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WIP Of Sheep and Battle Chicken by LogicalPremise - M - Mass Effect

Discussion in 'Games' started by MonkeyEpoxy, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Anarchy

    Anarchy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    I read up through chapter 90 or something in the first part a month back, before I finally tired of it. Got up to a part with a thresher maw ambush and some Cerberus stuff (they just encountered some fake asari prisoner which totally fell flat since we were made aware that they were a plant beforehand or something like that). I wanted to finish the first story before posting a review, but I couldn't.

    Anyways, It's an interesting story with good writing, except for Shep. Shep is pretty much intolerable in this, very poorly characterized. Like, we have this hardened badass who has killed countless enemies, yet she falls to a blushing, stuttering schoolgirl as soon as she sees Liara. Also, her background is egregious and over the top unnecessary. The author fell into the Jbern trap of trying to make a story seem grittier than it actually is, once you peel back the thin veneer. All the drugs, the child prostitution ring, the prison time, the infertility... I feel like it could have been done a lot better.

    It's a shame, because a lot of the characters were very well written. I enjoyed Garrus and Wrex a lot.

    I'm not going to rate it yet, since there is a chance I go back to it, but if I were, I'd probably rate it slightly above average. It's too long, which some people like, but it's not a good thing when the poorly portrayed main character is the center of so many chapters. But she's not in all, which means a lot of the other characters are allowed to shine and make it an overall decent read.
     
  2. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    I hope you'll forgive me for this, but a great number of people -- including some from DLP -- thought that was one of the better parts. While the first book is not very good (and is in the process of being redone, actually) I could make the argument that several multiseries works also had somewhat less than stellar starts.

    To get a better idea of what you're expecting, let me ask you what your favorite ME fan fic is?
     
  3. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Hey man, different strokes for different folks. If people liked the Shep memes, more power to them. Imo there are a thousand other, better ways to illustrate a Shepard craze. In fact, the game did it better, with Conrad Verner.

    I hear your argument that many fanfics have bumpy starts. I'll be the first to admit that my own WIP really gets going around the 30k mark. But dude, OSABC is over seven hundred thousand words long. Like I said, I got to about 150k. There's a trend that can usually be observed with fanfic authors that get good, especially if you're reading a long WIP. Trend is - with time, you can notice an upsing in writing quality, you see the author improving. It's not that I think this trend was too slow with OSABC, it's that it's nonexistent. You actually stayed consistent within those 150k words, but not in a good way.

    I did hear about the revamping of the first installment and I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor. Even though I didn't particularly enjoy your fic, I can see the amount of work you've put into the Premiseverse and if you finish that rewrite, I might revisit OSABC. I found a lot of your worldbuilding interesting, but it's not a compelling enough reason on its own to keep me reading.

    Out of curiosity, I popped open And Then There Were None and one of the first chapters is, hello, a literal infodump. By the time the last crewmember was done introducing themselves, I didn't remember the name of the previous one. I don't know if it's a staple of hard sci-fi, but I simply find it uninteresting and unncessary to include all the letter codes, marine rank A this, C that, B whatever. I tried to assimilate the info in the SA Order of Battle, but it, like Cerberus Files and all the other extra works are essentially infodumps with no finesse. It may reflect how a serviceman would introduce themselves to a new commander, it may even accurately mimic real military docs (I have no idea), but imo it makes for poor, uncompelling prose.

    As for a favorite ME fic, I really couldn't say. I've never been as invested in ME fanfic as in HP. I did read some of the more popular ones, but fiund flaws in each that kept me from fully enjoying them. It would probably be more illustrative to throw out some tropes I find annoying: Fuck Yeah Humanity and Alien Character Assassination (by which I mean that Turians are turned into moronic drones or righteous imbeciles, especially the Turian Councillor) are two of the biggest turn-offs for me.

    You know, I'll say it again - I actually found myself enjoying the ways in which you took your AU plot-wise and thematically, it's the execution that kills it.

    Actually, I could say that I quite liked ME: A new past by Bombsquad and the first few installments of Mass Vexations before it got too silly.

    Goddamn, this post got way too big.
     
  4. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    Oh, I assure you I have no problems if people dislike the work. Some people hate grimdark. Others hate AU's, still others want 'between the scenes' stories rather than revamping the entire game.

    My question is more to determine the reasons why. If, for example, some people love a part and some people hate the same part of the work, then it's a matter of taste. But (as with Shepard being too derpy and self hating) EVERYONE dislikes it, that's where I need to fix my writing.


    Well, unfortunately there's a reason for that -- I plan a lot of my work out ahead of time using outlines. Others on DLP can testify I've cranked out 150k in less than ten days. Back then I was trying to do small chapters, but I don't think I actually got much feedback at all until I was WAAY past 150k.

    The other problem is that I used to be a technical writer and wrote crap up for the military. I'm used to having someone else come along after me and doctor up tenses and punctuation, and it took me a while to actually start figuring out where to start fixing problems at.

    Nowdays I have a small group of people who pre-read every chapter giving ideas to prevent derp, fix typos, and smooth the flow of the work. That's what's being done now, chapter by chapter, to OSABC as well.

    I don't think its fair to demand people 'give my stuff a shot'. If you don't like it then that's valid enough for me. I remain astonished it broke 300 reviews given that much better pieces languished for a lot longer.

    But thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. :) It does help, and I'll think on what you said about different ways to show societial crazes rather than more of the same.
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I have one thing to say about the newest chapter:

    Susan didn't deserve this!
     
  6. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    Blame Himura.

    Up until that point I was just going to have her banged up a bit, lol. I love the postings here, they stimulate the evil side of my mind.

    Also, the Angstrofuck of Doom is nearly upon us. I've been stoking my angst-engine by rereading the Outsider and the Wasp Factory.
     
  7. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    Good to know that you would excel as the head of an intelligence agency or the secret police for a despotic government.
     
  8. KaelMyec

    KaelMyec Second Year

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    You know the rumors about the Lord High Commandant of the Commissarait, they say he is only known by his initials L.P.

    Seriously thought great chapter, took me a minute though at the start to remember what was going on, I thought for a moment it was before the events of the last chapter. It seems like a totally justifiable response to the presence of the Butcher in the system for god-beings.

    Pesky thorn in your side? Just blot out that sun there, that will do it!
     
  9. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    So, I just noticed this:

    The Cerberus Manifesto. It's a collab between LP and Aberron (of Living an Indoctrinated Dream, fame)

    Going to be interesting to see how it pans out.
     
  10. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Order Member

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    This updated again.

    Decent update all around. I think I'm going to need to reread the fic soon though. Whole lotta names I only vaguely remember.

    I mean I actually think I remembered everyone this time around, and context helped me figure it out for the most part, but the Alliance meeting was a bit of a barrage.

    Also generally find distasteful the whole "This one individual is suuuuuper badass we need tanks to kill them!" dealio that OSABC has got going on generally, but that's a common and forgivable flaw, and sorta justified with biotics and augmentation technology and the like. And neatly subverted with the way Shift got taken out by an explosion. I just see no reason why you couldn't repeat the tactic with Tetrimus or P. Or Shepard herself, for that matter.

    Well, practically I see no reason why you couldn't. The narrative obviously demands otherwise, and that's fine. I admit to being confused at AIS' reluctance to suggest dropping a JDAM on Shepard's head though. Super biotic or no, you don't survive that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  11. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    To be fair, there are really only eight people in the Premiseverse that absolutely require super heavy weapons to take out : The Broker, Tetrimus, Tazzik, Shepard, Richard Williams, The High Solarch, Delanynder and Aria's bodyguard Patriarch. The rest of the badasses can be taken out with a sniper rifle or a knife to the heart.

    And of those eight, the only ones who could laugh off a pack of JDAM bombs would be the Solarch and Delanyder. The rest would become vapor.

    There are two primary reasons you don't see more of it. The first one is logistical and common sense : most of the ones that require such ordinance to take out are not the types that say in one easily identified location very long. Anti-tank and super-heavy weapons are not exactly welcome inside most civilian locations, and it takes time to get them to a target. If the people in question don't stay in one place long enough to target and launch, they're useless.

    That's one reason why the SA wants to 'talk' to Shepard, so that they can have a single target location for, say, orbital bombardment with an eezo-fuel-air bomb or kinetic bombardment. Or both. Or a nuke. Or several.

    The High Lords are like krogan in that 'overkill' doesn't translate.

    The other reason is more pragmatic. These aren't 'clean' weapons to use, and the peopel you're aiming at are not very nice -- there will be a LOT of collateral damage and unwanted casualties.

    As a rule, I try to not have 'plot armor'. Right now no one actually has plot armor except Shepard and Garrus and that's because I need them to survive to see ME3. (And Ahern, but he's a Heroic Spirit anyway).

    But just because those Super-Badass-People need heavy weapons to guarantee a kill doesn't mean that they're immune to regular damage. It's just very difficult. A shotgun blast at point blank range may or may not kill Shepard, but her cybernetic eyes will be gone, her neck will have damage, her brain will be bruised and she certainly won't be of any use in a fight.

    Likewise, super biotics like Tetrimus and the Solarch can always have their day ruined by a mass phase inhibitor.
     
  12. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    So, new update.

    Ahaha, Aethyta's old epic level party took a look at the best and most deadly spectre alive and basically said "what's this casual noob doing here at the big kids table?". Oh yeah, this is going to end well with hardly any damages to the planet and innocents, I can tell.
     
  13. Himuradono

    Himuradono Professor

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    I know it's silly but every time I see one of the Blades refer to Aethyta as Mama Fish it tickles me pink.

    As for Aethyta's old team, I hope they live up to the reputation of: crests to the wall, kill'em all.
     
  14. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Have to admit, a bit worried that they are going to be worfed
     
  15. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    Oh, no need to be worried on that account. Unlike the Remembrance Dancers, the Black Blades can actually back up all the shit they're talking.

    I'm currently 4,000 words in, and already the planet is on fire.
     
  16. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Order Member

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    Sweet. Doing a reread - for all that our first works are the most embarrassing, you really did a good job showing Shepard's transformation from "Woe is me I'm an evil monster I want to die" into having something to live for. I'm reading the Noveria section now, and the way you tied Shepard's recovery into her (hilariously unhealthy) relationship with Liara is also excellent, and realistic to boot.

    The misery porn is absolutely a bit much, and at times the darkness just wraps around to comical. It's similar to some Warhammer 40K writers, except Abnett and Dembski-Bowden intend for the ridiculous grimdark to be comic. Not so much here. It's a bit trite and tired, and hard to take seriously at times. That's more a fault of your readers than it is of your worldbuilding. It's a psychological problem, not a technical one. Regardless of how much logical sense some aspects of the Premierverse make, they're hard to wrap our 21st century minds around.

    In your defence, you wrote OSABC in what, 2010? Grimdark hadn't become passé yet, so I suppose you're forgiven. And the sequels are much better in that regard.

    Something else I appreciate is how much more grounded the first OSABC is, especially in terms of combat and fight scenes. The final fight between Rachel Florez and Shepard was superb - and didn't involve crazy cybernetics or biotics. This has long been a pet peeve of mine and is not an indictment against the quality of your work - I know many folks love the more... Fantastical elements of OSABC and the like while I'm pining away for HVI targeting reports and JDAMS. Seriously, what happened to good, old fashioned Hellfire AGMs?

    But that's the desk spook in me. Also lol at talking about grounded low power level fight scenes when Noveria's about to blow up.

    Anyways, it's a fantastic work overall - always has been. And I must say, refreshing my memory of all the various moving parts and plots is a huuuuge help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  17. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    The Editing Gang is very slowly going over OSABC, correcting typos and adding a small bit of new content. So far, this is just done through Chapter 23 -- We might be up to chapter 65 by the end of the year.

    Given that you are doing a re-read, what areas need the most attention and which emo-bits need a entirely new approach, in your opinion (or anyone else who re-reads the work)?
     
  18. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    If an open critic might state an opinion, any edit will first need to take a cleaver to the word count, but regardless, if you're revisiting the first installment, I might give it a try again.
     
  19. LogicalPremise

    LogicalPremise First Year DLP Supporter

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    Man, you must really dislike Spirit of Redemption then. :D
     
  20. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Order Member

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    Hahaha oh man I hadn't thought about that fic in years. I distinctly remember the author shilling it all over the old Bioware Social Networks.

    Either that fic or one very similar, I can't rightly recall.

    I somehow have failed to read it though.