-> Request for better story writing in LotV

Posts: 10
Blizzard,

I kindly ask that you improve the story-telling and story line in Legacy of the Void -- at least to Wings of Liberty levels. You did a great job with the HoTS expansion gameplay mechanics, balance (as much as this can be done), visuals, and cinematics. But, it doesn't seem that you devoted as much time as you needed to to the campaign and story line of HotS.

I'm a long-time fan of SC1, Brood war, and SC2. I very much enjoyed the story telling and the story line in Wings of Liberty - the story, albeit not shakespearean, was interesting. I legitimately wanted to complete each mission to find out what would happen next, and the choices presented in the campaign added a very cool twist. One could tell that a lot of effort went into the campaign's story - there were many jokes, fun twists, and plenty of next missions' ambiguity; the plot line wasn't very predictable.

LotV is another story. I've finished the campaign and it feels...stripped of many of the qualities of WoL's campaign. What happened to making choices? The evolution missions weren't bad, but they didn't add a lot of fun to the game. The entire story was rather predictable, the story telling was pretty bland, and the excitement for the next mission I had in WoL virtually disappeared in HotS. I can confidently say that many of my friends who play SCII felt exactly the same way.

It just doesn't seem that you guys dedicated as much time to developing the story in HotS as you did in WoL. Maybe it's simply more difficult to develop Zerg characters as opposed to developing human characters as you were doing in WoL, but a lot of the Zerg characters seemed empty. There was no one like Tychus, no feeling of meaningful (emphasis - meaningful) internal conflict between Kerrigan and her companions, no subtle feeling that something really bad/unpredictable would happen with Kerrigan (a la Raynor having to shoot his best friend), etc.

There simply didn't seem to be enough Kerrigan development; her quest for revenge seemed not fleshed out and too generic. If we were taken into Kerrigan's past, for instance, and learned of some other solid reasons for her hate for Mengsk, then we would have had the much needed addition to the revenge plot. Kerrigan was not developed to nearly where she needed to be. After WoL, I felt that I knew Raynor pretty well - after HotS, I couldn't say the same about Kerrigan. Honestly, the current story line was very predictable after the first few missions and it just didn't have enough development.

I know that critiquing someone's work is much easier than doing the work oneself, and taking critiques can be unpleasant. I applaud you for the polished gameplay, balance (this always evolves), cinematics, and game mechanics. I finished the HotS campaign on hard, and the difficulty was pretty good, at least for me. Lot of tension! However, again, I felt very let down by the story telling. I like the game, and if I didn't care, I wouldn't be writing this. I respect your work and have been a Blizzard fan since the early Warcraft days, but this story line needs a lot of work - let's bring back the excitement of SC1 and WoL!

What do the rest of you think about the quality of the storyline and storytelling (not the actual gameplay, which is superb)?

--Disclosure: I am a very casual gamer and play very little SCII multiplayer.
I've found that many people agreed with my initial feeling on the HotS campaign, and so I decided to post this post.
Edited by Aerfally on 4/7/2013 11:28 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,996
HOTS surpasses wings story by multiple scales.

Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean the story wasn't good or that their direction after wings (fan based via Q &A and book inspired material) should change.


Hots was terrible compared to WoL .

04/07/2013 09:03 AMPosted by Aerfally
I've finished the campaign and it feels...stripped of many of the qualities of WoL's campaign. What happened to making choices? The evolution missions weren't bad, but they didn't add a lot of fun to the game. The entire story was rather predictable, the story telling was pretty bland, and the excitement for the next mission I had in WoL virtually disappeared in HotS. I can confidently say that many of my friends who play SCII felt exactly the same way.


Exactly the same thing happened to me.
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Posts: 10
DaveDroid,

I would say the exact opposite. If you have the taste of a raging teenage kid, HotS is probably much more to your taste than WoL. Less developed characters, less story, more grind-and-pound, much simpler (from the story perspective).

I wrote this request/review because I've found that many people shared my opinion in that HotS was lacking when compared to WoL in terms of plot line/character development/story telling; I'm not reflecting solely my thoughts.
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Posts: 1,996
If you have the tastes of a raging teenage kid sure. But then a FB shooter game would be more to your liking.


You should seriously be banned from the forum , all you ever do is insult everyone who doesn't agree with you .

exactly like you did here :http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/8569307394?page=1#4

and on many other topics

Seriously , how can you say somebody is being a kid (because he doesn't agree with you) , then you yourself start acting like a baby ... You hypocrite
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Posts: 1,996
Aww did I hurt your feelings? cant stand a rebuke when warranted? its ok I am sure your parents will know what to do when you tell them about the mean dude on the internets.


You are terribly naive if you think I care in any way that a random dude started to rage on the internet because I don't agree with him . Make room people ,Dave the Keyboard warrior is here :P
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Posts: 10
DaveDroid,

You may simply have been misinformed:

http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?topic_id=403183
--First sentence, and then please read on.

http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?topic_id=405290
--First sentence, and then please read on.

In any case, let's please keep the conversation civil and constructive.

Anyone else with constructive feedback/thoughts, please feel free to join in!
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Posts: 1,996
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=402932

The majority rate the story as better than wings and decent or excellent overall.


What you just linked has the same value as what Aer linked , just a random statistic made by some random dude that asked 1300 people and like 36% of them said it was better ... I'd like to remind you , millions of people play starcraft ...
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Posts: 371
Blizzard,
LotV is another story. I've finished the campaign and it feels...stripped of many of the qualities of WoL's campaign. What happened to making choices? The evolution missions weren't bad, but they didn't add a lot of fun to the game. The entire story was rather predictable, the story telling was pretty bland, and the excitement for the next mission I had in WoL virtually disappeared in HotS. I can confidently say that many of my friends who play SCII felt exactly the same way.


Words like many friends can be very miss leading especially when a number is actually given. Three people can feel like many especially when strong emotions are attached to it or you're using a very small sample size. You're also not supporting your claims with any actual events.

I for one found the heart of the swarm storyline to be very enjoyable not bland. One of the primary reasons I enjoyed it is I liked watching Kerrigan's emotional development. In the first two missions she's angry wanting to seek revenge however Jim encourages her to release that anger and forget about revenge. She's resistant but she's warming up to him. I believe this is well shown whenever she kisses him shortly into the cut seen of the first mission. She's willing to give up on revenge to be with him. We see the hope from that moment begin to break down into despair though shortly after the third mission whenever she's trying to contact him.

While she won the battle she's also realized that the Queen of Blades may be far more her then she wanted to believe. She's scared of herself and she needs a shoulder to learn on but instead of finding one she is struck with the news Jim has been killed. At this point she comes to a realization. One that she mentions in cut scenes. She can't keep running as her enemies will never stop chasing her all she can do is fight. She focuses on vengeance.

She finds something she fears even more though when she learns Jim is alive as having the one she loves hate her is worse. This seems shown whenever she gives him the opportunity to kill her during the prison rescue mission. I find this type of emotional turmoil extremely exciting and was eager to see how Kerrigan handled it. The fact that each planet was something of its own mission and story arc helped a great deal with this. In wings of liberty the ability to go from arc to arc made it feel somewhat disjointed.


It just doesn't seem that you guys dedicated as much time to developing the story in HotS as you did in WoL. Maybe it's simply more difficult to develop Zerg characters as opposed to developing human characters as you were doing in WoL, but a lot of the Zerg characters seemed empty. There was no one like Tychus, no feeling of meaningful (emphasis - meaningful) internal conflict between Kerrigan and her companions, no subtle feeling that something really bad/unpredictable would happen with Kerrigan (a la Raynor having to shoot his best friend), etc.


I disagree with that. One of the reasons I disagree being Zagara. Abather makes it clear to Kerrigan that making the brood mothers smarter is dangerous. Yet she has him do so as it gives her an advantage. This is a gamble and she says it to Izsha when it comes to gambling some times you lose. Zagara obeys but she also holds a desire to rule the swarm. Then Kerrigan is wounded and Zagara has her chance to claim the swarm. The fact that Zagara chooses to continue to follow Kerrigan and doesn't try to kill her shows important character development. It's also interesting listening to Zagara try to comprehend Kerrigan's motives.

There is also her developing relationship with Izsha. Initially Izsha is unsure of Kerrigan though she does follow. This can be seen whenever she tells Kerrigan that the zerg are unsure about the future. She's fearful noting how the ancient zerg surpasses Kerrigan and questioning her judgment. As time goes on though she learns and grows to trust Kerrigan. She seems to take on a younger sister roll. To me this is shown just before the second to the last mission. In which Izsha expresses concern that Kerrigan will leave them again.

Conflict isn't required for interesting interaction whenever there is such meaningful character development.
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Posts: 371

There simply didn't seem to be enough Kerrigan development; her quest for revenge seemed not fleshed out and too generic. If we were taken into Kerrigan's past, for instance, and learned of some other solid reasons for her hate for Mengsk, then we would have had the much needed addition to the revenge plot. Kerrigan was not developed to nearly where she needed to be. After WoL, I felt that I knew Raynor pretty well - after HotS, I couldn't say the same about Kerrigan. Honestly, the current story line was very predictable after the first few missions and it just didn't have enough development.


You keep saying Wings of Liberty was less predictable then heart of the swarm but you haven't mentioned one event that surprised you in wings of liberty. I can't say there was any event in Wings of liberty that truly shocked me though I did enjoy it. We knew from very learning on that Tygus was working for someone and the kill switch in his suit was even noted. So I at least was well prepared for his treachery. There was also Tosh's warnings.

Given what I mentioned in my above post about Kerrigan's emotional development I also disagree strongly about her lacking development though I wouldn't have been opposed to her having more screen time. As for her back story. Well this is starcraft 2 and she is a returning character. You don't need to completely reintroduce a character for each new game plus if you're very curious they're the books.

One event that truly surprised me was whenever Kerrigan returned Jim's gun and lifted it to her own head. I expected her to rescue him I didn't expect her to put her life in his hands.


I know that critiquing someone's work is much easier than doing the work oneself, and taking critiques can be unpleasant. I applaud you for the polished gameplay, balance (this always evolves), cinematics, and game mechanics. I finished the HotS campaign on hard, and the difficulty was pretty good, at least for me. Lot of tension! However, again, I felt very let down by the story telling. I like the game, and if I didn't care, I wouldn't be writing this. I respect your work and have been a Blizzard fan since the early Warcraft days, but this story line needs a lot of work - let's bring back the excitement of SC1 and WoL!

What do the rest of you think about the quality of the storyline and storytelling (not the actual gameplay, which is superb)?

--Disclosure: I am a very casual gamer and play very little SCII multiplayer.
I've found that many people agreed with my initial feeling on the HotS campaign, and so I decided to post this post.


Critique: A detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory.

Saying something is bland but failing to site any examples or discuss them is not detailed.
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Posts: 1,996
No it doesnt. few random individuals pale in comparison of the experience of thousands of random people.


you mean 400 people in some random dude's statistic , no way of knowing if that statistic is even legit , lol ...

Are you a republican as well? facts and polls don't matter to you? That worked real well for Mitt Romeny I might add.


reported for insulting my political beliefs , I'm a swarm host , i have rights !
Edited by HardCore on 4/7/2013 12:11 PM PDT
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Posts: 1,996
04/07/2013 12:09 PMPosted by Inprea
Given what I mentioned in my above post about Kerrigan's emotional development I also disagree strongly about her lacking development though I wouldn't have been opposed to her having more screen time. As for her back story.


I found Kerrigan's personality to be ... erratic (illogical) , she has moments of clear morality (allowing the transport ships loaded with wounded leave char) but then she has moments when she damns worlds (probably millions of innocents) for no reason (ordering brood mothers to destroy world of military interest , only to find out later in the game it made no difference , because Korhal was supply blocked and taken in a blitzkrieg)

04/07/2013 12:09 PMPosted by Inprea
You keep saying Wings of Liberty was less predictable then heart of the swarm but you haven't mentioned one event that surprised you in wings of liberty.


Hots was very predictable because ... it was a point A to point B trip : point A : ,,Kerrigan takes the swarm and becomes strong enough to face all her enemy's'' .... Point B : ,,She owns all her enemy's''

WoL was more complex .... it was like : Point A : ,,Jim kick starts his revolution'' ... Point B : ,,Jim finds out about Zeratul's revelation and actually experiences the hybrids first hand'' ... Point C : ,,strikes a very satisfying punch to Mengsk '' ... Point C : ,,he gives up on his vengeance to save humanity and his loved one'' ...

I don't know what others think ,but this is what I think , maybe im wrong but I think Hots was just bad ...
Edited by HardCore on 4/7/2013 12:29 PM PDT
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Posts: 371

I found Kerrigan's personality to be ... erratic (illogical) , she has moments of clear morality (allowing the transport ships loaded with wounded leave char) but then she has moments when she damns worlds (probably millions of innocents) for no reason (ordering brood mothers to destroy world of military interest , only to find out later in the game it made no difference , because Korhal was supply blocked and taken in a blitzkrieg)


That is quite an assumption on your part. You leave a force to blockade a certain path let's say 50 soldiers and three artillery pieces with high ground advantage. That doesn't mean they can stop 500 soldier's from breaking through. You assume that Kerrigan's blockade would have held if she hadn't ordered those worlds taken out of the situation first. It is quite possible that her blockade wouldn't have held. Plus if nothing else you do not want to be fighting a two front war. If she hadn't taken out those worlds it would have been even harder for her to defend.


Hots was very predictable because ... it was a point A to point B trip : point A : ,,Kerrigan takes the swarm and becomes strong enough to face all her enemy's'' .... Point B : ,,She owns all her enemy's''

WoL was more complex .... it was like : Point A : ,,Jim kick starts his revolution'' ... Point B : ,,Jim finds out about Zeratul's revelation and actually experiences the hybrids first hand'' ... Point C : ,,strikes a very satisfying punch to Mengsk '' ... Point C : ,,he gives up on his vengeance to save humanity and his loved one'' ...

I don't know what others think ,but this is what I think , maybe im wrong but I think Hots was just bad ...


You're over simplifying Heart of the Swarm. Kerrigan didn't immediately take the swarm. In the second mission of the game Kerrigan rejects control of the swarm for fear of what may happen. She doesn't believe the risk is worth it and she has confidence in her and Jim's ability to handle the situation. Unfortunately she doesn't evaluate the situation correctly and ends up losing Jim. This moves her into a transition period in which she begins to reconnect with the swarm but keeps telling herself it's only to save Jim. It's like an addict thinking they'll just take a little sip.

Her resistance is then completely broken whenever she loses her primary support. In a moment of weakness she comes to believe Jim is dead. She suffers a break down and begins the process of regaining control of the swarm. She doesn't just seek to regain the swarm though but seeks to make it even more powerful force. This arc continues through the first three planets you can actually choose.

The third change comes about whenever Kerrigan learns that Jim is still alive. Now she is faced with the fear of the situation and knowing that it will end poorly. She diverts from her goal of taking vengeance and goes to save him. Then in the final mission she learns that she should have put more faith in Jim as he comes to her aid.

I would have preferred if her break down period between working with Jim and taking control of the swarm would have been longer but for some reason blizzard chose to reduce the total number of missions. Despite that to me you seem to be over simplifying the situation and ignoring major points.
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Posts: 2,262
If you want a story read some books. Missions are good.
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Posts: 663
04/07/2013 11:00 AMPosted by DaveDroid
Wrong. Raging teenagers find stories that involve romances, emotions or any form of deep level communication (ie via facial expression) "Cringworthy" "icky" " and cheezy".

Those of us who have actually been in love know that there's nothing noble about seeking to redeem and incessantly forgive a mass-murdering psycho b1tch who killed your best friend.

Here is the poll you are looking for.

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=402932

The majority rate the story as better than wings and decent or excellent overall. And team liquid is the most skeptical site for these things. Amazon and Metacritic has far better reviews on the story and those are usually the less biased and more mature gamers.

I dislike the story and yet I voted for the first option because there was no option that said "better than WoL, still a bad story". This poll is not proof of anything.

I have never seen a positive professional review of the story that went any further than a superficial "I enjoyed the campaign" sentence or two. The story simply breaks down when you look past the gameplay & impressive production value, and start applying critical thought to the narrative itself.
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