CLASS/ASPECT STUFF *jazz hands*
I’ve been thinking about classes and aspects a lot recently, John’s windy shit going on, Jade’s Spacey powers, Dave and his recent abstention from using time travel, and all the rest. And it occurred to me to wonder what the classpect designations would be like if Sburb were a real game, and not just a story.
Like, it’s a popular thing with Homestuck to try and find out what your classpect would be if you played the game. There are a bunch of quizzes tailored to find the optimum classpect to match your personality. But really, isn’t it the other way around? Aren’t the players assigned to their closest classpect?
Well, fine, say it like that, and it almost sounds the same. But think of Sburb for a moment as if it’s a real thing, as if the characters weren’t tailored by Hussie to perfectly fit each classpect (or not so perfectly, as character development dictates), perhaps partly even basing the classpects off the characters. If Sburb were real.
If Jade were just a person, not a character, not already assigned the title of Witch of Space, if we looked at the way she was acting before she entered the game, and recognized her actions as rather timey, dealing with things about to happen, happening, and having happened. In this stage of her life, wouldn’t her optimal aspect be Time, not Space? Assuming from circumstantial evidence that no class/aspect is duplicated in a session, if Dave is assigned Time (perhaps because he would make a better Time player) what does this mean for Jade? She’s relegated back to Space, because it’s her second best option. Are her chances in the game worse because she’s functioning in the hero’s quest of an aspect that doesn’t quite fit her strengths? Because the game requires a certain number of different roles, and she just happened to be the one who didn’t fit her ideal role as much as another’s? Maybe Space wasn’t even anywhere near her ideal role, but all her other co-players fit better into their roles than she did into any other role. And because Space is a requisite of any session, she had to be the Space player.
Of course, that’s assuming that classpect plays to a player’s strengths; Kanaya said that she thought it might actually be the opposite, designed to challenge players. If so, classpect assignment could be even more arbitrary. After all, there’s likely to be more things that challenge us than things that perfectly suit us. Though presumably the challenge is supposed to achieve some sort of moral growth, as per the planetary quests, etc, and in which case, it could probably be focused down as narrowly by taking the thing that challenges the character in the optimal way to prompt personal growth.
…In which case, what stage of the player’s personal growth is the classpect aimed for? Rose pointed out that the planetary quests were tailored for their 13-year old selves, selves which were far removed from the people they had become over the course of their 3 year journey through the game. Are classpects supposed to challenge/play up to the strengths of the 13-year olds, or who they could become? And if the latter, is it who they should become in order to become better people, or in order to complete the game? Because while being a good person is great and all, Vriska, Eridan, Gamzee, Caliborn, and many others have proved over and over that this isn’t necessarily the way to do well in the game. In fact, it probably proves the opposite that these negative influencers exist in the Alpha timeline at all: Being the “best” person you can be is actually usually not the way to beat the game. (Though they could still lose the game, I suppose, but I’m operating on the assumption that this story would suck if they just lost at the end :P)
I guess then we’d have to consider what we mean by being the best person you can be: Does Vriska’s statement that you don’t have to be a good person to be a hero hold true in the game? Or more drastically, is Caliborn being the best person he can be by paradoxically being the worst, most powerful and destructive person he can be?
Except that the story dictates that Caliborn should, if not must, be defeated by the end. On the other hand, Vriska’s set up as an anti-hero, so it will probably continue to hold that she can still be important without being a “good” person. It’s also been pointed out that the characters who revel in their aspect are the ones who achieve the most power, e.g. Eridan’s destruction of hope and defeat of Sollux; Vriska’s mastery of light and stealing luck, and her impossibly lucky roll. It would seem at least that being a morally good person isn’t part of the equation. And it could be that therefore players must aim to be the most powerful, influential, or otherwise greatest players they can be, regardless of whether or not their progress helps or hinders their team in defeating the game. But it could also be that once you’re assigned your classpect, your goal is simply to become the best at your classpect, regardless of whether or not this makes you the best you could possibly be. Maybe Jade would be better at leading the team as Seer of Time, but the game wants her to master her role as Witch of Space.
Still doesn’t really tell us why the game wants this. I mean, it’s all very well to say that this stuff is for personal growth or whatever, but meanwhile stuff is being engineered by a metaphor for the universe, an uncaring observer of all the shit we go through. In which case, I guess it’s fair to say there’s not really an answer for a lot of this.
So it’s basically all conjecture.
(or is the game just seeing all possible futures like Rose but more omniscient, and trying to prompt them towards the optimal way of winning the game olol the possibilites)
(and when are classpects assigned, anyway; is it a sort of since-who-knows-when thing like whether you dream on prospit or derse? or is it assigned when you enter the game. cause just because the kids’ coming is foretold and their classpects are sort of also foretold, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve always been designated as their classes… I mean, prophesizing and time… wibbly wobbly, timey wimey)
tl;dr I just find it interesting that like so many other things, we simplify a complex process into simple quizzes that, much like the Harry Potter houses, we use to figure out who we are—or just because we like quizzes.
Cause I LOVE quizzes.
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