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    posted a message on Alternate perspectives on Starcraft lore?

    I have started working on a google doc exploring an alternate universe that aims to be less silly than canon and serve as something of a “greatest hits” of lore bits.

     

    Feel free to critique or suggest: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BPucJLVfcCcuqwfn9G5HavaUBCShkMhkpT3TJW2ehYo

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    posted a message on Brand new, unseen Xel'Naga and Hybrid Concept Art from "The Cinematic Art of StarCraft"

    Blizzard has never been good at writing. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that they were making up the plot of SC on the fly. Notice how every campaign systematically destroys all the world building painstakingly setup by the previous installment?

     

    SC2 had nowhere to go but down because SC1 had an unstable plot to begin with due to a tumultuous development history. Making Mengsk, Raynor and Kerry the main characters to the exclusion of other more interesting plot threads (or the logistics of the setting itself) proved to be detrimental to the story. Systematically destroying and retconning the cultures of all three sides proved detrimental to the story.

     

    Because the constant setting turnover and absurd retcons, it is impossible to continue the story of Koprulu in a way that does not feel artificial, forced and ham-fisted. The three sides having their motivations for fighting was sufficient for the manual, they didn’t need xel’naga interference or queen of blades demigods.

     

    That is why is think the story should be rebooted and re-focus on the first contact war as a morally ambiguous anthology sandbox setting. The fanfic bible “Starcraft: Enumerate” provides many helpful suggestions in that regard, even if I personally disagree with parts. https://www.sc2mapster.com/projects/enumerate-continuation

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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

    In reply to DrSuperEvil:

     
    Quote from DrSuperEvil >>

    Small problem is that the experience gains from custom maps could be biased.

     
     Blizzard probably does quality assurance for any community-submitted mods before giving them an official seal of quality. At least, that is common sense.
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

     

    Quote from bummknallpeng >>

    You're right. This actually gives me an idea...

    What if Blizzard introduced the option of community made coop maps? Like, custom maps you can play and still level up your character? I think that would open the door for a lot of interesting concepts to be explored (alternate timelines, etc.) while actually rewarding you for playing.

     I only liked Starcraft for the story. More accurately, the story I imagine it could have been. Now it is full of so many rewrites and inconsistencies that I cannot muster the effort to do much more than complain.
     
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth
    Quote from bummknallpeng >>

    That would be pretty cool. I'd love it if Blizzard made an actual official coop campaign. Like, a DLC that is specifically designed to be played with multiple people. Another idea would be a last stand mode (like in Dawn of War II) that allows players to hold out against neverending waves, kinda like In Utter Darkness.

    Zeratul is still canonically dead though. :P

    Canon is overrated anyway. Blizzard has never stuck to a consistent canon, as shown by the countless retcons in all their stories. Officially acknowledging that alternate timelines exist is simple honesty. 
    I never liked the canon anyhow. I know Starcraft was always mediocre and cliche, but the games did a terrible execution of the premise they were given. The manual introduces us to the Confederacy, Conclave, Overmind and an open-ended sector-wide war, then the game just bulldozes through all those plot points as fast as possible and sabotages the sequels. BW introduces the UED out of left field, trivially dispenses with them, arbitrarily makes Kerry ruler of the zerg, and retcons the xel'naga into the real villains. Then SC2 introduces a generic apocalypse villain, turns Kerry human then zerg again, and generally it's all just a huge mess.
    In the end, the lore is really just filler and the game mechanics and art are the real meat of the IP. But that doesn't mean we should settle for shlocky story. Again, the original premise is mediocre... but it does have the seeds for interesting ideas like the Confederacy in space and the zerg have this family dynamic. A competent writer could spin lots of interesting stories out of that. We see this in the licensed fiction, so why not in the games?
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

    Zeratul was recently revealed as another co-op commander, supposedly surviving because of an alternate timeline or something.

     

    This gives me hope that Blizzard will probably pilfer the lore for other dead and obscure characters to fight in the end war. Tassadar, Overmind, Mengsk, Duke, etc. The justifications will probably be very flimsy, just like how Stukov and Fenix were resurrected with convenient plot devices.

     

    I would like it if Blizzard could offer other historical wars to fight in as well. Maybe they could have co-op campaigns and maps for the guild wars, great war, brood war, second great war, etc? This would allow them to introduce co-op commanders who would not make much sense to fight in the end war.

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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

     

    Quote from bummknallpeng >>

    Yes! The story turned from an epic that described the downfall and rise of empires to a much more character-focused "hero's journey"-type story, which works if the characters are well written, but sadly a lot of them are not. It especially shows in heart of the swarm where the only interesting characters show up towards the end of the campaign (Abathur does not count because he has literally 0% impact on the story).

    What I liked about the way that SCI put a spin on the classic epic was the atmosphere. I LOOOOOOVE how the game gives you so much power (as in you fight and win every battle), but still manages to make you feel powerless. You are in the middle of what's happening, but you are still unable to influence it.

     
     To be honest, SC1 did some of this too. The campaign stories were really disjointed and had no sense of scale. There were also a fair number of contradictions and plot holes. Compare the original manual to the games: it included loads of political plot hooks that could have fueled years of in-universe conflict, but the game just dismantles that (and the sequels scramble to assemble a conflict).
    The licensed expansion Insurrection, at least after the bugfixing it got recently, does a much better job of taking advantage of the plot hooks given by the manual. It's not a perfect story and the voice acting is hilarious, but it certainly tries and I would argue the script is for the most part better constructed than Starcraft 1's campaigns.
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

     

    Quote from bummknallpeng >>

    In reply to mithras_gnosis:

     Yep. Not a fan of the "they all died" thing either. I like the idea of SCII queens and broodmothers but they resulted in the Zerg loosing a lot of their personality.
     
    I generally disliked the direction that the games took in general. I mean, back in 1998 the official website (an earlier iteration) and the manual suggested that the three-way conflict would last indefinitely in Koprulu (and the zerg's invasion of the protoss empire would be a galactic apocalypse, since back then the Protoss were a galactic power and the Overmind was the ultimate villain). The game just bulldozed through all those interesting plot hooks and ended up really shooting itself in the foot by killing all the governments. The Confederacy, Conclave and Overmind could have kept the franchise running indefinitely without ever leaving Koprulu, but now the setting is much smaller, bland and boring.
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

     

    Quote from bummknallpeng >>

    In reply to mithras_gnosis:

     You're right! Their broods all have specific traits that would make them unique when implemented in coop but I choose Z and D because they are arguably the most iconic.
     
     They are the only cerebrate characters to ever appear before Blizzard shafted the zerg and turned them into Kerry’s and Amon’s slaves.
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    posted a message on Commander Concept: Zasz and Daggoth

    Several cerebrates are named in the lore. Daggoth, Nargil, Gorn, Zasz, Araq, Kagg, Auza and Zargil.

     

    There were apparently countless others in the background that were not mentioned.

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    posted a message on Alternate perspectives on Starcraft lore?

     

    Quote from DrSuperEvil >>

    If you encounter generic units you will need some kind of lore related motive for them to be there. If your campaign uses completely unique units then there is no need but it is a lot more work.

     
     I think I understand what you mean now. You are saying that we use the Starcraft lore to justify having Starcraft units. You misunderstand what I mean. I do not suggest dropping the Starcraft setting, just tweaking it to remove the elements that get in the way of storytelling.
    The elements I mean would be the xel'naga plot, the destruction of Aiur, the queen of blades ruling the zerg, etc. Those sorts of things get in the way of the stories something authors want to tell so they basically set their campaigns outside Koprulu in the belief that this magically solves those problems.
    Why do we need to set our stories outside of Koprulu? Why not rewrite Koprulu? The setting introduced in the SC1 manual was serviceable, no?
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    posted a message on Alternate perspectives on Starcraft lore?

     

    Quote from DrSuperEvil >>

    If you encounter generic units you will need some kind of lore related motive for them to be there. If your campaign uses completely unique units then there is no need but it is a lot more work.

     
    I do not understand what you mean. I do not advocate ignoring the lore completely, just the bits that get in the way. Like the events of the games. The SC1 manual’s open-ended status quo is the last point in which the lore was the most consistent, and the plot of the actual games all seem to take place in slightly different universes.
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    posted a message on Alternate perspectives on Starcraft lore?

    I have decided to revisit this thread. Enumerate is really just one person's response to a problem with Starcraft lore that affects everyone. The lore is convoluted and riddled with plot holes due to twenty years of changing writers and constant retcons. Obviously none of it was ever planned in advanced, as shown by SC1 ending its narrative more or less permanently by killing off the Overmind who planned to eat the entire galaxy. It is not surprising that the sequels had to made stuff up to maintain a similar level of urgency.

     

    Aside from the Shadow Wars and Scavengers comics, Blizzard is not spending effort on continuing the lore. They canceled any future story DLC. In fact, their newest IP Overwatch has no plot. I'm not holding out hope for any future sequels.

     

    A question I have for everyone, campaign creators especially... should we really continue using the lore as it is? The custom campaigns we do have typically only exhibit the most tenuous connection to the game lore. What does that say about the lore? Is it not sufficient for the sorts of stories we want to tell?

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    posted a message on SC2 Mapster Upgrade Discussion Thread

    The forum software automatically marks posts beyond a certain length as spam (I have yet to determine the limit). It is impossible to hold real discussions anymore.

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    posted a message on Alternate perspectives on Starcraft lore?

    I tried posting a short piece going into more detail about my thoughts on enumerate, but the forum marked it as spam because it exceeded some arbitrary character limit. This is very frustrating to me.

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