NPC

by Argos

Original Action Adventure Comedy Fantasy Virtual Reality
Ever thought about how an NPC would do things? Welcome to the advanced world of Gaia, where the implementation of the NPC system means that Players will not be the only ones that are able to rise to the top.
Follow Michael as he lives his life and has his adventure; while he interacts with these intruding 'Otherworlders' and struggles to understand their oddities.
Will Michael be able to go through with his built-in task of becoming a Hero? Will the numerous players help him on his way? Or hinder him? And what about the mysterious Villain Programs that follow after...

Main story will mainly be from the NPC perspective. Side Stories will be by the POVs of the Players.

Original.
http://www.royalroadl.com/fiction/479
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JerrytheCherry
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Progressive Review. Will update as reading progresses.

Read up to: Chap 1

As I have seen your review of the fiction LNW, I was curious as to how good your own fiction was. I will be rather blunt and opinionated, so if you are sensitive as to your writing I suggest skipping this review. 

 

Style: 

As style is a rather subjective thing, I must say that what is written below is expressly opinion.

 

Prologue:

 At the start, the style seems to be somewhat forced, especially in the combat scenes. I believe this is a result of too much effort put into being descriptive. Possibly as a side effect, there are a few redundant sentences. 

 

An example of the combat feeling forced would be the first sentence of the prologue, 

“The man dropped low to avoid the claw aimed for his head and gave a counter stab at the close body”.

The last part of this sentence ‘at the close body’ feels rather awkward in phrasing and delays the combat, which should be rapid and flow quickly from sentence to sentence. Though what the ‘close body’ refers to is explained in greater detail in the second sentence,  ambiguous wording should not be used as it also forces the reader to pause in the middle of reading (which is undesirable in combat scenes). 

 

Chapter 1: 

Much much better. Not as much redundancy, not as forced. Seems like prologue was simply written in a hurry. 

 

Chapter 2: 

The affectionate parts are so syrupy it makes me shudder. -0.5

 

Story: 

 

Prologue:

I would give full marks to this as I love the premises of the story itself. The idea of  an NPC progressing through the ranks of power to compete with the players sounds interesting, and holds a lot of promise. It also provides a lot of room for expansion, and the ‘villain programs’ will no doubt provide some interesting opponents later into the story. However, a story is a combination of ideals and execution. I myself find that the style and grammar detract from that execution portion, and so I cannot give full marks for story. 

Chapter 1:

Better, style and grammar no longer issues this chapter. 

 

Grammar: 

Prologue:

Grammar is fairly good, but not perfect. One can find many mistakes as early on as the second paragraph. ‘Mistaken in‘, ‘only then did he notice’. Eighth paragraph ‘heavy weaponry was on the wall’. Watch out for basic grammar mistakes in your writing; this will turn off some of the readers. I will usually drop a fiction if I find too many basic grammar mistakes early on. This is because style and grammar are heavily correlated. Grammar mistakes can break the flow of the story and take a reader out of immersion, resulting in a stilted style. 

 

In fact, at the risk of sounding like an asshole (if I am not already sounding like one), I almost dropped this story when I saw the grammatical/punctuation mistakes in the relatively short description of the story: ‘Let’s follow Michael’, ‘built-in’, etc.

 

Chapter 1: 

Not as many mistakes. 

 

Chapter 2: 

Youch. Second part, Victoria is a 'women'?! Make sure to catch those basic grammatical mistakes. Later on, 'Heard of or seen'.

 

Character:

Character, going hand in hand with style, feels a little forced at the prologue. There is too much exaggeration on the part of the characters. It feels like the author is trying too hard to flesh them out. Character depth should not be achieved by sticking on random facts about the characters, but building layer upon layer of information about the character and allowing the reader to digest it. 

 

Chapter 1: 

Character is not balanced, but better expression of character than in prologue. 

 

Chapter 2:

His family is too cheesy in the intro. 

 

Final Remarks:

Many of these portions must be reevaluated as I continue reading into the chapters, especially the story and character portions of the score.

 

Prologue: 

I like the ideas of the story itself, but I feel that the fiction is not yet perfect, mostly owing to the need for improvement in the ‘style’ and ‘grammar’ categories. As I am a picky reader, I find it hard to immerse myself completely in the story and characters when the style and grammar are not perfected, and as such cannot give any perfect marks.

Chapter 1: 

Character was born into too blessed of an environment and is given many advantages right from the get-go. 

 

To be honest though, I have been going easy on most fictions I have reviewed and read up to now, and this fiction can still be counted among the top four or five fictions I have read on RoyalRoad. Keep up the great work. 

 

J.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MirriamGrave
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A loyal fan, with a biased opinion.

Despite the fact of my title. I still hope it will help people understand that this is a great series.

It was a good series before, which can be found under NPC (First Draft). It had a solid start, and impressive ideas. But I was one of those who felt that Michael was flat as a character. He didn’t really have any drive, or purpose, and kinda just slid along through life. The few side characters that appeared all had more character than he did.

But it was still well written, with an interesting ability to draw you into it.

When Argos decided to rewrite it, and furthermore, enlisted the help of others to both proofread it as well as help as editors.

I knew, I knew it was going to turn out amazing.

It would have turned out better than the original anyway, just because Argos felt like improving upon his work. But with him reaching out to get help? I am just waiting until it is published in my local bookstore or online for my Kindle to be honest.

 

The prologue and chapter 1 that he released today. They only verified my thoughts and hopes.

I truly felt these chapters Argos.  FIGHTING!

DarkD
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Still a little lazy, but getting better.

After hitting the two other series that I’m reading with harsh reviews, I thought I’d do this one.  Although I’m not sure how much I wanna read this one anymore. 

 

Style: My main problems here are lack of dialog tags.  I’ve asked the author about this in the past and he says he doesn’t trust himself to do them right. 

http://www.scribophile.com/academy/he-said-she-said-dialog-tags-and-using-them-effectively

There’s a tutorial, now can you do them?  I find that a lot of jokes fall flat without them, and conversations between more than two people get incredibly confusing.  All kinds of things are being messed up because the author can’t seem to add a “he said” to his dialogs…

 

Story: The author showed promise in a lot of areas with the new revamp, but they aren’t very well thought out so far. 

 

Michael for example has the world revolving around him a fair bit.  The idea that the wolves attack the fae settlement only when Michael makes his appearance is timely, I hope this doesn’t become a pattern where major events only happen when the protagonist comes along. 

 

There are a lot of alien subplots which really only drag down the main plotline.  They’re poorly done and tacked on.  I’m talking about the group of programmers shown at the beginning of the story who created the NPCs world.  Their introduction felt about as well done as the one about the genius scientist in LMS who made Royal Road. 

 

Last I read the author still had that scene where Michael shows off his ability to walk, run, and talk to a group of mothers in the period of a minute…  That has me screaming at both the protagonist and the story.  The protagonist for not realizing there was a problem with that, and the story for not burning him at the steak immediately after such a ridiculous display. 

 

Grammar: I don’t remember anything major here.  So until I read another chapter and remember what I had to complain about, I’ll just leave it with five stars.  Keeping in mind that I only take marks off for things that isn’t just a slip of the finger. 

 

Character:  The characters are better, but not inspired.  I don’t feel like anyone has been so well portrayed that they deserve five stars, and I don’t feel that any character is inspired enough to warrant it either.  They’re all pretty standard characters.  Neither do I feel any great emotional bonds with any of their backstories.  They’re semi-realistic people wandering through the plot the author has laid down for them. 

 

Take the Fae sister, yea her clan was killed, but she took it like a fairly unemotional champ.  Upon arrival at Michaels house, she fits right in.  She doesn’t have any culture of her own to blend into the house, she just gets enveloped in his. 

 

Take the parents, they’re pretty standard parents that fit the archetypes anime use all the time.  That’s good for anime, but don’t they have pasts?  Maybe there’s a story behind their relationship.  Maybe he was initially a mercenary on the human side of the war who was captured and as time went on they developed a relationship…

 

Argos actually brought up a good point in chat the other day.  He has almost no dialog, and claims that dialog tags wouldn't help him much.  I say good point, your lack of dialog is a biting criticism I ignored when reviewing this fiction.  It's symptomatic of two-dimensional characters which I've already lashed you over.  That's why they're two dimensional, you only make them talk when it advances the plot.  You never thought to make them talk to develop their personalities though.  I'm taking another half a star off character for this.  Thanks for the tip Argos. 

 

In summation: I’m using this mainly as a placeholder.  The problem with the style should easily be fixable, but the authors failure to fix it is having a very negative affect on his story.  His story is generic, I liked the thing about the wolves, but I felt that you could spend more time developing these things and making them hit harder with your audience.  You’re going in the right direction, but you aren’t trying very hard. 

Gask
  • Overall Score

Thoroughly Average

This review is based on my experience and thoughts reading up to chapter 5.

 

Sometimes less is more and when it comes to the introduction of the average reincarnation story here on RR then that catechism proves especially apt.  Here we have yet another protagonist with a "divine" advantage from the get go, a training machine whose only purpose and joy in life is the endless pursuit of strength and power.  Journey with him as he shocks the two dimensional characters around him with his obvious superiority and tireless effort.  Watch as he fumbles through text boxes and walks the gauntlet of endless stat point and skill acquisition... does all of this sound familiar?  If you aren't entirely new to the genre then it probably should.

 

Of course there is an obvious appeal to these sort of stories or else there wouldn't be so damn many of them floating around.  As such there is nothing inherently wrong with writing yet another one but there is something you should keep in mind when you do: How can I make this story different enough from the others to make it interesting and exciting?  So far as I have read there is nothing here that answers that question.  Yes the protagonist is a NPC but there isn't enough difference from any other RE:Whatever origin story to make it fresh or interesting.  As a result I was often bored while reading and found myself skimming through paragraph after paragraph of the same bland skill, stat, interface and training details that I have seen used in multiple other fictions. 

 

The only things to really grab my attention were when various people acted out of character or unreasonably like the sadistic 6 year olds or the sentient and overly human seeming wolf army and only because of how absurd it all seemed without any exposition.  Of course it is a fantasy and things don't have to fit real world logic but they do have to fit within the order of the fantasy world and without any exposition and world building it just comes off as hastily cobbled together nonsense.  When you couple that with the boredom I felt during the origin/training sequence then I think I've adequately explained why I have lost interest in this fiction.

 

If you are open to them then here are some rough suggestions on how to improve your future works:  Provide goals for your characters other then the pursuit of power for powers sake.  Do away with unreasonable & unearned character advantages and allow your characters to be real people full of flaws, regrets and past failures (a personality).  Build your world through character interactions and craft a supporting cast of thinking, feeling beings and not a cast of cliche shells who only exist to stroke the protagonist's ego from time to time or otherwise reward him.  Lastly reduce your reliance on game mechanics as they only serve to take the reader out of the moment and remind them that everything happening here is frivolous, fictional and gamey and by extension a deathblow to immersion and any attempt at serious story telling.

 

At any rate those are my thoughts and as harsh as they may seem they were sincere and motivated by a desire to be more helpful and insightful than an anonymous negative score would be.  Good luck and thank you.    

Vira
  • Overall Score

Great you have to read it !

nande? why is the chapter delate, please don’t do that

your story is very good and i’m your dedicated follower

 

Edit:

after careful read i realised that you decide to revamp your story, well that’s great :)

and good luck, waiting (not) really patiently for the the next chapter. and if you need an extra proofreader i can help with that. thank you for for the chapter

LostAndContent
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 I think I'm going to like this version a lot better.  Keep up the updates.

Wildlordlubu
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For those that didnt finish the original

It is was a good story and now it will be a better one atleast I hope so and in the description he has a url to the old version.

NorseWind
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it is going 2 be great i cant wait for this please release now

Tolack
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Very nice new prologue.

As someone who's read the "Original Draft", I have to say that this prologue has me more excited than his original. I can't wait to view this new progression.

 

As a side note, *deep breath*: HE HASN'T DELETED THE ORIGINAL!!! YOU CAN STILL VIEW IT!!!

IsUnavailable
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THE RE-VAMPINING HAS BEGUN!!!!

Yay! With the re-vamped chapters finally being posted I can enjoy one of my favorite FF again.

 

NPC is back babby!