>> Roland was a mechanical engineer before, but apparently he knows chemistry, biology, the education system, war tactics, shipbuilding, and who knows what else. Basic knowledge is fine. What this guy has is unacceptable, however.
The war tactics aren't strange as he's a huge military nerd. They're not complex to the point of implausibility either. The theory/construction of the concrete bathtub river boats is relatively simple, they tested models beforehand and there's no stuff like air compartments etc like modern boats. The steel version's design uses the same basic theory as the concrete ones. I'm not sure what you find so unbelievable about Roland's education system. IIRC they're only teaching basic literacy (maybe basic math? don't remember), not even at the level of modern primary school curricula. Only the witches get a more specialized education with Scroll teaching. It's not till much later on he starts getting the alchemists to start teaching chemistry classes to help fill the chemist deficiency.
>> Hey, I'm going to write a chemistry textbook telling you every formula in the world. By the way I'm going to jot down a 500 page manual on how2biology.
It's basic chemistry/etc according to whatever he still remembers from school/life. They're exercise book sized at best, not several hundred pages, why would you even assume that? I guess you could bloat them with exercises for the students. He struggled to fill the intermediate level chem book (and gave up). As for biology (human health), it probably has complex revolutionary content like: organ locations/functions, microorganisms exist, basic first aid, wash your hands, why you shouldn't sh*t in the street, etc.
>> I'll add in a physics course for free.
He's a mechanical engineer, I should bloody hope so.
>> Some defend this, but there's literally nobody who can do this. (...) Can they list the periodic table in its entirety 20 years after they've long forgotten their high school chemistry class?
... Roland literally couldn't either, the periodic table in his chem book is full of blank spaces. A perceptive reader would use this as a reference to extrapolate how the content in his other textbooks might appear. I don't know why people keep getting the impression that he's writing 1:1 copies of his prior textbooks.
>> And I'm going to rewrite an entire play or three, by memory, perfectly.
Nowhere does it mention they're perfect recreations. Roland writes the basic outline (the translation makes it sound as if he wrote it all himself) with help from past life knowledge plagiarism whilst Scroll does most of the heavy lifting. Helps with having many plays to reference with her memory power. Cinderella & Chicken Calls At Midnight are primary school plays (1 western, 1 chinese), whilst for A Witch's Diary Scroll can draw from personal experience. He comments the plays aren't even that good, just that the people have nothing to compare them to. Not that crazy when you remember the author is a working engineer writing RtW as a hobby.
>> Did I mention I'm a master plumber, farmer, and blacksmith?
He has people that he delegates those tasks to, and witches to skip years of development work. He was never a blacksmithing expert, not sure how you got this idea. Blacksmithing is one of the first things he makes redundant. Farming he doesn't micro-manage, other than some common sense knowledge (use fertilizer, crop rotation) he's left it all up to the farmers themselves to figure out best practices and City Hall to help spread that info. As far as plumbing goes, it's not that big a leap with Anna/Soraya/Hummingbird. Trial and error for plumbing isn't terribly interesting though, which is why for many similar technological developments (see: Nitrogen extraction) the author doesn't over elaborate on the process and focuses more instead on the results.
>> Hell, have some music theory too, because I'm a mechanical engineer who took some GE classes and we can all do that while governing an entire city as a full-time job.
Recreating a marching song isn't impossible. Helping Echo spitball music ideas through conversation and singing some Earth songs in his downtime is well within reason. You're also giving Echo too little credit, she can mimic and project a person's voice after hearing it once and she has musical training. A chapter describing the fumbling about wouldn't work well in a written format though.
>> Release that Witch is a power fantasy for teenage and young adult men.
Don't disagree, RtW doesn't pretend to be otherwise. The first battle against Duke Ryans' forces should've clued you in. There are people who want the story to turn into tragedy, or to have the MC struggle, but the story has never been about that. It's a quick, light read with regular updates.
>> Only in foreign webnovels do protagonists get a pass for being overpowered, which is called bad writing anywhere else.
It's what their audience wants. Believe it or not, many people actually enjoy OP MCs. And as far as OP MCs go, Roland wouldn't even crack the top 100.
>> Even Superman has his Kryponite, whether it's a rock or vulnerable friends he must care for. Millions are enthralled by something like Game of Thrones because the characters are human.
Comparing Roland to Superman? lol, that's probably the worst analogy you could've made. One of Roland's main appeals is that he's a regular human in a fantasy world. Honestly if you have to go so far as to compare RtW with actual professional published works with years/months between releases to take it down, that says a lot about its quality. If you think it's possible to write Game of Thrones as a daily webnovel though, I've got a bridge to sell you.
The world's dungeon evolutions are based around the MC's stat progression for some reason.
MC seems to be the sole person on the planet who's found and is using the OP new game system at the present time. Story hints that this may have happened several times in the past also.
Also, I've found that the story is endlessly more amusing when you replace the words "Chu Feng" with "Doom" (via an addon). Eg:
*poof* Suddenly, the city lord of the Vermilion Bird City knelt to the ground and endlessly kowtowed to Doom, "Doom, please spare me, please spare me. I was truly forced and had no other choice! I had no intentions of harming you."
"It's fine no matter what you do to me, Doom. However, you ignored your daughters' happiness many times in order to continue living in this world. You truly aren't qualified to be a father." Doom slowly walked over with oppressing killing intent.
– MC is rich as sh*t but doesn't spend a single cent to buy cultivation oddities that'll boost his power level after he buys the dead lava fetus for practically nothing.
– MC creates a secret identity to protect his loved ones but blows it every single chance he gets.
– Previously powerful side characters get sidelined like in every other Xianxia/Wuxia WN and turn into dead weight.
– Power system is still incredibly s*upid and treadmilly. Fights all feel the same; stronger guys can instagib weaker guys unless there's plot reasons. Asspulls out the yin yang, MC suddenly uses abilities he's apparently learnt out of nowhere. Fight rubberneckers can somehow magically discern the exact power level and skill ranks of combatants.
– The girl that the MC raped into a fish monster turned out to be demonically possessed and raping her actually helped her. He finishes a quest to find a magic flower to help seal the demon, saving her life. She secretly thanks him from far away, as he speeds off into the sunset. My eyes can't roll back any further.
– MC rapes two female bad guys after Eggy, his female World Spirit summon, eggs him on (see what I did there?). The male bad guy who got cuckolded was the fiance and brother to them and was so incensed he penetrated his fiance with a spear in the hoohah. After she gives a short but strangely coherent, impassioned, defiant speech about why he's such a c-word, he detonates her into blood mist. Also slaps his sister after she gives an appropriate WTF for added measure.
– Magic r*pe poison incense strikes again. It conveniently depowers women, makes them horny, and eventually kills them in a blood explosion. Why even bother learning martial arts?
- mrezman's summary perfectly describes the entire Holy Land of Martialism arc. It's so formulaic it's laughable. At one point he forms a team of mysterious old elders. On the positive side, the author's stopped with the rape. Not much romance either (if you can call it that). Poor Jiang Wushang and Zhang Tianyi keep getting bullied. Alas, the fate of a Xianxia side character.
- Martial Half-emperor and Half-ancestor are s*upid ranks. Like, plan this stuff out before you run into power inflation problems during the story. The naming's kind of s*upid when everyone's a Lord or King or Emperor. Same with the pointless armament ranks.
- World Spiritist is a literal do-everything ass-pull profession. The MC will often randomly use OP WS powers out of nowhere, stretching plausibility. In one egregious case, apparently the MC studied architecture sometime during his HLM journey and can create multiple floating palaces in seconds out of thin air.
The childhood arc is written differently from the rest of the novel and should not set your expectations for the rest of it. There's many little details about the world setting, history, etc which you may or may not find interesting. The MC explores magic here, and there's a xuanhuan/cultivation feel to the magic system.
The soldier arc is when the MC is drafted into the army. Writing becomes less detailed, filler starts being introduced in the form of standard Chinese webnovel antagonists (ie: vicious, arrogant, shameless idiots). MC starts to implement some modern reforms and finds some success whilst being hampered by aforementioned cliche idiots. Mage stuff is thrown into the back-burner as the story goes full army. Basically, MC makes muskets more accurate, which makes the age-old tactic of lining up in rows to whittle down the enemy in battles of attrition meaningless. Tactics actually have meaning, but the comically incompetent noble establishment resists change whilst their enemies adapt instantly.
After being promoted to a general, MC gets sent with his peers to retake the kingdom's colonies. First two arcs I'm not sold on, but I'm addicted to this one. They basically pull off a mini-America. Lots of army battles. MC is unleashed as he now has the power to pull off what he couldn't in the last arc, but is regularly dragged down by incompetent allies. And oh, the family drama. The end boss of the Shicks Kingdom campaign ends up being his mother.
There's a lot more filler now, author often recaps what happened in the last few chapters and the names of nations and army units are constantly spammed (transliterated names in Chinese really ups the word count). Nobles and natives are devolved into monolithic groups of well, a**holes. Mage stuff is essentially completely sidelined, it's basically used as a replacement for science in tech development.
As far as "subverting tropes" go, the aggravating event where the MC was on the verge of killing the "hero, " he escapes unharmed via plot armor in a typical disappointing cliche development. Welp, there goes the one thing the story had going for it.
Beginner village is only revisited once in the entire story. Unfortunately due to price inflation, he can't clean shop with his massive amounts of money earned (lol plot balancing). The gene splicing thing and village upgrade concepts are forgotten. Later on due to power creep, the entire initial system gets tossed out for a standard Xianxia god/soul sea system. Expect lots of commentary of rank vs. Rank comparisons during fights.
The empire building aspect had so much potential, but in the end it's pretty much sidelined. The story ends before he reunites the entirety of China through conquest. The big China vs. Europe vs. USA vs. India (etc) clash never happens.
In the end he becomes a rank 10 god and wills all mutants/monsters/demons/etc on all worlds in the current galaxy into non-existence (except for monster girls, because lol)
- In Japan, the MC allows a gang-r*pe that includes grade-schoolers to happen in front of him because their strangely detailed and politically hostile views on Sino-Japanese relations roused his ire. Racist and politically savvy 10 year olds, sure why not.
- Also in Japan, after the MC offers to release some Chinese prisoners being held captive, a female exchange student refuses to disavow her Japanese captors who are repeatedly described as abusing, raping and golden showering her (and others), choosing to stay in the prison. The MC comments that Chinese youth being brainwashed with anime/manga culture is a disease in their society, and complains about Chinese females traveling to Japan to find boyfriends (they're takin' our wimmen).
- By the point the MC arrives in Indonesia, the racism has almost become parody. Of course they're all cannibal, racist, torturers that live in mud huts. Even the women, children and old people.
- The video game power system should technically equalize the sexes, but men still hold 99% of the power. IIRC there's 2 instances of the token all-female faction in the story somewhere, but that didn't really go anywhere (1 sexy amazon tribe and 1 chinese dom faction, with all the tropes you'd expect).
- Virgins are literally used as currency. The MC uses virgins to pay his men.
In the middle and later segments of the story, the plot relies too much on the MC's mysterious power to resolve situations via deus ex machina. It's a problem because it's never explained and no-one/nothing else in the world can compare to it.
Story just abruptly ends, there's no resolution to many hanging plot threads (eg: MC's power/reincarnation; where/when the world is; nation building; the antagonist, etc). As if the author lost interest.
Due to an (apparent) system bug, the MC discovers that he's an NPC living in a Matrix-like game. He gains game-like superpowers and has to fight for his survival in a death game.
As expected, later on there are massive power inflation problems. eg: fighting god-level GM characters; hints of interplanetary/stellar warfare (planet buster bombs, spaceships, etc). Level/stat progression is still vague as hell.
MC and the other special Awakened (Irregulars) received a cheat skill each somehow, which hasn't been explained. Apparently they're supposed to have cloned a player with the bug so I'm not sure why they only gained 1 super rare skill.