#258 – “The Next Step”

Right, yeah, late update and all. I’m finding, much to my chagrin, that certain people love to put weekly project merges and following meetings on the same evening I’ve repeatedly mentioned I work on Beyond the Tree. Oh wonderous joy, but oh well. I’ll spare you my current frustration.

As mentioned before, the Cathedral exterior is something of a bother since I only have so many limited backdrops for it, and it always seems like the angle I want is the one I don’t have. My mindset must just completely change between the times I hunt backdrops and the times I do renders, because the two rarely seem to agree on what views and angles I want. It’s quite strange, really.


22 Responses to “#258 – “The Next Step””

  1. 1 Cobs
    March 31, 2011 at 21:43

    That man again! Woo! \o/

  2. 2 Fokker
    March 31, 2011 at 22:29

    Yey, Captain Complain!

  3. 3 Ilyara
    April 1, 2011 at 01:13

    Areen really means apprise ^.~

  4. 6 Tali
    April 1, 2011 at 04:37

    So, looks like somebody heard about their little trip on the rooftops.

  5. 7 LolDrood
    April 1, 2011 at 06:05

    I don’t like Officer Obie. :(

  6. 8 Helayne
    April 1, 2011 at 16:38

    An excellent strip as always. I love your pacing. Nothing is rushed and the story unfolds in a pleasant way.

    All your characterizations are strong. It is an absolute joy watching their interactions with each other, the world around them, and occasionally, themselves. You must be a great writer. :)

    Although Areen is a supporting character, she is my favorite. I believe she is the best portrayal of a paladin I have ever seen. Is she based on anyone in particular?

    • 9 Nhani
      April 2, 2011 at 01:25

      Areen is actually intended as part of the main cast, but all the same she rather stands out next to her elven compatriots in several ways beyond just size. Beyond the obvious cultural differences, I generally tend to think it that where Hani, Tiny and Te’len all generally have internal problems.. Areen’s issues are more external.

      As for where she comes from.. she’s part based on a character I had (still have, actually) on Earthen Ring EU, but with her re-imagination for Beyond the Tree I aimed to up the Paladin level somewhat. Her initial turn to the Holy Light was inspired by a character (on the same realm) named Avari Lucien, but she’s got a little of every good experience with Paladins I’ve had, right down to Uther the Lightbringer himself.

      I wanted her to be a counter to the many bad experiences I’ve had with Paladins – one that aspired to be like Uther, not like Arthas.

      • 10 Helayne
        April 3, 2011 at 01:07

        I am so glad to hear that Areen is part of the main cast! I was afraid her time with Hani, Tiny, and Te’len was coming to an end.

        I too play a gnome, several of them in fact. Helayne, Pocksii, and Sparcle all on the Farstriders server.

        Something about them really resonates with me. It must be that undeniable quality of hope they embody. :)

        Anyways, I know what you mean about bad experiences with paladins. It seems so few people really get what a good paladin is. It’s not all about smiting enemies. (Although sometimes there is a need to do so)

        It’s an attitude, one the was really exemplified by Areen’s interaction with Cookie after Van Cleef had been killed. How many players would have had their paladin thank Cookie if the Deadmines instance was like you presented?

        Looking forward to where the story leads next. :)

  7. 11 Raukangren
    April 1, 2011 at 23:09

    I bet this Captain Omgnnotyouagainpeople is just glad enormously. Just like Tiny. :D

    • 13 Nhani
      April 2, 2011 at 01:36

      Ye gods, that old model.. it’s horrendous! Really provides perspective how much better my current poseables are compared to that..

      But yeah, it’s a really old test of what the facial expressions could do to see what kind of performance I could expect out of them for Beyond the Tree. It’s pretty crap though, my sense of timing in animation is horrendous at best, and that model is just.. gah.

      • 14 Synchronizor
        April 2, 2011 at 03:25

        I don’t see the walking animation test you did with Hani on that channel. Is that video still floating around somewhere?

        • 15 Nhani
          April 2, 2011 at 10:17

          Yeah, it’s on.. uh.. here.

          Better model, but the timing is still horrendous at best, and ye gods the stiltedness.

          • 16 Ilyara
            April 3, 2011 at 03:27

            You say that, and yes. But the sense of personality is *really* good.

            I don’t know what you’d call that exactly, but it’s a talent that’s rarely exhibited in a lot of CG work and which you use to good effect in BtT.

            Plus, even if the animations are not great, it’s still suprisingly exciting to see characters, and the Warcraft World, come to life in this way ^_^

          • 17 Synchronizor
            April 5, 2011 at 07:28

            It’s rough, but I think it shows a lot of potential, especially with your rigged models to work with. I’d bet that with practice (and time for it), you could get some really impressive video with of your characters.

            I’m curious, did you use any kind of real-life reference when you made that walking animation?

  8. 18 Coragon
    April 2, 2011 at 11:45

    yay, im back! Time to throw you lot in jail for illegal roof-jumping!

  9. 19 GRYFFYN
    April 3, 2011 at 18:53

    It’s too bad that unless you role play in WoW you do not really get what the difference is between a paladin, warrior and deathknight other than their obvious talents. The flavor of the classes has been diluted over the years to make everything more acessable.

    A warrior, paladin and deathknight are walking along a road in the Eastern Plaguelands and come across a group of undead assaulting some travelers.

    The paladin without thinking rushes in screaming “For the Light” at the top of his or her lungs. Using their mace the brave paladin wants to crush without mercy the undead. They are abhorant to the pally and the most obscene blight on the the world.

    The warrior cooly looks over the scene calculating the odds of sucess but feels no real urge to join the fight unless it spills over to his companions. The warrior has no problem risking his life, because war sometimes demands it, but he will not risk it unless it is necessary.

    The deathknight surveys the undead and wonders….”hummm…anyone there I know?” He relishes the thought of unleashing his powers and the resulting chaos and destruction it will cause. Even though he is no longer controlled by Arthas his soul longs to attack both sides and slaughter everything to satisfy the bloodrush.

    • 20 LolDood
      April 4, 2011 at 05:50

      That may be a bit of an over-generalization. The difference lies more in what fuels their motivation, Pallies with devotion and belief in the power and truth of the Light, warriors through martial superiority, and dk’s through being OP marketing tools for expansion packs.

      In any given situation, a pally is just as likely to decide to follow the scourge back to their nest for a more effective strike, as a warrior is to think ‘hey, an excuse’, as a DK is to think ‘Those guys ripped be back into the mortal coil and made me kill my family; I believe I may just melt their faces off.” kinda like the Forsaken, but with less Nazi.

      Fun Discussion Question: “the scourge is more dangerous without a lich king.” How asinine is that?

      • 21 Zazkya
        April 7, 2011 at 15:34

        OP: No, you don’t have to be a RP-er to know the difference, just a good idea about
        what those classes are.

        LD: Hey now, I take offense at calling my favourite Horde faction a bunch of Nazis !

        LD: They are more dangerous because they will have no one anymore to lead and control them, and instead become rampaging hordes.

        p.s.: Areen is the best paladin ever !

  10. 22 Ripwarrior
    April 7, 2011 at 12:02


    I think that text sums up warriors in a way few see them. Having played my warrior since vanilla this text almost brought tears to my eyes :p

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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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