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Powers vs. Writing: The Discussion


treacherous
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Powers vs. Writing  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these would you rather use to determine votes?

    • Powers, because this is a super hero vs super hero battle
      10
    • Writing, because this is a creative writing site
      32


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Okay I know I'm being a baby about this, but with the newest version of the FPL and a lot of new creators (I use the term lightly), I believe this needs to be discussed. Where do you stand? When voting for a match are powers the deciding factor or writing skill? Let's discuss. Please let's be objective and understanding (not like myself lately). I want your opinions.

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I should have seen this coming.

 

I'm a moderate. The writing of each character should be discussed. If the characters are entirely mismatched in this category, i.e. CrazyKiller vs. Parasite, then obviously I'd give the vote to Parasite for being the vastly more well-written character. If the characters are both at least decently written, then I'd say it's time to discuss powers in a CBUB-like fashion. Writing can still be discussed, of course.

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Writing in a slam-dunk. The powers serve the writing. People who click the "powers- this is a superhero site" option are ignoring the fact that the superhero genre is practically BUILT on the story of a character using his or her fantastic power against overwhelming odds. I've read too many comic books where popular characters like Batman and Spiderman are punching above their weight class to think it's a rare event, or a lucky shot, or anything other than editorial edict. Now the FPL is divided into tiers, so characters are facing an opponent on equal footing. The only time I even notice powers is when they're used conceptually, as in "oh neat, he used Illusion Creation to show that his character has influence over the media" or "look, she used Digging as a defense-nullifying power, awesome." My honest opinion i that anyone who votes for Powers over Writing belongs in the CBUB rather than the FPL. You can put Powers ahead of a lot of stuff like character pic, or whether or not you like the character's creator, but Writing should still trump every other concern.

 

Then again there are several FPLers who vote for or against a character based solely on whether or not they like the creator. I may be a dick on the boards, but I can honestly say I've never let my opinion of a creator affect my voting. I'll take powers over creator favoritism every time.

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I vote for writing. When I enter matches that's the main consideration, I rarely if ever consult the powers unless I'm stuck between two equally written characters. However when you get to the comments section, talking about if superior fire can be blocked by standard armor is sometimes more fun than debating whether a monologue style is better than a series of written letters for the given characters.

 

I'd say the writing style is more important, but if people want to play out the powers for kicks, let em. I think I used this before, but the talk about powers and abilities is like trash-talk or cheerleading; it doesn't really affect how the game is played, but it can be entertaining from time to time.

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On a slightly related note, I put a lot of weight in writing outside of the main character sheet. Poorly written stories aren't going to help a poorly written character, but an ongoing story that allows for more characterization and growth certainly tips the scales between well written characters.

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It's cool to talk about who would win in a fight. It's what geeks do. But it's another thing to VOTE on who would win in a straight-up fight. That's kinda like saying "I only read comics about characters that would win every fight against every character." You don't base who you read about on whether they can beat peeps, so why base your FPL vote on who would win in the fight? It's the same principle as far as I can tell.

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I vote based entirely on writing. If I absolutely cannot decide which I like more, I look at their record for which needs to survive more. If that doesn't help, or in this case where the rules have changed, then I look at powers...and then, which set is more clever, before finally resorting to which powers trump the others. In this poll, however, I will vote on powers because the most important victory is making treacherous sad.

 

An interesting thing to note is that as far as I know, there was never any direct attempt to make the FPL voted on based on writing. It's simply that powers quickly become boring, and are never a compelling reason to vote. Even in the CBUB, people are wondering either which character would win, which is imagining it more in a story context even if you're only there to spam votes for your favorite, or a gaming approach in which powers are compared in an interest of how they would interact. In the FPL everyone has equal points to spend, so "who's more powerful" has less of a point. Instead, as you read character after character, the cliched and dry become more and more difficult to grind through, and the comparison become more of "this character is better, so it wins." There's no reason to keep coming back to the same powers over and over. The longer people are in the FPL the more they tend to drift toward caring about writing, because that's where the content is. In any competition, the person who plays a better game is generally the winner. In this competition, the powers aren't the game, they're the playing field. They're what brings the players together, but the character itself is the quality of their performance. We can look at any two characters from any two mediums and ask, which is "better?" Naturally we'd look at depth, backstory, development, and so on. We can declare that by any general standards Citizen Kane is a better movie than Hobgoblins, though people will always have their own preferences. Hannibal Lecter is a better character than Kurosaki Ichigo, but who do you think will win in a popularity contest thanks to having a cool-looking mask?

 

That's basically what's going on in powers-based voting. Which character is "cooler", which is the main standard of "better" for kids. If they play a game that requires skill long enough, they generally either stop button-mashing or move on to a different game that lets them win. When the FPL was retooled a lot of people were moved in from the CBUB. If past experience says anything, they'll either gradually shift to writing or leave because they're not winning on powers enough. How long that's tolerated depends on the person.

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Writing is important, but I have to say usually the styles of writing aren't far from each other. If I read both and I feel that they are evenly matched in writing skill then yea powers decide it. But of course I know this is a wrting site, so the better written character will win in my eyes anyway.

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I used to be like that. I still am to a degree. The fight has to be extremely tough for me to allow that to happen, where I'll base it on who would win in an actual fight. With the tier levels it does make it easier to do that though. I don't have a problem with discussing who would win on the fights, it's voting like that which bothers me. But, it's not my choice. I just wanted to get a consensus of what the masses think. Near unanimous decision.

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I originally developed the site thinking the point was to discuss which powers were better. Silly me. However it did morph into a creative writing contest almost immediately.

 

I, myself, usually vote by powers if I like both characters. And I do like a who-could-beat-who discussion from time to time.

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The people who consider powers as important as writing should then have no problem with creations like Sanos the Dark Lord and Maks the Barbarian, as powers-wise they're among the top contenders for victory.

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The people who consider powers as important as writing should then have no problem with creations like Sanos the Dark Lord and Maks the Barbarian, as powers-wise they're among the top contenders for victory.

Too bad they usually haven't bought the powers they claim.

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  • 1 month later...

As far as I'm concerned, the true 'power' of any FPL creation is the writing. I'd rather have a good story behind my character and weak powers, then the other way

around. You don't have to put any effort into slapping together a cardboard cut-out character with god like powers. With a well concieved character, the powers are incedental; the writing 'powers' the character. And... I believe I'm done ranting now. Thank you for your time.

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As far as I'm concerned, the true 'power' of any FPL creation is the writing. I'd rather have a good story behind my character and weak powers, then the other way

around. You don't have to put any effort into slapping together a cardboard cut-out character with god like powers. With a well concieved character, the powers are incedental; the writing 'powers' the character. And... I believe I'm done ranting now. Thank you for your time.

 

Lol

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