Okay, this is what I thought (put in NEW, EASY to READ LIST FORMAT!!
-Quite a bit of detail on the characters
-A few gags on the way to the "punchline"
-Updates are not too slow (twice a week is pretty good)
-Art. It wasn't sloppy or anything (except for the hammer; the way it looked bothered me a bit), but it's style was just not to my liking. Looked like cell-shaded video game graphics, but kind of... odd. The main thing that bugged me about the art was the main head honcho. He wasn't very detailed at all. And that hammer. I hated that hammer. I'm still trying to decide whether I liked the art or not. I'm more of a fence-sitter on this aspect of the comic, but I really hated that hammer...
-Humor (or rather the lack of it). I didn't exactly find it funny. The little jokes didn't really provide much humor. I was a little disappointed in the lack of jokes, but it is a little too early to judge the humorous aspect of it. I just didn't think it was that funny.
-Baby talk. I'm not sure it added anything to the comic by replacing Dragon with Dwagon, and Necromancer with Croakamancer. The baby talk didn't exactly settle well with me. It just seemed unnecessary. Even though the art made it look childish, the language didn't need to be so. It just seemed like there was really no point to doing the whole baby-talk thing.
Characters: Will there be characters that I don't hate? I really hope so. I know there hasn't been a lot of time to let the characters develop very much, but as for first impressions, I don't like any of the characters. And the Elvis-titan thing was just confusing.
Overall: I'm still deciding whether or not I like it. Even if it isn't laugh-out-loud funny, or even if it isn't very funny at all, I will still read it. It's there. Why not read it? It's another day of comics.
So I am still deciding on it. I'll have to see more before I make my final judgement. So far, though, I haven't been too awfully impressed...
Avatar courtesy of Abardam, who is the first to have my Eternal Gratitude (Ooooh! Capital Letters!)
I absolutely love the art work, it looks great. Not sure about the story, though. I think I didn't get the jokes, at least they didn't make me laugh (findamancer ... whatever). But I guess it's too early to judge. We'll see.
Hmm, nightmares of croquet? Maybe traumatized by Disney's Alice in Wonderland.
To me it looked like one of those plastic kids toys (complete with the ribbing where the plastic pieces joined together) that's sproingy on both ends, and a croquet mallet. Not sure what the author's were going for, but I figure they wanted it to look out of place.
"I was working on a case. It had to be a case, because I couldn't afford a desk. Then I saw her. This tall blond lady. She must have been tall because I was on the third floor. She rolled her deep blue eyes towards me. I picked them up and rolled them back. We kissed. She screamed. I took the cigarette from my mouth and kissed her again."
Overall I don't mind it. It's not a laugh a minute, but that doesn't bother me. The pacing is just different, and different is good. With that being said, if this comic wasn't on the OOTS site, I'm afraid it would be in severe danger of being forgotten - not because I don't like it, just because...well, I don't read ANY webcomics with any regularity...with the sole exception of OOTS.
Erfworld has its own little charm. As long as it stays, I'll read it.
I have to say I so far am not pleased with this. I will continue to read it for a while, I suppose, but still, it's just..how do I explain..
For one, the art style. I can't explain it, but, it just...annoys me beyond reason. Just looking at it seems to really tick me off. It just isnt good to look at for me.
I seem to be having a hard time telling what, exactly, is going. Particulary with the 7th strip. Granted, further comics could make it easier to understand.
The w's. These also tick me off for some unknown reason. Perhaps because it sounds a bit too childish to say. There is a difference between entertainable childish, and the point where it just gets ridiculus.
Thats pretty much it, I can't say I hope it gets any better, for the over-all style is just infuriating..
There is nothing in it that I'm even mildly curious about. The visual and verbal incoherence make it unpleasantly hard to read, as if it was translated from another language by someone who is basically mistaken about what constitutes a story. There's definitely some talent behind the art, but I sure don't like the use to which it is being put.
You know, I didn't notice what people are calling 'childish' or 'baby-talk'. I felt the replacement of some letters with w's was more of a dialect thing than 'baby-talk'. But then again... I have never had a baby, nor have I ever spoken to anyone like this so what do I know?
As for croakamancer's I don't think we have seen what Wanda Firebaugh is capable of. I have a hunch that croakamancers have the power over either un-croaking people, or croaking people. Which if applied to a standard D&D world would fall into several different schools. Maybe people's issue with this is that if falls outside the Tolkien/D&D paradigm?
And while I am in the process of giving people my thoughts, and not studying biochemistry... I also have this to say.
In the beginning it is easy to find fault. I am sure if Mr. Burlew had a forum up with his 1st 6 comix, and they were presented to a large audience of readers of another webcomic, I am sure he would have had all sorts of vitriol thrown at him. I am also sure people would have commented on his art style saying "Stick figures? What kind of lazy person would draw stick figures and expect me to be entertained by it?"
Like I said, it's easier to voice disapproval in the beginning before a comic establishes itself, draws a following and has enough history for people to get a sense of what it is 'all about'. After that point, it seems people are more quiet about their negative opinions. Then it becomes more of a "Shrug, I guess if you like it." and they don't feel the need to say things like "I can't believe anyone likes this!"
However, if you look at the poll, it appears those who have the strongest negative reactions are in the minority, even if that minority is highly vocal at the moment.
I am currently concentrating on RL stuffs. If you need me PM me.
If you also look in the poll, you notice that more people dislike it for the cutesy talk than those who like it for it. Personally, I'm interested. Part of the "waiting on the fence group." Page 7 was a good start with the new characters, I'm still waiting to get to know them, but its still a welcome step.
Cutesy Talk: Dislike Artwork: Like Humor: Neutral Plotline: Undecided
Right now I'm tipping towards dislike, throwing the turn-based thing into the comic just threw the whole thing off for me :S .
I'm afraid I just don't get it. The evil warlord looks like a child and has a child's toy style hammer as his mighty artifact. He uses text-speak IM programs. Ha? Am I meant to laugh here, or what?
In a strip-a-day format, I get nothing out of reading any single strip. There's nothing really amusing about them - the closest I've come to a laugh was Occupation: MacGuffin, and that was on the cast page, not the comic - and there's not enough story advancement in any one given strip to justify actually visiting it regularly.
It might work if I come back in, say, a year, and read through enough strips to actually get what's happening, it might be readable.
Imagine trying to read, say, a Spiderman or Batman comic this way. The comic might be perfectly interesting, but going through it at one page every three days would be dull as all hell.
Contrast it to other webcomics, that can maintain both a story and either a 'punchline' or some amusing jokes in near every strip and are thus worth reading regularly, and it falls down.
Except the last episode of OOTS, the one based on Final Fantasy . . . for which I didn't get one single joke out of the entire strip.
Originally Posted by javelin98
I feel like a lot of the things that are meant to be referential jokes here (to some game or system I've never played) are *so* obscure that they'll be lost on a lot of the people who've never played this game/system/MMORPG. VGCats, Penny Arcade, OOTS -- these all seem very good at making their jokes general enough that anyone who's vaguely or passingly familiar with at least the genre or system can get them.
Well, this is actually a second impression. Seeing as it looks like updates will only be a single page, I don't think there's anyway this comic is going to move along fast enough to make me want to check it regularly. I think I may check maybe once a month or something.
Telling someone they have some kind of mental problem because they disagree with you is not a good argument.
What I'm trying to decide right now is what is the comics target audience.
OOTS has a very clear target audience, those that know D&D (but not necessarily play it a lot) and its inevitable connection with fantasy in general. Given there are a number of people that don't directly fit the target audience, but the majority do. It was clear that was where the comic was heading from page 1.
With Erfworld I'm not sure what sort of audience they are trying for. Seems like they have some RTS elements, some childishness with some older comments and some obscure references. Unless just one or two aspects of everything that it might be takes a stronger focus I think it will be rather hard to find too many people that fit with the comic. Being here and given the nature of the net I bet it will still get a lot of readers but I don't know how strong and loyal of a fanbase it will create on its own.
But of course I'm willing to give it time and see how it develops.
Steampunk Farseer thanks to The Randomizer
I didn't understand that reference at all. I feel like a lot of the things that are meant to be referential jokes here (to some game or system I've never played) are *so* obscure that they'll be lost on a lot of the people who've never played this game/system/MMORPG. That's the danger of inside jokes -- if they're too far inside, then too few people will understand them enough to continue reading them. VGCats, Penny Arcade, OOTS -- these all seem very good at making their jokes general enough that anyone who's vaguely or passingly familiar with at least the genre or system can get them.
What is this comic based on, anyway?
AFAICT, nothing in particular. It looks like the combat system might be based on a turn based wargame, but almost none of the jokes that I've picked up on and laughed at so far have needed any specialist knowledge. I think it's more that you need a certain sort of sense of humour.
Actually, I think that the lack of a well defined system / world for the comic to be based on might be part of what's causing some people to have problems with it. Particularly compared with OotS, and more generally a lot of D&D campaigns and even more generally quite a bit of fantasy fiction, which tend to bolt on particular characters and political setups to a standardized and well known world. Erfworld's a bit weirder and we don't really know much about it. Which for me is part of the fun of fantasy.
So far, I like the comic very much. The childish aspects don't bother me at all, the art is very well done, and the jokes have just the right subtlety. It has a unique style, and the plot intrigues me as well. I will definitely read each new strip as it comes out.
Not my style. I don't like the art, I don't like the dialog (I dislike comics that try to set a tone or feel by using silly/made up/incorrect words), and since I don't like or play the types of games that it refers to, it doesn't resonate with me at all.
I'll wait until 20th or so page before I really start to pay attention to what's going on. I'm not into webcomics much, only webcomics I really care about are Jack and (surprise! surprise!) OotS. I got into both of them in the middle, where there was already enough material for me to decide whether I like it or not. It's still too early to voice love or hate.
That aside, I despise console RPGs (including FFs) and the art kinda reminds me of them. But dwagons and twolls are good. Titanic Elvises are better. And there's Wanda, I really like her (not visually, but her personality kinda reminds me of a certain goblin).
Founder of the Fanclub of the (Late) Chief of Cliffport Police Department (He shall live forever in our hearts)
My own opinion is that, while I don't think it's horrid, I don't believe that the style agrees with me. There are several aspects that I find personally unappealing:
The world vocabulary, both the lisped names (gobwin, dwagon, spidew, gwiffon, twoll, erf) and the magic names (findamancer, croakamancer). While these are "cutesy" and would make amusing one-time gags, they grow grating very quickly for me as a recurring theme.
The—for lack of a better description—bobble-head art style. This is pretty much just a personal preference, but I simply don't care for the large-head small-body art style.
The facial expressions. Switching from detailed facial expressions (e.g., p. 6 panels 3, 5) to the extremely simplistic ones (p. 6, panels 7, 9) doesn't appeal to me. It's fine as an occasional "stunned" expression, but constant use (especially as some characters, such as Stanley, appear to be done perpetually in that mode) feels "off" to me.
The "total incompetent in command" trope. It makes it very difficult to have sympathy for the competent characters (in part because you wonder why they simply don't take over).
Scatological humor. I'm afraid this just does nothing for me and, in fact, makes me think worse of the comic.
It's not that I think that the comic is badly done, per se, but I feel that I'm very much not in the comic's target audience (which I'm mildly disappointed by, but it's not like I'm owed anything). I'm sure that there are people who will enjoy it, but I'm just not among them.
I really wanted to like this comic because getting two butt-kicking comics on one site would be even better than just having one, but... I can't stand it :(
I found the characters either forgettable or irritating, and the jokes and references to be forced and overly self-conscious. I felt while I was reading it that the jokes kind of jumped out and yelled "Hey, I'm funny in a quirky way!" instead of just being a natural part of the storyline. It takes a lot to turn me off a web comic, but somehow Erfworld managed to do it.
What I like about so many other web comics (including OOTS) is that the humor comes from the interactions of the characters, and the story itself, but in Erfworld it seems backwards, as if the jokes and quirks were put in first, and the characters and plot were secondary.
I think the art is fine, but it doesn't really seem to fit with the writing, in a way that's often jarring. The only thing that irritates me is the round old style eyes, but of course that's a question of personal taste, as is everything else I've written here.
I'm glad to see that a lot of people like it and can enjoy it, but it's most definitely not my cup of tea.
I don't like erfworld at all! Next to OOTS it's basically nothing. So far I haven't laughed once, or even seen a joke. I'm hoping that the writer will make it more funny in the future. It would also help if there was something that explains what happened before this point in the story. Maybe a brief summary.
It will feel different with 20 or so comics in... OOTS #1 is in the middle of a campaign, already inside a dungeon and already inside a battle. You don't get any plot exposition until #13 and frankly, by that point there is still less plot in OOTS than right now in Erworld. I guess it's ok for people not to get any of the jokes, since all comics are unique and appeal to their own audiences. At the very least everybody agrees that Erfworld is different from OOTS despite being hosted on Rich's site.
I like the art, the humor is good, but the strips are a little short for the apparent size of the story that's trying to be told. More needs to be developed per strip...more than half of half of a dialog, anyway, which is what I got from #7. Though that might have been exacerbated by the fact that we got 6 full strips just before that one. I'll keep tuning in.
Wizard in Rogues clothing
Artist: Good, good, just stinking up the place you know, same old same.
Designer: Sweet, hey, turns out I was just talking to what’s his face over at the giant ITP and he says they were thinking about making a new comic strip to partner up with the OOTS.
Artist: No way!
Designer: Totally, so I was thinking, I dunno about making something that completely sucks and I was, you know wondering if you’d be game to help me.
Artist: Dude, are you serious? I’m totally in on that!
Designer: Ok, ok, good deal. Now the concept I’ve come up with is unorthodox, but don’t worry, it’s still going to be bad.
Artist: Right, good show.
Designer: But I just don’t want it to be lame, my friend, I want it to blow chunks and that’s why I came to you. I need artwork that will not only make stick people look like a Rembrandt, but I want it to be ugly and really juvenile, like dragon’s pooping and little, ultra-annoyingly cute things and books that act like ICQ and Elvis, OMG, it has to have Elvis, the fat, old one too from the Hawaiian special, only, come on man, he’s gotta look stupid.
Artist: Dude, let me stop you right there. Everything you just said is my specialty.
Designer: High five! <slap> But we can’t stop there. I’m seeing a convoluted story that starts off at a snails’ pace, but jumps around so much nobody’s going to be able to tell what’s going on.
Artist: Dude, wow.
Designer: Hold on I’m still going, next I’m going to take established ideas like Goblins and necromancers, but I’m going to put a spin on them so that it’s a little newer, a little fresher.
Artist: But I thought-
Designer: Oh don’t worry, this’ll still be terrible.
Artist: Whew, you had me going there!
Designer: Instead of Goblin, gobwin, huh? Instead of necromancer, croakamancer.
Artist: Oh man, you’re a genius, those names suck hard!
Designer: I know, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, honestly when we are done with this thing people are going to be so blown away by our ineptitude they won’t even read it for free when they’re absolutely bored stiff. It’ll be legendary.
Artist: I bow down before you, you are the king, but what should we call it?
Designer: All I know is I want it to end with world. I dunno. It’s should be cute and fairly fruity, hmm. Is there a way we can combine the words Smurf and Elf together somehow?
I am mostly undecided, but I will keep checking out new updates because I'm intregued enough.
I like the art style (though it appears that the artist needs some time to ease into it a bit, but that's not unusual for new comics). The backgrounds, for all their simplicity, look great. I quite enjoy the unusual character proportions too. It works for me.
The humour ... isn't bad, but there doesn't seem to be much of it. There doesn't seem to many actual jokes, and a lot of the pages end on serious notes. Actually, some of the pages end without resolution, serious or comedic, which doesn't help, since there seems like there's little reward to keep reading. You can get away with this in print, but not on the internet.
The plot hasn't really established itself yet, but I can see a lot of potential. The problem is there's so little actual progression in each comic that people will become bored long before the introductions are complete. By now we should either be starting to care about the core characters (and I'm not currently sure who these are yet, to be honest), or starting to care about the plot. One or the other has to start pretty soon.
All in all, I like where this is heading, but there's just not enough of it. Everything seems so sparse - not enough dialogue, humour, drama... Even the art seems a overly restrained, when Wanda arrives to see Lord Stanley, the courtyard is painfully devoid of any features of interest). The field in #7 is creepily devoid of anything whatsoever.
I can tell this is good stuff, but it's just spread way too thinly.