Follow TV Tropes

Discussion Timeline / Homestuck

Go To

Dec 15th 2014 at 2:34:42 PM •••

I've been thinking about how to update this page, but I'm not sure how to account for the longer timeline branches that have resulted due to John's retcon powers. It now longer works to have a single linear timeline for the Alpha session. Thoughts?

Sep 30th 2011 at 10:44:32 PM •••

Why does this exist.

Andrew has the recaps for a reason. We can just use those, no?

Hide/Show Replies
Oct 2nd 2011 at 4:11:37 AM •••

I'm not sure.

Also, re Hass: I think using Grandpa's Lady Mondegreen-induced Fan Nickname was used as a Running Gag here. Of course, that may not be appropriate for a recap.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 2:55:40 PM •••

I felt like the Timeline might be useful when it was placing important events within the story- where, with the Weird Time Shit nature of the story, you might be confused. I think the panel-by-panel total recap is a waste of effort, though.

Oct 3rd 2011 at 12:10:11 AM •••

Same here: The timeline as it is now is far too detailed.

Oct 3rd 2011 at 1:37:58 PM •••

Yeah it just reads like a big wall of text. Certain dates, like when the kids fell and the actions of certain lead up things; that's useful, but straight recapping is unnecessary considering Andrew's done it 3 times and there's bound to be a fourth soon.

The use of Hass is not appropriate either I feel, I edited out some of them and corrected some spelling mistakes. Provided nobody has any objections, sometime in the next few days one of us should go through and clean out the page, provide links to the recaps, and so on.

Oct 8th 2011 at 1:41:18 PM •••

The recaps there are helpful, yes, but it seems like there should be more than just the timeline of Earth. Homestuck is told in a completely anachronical order, so the timeline becomes really tangled and confusing. Granted, that could be a reason for there no longer being any greater timeline.

Oct 8th 2011 at 8:57:00 PM •••

As the creator of the Homestuck timeline page and one of its most frequent contributors, I suppose a statement of intent is in order.

Firstly, while Hussie's recaps are helpful, recap pages on this wiki are a thing. We have a namespace especially for them. They're there even when summaries and analyses already exist on other websites. We don't delete them and replace them with links to already extant recaps (unless of course they're pretty much copy-pasted from there, but that's another matter entirely), because the articles here offer a different, more trope-oriented perspective.

(And really, Hussie's recaps can be pretty confusing and Wall Of Text-y. Alternatives should be welcomed, not discouraged.)

However, even if that weren't the case, the Homestuck timeline isn't intended to be a simple recap. As noted by several others on this page, the story is told in Anachronic Order, even before you count the Stable Time Loops and other Weird Time Shit. The timeline is intended to put all events in chronological rather than narrative order, which may or may not help readers to make sense of everything.

A single timeline isn't really adequate, though, as there are multiple universes in Homestuck, each with their own timelines that intersect in odd ways. Thus the separation into Earth, Alternia, Human Session, Troll Session, Furthest Ring, and Hussieverse timelines. It's been established that each of these is a separate timeline that has no bearing on the chronology of the others, though they intersect with varying frequency.

I admit that the play-by-play I've been doing is rather excessive, but there is a reason for it. Many seemingly insignificant actions early on have much greater significance later; the sylladex shenanigans that lead to the maiming and prototyping of the harlequin doll during the first act are a prime example. Many seemingly pointless items are also later used in alchemization binges and the like. The idea I'm working off of is doing an extremely detailed timeline first, then streamlining it after I'm sure that everything is accounted for. Perhaps it would be a better idea for me to do that sort of thing in Word than on the the wiki, though, or perhaps we could separate the timeline into folders or even separate pages if it gets too long.

Basically, it's not intended to be as detailed as it is for John and Rose's entry sequences forever. In fact, the kids' entries are probably the worst of it.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 8th 2011 at 11:46:24 PM •••

This seems like a pet page personally; not to mention some of your facts are misleading (Using Hass as canon, the section for LOSAD, a few others). Honestly there is no need for this page. You say Hussie's recaps are just a huge Wall of Text, but this page is arguably even worse. Besides it's a bit overly wordy. Do we really need seperate subsections for each of the ancestor trolls instead of just saying "They all fell at different times throughout Alternia's history (sans the Handmaid)."?

Basically let me just boil it down to my main faults with it; the timeline as it stands is not a timeline, but a huge list of events in the comic. Organizing things past a certain point as well is impossible, as it's more or less guesswork when various events fall. Homestuck is confusing and anachronistic yes, but Andrew has the recaps and they're pretty much anything someone would need to know about the events of Homestuck. And, no offense intended, it's better in general as Andrew doesn't make mistakes about Homestuck canon, whereas any troper is fallible. In essence then, this page feels redundant to existing resources that we already provide to curious people; we link to Andrew's Formspring and the MSPA Wiki on the main page, and adding recap links would be easy.

Oct 9th 2011 at 1:20:59 PM •••

The recaps do not provide information in chronological order, nor do they include, by their nature, any events which occurred after the most recent recap. (Which is hundreds of pages out of date by now.) Also, the MSPA wiki does not have a comprehensive timeline; such information is scattered throughout its many pages, making figuring out the actual order of events a matter of hours of intensive wiki-hopping and detective work rather than a few minutes of reading a single page. A timeline page is thus hardly redundant.

Also, the timeline most certainly is a timeline. The events are far from impossible to organize into a coherent order. If you have to resort to guesswork to figure out when things fall, you're just being lazy; the information is there, if you're willing to look for it.

If you're referring to the fact that much of the timeline doesn't have a specific time or date associated with it, that's because time and dates simply aren't given for many events, and our dating system doesn't apply to the Medium, the Furthest Ring, or Alternia in any case. Even without dating, the sequence of events is still evident. (If you honestly couldn't tell without clear labelling, top to bottom = past to future, just like a timeline with dates. Indented events follow this same logic, just elaborating on a smaller time period—the sequence of events in a single day in a timeline that tracks months, years, or centuries at a time, for example.)

As for the possibility of troper error, that's true of any page. This is a wiki. Mistakes are easily fixed with Wiki Magic.

The only complaint you have that is actually valid is that the page is rapidly becoming one big Wall of Text, which is an issue of formatting and organization, not content. We could folderize the different timelines, or split them into separate pages much like the Homestuck examples, WMGs, and character sheet are. (This is probably a good idea, actually. I freely admit that parts of it could use streamlining, but much of the lengthiness comes from the fact that Homestuck is a lengthy comic. Any page relating to it will rapidly become overloaded. Look at all of the other Homestuck pages—most of them are either folderized or split, and the ones that aren't probably should be.)

Outright deleting everything and linking out to preexisting recaps is going too far, though, not mention missing the entire point of this page. It's not a recap. If it were, it would be in the Recap namespace, and be done in an entirely different style. It's a listing of all the events in Homestuck in chronological order, as close as we can manage.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 9th 2011 at 6:14:41 PM •••

I have to disagree; organizing events in say, the Troll Session is pretty much impossible. Yes you can say "X happened, then Y" but there are continual flashbacks that we simply have no context to connect. Likewise if you insist that events past [S] Descend (or Jade's Entry) are easy to organize, I disagree strongly, because with exception to John, everyone has been doing things off panel and we're only seeing about half of their actions. For instance, if you follow John roughly from the time of his death on the Quest Bed to the Scratch, you could probably guess at some of Rose's actions happening at approximately the same time, but even trying to organize what Dave was doing or Jade is pretty much not going to happen.

Why are things being told in an out of precise order a bad thing? Andrew is actually pretty good about them being mostly in order, and the few tangents that arent are for flashbacks or flashforwards that happened during the progression of the story.

Once again, this feels overly like a pet page, not to sound rude. "the page is rapidly becoming one big Wall Of Text, which is an issue of formatting and organization, not content." for instance; isn't the point you've been driving at is that it's only going to become even more intricate as you improve the page?

Here's a list of just some of the faults I see. There's no need to list every alchemization (considering most of them are one of gags), there's no need for the super refined sections about the entries, Doomed Timelines make MUCH more logical sense to be mentioned when they branch off, the page as it actually stands is slightly out of order (Pre-Scratch Alternian Session is technically the earliest known event in the comic yet it's below the Humans), how can you in any fashion know the order the Trolls fell in (save that Karkat fell last), the Condensce actually arrives at the exact time the Handmaid makes her escape attempt, it's impossible to organize the exact order of the entries of the Blue and Red teams after a point (Karkat, Terezi, Gamzee, Equius, then it's impossible to say because we never get given any other entry in relation to another), the page is rife with jokes that really don't need to be there (Nick Cage), and the LOSAD and Hussie sections are irrelevant.

On a larger scale, breaking the events into sections and subsections leads to confusion; a better way would be to make up a prefix similar to what you did with the Critical Event and then organize via that. Otherwise it wouldn't be hard for someone to believe that each section takes place after the above sections which is untrue. And despite what you say, I honestly believe the recaps serve better than this page does; they're provided within the context of the story, written by the creator who knows Homestuck better than you or I, and are by and large temporally consistent.

Oct 9th 2011 at 7:51:23 PM •••

The recap pages are better, yes...as recaps. They don't work very well as timelines, this page is a timeline, not a recap. They serve very different functions.

If you're approaching this page as a recap, then of course you'll find it inadequate. That's not what it's for. Trying to use Hussie's recaps as timelines is similarly futile.

I have to disagree; organizing events in say, the Troll Session is pretty much impossible. Yes you can say "X happened, then Y" but there are continual flashbacks that we simply have no context to connect.

This is completely false. Hussie is very good about leaving contextual clues as to when flashbacks take place. Just because you haven't noticed them doesn't mean they aren't there.

Likewise if you insist that events past [S] Descend (or Jade's Entry) are easy to organize, I disagree strongly, because with exception to John, everyone has been doing things off panel and we're only seeing about half of their actions. For instance, if you follow John roughly from the time of his death on the Quest Bed to the Scratch, you could probably guess at some of Rose's actions happening at approximately the same time, but even trying to organize what Dave was doing or Jade is pretty much not going to happen.

Again, false. Aside from flashbacks and associated contextual clues, the characters frequently state outright what they've been doing off-panel, or at least hint at it strongly enough that placing them in a timeline becomes possible. Or were you referring to the impossibility of doing a play-by-play of every move they make as I have been doing for John and Rose's entry sequences? I agree, that is quite impossible. Fortunately, it's also unnecessary. It's enough to note down the events in the comic in the chronological order that they occurred. That's what a timeline is, after all.

isn't the point you've been driving at is that it's only going to become even more intricate as you improve the page

You misunderstood me. I am not planning on making the timeline even more complicated. Quite the opposite, in fact. What I said was that I intend to complete the very detailed play-by-play sequences to ensure that nothing important is missed, then prune out the unnecessary details. I admit that this might be better undertaken in a word processor than on the wiki proper, though. Hindsight is 20-20, as they say.

There's no need to list every alchemization (considering most of them are one of gags),

Alchemization is very important overall, and given that Homestuck is incomplete, we cannot yet say if those apparent one-off gags will turn out to be significant. It would hardly be the first time.

Doomed Timelines make MUCH more logical sense to be mentioned when they branch off, the page as it actually stands is slightly out of order (Pre-Scratch Alternian Session is technically the earliest known event in the comic yet it's below the Humans),

Something you have to remember is that this isn't a single timeline; it's multiple intersecting timelines. It's explicitly stated in-comic (several times, in fact) that time in Sburb, the Furthest Ring, and Alternia don't really relate on a linear basis to time on Earth, and vice versa. So the top-to-bottom chronology really only applies within each individual timeline, as Alternia's past or future doesn't really have any bearing in Earth's, occasion intersections aside.

Doomed timelines are actually a bit of a problem. On the one hand, yes, it does make sense to have them branch off at the point where they, well, branch off. On the other hand, how to represent this without cluttering the page? Indentation already means further elaboration on a smaller time period within a larger timeline, and doomed timelines are explicitly separate timelines from the original. The current setup, where doomed timelines are briefly summarized at the end of their alpha timelines, is the compromise that was eventually settled on.

Perhaps there should be a note at the start of the page explaining all this. I thought it was self-evident, but if it's really that confusing...

how can you in any fashion know the order the Trolls fell in (save that Karkat fell last), the Condensce actually arrives at the exact time the Handmaid makes her escape attempt, it's impossible to organize the exact order of the entries of the Blue and Red teams after a point (Karkat, Terezi, Gamzee, Equius, then it's impossible to say because we never get given any other entry in relation to another),

We can't know the order the trolls fell in, of course, but we had to put them is some order. If Hussie ever elaborates on this,it will be edited. Also, you're wrong about the Condesce; the Handmaid escaped 612 years after Sgrub, but the Condesce arrived 612 sweeps after Sgrub. A sweep is a little over two years, so the date given for the Condesce's arrival is correct.

As mentioned before, there's generally a lot more context in the comic for event sequencing than you seem to have noticed.

the page is rife with jokes that really don't need to be there (Nick Cage), and the LOSAD and Hussie sections are irrelevant.

While naming Jade's Grandpa as Hass was an honest mistake on my part (I don't know where I picked up the idea that that was canon) Nick Cage's surviving the apocalypse is Word of God. Granted, he may have been joking, but everyone thought that he was joking about fedoraFreak, too...

Also, the Hussieverse is far from irrelevant. Have you even seen the latest updates? Does the phrase "yellow yard" ring a bell? Nor is LOSAD. Breaking the Fourth Wall is a major plot point in Homestuck. These sections are not irrelevant, merely incomplete.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 9th 2011 at 8:48:55 PM •••

Andrew was specifically joking about Nick Cage...probably. I didn't see the particular thing in question, but offhand I'd guess it's similar to Gamzee being called the most important character (teasing the fandom), or Terezi being "Troll Jewgish". Also it's "One yard"; Hussie himself is important but nothing he's done actually in his house has been canonical with implications for the rest of the story as of yet. Likewise, LOSAD is/was probably a one off gag, in the page markup you mention how the player may become a character. In light of Jail Break and Problem Sleuth, it probably was just a call back to Hussie's craziness.

Also very much wrong about the Handmaid and Condesce, check (mspamainsite)/storyfiles/hs2/04073_2.gif, you can see them fighting as she makes her escape. In addition, it's best to not mention something or just flat out say it's ambiguous rather than make up information (in regards to the troll order).

I'll cede that you've persuaded me on the idea of the timeline but the page is going to need a lotttttttt of work before I completely approve of it. Still think the way the sections are set up is confusing though.

Edit: dumb hotlink image work around

Edited by Katana
Oct 10th 2011 at 10:03:34 AM •••

Hussie may have been joking about Nick Cage. Everyone also thought he was joking about fedoraFreak, but that turned out to be canon. Think of it as Schroedinger's Cage; I prefer to err on the side of the cat's survival. It's easy enough to delete the line if Homestuck ends without any sign of post-apocalypse Nick Cage.

I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise, though. Apart from the possibility of it being a joke, what are your reasons for thinking that that line would be better off gone for the moment?

I also wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Gamzee. Remember, Homestuck hasn't ended yet. We can't dismiss anything as unimportant.

...Which is why I think I'll be saving the Timeline as it is now to a Word document before pruning the excessively detailed play-by-play sections, when I get around to doing that. That way, it'll be easier to keep track of all the little details (aaaaaaaall of them!) in case they later become important without having them clutter up the page.

(WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE IT'S SO FRICKIN' OBVIOUS)

Also it's "One yard"; Hussie himself is important but nothing he's done actually in his house has been canonical with implications for the rest of the story as of yet. Likewise, LOSAD is/was probably a one off gag, in the page markup you mention how the player may become a character.

In the [S]Seer: Descend walkaround flash, one of the books refers to "crossing the Yellow Yard." Karkat also refers to this while discussing the Scratch with John on Vriska's husktop, though he refuses to say the word "yard" because he thinks the human word is stupid. (He substitutes the troll phrase "lawn ring", instead, using the other definition of "yard".) The yardstick Hussie is using to separate the two Fourth Walls, incidentally, is yellow.

And it's pretty clear by this point that someone or something is going to cross through the two Fourth Walls, passing through the Hussieverse in the process. This is building up to be a massively significant event, and is about as far from "irrelevant" or "noncanonical" as you can get.

I don't deny that LOSAD was probably a one-off gag, but it is a place that has been shown in the comic, and it is the first place the reader has been shown as a character. Also I'm not speculating that the reader will, at some point, later become a character. This has already happened. The reader goes to see Doc Scratch (a character in the comic), who interacts with them directly. Twice, in fact. Remember?

Also, just to remind you, a place shown in Homestuck getting a timeline of its own on the Timeline page isn't a matter of narrative importance or screen time. It's a matter of whether or not its past or future is connected to the past or future of already extant timelines.

To elaborate: an event on Alternia's timeline cannot be said to be in the "past" or "future" of any event on, say, Earth's timeline. (Or that of the human session, or the troll session, or the Furthest Ring, etc.) The reverse is also true. Karkat says as much while pestering John in the Veil. Different timelines can intersect, but it's fairly arbitrary at which points in the past, present, and future they do so. Hence, any location that can be reasonably determined to not be a part of one of the extant timelines must be a timeline unto itself.

Also very much wrong about the Handmaid and Condesce, check (mspamainsite)/storyfiles/hs2/04073_2.gif, you can see them fighting as she makes her escape.

Ah. You're right. Thanks for that; I've fixed that entry. Someone else edited it earlier, citing the sweeps/years discrepancy in Scratch's narration, and I found the mathematical argument so convincing that I didn't think to check the pages in question myself. Apparently Hussie is only human; who knew?

In addition, it's best to not mention something or just flat out say it's ambiguous rather than make up information (in regards to the troll order).

I suppose their landings could all be lumped into the same sentence, like the Ancestors other than the Condesce, Summoner, Sufferer, and Handmaid. That would make it harder to identify their lusii individually, though, and it would require more extensive editing if Hussie ever elaborates on the order or if events are ever shown that definitely took place between two trolls landing. Hmm.

Those are really minor nitpicks, though, and nothing Wiki Magic can't fix. Editing.

the page is going to need a lotttttttt of work before I completely approve of it.

Naturally it will require a lot of work. It's a work in progress, and a fairly new one, at that. Thank you for your input, by the way; you've drawn my attention to a number of organizational issues I wasn't aware of, and highlighted just how urgent the Wall of Text problem really is.

Still think the way the sections are set up is confusing though.

Could you elaborate on what's confusing about it? What would improve the way they're organized?

Also, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "pet page". I say this not as a polite denial, but to indicate that I honestly don't know what that means.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 10th 2011 at 6:04:56 PM •••

A "pet page" is mostly when one editor hovers over a page, edits it frequently above all else, and is very confrontational about any edits to it; being honest, the Homestuck pages in general as somewhat of my own pet page (I reorganized some of the character sections and was behind the push to remove spoilers recently and there's been a lot of stuff I can't even remember)

In general about the LOSAD and Hussie and etc sections; it's better to not have the section, or have it in the page mark up, because adding it later if it becomes relevant would be simplicity itself, whereas the current emphasis on them is largely confusing more than anything else. Same applies to Nick Cage, whereas Gamzee I'll just have to disagree with you on. Andrew is very much trolling with that but w/e.

As for the timeline sections, regardless of what you say, I find placing the events of the trolls beneath the humans leads to the conclusion that said events occur later in the timeline. What would probably work better would be to make up a prefix for each timeline, and use that before each point, discarding the sections entirely. Examples might be "Pre-Scratch Alternian Session (PSAS), Alternia (A), Troll Session (TS)" etc.

Edited by Katana
Oct 11th 2011 at 4:23:47 PM •••

Let me preface this by saying that it is a genuine question, and not a passive aggressive tweak at the author(s): does this belong on TV Tropes? I honestly don't know if there are other stories that have this kind of detailed page helping you through them. I know there are episode recaps for at the least Dr Who, and I'm far from a frequent poster on the site (though I've made my share here and there), so I'll happily stand back if people say "yeah, these things are normal around here," but I don't tend to encounter them as I hit "random page".

The thing about this level of detail in a timeline is as far as I know it doesn't even exist on the MSPA wiki! There are pages with nearly panel by panel recaps like this one: http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Homestuck:_Act_5_Act_2 , but not, as far as I can find (maybe I'm using the wrong search terms), an effort to make an ordered-by-time recap like this one. Basically, if I don't like the page I don't have to read it, so I'm not going to get particularly out of joint about it either way, but I wonder if it might be a more fruitful effort over there?

If nothing else I admit the energy and effort that goes into even trying such a thing. :)

Oct 11th 2011 at 6:35:10 PM •••

I don't see any reason why it doesn't belong on TV Tropes. Sure, no other work has a timeline yet (beyond making an occasional appearance in the Grand Unified Timeline, which isn't quite the same thing) but we didn't always have Review, Recap or Analysis pages either, and those had to start somewhere. I encourage the creation of other Timeline pages; Doctor Who in particular sounds like it could greatly benefit, from what I've heard.

If the MSPA wiki wishes to start a timeline, they are more than welcome to do so (in fact, I started this project in part out of frustration at the fact that I couldn't find a complete Homestuck timeline anywhere online) but I'm not familiar enough with that wiki's rules and markup system to feel remotely qualfied to start such a massive project myself.

In general about the LOSAD and Hussie and etc sections; it's better to not have the section, or have it in the page mark up, because adding it later if it becomes relevant would be simplicity itself, whereas the current emphasis on them is largely confusing more than anything else. Same applies to Nick Cage, whereas Gamzee I'll just have to disagree with you on. Andrew is very much trolling with that but w/e.

Fair enough. I'm keeping the Hussieverse because there's some entries there that I think are somewhat relevant, but I'll delete LOSAD and Nick Cage's survival until further notice.

As for the timeline sections, regardless of what you say, I find placing the events of the trolls beneath the humans leads to the conclusion that said events occur later in the timeline. What would probably work better would be to make up a prefix for each timeline, and use that before each point, discarding the sections entirely. Examples might be "Pre-Scratch Alternian Session (PSAS), Alternia (A), Troll Session (TS)" etc.

You mean, collapse it all into a single timeline, with only the prefixes telling the different universes apart? I thought you wanted to make the timeline more readable, not less. That would be an incoherent mess.

This is not a single timeline divided into several sections. This is several different timelines that happen to be listed on the same page. None of them can really be said to have come "before" or "after" the others.

To clarify, we can say that the battle between Mindfang and Redglare came after the Sufferer's death and before the landing of their descendents. However, we cannot say that it took place before, after, or during Jade's thirteenth birthday, or any other event on Earth's timeline. Yes, even though it was trolls that created Earth. That's not an indication that Alternia or the troll session is in Earth's past; it's a momentary intersection between the timelines of the troll session and Earth. Beyond that one moment, they have no connection. (Well, apart from all the trollings. And Bec Noir's arrival. And whatever the fuck goes down at the Critical Moment. But you get the idea.)

What this means is that a) it is absolutely crucial to divide the events of Homestuck into multiple timelines if this page is to make any kind of sense, and b) the order of those timelines is fairly arbitrary. They aren't happening before, after, or at the same time as one another, though "at the same time" comes the closest and is easier to understand that the truth.

tl;dr: The page is organized the way it is because Weird Time Shit. Any solution has to take this into account lest it make things worse.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 11th 2011 at 6:40:27 PM •••

The problem is there is no precedent for this page. It's unique, and currently in a format that needs a lot of work, but yeah it could pan out if it's played right

Actually we can connect the events of the Alternian universe to have taken place in the relative past. Consider an imaginary immortal character, who follows the events of the story. From the beginning of the Troll Universe to the latest events in both sessions, there is a clear chain of cause and effect. No, by the strictest definition they are not past/future, but the events on Alternia took place in the past relative to the events on Earth. Now what we can't do is define when the MC shenanigans take place in relation to one another, but the Human Universe itself did not exist until the end of the troll session; ergo any event that occurred in it naturally took place after the events of the troll session.

Oct 11th 2011 at 8:47:08 PM •••

Incorrect. If Bec Noir hadn't blasted an Aradiabot into the troll universe, Aradia would never have discovered the blue Frog Temple in the first place, and the trolls would have never played Sburb and created Earth. Yet Bec Noir cannot come into being unless the trolls do play Sburb and create Earth so the kids can exist to play the session from which he arises. But unless he exists to enter their session and send Aradiabot back, the trolls will never play...

Trying to establish any one timeline as being "first" results in this kind of chicken-and-egg conundrum.

Using cause and effect to define one event as preceding another is very iffy in a setting as rife with Stable Time Loops and Mbius Double Reacharounds as Homestuck. Effect can and often does precede cause, when it's not occurring simultaneously or completely independently. The different timelines intersect in such complex ways and at such arbitrary points that it defies any notion of "past" or "future". At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the kids end up creating pre-Scratch Alternia.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 12th 2011 at 5:15:48 AM •••

The Kid's session is infertile and it cannot produce a universe; at any rate Andrew has confirmed via word of god that an unnamed 48 player session was the source of the Troll's Universe. Here's how it works for me anyways, with each space being relatively contemporaneous.

  • Alternia -> Troll Session -> Scratched Alternia
  • Scratched Alternia -> Beta Troll Session -> Earth / MC and Felt
  • Earth -> Human Session -> Scratched Earth / Exiles
  • Scratched Earth -> Beta Human Session -> ???/ Beta Exiles

Where you can draw clear chains of cause and effect; they just take place at different points on the timeline depending on who you're looking at. The Medium in and of itself is outside time, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't follow a logical chain of events. The Human Session, being the source of Jack Noir, is contemporaneous with the events of the Troll Session, but still is a result of the events of the Troll Session. It's not till the end of the Troll Session that the events of the Human Session begin having any effect; aside from Cal who still falls under the pattern and was just transported to the past after arriving with Jack.

In another sense, thinking of it as a literal timeline; it would curve back on itself. Influences and items going between the sessions is an example of time travel, but time travel a much slower way is also possible. Hopping between game sessions is both traveling along the timeline via a massive shortcut and also dimensional travel at the same time.

Edited by Katana
Oct 13th 2011 at 12:28:36 PM •••

Here's how it works for me anyways, with each space being relatively contemporaneous.

  • Alternia -> Troll Session -> Scratched Alternia
  • Scratched Alternia -> Beta Troll Session -> Earth / MC and Felt
  • Earth -> Human Session -> Scratched Earth / Exiles
  • Scratched Earth -> Beta Human Session -> ???/ Beta Exiles

This is fanon, and it's not going to be the basis of a strictly canonical timeline.

In another sense, thinking of it as a literal timeline; it would curve back on itself. Influences and items going between the sessions is an example of time travel, but time travel a much slower way is also possible. Hopping between game sessions is both traveling along the timeline via a massive shortcut and also dimensional travel at the same time.

Per Word of God, this isn't how it works. In his old Formspring, he gave a fairly detailed explanation of Homestuck cosmology and how they relate to one another. The fact that all universes are essentially floating in the Furthest Ring—where time and space don't operate by normal rules and may not even exist in the usual sense—supports the notion that each individual universe and session has its own timeline.

I could go on. I could address every one of your points and point out that there's just as much or more evidence for the "intersecting but independent timelines" theory—but frankly, that argument could go on forever. (Which is a point in favor of the timelines' order being essentially arbitrary, I think—that it's even possible for us to argue about it like this and both be taken seriously.)

In any case, I highly doubt that anyone is going to get the impression that the Earth timeline arose indepedently of the troll session, considering that the very first line in it is "Dawn of time: The trolls' Genesis Frog grows into the kids' universe." That was your chief complaint about the timelines being listed in the order they are, yes?

I'm seriously considering giving each timeline its own page, and potholing intersecting events to the appropriate page. For example, Gamzee trolling Dave would be potholed to the troll session timeline in the Earth timeline, and to the Earth timeline in the troll session timeline, and Cal and the Jack doll's creation in the kids' session timeline would likewise pothole to the troll session.

Oct 15th 2011 at 4:56:58 AM •••

This is fanon, and it's not going to be the basis of a strictly canonical timeline

Don't just dismiss that as being "fanon" without any justification, that's kind of aggravating

The fact that all universes are essentially floating in the Furthest Ring Each session. Universes =/= sessions, we don't know where the Genesis Frogs are yet. And I haven't been saying that they aren't independent but that within terms of the story we can draw the conclusion that certain events happen after other events. No, from a temporal perspective, you could argue that they've always existed and always will continue to exist because time isn't linear, but from the thread of actions shown in the comic you can draw out a chain of events that is functionally identical to a timeline.

So yes, while the Human session and the Troll session technically exist at the same time, the Human session could not exist were it not for the actions taken in the Troll session.

You're correct though in that there are multiple interpretations; describing time is always an interesting prospect, and we could honestly go on for quite some time. I fail to see how it can hurt to rearrange sections though.

Also more and more I'm thinking you really should do this on the MSPA Wiki. The idea behind the Wiki is a largely factual place whereas TV Tropes is more getting into a character's personality or something. I can't really describe it but there's a distinctly different tone to each and this page definitely has a tone more befitting a wiki. Likewise if you're going to be adding some extra pages to simply break it up, then that would make more logical sense over there too. I'm kind of iffy on the Timeline page to begin with but adding 3 or 4 additional pages on top of that really just sounds like something that we should avoid if possible.

Basically TV Tropes and Wikis do different things, and what you want to do is definitely more befitting of a wiki project. The only reason not to is basically what you said earlier "I'm not familiar enough with that wiki's rules and markup system to feel remotely qualfied to start such a massive project myself", which admittedly is trivial to correct.

Edited by Katana
Oct 20th 2011 at 8:50:23 AM •••

Don't just dismiss that as being "fanon" without any justification, that's kind of aggravating

You gave the justification yourself. You said that that was your own personal conception of how it worked, and it included speculation on the future of the comic. By definition, that is fanon.

Also more and more I'm thinking you really should do this on the MSPA Wiki. The idea behind the Wiki is a largely factual place whereas TV Tropes is more getting into a character's personality or something. I can't really describe it but there's a distinctly different tone to each and this page definitely has a tone more befitting a wiki.

Basically TV Tropes and Wikis do different things, and what you want to do is definitely more befitting of a wiki project.

So by your logic, we should get rid of the Useful Notes pages, since they are also strictly factual and not precisely tropes? Or the Music page for Homestuck and many other works, which catalogues associated music without providing any trope-related analysis? Or the Grand Unified Timeline, which is organized in almost exactly the same fashion as this page, and served as a source of inspiration? Or half the things in Just for Fun?

In short, the Law of Wiki Expansion would like to have a word with you.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 20th 2011 at 3:32:40 PM •••

Useful Notes aren't intended to be a replacement for the Other Wiki and never will be; they're brief and to the point.

The Music page as it currently stands is indeed somewhat superfluous and merely is a brief resource since that isn't listed on the main site. Likewise the Grand Unified Timeline is for everything and it's not meant to be 100% factual as there are a lot of iffy placements based on non-canon timelines (IE, Star Wars in 1814) and outright guesses.

And the thing is until you give a justification for why it should be on TV Tropes it doesn't make much sense to not alter the currently existing and much more indepth timelines at the MSPA Wiki. In short; yes Law of Wiki Expansion is all well and good, but now this is more of a pet project aimed at sheer factual information instead of the colloquial, somewhat silly and enthusiastic mood that permeates TV Tropes as a whole, while the existing infrastructure and people at MSPA Wiki would probably relish this project. The justification here is that there is no timeline that exists on the internet in a readily accessible form, but people don't really come to TV Tropes for factual analysis of plot but more examination of writing and characters. It just makes more sense to me for it to be on the MSPA Wiki.

Edited by Katana
Oct 20th 2011 at 4:46:55 PM •••

It belongs on TV Tropes because it is, fundamentally, about the storyline of Homestuck. It aids understanding of the story, and its existence is helpful for picking apart the Time Travel Tropes and other Weird Plot Shit of Homestuck in greater detail.

Also, we have an entire namespace devoted to the "factual analysis of the plot". It's called Analysis. Actually, there's also Synopsis, Recap, and Reviews, which makes four.

Incidentally, I have checked Administrivia for any indication that this page is against the wiki's rules and/or ethos, and found nothing. If you know of an article that I have missed, please let me know.

Also, when I first launched this page, I posted on the forums asking if there was an extant Timeline namespace, and if it would be appropriate to create one for pages like this if there was not. While the forum consensus seemed to be that there was no point in creating a new namespace if there was only one such page thus far, no one seemed to find anything wrong with the timeline's existence, or with the fact that it was on TV Tropes.

Your argument seems to be based entirely on your own opinions of what TV Tropes is like and what belongs on it. As your opinion is not the only one that matters on this wiki, your argument doesn't really carry any weight unless you can prove that those notions hold up to reality. Please provide a specific guideline, Administrivia page, or admin ruling that gives any indication that this page is not appropriate for TV Tropes.

Edited by ExplodingFrogs
Oct 21st 2011 at 10:31:49 PM •••

It just seems to me that in general:

  • A) The addition of multiple pages to categorize a timeline has no precedent at all. While there's nothing against it, there's not really anything for it either. I cannot point to any protocol or rule and say "No this violates that" however. On the other hand the general forum response you mentioned seemed to be to not create a new namespace when none existed previously, simply because it might just be unneeded.
  • B) There are already existing resources on the internet that provide a better functioning example of a timeline; that's the major reason that there are not Analysis, Synopsis, or Recap pages for Homestuck on TV Tropes in the first place.
  • C) There seems to be no need for such a timeline page beyond your own desire for it; there's no indication other than your own opinion that the recaps are inadequate. Based on my personal experience, few fans seem to have trouble comprehending Homestuck's timeline, and what little questions there are are easily cleared up.
  • D) This page currently functions more as a direct recap rather than a timeline; by splitting the sections into other pages that just further decreases its resemblance to a timeline.
  • E) As much as you point out my own points are based largely in opinion, yours are almost equally so.

To me this page seems unnecessary, unfocused, and uncompromising, as we've been speaking for a couple weeks now and for all the effort I put in, it feels like I'm debating a brick wall, as pretty much everything I have suggested or spoken about feels like it has been shut down regardless of any merit it might have.

Edited by Katana
Oct 23rd 2011 at 12:45:40 AM •••

A) Lack of precedent is not a reason to delete the page.

B) Incorrect. There are no up-to-date Homestuck timelines on the internet. The information is scattered and difficult to put together. If such resources really existed, this page would probably be done already. Also, the reason that there are no Synopsis, Analysis, or Recap pages has more to do with no one having gotten around to writing them yet—after all, there are plenty of other websites with synopses, summaries and analyses of Doctor Who, but we have no shortage of them on TV Tropes.

C)...You don't spend much time on the MSPA forums, do you? Either that, or you lack the ability to tell the difference between making do without a useful resource and actually having no desire for it.

Suffice to say that I am far from the only one interested in this.

D) You seem to lack a basic grasp of what makes a timeline a timeline. No one else seems to have had the difficulty you appear to be having in telling this timeline apart from a recap, and what function apart from a recap it might serve.

E) Incorrect. My argument is based on the fact that the wiki guidelines seem to indicate that there is no problem with the page being here, while yours is based on...well, not to put too fine a point on it, but your argument boils down to "I don't like it, so it shouldn't be here."

As I have said before, your opinion is not the only one on this wiki, so this doesn't hold any real weight. And the nature of the rules, as far as I can tell, is that the burden of proof lies on you. Can't come up with a more substantial reason to delete the page? Then it stays.

Really, would its continued existence really detract so terribly from the experience of TV Tropes you seem so bent on preserving?

I have not, in fact, shut down everything you've said. I agree that many of the timeline entries go into too much detail, and intend to fix that sooner or later. (Though I wouldn't complain if someone did that before I got around to it.) I also fixed the errors you pointed out, and deleted LOSAD and the Nic Cage refetence. What I object to is the changing of the overall organization of the page, as I believe the current form is the best that can be managed with TV Tropes markup, and none of the proposed alternatives improve readability and accuracy without one coming at the expense of the other.

Oct 23rd 2011 at 7:35:38 AM •••

  • A lack of precedent is not a reason to create a page either
  • Yes there is no up to date timeline save the in detail up to date recaps run by the wiki such as here or the surely inevitable recap from Andrew in a few weeks.
  • No because the Forums are rather vitrolic but that's another story; regardless there's a difference of opinion here
  • The problem is that this isn't a timeline. You have some dates and references to things occurring in order, but by and large it functions as a recap more than anything else. A timeline is merely the identification of a date or point in time that something occurs, not an indepth examination or explanation of that event.
  • My argument is not "I personally don't like it" but there seems to be no reason for it and as you mentioned above again, creation of a new namespace when one did not exist previously is a dubious thing in general, and I have yet to be suitably convinced on the necessity of the page.
  • Not especially honestly; at this point I'm mostly playing Devil's Advocate to help refine this page or redirect it where it can be truly useful. I'm not against the idea, I feel it may be misplaced or misguided however.
  • With the addition of the header yeah it works probably; but creation of a bunch of new pages about timelines and crosslinking once again falls into yep. Ultimately of course There Is No Such Thing As Notability trumps any rule I could point to.
  • As a counterpoint however; why would you not want a resource like this available on the MSPA Wiki, even if it's just a mirror?
  • Edit: Someone seems to have done this in picture form already.

Edited by Katana
Oct 31st 2011 at 10:36:28 PM •••

The recaps,the personal wiki, the other wiki and the above mentioned picture are all tools that can be used to keep the fandom organized.

But so is this site, why would we remove something so helpful. Seriously just make the fields collapsible or something. A lot of work seems to have been put into that it would be a shame to get rid of it.

Nov 1st 2011 at 9:35:54 AM •••

Alright I concede and will hereby cease being an obstinate butt.

Sometime in the near future I'll go through and probably edit the fuck out of it. Feel free to step in and revert any edits you think are too sharp or detract from the page. Just as a sample of the future edits, I'm gonna go and tweak the intial sections of the Earth timeline, so if that looks bad I can get some immediate feedback instead of wasting people's time on needless edits.

Nov 2nd 2011 at 2:03:49 PM •••

Earlier, I copy-pasted the entire article into Word. I've since been editing the Word document rather than the article itself, so that's why I haven't been making any changes recently. The idea being to create an exhaustively detailed timeline in Word that can be trimmed down for posting on the wiki proper, thus cutting through the whole tangled mess we've been arguing back and forth on for weeks. (And then, if any of the trimmed-down details later become relevant, I'll still have the original archived.)

Really, I should have done this from the beginning. It would have saved so much trouble. Live and learn, I suppose. If I ever get around to doing another project on this scale, the experience will be useful.

Anyway, the edits you've done so far look just fine, as far as I'm concerned. Those early entries worked too hard to provide context that wasn't really needed, and I would have trimmed them down eventually myself, anyway; this'll save some time and effort down the road.

Nov 3rd 2011 at 5:33:41 AM •••

Alright, I have a huge break in classes today with nothing to do so I'll probably get a section or two hammered out and extrapolate from there later.

Also in light of most of the timelines on the page being over as of the events of Cascade, we can probably reduce the granularity of the timeline to key events.

Nov 3rd 2011 at 10:02:57 AM •••

Hmm. I'm starting to think that you may be going a bit overboard. When I was referring to unnecessary context, I meant that we can assume the entries are being read by people who have read Homestuck, so there's no need to introduce characters and items. But as no one's memory is perfect, a brief summary of the event in question (no more than one or two concise sentences; as you have pointed out many times, this isn't a recap, and too much detail hurts more than it helps) may be warranted.

Also, keep in mind that flashbacks and pesterlogs are still a thing. New information on the "dead" timelines may pop up at any time. But that's one of the reasons I created my Word doc copy of the timeline in the first place, so I suppose we'll copypasta our way over that bridge when we come to it.

Nov 4th 2011 at 10:31:54 AM •••

Identifying every single time a pesterlog occurs is way too specific; most of them are irrelevant to the plot at any rate. This is the barest bones anyways. Pretty much every major event and nothing else. It's easier to flesh out from the ground up rather than prune from the top down.

Also some events were misplaced in the wrong timelines, which is why you might have thought they were outright deleted. I'm getting around to them at some point. But definitely I think it's better to mention branched timelines or events I removed for being minor when they come up; it's simplicity itself to go back and edit something in if it proves to be significant in hindsight, but writing everything down in the hopes of avoiding that eventuality is going too far in the other direction.

I think your meaning was probably that I removed the mentions of all the pesterlogs that happened on their birthdays. With exception to John's changing of his name (and perhaps Rose expressing interest in working with the trolls) none of those conversations are really that important in the scheme of the plot. Character interactions oh yeah! But plot? Not so much. Perhaps I just think that we don't need to explain what happens in every panel.

The Earth timeline is pretty much finished at this point so take a look and see what you think, and remember there's always room to expand once there's a firmer and more organized timeline.

As a small side note, I had to sort of guess when most of Jade's timeline events occurred, like her strife with Bec. If you have any better idea when they happened, by all means feel free to move them.

E: I'm holding off on future edits till you reply at some point.

Edited by Katana
Dec 3rd 2011 at 6:48:23 PM •••

I think the terminology is a little bit odd. I don't thing the pre-scratch earth is a Beta timeline. I'm pretty sure its just a different timeline. normally interactions between an alpha and a non-alpha timeline are limited to things going back in time from the non-alpha to the alpha (or at least more alpha) but in the case of post-scratch and pre-scratch, it is fairly well shown that the interactions go both ways. (the bunny) also:UU reffers to them as if there are 4 different universes, A1,A2,B1,B2 corresponding to prescratchalternia, postscratchalternia, prescratchearth, postscratchearth. As such, I believe the subdivisions should be renamed. also i think some of the events on the page could be pruned, but that has a lesser priority. responce?

Dec 21st 2011 at 7:53:50 PM •••

It's called Beta because that's what the fans call it. Pre-Scratch = Beta. Beta can have a lot of meanings though, aside from meaning a timeline offshoot. Also a month and a half later way to go Exploding Frogs on that response.

Feb 13th 2012 at 3:53:18 AM •••

Well the page is complete at least. Still overly detailed but I don't care enough to edit that.

Edited by Katana
Nov 21st 2014 at 9:14:16 AM •••

This page is going to need to be updated, but I don't think the status of recent events in the timeline is clear enough yet to do that.

Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
If you can't read this one, hit reload for the page.
The next one might be easier to see.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report