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Hoooboy has it been a long day. We'll get into the whys and such tomorrow. As for this comic, despite it's real struggles, an email from a fan yesterday reminded me of the importance of not taking myself too seriously.
Of course that same fan told me about how GU was being mocked in general chat in SWtOR. Greeeaaat... thanks for letting me know that Jan. At least they were talking about GU though, right? **sighs**
No seriously. I felt bad. I know the writing isn't fantastic. It never has been. It was just more relatable when we were all playing the same game. Every inside joke made sense. It was a simpler time. A time when men could be men, men could be women (in-game), and women could make up 50% of my readers. I'm not overly certain how I could change the comic to get that relatability back. I've only ever written to amuse myself - since I'm the only 100% consistent reader. Not the best way to write, but again... it's all I know.
If you guys could pick, what one game would GU be based in?
Note: I'm just curious. This post doesn't mean I'm going to make that change. Unless everyone agrees, then screw it new comic direction tomorrow. Go minecraft sprite comic. Whoooooo!
don't take it too hard, man. First off, you still relate with us, whether you realize it or not. Many of us, for instance, have started having gamerlings (I will MAKE that a term), and we all used to play the same MMO together, but then... came the time of the fall, when many new MMOs rose in prominence, all to beaten back by the juggernaut that became the World of Warcraft.
If you'd like to get some of that feeling back, you might try getting a guild going on Guild Wars 2, say on Devonas Rest, maybe?
.... Yeah, Minecraft sprite comic. I just gotta see it, even if it's just like a side project or something
People still play SWtOR?
Mostly I'm playing Diablo 3. It fits my mood these days.
There's nothing wrong with your writing.
MMO news is horrible lately. No bright spots at all. I don't think I even like gamers as a social group any more. They all seem so bitter and jaded. Or is that me? When you do see someone posting something enthusiastic about a game it seems feigned and brittle and they're soon shouted down. Just keep being funny and honest. We need it badly to push back the tide of darkness.
Don't feel bad, GU is awesome! The writing is a damn sight better than a lot of stuff that gets commercially published (49+1 shades of pale graphite?), people on general chat are usually drama-seeking idiots best ignored & hopefully the comic will continue until they pry the stylus out of your cold, dead hand.
How about doing a series of comics on a game that nobody has ever played, or ever will? What if Raptor Guts were to launch an MMO? Ted could be a senior customer support guy (there's got to be a few strips worth of material in that situation) & you could use the fictional game to make references to stuff happening in real games, gaming news, etc. & explain it in the write-up.
Aside from that, I'm with the majority - your D&D strips have been the best stuff of late, so if you were going to stick to a single game & didn't want to use the above idea, go with that. Obviously, it's not really in the original spirit of the comic, not being digital in any way, but the stuff is good & easy to relate to (apart from the 4th edition specific references, I only played 4th once then returned to 3.5 in disgust).
Finally, lots of people play facebook games - not just the Zynga crap. While it wouldn't work as a long-term single focus for the comic, Playdom's Marvel Avengers Alliance is pretty popular these days & the opportunity for cross-media references since Wheedon did the movie might be good for a few strips; Captain America teaming up with Malcom Renolds? If they ever release Blade as a playable character, him fighting alongside Buffy? Maybe a few possibilities...
Damage (dealt) Per Second - good
Damage (taken) Per Second - excellent!
Well, WoW is nice because its honestly a pretty generic MMO so the jokes that arent canon specific are pretty much universal. Tradeskill jokes are tradeskill jokes, guild chat jokes are guild chat jokes, and it doesnt really matter what type of mmo you play, chances are people play something that lets them get the punchline. I say stick with WoW, toss in those random games of yours from time to time, and dont drive yourself crazy trying to be more relate able to other groups of gamers who prefer a different game or genre. That way lies madness (and burnout) I mean think about it. This comic has lasted for HOW many years? Clearly you are doing something right.
Hear hear! Don't take life (or your detractors) too seriously. Do what you love and love what you do. I've been following this comic since it was primarily an EQ1 comic. Now that I've dated myself let me add that while I agree with some of what I've read, namely that some of your best work of late has been in the realm of D&D, I think its important for someone to shine an occasional satirical spotlight on gaming news because, really, those guys at the top shouldn't be taking themselves too seriously either.
As someone who's been part of table top RPGs in the past, I know first hand how irreverent and downright raunchy some of the humor can get in those games and how quickly inside jokes can form. For some of those gags, that may require more than a PG-13 label, maybe a spinoff comic with an age requirement and more regular updates on the D&D game (so we can follow some of those inside jokes) could be considered.
Part of the draw of this comic, for me, has been its mix of gaming news satire and its glimpses into all sorts of other MMOs that I may not otherwise know about or think to try. Admittedly, I don't stick with them all, but I feel like I'm a more rounded (and not just round) gamer for it. I think this comic would loose something if it focused in on one game (fictional or not) to the exclusion of others, or it if stopped following the gaming world's news. Cornball jokes, word play and horrid puns are always welcome by me.
I love the current format, covering all aspects of gaming. There are many games, with many guilds, so the old /gu still stands in my humble opinion. I first ran across GU back when I played Everquest on the ye olde Prexus server and have loved it ever since.
Still playing EQ1 here, never stopped. I did check out WoW,got bored, played EQ2 for a while, just didn't do it for me. As to the comic, I actually enjoy seeing it about a variety of subjects, even if I don't get all the jokes relating to some specific games.
Woody, I've read GU Comics from close to the beginning. Back when it was /GU... To tell the truth, I do miss the days when it was the simple in-jokes about EQ. The simpler gags rather than the heavier industry commentary, the tongue in cheek look at some of the absurdity of in-game lore and such.
However, I do still like it very much as it is now and still read the comic every day that I can. It gets a bit heavy on the snark and seems a bit bitter sometimes, but overall, GU is still one of my favorite comics.
Edit: Games I'm currently playing ( when I have time between work and baby ) :
The Secret World
Master of Orion 2 ( Dug up out of the archives. )
...and seriously suffering City of Heroes withdrawal.
"There are no happy endings because nothing ever really ends"
-Schmendric, The Last Unicorn
Woody, I've read your comics since I started playing Everquest One and I will say I played SWToR for a long time and the last mentioning I saw of GU in general chat was positive on night before I had to take some time off. Quite a few people knew about the site and spoke well of it.
I find you are at your best when you are enjoying the game you are writing about. Personally, I think you should try going back to the original everquest and just tool around. Take a ride down memory lane. I do that a lot when things seem down to remind myself of where I come from and it helps me remember where I want to go.
As far as the writing, maybe check the forums on Fanfiction.net or something like that and look for a beta to toss ideas back and forth it with. I know a lot of very good writers are on there that have some pretty solid ideas and great humor and most of them are major geeks. Just a suggestion though
I always liked your Everquest and Lord of the Rings comics in truth and would love to see you do some Halo comics!!!! Currently I am playing LoTRO, WoW, SWToR, Halo 4, and trying to fight the urge to load pokemon on my Ipad lol. I hope this helps.
Remember, a lot of people still read your comic and enjoy it. Relax and don't be too hard on yourself Woody. You have a lot left in the tank to take you very far!
I'll just add to the chorus of people saying not to listen to anybody in general chat in an MMO, especially one that sucks.
I'm sort of "between games" right now. All of the current MMO's have lost their luster, and it feels like I'm just playing fetch when I play them (sort of like a recent Penny Arcade comic). I do have a bunch of WII U games on my Christmas list and plan on jumping head first into console gaming for the first time in ... ever.
If I had to pick 1 game then it would be WoW. My biggest thrill with GU is still when you went with the deathjaw / trapjaw idea (have it bookmarked).
Getting relatability back as you put it is going to be extremely difficult these days as there are just so many MMO's around and you can't write for / play with everyone. Though I do think it's time you set Ted on the smack talking Sith Wannabies in SWtOR. with a good old fiery avenger, http://gucomics.com/comic/?cdate=20000712 ;-)
WoW, Aggramar (English) Server
Deathforge, Pitt, Gnomevenom & Scalp