The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    How? Assume you're doing a RWBY inspired dnd game, or Rooster Teeth just offered you ten million dollars if you "fix the show's worldbuilding" (you are given no instructions beyond that) and your fix ideas are better than the ideas of the other ten guys they made this offer to.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Most of RWBY's world-building problems stem from the major tonal shift the show incurred in Vol 3, when it shifted from being a light-hearted 'magical academy' style show to a surprisingly grim epic melodrama. These are two different storytelling modes and they require different world-building methods to support them. This has resulted in events in recent volumes - most notably through long story told by Jinn in Vol 6 (which represents an entire full-length episode) - functionally rebooting the world in order to orient the conflict around an epic struggle between good and evil rather than the earlier struggle of humans vs. grim.

    So if you're going to rebuild RWBY you have to decide what you want your would to be. Are you building a world to support characters who adventure through a points-of-light wilderness and have epic gun-fu fights with chimeric animal monsters? Or are you building a world where a handful of bastions of civilization must join together and build an alliance centered around magical McGuffins in order to save the world? These questions are extremely important. After all, Salem only exists in one version of this world.

    In looking at this its worth noting why RWBY did what they did. 'Magical Academy' shows come with a built in dead-end. Eventually the characters graduate and they then disperse and go off to work in the field in probably a fairly repetitive lifestyle where they run the same type of missions over and over. In order to prevent this from happening Rooster Teeth went with the time-honored practice of interrupting the academy process by blowing up the academy (this is extremely common in the shounen anime genre that the story of RWBY has come to resemble more and more over time), and like many shows of this type there are attendant world-building problems with trying to handle this scenario where partially trained children have to transition into the heroes of the world fighting some great crisis even though the overwhelming majority of their seniors - who are ostensibly way better at fighting than they are - are still alive. RWBY, somewhat surprisingly and quite smartly, actually had the courage to systematically eliminate this faction in Mistral for the purpose of enabling Vol 5's story, but there have still been issues. For example, in the train fight sequence that opens Vol 6 they had to pass the licensed Huntsmen the incompetence ball to make that engagement work.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    The worldbuilding problems definitely didn't just start in season 3. From the beginning, the writers were unwilling to commit to just about any of the concepts they introduced, and the whole thing was a pretty shallow kludgework of ideas. They kinda got better over time, but only kinda.

    I've seen a few discussions of this sort on different forums. They all ended with the conclusion that if you fixed RWBY, it would no longer be recognizable as RWBY.

    If you just want a game inspired by one of the things that RWBY sometimes seems like it's trying to do (or at least markets itself as), you'd end up wih something a lot like The Witcher.
    Last edited by Flumphburger; 2019-02-28 at 03:51 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flumphburger View Post
    The worldbuilding problems definitely didn't just start in season 3. From the beginning, the writers were unwilling to commit to just about any of the concepts they introduced, and the whole thing was a pretty shallow kludgework of ideas. They kinda got better over time, but only kinda.
    The early world-building had problems, yes, but it didn't matter that much because it was a magical academy show, it was a story about four girls and their friends going to school, and the larger world-building issues were mitigated because the story wasn't about the greater world of Remnant it was about girls in high school. When the story transitioned to become a massive epic, then the world-building needs shifted and the material previously produced to that point was unsuited to the new storytelling mode. This is, by the way, the exact same problem that Harry Potter has, manifested in pretty much the same way.

    A coming-of-age story about a group of kids gradually transitioning into adulthood and an epic melodrama where the fate of the world hangs in the balance are largely incompatible storytelling modes, and to even make the attempt you have to justify throwing the kids into harm's way by making one of them the 'chosen one.' But you can't really build a game this way. So if you're going to make RWBY for game purposes, you need to decide which thing you're doing first.

    If you're making a game about school kids training to become huntsmen/huntresses, then you build the world to have a largely stable status quo with the four kingdoms mostly at peace the grim threat present but manageable and your human antagonists all have motives related to the school or academy town directly, and there's no terrible threat overhanging the world at all. In this scenario there is no Salem and her entire backstory doesn't exist and the Grimm are just some legacy of the absent god of darkness that spawn in the wild and threaten everything. There are no Maidens either and Ospin is just a wise and inscrutable headmaster with connections. Most villains have base, Torchwick-style motives and Cinder's just some rogue huntress with an axe to grind against Ospin personally.

    You would then build the game to have both a set of adventures within the academy, probably highly social in origin, and a corresponding set of training missions in desolate wilderness areas that would look a lot like the gameplay of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. Everything would be fairly low stakes and the campaign goal would be for the characters to overcome some school-level crisis (perhaps similar to the one presented in 'Breach') before graduating.

    On the other hand, if you're making a game where Salem is an overwhelming threat to four deeply compromised and mutually antagonistic kingdoms standing on the brink of destruction, then you want to ignore the academy system entirely and cast your party as full-fledged huntsmen/huntresses working on a mercenary mission structure. You'd have threats on all sides and while the Grimm remain a threat, they aren't even close to the endgame and your characters might in fact spend the majority of their time fighting humans/faunus. You'd probably want to structure a campaign around a high-powered magical mcguffin too, and the tone would be fairly dark and gritty overall. You'd probably want to track resources carefully and have the heroes always short on cash, dust, and a safe place to sleep, and you'd build the settlements as desperate places barely on the edge of survival accordingly.

    TLDR: RWBY can be used to tell two distinctly different types of story, and you would build the world differently depending on which of those stories you want your game to support. The resulting 'fixed' world would look very different depending on which of the two you're trying to do.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The early world-building had problems, yes, but it didn't matter that much because it was a magical academy show, it was a story about four girls and their friends going to school, and the larger world-building issues were mitigated because the story wasn't about the greater world of Remnant it was about girls in high school. When the story transitioned to become a massive epic, then the world-building needs shifted and the material previously produced to that point was unsuited to the new storytelling mode. This is, by the way, the exact same problem that Harry Potter has, manifested in pretty much the same way.

    A coming-of-age story about a group of kids gradually transitioning into adulthood and an epic melodrama where the fate of the world hangs in the balance are largely incompatible storytelling modes, and to even make the attempt you have to justify throwing the kids into harm's way by making one of them the 'chosen one.' But you can't really build a game this way. So if you're going to make RWBY for game purposes, you need to decide which thing you're doing first.

    If you're making a game about school kids training to become huntsmen/huntresses, then you build the world to have a largely stable status quo with the four kingdoms mostly at peace the grim threat present but manageable and your human antagonists all have motives related to the school or academy town directly, and there's no terrible threat overhanging the world at all. In this scenario there is no Salem and her entire backstory doesn't exist and the Grimm are just some legacy of the absent god of darkness that spawn in the wild and threaten everything. There are no Maidens either and Ospin is just a wise and inscrutable headmaster with connections. Most villains have base, Torchwick-style motives and Cinder's just some rogue huntress with an axe to grind against Ospin personally.

    You would then build the game to have both a set of adventures within the academy, probably highly social in origin, and a corresponding set of training missions in desolate wilderness areas that would look a lot like the gameplay of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. Everything would be fairly low stakes and the campaign goal would be for the characters to overcome some school-level crisis (perhaps similar to the one presented in 'Breach') before graduating.

    On the other hand, if you're making a game where Salem is an overwhelming threat to four deeply compromised and mutually antagonistic kingdoms standing on the brink of destruction, then you want to ignore the academy system entirely and cast your party as full-fledged huntsmen/huntresses working on a mercenary mission structure. You'd have threats on all sides and while the Grimm remain a threat, they aren't even close to the endgame and your characters might in fact spend the majority of their time fighting humans/faunus. You'd probably want to structure a campaign around a high-powered magical mcguffin too, and the tone would be fairly dark and gritty overall. You'd probably want to track resources carefully and have the heroes always short on cash, dust, and a safe place to sleep, and you'd build the settlements as desperate places barely on the edge of survival accordingly.

    TLDR: RWBY can be used to tell two distinctly different types of story, and you would build the world differently depending on which of those stories you want your game to support. The resulting 'fixed' world would look very different depending on which of the two you're trying to do.
    Yeah, that's about right. RWBY just has too much random crap thrown together that doesn't really fit. Pick the aspects you want to focus on, trim out everything NOT conducive to that, and you could have a decent campaign setting.

    You could have a magic cyberpunk-esque thing with sinister megacorps and terrorists and lowlives in the urban jungle, a Witcher-type dealy hunting monsters out in the wilderness, an epic fantasy thing about stopping the Dark Lady from engineering a world war, or a silly lighthearted animu high school thing.

    You could probably even combine any two of those and have something cool. Probably not three though, and absolutely not all four.
    Last edited by Flumphburger; 2019-02-28 at 06:57 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Durkoala's Avatar

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Well, you've done it now. I'm not sure if anybody remembers me, but I was around in the RWBY threads on this board during volume 2, grew disgruntled by the start of volume three and then decided that I didn't like the direction it was taking by the end of it. But, before that, I was working on my own custom version of RWBY's setting that I never really got around to showing to anybody in full. It grew extremely lengthy and deep, and the characters of the alternate storyline that I was working on were kept in the dark about much of the true nature of the setting—at least at the beginning of the story.

    Here's my first attempt at sorting out what I came up with for the world and the slightly to very different stoyline for RWBY. A lot of things didn't get a final name or detail before I stopped working on the setting and story: any holes, beta names, beta ideas or things I didn't like but never got around to changing will be marked in bold.

    I'll probably be working on this in stages, so what's posted here isn't the full setting (until it is).

    Spoiler: Cosmology
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    The greater universe of this Rwby is best envisioned as five great notes that vibrate in ways beyond most humans' concepts. As these note harmonise with each other they becomes something like chords, creating a myriad planes of existence where dimensions, matter and energy as we understand them exist. As these planes share in some way

    The vast, vast majority of these planes only have a temporary lifespan: their chaotic and imbalanced laws of physics lead to their collapse sooner or later and most of them disappear before having existed for a second. Some may exist for hours, years or centuries. However, there are five planes where the balance of the five notes is just right to allow them to exist permanently. These are known as the Five Great Chords: Vytal, Calor, Oceanus, Ventus, Ert.

    Vytal is the plane of the main setting. Life and the universe mostly appears to be as we know it, aside from all living things having the potential to use Aura (see below). It is the plane of life, and life struggles into being on nearly any rock in the great void of space. In Vytal, there is a lonely planet with a shattered moon and a species desperately battling creatures of darkness.

    Calor is the plane of fire, a vast void of ash that slowly dances, pulled together by gravity and blasted by stars. In Calor, energy is far easier to release from matter and large, planet-sized clumps of ash will often explode into new stars under the pressure of their own weight. Life is much rarer in Calor than on Vytal, but it does exist, often on the hollow husks of planets that didn't quite become stars, or surfing through the interstellar void on burning shards of ash the size of continents.

    Oceanus, Ventus and Ert are planes I didn't get around to designing much of. Ventus was the only one I was halfway satisfied with and is a cosmos of air and small objects. I considered Ert as a plane where the entire cosmos was underground, but had trouble imagining how that would work.

    Travel between planes is technically possible, but beyond the technological reach of the lonely planet at the start of the story.

    Ultimately, only Vytal and Calor had a major prescence in the story, and Vytal had the vast majority of that, although thinking about Calor's version of the lonely planet, frozen in a bubble of stopped time, was a lot of fun.
    ---------------------------------
    At the start of the series, on the lonely planet, RWBY and crew have no idea of this and the current scientific theory believes them to be alone, trapped on a planet in an empty universe, although there's also a scientific field on the origins and curious vibrational properties of Dust, which has lead to some curious ideas about the state of the universe...
    Mostly, however, the minds of the lonely planet are more concerned with the shadow monsters attempting to eat them.

    Spoiler: Aura and Semblance
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    In Vytal, all living beings have the potential to activate the power known as Aura or Hue (after the distinctive coloured ...aura that appears when it blocks a strike). Aura is an expression of the soul and the existence in general, and protects the user from harm. Throughout the history of the civilisation of the lonely planet, it's been a constant tool for war and survival and its ins and outs have been explored thoroughly.

    Ordinarily, Aura is inactive and does nothing to protect the user. However, with an act of will, the user is instantly enveloped in a force blocks any attack the user percieves as a threat. This isn't simply a matter of noticing a danger (even unforeseen attacks are automatically blocked by an active Aura) but instead a subconscious sorting of what counts as a threat: obvious attack or impacts are instinctively blocked, but gases, electricity or heat are often let through unless the user can recognise the danger they pose.

    Aura also has other weaknesses. Coming Soon

    Spoiler: Civilisation
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    Coming soon
    Spoiler: Pixel avatar and Raincloud Durkoala were made by me. The others are the work of Cuthalion.
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    Cuteness and Magic and Phone Moogles, oh my! Let's Watch Card Captor Sakura!Sadly on a small hiatus.

    Durkoala reads a book! It's about VR and the nineties!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DuctTapeKatar's Avatar

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    The larger issues with RWBY's world are that there are moving parts that are not being explored, and that they chose to get the gang back together so soon makes a lot of the world seem small and empty. I would have kept them apart for another volume before having them reunite. I think that RWBY would benefit a spin-off show about a completely different team, pre-Battle-for-Beacon and post-BfB, just to emphasize how much damage that it done to the kingdom, as well as explore the surrounding area of Vale. I have an idea for such a story, probably will lock it up so it never sees the light of day, hell, I think we all do, but still.

    The largest issue with the show is that it has no coherent plot or long-term goals, much like the new Star Wars movies. In fact, I think that the worldbuilding before wasn't that integral to the show, and that the fans are starting to panic and trying to find reasons that the show is starting to fall apart that aren't "it was this bad all along, and you were just stupid!" No, RWBY wasn't this bad. Not that it was that good, but it had promise.
    "My new favorite spell is Ice Knife, because it is a throwing knife made from ice, and a grenade."

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTapeKatar View Post
    The larger issues with RWBY's world are that there are moving parts that are not being explored, and that they chose to get the gang back together so soon makes a lot of the world seem small and empty. I would have kept them apart for another volume before having them reunite. I think that RWBY would benefit a spin-off show about a completely different team, pre-Battle-for-Beacon and post-BfB, just to emphasize how much damage that it done to the kingdom, as well as explore the surrounding area of Vale. I have an idea for such a story, probably will lock it up so it never sees the light of day, hell, I think we all do, but still.

    The largest issue with the show is that it has no coherent plot or long-term goals, much like the new Star Wars movies. In fact, I think that the worldbuilding before wasn't that integral to the show, and that the fans are starting to panic and trying to find reasons that the show is starting to fall apart that aren't "it was this bad all along, and you were just stupid!" No, RWBY wasn't this bad. Not that it was that good, but it had promise.
    I mean, it was one of the worst shows I've ever seen from the beginning. The fact that it got even worse* in season 3 and beyond doesn't really mean that the first two were anything other than awful.


    *specifically, season 3 is when the show started trying to have emotional weight and expecting you to take it somewhat seriously, without becoming any less lazy or incoherent.
    Last edited by Flumphburger; 2019-03-30 at 05:28 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    I haven't seen any of the new seasons--IIRC the last time I watched it was a trade with a friend where they'd watch the Tales From My D&D Campaign youtube series in exchange for me watching season 1 of RWBY, with season 2 being watched later when it came out.

    Something that struck me immediately is that the Grimm don't actually work as intended, because
    1. Around since forever
    2. Population proportional to human suffering
    3. Credible threat to a civilization full of magitek anime waifu killsquads
    is one too many flavors of danger for humanity to survive at once. If SpaceAge!Remnnant is struggling with Grimm, StoneAge!Remnant would've died in a week. I don't have experience with how later seasons changed this, having only heard vague things about Maidens and Salem, but if you want a mixture of "world-ending witch shenanigans" and "reasonably dealt with by animal control ninjas", here's an alternative: Have the Grimm be a catastrophe started around the Remnant equivalent of the Black Death, Colombian Exchange, or Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, but is nearly mopped up after a millennium-ish of work. Have it be jeopardized by some cultist or turbo-Grimm trying to cause Black Death 2: Electric Boogaloo to finally win the war. Doing this makes the "anime animal control wizard school" to "dire action-adventure" transition cleaner, since there's a reason why the former would be underfunded or not taken seriously exactly when the world would need it most.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    If you're making a game about school kids training to become huntsmen/huntresses, then you build the world to have a largely stable status quo with the four kingdoms mostly at peace the grim threat present but manageable [...] Most villains have base, Torchwick-style motives and Cinder's just some rogue huntress with an axe to grind against Ospin personally.
    I think this is the version I would prefer story wise. In a game I might prefer post fall of Beacon, perhaps not due to a grand evil plot but something to create a changing environment for PCs to act freely in, without having a single hook they must follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTapeKatar View Post
    The largest issue with the show is that it has no coherent plot or long-term goals, much like the new Star Wars movies.
    Or like the old Star Wars movies. Personally I don't like RWBY, I like talking about RWBY with my friends. That is why I bother to watch the episodes and the first thing I do once finished is announce that I have in to my friends so we know when we can start discussing what happened. For me it and Star Wars have the same primary value, a touch-stone by which I communicate with the people around me.

    I mean when describing dust I said that it is the settings hand-wave material. Not to be confused with the hand-wave abilities or the hand-wave creatures or just the straight magic/divine intervention in the setting. That is a lot of unconnected strange stuff in the setting.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I think this is the version I would prefer story wise. In a game I might prefer post fall of Beacon, perhaps not due to a grand evil plot but something to create a changing environment for PCs to act freely in, without having a single hook they must follow.

    Or like the old Star Wars movies. Personally I don't like RWBY, I like talking about RWBY with my friends. That is why I bother to watch the episodes and the first thing I do once finished is announce that I have in to my friends so we know when we can start discussing what happened. For me it and Star Wars have the same primary value, a touch-stone by which I communicate with the people around me.

    I mean when describing dust I said that it is the settings hand-wave material. Not to be confused with the hand-wave abilities or the hand-wave creatures or just the straight magic/divine intervention in the setting. That is a lot of unconnected strange stuff in the setting.
    The old Star Wars movies have a goal: The oldest ones want the Empire defeated and Vader downed. The Prequels are about a crappy galaxy with egotistical and lazy Jedi falling apart due to the manipulations of one Sith and the kid he messes with. The prequels have a lot of extra junk they added for the sake of worldbuilding, and not all of it is good. Much of it sucks. But I can respect it for trying to add more to this universe instead of taking the safe option and remaking these films to squeeze nostalgia.

    also you're right about the handwave thing. The more of these hand-wave things a story has, the worse it gets. I think that's how that works. That's why this show worked so much better when it just had videogame healthbars, one superpower per person worth anything, and magic crystals with consistent elemental effects to fuel your guns and sometimes mess with your one superpower in interesting ways. One power, the dust you carried, the weapon and fighting style you used and how much HP you had. That's all the show needed. None of this Special Eyes, Gods, Warring Gods, Those Chosen By The Gods, Chosen One, Wizards and Do-Anything Magic crap from the hat of cliche ideas.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Honestly? For most of the show's run, I don't think RWBY really had an interest in having a cohesive world. For the first few volumes the series didn't have much in the way of storytelling ambition beyond "be something cool."

    ...And that's fine. Honestly, total sincerity. Sometimes you want to just make something that's interesting to look at, setting and story cohesion be damned and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Now, my contributions to the RWBY threads have and will most likely always be mediocre snarkiness, but I'll give credit where its due. The writers actually are trying to stitch the grab bag of ideas into something coherent and most of the weaker plot threads have already been resolved. (I was never feeling the whole bit with The White Fang. If any of you liked it more power to you, I guess.)

    I could get into the details regarding the setting and worldbuilding that I took issue with, but that would amount to so much nitpicking rather than any sort of decent vision going forward. I think RWBY might be better with more thematic rather than worldbuilding consistency. While it's a little muddled, I think what RWBY is about at its core is optimism, perseverance and self-determination in the face of a cruel, uncaring reality. At least it feels that way in the moments that it's genuinely good.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    You know, after some thinking about it, I think RWBY's worldbuilding is actually pretty good, you just nees to take a peek behind the curtain a bit and focus in on some details.

    The City of Vale is essentially a hive-city when you think about it.

    It is a sprawling metropolitan landscape of buildings, roads, and subway systems. It largest issue was always that it had limited space in its territory, meaning that expansion is nearly impossible without taking down other buildings and building on that foundation. Mt. Glenn was a project to try and build beyond its safe zone, and it failed because of that. I wouldn't say that crime is rampant, but it is a major problem. Torchwick, the red-tie and suit gang, and the White Fang are just one part of a larger ecosystem of smaller, less known gangs and possible terror cells. The police seem unequipped to manage the criminal underworld that has grown in the city, as seen by the police investigating Torchwick's robberies. The city is large enough that a train ride to the next district is enough to shake somebody off of your tail.

    In short, it's a perfect place for a game based more on elements of mystery and crime.
    "My new favorite spell is Ice Knife, because it is a throwing knife made from ice, and a grenade."

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    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    What really bugs me is that they tried to set Team RWBY up as a final fantasy team. Tank, Healer, DPS, and... Oh wait.

    Healing powers went to Jaune, the random nobody a million other stories already did better. I'm no butthurt waifu kid but imagine how much more interesting it would have been if Jaune died trying to save Pyrrha, this got Ruby and Pyrrha mad since they both like him, and now Pyrrha the super nice sweetheart is this edgy vengeful punished Pyrrha out for Cinder's blood. She goes from "man it sucks being perfect, expectations suck" to "I failed Jaune because I couldn't protect him or myself, I'm not strong enough" and my status as the invincible cool girl has flown out the window.

    Yang is the tank. She benefits from taking blows because it fills her Royal Guard meter. But does she actively try to block attacks or protect her friends? Not often, since the fights are usually... Indescribably bad. No teamwork, no thinking, no moral lesson for the heroes to learn and rarely anything cool. It's like they're going for style over substance but nothing cool or stylish has happened since S2 and a few S3 scenes. Shotgun nunchuks from shadow clone blondie was cool, and the Neo VS Yang fight was excellent. I just wish a show with a tournament arc in S3 actually had anything half as good as every good fight in the Chunin Exams. Where is this franchise's "Rock Lee VS Gaara"-tier moment?

    Blake is the thief who strikes with... a sword on a string that tells everyone where she is. Also she negates your attack by Bayonetta dodging and leaning a shadow clone behind. One that can freeze you, explode, etc using dust.

    Weiss was designed to be the party mage, so she swings her rapier like a wand. She has a lot of dust. Elemental attacks. And glyphs for speed boosts, time dilation, slowing foes, maybe also gravity. Then she gets Summoning for some reason. Guess she wasn't special enough already. Guess she needed some feckin naruto kekkei genkai clan jutsu. Man, why go the "hereditary semblance because **** metaphors for personality" route when you could instead say "Weiss's mom, or a Schnee born 4 generations ago, has the power to give others in his bloodline and their offspring the semblance he wished he had"? You'd get to make Weiss even more OP by giving her another semblance, one that fits her way more than drudging up her own miserable past and slapping redshirts with it.

    Then there's Ruby. She's fast. Has a gun and big scythe. If she was smart, she would never be hit. The Flash with a gun and sword and bull**** aura. Then she gets magical Byakugan eyes that just... INVALIDATE THE WHOLE PREMISE OF THE SHOW. it's like when they gave Ben 10 unlimited control over Alien X, it ruins the show. Why should I care about a fight Ben is struggling to win as Heatblast when he should just use a stronger alien like Alien X to instawin at no personal cost?

    It's so bad. They could have given Ruby a Devil Trigger or Avatar State. Or had her use her Semblance constantly and not just while moving for a Gear Second-like effect. Or handed her the ability to turn her aura or light or rose petals into weapons to tie into her character's huge knowledge about weapons, and also reflect Cynders identical ability. Even ripping off Haki from One Piece to let Ruby death glare Grimm into terrified submission/control them Eren style, and also bypass aura to make her slashes count, and also see the future and see foes from afar and strategize accordingly when planning your team's moves... But no, they gave her a Skip Fight button on a bad game's easy mode difficulty.

    Shoot me for saying this but the Sharingan of Naruto wasn't this bad. Yes, they invalidated everything the show wanted to stand for and swallowed the whole franchise. But they weren't literal I Win button eyes. Sharingan masters stomping redshirts could still be visually entertaining. Ruby shining her flashlight eyes on Grimm can't be interesting. And that sucks, because this entire series was always just Dead Fantasy 2, an excuse to have cool-looking toys smack each other around. But the guy who made the show fun and endearing is dead, replaced with two guys who knew so little about writing they needed to be assigned "anime homework" after being given the job.
    Last edited by MatrixStone93; 2019-09-12 at 05:51 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Feb 2013

    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    MatrixStone, I know I'm probably coming off as reductionist here, but it seems like your beef with RWBY is more about pacing and characterization rather than world-building. Which... ehh... fair. RWBY definitely has its issues beyond world-building and I definitely got my own hangups related to the series, which I'm avoiding getting into.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixStone93 View Post
    Shoot me for saying this but the Sharingan of Naruto wasn't this bad. Yes, they invalidated everything the show wanted to stand for and swallowed the whole franchise. But they weren't literal I Win button eyes. Sharingan masters stomping redshirts could still be visually entertaining. Ruby shining her flashlight eyes on Grimm can't be interesting.
    I'll admit the Silver Eyes was a world-building element that was not handled well at all. At best it was a clumsy plant and payoff, (Ozpin mentions the Silver Eyes one time early in Volume 1, it never comes up again in Volume 2, and only gets explained at the very end of Volume 3.) World-building-wise, it still doesn't quite work because for a long time I wasn't sure why Silver Eyes also harm Cinder. There's an explanation is supplementary materials-- director's commentary or somesuch. But that's a lousy way to understand a fictional world.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixStone93 View Post
    And that sucks, because this entire series was always just Dead Fantasy 2, an excuse to have cool-looking toys smack each other around. But the guy who made the show fun and endearing is dead, replaced with two guys who knew so little about writing they needed to be assigned "anime homework" after being given the job.
    Much has been made of why Monty was leaps and bounds better than the other writers, as far as I'm concerned though... I think his strengths were more in his ability to direct. The Volumes he worked on had better timing, better sight gags, and really owned their anime visual tropes. There were even occasional stylistic flourishes that weren't really needed to make a scene work but added some interest.

    As for "anime homework"... Yeah, I don't think that'll make anyone a better writer.
    Iop brain.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Mar 2015

    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Yeah, RWBY is... just good enough I can watch it and laugh about it with my friends. Which is honestly the main reason I watch it, not for the quality of the show itself.

    But to talk more about the world-building I'm going to bring up power-balance. You see even the students were very strong from the very beginning. But then we get to see senior students and teachers go at it. And honestly, that actually helped with the world building a lot. If people of that power level are common (like we graduate a class of a dozen or more in each major city every year) it kind of makes sense why society is stable even if there are monsters around every corner. But then the fall of Beacon happened and now there doesn't seem to be a single competent individual outside of the main group and that is kind of a problem.

    Because everywhere the heroes go they have to save the day. And most of this isn't some once-off burst like at the end of season 3 which took a whole massive negative propaganda campaign and internal sabotage and maybe some other things I am forgetting. Just a regular train ride requires two teams of hunters to defend it, a single grimm attack almost destroys the fifth largest city in setting. How did this place not fall apart years ago?

    Well because exciting things like this don't happen when the heroes aren't around. Good enough for this show but not great world building. Honestly I think that team RWBY should spend more time going out and finding danger instead of letting it come to them, those imply very different things about the setting.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Jul 2015

    Default Re: How would you make RWBY's worldbuilding better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    But to talk more about the world-building I'm going to bring up power-balance. You see even the students were very strong from the very beginning. But then we get to see senior students and teachers go at it. And honestly, that actually helped with the world building a lot. If people of that power level are common (like we graduate a class of a dozen or more in each major city every year) it kind of makes sense why society is stable even if there are monsters around every corner. But then the fall of Beacon happened and now there doesn't seem to be a single competent individual outside of the main group and that is kind of a problem.
    This is the problem pretty much every major shounen anime series - and trope-wise RWBY is very much a shounen anime it's just made by an American group and has an all female main cast - also has. You have a bunch of students who start at the bottom who somehow end up being world-saving heroes even though they are surrounded, from the very start by people with decades more experience than them who are often exponentially more powerful.

    RWBY was actually better about this than most shows of its type. For example, Ruby actually contributes to fighting alongside Glynda in Episode One rather than being completely useless, and while veteran characters like Qrow and Winter were significantly more capable than the students it's not at the 'I can take on hundreds of you at once' level you'd see in many contemporaneous shows. However, as time progressed and the Maidens got brought in it started to unravel.

    And of course, like in many shounen shows we have a mid-story reveal of this terrible overpowering ancient evil that somehow no one felt like talking about before and that none of the existing powerful people can stop but that this new generation, which has the chosen one in its ranks, is going to have to take on. This sort of thing always strains verisimilitude hard because it raises the question of why the evil one didn't conquer the world years (or in many cases centuries) earlier. RWBY, by placing Ozpin as the eternal opposition to Salem is also better about this than some shows, it's just that the core story structure is not a very good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury
    Much has been made of why Monty was leaps and bounds better than the other writers, as far as I'm concerned though... I think his strengths were more in his ability to direct. The Volumes he worked on had better timing, better sight gags, and really owned their anime visual tropes. There were even occasional stylistic flourishes that weren't really needed to make a scene work but added some interest.
    The reason RWBY became popular in the first place was entirely because of the visuals. It managed to produce remarkably kinetic fight sequences using cheap 3d animation in a way that was not common up to that point in anime (and to some extent still isn't, though it's gotten a lot better). It was wedded to an extremely tired 'magical academy' trope structure, but it worked because it had short episodes, interesting visuals, and managed to avoid drowning in relationship drama the way many shows of this type do. Without Monty it transformed into a very much bog-standard shounen series. It's not a bad shounen series, so far as these things go, but it's not able to transcend the weaknesses of the genre either.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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