Canonical mission order?

Campaign Discussion
I know that most missions can be played in any order, but if WoL wasn't made to allow that to happen then what do you think the mission order would be for canon?

Small note: I have tried searching for this before, but nothing came up but the question about whether Tosh vs Nova/Hanson vs Selendis/Belly of the Beast vs Shatter the Sky

So far I have this, it might change a little after I make another run through the campaign, but for the most part I think this is it:

Mission 01 - Liberation Day
Mission 02 - Outlaws
Mission 03 - Zero Hour

These are standard in where they go.

Mission 04 - Evacuation

We get Hanson. And is the only mission(along with Smash and Grab.) that is commented on by someone other then the 'quest giver', who talked about it before Smash and Grab, so I view it as kinda of the 'A' choice.

Mission 05 - The Devil's Playground
Mission 06 - Smash and Grab

We get Tosh in The Devil's Playground.

Mission 07 - Outbreak
Mission 08 - Welcome to the Jungle

I don't really have anything to say here.

Mission 09 - The Dig
Mission 10 - Whispers of Doom

I have these together mainly because of Jim's attitude to Tosh after both of them.

Mission 11 - Breakout (canon Version) (??? Might change this.)
Mission 12 - The Moebius Factor

I have these here because I can't think of a better place for them. To me Breakout has to take place before Cutthroat, because once they learned what the adjutant has it seems to me that they totally focused on getting it on the media instead of doing anything else. Tho I might place Breakout right before The Great Train Robbery which would be right before Cutthroat...

Mission 13 - The Great Train Robbery
Mission 14 - Cutthroat
Mission 15 - Engine of Destruction
Mission 16 - Media Blitz

These are just hanging here. To me tho they have to take place before Supernova so that Honer's line after Supernova about making progress against Mengsk makes more sense.

Mission 17 - Piercing the Shroud
Mission 18 - A Sinister Turn

I was a bit torn on this, but due to the way Jim was 'confused' about what the creature(s) are during the middle of Piercing the Shroud makes me believe it takes place first.

Mission 19 - Supernova
Mission 20 - Echoes of the Future
Mission 21 - Maw of the Void
Mission 22 - In Utter Darkness

I like the idea of Jim taking breaks between each memory from Zeratul.

Mission 23 - Safe Haven (canon Version)

Next to the last missions because Hanson leaves. Might place it between The Dig and Supernova...

Mission 24 - The Gates of Hell
Mission 25 - Belly of the Beast (canon Version)
Mission 26 - All In

These are also standard in where they go.
This deserves a reply. This is a pretty good list, although I thought Smash and Grab should be a bit earlier, this is pretty plausible.
I've considered that, but the earliest that I feel like placing it is right after The Devil's Playground, and I could place Outbreak later. But I there was a line that Jim said that the Raiders were made more for saving people and to my mind that would mean that Outbreak would take more of a priority compared to Smash and Grab , tho I could use the same reasoning as I did with The Devil's Playground....

But I kind of don't like using the same reasoning twice.

If I could find a map of the system and where all the planets are then I might change my mind, but the closest thing I have found was the joke map which also had Diablo's Sanctuary and Warcraft's Azeroth.
Blizzard stated that for the choice missions (Tosh vs Nova/Hanson vs Selendis/Belly of the Beast vs Shatter the Sky), you side with Tosh, Hanson, and the team goes to kill the Nydus Network.

IIRC, at least.
While those are the canonical choices. I was talking more about in what order the missions take place.

On that note, I have been thinking about Safe Haven's placement, and am wondering if I should place it closer to the middle of the list because of Horner's small wondering if Hanson would find a better future and Tychus' line about him and Jim having a bigger destiny than settling down.

Maybe after Cutthroat, mainly because Hanson would question the rumor about whether Kerrigan and others was left on Tarsonis after The Moebius Factor and then finding out that its true after Cutthroat.
Actually having played the Campaign today, The Moebius Factor has to be before Cutthroat unless you do Haven's Fall before the former; but if you do Safe Haven it must be in that order. Otherwise Hanson's dialouge in the Laboratory after Cutthroat makes no sense.
Interesting speculation.

I don't think it works to put Safe Haven so late, because it presents itself as an urgent mission. With Selendis threatening to fry the planet, you shouldn't be able to just go "Hey Selendis, hold that thought would you? I'm a little busy, call you back in a bit," and do a bunch of other missions first.

Really the whole Colonist line is composed of urgent missions (Zerg invasion! Zombie apocalypse!! Protoss coming to nuke the planet!!!), so I'm inclined to feel that all of them ought to be played as soon as they can, for a canonical order of events to make sense.

I just began a new run through the campaign myself (time to do Brutal!), so maybe I'll have some other thoughts on the rest as time goes by. I stopped today after playing the Mar Sara missions and then Evacuation.
The Moebius Factor is also supposed to be a distress call. I was troubled by the distress call missions, but eventually had to decide that because we ourselves are able to control in what order the missions happen(and therefore able to somewhat control when the distress call missions appear.) that the moment they appear means little, and that I should base it more on the reactions of the crew after the mission to give a hint to when the mission was supposed to take place.

In this case with Horner's line and Tychus's line, I am starting to feel that Safe Haven should appear sometime around the middle of my list, somewhere close to the rebellion missions.
It has been a while, but after reviewing certain segments I have changed my order slightly.

I have decided to place Outbreak sometime after Smash and Grab, main reason is that after Smash and Grab it is revealed that the Zerg turned Kerrigan into the Queen of Blades and they start using the name Kerrigan, which ties in with how after Outbreak Jim says how he hates the idea of being infested.

I will probably place it before Welcome to the Jungle as it ties in a little with how Jim says he will try to talk to the Protoss before resorting to blows.

I am also moving The Great Train Robbery to right after The Moebius Factor as there is a line from Hanson that I forgot that ties in better there compared to before The Moebius Factor.

At this moment I am still deciding where I want to move Safe Haven to, I just know I want it before Supernova so Tychus line about him and Jim having a great destiny compared to a family life makes a bit more sense in my mind since he said that jokingly.

I am also considering whether I should move Breakout to after The Moebius Factor so that way all the missions against Mengsk are all next to each other.
This is a great topic. I made a list myself as I replayed the campaign a few times, testing the narrative power and sensibleness of various orders. Here's what I think best approximates a canonical order. I make no claims in favor of the strategic superiority of this mission order - merely that it tells an effective story that makes sense.

As others have said in the thread, you really just have to pretend that you get each distress call when you actually decide to play that mission; playing every "urgent" mission immediately doesn't yield a very rewarding mission order.

1. Liberation Day
2. The Outlaws
3. Zero Hour

That's obviously the only possible order for the first three.

4. The Evacuation
5. The Devil's Playground
6. Smash and Grab

Getting Ariel and Tosh onboard ASAP makes the most sense for best storyline experience, as you want their commentary and reactions to be with you as long as possible. Plus, this puts Smash and Grab reasonably late, thereby ensuring its ending cinematic is a nice medium-sized distance between the cinematics that come before and after it.

7. Outbreak
8. Welcome to the Jungle
9. The Great Train Robbery
10. The Dig
11. Whispers of Doom

I found that playing anything other than "Whispers of Doom" immediately after "The Dig" disrupts the flow of the story that Zeratul's arrival establishes.

12. Breakout OR Ghost of a Chance
13. Cutthroat
14. Engine of Destruction
15. A Sinister Turn
16. The Moebius Factor
17. Media Blitz

The onboard conversations at the end of "A Sinister Turn" include Rory telling Raynor to drink less, making Matt Horner's anger at the end of The Moebius Factor ("I've been cleaning up after you a lot, lately") feel less out-of-the-blue.

Plus, following The Moebius Factor with Media Blitz is a really nice way of structuring the story in such a way that Raynor takes Matt's rebuke to heart and gets back to being productive.

18. Piercing the Shroud

Through testing various orders, I found that it feels disruptive not to follow up immediately on the mysterious documents from the science facility in Media Blitz.

19. Echoes of the Future

It makes sense that Raynor would go back to Zeratul's visions for more info after encountering the hybrid himself in Piercing the Shroud.

20. Safe Haven OR Haven's Fall

While my first instinct was to save these for last, either one feels disruptive if played in the midst of the Raiders' preparation to invade Char. Best to keep Ariel as long as possible, but finish before the next big plot arc (Valerian's proposition).

21. Supernova
22. In Utter Darkness

This order makes it feel like Raynor stalks off to the lab after being rebuked by his crew for siding with the Dominion. Then, at the end of the mission, when he's had a chance to cool down, he calmly and patiently explains to Matt the importance of saving Kerrigan.

23. Maw of the Void
24. The Gates of Hell

While my first instinct was to put "In Utter Darkness" between "Maw of the Void" and "The Gates of Hell," I found that putting ANY mission between those two feels too disruptive. Raynor rallies his crew to his cause in the cinematic after Maw of the Void, and it just feels at that point like it's time to go to Char. Period.

25. Belly of the Beast OR Shatter the Sky
26. All In

Well, that's my order. Obviously there is no true canonical order, but I've played it in this order, and the story makes sense and flows quite well if you do it this way. As I said, though, I do not vouch for the strategic superiority of this order, as I'm a strictly casual player.
08/09/2012 10:47 AMPosted by Zaroff
As others have said in the thread, you really just have to pretend that you get each distress call when you actually decide to play that mission; playing every "urgent" mission immediately doesn't yield a very rewarding mission order.

Playing the campaign again, I've noticed that Outbreak and Haven are not presented quite so urgently as I had thought.

For Outbreak, Hanson only says that there are reports of some kind of illness. You don't learn anything about the zombies until you actually choose the mission.

For Haven, Hanson says that the colony has gone dark. You don't learn anything about Selendis until you choose the mission.

Both still sound urgent enough not to be put off for too long, but they're also vague enough that it doesn't break the storyline to put them off for a little while. I still don't think I'd be inclined to put Haven all the way down near the end, although I get the idea of wanting to have Hanson around for commentary.

What's annoying me the most in storyline terms now is Tosh's line. Those missions don't feel well justified at all, I felt that way when I first played it and I still feel that way playing again now. Why would I go out of my way to help a random sketchy guy with his dangerous mining missions? And even if I might do that, why would I ever prioritize it over literally any of the other missions in the other lines?
08/09/2012 11:41 AMPosted by Symphony
Why would I go out of my way to help a random sketchy guy with his dangerous mining missions?

I think the problem here is that you aren't really Jim. Jim himself said that he has dealt with rouge ghosts before, and around Cutthroat it sounds like he is used to dealing with shady mercs.

And at the time I believe that Jim's resources were still low(considering Swann's comments when you first meet him.).

08/09/2012 11:41 AMPosted by Symphony
And even if I might do that, why would I ever prioritize it over literally any of the other missions in the other lines?

I think the better question is how would Jim prioritize it compared to his other choices at the moment, it is part of the reason why I believe that the planet The Devil's Playground takes place on is a "in the same direction" kind of thing, as in that Jim was going to pass the planet going to his next mission(Smash and Grab or The Evacuation/Outbreak(depending if you did Smash and Grab or The Evacuation first.).)

Jim would think of it as an easy mission that would've taken place on a planet he was going to fly right by, so he might as well earn some credits on the way.

Edit : That sounds like a good order Zaroff. A bit different compared to what I have so far(like having Moebius Factor motivating Jim for Media Blitz, where in my mind it motivates him to take a more aggressive action, resulting in Great Train Robbery. It also makes Hanson's questioning about Kerrigan/Tarsonis more in line.). I am going through the story one final time before I make my decision on what the final order should be.
For Brutal, I prefer to do the Prophecy missions as early as possible, because none of your tech upgrades or acquired units apply to any of those missions, and they each get you so much Zerg and Protoss research that you are done with all but the last tier when you finish them. I also like to get Siege Tanks as early as possible, because they make defense a joke. To wit, after the obligatory first missions:

  • Smash and Grab
  • The Devil's Playground
  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • The Great Train Robbery
  • Cutthroat
  • The Dig
  • The order after that doesn't really matter, because you are so incredibly overpowered by having nearly all tech upgrades and Siege Tanks. Once you finish In Utter Darkness, the next mission you do will get you the final tier of Zerg upgrades; I like to do The Moebius Factor because you don't need anything besides marines and medics for that, and you already have the Hercules.
    I would put Piercing the Shroud and A Sinister Turn in closer proximity with each other since they both involve seeing powerful hybrids. Maybe have Piercing the Shroud before A Sinister Turn so that Raynor and Matt would be wondering about it at first. Then A Sinister Turn would answer that question with Maar.
    This is a bit of a necro, but I've been wanting to share my opinion on this for a while. The reasoning in this thread is sound, but I still feel that the orders listed are slightly off.

    If you do A Sinister Turn before Piercing the Shroud, the dialogue on the Hyperion immediately after Piercing the Shroud reflects that Raynor recognizes the Hybrid. "It was a hybrid like Zeratul fought."
    Not only that, but in the mission, Raynor simply says "My lord... am I seeing this right? A Hybrid... We should get out of here right now!" It even sounds like "Oh <bleep>, I KNOW what that is!"

    This lets us place A Sinister Turn directly before Moebius Factor, and then follow it up with The Great Train Robbery - Not only is Raynor still known for spending a lot of time drinking, with Swann commenting on it, he then gets rebuked by Matt for both his drinking problem and not taking his rebellion seriously, and THEN gets serious and goes off to take some aggressive action.
    And now In Utter Darkness immediately follows Supernova - as Zaroff suggested, it makes sense that after his little spat with the crew (all upset with him for joining Valerian), he stalks off to the lab to distance himself some (Stetmann is the ONLY one who doesn't get angry with him), and sees the last vision in the crystal - after which he then explains how important Kerrigan is
    It also makes sense that, right after Supernova, with the way he angrily shouts at the people questioning his decision, that he hasn't seen the vision. His reasons for going back to Char are still primarily emotional. Only after seeing the crystal's vision does he start thinking that Kerrigan needs to be saved for bigger reasons. (Thus his speech after the bar fight)

    And to add to this, Raynor still heads to the lab right after Piercing the Shroud, in an attempt to get some answers - but only ends up more confused, and with more questions - to add to that, the vision briefly mentions Kerrigan, which is still a touchy subject for him. (Maybe Safe Haven even comes first, since Hanson has nothing to say for the last two crystal visions?)

    • Liberation Day
    • The Outlaws
    • Zero Hour
    • Evacuation
    • Devil's Playground
    • Smash and Grab
    • Outbreak
    • Welcome to the Jungle
    • The Dig
    • Whispers of Doom
    • Breakout
    • A Sinister Turn
    • Moebius Factor
    • The Great Train Robbery
    • Cutthroat
    • Engine of Destruction
    • Media Blitz
    • Piercing the Shroud
    • Echoes of the Future
    • Safe Haven
    • Supernova
    • In Utter Darkness
    • Maw of the Void
    • The Gates of Hell
    • Belly of the Beast
    • All In

    I do have one slight issue with my current ordering - the purpose for heading to Tarsonis is to rob trains for the cash. No other purpose. They don't know about the adjutant until they have it.
    And THEN, once they have the adjutant, they have no clue what's on it or why it's valuable to Mengsk until Cutthroat, when they visit the pirate port.
    So it sounds to me as though Raynor doesn't really clean up his act, following Matt's chiding/rebuke/whatever, until Engine of Destruction.

    That being said, I can't bring myself to separate Great Train Robbery from Moebius Factor - because it makes sense that immediately after encountering Kerrigan on Tyrador and reliving the fall of Tarsonis, Raynor actually GOES to Tarsonis, and then afterwards he's talking with Hanson more about what happened between him, Mengsk, and Kerrigan. (maybe that was why he was avoiding Matt's mission to head to Tarsonis? Kept having that damn nightmare!)

    I suppose I just need to look at it as, once Raynor cleans up his act, he starts taking Matt's advice for once. Instead of just flying about as he pleases, with seemingly no direction - saving random colonists, helping Tosh with his dirty Spectre work, spending hours in the lab staring into a psionic crystal, stealing the alien artifacts on Tychus' suggestion (Tychus being somebody Matt constantly and bluntly informs Raynor he does not trust) - he starts working with Matt to make a real difference against Mengsk directly. So they head to interrupt one of Mengsk's seemingly smaller operations, still being such a small, underfunded fighting force... and it turns out to be something major. Something they can use.
    I guess that actually makes good sense.

    (Random related note - I have no idea if this order would be possible in Brutal mode, but it could be, as you get Siege Tanks in all the missions that REALLY need them - except for Outbreak, but I'm willing to think that Outbreak could be done immediately after Whispers of Doom and it wouldn't cut up the story - and you still have Reapers, which make the mission incredibly easy)
    Been awhile since anyone responded to this thread...and I think it's a really good one. Been trying to piece this out myself and have begun replaying WoL in order to come up with a "story" order (as opposed to a best way to get the right unit mix to complete the next mission order).

    One thing that everyone in this thread has not taken into account, which I am doing with my most recent playthrough, is the UNN news crawls about Kyla Velassi. Her story plays out through those crawls and there feels like a definite order (or at least a semblance of one to those as well).

    My most recent playthrough is taking those crawls into account and is providing some VERY interesting things in terms of the story unfolding...I am not quite done yet, but once I am, assuming this order holds together, I will post it here with both the Velassi "keys" to my order as well as how well this "Velassi order" seems to support a "main" story order.
    Great topic! Finally decided to delurk, and wanted to add my thoughts.

    Taking a major cue from your efforts, here's my playthrough order (minus beginning and end), with comments after:

    4. The Evacuation
    5. Devil's Playground
    6. Smash and Grab
    7. Outbreak
    8. Welcome to the Jungle
    9. The Dig
    10. Whispers of Doom
    11. Breakout or Ghost of a Chance
    12. Haven's Fall or Safe Haven
    13. A Sinister Turn
    14. Moebius Factor
    15. The Great Train Robbery
    16. Cutthroat
    17. Engine of Destruction
    18. Media Blitz
    19. Piercing the Shroud
    20. Supernova
    21. Echoes of the Future
    22. In Utter Darkness
    23. Maw of the Void

    First, let's consider the context which the story begins: from the second cinematic we know Raynor's fight against Mengsk isn't going well, and that he's haunted about what happened to Kerrigan, and still cares for her. When Tychus shows up, it doesn't seem Raynor's particularly interested in the artifacts themselves - they're just a means to an end (credits) in fighting Mengsk.

    This raises an interesting question: seeing as he hung around a lot with Zeratul and Fenix in SC1 & SC:BW, Raynor might know something about the Xel'Naga and their artifacts; for example, it's possible Zeratul could have told him about how he and Artanis used the two crystals to activate the Xel'Naga temple to cleanse Shakuras of the Zerg (end cinematic of Protoss campaign in BW). Obviously I don't think he knows these artifacts could be used to de-infest Kerrigan.

    4. The Evacuation
    Once the Zerg & Kerrigan reappear, he's greatly shaken, so I think it's logical his first inclination is to do something to help people being attacked by the Zerg.

    5. Devil's Playground, 6. Smash and Grab
    Despite succeeding, he needs more resources pronto. I think logically Raynor would be more likely to go with Tychus over a stranger for a dangerous mission to get credits, but getting Tosh on board ASAP is better overall for the story.

    7. Outbreak, 8. Welcome to the Jungle, 9. The Dig, 10. Whispers of Doom
    Now that he's got more resources, Raynor is in a better position to act against the ongoing Zerg threat. But all the fighting takes a toll, so despite not trusting Tosh initially, he decides to continue doing business with him.

    Of course, lorewise fighting Protoss is a real challenge for any Terran forces, so after barely escaping with their skin on Bel-Shir [Welcome to the Jungle is pretty hard this early on], Raynor has little choice but to follow along with Tychus for the next lucrative mission. And... more Protoss - but no problem thanks to siege tanks! Finally, the reunion with Zeratul and the crystal.

    11 and 12: Breakout and Haven's Fall; or Ghost of a Chance and Safe Haven; 13. A Sinister Turn

    Because the main story arcs of Wings of Liberty are Raynor successfully hitting Mengsk where he lives, and finding out the truth of the artifact, it makes sense to wrap up the minor Covert and Colonist subplots quickly. Breakout is the logical canonical choice; nothing that's happened in the game to date should be enough to convince Raynor to side with Nova against Tosh. But this being a Blizzard game, everything can't be all sweetness and light for our hero. Haven's Fall, and the cinematic with infested Hanson, make for a real gut punch, and you get a nice closing dialogue from Tosh (as an aside, his skepticism in earlier dialogue about Hanson being 'full of honey' and wondering why the Zerg let her live doesn't make sense if she's a good guy).

    Conversely, if you choose Ghost of a Chance, despite the amusing dialogue ('that little Nova chick was something else', 'she ain't my girl, Swann'), I would imagine if Raynor really did side with Nova and did the Dominion's dirty work for them, he'd feel really lousy about himself. In that state of mind, I think he'd be much less willing to go along with Selendis and purify Haven, so Safe Haven makes sense as the next mission.

    Finally, having wrapped up business with Tosh and Hanson, Raynor finally has time to go back and try to uncover what Zeratul's prophecy was all about.

    14 - 19: Moebius Factor, Great Train Robbery, Cutthroat, Engine of Destruction, Media Blitz, Piercing the Shroud

    Although for story purposes it would be nice to vary the missions, my order can't do that since Tosh and Hanson's missions are done. Also, because taking down Mengsk (along with fighting the Zerg) is Raynor's overriding goal, I can see how his focus would be following up the mystery on Tarsonis. I agree with Necromancer and Zaroff's reasoning for ordering these missions in the following order, so I repeat it in my playthrough. Once Raynor succeeds and Mengsk is put on the defensive, it makes sense that Raynor takes advantage of the chaos to check out Castanar Station.

    More in the next post!
    20. Supernova, 21. Echoes of the Future, 22. In Utter Darkness, 23. Maw of the Void

    One wonders how important the artifacts would be for Raynor once he pulled off what he did, but presumably he still needs more resources to prepare for Mengsk's coming response--and the Zerg, of course. When Valerian makes his offer, like previously said he jumps at it, but he has no real justification for doing so. Perhaps in desperation, he then goes back to the Ihan Crystal, hoping to find support in Zeratul's memories.

    My one change is that after Valerian reveals his plans, Raynor does both Protoss missions one after the other. For the first two, Kerrigan is not mentioned, so they really aren't that important to Raynor. Once Raynor relives Echoes of the Future, I doubt he would put off finding out what Kerrigan's ultimate role to play is, so In Utter Darkness should follow right after. Now that he has the info, he can confidently go after the last artifact piece, put Tychus in his place, and convince the crew to follow him to Char.

    EDIT: As for the final 3, Belly of the Beast obviously makes sense as all the main characters are interacting with each other, instead of the relatively boring Shatter the Sky mission. And for All-In, while Hive Mind Emulators make the level much easier, for story purpose it's just not satisfying to have Raynor's Raiders commanding a huge Zerg air army against Kerrigan. Like it or not, try to do the mission with Psi-Disrupters!

    EDIT #2: Thinking it over, it might make more sense to do the last 2 Protoss after Piercing the Shroud but before Supernova. Realizing Mengsk seems to be involved with something beyond even Zerg and Protoss should prompt Raynor to look for more info. And now he is fully justified (in his own mind) to go to Char and do what Valerian says. The only question is why he doesn't explain to the rest of his crew why it's worth risking their lives to go to Char, but referring to Protoss memories in a crystal might not be the most convincing explanation!

    Ok love to hear people's thoughts! When I have time I'll replay the campaign in this order and let people know how well it works.
    01/13/2014 05:24 PMPosted by Ralen
    One thing that everyone in this thread has not taken into account, which I am doing with my most recent playthrough, is the UNN news crawls about Kyla Velassi. Her story plays out through those crawls and there feels like a definite order (or at least a semblance of one to those as well).

    I was reading this threat and i was about to say the UNN stuff until i read your reply, im wondering what have you discovered so far?

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