Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.
So did anyone actually like the story?
Speaking broadly, most feedback for the story I've seen on reviewing sites has been positive, as far as I've seen, with most of the negative feedback coming from the fans themselves. Still, think there was a poll conducted on the main page of this site as to what one thought of WoL's story with the most common result being enjoyed it/satisfied/something along those lines (correct me if I'm wrong).
And another thing to consider is that threads like this are more likely going to be based around a complaint rather than a praise, and that's probably just as well. Was I personally satisfied by WoL's story? Yes. Does it have flaws? Definately, Tychus's employment by Mengsk, the lack of gravitas Tassadar's return has, and I felt the Tal'darim could be handled better for starters. In the end though, I felt it was a decent story, and certainly a cut above what many other RTS games have offered. And I've played quite a few.
When I first played it, I knew immediately that I didn't like it, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. After mulling over it and discussing the story with people on other forums, I began to discover exactly why. My review will be coming out soon, and unfortunately it's actually the first "negative" review I have ever done for this site.
Most people "liked it" because they didn't separate the writing from the rest of the game. Combined with the epic cinematics, artwork, and brilliant mission design, the campaign overall was a pretty damn enjoyable experience.
Back during SC1's twilight years, all we ever saw was theorizing and discussion. People mentioned BW's inferior writing to SC1 (with its artifacts and plot-induced stupidity), but that was mainly it. The majority of the discussion was theorycrafting and discussing how awesome SC2 was going to be. Do we see any of this for Wings of Liberty? I don't see much. These forums, as well as those on battle.net, are basically dead when it's not people railing on how bad the writing was, and others trying to defend it.
Y'know I've been wondering about that, Gradius. Why is Brood War so maligned? I thoroughly enjoyed Brood War and consider it the best in the series to date. Certainly it had a few drawbacks, but the characters were engaging and it capitalized well on the ending of StarCraft -- Aiur is in shambles, the Zerg run rampant, and the fledgling Dominion is ascendant. WoL lacked that same sense of continuity.
I found BW's characters engaging, and the plot more tightly focused than its predecessor. For example, there was little substance behind SC1's Zerg campaign aside from PROTECT THE CHRYSALIS, and the only character of note was the Overmind itself and a petulant Queen of BS. However, Kerrigan proved herself in BW.
The only thing lacking was the Protoss campaign The Stand, which was more of a standalone campaign than a part of the overarching story. (Which is true for Rebel Yell in SC1, come to think of it.) Yes, the XN temple and the crystals were pretty bad plot devices, but they resemble the Chrysalis in substance: a simple distraction until we get to the "meat" of the bigger story.
I liked it. Could been better -- coulda been a lot worse. It was StarCraft and I was happy to spend that $60, and would again.So did anyone actually like the story?
Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow
Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?
The road's goal is the Origin of Being
But be wary through what thickets it winds.
It's kind of funny, how Gradius mentioned that he couldn't put his finger on his iffy reaction to WoL at first. It's pretty much exactly how I felt when I played Brood War for the first time. It was at a friend's house, and I kept wanting to go back to the campaign of the original game, even if I couldn't quite explain it. I think it's decent overall, but not without problems.
Personally, I think BW has story setbacks in the following areas:
-McGuffins: Uraj and Khalis aren't too bad in this regard, but the psi disruptor is. It's simply thrown into the story, despite supposedly being around in the Great War. A device that we never heard about. It drives two campaigns to various extents, yet when we lose it, not that much changes. UED still controls the zerg through the Overmind and all that. One could have cut out the psi disruptor, express Duran's trachery in another way and still told pretty much the same story with some small deviations.
-Kerrigan's Manipulations: Kerrigan keeps manipulating people. With the protoss the first time, that's fine, she seems on the level. But then she does it again with Raynor, Fenix and Mengsk, betraying them...then does it with Zeratul, betraying him...The characters aren't outright stupid, as their doubts/concerns are expressed, but in all fairness, one might expect them to have more backup plans to deal with her treachery. As in, Mengsk saying, get off Korhal now, or we start fighting, not, get off Korhal while our forces sleep.
-UED: I don't think the introduction to the UED was too bad an idea. We needed a hypothetical faction to take control of the Overmind for the plot to work as it does. Yet what about making that faction the Kel-Morian Combine or Umojan Protectorate, or at least rogue elements seeking to establish control over the Dominion through the zerg or something?
Ultimately, I think adding Earth back into the mix serves the lore well in the long run. Introduces the UED in BW, thankfully absent in SC2, likely antagonist in a hypothetical SC3. Yet I don't think the designers really understood the full implications. They played like a regular terran faction, and since BW, there's been hardly any mention of the UED bar odd mentions in novels and the like. I think this is the least serious of the criticisms, but I have to wonder if introducing Earth back into the mix could have been handled better.
You would probably say that I don't actually like the story, because my enjoyment is derived from the way I've explained away some of the weaknesses. I've even sketched out some missions that would have explained why the Tal'Darim are guarding those artifacts, and why Raynor is so cavalier about killing them, and where exactly he's gotten his resources when his campaign against Mengsk was a complete failure, from what I understand.
The Xel Naga tower, to me, always had the same weaknesses that the artifact in StarCraft II had. It was never really explained why they would be designed to exterminate the Zerg, or why, metaphorically speaking, the car keys got lost in the couch. The result was that the Protoss campaign seemed like so much filler.
The Psi Disruptor, on the other hand, fit better.
-Its existence is self-explanatory. Whenever someone works on a supersoldier or a bioweapon, it always turns on them. The Confederates had watched enough action/horror movies to notice that trend, and worked on a machine to stall the Zerg if their false-flag operation went too far. Evidently, it wasn't integrated into the chain of command in time to help.
-Why we never hear about it is, well, understandable I guess. Mengsk looked for it with operatives who weren't the Magistrate/Raynor/Kerrigan, but understandably didn't have enough time to find it in the chaos.
-The UED planned to control the Zerg even before they found out about the Psi Disruptor. The Disruptor's role was to make it believable that an expeditionary force could break through the Zerg's defenses, and to depower Kerrigan. When it's destroyed, the UED still has control over the Overmind without the Disruptor, and Kerrigan has control over her broods.
-My biggest disappointment was that the Psi Disruptor is absent from StarCraft II. They could at least mention Battlecruiser-mounted units that are giving them an edge in the war against the Zerg.
The rest of your post, I agree with.
Personally wouldn't say so. No offense, but a review is the type of thing Gradius posted on the homepage (and a good one too). I haven't posted any reviews either, as it would be too exhausting. And being a lowly user, I think it's almost pretentious of me to say "look at me, look at me!"Originally Posted by Quirel
I've kind of explained weaknesses subconciously as well, or rather theorized on how I'd do with them if I was to novelize WoL (fat chance BTW). Yet it's still a weakness in the story if one has to do these things to make it work. Headcanon is fine and dandy, but if it's required for regular canon to work, then that canon usually has a problem of some kind. Wouldn't call his campaign against Mengsk a failure though, as he at least achieved his goals of taking him down a peg, theoretically leaving Kerrigan to finish the job.Originally Posted by Quirel
How many of them actually played to the end though?Originally Posted by Quirel
In all honesty, I think both game reviewers and consumers have taken things to the extreme in that issue. Yet it's an issue that remains, where headcanon spawned the Indoctrination Theory and even leaving that aside, leaves us scratching our heads as to what happens now. And that's pretty much the worst thing that can happen at the end of a trilogy bar idle speculation.
We've at least had explanations for Uraj and Khalis, but as the saying goes, you don't get points for what isn't in your (insert medium here). As for why it only works against the zerg...do we actually know that? The protoss had to withdraw into the temple after all. Kind of got the impression that the zerg were simply clustered around ground zero and wiped out conventionally.Originally Posted by Quirel
On the other hand, the temple generated blue energy. And if there's one thing that sci-fi has taught us, it's that blue energy can be the solution to all life's problems, and that the only alternatives to exist are red and green energy.
(Yeah, someday I'll stop waxing lyrical on that ending which shall not be mentioned...)
Psi disruptors actually feature in SCII via Stettman's research. And I still don't think it's really needed for the UED to succeed with it. Give them a larger and/more powerful fleet, let them win conventionally, let the Overmind do the destruction. The only purpose the psi disruptor really serves is to give Duran a means and an end for his true colours to show.Originally Posted by Quirel
My only problem with Sc2's story was the whole
"She's the ONE" and "she's the savior" thing
It was much better back when each faction had a leader and each leader had an enemy of sorts and all factions were just trying to dominate in the Koprulu Sector.
There was no need for a prophecy or for a chosen one for that matter.
Also i think that Sc2's story seemed a little weaker than Sc and Bw's because Sc2 featured 29 missions and well,they had to spread out the intensity a bit so there wouldn't be much need of filler stories.
Other than that i'm fine with the story,wasn't bad and to tell y'all the truth from the first moment WoL was announced i was hoping for a de-infestation of Kerrigan and Blizz delivered so...i was pretty satisfied :P
I began to wonder if there was going to be a story and when it was going to start since the missions seemed so self-contained and felt like a prelude for the real story to begin. Even when I attempted to stay within one characters branch of missions there was no overall link between each characters branch of missions (whey they finished) that I could see. When a mission branch ended, all I could think was, "well, so what's this got to do with anything?" Even Horner's missions, what I thought was the most important side branch since we are led to believe that Mengsk is Raynor's target of WoL, felt somewhat hollow and unfinished. I thought the game was going to end at that point but there were still more shocks in store.
When it did start having the semblance of a beginning of a story (the last few Valerian missions) the campaign was almost over. I felt robbed at that point.
After awhile, I then realised that the artifact missions were then supposed to be the most important mission branch because the artifacts are what get us into the finale. I was appalled because they (Tychus' missions) contained the least bit of story (beyond collecting Macguffins and harassing 'bad' Protoss) compared to the mission branches of all the others! I was beside myself with anger at how empty the whole experience was! Now, all I feel about the 'story' in WoL is apathy.
Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.