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  • #76
    So hey, has this thread been anything but arguing over the viability of Thanos' motives and the depiction of the Infinity Gauntlet?


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    • #77
      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      OK.... so the math of all this has bugged me a bit.

      People are saying that using the powers of the Gauntlet to create infinite resources (or something similar) is superior to culling life. But that just doesn't add up with the information we're provided.

      I'd also note that Thanos never says his intentions are just to wipe out sapient life forms. He always says life in general (which is actually far more a set back to repopulation).

      The important factors are (1) beings below Celestials - including Thanos - can't fully control the stones and their power has negative effects on those that try, and (2) unchecked population growth is exponential. If you use the Gauntlet to create vast resources for all of life, life will grow until it needs more resources. This is essential Thanos' whole problem with life in general. Life grows to the resources provided. In the comics continuity there's even a cancer-dimension where life was granted unlimited resources and the whole universe is just a giant mass of cancer like movie Ego took over but with Deadpool's body (in that story they actually defeat the cancer-dimension by tossing Thanos in it to kill it). If such a vast alteration is so draining, the Gauntlet users will not have to do it every few thousand years, they'd have to increase the universe's resources on an exponentially decreasing amount of time until eventually the Gauntlet will need a Celestial level entity to take this over (and they aren't prone to liking this kind of change unless it's their doing) because no lesser being could use it often enough to keep up with life growing and needing new resources.

      Culling is a drastically more effective solution (it's why we cull animals as a matter of conversation in real life).

      Cutting populations down to an "ideal" life is something that Thanos/Thanos' heirs (something he clearly recognizes he needs) can do once and awhile at a fairly regularly and stable interval. As well, life by it's nature adapts. If the universe gets purged every time there's too much life, life with shift to equalize close to that number. Space fairing societies will avoid colonization to avoid growing their numbers too high. etc.

      I'm not defending Thanos, and I appreciate the issues with the narrative provided, but the unlimited potential of the Gauntlet and stones doesn't mean it can be utilized perfectly. If the energy of utilizing the Gauntlet by a non-Celestial is limited (which it is as presented) trying to maintain an infinitely resource supplied universe can't handle it, eventually it's a worse result than leaving the resource levels as-is and culling.


      All of which, the stones would be perfectly capable of achieving. They aren't called the "infinity stones / gems" because they thought it would sound cool. Their power is supposed to be literally infinite within the confines of their universe and the purviews they govern. Once you obtained the Reality Stone, you could rewrite the universe into anything you wanted and just straight up decide "The universe has enough resources for everybody. Period, end of discussion!" and if you weren't strong, or smart enough to handle that kind of alteration, the Power and Mind stones have you covered on that.


      Heck, you could even use the Time stone to replenish all the resources that have been used up, just like Strange used it to replenish an apple he had consumed.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
        So hey, has this thread been anything but arguing over the viability of Thanos' motives and the depiction of the Infinity Gauntlet?
        Not really but everyone seems to like the movie otherwise, it just seems to be a sticking point for some.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          So hey, has this thread been anything but arguing over the viability of Thanos' motives and the depiction of the Infinity Gauntlet?
          Once I see it this weekend, I can comment. Jeff Thew of Mother's Basement says it's pretty brilliant story-craft, so I still have hopes.


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          • #80
            Ok...imma go things one at a time.

            So the other thing people have been arguing about is:

            "Why didn't Doctor Strange stop Peter from ruining everything?"

            Well...for me, this gets into subjective territory but the way how I see it:

            I think Doctor Strange was lying when he said he saw 1 possibility out of 14 million timelines to beat Thanos. I think what he actually saw was 0.

            My evidence being:
            • Strange hesitating when he gets asked how many timelines did he see where they won.
            • Him going back on his earlier statement of "choosing to protect the Gem over saving any of [their] lives" by choosing to bargain for Iron Man's life for the Gem.
            • And his statement to Iron Man on "This was the only way!"
            That he knew from the start that there was no way they could keep the Time Gem away from Thanos. And that Peter losing his head at the wrong moment was just one of many. And probably among those timelines was him trying to stop Peter, and it failing.

            "Why couldn't he just sit Peter out of the whole operation?"

            Then there would be one less body in the plan, and capturing Thanos at all would have been much more difficult. And the rest of team would have questioned Strange on why he was sitting out Peter. Either he explains what happens...and they waste time and Thanos beats them. Or he doesn't tell them, they get confused on why he left him out, they're not operating at 100%, and Thanos wins.

            "Why didn't he try to stop Peter in that very moment?"

            Same as above: doesn't matter if he used the Time Gem right there and then (which in of itself would have exposed its location to Thanos) or if he sent his cape to stop Peter, to the rest of the team, they'll think Strange has lost it because he attacked one of their own. Either they'll stand their ground and look confused, or they'll stop what they're doing and try to restrain Strange from out of nowhere team-killing. That distracts them from Thanos, and Thanos wins.

            "If he knew they couldn't win, why go with a plan at all?"

            Because you know...what else was he going to say to the others? Would YOU tell them that they have 0 chance in winning, or would you try to keep hope alive by saying that there's at least *a* chance? I would.

            To bring this back to TRPGs...won't you think it's shitty/bullshit if you and your party comes up with a plan and your DM/GM/ST flat out tells you: "Ok then...there's no point though, you guys are going to fail anyways, no matter what you do"?

            ...so unless if people are saying that Strange should have meditated longer and investigated 15 or 16 million timelines instead of just the 14 million.
            Last edited by tasti man LH; 05-09-2018, 07:23 PM.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
              All of which, the stones would be perfectly capable of achieving.
              Which I addressed. The stones could, but the user isn't guaranteed to be able to. It is made repeatedly clear across the movies that how much of the infinite potential of the stones a single individual (at least below Celestial level) can tap into is a variable, and has negative consequences on the user if they push too hard.

              Thanos, as a flawed creature, can't harness the stones to create a perfect universe, so he creates a universe that is, from his perspective, better.

              Once you obtained the Reality Stone, you could rewrite the universe into anything you wanted and just straight up decide "The universe has enough resources for everybody. Period, end of discussion!" and if you weren't strong, or smart enough to handle that kind of alteration, the Power and Mind stones have you covered on that.
              The movie versions clearly don't follow the comics in this regard.

              Heck, you could even use the Time stone to replenish all the resources that have been used up, just like Strange used it to replenish an apple he had consumed.
              This doesn't negate the math issue. If the energy demands needed for a non-Celestial level entity to operate the stones grows beyond their ability to handle it, it malfunctions. Replenishing an apple is clearly well within Strange's abilities. Where's the sign that Strange could do that for every metabolic resource used in the entire universe, all the time?

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                So hey, has this thread been anything but arguing over the viability of Thanos' motives and the depiction of the Infinity Gauntlet?
                There have been a few random posts of things like “so, Spider-Man has Waldoes now, that’s cool.” But generally, Thanos’ motives have been one of very few contentious points, and therefore one of very few interesting discussion topics.

                You and Heavy Arms raise some excellent points, which make me think the issue might be less with Thanos’ motivation and more with the vaguely-defined capabilities of the Infinity Gauntlet and stones.

                Anyway, to maybe shift the topic a little but... Is anyone else worried that this storyline might harm the dramatic tension for the MCU overall? I mean, I wasn’t emotionally impacted as hard as I might have been by half the cast getting killed because I know they’ll all be back by the end of part two except maybe Vision and Gamora. I wouldn’t want death to lose its impact in the broader MCU as well.
                Last edited by Charlaquin; 05-09-2018, 08:07 PM.


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                • #83
                  Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                  Ok...imma go things one at a time.

                  So the other thing people have been arguing about is:

                  "Why didn't Doctor Strange stop Peter from ruining everything?"

                  Well...for me, this gets into subjective territory but the way how I see it:

                  I think Doctor Strange was lying when he said he saw 1 possibility out of 14 million timelines to beat Thanos. I think what he actually saw was 0.

                  My evidence being:
                  • Strange hesitating when he gets asked how many timelines did he see where they won.
                  • Him going back on his earlier statement of "choosing to protect the Gem over saving any of [their] lives" by choosing to bargain for Iron Man's life for the Gem.
                  • And his statement to Iron Man on "This was the only way!"
                  That he knew from the start that there was no way they could keep the Time Gem away from Thanos. And that Peter losing his head at the wrong moment was just one of many. And probably among those timelines was him trying to stop Peter, and it failing.

                  "Why couldn't he just sit Peter out of the whole operation?"

                  Then there would be one less body in the plan, and capturing Thanos at all would have been much more difficult. And the rest of team would have questioned Strange on why he was sitting out Peter. Either he explains what happens...and they waste time and Thanos beats them. Or he doesn't tell them, they get confused on why he left him out, they're not operating at 100%, and Thanos wins.

                  "Why didn't he try to stop Peter in that very moment?"

                  Same as above: doesn't matter if he used the Time Gem right there and then (which in of itself would have exposed its location to Thanos) or if he sent his cape to stop Peter, to the rest of the team, they'll think Strange has lost it because he attacked one of their own. Either they'll stand their ground and look confused, or they'll stop what they're doing and try to restrain Strange from out of nowhere team-killing. That distracts them from Thanos, and Thanos wins.

                  "If he knew they couldn't win, why go with a plan at all?"

                  Because you know...what else was he going to say to the others? Would YOU tell them that they have 0 chance in winning, or would you try to keep hope alive by saying that there's at least *a* chance? I would.

                  To bring this back to TRPGs...won't you think it's shitty/bullshit if you and your party comes up with a plan and your DM/GM/ST flat out tells you: "Ok then...there's no point though, you guys are going to fail anyways, no matter what you do"?

                  ...so unless if people are saying that Strange should have meditated longer and investigated 15 or 16 million timelines instead of just the 14 million.
                  Of course, none of this explains why, once they had Thanos restrained, Strange didn’t use a portal to cut off his arm like they did to the one big guy earlier in the movie instead of trying to pull the glove off.


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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                    Of course, none of this explains why, once they had Thanos restrained, Strange didn’t use a portal to cut off his arm like they did to the one big guy earlier in the movie instead of trying to pull the glove off.
                    I'm left with the impression that Thanos is a lot more durable to be easily dis-armed.

                    Considering that he took Thor's shiny new axe to the chest and wasn't insta-killed by it.

                    ...or that when they attempt to pick up the Gauntlet, someone accidentally touches one of the Gems, gets incinerated by it, distracts everyone, Thanos gets the gauntlet back, and they're back to square one.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      Thanos’ motives have been one of very few contentious points, and therefore one of very few interesting discussion topics.
                      ​I don't know; over on RPGnet, we have a side thread devoted entirely to pointing out little things that people enjoyed, that's about six times longer than this thread is.

                      (I am 100% aware that the RPGnet community, including in its Other Media forum, is far larger than this one)

                      Originally posted by Charlaquin
                      You and Heavy Arms raise some excellent points, which make me think the issue might be less with Thanos’ motivation and more with the vaguely-defined capabilities of the Infinity Gauntlet and stones.
                      ​I think that it's an opportunity cost thing; the film is already very long, and has to juggle a very large cast of characters (quite possibly the biggest of any blockbuster movie ever), as well as introducing some new ones and introducing a few additional concepts. As plot devices and as active components of the film, the Infinity Stones are certainly important, but there's just limited room to include much explanation for the exact parameters of their powers, and I can see them as taking the lowest priority in an already weighty film.

                      ​I think the manner in which the film ultimately portrays them is a compromise, but a necessary and well-crafted one; if they can't be heavily explained, then just show them in use, sufficient to convey the basics to an audience that is presumably already drawn in for the ride, and enough to extrapolate for somebody that wants deeper analysis.

                      ​So I think that it's enough for the film to show the Infinity Stones in use and allow one to determine the limits of their uses (in concert with what we see of Thanos' personality and capabilities). I don't think that there's anything blatantly contradictory enough to invalidate the depiction. I do think it requires a bit of buy-in from the audience, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, and when getting into subjects of extreme supernatural power, is kind of necessary.

                      ​Overall, I found the portrayal of Thanos and the presentation of the Infinity Stones (especially in the use of powers to create a thrilling and inventive action sequence, one of the best that I've ever seen, and certainly one that best utilised the premise that people on both sides were basically wizards) sufficiently compelling and well made that I'm willing to extend the film the benefit of the doubt regarding any minor inconsistencies. Like, in the fight scene on Titan, if Thanos is ever not using a Stone to the same extent that he has another time, or that it would be theoretically capable of, I'm willing to frame that as limitations arising from Thanos still being mortal and being pressed to his limit by the relentless and varied attacks being levelled at him, such that he's being driven by combat intuition and improvisation rather than having full recourse to consider application of the power down to the finest detail*.

                      ​I'm willing to give it that, because it's never not boring. The first thing he does in that battle is blow up a ship and then transfigure the debris into a flock of winged animals to attack Iron Man! That alone makes it instantly more interesting than anything that ever happened in a Harry Potter film.

                      Originally posted by Charlaquin
                      Is anyone else worried that this storyline might harm the dramatic tension for the MCU overall? I mean, I wasn’t emotionally impacted as hard as I might have been by half the cast getting killed because I know they’ll all be back by the end of part two except maybe Vision and Gamora. I wouldn’t want death to lose its impact in the broader MCU as well.
                      I think that's going to depend a bit on how the next Avengers film handles the challenge of it, but I would also find it highly credible for the trajectory of this narrative to go with characters resolving that the Infinity Stones represent too much power to ever allow anybody to have a chance at them again, which is placed as a higher priority than having access to a permanent reset button.

                      ​That they might have recourse to undo this one extreme, but that's all they ever get; the danger is too great to allow, and it's never a power that they'll have again.

                      ​Or maybe the Living Tribunal will just turn up to take it away when they're done, I don't know.

                      ​* If he'd had the Mind Stone, that might have been a basis for thinking that his own mental capabilities could have been enhanced to more effectively use other Stones. Mind being the last he gets probably owes a lot more to the dramatic significance of killing Vision for it, but it would be a happy coincidence in resolving such an issue.


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                      • #86
                        Not to mention it becomes a bit of a creative dead end whenever you have any storyline that involves granting someone unlimited power or time travel.

                        Because "Why didn't this character just use unlimited power to kill all of his enemies at once?"...doesn't make for an interesting story.

                        That the only real solution is "don't have stories that involve people getting granted unlimited power or time travel"...which in this case, it would come down to "Then Marvel Studios shouldn't have had Thanos and the Infinity Gems be their big metaplot in the first place".

                        Like, I consider Back to the Future to be the best time-travel story of all time...and people STILL find reasons to poke holes in it, to find any proof that "their time travel rules don't make sense" or "why they didn't think of doing this if they have time travel?"
                        Last edited by tasti man LH; 05-09-2018, 09:19 PM.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                          Anyway, to maybe shift the topic a little but... Is anyone else worried that this storyline might harm the dramatic tension for the MCU overall? I mean, I wasn’t emotionally impacted as hard as I might have been by half the cast getting killed because I know they’ll all be back by the end of part two except maybe Vision and Gamora. I wouldn’t want death to lose its impact in the broader MCU as well.
                          I'm not sure it harms the tension for the MCU in general, because it's extremely unlikely for the Infinity Gauntlet to stay something accessible to the rest of the movies. I think it hurt this specific movie, because I don't know anyone that buys Marvel trying to claim that they're not going to in-universe retcon things (esp. with multiple characters that either were slating for more films or Marvel would be stupid to not make more films with). But the stones will be destroyed or locked away again, so death in general will remain a meaningful consequence in the overall franchise.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                            Anyway, to maybe shift the topic a little but... Is anyone else worried that this storyline might harm the dramatic tension for the MCU overall? I mean, I wasn’t emotionally impacted as hard as I might have been by half the cast getting killed because I know they’ll all be back by the end of part two except maybe Vision and Gamora. I wouldn’t want death to lose its impact in the broader MCU as well.
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            I'm not sure it harms the tension for the MCU in general, because it's extremely unlikely for the Infinity Gauntlet to stay something accessible to the rest of the movies. I think it hurt this specific movie, because I don't know anyone that buys Marvel trying to claim that they're not going to in-universe retcon things (esp. with multiple characters that either were slating for more films or Marvel would be stupid to not make more films with). But the stones will be destroyed or locked away again, so death in general will remain a meaningful consequence in the overall franchise.
                            Amusingly, Polygon released an article related to the subject...specifically on adult fan's perspective versus a child fan's. Which...sort of puts things into perspective about the other audience members.

                            Now while I don't buy that all of these deaths are permanent, I at least appreciate the the in-movie impact and presentation of the ending not to be mad at it.

                            ...also, James Gunn confirmed awhile ago that GotG vol 3 is going to center around Gamora. So unless if he was completely bullshiting everyone...

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                            • #89
                              Which is entirely possible. Gunn requested Yondu's actor show up in full makeup on the set of Ragnarok and had an Infinity War cap made for him just to throw fans off the scent of Vol. 2's ending. Marvel trolls their fans hard to keep them second guessing.


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                              • #90
                                I do get the point about kids, but it's a PG-13 movie, and I'd imagine most 10-15 year olds that have watched enough of the previous movies to care about the characters that got killed are going to have more of the adult reaction; I would have back then since I'd already realized death was cheap in comics and franchise movies by that point. There's certainly part of the audience still in the group that's invested enough to care, and not desensitized to comic book narratives, that are going to have the "kid" reaction in the article. I'm just not convinced it's that generational.

                                The impact of the deaths was really on the actors because they sold those deaths as real to their characters beyond what the sequel will do. I thought a lot of performances in the finale were fantastic at managing a perfect balance of horror and being numbed by the anticlimactic nature of everyone just dusting away instead of epic battle deaths. The sheer disbelief that it was really that easy for Thanos to kill them like that, or the resignation in those that had accepted it.

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