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WIP A Cloudy Path by LacksCreativity - T - Worm/Supreme Commander

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by VereorNox, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. VereorNox

    VereorNox Bomb Turban

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    Title: A Cloudy Path
    Author: LacksCreativity
    Rating: T
    Genre: Crossover/AU
    Status: Ongoing
    Fandom: Worm/Supreme Commander
    Summary: Armed with a different power, making different decisions, ending up having a different life as a cape. Taylor is a Tinker with a highly lethal power, and she isn't weak, far from it, but the fact that her weapons are so dangerous is not something she enjoys.
    Link: Spacebattles
    Alt Link: Sufficientvelocity

    One of the longest and most well written alt-power fics in the Worm fandom, though it seems like a canon rehash at some points, that's mostly deceptive. It also features the absolute best Leviathan fight in all Worm fics I've read, in which nobody is safe, and everyone cries (sometimes a bit much). Nevertheless, I rate this 5/5. For me, this equals Cenotaph in its prominence of the Worm fandom.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2015
  2. Iztiak

    Iztiak Heir

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    My review from the Worm thread:
    1-2/5
     
  3. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I liked it when I read it but once I had read everything there was, I forgot most of what I had read. It is a solid read, and I agree, overall, just by length and quality, it is one of the better Worm fanfics, but that's more indicative of the Worm fandom than of the quality of this fic.

    For one, I am not sure how many words it has but I'll say probably too many. It has no business being this long. With that, it gets technical quite often, too much so that it drags on at times. Also, Taylor never really felt quite right, which, I guess, was intentional with her power messing with her mind and perception a bit, but which didn't make things any less jarring.

    That said, I did like a lot in the story, such as her relationship (not romance) with Uber and her protecting her own small territory.

    As Iztiak says, there isn't much in it that's memorable. I recall maybe small bits and pieces but for the amount of story that I have read, not nearly as much as I should have.

    Is it still getting updates by the way? Has been months since I last read it.

    So, overall, flawed but still enjoyable. A generous 4/5
     
  4. Anarchy

    Anarchy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    One of the better fics, but I can't see myself actually rereading all of it after a few months just to catch up on a few chapters. I like Taylor's power well enough (though a lot of the technical stuff isn't actually as technical as the author is trying to make it sound), I guess, but the whole crossover thing is completely unneeded. I've played Supreme Commander, and I still couldn't tell you how this fic relates to anything from the game, and the stuff in hidden text is just kind of dumb. It just seems like one of the SB/SV feeds to randomly add crossovers to a story for no real reason.

    I'd rate this 4/5 as well.
     
  5. Plotless

    Plotless Groundskeeper

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    When I last read the newest update for A Cloudy path it was nearing 500k words, and I was at the point where I was hoping the story would end just so I could have fond memories about it. I can't say I'm too happy about it now.

    To me, this story is a story of almosts. The writing is decent, almost good, but LC drags on his narrative that makes fights scenes boring and chapters last hours of story time. The characters are almost memorable, but to be honest, the only thing I can really recall right now is Uber and Taylor's base after Leviathan. The parts before feel like they happened so long ago because you have to wade through pages upon pages of technical writing to get to the occasional interesting bits. It's sort of mixed into the grey area in my head that I class as "Worm Fanon", where it's earned itself a niche as "The story that hasn't moved on for some reason."

    As much as I liked the fic in the early stages, I feel like my rating of 3/5 is pushing it.
     
  6. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Professor DLP Supporter

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    I read this about two months ago for the first time, and I think it's the better for a big binge. It filled in my bus journeys to and from work and the fact that I read it in one long go meant I didn't get the fatigue that you might if you were following it as it updated from way back when.

    I disagree with Iztiak that nothing interesting happens but you've got to accept that with this story the slow build is slow. If this was a complete story I'm not sure I'd take off a point for that.

    The fight with the Butcher and subsequent 'Awakening' was the highlight of the story for me, and Valefor's attack felt very 'personal'. Both scenes had a really vivid impact on me as I read them. However, I feel like nothing's really been done to build on the hooks that were put in after those events.

    Taylor's tech is interesting, her growth in strength as a hero is gradual and rewarding. The story provides strong challenges for her and most importantly, you can tell a lot of effort has been put into giving the various villains and other characters goals and histories and lives of their own.

    This is one of the few fics where I get a sense continuously that the world is in motion beyond the view point of the protagonist.

    That said, the chapters and various arcs do not need to be as long as they are for the effect they create and now that I'm not binging I really do feel the drag with each update. There's such a large amount of content that your ability to follow the story suffers for it.

    For the worm fandom, it's well-written and intends to be a story rather than a curb-stomp (at present). However, a lack of much decent competition doesn't mean much in itself.

    I think it's a good story so it gets a 4/5 out of me but I do think, with the length and pace of the story, it's a real YMMV.
     
  7. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    As other people have said, it's only redeeming point is the length, and the fact it avoids being doing anything retarded like most long Worm fics (eg, Amelia). On the other side of the coin, it does nothing interesting either. The plot isn't special, Taylor isn't special, the interactions between characters aren't special and Taylors powers aren't that special. Even the odd scene that might be fun (like the meeting with Purity, the Butcher fight, getting attacked by the Fallen, etc) is lost in so many words of nothing interesting happening that they lose impact.

    It's just a way to kill time if you're really desperate to read about something in the Worm universe. It's just a longer version of any other typical alternate power fic. 2.5/5.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  8. Quiddity

    Quiddity Auror

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    Okay, I've been considering reading this for a while. Would someone be able to explain how much of a factor the crossover is, and if any knowledge is needed/advised to enjoy? (I've never heard of Supreme Commander.)
     
  9. theronin

    theronin Order Member

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    You can safely ignore the crossover element. The only thing it does is try to introduce some pseudo-conflict because the crossover power is theoretically so powerful it makes everything else look weak but it never gets there so it's a moot point (at least as far as I got in the story). That said, it's not a very good story. It had some interesting things, but like some others have mentioned, there's an awful lot of nothing happening for an awful lot of words. There was one particularly egregious chapter where it described, in painful detail, how a bunch of things got loaded into boxes and moved from point A to point B. For several thousand words...
     
  10. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    This would be a 5/5 from me if an editor went through and cut out at least half the words. It has a decent plot, decent characterization, and a handful of great parts that could carry the story if it wasn't for that there's an entire novel between each one where very little happens. The bloat isn't too bad for a daily-updating serial, but it makes it terrible to archive-binge and finally getting an update after two weeks where nothing happens is a miserable experience.
     
  11. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    I remember binge reading this a few months back. I also remember never finishing it. While the writing was ok (good even, relative to the fandom), I just felt it did a lot of nothing with the story and made it tedious to go through it. When it finally gets back to the plot, things are great, but we're often left with nothing going on. I just can't say I enjoyed reading it as it was more just tolerating the story.

    2/5
     
  12. Vira

    Vira Order Member

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    I read this a while back. Nothing really happens and the writer is not good with pacing. The same scenes happen over and over again and when I read it, it didn't seem to be going anywhere.

    2/5.
     
  13. Rhys

    Rhys High Inquisitor

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    While Danny Hebert is usually annoying, not often does he ruin a fic entirely, taking what might have been reasonable and making it bad. That was the case here, however.
     
  14. Oz

    Oz Heir to Hogwarts Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Heh, I really must be in the minority thinking this deserves 5/5 then. I've been following it way back since the beginning so maybe it's harder for me to notice pacing issues. Honestly I just like everything about this fic from Taylor's power, to the way LC's built the plot up and the characters.
     
  15. Narf

    Narf Administrator Admin DLP Supporter

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    Oz once called me a spacebattle faggot when I mentioned that the author was taking too long to develop Taylor's power, that she had so much potential that she was wasting.

    He hurt me a lot with that comment. :(
     
  16. Oz

    Oz Heir to Hogwarts Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Pls take your min-maxing elsewhere, aspie.
     
  17. Anarchy

    Anarchy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    Nah, Oz, I legit think this story is in the top 3 of the fandom. HOWEVER, that really isn't saying much.
     
  18. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Supreme Mugwump

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    I liked this story until I didn't. Right around after Taylor killed Butcher, my interest in this fic plummeted. I was gearing up for some sort of internal conflict with Butcher and whatever Supreme Commander Entity was giving her her powers, but nothing happened. The writing isn't bad, and I liked Taylor's progression. 3/5
     
  19. Lavanya Six

    Lavanya Six Squib

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    My review:

    It's very much a first novel, which makes it frustrating for how much it does right.

    I'd broadly divide ACP into three books so far: pre-Leviathan, Leviathan through Butcher, and post-Butcher through Coil. The first is the tightest narratively but suffers from the author still working out how to mesh mechanical action with characterization. The second bring emotion forward but is something of a mush narratively. The Teeth arc feels torturously long, largely because of how the Fallen subplot puts the breaks on it for a while. The third has a firm grip on conveying emotion and clashing worldviews. However, likely because of the breathless pace of the second book, it has taken its time establishing the Coil confrontation due to needing time for Taylor to decompress.

    The major overall negative is that ACP is really damn long. Whenever LacksCreativity posts the completed fic to AO3 or other archives, he could easily slash 10% of its total word count. It would tighten up some of the saggy Teeth/Fallen chapters, cut down on the early instances of technobabble, and overall make the pacing better. Because there's a lot to like otherwise.

    ACP's slow burn with Taylor's power has its detractors, but I enjoy it after an endless stream of fics on SB/SV about wanked Taylors. (I mean, she loses the obligatory Lung fight! That's great!) I also really enjoyed how Aeon has a gradually rise in the local cape scene. She's not a big splashy success at first. She gradually rises up the ranks, slowly accruing interest from the big name capes. When Rune freaks out at the sight of Taylor pulling her sonic pistol, it feels earned. Aeon's first encounter with Imp is another example of how she earned a badass reputation; Taylor handles the run-in cooly, the seasoned veteran cape, but comes to realize Aisha is the dumb rookie freaking out about a tinker who went toe-to-toe with Leviathan.

    ACP handles Danny excellently. Danny is largely a background element that only has meaty onscreen time every half-dozen arcs of so. He never much changes. His biggest moments all stem from willfully not blocking Taylor's character growth: pretending to sleep for when Aeon comes back from the Anti-E88 Rally, being Taylor's beard when she sues the school with her own money, and generally carrying on with the knowledge he can't do anything for Taylor. He angst about it to Kurt but never does anything major that's contrary to Taylor's wishes. He's generally inept. Standing up to a bully in that Endbringer shelter gets his leg broken. I don't think it's coincidental that Danny's one onscreen action moment -- while mind controlled, admittedly -- is a betrayal of Taylor that nearly kills her.

    LacksCreativity's OCs are generally good. Accord's minions stand up as a people. Bit players feel like they have their own stories. Rebecca, while suffering from an overly long interlude chapter, comes across as part muggle bestie and part cultist, which is a neat trick. Jeff doesn't really work for me, however, which is a problem given how much screentime he has. Pre-Leviathan he's fairly generic. Post-Leviathan, he's gradually sketched in, but still feels like more of a useful minion/device than his own character. The moments where the Taylor/Jeff connection via loss shines through are few and far between; him unwittingly "courting" her, his recruitment scene, him cornering Taylor about how she's vanishing into the role of Aeon. Which isn't necessarily bad; Danny functions that same way, but it works for Danny because he's a secondary character and a non-action guy. Jeff is on the front lines but comes across as Aeon's "meat drone" most of the time.

    The wider world of ACP is well-drawn. It's what helps Aeon's gradual rise pre-Leviathan work. There's always a sense that lots of other people have their own lives going on, and Aeon doesn't always factor into their plans. The story toys with canon in interesting ways pre-Levaithan, like the aforementioned lost Lung fight, at which point it largely jumps the plot rails for relatively new territory. It becomes more low-key from then on: Coil gets to build the city he envisioned in canon, Taylor has to run a shelter without the support of a Bond villain, the damage to the city is flipped from canon, and the issue of condemnation isn't so much fought as seen as almost welcome. The promise of a seasoned Taylor returning to high school is an interesting one, and I'm eager to see how it plays out.

    Overall: Good, even great at many points, if somewhat flawed.

    4/5.
     
  20. andy50

    andy50 Groundskeeper

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    My thoughts can be expressed in two words, incredibly stale. The pacing is at a crawl, I can't help but feel like it takes forever for anything to happen. Let alone anything substantial. He never managed to hook me in, Taylor was like every other character was boring. I would expand, but I forgot most of the plot and side characters. It's been a while since I read it, but I really really tried to like it. It had frequent updates and was very popular, but it was just.... stale. It was like reading those Naruto fics where they just repeated the same stuff with minor changes.

    2/5
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015