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Isn't Smodur supposed to be the pragmatic one?

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  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Malice doesn't want the job, and Efram won't get it due to being Flame Legion... but there's no need for there to be a Khan-Ur.

    You know that, I know that, but the Charr still have a giant kitten for the idea of one. If they didn't, we wouldn't see people like Bangar and Smodur try to be one, and all those Charr in Grothmar talking about which one they would like to see become Khan-Ur. There is no "need" for a lot of things. the world does not work on needs, it works on wants.

    and the Khan-Urship will be forever outside of his reach.

    It was always otuside of his reach, for the same reason it was for Bangar, and anyone else. Its almost like Charr society is fundamentally broken, and the whole story is about that or something!

    Wars aren't won by killing the enemy. Wars are won by persuading the enemy to stop fighting.

    I don't know what world you live in, but wars are absolutely won by killing the enemy. This is just a nonsense comment to begin with.

    There was a chance to get Ryland to stop fighting

    Not really. It was already clear before Smodur killed Cinder that Ryland wasn't going to step down, which is part of the reason he killed Cinder in the first place, she stopped being useful.

    to get all the influence of the Steel Warband for him

    There is no way he would have gotten the Steel Warband's influence for himself. In stopping Bangar/Jormag? sure, but Ryland would have never supported Smodur's attempt to claim the Khan-Ur title.

    He might still be on the winning side in the end, but as far as his ambitions are concerned? He's lost everything. He'll continue to be Imperator of the Iron Legion until he dies, but he will never be the Khan-Ur, and would have certainly fought against it.

    He was never going to be Khan-Ur in the first place, regardless of what he did. Charr society is too fundamentally broken to ever allow for another leader like that. Charr are too racist against themselves, and the other legions, for any legion to ever accept any other Legion from being over it.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25, 2020

    There hasn't been a Khan-Ur for centuries. A few more generations without one isn't going to hurt anybody.

    I'd also question whether it's something that the majority of charr actually want. There's a reason why there hasn't been one for so long - the leaders of the legions have consistently decided that they'd rather that there wasn't a Khan-Ur at all than to submit to the leadership of a Khan-Ur that isn't a member of their legion, and the legions are evenly matched enough that one isn't going to be able to conquer the other three. It'd take such a conquest or a figure which all four legions are convinced is a good enough leader to be worth giving up their independence for there to be another Khan-Ur... and the de facto leaders of three legions have now decided that Smodur could never be that person. His dreams of Khan-Urship are dead, as a result of his own impulsiveness.

    When it comes to Ryland and Cinder...

    Well, we don't know what Ryland might have done. Letting him walk out with Cinder probably wouldn't have been the right move, to be sure, but killing her cuts off all possibilities. You want to keep your options open.

    As for this:

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

    Wars aren't won by killing the enemy. Wars are won by persuading the enemy to stop fighting.

    I don't know what world you live in, but wars are absolutely won by killing the enemy. This is just a nonsense comment to begin with.

    I live in a world with history books, and come from a military family. Wars absolutely are won by getting the enemy to stop fighting. Like I said, killing the enemy is an effective way of getting them to stop fighting, but is not always the most efficient. There are a lot of military stratagems aimed towards having a psychological effect that will degrade the enemy's will to fight rather than trying to maximise the casualties inflicted upon enemy soldiers, both at the grand strategy level (things like civilian bombing was intended to provoke a revolution among the enemy's population - it didn't work, but that was the general idea) down to the level of individual engagements being fought in a way that encouraged the enemy to run away or surrender rather than fighting to the last man, often in a manner that expends resources that could otherwise be used to kill the enemy.

    @Manasa Devi.7958 said:
    Who would care about the "influence" of a failed warband's remaining 2 members whose turncoat conversion was effected at knife point with half of them in captivity. The notion that this would have any effect at all on the war is preposterous beyond reason. The more likely resulting sentiment would be: "Oh, the oh-so mighty Steel Warband was soundly defeated and now these two treacherous pups bowed their heads to a new master. Any charr worth their salt would've had the dignity to die in battle instead".

    Perhaps, but even that would likely have a stronger effect than simply killing them. Ryland is Smodur's right hand, after all - someone so high up defecting is going to be a shock. Even if it gets written off as "he should have died instead", it WOULD have a morale effect if someone that high up switched sides - since you can't heap such scorn on them without the question coming up of who Bangar puts trust into, and what information Ryland may have taken with him.

    (Which, y'know, is another reason why it's worthwhile to try to get him to switch - information)

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25, 2020

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    There hasn't been a Khan-Ur for centuries. A few more generations without one isn't going to hurt anybody.

    I agree, the whole Khan-Ur thing is an idiotic relic of the past, just like most of Charr society's beliefs.

    I'd also question whether it's something that the majority of charr actually want. There's a reason why there hasn't been one for so long - the leaders of the legions have consistently decided that they'd rather that there wasn't a Khan-Ur at all than to submit to the leadership of a Khan-Ur that isn't a member of their legion, and the legions are evenly matched enough that one isn't going to be able to conquer the other three. It'd take such a conquest or a figure which all four legions are convinced is a good enough leader to be worth giving up their independence for there to be another Khan-Ur... and the de facto leaders of three legions have now decided that Smodur could never be that person. His dreams of Khan-Urship are dead, as a result of his own impulsiveness.

    No. There hasn't been a Khan-Ur in centuries because the Charr have been too busy having to deal with other threats, be it the Flame Legion, Ghosts in Ascalon, or the humans, to ever have time to deal with the big internal war that would necessitate it. This is part of why the Olmakhan left in the first place, they saw that the Charr were just using other things as scapegoats for a systemic internal cultural problem. Had the humans, ghosts, and flame legion not been around, there would have certainly been a massive civil war over who gets to be Khan-Ur by now... in fact, thats been the central theme of this whole Charr narrative thus far. The Charr have always had enemies, what happens when they don't? They turn on and destroy themselves in dumb civil wars over pointless kitten like who gets to be Khan-Ur.

    You give the Charr far too much credit on being levelheaded about it when the game has consistently shown they are not. And again, Smodur would have never been seen as that figure, regardless of what he did. You try to pin it on Smodur making the wrong choice, ignoring that there is no right choice because the Charr are too systemically bigoted, racist, and elitist, between the Legions for it to ever happen regardless of what anyone did.

    You want to keep your options open.

    You talk about options that don't exist as if they were real, they are not.

    Wars absolutely are won by getting the enemy to stop fighting.

    I never said they weren't. Nice job arguing a point never made.

    (Which, y'know, is another reason why it's worthwhile to try to get him to switch - information)

    This implies Ryalnd actually knows anything. with how Bangar is, and how hes treated both Rytlock and Crecia, its almost certain Bangar had Ryland in the dark about his true plans, because hes a paranoid manic that way. Bangar almost certinaly cut him out of the loop once Ryland began questioning decisions like killing Almorra. I honestly wouldn't even be surprised if its revealed Bangar WANTED the Steel Warband, Ryalnd included, to get killed while fighting in the southern part of Drizzlewood, if only so he could remove people who disagree with him, and turn Ryland into martyr for his cause.

    Such a revelation would likely be used to get Ryland to, if not switch sides, at least get him to leave Bangar's side, so that Ryland can stick around longer in the narrative.

  • Loki.4871Loki.4871 Member ✭✭

    I've been enjoying the storyline so far, but Smodur is a smelly pulsating tumour on the story that makes me wrinkle my nose.

    Leaders-especially ones that lead an entire nation-do not behave like that in public, especially in front of outsiders (not every player will be a charr). I simply cannot reconcile this Smodur with the one who's done peace treaties with humans.
    I understand that time has passed since then but the shift in personality is so large I knew the moment I saw him acting like the stereotypical Bad General he was being set up for something unpleasent. He seemed to be openly antagonistic so many times to his own fellow charr and subordinates I was wondering if the writing was building up to a defection of his men, a coup or something equally drastic.

    It's most bizarre because of his ultimate fate; head-shotted by a sniper out of nowhere. It didn't even matter how he was behaving a narrative standpoint so I can only wonder if it was to avoid players feeling bad about his death. That leaves me bewildered if that's correct because his assassination would have had far more impact if he wasn't being such a pillock to everyone around him. (Again: how is someone this rude and disrespectful still in charge?)
    I actually felt the deadlock where he dies gave us a glimpse of the more reasonable leader I expected-stating 'Brann has a good plan: if you could prove the back-door would work, we wouldn't be having this argument, but it's not assured so I won't bet everything on it'
    Even his bombastic, arrogant frontal assault could have been easily tweaked to be more level headed: 'I know attacking the front door isn't great and Ryland's going to have ambushes set up, but we don't have time for anything else, there's no other way in and we can plan for ambushes.'

    As an outsider looking in, it feels like justification was needed for the prisoner negotiations to break down/him stabbing (charr I don't remember) and so Smodur's character was warped to fit. That in itself is strange because it's ultimately pointless: If Smodur is shown as level headed and reasonable leader, then breakdowns at at the negotiation could be the prisoner try to break free, assuming Ryland and co. would assist her only for Random Guard Charr to use lethal force. Smodur reprimands them angrily even as they accept with resignation the damage is done.
    The same result happens: Ryland is pushed away and into Jormag's grasps but Smodur's shown as far more reasonable and level headed.

    What about the leader of Flame Legion as a replacement? He all but says Iron Legion won't accept him as leader; the leader of the former pariah faction of the charr trying to win over the former leader's legion has some real mileage, especially when Iron Legion embodies the charr's rejection of their past and the magic that flame legion represents. There could be an interesting theme of the modern charr (iron) reconciling and accepting their past (flame).

    Crea is being telegraphed as the new leader from the epilogue dialogue. If so, then by Smodur being torn down like this she's been denied potentially interesting character development and plot:
    A popular, competent leader is assassinated. Crea replaces him due to necessity and/or rank.
    -Is she a worthy successor?
    -Can she even be one?
    -How easily is she going to rally the charr to her side? Will some not respect her as a leader? Can they be won over? What of the other nations?
    -Do others and her people think she can lead her people to victory in one of their greatests battles yet?
    -Does she believe she can?
    -If so, will she admit such doubts to herself, much less Rytlock or the player?
    -What mistakes will she make along the way? How will she learn from them-will she compare herself to Smodur, wondering how he would have done them?
    -Will copying a past action by Smodur help her overcome an obstacle, showing she can learn from others and Smodur was a good leader, in turn reinforcing his death as a loss to the Charr and Ryland's intelligence in assassinating him?
    There are all sorts of interesting things that can be mined from her replacing the respected and capable leader Smodur was portrayed to be before this living story arc.

    Smodur feels character assassinated compared to the glimpses of what came before, either to stop the player feeling bad at his death (destroying a moment of emotional impact) or worse it's to pull him down and belittle him so whoever replaces them seems so much better than he ever was-which is actually going to pull the replacement down. It's unintentionally saying "Anyone who replaces Smodur was so much worse we had to make Smodur a cartoonishly mean, short-sighted fool to prop this new leader up."

    Myself and others have spent several episodes wondering how a leader who's behaving like this hasn't been ejected from his position has been unceremoniously killed off. F to pay respects, he will not be forgotten-or remembered. Have a new leader, who's going to be better by sheer virtue of being unable to be as kitten as the previous one was, potentially robbing them of growth and development for their character.
    Yay.

  • Vancho.8750Vancho.8750 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Ou great Smodur was plot deviced twice, first in change of personality, so people start thinking this is not ok, then they think it might be something going dragon corruption whispers, personal issues between Banger and him, maybe he had a thing for Almora, maybe they could have pulled that Ryland was working for Smodur all along , nope he gets anticlimactic death. Reminds me off Vol'jin from Warcraft pulled to do nothing but die without addressing the impact on world building.
    The whole thing is just lame.

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    A lot went through his head in the latest episode. :p

  • Arcaniaxs.4519Arcaniaxs.4519 Member ✭✭✭

    Answer to the thread title: no he is the one with a hole in his head :D

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I was waiting for Ryland to shout "Boom headshot"

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Manasa Devi.7958Manasa Devi.7958 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 29, 2020

    @Loki.4871 said:
    I've been enjoying the storyline so far, but Smodur is a smelly pulsating tumour on the story that makes me wrinkle my nose.

    Leaders-especially ones that lead an entire nation-do not behave like that in public, especially in front of outsiders (not every player will be a charr). I simply cannot reconcile this Smodur with the one who's done peace treaties with humans.
    I understand that time has passed since then but the shift in personality is so large I knew the moment I saw him acting like the stereotypical Bad General he was being set up for something unpleasent. He seemed to be openly antagonistic so many times to his own fellow charr and subordinates I was wondering if the writing was building up to a defection of his men, a coup or something equally drastic.

    I wish people would stop judging charr by the standard of modern human sensibilities. Smodur negotiated peace treaties with humans because back then he was dealing with a party that was interested in a piece treaty. It doesn't work with fanatics and people who betrayed your own society mere months earlier. There was never a successful treaty with the Renegades, to illustrate the point. The whole business with Ryland and Cinder was a huge waste of time. Smodur knew that, he only mentioned it every time it came up. The only mischaracterisation in the last 2 episodes were all the other charr present in those meetings. (Rytlock and Crecia had an excuse, their cub was involved.)

  • Loki.4871Loki.4871 Member ✭✭

    There was never a treaty with the renegades because like the human seperatists, they refused to come to the table to negotiate. Ryland did; even if it was insinscere it could potentially have worked even in the 'let's kill them all' attitude Smodur suddenly has: they come to the table, refuse terms, Smodur can go "Oh well. See everyone? They won't settle for a decent negotiation!"

    Instead he murders a prisoner because... he's bored with the negotiations that were potentially about to bear fruit?

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loki.4871 said:
    Instead he murders a prisoner because... he's bored with the negotiations that were potentially about to bear fruit?

    Wasn't it more for revenge after what Smodur did to his friend last episode despite assurances to the contrary that she'd be safe?

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Manasa Devi.7958Manasa Devi.7958 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loki.4871 said:
    There was never a treaty with the renegades because like the human seperatists, they refused to come to the table to negotiate. Ryland did; even if it was insinscere it could potentially have worked even in the 'let's kill them all' attitude Smodur suddenly has: they come to the table, refuse terms, Smodur can go "Oh well. See everyone? They won't settle for a decent negotiation!"

    Instead he murders a prisoner because... he's bored with the negotiations that were potentially about to bear fruit?

    But what is the point of negotiating with the leader of a warband of 2, one of which is already in captivity? Because he's the messiah and the entire war will grind to a halt because a traitor betrays his new faction as well? All the charr under Bangar will become turncoats because the leader of a failed warband becomes a turncoat? Absolute nonsense. If Smodur did anything wrong at all, it was humoring the irrational parents of a piece of excrement as long as he did.

  • Harak.8397Harak.8397 Member ✭✭
    edited July 30, 2020

    The contrast in attitude on Smodur's part to me feels a lot more like a plot device. The writing team probably decided early on that the United Legions would need an unstable element to add tension and unpredictability. I couldn't be Rytlock, It wasn't going to be Crecia or Malice since the former's son is a leading figure of the opposition and the latter just doesn't operate that way. Effram just got here ( and he's far too meek for a Flame Legion Shaman if you ask me ). All that was left was that poor fool of an Iron Legion Imperator they haven't used much since the game launched. Reasonable, progressist, forward thinker be damned. I'm pretty sure the writer who wrote this about him isn't even on A.net's payroll anymore anyway. He's an easy target being that he's obviously ambitious. ( and that's bad if you didn't know yet ). He's probably getting offed sooner or later and we'll have it rammed down our throat that it's "justice for xyz".

    Despite the tone of my text, I'm not even mad at this point, just disappointed, especially considering the great job they did characterizing Bangar.

    Edit: Next season, looking forward to Queen Jennah turning into a cowboy boots wearing, paranoid autocrat. Because, why not ?

    Edit2: Called it!

  • Finalfreefall.8247Finalfreefall.8247 Member ✭✭
    edited 12:29AM

    @Manasa Devi.7958 said:

    Instead he murders a prisoner because... he's bored with the negotiations that were potentially about to bear fruit?

    But what is the point of negotiating with the leader of a warband of 2, one of which is already in captivity? Because he's the messiah and the entire war will grind to a halt because a traitor betrays his new faction as well? All the charr under Bangar will become turncoats because the leader of a failed warband becomes a turncoat? Absolute nonsense. If Smodur did anything wrong at all, it was humoring the irrational parents of a piece of excrement as long as he did.

    Side note: Why the HELL does anyone tolerate Rytlock? He wavers between unhelpful and actively useless, low-key sabotaging things and being an emo brooder about it. He has all the negative traits of Batman, without the nicest guy in the world repeatedly going to bat for him. Admittedly, I'd kick half of Destiny's Orphans off the team if given a chance, but Rytlock sabotages everyone. He should have been exiled for intentional incompetence ages ago a la the dramatically more helpful Jar-Jar Binks.