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Old 08-23-2016, 09:40 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Because we don't seem to have a general purpose Starcraft lore/gameplay/whatever thread, and because I have a question that could us such a thread. Sticky plz.

Anyway, here's a headscratcher for you all: Why does Arcturus Mengsk's theme tune borrow so heavily from old UED opera?
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:42 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Because we don't seem to have a general purpose Starcraft lore/gameplay/whatever thread, and because I have a question that could us such a thread. Sticky plz.

Anyway, here's a headscratcher for you all: Why does Arcturus Mengsk's theme tune borrow so heavily from old UED opera?
1. Because Blizzard reuses things even when it doesn't really make sense to.

2. Because it's to emphasize how both are old-fashioned in their political views and stuck on the importance of humanity but really just use it as a front to control others without actually caring about humanity in anything but the broadest concept.

Sort of like how Garrosh loved 'the horde', but made the horde miserable, he had this concept of how the horde should be and that was more important to him than people actually being happy.

Same with Arcturus, he had a view of himself, his life, his family, ruling a prosperous human empire, whether the people LIVING in it are actually any better off is unimportant, same with UED, the Koprulu sector people are 'lost children' to them that need to be saved and brought in line, but they worked to accomplish that through brutal military conquest and didn't really CARE about the people they're ostensibly helping to bring back into the fold. What mattered was humanity is united, not what was BEST for the dominion / koprulu sector.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:08 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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I actually really liked the music used for the Terran endgame cinematic in the original Starcraft. The more American sound fit better with the Koprulu Terrans.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:51 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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I actually think the overall idea of SC2 (Kerrigan's redemption, Amon and the Xel'Naga) actually was solid in concept. Genya accurately pointed out that it's possible to argue that the infestation would have supressed things like empathy and compassion and given that Kerrigan did have clear moral standards and a desire to do the right thing (she's appalled at the idea of using the zerg even on the people who wronged her and the tarsonis debacle could be explained as misguided belief Mengsk would ultimately save civilians or deal with the zerg when the old families were gone or belief the protoss would leave fewer survivors) I can buy that she'd be angry and more violent after betrayal and infestation but NOT being as sadistic as she was in BW.

As someone else wisely pointed out

"Right at the beginning you rightfully find Kerrigan to be a complex character. Now why would a complex human, given great powers, immediately turn into a comicbook super villain? Even if we accept your claim that the mind of the being that was the Queen of Blades was not mostly the work of the Overmind and still very much the human being Sarah Kerrigan, why would she completely forsake the possibility of salvation, the hope of ever experiencing affection or love again? If she always was the psychotic being you make her out to be she wouldn't have been able to experience a connection with Jim - and even the loyalty and devotion to Mengsk, who pretty much was a father figure for her.
Now I understand the fascination with the brood war character, she certainly was a badass villain, but what I'm trying to say is that Blizzard is not far off the road here, that this is not the work of "evil new bliz" but very much attached to the sc1 storywork already. The salvation comes of course in the unlucky form of a deus ex machina plot device, yet Kerrigans transformation is absolutely believable. There she is again, the young woman that experienced deep distress on Antiga prime, facing the ethical conflict between sacrificing millions of lives and the command of her savior who (apparently) always knows whats best and cares deeply about her. That is not the reaction of a cold blooded killer.

And this young woman clearly was in love with Raynor pretty much from the beginning. While it is not untrue to say that it was always only implied, it was still completely obvious. Even the Queen of Blades saved his life multiple times or at least spared him, unlike the case of Mengsk as an act of sadism, but one of affection. In these acts the thirst for vengeance against Mengsk was also cleary visibile, which strengthens the assumption that we're dealing with a complex being, not a suddenly-turned-god with no mundane feelings/interests altogether. Why would this being, presented a chance at living something like a normal life instead of a hunted, lonely one, instantly start plotting again, and to what end?"

Even if you don't agree with her being in love with Raynor she certainly CARED for him (she defied the overmind's orders when she let him go in Agent of the Swarm, and only really felt weary AFTER he called her out.) Having it be that the infestation amplified her inner darkness and suppressed compassion and empathy doesn't take away her agency so it's fine. The only problem is that up until the Moros Kerrigan is pretty nasty. She has believable reasons (she's lost her chance at normalcy and revenge is all she has) and she does show humanity even before jim turns out to be alive after all. What's more, originally Kerrigan would have become friends with Lassara (if blizcon 2011 is to be believed). Had they gone that route, given her more scenes with zeratul, have her openly express regret for her crimes more frequently I think that the redemption arc would be solid. She's pretty nice in Legacy of the Void and the fact that Valerian didn't really offer her anything during the Korhal invasion combined with her genuine shock when Raynor helps it's safe to say that her decision to spare the people was a genuine desire to do what was right rather than desire to please Jimmy.

Amon and the Xel'Naga were also not terrible. Amon's meant to be a lucifer figure and in a way his rhetoric of "breaking the cycle" masking his true desire (he was unwilling to bear the burden that came with being a god and when he couldn't back out he tried to back out he blamed the Xel'Naga) of hate and pride works on that score. Even the reveal that HE was the one who uplifted the Protoss is actually kinda cool. It's a major curveball but given that Amon and his faction WERE xel'naga it doesn't actually violate the lore that much.

In a way he's a dark mirror of Kerrigan and Artanis. Like Kerrigan when he found himself a pawn he tried to smash the board, but unlike both (they were willing to accept the burdens of power and leadership) Amon was unwilling to and basically blamed the Xel'naga rather than taking responsibility.

That's a pretty cool concept actually.

The Prophecy is rather convoluted and needs to be addressed but overall the Dark force on the horizon plus Kerrigan's redemption is sound.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:21 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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There's something I was pondering the other day about the Xel'naga and what Amon's involvement in the creation of the protoss and zerg could mean.

The protoss and zerg were "falsely" elevated by Amon. They were fabricated against the plan of the Xel'naga, who were fundamentally against directly manipulating the evolution of the life they seeded throughout the galaxy beyond its most basic initiation. The Xel'naga were staunch believers in allowing the evolution to occur on its own, without tampering.

And it did. Repeatedly. Tons of times. Over and over again, two races reached a state of pure essence and pure form, encountered each other, and united to become the new Xel'naga. As infinitesimally huge as the odds were against it when accounting for the scope of an entire galaxy, this cycle that the Xel'naga basically had running on autopilot kept on happening.

So Amon failed to stop it. The hybrid and zerg never overran the whole galaxy, consuming everything and ending the cycle. And since the Xel'naga didn't involve themselves in the intermediary development of the intended races, the cycle would have still been going even after they were killed. It wasn't halted without them, because it was already continuing without them.

Which means theoretically, somewhere out there, two other races are likely evolving toward a purity of essence and of form, only naturally instead of artificially as was done to the zerg and protoss.

And nothing says they started from scratch every time, either. They didn't wipe the slate clean and purge the prior seeding efforts during each cycle, meaning there could feasibly be species in the galaxy that have been evolving and changing since the very first time. Somewhere out there, any number of other alien species could still be moving toward becoming that next potential incarnation of the Xel'naga, at infinitely various rates and along countless paths. There could be races out there with a mastery of psionic power which completely dwarfs that of the protoss, or species whose rate and range of adaptability would put that of the zerg to shame.

In fact, even if he'd won in LotV, how certain was the success of Amon's ultimate plan? It was pretty much completely dependent upon a certainty that the hybrid-led zerg were the ultimate threat to all other forms of life. Yet the Xel'naga supposedly ran around seeding countless planets with the beginnings of life throughout the galaxy. That's a lot of potential worlds that could have produced any number of species both imaginable and unimaginable.

Earth, Zerus, Aiur, and the Koprulu Sector add up to a combined minuscule portion of the galaxy's total size. If just the protoss, terrans and zerg managed to stop Amon, who's to say his goal of consuming and destroying all life wouldn't have swiftly led him and his hybrid crashing against even more powerful species that didn't evolve along the criteria that Amon deliberately engineered into the protoss and zerg so he could use their "designs" against them?

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Old 08-25-2016, 06:55 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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I actually think the overall idea of SC2 (Kerrigan's redemption, Amon and the Xel'Naga) actually was solid in concept.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:02 AM
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Anyway, here's a headscratcher for you all: Why does Arcturus Mengsk's theme tune borrow so heavily from old UED opera?
It's an aria about how we should honor the abandoned and forgotten soldier.

So it suited both scenes where it's played.

...it was way MORE suited to that guy we knew nothing about from Brood War, but that's neither here nor there.
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:37 AM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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There's something I was pondering the other day about the Xel'naga and what Amon's involvement in the creation of the protoss and zerg could mean.

The protoss and zerg were "falsely" elevated by Amon. They were fabricated against the plan of the Xel'naga, who were fundamentally against directly manipulating the evolution of the life they seeded throughout the galaxy beyond its most basic initiation. The Xel'naga were staunch believers in allowing the evolution to occur on its own, without tampering.

And it did. Repeatedly. Tons of times. Over and over again, two races reached a state of pure essence and pure form, encountered each other, and united to become the new Xel'naga. As infinitesimally huge as the odds were against it when accounting for the scope of an entire galaxy, this cycle that the Xel'naga basically had running on autopilot kept on happening.

So Amon failed to stop it. The hybrid and zerg never overran the whole galaxy, consuming everything and ending the cycle. And since the Xel'naga didn't involve themselves in the intermediary development of the intended races, the cycle would have still been going even after they were killed. It wasn't halted without them, because it was already continuing without them.

Which means theoretically, somewhere out there, two other races are likely evolving toward a purity of essence and of form, only naturally instead of artificially as was done to the zerg and protoss.

And nothing says they started from scratch every time, either. They didn't wipe the slate clean and purge the prior seeding efforts during each cycle, meaning there could feasibly be species in the galaxy that have been evolving and changing since the very first time. Somewhere out there, any number of other alien species could still be moving toward becoming that next potential incarnation of the Xel'naga, at infinitely various rates and along countless paths. There could be races out there with a mastery of psionic power which completely dwarfs that of the protoss, or species whose rate and range of adaptability would put that of the zerg to shame.

In fact, even if he'd won in LotV, how certain was the success of Amon's ultimate plan? It was pretty much completely dependent upon a certainty that the hybrid-led zerg were the ultimate threat to all other forms of life. Yet the Xel'naga supposedly ran around seeding countless planets with the beginnings of life throughout the galaxy. That's a lot of potential worlds that could have produced any number of species both imaginable and unimaginable.

Earth, Zerus, Aiur, and the Koprulu Sector add up to a combined minuscule portion of the galaxy's total size. If just the protoss, terrans and zerg managed to stop Amon, who's to say his goal of consuming and destroying all life wouldn't have swiftly led him and his hybrid crashing against even more powerful species that didn't evolve along the criteria that Amon deliberately engineered into the protoss and zerg so he could use their "designs" against them?
Yeah, a lot of the story falls apart upon closer inspection. I don't remember if they gave any reason for wanting one species with purity of form, and another with purity of essence, but it's hard to imagine a hypothetical reason being any good.

Regarding Mengsk using UED music—UED culture would not be well-known to the average citizen of the Dominion. I can see Mengsk appropriating aspects of the UED (which seemed to do the whole authoritarian thing a lot more successfully than the Confederacy) in order to create a kind of national culture. It has the kind of grandiose quality that a dictator would appreciate.

Korhal culture, filtered through UED, with bits of the old Confederacy.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:33 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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Yeah, a lot of the story falls apart upon closer inspection. I don't remember if they gave any reason for wanting one species with purity of form, and another with purity of essence, but it's hard to imagine a hypothetical reason being any good.

Regarding Mengsk using UED music—UED culture would not be well-known to the average citizen of the Dominion. I can see Mengsk appropriating aspects of the UED (which seemed to do the whole authoritarian thing a lot more successfully than the Confederacy) in order to create a kind of national culture. It has the kind of grandiose quality that a dictator would appreciate.

Korhal culture, filtered through UED, with bits of the old Confederacy.
The Zerg did a lot of damage over the galaxy on their way to Koprulu. The Protoss had a massive empire at one point.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:35 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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@ARM, as I understood the Xel'naga didn't seed worlds, they seeded universes. They came from the void, started life and then upon death returned to the void. So unless I am mistaken there should be no other highly evolved beings to stop him.

Also since Amon has clearly found a way to kill other Xel'naga, those precursor races or even their merged forms should not necessarily be a problem. Though as Kerrigan showed, they can be.

Though like Destron I was never too sold on the "purity of form vs purity of essence" thing. Hell, if I changed one thing I'd call the zerg the purity of form (perfect physiology) and the protoss the purity of essence (perfect mind). Which just goes to show how both terms are very ambiguous.


Honestly the whole thing's a mess when you think about it and SCII made it only worse. I am still kinda miffed that somehow Kerrigan was able to go Xel'naga without merging with a protoss. Though I suppose her and Jimmy's relationship would get a lot weirder if Artanis was also in her head >_>

And yet despite the role of the Xel'naga and their intention being murky in the original lore it worked much better because they were only seen as the shadowy progenitors of the protoss and the zerg. Both origin stories were about "raging against the heavens" first the protoss who turned violent and attacked them and The Overmind who finished the job. Starcraft would have been much better served if it never ventured into the big, huge universe shattering realm but stayed a story about three races that don't like each other very much.

And while I prefer the unchanged story of the original as well as its feel, I am mostly attracted to Starcraft for its feel and that hasn't suffered as much in SCII as the story has. So I can still enjoy Starcraft as a work.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:06 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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I actually proposed an alternate version of heart of the swarm to an acquaintance (Kerrigan would have been nicer, Duran would have been the final boss, and "Tassadar" would have been the "Tassamind (basically the Overmind's soul merged with Tassadar's, creating a sorta xel'naga.) Kerrigan would merge with the Tassamind and THAT way would have ascended, gaining power over the game. The final battle of Legacy would have been Kerrigan and Amon in single combat, and the forces of the protoss fight through Amon's army and lay fire on him, allowing Kerrigan to beat him. Basically both play a key role). He actually liked a lot of it, and he said that as someone who hates Kerrigan.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:00 AM
Crazyterran Crazyterran is offline

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So is Raynor banging God?

Is the new life sprouting in dead planets the 'work' of those two?

Are the Terrans the true purity of form, while the Protoss are some Schmucks?
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:46 PM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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The thing about the universe being vast and two races growing to have purity of form/essence rn is to be glossed over like the titan thing in Warcraft. Not good but thats how it is

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I am still kinda miffed that somehow Kerrigan was able to go Xel'naga without merging with a protoss.
I believed the implication was that the terrans are gonna achieve purity of form

What i dont get is why are Oros says "the cycle is over" before dying. He just made a new Xelnaga and if the primal zerg and terrans eventually merge naturally, we should get more. Although on the other hand Amon says he was uplifted so does that mean we need many Xelnaga to empower the future ones? Because if so Amon basically won anyway

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Old 08-29-2016, 03:00 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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I've only recently played LotV for the first time and it says a lot that a month later I can't recall the details of the story.

I totally don't remember Amon mentioning he was uplifted. I don't know if the "two races come together" is even a thing anymore or if it was always Amon's propaganda so the races fulfill his goals. I liked that Ourobos or whatever he was called was the source of the psychic emanations and not Tassadar's ghost (though living on in the Khala was not too far fetched for me, acting outside the Khala like the ghost did however...). To me it seemed he gave his essence or whatever to Kerrigan, which may bypass the "two races merge" bit, if that bit is even a thing anymore...

And no new xel'naga rising, is that even that important? Sure Amon will have broken the cycle but as I understood the cycle (and I think I actually understood that quite well) the xel'naga helped seed new universes with life before retreating back to the void to do it for others. This may no longer happen but some universes will presumably develop life on their own anyways, so a loss but not an immense one.
Speaking of Amon, did anyone figure out what his deal is? I am still not sure. What are his motives? His origins? Bland mofo.


Anyhow, I like that they are apparently scaling back the tension. If I am reading things right a new, primal-zerg like faction will be the big bad for the zerg. Alarak will be the protoss bad guy, possibly one who will see battles as honourable duels rather than bitter conflicts. Not sure what is going on with the Defenders of Man but humanity is so fractious that some renegade group or another can serve as a punching bag.
This can allow for some simple z vs t vs p conflicts with big interesting battles and good story that is not needlessly complicated by an immense overarching plot that Blizzard probably never had the skill to pull off.

One thing though I feel will be a disappointment will be that Khala is likely to be left behind despite there being no further risk from Amon. Khala was not just a cool concept it was a great way to bond the protoss together and indeed it felt great. If it was a human thing I'd very seriously consider joining in, it would be a shame if young protoss and others with intact nerve cords are no longer inducted into the Khala.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:56 AM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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I've only recently played LotV for the first time and it says a lot that a month later I can't recall the details of the story.

I totally don't remember Amon mentioning he was uplifted. I don't know if the "two races come together" is even a thing anymore or if it was always Amon's propaganda so the races fulfill his goals. I liked that Ourobos or whatever he was called was the source of the psychic emanations and not Tassadar's ghost (though living on in the Khala was not too far fetched for me, acting outside the Khala like the ghost did however...). To me it seemed he gave his essence or whatever to Kerrigan, which may bypass the "two races merge" bit, if that bit is even a thing anymore...

And no new xel'naga rising, is that even that important? Sure Amon will have broken the cycle but as I understood the cycle (and I think I actually understood that quite well) the xel'naga helped seed new universes with life before retreating back to the void to do it for others. This may no longer happen but some universes will presumably develop life on their own anyways, so a loss but not an immense one.
Speaking of Amon, did anyone figure out what his deal is? I am still not sure. What are his motives? His origins? Bland mofo.


Anyhow, I like that they are apparently scaling back the tension. If I am reading things right a new, primal-zerg like faction will be the big bad for the zerg. Alarak will be the protoss bad guy, possibly one who will see battles as honourable duels rather than bitter conflicts. Not sure what is going on with the Defenders of Man but humanity is so fractious that some renegade group or another can serve as a punching bag.
This can allow for some simple z vs t vs p conflicts with big interesting battles and good story that is not needlessly complicated by an immense overarching plot that Blizzard probably never had the skill to pull off.

One thing though I feel will be a disappointment will be that Khala is likely to be left behind despite there being no further risk from Amon. Khala was not just a cool concept it was a great way to bond the protoss together and indeed it felt great. If it was a human thing I'd very seriously consider joining in, it would be a shame if young protoss and others with intact nerve cords are no longer inducted into the Khala.
Polygon explained that he felt like he was lied too. He thought he wanted power of a god but then realized he didn't. When he couldn't back out he felt cheated and so tried to trash the board. Basically he didn't want to handle responsibility so he tried to smash everything.

The two races coming together wasn't actually Amon's propaganda. He just directly interfered instead of the non interference clause.

I think overall Legacy could have worked in some ways. Execution was lacking though.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:06 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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StarCraft's problem is not enough variety in races, advanced or not. Everything is so boring and limited with just 3 major race and a few forgettable critters.

I don't think the StarCraft franchise has any potential left, specially now that it isn't popular in South Korea anymore. They could try salvaging the franchise by fixing the race variety problem in SC3, but then, the change would need to be so huge for it to work from day zero that it wouldn't feel like SC anymore.

There's also another problem, and it's that the 3 main races cover way too many themes already, making it hard to introduce new races with new themes.

Humanizing the zerg was a terrible mistake as well. They should have remained as a swarm with no motivation beyond survival. Their lore development problems date back to SC1 anyway.

I don't know, from an objective perspective, I feel like the StarCraft universe has always been shit regarding lore, a mess with no sense whatsoever in the big picture, torn by multiple bad decisions across the years.

Compare it to other universes, like Warhammer 40k, and there's just no color. They grew up Warcraft very well with W3, so no excuses.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:44 AM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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I've only recently played LotV for the first time and it says a lot that a month later I can't recall the details of the story.
Same here. I played it late last year, and I've already forgotten most of the plot.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:18 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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StarCraft's problem is not enough variety in races, advanced or not. Everything is so boring and limited with just 3 major race and a few forgettable critters.

I don't think the StarCraft franchise has any potential left, specially now that it isn't popular in South Korea anymore. They could try salvaging the franchise by fixing the race variety problem in SC3, but then, the change would need to be so huge for it to work from day zero that it wouldn't feel like SC anymore.

There's also another problem, and it's that the 3 main races cover way too many themes already, making it hard to introduce new races with new themes.

Humanizing the zerg was a terrible mistake as well. They should have remained as a swarm with no motivation beyond survival. Their lore development problems date back to SC1 anyway.

I don't know, from an objective perspective, I feel like the StarCraft universe has always been shit regarding lore, a mess with no sense whatsoever in the big picture, torn by multiple bad decisions across the years.

Compare it to other universes, like Warhammer 40k, and there's just no color. They grew up Warcraft very well with W3, so no excuses.
In some ways the story is done. Amon's gone forever, Kerrigan and Raynor are doing there own thing.

Speaking of which I composed my own version of Heart of the Swarm.

Intro: Umoja:

Mission 1: Lab Rat: This works fine; it's an introduction to Kerrigan controlling her powers in the aftermath of Char; New Units: Zerglings

Mission 2: Canon up to the fight with the Archangel. Kerrigan and Raynor flee the base and get out

Mission 3: Kerrigan, realizing that Mengsk and his mysterious benefactors will be pursing Raynor as long as she's with them, flees. This is both to save Raynor and to get time to think for herself. She teams with Naktul, and fights off the Tal'darim and Dominion forces. They corner her but Zeratul and a war band of Protoss (Nerazim and Khalai) both show up and save her. Kerrigan and Naktul get the hell out of dodge with Zeratul: New Units: Swarm Queen

Cutscene: Zeratul and Kerrigan have a discussion; Kerrigan is confused why Zeratul would save her life. Zeratul admits that he would like nothing more than to run her through with his sword for what she did to him. To his people. To Razsegal. However, there is a great darkness on the horizon and Kerrigan, and as much as it revolts him, the zerg, may be key to stopping it. The entire scene is extremely awkward; Kerrigan is visibly uncomfortable when reminded of Raszegal. Zeratul warns her that if she shows any sign or reverting to the Queen of Blades he WILL end her, prophecy or no. When the time comes he will take her to Aiur, to commune with Tassadar's spirit.

Arc 1: Forging a new home: Kerrigan makes contact with the Leviathan; she learns that in the aftermath of Char most of the Swarm perished due to infighting; the few that still live were quickly conscripted by the 7 surviving Brood Mothers that Kerrigan created during her time as the Queen of Blades. Kerrigan realizes that she needs to start somewhere, and decides that bringing the Brood Mothers to heel will be a benefit. For now though, they need a base of operations to rebuild the Swarm.

(Want to do some jungle world to have the Zerg establish a new base)

The Jungle World of Xibalba is a living death world; the protoss had tried to colonize the world in the past but failed

3 missions

Kaldir: Now that a base is established, the dynamic duo sets out to reclaim Na'fash, who fled to Kaldir.

Harvest of Screams: Longer version trying to investigate Na'fash's fate. You have to deal with the unusually vicious wildlife

Mission 2: Silence their cries: Kerrigan and her forces have run smack into a Protoss research base; unfortunately, they plan to inform the Golden Armada; given that most of them still want Kerrigan's head (Zeratul presented the matter of the prophecy to a vote and while Artanis was sympathetic, many of the others such as Vorazun, Nahaan, Urun and Selendis called for Kerrigan's head.) Kerrigan has to stop them from sending out their message to the Golden Armada. When the dust clears the base is captured. Kerrigan decides to show mercy and spare the Protoss survivors; Zeratul isn't particularly impressed, but notes it's a start.

Cutscene: Kerrigan talks to Lassara; Zeratul's giving her the cold shoulder, and the zerg are….well zerg. Lassara is hostile, calling Kerrigan a monster for everything she's done.
Char: With the Kaldir situation contained, the Swarm sets off to Char. Kerrigan confides in Izsha about her doubts and her fears; she admits that she is deeply scared of what she once was. She also acknowledges that a part of her does feel the need to die for her crimes.
Mission 1: Domination: Kerrigan and the Swarm quickly meet Za'gara. Za'gara does not respect Kerrigan, who is forced to fight Za'gara. This is basically the mission from Heart of the Swarm.

Mission 2: Fire in the Sky: While Kerrigan has brought Za'gara to heel (for now) Za'gara has a price; the Dominion prescence MUST be purged from Char. The Moebius forces have been performing experiments on captured Zerg.

Mission 3: Curtain of Darkness: Storm the Dominion Base: Warfield is not the enemy commander, having defected to Valerian. Instead it's a new guy, Gaskerville. Kerrigan overpowers the defenders, and has her forces take the Moebius scientists. Everyone else is allowed to flee with their lives.

Cutscene: Going through the captured Moebius scientists, Kerrigan learns that the Dominion is involved in whatever Darkness is coming. She and Zeratul discuss the implications, and Zeratul agrees that it is time to head to Aiur for the next move. This prompts another conversation between the two. Kerrigan apologizes for what she did to Raszegal; she acknowledges that her actions have no excuse but explains them anyway. Zeratul is still rather skeptical of her, but has begun to (slightly) soften to her.
Aiur:

Mission 1: The Tal'darim have moved in since Zeratul was here last time, and are harvesting the Overmind's corpse. The second half of the mission is stopping them from destroying the remnants now that they have what they need.

Kerrigan communes with Tassadar: He reveals that he is in fact "Tassamind"; his soul merged with that of the Overmind, creating a newborn entity. He kept the Overmind element hidden because he wasn't sure how Zeratul would react. He reveals important information (that Amon is a fallen Xel'Naga, that he helped engineer the downfall of his own people). It's fairly incomplete, because Tassamind is a young entity. It explains that Kerrigan is needed to control the swarm and stop Amon's darkness. Kerrigan absorbing his powers would allow that without her returning to being the Queen. Kerrigan reluctantly accepts the offer.

Mission 2: The Crucible: Kerrigan has to merge with the essence of the Tassamind in order to gain the power needed to control the Swarm and keep it out of Amon's hands. She's vulnerable, forcing the Zerg forces (As well as the protoss under Zeratul) to defend the site. Towards the end a few Hybrids join the fray, determined to stop the ascension. In the end Kerrigan gains her new powers and obliterates the Tal'darim and Hybrid Attackers.

Mission 3 The Spear of Adun: Her psychic powers enhanced by merging with the Tassamind, Kerrigan detects faint psychic prescences beneath Aiur's surface. She realizes that they're protoss Preservers, and informs Zeratul. She also discovers the absolutely MASSIVE Spear of Aiur beneath the surface. Realizing the implications of such a weapon, Zeratul asks Kerrigan's help in retrieving the weapon. If things go pear shaped it would be a valuable tool.

Cutscene: The rest of Zeratul's protoss followers return to Aiur with the Spear, hoping it will mollify the Council somewhat.

Korhal: With the Swarm rebuilt, and Kerrigan ascended the time has come for Mengsk to face justice for his crimes, and to get more information about the coming darkness.

Mission 1: Kerrigan has Kilysa blockade the System to keep Mengsk's forces from bringing in reinforcements from other systems, then has to smash her way through the orbital defenses. This involves taking out several Orbital Defense Platforms (as well as a returned Ion Cannon)

Mission 2: Before the gates: Mengsk unleashes a dangerous surprise; Hybrid warriors have been unleashed on the Zerg forces, forcing Kerrigan to go on the offensive. (basically a version of Hand of Darkness). Kerrigan and the others have to destroy the hybrids and stop them wrecking havoc on the Zerg forces trying to break down the city gates.

Mission 3: Reckoning: Mengsk is cornered like a rat in a cage, but he still has one final card to play; the Artifact that deinfested Kerrigan has been moved to the Front of the Korhal Palace. The artifact has a timer, so it's a race against time to breach the palace before it goes off

Cutscene: Kerrigan corners Mengsk in the palace; Kerrigan ultimately chooses mercy and allows the raiders to take Mengsk away so that he can stand trial for his crimes; justice, not revenge. Zeratul compliments her

Endgame: Skygierr Station:

Mission 1: Sort of like what we have in canon; at the end, a brainwashed Stukov is released to combat Kerrigan. He's even stronger than Kerrigan was as queen of blades (have it later revealed that a brainwashed Stukov was how Duran planned to bring the swarm under Amon's control with Kerrigan gone). Kerrigan frees him from his control, and he aligns with her to get revenge on Duran.

Mission 2: Hand of Darkness: Fight through the lab, destroying the Hybrid breeding facilities; the hybrids released are the most powerful ones Duran has at the moment. Eventually the facilities are destroyed. The heroes enter the facility

Mission 3: Phantoms of the Void: Kerrigan, Stukov, and Zeratul head into the heart of the base; Narud reveals himself and changes into Samir Duran, much to everyone's shock. Duran explains "Samir Duran.....Emil Narud.....both are just some of many names that I have used over the millennia. All of it in service to my master." He delivers major exposition (how it was AMON and his Xel'naga who uplifted the Protoss, and how the order to exterminate them after they were assimilated was punishment for daring to defy their gods). We learn that Amon and his followers were killed, and that only Duran survived in the material plane. How he spent millennia working to create a body for his lord again.

He gloats about how he was the one manipulating Kerrigan during the Brood War, though he states that Kerrigan herself was an all too eager participant. If anything, the infestation merely brought the beast within to the surface. As he ends his speech his eyes glow green and he declares "Now Amon has returned, and he shall purge this wretched universe in fire so that a better one may be born!!!!!!" He changes into his hideous true form (what we see in the last epilogue mission). Turns to Zeratul and Kerrigan. "You and your kind are obsolete. Broken tools fit only for the scrapheap. AND I SHALL BE THE ONE WHO SENDS YOU THERE!!!!!!!"

The mission itself is Kerrigan facing Duran, while the others have to destroy Duran's sources of power in order to level the playing field. Throughout the battle, Duran taunts Kerrigan and the others. Kerrigan is called a murderer, a monster, a traitor. Zeratul is told he's dishonoring Raszegal working with her murderer. Stukov is taunted over the fate of his friends, and again for working with the one who destroyed his friends.

Stukov, Zeratul, Za'gara, and other zerg are playable, each trying to strike at the temples. At the end Kerrigan manages to overpower Duran thanks to the others efforts.

As the mission ends, Kerrigan Stukov and Zeratul surround a mortally wounded Duran. He coughs weakly declaring that "it doesn't matter. Amon's lives again. You will see him soon." Kerrigan allows Stukov to exact his revenge, and the mission ends with Kerrigan, Zeratul and Stukov destroying the shit out of the base.

Final Cutscenes: Kerrigan and Zeratul discuss their options; Zeratul explains that the clash on Skygeirr should be enough to convince the Protoss to (reluctantly) ally with the Zerg and that Amon's threat is real. Unfortunately, Duran's words give him pause; Kerrigan tells him that when Amon comes they will face him together. She apologizes once more for what he's done and offers a hand in friendship. Zeratul is hesitant, but ultimately accepts it. They declare that they may not be able to defeat the darkness, but they will certainly not give in quietly.

In the Darkness of the Void, Amon prepares to strike, unleashing his legions on the Galaxy. His legions erupt forth. The final battle is on.

I thought it would make Kerrigan more sympathetic while also showing the real threat; Amon and his legions.
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2017, 01:00 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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The SC2 storyline is a giant retcon. It even retcons the setup in Dark Origins where Duran outright stated that Kerrigan's infestation sped up his progress. It retcons the Jim/Keri fanfiction pairing as true when they knew each other for three or four missions like the Star Wars prequels after he said he would kill her for manipulating and murdering his friends. It is a deeply misogynistic mistreatment of Kerrigan that emasculated her and tried to make her sympathetic when her whole allure was that she was a strong independent evil queen who didn't need no man. It destroys the moral relativity that made the three factions unique by throwing in a generic evil overlord.

Here's how I would have written the story, based on the SC1 plot.

Wings of Liberty: Jim's romance plot is replaced with a revenge plot. He intends to make Kerrigan human so he can kill her at her weakest and end the zerg. Jim allies with Mengsk when the Zerg start invading the Dominion and abducting the human population to create an army of psychic soldiers to assault the Khala in psychic combat.

Humans prove difficult to infest without destroying their minds due to complex neurological and genetic factors. A breakthrough is made when data is recovered from a Terran science lab that was involved in creating "mutates", humans spliced with Zerg genes that retained their intellect. The Zerg intend to refine the process and remove all that pesky free will, but in the mean time the Zerg form an equivalent to Warcraft's Cult of the Damned to acquire willing human converts.

Jim and Mengsk succeed in spite of great costs. When Kerrigan becomes human and is about to die, Duran swoops in with his hybrids and saves her.

Heart of the Swarm: Duran reveals that he is an agent of the Xel'naga government (the ones who modified the Protoss and Zerg were civilian scientists). He intends to merge the Protoss and Zerg as the new Xel'Naga, since their race reached their peak billions of years ago and are now dying out as foretold in their prophecies. Kerrigan plays a key role because human psychic powers are needed to breach the Khala and assimilate the Protoss. Cerebrate is the player character from SC1/BW, and is repeated as being bound to Kerrigan by the Overmind. Because of his young age, he didn't panic and go mad like the other Cerebrates upon the Overmind's demise. Duran intends to mature him into the new Overmind. Cerebrate is utterly devoted to Kerrigan and even as he evolves towards Overmind status this doesn't change.

The side-plots revolves around modifying the zerg to be less decentralized to avoid the dangers posed by psi-emitters and void energy. New cerebrates are created to fulfill specific needs (these are rewritten from the HotS characters). Queens and Overlords are given higher intellect to enable them to function independently without any possibility of rebellion. Little information about the xel'naga culture is given, save that they had a bizarre religion similar to both the protoss and zerg belief systems. The hybrids are poor protoypes at this point.

The specific knowledge of Kerrigan's rebirth was lost when the first Overmind died, so Duran suggests they make a religious pilgrimage to Zerus and see if the ruins of the Xel'naga science ships might contain clues to repair her body (she is technically a mutate at this point). Kerrigan impatiently agrees despite the well-meaning concerns of the new cerebrates. There they discover that Zerus has flourished into a jungle world where Zerg exist without an Overmind. The first spawning pool is the remnant of the genetic lab where the original zerg parasites were refined and the Overmind was created. It would surely provide Kerrigan with the knowledge she needs to generate a new chrysalis.

After the Zerus arc concludes, the Zerg assault Mengsk in order to decapitate the Dominion and make it easier to control. However, Kerrigan allows her pride to make her fight Mengsk and Raynor personally. They disable her with another psi-disruptor and successfully kill her. Third Overmind goes mad with grief and bombards the surface, turning the planet into a blasted rock. Raynor and Mengsk are dead and their victory amounted to nothing, as Duran already has everything he needs to perfect infested terrans with psychic powers.

The campaign ends with a shot reminiscent of that scene in Battlestar Galactica where a legion of naked Grace Parks stand side by side, only here it's an army of Infested Kerrigans.

Legacy of the Void: The protoss become even more morally ambiguous by being forced to make impossible decisions to save themselves from the Zerg. The remaining Terran factions ally with the Protoss. After Duran reveals his motives the Protoss experience a new schism with some defecting to the Zerg to help save the memory of the xel'naga. Much to everyone's shock, Artanis and Zeratul are among them. Much genocide ensues.

Eventually the Protoss resort to uploading themselves into robot bodies and sacrifice their psionic potential. Duran is initially shocked and horrified but quickly dismisses them as a failed experiment. He proclaims humanity has purity of form and through them the Zerg have inherited the mantle of the xel'naga. The Zerg abandon the Koprulu sector and the protoss and terrans are left to pick up the pieces. Ultimately, every faction lost the war and nobody got what they wanted.

In an epilogue, Zeratul appears and reveals he has created the adrosta and chithai from the Starcraft: Evolution novel using Duran's data, as penance for his many crimes against his people and his gods. He spews a bunch of mystical ramblings about dreams and life and stuff, then commits ritual suicide. He has a dying vision of all his now dead friends and foes applauding and welcoming him to the afterlife.

And that's what I have to say to that.
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2017, 05:14 PM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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Ew no
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:36 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Ew no
Care to be more specific in your critique?
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:59 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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I've never agreed that Jim and Kerrigan's relationship from SC1 wasn't there AT ALL.

There's obviously a very real connection between them, but SC2 takes it from what it was (an adult relationship where they were fond of one another and could maybe grow to really love one another) and turns it into... a one twue love tragic romance.

It's pretty cheap.

I also think... if it had been done properly, the 'will he kill her or will he free her' plotline could have been interesting, and Brood War does set it up pretty... perfectly. Yes Raynor says he's going to kill her, but then Kerrigan goes on to doubt he could ever do anything like that.

I mean that's a moral dilemma. Just a straight revenge story wouldn't have really worked I don't think.

I think the weakest point in Wings is Raynor fighting Mengsk. It's just too straight-forward a conflict. Transparently evil autocrat with goofy inept servants and news casters is not really a compelling bad guy (like, the UED broadcast from Brood War struck a better tone than the news reports in SC2), and Raynor is just such a bloody boy scout. And then it's never even resolved.

And actually all the Kerrigan stuff is kinda bad too. Way too cerebral. StarCraft is a lot of things, and I don't think it's AS shallow as it's criticized for being, but it's definitely not cerebral.

The most interesting parts are the parts that were obviously left over from Metzen's original story treatment that they'd finished before he was pressured to change it.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2017, 01:02 PM
Almed Almed is offline

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I honestly claim that the first Starcraft is the best plot Blizzard has ever done.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:14 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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I honestly claim that the first Starcraft is the best plot Blizzard has ever done.
Good call, establishing yourself as a person of reason and integrity with your very first post.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:37 PM
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To elaborate, I maintain that Blizzard's teams for Starcraft to Warcraft to Diablo have been skilled at crafting worlds for games to happen in but not so much at focusing on characters. I suspect that a significant amount of the issues with Blizzard's plotting in later games links to how they try to make their games more like soap operas where a series of events revolve around some characters. Starcraft 2 in particular represents this trend with how Kerrigan devours the setting.
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