Needs Help: Generic Doomsday Villain

Deadlock Clock: 13th Apr 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [48]
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There's something wrong with Generic Doomsday Villain. I don't know exactly what, but I found out several months ago since when I asked for clarification on what it meant, no one could really tell me what it meant. It's clear that we have a problem here. I also proposed that we make it YMMV, but everyone who answered to me said to take it to TRS.

So here are the potential problems with this trope:
  • The description isn't clear enough.
  • The name isn't clear enough.
  • The trope isn't YMMV even though a lot of people put it on the YMMV page anyway.

edited 9th Feb '13 9:55:16 AM by WaxingName

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2 SeptimusHeap9th Feb 2013 10:16:24 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A villain with no motivation or goals is the closest I can find.

The name can be read as this, but also as other things, including "poorly-written villain" - I suspect a lot of people putting this in YMMV believe it's the latter.

edited 9th Feb '13 10:18:11 AM by SeptimusHeap

3 AnotherDuck9th Feb 2013 10:30:57 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I think the description might be a bit long. There's an awful lot of text for a type of character that's by definition very simple.

The way I see the trope is basically a villain as a plot device, not a character. I don't see a YMMV in this, since it's mainly about the villains motivations, or lack thereof. I don't think bad writing comes into account, since you still need to write badly in a certain way.

I don't think the name is that troublesome.

Interestingly, it has exactly as many wicks as inbounds.
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4 SeptimusHeap9th Feb 2013 10:55:16 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The first line of the description is what I got for the trope.

And looking through that thread, I'd say they agreed on the definition but expressed themselves in different fashions.
But on an In-Universe level — the level on which the audience relates to the story and suspends disbelief — what matters is whether the character is consistent and coherent and has a compelling reason for what they do. Just like a good hero, a good villain is someone we care about, either because they're someone we empathize with or someone we Love to Hate. A Generic Doomsday Villain is none of these things. They're all power and no personality.

I have a feeling that this paragraph of the description is what is causing many of the problems.
6 AnotherDuck9th Feb 2013 11:34:30 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
The thing is, the longer description you have, the more text you have that people will inevitable misinterpret. I think it would be doable with three or four paragraphs.

[down]I thought about taking a shot at it, but it's too late now. I'll see if I remember it tomorrow.

edited 9th Feb '13 12:35:59 PM by AnotherDuck

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7 SeptimusHeap9th Feb 2013 12:18:30 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Does anybody have a shorter description?

Also, I note that 160+ wicks is a bit little for such a trope, I dare say. That said, the name seems to have caught up.
8 Madrugada9th Feb 2013 01:12:26 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Worked on the definition. Better? Suggestions?
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
One issue I have with the name is that the apparent Trope Namer Doomsday isn't really an example of this trope anymore. He was an example at one point, but DC has since fleshed out his backstory and gave legitimate reasons as to why he acts like that.
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Pretty sure doomsday is a word in English.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
11 nrjxll9th Feb 2013 05:44:49 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
If there was meant to be a Trope Namer, it's news to me.
Well, everything on the wiki claims that Doomsday is the Trope Namer. It's the first example in the comics folder. The reason that's not a good thing is because of Fan Myopia, since not everyone will remember Doomsday as a flat villain.
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We should also never put "generic" in a trope name. It's as bad as "formulaic" or "typical."

Yeah, the page covers something that obeys a formula. AKA "it's a trope."
Frankly, the description doesn't look that bad to me. It's just too long, so I tried to shorten it.

The Generic Doomsday Villain is an overpowering antagonist without a believable goal, motive or plan. They do not seek revenge, they're not trying to fix the world and they're not really trying to accomplish anything beyond destruction. So, why are they evil? Because they're spreading destruction and misery. And why are they spreading destruction and misery? Because... they're evil.

A story needs a villain to drive the plot forward and to give the heroes something to foil, but sometimes writers fail to add credible reasons for their behavior. Power, but no personality. You know you are dealing with a Generic Doomsday Villain when you can imagine them being replaced with a natural disaster or a completely different villain, and the plot would pretty much still work the same way.

Not to be confused with Diabolus ex Nihilo or Invincible Villain.

Edit: Oh, it didn't look that bad because Madrugada already went and did something. I missed that post. Okay, never mind.

edited 9th Feb '13 9:07:07 PM by Arha

15 Madrugada9th Feb 2013 09:18:04 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Amy, in this case "Generic" is helpful; the character is generic, ("Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class; general") in the sense of having no distinguishing factors from any other similar character. They're interchangable; they're generic.

By the same token, "Formulaic" would be perfectly acceptable in a trope name about a plot or type of work that always follows the same formula.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
16 AnotherDuck9th Feb 2013 10:30:05 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
[up][up]I was writing something up, but that's about what I had. I think that's enough. Although without the circular links.

At the very least, I don't think last two paragraphs are necessary, since it's not interesting to know a trope can be used on purpose (all tropes can be), nor that sometimes retcons and later additions change the villain.
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17 SeptimusHeap10th Feb 2013 01:48:09 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Never heard of Generic Doomsday Villain having a trope namer, and regardless, the current name works just fine with the "doomsday". In fact, I'd say it makes the name wittier.
18 AnotherDuck10th Feb 2013 02:21:16 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I wasn't even aware there was a villain called exactly that. Something similar, sure, but not that.
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There's another issue with how this trope is being put on YMMV pages. Should we just take it off of those pages, then?

And if so, can we add a note that says that this trope is not subjective?
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20 SeptimusHeap10th Feb 2013 06:54:16 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Take it off, but remove any "this is bad" or "Tropes Are Not Bad" natter when moving.
I'm also thinking of putting a numbered list of the rules to be a Generic Doomsday Villain to clear up confusion. Should I do this?
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22 SeptimusHeap11th Feb 2013 10:51:34 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
No. Numbered lists look ugly. Also, I think that the first sentence of the description catches the trope well enough.
A numbered list of rules to qualify for the trope has got to be one of the worst possible ways to write a description.

Let's not do that.

edited 11th Feb '13 11:56:14 AM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
If the description isn't good enough as is there's my writeup above, but really, I don't think it's actually that bad as it is.

So, the problem is that it's on YMMV tabs when it shouldn't be, right? Seems to me we should simply fix that and then check back on it in a few months to see if the problem has continued.
I've eliminated every link of Generic Doomsday Villain on every YMMV page that is a bullet point.

Now, one more thing about the definition. If a villain actually has a motivation or a justifying backstory, is that an automatic disqualification from this trope? It's just that the boundaries of a GDV have been very blurry to me.
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Total posts: 48
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