#280 – “Ancient History”

I always felt that the initial premise painted for the Night elves at the start of World of WarCraft had a whole lot of potential going for it. A very rigid and traditionalist society still reeling from the loss of Nordrassil and all it offered and represented, challenged by Fandral Staghelm and his supporters who felt that the world owed them for all their sacrifice, and beyond that there were all the young rebels who simply could not wait to get away from a society mired in ancient tradition. Unfortunately, none of these stories were ever really explored in the narrative, and I think that’s a significant loss.

Also, since I was suggested linking it here in case people might otherwise miss it, I concocted a… well, shall we say a glimpse into one possible future, available here. Do bear in mind that the events of the Cataclysm are at least some five years ahead of when Beyond the Tree itself is set, and not something I’m planning to address directly. This all said, I guess I’m not entirely opposed to offering glimpses of where they might eventually end up after all of this is over.


19 Responses to “#280 – “Ancient History””

  1. September 1, 2011 at 18:25

    I’ve been wondering. What class IS Rei anyway? Or rather, was, before her micronization.

    • 2 JSStryker
      September 1, 2011 at 19:00

      From reading Letters from the Front, Rei appears to be either a hunter or a rogue (sniper specced)! :)

      • 3 Fyr
        September 1, 2011 at 20:31

        You’re thinking in game mechanics. You don’t paste classes to characters in a story, so I wouldn’t bother too much with that – In fantasy novels which aren’t related to a game, you don’t paste classes on characters either. :P

      • 4 Nhani
        September 2, 2011 at 23:34

        Much like Fyr explains, I find it a little silly to try to conform characters down to very rigid mechanical archetypes, especially when they – by virtue of being protagonists – are by default exceptional people and are therefore allowed to break the rules and do exceptional things.

        Heck, I recall a few times early on when I was asked what class Hani Foonmall was and my answer, with a completely straight face, was “Raid boss.”

        Besides, you’re much more likely to find appropriate analogs by going with a much less restrictive system – could actually be rather interesting to see what people might come up with if they tried to put the characters (and their skills, abilities and proficiency levels shown and suggested so far) into the World of WarCraft pen and paper roleplaying game. For instance, one could probably make a good argument for how young miss Featherstorm probably has at least one level level in the Tinker class.

  2. 5 zulie
    September 1, 2011 at 20:57

    Is beyond the tree ending? :(

    • 6 Nhani
      September 1, 2011 at 21:19

      Eventually. Story Arc One isn’t quite done yet, and I intend to finish that far at least. After that though, I’m still deciding on whether I’ll try to tackle adding a second story arc or not – I don’t really want to start it unless I feel at least somewhat reassured that I’ll actually see it through.

      A whole lot can change in a few months, and right now I don’t feel like I can hand out any kind of guarantee whether I’ll actually commit to spending what could easily be another two years or more working on a second story arc for a webcomic based on a game that I honestly barely play anymore.

      • 7 WormRunner
        September 2, 2011 at 00:04

        Well, my totally selfish desire is to keep seeing more of these characters, but I understand the dilemma.

      • 8 Ellessar
        September 2, 2011 at 01:33

        No! Don’t leave us.
        Ellessar still needs a strong priestess to look upto!
        And one he can actually interact with. Unlike Tyrande.

      • 9 Slywyn
        September 2, 2011 at 05:53

        I know exactly how that feels.

      • 10 George
        September 11, 2011 at 07:51

        I don’t like the idea of BtT already ending, but I get that if you aren’t really playing WoW you don’t really have a reason to keep going indefinitely. That being said, I hope this doesn’t mean you’re going to be done with webcomics- you’re a great storyteller and your characters are brilliant. I’d hate to lose your writing because Blizzard lost your interest.

  3. 11 mwe
    September 2, 2011 at 07:52

    Mmm… Te’len… cleavage… legs… tummy.

  4. 13 saila AKS Wester
    September 3, 2011 at 21:46

    Noted something Nhani you dident put that mush work on the ears.

    • 14 Nhani
      September 3, 2011 at 21:57

      Compared to what, exactly?

      • 15 Fyr
        September 3, 2011 at 22:01

        After looking at the ears of every character on every panel, I must say I’ve no idea what he’s implying. They look just fine to me.

        • 16 saila AKS Wester
          September 5, 2011 at 13:22

          Well they are sort of flat, just an small… should know the name but I dont.
          they are like an flat piece of wood or something an canoe would be something but less deep.

          • 17 Nhani
            September 5, 2011 at 14:32

            It still really depends on compared to what, really.

            Compared to the original Blizzard model, the ears are actually a significant upgrade, and have actually received a whole lot more attention than many other non-face, non-hand bits of the models (some of which could arguably have used it more at that).

            Compared to actual real life, human ears, then yes, they are nowhere near that depth, but so are many, many other aspects of the body, many of which are far more important. Ears typically don’t receive that large a chunk of any polygon budget because the amount of work necessary to make them authentic to life (nevermind the extended risk of clipping doing that with how thin some portions are) is very disproportional to the rather minuscule increase in quality.

            If I knew how normal maps worked in functional detail and Blizzard textures weren’t mirrored, I might’ve tried to use a normal map to create the illusion of depth. Neither of those cases are true however, so fully modelled ear shapes based on very diffuse textures is simply far too low on my list of things I’d like to fix to really be worth taking the necessary time. I’d sooner spend that on things like improving the faces or the feet, adding the second missing finger joints, figuring out how to add actual ball eyes and reducing deformation in key joints like the shoulders and the hips.

  5. 18 Sotiria
    September 7, 2011 at 06:11

    I was first brought to this webcomic when blizz linked to it in one of their blog posts. Since then, I’ve started from the beginning and just recently got to where we are today. I’ve got to say, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the story and its characters. Excellent work Nhani.

    Sotiria – Boulderfist (US)

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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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