Small update: I'll have the editor available soon enough. However, I'm not quite ready to start yet. I have the outline for the story, but not for any mission, and I need to refamiliarize myself with the editor as well.
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Aug 1, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
I'm not too fond of in-universe stories, to be honest, with a few exceptions. It feels like fan fiction to me, and I like the freedom of not being constrained by an already existing story.
Apparently having a baseline, functioning government is leftist in your sci-fi wild west! This also sounds like a spiritual prequel to the Perfect Soldiers universe where there is no government and giant, nebulous corporations mandate how people live with no oversight to their moral hazard.Haha! Well, when there's no government, most alternative political platforms will seem left-wing, I suppose.
The connection to PS is not unintentional. After I completed the campaign, I started writing down the story in novel form. However, the novel story is much more vast, with more characters, details and a deeper background. A lot of the stuff you'll see in this campaign will be stuff from that story that is not found in PS, hence the similarities.
I did play with the idea of integrating this into the PS campaign, first by adding "in-between" missions that would make the story wider, so to speak. However, I felt that would require too much of the player, as I would essentially ask him to play a remix of the old story with both old and new parts. Making Nemesis a sequel was another idea, but I didn't want to ask the player to play 30 missions to play this. Besides, this is more RPG-based, anyway.
Jul 31, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
Well, not dictator, precisely. The president's job is mostly symbolic, though those who run on a non-government platform has to ensure no laws are passed. Belior is a break from that, as he essentially proposes a more leftist system.
Jul 23, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
It's Garrison Grey and Cyrilos who are the non-government candidates. Belior wants to reinstate the government.
So I have an outline for the story now, with a rough idea of what each mission be about, and what heroes will be playable. A lot of details are missing, but having a finished outline does speed things up. I won't be able to start making missions until late August, though.
There will be 3 heroes from each race, plus a mission with all heroes from all three races. The election will be going on in the background, then slowly become a larger part of the main story.
Jul 11, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
The presidential election is coming up! Here are the candidates:
"One should never discount a candidate from the Locust Union as a possible winner of the president's seat. Garrison Grey's predecessor, Benjamin Maroon, briefly sat the seat himself, and although the two couldn't be less alike, only a fool would bet against this candidate. Grey is staunch supporter of the Great Liberation, and the Locust Union is the largest member of the Tradewealth."
– Jeremy Croquette, professor of political science at the University of Calimo
"It has been three decades since the war of Aruna and Vidal, which ended when the latter world was incinerated from above by the former. Since then, only people from Aruna has sat in the president's seat, making Cyrilos a watershed candidate. Though many of his Vidalian peers thirst for vengeance, Cyrilos calls for peace between the two worlds. His credentials are strong, as he has worked as the Vidalian representative in the Tradewealth for the last fifteen years."
– Jeremy Croquette
"Belior is the dark horse candidate, being the only one of the three candidates who call for a repeal for the Great Liberation. A former Black Night operative and decorated soldier, Belior is the worker's candidate. If elected president, he promises to reinstate the sector's government, recreating several public programs and agencies, the latter including schools, hospitals, as well as a military, courts system and welfare net."
– Jeremy Croquette
Who has your vote?
Jul 11, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
And here is a tease of the story:
The presidential election is just around the corner, and speculation over possible candidates has long begun. Once, the race was a mere formality, existing only to determine who received the honor of having what many consider to be the easiest job in the sector. This year, however, things are different.
According to the Tome of Fitzpatrick Felderman, the duties of the president are simple: “Ensure the legacy of the Great Liberation, and provide stability by formally denying anyone the ability to reinstate legislature.” In other words: make sure no laws are passed. But twenty years is a long time, and some people have grown tired of the Great Liberation. Longing for the old days, they rally behind candidates willing to speak up for conservative ideals, like military protection, social justice, and a system of public courts.
Others are less inclined. Many have benefited from the Great Liberation; none more so than the Locust Union, a consortium of corporations that have long surpassed their competition in size. Just as much an army as a company, the Locust Union was once the main opponent for the Liberation’s repeal; with Benjamin Maroon at the helm, none even dared suggest anything but preserving Fitzpatrick Felderman’s legacy. But Maroon is long gone, replaced by the reformer Garrison Grey, who seeks to wash out the bloody reputation the Union has created for themselves. Change, some say, is coming.
If only things were ever that simple.
Jul 11, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
Here are some of the characters I have created so far!
Name: Fitzpatrick Felderman
Allegiance: None (retired)
A politician and professor emeritus in biology, Fitzpatrick Felderman was the initiator of the Great Liberation, a massive program that repealed all laws in existence, ending the concept of governments as we know it. Spending five years as sector president to oversee the completion of the program, he returned to his academic pursuits for a decade, before finally retiring. With his legacy now being questioned, Felderman returns to the public eye to defend the merits of his Liberation.
Allegiance: The Tradewealth, Black Night (former)
A former intelligence operative, Belior is now a politician in the city of Calimo, on the planet Aruna. During the long war with the Vidalians, Belior was captured by the enemy and gruesomely tortured. The ordeal deprived him of his left arm, which has now been replaced by a mechanical claw. As a politician, he calls for a repeal of the Great Liberation.
Allegiance: The Tradewealth
The current Speaker of the Tradewealth, Cyrilos is an ambitious politician, whom many suspects to be a lock-in as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election. Though formerly of Vidal, he now embraces peace, wishing for the enmity between Aruna and Vidal to end.
Name: Garrison Grey
Allegiance: Locust Union
Garrison Grey is the current leader of the Locust Union, a position he inherited after the company’s former leader, Benjamin Maroon, passed away. The Union itself is renowned for their brutal tactics, something Grey wants to abolish, styling himself as “the Great Reformer.” While some applaud his stance, others dismiss him as a softie and betrayer of Maroon’s legacy.
Name: Reynia “The Blood Bride” Mallevion
Allegiance: Locust Union
Renowned as a fierce warrior and experienced commander, major Reynia Mallevion is one of the most feared soldiers in the sector. Her cunning, it’s said, is only matched by her brutality. Though she prefers to fight in the field, she remains ambitious, climbing the ladder of the Locust Union one bloodied corpse at the time.
Allegiance: Locust Union
A protoss from the planet Vidal, Xhanador has become a long way from his humble beginnings. A survivor of the nuclear holocaust that nearly extinguished Vidal, he came to Aruna as an immigrant to work for the Locust Union, where he climbed the ladder to become the company’s sky admiral.
Name: Elena Raine
Allegiance: Locust Union
Originally born on Aruna, Elena Raine currently resides on the planet Taurus, where she is employed by the Locust Union as a soldier. Elena is no strong believer in her company, having only taken the job as a financial necessity.
Allegiance: Dragon Brood
Feared across the entire sector, Kharima is the current leader of the Dragon Brood, from which she controls practically all zerg in the sector. Unlike previous brood mothers, Kharima uses not only her numbers, but her cunning as well. She has a fondness for traps, seemingly never engaging in battle without an ace up her sleeve.
Name: The Matriarch
Allegiance: Dragon Brood
Little is known about the Matriarch, except that she is one of Kharima’s most trusted lieutenants.
Name: Christina Briggs
An ambitious journalist.
Name: Marilyn Ashbone
Allegiance: Black Night
An operative for Black Night, Marilyn Ashbone is a soldier with extraordinary abilities, which are largely the product of the laboratory she grew up in. Her training finally completed, she now gets her first mission.
Jun 28, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
Yeah, aesthetics can quickly become superficial, though if some of the heroes had some custom variations (ala Janus at the end of Amber Sun), it can work for immersion. But I agree that terrain and triggers are more important, and should always be the foundation.
Yes, different in-game universe. I have some leftover ideas for the three-race campaign I never got started on. Lot of that stuff would fit perfectly for PS, but I'd hate for people to play 30 missions for new stuff. Besides, it's cool to do something fresh, which is why I'm thinking RPG for this.
Jun 28, 2017Posted in: Project Workplace
Having finally finished my job as a newspaper editor at my school, I might have some free time to do map creation again. I can't promise too much, but it was a lot of fun last time, so I figured I could at least start a thread and show you some of the ideas I have. It's all very rough at the moment, but I do have some story threads (including an ending, which always helps), some characters, and a general idea of what I want this thing to be.
So, what the hell is this? Nemesis is a 10-mission RPG campaign where you control a different hero for each mission (from all three races). No hero is played twice, creating a zig-zag-like narrative that jumps from character to character. The campaign will be heavy on story, with a lot of it happening in the background, either filtered through other characters (creating the possibility of distortion) or through the news. The story will be heavy with politics, starting with the death of a sector president, and then moving the election that follows.
Now, I feel pretty confident about terrain and story, but I'm not strong with the data editor. Considering this endeavor will make use of quite a few heroes, I might be needing some help with that. If anyone else has something they want to help with (art and models is another thing I suck at), feel free to let me know.
Obviously, since this is just in the planning stages, I can't tell when I'll start the work. But I'll keep you updated as I create more stuff, and I'm happy to receive ideas! Cheers!
Jun 25, 2017Posted in: General Chat
I think that World of Warcraft has changed them forever. Blizzard no longer is a small, geeky and wild company, but a big influence for people all over the world. They couldn't pull-off another cynical storyline in any of their franchises even if they wanted to (except for Diablo I suppose).
The "WOW-is-everything" theory is one I don't like to subscribe to, and yet it does seem to make a queer kind of sense. It's not just StarCraft either, Diablo III wasn't as dark as II. That's another thing the fans pointed out that Blizzard seemed oblivious too, which might explain why Reaper of Souls was so grimdark and more in line with the Diablo tone. Even WarCraft itself was affected. It was always the lightest of the franchises, but the first two games were darker than those that followed (though I suppose that began with WC3, which in many ways set the stage for WOW).
I'd argue that the StarCraft world is darker than Diablo, though. Diablo obviously a lot more hellish imagery, but it is a more traditional good-versus-evil tale, with little in terms (Diablo III seemed to have tried to redemy that by using asshole angels, but I'm not sure they pulled it off). StarCraft has more greys, and the bad guys win even more.
What's more, it's hard to write a sequel story for a game that was more or less finished. Duran and the hybrid were the only unexplored plot elements from SC1, so it became the overarching plot for SC2.
Maybe. Certainly, a lot of interesting characters had been killed off. But I think it would have been possible to still tell a great story.
Jun 22, 2017Posted in: General Chat
It’s now been 7 years since StarCraft 2 was released. In that time, we’ve had one game, two expansion packs, as well as a DLC that seems to have wrapped up the story (for the time being, anyway). It took even longer—a whopping 12 years—for Blizzard to follow up Brood War with a sequel. In the meantime, they released a spiritual sequel (WarCraft 3) as well what would become their most popular game (World of WarCraft).
Though Wings of Liberty was met with critical acclaim in 2010, there were few who would defend its story (I should know, as I frequented the forums quite a bit in those days, and I rarely saw a positive review). Heart of the Swarm came out in 2013, doing little to remedy the damage, while Legacy of the Void came out in 2015, and is generally seen as having the best story.
I was one of the few who didn’t much mind the story of WOL. I didn’t necessarily disagree with all the arguments that were made against it, but I enjoyed the game, and felt a need to be honest about my feelings. However, with the release of HOTS, I finally succumbed to the band wagon, realizing that the story I wanted wasn’t the one I had gotten. I had expected the dark middle chapter, but got a story that doubled down on WOL’s most ludicrious parts. In fact, I would argue that the damage HOTS did was so large, that it retroactively reduced the quality of WOL in my eyes.
Like others, I share the opinion that LOTV is the best of the bunch. Its story is more engaging than the last two, and it is a sort-of-fitting coda to the trilogy. However, I suspect the reason I say this is because by the time LOTV was released, I had settled with the fact that Blizzard wasn’t going to change their tune. That is not insignificant. LOTV ends with the very “all races team up to fight the ultimate evil” plot point that everyone was fearing, but because we had been given five years to grapple with the fact that there was no way around it, enjoying it for what it was becoming easier.
Despite that, there is no point denying that Blizzard took their shot at the story and missed. This doesn’t even seem a case of majority opinion overwhelming the minority. Hardly anyone seems that willing to defend the story. And as I’ll argue in this essay, they are justified in doing so.
My Theory on Why the Story Failed
There are many arguments on why SC2’s story failed to engage its audience: the story was clichéd and “Hollywoodized”, there was too much emphasis on prophecies, there were too many plot holes, and so on. While I don’t disagree with these arguments, I don’t think they can fully explain why the story failed. To do that, we must dig deeper, explaining how the clichés turned up in the first place, as well as why the plot holes emerged.
There are two explanations that, in my eyes, help explain most of the criticism levied at the story. The first of this is that Blizzard took a deeply cynical story and forced it to become idealistic. The second is that Blizzard simply didn’t put up enough legwork into crafting a complex story, which resulted in not only plot holes, but strange contradictions and retcons as well. More on that after the jump.
From Cynicism to Idealism
The original StarCraft is deeply cynical. In Episode I, we play as a group of rebels lead by a man who turns out to be just as bad (if not worse) than the ones we are trying to overthrow. Victory is bittersweet, because while the heroes technically succeed in their mission (to destroy the Confederacy), nothing really seems to have been won. The system hasn’t changed, Kerrigan is (presumably dead), and Raynor has gone from being a marshal to a branded criminal (as well as a man with little reason to live).
In Episode II, we play as the Zerg, who are basically pure evil, which means they actually achieve their goal (for a time being, anyway): Kerrigan comes back infested, and the Overmind’s invasion of Aiur is successful (as we complete the campaign with its body fully integrated into the surface of the Protoss homeworld). Finally, in episode III, we play as the Protoss, who do defeat the Overmind, but not after a bitter civil war that nearly destroys them all. To pour salt in the wound, the victory turns out to be bittersweet, as the Protoss must flee Aiur from the remaining feral Zerg.
Things become even worse in Brood War, in ways I don’t I need to repeat. It’s a story populated by heroes that are hopelessly outmatched by the villains, time and time again. Even before Kerrigan wins at the end of the game, the UED—another foe—gets to have their victory too. That’s two villain factions winning for one hero faction winning (the Protoss does actually succeed in reclaiming Shakurs in Episode IV, though obviously not without some losses).
The story of StarCraft is deeply cynical, and the story of its sequel is not. Now, it should be mentioned there is nothing inherently superior about cynicism than idealism. The point that I’m trying to make is not that SC2 crashed because of idealism, but rather because it changed the core worldview of the story, and for no good discernable reason. Chris Metzen has claimed he was an angrier man back in the 90s than he is now, which explains why the worldview of the story changed, though not why it had to.
It is possible to create a story that starts out dark and then becomes lighter. It is, after all, the standard recipe for storytelling. First, there must be a conflict, and only after can the heroes succeed. But the change from cynicism to idealism is too abrupt in StarCraft to be believable, having only occurred because the writers wanted it, and not because the characters achieved it. It is telling that the change occurs between the first and second game too. Already from the get-go, SC2 was a different beast than its predecessor.
It didn’t seem so, though. When the story of WOL begins, everything looks incredibly hopeless: Raynor is fighting a seemingly unwinnable fight against Arcturus Mengsk, and only after three missions, Kerrigan arrives once more, threatening to “finish the job”. True, there is a short moment of Raynor gazing longingly at a picture of Kerrigan (a hint of where the story will go), but apart from that, the beginning of WOL’s story doesn’t much contradict where BW left off.
In fact, part of the reason I think I responded so well to WOL (despite its many shortcomings), is that, for the most part, it fits the original game’s cynical worldview. Raynor is an alchoholic who has given up hope, the colonists on Agria are being ignored by the Dominion, and Raynor’s new allies—Tychus and Tosh, specifically—are a traitor criminal and an unstable soldier who only wants defeat Mengsk and have no hope that a positive change is possible (Dr. Hanson is an exception, though her becoming infested is obviously not very idealistic).
It is really only when the larger story starts to creep in that the problems begin to emerge. Yes, I could make some points about how the non-linear storytelling all but killed the pacing of the second act, but that is only a minor complaint. The major issue is still the direction the writers decided to go with Kerrigan. Now, there are two problems here. The first is that Blizzard decided that Raynor loves Kerrigan and wants to save her instead of killing her, which totally negates their last encounter in Brood War (True Colors, to be more specific). The second is that Kerrigan is now destined to be a savior. Now, that could have been a great source of dramatic tension. After all, the trope where the enemy is the key to victory is what Blizzard did in Episode III with the Dark Templar. But Blizzard squanders the potential of this opportunity completely, by essentially whitewashing Kerrigan. Instead of being a necessary evil, Kerrigan is just... forgiven.
There are major problems with this. While I agree that Kerrigan and the Queen of Blades have never been the same person (the change in personality in Episode II is too strong and abrupt for that), there is something deeply troubling with Blizzard not only forgetting how many Kerrigan have killed, but also that one of them (Fenix) was a dear friend to Raynor. In fact, this is something practically everyone who played the campaign managed to notice, while Blizzard didn’t. This point is proven when Raynor finally mentions Fenix in HOTS, no doubt because Blizzard read the criticism of WOL and realized their error only too late.
There is nothing wrong with changing past errors. After all, this sort of flexibility is one of the reasons LOTV is the best part of the trilogy. The problem is that these errors occur because Blizzard essentially forced a change in worldview in the story. By essentially wanting the story to be idealistic, Blizzard has to ignore common logic, meaning Raynor not only goes from wanting to kill Kerrigan to kiss her, but casually forgets the death of his friend in the process. It’s not that Blizzard doesn’t understand Raynor, it’s just that they want him to be someone he’s not.
There are other examples in the story that shows how the changed worldview has dire consequences (the Protoss being more united than ever is one of them), but this is the most significant. The whitewashing of Kerrigan ripples out throughout the rest of the story, with HOTS becoming her redemption arc, and LOTV becoming what we were essentially promised in the first place: the three races uniting together against a common enemy to defeat Amon, with Kerrigan dealing the final blow.
A Decline in Complexity
In this second part of the article, I will argue that SC2 is a less complex game than its predecessor, not necessarily in terms of thematic depth, but rather in the structure of the story. I argue that Blizzard put a lot of thought into small details in the first game, and less so in the sequel, and that this had an impact on the quality of the story.
The Problem With Blizzard’s RTS Story Structure
One of the hardest things about telling a campaign in a Blizzard RTS is their one-race-at-a-time structure. Now, it’s not hard to see why they do it this way. After all, changing perspectives mid-story has a serious impact on the gameplay, as we have to begin to learn a new race just as we started to get the hang of another (essentially creating the longest training arc ever, instead of splitting them into pieces). It’s also more natural for non-interactive stories to have changing perspectives. Games (particularly ones where you control entire races, and not just single characters) require a different kind of immersion, one where the focus is sharper. In other words: doing one race at the time is probably the optimal choice.
However, there is an inherent flaw in this design, which is that, while events in one part of the story is happening, other events are happening in the background. And by constraining the player’s perspective, we either have to be given hints of the background events, or we have to retroactively explain them at a later point. Both of these alternatives are fickle. Giving proper hints without intruding on the focus is difficult, and explaining stuff that has already happened often just ends up being clunky, and with the pacing practically dying in the process as the player is bogged down in exposition.
Despite this, the original SC handles the problems of this structure rather well. In fact, what many people forget, is how many of the story’s key moments happens off-stage. Case-in-point: the psi emitters. In Episode I, we are told these devices have the power to attract Zerg, something Mengsk exploits for his own gain. However, there are hints that this is not quite a precise explanation. In Episode II we learn (though never told out right) that the psi emitters don’t force the Zerg’s movement, but rather attracts them because the Overmind is interested in the psionic power of Terrans. Once they gain control of Kerrigan, the Zerg leave the Terran worlds for Char, as their mission is complete. This is a very subtle point that isn’t really explained, probably because the Overmind has no motive to tell us why we had to go to the Terran worlds after we left them.
A lot of people misunderstand this point, still believing the psi emitters are capable of steering Zerg all right (if they did, it’s a wonder they weren’t used even more). Even Blizzard themselves misunderstand it, as evidenced in the Brood War mission “Reign of Fire”, as well as the “Nova: Covert Ops” campaign. What is important to understand here, is that things are happening in the background of one story that have important ramifications in another. Whereas we in Episode I think the psi emitters are a device to attract Zerg, we learn in Episode II that the truth is more complex.
There is more. After Kerrigan’s infestation, she calls out to Mengsk and Raynor, with the former sending Duke, and the latter going himself. On the surface, this looks to be a superficial detail, seemingly existing only to give Kerrigan some enemies to fight on Char. And while the arrival of Duke really does just serve that point, the arrival of Raynor is more important. After all, if Raynor isn’t called to Char, he doesn’t meet Tassadar, and therefore doesn’t fight alongside them in the final mission on Aiur. In other words: if Kerrigan hadn’t called out to Raynor, the Overmind might not have been defeated, and Raynor might never have become an ally of the Protoss. Significant, indeed.
In the Protoss campaign, we get a retroactive explanation of Episode I: Tassadar was sent to burn the Terran worlds not because of the Terrans themselves, but because of the Zerg. And the reason why he deployed ground troops in the “New Gettysburg” was that he wanted to spare the Terrans. Again, things were happening in the background that become significant later. On one hand, Tassadar's intervention essentially helped Mengsk, as he could now sell himself as a protector against both the Zerg and Protoss. On the other, it ensured Kerrigan's infestation. Lastly, it forced Tassadar to go to Char, as well as splitting with the Conclave.
This same level of subtle complexity can be found in Brood War as well. In Episode IV, we encounter the UED, and while it’s a superficial clash, it does introduce the story’s new villains. But more importantly, we have that Raynor and Fenix stay behind on Aiur, which means that Kerrigan is able to get a hold of them while Zeratul and the rest are busy on Shakurus. She might have done so even if Raynor and Fenix had come to Shakuras, but there are hints that Kerrigan contacting people separately is a key to her victory. All of this remains unexplained until Episode VI, of course, where we learn that Kerrigan reached out to Raynor and Fenix to help her kidnap Mengsk (which happens in V).
This level of complexity doesn’t exist in SC2. Yes, we know what the Zerg are up to in WOL (collecting artifacts), but what about the Protoss? The truth is, apart from a few glimpses of the Daelaam, we don’t really encounter Artanis until LOTV! Yes, Selendis shows up at one point, and Zeratul has a small, but very significant arc, but other than that, there’s really not much hint that a lot of things are happening in the background.
We later learn that the Protoss have been building up their forces to invade Aiur, but that is not that interesting. It's not good storytelling either. After all, this renders one of the game’s main three races passive until the last third of the story, when they should be an active participant from the get-go (firstly because of Kerrigan returning, and secondly because of Amon’s ascension). While I do understand that Zeratul can only be at one time in one place, I find it hard to believe that he chose to contact the Protoss last. He should have made them an active presence much earlier. And don’t give me that “exile” crap as an excuse for why he waited either. Zeratul’s exile was self-imposed after he killed Raszagal, and there’s never been any hints that his reveal of Aiur to the Overmind cost him any allies among the Khalai. So there's little reason for why he should have waited until LOTV to contact Artanis (the real reason is that Zeratul is contacting people according to the race structure of the story).
Overall, the complexity of SC2 is a shadow of the original game, with Blizzard not seeming to have much of a plan for the full story, nor a solution of what to do with the Protoss until they arrived in LOTV. Compare that the original game, where they were only seen for one mission in Episode I and yet were a terrible presence, as they fuckin’ burned entire planets from space.
How the Tal’darim Reveal Blizzard’s Lack of Care for Story
Speaking of the Protoss: let’s discuss the Tal’darim. Originally introduced in the Dark Templar Trilogy, this faction has changed more than probably any other in the story, and not for good. In WOL, they are tribe that blatantly only exists to give Raynor some Protoss to fight against (he is usually their friend, after all). That is not bad in itself (all races should fight each other in all campaigns, in my opinion). The problem is rather that they are introduced as fanatics that worship the Xel’Naga, and essentially guard the artifacts that Raynor needs.
Here’s the thing: Raynor is gathering these artifacts on behalf of Tychus, who is gathering them on behalf on Moebius, which is run by Narud (who is secretly Duran, as well as a partner-in-crime with Arcturus Mengsk), and owned by Valerian Mengsk (who does not work with his father). Phew! Yeah, that never made much sense to me. Now consider this: in HOTS, we learn that the Tal’darim are Narud’s elite force, which begs the consider: why didn’t they just give them to them?
This is, obviously, a gigantic plot hole. Maybe there is some explanation of this somewhere, but I doubt it’s anything but convoluted, which is a good sign that Blizzard really didn’t have control of their own story. Now, I personally don’t mind plot holes that much, as I think stories can survive with them. However, when there are too many of them and they grow too large, there seems to be a larger problem: the storytellers aren’t really involved in the story, nor do they know it well enough (never a good sign).
There are, as many have pointed out before me, other plot holes too. How, for instance, could Mengsk order Tychus to kill Kerrigan after she was deinfested if he didn’t know that she would be deinfested (nor that Raynor was going to Char in the first place)? How could Tychus be the pilot in the Thor while also being a mole for Mengsk? I’m sure there are more, but I wanted to specifically focus on the Tal’darim because they exemplify just how little Blizzard had planned ahead. What’s worse is that, once Blizzard realized the Tal’darim weren’t as well-received as they thought they would be (which is an forgivable sin), they simply changed them, continuity be damned (which is less forgivable).
I will admit I very much like what Blizzard did with the Tal’darim in LOTV, not only fleshing them out, but also explaining them better, as well as giving them a show-stealing character in Alarak. What I do mind is how Blizzard has such a casual approach to the story that they’re unable to plan ahead, and simply don’t care whether anything makes sense or not when they make changes. Changing the Tal’darim isn’t that big a deal in itself, but it’s one symptom out of many, all of which exist because Blizzard didn’t invest enough care into the story. And that is problematic.
The story of SC2 has a lot of problems, but I’ve argued that most of them stems from two core issues: forcing a shift in the story’s worldview from cynicism to idealism, and not putting in the proper legwork into creating a solid story. The first problem explains the game's clichéd dialogue and the romance-based storyline between Kerrigan and Raynor (whenever has a male audience asked for that?), while the latter explains the plot holes and the inconsistencies. Both of them explain the many retcons. The worldview change explains the whitewashing of Kerrigan, as well as the prophecy storyline, while the lack of complexity explain some of the smaller retcons, most significantly the Tal’darim.
Dec 3, 2016Posted in: General Chat
It's a network effect.
Those of us who has been here since the beginning remember the shortage of quality campaigns offered. There was nothing to be inspired by, and no community to encourage further creations. I was lucky enough to be inspired by this, and not discouraged, as I saw it as opportunity to more easily stand out. But most people just didn't see the point. There was a lot of "Why aren't there more campaigns?" threads, with the answer usually being "People don't want to create something that isn't played on the Arcade".
After the quality of campaigns began rising, people had things to get inspired by, and we got a bandwagon effect: more people wanted to join because more people wanted to join (a positive feedback loop). The growth of quality campaigns was therefore exponential: slow in the beginning, then faster and faster. sc2mapster became the campaign hub the Arcade wasn't capable of being.
After a while, people's demands got higher too. Once the standard was set, creating work that didn't live up to it was futile. What is interesting, though, is that this had an encouraging effect. Expectations became higher, and people responded by meeting these expectations.
Jayborino also helped. He gave the campaigns exposure, but also had a lot of personal and productive passion.
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