The importance of the villain

Post Reply
User avatar
Hannah DuMont
Sim Admin
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:59 am
Location: Arizona
Contact:

The importance of the villain

Post by Hannah DuMont » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:54 pm

The antagonist, the villain, the heel. A important role to any good story.

Heel - A wrestling term for the antagonist. The heels job is to build heat and get the crowd to hate them. Not hate as in turn off the tv, but hate as in wanting the fave, or hero to beat the crap out of them. This is the basis of a standard wrestling program. Without a good heel the best face is useless. No one cares how awesome the hero is if they are untouchable and just squash every single person they face. There is no tension, no drama, no build. Its stale and boring and grade school booking.

Without a good heel. The Rocks, Stone Colds, Hogans, Cena's would all be nothing but stale acts that no one cared about. The heels job is to build that hate from the audiance and make the viewer want to pay to see the final beatdown. They do this by stealing victories from the faces, cheap shotting, using dastardly tricks, or even being monster heels and smashing the faces creating a wall for them to overcome in a great final titanic bout.

Just as in wrestling, the heels are integral to CC. Without the villains the heros of the city come across as boring and stale. Its the same ol thing. Hero comes in squashes the villain and believes themselves to look awesome. You don't. You look like the biggest assholes and bitches and it comes across as selfish. The point is to build the story. The villain wins, makes the heroes lives hell. There are small victories back and forth and ultimately the villain goes down in a final titanic bout. The endcap to a beautiful built up story arc. If the villain is squashed out before they can build any momentum then there is no story, there is no arc. there is just people swinging their dicks.
Image

Sig courtesy of dreamdumont

Lodestar
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:29 am

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Lodestar » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:18 am

A good example of these comic book wise through DC and Marvel is Darkseid and Thanos.

It is true though. Good villains help bring the story forward and it adds flavor to the mix.

(But I wouldn't mind shirtless male hot villains myself. You know. Just saying! Gurl needs her eye candy if she's going to be royally fucked and not in the nice way!)

User avatar
Butterfly of Doom
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:01 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Butterfly of Doom » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:36 pm

100% agree and 100% know what this refers to.
"The nerve of... Ugh!"- Celeste
"Our enemy is never as evil as we imagine." - Katyusha
"Utterly' is my favorite way to destroy something." - Alecta
"Turn your wounds into wisdom" - Anna
"..." - Eventide

User avatar
Strangeling
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:00 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Strangeling » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:17 pm

I would disagree with Lodestar: Darkseid and Thanos are terrible villains.

Why? Because they are too powerful.

The greatest pet peeve I have in the whole universe is the Deux Ex Mechana: the solution where something miraculous happens and the conflict is resolved. I hate them: I HATE THEM SO MUCH! The Deux solution does not represent growth or development in the hero or the world around them - it is merely a cheap fix to deal with a problem so large there's no way on Earth it can be solved, so the answer falls from Heaven.

A good villain should be challenging, but not so challenging that the heroes cannot defeat him/her by their own efforts. It may require teamwork, cleverness, or even the odd lucky shot - but the answer should come from the hero. If it doesn't, the hero really didn't do much ... did he?

You want a good villain? Magneto in his bad days. Best part about him was that from his perspective - he was the hero!

Lodestar
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:29 am

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Lodestar » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:02 pm

Honestly, you need a powerful villain like those two.

But we can agree to disagree, I guess??

User avatar
Drexia
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:05 am
Location: Sweden

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Drexia » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:00 am

I think there is room for both myself. While I too think that the over the top powerful villains are annoying and fuel the general power creep up to crazy levels they have a place because there are powerful heroes to fight them. But a major downside is that those kinds of villains very easily exclude any less powerful heroes from the scene and on the flip-side a weaker villain will just get roflstomped by a powerful hero. What i used to do back when i ran events in Champions Online was to using the mastermind type of villain and make sure never to give numbers in a fight. The idea being that a "hard" punch is variable to whoever takes it and with the mastermind its easy to have mooks and minions around to spread stuff out as it were.

At the end of the day at least i feel that the fights are just a tiny part of the story, which is part of why i don't take part in the larger fight scenes too often. Another reason being that far too many of the attacks i see flying around could one shot most of my characters.

Lodestar
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:29 am

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Lodestar » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:33 pm

The thing is, though, what separates from a good villain roleplayer to a bad one is someone that is able to play someone super powerful but not roflstomp the heroes -- they are there to tell the story. Story is the big important factor. Most who would play the 'roflstomp' type do it because they aren't interested in telling a story. They would rather just get a feel for their own ego and move on.

The super villain I played, Dominatriea, in Champions Online was extremely powerful but I ran her to tell a story - not to stomp. She was beatable, with a tragic story somewhere in between for her.

User avatar
AINGELPROJECT667
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:22 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by AINGELPROJECT667 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:34 pm

Here's the thing: Darkseid and Thanos are good villains. But the problem is, they're good villains for Superman. They're nigh-invulnerable beings for a nigh-invulnerable hero, able to throw punches go toe-to-toe with the big S-and sometimes even win. The issue with this is, if Superman isn't around, well then the rest of the Justice Friends don't stand a chance do they? There's no practical way to deal with Thanos and Darkseid because, simply put, everyone else just can't match that level of power.

The way this applies in Celestial City is when it comes to building villains and heroes, how powerful is too powerful? It wouldn't be fair to just make villains that only the big dogs of the city can hope to fight. If none of those are around, what hope do the heroes have? The villain would just right over them and carrying on playing a happy tune, and where's the fun in that?

The other side of this is, of course, making heroes too strong as well. You want to make a bad guy that isn't too powerful, but what happens if, for example, Captain Strong wanders by and decides to ruin this villains day with a simple flick of his wrist? (I want to point out I have nothing against Captain Strong as a character or the typist behind him, I am simply using him as an example of a "high level" hero from the city) It would certainly foil the villain, but it doesn't exactly leave a satisfying taste in the mouth of the others, since they could feel as if they were rather useless.

So really, it's mostly a question of keeping it balanced. There's a certain..."Good vs. Bad" dynamic when it comes to classic heroes and villains narrative arcs. You don't ever want to have the same outcome to every battle. There needs to be times when the villain gets away cackling, other times where the hero triumphs, times when the villain shakes his or her fist and shouts, "You haven't seen the last of ME!" and sometimes where the two sides battle themselves to a stalemate and no one comes out on top. You don't ever want your prospective RPers looking at a situation being set up and say, "ugh, I know how this is going to end" because at that point, things have become predictable. And you don't want that because that doesn't attract crowds. People lose interest when the hero always saves the day with no mess, or when the villain always makes a clean getaway without so much as a cracked nail. Instead of the villain pulling up his cloak and giving some boast as he disappears, have him limp away swearing vengeance. Instead of that hero standing proud as the crowd cheers, once more saving the day, have him grimly stand up and look at the destruction, realizing that for once that he didn't.

TL:DR; add some dynamic to the heroes vs. villains fights. Bitches love dynamic.

User avatar
Chyleste
Site Admin
Posts: 7225
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:02 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Chyleste » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:24 pm

So far in this little discussion, actually everyone is right to an extent. There needs to be a variety of types of villains in comic books and other stories.

Now when dealing with Celestial City, we have a bit different issues that we have to deal with to make things work. Most of the time it falls on admins to play the active villains. I will be using me and my characters as examples but I am not saying it is only me.

A majority of my characters are villains, mainly because that is what the SIM needs. I have a wide variety of villains of all power levels and methods of operations. I honestly have the most fun with the lower level bank robber types or other smaller disturbances. It's great to try and rob a place, put up a decent fight then have the villain either get arrested or at the very least the robbery is foiled. I try to do quite a few of these smaller scenes as often as I can.

The problem is that we have so many powerful "heroes" and even "villains" that all show up and gang pile on the villains. This makes it almost a requirement to force us to power up the event enemies to be able to present any kind of challenge.

User avatar
Drexia
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:05 am
Location: Sweden

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Drexia » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:45 am

In my experience people rarely ever want to "lose" as it were. At least in my case its because of the trust needed to take the loss in a realistic manner, as things will go out of your ability to realistically control at that point. So my characters are generally quick to bail or as in Drexias case basically indestructible as she can just replace her drones.

There are ways that work pretty well to help this problem however, specifically to have the result of the battle decided before it even starts. Of course people showing up to a battle scene should ask permission to join in so that the whole mobbing up problem only happens when people actually agree to it. Guess the defender could have veto power in such a case.
In either case OOC communication is key to making the battles good.

User avatar
Chyleste
Site Admin
Posts: 7225
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:02 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Chyleste » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:15 am

I believe that most people really do not like discussing the end result of a scene ahead of time. Usually it can be logically seen where the story should take things.

We do have a rule that if one side is outnumbered that people must ask permission to join in. Things are supposed to be kept to 2 or 3 vs 1 at the worst (excluding huge events) without permission. It seems like some people are still ignoring this. That is part of what I addressed in that notecard I sent out at the beginning of the year. People need to start following the rules or else I will be taking disciplinary measures. I am tired of this need to win mentality. It should always be about what is best for the story.

RickmanUK
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:05 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by RickmanUK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:20 am

Major Villains in any plot arc should have a certain level of Plot armour, not total/complete but enough that they get to survive and escape if need be. (Or Captured if that is part of the Plan)

PC Villains are different. they have someone behind them that is putting their time into playing as a "Bad Guy" In an arc.. I'd consider them to have the part of role of GM... Heroes are Reactionary (Vigilantes are somewhat more proactive. But still "React" to things that come up.) Villains are the Force that starts a Plot usually (Exceptions are not the Rule.. but they do happen) Obviously there is a difference between "Sim Shaking" Villains and normal Villains. Scale is a thing that should be taken into account.. Not every Villain can fight or should Try to fight Superman say.

To me (personally) Villains like Thanos are GM/Admin characters, they change the whole world around them just by them acting. This DOES NOT MEAN PLAYERS Can't be them.. just they are limited on action without Admin actions to let them act in their full power.

My 50p.

Lodestar
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:29 am

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Lodestar » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:39 pm

Again, I have to disagree.

A player, if they are a good roleplayer to boot, CAN play a character like that properly.

RickmanUK
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:05 pm

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by RickmanUK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:26 pm

I Didn't say they Couldn't? Just that if you are playing a Character of that Scope you should be Moderated and Limited on what you can do per Admin agreements. If that makes sense.
I mean If you play a Villain who's powerful enough to Mentally Dominate EVERYONE in the City by Blinking.. Then you win, well done. Sim Shutdown as no-one can do anything... Admins need to limit the powers or atleast the Use of them for the Times they are used...

Lodestar
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:29 am

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by Lodestar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:33 am

Luckily, people with strong powers have already been doing well to not stomp on people. The problem with limiting things is it hinders creativity. So that is one fine line that you have to be careful to cross.

For example, I will give a hero I roleplay in an MMO, Cosmic Glory.

Compared to Lodestar, CG is a fucking power house. Super strength, invulnerability, a cosmic flame, sensing empathy AND that could burn evil with said flames all the while the powers being linked with hope? With enough hope and positive emotions, the girl could be an indestructible force of rainbows and more. She was god!

Except that isn't fun. Powers fueled by positive emotions and making her stronger, despair and d negative emotions should weaken her. These should not only affect herself but those around her.

Now I have a power house with weaknesses that could be exploited easily and I can ensure she doesn't become impossible. Panic in a situation would kick her ass. A villainous empath would wreck her shit. Hell, to burn evil, if the person truly believed they were absolutely justified and a good person, the flames wouldn't hurt them.

This is my personal example of a good roleplayer, or writer, could easily do and it is just one of many examples.

Those who go out of control should just face the wrath of the admins for a talking to-which is something they have done before from what I've seen. If anyone is wanting to just tell a good story with their character, wanting to have fun, it will show.

If they are doing it just to feed their ego? ... It will show. It will show a LOT.

That's why I disagree.

User avatar
DiamondPhoenix1
Sim Admin
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The importance of the villain

Post by DiamondPhoenix1 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:42 pm

OMG Hannah did u see the dicks?
"Wait ... is this going to show up on everything I write?"

Post Reply