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Worm discussion and debate thread

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

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  1. Bre Karn

    Bre Karn (Slow) Writer of Glorious Smut

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    Just a question here (forgive me if it's not the appropriate thread) but are there good crossovers with Grrl Power?
     
  2. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    I don't think there is any worm/grrl power crossovers besides one that was a snippet and not really a crossover just a alt power Taylor with a nerfed power from Grrl Power. Anyway, this is actually the wrong thread to ask. There is a worm fanfic discussion and rec fic tagged to the front page of the creative writing section. As well as one for the NSFW section.

    But no harm no fowl.
     
  3. DuskAtDawn

    DuskAtDawn Of the Thousand Faces

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    I'm working on a snippet, but it just occurred to me; How on earth did Coil manage to pull off the coin trick he used to convince the Undersiders that he had probability manipulation? The obvious solution, that he split the timelines and only kept the one that the coin landed on heads, kinda doesn't make sense when you take into account that he can only have two timelines and time moves identically between them. What if the coin had landed on tails in both timelines? Just because it's a 50/50 chance doesn't mean it's going to be one heads one tails when flipping it twice.

    Was that sleight of hand, or did he cheat somehow? Was it a tinkertech coin?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  4. ayleid

    ayleid Making the rounds.

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    Tattletale was looking for just that and was baffled for some time.

    His trick is to flip the coin in one timeline and just keep talking in the other. Keep the coin toss if it's heads, collapse it if it's tails, split the timeline again. 3-4 seconds per coin toss. If he is extremely unlucky, he might have to keep running his mouth for a minute, but being at a loss for words is not a weakness of his.
     
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  5. kinglugia

    kinglugia A Randy Avian

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    Alright, forgive me for the necromancy, but why do people like to bash on Cauldron so much? I mean, sure, they're quite horrible, but at least they are trying to genuinely help the myriad worlds.
     
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  6. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    It's more the fact that people think they are doing pointlessly evil things that actually backfired on them horribly.

    The case 53s for example. For one, why the hell are they labeling them? For two, why the hell did they keep an army of resentful and dangerous beings in their fucking base? That's bond level of incompetence.

    Basically, they wanted Cauldron to be more effective than it was. it doesn't help that they were built up as a defacto evil organization at first and then the "They were good guys all along" got shoein near the end there... at least from what I remember. Haven't touched the actual worm story in a very long time.

    I think much of the hate stems from the fact that they were made stupid.

    They were told to make an army by their cheat plot device, but they never asked the question of how to make a loyal army which would have solved a lot of issues. Then there is the fact that they are following a path by a tampered with shard that got it's previous host killed when she was texting and driving at the same time.

    So they have this wonderful plot device adn don't realize things that it's telling them to do are making things even more shitty. But then it's a catch 22.

    The plan that Contessa first saw to kill Scion was their only their only hope or something.

    So they needed to risk using said compromised shard even though it can't predict what is needed to truly counter Scion and not to mention, seems to focus on short term gain more than long term gain.

    Short term gain= Army of resentful Case 53s
    Long term gain- Army of loyal case 53s.

    Basically.

    Though really, this is all speculation on my part and I don't have any evidence to back it up and I am not going through over 2 million words to look for cites or over every single thing Wilbow said or clarified or used to troll his fan base.

    -edit-

    Honestly, I don't think PtV is all it's cracked up to be either. It obviously has trouble processing very long term plans but no problem with the short term stuff.
     
  7. Dr. Mercurious

    Dr. Mercurious Know what you're doing yet?

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    One of the prime examples of Cauldron idiocy is the Slaughterhouse Nine. Specifically, William Manton/The Siberian. We see in canon that Cauldron is willing to let Manton keep on killing because 'they may need him at some point'.

    Really? Why don't you need him now? Is he not ripe? Does he need to level up? How many stars until he's a Legendary Pokemon??

    It's things like this -- where Cauldron wears the idiot hat so hard it might as well be welded onto their collective skulls -- which make you look at the WoG in which WB claims the world would have been in worse shape without Cauldron that make you raise a very dubious eyebrow.
     
  8. Twei

    Twei Adventure Trap: a trap that adventures

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    I thought it was 'because he'll drive people to join the protectorate'. At least, originally.

    Still. Cauldron obviously has the power to abduct people at least some of the time, and we never really see them use it outside of Case 53s?
     
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  9. Dr. Mercurious

    Dr. Mercurious Know what you're doing yet?

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    Except we never see examples of this. Wildbow's worldbuilding isn't very consistent. As in: at all.
     
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  10. Nekraa

    Nekraa Nekraa

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    I think it's pretty consistent-ish?

    Worm is the first draft after all, so sometimes the dates and stuff doesn't match up. Or the first idea for how something works is developed/changed later. But on the whole Worm is pretty good at it.

    One thing is that people rarely thinks about stuff, and goes for their first thought about things and then declaring Worm terrible.
     
  11. Twei

    Twei Adventure Trap: a trap that adventures

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    Yeah, I didn't really buy that one either.

    Personally, though, I actually kinda like a lot of Worm's setting in a broad sense. And even if a lot of the details fall apart, well, those can be nudged back into something I like.

    Plus, some of the things aren't actually quite as egregious upon closer inspection.

    For example: Why don't have Cauldron have staff?

    Closer reading suggests that they did... until the Simurgh hit them during the Madison attack.
     
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  12. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    The reason that Cauldron were willing to let Manton keep murderhoboing is the same reason they were willing to let every other bad thing keep happening. Higher Trigger rates means more parahumans they can throw at Scion. Cauldron isn't on an unconditional "make the world a better place" plan.

    As for their effect on the world as a whole, it seems quite plausible to me that without the Cauldron capes as a sane stabilizing element, the Protectorate couldn't form (as WoG states). And without the Protectorate and its copycats in Europe, the First World would probably be just as much of a mess as the Third World is. So...
     
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  13. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    The s9 kinda kill them all even if they trigger don't they? Except for the ones they recruit. So that kinda seems self defeating.
     
  14. Nekraa

    Nekraa Nekraa

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    I'm not sure we're given a reason as for why. I mean, I remember Doc Mom saying something about letting Manton live in Alexandria's interlude (I think?) where we see Siberian first appear. But I don't remember the details.
     
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  15. Twei

    Twei Adventure Trap: a trap that adventures

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    Well, they do create new and interesting capes, which might help Cauldron find a silver bullet. But in terms of raw parahumans created to parahumans killed, the math is pretty dubious, IIRC.

    Cauldron certainly isn't entirely interested in making the world a better place. Like I said: the broad strokes are interesting even if the details are flimsy.

    As for the thing on Cauldron stabilizing the world, we also have the Edenverse interlude. Ironically, it seems like the world would be more stable, for certain values of stability, if they hadn't managed to kill Eden and she had recovered. On the other hand, certain doom, so. :v
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  16. Nekraa

    Nekraa Nekraa

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    On the other hand, certain doom for humanity :p
     
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  17. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Heh.

    Yeah, Cauldron has two conflicting goals. On the one hand, they want things generally crappy, so that trigger rates are high and more parahumans are available; on the other hand, they want society and government still intact, so there's some infrastructure for getting all these people pointing in the same direction.

    In the end, though, their strategy for beating Scion mostly came down to "pray for another golden BB". And, well, it worked. :p
     
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  18. RFMM

    RFMM Making the rounds.

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    Why do they even want triggers that came from scion? For all they know he could turn them off with a thought.
     
  19. Dr. Mercurious

    Dr. Mercurious Know what you're doing yet?

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    ...If your plan relies on luck, it's a bad plan.
     
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  20. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    Against a cosmic multidimensional horror, it's really all they had though.
     
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  21. ayleid

    ayleid Making the rounds.

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    While there were some good points brought up earlier, and I especially agree with Nekraa, the lynchpin is that the fandom as a whole is very Bet-centric.

    Cauldron kept Bet together on the whole but on individual smaller pictures they encouraged or let happen real atrocities. The reason being that Earth Bet was the designated frontline of the Golden Morning, both where Scion was active and the "default" Petri dish for Shards, so that is where they could dump the mass of their parahumans without it being weird, and have the best chance of gathering an anti-Scion force. So they let some S-class threats roam because the opportunity cost of removing them was too high, or for other factors, and from the perspective of Skitter and other POV characters that's something to understandably take offense with.

    Now if we take the perspective of one of the trillion denizens of Earth Dalet or Nun or what have you, Cauldron would appear to be the heroes trying to make sure an interdimensional genocidal threat is contained before it reaches their world, in exchange for maybe some dying guys from our hospitals and battlefields.
     
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  22. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

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    I mostly agree with OverReaction. They're so grossly incompetent at everything they attempt that basically all of their plans come out useless in the end. Even their big overarching goal to create an army of capes to fight Scion turns out useless because they're so incapable of understanding how anyone other than their own twisted minds think that they didn't consider that if they created a world where capes are divided into constantly fighting factions that all don't trust each other, then when they wouldn't be able to work together at all. If you are creating a situation where the army you're building is useless and a ten year old child could tell you as much, then you really have no right to build that army at all. The only thing that saves their plan is Taylor becoming Khepri, but there's no possible way they could have predicted that because Contessa's only limitation is the inability to directly predict shards (including Endbringers) and entities. Which means that you can't even argue that Khepri was part of the plan and I'm left to assume that they were insane enough to believe that their 'army' would work together just because they said so. Which is ludicrous to anyone with a brain.

    Two more small points.

    1) Trying counts for very little when nothing you do works. They're actions demonstrably make the entire world a worse place and they keep doing them based on some vague idea that things will work out in the long term. But they have no proof of that and are basing their entire belief that their actions are justified on nothing but the hope that they'll be vindicated by history.

    2) The "I did what I had to do" excuse only works if you did indeed have to do it. The thing is, when you have the ability to secretly control world super powers from the shadows, you don't have to do anything. That means that they only reason to continue inflicting massive amounts of suffering on billions of people is either that they were too stupid to realize that they didn't have to or because they actively refused to try any other methods, which makes them intentionally malicious for no reason and robs them of any sympathy that their motives might give them.

    Agreed as well.

    That's the problem with utilitarianism. Eventually you either have to give up and try a different system of morality, or you end up committing horrific atrocities because killing a million people to save a billion is okay in your book. Personally, I believe there's a point where simply too many people are being harmed by your actions, regardless of intentions or how many people your actions are saving. Literally an entire world's worth of human beings is very far past that line for me. Other people can disagree, but when I don't particularly care if they saved several trillion lives by sacrificing 8 billion people's safety, happiness, and potentially lives. That's simply to far to get anything other than scorn from me, especially when their sacrifice would have amounted to nothing if a completely outside variable hadn't salvaged Cauldron's horribly thought out plan.
     
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  23. Twei

    Twei Adventure Trap: a trap that adventures

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    I'm partial to the idea that Cauldron is supposed to be hypercompetent, but they just end up ballsing it up 90% of the time we see them because THANKS WILDBOW.

    When we don't see them, they're busy propping up the North American continent, stopping S class threats, controlling the global economy... Looots of stuff.

    I mean, I just saved this post , which probably explains it better than me. I prefer a Cauldron that's competent but hopelessly outmatched to a Cauldron that's lolevil, even if that's what canon looks like sometimes upon initial inspection.

    But maybe that's just me. I like the idea of a competent and morally questionable but actually for the greater good conspiracy, so I prefer disregarding (apparent) canon stupidity to just declaring them 100% lolevil.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  24. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    A couple of points:

    1. Various Cauldron plans did indeed turn out tolerably well. Founding the Protectorate worked out pretty okay, and in fact ended up being crucial to the continuation of civilization after Gold Morning.

    2. The "army" of Case 53s wasn't particularly intended as an army. Their goal there was to desperately hunt for another golden BB single cape who could maybe take out Scion. You can say "relying on luck is a bad plan", but if it's the only thing you have to rely on, well, maybe the horse will sing. This ended up failing and being pretty pointless, but hey.

    3. The "army" of capes in normal society was probably about as good as they could get, given their constraints. Shards spawn conflict, so making all the capes in society actually united would be impossible; however, by maintaining civil order in at least some of the world, and by giving all the capes a stake in the existence of that order, they did create the circumstances that let the final win happen. (And they also significantly reduced the general awfulness involved in the whole process, not a minor consideration.)

    Basically, Cauldron was up against impossible odds, and the jackpot win that let them defeat Eden got invalidated at that point. Their only plan -- the only plan they really could have -- was to shape circumstances to maximize the chances of another jackpot win, and pray really hard. One can quibble with the details, but I don't think there's much about their overall approach that could be improved on easily.
     
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  25. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

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    Fair enough, though I still believe that their 'plans', used in the loosest sense considering how vague their plan was, simply caused too much harm to be worthwhile and they still get no sympathy from me. And as I already said already, I agree with Mercurious. If their only plan was pray for a miracle, that's a bad plan and they probably should have just sat back and hoped that a miracle popped up without them ruining so many lives in the process.
     
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  26. ayleid

    ayleid Making the rounds.

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    kamenhero25
    Your moral qualms are duly noted, and I share them to some extent. Do I have the stomach to sacrifice a million to save a billion? I sure hope that I never have to find out. One thing is for sure, though: if push ever comes to shove, I hope the guy that do have to make the decision is able to make that controversial move, because I am a thousand times more likely to be in that billion than in that million. You don't get my vote for president of anything, sorry.

    Do note that utilitarianism in real life is indeed mostly impossible to apply to that extent, simply because it is impossible to ever get such a clear-cut decision with such certain results. But a lot of Wildbow's work on Cauldron was precisely done to invalidate these concerns.
     
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  27. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

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    At first, I wasn't going to respond because there's very little to say other than 'fine, but I simply don't agree', but I feel like attempting to talk down to me deserves at least some response.

    You're welcome to disagree all you want, but that's not going to change my mind or alter my beliefs. I put too much value on human life to believe that sacrificing billions on the chance that the rest will survive is acceptable. As you just said, clear cut decisions are often impossible because of how complex a real moral choice is. Personally, I find that the sheer scale of Cauldron's machinations simply overrides good intentions. Once the number of people you're sacrificing hits ten digits, it's simply gone too far to be anything other than abhorrent. And the people who weren't sacrificed can be thankful all they want, but that doesn't make Cauldron's actions moral or in any way justifiable. It just means that people are selfish and don't care if other people suffer for their own security.
     
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  28. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Out of curiosity, when did Cauldron's plans ever sacrifice billions of people?

    I mean, billions did die in Gold Morning, but it's not as if Cauldron could have done anything to stop that, in particular.
     
  29. kamenhero25

    kamenhero25 The Masked Writer

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    Ultimately, their social engineering creates Earth Bet's political and social climate. A world were super heroes and villains are constantly fighting and they're attempting to make as many people as miserable as possible to encourage more super heroes and super villains who perpetuate the cycle. As you yourself said:

    That means that everyone on Bet who has ever suffered from cape violence, everyone who triggers because of how hopeless they encouraged the world to be, everyone who any of the villains they encouraged to run loose ever hurt, is on their shoulders. China is a dictatorship even worse than anything in our history with an army of mind controlled super humans, America has a strike team of violent serial killers who slaughter towns for fun and have for years, Africa is a wasteland filled with warlords and a giant raging abomination of fire and explosions... this list just keeps going and all of it is because they wanted the world as bad as possible to find their imaginary golden goose that they had no reason to believe would actually appear other than desperation.
     
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  30. Nekraa

    Nekraa Nekraa

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    They're not responsible for China or Africa as they didn't do much work there (I think?).

    Unless you believe that if you have power to help you must use it to help. I guess?

    Also, while they wanted capes, they also lacked the ability to stop every terrible thing that happens. Indeed, they were themselves foiled by the Simurgh when their research seemed to be close to a breakthrough. The rest of the endbringers are not helpful for making a world with less terribleness.