StarCraft® II

Grad's Guide to Defending the Story

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Not trying to make comparisons but what do you mean "No one dies"?

So Tassadar, Rasagul, Stukov, Dugalle, Mengsk, Fenix, Entire planets, Duke, Warfield and a list of others is "nobody"?


Don't forget about Hanson and Tosh if you side against them, Karass, Maar, Nyon, Tychus and the entire Zerg and Protoss species (those two happening in a premonition, granted, but still you watch them die).
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Hanson and Tosh death branches aren't canon. Karass was a one-minute-cameo that could of easily been replaced by a High Templar fodder. Everyone that died in Utter Darkness was a dream.

Oh yes. Very convincing Johnny. -_-
Edited by Retloclive on 4/9/2013 8:02 PM PDT
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I've been lurking and reading this thread for a while (I usually play on SEA) and have found the OP's criticisms highly amusing. Do you have such high standards for all stories? How on Earth do you handle watching movies? Or is it just Blizzard games that you're ridiculously critical about?

You can rip apart essentially any sci-fi story as the OP has done. Let's use, as an example, Terminator 2, one of the best received sci-fi sequels ever. Now let's imagine that Terminator 2 was written by Blizzard (and that Terminator is a Blizzard franchise), and that Gradius has sat down to watch it for the first time ever.

"The computer which controlled the machines, Skynet, sent two Terminators back through time. Their mission: to destroy the leader of the human Resistance. John Connor; my son."


Gradius on Blizzard T2: "RETCON! Kyle Reese never mentioned a second Terminator going through, he made it very clear in T1 that only he and the T-800 went through, then Connor blew up the TDE. Blizzard, you have already ruined the story in the FIRST FIVE MINUTES."

The scene where the T-800 first appears.

Gradius: "Another retcon! All Model-101 skins are supposed to be identical. The Model-101 T-800 in T1 came through with long hair, his hair got burnt and made short later in the movie, he didn't come through with short hair. Can you not get even the smallest details right Blizzard? Your story telling abilities have hit rock bottom."

The T-800 invades the biker bar and steals clothes, boots and a motorcycle.

Gradius (after spoiling the fact that the T-800 has been reprogrammed by the Resistance after viewing all the footage from Blizzcon and all the trailers released): "Oh this is pathetic, so because the T-800's now on the side of the Resistance, the amoral killing machine now isn't going to kill a single person, even though they're in the way of his mission. Want to ruin the character and concept of the Terminator any more Blizzard?"

The T-800 steps out in his new clothes and steals the bar owner's sunglasses, then rides away with 'Bad to the Bone' playing.

Gradius: "Is this a parody of Terminator, or is this Terminator? Blizzard is openly turning this character into a joke. Where has T1's dark, gritty atmosphere and unstoppable killing machine gone?"

I could keep doing this for the entire movie, in fact there's scenes later on that, if they were written by Blizzard, Gradius would lose his head over (e.g. the T-1000's abilities- a ridiculous, unrealistic leap over what was seen in T1 explained away by the word 'prototype'! The T-800's read/write switch- a cheap plot device to turn the Terminator into something more human! The T-800's self-sacrifice, a lame ending done a thousand times before!). However, since Blizzard didn't write T2 (or maybe it's less that and more that James Cameron and William Wisher didn't screw up D3), Gradius probably enjoyed it. For the record, I love the Terminator franchise, T1, T2 and the Sarah Connor Chronicles are all amazing (T3 and T4 don't exist ;)). I also love SC1, BW, WoL and HotS. I thought HotS's story was very well done and that Blizzard did an excellent job. Criticism of the story is fine, if you didn't like aspects of it, but baiting and chasing people who did like the story isn't. There are aspects of SC1/BW's story that are equally silly, after all.
Edited by Reanimation on 4/10/2013 11:55 AM PDT
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04/09/2013 09:36 PMPosted by Reanimation
Criticism of the story is fine, if you didn't like aspects of it, but baiting and chasing people who did like the story isn't.


JohnnyZeWolf pulls the exact same cr@p on anyone that criticizes the game. You clearly haven't lurked around enough if you haven't witnessed the bullshyt he's spewed out the past 3 years here denying all form of criticism for no reason other then to piss people off. And Brathearon is almost no different, like using the "well BW sucked too" card every time he runs out of quick strawman answers to try to continue a SC2 debate. Why Blizzard keeps them around when they do more harm then good is beyond me.

I might as well mention StratosTygo and Joshua too. Tygo because he shows up to go on random rants every blue moon and Joshua being the new guy that seems to be morally evil IRL...I'm dead serious here.
Edited by Retloclive on 4/9/2013 10:40 PM PDT
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You can rip apart essentially any sci-fi story as the OP has done. Let's use, as an example, Terminator 2, one of the best received sci-fi sequels ever. Now let's imagine that Terminator 2 was written by Blizzard (and that Terminator is a Blizzard franchise), and that Gradius has sat down to watch it for the first time ever.


T2 was really only received as such due to its special effects. The only cutscene in HotS worthy of noting was the trailer.
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T2 was really only received as such due to its special effects. The only cutscene in HotS worthy of noting was the trailer.


And WoL had the nicely done Tychus suit-up trailer.

It's almost like Blizzard put more work in their advertisements then anything else.
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04/09/2013 10:17 PMPosted by Retloclive
Criticism of the story is fine, if you didn't like aspects of it, but baiting and chasing people who did like the story isn't.


JohnnyZeWolf pulls the exact same cr@p on anyone that criticizes the game. You clearly haven't lurked around enough if you haven't witnessed the bullshyt he's spewed out the past 3 years here. And Brathearon is no better, especially when he starts using the "well BW sucked too" card every time he runs out of quick strawman answers to try to continue a SC2 debate. Why Blizzard keeps them around when they do more harm then good is beyond me.

I might as well mention StratosTygo and Joshua too. Tygo because he shows up to go on random rants every blue moon and Joshua being the new guy that seems to be morally evil IRL...I'm dead serious here.

I haven't lurked here for 3 years, no. I can only comment on what I've seen, and from what I've seen, people who enjoyed the story really cop it here from people who didn't like it.
You can rip apart essentially any sci-fi story as the OP has done. Let's use, as an example, Terminator 2, one of the best received sci-fi sequels ever. Now let's imagine that Terminator 2 was written by Blizzard (and that Terminator is a Blizzard franchise), and that Gradius has sat down to watch it for the first time ever.


T2 was really only received as such due to its special effects. The only cutscene in HotS worthy of noting was the trailer.

Not really, there are plenty of movies out there that are lauded only for their special effects- T2 isn't one of them. T2's often praised as a big-budget, special effects laden movie that maintains an intelligent story, with a human, often touching, heart throughout. For a movie only praised for special effects see T3, Transformers etc.
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Not really, there are plenty of movies out there that are lauded only for their special effects- T2 isn't one of them. T2's often praised as a big-budget, special effects laden movie that maintains an intelligent story, with a human, often touching, heart throughout. For a movie only praised for special effects see T3, Transformers etc.

Incorrect. It was received as a slightly above average movie with revolutionary special effects. T1 was and is considered as the best of the three amongst critics that emphasize story and acting over effects.

For James Cameron movies this is par for the course. He is like the 90s Micheal Bay except he at least attempts to add a story.
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Not really, there are plenty of movies out there that are lauded only for their special effects- T2 isn't one of them. T2's often praised as a big-budget, special effects laden movie that maintains an intelligent story, with a human, often touching, heart throughout. For a movie only praised for special effects see T3, Transformers etc.

Incorrect. It was received as a slightly above average movie with revolutionary special effects. T1 was and is considered as the best of the three amongst critics that emphasize story and acting over effects.

For James Cameron movies this is par for the course. He is like the 90s Micheal Bay except he at least attempts to add a story.


Note that I would actually agree with you in that T1 had the better story (and is the movie that I enjoyed more), however T2 is not remembered as a 'slightly above average movie' with great special effects. It was not reviewed as such as the time, nor is that how it is viewed today. In fact, it's usually T1 that's viewed as what should be a B-movie that somehow transcends its status thanks to good writing and tight direction. T2's widely regarded as one of the best sequels ever, and a lot of people regard it as a better movie than T1.

Also, I'd agree with the Bay comparison in regards to Cameron's later work, but his earlier movies? No way.
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I haven't lurked here for 3 years, no. I can only comment on what I've seen, and from what I've seen, people who enjoyed the story really cop it here from people who didn't like it.


Pay no attention to RetloRLL's slanders; he hates my guts for some reason, and I suspect it has nothing to do with my appreciation of WoL/HotS. In fact, I have the feeling I know him under a different name.

On the bright side, he makes me feel more important than I really am. :P

Also, I'd agree with the Bay comparison in regards to Cameron's later work, but his earlier movies? No way.


The problem with Michael Bay's movies is that they tend to feature needlessly complicated stories - his Transformers flicks focus more on Sam Witwicky's sex life than the Transformers himself, for some reason - whereas James Cameron's movies have always remained simple - if not simplistic - in that regard.

T1 is the only exception to date; it lacks the demagogism and the manicheism of Cameron's later movies. In fact, it almost feels as if it were ghost-written/directed by, say, a John Carpenter at the top of his game.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf on 4/10/2013 9:28 AM PDT
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My point in all of this: You don't have to be a fanboy to appreciate Heart of the Swarm. I like it. Deal with it.

I could care less if you like the story. It still has objective flaws and problems. If you're not a fanboy then deal with it, instead of using the cop-outs and excuses I pointed out in the OP.

So Tassadar, Rasagul, Stukov, Dugalle, Mengsk, Fenix, Entire plantes, Duke, Warfield and a list of others is "nobody"?

And grey morality? Did you even pay attention to HotS story? Like at all?

Nobody that we care about in SC2 dies. I didn't blink when Raynor shot Tychus in the face, a self-serving scumbag who betrayed us. Hanson & Tosh would count, except that their deaths aren't canon. I guess Lesarra counts, except that she had very little backstory & development, and thus, we don't care. Mengsk is the villain, of course he dies, we all saw it coming from 13 miles away.

Since when did "grimdark" become "quality"?

"Realistic" is "quality". Not asking for "grimdark", asking for realism. Raynor getting everything he wants and conquering planets with a single ship of 50 volunteers is not realistic. Kerrigan willingly reinfesting herself, only better & stronger because of a magical cesspool on Zerus is not realistic.

I've been lurking and reading this thread for a while (I usually play on SEA) and have found the OP's criticisms highly amusing. Do you have such high standards for all stories?

Very little of my arguments have to do with nitpicking trivialities:
http://sclegacy.com/editorials/7-reviews/1134-scl-reviews-wings-of-liberty

It's a huge article, yet I still didn't touch a vast majority of things. I didn't nitpick that all 3 battlecruiser classes (gorgon, behemoth, and minotaur) all use the same model. Or that planets can be recolonized after being purified. Or the stupidity of the gimmicks: the slowest supernova explosion I've ever seen with its unrealistic "wall of fire". Or the fact that lava does not rise and dissipate that fast repeatedly. Or the absurdity of planets such as Redstone and New Folsom. Hell, I barely even touched dialog, which is one of the biggest problems in Blizzard's games lately.

I covered what I think are the character-destroying retcons (Overmind was a slave all along, etc.) But the fact is that you can write a book on everything that Blizzard did wrong. Why is it any surprise then that half the fanbase seems to be up in arms?

04/09/2013 09:36 PMPosted by Reanimation
I could keep doing this for the entire movie, in fact there's scenes later on that, if they were written by Blizzard, Gradius would lose his head over (e.g. the T-1000's abilities- a ridiculous, unrealistic leap over what was seen in T1 explained away by the word 'prototype'!

The difference is that I can admit that these things exist in T2 and still enjoy the story for what it is. A large majority of the SC2 fanbase that enjoys the story seems incapable of doing this.

I might have even found the SC2 story passable if I didn't have to witness the constant denialism of the fanbase. This was my stance when the game came out:

"We've established that the storyline was monkey hurlage months ago - so what's the point of all the QQ?"

That's right, I didn't really like criticizing the story. I was also the first to admit that SC1BW had flaws before SC2 ever came out, but the fact that you guys constantly resort to cop-outs and strawmen to defend this game is a large part of what turns me off to it. I immediately dissociate myself with the fanbase for this reason.

I thought HotS's story was very well done and that Blizzard did an excellent job. Criticism of the story is fine, if you didn't like aspects of it, but baiting and chasing people who did like the story isn't. There are aspects of SC1/BW's story that are equally silly, after all.

I "bait" people who only use strawmen, hand-waives, and cop-outs as their defenses for other peoples' carefully-crafted arguments. Like saying "wait until the expansions before criticizing". Or saying "everything is relative". Or pointing to SC1BW for example, which you just did. It's like the Republicans who knew absolutely nothing about Mitt Romney, yet voted for him anyway because nobody could be worse than Obama. You get the impression that these guys would have had "Hitler 2012" stickers on their bumpers, as long as it's not Obama. Likewise, you get the impression that no matter how bad of a story Blizzard creates, you guys will just regurgitate that "SC1BW was worse". Upon closer examination, the reasons you guys give for why you think this is turn out to be bunk more often than not. There's a reason I'm nostalgic about StarCraft and not the cartoons or other games I used to enjoy as a kid. You guys need to accept the fact that nostalgia does not affect my judgment like some sort of hallucinogenic drug.
Edited by Gradius on 4/10/2013 6:36 AM PDT
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Mallard is just pissed that he cant patchzerg win his way in the HOTS multiplayer and he is taking it out on the great story. He made a "buff swarm host" post in the campaign section lolz.


This is your problem. You drink the cool aid like no other. The swarm host in the campaign is poorly implemented but you are so blind in your love to Big Blizzard that you are unwilling acknowledge that flaws exist.

Ps Ive been zerg since WoL beta. Im pretty sure you have been terran since then as well. I think we discovered your motivation. Blizzard has restored patchterrans to their WoL glory. You must be so happy to have your obnoxious builds and units back.
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04/10/2013 06:06 AMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
he hates my guts for some reason, and I suspect it has nothing to do with my appreciation of WoL/HotS.


Some reason? I've stated over and OVER that you continuously deny all criticism towards WoL and HotS like it's a perfect award winning story.

Yet again, your dodging this very reason as to why people get aggravated with you on the forums. You've acted like nothing but a blind Blizzard fanboy.
Edited by Retloclive on 4/10/2013 9:38 AM PDT
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I haven't lurked here for 3 years, no. I can only comment on what I've seen, and from what I've seen, people who enjoyed the story really cop it here from people who didn't like it.


By the way, what does "cop it from" mean exactly? Just curious.
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Hanson and Tosh death branches aren't canon. Karass was a one-minute-cameo that could of easily been replaced by a High Templar fodder. Everyone that died in Utter Darkness was a dream.

Oh yes. Very convincing Johnny. -_-


What about Tycus?

Or the colonists.
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Posts: 166

"Realistic" is "quality". Not asking for "grimdark", asking for realism. Raynor getting everything he wants and conquering planets with a single ship of 50 volunteers is not realistic. Kerrigan willingly reinfesting herself, only better & stronger because of a magical cesspool on Zerus is not realistic.


Did you miss the part where this is science fiction?

And Raynor never conquered an entire planet; the one time he did he had an entire dominion fleet and an artifact to aid him.

People seem to forget we still have one more chapter in the story, and if Amon is as bad as he sounds we could lose key or cared about characters.
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For James Cameron movies this is par for the course. He is like the 90s Micheal Bay except he at least attempts to add a story.


usually someone elses.
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Posts: 137

Very little of my arguments have to do with nitpicking trivialities:
http://sclegacy.com/editorials/7-reviews/1134-scl-reviews-wings-of-liberty

"I didn't nitpick trivialities."

"Kerrigan shouldn’t have had obvious vulnerabilities like the Space Station which was the hub for the majority of zerg fliers, or the nydus tunnels which could be easily flooded with lava."

Mmmm, you sure didn't. The vast majority of your article basically came down to "I didn't like this, and that, and here's why I don't like it".

Well, that's great that you didn't like it. Did it ever occur to you that just like how the errors, retcons, bad plot devices, cheesy writing etc don't prevent the vast majority of people from enjoying the Terminator movies and TV spin-offs, that the same goes for StarCraft? The vast majority of people don't care about what you're nitpicking over in your article, just like they don't care about the errors in T2 that I mentioned.
The difference is that I can admit that these things exist in T2 and still enjoy the story for what it is. A large majority of the SC2 fanbase that enjoys the story seems incapable of doing this.

Go and read some Terminator fan forums- there are people who deny any flaws in T1, T2 etc. (particularly those who weren't all that fond of TSCC). There's also people who deny flaws in TSCC. Why not go and harass them and tell them how wrong they are?

How come you can let them enjoy their fiction and their universe, despite the many errors, and the presence of fans who deny them?

There are many examples of poor writing and errors to be found in SC2, and guess what? I don't care! It didn't affect my experience at all, just like how I can nitpick any story I read, any movie I watch and any game I play to death, but I don't.
I might have even found the SC2 story passable if I didn't have to witness the constant denialism of the fanbase.

That's right, I didn't really like criticizing the story. I was also the first to admit that SC1BW had flaws before SC2 ever came out, but the fact that you guys constantly resort to cop-outs and strawmen to defend this game is a large part of what turns me off to it. I immediately dissociate myself with the fanbase for this reason.

Why? Why on Earth do you care that people like it? Not everyone is going to share your ridiculously strong opinions, and of course people are going to defend something they liked if people are trashing it. Why go after them? Let them enjoy what they enjoy.
I "bait" people who only use strawmen, hand-waives, and cop-outs as their defenses for other peoples' carefully-crafted arguments. Like saying "wait until the expansions before criticizing". Or saying "everything is relative". Or pointing to SC1BW for example, which you just did. Likewise, you get the impression that no matter how bad of a story Blizzard creates, you guys will just regurgitate that "SC1BW was worse". Upon closer examination, the reasons you guys give for why you think this is turn out to be bunk more often than not. There's a reason I'm nostalgic about StarCraft and not the cartoons or other games I used to enjoy as a kid. You guys need to accept the fact that nostalgia does not affect my judgment like some sort of hallucinogenic drug.

You're taking this all way too seriously. It's a story, with some admittedly poor written dialogue, implausible scenarios, shallow characters and so on, yet a lot of games, movies and books suffer from the same thing. That's why I asked you if you were that ridiculously critical of every story you read/watch/play, the level of detail you are going into in order to poke holes in SC2's story is not something that most people are going to do, or even consider. Just like most people don't come out from their first viewing of T2 saying "What an awful movie, it was packed full of retcons, poor writing, weak plot devices, cheesy dialogue and the ending was weak and has been done before a million times. Cameron has ruined the franchise, nothing will ever touch T1.", instead most people come out remarking on how great it was, that it was thrilling, how seeing the Terminator become more human and a father figure to John made the story quite touching, and that the ending was incredibly sad.

SC2's story is not a bad story compared to other video game stories! You want to see a video game story that is actually terrible? Go play The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess- that game is a disgustingly poor rehash of the Ocarina of Time with the weakest Zelda story yet.
By the way, what does "cop it from" mean exactly? Just curious.

As in they get talked down to, get told they're wrong etc.

It's English/Australian slang.
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Nobody that we care about in SC2 dies. I didn't blink when Raynor shot Tychus in the face, a self-serving scumbag who betrayed us. Hanson & Tosh would count, except that their deaths aren't canon. I guess Lesarra counts, except that she had very little backstory & development, and thus, we don't care. Mengsk is the villain, of course he dies, we all saw it coming from 13 miles away.


Now there is a new criterea that the character that dies is someone you (which you say "we") have to care about? How are we supposed to know who falls under that category? The deaths of warfield and tychus felt more impactful because of how much more fleshed out these characters were. What character in SC1 did you care about?

Very little of my arguments have to do with nitpicking trivialities:
http://sclegacy.com/editorials/7-reviews/1134-scl-reviews-wings-of-liberty

It's a huge article, yet I still didn't touch a vast majority of things. I didn't nitpick that all 3 battlecruiser classes (gorgon, behemoth, and minotaur) all use the same model. Or that planets can be recolonized after being purified. Or the stupidity of the gimmicks: the slowest supernova explosion I've ever seen with its unrealistic "wall of fire". Or the fact that lava does not rise and dissipate that fast repeatedly. Or the absurdity of planets such as Redstone and New Folsom. Hell, I barely even touched dialog, which is one of the biggest problems in Blizzard's games lately.

I covered what I think are the character-destroying retcons (Overmind was a slave all along, etc.) But the fact is that you can write a book on everything that Blizzard did wrong. Why is it any surprise then that half the fanbase seems to be up in arms?


On these forums we also explained many of the problems you had with the game. You didnt accept them.

The difference is that I can admit that these things exist in T2 and still enjoy the story for what it is. A large majority of the SC2 fanbase that enjoys the story seems incapable of doing this.


Blizzard has more critcisims of the game than you probably ever will. Also, we also admit that SC2 has flaws.

I "bait" people who only use strawmen, hand-waives, and cop-outs as their defenses for other peoples' carefully-crafted arguments. Like saying "wait until the expansions before criticizing". Or saying "everything is relative". Or pointing to SC1BW for example, which you just did. It's like the Republicans who knew absolutely nothing about Mitt Romney, yet voted for him anyway because nobody could be worse than Obama. You get the impression that these guys would have had "Hitler 2012" stickers on their bumpers, as long as it's not Obama. Likewise, you get the impression that no matter how bad of a story Blizzard creates, you guys will just regurgitate that "SC1BW was worse". Upon closer examination, the reasons you guys give for why you think this is turn out to be bunk more often than not. There's a reason I'm nostalgic about StarCraft and not the cartoons or other games I used to enjoy as a kid. You guys need to accept the fact that nostalgia does not affect my judgment like some sort of hallucinogenic drug.


Many times, people have complaints that stem from SC1/BW, so how do you expect anyone to discuss reasons for anything without bringing it up? If you recall, we had a thread a long time ago titled something like "Why does raynor hate mengsk?" The best way to explain it would be to bring up SC1/BW.

Other times we have things where people are like "Raynor and kerrigan never had love for each other". You expect us to explain their love for each other without bringing up SC1. That doesnt make sense.
Edited by Brathearon on 4/10/2013 12:51 PM PDT
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