StarCraft® II

Inexplicably Awful Writing Derails Campaign

Posts: 35
I think the Tal'darim mentioned Xel'Naga once or twice so i'm thinking they're more like a cult or sth? I'm sure i've read it somewhere that they were part of Aiur survivor too.
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Posts: 41
On over arcing trend in alot of the posts against the games story seems to be steming from some sort of preconception of what the story is or was suppose to be in your eyes, as well as assumptions of what it is turning out to be. I must say I haven't played SC or BW's story in afew years and so I cant rightfully compare them myself. But I will say that I felt the story was much more engaging this time around in the way it was told then it did in the first one.

Alot of the voice acting, writing, music and even art style, to me, resembled the short running tv show, turned cult classic "Firefly". And thats a good thing. It seem blizz is trying to take the story to something that is much bigger then squabbles between three races over supremacy and planets. I look forward to where the story is going and id urge people to try and hold back assumptions on it. Though im sure everyone knew there would be a group of people that would and always will think SC is the best of all time. And to each there own. But they are wrong =P lol.
Edited by Wolf on 7/30/2010 1:26 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,893
People should try to make the difference between nostalgia and quality. Sc2 is different, get over it. Also, I don't see what was sooo good in the plot and storytelling of sc1. I prefered the sc2 campaign by far.

Edited by Obliterator on 7/30/2010 1:38 AM PDT
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Posts: 874
Dunno what these people are talking about... IN MY OPINION, this game is amazing and I'm not even done with the Single Player Campaign. So you can all take YOUR OPINIONS and share them with the rest... but remember, just because they're your OPINIONS, doesn't make them right!

Think I might have overdone it a bit, but I like the point.
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Posts: 407
Just because you dont like what someone is saying doesn't mean you can just call it their opinion and ignore it. Telling stories is not all preference, ask any writer. Things like pacing, character believability, etc, are quite objective.

SC1s campaign starts you out immersed inside a small world, you know you are on this planet and there is a repressive government and thats it.

It then slowly widens its scope, making the area the game takes place in feel more and more smaller, as the problems get bigger and bigger and the situation becomes more and more dire, leading to a frantic climax and a huge explosion. It had good pacing.

in sc2 you start out with a washed up has been who over the course of 3 missions launches a full scale revolt, with no real reasoning other than 'hes the good guy', sees the entire system attacked by a massive zerg rush (=P) (as opposed to the slow ominous build up of sc1), and also hay the protoss are here too! Its not like a continuation of the story at all its like a highschool reunion.

People arguing about nostalgia, thats an annoying counter thats just a fanboyish blow off. People saying the story is just not the direction you thought it would be, i did not think about the direction. The ending of sc1 was satisfying enough, the huge disaster was averted, but the queen of blades was still around. I figured "i bet sc2 will have something to do with the queen of blades", that is the most i got into thinking about it.
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Posts: 982
SPOILERS

SC2's story starts out with a seemingly random event. Raynor is on Mar Sara, for no real reason, and he decides to help out the locals, for no real reason. After this some character we've never actually seen before shows up, and despite the fact that we've already been with Raynor for two whole campaigns before now, we're told that they "Go way back".

After this the story never goes anywhere with anything. The plot consists almost entirely of filler missions with their outcomes effecting nothing on the actual main plot of the story. Dr. Hanson has her colonists that don't really seem to do anything and Tosh has his Specters that hail from a vaporware game's back story. Even the primary plot device: The Xel'Naga Artifact is only there to help lurch the empty story forwards. The missions surrounding this consist of Raynor battling a group of no-name Protoss for simple convenience of something to fight other than Zerg. Then, on top of this, Kerrigan seems to want the Artifact for... No particular reason, and seems to only exist in the game to provide the player with another hollow obstacle in their missions.

The only thing that showed any promise was Zeratul's missions, but even they just seem to be there to take up space. The poorly-written and ill thought plot and events that surround Zeratul's revelation that the Overmind is actually a puppet is not only stupid, but it totally retcons almost all of the Zerg's already established backround Lore.

Once the player actually drags themselves through all of this pointless dialog and random events that don't mean anything, we finally get to the meat of the story: Valerian owns the Moebius Foundation, and for some reason he's trying to prove that he's a capable successor to his father, Arcturus, by killing Kerrigan. At this point, I have no idea who Valerian really is and the game does not give me enough time to care about him. He pops up once, and then his face appears in some random mission briefings that explain everything you just heard in the cutscene you watched less than 5 seconds earlier. When all of this nonsense finally builds up to the point where you invade and land on Char, the story makes no real effort to get any better, or explain anything. The last few missions consist of Raynor giving a random speech to the military of his arch-enemy, and then they blow up the Xel'Naga Plot Device, turning Kerrigan into a human, or something, Tychus' obvious betrayal occurs and he's killed, and the game ends.

In summary: None of the characters do anything interesting, and the things they do don't make any sense.

Raynor forgets that in the first game he swore to kill Kerrigan entirely. He apparently has no idea who Fenix is, or that ever existed.

Kerrigan forgets how to manipulate whole factions against one another, and simply acts like your standard retard villain that's too arrogant. She does nothing malevolent besides kill a bunch of no-name common civilians, and then she turns into a human.

Arcturus does nothing the entire game but talk about nothing. He doesn't do anything. The whole campaign. His one action is that he apparently saw into the future and forced Tychus into trying to kill Kerrigan. Which makes absolutely no sense at all.

Matt Horner, Gabriel Tosh, Dr. Ariel Hanson, Rory Swan, and Nova are all either talking faces that have no bearing on the plot and are only present to provide the story with Artificial depth, or they are some kind of mechanic for the campaign's RPG elements, or both.

SC2' s story, from start to finish, was freaking awful.
Edited by Omniance on 7/30/2010 8:04 AM PDT
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Posts: 10
Just shut up you whiners. SC2 FTW!!
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Posts: 20
Don't say its a bad story if you cant make a better one.
Edited by Legion on 7/30/2010 8:09 AM PDT
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Posts: 36
Don't say its a bad story if you cant make a better one.


Please don't make this kind of post. It's not like we're blizzard employees tasked with writing the story.

"Your arguments are invalid. Wanna know why? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T MAKE A BETTER STORY ROFLMAOCOPTER"

As I said, voicing opinions (good or bad) can only be a good thing as long as it's not mindless trolling, as long as it's constructive. Blizz reads, notices trends, knows what to fix.

Do you know why the SC2 campaign (the missions themselves) is considerably better than the SC/BW campaign? Because they heard criticism and fixed what was wrong.
Edited by taviow on 7/30/2010 9:17 AM PDT
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Posts: 3,745
I'm not sure what was wrong with the SC2 story, compared to SC1.

I think some of you are looking through SC1 through the eyes of your 12 year old self playing the game, and are thinking, "WOW! SC2 sucks compared to SC1 when I was young, stupid, and amazed that I'm playing pretty much the first good RTS game ever created!"

SC1 story: rebellion overthrows government. One character betrays another. Betrayed character rises from dead, seeks revenge. Evil character tricks good character into helping them. "Oh, you got us now Kerrigan! Fool me once...!". Evil character tricks good character into helping them again. "Oh, you got us again, Kerrigan! How could we have ever predicted you would backstab us!"

Really now.
Edited by Eloderung on 7/30/2010 9:36 AM PDT
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Posts: 874
Don't say its a bad story if you cant make a better one.


I'm in love with this poster and post.
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Posts: 16
I played through SC1 and Brood War twice before picking this up.

The lack of depth and originality combined with the simplistic, puerile behavior of a lot of key characters really made the story irrelevant to me. The SC1 narrative is just so full of gritty, three-dimensional characters, these bland B-movie mannequins are hard to tolerate.

What I expected to be an epic let me down in a major way, so much so that I've completely abandoned any hope in the future of this series, and this is from a kid who got SC1 when I was 8 years old and was playing it faithfully until SC2 came out. They've gone with Kotick and decided to try and turn Starcraft into some 100 million dollar cash cow, and to do so they broken down what could have been a memorable story to it's lowest possible form, artistically.

the multiplayer is amazing, but if they continue in this direction the campaign is going to be irrelevant to me.
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Posts: 16
And it's not about the story, the story is taking all the turns you might expect, but it's about continuity, dpeth of character, and the general quality of writing. Mengsk goes from a cold, calculating tyrant driven by ambition to "How dare you jackals question me?" Zeratul goes from a brooding, experienced warrior to some contrived 2D plot filler?

An alien artifact that makes you hear voices? Every single damn character with an accent? JIM RAYNOR dropping one liners like some 80's action star? What had the potential to continue to be an RTS drama was watered down to some 9th grader's creative writing assignment. The two games are totally incomparable, as far as writing quality is concerned.
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Posts: 2
I think the thing that is really making the story seem weak is because it's basically a bunch of micro-stories messed together with no appariant concept of order from a timeline point of view. Also the terran campaign lacks any true linularity.

There were some missions that were a total killjoy. The final zeratul mission was one that kind of killed the climax of the war with too much information. The first three in the arc were good. They gave you some information, but was vague enough to leave you wondering and interested in the future plots. I guess the reason they did it was to give raynor the heads up on his future actions, but could of been handled in other ways.

This topic brings up a interesting question about what is the best format for telling a story in a multifaction game.

Is it better to have the factions take turns telling the story from their point of view from the beginning of their involvment to the end of it?

Or have the factions take turns telling the story, segmenting the timeline of the story between the factions? aka(SC1)

Or have the game tell the story cronologically(with certain exceptions) with all the factions at once playing the faction for each mission that is most appropiate?
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Posts: 16
SPOILERS

SC2's story starts out with a seemingly random event. Raynor is on Mar Sara, for no real reason, and he decides to help out the locals, for no real reason. After this some character we've never actually seen before shows up, and despite the fact that we've already been with Raynor for two whole campaigns before now, we're told that they "Go way back".

After this the story never goes anywhere with anything. The plot consists almost entirely of filler missions with their outcomes effecting nothing on the actual main plot of the story. Dr. Hanson has her colonists that don't really seem to do anything and Tosh has his Specters that hail from a vaporware game's back story. Even the primary plot device: The Xel'Naga Artifact is only there to help lurch the empty story forwards. The missions surrounding this consist of Raynor battling a group of no-name Protoss for simple convenience of something to fight other than Zerg. Then, on top of this, Kerrigan seems to want the Artifact for... No particular reason, and seems to only exist in the game to provide the player with another hollow obstacle in their missions.

The only thing that showed any promise was Zeratul's missions, but even they just seem to be there to take up space. The poorly-written and ill thought plot and events that surround Zeratul's revelation that the Overmind is actually a puppet is not only stupid, but it totally retcons almost all of the Zerg's already established backround Lore.

Once the player actually drags themselves through all of this pointless dialog and random events that don't mean anything, we finally get to the meat of the story: Valerian owns the Moebius Foundation, and for some reason he's trying to prove that he's a capable successor to his father, Arcturus, by killing Kerrigan. At this point, I have no idea who Valerian really is and the game does not give me enough time to care about him. He pops up once, and then his face appears in some random mission briefings that explain everything you just heard in the cutscene you watched less than 5 seconds earlier. When all of this nonsense finally builds up to the point where you invade and land on Char, the story makes no real effort to get any better, or explain anything. The last few missions consist of Raynor giving a random speech to the military of his arch-enemy, and then they blow up the Xel'Naga Plot Device, turning Kerrigan into a human, or something, Tychus' obvious betrayal occurs and he's killed, and the game ends.

In summary: None of the characters do anything interesting, and the things they do don't make any sense.

Raynor forgets that in the first game he swore to kill Kerrigan entirely. He apparently has no idea who Fenix is, or that ever existed.

Kerrigan forgets how to manipulate whole factions against one another, and simply acts like your standard retard villain that's too arrogant. She does nothing malevolent besides kill a bunch of no-name common civilians, and then she turns into a human.

Arcturus does nothing the entire game but talk about nothing. He doesn't do anything. The whole campaign. His one action is that he apparently saw into the future and forced Tychus into trying to kill Kerrigan. Which makes absolutely no sense at all.

Matt Horner, Gabriel Tosh, Dr. Ariel Hanson, Rory Swan, and Nova are all either talking faces that have no bearing on the plot and are only present to provide the story with Artificial depth, or they are some kind of mechanic for the campaign's RPG elements, or both.

SC2' s story, from start to finish, was freaking awful.


This. This is it, completely.
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Posts: 237
For anyone wondering about Raynor forgetting about Fenix, you might worryingly note that Fenix is mentioned nowhere in the plot summary of the first game.

Here's a relevant paragraph, though,that presents an important scene without him:
Raynor fought courageously, but he knew a hopeless fight when he saw one. As he escaped from Korhal, he promised Kerrigan that she would pay for the lives she had taken: one day, Raynor swore, he would kill her.


Now, granted, we don't read about Artanis either, but at least he makes an appearance here, albeit with a horrible, horrible voice actor. It may just be me, but any other complaints about voice actor changes are laughable compared to this travesty.

Also note that current Blizzard continuity claims that you played Artanis in the original SC (i.e. before Artanis appeared in person, that's who you were).

EDIT: Artanis is actually in the "Story So Far" on the old SC2 site. Fenix is mentioned there, but only in a dialogue snippet on the side. He is never mentioned in the actual summary.

Finally, Zeratul and Duran are mentioned in the story summary. So... maybe he's just shocked that the plan came to fruition? Either way, the execution here was poor.

I liked the story overall, but there were just so many flaws and missed opportunities. Maybe I should apply for a job in the writing department.
Edited by Nightshade on 7/30/2010 10:29 AM PDT
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Posts: 169
While I agree that there were a few too many cheesy one-liners, overall I thought that voice acting was good. If you didn't think the story was as good, you should take note that you had to talk to all the characters for everything to be complete. The one thing that bothers me... a certain character reminds me of dwarfs in World of Warcraft. I guess that there are people who have worked on both.
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Posts: 16
Almost 4 straight posts, but I had to come back and vent.

I thought that, seeing as they're in the process of turning Battle.net into the model of nickel-and-diming, they'd throw dedicated fans a bone and hammer out another strong narrative for the campaign. The plot can still take some interesting turns but the complete disregard for continuity, believability, or the preservation of depth has just completely turned me off to the game. What could have made for decent drama has been, in one installment, watered down to some bland sci-fi B-movie script. Uninteresting characters that lack for intelligence, the @%@# is just corny. They''ve gutted what was good about the game to give it some sort of mass appeal.

This game is CSI, while SC1 was The Wire.
Edited by gizzo on 7/30/2010 10:49 AM PDT
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Posts: 47
I think the story and voice acting was very good.

This is a triology, you cant judge the story for the first chapter. Is like if you read the frist book of LoTR and start to say that there is no ending, character where not develop, etc... Btw, i think i remember people saying the same comments about the first LoTR movie.

Wings of Liberty does a fine job setting up for the next chapter, i personaly could not stop playing until the end and i cant wait for the Heart of the Swarm.
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Posts: 1,893
Just because you dont like what someone is saying doesn't mean you can just call it their opinion and ignore it. Telling stories is not all preference, ask any writer. Things like pacing, character believability, etc, are quite objective.

SC1s campaign starts you out immersed inside a small world, you know you are on this planet and there is a repressive government and thats it.

It then slowly widens its scope, making the area the game takes place in feel more and more smaller, as the problems get bigger and bigger and the situation becomes more and more dire, leading to a frantic climax and a huge explosion. It had good pacing.

in sc2 you start out with a washed up has been who over the course of 3 missions launches a full scale revolt, with no real reasoning other than 'hes the good guy', sees the entire system attacked by a massive zerg rush (=P) (as opposed to the slow ominous build up of sc1), and also hay the protoss are here too! Its not like a continuation of the story at all its like a highschool reunion.

People arguing about nostalgia, thats an annoying counter thats just a fanboyish blow off. People saying the story is just not the direction you thought it would be, i did not think about the direction. The ending of sc1 was satisfying enough, the huge disaster was averted, but the queen of blades was still around. I figured "i bet sc2 will have something to do with the queen of blades", that is the most i got into thinking about it.


The sc2 start is not supposed to be a "start". That's why you have this long explanation video of "what's going on" when you install the game.

Also, the things you stated are actually not objectives. Starting in a small world ans slowly scaling up is not objectively better than starting in the action. These are just 2 different ways to set up the story.
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