#154 – “Where Farmers Have No Lease”

I know the shots of Moonbrook are a tad poor – since I got started fairly late on this page, by the time I knew what background angles I missed, it was already night in Westfall, and since these were all meant to be day shots.. it was somewhat inconvenient. So I simply had to go on what backdrops I already had and try to make the most of them. It’s a rather simple and straightforward page – I suspect there’ll be a fair bit of those coming in the near future, seeing the destination.


38 Responses to “#154 – “Where Farmers Have No Lease””

  1. 1 Maira
    November 8, 2009 at 23:30

    Dun dun dun…
    Epic love. Nhani rules!

  2. 2 Frostsaben
    November 8, 2009 at 23:42

    Don’t worry Nhani, it doesn’t look so dark there and in the end if it’s day it doesn’t mean it can’t be cloudy or foggy around there, you never know ;)
    I love Hani’s page in 3rd pannel, it strangely reminds me of someone.

    Also, appolagies again for my off-topic reply to Draxoth’s post on last comic page, but I felt suck a post from someone deserves a reply in either case, which is if it’s true or not.

  3. 3 wester AKA saila
    November 9, 2009 at 08:28

    Frostsaben who dose hani remember you of in the 3 page?
    the only one i can think of is jak from jak and daxter two or 3.

    • 4 Frostsaben
      November 9, 2009 at 12:06

      Actually it reminds me of a person I know in real life, usually after that face the next reply from said person is “If you say so…” which I think fits this conversation too :)

    • 5 Ragefury
      November 9, 2009 at 18:47

      That really is a odd face expression if I’ve ever seen one. ;/

  4. 6 Frostsaben
    November 9, 2009 at 12:13

    By the way, sorry for so many posts, just wanted to tell you Nhani that some pages have started to be spammed at the end with posts that direct you to less trusted sites, including what I saw a few pages ago Cheats…(something).com/net and other things like that.
    I was wondering if there’s any way to remove those since some may be as keylogger sites and similar… for people who know how to deal with them and not click it isn’t a problem but otherwise for new people coming here…

    • 7 Gordrake Thunderhoof
      November 9, 2009 at 12:22

      Don’t worry, thankfully Nhani has the god-power of Twit Removal – it works simply: One click and that person’s post disappears!

      Though how that one escaped WordPress’ own spam filter bemuses me…

      • 8 Frostsaben
        November 9, 2009 at 18:19

        You never know, in the end hackers always try to break the codes again, for example for a long time (about a month) I wasn’t whispered in game by goldspammers, didn’t see trade spammed with gold announcements or commercials written with dead bodies in Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Now I’m preety sure that the gold sellers didn’t get a vacation, but in fact Blizzard discovered how they were making dead bodies fall from the sky and stopped it.

        A few days ago I was just passing Orgrimmar with my tauren trying to exchange tournament pets and bum! dead tauren started falling from the sky! It is preety clear that they found a way around whatever Blizzard did and are now doing it again, just not with dead orcs, but with tauren now…

    • 9 Nhani
      November 9, 2009 at 13:00

      Those are pingbacks, rather than comments or the like – they happen largely because of webpages aggregating the WoW.com news feed, thus generating a pingback on the occasions that the Sunday Morning Funnies post links to here.

      Akismet, the WordPress.com spam filter, tends to flag the pages it finds untrustworthy as spam; so far I’ve generally just taken its word for it and let the rest lie as it states fairly clearly they are pingbacks to places, and hold the page title/header in its name – I’m not going to check each and every one specifically for threats since that’s a little beyond my job description.

      I’m pretty sure I can shut it off if such a huge issue, mind; I’ve largely left it on in case it ends up catching something more interesting than just feed aggregators.

      • 10 Frostsaben
        November 9, 2009 at 18:15

        You’re right there unfortunately, if you shut it for good there might be some good things missed…

        Thank you for clearing the pingback things, because I never had seen many things like those before I didn’t know what they were.

  5. 11 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    November 9, 2009 at 12:18

    Another nit-pick, I know you’re gonna hate me for it…but Areen seems to have her sword stuck to her shield. It’s made for some weird looks on panel 5, when we get a close-up look on her. Persists in the last panel as well.

    If it’s at all possible…take your time with these things. =) Forget about the time constraints you’ve set yourself for posting something and enjoy the process of developing and enjoying the journey like the rest of us are. It’s better, really, to take your time. It helps make it feel less like a chore and a bore and helps promote it as something enjoyable and worthwhile – not to mention the end result is often better and without little hiccups. ^_^

    As for Draxoth’s comments on the prior page…I’ll just say I got a lot to say about that, but I’ll spare everyone from it. It’s for the best.

    • 12 Nhani
      November 9, 2009 at 12:37

      Her sword looks attached to her shield because it is attached to her shield – that’s where (and how) she sheathes it. This is just the first time where we see her choose to wield the shield without also wielding the sword.

      • 13 Ilyara
        November 9, 2009 at 12:40

        Gnomish shield-combo-sword sheath :D !

      • 14 Ragefury
        November 9, 2009 at 18:54

        Gnomes and their tinkering…

        • 15 Nhani
          November 9, 2009 at 19:09

          Somehow, I sincerely doubt it’s a concept of gnomish origin. If you think about it, it actually makes sense in a sort of way – a place to hang the sword for travel, no scabbard to stumble over and it should be a fair bit easier to retrieve a shield from the back than it would a sword.

          • 16 Gordrake Thunderhoof
            November 10, 2009 at 03:34

            Must cause some nasty issues if you don’t do it right though…would hate to see the training some have to do to do that. All those cut-off backs and arms from sheathing after a training session or fight…

            Only caught sight of it because I thought it was an accidental thing – considering how the hilt is stuck under her shoulder pad and the blade seems kinda stuck in the one half of her arm – and it doesn’t look that comfortable. But if it’s part of the shield/sword combo you’re working with, perhaps it may need a little fine-tuning to make it work. =\ I know, I sound like a critic and should be shot for it, but…I dunno. Perhaps she should stick to keeping her arm down when she’s carrying the shield with the sword inside. Makes sense in many ways, since it’s a combined weight of shield and sword, so it’s going to be fairly uncomfortable to lift your arms up for it all the time, and she’s going to need to preserve that arm strength for holding a shield up in a fight. I’m sure you can think of an idea better than I can though – you’re the expert on this, I can’t even get started on beginners! (Stupid fudging computer can’t even work a ‘showmycharasitisnow’ program… *beats it*)

            That’d build one heck of a shield-arm though if she lifted that 20 times a day or something…imagine being punched by that!

            “New face? Here you go!” *sonicboom, head rolls off to the side* “Perfect!”

            • 17 Nhani
              November 10, 2009 at 11:55

              Considering you generally grab hold of a regular scabbard with one hand, or that there are other ways to sheathe a sword to your back, I don’t really think it’s all that worse :p

              Also, this is a kite shield. You don’t lift it with your hand, you lift it with your entire lower arm. If you have it straight down, the weight will automatically be distributed just to your hand, while at an angle, it can rest on the upper parts of the lower arm as well.

              Besides, if we can buy some of the swords that exist in the World of Warcraft universe, I think Areen carrying a small kite shield and what’s essentially a shortsword barely larger than a large dagger without problem ;)

  6. 18 Ilyara
    November 9, 2009 at 12:25

    We’re beaten and bloooooooown by the wind, blooooooown by the wind!

    And when I go there, I go there with you…it’s all I can do.


  7. November 9, 2009 at 13:36

    this really cheered up my day today! :D

  8. 20 Udûn-Khadgar
    November 9, 2009 at 15:22

    Great as usual, and the vagueness of Moonbrook gives it just the little bit extra. Makes it even more mysterious what awaits them in there. Though I guess most people can guess a bit of it. Almost forgot it myself because of the mysterious looks of the place in the comic.

    Keep it up!!!

  9. November 9, 2009 at 15:26

    It always amazes me how you’ve taken uniform in-game models and managed to make them all look distinctive, unique and full of personality and expression. This page is a great example of that – I was too busy looking at the characters to notice the background.

    • 22 Nhani
      November 9, 2009 at 19:18

      Most of the time, I do hope people will do just that – prevents them from realizing just how much backgrounds are re-used or how many times we’re sort of looking in the same direction both forward and back ;)

      It’s something I’ve been wanting to accomplish with it, though – I remember seeing, hearing or reading something down those lines in context of super hero comics: that pretty much all the big name ones are really distinct, right down to their silhouettes. It’s not just the suit, the face or the build – it’s the entire way they stand, move and talk – all you need is an outline and you’ll know who it is.

      Beyond the Tree isn’t quite that far with it, but I do try to keep it in mind – each character has their own distinct look, quirks and mannerisms. If you were to put them all on a line, or put them next to random members of their own people, I’d them distinct enough that you’ll spot them easily – and beyond that, if they ever end up wearing something else than normal, I still want it easy to realize who it is. Unless I want it purposefully obfuscated, of course.

  10. November 9, 2009 at 17:29

    Hey, I am big fan of Hani and Tiny !

  11. 24 Ragefury
    November 9, 2009 at 19:05

    I really can’t see the issues with the shots you got from Moonbrook – the angles are great, and it looks as dead as it’s suppose to, considering those defias thugs wouldn’t show themselves in the open in the first place, as seen in the game.

    I really think Tiny’s starting to loose her sense of humour though, or it’s just me that thinks her undead joke was as dead as Moonbrook. ;D

    • 25 Nhani
      November 9, 2009 at 19:23

      I wanted more overviews of it, really – wide angle shots, really seeing the whole town and making it look entirely abandoned. Te’len says it’s empty, but I wanted the line to be her making a realization the same time we (well.. you, the audience) do, rather than her telling us and we taking her word for it.

      As for Tiny’s joke, like how Moonbrook might be considered undead, maybe she was just being unfunny? Yeah, I’ll stop there. It was largely buffer dialogue – I tend to think Tiny works better when someone responds to her. Lets her elaborate things. It still served its purpose though I think, in Te’len’s response.

    • 26 Ragefury
      November 10, 2009 at 00:48

      What is there to see in Moonbrook more than a few empty houses and streets? Wait, maybe some of them thugs are hiding outside the pictures, or perhaps even an army of gnolls … that’d probably turn the whole “dead town” thing around and we readers aren’t even aware of it! :O

      And back to Tiny’s joke – I think she’s had enough time to elaborate where and when she should use them. Sometimes I find her jokes so superfluous and predictable it’s not really as funny as you may intend them to be. I don’t wanna spoil the fun, and I don’t really want to change Tiny’s personality entirely either, but in my opinion it should be considered that Tiny adept her sense of humour to the different situations, and sometimes refrain from it at some points. Where she might not make a mockery of the thugs while they “dig” themselves through Deadmines, she sure will throw up one or another joke on the way in or when they face VanCleef himself. It’s all about finding the right situations, and not simply for the sake of having a dialogue.

      • 27 Nhani
        November 10, 2009 at 12:06

        Actually, I’d admit half the time people say they actually end up laughing I’m surprised because I didn’t think it was that funny! Tiny remarks on things – it’s not so much that she’s a comedian as that she’s an absurd character, I think.

        Of course, for her the remarks have an important purpose, possibly even several.

        I hope it to be an entertaining – and to a point, amusing – journey, but I don’t expect to have people in stitches at every turn – I’d have written it much differently if I did ;)

  12. 28 Germ
    November 9, 2009 at 20:57

    Moonbrook has never looked more spooky.

  13. 29 weertangel
    November 10, 2009 at 10:02

    nice page! and there’s nothing wrong with how Moonbrook looks, i mean, most of us are dedicated RPG gamers, so we have seen our share of ghost towns(Like in Dragon Age:Origins witch i’m currently addicted to) and they all look the same most of the time…
    Btw, anything happend in wow lately? been completly hooked on above mentioned game that i have’t been able to tear myself away from it aside from getting food and such,and posting here ofc, couse it rocks so much!

    • 30 Synchronizor
      November 10, 2009 at 15:48

      Most of the big WoW news involves the 3.3 PTR right now, so you’re not missing too much in the actual game.

      There is the battle.net conversion, and the new online pet store, but that’s about it.

  14. 31 saila aka wester
    November 11, 2009 at 13:51

    anyone thing blizzard will make azaroth bigger in cata i men i cant stand to see Goldshire been 2 houses 1 blacksmith and an Inn.
    anyway great comic and Tinys jokes dont always have to be funny,

    • 32 Nhani
      November 11, 2009 at 14:51

      I doubt they will – the size of towns, cities and other locales are all abstractions; moreover, abstractions made with good reason. It’s no different than how most Real-Time Strategy games will have tank factories that are barely larger than the tanks they build, and can build said tanks in less than a minute.

      It can be a tad jarring at times, definitely, but on the other side of the spectrum we have games like Daggerfall, which has a huge world with both a great deal of wilderness as well as full-size towns and cities.. which are all utterly generic because the only way they can make them that large is by having largely just blank, generic NPCs and procedurally generated areas. By making things comparably very small, Blizzard has been able to give most NPCs their own name and appearance, with several even having some spontaneous pieces of dialogue.

      It’s all about tradeoff, really – you can’t have everything. In the end, it’s not really all that different from the abstractions made with itemization or combat/game mechanics – the fact that Goldshire is two houses large is no different than that Sinister Strike (rank 12) costs 45 energy and does main hand damage + 180; they’re both ways of portraying something complicated with a simple and streamlined system that must also be balanced.

      No matter what, you have to see past the abstractions and extrapolate the world from them – this is generally true no matter what game you play. Not everyone can (or will) accept or like all abstractions, and I certainly have my moments of differences with the game mechanics themselves at times, and the limits constrained by them. That said, all those abstractions are there for a reason.

      • 33 Synchronizor
        November 12, 2009 at 03:57

        Yeah, Daggerfall had a playable area that came to about twice the size of Great Britin, if I remember correctly.

        • 34 Synchronizor
          November 12, 2009 at 04:38


          Okay, more like 3/4 the size of Great Britian, but still freaking huge

          • 35 Nhani
            November 12, 2009 at 07:54

            It was, though the problem being that once you get over the “Man, this region huge! feeling, you’ll likely start to realize that a vast majority of it is just this randomly generated void with the odd random enemy spawn thrown in for good measure.

            It’s impossible to fill that large an area with actually important content, so unless you’re fine with just exploring random dungeons or robbing (or assaulting) random towns, you’ll care only about a minuscule fraction of all that space. Morrowind was so much smaller by comparison, yet felt much more alive a world because every location mattered in some way.

            Ironically, Oblivion actually felt smaller than Morrowind to me, even if it’s supposed to be almost twice as large for actual space; I’m not sure why that is, but I’d suspect it might be because they used macro terrain design for a much too small an area, crafting all manner of ridiculously tall and steep hills.

            • 36 Synchronizor
              November 12, 2009 at 16:01

              While Oblivion had a playable area of 41.4 square kilometers (not including the Planes of Oblivion) to Morrowind’s 25.9 square kilometers, keep in mind that Oblivion had rideable mounts. I abandoned my horse with one character in Oblivion after becoming a vampire, and I can tell you that that questline tok some serious time on foot.

              Morrowind’s terrain was also much more closely packed. You might be in a town, but right over an unscalable ridge might be a Foyada with a Daedric shrine or a Dwermer fortress. Oblivion had terrain that made a little more sense from an elevated perspective.

              Also, the shape of Vvardenfell as compared to Cyrodiil means that any “A to B” path in Vvardenfell tends to include a larger proportion of the playable area.

            • 37 Nhani
              November 12, 2009 at 18:14

              The less direct travel is a point, especially since I tried to avoid both fast travel and mounts and tried to run places; part because mount control was.. problematic.. part because the way the mechanics work, you kindof have to run everywhere, or at least as much as possible.

              I found the problem with the Oblivion terrain is that it makes sense… for a landscape at least ten times the scale. They used actual macro landscaping tools when they made the world – they even mentioned the fact specifically – but neglected to take notice that the landscape they generated was intended for a much larger area – the mountains make sense if they’re the size of actual mountains, rather than the size of a small ridge of hills. To me, this actually made the world feel smaller as it felt like running around with a sandbox – the landscape might be shaped like landscape, but it was just completely the wrong scale to “work”.

              I suppose it’s a bit of an Uncanny Valley effect since I found the less realistic Morrowind landscape much more real as it felt less.. “wrong somehow”.

            • 38 Gordrake Thunderhoof
              November 14, 2009 at 06:46

              Sounds like a comparison between FF games in the older days when you talk about Oblivion there – character remains the same size, but miraculously everything else around you shrinks when you leave a town, expanding dramatically when you enter one. Morrowind has everything in real-size all the time – mountains really ARE mountains. Can’t say for Oblivion myself, but if what was just said is anything to go by, I’m envisioning distant upside-down ice cream cones – with the ice cream on the wrong end. To think they still have that effect these days…

              Anyways, it’s nearly 6am here, so I’ll leave you with a half-conjured acronym thus labelled “WTS” – not Want To Sell like it normally is, but rather “Want To Sleep”.

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Essential box of legalities

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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