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StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A - Part 1

StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A - Part 1

The answers are in!

Brian Kindregan, co-lead writer of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and lead writer of Heart of the Swarm, has taken the time to answer of some of the most burning questions the community has been asking since the early days of Wings of Liberty.

We’ve been collecting your questions for some time, and we’ll be revealing the answers a few at a time. It’s an inside look into the thoughts and motivations of such personalities as Tychus Findlay, Sarah Kerrigan, Arcturus Mengsk, the Overmind, and more, exploring why events went down in Wings of Liberty the way they did, and delving into the machinations that set the stage for Heart of the Swarm.

Before we get to the secrets of the Koprulu Sector, a message from Brian:

Hey all,

I'm going to attempt to answer as many of these questions as I can within my time constraints. (Trying to get Heart of the Swarm done!)

We’ve received many great questions. I'd like to point out that in some cases I am responding with insider knowledge, such as how Broodmothers work. In the case of questions about the plot or character motivations in Wings of Liberty, my answers are based entirely on clues, subtext, and events in the game, so these answers can be deduced directly from the source. In a few cases, the clues are there, but we were probably too obscure in the way we layered them in.

There are a number of questions about the lore justification for the inclusion/exclusion of various units. Rather than take them one at a time, I'd like to give a blanket answer.

Certain types of units fall in and out of favor with military leaders, while and the supply of various components makes some units more or less available. A unit might be discontinued in the field while it undergoes additional R&D, or it might be retired for the foreseeable future. Sometimes an enemy discovers a great countermeasure to a unit, and so commanders will discontinue its use until they figure out a solution.

In the case of multiplayer, I would suggest thinking about it in these terms: Fighting in various locations, military commanders rarely have all the resources and assets that they would like. They must use the equipment they have. This is the case on a multiplayer map. A Protoss, Zerg, or Terran force has certain units it can build, but it doesn't have the ability to produce every unit its race has ever made. The selection in multiplayer is that race's pre-made task group. So when the Terrans (for example) send a force to a planet, that army has a standard load-out of equipment and units.

Question: How did the Terrans enjoy such rapid population growth and colonization of the Koprulu sector when all they had to work with were four broken-down ships? According to the lore, four ships containing 40,000 humans crash-landed and established three colonies in 2259.The events of StarCraft 1 occur in ~2500.Yet it seems like the Confederacy/Dominion are full empires with many worlds and billions of residents. For instance, Tarsonis had at least two billion. No matter how I figure survival and reproduction rates, I just can't see how it makes sense.

Answer: This is an excellent question, and one that has been discussed internally for several years. I've always said that these were four crashed colony ships. So while much of their technology was lost, there were certainly means to ensure a foothold on a new, hostile planet – frozen embryos, frozen fertilized eggs, certainly extensive cloning. There were also methods of boosting food production to support explosive population growth. Mmm, tasty nutrient paste! One tablespoon does you for the whole day!

Because this tech was harnessed by survivors who only had a fraction of their intended equipment, it was lost 50 or so years after planetfall. But that was enough to swell the starting figures quite a bit. Let's suppose those starting figures get us up to 400,000 within 30 years of crashing. (Ambitious, I know, but a civilization that can build massive interstellar ships could certainly create such tech.) We should assume that for the first five or six generations, there was enormous social pressure (if not legal) on all fertile adults to spawn as many offspring as possible. Families of ten or more children. By the third or so generation, infant mortality rates might have risen a bit as the old tech broke down, but they would have dropped again as the colonists rebuilt their technological infrastructure. Now the numbers start to make sense.

Question: In StarCraft, the Queen of Blades told Mengsk that she isn't interested in revenge. Why is killing him suddenly her life's purpose, according to the most recent trailer?

Answer: The Queen of Blades and Sarah Kerrigan are not quite the same person. The Queen of Blades is essentially Sarah Kerrigan under the influence of some devastating forces: incredible power, a dominating level of psi energy, and the presence of Zerg mutagen from the cellular level up.

To be clear, the Queen of Blades is not a separate entity that possessed Kerrigan. Kerrigan is (certainly in her mind) responsible for the terrible things she's done. She has immense guilt for those actions, but she was not completely in her "right mind" in Brood War.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying the Queen of Blades felt no need to kill Mengsk. She did not see him as a threat. Sarah Kerrigan, on the other hand, knows that Mengsk wants her dead, and she very much holds a grudge for his abandoning her on Tarsonis.

Click here for Part 2

We’ll have many more questions and answers for you in the weeks to come.

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