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mr. peasant
05-31-2012, 12:53 PM
Some time ago, Gradius wrote a controversial article (http://sclegacy.com/editorials/7-reviews/1134-scl-reviews-wings-of-liberty). In it, one of his claims that stuck with me was that the Terran campaign would have been better told through Valerian Mengsk's perspective. However, this is a simplistic view of the matter since one needs to work with the restriction of mission variety. While Operation Burnout (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Operation_Burnout) might have made for an epic campaign, would it have provided the necessary mission variety or the choose-your-next-mission setup Blizzard decided going for? Bear in mind that you're pretty much restricted to the missions that we received in the final version since Blizzard has previously stated that they had used all their mission ideas in Wings of Liberty (WoL) rather than save some for future campaigns; which suggests that level design is taking place somewhat independently of story development.

That's when I started thinking... could Valerian take the place of Raynor in the campaign and would the story have been better served by doing so? Of course, I can't speak of its potential impact in future expansions or from a marketing standpoint. Indeed, one of WoL's campaign's strong points was its marketing; carrying all the right buzz word/concepts by having you play as fan favourite, Jim Raynor and advertising the game as one where you play an underdog rebel leader leading a ragtag bunch of misfits against a tyrannical government and a host of alien nasties.

What was I saying again? Right, right... I think the campaign and story would have worked better with Valerian as the main character, hijacking Raynor's place in the story. If you think about it, quite a number of subplots would have made more sense and worked better had it been Valerian instead of Raynor in the position. For instance, it would be more reasonable for Valerian (rather than Raynor) to trust Nova (a Dominion assassin) claiming Tosh is evil. Moreover, Valerian's access to the Dominion military would also better explain how the player could subsequently get access to Ghosts after said mission. In addition, Blizzard once commented that Hanson was intended to be somewhat of a love interest for Raynor. However, that fell flat since Raynor in WoL was still too worked up over Kerrigan and that was where the romantic subplot was weighted towards. Had the main character been Valerian, it would have worked better since he'd literally be Prince Charming coming to the rescue of his damsel in distress!

Lastly, Blizzard once commented that Arcturus' story has reached a dead end. Meanwhile, they continue to focus on Raynor. But if you ask me, it's the other way around. Raynor's story in WoL (i.e. his hatred of Arcturus, his desire to save Kerrigan) are or at least really feel like retreads of previous development. Meanwhile, the introduction of Valerian creates all sorts of potential growth for Arcturus. Indeed, one of the most interesting parts in WoL was the interaction between Valerian and Arcturus - with the two almost having a game of cat-and-mouse or chess-like quality in the one conversation they had in the game.


TLDR: I contend that Valerian could have taken the place of Raynor in the campaign and it would have made a better story.

I recognise it's easy to make such claims. However, I've thought it through and I think I've figured out a way to tell a similar yet better story through Valerian's perspective without changing too much of the potential repercussions for future expansions.

I will add the details in future posts. In the mean time, lemme hear your thoughts!


Follow-up posts:
1. Background details/changes (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178087&postcount=3)
2. Mar Sara missions (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178102&postcount=13)
3.a. Artifact missions I (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178107&postcount=17)
3.b. Artifact missions II (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178139&postcount=18)
4. Colonist missions (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178358&postcount=29)

Arkalis
05-31-2012, 01:16 PM
Could work that way and, as the article and some people think, it would give WoL a more expanded scope of the Terrans (more of a faction of power than a group of freedom fighters) but...

Another thing that could work to give the marketing its piece is to have Raynor as the protagonist at the first half (or less) of the campaign then shift its focus to Valerian. That way something that happens with Raynor (whom with we are more familiar) could introduce Valerian's role. I'm thinking from the point of view of the mayority of the players, from which a big part were new to the Starcraft series and story.

mr. peasant
05-31-2012, 01:35 PM
Part 1: Background Details/Changes

Alright, starting off with the basics. Given the change of protagonist, it only stands to reason that there will be other changes as well. I'll start things by listing those changes:

Valerian will be presented as somewhat of an idealist who prefers the hands-on approach when dealing with things. Unlike Arcturus, he actually respects Raynor and looks up to him despite the latter's efforts to take down the Dominion.


Instead of the Hyperion, the in-between mission space will largely take place aboard the Bucephalus. Its main rooms will be much the same; namely the Bridge, Armory, Laboratory and a Mess Hall in place of the Cantina.


The main support characters will likewise be changed. I'm not going to bother with names. Suffice to say, Findlay and Horner will be replaced. I'll refer to their replacements as Magistrate and First Mate, respectively. Likewise, the Armory will be manned by a Q (James Bond) rip-off, who will regularly notify Valerian of new upgrades. In contrast to Stetmann's geekiness, his replacement will be Herr Doktor (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HerrDoktor).


Instead of mercenaries, elite units will be SpecOps commando units (i.e. Annihilators (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Annihilators) instead of the War Pigs). The enemy's counterparts will use a different name but will otherwise have the exact same stats and models.


Instead of credits, mission rewards will be in Requisition, which can be spent on unit upgrades and on SpecOps units. Instead of developing new technology himself, Herr Doktor collects Zerg and Protoss samples to the Dominion Science and Technology Department. As Valerian gains favour with them, they provide him with experimental units/technology.


Instead of squabbling newscasters of UNN reviewing your latest exploits, Valerian mainly watches pirate news reported by Michael Liberty who reports on the situation at large and on Raynor's latest exploits in rescuing refugees from the Zerg invasion.


For Valerian's armour, it would be based on a sleeker version of the standard Marine armour. The visor has a wolf's head decal (in place of Raynor's skull decal). In addition, he'd wear a military-style tunic (a la Horner (http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100728024206/starcraft/images/9/92/HeartsAndMinds_SC2_CineNewsFlash1.jpg) and/or standard Dominion officer dress uniform (http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100721171442/starcraft/images/1/18/DominionOfficer_SC2_Head2.jpg), complete with a sash decked with the numerous honourary awards the Prince has received, over the torso with the Mengsk double wolves for pauldrons (shoulder armour). In terms of weapon, it would be a smaller, lighter version of the Gauss rifle (perhaps a Gauss pistol?). In addition, the guy running the Armory (the Q ripoff) will regularly tinker with it; adding new features/abilities whenever Valerian takes it out on a mission.*
*The reason I added so many unique features is because I felt underwhelmed in WoL when Raynor, the lead protagonist we are supposed to play as, had a less unique model than Findlay, the guy who literally started life as Random Marine No. 435 in the Starcraft II reveal/announcement trailer.


That's all for now. Will add the actual missions tomorrow.

Visions of Khas
05-31-2012, 02:22 PM
I'd love to see this made as a fan campaign, complementing the WoL story.

EDIT I've been thinking a bit about this. And the more I think, the more I like it. This setting gives us a great deal to explore. Does Valerian put up any attempts to save colonists, like Raynor? Or is he faced with the hard choice of abandoning them to the Zerg, in order to consolidate Dominion forces and protect the core worlds instead of spreading their naval power too thin?

Would he have any dealings with pirates and mercenaries, besides Raynor? If so, how does he use them or appease them?

How would his dealings with General Warfield go, and their joint venture in "leading three separate invasions against the Swarm"?

And how much is Valerian willing to go behind his father's back? Will he ultimately seek to take the throne for himself? If so, will it be for the better good -- or personal gain?

Thsi needs to be done

Hawki
05-31-2012, 06:37 PM
As much as I like Valerian, I like Raynor more. That aside, I doubt that telling the campaign from Valerian's POV would have worked for the following reasons:

-Character Familiarity: Valerian would have been a new face. Yes, he's been fleshed out in EU material before WoL, but even so, Raynor at least had the benefit of appearing in previous games.

-Character Dissonance: SCII is a trilogy, with Raynor, Kerrigan and Zeratul standing as the 'big three' in regards to player characters for each installment. Each of these characters had their debut back in the first game. Valerian would have been out of place.

-Generational Standard: Looking at Blizzard's 'big three,' each of its early series follows a set pattern. For Warcraft, the games up to Beyond the Dark Portal take place pretty much one after the other, with very small gaps in-between. The gap between BDP and Reign of Chaos however, is 17 years. Simiarly, the events from Diablo to Lord of Destruction take place over two years, whereas Diablo III takes place 20 years after LoD. The reason I bring this up is that StarCraft has remained true to form, and the above medias always brought in 'the next generation' for the third installment. Valerian is a next-generation type character, so while having his debut in the current time period isn't strange, focussing on him to the proposed extent would have been. Similar to Arthas-had his debut in Day of the Dragon, but only came in as a bona fide character in Reign of Chaos. Quite a bit of time seperating them.

-The Tosh/Nova thing wouldn't have worked with Valerian. Raynor has the benefit of an outsider's perspective, Valerian doesn't. Not to mention being charged with treason. And Tosh is the canon choice anyway.

-I think a Dominion ship would have leant itself less well to character variety. Besides, Horner already had the benefit of an appearence in Queen of Blades. For Valerian, it might have worked, if we got Whittier (Arcturus-loyal, possible Tychus), Ramsey and Dahl, but even so, the Dominion is professional military. And professional military means less variety.

-Having Valerian watch Raynor would be tell, not show, which is a violation of basic story techniques. The WoL broadcasts for Raynor almost always corresponded to something he was actually doing.

-The prophecy/Kerrigan arc would be almost impossible to factor in, at least realistically. Zeratul coming to Raynor? Believable. Zeratul coming to Valerian? Suffice to say, he doesn't really have the best track record with the protoss.

-If we assume the story remains the same, if we assume Valerian still meets Raynor somehow...then that's a lot of stuff that's been missed. WoL at least showed what Raynor had become and the like, whereas a late meeting would need to shoehorn it in.

-WoL essentially wraps up its story-Raynor saves Kerrigan. Goal accomplished. With Valerian, even if it happens, even if Raynor still rescues her, it goes against the closed finish style, and considering how controvesial the trilogy idea is with some consumers, it would be a risky move. In Raynor's story, he wins. In Valerian's story, it would be a 'to be continued.' Even if Valerian does learn of the prophecy somehow, there's still less emotional connectivity.

Quirel
05-31-2012, 07:17 PM
Valerian will be presented as somewhat of an idealist who prefers the hands-on approach when dealing with things. Unlike Arcturus, he actually respects Raynor and looks up to him despite the latter's efforts to take down the Dominion.

Instead of the Hyperion, the in-between mission space will largely take place aboard the Bucephalus. Its main rooms will be much the same; namely the Bridge, Armory, Laboratory and a Mess Hall in place of the Cantina.
No complaints, really.


The main support characters will likewise be changed. I'm not going to bother with names. Suffice to say, Findlay and Horner will be replaced. I'll refer to their replacements as Magistrate and First Mate, respectively. Likewise, the Armory will be manned by a Q (James Bond) rip-off, who will regularly notify Valerian of new upgrades. In contrast to Stetmann's geekiness, his replacement will be Herr Doktor (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HerrDoktor).
Huh. I'm not convinced that Stetmann is an absolutely horrible character for the roll he played, and I don't think we need to drag out the "Germahn Doktor" cliche.


Instead of mercenaries, elite units will be SpecOps commando units (i.e. Annihilators (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Annihilators) instead of the War Pigs). The enemy's counterparts will use a different name but will otherwise have the exact same stats and models.
Whereas some of the Mercenaries being Special Operations or Commando units makes sense, I don't think that we'd have to get rid of all the mercenaries. If modern governments hire out to Blackwater (Sorry, Xe Services LLC... No, Academi.) and Haliburton, why wouldn't the Terran Dominion?

I can see some, like War Pigs and the UED Remnants working for the opposition, however.


Instead of squabbling newscasters of UNN reviewing your latest exploits, Valerian mainly watches pirate news reported by Michael Liberty who reports on the situation at large and on Raynor's latest exploits in rescuing refugees from the Zerg invasion.
Sounds decent, but I don't think it would be an adequate introduction for Raynor if he shows up later in the game.

Sheliek
05-31-2012, 07:45 PM
Having Valerian watch Raynor would be tell, not show, which is a violation of basic story techniques. The WoL broadcasts for Raynor almost always corresponded to something he was actually doing.

While you do make very good arguments, I am going to criticise this. Deviation from the norm in story-telling, while rarely done good, is very novel and can often improve a story for the better when the tried-and-true conventions can be stale at times. In every writing class I've taken part in, the basic rule of thumb is 'if you can do it well, do it. Otherwise, avoid it like the plague.'

Gradius
05-31-2012, 08:15 PM
I think the biggest hurdle to making Valerian work as the protagonist of WoL is accepting that it's not going to be the same exact story. You have to make certain concessions. For example:


-Having Valerian watch Raynor would be tell, not show, which is a violation of basic story techniques. The WoL broadcasts for Raynor almost always corresponded to something he was actually doing. The reason Valerian was suggested in the first place is that Raynor has no business doing some of the things he is doing, and making the news. Valerian on the other hand, is an actual position to be on the news. He's a political figure with actual power and resources, not some washed-up rebel with a single battlecruiser.

PureWasted did a restructuring of Wings of Liberty (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8818) early on. And while the basic story was the same, much was also changed. We'd have to do the same if we're theorycrafting about Valerian being the protagonist.

Granted, I'd have torn the whole thing up and started from absolute scratch, but I'm not a writer. :P

Kimera757
05-31-2012, 10:08 PM
I'd love to see this made as a fan campaign, complementing the WoL story.

THIS.

I'd especially love to see his interactions with Dr. Narud. It'd be kind of funny. "Hey, Val, your dad kind of put a spy on Jim's ship. He's the guy getting Jim to get those artifacts for us. Hope you don't mind. By the way, watch this really funny thing he did on Korhal. Yes, that's him in the Odin... Should I email your dad about that? :D"

mr. peasant
05-31-2012, 10:24 PM
Character Familiarity: Valerian would have been a new face. Yes, he's been fleshed out in EU material before WoL, but even so, Raynor at least had the benefit of appearing in previous games.

Which is why I admitted that from a marketing standpoint, Raynor as the protagonist works better. Narratively, it doesn't really matter and some would argue that a fresh, blank slate provides more room for development and thus better storytelling. Also, bear in mind that for a lot of people (namely those who had never played SC1), both Valerian and Raynor are new faces.


Character Dissonance: SCII is a trilogy, with Raynor, Kerrigan and Zeratul standing as the 'big three' in regards to player characters for each installment. Each of these characters had their debut back in the first game. Valerian would have been out of place.

Well, there's previously been arguments that Artanis or Selendis are more appropriate choices as the protagonist for the Protoss campaign than Zeratul. Both, Artanis and Selendis - as the Hierarch and Executor respectively - are knee deep in Protoss politics - which lends better to the diplomacy aspect Blizzard previously talked about as featuring in that campaign - where as Zeratul is in self-exile.


Generational Standard: Looking at Blizzard's 'big three,' each of its early series follows a set pattern. For Warcraft, the games up to Beyond the Dark Portal take place pretty much one after the other, with very small gaps in-between. The gap between BDP and Reign of Chaos however, is 17 years. Simiarly, the events from Diablo to Lord of Destruction take place over two years, whereas Diablo III takes place 20 years after LoD. The reason I bring this up is that StarCraft has remained true to form, and the above medias always brought in 'the next generation' for the third installment. Valerian is a next-generation type character, so while having his debut in the current time period isn't strange, focussing on him to the proposed extent would have been. Similar to Arthas-had his debut in Day of the Dragon, but only came in as a bona fide character in Reign of Chaos. Quite a bit of time seperating them.

Actually, I'd argue that Diablo and Diablo II are two separate generations of characters. None of the player characters in the first Diablo return as playable characters in the second installment. If anything, they only return as enemies to be killed off (2/3 of whom were one-off throwaway bosses), much the way WCIII featured old heroes, many of whom get killed off. And with Diablo and Diablo II, there's even less time than between SC1 and SC2. Meaning, if following the pattern you described, Blizzard should be featuring new characters.


The Tosh/Nova thing wouldn't have worked with Valerian. Raynor has the benefit of an outsider's perspective, Valerian doesn't. Not to mention being charged with treason. And Tosh is the canon choice anyway.

But it's this outside perspective that makes the choice nonsensical! As an anti-Dominion rebel, Raynor has no reason whatsoever to trust Nova (a Dominion assassin!) over Tosh who has been loyal and trustworthy (even serving as Raynor's confidante at times) ally. As such, the fact that it's even a choice at all renders it borderline racist, as elaborated in this review (http://metatorial.blogspot.com/2010/08/starcraft-ii-narrative-disaster.html).

With Valerian, it would be more reasonable for it to be a choice - betray your fellow countryman (even if she is a state-sponsored killer voiced by Azula) or betray the guy who's had your back all this time?


I think a Dominion ship would have leant itself less well to character variety. Besides, Horner already had the benefit of an appearence in Queen of Blades. For Valerian, it might have worked, if we got Whittier (Arcturus-loyal, possible Tychus), Ramsey and Dahl, but even so, the Dominion is professional military. And professional military means less variety.

Well, Valerian isn't, strictly speaking, 'military'. He, like Arcturus, while in command of the military, exist outside its hierarchy. Essentially, he can do whatever the hell he damned well pleases without having to answer to any chain of command.


Having Valerian watch Raynor would be tell, not show, which is a violation of basic story techniques. The WoL broadcasts for Raynor almost always corresponded to something he was actually doing.

The prophecy/Kerrigan arc would be almost impossible to factor in, at least realistically. Zeratul coming to Raynor? Believable. Zeratul coming to Valerian? Suffice to say, he doesn't really have the best track record with the protoss.

If we assume the story remains the same, if we assume Valerian still meets Raynor somehow...then that's a lot of stuff that's been missed. WoL at least showed what Raynor had become and the like, whereas a late meeting would need to shoehorn it in.

Hmm... maybe I messed up describing my intentions. Just to clarify, when I say using Valerian as the protagonist in the campaign; I'm suggesting that he does the stuff that was originally done by Raynor in the campaign.

Sheliek
05-31-2012, 11:22 PM
I think the biggest hurdle to making Valerian work as the protagonist of WoL is accepting that it's not going to be the same exact story. You have to make certain concessions. For example:

The reason Valerian was suggested in the first place is that Raynor has no business doing some of the things he is doing, and making the news. Valerian on the other hand, is an actual position to be on the news. He's a political figure with actual power and resources, not some washed-up rebel with a single battlecruiser.

PureWasted did a restructuring of Wings of Liberty (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8818) early on. And while the basic story was the same, much was also changed. We'd have to do the same if we're theorycrafting about Valerian being the protagonist.

Granted, I'd have torn the whole thing up and started from absolute scratch, but I'm not a writer. :P

I wonder what happened to him. He just sort of vanished.

Hawki
05-31-2012, 11:44 PM
Well, I'll entertain the idea. If Valerian were to indeed by the player character of WoL, and if he were to essentially do the things that Raynor does, but with the story remaining the same...well, here's a take on it. Note that this is of course subjective, that there are some deviations that have to occur. Valerian's goal is to get the artifacts and defeat Kerrigan. Unlike WoL however, this take is him doing it himself rather than having the Raiders do it for him.

-Intro Cinematic: Don't know...wouldn't be Tychus, that's for sure. Could be focussed on Valerian himself, getting ready to 'move out' or something.

Transport and Units

Valerian is to the Buccephalus as Raynor is to the Hyperion. Supplementary characters could be whatever, but I'd imagine Whittier being the proverbial Tychus (backstabber), Ramsey being the 'tech guy' and maybe Dahl as well, used on missions when the game calls for a hero unit. Valerian would rarely, if ever go down on the ground (drawback IMO) because while he can use CMC armour, ship captains tend to stay on their ships. Raynor I can understand given his unorthodox M.O., but Valerian would stay true to form.

I can see Valerian gaining access to units over time, but I think it works better with Raynor in that he has an excuse to not be able to use certain units at certain times. Valerian pulled strings in the DTS and got advanced tech without much fuss.

Mar Sara

First stop is Mar Sara. Mengsk has presumably dismissed Valerian's claims about the artifacts (assume there's some reason he had to rely on the Raiders rather than the Dominion itself in WoL) or wants them for different purposes. So, plan is to steal it from the dig site, hopefully with minimal collateral damage. If you want, we could have Raynor stirring up trouble at the same time. Tells his story a bit, adds a new element.

Anyway, artifact's recovered, zerg arrive, ground forces hold out until Buccephalus arrives, etc. Valerian's thus presented with a dillema-how much time should he spend on the zerg conventionally, as opposed to retrieving artifacts? And how much freedom will daddy give him to do it?

Colonist Missions

We'd pretty much have the same scenario here. Valerian saves Agria because he can make a difference, makes himself look good, etc. Could also make the argument that he's more open to a love interest than Raynor, if you go down the love interest route. And it's more concievable that he could beat Selendis's fleet by virtue of calling in more of his own forces or something. However, I don't see the end result being any different, but that's down to character analysis rather than campaign stuff. Overall, it could be argued that the colonist missions work better for Valerian slightly only in that beating Selendis is more probable, and with the lack of any previous alliances, more realistic in that he'd resort to violance.

Spectre/Ghost Missions

I could see this working, but only in reverse. Consider in WoL-Tosh needs Raynor, Raynor needs Tosh to get resources in Redstone, one thing leads to another, confronted by Nova. With Valerian, it would have to be different. Resources probably wouldn't be in short supply and he presumably knows about Tosh, considering the events of Spectres and the like. In his case, it would be more realistic to start with Nova, work his way to Tosh, then make a choice with Nova having had his back all this time.

There's still a problem here however. Entertaining B canon, I still think there's more for Raynor choosing Nova than Valerian choosing Tosh, all things considered. And if he chooses Tosh, Nova's either dead or gone, and ready to rattle on Mengsk. If he chooses Nova, then presumably he lets her go and has to go on her word that she'll keep quiet (unlikely IMO). And if she stays on the ship, she'd be AWOL which is another set of complications altogether.

Overall, I think the Spectre missions work better for Raynor.

Rebellion Missions

This is problematic. Assuming the story stays the same, it would be Valerian trying to stop Raynor from ratting out on Mengsk. Unfortunately, the plan requires the adjutant retrival, and even if Valerian's informed of the stakes, one has to ask how, and if the train job mission still occurred, it's still telling rather than showing. Now if the mission series ended in failure by story design, no harm no foul, but still sets up the issue of why Valerian would hunt Raynor for his own side after having recently gone against him. And if he wins...well, then Raynor doesn't seem as good, and his motives for recruiting him are also diminished.

Considering that Tychus was central to these missions, one could imagine an alternative. Perhaps Whittier makes his move and Valerian has to silence him. Course we wouldn't be having the Odin then, and one has to ask why he just can't call Mengsk. Again, these missions seem better suited to Raynor.

Artifact Missions

These could favour Valerian more. With him, there's less protoss connection so he can fight the Tal'darim to his heart's content. On the other hand, there's no connection that he and Kerrigan can play around with. True, Narud could call him in to help the Moebius Foundation, Kerrigan could still be on the battlefield, but there'd be less interaction. And Valerian having access to more materials than Raynor in theory, he's less suited to the hit and run tactics of Raynor which go well with these zerg missions IMO. And again, if he's been doing so well up to this point in getting the artifacts, why recruit Raynor anyway? Hasn't done anything you haven't, and given his former relationship with Kerrigan, he's a loose cannon. Why risk him to do what you're already doing?

Prophecy Missions

Very problematic. I can't see Zeratul conveying the info to Valerian under any circumstances. If he imparts it to Raynor after teaming up with Valerian, the revelations come too late to be reflected on in any significant manner. And if the info reaches Valerian some other way, there's still less motivation to act on it.

Char Missions

This isn't too hard in that Valerian is at Char anyway. Course he'd be on his ship most of the time, but hey, I can see him coming down and giving a speech or whatnot. Problem though, is the ending. If he spares Kerrigan, then it's got a 'to be continued' feeling because we know it certainly isn't based on compassion. If he kills her, then HotS is screwed. If Raynor takes her, then it's to be continued and/or Raynor taking the spotlight off the player character.

Conclusion

In essence, the only real improvement I could see Valerian making is to the colonist missions, and it's a minor improvement at best. Assuming WoL's story is the same bar switching places, then based on my perceptions, what I've posted wouldn't have been an improvement. At the end of the day, it was about Raynor and Kerrigan. People have argued that Raynor's threat to kill Kerrigan should have been followed up on or something. Thing is, even if the threat itself is never brought up, Raynor does make the right choice at the end, killing Tychus aside. With Valerian, the threat and relationship can't be addressed. Raynor is cast to one side despite Kerrigan being his de facto adversary. One could always tell a story of what Valerian was doing in WoL, some mini-campaign or whatnot, but I can't see any reason to have made him the player character in the same story.

Prove me wrong if you want.

mr. peasant
06-01-2012, 02:10 AM
Part 2: The Mar Sara Missions

Opening Cinematic (replacing Public Enemy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0zz8vSvH9M))
Scene opens in a dusty, backwater office; focusing on a TV that's being channel surfed; all of it news featuring Valerian Mengsk - all of it commenting on his latest crusade against corruption and abuse of power.
Camera pans out to show a guy relaxing in the office - feet up on the table, drinking scotch while watching the news. Beside him a bagful of gold bricks.
Cue the intercom with the receptionist informing him that his 11 o'clock has arrived, which surprises him since he didn't know he had one.
In walks a figure in flashy power armour who says, "Magistrate <insert name>?" to which he replies "Who wants to know?"
Cut back to the TV which is now showing an interview of Valerian in which he comments that lax intervention from Korhal has allowed many Fringe World officials to grow corrupt and feel that they can do as they please before directly addressing said corrupt officials, saying that there was nowhere for them to run or hide and that he, Valerian, was coming for them.
Cut back to Magistrate <insert name>'s POV as he looks at the guy in power armour whose visor rises to reveal Valerian. He points a gun at Magistrate <insert name> (straight at the camera) and says, "Magistrate, I'm afraid your tenure has been terminated." before firing (straight into the camera).
Cut to black.

1. Operation: Weedkiller (previously Liberation Day (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Liberation_Day))
Mission briefing cinematic:
Valerian is still in the dead Magistrate's office. He proceeds to kick the corpse off his chair before setting a briefcase on the table which he opens to activate a hologram of the Adjutant for a status update. The Adjutant informs that the remainder of the dead Magistrate's followers are based in Backwater Station, many of whom are suspected human rights violators, and that there is strong anti-Mar Sara Militia sentiment amongst the locals. Smiling confidently, Valerian comments that he can work with that before proceeding to order the Adjutant to gather the troops and prep the jet.


The mission begins and runs as per the original campaign with the main objective to destroy the Backwater Outpost except that instead of Raynor's Spec Ops Dropship with its skull insignia, we use Valerian's personal Dropship which features the twin wolves of the Mengsk Dynasty.
Similarly, Valerian gets outraged when Mar Sara Militia starts killing local civilians as they try to escape being sent to forced labour camps. Valerian uses this to instigate the locals to riot and to rally behind him against the Mar Sara Militia.
Optional mission objectives still remain as the Arcturus propaganda statues. Except, Valerian finds them objectionable since they are corrupted interpretations of Dominion dogma. The player/Valerian has the choice to either destroy them or to reprogram them to state friendlier, more PC material.


Post-mission cinematic:
Valerian is back in the Magistrate office, relaxing out of combat armour - chilling in the Magistrate's chair. He's watching the news, which is covering his recent exploits. The same secretary as before informs him that his 11 o'clock is there to see him. But before anything can be done, the Adjutant informs him that he has an incoming transmission from Korhal and that it is the Emperor. Cue Arcturus' head on hologram who immediately berates his son for his recklessness being at the front lines. Valerian insists that he knows what he's doing and that he needed to be seen leading the charge since public image is extremely important.
As all this is going on, a person appears by the doorway. Seeing who it is, Valerian pretends that he's experiencing interference - hitting the on-off switch repeatedly to cause the transmission to flicker - before turning it off completely. Cue the new arrival to say, "Did you just hang up on the Emperor?" to which Valerian replies, "Is that any way to greet the Crown Prince?"
Cue fist bumps and friendly greetings as Valerian congratulates the man for his recent graduation from the academy. They are clearly close/old friends. The man then asks Valerian why the latter dragged him all the way to the backside of the galaxy. Valerian then explains his dreams of creating a new, clean, benevolent Dominion and that this could only be accomplished by starting over with like-minded people in the positions of power. Valerian then informs his friend that the latter is now the new Magistrate of Mar Sara.


Inter-mission space is the Magistrate's office. Watching the TV has Valerian flipping channels with the UNN being critical of his handling of Mar Sara. He then comes across Michael Liberty's pirate news channel praising Valerian to which the Prince comments that he likes this new guy. Talking to the new Magistrate causes the Magistrate to ask why Valerian had elected him to the post, to which Valerian explains that Mar Sara is an experiment to prove that direct control by Korhal can and is better rulership for the unruly Fringe Planets.

2. Taking KLF Notes (previously The Outlaws (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/The_Outlaws))
Mission briefing cinematic:
The Adjutant informs Valerian and the Magistrate that the terrorist group known as the Koprulu Liberation Front (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Koprulu_Liberation_Front) (KLF) have recently resurfaced on Mar Sara and have taken a civilian dig site hostage. Both are puzzled over this action but Valerian eagerly decides to intervene. The Magistrate sarcastically reminds Valerian that it's his job to handle it and not the Prince but Valerian simply counters by pulling rank.


The mission plays out much like The Outlaws. Except, the optional mission objective is to rescue stranded Mar Sara Militia troops. Valerian feels that the Mar Sara troops are traitors and deserve whatever fate awaits them whilst the Magistrate points out that not all of them are corrupt, that they deserve a fair trial and that they could prove useful in handling the KLF situation.
The only major change would be the appearance of isolated packets of Zerg, allowing them to be introduced to the player. The Magistrate is freaked out to encounter them whilst Valerian casually replies that while the Protoss bombarded the planet, a few somehow survived and that Zerg hunting is something of a local national sport; to which the Magistrate comments, "You mean you're deliberately leaving me on a bug-infested planet?!"
Mission ends with the KLF trying to escape with something that they dug up at the dig site but are taken out before they are able to. Curious, Valerian has the Artifact retrieved.

3. Zero Hour
Mission briefing cinematic:
Valerian is preparing to leave, stating that he would be leaving Mar Sara's and his dream's futures in the Magistrate's hands. Suddenly, the Adjutant detects a massive upsurge of Zerg activity - with thousands of pods landing on the planet's surface and that the probability of Alpha Squadron successfully repelling the invasion was 0.001%. Valerian immediately issues an order to evacuate the planet but that they were going to hold the Zerg off until everyone has evacuated, which would take 30 minutes.


The mission plays out much like the original. Objectives remain the same except optional objectives now include both, stranded troops and civilians. The latter can be armed and turned into Marines upon being rescued.
The mission ends with the Adjutant informing the player/Valerian that the planet has successfully been evacuated and that all civilian vessels were headed for Core World territory; at which point Valerian issues the order to pull out and rendezvous with his flagship, the Bucephalus.


Post-mission cinematic:
The cinematic shows Valerian's Dropship flying through a swarm of Mutalisks with massive amounts of turbulence (shown as rocking for the occupants inside) before making a warp jump once clear - reemerging in space beside a massive Battlecruiser (the Bucephalus).
Cut to inside the Bucephalus with Valerian and the Magistrate storming into the bridge while the First Mate salutes/greets the Prince. Valerian is having none of that and demands a sit rep. The First Mate then informs the full extent of the invasion and shows the news reports (similar to Horner in Escape from Mar Sara (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfeWgJjpV04)), much to Valerian's horror.


The inter-mission space now is aboard the Bucephalus. Watching the news features Liberty providing an update on which planets are affected and imploring anyone with any room to allow others to board their ship and to head to refugee worlds. There is also an incoming transmission on the bridge. This would be Arcturus who is genuinely relieved to be finally able to reach Valerian and urges his son to return to Korhal though the Prince declines, insisting that he needs to help (and be seen playing an active role in the invasion). This angers Arcturus who tells Valerian that this is no longer a game and went beyond politics but Valerian remains stubborn and informs that he will continue to stay with Alpha Squadron. This unlocks/enables a conversation with the First Mate who informs Valerian that they just received orders direct from the Emperor and that Alpha Squadron would be strictly on relief duties and aiding evacuation of minor planets, much to Valerian's annoyance.
Completion of this mission unlocks the Artifact and Colonist missions.

Turalyon
06-01-2012, 05:10 AM
Gee, everyone's beaten me to the punch...

I agree that Valerian would make a better protagonist than Raynor in general but not by using WoL's missions as a backdrop. Hawki's done a good job expressing some of the problems associated with some of the missions arcs and how (ir)relevant they'll be for Valerian.

The majority (note that I did not say ALL!) of the 'mid-section' of WoL's story is just a bloated mass of side-stories that do not contribute any significance to the end-point of WoL's story. The Hanson and Tosh arcs are entirely superfluous as they are (given their ultimate meaning as being nothing more than a method for Raynor to obtain funds/resources) despite their largely questionable and arguable importance in "fleshing" out the main character. This would likely be the same case even if Valerian was the protagonist instead. Why make specific side-trips to explore "character" when it can just as easily be done economically and naturally during the main plot? Sc1 is nowhere near perfect, but the ten missions of Rebel Yell conveyed more character and plot at the least than WoL ever managed to achieve with it's bloated length.

This is also not mentioning that the end-point narrative arc of WoL literally comes in out of nowhere (the macguffin is revealed to being able to perform a deus ex machina on an enemy that was once thought to be unassailable and NOT the original focus of initial story). The disjoint between the (ultimately misleading, unfulfilling and actually superfluous) main plot of de-throning Arcturus Mengsk to the sudden re-targeting to and actual defeat of Kerrigan (!) is still a problem whether the main character is Raynor or Valerian.

I commend the effort in trying to wrap an alternative story to those missions but to me it's still going to look like what WoL ended up to be - missions with a story draped over the top. The framework of those missions is also part of the reason why the story ultimately did not work.

Alar
06-01-2012, 07:09 AM
I still really like Mr. Peasant's current take on it. There would need to be some serious changes for it to work, but I really like Valerian as a character. He was quite interesting in the books and even in the game he still managed to maintain some of that. I also wanted Rosemary Dahl and Professor Ramsey. ;_;

The_Blade
06-01-2012, 10:31 AM
I still really like Mr. Peasant's current take on it. There would need to be some serious changes for it to work, but I really like Valerian as a character. He was quite interesting in the books and even in the game he still managed to maintain some of that. I also wanted Rosemary Dahl and Professor Ramsey. ;_;

Blizzard having their lore divided between books and games frustrates me so much. It works like two different universes instead of one, in part. I've been reading a lot of novels lately, and I'm starting to give up the idea that I will enjoy HotS's story. Blizzard's investment on lore is just going down the drain, because they have to "feel" good about conecting a dot in a book with a dot in the game or else they won't do it.

We need more characters in SC2, or at least we need real characters. I just find it amazing how no one died during the WoL's canon plot.

mr. peasant
06-01-2012, 01:13 PM
Part 3a: The Artifact Missions Part 1

1. Search and Rescue (previously The Dig (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dig))
Mission briefing cinematic:
The First Mate informs Valerian that they had received a distress call. The man, Gabriel Tosh, had identified himself as a security contractor protecting an archeological team whilst they dug up a Xel'naga temple on the planet Xil when the aliens attacked. Valerian's first instinct was the Zerg but to his surprise, the First Mate reported that the attackers were Protoss.
Initial scans detected survivors at the archeological site - mostly holed up in Bunkers. Meanwhile, scanners also picked up Protoss Warp Gates on the planet with lots of Protoss warping in. The First Mate comments that whatever the Protoss were after, they wanted it bad.
Valerian discusses attack options, suggesting to take out the Protoss invaders. However, the First Mate shoots down the idea, stating that Alpha Squadron was too spread too thin dealing with evacuations and that the Protoss were too heavily armed. Instead, he advises to simply pick up the survivors and leave.


The mission starts off like the original, with a landing site some distance from the base with isolated Protoss units to deal with. Once at the base, the player gains control and SCVs exit from the Bunker.
At this point, Tosh appears again and implores Valerian to help them retrieve the contents of the Xel'naga temple. Valerian agrees. The Magistrate is shocked and incredulous that Valerian was willing to 'play in the sand' in the midst of an alien invasion where as the First Mate acts as though this wasn't the first time it happened.
The player then gets control of the laser drill and receive new objectives to break through the Xel'naga temple door.
The Protoss starts attacking in force and their Executor identifies himself, that they are the Tal'darim and advises them to surrender in order to be guaranteed a quick and painless death. In response, Valerian decides to turn the laser drill on their powerful units.
When the player breaks through the Xel'naga temple door, Valerian's forces secure another Artifact. Recognising it, Valerian says, "You've got to be kidding me!" as the mission ends.
As in The Dig, the optional missions remain the same (destroy Xel'naga monuments to collect Protoss relics).
Unlike The Dig, the new unit is the Marauder, which is used to punch through Stalker armour and to kite Archons whilst the laser drill is used to take them out.


Post-mission cinematic:
The two Artifacts are compared side-by-side in the Bucephalus' Lab. After performing a few tests, Herr Doktor confirms that the two are alike, to little surprise to Valerian and company. Valerian comments that it was two for two and that there was definitely something up about the Artifacts.


Upon completion of the mission, Tosh joins the ship at the Mess Hall and unlocks the Tosh missions.
During the inter-mission space, talking to the Magistrate or First Mate leads the trio to discuss and note that the recent Zerg invasion and Protoss attack on Xil are likely related and due to the Artifacts. The Magistrate wonders if the two races had joined forces to which all agree the idea preposterous. Finally, they decide that the two aliens were fighting for the Artifact, leading Valerian to order the First Mate to keep an eye out for any reports of Protoss-Zerg conflicts.
The news has Liberty reporting on Raynor's exploit - namely his Raiders single-handedly aiding the evacuation of Umoja - to which Valerian can simply say, "Son of a gun..."; impressed.

2. Smash and Grab
Mission briefing cinematic:
Following up on Valerian's orders, the First Mate informs the Prince that he just received word of a Zerg attack on the Protoss planet of Monlyth. Scanning the surface, they quickly conclude that they are vastly outmatched by either force. However, Valerian figures that they could use the ongoing battle as a diversion and that all they needed to do was to take the Protoss from behind, and swipe the Artifact before anyone else notice.


The mission is much like the original version of the map - right down to optional objectives. Except, instead of Marauders, the new units are Siege Tanks. Protoss Sentries frequently use Force Fields to block bridges. Siege Tanks are used to take them out and to bypass defenses.
After taking out the Protoss statues, the player is securing the Artifact when the Adjutant warns them of a massive psionic signal. Cue the Queen of Blade's (QoB) arrival via Sac (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Sac), taking out all units in the area except for the evac Dropship. Protoss Zealots show up and a fight breaks out. The Dropship drops two Marines, one gets killed instantly while the other secures the Artifact and quickly orders the Dropship to get the hell out of there ("Go! Go! Go!").


Post-mission cinematic:
Back at the Lab, Herr Doktor continues to analyse the collected Artifacts and informs Valerian that they appear emit a similar signal and that the Artifacts that could be picked up by scanners. When asked why they were never picked up before, Herr Doktor can only guess that the Xel'naga temples that they were sealed in acted as some sort of shield; which was why the Zerg only came to Mar Sara after the KLF dug it up and why they were able to find Monlyth so easily.


Inter-mission space starts off in the Lab. Here, the First Mate is conspicuously present following the previous cinematic. Speaking to him results in a conversation between Valerian and him, during which the Prince asks if the First Mate got a good look at the QoB, commenting that she looked very much like a human and speculated that she could be an Infested Terran. He then asks the First Mate to use his resources to investigate her identity and to do so discreetly.
Leaving the Lab to go anywhere (e.g. back to the Bridge) triggers the Zeratul cinematic, which unlocks the Zeratul missions.

mr. peasant
06-02-2012, 02:18 PM
Part 3b: The Artifact Missions Part 2

This part can only occur after Zeratul's appearance in the campaign.

3. Catching A Train (previously The Great Train Robbery (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/The_Great_Train_Robbery))
Mission briefing cinematic:
Using Herr Doktor's findings, the First Mate has managed to trace an Artifact signal to the planet Tarsonis. Valerian's surprised the Artifact had survived the Zerg invasion that had destroyed the planet five years before. however, the First Mate continues - saying that he wasn't finished yet before revealing KLF presence on the planet.
The terrorist group had restored several railway lines connecting to a number of landing zones and were likely on the planet salvaging scraps. Whether they knew of the Artifact was unknown though given their history, the First Mate reckoned they did. And from the chatter, the KLF were preparing for a big shipment.
Unfortunately, they couldn't pinpoint the Artifact's location more precise than that it was somewhere on Tarsonis. With no other choice, Valerian decides that they were just going to have to search all the trains until they find the Artifact.


Mission works like The Great Train Robbery - i.e. intercept and destroy the trains before they complete their route, with the added incentive of locating additional Diamondbacks to help chase after them.
During the mission, Herr Doktor will request to obtain Zerg specimens; speculating that they could be used by Dominion scientists to find out more about what first led them to Tarsonis with such ferocity.
Mission ends upon locating the Artifact.


Post-mission cinematic:
Back at the Lab, Valerian comments to Herr Doktor, "Is it just me or do the Artifacts look like they fit together like some sort of jigsaw puzzle?" to which Herr Doktor admits that it is a possibility. However, if so, it's obvious that there were still pieces missing.


During the between-mission space, speaking to the First Mate leads to a conversation where Valerian and he discuss the discovery that the Confederates knew about the Artifacts over five years ago and wonder if the Artifact was what led the Zerg to Tarsonis. The First Mate isn't so certain about the latter though he admits that he had never heard about the Artifact before back when he still served the Confederates and that it was probably way above his pay grade.
Speaking to Herr Doktor would have Valerian ask Herr Doktor if he was any closer to discerning the function of the Artifacts. Herr Doktor sheepishly admits no, that the they were mostly inert though there was some slight reactions when impacted with explosives. Valerian is shocked that Herr Doktor tried to blow them up but unfazed, asks how much was needed to be certain. Herr Doktor replies that 50 megatons of TNT ought to do the trick. However, Valerian forbids Herr Doktor from nuking the ship.
Watching the news would once again feature Liberty singing praises about Raynor's recent exploits.
Completing this mission unlocks the Adjutant missions (otherwise known as the ones Horner asks you to do in WoL).

4. Firewall (previously Supernova (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Supernova))
Mission briefing cinematic:
The First Mate has traced the final Artifact signal to Typhon. Dominion intelligence report that the planet is the Tal'darim home world. Upon arriving, they discover that the Zerg had already beat them to the punch. However, there is a Mothership above the planet. It fires a beam onto the planet's surface - triggering a chain reaction that would incinerate the planet's atmosphere - before disappearing into warp space.
With no time to waste, Valerian orders his men to land immediately since they couldn't risk losing a single piece of the Artifact as it's somehow the key to everything.


The mission is much like the original - capture the Artifact whilst outrunning a wall of fire - except the enemy is mostly Zerg save for a major Protoss base surrounding the temple housing the Artifact.
Herr Doktor requests if Valerian would be kind enough to recover Tal'darim artifacts as it was their last chance to do so. The Prince thinks it's extremely poor time of Herr Doktor but agrees to see what he can do; much to the Magistrate's exasperation.
During the mission, Valerian ponders whether he should feel guilty over stealing the Artifacts since the Tal'darim clearly worship them. Later on, Valerian tries to negotiate with the Tal'darim; offering to save them and to keep the Artifact safe from the Zerg. However, the Tal'darim leader rebuffs the offer; saying that they were happy to face the sweetness of oblivion to guide the Artifact into the Khala. At this point, Valerian figures the Tal'darim are flat out insane and gets over his guilt.
Destroying the temple exposes an inner shell - the remnants of a Xel'naga temple much like on Xil. Just then, a massive wave of Zergs converge on them. With no time or a laser drill for the delicate approach, Valerian orders his Banshees to just bombard the hell out of the inner shell. As it's destroyed, a Banshee pilot reports a strange reaction. The Artifact then releases a powerful wave that destroys the nearby Zerg and Protoss though the Terran ships are surprisingly unharmed - much to everyone's shock. Valerian is the first to recover, telling his men to secure the Artifact quickly as they had no time to waste.


Post-mission cinematic:
Back at the Lab, Valerian is commenting on the destructive potential of the Artifacts with a mixture of fear and excitement; figuring it was why both the Zerg and Protoss were after them and why Zeratul had said that he held the key in his hands. However, there's still one piece missing. At this point, the First Mate enters the Lab, informing Valerian that he thinks he knows where the final piece may be.


During the between-mission space, speaking to the First Mate has him to reveal that Dominion intelligence had been keeping an eye on a secret Umojan research facility. Footage showed that they were able to create defensive rip field generators that could selectively destroy enemy ships within its area of effect in a manner similar to what was seen on Typhon. The First Mate speculates that the Umojans may have the missing Artifact; having mastered how to harness its powers and how to shield it the way the Xel'naga did. Valerian is simply exasperated how the Umojans and KLF seem to know about it and wonders why Dominion intelligence always seemed to be the last to know about these things.
Valerian receives a transmission from Korhal. Accepting it results in a conversation with Arcturus. The Emperor informs Valerian that he had just heard about what happened on Typhon and that the Artifacts the Prince had been gathering could be weaponised against the Zerg and Protoss. He then orders Valerian to bring them to Korhal so that they could be studied and used in the planet's defense. However, Valerian has his doubts. If he already had the conversation with the First Mate (re: Umoja's research), he suspects his father of planning to abuse them and duplicate Umoja's research. If not, the Prince still refuses but simply states that there was still too much they didn't know about the Artifacts and that he didn't want to risk Korhal's safety should the Artifacts start targeting Terrans instead.
Watching the news has Liberty reporting that Raynor had suddenly gone missing; the reporter praying that the rebel leader was alright and that he had not become the latest casualty of the Zerg invasion.

5. The Umojan Affair (based on Safe Haven (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Safe_Haven))
Mission briefing cinematic:
The First Mate briefs Valerian that the entire Umojan facility was protected by rip field generators and that attacking it with anything but a small, infiltration squad. However, the Prince is hesitant about attacking the Umojans at all since the Umojans were supposed to be their allies and wonders if a more diplomatic approach could work. However, the First Mate counters; rationalising that the Umojans were not about to simply hand over their secret weapon to the heir of the Terran Dominion and that if the Artifact was as important as Valerian believed, the only way to get it was by force. Unhappily, Valerian acquiesces to the First Mate's assessment - approving the assault but insists to minimise casualties.

The mission begins with a handful of Marines landing via Drop Pod quickly taking out the rip field generator protecting the entrance to the facility. Once destroyed and the facility secured, Valerian's forces start landing en masse. But before they can enter the facility, the Adjutant reports an incoming gravitational field. Cue the Tal'Darim Mothership making an appearance at the south end of the map along with a Protoss force that quickly destroys the south-most rip field generator and establishing a base there. Recognising Valerian, the Tal'darim Executor swears vengeance over the Prince's continued interference. The First Mate advises they leave but Valerian isn't planning to without the Artifact; giving the order to take out the Mothership.
Gameplay begins with a Tal'darim ground force charging up to the next rip field generator only to be instantly vapourised however air units remain unaffected. Valerian speculates that the Umojans must have adjusted the generators to target the Protoss instead of them though the First Mate is a little hesitant to test that theory. However, it turns out to be true.
The map has a number of generators (in the place of Safe Haven's colonies), which are protected by Umojan ground forces. The Tal'darim Mothership slowly works its way up the map - destroying every generator in its path. Each time it does so, it establishes a new, forward base with a new Nexus and the Protoss' ground units can get that much closer towards the Umojan facility.
Like in Safe Haven, the Mothership is invincible until all Protoss Nexuses are destroyed, as they are shielding the Mothership from harm. Therefore, the more generators the Tal'darim destroy, not only do they get closer, the mission gets harder to win.
The new tech for the map is the Battlecruiser. Faced with the odds, the First Mate informs Valerian that he is recalling all available Alpha Squadron ships for reinforcements. Their purpose is to slow down the Mothership's push and to destroy the escorting Carriers.
Once all Nexuses are destroyed, the Tal'darim Executor declares that they will all die. The Mothership warps to the centre of the map where it fires its Planet Cracker beam into the ground. The player must take it out within a time limit before it destroys the planet much like it did Typhon. Best way is with plenty of Yamato cannon fire.
Once the Mothership is destroyed, Valerian orders his forces to stand down, citing that in light of the Tal'darim attack and their saving the Umojans, the Prince hoped that they would now be more open to negotiate things more peacefully and that he would be personally coming down to smooth things over with the Umojans.

Post-mission cinematic:
Sound and flashes of automatic gunfire. Cut to Valerian, in combat armour, taking cover alongside other Marines whilst the First laughing over the radio, "So, how goes the diplomatic solution?" to which Valerian tells him not to be such a smart ass. Fighting continues until Valerian busts through a set of doors leading to where the Artifact is stored only to find himself face-to-face with the muzzle of a Siege Tank.
Then, to Valerian's shock, sitting pretty beside the Artifact is Jim Raynor, flanked by a half dozen Raiders and a Tank. Raynor, smiling deviously, speaks to Valerian, "About time you showed up, kid. What say you and me talk about a truce..."


Upon returning to the Bucephalus, Valerian has a conversation with Raynor where the latter outlines their agreement - namely that they would combine their forces and Raynor would hand over his piece of the Artifact to be used against Kerrigan on Char. Taking her out was the fastest way to end the Zerg invasion. However, until then, Raynor would be keeping his piece of the Artifact to ensure Valerian didn't double cross him. Plus, he would not be stepping foot on the Bucephalus for the same reason. When asked how Raynor planned to safeguard it since he didn't so much as have a ship and the Umojans were pretty much out of the fight but Raynor simply reassured Valerian that he had it covered.
Back on the bridge, speaking to the First Mate would have him express his reservations about Valerian working with a known terrorist and rebel to which the Prince replies that they need Raynor and that now was not the time to be killing one another especially with every alien out there happy to oblige. Raynor's objectives being the same as theirs was all that was important, "... at least, for now."
Speaking with Herr Doktor, he is impressed and astounded by the Artifact after reviewing the Umojan research. He confirms what Raynor had said was true and that the Artifact could be tuned to selectively destroy specific targets.
The news features Liberty reporting from Ground Zero of a Zerg invasion, the news feed is cut short when there is an explosion. This event disables further news reports from Michael Liberty for the rest of the game.
Completion of this mission unlocks the Char missions.

Visions of Khas
06-02-2012, 09:31 PM
I appreciate that your Valerian Mengsk is much more hands-on, which is consistent with the portrayal we're given in the book I, Mengsk; but it doesn't quite jive with the character we see in Wings of Liberty. Valerian's young and therefor should be impressionable and restless. It's hard for me to see him in mech armor, but he shouldn't be above getting his hands dirty.

One of the biggest things the Blizzard hype-machine talked about prior to release of WoL was this: Who IS Valerian Mengsk? Is he a dictator in the making? Does he aspire to be a bigger, better Jimmy Raynor?

I had always wanted Valerian to be somewhere in between; I wanted him to have questionable goals and means, but ultimately believe that his aspirations were genuinely for the greater good of humanity; maybe opportunistic, and his somewhat self-serving goals paralleling the needs of the Sector. This is illustrated in his campaign on Char; his pursuit to "reform" Kerrigan is a personal project. It also just happens to serve a greater good, but just as much is a means to prove himself as being bigger and badder (in a good way) than Papa Mengsk.

What I think is missing from your rendition of StarCraft II was also missing from WoL; perspective on a larger scale. I was anticipating Raynor to rally together disparate colonies, survivors and underground movements against the Dominion. The closest WoL comes to that is helping the Agria Colonists and freeing the political dissenters and activists from New Folsom.

Valerian will have to do some of that himself. Could staging a New Folsom break destabilize his father's shaky approval ratings with the Dominion? Does he try to unite all anti-Dominion factions into a unified whole -- eg encourage an alliance between the KLF, Umojan radicals, Korhal underground and Raynor's Raiders -- use them against another bigger enemy -- eg the Zerg or a political opponent -- then discard and destroy them all at once?

What sort of dealings would he have with Umoja, the world that raised him? If it were threatened at the same time Korhal is besieged by the Zerg, which "home" would he save?

Just a few things to think about. :)

broodmywarcraft
06-03-2012, 02:42 AM
Blizzard having their lore divided between books and games frustrates me so much. It works like two different universes instead of one, in part. I've been reading a lot of novels lately, and I'm starting to give up the idea that I will enjoy HotS's story. Blizzard's investment on lore is just going down the drain, because they have to "feel" good about conecting a dot in a book with a dot in the game or else they won't do it.

THIS

The Trope for this is All There In The Manual and it is a horrible story telling method.

Remember when Blizzard manuals used to be so much thicker and more detailed...no wonder those games' plots felt more satisfying... :o

But seriously, I remember reading the WoL manual and it was so thin and hollow. It even referenced events in The Dark Templar Saga in such a way that it made me think 'wow, if I didn't read the books beforehand, I would not have had a clue what they were talking about'

Hawki
06-03-2012, 03:07 AM
THIS

The Trope for this is All There In The Manual and it is a horrible story telling method.

Remember when Blizzard manuals used to be so much thicker and more detailed...no wonder those games' plots felt more satisfying... :o

But seriously, I remember reading the WoL manual and it was so thin and hollow. It even referenced events in The Dark Templar Saga in such a way that it made me think 'wow, if I didn't read the books beforehand, I would not have had a clue what they were talking about'

While I'm not defending the practice, the cutting down of manual lore is something that I've seen diminish universally. To be honest, the stuff in the manuals of WoL and D3, while cut down from their predecessors, is still far above what you usually get. Nowadays, the respective material is online and/or in in-game codecies, if at all.

It's probably for the best in a sense, in that it saves resources, trees and if the stuff is provided in the game, there's less of a divide. There's also the point that it can help one keep info succinct, relevant and minimise the risk of running into a corner. Take the UPL info in the manual of SC1 for instance-hasn't been retconned or anything, and it builds up backstory, but none of it is actually brought up in the game.

mr. peasant
06-03-2012, 01:22 PM
What I think is missing from your rendition of StarCraft II was also missing from WoL; perspective on a larger scale. I was anticipating Raynor to rally together disparate colonies, survivors and underground movements against the Dominion. The closest WoL comes to that is helping the Agria Colonists and freeing the political dissenters and activists from New Folsom.

While I understand where you're coming from, bear in mind that the Artifact missions here - as in WoL - is the bare essentials of the campaign. Here, it tells of Valerian figuring out the role the Artifacts play in the recent invasions, him figuring out what they do and how they work, and finally realising that he needs to go to Char in order to end the invasion.

Also, and I know this is reaching, I tried to give a sense of scale of the invasions by having Liberty list the planets initially involved, having the Zerg show up in Firewall/Supernova, having the Tal'darim be more pro-active and on the offensive in Search and Rescue/The Dig and Maw of the Void, and by including Raynor's activities - particularly with regards to non-Dominion worlds like Umoja. The last one also served to foreshadow the later reveal of Raynor's involvement at the Umojan research facility.

As for Valerian making big decisions and leaving big impacts, I'll try to incorporate more of them in the side missions.


What sort of dealings would he have with Umoja, the world that raised him? If it were threatened at the same time Korhal is besieged by the Zerg, which "home" would he save?

I did try to touch on Valerian's connection to Umoja. This was partly why I chose to have Raynor being the hero evacuating Umoja - thus helping explain why Valerian would feel a debt of gratitude to and hold a positive view of a rebel leader who is trying to topple the government that he is trying so hard to develop. It also explains Valerian's less aggressive approach when dealing with the Umojan research facility (despite it housing critical technology and an item of great importance, despite having a somewhat gung ho attitude when dealing with everyone else.

Gurluash
06-05-2012, 10:15 AM
I liked your rendition mr.peasant, keep it up ^^
I wish WOL was like that.

Visions of Khas
06-05-2012, 11:50 AM
Blizzard having their lore divided between books and games frustrates me so much. It works like two different universes instead of one, in part. I've been reading a lot of novels lately, and I'm starting to give up the idea that I will enjoy HotS's story. Blizzard's investment on lore is just going down the drain, because they have to "feel" good about conecting a dot in a book with a dot in the game or else they won't do it.

Out of curiosity, are you against this practice in general (splitting lore between games and books) or just the way it's executed by Blizzard? If the former, does that you mean you disapprove of how the Halo universe has been handled outside the games?

The Halo books transition and flow with the games pretty well, in my opinion. But if you just dislike how Blizz is doing it... then I obviously agree with you. :)

Blizz could learn a lot from Bungie. (Now, here's hoping 343 Studios doesn't mess up the franchise...)

Hawki
06-05-2012, 05:09 PM
I'd have to disagree with you on the Halo book-game flow, as there was always a disconnect between them. While they filled in the universe as a whole, very little made its way into the games during Bungie's run until Reach, what with Halsey and the Spartan-IIIs. 343 is taking a more intergrated approach though, and that could go either way. With Halo 4, material is flowing in freely from the Kilo-Five Trilogy (e.g. Spartan-IVs) and the Forerunner Saga (e.g. cryptums and Promethean tech). Make of that what you will.

Conversely, I've never really experienced a disconnect in Blizzard's games and novels. Or, rather, a disconnect where a connection is meant to exist (e.g. I don't mourn the lack of any mentions of Speed of Darkness as it's a self-contained story). Off the top of my head, the only time I feel it might have gone too far is making Haley and Izsha the same character. Could work, but...well, I'll put it this way. Hybrid was a good short story, but I never once asked the question of "say, what happens to Haley now?" I think it's a plot point that still needs to 'justify' itself to me.

Sheliek
06-05-2012, 05:37 PM
My problem with StarCraft's lore is that so much of it is one-offs. It serves to build the universe, which is wonderful. But, using gestalts as an example, I think the games would heavily benefit from their inclusion. I mean, showing the Dominion fielding protoss-terran hybrids? That kind of genetic experimentation is horrifying, and would have helped further cement Mengsk as the villain.

Hawki
06-05-2012, 05:43 PM
I'd have to disagree with the gestalts. I prefer the idea of Gestalt Zero being a single character rather than part of a greater whole. Now if you want to make the argument that Gestalt Zero should have appeared in WoL...well, I can't really see a way without him feeling shoehorned in. And we've already got the protoss-zerg hybrid-Dominion connection for the genetic angle.

mr. peasant
06-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Quick update:

1. Added a description of Valerian's armour/unit model in Background details/changes (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178087&postcount=3).

2. Added a conversation between Valerian and Arcturus following Firewall (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178139&postcount=18) (previously Supernova).

3. Replaced Maw of the Void with The Umojan Affair (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178139&postcount=18) (which is based on Safe Haven's mission concept).


Colony missions will likely follow some time today or tomorrow (depending on your time zone).

mr. peasant
06-07-2012, 01:25 PM
Part 4: The Colonist Missions

1. The Evacuation
Mission briefing cinematic:
Valerian has received a distress call from the planet Agria. The cinematic opens with him talking to the representative of the colonists - a Dr Ariel Hanson - who informs the Prince of their plight and their need for assistance with the evacuation, owing to their lack of transport hardy enough to withstand the Zerg attacks. Valerian agrees. When the transmission ends, Valerian informs the First Mate and the Magistrate that he plans to personally oversee the evacuation; to which the Magistrate sarcastically remarks, "Gee, I wonder why..."


The mission begins almost exactly as in the original, with Valerian's Dropship landing the player's starting units who then make their way to the colony. The main difference is that instead of Medics, the player starts with Valerian alongside the two Firebats. In addition, it is clear that several Colonists are sick.
Valerian gains a new special ability - Flashbang, an AoE which stuns organic units and cause Zerg ground units to burrow. Q informs Valerian with the line, "Prince Valerian, I have taken the liberty to equip your suit with..." in a stuffy, British accent.
The mission runs like the original - escorting the Colonists to their ships with the plan that they head for the refugee camps on Paradise. The difference is that the final transport will include Hanson and it must survive. Upon reaching the ships, a packet of Zergs - including Banelings - pop up to wreck the place; including destroying the last ship. Valerian, Hanson and co. must retreat back to a second evacuation point where Valerian's Dropship is waiting for pickup. Valerian apologises and notes that it appears that Hanson was going to have to tag along with them for awhile.
The optional mission objectives are slightly altered. Instead of capturing Chrysalises, Herr Doktor notifies Valerian of small, plant-like Zerg that he wishes to have sent to the Dominion's Science and Technology Department for study.
During the mission, the player can either have Valerian keeping safe inside the base or actively out in the field (e.g. escorting the vehicles, manning the Bunkers, patrol, etc). If the former, he will spend his time flirting with Hanson only to be shot down every time. If the latter, he will occasionally boast upon taking out a Zerg and obnoxiously telling someone to make sure s/he catches his good side.


Post-mission cinematic:
It is a UNN news report covering the evacuation of Agria during which Valerian answers an interview - talking about how the safety of citizens is his first priority when challenged as to why he wasn't at the front lines fighting the Zerg. Valerian is watching the news, smiling - satisfied that the report made him look good. Nearby, Hanson voices her disapproval and shock over how he had used her people's plight as a photo op for his political career before storming off. Valerian looks on - intrigued by the woman.


During the between mission space, talking to Herr Doktor has Valerian and him discussing the colonists' mysterious illness, its potential connection with the mysterious, plant-like Zerg organism they found (which was found to have been dispersing spores into the air) and whether it might mean the colonists were infested. Herr Doktor says that it would be jumping to conclusions. Nonetheless, blood samples had been taken from the colonists to be tested - discretely.
Watching the news has the UNN mention that Protoss forces have been detected entering Dominion space and there are isolated reports of Protoss forces attacking - and wiping out - whole colonies much like they did five years ago when the Zerg first appeared.
Valerian can talk to Hanson - who is located in the Mess Hall. Unlike other characters, her dialogue is not based on the previous mission but the number of times you've clicked on her - i.e. the order is the same regardless of which missions you just did. Over its course, Valerian first continues to try flirting with Hanson only to be rebuffed. But as the relationship develops (over perhaps 10-12 missions), a potentially romantic connection develops after Valerian starts being more mature in their interactions.

2. Outbreak
Mission briefing cinematic:
Hanson and Valerian are discussing the upcoming trip to the Meinhoff refugee camps. During the discussion, Hanson rolls her eyes (either in exasperation or just shakes her head with an exasperated smile on her face, depending on the level of her relationship with Valerian) as it's clearly another photo op for the Prince to be seen visiting the refugee camps. However, the conversation is cut short by the First Mate who reports that the visit just hit a snag before asking the two to take a look at what their scanners picked up - namely the infested refugees and buildings.


The mission plays out exactly as the original - Infested Terrans attacking during the night whilst the player is able to rebuild his defenses and take out the infested buildings during the day.


Post-mission cinematic:
After seeing what happened to the Meinhoff refugees, Hanson is worried about her people at the Paradise refugee camps - urging Valerian to check on them. Valerian reassures her that she has nothing to worry about and that the infestation was simply a coincidence.
*This cinematic automatically ups Valerian's relationship with Hanson past the unsuccessful stage.


During the between mission space, speaking with the First Mate has him reveal that infested plants similar to those on Agria were found on Meinhoff. He suspects them to be the source of the infestation and urges Valerian to contemplate the possibility that the Agria colonists are likely to be infested as well.
Talking to Herr Doktor would have him reveal that the Dominion's Science and Technology Department had tested the Agria colonists' blood samples and were positive for a new, unidentified disease whose mode of transmission was still unknown. He further advises Valerian against further contact with Hanson due to this, saying, "STD report states... STD implicated."
News report is on the Protoss' continued attacks on Terran refugee camps. Valerian expresses the need to find out where the Protoss were based at and the desire to hunt them down to stop the attacks.

3. Choosing Life or Death
Following up on Hanson's request, Valerian stops by the Paradise refugee camps only to discover that the place is already heavily infested. In addition, the First Mate informs that scanners detected a large Protoss fleet approaching the planet and was expected to arrive within a few hours. Calculating their course, the First Mate manages to locate the Protoss' main base. He urges Valerian to attack the base whilst their main fleet was away - stating it as a golden opportunity to potentially end the Protoss' incursion into Dominion territory.
Overhearing this, Hanson urges not to abandon her people to the Protoss and the Zerg infestation. She is certain that there are still people alive down on the planet and that they are in need of rescue.


This results in the player having a choice between saving the colonists or attacking the Protoss base.


3A. Paradise Lost (based on Haven's Fall (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Haven%27s_Fall))
Brought about by Valerian opting to save the colonists.


Mission briefing cinematic:
The latest reports confirm that the infested plant-like organisms were what was responsible for the infestation. When fully matured, they become Virophages that spew spores into the atmosphere that then incubate inside susceptible hosts. There is no risk of Terran-to-Terran transmission.


The mission runs pretty much like Haven's Fall. The objective is to destroy the Virophages and all infested buildings before the Virophages can fully infest each colony.
The featured tech is Vikings, which are essential in getting to the Virophages quickly as well as to combat enemy Brood Lords.
When a Virophage is destroyed, each colony's survivors escape aboard a Colony Ship (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Colony_ship) (which is the last thing to be corrupted/infested each time).
The player must successfully rescue X number of colonies.


Post-mission cinematic:
Hanson is preparing to board a Dropship in the Bucephalus' hangar/Armory. With her is Valerian. He tells her that the Protoss will continue hunting for them and that the rest of the Dominion military would by now have heard about what happened on Paradise. He then hands a data-pad to Hanson, he tells her it holds the location of his private planet that he often used as a hideaway. With a click of a button, Valerian informs her that he has now deleted its location from all archives and that she now holds the only record of its existence. He tells her that her people need to go into hiding - at the very least until the whole invasion blows over.
Knowing that this was goodbye, Hanson notes that she had Valerian pegged wrong and that he really was the 'protector of the people' he claimed to be. With that, she leaves aboard the Dropship.

3B. Tossing Out The Trash (based on Maw of the Void (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Maw_of_the_Void))
Brought about by Valerian opting to destroy the Protoss base.


Mission briefing cinematic:
Valerian apologises to Hanson but taking out the Protoss is more important as it would save more lives. Moreover, he doubts there could be anyone alive down on the planet and to go looking wasn't worth risking a tangle with the Protoss fleet or to miss taking out their base of operations. Hanson leaves - royally pissed.


The mission itself begins with Valerian's forces landing near the Protoss base without the latter noticing. However, they learn that the Protoss had constructed psi wave emitters designed to kill any Terran ground units that enter within its range - making an air assault the only viable mode of attack.
The psi wave emitters do no damage to Protoss ground units.
The featured tech is the Banshee.
The mission objective is to destroy the psi wave emitters as well as the rest of the Protoss base.
Once most of the psi wave emitters are destroyed, Selendis arrives aboard her Carrier - escorted by a fleet of other air units - who immediately confronts the player. If the player doesn't have Wraiths and/or Battlecruisers to escort the Banshees, the player would need to retreat to a location where ground-to-air units can engage. Each time Selendis' Carrier gets heavily damaged - it warps itself to a psi wave emitter where it stays whilst it repairs itself.
Upon destroying the Protoss base, Selendis' forces retreat - promising Valerian that they would meet again and that the outcome then will be very different. After that, the First Mate informs Valerian that they have a situation in the Mess Hall.
Over the course of the mission, the First Mate will provide updates on what was happening on Paradise - including (shortly before Selendis arrives back at the Protoss base) that Paradise had been purified and that there were no survivors.


Post-mission cinematic:
The cinematic opens hours later with Hanson accusing Valerian of placing his personal ambition over the lives of others as well as blaming him for the deaths of her people - saying that the Prince was as responsible as the Protoss who did the butchering. He tries to rationalise his actions but it's clear even he doesn't believe his own excuses. After a particularly scathing remark, Valerian gets angered and turns to respond except it's revealed that he's alone in the Mess Hall.
Cut to a darkened room. Valerian opens the door, beginning an apology to Hanson for his actions only for the Prince to discover her cold body.


Following the cinematic, talking to the First Mate confirms that Hanson had been dead for hours before Valerian discovered her body. The First Mate then asks if Valerian was alright as he looked like he had seen a ghost but the Prince simply brushes him off. Speaking to Herr Doktor will have him report that the Artifacts had been behaving strangely during the last few hours.

TargetBlue
06-08-2012, 03:56 AM
We need more characters in SC2, or at least we need real characters. I just find it amazing how no one died during the WoL's canon plot.

Tychus died didn't he? And having more characters doesn't make it better, not if they are neither interesting nor compelling. So what is a real character to you?

The_Blade
06-08-2012, 10:04 AM
Tychus died didn't he? And having more characters doesn't make it better, not if they are neither interesting nor compelling. So what is a real character to you?

He died, but he was expected to die since the begining of the game. He also suffered a post-climax death. Dieing during that moment of plot is like Frodo being killed by an orc on his way out of Mordor. The only plotline which needed resolution in the final cinematic was Arcturus' command, and Tychus was not part of the cliffhanger for HotS. So, basically his death was meaningless. Raynor was by far the only one who could have cared; but well he didn't try to save his pal, when he found out about the kill switch at the least.


http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/freytag.jpg

Characters failed to show distress during the whole "Rising Action / Conflict". Enemies where too easy and they failed to "complicate" the plot for Raynor. Few of the characters in WoL are interesting or compelling. Valerian is an exception, but perhaps my view on him is blinded by the fact that I know the backstory about him.

I should have stated that I wanted more interesting and/or compelling characters.

A real character to me is not perfect. He or she should have a grey moral, therefore I don't believe in pure evil or good characters too. He or she has a personality that matches what he says, does or thinks. A good example of inconsistent personality is Warfield. He's a man of honor and service, but he is the best general in the Dominion. The Dominion is now well known for being oppressive and as bad as the confederates. Why should a man like Warfield follow Mengsk and not Raynor? Is he really cunning enough to be a leader in strategy and war, but can't see through Mengsk own lies? Selendis and Orlan share similar problems.

Real characters are also expendable. They may die at any moment. That's part of the fun of looking after them in the game. Matt's death, as an example, would mean everything and solve many plot disorders if it happened during the correct moment of WoL. Had Mengsk killed him before the Odin's landing on Korhal, he would have showed Raynor that he is still a threat. Raynor is safe because he is a public figure to many, but why should his crew be immune as well? Tychus' intell would have been useful and Raynor would have been "motivated" enough to do his suicide boarding of the Busefalus, as well.

TargetBlue
06-08-2012, 01:23 PM
He died, but he was expected to die since the begining of the game. He also suffered a post-climax death. Dieing during that moment of plot is like Frodo being killed by an orc on his way out of Mordor. The only plotline which needed resolution in the final cinematic was Arcturus' command, and Tychus was not part of the cliffhanger for HotS. So, basically his death was meaningless. Raynor was by far the only one who could have cared; but well he didn't try to save his pal, when he found out about the kill switch at the least.


http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/freytag.jpg

Characters failed to show distress during the whole "Rising Action / Conflict". Enemies where too easy and they failed to "complicate" the plot for Raynor. Few of the characters in WoL are interesting or compelling. Valerian is an exception, but perhaps my view on him is blinded by the fact that I know the backstory about him.

I should have stated that I wanted more interesting and/or compelling characters.

A real character to me is not perfect. He or she should have a grey moral, therefore I don't believe in pure evil or good characters too. He or she has a personality that matches what he says, does or thinks. A good example of inconsistent personality is Warfield. He's a man of honor and service, but he is the best general in the Dominion. The Dominion is now well known for being oppressive and as bad as the confederates. Why should a man like Warfield follow Mengsk and not Raynor? Is he really cunning enough to be a leader in strategy and war, but can't see through Mengsk own lies? Selendis and Orlan share similar problems.

Real characters are also expendable. They may die at any moment. That's part of the fun of looking after them in the game. Matt's death, as an example, would mean everything and solve many plot disorders if it happened during the correct moment of WoL. Had Mengsk killed him before the Odin's landing on Korhal, he would have showed Raynor that he is still a threat. Raynor is safe because he is a public figure to many, but why should his crew be immune as well? Tychus' intell would have been useful and Raynor would have been "motivated" enough to do his suicide boarding of the Busefalus, as well.

He is still someone who died, and a rather impactful one if you've read the Heaven's Devils books. I'm just going by what you said on that "your amazed no one died." Just because you find this specific death meaningless doesn't mean no one died in the canon of WoL. Also that death was not post-climax that was a heat of the moment split second decision by Jimmy....either kill his best friend or allow him to kill the woman of his life. That comparison with Frodo is at best a comparison of apples and oranges. Unless you read ahead before the release it was NOT expected he would die from the "get go", not until you found out that his suit had a kill switch of sorts at least. That wasn't found out in the beginning of the game. Despite Raynor didn't try to save his pal prior to the battle on Char, Raynor did appear dead set on other matters whether you find this as a major character flaw or not. Which brings me to the other portion, yes you are right that had Mengsk killed Matt before the Odin's landing on Korhal he would of demonstrated he is still a threat but by the same token Mengsk still showed Raynor he continues to be very much a threat even from afar when Tychus was forced to try to kill Kerrigan. That even in that "room" or area in the ending on the hellish world of Char Mengsk still had quite a presence. And don't get me started on Warfield >.<, let's just say I agree with you there on inconsistency 100%.

The_Blade
06-08-2012, 03:52 PM
He is still someone who died, and a rather impactful one if you've read the Heaven's Devils books. I'm just going by what you said on that "your amazed no one died." Just because you find this specific death meaningless doesn't mean no one died in the canon of WoL.

Alright, "No one, but Tychus, died in the plot of WoL". I do recognize his death, but he is still just a character with a huge investment who died for nothing. It was my mistake, though, because I completely forgot about him.


Also that death was not post-climax that was a heat of the moment split second decision by Jimmy....either kill his best friend or allow him to kill the woman of his life. That comparison with Frodo is at best a comparison of apples and oranges.

The structure of a story is unknown to a person until he has lived it all, though. WoL's plot was meant to have a cliffhanger for HotS, which should have given the end a twist that will help fans crave for the expansion's storyline. But instead, Tychus died and the climatic feeling of char went down the drain. The climax itself was defeating Kerrigan. Tychus death was a high stress moment for plot, but not as high as the all-in mission. Therefore he is part of the resolution of WoL. Just like killing Claudius in hamlet is the climax and Hamlet dying is part of the resolution. Just like destroying the ring would be the climax and the death of Frodo would be, again, part of the resolution. These are but examples to help you understand my point.

While Raynor did make the decision in a split second, I believe it was one-sided. Let's forget who is more valuable to Raynor, Kerrigan or Tychus. Raynor now knows Mengsk has the remote on the kill switch, and he won't trust his word, so the best choice is killing Tychus.


Unless you read ahead before the release it was NOT expected he would die from the "get go", not until you found out that his suit had a kill switch of sorts at least. That wasn't found out in the beginning of the game.

If you see the opening cinematic, you will catch a little monologue from Mengsk. He said the armor would be his prison. There's probably hundreds of places were Tychus could have removed his armor and leaved. If you think about it with only the knowledge given by this cinematic, you would understand that Mengsk needed leverage.


Despite Raynor didn't try to save his pal prior to the battle on Char, Raynor did appear dead set on other matters whether you find this as a major character flaw or not. Which brings me to the other portion, yes you are right that had Mengsk killed Matt before the Odin's landing on Korhal he would of demonstrated he is still a threat but by the same token Mengsk still showed Raynor he continues to be very much a threat even from afar when Tychus was forced to try to kill Kerrigan. That even in that "room" or area in the ending on the hellish world of Char Mengsk still had quite a presence.

I do believe Blizzard tried to create this huge presence of Mengsk, but the way they handled it just created a feeble example of bad strategies. We are missing two expansions that might fix the current plot, but for now we will have to deal with all this inconsistencies and cracks on the characters. In the end, it was not like Mengsk used to play Raynor in BW. Both sides were equally harmed by their threats. The difference of course is that Mengsk had the strength of the Dominion and Raynor his own pirate gang.

Killing this character or modifying the way the plot was handled helps us through the pain of watching a game we love shatter, because of many small mistakes. In the end I hope Blizz will handle the plot with enough respect to make the story good again.

Turalyon
06-08-2012, 11:37 PM
Alright, "No one, but Tychus, died in the plot of WoL". I do recognize his death, but he is still just a character with a huge investment who died for nothing. It was my mistake, though, because I completely forgot about him.

The fact that you "forgot" Tychus' death is quite a revealing example of how Blizz missed the mark with his character.



The structure of a story is unknown to a person until he has lived it all, though.

Isn't this the excuse for those who defend WoL by saying it's incomplete and we should wait before passing judgement? Either way, WoL fails as a stand-alone story because of it's lack of appropriate resolution and need for continuation and fails at being presented as the "first-part-of-three" because of it's over reliance on small scale and near-sighted focus on the "wrong" (that is, in relation to the grand scheme of what is supposed to be SC2's story - that Xel'Naga stuff or whatever) character interrelationship of Tychus and Raynor for its finale.



I believe it was one-sided.

This seems to be a common thread in all of Blizz's story-related work lately. The grand schemes and plans of the villains are all seemingly intricate and labyrinthine but would in actuality fall apart in terms of credibility and feasibility at the slightest poke - which the game then actually demonstrates! The illusion that the villain had 'thought it through' doesn't seem to go beyond the level of "oh, this looks complex enough to not require explanation, let's just go with that..."


We are missing two expansions that might fix the current plot, but for now we will have to deal with all this inconsistencies and cracks on the characters.

I wouldn't rely on this if I were you. ;)

Besides, I don't think that is even remotely possible or acceptable anymore. Just look at how WoL was trying to 'fix' BW, the Overmind's character in Sc1 and steering the entire SC plot as some preordained prophecy. You can see how well that went...

Alar
06-09-2012, 01:53 AM
If they do bring Mengsk back in HotS, I hope they bring back his competence and intelligence... make him a genuine threat, and show that he's not a washed up, crazy dictator who can't keep a bunch of pirates from crumbling his empire around him.

Hawki
06-09-2012, 03:28 AM
Tired, sick of discussion, but having had my dreams shattered after seeing Prometheus...well, guess it makes WoL look better.:D Anyway:


The fact that you "forgot" Tychus' death is quite a revealing example of how Blizz missed the mark with his character.

Wouldn't say they missed the mark. I feel his death could have been handled better, but I couldn't see a visual medium doing it. Certainly he was a character I liked in WoL alongside Tosh and Horner as opposed to, say, Stettman and Hill.


Isn't this the excuse for those who defend WoL by saying it's incomplete and we should wait before passing judgement? Either way, WoL fails as a stand-alone story because of it's lack of appropriate resolution and need for continuation and fails at being presented as the "first-part-of-three" because of it's over reliance on small scale and near-sighted focus on the "wrong" (that is, in relation to the grand scheme of what is supposed to be SC2's story - that Xel'Naga stuff or whatever) character interrelationship of Tychus and Raynor for its finale.

Again, disagree. For me, WoL wrapped up its story nicely. Problem at start (Kerrigan), problem solved (Kerrigan). The xel'naga arc is something for the trilogy as a whole, not something to be wrapped up in a single story.


This seems to be a common thread in all of Blizz's story-related work lately. The grand schemes and plans of the villains are all seemingly intricate and labyrinthine but would in actuality fall apart in terms of credibility and feasibility at the slightest poke - which the game then actually demonstrates! The illusion that the villain had 'thought it through' doesn't seem to go beyond the level of "oh, this looks complex enough to not require explanation, let's just go with that..."

I'm guessing you're referring to the Mengsk/Tychus angle here. Not sure if it counts as a "grand scheme" but granted, it could have been executed better.


Besides, I don't think that is even remotely possible or acceptable anymore. Just look at how WoL was trying to 'fix' BW, the Overmind's character in Sc1 and steering the entire SC plot as some preordained prophecy. You can see how well that went...

The Great War preordaining angle was present as early as Retribution. And again, didn't see any 'fixing' of BW in it. As for the Overmind, I can understand the angst, but it's a revelation I like-it prevents the Overmind from overlapping with foes such as the Dark Voice and Voice in the Darkness.


If they do bring Mengsk back in HotS, I hope they bring back his competence and intelligence... make him a genuine threat, and show that he's not a washed up, crazy dictator who can't keep a bunch of pirates from crumbling his empire around him.

Didn't see a lack of either myself, but I hope there isn't role reversal. Mengsk has developed over time, and to me, his mannerisms in WoL were a given long beforehand.

Aldrius
06-09-2012, 03:48 AM
He died, but he was expected to die since the begining of the game. He also suffered a post-climax death.

It's not so much that it's a post-climax death, it's that there's TOO MUCH going on in that cutscene.

Like compare that to the Orc ending cinematic in War3. Where Grom and Thrall kill Mannoroth. First off, that cutscene is a lot longer, and there's no actual revelations in it. (Though how they ended up at the canyon is A LITTLE sloppy, but it's not too bad.) It's a confrontation scene. Thrall and Grom need to kill Mannoroth to save their people. Mannoroth dies, Grom is redeemed.

Essentially, the whole cutscene is basically:

+Thrall and Grom want to kill Mannoroth.
+Grom kills Mannoroth.
+Grom dies in the process. Redeems himself and saves his people.

That's all the information in the ENTIRE cutscene. And it's stuff that's built up to and touched upon through out the campaign. It is what the ENTIRE campaign's story is about. The orcs' fate.

There's no real new information except what actually happens to Grom.

We find out (well definitively, it was pretty obvious beforehand) that Tychus is working for Mengsk, why he's working for Mengsk, what his plan is, and what he's going to do, and what Raynor's response is, all in the span of like 2 or 3 lines of dialogue, it's just WAY too much information at once. So it feels really unsatisfying.

It's also not built up to AT ALL. They ask a lot of questions in the campaign but give almost no answers. There's a lot of "I don't know what Jim would do if he saw her again." It's just... ugh. And there's just too many different plot threads going on at once. There's no clear narrative. (Hence, for example, why the name 'Wings of Liberty' doesn't even really describe the story's plot.)

If you want a StarCraft example, the ending of SC Vanilla. Though that's even simpler than the Orc example. Tassadar says he's going to finish off the Overmind by ramming the Gantrithor into it... and then he does.

The problem isn't so much happens in WoL as the fact that the story just doesn't have good bones. Bones are the MOST important thing when crafting a plot. SO important. If a story has good bones, nobody can screw it up. It's why retconning the way Blizzard does is so hurtful, you damage the stories' bones. Things stop making sense because the story used to say that 2 + 3 made 5. But now, at best. 1 + 4 make 5. Or in some cases, 1 + 3 make 5. They changed the rules.

Turalyon
06-09-2012, 12:39 PM
Apologies to Peasant for continuing this off-topic discussion...


Wouldn't say they missed the mark. I feel his death could have been handled better...

Throughout WoL, Tychus is built up ultimately into a fizzle. It is precisely how they handled and approached Tychus' death that made me say why they 'missed their mark'.



Again, disagree. For me, WoL wrapped up its story nicely. Problem at start (Kerrigan), problem solved (Kerrigan). The xel'naga arc is something for the trilogy as a whole, not something to be wrapped up in a single story.

The issue of Kerrigan being the main target of Raynor from the start of WoL is very ill-defined, especially given that Kerrigan is a side-character with no development in WoL. WoL is (falsely and misleading-ly it seems by the time we reach WoL's end) about Raynor and Mengsk because it starts with their antagonism for one another yet that problem is to be solved in HotS.

Right now, I'm actually confused with what Sc2 as a whole is all about. HOTS seems to be continuing this "Terran-heavy focus with aliens 'on-the-side" story making me wonder when they're going to discuss the Xel'Naga and how they're going to make the Xel'Naga stuff actually resonate with what little of the trilogy is left.



The Great War preordaining angle was present as early as Retribution. And again, didn't see any 'fixing' of BW in it. As for the Overmind, I can understand the angst, but it's a revelation I like-it prevents the Overmind from overlapping with foes such as the Dark Voice and Voice in the Darkness.

Retribution? Really? Your using that as a justification? Ugh. :p

What I meant by 'fixing' of BW is the downgrading of impact and import of the events of BW. By the look of things so far, it almost seems that HotS is trying to be a better retread of BW.

With the Overmind, they're destroying its character to prop up another one that is, for all intent and purpose, the same. It remains to be seen whether the DV is an 'upgrade' to the Overmind since its representation and sense of pathos so far leaves it way less sympathetic than the Overmind's.

mr. peasant
06-09-2012, 12:56 PM
Apologies to Peasant for continuing this off-topic discussion...

No sweats. Curious discussion. Besides, interest in my idea seems to have dried up. Might put this on the back-burner if no one's reading. So, carry right on ahead.


P.S.: Decided to change the (non-canon) B-ending for the Colonist missions (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showpost.php?p=178358&postcount=29) (Tossing Out the Trash) into something creepier. For kicks and giggles, really.

Hawki
06-09-2012, 06:15 PM
The issue of Kerrigan being the main target of Raynor from the start of WoL is very ill-defined, especially given that Kerrigan is a side-character with no development in WoL. WoL is (falsely and misleading-ly it seems by the time we reach WoL's end) about Raynor and Mengsk because it starts with their antagonism for one another yet that problem is to be solved in HotS.

Few points-all opinion of course:

*Kerrigan's percieved lack of development in WoL is, to me, development in itself. That we see little of her is a sign of what she's become. Previously, while still zerg, she was still knowable. She was a character. Here, she's an unknown force. Kind of like the Overmind. She doesn't have to come down to the level of Raynor in terms of character. People have complained about her giving empty threats but to me, this added to the story. That she seems vague shows how far gone she is, and yet can still be saved.

*WoL starts off with Raynor against Mengsk, and that ends after two missions. It isn't about Raynor and Mengsk, it's about Raynor and Kerrigan. Mengsk is there because at the start of the story, it's natural to the plot. Mengsk is in the rebellion missions because the Raiders have opportunity given into their lap. Mengsk is at the end because it serves to remind us of his relationship with Raynor (still antagonistic), and Valerian, who we see has now reached the point where he's willing to openly defy his father rather than skirt the edges such as in the DTS. Wings of Liberty could apply to both the Dominion, and to Kerrigan-wings/freedom from zerg. The story was never about the Dominion as a whole.

Now the side missions are another story, but each tells their own...story, and IMO, tells it well. And I can't complain about them becaue then I'd be obliged to complain about side-quests in every RPG I play.


Right now, I'm actually confused with what Sc2 as a whole is all about. HOTS seems to be continuing this "Terran-heavy focus with aliens 'on-the-side" story making me wonder when they're going to discuss the Xel'Naga and how they're going to make the Xel'Naga stuff actually resonate with what little of the trilogy is left.

It's been confirmed that hybrids will be in HotS, so I expect it to be addressed. And HotS has so far remained focussed on the zerg. Raiders are there of course, but...well, think of it this way. SC1 was about the zerg and the protoss, with humans caught in the middle. WoL to me had a story strength in that it managed to avoid being a repeat of GW and showed how humanity could now stand on its own.


Retribution? Really? Your using that as a justification? Ugh. :p

That, and every other piece of prophecy/precognition lore that came out between 1998 and 2010. Do I like every bit of it? No, because Tassadar I feel could have been cut out, or at least wasn't used to his full potential. But it was a given ever since Twilight at least.


What I meant by 'fixing' of BW is the downgrading of impact and import of the events of BW. By the look of things so far, it almost seems that HotS is trying to be a better retread of BW.

Zerg campaign, maybe. But if BW was about reorganization for the zerg, HotS is rebirth. Depends on how the plot ends, but I've mentioned in the plot projection thread that I don't see the zerg having a role beyond the trilogy.


With the Overmind, they're destroying its character to prop up another one that is, for all intent and purpose, the same. It remains to be seen whether the DV is an 'upgrade' to the Overmind since its representation and sense of pathos so far leaves it way less sympathetic than the Overmind's.

The Overmind was barely a character to begin with. There was hardly any character to destroy. And one can't claim that the zerg are some unknowable force because we knew them as early as SC1. Shown that they were falliable. Shown that more individuality exists in their ranks than most 'bug species' which at most, usually have a single conciousness that can constitute a character. And the zerg were always below the pecking order to the xel'naga/hybrids.

Again, I never had an issue with the Overmind revelation. I can't even really call it a retcon because the only POV we've ever got into the Overmind directly is a few paragraphs in Queen of Blades. I think the revelation moment could have operated without Tassadar, but I appreciated it overall.

Turalyon
06-10-2012, 12:48 AM
*Kerrigan's percieved lack of development in WoL is, to me, development in itself. That we see little of her is a sign of what she's become. Previously, while still zerg, she was still knowable. She was a character. Here, she's an unknown force. Kind of like the Overmind. She doesn't have to come down to the level of Raynor in terms of character. People have complained about her giving empty threats but to me, this added to the story. That she seems vague shows how far gone she is, and yet can still be saved.

This is a rather interesting perspective to take. I'm not sure whether this is really arguable since your explanation (which actually sounds kinda nice) is not really defensible with any sort of evidence. Given that WoL is hardly subtle in its approach and even goes out of its way to exposition at every turn, saying that "not having development of a character is really development" (I think anyway) seems like we're giving credit to something that may not actually be there.


*WoL starts off with Raynor against Mengsk, and that ends after two missions. It isn't about Raynor and Mengsk, it's about Raynor and Kerrigan... The story was never about the Dominion as a whole.

You could've fooled me... I don't know how you can think this if you base this assumption strictly with what WoL is actually presenting to us.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not necessarily against Raynor switching tack to a different opponent at the last second in WoL (although, come to think of it, this is part of the problem, too...) but time and time again, WoL reinforces the notion that Raynor is doing all of these money/resource gathering missions (let's face it, ALL the missions despite their various mission objectives ultimately boil down to this) to pit himself against Mengsk. It's really not that hard for someone to conclude that yes, WoL really is about Raynor and Mengsk. Indeed, you'd have to really stretch to convince someone that the journey of WoL was really about Raynor and Kerrigan.

Oh wait a minute, SC really is about Raynor's love of Kerrigan! Metzen said so... ;)



That, and every other piece of prophecy/precognition lore that came out between 1998 and 2010. Do I like every bit of it? No, because Tassadar I feel could have been cut out, or at least wasn't used to his full potential. But it was a given ever since Twilight at least.

As for me, I dislike all of this prophecy garbage. The only hint of it in the original games (no, I'm not including those other ones, sanctioned by Blizz or not) was during a secret mission where Duran has a throw-away line about the Protoss and Zerg union as being pre-ordained. This couldv'e meant anything - not the least of which being that Duran is, in reality, a deranged lunatic. Now we have a whole sequel that is based off this tiny, flimsy and eye-rolling premise...

SC could have gone literally in any direction but this one. One of the strengths of SC was the fly-on-the-wall type of sensation/experience you got. Now all we have are characters that are slowly being hollowed out by transparent plot machinations. Go figure.



but I've mentioned in the plot projection thread that I don't see the zerg having a role beyond the trilogy.

Surely then this must be the death knell for Starcraft as a whole, right? :D



The Overmind was barely a character to begin with. There was hardly any character to destroy.

Whooo boy! There would be a lot of people who would be chomping at the bit to refute your statement! In some ways, the Overmind is perhaps the most complex character of the SC universe and that's not just because it comes from an 'alien' perspective.

The Overmind (original SC that is, not this forced tragedy that is bestowed upon it in WoL) was as rich as any character within SC. Most people don't understand it or fail to see past the surface presentation of its character. Amongst other things, ultimately, the Overmind is representative of the hubris of trying to obtain a seemingly noble (yet perverse) but fallaciously naturalistic goal. At this point, the DV can only ever hope to reach a similar height.

And yes, I'm keenly aware that now I've opened myself up to being a called a hypocrite after what I said above about reading too much into things (my reply to your first statement above). All I can say is that my (and others) observations of the Overmind's character are at the least based on what is actually presented whereas the notion of "WoL really being about Raynor and Kerrigan" requires more of leaps of faith to be a logically credible statement.


I can't even really call it a retcon because the only POV we've ever got into the Overmind directly is a few paragraphs in Queen of Blades.

So the Zerg campain Overmind in Sc1 is what, chopped liver? :D

Hawki
06-10-2012, 03:03 AM
This is a rather interesting perspective to take. I'm not sure whether this is really arguable since your explanation (which actually sounds kinda nice) is not really defensible with any sort of evidence. Given that WoL is hardly subtle in its approach and even goes out of its way to exposition at every turn, saying that "not having development of a character is really development" (I think anyway) seems like we're giving credit to something that may not actually be there.

I get what you mean, but I guess I didn't explain it that well. Long story short, I wasn't put off by Kerrigan's WoL persona.


You could've fooled me... I don't know how you can think this if you base this assumption strictly with what WoL is actually presenting to us.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not necessarily against Raynor switching tack to a different opponent at the last second in WoL (although, come to think of it, this is part of the problem, too...) but time and time again, WoL reinforces the notion that Raynor is doing all of these money/resource gathering missions (let's face it, ALL the missions despite their various mission objectives ultimately boil down to this) to pit himself against Mengsk. It's really not that hard for someone to conclude that yes, WoL really is about Raynor and Mengsk. Indeed, you'd have to really stretch to convince someone that the journey of WoL was really about Raynor and Kerrigan.

Oh wait a minute, SC really is about Raynor's love of Kerrigan! Metzen said so... ;)

Except the groundwork for saving Kerrigan was established via the Zeratul flashback arc. Now you can make the argument that it's an optional storyline, but a safe assumption is everything that can happen does happen except B-canon missions. And while Raynor's collecting resources, he doesn't have a distinct anti-Mengsk angle unless the opportunity presents itself, such as New Folsom or the adjutant data. Kerrigan, in contrast, weighs heavily on him in each encounter.

Now if you want to make the argument that this makes the story unfocussed you can, but I didn't get the feeling myself. Raynor himself lacks focus, but gets it once the opportunity to de-infest Kerrigan presents itself. He's been without focus for four years, gets it back, and therefore makes the necessary decision with Tychus, using the bullet meant for Mengsk. His connection with Mengsk is brought up of course, but the one with Kerrigan felt far stronger IMO.


As for me, I dislike all of this prophecy garbage. The only hint of it in the original games (no, I'm not including those other ones, sanctioned by Blizz or not) was during a secret mission where Duran has a throw-away line about the Protoss and Zerg union as being pre-ordained. This couldv'e meant anything - not the least of which being that Duran is, in reality, a deranged lunatic. Now we have a whole sequel that is based off this tiny, flimsy and eye-rolling premise...

SC could have gone literally in any direction but this one. One of the strengths of SC was the fly-on-the-wall type of sensation/experience you got. Now all we have are characters that are slowly being hollowed out by transparent plot machinations. Go figure.

Except Blizzard brought it up explicitly in DLC map lore regardless, so one can't claim complete ambiguity. Now if you have a problem with the concept of prophecy in a whole, that's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. However, I don't have it myself, because from the outset we've been given a universe from everything from FTL travel to psychic powers, the latter of which is, in all honesty, pseudoscience.


Surely then this must be the death knell for Starcraft as a whole, right? :D

Um...no?

I accept that I'm probably in the minority here, but storywise, I don't see what role the zerg could have beyond the trilogy. Assuming the HotS ending resembles the leaked one, my guess would be that while zerg would still appear in LotV (stragglers or something, plus whatever the Dark Voice can scrounge up), it would be relatively minor. And assuming that the UED plot point is dealt with next, then the zerg (and protoss for that matter) don't have much need to appear. I'd be happy for their game roles to be filled by other factions because the zerg story is done as far as the HotS proposed ending goes through, and assuming the protoss end their story with a bona fide reunification of Khalai and Nerazim, then there's no reason to keep with them either.

Now my view might change of course, and it depends on whatever plot comes next. Of course, I'm the type of person who has no love for the 'trinity concept' of races/factions meme unless it's directly relevant to the plot (e.g. FreeSpace and Diablo), and have also written from a kalathi POV in StarCraft fiction a few times for instance, along with...well, other unorthodox species ideas that I'd rather not post here lest I be lynched.:eek: Point is, gameplay wise, you could easily develop zerg/protoss equivalents and storywise, based on my guesses, there's little reason for the zerg or protoss to stay around. Depends on the story itself though.


Whooo boy! There would be a lot of people who would be chomping at the bit to refute your statement! In some ways, the Overmind is perhaps the most complex character of the SC universe and that's not just because it comes from an 'alien' perspective.

Well, that's your opinion. I respect it. I respect the Overmind. I just wouldn't call many hive mind characters actual characters.


The Overmind (original SC that is, not this forced tragedy that is bestowed upon it in WoL) was as rich as any character within SC. Most people don't understand it or fail to see past the surface presentation of its character. Amongst other things, ultimately, the Overmind is representative of the hubris of trying to obtain a seemingly noble (yet perverse) but fallaciously naturalistic goal. At this point, the DV can only ever hope to reach a similar height.

Not sure how the Overmind's goal could ever be counted as 'noble' by any means. And we don't know what the Dark Voice's goals are yet bar wiping out life for...some reason. Now if that's the only reason then yes, that's a letdown. So option a is to either make it mysterious and unknowable (which the Overmind wasn't-its goals were stated) or b is to give us an explanation that goes beyond "destroy stuff." Given how well the 'explanation' worked at the end of Mass Effect 3 was, I'm almost willing to go with option a.


So the Zerg campain Overmind in Sc1 is what, chopped liver? :D

The campaigns of the original game are all from the player character's POV. I'm not saying the Overmind doesn't have a presence, it's just we don't see things from its POV. While the concept is more applicable to novels and comics, visual media still carries the concept to an extent. And in the original games' case, it was first person/tight third person depending on how you treat player characters.

Which I generally dislike in RTS and glad that the concept was abandoned for StarCraft II but again, subjective, and another topic.

Aldrius
06-10-2012, 05:16 AM
The campaigns of the original game are all from the player character's POV. I'm not saying the Overmind doesn't have a presence, it's just we don't see things from its POV.

Uh, what? Those like... 5 long speeches it has about it's own origins, motivations and plans don't count? Even Zeratul has a monologue about what the Overmind is.

I wouldn't call it complex, but we definitely knew what it was.


Kerrigan's percieved lack of development in WoL is, to me, development in itself. That we see little of her is a sign of what she's become. Previously, while still zerg, she was still knowable. She was a character. Here, she's an unknown force. Kind of like the Overmind.

That's... such crap. If she were hardly in the game, then yeah. But she's in the game A LOT. She just hardly says anything of value. All of her dialogue is cheap, shallow, typical villainous epithets. "I'm going to infest you." "You are more resourceful than I remember!" etc. etc. Kerrigan in Brood War was such a gigantic bitch. She not only beat you, she taunt you about WHY she beat you, how it was your fault, and how it was going to result in her winning everything. She does it to Dugalle twice, she does it to Mengsk at least twice, she does it to the Protoss a couple of times. She was just a much more chilling and effective villain.

I mean I think the main thing is, prior to this she was ALWAYS the protagonist. Even when Raynor was the antagonist she was the protagonist. She's more the main character than anyone else in the series (except maybe Zeratul). So to have a campaign where we fight her is kind of misguided/strange IMO. Especially in the way they did it.

Hawki
06-10-2012, 05:50 AM
Uh, what? Those like... 5 long speeches it has about it's own origins, motivations and plans don't count? Even Zeratul has a monologue about what the Overmind is.

I wouldn't call it complex, but we definitely knew what it was.

I'm talking POV in the literary sense, not viewpoint as in a view on things.

To give an example, suppose character a is listening to character b give a speech on character b's motivations. Character b's point of view is given on said issue, which is what the Overmind does. But character a is the POV character. In this case, the player character is always character a whereas the Overmind and every other character fits b. Basic technique of a visual medium.


That's... such crap. If she were hardly in the game, then yeah. But she's in the game A LOT. She just hardly says anything of value. All of her dialogue is cheap, shallow, typical villainous epithets. "I'm going to infest you." "You are more resourceful than I remember!" etc. etc. Kerrigan in Brood War was such a gigantic bitch. She not only beat you, she taunt you about WHY she beat you, how it was your fault, and how it was going to result in her winning everything. She does it to Dugalle twice, she does it to Mengsk at least twice, she does it to the Protoss a couple of times. She was just a much more chilling and effective villain.

If you say so. But chilling is hardly the word I'd use to describe her in Brood War. Ruthless, yes. But not chilling, because by being a cerebrate, we're in her confidence. We understand her plans, we understand her motivations. In WoL, we have the outsider's perspective. We can guess at her plans, guess at her motives and (mainly due to mission design) can only hope to evade/survive the zerg until the Char missions where there's enough firepower to do battle on equal terms.


I mean I think the main thing is, prior to this she was ALWAYS the protagonist. Even when Raynor was the antagonist she was the protagonist. She's more the main character than anyone else in the series (except maybe Zeratul). So to have a campaign where we fight her is kind of misguided/strange IMO. Especially in the way they did it.

While Raynor, Kerrigan and Zeratul are arguably the 'big three' (or are at least seen as such in imagery), I'd say their relevance to the series descends in that order. Raynor's been far more fleshed out than either of them, not to mention that of SC1 and BW, is the only character to actually appear in all six episodes.

Aldrius
06-10-2012, 06:45 AM
I'm talking POV in the literary sense, not viewpoint as in a view on things.

To give an example, suppose character a is listening to character b give a speech on character b's motivations. Character b's point of view is given on said issue, which is what the Overmind does. But character a is the POV character. In this case, the player character is always character a whereas the Overmind and every other character fits b. Basic technique of a visual medium.

I knew what you meant by POV. I'm saying he didn't have to be a POV character for us to see what he wanted and who he was. I mean I know a hell of a lot more about the Overmind than I do about the cerebrate. The cerebrate was mostly a pretty gimmicky and old fashioned way to tell the story at the time.


If you say so. But chilling is hardly the word I'd use to describe her in Brood War. Ruthless, yes. But not chilling, because by being a cerebrate, we're in her confidence. We understand her plans, we understand her motivations. In WoL, we have the outsider's perspective. We can guess at her plans, guess at her motives and (mainly due to mission design) can only hope to evade/survive the zerg until the Char missions where there's enough firepower to do battle on equal terms.

What do you mean "If I say so"? Haha.

And yeah, I'm not sure why I said chilling. But having to guess at a character's plans and motivation isn't a good thing. We should know what the 'final boss' (as it were) wants, and why. Well before the game is over.

Especially since she's a classic character we already know, we've known exactly what she's wanted and why before. There was nothing that mysterious about her in Brood War (she was up to no good, but we kinda knew that), I don't think she can suddenly become mysterious after we spent a whole game and an expansion getting to know her.

Her being somewhat unstoppable is cool, I guess. But she just comes across as a lumbering giant wandering the country side. Not as the keen, and cunning killer she should be. She just gets outmaneuvered so easily and then compliments Raynor on being resourceful. I think it's supposed to make Raynor look smart, but to my mind it just makes Kerrigan look stupid.


While Raynor, Kerrigan and Zeratul are arguably the 'big three' (or are at least seen as such in imagery), I'd say their relevance to the series descends in that order. Raynor's been far more fleshed out than either of them, not to mention that of SC1 and BW, is the only character to actually appear in all six episodes.

I wouldn't say so at all. Kerrigan plays a MUCH larger role in three of the six campaigns. (Raynor's a supporting character in the classic Protoss campaign and BW Zerg campaign, and he's basically got cameos in the Zerg Vanilla, and Protoss and Terran BW campaigns. The only time he was really a major protagonist was in the original Terran campaign.) Zeratul is very important in both Protoss campaigns and he plays a fairly significant role in the Brood War Zerg campaign. Maybe Zeratul just made more of an impact on me, though. I can't think of an objective way to describe why I think he's a more important character than Raynor. I think he's just in better scenes maybe. I don't know.

Hawki
06-10-2012, 07:17 AM
What do you mean "If I say so"? Haha.

As in, I can't refute your opinion outside stating my own. It's simply two views on the same subject that are equally valid.


Her being somewhat unstoppable is cool, I guess. But she just comes across as a lumbering giant wandering the country side. Not as the keen, and cunning killer she should be. She just gets outmaneuvered so easily and then compliments Raynor on being resourceful. I think it's supposed to make Raynor look smart, but to my mind it just makes Kerrigan look stupid.

Going to be one of those 'agree to disagree' things I'm afraid. I understand your viewpoint but to me, it gave the Raynor looks smart, yet Kerrigan's still unstoppable angle. He can outmanuever her, but can't take her on directly.


I wouldn't say so at all. Kerrigan plays a MUCH larger role in three of the six campaigns. (Raynor's a supporting character in the classic Protoss campaign and BW Zerg campaign, and he's basically got cameos in the Zerg Vanilla, and Protoss and Terran BW campaigns. The only time he was really a major protagonist was in the original Terran campaign.) Zeratul is very important in both Protoss campaigns and he plays a fairly significant role in the Brood War Zerg campaign. Maybe Zeratul just made more of an impact on me, though. I can't think of an objective way to describe why I think he's a more important character than Raynor. I think he's just in better scenes maybe. I don't know.

Fair enough...but I'd still mainain my heirarchy approach. And for a bit of fun, I'm going to have to resort to the horrors of math.

Going by an appearence-based approach (as in, distinct presence) and inclusionism (inclusionist as a general rule in all medias), the 'big three' have made/will (likely) make the following no. of appearences in the following medias:

Raynor

*5 videogames
*1 DLC campaign
*2 boardgames/pen-and-paper games
*6 novels
*1 graphic novel/comic series
*1 manga volume
*1 short story

Kerrigan

*6 videogames
*1 boardgame
*7 novels
*2 manga volumes
*1 graphic novel/comic series
*1 short story

Zeratul

*4 videogames
*1 DLC campaign
*1 boardgame
*2 novels

The above list is of course subjective, speculative and I may have missed inclusions. Still, going by it, Kerrigan probably has the most development if we're going by no. of appearences, though I feel I 'understand' Raynor the most. Zeratul however, to me at least, is by far the least developed of the 'big three,' no matter how you spin it.

Turalyon
06-11-2012, 03:26 AM
Except the groundwork for saving Kerrigan was established via the Zeratul flashback arc. Now you can make the argument that it's an optional storyline, but a safe assumption is everything that can happen does happen except B-canon missions. And while Raynor's collecting resources, he doesn't have a distinct anti-Mengsk angle unless the opportunity presents itself, such as New Folsom or the adjutant data. Kerrigan, in contrast, weighs heavily on him in each encounter.

I suspect that what you're saying is actually what Blizz intended, but that it is not telegraphed well at all. I actually do think that WoL is supposed to be about Raynor redeeming himself in his own eyes through his relationship and subsequent saviour of Kerrigan but that WoL's storytelling is anything but this... It really makes you ponder. For one thing, the title Wings of Liberty makes much more sense when we apply it to Raynor's fight against Mengsk than the Raynor & Kerrigan angle that you're proposing.

This is part of continuing issue regarding a "lack of emphasis". More weight needed to be attributed to Zeratul's missions and/or away from Mengsk to make your theory stick. Currently, you cannot deny this problem since many attest that the focus of WoL was one way (the Mengsk angle) when what you and perhaps Blizz say it's supposed to be the other way (the Kerrigan angle). One cannot wholly blame the viewer/audience for not seeing the creator's vision.



Except Blizzard brought it up explicitly in DLC map lore regardless, so one can't claim complete ambiguity.

Ummm, yes I can. :D

What can be more ambiguous than maps with dubious lore origins (which anyone could have literally pulled from their you-know-what) that are released solely for gameplay purposes and nothing more? This is even discounting the fact that anyone was aware of said maps, downloaded them and/or was aware/read that small piece of fluff attached to the map.



However, I don't have it myself, because from the outset we've been given a universe from everything from FTL travel to psychic powers, the latter of which is, in all honesty, pseudoscience.

You have to be careful with your words here. You're commenting on the state of "suspension of disbelief" which is necessary for all fictional works to... "work". Part of this suspension, especially with sci-fi, is that there are also "rules" (inherent and unspoken or otherwise). Otherwise, it is just fantasy where anything can happen. What you seem to be saying is that it's already fake, so what if there is more fakery? There's a fallacy in there somewhere, methinks.

There's got to be a level that you would deem unacceptable or un-fitting for the SC universe, right? For example, if that level for you is not that the Xel'Naga are revealed to be future, time-travelling humans, than surely that can't be worse than the entire Starcraft saga being revealed as a fever-dream of 12 year old kid. Only a madman would find the latter satisfying and in-keeping with the "SC universe".



Um...no?

I accept that I'm probably in the minority here, but storywise, I don't see what role the zerg could have beyond the trilogy.

First of all, I was joking. Secondly, I'm somewhat in agreement with you here and this is NOT because I want to...

There is enough depth in the Terran and Protoss for them to continue, but the Zerg certainly have had the shitty end of the stick in terms of story development and growth (yeah, I know the Protoss are technically almost wiped-out but they have thematic interests that make them a keepsake in the SC universe). Part of this is attributed to how poorly they've been written and how pigeon-holed they've become. It seems that Metzen couldn't figure out what to do with cerebrates or was "too hard" to write for so he got rid of them (I'm beginning to think that the Overmind was Phinney's creation). Kerrigan was an interesting step initially but lately, there is the distinct impression that the Zerg are nothing more but Kerrigan. I can only hope HotS can keep them relevant.



I just wouldn't call many hive mind characters actual characters.

True enough, not that there are many to compare with. The only relevant one is the Tyranid one and that one is far more simplistic in it's operational desires than the Overmind.



Not sure how the Overmind's goal could ever be counted as 'noble' by any means.

Noble is not stricly defined with "heroic" or moralistically connotations. High-minded, elevated and lofty are probably better fits but noble fits just as well since the Overmind's goal of perfection is actually a very human trait and not just a naturalistic (this is actually fallacious for good reason since perfection is an intangible ideal that only humans chase) one. This is one aspect that defines the Overmind from the Tyranid Hivemind since the latter is actually naturalistic in tendency (it's goals are no more lofty than to consume and expand).



And we don't know what the Dark Voice's goals are yet bar wiping out life for...some reason. Now if that's the only reason then yes, that's a letdown. So option a is to either make it mysterious and unknowable (which the Overmind wasn't-its goals were stated) or b is to give us an explanation that goes beyond "destroy stuff." Given how well the 'explanation' worked at the end of Mass Effect 3 was, I'm almost willing to go with option a.

All that can result from this is a cop-out, I'm afraid. Some forethought could've gone a long way before introducing such a one-dimensional big bad. At least the Overmind had the decency to not be over-inflated (either through itself or through others) when it was the big bad.



The campaigns of the original game are all from the player character's POV. I'm not saying the Overmind doesn't have a presence, it's just we don't see things from its POV.

See Aldrius' remark. I know more of the Overmind than I do as a cerebrate, even though as I played as one. It's not necessary to be in the physical space of that character to understand what's going on. What you said also just as well applies to any other character in Sc1 because you don't have the POV's of Raynor, Mengsk, Kerrigan, Aldaris, Fenix, Tassadar, Daggoth or Zasz either. Are you meaning to say you could not fully understand anyone at all in SC1? I'm sure you do not really need to answer such an obvious rhetorical question...

Carrying on your logic further still, one would have to say that you really know nothing of anyone because you view everyone in real-life from your own first person perspective/POV. As you can see, that's just silly.

Hawki
06-11-2012, 05:12 AM
I suspect that what you're saying is actually what Blizz intended, but that it is not telegraphed well at all. I actually do think that WoL is supposed to be about Raynor redeeming himself in his own eyes through his relationship and subsequent saviour of Kerrigan but that WoL's storytelling is anything but this... It really makes you ponder. For one thing, the title Wings of Liberty makes much more sense when we apply it to Raynor's fight against Mengsk than the Raynor & Kerrigan angle that you're proposing.

I get what you mean about the title issue, but I'm not too put off by it myself, as titles are supplementary. Take Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for example. The goblet itself barely features in the story, but I guess Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tornument didn't have the same ring to it. Didn't put me off it though.


This is part of continuing issue regarding a "lack of emphasis". More weight needed to be attributed to Zeratul's missions and/or away from Mengsk to make your theory stick. Currently, you cannot deny this problem since many attest that the focus of WoL was one way (the Mengsk angle) when what you and perhaps Blizz say it's supposed to be the other way (the Kerrigan angle). One cannot wholly blame the viewer/audience for not seeing the creator's vision.

"Blame" may not be the operative word. If I'm in your position, my blame goes to Blizzard. If I'm in my position, my 'blame' goes to the viewer. This isn't an insult, but it's rare for someone to say "I didn't get x, but that's my fault." Hate to harp, but having seen Prometheus recently, how to me, it failed on many levels. I "blame" Scott for it, not myself. And the only way I can blame myself is for someone to show me how and why I didn't get it...whatever "it" is for the sake of argument.

This is the kind of issue that made me say "if you say so" to Aldrius. It's simply two different viewpoints on the same set of facts. Obviously Blizzard failed on some level given that a sizeable percentage didn't get what they were presumably trying to convey, but I can't say they failed on a personal level, because I did get 'it.'

(Sorry if this comes across as arrogant, just trying to convey the limits of individual viewpoint.)



You have to be careful with your words here. You're commenting on the state of "suspension of disbelief" which is necessary for all fictional works to... "work". Part of this suspension, especially with sci-fi, is that there are also "rules" (inherent and unspoken or otherwise). Otherwise, it is just fantasy where anything can happen. What you seem to be saying is that it's already fake, so what if there is more fakery? There's a fallacy in there somewhere, methinks.

There's got to be a level that you would deem unacceptable or un-fitting for the SC universe, right? For example, if that level for you is not that the Xel'Naga are revealed to be future, time-travelling humans, than surely that can't be worse than the entire Starcraft saga being revealed as a fever-dream of 12 year old kid. Only a madman would find the latter satisfying and in-keeping with the "SC universe".

Everyone's personal limits varies. For analogy's sake, we have the first slate-presented with the first set of facts from the first manual/game that establishes the rules of the universe. The contention then seems to be whether prophecy falls within those rules and/or is an acceptable extension of them. Personally, I'd say yes, that prophecy is not something out of the blue for me and I can see it existing within the universe based on what has been provided beforehand. For your xel'naga analogy and dream scenario, I'd say no. Ask seven different people the same question, and you'll get seven different responses.


First of all, I was joking. Secondly, I'm somewhat in agreement with you here and this is NOT because I want to...

There is enough depth in the Terran and Protoss for them to continue, but the Zerg certainly have had the shitty end of the stick in terms of story development and growth (yeah, I know the Protoss are technically almost wiped-out but they have thematic interests that make them a keepsake in the SC universe). Part of this is attributed to how poorly they've been written and how pigeon-holed they've become. It seems that Metzen couldn't figure out what to do with cerebrates or was "too hard" to write for so he got rid of them (I'm beginning to think that the Overmind was Phinney's creation). Kerrigan was an interesting step initially but lately, there is the distinct impression that the Zerg are nothing more but Kerrigan. I can only hope HotS can keep them relevant.

This seems to be rectified in HotS to an extent in that we've been given characters such as Abathur, Izsha and Za'gara. The zerg continue to be individualistic in my eyes, but I don't see them moving on from what I'm guessing is their HotS ending. Or at least, not as we know them. This comes back to the extension argument-what's been raised before are concerns that the zerg are deviating from their former "collective whole of horror" form or whatnot. Again, I see increased individuality as acceptable because from the start we were given more individuality than what is usual for bug species, in that not only did we have the Overmind, but Kerrigan and the cerebrates as well.


True enough, not that there are many to compare with. The only relevant one is the Tyranid one and that one is far more simplistic in it's operational desires than the Overmind.

The Hive Mind isn't really a good example IMO.

I don't want to list every bug species I've come across but I'd say the average no. of characters is 1 or 0. The Hive Minds of W40K and Dead Space and their races for example, count as zero characters. They're not characters because they can't be interacted with on human terms. Other bug species have 1 character-the Gravemind of Halo, the borg queen(s) of Star Trek (only ever one seen at a time as I recall) for example. Very rarely we get more than one, and while Starship Troopers (films/CGI) may be an example depending on what makes a character in your eyes, the zerg are rare in that we got relatively diverse characters from the outset. Overmind has a presence we can understand, cerebrates exist and from a writing context, the no. of cerebrates can stretch ad infinitum in that not every brood to exist has been listed.


See Aldrius' remark. I know more of the Overmind than I do as a cerebrate, even though as I played as one. It's not necessary to be in the physical space of that character to understand what's going on. What you said also just as well applies to any other character in Sc1 because you don't have the POV's of Raynor, Mengsk, Kerrigan, Aldaris, Fenix, Tassadar, Daggoth or Zasz either. Are you meaning to say you could not fully understand anyone at all in SC1? I'm sure you do not really need to answer such an obvious rhetorical question...

Carrying on your logic further still, one would have to say that you really know nothing of anyone because you view everyone in real-life from your own first person perspective/POV. As you can see, that's just silly.

Of course we know more about all those characters and understand them. I'm just saying its from our POV as an observer. First person seems the best way to describe that viewpoint, as is the want for player characters in games. We know the outside characters better than our own character. It's first person in the game sense but not the narrative one. Not the best analogy, but if we're sticking to a three-type POV scenario, second or third can't apply.

Turalyon
06-12-2012, 07:54 AM
it's rare for someone to say "I didn't get x, but that's my fault."

...the only way I can blame myself is for someone to show me how and why I didn't get it...whatever "it" is for the sake of argument.

Funny thing is, I do "get" what WoL is "supposed" to be about. This actually makes it even worse.

Don't take the following as something directed at you... The problem I have is that the evidence provided from those who "see" this intended vision (in support of WoL) are often lacking in substance, plain unconvincing, has leaps of logic and largely deal with things taken on faith. I have yet to see a positive critique of WoLs story beyond "I like it" and that frustrates me because those people are saying it's my fault for not understanding and then not showing me "how and why I didn't get it".


Obviously Blizzard failed on some level given that a sizeable percentage didn't get what they were presumably trying to convey

Thank you for putting this so succinctly. I was trying to say nothing more than this before before I got carried away...



For your xel'naga analogy and dream scenario, I'd say no

Yeah, they're holding these babies for Starcraft 3 and 4! :D