rock)
an army of fashion divas
an army of leather "gimps"

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 07:20 AM
Nobody expects the units Wanda has at her disposal.

Gez
2009-04-24, 08:04 AM
Ya know, by itself a unit does not need to be powerful (stat-wise) to be a game-breaker.

Think of the ghosts from Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (the expansion). Stat-wise weak, but they had the ability to grow in number, one ghost for each unit they killed. Considering how many units were yet weaker than ghosts and very plentiful (peasants, say), it was very easy to get to ludicrous amounts of ectoplasm in your armies. And then, they were nigh unstoppable.

Or a hero with Expert Necromancy and the Cloak of the Undead King in Heroes 3: Shadow of Death. Raise 60% of the dead (from both sides) as liches.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 08:11 AM
Or a hero with Expert Necromancy and the Cloak of the Undead King in Heroes 3: Shadow of Death. Raise 60% of the dead (from both sides) as liches.

Ooooh yeah. There's an artifact to ban on every self-respecting map.

But liches were pretty powerful by themselves, which takes things away from my point a little.

Imgran
2009-04-24, 08:23 AM
Transylvito's bats, qualify too, for that matter.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 08:30 AM
Transylvito's bats, qualify too, for that matter.

While Wanda probably won't make bats, yes exactly- there are many ways to have weak, yet otherwise powerful units.

Level/attribute drain, say, is particularly annoying. Added up with immunity to whatever happens to be the most common form of attack and you have yourself a 1HP murder machine.

TerraImmorits
2009-04-24, 09:06 AM
I suspect it will be... ack, if I expect it, then it'll never come true... let me just say...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o&feature=related


An excellent suggestion, sir knight!

For noone ever expects th...

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 09:13 AM
I suspect it will be... ack, if I expect it, then it'll never come true... let me just say...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o&feature=related

Heheheh, yes, yes exactly! You may wish to consider an offering of spoiler tags for the Erfworld Titans.

T-O-E
2009-04-24, 09:50 AM
Meanwhile, the Arkenhammer appears to be associated with no particular magic type. It tames Dwagons, shoots thunder, levitates, and apparently turns nuts and bats into pidgeons.


Carnymancy, maybe?


Speculation: 4 "known" arkentools.

Hammer - Dwagons
Dish - Archons
Pliers - [uber-undead, as discussed above]
"Saw" - Giants (haven't seen any yet to speak of on any side - the biggest walking units seemed to be those trees and some of the golems - and one of these tools at least should have an uber, ground-based combat unit to match the air-dominating Dwagons, the casters, and the scary all-rounder I'd expect the uber-undead to be)

I want there to be a dirtamancy tool that tames giant worms. I don't know why, I just want one.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 09:59 AM
Use a thumper to attract them. Otherwise, walk without rhythm.

ObadiahtheSlim
2009-04-24, 01:51 PM
Arkenbongos? Arkencongas?

Dark Matter
2009-04-24, 06:15 PM
On another note, the Arkenpliers destroyed uncroaked in Ansom's hands... it could be that they have ultimate power over any uncroaked and it can only manifest itself in destruction in the hands of an unattuned weilder... or it could be that the pliers are the opposite of croackamancy and are based on "Life" magic.Even when the Arkenpliers were in Ansom's hands Wanda *still* had some funky effect on them. Like they liked her better than they did him. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0133.html

At a guess you have to be a croackmancer to use them at their best.

ishnar
2009-04-24, 08:17 PM
Even when the Arkenpliers were in Ansom's hands Wanda *still* had some funky effect on them. Like they liked her better than they did him. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0133.html

At a guess you have to be a croackmancer to use them at their best.

My impression was that she cast a spell on them, but it could have been a reaction of the pliers too I suppose.

Mysteryman64
2009-04-24, 11:26 PM
Arkenbongos? Arkencongas?


Read that as Arkenbongs at first. Maybe Sizemore will get to be a hippiemancer after all!

Mukashi
2009-04-24, 11:34 PM
I'm not so sure about the special troops Wanda may be able to create now, but given the links between the uncroaked and dance fighting, I'm half expecting Ansom to be resurrected as "The Warlord formally known as Prince".

fractal
2009-04-25, 03:28 AM
I'm picturing the Arkenpliers creating flying, vampiric warlords that don't decay. Vampires are often considered some of the most powerful undead, after all. They'll use swarms of bats to overwhelm their foes, but will also use their great strength to kill with their hands and feet.

T-O-E
2009-04-25, 09:01 AM
I'm picturing the Arkenpliers creating flying, vampiric warlords that don't decay. Vampires are often considered some of the most powerful undead, after all. They'll use swarms of bats to overwhelm their foes, but will also use their great strength to kill with their hands and feet.

Hmm... Sounds familiar.

Haven
2009-04-25, 09:36 AM
I expect a totally free willed and mind intact Ansom (of some other form perhaps) to emerge. Mainly, because that would make the best drama. Bringing Ansom back to be nothing more than a mindless puppet is pointless. On another note, it would suddenly demonstrate to Wanda that she is not in control of the Pliers, they control her causing a crisis of identity. That'd make a much better "twist" than OMG, she's the BBEG!

I like the "Ansom is back but evil" twist better...

But I wouldn't mind him being a mindless puppet like the other Uncroaked, because I can see Wanda using that to freak out Jillian even -more- than the alternative.

...Okay, mostly I can just see Wanda re-enacting that scene with Lord Shojo and the wizard's skeleton. "Ansom, don't you want to get back together with Jillian?" "Sure thing, Mistress Firebaugh!" *toss*

ocdscale
2009-04-25, 11:50 AM
I'm not so sure about the special troops Wanda may be able to create now, but given the links between the uncroaked and dance fighting, I'm half expecting Ansom to be resurrected as "The Warlord formally known as Prince".

+350

Yes please.

HandofShadows
2009-04-25, 01:16 PM
If Wanda wanted to get back at Jillian she could easliy have killed or even injured some when the last met. In fact duty should have *required* Wanda to kill or at least stop Jillian since she had stated she would be going after Stanley. But instead Wanda destroyed the other flyers there, but left Jilliian untouched, even though there had been an Archon right next to her.

T-O-E
2009-04-25, 01:27 PM
Maybe Jillian was too strong to be taken out by the defenses? And Wanda knew that.

Sotharsyl
2009-04-25, 03:42 PM
For a raised from the dead Ansom I'd like whatever the form, something like the sumoning spell and how Parson had to laugh at Stanley's jokes Wanda could program him to repeat a phrase automaticaly like:
I'll never work for you Hamster,Undead rule,even thou your witch has binded my soul to Erf once,Undead rule,more I will resist.....yes dread mistress :smallfurious: Undead rule :smallfurious:
or something like this:
Leaders of TV and the rest of the RCC,Wanda is better in bed, I come to you with the treaty from Lord Hamster,Wanda is better in bed.
Why yes Jillian I did die,Wanda is better in bed, yes I got rezzed by your friend Wanda,Wanda is better in bed.
Indeed I am bound to her will,Wanda is better in bed you know running away in tears isn't helping our relashionship altough..Wanda is better in bed
I second the wraitj ideea and have their been any direct references to Lotr in Erf till now.

Doomsy
2009-04-28, 03:20 AM
Far as wild spam guessing goes, I'd put my money on Parson being Wanda's special unit and she was the original owner of the Arkenpliers or had done a lot more research than Mr Sparkly Pants. Mr Sparkly Pants could never attune them because they were already attuned to her. Alternately, they just never worked with him because he lacked the skills to activate them and she does, magic wise. She is and always has been playing her own game and Stanley was part of it. She had predicted the apocalyptic outcome of Gobwin Knob as part of her OWN play to get an Arkentool by precisely withholding information from Parsons one stage at a time.

Also, I highly suspect Jillian and Wanda have a shared origin. Possibly related or possibly from the same kingdom.
WSG shots away!

Oh as for what the pliers do - they twist and bend things, possibly loyalty. Including stealing units or breaking them out from others control, in effect, mind control of some kind. Or at least giving them a choice suddenly, which is a big deal in Erfworld. It makes sense given Wanda's specialties. She might look like a necromancer but she has multiple facets.

zz_tophat
2009-04-29, 04:13 AM
Well, the most recent comic answers this question, now the question is: is Ansome now stronger (red aura says power to me, then again it could just mean evil) as an uncroaked or is he just as strong as he was when he was alive (either one still makes him a tremendous asset).

HandofShadows
2009-04-29, 05:06 AM
Be no surprise if Croak Knight Ansom is *more* powerful than before. Both the Dwagons and Archons are highly powerfull units. I would guess he is a lot tougher than an Archon, but not as tough as a Dwagon. He has more firepower than a Dwagon, but less than an Archon. A more balanced unit as it where. I wonder if Ansom's carpet survived?

BobVosh
2009-04-29, 07:02 AM
The carpet? Bah, I loved his log. Best mount ever.

I wonder if he gained dance fighting for being some form of uncroaked. Moreover can she raise swarms of true undeath minions, like her more common zombie types?

Frogpop
2009-04-29, 07:29 AM
The carpet? Bah, I loved his log. Best mount ever.

Don't look now, but his log is his carpet.

Whoomp! (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0079.html)

Kreistor
2009-04-29, 08:57 AM
Be no surprise if Croak Knight Ansom is *more* powerful than before. Both the Dwagons and Archons are highly powerfull units. I would guess he is a lot tougher than an Archon, but not as tough as a Dwagon. He has more firepower than a Dwagon, but less than an Archon. A more balanced unit as it where. I wonder if Ansom's carpet survived?

We don't know that Ansom couldn't beat a dwagon. Jillian could. And we don't know that Ansom could beat an Archon: we've never seen an Archon in a fair 1 on 1. Ansom was cheap to produce, once the body was obtained, but we don't know how that compares to Archon or dwagon production.

And we don't know if Ansom gained any special abilities. If he is uncwoaked and not resurrected+dominated, then since intelligent undead usually get supernatural abilities, he might yet have them. Or might not. The advantage being you now have all of the intelligence of the old unit, but loyal to you.

Lots yet to determine before jumping into Uber-Ansom status. He's alive-ish, and cool, but that's all for now.

ripple
2009-04-29, 08:00 PM
Maybe Jillian was too strong to be taken out by the defenses? And Wanda knew that.

This was actually something that really bothered me at the time. The Archon having been taken out while Jillian stayed alive, I could understand...but given the Archons' power in other areas, do we really think that the marshmallow peep that Jillian was riding wouldn't have also croaked?

I think this was a "game rules are intentionally vague to allow creators to make the story work" situation.

--ripple

paddyfool
2009-04-30, 04:38 AM
And we don't know if Ansom gained any special abilities. If he is uncwoaked and not resurrected+dominated, then since intelligent undead usually get supernatural abilities, he might yet have them. Or might not. The advantage being you now have all of the intelligence of the old unit, but loyal to you.

Lots yet to determine before jumping into Uber-Ansom status. He's alive-ish, and cool, but that's all for now.

Well, there is the tiny observation that his feet don't seem to touch the ground, suggesting that he may now have flight as an ability...