Loopholes in ISSTH?

Hey guys, I'd like to discuss some of what I think are loopholes in the story up to the chapter 900.
here is a list, say what you think (no spoilers from the raws, please!):

1 - MC changes his personality way too much. don't get me wrong, I like Meng Hao a lot. actually, his seriousness and cleverness are one of the reasons why I like this novel. but some of his personality changes are kinda weird. sometimes, he is often mentioned how he is expressionless and barely talks (he actually just ignores people and nods most of the time). then, something bad happens and he gets even more gloomy. but all of sudden, he gets quite talkative and full of expressions (especially the famous bashfulness), until something bad happens again, he gets taciturn again, and the cycle repeats...  

2 - he earned/stole so many legacies and treasure items that most are completely forgotten. flying-rain dragon, immortal finds the way (not sure about the name), blood immortal, everburning flame, blood demon grand-magic, the 6 generations legacies from the snow family (which includes agarwood and 5 others), the legendaries totems... not to mention all the legendary items he acquired in the ancient demon immortal sect. he should have lots of extremely precious item from there, but they were not even mentioned so far (chapter 900), and he accumulated so many that I doubt the author will go back and try to explain each one.

3 - distances are completely out of scale and impossible to understand. everything is 300, 3.000, 30.000 or even 300.000 meters (including some creatures). I get the feeling the author doesn't really consider how huge 300km is and just throws some random numbers. also, there were some really bizarre events that show the distances there are completely random: in the black lands arc, Meng Hao had a perfect core and took one month flying top-speed from the golden church to the snow country where the war was going on and it was clearly mentioned that those lands were very far away and isolated. but when he calls the parrot for help, it took only one week for the group of cultivators get there. not to mention that the group included qi condensing weaklings and they were RUNNING, not even flying. one month for a perfect core guy flying top-speed, one week for qi condensing random people running on the ground...

4 - Chapter 684, when Meng Hao awakes after losing his foundation: "The parrot and the meat jelly were inside the bag, sleeping. It seemed Meng Hao’s weakness had caused them to lose their own vitality." Then, a few chapters later when Meng Hao recovers his cultivation base, it is mentioned that the parrot and meat jelly fled during his battle with the 10th patriarch and are only found much later in the eastern lands. so.. ?????????????

5 - Supreme Deus Ex Machina Blood Mastiff. when he acquired the blood mastiff, I was sure he would not be able to use him immediately. Meng Hao was still at foundation establishment and the mastiff was already spirit severing. if he woke up back then, things would be too easy, so the author decided the mastiff would sleep for a long time until the gap was not so big. however, after some 10+ years, when Meng Hao is in the black lands, he finally states that it is almost awakening. but then Meng Hao enters the violet sea for 150+ years, and when he finally comes out... the mastiff is still sleeping... also, it took so long to wake up that it was only useful during that arc, and then the mastiff was barely mentioned ever again (just like the other thousands of treasures and legacies Meng Hao acquired) because its spirit severing level quickly became trash.

6 - how mortals nations can live in that world??? when Meng Hao was still a mortal, he talks about Immortals like things from legends that no one believes to exist. from that, it is clear that most mortals are not aware Immortals actually exist. how is that even possible in a world where giants 30.000 km tall run amok??? is everyone blind?

7 - infinite population. well, if you think how not everybody can cultivate and it is so rare that mortals don't even believe cultivators exist, so how can exist so many cultivators? Meng Hao alone has probably killed more than a million already. and cultivators kill each other on a daily basis. actually, the cultivation world is all about killing and stealing people. if you consider that it usually takes more than 300 years for a cultivator to reach a trifling nascent soul and that the vast majority are killed long before that, I can't help but think it is weird to see how big is the population of cultivators in a single planet. 

8 - general level of cultivators increase by convenience. in the beginning, nascent soul cultivators are mentioned as very rare existences. even the patriarchs of great sects were only nascent soul level (like Eccentric Song) and all of them were old men and women. however, after Meng Hao reaches nascent soul, suddenly there are thousands and thousands of nascent soul cultivators and many of them are even young. it's like all of a sudden, nascent soul is not that great anymore and anyone can reach that level, just because Meng Hao needs opponents and it would be too boring if he was a supreme expert so early in the story. before, only patriarchs and elders of great sects were nascent soul experts, but then even mediocre disciples achieve that. 

9 - friends of Meng Hao increase their level for plot reasons. Meng Hao went through tribulations every day of his life, acquired millions of legacies and treasures, experienced some random miraculous increases in power, etc. so I can understand how he got powerful quickly. but there are times when his friends have a huge increase in their levels just so they are not left way behind and become useless to the story. fang yu, for example, is always just slightly behind his cultivation. when he was close to spirit severing, she was too. when he was almost a true immortal, she was too. no matter how quickly he becomes strong, she will be always close enough. differently from Meng Hao, she has always been protected by their parents, didn't experience even half of what Meng Hao did and surely has not as many legendary stuff as him, so how the hell she is able to keep up??? yeah, she might have good talent, has a lot of resources and all, but no one can possibly compare to Meng Hao's "good fortune". he simply steals all the good fortune of the universe. also, how even fatty reached nascent soul level so fast? he was always behind everyone because he is lazy, but magically caught up to all the other chosen from south heaven and reached nascent soul around the same time as Li Shiqi, Chen Fan and Wang Youcai, for example.

10 - aging. Meng Hao keeps going back and forth from young man to old man. every time he loses a huge amount of longevity and becomes old, he simply breaks through or consume some pills and becomes young again. but why the others keep aging and even many powerful experts are decrepit old men? if it were only the weak guys, then it would make sense. but why even people like Pill Demon, who just achieved immortality and also has alchemy skills comparable to Meng Hao's, can't rejuvenate as well?

Comments

  • Fodao said:
    Hey guys, I'd like to discuss some of what I think are loopholes in the story up to the chapter 900.
    here is a list, say what you think (no spoilers from the raws, please!):

    first of all i'd just like to say that it makes sense why you say the things you do. with that in mind let me offer some alternative perspectives so that maybe some of them are not necessarily loopholes but whatever else. feel free to disagree.

    1 - MC changes his personality way too much. don't get me wrong, I like Meng Hao a lot. actually, his seriousness and cleverness are one of the reasons why I like this novel. but some of his personality changes are kinda weird. sometimes, he is often mentioned how he is expressionless and barely talks (he actually just ignores people and nods most of the time). then, something bad happens and he gets even more gloomy. but all of sudden, he gets quite talkative and full of expressions (especially the famous bashfulness), until something bad happens again, he gets taciturn again, and the cycle repeats...  

    this doesn't seem like too much personality change. i see expressionless/barely talks, gloomy, talkative/full of expressions(bashfullness). You listed 3 things. As a human being i have many expressions and i'm sure you do too. and i'd actually disagree with you and say he has too little expressions. SO the way i look at this is not so much as a lot of personality changes, but just a human acting like a human. And i think it might be good to note often our personalities don't change in our lifetimes, at least not by a huge margin(just observation). just how we react to different things. Consider in your own life how you would react and how you have reacted to all the different things that have happened in your life. I'm sure there's A LOT.

    2 - he earned/stole so many legacies and treasure items that most are completely forgotten. flying-rain dragon, immortal finds the way (not sure about the name), blood immortal, everburning flame, blood demon grand-magic, the 6 generations legacies from the snow family (which includes agarwood and 5 others), the legendaries totems... not to mention all the legendary items he acquired in the ancient demon immortal sect. he should have lots of extremely precious item from there, but they were not even mentioned so far (chapter 900), and he accumulated so many that I doubt the author will go back and try to explain each one.

      to respond to these, i'll nitpick some of your lists and show why it's not a loophole. 
    -everburning flame. i see this as a passive. it helps with his pill concoction. we don't have to be reminded that he's using it. We just have to keep in mind it's always there doing its thing.
    -blood demon grand majic. he uses this a lot, like a lot. and if you don't think so now, then he does so a lot in the future.
    as for the others, it's usually the case that he's outgrown them. they're too weak for his levels. i mean he passed through spirit severing in a flash in comparison to others. his dao seeking literally in a flash. and remember that power gaps only increase even more the higher you go. so an immortal using a dao seeking legacy or treasure is pointless and this can pretty much go for any of the  power levels. and you can even think of it this way, if you had 1000 guns and you had to kill 10 things. it doesn't really make sense to use every gun you have when you can just use some of the best ones or whatever and just kill those 10 things using as little ammo as possible.

    3 - distances are completely out of scale and impossible to understand. everything is 300, 3.000, 30.000 or even 300.000 meters (including some creatures). I get the feeling the author doesn't really consider how huge 300km is and just throws some random numbers. also, there were some really bizarre events that show the distances there are completely random: in the black lands arc, Meng Hao had a perfect core and took one month flying top-speed from the golden church to the snow country where the war was going on and it was clearly mentioned that those lands were very far away and isolated. but when he calls the parrot for help, it took only one week for the group of cultivators get there. not to mention that the group included qi condensing weaklings and they were RUNNING, not even flying. one month for a perfect core guy flying top-speed, one week for qi condensing random people running on the ground...

    i just want to say that distances in xianxia are just crazy. and i usually do my best not to think about it too much. in this one xianxia the planet they're living in is like 2/3 the size of our milky way GALAXY (not jk). Their PLANET.  but yea you have good points here. all i'll say is don't think too much about it haha. 

    4 - Chapter 684, when Meng Hao awakes after losing his foundation: "The parrot and the meat jelly were inside the bag, sleeping. It seemed Meng Hao’s weakness had caused them to lose their own vitality." Then, a few chapters later when Meng Hao recovers his cultivation base, it is mentioned that the parrot and meat jelly fled during his battle with the 10th patriarch and are only found much later in the eastern lands. so.. ?????????????
    don't feel like re-reading this part. but you make a good point. but overall is an insignificant thing i think.

    5 - Supreme Deus Ex Machina Blood Mastiff. when he acquired the blood mastiff, I was sure he would not be able to use him immediately. Meng Hao was still at foundation establishment and the mastiff was already spirit severing. if he woke up back then, things would be too easy, so the author decided the mastiff would sleep for a long time until the gap was not so big. however, after some 10+ years, when Meng Hao is in the black lands, he finally states that it is almost awakening. but then Meng Hao enters the violet sea for 150+ years, and when he finally comes out... the mastiff is still sleeping... also, it took so long to wake up that it was only useful during that arc, and then the mastiff was barely mentioned ever again (just like the other thousands of treasures and legacies Meng Hao acquired) because its spirit severing level quickly became trash.

    this is pretty much true. 

    6 - how mortals nations can live in that world??? when Meng Hao was still a mortal, he talks about Immortals like things from legends that no one believes to exist. from that, it is clear that most mortals are not aware Immortals actually exist. how is that even possible in a world where giants 30.000 km tall run amok??? is everyone blind?

    later one in the novel some stuff is said about mortal in these worlds perhaps that'll help you. I mtl'ed so i'm not quite sure what the explanation was(i don't care much about it). but wait and maybe you'll learn why. It is a good point though.

    7 - infinite population. well, if you think how not everybody can cultivate and it is so rare that mortals don't even believe cultivators exist, so how can exist so many cultivators? Meng Hao alone has probably killed more than a million already. and cultivators kill each other on a daily basis. actually, the cultivation world is all about killing and stealing people. if you consider that it usually takes more than 300 years for a cultivator to reach a trifling nascent soul and that the vast majority are killed long before that, I can't help but think it is weird to see how big is the population of cultivators in a single planet. 

    again xianxias usually have stupid big planets and whatnot. 

    8 - general level of cultivators increase by convenience. in the beginning, nascent soul cultivators are mentioned as very rare existences. even the patriarchs of great sects were only nascent soul level (like Eccentric Song) and all of them were old men and women. however, after Meng Hao reaches nascent soul, suddenly there are thousands and thousands of nascent soul cultivators and many of them are even young. it's like all of a sudden, nascent soul is not that great anymore and anyone can reach that level, just because Meng Hao needs opponents and it would be too boring if he was a supreme expert so early in the story. before, only patriarchs and elders of great sects were nascent soul experts, but then even mediocre disciples achieve that. 

    this is true. they way i look at it is sometimes er gen tells us stories based on the perspective of the character not necessarily as the author himself who knows how things really are. but they're presented in such a manner that it looks like that. so i understand what you're saying and i think it's perfectly legitimate.

    9 - friends of Meng Hao increase their level for plot reasons. Meng Hao went through tribulations every day of his life, acquired millions of legacies and treasures, experienced some random miraculous increases in power, etc. so I can understand how he got powerful quickly. but there are times when his friends have a huge increase in their levels just so they are not left way behind and become useless to the story. fang yu, for example, is always just slightly behind his cultivation. when he was close to spirit severing, she was too. when he was almost a true immortal, she was too. no matter how quickly he becomes strong, she will be always close enough. differently from Meng Hao, she has always been protected by their parents, didn't experience even half of what Meng Hao did and surely has not as many legendary stuff as him, so how the hell she is able to keep up??? yeah, she might have good talent, has a lot of resources and all, but no one can possibly compare to Meng Hao's "good fortune". he simply steals all the good fortune of the universe. also, how even fatty reached nascent soul level so fast? he was always behind everyone because he is lazy, but magically caught up to all the other chosen from south heaven and reached nascent soul around the same time as Li Shiqi, Chen Fan and Wang Youcai, for example.

    you mentioned it and i think it's just resources. i think we still hold this poor meng hao in reliance mentality even now because meng hao is always poor and at really terrible situations where he has to depend on good fortune. but big sects usually do have a lot of resources that help a lot with cultivation, especially if they're like fang yu who have immortals backing her up. and remember that even though they're near his level, they're nowhere near his actual power level. this is made obvious by the fact he can fight far above his level. others with similar cultivation cannot do that. so his fortunes as you make clear are incredible and far above what the other chose his generation have and that's shown in the fact he does near impossible things like killing dao seeking while still in spirit severing. This isn't possible for the others only him and some others. but they're never as op as he is.

    10 - aging. Meng Hao keeps going back and forth from young man to old man. every time he loses a huge amount of longevity and becomes old, he simply breaks through or consume some pills and becomes young again. but why the others keep aging and even many powerful experts are decrepit old men? if it were only the weak guys, then it would make sense. but why even people like Pill Demon, who just achieved immortality and also has alchemy skills comparable to Meng Hao's, can't rejuvenate as well?

    eh, longevity pills are expensive and rare. and ultimately you do age, you can't live forever. pill demon lived for thousands of years while meng hao for a few hundred. he's a baby in pill demon's eyes. and this is a novel for young people generally speaking. and some other stuff, i'm too tired to talk about. 

     I guess over all i'd just say that try to consider alterntives to these 'loopholes' if they really bother you and try to see how they might fit in the story. if they don't at all then just ignore them hehe. they're aren't that big of a deal anyways.

    hope that helped somewhat
  • edited September 2016
    thanks for your thoughts!
    well, they don't bother me too much, otherwise I would not have read more than 900 chapters :tongue: 
    I'll try to explain in more detail some of the points, though it's only my humble opinion and you can still disagree anyways.

    1 - I also considered what you said before, but I still think sometimes the changes are too extreme. E.g. after all the bad stuff that happened to Meng Hao during the Blood Demon Sect, he got extremely cold. even when he met his friends in the ancient dao lakes, it is often mentioned how different and cold he was. after all, he had suffered so much and had some deep traumas. but after the war ends and he meets his parents, he simply starts acting like a happy, spoiled kid. I mean... yeah, he severed the devilish and was happy to finally see his parents, but it is still hard to believe how he simply started acting like nothing happened. don't forget that xu qing was still dead, and all the bad stuff that happened to him was really heavy. a similar thing happened when he was chased like a dog back in the rebirth cave, almost died, became extremely cold and sad, but then was screwing around in the black lands. this switch from a depressed person who met the most tragic fate in the world to someone who simply has fun conning people for spirit stones is weird. my opinion is that the author does that to change the mood of the story, creating ups (when you laugh of Meng Hao and lord fifth) and downs (when all the bad luck comes to him), and it does work, but it doesn't make sense if you think that no human being can simply put aside such traumatic experiences and act carefree.

    2 - I agree with you when you say that it doesn't make sense for him to use every single weapon he possesses, so he just focuses on the most powerful ones. however, what I dislike is that often a lot of attention is dedicated to some of those things, only to simply be forgotten. the story makes it look it is a big deal, something that will be really important in the future, but then... it's never mentioned again. a few more examples: he should have acquired 6 generations' legacies in that snow country in the black lands and each one of them should be very powerful, at least during spirit severing. but he only used the agarwood and the other 5 were disregarded completely. he stole lots of treasures from that spirit severing patriarch who tried to kill him in the black lands, like the time wheel and a whip (the one made from a huge snake) that was also a legacy. but he just briefly used the time wheel once, and the whip was not even mentioned again. also, the treasures from the 3rd realm in the ancient demon immortal sect are said to be so legendary that even great clans like the Ji and Fang were fighting for it. Meng Hao got dozens of those treasures by conning people. I remember he detonated 10 of those when fleeing from the 10th wang patriarch, but the other items were not even mentioned again. anyway, there is so much stuff I don't even remember everything, but you got the point haha

    4 - like you said, not really important, but definitely a mistake from Er Gen. during the fight, nothing is mentioned about the parrot. after he wakes up on board that mysterious ship, that part I quoted before says the parrot and meat jelly are sleeping in his bag, what actually makes sense. but then, all of a sudden, it is said that they have fled during the battle and were nowhere to be seen. I think that Er Gen changed his mind because he tried to bring new developments for the story, so he just ignored what he had written before and changed the facts. remember that when the parrot appeared again, in the eastern lands, he had that mysterious black feather with illusion powers, which was quite convenient to what happened next when Meng Hao was disguised. again, not a huge loophole, but it is bad-writing nevertheless, so it's a bit disappointing.
     
    6 - well, I do hope there is a good explanation. in the beginning of the novel, it was mentioned how the reliance sect was on a mountain that was almost impossible for mortals to reach. so I thought cultivators lived in areas no mortal could go, what would make sense to explain why mortals didn't know about them. however, things change later on the story. for example, the black lands contain both mortals and cultivators. and Meng Hao crossed the whole region together with 30.000 meters tall water giants. so... how can mortals not know about the cultivators? not to mention that many nations, like the Great Tang, which is the capital of the whole continent, are composed of mortals and cultivators (the emperor himself is a cultivator). considering how conspicuous the cultivators are, is really hard to believe the population doesn't know about them. actually, considering all the explosions, giants, etc. it's even hard to believe mortals are able to survive at all! 

    9 - like I said before, yes, you can just use the argument that people like fang yu have large amounts of resources and help. but I still think it is a big stretch that is really too convenient for the plot. remember that is not all about resources. Meng Hao was only able to develop like that not only because of the ridiculous amount of good fortune he had had, but also because of his experiences. for instance, in order to perform the severings, you have to be enlightened, and enlightenment has nothing to do with resources, nor can her parents forcibly enlighten her. because of all the absurd things that happened to Meng Hao, he experienced things no one else in the same generation had and performed the 3 severings really fast. not mention his eternal stratum, his fleshly body tempered in the ancient demon immortal sect, legendary magics and legacies, etc. etc. only because of all that he reached peak dao seeking so fast. fang yu, on the other hand, did almost nothing by herself. even when she went on an adventure, she always relied on her family name so that no one actually tried to kill her. even if she had infinite resources, it doesn't explain all the enlightenment stuff that is required, so there is no way she could mature as fast. furthermore, she also took about the same time as Meng Hao to perform the three severings and even reach peak dao seeking (less than 100 years), which I really think is bullshit for a spoiled kid. and if you think about fatty and some others, it is even worse. when Li Shiqi, for example, was peak foundation establishment, fatty was still qi condensation! it was mentioned more than once how he just fucked around and didn't practice a lot. and even his talent is only mediocre (in the ancient ruins, Li Shiqi got 270 points in talent and fatty got 90). so how the hell he caught up to everyone (aside from Meng Hao, of course)??? logically speaking, he should have been left further and further behind, but... plot reasons.

    10 - honestly, I think aging is completely random in ISSTH. the MC has to look young, because and ugly old MC would not be appealing, so he simply rejuvenates whenever he wants. also, his girls must be young too, because a decrepit old beloved would not be appealing, so his beloved ones will also remain young. if you think from a commercial point of view, it is obvious and makes sense. but still, if the story is not able to provide a decent explanation and just contradicts itself, it is a loophole then. according to the story, aging is not only related to the passage of time, but also life force and longevity. that's why a qi condensation cultivator will be old at 90, but a 200 years old spirit severing is almost like a teenager. Meng Hao, however, has already exhausted both his life force and longevity in numerous occasions, but can always easily replenish then by breaking through or consuming pills. when he almost died fleeing the Ji clan at the rebirth cave, for example, he became ancient. but then he just consumed some pills and got young again. so, why someone like Pill Demon can't do the same? the most powerful pills to extend lifespan were given to Pill Demon, so he obviously can concoct them. using the same logic as Meng Hao's, he should look young after replenishing his life force and longevity, it doesn't matter how would he actually is. especially after reaching immortal ascension, the few thousands of years he has lived before are nothing since he can now live for tens of thousand of years.
  • These aren't "loopholes" particularly specific to ISSTH but just prevalent aspects of the genre based on, resulting from, or coinciding with,...obsolete, poor, or outright wrong... philosophies, personal writing skill, and habits.

    For instance, numbers 2,3,5,6,7,8,9 are unfortunate consequences of the very obsolete and or often completely incorrect assumption that "more is always better." "Give me more and keep piling it on." More weapons, more arts, more cultivation levels, more types of magic, more sub-groups of magic, massive worlds, populations, more powerful adversaries, greater enhancements, etc. Authors that buy into this seem to believe that the more they cram in, the better their world building and story telling becomes. That's obviously not the case. As clearly shown, it does the exact opposite, generating problems almost immediately and almost always continuing at an increasingly and more abundant rate. While there's certainly a sound argument for creating more irrational and soft systems to some degree, this is not the way it should be executed.

     #1 - It's typically just bad characterization and lack of character arcs. As you may have noticed, a character's personality in the genre tends to stay consistent throughout the entire series. It's typically unrealistic and as you said, focused on extremes. However, in defense of some scenarios, I believe it's suppose to be stage acting than actual emotional changes. When conning people for instance, that seems much more likely as a tactical approach than anything else. The concept behind it is to appear completely unpredictable, which is a defense mechanism. Unpredictability equates to dangerous. If you don't know how and when these changes come about, it's very difficult to act. That's how I see it. If it's not than well..again, it's just bad characterization. I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt, but you see it often enough in others that it's entirely plausible.

    #4 - Deus ex machina is...well it's seems to be nothing more than a trope of the genre unfortunately. It's so prevalent, how often it occurs and how it comes about, that all signs point towards it being conceptualized and previously planned as intentional goal. I don't really know why they do this, but I can only guess that it's the kind of thing that receives positive reception in China and or they vehemently believe it's necessary to good story telling. I guess you can chalk it up to a cultural thing at that point.

    #10 - The aging thing...ehh, it's certainly an inconsistency based on convenience sort of thing. Pill Demon is the MC's mentor and somewhat surrogate father, as all masters are considered to a degree, so I imagine having a younger or the same aged individual with that status would rub the readers the wrong way since as Liftenstuff addressed, it's catered toward a specific demographic. Coupled with it, the MC always tends to get certain perks others can't or won't.

    I don't agree with him on it/them not being a big deal, since I'm sure it's certainly one if not the the greatest obstacles for growth and the most common criticism of the genre, but I don't write the stuff so *shrug* My suggestion is to do what the rest of us do and that's try your best to ignore it and or just skim/skip it entirely.
  • Tbaism said:
    These aren't "loopholes" particularly specific to ISSTH but just prevalent aspects of the genre based on, resulting from, or coinciding with,...obsolete, poor, or outright wrong... philosophies, personal writing skill, and habits.

    For instance, numbers 2,3,5,6,7,8,9 are unfortunate consequences of the very obsolete and or often completely incorrect assumption that "more is always better." "Give me more and keep piling it on." More weapons, more arts, more cultivation levels, more types of magic, more sub-groups of magic, massive worlds, populations, more powerful adversaries, greater enhancements, etc. Authors that buy into this seem to believe that the more they cram in, the better their world building and story telling becomes. That's obviously not the case. As clearly shown, it does the exact opposite, generating problems almost immediately and almost always continuing at an increasingly and more abundant rate. While there's certainly a sound argument for creating more irrational and soft systems to some degree, this is not the way it should be executed.

     #1 - It's typically just bad characterization and lack of character arcs. As you may have noticed, a character's personality in the genre tends to stay consistent throughout the entire series. It's typically unrealistic and as you said, focused on extremes. However, in defense of some scenarios, I believe it's suppose to be stage acting than actual emotional changes. When conning people for instance, that seems much more likely as a tactical approach than anything else. The concept behind it is to appear completely unpredictable, which is a defense mechanism. Unpredictability equates to dangerous. If you don't know how and when these changes come about, it's very difficult to act. That's how I see it. If it's not than well..again, it's just bad characterization. I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt, but you see it often enough in others that it's entirely plausible.

    #4 - Deus ex machina is...well it's seems to be nothing more than a trope of the genre unfortunately. It's so prevalent, how often it occurs and how it comes about, that all signs point towards it being conceptualized and previously planned as intentional goal. I don't really know why they do this, but I can only guess that it's the kind of thing that receives positive reception in China and or they vehemently believe it's necessary to good story telling. I guess you can chalk it up to a cultural thing at that point.

    #10 - The aging thing...ehh, it's certainly an inconsistency based on convenience sort of thing. Pill Demon is the MC's mentor and somewhat surrogate father, as all masters are considered to a degree, so I imagine having a younger or the same aged individual with that status would rub the readers the wrong way since as Liftenstuff addressed, it's catered toward a specific demographic. Coupled with it, the MC always tends to get certain perks others can't or won't.

    I don't agree with him on it/them not being a big deal, since I'm sure it's certainly one if not the the greatest obstacles for growth and the most common criticism of the genre, but I don't write the stuff so *shrug* My suggestion is to do what the rest of us do and that's try your best to ignore it and or just skim/skip it entirely.
    it seems you actually agree with me for the most part, it's just that you deal with it in a different way hahaha
    I totally get what you guys say and I know this kind of problems are present in almost every xianxia.
    However, I have to disagree with the argument "well, other stories of the genre do the same, it's how things are, so it's not a loophole". I mean, if the story contradicts itself, fail to explain something or makes mistakes, then it is a loophole, regardless whether or not it's a common problem in the genre. of course, I still think ISSTH is a good one and that's why I read 982 chapters so far hahaha
    So I do my best to "ignore" these small mistakes, but that doesn't mean I can't see them or discuss about them, right?

    By the way, I will add another one to the list:

    11 - During the Violet sect arc, it is said Pill Demon is a spirit severing expert. What does make sense, since he was really strong and was even able to fight with one of the spirit severing Ji clan patriarchs (when Meng Hao killed the quasi-array Ji guy inside the world of Choumen Tai, the Ji patriarch wanted to go to the Southern Domain to kill Meng Hao, but Pill Demon fought him and stopped him). But after Meng Hao goes rampage in the Black Sieve sect, Pill Demon goes in secluded meditation and performs consecutively performs three severings, causing three great daos to descend. chapter 702: “Three great Daos, and three Severings in a row. Based on the knowledge he has from his last life, it seems he’s going from Spirit Severing… directly into Dao Seeking!”.so...                                                                              ???????????????
  • Fodao said:
    Tbaism said:
    These aren't "loopholes" particularly specific to ISSTH but just prevalent aspects of the genre based on, resulting from, or coinciding with,...obsolete, poor, or outright wrong... philosophies, personal writing skill, and habits.

    For instance, numbers 2,3,5,6,7,8,9 are unfortunate consequences of the very obsolete and or often completely incorrect assumption that "more is always better." "Give me more and keep piling it on." More weapons, more arts, more cultivation levels, more types of magic, more sub-groups of magic, massive worlds, populations, more powerful adversaries, greater enhancements, etc. Authors that buy into this seem to believe that the more they cram in, the better their world building and story telling becomes. That's obviously not the case. As clearly shown, it does the exact opposite, generating problems almost immediately and almost always continuing at an increasingly and more abundant rate. While there's certainly a sound argument for creating more irrational and soft systems to some degree, this is not the way it should be executed.

     #1 - It's typically just bad characterization and lack of character arcs. As you may have noticed, a character's personality in the genre tends to stay consistent throughout the entire series. It's typically unrealistic and as you said, focused on extremes. However, in defense of some scenarios, I believe it's suppose to be stage acting than actual emotional changes. When conning people for instance, that seems much more likely as a tactical approach than anything else. The concept behind it is to appear completely unpredictable, which is a defense mechanism. Unpredictability equates to dangerous. If you don't know how and when these changes come about, it's very difficult to act. That's how I see it. If it's not than well..again, it's just bad characterization. I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt, but you see it often enough in others that it's entirely plausible.

    #4 - Deus ex machina is...well it's seems to be nothing more than a trope of the genre unfortunately. It's so prevalent, how often it occurs and how it comes about, that all signs point towards it being conceptualized and previously planned as intentional goal. I don't really know why they do this, but I can only guess that it's the kind of thing that receives positive reception in China and or they vehemently believe it's necessary to good story telling. I guess you can chalk it up to a cultural thing at that point.

    #10 - The aging thing...ehh, it's certainly an inconsistency based on convenience sort of thing. Pill Demon is the MC's mentor and somewhat surrogate father, as all masters are considered to a degree, so I imagine having a younger or the same aged individual with that status would rub the readers the wrong way since as Liftenstuff addressed, it's catered toward a specific demographic. Coupled with it, the MC always tends to get certain perks others can't or won't.

    I don't agree with him on it/them not being a big deal, since I'm sure it's certainly one if not the the greatest obstacles for growth and the most common criticism of the genre, but I don't write the stuff so *shrug* My suggestion is to do what the rest of us do and that's try your best to ignore it and or just skim/skip it entirely.
    it seems you actually agree with me for the most part, it's just that you deal with it in a different way hahaha
    I totally get what you guys say and I know this kind of problems are present in almost every xianxia.
    However, I have to disagree with the argument "well, other stories of the genre do the same, it's how things are, so it's not a loophole". I mean, if the story contradicts itself, fail to explain something or makes mistakes, then it is a loophole, regardless whether or not it's a common problem in the genre. of course, I still think ISSTH is a good one and that's why I read 982 chapters so far hahaha
    So I do my best to "ignore" these small mistakes, but that doesn't mean I can't see them or discuss about them, right?

    By the way, I will add another one to the list:

    11 - During the Violet sect arc, it is said Pill Demon is a spirit severing expert. What does make sense, since he was really strong and was even able to fight with one of the spirit severing Ji clan patriarchs (when Meng Hao killed the quasi-array Ji guy inside the world of Choumen Tai, the Ji patriarch wanted to go to the Southern Domain to kill Meng Hao, but Pill Demon fought him and stopped him). But after Meng Hao goes rampage in the Black Sieve sect, Pill Demon goes in secluded meditation and performs consecutively performs three severings, causing three great daos to descend. chapter 702: “Three great Daos, and three Severings in a row. Based on the knowledge he has from his last life, it seems he’s going from Spirit Severing… directly into Dao Seeking!”.so...                                                                              ???????????????

  • I wasn't really looking for an agreement or disagreement, just trying to clear up what I believe are to be some misconceptions and by no means am I suggesting you can't or shouldn't discuss them. You keep on trucking.

    However, for all intense and purposes, I believe these fall under the category of tropes and not "loopholes", because "loopholes" would imply that these are specific methods which the author uses in order to try and game the system. It's seems very clear that they were never perceived as an ambiguity during conception, planning, or execution and before, during, or after the scene. If it's anything, you could consider it a sort of "backdoor" that these authors create in order to allow them to bypass rules and limitations of their systems at whatever times they feel it's convenient. It's the distinction concerning negligence and another with intent. I think that's important to acknowledge. Sure, it's irksome that there is no explanation for these things in regards to world building, plot structure, and systems, but then again, there was never suppose to be any to begin with.

    I really, really, really, really, really, want to know why though LOL  :D It hasn't been long since I was introduced to the genre, but considering how prevalent it is, I very much like to understand the author's thought process (all of them actually), but I don't speak the language or know how to contact them and frankly, I have a sneaking suspicion that questions of this nature would not be well received. They clearly know that portions of their audience have concerns about it since they go through the effort to acknowledge those complaints, but I don't recall seeing or even hearing about them trying to actually address it accordingly. That bugs mean greatly, since I am in the opinion that "if a belief cannot stand up to criticism, it's not a belief worth keeping."

    #11 - I'm pretty sure this was already addressed and it was that Pill Demon always had this capability, but only held off to try and better his chances during tribulation. It was his relationship with the MC, and Pill Demon's feelings of inadequacy in regards to protecting his pupil, which motivated him into taking those final steps. It was completely undercut due to the fact that Pill Demon never had much of a chance in succeeded and only survived due to the MC's intervention, not to mention the MC becoming more powerful than Pill Demon Immortal almost the next day but... *shrug* I don't know why it was made a thing.
  • With #10 the way I see it is Meng Hao uses his longevity but he hasn't actually lived that long so he can regain his appearance, whereas the people nearing the end of their longevity are actually too old so look young. I see nothing wrong!
  • Fodao said:

    6 - well, I do hope there is a good explanation. in the beginning of the novel, it was mentioned how the reliance sect was on a mountain that was almost impossible for mortals to reach. so I thought cultivators lived in areas no mortal could go, what would make sense to explain why mortals didn't know about them. however, things change later on the story. for example, the black lands contain both mortals and cultivators. and Meng Hao crossed the whole region together with 30.000 meters tall water giants. so... how can mortals not know about the cultivators? not to mention that many nations, like the Great Tang, which is the capital of the whole continent, are composed of mortals and cultivators (the emperor himself is a cultivator). considering how conspicuous the cultivators are, is really hard to believe the population doesn't know about them. actually, considering all the explosions, giants, etc. it's even hard to believe mortals are able to survive at all! 

    Different lands, different knowledge.  The Eastern Lands are a whole different continent and its a crazy big, dangerous planet.

    The State of Zhao, before it got carted away on the back of a turtle, had too few resources to nurture cultivators, or demonic beasts, except in the mountains on the borders.  The few handfuls of cultivators it held struggled to advance through the lowest of levels of Qi condensation, in a closed mountain commune surrounded by demonic beasts.  The mortals lived securely in lowlands where cultivators and demonic beasts rarely ventured, and they were isolated from the rest of the Western Continent.

    The Black Lands, by contrast, was too harsh for mortals to survive except amid cultivators but, by contrast, there were apparently enough resources to enable a significant number to learn to cultivate.

    In between, it was mentioned that there were mortal communities existing in the lands between and among the great sects, but by that time Meng Hoa simply didn't interact with them beyond, I recall, observing how slow a mortal trade caravan was to a cultivator and even then he was traveling to teleportation arrays.

  • Tbaism said:
    I wasn't really looking for an agreement or disagreement, just trying to clear up what I believe are to be some misconceptions and by no means am I suggesting you can't or shouldn't discuss them. You keep on trucking.

    However, for all intense and purposes, I believe these fall under the category of tropes and not "loopholes", because "loopholes" would imply that these are specific methods which the author uses in order to try and game the system. It's seems very clear that they were never perceived as an ambiguity during conception, planning, or execution and before, during, or after the scene. If it's anything, you could consider it a sort of "backdoor" that these authors create in order to allow them to bypass rules and limitations of their systems at whatever times they feel it's convenient. It's the distinction concerning negligence and another with intent. I think that's important to acknowledge. Sure, it's irksome that there is no explanation for these things in regards to world building, plot structure, and systems, but then again, there was never suppose to be any to begin with.

    I really, really, really, really, really, want to know why though LOL  :D It hasn't been long since I was introduced to the genre, but considering how prevalent it is, I very much like to understand the author's thought process (all of them actually), but I don't speak the language or know how to contact them and frankly, I have a sneaking suspicion that questions of this nature would not be well received. They clearly know that portions of their audience have concerns about it since they go through the effort to acknowledge those complaints, but I don't recall seeing or even hearing about them trying to actually address it accordingly. That bugs mean greatly, since I am in the opinion that "if a belief cannot stand up to criticism, it's not a belief worth keeping."

    #11 - I'm pretty sure this was already addressed and it was that Pill Demon always had this capability, but only held off to try and better his chances during tribulation. It was his relationship with the MC, and Pill Demon's feelings of inadequacy in regards to protecting his pupil, which motivated him into taking those final steps. It was completely undercut due to the fact that Pill Demon never had much of a chance in succeeded and only survived due to the MC's intervention, not to mention the MC becoming more powerful than Pill Demon Immortal almost the next day but... *shrug* I don't know why it was made a thing.
    That's one way to put things, but I think are being too gentle to Er Gen haha. By definition, a loophole is "a small mistake in an agreement or law that gives someone the chance to avoid having to do something" (Cambridge Dictionary). Whether it was done on purpose or not is irrelevant. Like you said, we have no ways to know exactly what the author was thinking when he wrote that, anything we say about the author's intention is pure speculation. Therefore, all we can do is analyse the story itself. And like I said before, in my opinion, when the story contradicts itself, fails to explain something or makes mistakes, it is loophole (even if it is a common type of loophole in the genre).
     
    about #11 - The only mentioned was that he was holding back and waiting for the Immortal destiny that happens every 10.000 thousand years. There was no explanation regarding what level he actually was before performing those 3 severings. However, all the information presented so far implied that he was already at spirit severing. So, the fact that he performed 3 severings is completely beyond logic. It doesn't matter if he was holding back or not, a cultivator can only perform 3 severing. If he was at spirit severing already, it means he had already performed at least one severing. So if performed more 3 severings in that arc... then he would have performed more than 3, which is a big loophole.
    Greyman said:
    Fodao said:

    6 - well, I do hope there is a good explanation. in the beginning of the novel, it was mentioned how the reliance sect was on a mountain that was almost impossible for mortals to reach. so I thought cultivators lived in areas no mortal could go, what would make sense to explain why mortals didn't know about them. however, things change later on the story. for example, the black lands contain both mortals and cultivators. and Meng Hao crossed the whole region together with 30.000 meters tall water giants. so... how can mortals not know about the cultivators? not to mention that many nations, like the Great Tang, which is the capital of the whole continent, are composed of mortals and cultivators (the emperor himself is a cultivator). considering how conspicuous the cultivators are, is really hard to believe the population doesn't know about them. actually, considering all the explosions, giants, etc. it's even hard to believe mortals are able to survive at all! 

    Different lands, different knowledge.  The Eastern Lands are a whole different continent and its a crazy big, dangerous planet.

    The State of Zhao, before it got carted away on the back of a turtle, had too few resources to nurture cultivators, or demonic beasts, except in the mountains on the borders.  The few handfuls of cultivators it held struggled to advance through the lowest of levels of Qi condensation, in a closed mountain commune surrounded by demonic beasts.  The mortals lived securely in lowlands where cultivators and demonic beasts rarely ventured, and they were isolated from the rest of the Western Continent.

    The Black Lands, by contrast, was too harsh for mortals to survive except amid cultivators but, by contrast, there were apparently enough resources to enable a significant number to learn to cultivate.

    In between, it was mentioned that there were mortal communities existing in the lands between and among the great sects, but by that time Meng Hoa simply didn't interact with them beyond, I recall, observing how slow a mortal trade caravan was to a cultivator and even then he was traveling to teleportation arrays.

    The thing is, nothing was mentioned about that haha. yeah, your theory might be completely right, sure. I also thought the same possibility. But later on the story, there is no explanation about how mortals live in that world. I think some nations interact with immortals as a common thing, some nations don't (like the state of Zhao). But even so... if the existence of immortals is common knowledge in some nations, other nations should at least know about their existence. People talk to each other, right? How something so shocking like people flying in the air, 30.000 meters tall giants running back and forth, etc., is not spread among people? Again, there is not enough information regarding this topic. Even in the Easter Lads, it's not mentioned if people do know about the existence of immortals or not. I think it would be nice if Er Gen explained a little more.
  • edited October 2016
    I believe we see so many loopholes in most/all chinese novels is because of the system. Meaning that authors have a quota of amount of chapters/characters to release each day in a contract. Now, if you are going to write a book with at least several 100 chapters, you need to plan things out extensively (even more for 1000+ chapters) so as to not leave any loopholes. Now, that is just not feasible because new ideas emerge in authors' heads all the time. The thing is though, chinese authors do not have any time to think about what kind of effects the ideas will have on the plot and if there will be loopholes because they have to release chapters every single day. They have to think of present and future all the time which is not easy to do.

    Now, take the western authors for example. These authors release book by book and the time between can be several years so they have plenty of time to go over new ideas and mold them to fit the plot in such a way that it doesn't conflict with the story already in place from previous book(s).

    So, as long as it is not a major plot hole and not repetitive as fuck (mga, atg), i don't really care because it doesn't detract from my enjoyment. Also, these stories have so many characters, do you really think an author will take 100s of chapters to describe each and every detail about the side characters? No, because the story is focused on the MC and even more so because this is xianxia.  
    Understand basic grammar:
    Your vs You're
    There vs Their vs They're
    Defiantly vs Definitely
    Loose vs Lose
    Than vs Then
    To vs Too
    NO 'Should/Could of'

  • BookWorm said:
    I believe we see so many loopholes in most/all chinese novels is because of the system. Meaning that authors have a quota of amount of chapters/characters to release each day in a contract. Now, if you are going to write a book with at least several 100 chapters, you need to plan things out extensively (even more for 1000+ chapters) so as to not leave any loopholes. Now, that is just not feasible because new ideas emerge in authors' heads all the time. The thing is though, chinese authors do not have any time to think about what kind of effects the ideas will have on the plot and if there will be loopholes because they have to release chapters every single day. They have to think of present and future all the time which is not easy to do.

    Now, take the western authors for example. These authors release book by book and the time between can be several years so they have plenty of time to go over new ideas and mold them to fit the plot in such a way that it doesn't conflict with the story already in place from previous book(s).

    So, as long as it is not a major plot hole and not repetitive as fuck (mga, atg), i don't really care because it doesn't detract from my enjoyment. Also, these stories have so many characters, do you really think an author will take 100s of chapters to describe each and every detail about the side characters? No, because the story is focused on the MC and even more so because this is xianxia.  
    That is a good explanation of the reason why there are so many loopholes and is probably right. 
    But I don't see why people try to deny/justify these mistakes. looks like most are not able to accept the story they like have mistakes. like I said many times, I like ISSTH. actually, it's probably my favorite LN. but I don't pretend I can't see there are some plot holes and I like to discuss them. but what I see is people justifying everything with arguments like "oh, others LN do the same, so it's not a loophole".  
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