StarCraft® II

[Spoilers] Impending Doom LotV

Posts: 160
Howdy, Greetings and En Taro Tassadar,

I come from the far away land called Europe, and have commenced this thread here on the U.S. section for three distinct reasons.
1. The one in Europe was completely derailed by a handful of trolls.
2. I believe it may see more light when presented closer to Blizzard Entertainment's heart of the community.
3. The impressions I get from discussion on this thread will help me gauge whether I want to stay to continue discussions on both my home turf and here in the New World.

The topic of this thread, as one could guess, is the Legacy of the Void expansion.
We all know that HotS and Wings were centered around central conflicts that deviated from the now established Amon-Hybrid plot. Some may debate on whether or not the central conflicts of those were the plot-heavy "Rebellion + Deinfest Kerrigan" and "Defeat Mengsk" conflicts, or whether they were the "Tychus Raynor" and "Kerrigan and Swarm" theme-heavy conflicts. Regardless, we're drawing to a point where the Amon-Hybrid plot HAS to be our main central conflict.

Let me now outline why this will have negative consequences, whether you're an educated literaturoved such as myself, a shameless whiner, or anything in between.

For those who didn't like the story of HotS or WoL, which moments were arguably the WORST in your opinion? I know a lot of people still complain about the deal with Mengsk and Tychus. But when disregarding that, the worst moments were probably in the Zeratul subplot.

Kerrigan is the saveour of all mankind? Overmind is courageous? Prophecy? This all sounds like fantasy-filled ham, doesn't it?

Let's review some evidence:
The Prophecy cinematic is often hated because we see the Queen of Blades, aloof and hammy after 4 years of isolation, exchange dialogue with Zeratul, a self-exiled mad prophet.
Things came to their worst when Tassadar showed up, called the Overmind courageus, and showed a vision of the future. Yeah. Kindregan literally answered his Q&A on this by saying "That wasn't a vision, it was an educated guess, and Tassadar just got a short version of the script."

Now moving on to HotS.
It's Mortal Kombat time! Zeratul shows up and shouts "Doom!", Kerrigan enters and says "Zeratul..." and it's "Round 1, Fight!" Because Zeratul doesn't realise he's walked into Scorpion's Lair, he gets kicked about the arena for several minutes until remembering that he came here to tell Kerrigan about Zerus.

The worst - albeit noticeably not as bad as Wings, which had a whole Protoss campaign - happens in the Kerrigan and Narud fight. Once again, it's MK time... or is it Dragon Ball Z? Anyway, Super Sayan Kerrigan faces of with Shang Tsung, who first morphs as Raynor but opens with a chandelier throw. Kerrigan attacks Shang Tsung, he morphs into SC1 Rebell Yell Kerrigan and does his x-ray move. But Kerrigan counters with a fatality.

I think what I'm trying to say is, be afraid. There's a LOT of this stuff coming in LotV. If you can't get caught up in the epicness of the action, you're gonna be angry.

Here's the perspective of the fan, though.

Wings and Heart both revolved around their own respective themes, with Wings being primarily about choice and the consequence of accepting it as your true moral - Tychus and Raynor made their choices and they were both right in doing so, which is what made the final moment so powerful. HotS is respectively about the capacity of emotion of a single individual being limited. Could Kerrigan really love Raynor and hate Mengsk at the same time?

But let's look at LotV. It would be DISTRACTING to have a different central conflict than that between Amon and the Korprulu sector at this point.
We can't spend the game worrying about Zeratul's... whatever his core characteristic may be. So we'll end up with a much shallower plot-by-plot story.

In conclusion, my prediction - and it's not really positive this time - is that Legacy of the Void will feuture a fantasy-esque plot-by-plot story that neither the fan of the last two, nor the hater of the last two, will really enjoy.

However, the main issue is this - as creative as the Blizz team are, this situation may be inevitable. But if there's even a Spark of Hope that it can be avoided, I urge the authors of LotV to make the necessary changes for this last bit of the Starcraft 2 saga to be just as epic as the last two.

Lastly, I apologise if some of this may sound like alien sentiments that are not very well representative amongst your branch of the community. However, judging by the topics discussed in Kindregan's Q&A's, I'm not entirely far off in assuming that these polarities exist on both shores of the Atlantic Ocean, yes? Anyway, let me know what you think.
Edited by Rasofe on 4/3/2013 3:21 AM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 52
Unless they make the Campaing 2 times bigger than WoLs and HoTs...
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,333
Unless they make the Campaing 2 times bigger than WoLs and HoTs...


You know, I just had a thought.

It wouldn't be a bad idea for the LotV campaign to have two or three mini campaigns in it. A Protoss mini campaign to deal with Zeratul's personal issues / theme, then a Terran/Zerg mini campaign to finish Raynor and Kerrigan's arc.
Reply Quote
Posts: 160
It wouldn't be a bad idea for the LotV campaign to have two or three mini campaigns in it. A Protoss mini campaign to deal with Zeratul's personal issues / theme, then a Terran/Zerg mini campaign to finish Raynor and Kerrigan's arc.


That wouldn't be bad at all, good sir. However, there's going to be - ah - "complaints" that the campaign is insufficiently focused. You wouldn't believe the garbage I've had to listen to about how "distracting" the prophecy missions are in Wings. Anyway -
If it is at all envisioned that LotV can cram in about 4 missions total to deal with the loose ends from HotS and WoL, that'd be excellent.

It doesn't quite alleviate the main problem. The next expansion can either treat Zeratuls issue with a mini-campaign or make it the central plot of the story. Since it is nearly obvious they cannot do the latter, we've still got a problem with the most deep part of the campaign being a side-dish rather than the main course.

I hesitate to make this very, very Godwin comparison, but Mass Effect had this problem too. The first two entries laden heavily with themes of action impact and reaction attitude, and these were not MISSING in the third entry but became continiously less important, all the way to the ending (the discussion of which does not belong here).

I hope for all its worth that Blizzard have not written themselves into a corner where this is necessary.
Edited by Rasofe on 7/24/2013 2:25 AM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 347
It really wouldn't bother me if the last expansion is less of a character study than the first two campaigns. Because it is, after all, a protoss story.

Of all three races, the protoss have always been the one closest to that line between sci-fi and fantasy. They have a very spiritual culture, their caste system is downright medieval, and their psionic powers are basically "space magic".

If the terran story is adventure, and the zerg story is one of horror, then surely the protoss story is like the epic poems of antiquity. Light on depth, but it has other virtues.

This is the third part of a trilogy. The part were the conflict that has been brewing must come to a head. There are two sides, and they cannot coexist. It seems not only acceptable, but appropriate to give that part of the story to the people with the most forthright worldview.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
But let's look at LotV. It would be DISTRACTING to have a different central conflict than that between Amon and the Korprulu sector at this point.
We can't spend the game worrying about Zeratul's... whatever his core characteristic may be. So we'll end up with a much shallower plot-by-plot story.


This is something that I am dreading too. However, I CAN see Zeratul's "core characteristic" being displayed and worked out as he tries to orchestrate the salvation of the galaxy. The question is, how well is it gonna weave?

It really wouldn't bother me if the last expansion is less of a character study than the first two campaigns. Because it is, after all, a protoss story.


To be honest, I WANT investment in the protoss characters. You cannot feel that without relatable conflicts and studies of character. The problem is that we haven't gotten to know any of the protoss very well. Zeratul is sort of an exception. He does have personal demons that can be explored (being forced to kill Razzagal) and he does have an adverse setting to overcome (tribes condemning him for helping Kerrigan and resisting unity that he will propose). If Narud/Duran survived/reanimated from the stabbing by Kerrigan, then Zeratul has a nemesis that mirrors him quite well, and who could make a great personal enemy (I am not trying to ship that idea, I am just saying...).

It doesn't quite alleviate the main problem. The next expansion can either treat Zeratuls issue with a mini-campaign or make it the central plot of the story. Since it is nearly obvious they cannot do the latter, we've still got a problem with the most deep part of the campaign being a side-dish rather than the main course.


I think the key to keeping this story compelling in the third installment is by restricting the over-arching conflict to Zeratul's perspective and keeping the focus on how he sees the people around him. Zeratul is out to save the galaxy; we need to feel that there are things worth saving. Amon really can't be a personal enemy the way Mengsk or Kerrigan were; just not enough history. Instead he has to be an ominous force of nature. The focus cannot be on why Zeratul wants to defeat Amon, but rather why Zeratul wants to save everyone else. If the writers pull that off well, I think it will be a very satisfying story.

I feel like I am very close to rambling, so I'll stop now. Very good OP btw.
Reply Quote
Posts: 347
04/03/2013 07:08 PMPosted by DarthTimmy
To be honest, I WANT investment in the protoss characters. You cannot feel that without relatable conflicts and studies of character. The problem is that we haven't gotten to know any of the protoss very well.


I'm sure Zeratul will have his own entourage of likable if singleminded shipmates to chew the fat with between missions, just like Jimmy and Sarah did.

The protoss are so darn stoic though. It might be more difficult to create the sense of friendly camaraderie that existed in the other two campaigns.
Reply Quote
Posts: 160
You guys make really excellent points. Maybe things are not so bleak after all!

It is not so much that I want the next campaign a character study. I simply want the next expansion to - like the previous two - have a relevant, independent from the Starcraft setting subject drive the central conflict and the character development arcs.

This would be much more difficult since our main protagonist is, quite frankly. the first in the trilogy to be and have been completely alien. But I stand by the sentiment that it would be worth it for the literary worth of SC2 if the story was theme-driven.

04/03/2013 07:08 PMPosted by DarthTimmy
I think the key to keeping this story compelling in the third installment is by restricting the over-arching conflict to Zeratul's perspective and keeping the focus on how he sees the people around him. Zeratul is out to save the galaxy; we need to feel that there are things worth saving.


I think this may be one of the better solutions. In some way or another the central conflict with Amon must be defined and worked from a thematic standpoint - it would then be up to Metzen and Co to find a theme and implement it thoroughly and accurately. I hope that they're in the process of figuring this out right now.

I feel like I am very close to rambling, so I'll stop now. Very good OP btw.


No-no. I enjoy reading what you folks have to say, truly. It's much more productive and certainly more reasonable than what I had to put up with in Europe.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
McSantos


04/03/2013 07:08 PMPosted by DarthTimmy
To be honest, I WANT investment in the protoss characters. You cannot feel that without relatable conflicts and studies of character. The problem is that we haven't gotten to know any of the protoss very well.

I'm sure Zeratul will have his own entourage of likable if singleminded shipmates to chew the fat with between missions, just like Jimmy and Sarah did.

The protoss are so darn stoic though. It might be more difficult to create the sense of friendly camaraderie that existed in the other two campaigns.


What I mean is that I want protoss characters that are more than one-dimensional. As an example: Tychus Findlay was a layered character. He had his ridiculously awesome jerk exterior, but you could really see how he was getting torn up by what he saw coming. In the end, Tychus knew that for himself to live, he would have to destroy what his only friend loved (my interpretation). Characters like that make you sit back and think about them even after the story is done being told. Then of course you have Jim and Sarah, who many of us feel for and feel invested in. That sort of intimate focus is what I want to see in the characters of LotV.
Edited by DarthTimmy on 4/3/2013 11:58 PM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 160
That sort of intimate focus is what I want to see in the characters of LotV.


That would be cool, but there's a sentiment that the Protoss shouldn't be anything like the Terrans. In HotS, characters like Abathur, Dehaka and Zagara weren't particularly layered and there was not really any intimate focus with them - because if there had been, it would conflict with the vision that these characters are not human.

That said, when the Protoss weren't being ridiculous in SC1 they were quite palatable and relatable, but the current interpretation of Protoss by the writers remains a mystery.
Edited by Rasofe on 4/3/2013 11:49 PM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 347
Maybe I'm just easier to please, but I sorta feel like if a character can make you care about them, then they don't necessarily have to be multidimensional. Many of the characters in the previous stories had one-track minds, but they were amusing enough that I grew to like them anyway.

In any case, the protoss and terrans are certainly more similar to each other than the zerg are to either of them. If they did want to introduce more complex supporting characters, it wouldn't be as difficult to do it here.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
04/03/2013 11:48 PMPosted by Rasofe
That would be cool, but there's a sentiment that the Protoss shouldn't be anything like the Terrans.


Shouldn't? Is that an opinion that people have expressed, or are you suggesting that it is implied by the game itself? No wrong answer I'm just curious.

In HotS, characters like Abathur, Dehaka and Zagara weren't particularly layered and there was not really any intimate focus with them - because if there had been, it would conflict with the vision that these characters are not human.


The zerg have always been portrayed as vastly different than the protoss and terrans.

Pure zerg that are actually individuals are a cross between rulers and children. Zagara is an interesting example: she is beginning to develop human-like traits, such as her own version of "pity," probably because of Kerrigan's changes to her. I can see her developing values like a child would, and from that she can begin to develop into a very interesting individual. In general though, individuals are rare in the Swarm. That is why HotS required Kerrigan to drive the plot.

Protoss, on the other hand are made up of ancient societies composed of individuals. There is plenty of room for parallels to be drawn between complexities and relations of protoss when compared to humans. I don't think there has ever been any limiting factor established that distinguishes them from humans other than their physical nature. Besides, many of the themes worth exploring are considered "greater truths," meaning they don't necessarily belong to humans. Examples are loyalty, treachery, honor, kinship, regret, longing, etc. I don't think there is any evidence that those things impact protoss any less or differently than humans.
Edited by DarthTimmy on 4/4/2013 12:59 AM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 160
Shouldn't? Is that an opinion that people have expressed, or are you suggesting that it is implied by the game itself? No wrong answer I'm just curious.


It's an opinion I've heard frequently in Europe.

The zerg have always been portrayed as vastly different than the protoss and terrans.


In any case, the protoss and terrans are certainly more similar to each other than the zerg are to either of them. If they did want to introduce more complex supporting characters, it wouldn't be as difficult to do it here.


Of course. Protoss and Terrans are not that different. However, there's a large sentiment that they should be - especially since Terrans have become more and more Western in their tone and style.

04/04/2013 12:54 AMPosted by DarthTimmy
I don't think there has ever been any limiting factor established that distinguishes them from humans other than their physical nature.

Their tone and style is supposed to be very different. But yes, that doesn't mean that themes applicable for Terrans are inapplicable for Protoss - it's just that lots of people think that they shouldn't be applied so as to avoid Protoss and Terran becoming too similar.
Edited by Rasofe on 4/4/2013 1:27 AM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
Their tone and style is supposed to be very different. But yes, that doesn't mean that themes applicable for Terrans are inapplicable for Protoss - it's just that lots of people think that they shouldn't be applied so as to avoid Protoss and Terran becoming too similar.


I don't know how (or why I would want) to argue against that sentiment. I suppose that my belief/sentiment is that there needs to be consistency. I feel that the protoss should behave the way they did in the original SC and in Brood War, and to me, everything they did made sense from a human perspective. Not once did any of them do anything that made me think, "Wow, that was weird, only an alien would think to tackle something that way." It was more like, "Ok, that is what an old, honorable warrior would do," or "Yep, bias does that to people." Blizzard portrayed the protoss with distinctly human traits, just to extremes.
Edited by DarthTimmy on 4/4/2013 12:59 PM PDT
Reply Quote
Posts: 419
I do worry that the third part will feel strange or out of place compared to the previous two. Since the whole Hybrid storyline arc has mostly been a side story up to this point unrelated to the personal issues of Jim/Sarah. Blizzard will have a lot of challenges with this one. For one they have to actually define the Protoss. They never really have. We have seen very little of their cities or culture. They are always described as enigmatic, and if Blizzard is going to do a whole campaign on them they probably have to finally show us what they are. We know the theme is that Zeratul is out to unite the Tribes. To try to get the Protoss race to come together to battle the Hybrid threat.

It makes me wonder though whether they will cut the Protoss campaign short to fit in the Hybrid arc finale or if they will do a full 20 mission Protoss campaign, then a bonus finale campaign where the final battle actually occurs. It would be nice but then Blizzard also has a lot of pressure on them to create the final hopefully perfect version of multiplayer that people will have to live with for many years to come. It's why I can't help but think we might be waiting a while for this to come out. Hopefully it ends up being a case of them saving the best for last however unlikely that is looking right now.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,947
Zeratul knew exactly what he was getting into entering Kerrigan's leviathon. He let himself take a beating and avoided getting hurt, which is why his grabbing her face came so fast it was before she could punch him.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
Zeratul knew exactly what he was getting into entering Kerrigan's leviathon. He let himself take a beating and avoided getting hurt, which is why his grabbing her face came so fast it was before she could punch him.


I think he was very capable of killing her in that moment. This was the first time, and maybe the only time that he would ever have that option. It is possible that he was suspending the idea in his mind, he did kind of just stare at her when he appeared. Him lightning-grabbing her face with his blade arm is pretty much all the proof I need that he outmatched her.
Reply Quote
Posts: 347
04/04/2013 06:54 PMPosted by Sifer
It makes me wonder though whether they will cut the Protoss campaign short to fit in the Hybrid arc finale or if they will do a full 20 mission Protoss campaign, then a bonus finale campaign where the final battle actually occurs.


Isn't that something of a false choice? Can't the final battle just be part of the protoss campaign?

I imagine this expansion will end much like the other ones did. Three missions on the same planet (Shakuras, I assume), where the player will get to use all the upgrades he worked so hard to acquire throughout the course of the campaign.
Reply Quote
Posts: 160
Zeratul knew exactly what he was getting into entering Kerrigan's leviathon. He let himself take a beating and avoided getting hurt, which is why his grabbing her face came so fast it was before she could punch him.


I was making a joke.

Can't the final battle just be part of the protoss campaign?


Of course it can be, but will the ending capture the thematic climax as well as The Showdown and Ascension have? What theme would LotV even have that wouldn't conflict with the Amon plot? There have been suggestions but I hope the authors do take this as a significant issue.

They never really have. We have seen very little of their cities or culture. They are always described as enigmatic, and if Blizzard is going to do a whole campaign on them they probably have to finally show us what they are. We know the theme is that Zeratul is out to unite the Tribes. To try to get the Protoss race to come together to battle the Hybrid threat.

My friend, that's not a theme. A theme is a subject that the story covers as it progresses. "United we stand" could be a theme but there would have to be a lot of emphasis on this... however, now that I think about it,
This is a subject that could effectively cover every conclusion. Raynor-Kerrigan, the three races, the Protoss themselves, the battle with Amon. This is a subject that could determine the character arcs of every major character, and it could recursively define the central conflicts which would then have to be NOT the fight with Amon - that would just have to be the climax - but instead the conflict of setting aside all the old hatreds of the three races...

...wait a second, isn't this Warcraft 3?

Ah. Well, we'll just have to hope it's done better this time. WC3 was like "Well, Tyrande, maybe we can work with these guys who killed our God and these other guys who like to wear metal. This ancient old guy says we should."

So far I think this is the best idea. But people WILL complain about the similarity with WC3.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,027
"United we stand" could be a theme but there would have to be a lot of emphasis on this... however, now that I think about it,
This is a subject that could effectively cover every conclusion. Raynor-Kerrigan, the three races, the Protoss themselves, the battle with Amon. This is a subject that could determine the character arcs of every major character, and it could recursively define the central conflicts which would then have to be NOT the fight with Amon - that would just have to be the climax - but instead the conflict of setting aside all the old hatreds of the three races...


My problem with that "subject" (is it a theme then?) is that it is far too broad to be compelling, which is why the climax to Warcraft 3 felt so uninspiring, especially compared to the themes you mentioned earlier:

Wings and Heart both revolved around their own respective themes, with Wings being primarily about choice and the consequence of accepting it as your true moral - Tychus and Raynor made their choices and they were both right in doing so, which is what made the final moment so powerful. HotS is respectively about the capacity of emotion of a single individual being limited. Could Kerrigan really love Raynor and hate Mengsk at the same time?


One conflict that I would love to see explored is Zeratul having the death of Razzagal on his conscience, and by extension, what his hatred of Kerrigan really feels like. Is Zeratul really as dispassionate as he appears in HotS, or does he have to work to push his hatred down? I can see him being revisited by Razzagal's memory and values as he moves through the campaign, along with the underlying pain of being the one to have cut her life-thread. I currently predict that Kerrigan is going to be killed at the end of LotV in some service to the greater good and for the sake of atonement. Zeratul has strong motivation to relentlessly push her towards that fate. Her dieing to save the rest of the galaxy that she has wronged would be just, no? Perhaps the theme that can be explored is the yearning for justice and whether or not there is satisfaction in it.
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)

Reported!

[Close]