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By "going back", you mean replaying a mission through the Mission database? That doesn't count. Heart of the Swarm will probably read your latest completed campaign save game.
As I said, the first time you beat a branching mission during a playthrough becomes the canon choice for the rest of the campaign. Even if you replay it later through the mission database, you cannot change its impact on later missions in terms of dialogues, upgrades and credits/technology.
You can't have both Spectres and Ghosts, just like you can't get Protoss/Zerg technology and extra credits you previously missed.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 6/15/2012 8:35 PM PDT
SUMMARY OF POINT ONE: Linear stories have better pacing and are generally more engaging narratives than non-linear ones.
Linear stories don't have better pacing they have fixed pacing, the difference being quite obvious.
SUMMARY OF POINT 2: If you're going to give us choices, make them REAL choices, not fake ones. This makes our choices have consequences and makes second playthroughs more interesting.
There were real choices, the end of tosh's side story decided which of two units you'd have for the rest of the campaign. You also get to choose between two different second to last missions which radically alter how the final mission plays out. That's without getting into the very real unit customization choices. As far as your complaint about Haven, all that leads to is that one of the choices be 'the right choice' and one be 'the wrong choice' which is the kind of black and white morality that we DON'T need more of in video games.
SUMMARY OF POINT 3: By making Jim Raynor the main character, we only get to see characters through Raynor's eyes, in the way they interact with Raynor. This leaves us with only a one-dimensional understanding of these characters. Seeing characters interact with EACH OTHER, not just with Jim, is what makes characters seem more real and engaging and interesting.
Other character's did have interaction with each other other though, it might not have been enough to satiate your cravings but you can't outright dismiss it as not existing. And like it or not this was a campaign from the perspective of the raiders, which Raynor is the leader of and thus most important character in; it would be absurd if he didn't get a lot of screen time.
At the end of the day you see as many sides of the characters as Blizzard wants you to see, if they wanted Matt and Selendis to discuss their fondness of gardening (I'm making this detail up if wasn't obvious) they would have found a way to put it in there regardless of Raynor being the 'main character'.
SUMMARY OF FINAL POINT: Don't just limit the story to the cutscenes between the missions! Having stories unfold, plot twists reveal, objectives change, and characters interact DURING missions makes these missions feel less predictable, more exciting, and more central to the story. It lets us PLAY A PART in the story and not just watch it unfold!
Several bonus objectives came about this way as I recall, most of the them being Stetman collection missions and the secret mission was one big 'oh lord what next?' The problem with in mission twists is that they can cause you to lose missions you should have won (which is frustrating not engaging) if you aren't expecting them and if you already know about them then there's no point because the surprise is spoiled.
Indeed. You can't just overwhelm the player with new information, especially in a fast-paced game where you must manage many things at once in real-time. It would just end up frustrating the players, as they can never get a good hold of the situation as it keeps changing every two minutes.
Listening to dialogues is distracting, and constantly interrupting the gameplay with cutscenes just ruins its flow.
SO, I haven't gotten HotS yet, but I'm curious to any of the posters ITT who agreed with my initial thoughts here:
You should come back in March when people actually have the game.
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