‘Not A Villain’ Webcomic – Page 423

Colors by Jemma and Audrey. Everything else by me.


And Whisper finally gets introduced. Cue headache for Danni (and me).
Also, Miss Dude, for those that forgot that reference.

Random Background Info (cause I know it's gonna get asked):
Way back when the Game was first released, it also had a universal chat where you can basically "shout out" to the others in a given area via a group chat. But after the Ending and as the Game became more and more a spectator sport, that was done away with since the Watchers couldn't see it. Whispers were kept since it's a one on one thing, plus it has some cons (which will show up in the comic).

And Really Random Trivia:
The Whisper is one of the few things that carried over from the defunct novel version of NAV. Ironically enough, neither character in this page where in said defunct novel.


…But isn’t the way they are talking out loud now the group chat for the area? I mean… IDK in MMORPGs I played things said in public group chat usually get written above the player’s head in the game so it’s basically the same as conversing out loud (minus actual voice) and any hypothetical Watchers can see it too…

Also, who’s talking? I can’t figure out the color-coding… Dude? Kat? Bandit?


Kat is talking to Danni in the “private chat” (person-to-person). In Everquest 2 we have many chat channels, only 2 of which show up as chat “bubbles”, Local Chat and Group Chat. Looks kind of like what is happening here, but they are using voice comms, I think.


I assumed it was Dude based on the fact that he’s the one “talking normally” while he’s Whispering to her, as confusing as that would be to do. Imagine typing a conversation to someone while you talked to them at the same time. Possible, but confusing.


I think it’s more like switching between 2 microphones.


Is the other part so loud whispering, that it hurts Danni? That would be a bit paradox, even if it was to stop her from screwing her popularity, what should be increasing so far.

Also, is it more telepathic, when ones whispers or do they really have to talk?


Wait, who’s whispering to Danni? o_o


I’m going to assume it Kat.


I don’t know, it doesn’t really feel like Kat’s personality… but then again, I have never been all that good at recognizing a personality.


Dude’s whispering to her. Note that he tells her to keep talking normally, and then says something out loud. In addition, right after mentioning that Jane should be more wary of her he asks about her pop stats in whisper. She also responds to the whispered conversation by talking directly to Dude.


Huh, when I go back and re-read it with THAT assumption, it really works out!


Ah, that explains it. Brandon’s really a good actor, huh.
I was thinking it’s more in Dude’s character, but his reaction threw me off.


Hi! Never commented before. But guys, do you really think Kat would tell her “You’re missing out!” ??? It’s dude. Same way he tried to spin her kick into something that was super powerful; trying to look good for the viewers. He’s trying to help her out.


Huh, yeah. The Dude’s a really nice guy.

I think people are missing something more important then whispers existing, it’s how Dude is acting. He is helping dani out, exagerating her kick (apparntly) and doing his best to make her look good. He is really working to help her out. He is also doing it subtly. The Dude doesn’t act subtle usually. I think this is a good sign that a little bit of his attitude and apparent ineptitude in the game is played up intentionally. He is more competent then he comes across I think, he just enjoys playing the fool, and presumably even his audience enjoys… Read more »

Yeaaaa, I didn’t understand at first, but I bet you (and the others) are right. I’m still convinced Dude is a very underestimated mastermind.


Well, these last couple of pages show that Dude is not the idiot he seems… I think we are finding out a way to increase the Mani alignment…

Alexander The 1st

Well, decreasing the Mani alignment, since choosing to attack prompts the check to see if the Mani person actually killed or not.

That said, the Dude has never been completely stupid – right when Jake enlists him, Jake tries to get him to get to Kat and Danni earlier on.

He just knows he’s not the absolute best, so he does what he can to make himself look less aware of his situation specifically so that he gets the advantage of people underestimating him, even if he really is still weaker than them.


Mani, not morto. We haven’t heard much about Mani yet.

Wait… Has Bandit figured out that Dani’s trying to switch alignment yet? If so, we might be seeing the Dude intentionally switching more over to a villain alignment here…


Of course the Dude can to more than running away and getting his face kicked in. ^^

I mean, he DID win his spot during the tournament after all.


How does Kat hear what Dani is saying if Dani isn’t in whisper mode? Is Kat subtly cheating here?


Whisper is a special chat channel that means only you and the recipient can hear. By default in most games, your chat goes into the “general” (anyone in the instance can hear), “say” (anyone nearby can hear), or “group” (anyone in your party can hear) channels. Given that no one has reacted to messages outside of hearing range, my guess is that The Game uses “say” by default, so anyone nearby Dani (plus any Watchers) can hear her.


They don’t do that too often in modern MMO’s, do they?
That’s totally an old MUD thing as far as I can see!


I know at least The Old Republic and TERA have whisper functionality, and I think it’s actually pretty standard in MMOs.


Also WoW and FFXIV. It is indeed considered pretty standard to have such functionality. (Actually – I understand FFXIV originally launched without this feature and it caused players to get REALLY angry that a modern MMO would leave it out. So I guess it’s unlikely an MMO could be successful without such a feature.)


To be fair, FFXIV had a lot of problems at launch – A Realm Reborn is basically a whole new game. But yeah, whisper is a standard feature.


The other way we know it’s Bandit whispering and not Kat is that the whisperer cares what the watchers do and do not like. I don’t think Kat is that on top of the whole popularity thing yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if she can see the whispers anyway though!


We think it’s Dude, not Bandit.


I really hope you release that novel someday.


Aneeka, at this point, the reader has been conditioned to always think that Kat is doing the more technical/sneaky stuff, which is what confused me until I read Vivian’s comment. If you’re going to do whispers like this, there are a couple things that would make it less confusing.
First, it all would have worked fine if the text would have started with Dude. 😉
Second, you could have small print that says something like, “Whisper: [Character]” at the top left of the first box. Then, if there are multiple whispers at once, have the borders color coded.


I actually believe it is color coded. Okay, it is the first time “the whisper” is introduced, so it was somewhat confusing, but, now we understand what whispers are, and we will recognise them when we see those textboxes.


No one can hear this except you and me and Kleya.

(And D. And TENka. And anyone who bothers to listen.)

Snoots Dwagon

Okay, this is probably a dumb question, but I a dwagon. Is allowed.
Is the “defunct” novel still available for reading anywhere? Would love to read it. : )


Has it ever been addressed how old Danni is? Her LiFe avatar gives the feeling that she is in her 30s, while her game avatar gives the feeling that she is in her 20s. Or is it just a matter of not asking a woman her age ;)? (Hmm, there is a nagging part of my mind saying I have asked this before).


Danni mentions her parents enough that I think she’s still a kid — I’m guessing about 17 years old.

Some of the disadvantages of Whispers have already been pointed out or implied here: a) learning to distinguish between ‘public’ chats and whispers, b) participating in a whispered conversation while continuing to act normally (so Watchers don’t twig), c) being able to do so while effectively concentrating on what you’re doing in-game is likely to likely to take a lot of practice – never mind additional tasks such as checking out your stats at the same time, d) any actions taken as a result of a whispered conversation must still appear natural – doing something novel / unexpected early after… Read more »

Is the first panel just a picture of Dude thinking/recovering his senses, or was that an eye-flick to initiate the whisper?