#142 – “Watch: Harvest”

In the game, harvest watchers are relatively feeble enemies; since there’s no real distinction between various types of anatomy we just pelt foes with whatever weapon or spell we have on hand until they fall. In Beyond the Tree, comparably, there’s a much greater leaning towards one-hit kills – if you chop someone’s head off it doesn’t just cause 452 to 676 damage – it tends to kill them outright.

In this, I felt the harvest watchers were something of an interesting anomaly because while flimsy and feeble in their construction.. they’re not fleshy – there’s no arteries to cut, they need to be approached differently.


43 Responses to “#142 – “Watch: Harvest””

  1. 1 Ilyara
    September 13, 2009 at 13:38

    Somehow this fight manages to be sweet and adorable; even very funny. I think I want to give the harvester hugs ^^ ‘

  2. 2 Hernos
    September 13, 2009 at 14:27

    Please let this turn into a pun at the Gnomes height? Ill beg? Even though I find Areen quite cute and adorable, I still cant grasp the fact that Gnomes could stand well against anything in hand-to-hand combat because of their height, seeing as Areen is knee height to the Harvester. Dont get me wrong, I value my knee caps, but I just simply cannot think of a Gnome in some epic battle gear trying to gut me without falling over laughing. Give me a Gnome warlock, or mage and I might just be slightly scared, but not a warrior or paladin :)

    Rant over XD As with every other page I read, this comic oozes pure epicness! Love your comic more and more each time i read it.

    • 3 Halbor
      September 14, 2009 at 01:20

      The first time I saw a gnome warrior in Wrath(Tier 2)gear I couldn’t stop laughing cus it was a Gnome with axes on their head and shoulders.

  3. 4 Synchronizor
    September 13, 2009 at 14:44

    Loving that shot of Rei peering around Hani’s head in frame two.

    I’m wondering when we’ll see Hani use that dagger she has hanging out of the bottom of her pack. It seems to be a weapon she could go for at a moment’s notice when something jumps her, like in this situation. I’m not positive, but I don’t think she’s ever used that in the comic so far. I’d enjoy seeing her add some variety to her combat prowess by using that dagger in a close-and-dirty fight, or perhaps using sword and dagger at the same time for when she’s opening a serious can of hurt on some poor villan.

    Somehow, I don’t think Areen’s gnomish body-slam will prove to be too terribly effective, though, with all respect to Paladin Lightspark, I find the image of her simply bouncing off the harvester with a resounding clang to be immensly hilarious…

    • 5 Charles
      September 13, 2009 at 15:18

      Didn’t she just use the dagger in this very comic? Check the handle in panel 3 and compare to those in 5-7.

      Interested to see what Lightspark is trying to accomplish. Is she intending to knock it over? I imagine that’d be quite effective on such a simple mechanical construct. But it’s hard to see such a tiny thing being able to tip over such a large thing, especially as she seems to be hitting it right in its centre of gravity… :)

      Great action sequence btw, they’ve really improved since the comic started.

    • 7 Tarjin
      September 13, 2009 at 15:36

      Yes, Hani does use the dagger in this comic. In panel 4, the weapon is pulled from below, and in the next three panels, the sword is still on Hani’s back.

    • 8 Nhani
      September 15, 2009 at 07:49

      Hani’s knife was first conceived for its utility rather than combat potential – it came to me after first rescuing Te’len that Hani really could’ve used something smaller than her rather large sword to cut those ropes, and from there she ended up with some manner of utility knife that can serve both as a tool and a weapon.

      Though this is the first time she draws it – I haven’t needed the utility features of it – not yet anyway – and the sword tends to be more intimidating; the times she’s gotten close up and personal lately too, she’s preferred using her bare hands, possibly just to vent.

      She’ll get use of the knife from time to time – I have a few ideas for when she’d prefer it; I don’t see her as a dual-wielder though, for some reason I keep thinking she’d rather have her off-hand free to grasp or punch with.

      • 9 Germ
        September 17, 2009 at 15:22

        Throwing? She’s not going to do a super crazy Jedi-sword throw that totally comes back to her?

      • 10 Nhani
        September 17, 2009 at 15:35

        Only in the sense that she goes over to where she hit and picks it back up again. Pretty much in the same way she can do Jedi Mind Tricks – just substitute the handwave with “or I will hurt you.”

  4. 11 TgrHwke
    September 13, 2009 at 16:41

    As Paladin Lightspark shield slams the Harvester, everyone appears to be a bit surprised at the action. Even the Harvester seems to be looking down at her as if to say, “What is this?”

  5. 12 Sneaksta
    September 13, 2009 at 17:43

    We gnomes have immense power within us. Our height is compensated with our spirits.Great intelligence, brave heart… What could possibly stop us!?! We kick them in da kneez and they all say “Don’t kill me pleazeee!”

    Gnome powah!

  6. 13 Moltrazahn
    September 13, 2009 at 21:00

    Im quite sure that our dear Gnome ally is hitting the golem were it hurts, ergo its mechanical systems, since they are basically cog’s and pipes id imagine, furthermore.. I -really- like your way of thought Nhani, taking into account that beings are not juct punch dummies, but actuel creatures of flesh,stone,hay,metal etc. is going to make certian encounter VERY interesting. Sure, flesh-creatures will fall with some ease, but imagine what would happen if the group ran into an Infernal eh? HOW, i ask, do you kill a creature, which is made of burning stone, you harm yourself in trying, and swords are not really cut out to smash things, given their non-blunt nature :P

    At any case, love your way of thought…

    Oh! and good page ^^

    • 14 Aux-Ash
      September 13, 2009 at 21:17

      Actually, swords made in the european style are actually made to be able to have some ability in smashing through armour. The bigger the sword the more akin to a big metal club is it. Some of the later twohanded swords weren’t even sharp for instance, they’re sole purpose was to smah knights to the ground and allow peasants to stab them to death with daggers through the visor.

      But I agree, fighting an enemy that never gets tired, never feels pain and doesn’t bleed is a very interesting challange. I do think Areen is trying to grab the golems attention though, to allow Hani to pull her sword.

      • September 14, 2009 at 11:34

        Granted, some of the zweihanders had at least eight inches of ricasso, with langets above that, but they were used to behead pikes, so they had to be fairly sharp. The blunt portion of the blade was used to hold it, as you (by preference) choked up on it quite a bit when using it against people.

        But those came later, after development of some actual steel. Charlemagne and the Normans conquest used weapons mainly of wrought iron, and their hand-and-a-half, bastard swords (basically 1-handers with an extra 3″ of hilt so you could put both hands on them) were mostly bonebreakers.

      • 16 Moltrazahn
        September 14, 2009 at 15:07

        Agreed, both you and Akanabar bring some very valid points, however then comes to question, what is Hani’s blade made of? I would assume, following “wow-lore” that it would be made of “elunite” which seems to be a blessed metal, tough the actual in-game item suck, the “IRL” metal properties might be more then just plain metal. However, the party is rather melee strong as to fighting against humanoid creatures with flesh, yet i wonder if our dear druidess wont soon start casting spells or sorts. I realize that of cause spell-casting should be respected as “NOT just casting a spell” but give her time and pratice to learn to heal, meditate and such, meaning that she just suddenly goes “moonfirespam”. However id most likely define Hani’s blade as being either a bastard-sword or a 1-half-held blade. Either way, against a never-tireing stone, i doubt it would do much good.

        And given that Areen has a shield, i would think she could bash a person or two, so they have a blunt effect item, thought its usefulness if you are needed to have direct blunt power for a foe, well that is to be seen. Then again, she -is- a paladin, so she could have a trick or two in her sleeves aswell, small as they may be :)

      • 17 Nhani
        September 15, 2009 at 07:59

        In design, I picked the look of the sword Hani uses (in game they’re called Dimensional Blade, I think?) largely because it struck me as plain and functional – it doesn’t need to be magical of any sort to convey that she can swing the thing with considerable force. It also struck me as somewhat utilitarian in that it has two edges to cut with and a point to stab with – while still having the mass to deliver significant blunt impact.

        I actually haven’t thought over the past of the sword that much, largely because I couldn’t see Hani doing so – a sword with a “history” would be more ornamental, and would almost be wasted on her as she wouldn’t really show any interest in a weapon’s past – only in how well she takes to its grip, weight and swing. As far as I figure, it’s a sword Hani obtained on her own either as she was training to become a Sentinel, or after she was discharged and they took her Moonglaive away – it was probably simply the most proper and sturdiest sword she liked that she could afford.

    • 18 Moltrazahn
      September 15, 2009 at 12:41

      Ah true, i wasn’t meaning that she had “magical weapons” but more that the metal its made of may be blessed “in faith” at least, i’m quite certain that its just a regular blade. Yet a terrifying weapon in the right hands :)

    • 19 Ragefury
      September 17, 2009 at 14:28

      It would most likely take a frost mage to bring down an infernal if the story would act realistic – let’s just hope Te’len has some good magic tricks up her sleeve for such occations. ;)

      There are other beings of flesh that can take some beating too – dragons, for instance, have a thick, hard scale that a mere blade wouldn’t be able to cut through. Means it would be challenging if our friends were to head to Burning Steppes and Blackrock Mountain. Honestly, I think they’ll be called to assist the alliance in battling the Blackrock Clan with the might of Nefarian and his black dragonflight behind them. A perfect time for Hani to let all her frustration out. ^^

  7. September 13, 2009 at 21:22

    Synchronizor, if you clearly watch pic 4, you can see that Hani clearly uses the dagger you just wondered if ever gets used^^

    • 21 Synchronizor
      September 13, 2009 at 22:29

      Yeah, I caught that, thanks. I wrote that comment after getting dragged out of bed to fix a toilet in the middle of the night.

      I’d still love to see her use both her sword and dagger at the same time, though.

  8. 22 WoWplayer
    September 13, 2009 at 23:47

    the golem will probably try to kick her

  9. 23 Germ
    September 14, 2009 at 09:23

    Oh man! I hope we get to see some magic!!!

  10. 24 Hernos
    September 14, 2009 at 10:35

    I want to see, for comical effect, Areen being grabbed, then drop-kicked into the horizon by the enemy.

    • September 14, 2009 at 11:37

      Not likely to happen. Actual plate armor only seriously restricts your movement if you have lost your balance. People turn cartwheels in that stuff. I would not put it past Paladin Lightspark to do backflips, though probably *not* with sword in hand.

      Incidentally, the proper way to address a knighted woman is “Dame.” I don’t see that usage coming about in Azeroth, however.

      • 26 Nhani
        September 15, 2009 at 08:05

        That’s a point – my formal address is a tad limited at best, so I found myself struggling with figuring out what manner of prefix Hani and Areen (our two group members so inclined) would be using for people. “Dame” never came to my mind though (you can chalk it up to me being uninformed) so in the case of Areen addressing Hani, it came down to “Miss Foonmall” or “Lady Foonmall”. The latter seemed something of a stretch, so it ended up being the former simply because it sounded better.

      • 27 Germ
        September 16, 2009 at 19:04

        there’s no such thing as gnobility.

        Yes, I know I’m going to hell.

      • September 16, 2009 at 23:30

        Here’s the short course in formal address:

        Kings and queens are addressed as “Your majesty.” Princes and princesses are addressed as “Your Highness.” Dukes, duchesses, and bishops are addressed as “your grace.” Counts, countesses, barons, baronesses, lords, and ladies are all addressed as “my lord/lady” by those who owe them fealty; others use their titles. “Sire” is generally reserved for men of royal rank, while “sir” might be used for men of lesser rank. These ranks and titles are political and inherited. They include authority to administer justice and collect taxes from the peasants (who own their land) and serfs (who don’t, and so have to pay rents as well) in their district.

        So you are quite right that no such forms would apply to Hani, even though it is appropriate to address all women of these ranks as “madam” or “ma’am.”

        Westfall doesn’t seem to have the same sort of political structure. Rather, it seems to be a colony under the authority of a military governor-general, who is appointed to his position and holds the rank “Marshall” (which is military). He demonstrably has authority to raise a militia, and presumably has the same authority to collect taxes and administer justice

        That Goldshire and Northshire are more or less run the same way suggests that Stormwind’s nobility is denied permission to raise significant troops, and that all military reports to the Crown.

        Knighthood is very different from political rank, in that it can be conferred upon whoever a noble pleases (though in some lands, this, along with imposing the death penalty, was denied to those below the rank of baron). If we presume that a mixed military suggests a desire for a gender-neutral honorific form of address for those who have recieved this honor, I think “Knight” would fill the bill.

        “Paladin” and “Priest” would be religious ranks and titles, separate from any military or noble ranks and titles, and probably conferred almost exclusively on the basis of merit.

        Capt. Cravencrest’s deference strongly suggests that Areen has been knighted. If so, she could be formally addressed as “Knight” or “Knight-Paladin,” with either her first name, last name, or both. If she were granted an hereditary fief and title, that would make things even more interesting.

  11. 29 Timber Wolf
    September 14, 2009 at 15:21

    This was probably covered elsewhere, but what program or programs are you using to make the comic? WoW Obviously, but what else?

    • 30 Nhani
      September 15, 2009 at 08:13

      I thought I’d listed it in the How To section, but reading it over, I seem to have omitted that. Ahem. Anyhow.

      The main two applications I use is 3ds Max and Paint Shop Pro; there’s a few more tools to it than that, such as wowModelViewer to get character models and textures extracted from the game and Milkshape 3D to convert what modelviewer extracts into something 3ds Max can understand.

      As for the reason why I use 3ds and PSP – they’re simply the alternatives I have by far the most experience with; I get lost when trying to use Photoshop and last I tried another 3d modelling/rendering studio, I couldn’t find what anything anywhere did!

  12. 31 weertangel
    September 14, 2009 at 16:25

    I read some ppl were questioning the melee powers of gnomes, true, their size is’t that optimal, but then again, it can be an advantage if used in the right way, like in this comic ;)

    Oh and for the record, Constructs are immune to critical hits,couse they don’t have any organs to hit in that way(same goes for sneak attacks) beheading it might help, but it might not be eneugh.

    • 32 Nhani
      September 15, 2009 at 08:36

      Critical hits is an abstraction (heck, the entirety of any combat system is) and constructs being immune to them is entirely based around making the assumption that the constructs in question are either simply inanimate matter animated through some magical (or other) force and thus their weakness is taking that force away, or that their weak spots are too durable to get a lucky strike on.

      Not all combat systems make this assumption, and many narrative contexts even tend to go the completely opposite way and make all manner of constructs highly durable unless you through luck or knowledge hit a weak spot that can often kill it outright – an abstraction that sooner marks constructs as highly resistant or immune to damage except for critical hits that will cause severe damage or be an instant kill.

      • September 15, 2009 at 11:46

        Given the clanking and the smoke that the various harvest golems give off, I’d guess they’re mostly mechanical. Either they have in internal combustion engine that powers hydraulic systems, or they’re steam powered. Either way, if you rupture the pressure conduits (hydraulic or steam lines), the thing loses all power. But doing so is hazardous. Pressures are in the 1000PSI range, or higher. When you look for steam leaks, you use a stick or broom handle, because they will sever fingers. And in at least one case I experienced a hydraulic line rupture, and it sprayed oil over 100 feet (say, 30m).

      • 34 Ragefury
        September 17, 2009 at 15:00

        Simply stated, critical hits means hitting a vital spot on the being, severely injuring them or, in most cases, killing them instantly. This can be seen at rogues – I’m sure people have experienced being 1-shotted by rogues in the game, or at least brought down quickly, by their backstab/ambush abilities. This is a point where they hit one of your most vital organs, most likely the heart. This leaves all non-critical hits to be like a cut on the arm or something similar.

        As for mechanics, a critical hit would be like hitting the power source, some part of the electric system or a hydraulic pipe. Elemental creatures are more a question about other elemental vulnerabilities, as they’re extremely resistant or immune to physical attacks. Of course, all critical hits are a matter of knowing the creature’s vital spots or getting that “lucky strike” that will cause the critical hit.

  13. 35 Jeff Watson
    September 15, 2009 at 23:10

    Okay, maybe it’s just me and my rather warped sense of humor, but in that last panel, what I am seeing is something very soon to occur that, were the golem alive and not a mechanical device, would severely limit his chances of reproduction.

  14. 36 weertangel
    September 16, 2009 at 19:31

    Lol Jeff, its the reason Nhani is doing this move in a fight against a construct couse otherwise id’ be bloody and amberassing(my exuses if i spelled it wrong)
    And to Nhani, i’m using the D&D guidelines for the crit and immune thingy, since i find that the most realistic one(not always but most of the time) and its less confusing.

    • 37 Nhani
      September 16, 2009 at 19:49

      I’m an old Mechwarrior nut myself, so when it comes to mechanical creations I’m more partial to thinking BattleTech than D&D, quite frankly; it doesn’t help that it took until 4th Edition that I actually thought the D&D system started making any kind of sense period.

      Of course, in this particular context I’m not really thinking systems so much as narratives, which abstract in a completely different way as said. I’m not likely to ever bring in a foe that must simply have its proverbial health bar hacked down; hits and scratches back and forth, but for the sake of visuals and narrative, pretty much all foes that go down will do so to a single, final, decisive strike.

  15. 38 Ragefury
    September 17, 2009 at 15:13

    This last 2 panes reminds me of The Illegal Danish videos.


    It’s quite astounding that Areen actually have enough strength in her utterly tiny legs to jump double her own height. Of course, we’ve seen Hani do her tiger leaps, but Areen wears plate armor. Huge weight and high leaps goes beyond the laws of physics.

    • September 26, 2009 at 02:17

      Bear in mind that as weight goes down, strength-to-weight ratio tends to go up. This is why the mountain stages of the Tour de France and similar races are more typically dominated by smaller cyclists, while flat time trials are more typically dominated by larger riders, who have more strength overall. So it would actually be easier for Areen to jump over her own height than it would be for Hani.

  16. 40 Alex
    September 17, 2009 at 16:58

    In frame 2, it seems that Hani is missing some teeth…

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Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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