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WIP Defiance of the Fall by The First Defier - M - Original

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by valrie, May 21, 2020.

  1. valrie

    valrie Third Year

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    107
    Title: Defiance of the Fall
    Author: The First Defier
    Rating: M
    Genre: Action, Xianxia, LitRPG
    Status: On-Going
    Fandom: Original
    Pairings: Not much yet
    Summary:
    As Zac was alone in the middle of the forest the world changed. The whole planet was introduced to the so-called multi-verse by an unfeeling System or God. A universe where all races and civilzations fought for power and dominion.

    Seemingly forgotten by the System, Zac found himself stuck in the wilderness surrounded by deadly beasts. Alone, lost and without answers, he must find the means to survive and get stronger in this new cut-throat reality.

    Link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/24709/defiance-of-the-fall

    I've been following this story for a while now and really like it. When I saw Blorcyn put up three other original LitRPGs that I follow I decided to put it up for review too.

    The story follows a basic premise that's not all that unusual for LitRPGs. Earth is integrated into the System, which is basically a big training module for cultivators. During the integration geography is randomized and incursions spawn where alien cultivator forces that are already established in the multiverse have the chance to conquer Earth. They get limiters for a time so that the natives don't get destroyed immediately but are still vastly stronger than the average human.

    DotF fulfills a bunch of tropes of the genres where the main character is extremely strong and can punch vastly above his level, mostly because of the exclusive titles he gets out of sheer luck. However, there are still good challenges and he doesn't always win fights. It's also obvious that his strength is mostly due to the fact that the System makes it extremely difficult for anyone significant to find newly integrated planets for a while.

    I think what I personally like the most about the story is the world-building. Many of the important characters are from very different worlds and talk about it from time to time. The author has also said on discord that the majority of the story will be on other worlds and so hopefully we'll see a lot of other places in the future. A lot of off-world plots are already being set up.

    In the beginning the MC was a bit shallow for me but that was mostly due to the fact that he didn't have anyone to talk to for a while I think.

    The story updates also 6 times a week. I've been following it for months and the author has never missed an update. The updates are each fairly short but in total the output is pretty impressive, especially considering that the quality is still pretty high.

    For me personally the story is a 5/5 but I think that's mostly because this really hits a lot of points that I like in stories and that the high update rate keeps me engaged with the story. More objectively I can see that it's not perfect and 4/5 is more realistic.
     
  2. Greener

    Greener Sixth Year

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Toronto
    So I'm up to chapter 173 since you posted.... better than most of the Royal Road fare that's been recommended lately. I like Seaborn too. And this fic feels like that, but lots more chapters and a faster progression too. You know, that OP progression thing, but with better writing.

    Good adventure rompt. Good direction and interesting backstory & characters.

    Not Epic, and definite 4/5. And I'll probably be wrecked tomorrow for work, reading as much as I can tonight.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  3. Glimmervoid

    Glimmervoid Groundskeeper

    Joined:
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    UK
    Finished it. Given it is ~700,000 words long that must say something.

    The key concept behind Defiance of the Fall is progression - getting stronger, fighting greater foes and then getting stronger still. I think it does this part rather well. It's slow in places but there's always at least some momentum moving things forward and it escalates pretty well. Far to often this kind of story has a escalation treadmill, where progress is just an illusion. There's a little bit of that but I think it mostly escapes.

    On the downside is the writing. Actual technical mistakes are fairly rare (though there are a few). Rather there's lots of weird word choices, far to much passive voice and similar stylistic choices that really bring the work down.

    Still, as I said, I did read all ~700,000 words, so it can't be that bad.

    4/5
     
  4. Ceebee

    Ceebee High Inquisitor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
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    538
    A good time waster IF you're a fan of either genre. It is far more of a xianxia/cultivation/eastern-fantasy than a LitRPG, but I think that is fine.

    I enjoy the progression aspect, it has been done quite well. The threats and obstacles are feel dangerous, but not totally insurmountable,. This has been a surprisingly deft navigation of a common trope/pitfall of the genre. I.e. too often the mid-bosses/big-bosses of a particular arc are hyped up just a bit too much, so much that the MCs eventual win feels more of an ass-pull authorial fiat than anything else.

    The world/universe building has been relatively well done with what seems like an large amount of thought put into it; and there is a handful of recurring companion characters that are done reasonably well.

    Another element that I found myself enjoying is the MCs build. A critical part of an progression-wank story, because it will take up such a large part of the text. Zac (the MCs) entire class/build/way he goes about things is to literally throw himself at an enemy and murder the fuck out of it with his hatchet. No finesse, no magic, no strategy.

    Such a simple way of going about things feels like an extreme departure from the the genre norms/tropes. There are not nine paragraphs out of ten in a fight describing how he's using his sublime skill and technique and super intelligence to outsmart his opponent. He gets in their face, tanks their stuff with his crazy endurance, and butchers them with his crazy strength. It is basic, but it feels refreshing, especially because he's current in the lowest tier of progression.

    There are some things that I don't like about the story, principally I find the 'love interest' character annoying and the whole situation silly. The story definitively improved for me when that thread was (mostly) dropped. There are a few eye-roll worthy mini-plot events that happen, but they're not too egregious for me at least.

    The story has peaks and troughs, I found the first 100 chapters alright but nothing outstanding, but felt it got significantly better between 100-200, had a minor drop off before getting better, and now that I've caught up at chapter ~330, has been ok recently but feels like we're in a bit of a mini trough.


    3.5 - 4 / 5

    If you like the genres, you'll probably like the story because it is a decent execution of the mainstays while avoiding a large amount of the bad parts.
    If you do not like the genre, it's not SO well done that it would probably convert you.
    If you're neutral to the genre, give it a go.

    I know we all roll our eyes at the old 'it gets better after [significant amount of words], which in itself is a negative point: after all, if the story was actually good then it wouldn't need a few hundred thousand words to get a reader invested and hooked, but consider giving this a go.
     
  5. FriedIce

    FriedIce Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
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    233
    I tried to read this and ended up so bored. The opening chapter is decent but during the next 30 chapters (as far as I read) the author dedicates thousands upon thousands of words to ‘and then his skill in chopping wood increased by ten points’.

    I started skipping entire paragraphs and missed nothing of importance and when this didn’t change I eventually dropped it.

    2/5
     
  6. thattin

    thattin Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    I really enjoyed this! It's probably not to everyone's tastes but it's pretty much the best example of a fusion between litrpg and cultivation novels 5/5 from me.
     
  7. GiantMonkeyMan

    GiantMonkeyMan High Inquisitor

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    I just finished up to 330. It's relatively good, some interesting ideas and parts, and good enough that I actually continued reading but I found myself glazing over and skipping parts since the writing is kind of bland. Half the characters don't have personalities and simply exist to impart some exposition and most of the others are just boring. I give it 3/5.
     
  8. soczab

    soczab Seventh Year

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    I also liked this. I'm not fully done (about chapter 300) but close enough to comment I think. It didn't blow me away at any point, and no where was I on the edge of my seat and in love with it. But it was engaging and entertaining. Enough so to read however many hundreds of thousands of words it is. With a couple of exceptions (the demon.. orgas i think his name was?) the characters are a bit mediocre. But the author does a very good job of action sequences and also of building up the progression smoothly. I kind of felt the same way reading this story that I do when playing a lot of computer games... namely greedy to see the character accumulate stuff and vested in the ladder ranking list and his gains. So overall a nice positive story. Especially in this genre it stands out. I'd give it a 3.5 rounded up to a 4.
     
  9. Majube

    Majube Unspeakable

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    I liked it, I'd say its a 3.5~4/5

    It does reverse-isekai litrpg better than fucking Randidly Ghosthound at least, the prose isn't the greatest but its readable and decent a bit. I liked characters like Ogras, Alyn, Billy while others were goddamn annoying like Alea. The worldbuilding is pretty good as well, although he got pretty powerful fast it feels like and lately him being a power beast is kind of annoying.
     
  10. Dryops

    Dryops Second Year DLP Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I've recently finished the published chapters for Defiance of the Fall (as well as the recent Patreon chapters). I'm fairly new to the LitRPG Genre (this is the 4th or 5th) that I've read, to date, but this is probably the best of the ones that I have completed. Like any other LitRPG, if you like the genre, you will probably like this. If not, you will not.

    The Good: Tons of content, this will keep you reading for a while. Lots of amusing moments, and pretty well written. There are some great characters (Ogras and Billy being two of my favorites). Unlike some other stories (Randidly), the action is pretty focused, and you don't have too many extra points of view. The update rate is great on this, so you won't be left waiting long.

    The Bad: There's some extra fluff that just seems like it's there to pad wordcounts. A couple of the arcs that I didn't really enjoy as much as others were easy enough to skip through, but if you can skip through most of an arc, it probably could have been left out.

    For me, this is still a strong 4/5, and I'll be following it to see where it goes next.
     
  11. Ferdiad

    Ferdiad Unspeakable

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    I'm honestly not sure if this is actually a good story or not but I read the whole thing in about a day and a half and then actually paid for the patreon chapters because I didn't want to stop so that's something at least. The things I like about this are mainly the build and un-gamey it is. There's no HP bars, there's no status effects or people training dishwashing skills. It's way more of a Xianxia novel than a litprog novel despite the status menu and stats. I also enjoy the long stretches of time where he's just battling and grinding away, the author writes those sections well.

    Things I didn't like are how poor the dao comprehension bits in it are compared to say something like Desolate Era or ISSTH. The Dao system just feels like a checkmark for some advancing and some stats at this point. Maybe it will get more mystical when they advance more and the system takes off the training wheels. Most of the other characters aren't explored probably because the author isn't really good at those scenes.
    After he rescues his sister they interact but it doesn't feel like that the're close. I thought the author would maybe show some scenes where the MC has some envy towards his sister as he got completely shafted compared to her BS super AI that's powerleveling every aspect of her cultivation while he's got nothing.

    The pacing is also a problem. I'm not sure how he's going to progress the MC seeing as he's not a cultivator and actually has to go out and kill things to advance so can't go into secluded mediation for a few hundred or a few thousand years. I'd imagine he either progresses at the same breakneck pace he's currently on breaking records everywhere. Or what will probably happen is that he starts struggling a lot more in the next stage and we really start to see the advantages of being a cultivator and he falls behind a lot until he stumbles on to some lucky break that solves the issue for him temporarily.

    Nevertheless It was a good read and I'd give it a
    4/5.
     
  12. valrie

    valrie Third Year

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    I'm hoping that the Dao system will be more fleshed out in the future too. The way the most recent advances work show that it might become more important for his fighting power too so hopefully there will be a bit more focus on it.

    The author said in the patreon discord that he's planning on doing time skips. I'd expect that once the current challenges are finished we'll see a time skip to the end of E grade when he's getting ready to evolve again and needs more achievements. But who knows? I don't think it'll be impossible for the MC to keep up with most cultivators since we learned fairly early on that the apostate the First Defier was a mortal who is also considered to be a strong candidate for the position of strongest person to ever exist (although it's mostly legend so who knows).

    As for how long it takes genius cultivators to advance we got a clue in the chapter from yesterday: Parvan Beradan, the guy who got to the 63rd floor of the tower of eternity, finished F grade about 4600 years ago and is now in C grade.

    And I think it's fairly certain that he actually has something similar to Kenzie's AI. His constitution lets him survive basically anything and there has been some speculation on discord about the way that his 0 spirituality and affinity works out. Obviously he doesn't have crazy difficulty to advance his daos since he's #1 on earth but he has some struggles with fine controlling them like Thea and Ilvere. The AI is obviously the bigger advantage for most people but I think for Zac his constitution has worked out great since it enabled him to get dual classes and will probably help a lot with advancing in E grade.
     
  13. Ferdiad

    Ferdiad Unspeakable

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    Hopefully it's just the origin dao making it trivial, the best parts of Xianxia stories if done well is the dao IMO. I didn't expect timeskips for E grade because I assumed he was going to be forcing his nodes open and having near death experiences each time. Maybe he'll have an easier time of it with his body and stronger soul.
    When they came out wit that line that said he should have died numerous times before I kinda scratched my head. I just chalked all the previous times he survived as pretty standard MC plot armour. if the speculation is true and he does have some kind of enhanced body I still think he really would be pissed compared to what his sister bought. The AI seems frankly better in every conceivable way.
     
  14. valrie

    valrie Third Year

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    Normally, I would say that the AI is the vastly superior option but Zac makes it work. If his body can regenerate fast after forcing open nodes he might be able to blast through E grade at record speed, which is really important because he'll probably have to do it for both classes individually. Furthermore, the dual class was probably only possible because of his special constitution and that's a massive boost too. And we don't really know what the 0 dao affinity does but it might actually be a boon too. So who knows.

    But you're right that unless you get into very special situations like the one that led to the dual classes, the AI is vastly better than the constitution.
     
  15. Ferdiad

    Ferdiad Unspeakable

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    Fair, I'd say he's relying on gaining the "First" titles in each grade to keep up with the constant escalating boots the cultivators get. Also one thing that synergises well with his defier nature is his higher endurance. Seeing as he can't regain cosmic energy quickly he needs a massive store of energy so that he doesn't get tapped out in one fight and need to rest like a cultivator.
     
  16. Ceebee

    Ceebee High Inquisitor

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    538
    Speculation about the current & imminent plot:
    Note: I am only current up to Chapter 380, there will be spoilers for things revealed up to there. As an FYI, the public RoyalRoad chapters are up to 350.

    We know that Zac's mother, Leandra is a Technocrat associated with one of the three major factions (Firmament's Edge) and has since gone rogue from them when she came to Earth and set up her experiments, and in the process stole something important from the faction. They were angry enough to send an invasion team to scout out the planet.

    This important thing is likely to be the Mystic Realm that most of the factions (Great Redeemer, Undead Empire etc) are searching for. We also know that the Mystic realm still has to mature and become some great treasure. There is an outside chance that Jeeves/Kenzie's AI & whatever Leandra did to Zac is the important thing.

    We've also been told that the Firmament's Edge faction are all about merging the Dao of Technology & The System as much as they can, mostly in an effort to create a Defier who will be able to add the Dao of Technology into The System when they hit the peak/whatever. This is probably going to be the meta-plot of the whole story, especially given the authors handle is TheFirstDefier.

    As a few above have said, Kenzie's AI is probably a better technocrat power-up than Zac's super constitution and I'd agree in general, I would suggest that the technocrat-constitution will probably have better effects as Zac ranks up. It seems likely that the node bursting required between levels 76-150 is probably going to be easier for Zac, or at least not have as much of a drawback as a result of the techno-constitution. It'll probably also keep getting better as he goes along, and not just solely be a good constitution.

    Here are some of my thoughts on what I think is going to happen going forward in the story:
    I'm not a member of the discord so I don't know any of the tidbits the author has said there that invalidates my wild theorising.
    • When Zac & Ogras go to the Tower of Eternity, we'll meet our first antagonistic 'Young Master' character. The antagonist will be after a soul healing treasure that Zac wants for Alea. The evil shard in Zac will probably cause a big ass conflict to happen
    • Zac will probably choose a stupid name for the Tower of Eternity leaderboard, ostensibly to signal to his mother similar to what he did with Superbrotherman. Though this might be subverted
    • Z & O will probably form a group with others to climb the tower, maybe with some relationship-bait hot alien healer girl. Average, or someone affiliated with him might show up as well
    • Thea could show up, but I'm not convinced on this one. There was some 'Thea has similar & opposite Dao's to Zac' duality theming stuff going on (Sharpness & Lightness v Sharpness & Heaviness) that might sway it in her favour
    • I think the author will subvert the 'MC is the best and will obviously get rank 1/climb the highest', Ogras will have to bow out earlier than Zac, and Zac will end up making something like top 100 all time, which will still be a crazy achievement given the scope of the Tower.
    • I'm not really sure on what sort of top-level faction Zac will make contact with. Maybe the Allbright Empire? They're the metaverse faction that has been mentioned the most. Could be the big Clan/Family the Great Redeemer was kicked out of, which was a recently introduced thing
    • Zac will probably end up fusing all of his Dao fragments as planned (maybe as an additional reward from the Tower) and get a couple of 'Arcane' rank classes (which were briefly mentioned as a new rarity rank that shows up for E-grade.
    • Alea will get healed. I hope she dies because I don't like her character but she'll probably live. Outside chance that Zac'll get the healing treasure, and the healing coma thing will take ages, effectively 'killing' her character by removing her the narrative focus before she comes back after a time-skip.
    • Not sure if Zac will get a extra title for first E-Grade, because the Great Redeemer Zhix were technically first. He may get one if titles are split by races, similar to how the leaderboards are.
    • As previously mentioned above, the Technocrat-Constitution that Leandra gave Zac will come into its own strongly in E-Grade, circumventing Zac's inability to cultivate, letting him power-up. It'll also work really well with the treasure he got from Yrial that opens the extra-special hidden nodes, probably letting him open extras
    • The Undead empire will succeed in terraforming a small part of Earth before Zac boots them out, which will be good for Zac because he'll have an exclusive place to power up his Undead race & class. The high level participants in the Invasion might discover Zac's royal Draugr bloodline and want capture/subvert him, but that will a problem for the post-Earth part of the story.
    • The Mystic realm will end up maturing into some kind of Shard of Creation, an opposite to the current Shard of Destruction that is currently messing with Zac. Zac will get this shard as a power-up which again leans heavily on the duality/balance/yin-yang/dao theming that the story has going on
    • The Mystic realm will pretty much be the capstone to this first part of story, which could be summed up as the 'Secure Earth from the Invaders' saga. It will include killing the Great Redeemer aligned high level Zhix & finishing off the leaders of the Undead Empire & the Cult of Everlasting Dao.
    • Directly after the Mystic realm, there will be a short time-skip (6~12 months) which will be framed as 'The Great Redeemer is on his way to pull the Mystic realm treasure out of Zac', with the time-skip jumping the readers to just prior to his arrival, as well as Earth being opened up to the wider metaverse.
    • We'll get a whole bunch of 'and during the 6~12 months Port Atwood became the ultra-biggest/strongest faction on Earth'. Earth is now basically Zac's planet, and Zac will get some cool high-tier title, with some requisite Ogras snark to go with it.
    So yea, I guess you can say that I really like the story, enough to do a ton of theorising about what will happen next.
     
  17. valrie

    valrie Third Year

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    Couple of thoughts.. Same spoiler warnings as above. This includes spoilers from patreon.

    • What is crazy is that Firmament's Edge is paying people to scan thousands of Progenitor worlds, not just this one. Ogras clan was set back financially quite a bit and FE is doing this just to see where their stuff went. They have to be crazy strong.
    • The Mystic Realm is something no one anticipated I think. But since Kenzie was able to hack it with her AI it's definitively Technocrat related. My personal guess: Zac's and Kenzie's mom made it for them.
    • I had similar thoughts on a young master that becomes an antagonist for this arc and maybe longer. The idea with the soul healing treasure is good.
    • No way Thea is coming to the Tower right now. I think she might do something stupid like try to kill an Undead general on Earth.
    • The Tower difficulty is so mysterious so far. Top tier forces should be able to have cultivators that get fragments and crazy titles too. They have decades to cultivate with top tier instructors and treasures. Furthermore, they have actual powerhouses that can demonstrate the Dao to the young cultivators, which should be an unbelievable benefit. Like dao visions on demand. I hope we get to see some awesome factions. Albright Empire is only C grade though so it might not be enough to make The Great Redeemer back off.
    • I think for two arcane classes he would need 1000 strength (before high grade titles), all three fragments and the axe fragment at middle mastery. It's going to be tough but depends on what kind of benefits he gets in the tower. Probably needs to advance his skill levels and evolve his specialty core too.
    • The treasure from Yrial lets him him see all his hidden nodes but only opens one. He needs other treasures to open these but hopefully the ones he has will be enough for that once he knows where they are. I also hope he'll be able to open both draugr and human hidden nodes.
    • I don't think his draugr race is going to be noticed by the Undead incursion. That would be disastrous since the Undead royals seem to be very strict about keeping their bloodline their own. He is definitively going to travel to the Undead Empire and meet the Draugr lady later on though. She's probably crazy strong, at least A or B grade.
    • I don't think Port Atwood needs any more help to become the strongest faction. They have the dao elites, riches from conquering the incursions and a lot strong warriors too; not to mention Zac who is probably stronger than the rest of the ladder combined by the time the Mystic Realm Arc is finished.
     
  18. Spanks

    Spanks Chief Warlock

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    First time reading a story like this. Love it, binged the whole thing in a few days. The author cuts through a lot of the Bull right off the bat putting Zac into a situation that doesn’t leave a lot of time to dwell on angst. It’s survival from the very start and to survive he has to walk through an ocean of blood and bodies.

    At first I thought Zac was gonna just overcome everything, but the author eventually introduced people beyond his power such as Void, Great Redeemer etc.

    4/5 right now. The author had quite a few things he should proof read for grammar/sentence structure that make reading a bit awkward. But all in all it’s a really fun story.