04/01/13 11:42PM
What Is Wrong With Homestuck?
Air your grievances about writing, plot, characterization, etc. here.
04/02/13 01:02AM
HAHAHAHA Well dang! You beat me to it. Guess you saw what I wrote on the comments section too.

One of the problems I have is that it has too mach bloat of a cast with some interesting character concepts that isn't fully realized or forgotten, maybe because Hussie is bored of it or have no idea what to do with them.

Take the Exiles, for example. You had the interesting set-up early on of a parallel story going on with the kids' story that dealt with a different race of people told in the similar manner in the older MSPAs. You had some brief history on who the characters were, their motivations, and possible future plans. Remember when WV was a former soldier/farmer who led an army to rebel against the monarchy only for it to backfire immensely when he lost his army in bloodshed? Remember when PM was the mail carrier who was forced to take the crowns of the Prosptians royals to obtain a package to Jack, was able to easily slay HB, and on future Earth was hesitant in becoming the new queen since she didn't think it suited her? Remember when AR was about justice and the law and that he helped his companions despite being slightly cowardly and he helped save John even though he was a prince from a rival kingdom?

And now that Hussie just dumped that part of the story, they are either reduced to "cameo appearances as on-note characters" or dead. It seemed that they were the original "alien race" that were supposed to interact with the kids, then that mostly fell through with the introduction to the trolls.

Speaking of trolls, I really think that Hussie should have 4 or 6 trolls instead of the whole 12-set in order to complete a Zodiac. Have them be based on something else like planets or other constellations, because most of them could have been combined as one character ex. Sollux could have been an all-around tech guy, negating the need for Equius. And you wouldn't have characters like Nepeta and Feferi who are reduced to non-character props.

Most importantly, with a small cast, we would have received a less convoluted and tighter story with time spent more on decent character development on most of the characters instead of a select few. It's probably why I usually roll my eyes when Hussie introduces a new character, when he neglects his older ones. :\
04/02/13 01:42AM
^ I must say, I agree with all this. Okay, I'll list my complaints here.

Hussie currently is introducing many characters lately, and most of them are all copies of each other with little differences to make them seem "different." Like when Dirk was first introduced he was basically Rose with Strider flavoring - Jane is more or less a genderbent version of John with some differences, like all the Betty Crocker business, and Jake is pretty much John except weirder and dumber. And when Roxy turned sober, Hussie went and warped Rose into a pretty much more annoying and awful copy of drunk!Roxy, which is really grinding on my nerves.

Jade doesn't get enough attention either, due to all the focus on newer characters. (Which is also a bit nerve-grinding to me because she's my absolute favorite) And there's the whole business with Nepeta and Feferi I don't think I need to explain.

Rosemary is bugging me a lot too. I think it would work lots better if it was a pale relationship (because by the way things are implied to be going by Kanaya red is definitely NOT working out for them at all, but neither seem to be doing too much about that for... some reason), and the two actually interacted more on-screen so we could see more of how this relationship is actually working, instead of being told by a rambling ranting Kanaya.

...Actually, the whole telling-but-not-showing is a HUGE problem in Homestuck all by itself.

Oh, and the annoying, awful sides of the fandom absolutely bug the hell out of me, but do I need to mention this one?
04/02/13 02:55AM
Well, every fandom will have shades of decent and terrible. That's a given. I'm hoping this thread would steer more towards the issues people have with the comic itself than the fandom.

And seeing that you mention Rosemary, that reminds me of another problem I have with this comic. Most of the so-called romantic relationship is either done off-screen or presented in a very negative manner.

We've hardly got any indication that Davesprite/Jade and Dave/Terezi hooked up, maybe a character's off comment or a panel at most. No wonder people were confused when the former pair broke up and at where the latter pair stand(I mean it took Dave's reveal in an update weeks ago with breaking up with Terezi to confirm 100% to the audience that yes, they were boyfriend/girlfrind).

And then we have Dirk/Jake in where the very first time that we see them both interact on-screen that didn't involve any Dirk splinter shennaegians was the trickster arc where Dirk broke up with Jake. Think about it, both Dirk and Jake had more on-screen interactions with his other friends than each other. And now, you have Kanaya/Rose girlfriend interaction as, Honey mentioned which has been portrayed as a negative manner.

When was the last time we saw a positive conversation where lovers(in the red sense) did not act obnoxious on-screen? Sollux and Feferi?
04/02/13 07:23AM
Caliborn hasn't killed or enslaved everyone else yet.
04/03/13 03:17AM
I think there's something to be said for the idea that Hussie sets up all these couples, never shows them interacting, and then sinks them as a jab against the fanbase. :P (Or maybe he feels that actual romantic interaction is best left to the hands of fanficcers, since they will write about it themselves anyway? That kind of reflects a... deep and fundamental misunderstanding of what drives people to ship, but Hussie has never understood his fandom.)

At any rate--I don't like how static the characters all seem to be. Part of this owes to character bloat, since half of the characters are one-note gags that Hussie couldn't afford to develop even if he gave enough of a damn about them to want to. But even characters like Vriska, or Dave, whom Hussie ostensibly loves, never seem fully dynamic--Vriska had a full-blown arc with a neat resolution, but now she's back up to her old tricks, seemingly not having learned anything from her past deeds. Dave as well had a pretty neatly outlined arc about confronting his own mortality that resolved after he godtiered at the Green Sun, but during the meteor road trip he's back to dithering and fretting about his Ultimate Destiny as the slayer apparent of the comic's big bad. The characters never seem to change, or in Vriska's case to be capable of changing. (Maybe this is just because Hussie can neither kill nor stop nursing his darlings.)

I kind of think part of this owes to a sense of predestination that underpins the whole comic. A lot of characters' moralities are extremely black and white; they are telegraphed as heroic or villainous--villainous characters are never given the chance for redemption, and heroic characters will probably never fall from grace no matter how far they slide into moral grayness. (Vriska is quite firmly morally gray, but she will never get to escape her non-alignment either--recent updates hammer you over the head with this pretty thoroughly.) For people who are invested in certain characters and enjoy the idea of perhaps redeeming villainous ones (Vriska, Gamzee, Eridan... Caliborn), the canon will just disappoint them, because Homestuck's cosmology makes it clear that what you are is ingrained in you from birth and can never change. In order to change yourself as a person you have to have the free will to change, and paradox space doesn't allow for free will. If you err from the alpha timeline, you will be culled for your choices. On a meta level that seems almost like a slap in the face--"ha ha, the Vriska in your fanfictions who turns over a new leaf and changes her ways just gets all her friends killed for her efforts! Eat it, nerds."

Me, I just don't like determinist narratives in general. I find them hopelessly depressing, and would prefer a story about waging war against fate over one about letting it oppress you. Of course, maybe I'm asking for Homestuck to be an entirely different comic! But I remember very early in the comic's lifespan a time when the fandom actually thought the kids would throw off the chains of destiny(/SBurb, since for awhile people thought SBurb was the "villain") in the end. I wonder if any of those people are still reading now.

I have other problems with the comic but I've ranted enough as it is. Nobody likes a Negative Nancy.
04/03/13 07:44AM
Jogn_Ehbert said:I have other problems with the comic but I've ranted enough as it is. Nobody likes a Negative Nancy.

Now, now don't say that. As talking about what you dislike about the comic encourages others to join in with the discussion.
04/03/13 08:35AM
Some people would very much appreciate such rants here, after all. I for one like reading such complaint rants, if they're not too bad or aggressive that is.

Anyways, a new complaint: I'm not very fond of the amount of suspense Hussie is throwing at us here. The fact he's coming off very teasing isn't helping matters. While I do like some suspense, here it's coming off as too much suspense and therefore overused. And then there's the fact we get suspense of one thing piled over previously established suspense, and that piled over another, and so on.
04/03/13 10:01AM
You know, I remember when act 6 started and I saw all these things happening, I said "he's not going to have anything major starting until April 13." At the time, I was half-being factitious, and mostly referring to the beta kids entry into the alpha world, but now that it's ACTUALLY April, that claim isn't too half-assed. I know that dates are important and all, but I really feel that a lot of this has been just setting us up for future conversations and shenanigans that will be really cool and we're in that anticipating part where we're all sitting on the same boring beach waiting for the tsunami of awesome to crest over the horizon and smack us silly.

I miss a lot of the interaction and elements of gameplay actually being relevant. I liked the development and growth that the characters were presenting, and feel like most of Act 5 made a huge slam toward redundancy. It was at that point that the trolls were introduced, and while I do enjoy them to pieces, I agree with a lot of people that having so many characters have unique and interesting personalities cannot be an easy feat. I, like many, have noticed some serious character decay, and a little bit of disappointment that Hussie has certain character types that are obviously ones he ENJOYS and the ones that he doesn't get either treated incredibly poorly or are sidelined indefinitely. The whole Fefetasprite thing, as well with the treatment of Nepeta and Feferi in Act 6 just goes to show that he just... doesn't care.

While I understand it, I'm also getting a sense that Hussie is getting tired of the narrative as it is and just really wants to get it over with. He's probably gone through the end of the story a dozen times inside his head and has probably gotten sick of it by now. I fear that a lot of this lack of punchy comedy and back-and-forth between characters has been a result of this losing interest. Now, thankfully there are still moments where punchiness happens -- like the Karkat and Dave conversation -- but I also remember when those conversations were as bountiful as the summer harvest and we're now in the winter season.

I suppose my last dig is the way Hussie handles religious matters. I understand that this is a story that deals with a creation myth, however Hussie has a tendency to throw "take that's!" in a way that I find irksome. Not enough to get me to stop, of course, but enough to make me go "dude, not funny."

04/11/13 05:06AM
So far, I really like that we can politely critique Homestuck without turning on each other. I don't think a thread like this would've had this many posts without turning into intra-fandom-drama on the *other* booru I frequent.

While MSPA and Homestuck will stay with me for years to come, I do willingly admit that the narrative is flawed and that many of the complaints you guys have offered ring true for me too. I believe it's healthy for any fandom to be able to say "you know, while I like this work, there are problems I have with it, and that's fine. Nothing's perfect."
04/11/13 06:21AM
Jogn_Ehbert said:
But I remember very early in the comic's lifespan a time when the fandom actually thought the kids would throw off the chains of destiny(/SBurb, since for awhile people thought SBurb was the "villain") in the end. I wonder if any of those people are still reading now.

Still reading. There are still a few readers that date back to the beginning of the comic to remember people going back and forth about the captcha codes and punching holes. And there are some of us that remember not too long ago that one of the most popular images of LE was a larger Doc Scratch but with a large flame for his head instead of a cue ball.
04/11/13 06:27AM
For a comic with twelve main pansexual aliens, and eight young people in the height of their sexual development, Homestuck sure has a laughably small amount of canon queer representation in it. Then you get people who don't understand why people latch on to ships like Rosemary and Pumpkin Patch (when even Pumpkin Patch got subjected to the 'I'ma ruin all ships forever because I'm Andrew Hussie and that's how I roll' phenomenon instead of being an actual groundbreaking homosexual ship in mainstream entertainment between two characters who fit none of the stereotypes and other shenanigans mainstream media like to use to depict homosexuals) with such intensity. It's not hard to figure out why the starving dog covets the steak.

I get that romance of all kinds is very clearly just a joke to Hussie within the canon story but he could have at least tried harder. You can see that in the fact that people still debate the trolls sexualities despite them very clearly being biologically pansexual.

I have a shit ton of other complaints but I'm not up to sharing tonight. We'll start and end with that one I suppose.
04/11/13 08:29AM
I concur with the comments about character bloat, but I think the problem's a little deeper than that. It's not just that we keep getting more and more characters, it's that every time we get more characters, we get a whole 'nother relevant story. There are just too many stories that need to be told to make this thing cohesive, and while I don't think they're too much for Andrew (after the way Problem Sleuth went, it'll be hard to convince me that anything is too convoluted for him to keep together in his mind), they're too much for the method of progression within this adventure, and we lose all the little details of character and plot that make them awesome.

This is why I really liked Act 4. It seemed more... grounded , if that's the correct term. Everything had its place, even if it was in the hints of what everything was really about. It felt cohesive and like it was going somewhere really exciting in an awesome way. It felt like it had all its shit together. And elements of that continued into Act 5 Act 2, but starting in Hivebent, things started a get a little too big to keep entirely contained. There just wasn't enough time or space to do anything but touch on the most important stuff with a comedic but not insincere "wouldn't it be great if we could give this the attention it deserves?" But we couldn't, because it was just a supporting storyline. The necessary speed-up that started there is another symptom of the problem here, and it hasn't actually stopped since then, but only gotten worse. Because there's just. too. much. Here in act six, it's gotten to the point where we aren't following a plot so much as hopping between several significant moments. In a very literal way, recently! It's almost more like a jigsaw puzzle than a streamlined plot. This isn't one story, it's at least six--if not eight or more--with the same climax. You can't do justice to them all by delivering them in a single line, however convoluted that line may be.

...I guess it would have been nice if it were possible to have actually developed them as they actually are, as several related but distinct stories sharing a common destination/climax. Would it have been possible? No idea. But I feel like that's the root of what dissatisfaction I have with Homestuck.

ADDENDUM: Regarding people speculating about a loss of interest from Hussie, I feel that it's possible that there have been times that he's felt... less enthusiastic about where the story is, but I don't think he's ever less than enjoyed giving us this comic. And the recent sharp uptick in update regularity indicates to me that we're getting into an area he's excited to deal with. That or he has a lot of fun punting John all over paradox space , but still.
04/14/13 05:20AM
I had some complaints in mind, but most basically boiled down to "character/ship I like not getting enough representation". One thing I can put to words, though, is Hussie's use of characters as plot devices rather than, well, characters. I was very much disappointed by Vriska going back to mass-murder, since it invalidated all her character development, all for the sake of the plot. And Gamzee... well.
Stoned Gamzee was funny and refreshing, and overall an alright character, if nothing too exceptional. Sober Gamzee was terrifying and an excellent catalyst for conflict between the trolls. But Gamzee as he currently is, is basically Hussie using a character as a plot device, then giving him more and more screen time while making his motives and actions less and less comprehensible. And lampshading the hell out of it because hey, that fixes the problem, doesn't it.
Finally, Aradia. Getting put on a bus was understandable (sorry for the overuse of TVTropes terms), and reasonable in-story. But her recent reversal as pretty much a calm psycho not only struck me as out of the blue, but a bit of a cop-out. Seems having a good, competent, sane character was just too much too ask.
04/14/13 11:26AM
Okay. With these recent updates I'm honestly become convinced that Hussie just can't really write good emotional character development. Most characters are static as hell and barely change, and the very few that do usually get their development reset anyway for the plot or otherwise to set up for later (Vriska). Some characters change from one "type" to another and then later a different, maybe similar, character turns into the previously lost type. (Roxy being drunk -> Rose being drunk) Ships are teased and canonized and then we see barely any interaction between them, and if there is it is most of the time portrayed negatively. Many emotional scenes are ignored or cut over. And many other scenes are cut off so Hussie can poke fun at the fandom and meta jokes. It's only getting more and more blatant recently that Hussie most of the time just cannot write very good characters and/or good character development.

I suppose this is one of the reasons I'm tiring of this comic. I guess I'm one of those people who loves character development, and with Hussie currently denying development is turning me off. I guess it's also one of the reasons why I like stuff like NGE better. But for whatever reason I'm gonna read Homestuck until the end, I guess it's just because I'm gone too deep in this to turn back. Ah well.
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