StarCraft® II

WoL review, HotS wishlist

Posts: 94
Since I'm currently obsessed with anything SC2-related (can't wait for Heart of the Swarm), I thought I'd share with everyone (1) my thoughts on Wings of Liberty's campaign and (2) my wishes for Heart of the Swarm's upcoming story.

Blanket statement: I liked WoL. There are some aspects of the story I take issue with, though, and since I've seen a lot of discussion on the forums over some of these points I guess I'll start there.

First, lots of people don't like the disconnect between Brood War and WoL. People point to the Dominion being all-powerful despite their long string of defeats in BW or Raynor pining over Kerrigan despite seeing her murder his best Protoss friend. I can actually understand some of these things – there's a time-skip between BW and WoL, so I can rationalize to myself some of these things. Mengsk rebuilt the Dominion from the ground up in 4 years. Raynor was simply speaking from an intense emotional moment at the end of BW and came to be conflicted as time went on.

The issue I have isn't so much the disconnect, but the fact that the game doesn't address it. I'd have appreciated one line from Horner or someone saying, "Look, guys, the Dominion fell before and we can pull that off too." You know, something to show us that the game acknowledges the events of BW.

Personally, I don't like the fact that Mengsk is still alive and ruling over Terran space. I remember playing as the UED captain and bringing him down (man, that felt good). After all I did in the original games, he's still alive and in power. It's like nothing I did mattered come WoL. So that's why I'm saying some kind of acknowledgment would've been nice.

This brings me to my first wish for HotS: KILL MENGSK. I've had enough of this backstabbing megalomaniac. No longer do I want to see him get away with his crimes (as an emperor, no less). I want Kerrigan to have her revenge. And I want to be playing as her while that happens.

Second, there are some retcons that happened in WoL, and I don't like retcons. The Overmind was some kind of courageous creature? I want to feel like the lore I know (and played through) means something rather than an unstable storyline that can be changed at any time. Blizzard has recently addressed some of these concerns by saying that these aren't retcons so much as they are misinterpretations of existing lore by the fans.

For example, the Overmind was courageous to defy the Dark Voice, but it ends there. He was still looking out for only the Zerg, and couldn't have cared less if the rest of the universe burned. Alright then – this begins to sound more like the Overmind we know from the original. I (and Blizzard) wish that this could've been explained better, but what's done is done. Let's hope lore doesn't get "misinterpreted" again in HotS.

On a related note is my second wish for HotS: don't bring back dead characters. I'm alright with Tassadar's ghost speaking to Zeratul. It still means Tassadar is dead. Death of a character in a character-driven story (as Blizzard has said StarCraft is) should be a pretty dramatic moment and bringing these characters back really messes that up.

These two gripes are about all I have with WoL. There are some minor things (I think the "all in a day's work" cinematic was horribly cheesy, for example), but I can let that go because I thoroughly enjoyed the game. So now I'll go into the rest of my HotS wishlist.

Third wish: make Sarah Kerrigan badass. I want to see the former Queen of Blades retake the Swarm by force and then send the entire might of the Zerg to rip Mengsk a new one. Or…several new ones. On that note, I wish the development team dropped the "Kerrigan has amnesia" thing they were talking about last year. Flashpoint seems to have dropped that idea, and I like Kerrigan remembering her time as the Queen of Blades. This way, she can make informed decisions about what she does next rather than running around blindly.

Fourth wish: don't re-infest Kerrigan. Unfortunately I think this one will go unfulfilled, given the box art, but like I was saying earlier I want to feel like my actions meant something. I spent all of WoL fighting to de-infest Kerrigan. Now she gets re-infested?

Fifth wish: don't make Valerian like his father. For those of you who can't tell, I hate Arcturus Mengsk.

Sixth wish: make the Dark Voice interesting…and don't make him some surprise character that we know already. I've seen a theory that he's Tassadar returned, except this time he wants to kill everything rather than be the selfless Protoss hero who sacrificed himself killing the Overmind. Or, he's Karass, because helping Zeratul foil his plan by alerting the heroes to Kerrigan's importance was part of the Dark Voice's plan all along.

That's all I can think of now. Now back to waiting for 4 months. >_<
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Posts: 531

This brings me to my first wish for HotS: KILL MENGSK. I've had enough of this backstabbing megalomaniac. No longer do I want to see him get away with his crimes (as an emperor, no less). I want Kerrigan to have her revenge. And I want to be playing as her while that happens.

What about killing Kerrigan? Why have players been denied this justice? Mengsk may be a dangerous megalomanic, but until they turned him into an incompetent moron post-2006, he was still the best thing for humanity. Kerrigan is the one that killed Fenix and Duke, and backstabbed 10x as many people as Mengsk.

I (and Blizzard) wish that this could've been explained better, but what's done is done. Let's hope lore doesn't get "misinterpreted" again in HotS.

Too late. A standalone product should be judged as such. Few people read extraneous Q&As, and you're going to see this thing come up again, mark my words. In SC1, when you had a Q&A, it was to give new information & lore, not clarify & fix the mangled lore that left a bunch of people confused.


On a related note is my second wish for HotS: don't bring back dead characters. I'm alright with Tassadar's ghost speaking to Zeratul. It still means Tassadar is dead.

He's not a ghost and he's not dead.

"Tassadar
I have never tasted death, Zeratul -- nor shall I."

Ghosts, by definition, do not exist in sci-fi. This isn't a fantasy game, or at least, I hope it's not. He's more like a higher-dimensional being.


These two gripes are about all I have with WoL. There are some minor things (I think the "all in a day's work" cinematic was horribly cheesy, for example), but I can let that go because I thoroughly enjoyed the game. So now I'll go into the rest of my HotS wishlist.

I also enjoyed the game because the gameplay, art, and cinematics were all astounding. The story on the other hand was atrocious, more like the work of a fanfiction writer than people who actually get payed to think about the story for months and make sure it has no retcons.

I'm not saying everyone at Blizzard is a talentless hack, we all know Kindregan is a good writer, but something is bogging down their creative process. It has become a business instead of a passion, impeded by office politics, deadlines, and profit margins.

Third wish: make Sarah Kerrigan badass. I want to see the former Queen of Blades retake the Swarm by force and then send the entire might of the Zerg to rip Mengsk a new one. Or…several new ones. On that note, I wish the development team dropped the "Kerrigan has amnesia" thing they were talking about last year. Flashpoint seems to have dropped that idea, and I like Kerrigan remembering her time as the Queen of Blades. This way, she can make informed decisions about what she does next rather than running around blindly.

Agreed. My hope is she becomes evil again and we get to kill her. :P

Fifth wish: don't make Valerian like his father. For those of you who can't tell, I hate Arcturus Mengsk.

I think you've got that one in the bag given what we saw in flashpoint. It would make no sense at this point for Valerian to not be who he says he's been.


Sixth wish: make the Dark Voice interesting…

Pfffff...

Good luck with that. "Big bad that wants to kill everyone in the universe so that he can clone himself" doesn't have that much mileage I'm afraid. :P
Edited by Gradius on 11/23/2012 4:48 PM PST
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Hippo's Wishlist: Fenix(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!1one!1!!!)
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1. I agree with Gradius, the DV is going to be near impossible to make a decent villain with his current get-up. He feels like that generic villain that comes in and surprises everyone. He even brags about how his plan succeeded and how the heroes failed completely. As if I haven't seen that taunting before...

2. I have to say, I'm glad Valerian is not a carbon copy of his father. Saves us the trouble of making a third StarCraft, rebelling against him.

3. I think Kerrigan should at least get some slack since she killed off Duke, who was a big douche from Terran Mission 1 in SC1 and Aldaris, who was a bit annoying in SC1 for blocking our way to beat the Zerg for two missions. Although, Aldaris did try to warn us of Kerrigan before he died , so I don't hate him :P.

4. I don't think Karass is the DV since he may as well have killed both Zeratul and Kerrigan if he wished on Ulaan (they are pretty big enemies to his plans). He seems more than capable seeing as how he controls the hybrids.
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Posts: 20,639
Trust me UltraNoob, Blizzard make it clear that Mengsk's story is already done, there's nothing really left to tell about the guy. The ONLY way I can see him surviving HotS is if Blizzard can't figure out what terran opponents will the Protoss fight in LotV.

As for Valerian, be careful. Despite everything you read in Flashpoint, Blizzard technically still has room to make him just like his father...
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I'm pretty sure the Moebius Foundation could serve as Terran opponents in LotV.
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11/23/2012 01:35 PMPosted by TheEvilBunny
and couldn't have cared less if the rest of the universe burned.


That's actually stupid, if the overmind thought that, if everything else died out the zerg would fail to become perfect, and that's the overmind's true directive.

11/23/2012 01:35 PMPosted by TheEvilBunny
I want to see the former Queen of Blades


I don't. we already played as her in that form twice, I'm quite tired of that brat honestly.

I have a feeling that Karass was a form that he took to fool zeratul, as opposed to it actually being the DV.

11/23/2012 04:37 PMPosted by Gradius
he was still the best thing for humanity.


The best thing we know of anyway.
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11/23/2012 08:33 PMPosted by ragnarok
if Blizzard can't figure out what terran opponents will the Protoss fight in LotV.


That would be bad considering we have:

Moebius Foundation
Raynor's Raiders
Dominion force that don't include arcturus
Kel-Morian Combine
Umojan Protectorate
NUMEROUS pirates/mercenaries
possibly the UED
possibly the Confederate resistance.

We have plenty of terran groups.
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11/24/2012 08:45 AMPosted by StratosTygo
if Blizzard can't figure out what terran opponents will the Protoss fight in LotV.


That would be bad considering we have:

Moebius Foundation
Raynor's Raiders
Dominion force that don't include arcturus
Kel-Morian Combine
Umojan Protectorate
NUMEROUS pirates/mercenaries
possibly the UED
possibly the Confederate resistance.

We have plenty of terran groups.


True, but most of those groups don't have an infamous leader like Mengsk. That is the ONLY reason why I see Mengsk might survive HotS.
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Posts: 531

True, but most of those groups don't have an infamous leader like Mengsk. That is the ONLY reason why I see Mengsk might survive HotS.

Just because Blizzard refuses to admit that other power-hungry leaders exist, doesn't mean it's the case. If SC was remotely realistic, Mengsk would have been shot/usurped. Instead, it's like he's the only one in the universe with any ambition.

Here's one of my old posts about why he shouldn't even be in power:
I will describe one last time the argument for why the UED remnants have as much of a right to be the antagonist of SC2 as the Dominion does.

Mengsk has two ways of holding on to power:
1) Military force. If you disagree, you get quashed. We see examples of this in frontline.
2) The lure and promise for any planet in joining the Dominion is protection against the alien menace. This is the one thing that Mengsk promised his people, and the only reason he has dictatorial powers at all. This is why he works the media angle, to show everybody that they need him.

If it can be shown that Mengsk does not have these two things by the end of Brood War, then it stands to reason that any other powers in the sector have just as much of a right, it not more, to be in power. So let's go over it all again:

1) The UED laid siege to Augustgrad & removed Mengsk from power. It is silly to say that the assault was "just against Augustgrad" when you assault a different site on Korhal in the previous mission. Stukov mentions that Mengsk can't reinforce his numbers, which means they've nullified external threats and have the planet surrounded like any siege.

The UED controls not only Korhal but all other Dominion colonies as well.
"We are here to take control of the Terran Dominion and all of its outlying colonies." This is represented in the game in multiple ways. Braxis. The Dylarian shipyards, etc.

- They have succeeded in this goal:
FENIX
It is strange that this Kel-Morian Combine continues to operate while the UED grips the Dominion with an iron fist. I'll never underestimate the motivational effects of Terran greed again!

This shows that the KMC is raking in cash despite the fact that the UED controls everything. As for this "attack" against the KMC, they raided some resources and then left. Other people would see this as a sign that the KMC can defend itself against aliens a hell of alot better than Mengsk.

2) Korhal gets sacked again when Kerrigan assaults not only Augustgrad, but the outlying fortifications as well:
"Raynor, you and Fenix will strike at the more outlying fortification, while my forces are busy assaulting the main UED base at Augustgrad."

3) Mengsk then attempts to rebuild his Dominion: "I'll be sending General Duke to establish my base of operations in Augustgrad."

Kerrigan then destroys Augustgrad again as well as Mengsk's shots at coming back to power again.
"Did you really think I'd allow you to come into power again?"
"I think I'll leave you here, Arcturus, among the ashes of your precious Dominion."

You guys getting it yet? The Dominion is in ashes.

4) Mengsk is pretty much screwed so he risks everything, calls in all his favors & makes a bunch of concessions, so he can assault Char Aleph. He fails miserably and now he has even less power. The fact that he "returned to Korhal to plan the reconstruction of his Dominion" could be taken as nothing more than one of his megalomaniacal delusions, which is really the whole point of his character. Certainly he can rebuild and go back to his Sons of Korhal status, but not to the Dominion's former extent.

Not only has Mengsk been utterly defeated militarily, he has been defeated politically and shown to be incapable of defending humanity from the aliens. The UED publicly executed his ranking officers; this is the ultimate !@#$%slap to Mengsk's political power & reputation. His fledgling government has failed, and his former worlds would have been looking to maybe the UED, who give the promise of the protection of the earth colonies and believe in the supremacy of humanity. Or perhaps the KMC, who successfully withstood an alien attack in the Brood War. Or the Umojan Protectorate which wasn't even touched; there's a reason it's called the Protectorate.

You can agree to disagree all you want, but the fact is that many people noticed this obvious absurdity and it represents a failing on the part of the writers for not taking these clear and obvious military defeats into account. You guys get how this ruins the lore correct? We could sack Korhal again in HoTS and it would be back to normal the next day. If military defeats are so damn meaningless, then who exactly wants to immerse themselves into this story? It's sad that I have more suspension of disbelief watching a multiplayer match than I do playing the campaign. It's supposed to be the opposite.
Edited by Gradius on 1/14/2013 9:38 AM PST
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Well obviously. That's what I've tried to tell a lot of SC fanfic writers on fanfiction.net for their fics.

The point is the ONLY reason why he's still on the throne, or even still ALIVE for that matter, is because some bigger threat came along and forced his enemies to push Mengsk to the back burner.

Technically he lost the Brood War. For all his boasts about the Dominion armada being all powerful, they lost to the UED, and that was before the UED even enslaved the Zerg.
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11/24/2012 11:17 AMPosted by Gradius
This shows that the KMC is raking in cash despite the fact that the UED controls everything. As for this "attack" against the KMC, they raided some resources and then left. Other people would see this as a sign that the KMC can defend itself against aliens a hell of alot better than Mengsk.


I agree, I don't see why the KMC is never really established well.

Hopefully they'll be important in HotS.
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11/24/2012 11:25 AMPosted by StratosTygo
This shows that the KMC is raking in cash despite the fact that the UED controls everything. As for this "attack" against the KMC, they raided some resources and then left. Other people would see this as a sign that the KMC can defend itself against aliens a hell of alot better than Mengsk.


I agree, I don't see why the KMC is never really established well.

Hopefully they'll be important in HotS.


Well the KMC was never really too well known in SC1 and Brood War. I mean ok yes there was the raid on Moria where Kerrigan requested Raynor and Fenix to go there to strengthen her broods to take on the UED, but that's about it.

In fact, after the Guild Wars, the KMC kind of just fell off the grid for the most part. We didn't even know until the recent Q&A sessions if the KMC had their own version of the Ghost Program like the Umojan Shadowguards.
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The raid against Moria in Brood War hardly did the KMC justice: we just fought a bunch of generic Terran forces that didn't even seem to be related in anyway and it sure didn't help that Blizzard had to pick the overused Wasteland tileset either. Besides, wasn't the KMC supposed to be allied with the Dominion in Brood War? Why were they not helping Mengsk and why hadn't the UED tried to secure Moria with its pet swarms?

The ultimate irony is that Raynor's brief conversation with Swann following the mission on Meinhoff proved to be twice as informative as an entire Brood War mission.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 11/24/2012 3:34 PM PST
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The raid against Moria in BW hardly did the KMC justice: we just fought a bunch of generic Terran forces that didn't even seem to be related in anyway. It didn't help that Blizzard had to pick the overused Wasteland tileset either.

Besides, wasn't the KMC supposed to be allied with the Dominion in Brood War anyway? Why were they not helping Mengsk against the UED?


That's an easy one.

If you still recall from that raid on Moria mission with Fenix, he had said it was an example of terran greed for the KMC not to come to the Dominion's aid.

That means the KMC were confident that the Dominion would fall. And you know as well as I do there's a little something called "the spoils of war".
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But Fenix didn't know jack about Terran society; his remarks were just a bunch of assumptions.

Besides, you'd think the UED would have wanted to claim Moria's resources for themselves.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 11/24/2012 3:38 PM PST
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But Fenix didn't know jack about Terran society; his remarks were just a bunch of assumptions.

Besides, you'd think the UED would have wanted to claim Moria's resources for themselves.


That may well be, but the Zerg ruined the UED's plans before they could successfully take over the sector.

That was the driving point that Kerrigan made to Raynor that convinced him to ally with her during the Brood War. Raynor was convinced if the UED won, the whole sector would be under their slavery.
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That was the driving point that Kerrigan made to Raynor that convinced him to ally with her during the Brood War. Raynor was convinced if the UED won, the whole sector would be under their slavery.


KERRIGAN

Wrong, Fenix. I want to defeat
them because if we don't, they'll
clamp down on this sector, and
enslave us all! You know I'm right
Jim. You've studied the history of
Earth, you know what the UED's
agenda is. Taking control of the
Zerg is only the beginning for them.

RAYNOR

Maybe... I don't know...


My, that's some strong conviction right here.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 11/24/2012 3:42 PM PST
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11/24/2012 03:40 PMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
That was the driving point that Kerrigan made to Raynor that convinced him to ally with her during the Brood War. Raynor was convinced if the UED won, the whole sector would be under their slavery.


KERRIGAN

Wrong, Fenix. I want to defeat
them because if we don't, they'll
clamp down on this sector, and
enslave us all! You know I'm right
Jim. You've studied the history of
Earth, you know what the UED's
agenda is. Taking control of the
Zerg is only the beginning for them.

RAYNOR

Maybe... I don't know...


Right...


Oh please, if you heard Raynor's tone, you would have known that Raynor was already being convinced. You REALLY need to learn to analyze the voice tone, not just the words they speak.
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I thought his delivery of that line sounded more half-hearted than anything.

Like he didn't really believe Kerrigan, but yeah, whatever.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 11/24/2012 3:49 PM PST
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