1. The Seventh Rule:
    Threads that have been dormant for 1 month are considered dead threads. IF you make a post to a dead thread, it must be a significant contribution; story update, new information on current events, new activity for games elsewhere, etc. Asking if a story or quest is dead or will be continued does not count.
    Brought to you by your oppressive neighborhood ⑨
    Dismiss Notice
  2. After some discussion backstage, I have altered Rule 2 a bit to clarify its function. Please check it out in the Rules post.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. After repeated requests and a backstage conversation, I will shortly be implementing an Index subforum in each of the Q&R forums and the NSFW CW forum. Our mods have agreed to do the dirty work of moving said threads, which will be done over the next day or three.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Alerts on thread OP posting are now enabled.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. The server upgrade has been completed. As usual, any infelicities may be reported in the appropriate subforum.
    Dismiss Notice
  6. In light of the flood of reports concerning political posts and the repeat offenses of people arguing over the same subject for the last couple months, politics is now banned on QQ.

    See the post in the Announcements section for more details.

    Dismiss Notice
  7. In the wake of the recent Cloudflare information disclosure issues, we've been asked several times whether QQ might have been affected. QQ does not use Cloudflare in any capacity, and so is not affected by the Cloudflare bug. You may wish to take action regarding other Cloudflare-enabled sites you visit (in particular SV), but there is no problem regarding QQ.
    Dismiss Notice
  8. It is with sadness, that we have to announce the loss of a QQ member. Thunderbolt passed away in his sleep several days ago. We were informed of this loss by his wife using his account.

    Be respectful of his passing. Drop by this thread, if you want to say something nice.

    Dismiss Notice

Worm discussion and debate thread

Discussion in 'CW Index' started by OverReactionGuy, Jul 23, 2015.

Tags:
  1. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    He sort of does:

    So Taylor walks through the basics of the fight but seems to never mention the spider venom. Which makes sense, as far as she could tell it was totally useless on Lung. Still she told him what happened.
     
    Enohthree and Fellgar like this.
  2. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    If she explained the fight, then I'd assume she actually told him that she was biting him with every insect she could. So what, does he just not think venomous insects don't live in Brockton Bay?
     
    Kingreaper and Prince Charon like this.
  3. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    Why? Why would you assume that?
     
    Enohthree and Fellgar like this.
  4. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    Because if she's explaining that she fought Lung, it would be logical for her to explain how she fought Lung.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  5. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    Or she could have said "I attack him with insects" and he figured she meant wasps and such, or she could have mentioned spiders and it didn't occur to him that she meant lethal spiders, seeing as it seems a bit unlikely that someone claiming to be a hero on their first night would use something that could kill a man.
     
    Enohthree, Fellgar and MHLord like this.
  6. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    A massive amount of wasp venom is still lethal. Large amounts of any kind of venom, even from spiders that aren't normally lethal, is lethal. The specifics of what kind of insects are not necessary to realize that he has a fuck ton of toxic venom in his body.

    And the first night is probably one of the most likely nights for someone to use lethal force, either from lack of understanding of the rules, not understanding their own powers and making mistakes, or simply being high on the thrill of having powers and not caring.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  7. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    On accident, not purposefully. I mean Taylor wasn't really using lethal force since we know Lung would have lived, but she was effectively using a lethal weapon on someone. Even a few bites by Black Widows can kill someone, and she had several. It's like shooting Wolverine, yeah he's not going to die, but you did bring a gun out with the intention to use it on someone.
     
    Fellgar likes this.
  8. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    But when fighting someone as absurdly powerful as Lung, use of as much force as you can muster makes sense. What's lethal to an ordinary human and what's lethal to the Rage Dragon are very different things. And Lung is a very well known and very dangerous parahuman. There's no reason why a new cape in Brockton wouldn't know who he is and what his powers do. So there's no reason not to use as much force as she can on him, even if for a normal human it might be lethal.
     
    Kingreaper and Prince Charon like this.
  9. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    Except she explicitly states that this was all an accident. She wasn't planning on fighting Lung and only did to prevent him from hurting people. So to AM her using venomous spiders is like her taking a gun and just lucking into shooting someone that wears a bulletproof vest.
     
    Enohthree and Fellgar like this.
  10. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    Her powers let her gather whatever insects are in her radius. When she finds out something that changes the situation, she grabs everything she can and jumps in. That means everything from houseflies to black widows (which are known to be native to Brockton for some reason) would come to her call. She didn't bring a weapon with her. She grabbed the nearest one when she realized that she was about to fight someone that could end her.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  11. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    But AM doesn't know that. Thus he likely assumes that she was bringing things like bees to the fight.
     
  12. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    But hundreds of bee stings are still lethal and Armsmaster would know this. It's common knowledge that hundreds of bee stings are fatal. So she'd still have told him that she used potentially lethal levels of toxins on Lung.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  13. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    And we have no evidence that AM didn't treat him for bee venom. It's just a very different treatment than Brown Recluse venom.
     
    Fellgar likes this.
  14. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    We have no evidence that he did treated him for anything. From the text, all Armsmaster does is tranq him and go home.
     
  15. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    What are we even arguing about any more?
     
  16. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    I... don't actually know. Something about how responsible Armsmaster is for Lung almost dying Taylor's first night I think.
     
  17. volantredx

    volantredx Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    8,144
    I thought it was that Armsmaster should have known that Taylor would have used lethal doses of poison on Lung and the tranq would stop his regen?
     
  18. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    19,951
    I was arguing that Armsmaster was being horribly irresponsible in how he handled it because of his handling of the tranqs and questioning Taylor.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  19. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,601
    Likes Received:
    16,016
    Like I said, I would expect her to decide that she was completely in over her head and let the supernaturally competent kid find and convince people who know what the hell they are doing to become a think-tank for saving the world from an effectively unbeatable enemy. Letting dozens of highly trained professionals of multiple different fields brainstorm different methods of attacking Zion and prepping for the more viable ones, also under the eye of well trained professionals so prevent the creation of a disorganized mob that will destroy you rather than the enemy, would have been a much better use of their time and effort.

    Although it's not something they could have planned for, the fact that Dinah was not hired to give their plan a once-over is the height of stupidity. Instead they just took her prophecy of the End starting in two years and decided to go with it, rather than hiring her to give them the chances of success for their plan and then putting other plans through her power to see if they had any better or worse chances, yet another failure of critical thinking on the part of Cauldron by having only a single plan and never considering others.

    In my hypothetical Cauldron run by a think-tank, they would have snagged Dinah the instant it became apparent she could bypass the Entity block by observing the aftermath rather than Zion himself, which is far more than enough to figure out which plans are completely unworkable and which ones have a chance at all of doing something, and holy shit, the plans involving psychological warfare have a success rate over 15% where the rest barely reach 5%. Thank you for your time Dinah, here's 50 million dollars, 2 metric tons of candy, and the exact thing that you always wanted that will convince you to keep this quiet and be favorable towards working for us again later. We'll get back to you in a few weeks with more diverse plans along these lines for you to give a once-over.

    The fact that Dr. Mother damn well knows she is not cut out for that responsibility and took it anyway shows massive stupidity and arrogance. The fact that they only had a few people in their inner circle when Contessa could perfectly check if people who weren't Eidolon were trustworthy makes it even more obvious.
     
  20. Dr. Mercurious

    Dr. Mercurious Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    924
    doomlord, have seven billion likes; sorry QQ will only let me give one. THIS, right HERE, is Why Cauldron Sucks.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  21. Valette-Serafina

    Valette-Serafina Shameless Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,576
    Likes Received:
    15,025
    Well, it was? Seriously, what other option did he have?
    Fighting the court case required money. Winning that court case required a certain standard of living.
    Brian did not have: Abundant qualifications, Wealth, A suitable home, or a trusted family friend with all of those things, or a legal way to get those things. Unless you think he could maybe have earned enough to pay for an apartment, a lawyer, and food by waiting tables.

    Coil offered: Money in significant quantities, A cover identity, and his own support.
    Coil also happened to be very influential. Going independent after he set his sights on Grue? Not safe. Obviously not safe.
    Joining an organisation that employs child soldiers is not a clear-cut, sparkly white ethical choice. And that is what the Wards are, no ifs nor buts.
    Y'know how Worm makes a point about people having reasons for what they do? Even if they're bad reasons?
    Y'think you might have missed it?

    'Cause, see, you can't lump all villains together. Hookwolf is not Bitch, and neither of them are Tattletale. Very different reasons, limits, and goals.

    Brian wanted to keep his sister safe. He did not have many options. He took the one that he thought was best. It did not work out as well as he'd hoped.
     
  22. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,325
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Saw this, and something occurred to me: It would actually be very easy to make Dinah fallible, because she explicitly sees probabilities, rated by percentage. All Wildbow had to do was keep it at that, and not have her make any absolute statements, just things like '97.34523497047568% probability that everybody is dead in two years if Jack Slash isn't killed soon enough.'
     
  23. RFMM

    RFMM Making the rounds.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    99
    Is it just me or Wildbow ytied to flip Cauldron's narrative purpose from evil mastermind organization to group doing 'what is necessary' ?
     
  24. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,601
    Likes Received:
    16,016
    The PtV is so that it would fail correctly. Keep the obvious corruption to a minimum, reduce panic, and slow the decay of society from a screaming tailspin into a gentle slide of what they wanted.

    I can't understand what is so hard to understand about this. Does Cauldron have a hand in something or is remotely involved? If so, it has PtV influence. Contessa IS Cauldron and PtV is literally operating 24/7, large and small. Just because it seems cheap and removes agency does not mean they don't exploit it mercilessly at every chance.

    Did Contessa manage every last detail down to hiring, positions, raises, promotions, ect? No, there is no need. Put this person here, do this to make that person say this at that time, make that person have the flu at this time, and everything just falls into place exactly as she wants it to, all this in between the rest of her paths. That is what PtV is, the least effort needed to fill per request to the letter with whatever it is she has access to.

    Unless she somehow died very early on, there is outright, flat out, no questions asked a miniscule amount of personal agency in Worm, even without adding in The Simurgh which just reduces it from tiny to microscopic. If you don't like it.....well, they care as much about that as they did about using precog of that magnitude in the first place.

    One more thing to rage about. But don't worry, they planned for that too.
     
    Sydonai likes this.
  25. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,190
    Likes Received:
    14,350
    I personally think Contessa had more important things to do than to set up this organization like you seem to believe it was set up. Also, on the personal agency thing? I think there is a lot more than you seem to think.

    Ziz doesn't run plans all the time or shit like that when it's not her part of the cycle of Endbringer attacks and the majority of her plans are contained afterwards or shot dead. Also, Contessa's PTV has holes in it so it's not all that. Especially when one of the holes interacts with it and changes things. I.E. Endbringer attack every three months, Zion flying by, Eidolon being his middle aged crisis self all the time, the slaughter house nine with their gary sue leader Jack motherfucking slash.

    Things like that.

    Anyway, just got up not too long ago so I'll continue this debate later if I don't forget about it. Until then, have at it with 1986ctcel
     
    1986ctcel and vyor like this.
  26. vyor

    vyor Probably an Omnibus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    7,744
    Likes Received:
    20,170
    Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

    Just... Have you actually read Alexandria's interlude? Like, at all?
     
    Enohthree and 1986ctcel like this.
  27. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,695
    Likes Received:
    4,273
    Pretty sure this isn't how it works.

    Cauldron's big, overarching, long-term goal is to take down Scion. They don't have a PtV for that. Thus, for instance, Contessa wasn't micromanaging Taylor's life in order to make her into a Scion-killing weapon, because they had no idea what could kill Scion and what couldn't. Their plan to take down Scion — of which the PRT, the Birdcage, the Case 53s and so on were all just aspects — was to make as many capes as they could and desperately hope that one of them would be a golden BB, just like Contessa was in the first place. And it worked, though at the last possible moment. But this was a general plan of action, not something of which they micromanaged all the details at once.

    They had other goals, of course. One of the big ones was in managing the societal consequences of powers appearing, and later of the Endbringers. It was in pursuit of this that they established the Protectorate and played games with parahuman feudalism. But they weren't micromanaging every aspect of that, either; a social arrangement that requires Contessa messing with it every second is one that's not useful for their purposes.

    Cauldron's general modus operandi is of having multiple plans at once, generally conceived and framed by normal human intellectual methods on the part of the core conspiracy, which are then implemented by their contacts and patsies in normal human (or normal parahuman) ways. Contessa has the role of a special ops unit, troubleshooter and cleaner; she isn't running the whole show with PtV, because PtV is useless against their main enemy.
     
    vyor and Zackarix like this.
  28. Enohthree

    Enohthree Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    2,140
    This is wrong.
    They didn't want the end of society at all, they just recognized the fact that it was ending despite their best efforts thanks to PtV blindspots and escalating Endbringer attacks. You're for some reason attributing a failing of their desires as a goal they were striving for.
    Also Parahuman Feudalism was an experiment they were trying with Coil at the time. So you're bringing forth the idea that the national organization they founded was designed to fail because they were assuming the success of an experiment that didn't have any of its players let alone start until long long after it was created.
     
    vyor likes this.
  29. ayleid

    ayleid Making the rounds.

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    97
    This has been bubbling in my mind for a long time, so I thought I'll put it out there and wait for the reactions.
    One of my least favorite parts of fanon is how Cauldron is portrayed as either incompetent nazis or psychopathic overlords. I'll try to not re-tread old battlegrounds, but there are two points I think should be borne in mind when discussing Cauldron's actions.


    • Cauldron had extenuating circumstances for doing what they did.
    Now, justifying a crime is a favorite pastime of lawyers. There are many legal and moral issues arising when you have to commit a crime to save a life, for example. We can exchange anecdotes and jurisprudence later, but the salient point, the rationale behind the very existence of extenuating circumstances, is that sometimes the consequences for not committing the crime are worse than the offense committed. There is, of course, a need for an actual trial to determine wether the circumstances were actually extenuating and that bit of legal wrangling is much too often used in the real world; yet, it can happen.
    In Cauldron's case, which was at first simply DM and Fortuna, they were put into a truly no-win situation. The consequences of failure would be some trillion counts of "duty to rescue," or whatever the equivalent is in your legal system. Any wrong move would trigger Scion too early, especially the careless dissemination of their information. Each missed opportunity could be punished by billions of dead down the line in some far-off world. And as their fight went on, failures kept accumulating, losses kept piling up. They knew for a fact a Path to defeat Scion existed, Fortuna caught a glimpse of it before Eden shut her down. But what were the requirements for this future to come into existence? What if they had already missed the opportunity?
    All they could do was grit their teeth and keep trying to enhance the numbers. They ended up guilty of unforgivable crimes, but would it not have been even more unforgivable if they had missed the chance to kill Scion early because of their scruples?
    In the end, what it boils down to is that Wildbow managed to create a true no-win situation, saddling Contessa with every trope pertaining to Cassandra truths and seer responsibility you'd care to name.
    An obligatory Worm quote from Venom 29.8, where someone gets a mere glimpse of what it must have been like to be part of Cauldron :

    • While many crimes or faults can be put on their shoulders, I do not think it would be fair to call Cauldron&co "corrupt."
    Here I'll be leading with the quote; it's Taylor's narration, Scourge 19.7:
    When I had finished Worm, I went back to that and it hit me how unreliable a narrator Taylor had been all that time. In the end, the Interludes were where the real substance was. Before it became Taylor's story, Worm was a setting. Taylor was a great narrator in that her ever-expanding influence and perspective allowed Wildbow to explore a staggering expanse of the world he thought up, but she came with her hang-ups and flaws.
    Fanfiction likes to explore slices of life of characters, so you can easily find stories of Cauldron poker nights and office affairs. But really, canon Worm only shows an organization made up of workaholics chained to their work by something between duty, desperation and denial.
    Setting aside Cauldron itself for now, what about their corrupted patsies the Triumvirate?
    -Legend: canonically a caricatural hero. No drama here. A nice guy with a comfortable home life. Moving along.
    -Eidolon: the guy that wants to be the Hero. Seriously, all he wants is to make a difference, to actually matter and do some good. You could say he is a glory-hound, but really he did not seem particularly interested in actual fame, at most he seeks personal validation. He wants to set things right, where in Worm everything goes wrong.
    -Alexandria. Her comrades at the Protectorate thought she had a life, while her subordinates at the PRT thought that even she must be sleeping sometime. Instead, she was juggling two demanding jobs while doing Cauldron errands on the side, because nothing was more important than that. She did commit crimes. She was a hypocrite. But at the end of the day, she was a woman without a personal life of any significance, working 24/7 to try and save lives. What better definition of selflessness do you have?
    Amusingly, Legend seems to be the one person here with an actual personal life, and who might have actually taken advantage of his salary and vacation days. Does that make him the most corrupt member of the Triumvirate?

    Food for thought, people.
     
    zadra123, MinorGryph and Xicree like this.
  30. Enohthree

    Enohthree Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    2,140
    Turns out that Legend didn't actually know Scion was going to end the world until much later in canon, after years of working for cauldron.

    If someone was kept in the dark that much, both about the stakes and the bad things they had to do, can you really call him corrupt for not worrying as much about things? If he actually harried himself as much as the others despite not knowing any of that, something would clearly be off.