#176 – “An Assortment of Smash”

Right, so let’s hope I can keep my head sorted for the coming future; way too many things bouncing around at once, I suppose. Anyhow.

This page was originally silent, but I added the dialogue because I felt I needed it. Of course, it’s just setup for the next couple of pages, but you know.


60 Responses to “#176 – “An Assortment of Smash””

  1. 1 Aries
    February 14, 2010 at 17:22

    where they come from smash means hello!

    nice page Nhani, good luck keeping the head straight, lol.

  2. 2 TheNic
    February 14, 2010 at 17:41

    I get the feeling that Te´len is starting to feel weak, she is always out of combat, and I am getting a feeling that she is going to do somehting stupid to show that she can be though too ?

  3. 5 Azl0
    February 14, 2010 at 18:13

    Maby she will do a moonfire

  4. 6 Shiloh
    February 14, 2010 at 19:32

    I love this webcomic :D
    Great story! I can’t wait to see what happens next <3

  5. 7 saila aka wester
    February 14, 2010 at 20:45

    moonfire they only work outdoor and when the moon is up right.. lore wise but yup.

  6. 8 Moltrazahn
    February 14, 2010 at 21:19

    I bet Te’lens first real show of spells will be in the act of saveing someone, so either a roots or a healing spell… poor dearie. BtT is also much about her developement into becomming more brave for her freinds i would gather :), still the process is long and hard ^^

  7. 9 random rrayray
    February 14, 2010 at 21:50

    Awwww poor Te’len! She looks so scared, maybe like people have said she will introduce her battle skills? :)

  8. February 15, 2010 at 00:38

    Here is what i dont get….when you kill Ogres you can loot money…..but where do they keep that money?!

    On second thought i rather dont wanna know.

    A good page as usual and i really like to see how our night elven party plus Gnome will get out of this prediciment.

  9. 17 Timber Wolf
    February 15, 2010 at 03:11

    when is Te’len gonna stop being so timid and embrace the bad ass druid we know she really is?

  10. 18 Simeon_Halcyon
    February 15, 2010 at 05:54

    I had always imagined Te’len being a Resto Druid. Maybe she’ll turn out to be a healer type… I wonder if she’ll still look cute as a tree?


  11. 19 Expala
    February 15, 2010 at 07:18

    Tiny is looking rather relaxed in the 2nd panel, almost as if beating an ogre like this is a fairly simple thing. Probably is for Hani but Tiny is still more relaxed than I would expect =P

    • 20 Nhani
      February 15, 2010 at 11:42

      She didn’t turn out quite as clingy as I’d expected, really. Maybe she applied some sort of glue, or velcroed herself to Hani’s shoulder or somesuch. ;o

      • 21 Iasion
        February 17, 2010 at 03:02

        That’s a good idea. I think Tee should sew some tiny, lose strings with handgrips to Hani’s shirt. That way she could use them later to repel herself from one shoulder to the other or swing around as needed.

  12. 22 Levi
    February 15, 2010 at 08:56

    I’ve been reading the comics up until your character returned to Darnassus and had her altercation with the Cenarion Circle.

    She solo’d Blackfathom Depths without breaking a sweat, did a deed groups of Sentinels could not do together, one shot enemies that should have at least been SOME strain and then cold cocked an Arch Druid who kicked the shit out of some of the biggest, baddest bug people in Silithus.

    …that’s just…boring…and lame.

    I’ll keep reading to see if the character is redeemed in any way, but…so far it’s left a sour taste in my mouth, writing wise. You’ve got some great skills with image manipulation, but the characters are very boring as far as their ‘struggles’ go.

    • 23 Zednotzee
      February 15, 2010 at 09:18

      So what do you want to see then? Damage points flying everywhere? I think you’ll find that this is based on what would happen if it was ‘real life’ – and in real life, getting three foot of sharpened steel upside the head tends to make most things fall down. And as for for the restof it, well, that’s pretty much how fantasy stories go. Hero walks into room, kills everything and walks out. Just like Conan etc really……

      • 24 ju
        February 18, 2010 at 05:33

        I think what levi wants(same as me) would be more action. There’s so much potential for this comic(at least action wise). Not saying that it should turn into an action comic but it’s lacking the action it’s supposed to at least have(the hydra being a good example).

        and who wants to really read a comic that goes into a room and just kills everything and walks out and that’s it. At least put the struggle the hero had to do because right now it just looks like she’s effortlessly pwning.

    • 28 Matthew
      February 15, 2010 at 09:34

      Think you gotta get your facts right.

      She “Solo’d” Blackfathom Depths pretty good, up until #27 ‘Last Man Stumbling’ where she got knocked out by a group of cultists who overwhelmed her, like they would anyone else.

      She “one shots” fleshy enemies because she stabs them in the right place, and often appears in a manner that catches her enemies by surprise. Of course, when she comes up against Mechanical enemies, she has to get inventive.

      She floored Staghelm because he wasn’t expecting it, nor were any of his guards. I’m sure that in a proper fight, he’d not be taken out so easily.

      Think what you’ve gotta understand is, game mechanics don’t apply here. A level 80 Zombie is the same as a level 1 Zombie here: both are dangerous, and both are just as killable as the other. It’s great if Staghelm can kill a load of nasties on the other side of the world or whatever, but a whack on the nose is still a whack on the nose.

      Also, while Hani has more strength and agility than, say, your average Sentinel, she’s no Mary Sue because of it. She struggles with emotional displays that come naturally to most people. This story is about the characters mental developments, not advancing to level 80.

    • 29 Nhani
      February 15, 2010 at 10:42

      There are more struggles than just physical ones; I think a mistake some people make is mistake Beyond the Tree for a Rise to Power type narrative – it isn’t. The typical hero journey nowadays starts heroes with having the direction and the potential, but lacking the means; Hani in particular is a slight twist to that, in that she has the potential and the means.. but lacks the direction.

      The pure physical struggles are inherently uninteresting for most part because they’re not the actual struggle. To take the Staghelm incident, the point was never whether Hani was strong enough to – the point was whether she was too weak to resist the urge to. The whole punch is just a huge failure on her part, with significant ramifications.

      Hani is definitely – and obviously – meant for greater things, why isn’t she fighting them? She has the potential to be one of the greatest champions her people have known – why isn’t she? That is what her personal narrative is about, not about whether she can overcome some random thug in a cave. She doesn’t search for greater power, she searches for direction.

      Ultimately, if what you’re looking for is physical struggle then yes, you’re going to be disappointed, because Hani is the sort who can go out and strangle Nemean Lions barehanded. Very few battles so far have been portrayed as difficult, because they’re not meant to be – they have entirely different purposes.

      As for Staghelm, he never struck me as the type to get his own hands dirty – the impression Silithus left me with is that he was the general, not the champion. He led people to victory, rather than fought single-handedly; if he’d been on the frontlines, he’d have fallen with them. As relatively powerful as he might be as either a druid, a general or a politician, for me it’s entirely over time. A fair fight between him and Hani would involve him commanding forces against her; putting them face to face is a bit like taking the supreme general of the military forces of one nation, giving him a gun and then putting him up on his own against the meanest anti-personnel tank you can find from another nation; it doesn’t really put his abilities to proper use.

      • 30 Levi
        February 15, 2010 at 22:21

        I’ve read through the story up until this point and I have to say still that yes, the main character is a bit over powered. No, I do not expect a rise to power story. Those are A-typical, predictable and boring. What I do think the writing lacks is a bit more of a struggle dealing with skilled opponents on behalf of your main character.

        I think that in the midst of a swarm of demons, or undead, or trained assassins and magic wielding sorcerers, she might get cut, burned or at the very least struck. So far in the story she’s been bonked once on the head and cut her hand. While one shotting how many opponents?

        I do realize there is a limit to what you can do with the amount of panels you’re using, and because of it, I offer a certain level of understanding. But killing a Hydra in three moves? I’d think you’d at least have wanted to make that fight a two parter.

        Outside of the action sequences, I have to say the humor could use a touch up in a few regards. Mostly to work on replacing so many *statement* *pause* *dismissive scene* jokes.

        Like for the scene with the Ogre’s introduction, I would have done something like “Maybe we can take him by surprise.” “What do you suggest?” “I don’t know. Got anything shiny we can throw in front of him?”

        Something like that. Observational humor instead of silent relapse humor.

        I’m not trying to hate on your story, but I think that the writing might want a bit of a touch up to be on par with your great visuals. I would, actually, be willing to help you write a few jokes as I have many years of experience with comic script writing. (Although nothing so advanced as your screen shot manipulations. I come from a simpler time of merely two dimensions.)

        • 31 Nhani
          February 15, 2010 at 23:40

          To be honest, I always felt the biggest failing of Beyond the Tree was actually pacing. huh.

          You are right about the Hydra battle, I’ll give you that much – it’s one of the few, if not the only, fight we’ve seen so far that I’d intended to be a challenge; it.. wasn’t quite read as such – it was quite early on and looking back.. I’ve come a long way since then. We haven’t really had a proper challenge following though, and intentionally so – there will be more and hopefully they’ll be more apparent at the time, but we’ll just have to see.

          On a flip note of that, just how many actually noticed the Hydra was adorned with green runes?

          Otherwise, battles generally aren’t intended as a direct challenge – part because it’s an intended piece of the narrative; if every battle was difficult and the group was often injured, there’d be a whole lot of time spent recovering and the whole idea that the battles aren’t narratively supposed to be difficult would be somewhat lost.

          As for the one-shotting nature, it’s how I decided to resolve combat, and also why injuries are rare – serious ones can’t just be shrugged off.

          Of course, Beyond the Tree isn’t perfect, and I’d be hard pressed to say it’s much better than okay; that said, I can’t help but feel that much of your grievances are basically just about clashes between your vision and mine. You want the average combat to have a greater element of danger; I decided against having so because I felt that gave a better flow and more appropriately served the narrative. You want battles more drawn out, I generally want them short and over with so I can get to the actually interesting parts.

          Most battles aren’t there for the sake of challenge, they’re there to tell something completely different; I’m not sure to what extent you could consider it poor writing that they’re not something they were never intended to be. On the other hand.. it most likely can be considered poor writing when the actual, non-battling intention doesn’t come across, and with that we end up touching on two of my greatest worries in terms of Beyond the Tree – that I’m either being too subtle, or that I’m being too obvious.

          As for humor, it’s a funny thing, pun not intended. Half the time when people end up saying they laughed, it comes as a surprise to me because I don’t write specifically for that reason. Yes, there’s humor in, but much of that is just there as an expression for the characters. The reason for the silent beat with a “..what?” sort of glance is there just because that’s what the characters are like.

          Which brings the interesting point that while Beyond the Tree does have an overarching structure.. much of the direct writing is simply improvisational character acting as things go, and maintaining the plot isn’t so much writing scenes as it is trying to juggle character motivations to ensure they get to where they’re supposed to.

          Don’t get me wrong, though – having flaws pointed out has a tendency to be a whole lot more helpful than just idle praise and Beyond the Tree is nothing if not a slow, learning experience. I realized early on though that it has a fairly limited target audience and is quirky by design, so there’s always a question of how much is due to my inexperience and how much is simply due to some strange design choices.

          • 32 Levi
            February 16, 2010 at 16:42

            I’m not trying to be ‘Retro Nerd Critic’ or whatever that guy is who sits in his room and screams onto his Web Cam about how movies, games and comics feel. I am trying to help.

            As I said, this comic does have some of the best image manipulation I’ve ever seen, much better then how most people just take screenshots, cut out panels and place them elsewhere.

            A way you might work on the injuries part could just be blunt strikes, or nicks and chips taken out of her leather armor. I don’t know how much work it would be to have her armor take damage, but that might be a good way to express close calls without actually heavily wounding your character.

            If you did that, you might even be able to work in a couple jokes. Like bring leather armor to a tailor or blacksmith to get it fixed.

            • 33 Nhani
              February 16, 2010 at 18:03

              I’m not saying you aren’t, and I’m not accusing you of throwing out undue bile; in fact, if that’s what you think I’m saying then you’re not getting me.

              To make an utterly extreme example: It’s entirely fair to say that Titanic is a very poorly written action movie and that adding more gunfights would’ve made it much better; the obvious thing is, Titanic was never meant to be an action movie.

              It’s great that people offer suggestions and offer criticisms, but there’s also the matter that before it can be useful, I first have to figure whether it’s given in the context of what I’m trying to create or not.

              You take issue with that young Foonmall has only been physically injured in any way twice; that’s a fair opinion. It also completely ignores that those two cases were intended to stand out for a reason. If you say it’s poor writing because she should suffer more physical setbacks, then I might counter that the poor writing is not making it obvious enough why those two cases were special.

              You have to understand: all critique you’ve offered so far has been on just the text – Beyond the Tree is intended to be far more about the subtext. So long as your comments are strictly about the outwardly obvious, they’re also not about what I’m actually trying to accomplish – you see my problem?

              You’ve yet to say anything about the things I’m actually focusing on with Beyond the Tree, pretty much everything you list is just superficial. What do you expect me to make of that?

              As for the art, it’s not all that special; it’s pretty amateur as far as 3D art goes – I just try to make the most of it.

  13. 34 Larsey
    February 15, 2010 at 13:16

    Te’len is so…….gorgeous. She always shows some legs =3 and I love your comic Nhani

  14. 35 Weertangel
    February 15, 2010 at 14:40

    Well Levi, there u have your answer, so just enjoy the comic and make sure u read the comments on most of them, since they give much background and funny discusions :)
    I must also say that the page where Staghelm bites the dust still one of my favorites is, as for many others, a dream come true :)

    • 36 Levi
      February 15, 2010 at 22:25

      I think Staghelm is a major cockbite. I approve of his getting his ass beat. Just…the execution was not what I would call A-class.

      • 37 Expala
        February 17, 2010 at 13:55

        This brings up the topic of why most people like this comic so much. Sure it’s World of Warcraft but it goes into more depth. Let’s put this in a reality context: If you were the Archdruid, I was Hani and I punched you smack on the face, you wouldnt take it without flinching at the very least. The comic is based on the game but not the gameplay if you get what I mean. Thats what attracts many people to this comic, along with the great dialogue, interesting characters, funny (if unintentional ;D) jokes and the graphics. Everyone is free to question what they want so I hope this clears up some things for you =D

  15. 38 Weertangel
    February 16, 2010 at 17:42

    considering how many ppl wanted to just punch Staghelm, i think it could’t have been done better :) since the ones u don’t see coming are always the best ones hehe.

    Besides, nobody expects this to be the nr1 on the web, but as long as ppl like it, who cares???

  16. 39 Levi
    February 16, 2010 at 18:20

    I think we reached the limit to replies, since I can’t reply again to the last post the writer made.

    You’re correct. I don’t think I picked up on why those scenes were so important. Your style of writing may be the type where the reader can go back and re-read the series a second time after it’s completion and pick up things they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

    That can be a good style of writing for something that is watchable from beginning to end in a single strip, but it can be frustrating for some readers when it’s released in bits like a weekly or bi-weekly comic.

    The suggestions may be superficial, but the surface image can catch a reader’s interest right away and then hold it long enough for them to be deeply interested in the character’s and their struggles. So far, I was kind of impartial to any of the characters save for the Gnome Paladin and that was only because her character was right out there, and readable. I didn’t have to look too deeply to understand her interests and goals. It’s always good to have a little of that to draw the readers attention then begin to work in the more subtle weaving of subtext.

    I can see that’s what you were trying to do with Rei, but being loud and goofy in a serious story only works so far.

    I can’t really critique a subtext that’s so far beneath the surface you can only see the faintest glimmerings, but I can try and give pointers to create a delicious, crunchy outer coating to hold in that dark, creamy filling.

    Maybe if I had started reading when there was more of the story to explain the nuances you’re working, I would have a different opinion, but the only thoughts I can give are the ones aimed at what I’ve read so far. So far, I’m not too worried about the well being, progress or struggle of your main characters, Rei or Foonmall, in the slightest. Physically, emotionally or mentally.

    I am, however, interested in the progress and story of your Paladin and Druid, Paladin moreso.

    • 40 Levi
      February 16, 2010 at 18:22

      That said, would you be willing to take a small fee for making a screen manipulation of a character or two?

      • 41 Nhani
        February 16, 2010 at 18:54

        Ignoring that “screen manipulation” isn’t quite the most direct description of what I’m doing, I’m not sure to what extents I’m comfortable – or allowed – to charge anything. I’m entirely aware that what I’m doing essentially belongs to Blizzard, in one way or the other.

        Still, if you have a particular idea that works along established models I might consider it if I find it interesting enough and I have the time for it; I know a friend of mine likes to poke me from time to time about this render I said I was going to do but haven’t quite gotten around to yet.. ahem.

        Of course.. I also realize that this might leave me swamped with requests back and forth that I won’t have time for, but hey.

        • 42 Levi
          February 16, 2010 at 18:59

          Oh, I was just thinking a single model or two being posed so one might use it to show how they’d like their character to look, or even to use as a more detailed art reference. you know? Nothing too extravagant or difficult.

          • 43 Nhani
            February 16, 2010 at 19:18

            Hm, well how much work it is depends on whether it can reuse existing models or not; going from nonposeable to poseable is a few days work with all the cleanup work, morphs and everything.

            Still, pass me an idea and I’ll give it some thinking. Alternatively tell me to poke you over mail or such and I’ll see whether it makes my brain itch. No promises since I tend to be good at being busy, but we’ll see.

    • 44 Nhani
      February 16, 2010 at 18:49

      I admit it’s fairly shrouded – to a point that was always my intention, and I’m perfectly aware that I’m limiting my target audience by designing it like I have. And yes, there’s a whole lot of little things I try to weave in that might not make sense at the time but hopefully will further down the line; like said, I do consider pacing its overall greatest weakness, and I realize that some hints taking over a year to actually come into fruition isn’t exactly something that floats everyone’s boat.

      On the plus side, since Beyond the Tree is a small, entirely non-profit hobby production, I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’ll sell; it does seem to have picked up its own little dedicated reader base who like it what it is, so I think the concept does work to some degree. I am perfectly aware of why it’s nowhere near as large as some of the big name WoW webcomics out there, though ;)

      I’m entirely convinced that Beyond the Tree is weird – it has a very strange balance of humor and not, of serious and light-hearted. It won’t work with everyone. It also has some takes on some characters and archetypes, I think – won’t work with everyone either. If you find something worthwhile about it, great. If not, I’m sure there’s a whole lot of better publications out there.

      • 45 Levi
        February 16, 2010 at 18:58

        Well, if you’re content with bringing it strictly to like minded individuals, I can respect that. Often times a writer will write a story that is for just that, to tell a story.

        I suppose my English Literature and comic writing is getting the best of me at this juncture.

        • 46 Nhani
          February 16, 2010 at 19:12

          I’d say it’s largely made part as a character study, part as an attempt at utilizing the hero journey, part just to try to stick to a single project for an extended period of time (for once).

          I never actually expected it to become as visited as it has. I just wanted to do something I thought would be fun and interesting to put together; over time the characters have grown significantly and I do like the whole cast – all four of them. They all have their issues and petty eccentrices, they’re not always right.

          Plus, it’s fun to sneak things in and see what people notice; I’ll admit one of my favorite fan responses are when people start theorizing on what this or that hint might mean.

  17. 47 Nirene Feathersong
    February 17, 2010 at 01:18

    At first I thought Levi was just pressing you up against a wall saying “That is not good enough, it should be like this blablabla etc. etc”, but seems like it was just misunderstood. I’m really not good at giving bad critics.

    Anyhow, I would like to put up a few words regarding most webcomics – you can pretty much put them into three cathegories: humorous comics, action comics, and a mix of both. While BtT might lean most toward a mixture of humor and action, I don’t think it’s intended to be that way, which makes it unique and quite enjoyable to read, much like your mediocre novel. It does have the basic character background, and everything about the characters develops as the story goes, making you more eager to find out what might happen next, and especially how it all ends.

    Now, about the page…

    I just want to wrap my arms around poor Te’len and soothe her! She sure could need one of those from time to time. =(

  18. 48 Xel
    February 17, 2010 at 08:46

    Agreed about Te’len. That is an absolutely great panel.

  19. 49 Yerdiss
    February 17, 2010 at 12:01

    Yes, I do believe Levi’s comments inspire me to respond as well. BtT is a hero’s journey in more ways than one. Of course, the characters make their journey and we watch with voyeuristic pleasure. But Nhani makes a journey as well. How to pour ideas and notions into a lovely potpourri named ‘webcomic’? How to ‘craft’ the product that is BtT?

    What Levi seems to be offering is first hand experience containing some of the ‘tools of the trade’. Tips and tricks that help shape the construct that is used to relay the underlying concepts of setting, story, development, or what have you. For once the initial inspiration has been had, the hard work begins. By that time, its gaining even more experience and mastery of the tools required, that help lift not the story, but they author to the next level of prowess.

    So my advise of ultimate wisdom *coughs*: let this discussion rise above “what we do or want for BtT” to the level of “what options are at your disposal in the noble art of constructing a story”, and “what tools can be utilized to achieve the goals provided by these options”. You say BtT is a learning experience? Well then, make the most of it! ;) For indeed, there are as many ways to create the container for a story as there are roads to Rome. Learning to find multiple ways to the same end is quite the worthy venture.

    Let it be said though, that exploring alternatives should in no way contain judgment on the original product. Yet judgment on the original product can aid in the exploration of alternatives. Any criticism on BtT is yet another tool to accomplish growth for the artist. Hence, any such criticism is only useful when the wish to grow exists.

  20. 50 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    February 18, 2010 at 04:07

    Like Yerdiss, I feel that something has to be said for my part, since I’ve been following since about late Chapter Four, commenting early Five, and have read the comic from the start to this point.

    In one of the replies, there’s a reference to the early story regarding Hani’s seemingly invincible nature. Fair enough, this may -seem- overpowered, but it is explained in the bio and even in the storyline that Hani is an ex-Sentinel, the elite guard of Darnassus and the major protectors of the Night Elves. Being a part of a skilled band of warriors like those means no average mob or random group can match her skills and abilities, so I feel that that is largely justified. Of course, the Hydra thing is a bit of a stretch and even Nhani admitted that it should have been longer, so I won’t argue that point, but I feel that you did leave that criticism without taking into account the character’s history and perhaps a bit of the lore of Warcraft, too.

    As for the two scenes she did recieve injuries, the first was in the cave – as you correctly recalled – where she was surprised by a sharp knock to the head. Considering she was surrounded, outnumbered and didn’t have any element of surprise for those moments, it did come to the effect that the numbers paid off and one of them was able to catch her off-guard. I always viewed that page as a testament to her experience (since she asked Tiny to hide before the fight began) but also as a reminder that she might be ex-Sentinel but she isn’t invincible, either. The second came from the mechanical thing in Westfall. This was essentially relating to her inexperience of the wider world (I.E. the one the Gnomes live in, where machinery and tinkering is the way forward) and was evident in the fact that she found it difficult to take it down because it wasn’t flesh and bone – it was metal, which doesn’t bleed and has fewer weak points than your typical opponent. It did also hint at how nimble-minded she was (possibly from Sentinel heritage) in reacting to the irregular opponent and quickly changing her strategy to find a weak point.

    Of course, that is how I see it and it may differ completely to the intended purpose, but it’s an idea as to how they actually had an ulterior motive as opposed to showing an epic battle sequence. As you have stated, though, your opinion is only towards what you have read so far, and that could mean that you’ve not read the whole comic, the biographies, the lore that’s weaved into the story or possibly a combination of these elements. To me, that does read out as someone who doesn’t like to get into the intricacies or the backstories of what these people may have done and such – and while I respect that, it does seem apparent to me that Nhani isn’t particularly aiming for the “all cards on the table” style of comic like I have seen in some others I read. In this one, the substories are equally as important as the current one, since they’ve all culminated and shaped these characters into what they are now. I believe even Nhani has said that Areen is probably the only cast member whose problems are external as opposed to internal, which is likely why you connect to her more than the other characters.

    On a final note on this, it’s good that you’ve taken an interest in reading and commenting on the story, but there is a lot of hints and nudges that the everyday reader may not end up understanding and, unless you catch on to these visual prods and such, makes for difficult reading and/or understanding of the content. It’s not the kind of story for everyone, but what I’ve read of it so far (as I am sure others will agree) it’s one of those stories that gets your mind shifting gears and imagining the possibilities – sometimes only to find that it’s something completely out of the ball park. In the end, it’s an adventure of two outcasts who acquire a company – both inside and outside the pages – and take them all on their adventure as they develop and grow internally.

    As for this page…brilliant work as always. And I do love the final pane of Areen standing before the two Defias, looking ready to charge them. Honestly looks like another of those iconic wallpaper graphics. Perhaps you could enlarge it with the tagline “Size Doesn’t Matter”? Have to wonder what Te’len is thinking, though…I mean, she’s not a fighter, hasn’t shown really anything of what she is capable of doing…she is probably thinking right now that she should at least do something while at the same time feeling she can’t do anything. Like some others, I sense a dramatic druidic awakening happening from right behind Hani. At least this is a sneak attack Hani’ll approve of! (Unlike the one back where she got her head half-knocked from her shoulders…)

    • 51 Nhani
      February 18, 2010 at 16:27

      “I believe even Nhani has said that Areen is probably the only cast member whose problems are external as opposed to internal”
      I can’t recall whether I’ve said that publicly or it’s just been something I’ve voiced across several private conversations, but it’s definitely my approach on the matter. Areen isn’t as flawed and is less hampered by her own person and more by prejudice and circumstance.

      • 52 Gordrake Thunderhoof
        February 18, 2010 at 19:51

        Me either, but I did feel sure at the time that you brought it up at some point publicly in one of the many discussions that have developed over the pages. Feel free to gag me if I should have not repeated it.

        • 53 Nhani
          February 18, 2010 at 20:00

          Nah, that’s fine – I think it should be a fairly evident enough detail either way; after all, Areen is intentionally very honest and upfront about her opinions and ideals, unlike certain other members of the cast.

          I think she makes a good central balance in a way, because she has atleast one thing in common with each of the other three.

  21. February 18, 2010 at 05:40

    i agree with LEVI too , u know if can solo d Blackfathom without braking a sweat how come u need to hide and sneak in front of those van cleef rogues ? ar u saying that vancleef rogues ar lot stronger than Blackfathom ? i also play wow and i know soloing van cleef is hell lot easier than soloing Blackfathom.please try to get the fact right

  22. 55 saila aka wester
    February 18, 2010 at 10:09

    and sorry for my mind being rusty but wasn’t Hani fighting most of the mobs one and one or one by surprise and before the second one got time to turn around dead the 3 one say it coming but was probably in chock and got killed. i men Hany used spead to take most enemy down when they still are in the supprice state.

  23. 56 Nhani
    February 18, 2010 at 11:14

    It might be a bit of a stretch, but personally I might be inclined to compare Beyond the Tree to Soul Reaver 2 in that the combat system isn’t.. really all that. It’s bitwise frustrating towards the end, but I wouldn’t call it difficult – there’s something about playing a character that’s essentially “beyond death” that takes difficulty out of the equation.

    That said, it’s on one of my favorite games because of the overall thematic style, the narrative, the voice acting and the subtle expression of the characters. You need to want to get involved with the world and the characters to care about all the narrative – obvious and otherwise – that it throws at you, and I think Beyond the Tree is similar in that.

    If you get involved with the characters, it can be – I hope – a very in-depth and interesting journey; if you don’t.. you likely won’t get all that much out of it.

    • 57 Weertangel
      February 18, 2010 at 18:19

      I got that with the games that play in the Forgotten Realms setting, since i find it so mystical and somehow real at the same time, and it was 1 of my first RPG games i played(Baldurs gate 1) so such thing u don’t forget :)

      And about the big discussion, Levi does have some good points,mainly that it takes long for the main characters to come out of their shell, but i don’t mind, as you once said, its as much about the journey as about the end goal( witch atm is to kill the defias and find out how the miners got undead)
      As long as there are some good action scenes and witty jokes, i’m fine! i’m only getting a little annoyed about Te’len, since she really is just bagage atm, and needs to show some of those skills she(hopefully) knows!

      • 58 Nhani
        February 18, 2010 at 18:35

        Well in general, you don’t want to create something that takes this long to get around going somewhere – much because most of the time, your main concern is to draw in and keep your viewer/reader base and if you spend time just faffing around with setup with the payoff being much further down the line, you risk losing a whole lot of audience.

        That said though, I’m not too worried about that; Beyond the Tree has clearly managed to find some of its audience, and I think it might be a disservice to the people who enjoy it for what it is if I were to sacrifice that for superficial matters.

        Fights that should be difficult could be better choreographed as it presently stands, I agree on that; I would be fundamentally undermining my own narrative however if I made battles that shouldn’t be difficult appear as difficult just because.

  24. 59 Aries
    February 18, 2010 at 19:54

    Okay folks something we need to get across here. This is not the case of a warrior druid and paladin going into the deadmines in westfall, and trying to clear the level 20ish elites. Nor was BFD a case of a warrior soloing a place full of level 25ish elites.

    BFD was Hani fighting a couple Satyr guards, sneaking past a majority of the cultists, then basically getting ganked, and dumped for the leader to dispose of. She didnt solo an instance here. She fought a couple fights against cultists who are likely much less skilled than she is. Then surprised and gutted the head cultist. There are no cases of “well she solod BFD!” no she didnt. As Nhani has said several times here, we arent dealing with levels here. The mob distribution and aggro radius mechanics are not here. IE she was in the room with the head cultist..and ONE more cultist…there were not 50 guys in there like in the game.

    And in the case of the deadmines, you have an unknown threat. And the hostiles use guns. Guns are lethal. A shot from one of those wouldnt hit Hani for 127 health, they would likely kill her. As such, you avoid getting shot at.

    Hani is a skilled fighter, so in melee combat it will take something more than a cultist or three to stop her. But this is not a case of bringing your level 80 down to the deadmines pulling the whole instance and shockwaving 300 mobs to death at once, all the while not losing 10% of your health.

    This is a story SET in world of warcraft, but it is NOT world of warcraft. And just a note for folks, if you are using a sword, and KNOW HOW to use a sword, one shotting is all it takes, and Hani knows what she is doing.

    So relax folks, this is Nhani’s story about the development of these characters on their journey to….we have absolutely no idea where. This is not the story about how badass Hani is, and how easy it is for her to kill stuff.

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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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