Warhammer 40K's story, how is it even remotely appealing?

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT
 

Admittedly this might be due to over-exposure from a friend who won't shut the hell up about it, but I really can't see the appeal of the story of Warhammer 40K. (I emphasize story because the games are pretty fun gameplay wise)

The entire setting seems like a big case of Darkness Induced Audience Apathy.

I read through some wiki pages and listened to my friends and have played enough of the games to know the basic premise and factions; and I couldn't give less of rats ass who wins. 90% of the characters are jackasses and the ones who aren't are probably dead knowing this setting, and that's not getting into how there are no actually "good" or even "meh" characters.

Hell reading the wiki alone made me feel uncomfortable, there's no hope, its overly violent and its practically childish; something an "edgy" thirteen year old would make up.

Not to mention its a tad misogynistic (Such as there being limited female soldiers that aren't part of the female only faction, the eldar or the dark eldar) and obviously caters to younger males. (Something that irks me to no end)

Can someone explain the appeal of this universe to me? Because to me it all seems over the top and plain stupid.

No idea, I share your view on warhammer.

I myself think it's pretty kickass. But different strokes for different folks. I actually doubt I can answer your question any better than this, nor do I think anyone else can. You don't like it - whatever, I don't think anyone can either convince you to like it or explain what's to like at this point.

mavkiel:
No idea, I share your view on warhammer.

Glad someone does.

DoPo:
I myself think it's pretty kickass. But different strokes for different folks. I actually doubt I can answer your question any better than this, nor do I think anyone else can. You don't like it - whatever, I don't think anyone can either convince you to like it or explain what's to like at this point.

Fair enough

Obviously it's over the top, you can't start anything with "In the grim dark future of the 41st millennium, there is only war" and then not be over the top.

It's very difficult to pin down exactly why people love it, because it's so vast that each person can love completely different things about it. Though I would say that reading the wiki pages is a bad way to try and understand it for that exact reason.

Believe it or not, the overly violent and no hope parts are actually a big appeal to a lot of people. So is the fact that you can argue until the 41st millennium over who really counts as a good guy or a bad guy between all the factions. Aside from that, with the exception of the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Sororitas there isn't really a gender split (at least on the human side), pretty much all the organisations have a mix of both men and women.

Essentially, you sound like you're already made up on this, but I'd recommend picking up one of the books and giving it a go. Ciaphas Cain and Eisenhorn are pretty good bets. As far as the characters being jackasses go, though there are so many by this point you can't possibly be doing more than picking and choosing or wild speculation for your 90% figure, but their actions and motives do make a lot more sense in context rather than just taken off a wiki page.

Olikar:

Saviordd1:

Hell reading the wiki alone made me feel uncomfortable, there's no hope, its overly violent and its practically childish; something an "edgy" thirteen year old would make up.

A Bioware fan complaining about poor childish writing? *cough* glass houses *cough*

I'm aware the ending sucked all hell, believe me, I have no delusions about that.

Saviordd1:

Olikar:

Saviordd1:

Hell reading the wiki alone made me feel uncomfortable, there's no hope, its overly violent and its practically childish; something an "edgy" thirteen year old would make up.

A Bioware fan complaining about poor childish writing? *cough* glass houses *cough*

I'm aware the ending sucked all hell, believe me, I have no delusions about that.

It was more than the ending that sucked.

Olikar:
-snip-

Ah alright, I'm not going to get into this here.

image

Different people like different things. What seems like a point against it to you, may be a point in its favour to other people.

DJjaffacake:
-snip-

While I get the logic behind this statement it still baffles me. This is less "Chocolate or Vanilla" and more "This universe literally breaks rules that writing instructors put down to avoid making poor stories"

Do we really need to have these threads every day?

"I don't like Portal 2! Don't understand why people go on about it!"
"I hated Half Life 2."
"I hated the entire Mass effect series."
"I hated everything Bioware every did except that one game they made 10 years ago out of pure nostalgia blindness."

Yes, yes. We get it. You have an opinion that some of the other 7 billion people on this world do not agree with. It's shocking, but see, opinions are subjective.

If you don't like Warhammer, that's fine. Tell your friend to shut up. Yeah, I get the general feeling you have here. I've seen warhammer fans go on an extreme defensive rant to prove how cool or extreme or epic or how massive the warhammer universe really is, plenty of times. I love warhammer, though I generally don't feel like telling the entire backstory to everybody I know.

PS: You are aware Warhammer is a miniatures tabletop wargame, right? Maybe people find warhammer cool, because they think the game is cool.

Saviordd1:

DJjaffacake:
-snip-

While I get the logic behind this statement it still baffles me. This is less "Chocolate or Vanilla" and more "This universe literally breaks rules that writing instructors put down to avoid making poor stories"

So, how are you getting that these are poor stories? From what you've said you've only looked at the wiki and heard from friends, not exactly the best way to judge. I personally quite like the books, at least I've not come across a bad one yet. You might not like the whole military sci-fi/fantasy in a bleak dystopia, but that doesn't make them poor. Same with the tabletop codexs (codices?), and the plots for the games and whatever else they have going. Some may be better written than others, but on the whole it really is just a matter of opinion.

TheBelgianGuy:
-snip-

Yeah I wasn't clear, but I'm aware its a tabletop strategy game, and I don't mind that as it looks fun enough.

But I'm not talking about people who find the game fun or cool looking, I'm talking about the people who take the story 100% seriously.

But either way you have a point.

Saviordd1:

DJjaffacake:
-snip-

While I get the logic behind this statement it still baffles me. This is less "Chocolate or Vanilla" and more "This universe literally breaks rules that writing instructors put down to avoid making poor stories"

It's a deliberate mish-mash of all the common sci-fi cliches ramped up to 11, and set into a highly stylised universe that runs purely off rule-of-cool philosophy.

Everything about the universe is exaggerated to the point of ridicule, but yet it's played 100% straight and given this permanent gritty filter through which everything is interpreted. The whole thing is kind of a self-referential joke, and yet intrinsic to that story is the idea of a neverending war, of people being trapped between space horrors and their own genocidal government, a universe where a not only your body is at risk from a gruesome death, but your soul from an eternity of torment if you gain the attention of the wrong people.

There's a tragic seriousness and depth of grey/grey morality, hope in hopeless circumstances, people having to deal with inevitable annihilation, that runs underneath the fun, campy WAAARGing and space-elves. It's the constant integration and interaction of this over the top ridiculous universe played for laughs and the more base exploration of helplessness and vulnerability in a hostile, hopeless universe.
Basically it's Scrubs with giant mechs.

Oh, I also forgot that I love reading the fanon that gets created as people try and justify the crunch gamerules of the tabletop game and make them consistent with the lore, which leads to the decision that Creed is some sort of military genius that can hide 300 foot titan walkers behind a small bush: http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Creed or their decision that the chaoticly evil and insane "Kharne the Betrayer" was actually a really nice guy: http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Kharn

At the basis, the story/ universe was made to justify a tabletop game. It doesnt matter which faction fights or who wins because everybody fights, all of the time. Even amongst themselves.

Im not a fan of the tabletop game really apart from space hulk (the main game is too complicated and expensive for my liking) But i DO really like the universe. For the reasons you listed as your dislikes no less :P Few universes can compare to the brutal and COMPLETELEY over the top-ness of warhammer 40K. What can i say, i enjoy dystopian sci-fi.

And the fact there are no real good guys/ bad guys - everybody is just as bad as eachother: is what makes it interesting too - also makes it easier to choose a faction to buy if thats your thing.

If you read into a little bit there is a commentary on things such as religious extremism, xenophobia and maybe communism as well.

I enjoyed the space marine game very much ^_^

Its cool if you dont like it ^_^

It's one of very few settings that completely avoids saccharine bullshit.

No, you are not special.

No, true love does not exist.

No, the puppy didn't get away in the end.

No, it isn't all going to be okay.

THERE IS ONLY WAR.

Hero in a half shell:

Everything about the universe is exaggerated to the point of ridicule, but yet it's played 100% straight and given this permanent gritty filter through which everything is interpreted. The whole thing is kind of a self-referential joke, and yet intrinsic to that story is the idea of a neverending war, of people being trapped between space horrors and their own genocidal government, a universe where a not only your body is at risk from a gruesome death, but your soul from an eternity of torment if you gain the attention of the wrong people.

I dunno, I wouldn't say that. They play it 99% straight, which make the ridiculous jokes and references in the extra 1% that much better. It took me a while to realise that, but I saw the Dark Heresy chapter 'We're on a mission from the God-Emperor' and couldn't help but laugh. It could only be better if the next section was called 'No ma'am, we're Inquisitors'. Even the total straight faced stuff has some pretty funny moments, you put some ex-ultramarines in the eye of terror and suddenly everyone's a chaos corrupted comedian.

I view it as Star Wars turned up a few thousand notches. In Star Wars planets are destroyed rarely, in W40K it happens every day. Imperial Stormtroopers are ordinary human beings, Imperial Space Marines spit acid and eat brains. At-Ats are tiny compared to the bigger titans. It's as if the creator of W40K looked at Star Wars and said anything it could do W40K could do on a grander scale.

Also it helps that I <3 science fiction.

To me at least, the appeal comes from the sheer variety of stories that can be told in the universe. while there is the overarching theme of five minutes to midnight doom and apocalypse, the universe actively encourages fans to create their own scenarios.

As long as certain tenets are followed (Emperor on the Throne, Male only Spess Mahreens, etc), almost any story in any context can be told and be just as valid as something put out by Black Library.

If you want heroic Space Marines nobly defending a planet of humans from an onslaught of Orks, and not have the planet executed for seeing Xenos immediately after by the Inquisition, then by all means, go ahead.

The setting and story merely provide the canvas upon which the players can create their own work.

It also helps if you don't take things seriously. A little fun never hurt anyone, and the writers know this. for example, did you know that psycannon ammunition (Warp infused bullets used by the Grey Knights) is supposedly derived from metabolic excess from the Emperor's Golden Throne?

Psycannon Bolts are Emperor Poop.

I thought it being over the top was part of the appeal. War machines the size of planets and giant power-armoured space badasses kicking the ever-living shit out of anything that isn't the same as them. Orkz running on the principles that if it's shooty enough and is either red or green then it will work at least once in a dozen attempts before it explodes in a rain of shrapnel.

It is ridiculously serious with its ridiculousness.

Much of the setting is so fucked up simply to give an explanation for why every faction is simultaneously at war with each other (and themselves) and also sometimes allies with all potential combinations of alliances.

Saviordd1:
Admittedly this might be due to over-exposure from a friend who won't shut the hell up about it, but I really can't see the appeal of the story of Warhammer 40K. (I emphasize story because the games are pretty fun gameplay wise)

The entire setting seems like a big case of Darkness Induced Audience Apathy.

I read through some wiki pages and listened to my friends and have played enough of the games to know the basic premise and factions; and I couldn't give less of rats ass who wins. 90% of the characters are jackasses and the ones who aren't are probably dead knowing this setting, and that's not getting into how there are no actually "good" or even "meh" characters.

Hell reading the wiki alone made me feel uncomfortable, there's no hope, its overly violent and its practically childish; something an "edgy" thirteen year old would make up.

Not to mention its a tad misogynistic (Such as there being limited female soldiers that aren't part of the female only faction, the eldar or the dark eldar) and obviously caters to younger males. (Something that irks me to no end)

Can someone explain the appeal of this universe to me? Because to me it all seems over the top and plain stupid.

There are different views of warhammer.

1 side is black humor. People don't really care about hope, only humor.

1 side is serious, and how good and evil are only labels made up by the lesser intelligences.

Both sides are present or not depending on who is making the material.

also there are many females in warhammer lore. Its only the games that don't show them because developers don't want to make 2 different models for the same factions. The imperial guard is 50% female, but the games never show that out of developer laziness.

It follows nietzsche philosophy. Its not MEANT to be hopeful and happy because frankly hope and faith is NEVER based on evidence.

To be honest, I wasn't in the least bit interested in the broad 40k story.

That said, I LOVE the storylines in the specialty games. Necromunda especially is a great mash up of old westerns, Mad Max style post apocolyptia, and a touch of Judge Dredd Megacity-1 all rolled up in one. Gorkamorka and Space Hulk are also enjoyable for their own reasons too.

Double the case for Warhammer Fantasy (which already has FAR better lore on all levels than 40k). Mordheim and Dreadfleet had some great fluff that had just the right amount of over-the-top insanity.

One other thing; 40k is not a young franchise. It's been through many editions and many authors and creative minds. That might have something to do with problems with it.

daveman247:

And the fact there are no real good guys/ bad guys - everybody is just as bad as eachother: is what makes it interesting too - also makes it easier to choose a faction to buy if thats your thing.

I actually never found that a plus in any franchise, and also why WH Fantasy > 40k big time for me. You can at least sympathize with the Empire/Brettonians/Dwarves/High Elves (sometimes) and they're clearly more progressive than the forces around them.

I do not play table top games, so I can not comment on how 40k works in that regards, but the computer games are some of the most enjoyment I have had in RTS and hack-n-slash.

There are no good guys, you pick a side and it is as corrupt and xenophobic as all the others. Even the "good" guys, the space marines, backstab each other at the drop of a hat, you get morally bankrupt commanders and inquisitors that kill their own for inane reasons. It comes down to every small paranoid company of soldiers vs the entire galaxy... including their own side. One company of space marines comes across another, they could be tainted by chaos... who knows, no proof, but we cant take that chance KILL THEM ALL! KILL ALL THE PEOPLES!

Isn't it based off of the bible? The emperor is jesus, horus is judas etc. Pretty edgy and politically incorrect to call it childish :P

I don't know, but I have to wonder why you care so much. Why do you let it get to you that it appeals to other people? Aside from the fact that your friend won't shut up about it, that is. Even so you could just accept the fact that it appeals to him without stressing over the why of it. Just saying.

Dys:
Isn't it based off of the bible? The emperor is jesus, horus is judas etc. Pretty edgy and politically incorrect to call it childish :P

It's based off too many sources to count, honestly. The Bible is just one of many.

Saviordd1:

DJjaffacake:
-snip-

While I get the logic behind this statement it still baffles me. This is less "Chocolate or Vanilla" and more "This universe literally breaks rules that writing instructors put down to avoid making poor stories"

Reading this immediately made me think of the phrase "Those who can do, those who can't teach".
The fact that the story breaks rules on what makes good stories and yet people (and lets be honest, a lot of people) greatly enjoy it means that those rules are wrong, simple as that.

Yeah, I've always found it pretty silly. It just seems to be trying too hard to be "dark" and "extreme".

"So like, EVERYONE is at war with EVERYONE! And everyone is more BADASS than everyone else! They have spaceships the size of planets that blow up EVERYTHING! And there are these guys called the DOOM STAR KILLERS OF DEATH DOOM who drive tanks bigger than mountains! With BADASS spikes!

It's feels like a setting based on the margin doodles of a nine-year-old's schoolbook. I suppose it could be fun if it was done right, but it's all played so damn straight. It doesn't seem to realise that for all the grimdark-doom-death to have any weight you need to have something to contrast it with.

Saviordd1:

TheBelgianGuy:
-snip-

Yeah I wasn't clear, but I'm aware its a tabletop strategy game, and I don't mind that as it looks fun enough.

But I'm not talking about people who find the game fun or cool looking, I'm talking about the people who take the story 100% seriously.

But either way you have a point.

What rules?

Making no good guys?

That isn't a rule for adults. That is a rule for children's stories. Barely.

Saviordd1:

TheBelgianGuy:
-snip-

Yeah I wasn't clear, but I'm aware its a tabletop strategy game, and I don't mind that as it looks fun enough.

But I'm not talking about people who find the game fun or cool looking, I'm talking about the people who take the story 100% seriously.

But either way you have a point.

Curiosity, are you talking about people who take the story 100% seriously, or the people who take the lore 100% seriously? Because the story, in my opinion, is not meant to be taken seriously. It seems to me that they deliberately crafted it to be as bombastic and over the top as humanly possible. "In the grimdark future of the grimdark, people SPEAK ONLY IN CAPITAL LETTERS!" It has also been crafted to prevent any changes in the centuries old stalemate between the factions, but every race has a personality, and motives, and even a philosophy. These things are expressed through personal stories within the greater story of the basic conflict itself. The tale of Commissar Angryface, and his fabled Rough Stuff regiment. Colour Sergeant Saltydog in particular. This is what people draw out of the story and take seriously, I think. A comprehensive knowledge of the lore represents a level of expertise and investment with the material, and lore discussions therefore become a venue for True Believers to express how much they love the item in question. Unsurprisingly, lore discussions are rarely anything other than 100% serious.

I personally found the games quite entertaining but the moment the story kicks in I just shut down and the game with it. It is just not for me to the point that it can actively kill my interest or outright make me despise the game.

Zhukov:

It doesn't seem to realise that for all the grimdark-doom-death to have any weight you need to have something to contrast it with.

I think you hit the nail on the head for me.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked