There’s been some delay, mostly because the so-called “normal” pace of work at writeups.org is difficult to maintain. This is largely a result of our lack of manpower, so remember that we’re always interested in new persons joining the community, if only to comment and otherwise help with stuff.
- The minor entry for the green, talking Marvel Universe harpies was upgraded (texts and illustrations). Ditto for their buddy Menœtius, and for their employer the Huntsman of Zeus.
- The illustrations, layouts and texts for Dr. Lansing have also been redone. If you’re starting to suspect we got ahold of the TPB reprint of early The Champions issues, thou are correct.
- In the same vein our entry for Rampage (Stuart Clarke) was entirely redone – new illustrations, rewritten texts, and stats slightly polished.
- More Marvel entries got upgraded a bit based on last year’s Captain America sourcebook (additional illustration, official height and weight, etc.) :
- Our old entry for Synth (from Aztek) was curiously bad, and was rewritten.
- Gareth has a new arc of writeups about the well-regarded-but-low-selling series from 2007/2008, the Order. In this batch we have both the general entry for the team (as we do nowadays for clarity and brevity) and a full profile for team leader Anthem.
- The entry for Nemesis (Soseh Mykros) got a clearer title, some stats tweaks, reworked texts, a new lead illustration, etc.
- Tom has written up the famous Ivy, from Soul Calibur games. Furthermore, Yoshimitsu now has his full allotment of illustrations
- The first entry for Fury (Hippolyta Hall) was rewritten. Again. It’s a good training ground to sharpen’s one ability to write clearly about complex things. So now we have :
- Beangle, a PC from one of Ethan’s very old campaigns
- New banner for Paula Brooks’ second entry (as the Huntress) albeit one depicting her with a more, uh, modern costume and physique.
- Very quick touchup to the Fang entry to better indicate that it’s benchmarking notes. I’m adding such notes to old entries when possible – I assumed the age of articles was obvious, but I guess it’s not the case when you’re not part of the process.
- WONDER WOMAN. This arc has slowed down, but there’s still material to cover. In this batch, the powerful space gladiatrix Theana.
- Another round of illustrations from the original OHOTMU A-Z Marvel handbooks. The fuller edition is now being reissued as softcover trade paperbacks, for those of you who couldn’t afford the very cool hardcover run. Buy ‘em ! Note that several of those are the shot we already had, but with modern colouring and printing. Roll call (and yes, some of these writeups.org entries are very old):
- We’re also occasionally replacing some classic Marvel Handbook illustrations – the 1980 stuff – with high-res scans from TSR’s old Gamer’s Handbook to the Marvel Universe. These are just the same pictures in a much higher quality, though. One example is the Scarlet Scarab II, where the TSR picture (well-printed on good paper) also served as a guide to restore the original colour of the Scarab’s garb – which had shifted to hot pink since red inks didn’t age very well in comic books back then.
- Gwangi (the carnosaur from the 1969 movie Valley of Gwangi) has had its writeup upgraded by Ethan.
- Ethan’s Tangled entry for this batch is Maximus. Not the gladiator – that was another movie – but the horse.
- Years ago, the entry for Titanium Man was the first of a new generation of writeups, being very large and filled with tons of stuff – to a degree not matched by previous writeups. But now, we organise things differently.
Thus, the texts have be rewritten, the illustrations improved, the layout and organisation clarified, and the entry was broken into smaller, more focused writeups : entry 1 (1960s and 1970s), entry 2 (1980s and 1990s) and – you’ll never guess ! – entry 3 (current).
- And as long as we’re discussing Cold War Soviet villains from the Marvel Universe, let’s have Gareth’s profile for the Red Ghost. And since we believe in primate rights, each of the famous Super-Apes (Peotor, Mikhlo and Igor) has his own entry.
- Polished the illustrations for our semi-old Tarantula (Alvarez) entry and our old Tarantula (Law) entry, for no discernible reason.
- The entry for Col. Kira Nerys (Star Trek) has been revisited and large chunks redone.
4,797 entries as of now.
A quick activity report for the site for 2011 (using the Google definitions of terms):
- Close to a quarter-million unique visitors (230,400) over 2011
- The million pageviews that was hoped for was handily beaten at 1,255,400. Keep in mind that navigation pages (say, research results) count as pageviews, so it’s not one-and-a-quarter-million entries read.
- The core readership remains in the US, though the most dedicated readers remain on average the French and Spanish ones. Here’s the Top 20 of WORG readership by country :
- The entries for the Trunchbull and Iori Yagami were the most popular in 2011, followed by Giganta and Sheldon Cooper. The Trunchbull and Cooper seem to be the result of a link posted on some community sites, whereas Giganta and Yagami also seem to be doing well in search engines. Wonder Woman (Karate mod era) and Batwoman (Katherine Rebecca Kane) follow, after that the readership tends to disperse.
- A link on Cracked.com (about the aforementioned Wonder Woman article) and a link on movies.ign.com (about Blackout, the Ghost Rider villain) have been the – modest – highlights of our 2011 media presence, bringing in a few thousands readers.
- Presence on forum and social networks remains the more effective way to draw in more visitors (as are links in Wikipedia entries, though we don’t add those ourselves since some Wikipedia editors hate this with all-consuming hatred). Too few writeups.org fans do it, though – but even one person mentioning links on blogs, tweets, posts, status updates, etc. generally has a good impact. You know what to do !
And we’re back to our ordinary green selves.
The DC Adventures work continues, the main goal remaining to establish coherent standards and usages before there are hundreds of entries to revise for coherence (and we’re close to a hundred now).
Significant progress has been made, with full explanations in the Usage Notes & New Rules for DCA page :
- Details and notation for Growth, specifically low Ranks of Permanent Growth various huge characters have.
- A new Advantage called Rapid Fire, to Multiattack with ordinary weapons. It’s a rare case, but presenting such characters in a clean and simple way was a thorn in our side.
- There is new material about the Second Chance Advantage, both in our discussion of usage for defensive powers and in the OMACS II document.
- We’ve formalised and improved our take on non-superhuman Powers – usually fighting techniques and other schticks. There’s full explanation with examples about this approach to emphases the cool signature actions of certain characters and organise the character sheet.
Within the entries themselves :
- The Powers are now much more heavily commented in all the DCA entries of the site, and look clearer and more structured. The idea is to make it clearer to the readers what the rationale for the various Effects, Advantages, Skills, etc. within a Power is even if they don’t read the Powers & Abilities section.
- As with most sweeps to upgrade DCA writeups as we learn, there were also numerous small improvements throughout the entries.
- Characters with a signature paired-weapons fighting style (Vicious, Black Lotus, Pistolera) have their techniques presented in a new left hand/right hand format. It’s cleaner and makes situations where they only have one weapon easier and more interesting to handle.
- Large characters now have Growth to help drive the point home, and some characters with an extraordinary body density now have that represented as a Feature.
- The description of the most interesting changes can be found at the Wonderful Writeups.Org Thread Over At The Atomic Think Tank, starting here.
Our Generic Gnoll Warrior from Everquest now has DCA stats since those guys were the catalyst for the Growth progress.
Small change of background colour for the day – except on this page – as part of the anti-SOPA awareness campaign.
Those not aware of the SOPA problems can simply go to any Wikipedia page today.
There’s been a lot of obscure, generic villains with short entries lately – since that’s what many Game Masters need. Of course that probably won’t interest people who only click on names they know, but we can’t do much on that front.
- Buddy, the strange hero from the gonzo post-apocalypse movie Six-String Samurai. A master of swordsmanship and rock ‘n’ roll.
- STOCK PROFILES. A series of improvements based on the discussion that took place in late November :
- One new article with three profiles – stock bodyguards. The range of stock NPCs now look about complete. Well, at least when it comes to action-oriented stories – were the site about historical romance the stock NPC articles would be different.
- The stock police article has been upgraded and enriched
- A few minor changes here and there, mostly technical
- The old entry for Amanda Waller has been completely redone and is now way, way more extensive. Given the differences in interpretation of this landmark and complex character, the article is specifically about the character as written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale.
- As long as we’re in a Suicide Squad mood, Gareth completely overhauled the Count Vertigo entry, turning it into a full modern writeup.
- As a consequence of the latter, the Vertigo Power has been added to the writeups.org New Powers file for DC Heroes. We’ve also added two bits used in several entries (Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through)) and Kinetic Absorption (Structural Damage Only), though we continue to be quite deliberate – even plodding – with these pages for workflow reasons.
- Salwa of Bana-Mighdall, a sample DC Universe Online character because the worgmeister actually spent several hours playing silly video games instead of publishing stuff on the site !
- JIHAD. By Gareth and in this batch:
- TANGLED. With Rapunzel finalised (more illustrations were added), Ethan continues describing the main characters in Disney’s Tangled, starting with Flynn Rider (not his real name).
- SOUL CALIBUR. And in another arc, Tom covers Yoshimitsu – also well-known to Tekken players.
- The entry for Ah Keung (Jackie Chan) has been slightly revised for style and clarity. The entry for Karlak of Mu was also slightly revised, mostly to include a link toward Marvunapp.com’s recent article about Mu.
- WAR THAT TIME FORGOT. One of the last entries from that arc – the Great White Ape, an albino King Kong who beats up dinosaurs as a familial career. It’s a living.
- Current research revealed that White Tiger – the uplifted tigress – was an Isotope E New Man, whereas our entry hypothesised she might be an Isotope C one. The mistaken hypothesis has been replaced by the correct information.
- UNIVERSE AZ. The entry for Fairchild/Marvel Girl II has been updated.
- Our entries for the Thing have been slightly modernised and have been more explicitely noted as being old (12+ years) benchmarking notes.
And 4,784 entries. As a number, it looks kinda random.