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Thread: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

  1. #171

    Default Re: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

    Original version: Zerg learn location of Protoss empire (including Aiur) from eating the xel'naga. They know the Protoss are too powerful to fight at that time so they send out countless probes, consume countless planets, and spend millennia searching for a determinant. They find this determinant in the Terrans, who live on the borders of Protoss space. However, the Protoss discover some of the probes (which apparently have FTL communication, since they knew of humanity) and follow them back to the Koprulu sector. The Confederacy deploys psi-emitters, which attract Zerg in massive numbers for some reason (Terrans believe it mimics command signals, but in truth it's a giant dinner bell). Shortly thereafter Tassadar decides to glass Chau Sara, kickstarting the Great War. (It is also possible that the Zerg's sudden surge in activity was provoked when they realized the Protoss had discovered their probes, since according to Rebel Yell and Liberty's Crusade a decade passed since their discovery by the Confederacy before the Zerg fleets mobilized.)
    This version isn't too good to be honest. Just because you suddenly have access to psi-powers doesn't make you able to go toe to toe with a race that has access to planet destroying weaponry. Unless these new psi-powers are capable of rendering useless Protoss technology or somehow creating weapons of equal strength, it's far fetched to think it would make any difference. And to be honest, even if it would do these things, it would feel really forced.

    I prefer the idea that the Zerg just didn't know where Aiur was. I had a long discussion with Tura about this. The idea is that, for ZvP to not be totally one-sided in favor of Protoss at a macro level, the following needs to be true:

    -If the protoss are to have access to space magic level of technology as demonstrated in the game and if the Zerg must rely on a centralization of power known as the Overmind then

    1-The overmind must be immortal and it's location must either be unknown or he does not need a physical manifestation
    2-The zerg must be stronger than the protoss whenever they launch an attack on a static target. A static target is any base of operation that can't easily change position.
    3-The protoss must have their center of power(Aiur) hidden from the zerg.

    If the overmind is not immortal then the Protoss could just teleport on top of him and kill him. If it is immortal but is not hidden, then they can form a "prison" around it and constantly blow it up for eternity. If the zergs are not stronger than the protoss when fighting a static target, then they could never successfully invade Aiur or any Protoss world and if they can't do that then they could never destabilize the protoss enough to win. If they're stronger and they know where Aiur is, then they could just invade it and win.

    So yeah, by having Aiur unknown, you make the rest possible. For everything to make neat sense, the need for psi-powers could have been a strategy to find the location of Aiur. Kerrigan could have been a tool to connect to protoss psi which would reveal Aiur. Something like that maybe...


    Remember, Metzen is the dude who originally envisioned SC as "space vampires."
    Now that you say this, if I'd have to imagine what a space vampire look like, it would probably kinda look like Kerrigan.

  2. #172

    Default Re: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    Now that you say this, if I'd have to imagine what a space vampire look like, it would probably kinda look like Kerrigan.
    You could have said that throughout BW, but then it makes you wonder what her actions would have been post BW if Blizzard said they'd do the SC2 storyline all over again....

  3. #173

    Default Re: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Tura, I love hearing your arguments, but I pretty much have to disagree with everything you say.
    Good! Wouldn't be very interesting if we agreed with each other all the time. Keep in mind whilst going through what I wrote, that I'm not looking to argue with you. I'm just testing the strength of your arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    To put it simply, the writing is inconsistent because the writers kept forgetting what they wrote and making stuff up as they went along.
    I'll grant you this but all fiction at the end of the day is really "making stuff up as they went along". You're fooling yourself if you think any piece of work ever created was fully formed and sprang from the mind of its creator complete. The trick with writing good fiction is building enough of an illusion of depth to entail willing suspension of disbelief. While the quotient of what's considered "enough" varies for each person, Sc1 has enough of it to not be considered a "complete mess".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Original version: Zerg learn location of Protoss empire (including Aiur) from eating the xel'naga. They know the Protoss are too powerful to fight at that time so they send out countless probes, consume countless planets, and spend millennia searching for a determinant. They find this determinant in the Terrans, who live on the borders of Protoss space. However, the Protoss discover some of the probes (which apparently have FTL communication, since they knew of humanity) and follow them back to the Koprulu sector. The Confederacy deploys psi-emitters, which attract Zerg in massive numbers for some reason (Terrans believe it mimics command signals, but in truth it's a giant dinner bell). Shortly thereafter Tassadar decides to glass Chau Sara, kickstarting the Great War. (It is also possible that the Zerg's sudden surge in activity was provoked when they realized the Protoss had discovered their probes, since according to Rebel Yell and Liberty's Crusade a decade passed since their discovery by the Confederacy before the Zerg fleets mobilized.)
    The Overmind only fears the Protoss might in psionics not that they're "too powerful to fight". It's never stated that the Zerg can't actually stand up to them in a fight if forced to - one potentially (and incorrectly) assumes it to be because the manual is telling you what the Overmind is feeling. The Zerg responding in massive numbers to a magnified terran psionic signal (the psi emitter) would speak of the desperation/motivation the Overmind may have been feeling in order to quickly acquire this "determinant" against the Protoss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Metzen version: Zerg have been searching for Aiur for millennia without success, despite eating the xel'naga who visited it and having countless probes in Protoss space that get picked up by Firstborn and Nerazim. They invade Koprulu for no apparent reason, as humans offer nothing of value to them. Zerg are blindly attracted by psi-emitters, which are like catnip. Protoss appear out of nowhere and start glassing planets. Zerg decimate the core worlds, then both alien races suddenly leave. The Zerg waste time with a chrysalis on Char that ultimately serves no purpose besides luring the Protoss for the narrative purpose of revealing the location of Aiur. As soon as they learn the location of Aiur they invade immediately and decimate the populace.
    I'm having difficulty parsing this relative to the "original version" above. It seems to me you're assuming the "original version" as to be what's in the manual and "Metzen version" as to what's in the game, yes? I'm not sure how you qualify/justify that distinction but it also seems to me you're separating out suppositions you like and don't like but categorising them as "original version" (which carries the implication of "better"/"what I like") or "Metzen version" ("what I don't like"). For example, I don't know how you can assume that the Overmind having difficulty finding Aiur can be attributed to Metzen or that not knowing the location of it was the only thing stopping the Overmind from attacking the Protoss. The Zerg invade the Terrans for two reasons: to look for Terran psionics and to allow its attempts be thwarted by the Protoss so the Overmind can observe them. It is possible that "blind attraction" you see as fulfilling both those two reasons.

    Since Kerrigan is later revealed to be the determinant (psionic terran) it was looking for, one cannot disregard the focus of watching over the Chrysalis as a "waste of time" because it would be nonsensical if it didn't. The whole purpose was to find the psionic human and integrate it into the Zerg, so of course we're going to see that integration process when the perspective is shifted to the Zerg at the time they captured their determinant. The determinant is pet project for the Overmind to assuage its own fear of the Protoss - it achieves this, so it's free to think on other matters. The coincidence of having learned some intimate information about its Protoss foes through the permanent death of one of its subordinates was then put to good use because it also had its trump card if need be. The Overmind made a tactical decision based on the information at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    SC2 version: The xel'naga/amon/whatever send the Zerg out specifically to destroy the Protoss, but moronically forgot to tell the Zerg where Aiur was. (In earlier drafts the xel'naga were all evil, but in the final game only amon's faction was evil. Well, it is called amon's faction but amon and duran are too stupid and self-sabotaging to find their way out of a paper bag, much less lead a rebellion.) There is no logical reason for them to invade Koprulu, except because that was part of the premise before Metzen screwed it all up.
    No defence from me regarding this...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    I share Gradius' sentiment that canon is dead to me, since continuous retcons have rendered it unrecognizable and nonsensical.
    It's even worse, the universe is also meaningless as well now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    That is not true.

    Kerrigan was not the determinant.
    Denial by providing anecdotes about supposed intents of the author is not a sufficient rebuttal since I'm talking about the in-universe setup in this instance, not out-of universe ones (valid though they be in another context). The in-universe setup of the manual has the determinant as being the psionic potential of Terrans, but it doesn't specify/dictate that it has to be of a particular form or that it has to be several Terrans with psionic potential. Kerrigan can serve as the determinant because she has psionic potential and is a Terran. In-universe, that the determinant does turns out to be Kerrigan is coincidental (contrived as it is from an out-of-universe perspective because all such story beats in fiction are contrived from an out-of-universe perspective) and due to circumstances outside of their control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Abathur outright states that Terran genes are inferior, and the only Terran-derived strain is the non-psychic aberration/abomination.
    So what? The Overmind already knew the Terrans were a frail and short-lived species. It only wanted the psionic potential from them, not the other traits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It was never a subversion.
    Sure, it may never have been an intended subversion but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that it can be seen objectively as a subversion of expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The probes apparently do have FTL communication, since all the probes recovered are aware of humanity even if they are nowhere near the Koprulu sector.
    It can be assumed that way sure, but the Overmind could've sent those probes out in advance ages before (the manual actually states this: "As they progressed, the Overmind sent out numerous deep-space probes that scouted ahead of the swarm, searching for new worlds to plunder".) and is only receiving information about it now. There's no specific mention when the probe that found the Terrans was released afterall. There is no mention of time spent or the capabilities of the probes either, so supposing their transmissions are FTL is only one option not the definitive one. Who knows, the probes could've hard a short transmission range and needed time to travel/close the distance in order to relay the information it found or the speed of transmission could've been slower than FTL thereby taking a long time to reach the Overmind. Really all we have is one sentence to go off of: "One of its deep space probes had relayed the location and vital statistics of a race that occupied a series of nondescript worlds, right under the shadow of the Protoss", which can be pretty broadly interpreted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The protoss do not have any space magic "nullification fields" that does whatever deus ex machina this situation needs. If they did, they would have used it during the wars.
    You have to be careful with this one since the Protoss hold the most "magic-related" abilities of all the 3 races, so them having no nullification fields (or some oddly named sci-fi/pseudo science "technology") is actually something that should be unexpected. Afterall, you've already accepted the possibility of the magic FTL psionic link in a lesser race (Zerg), why is some stealth field so suddenly unrealistic with the most technologically advanced alien race in that universe? If you really want to get anal about the ludicrousness of space related sci-fi wars, you should rail against the fact that conventional ground based warfare wouldn't even be realistically an option to consider since weaponised use of FTL capabilities would trump everything (I have done this).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Even if the probes lost telemetry, the Zerg still had numerous space probes observing the Protoss for a while. Space is extremely huge, and there were apparently enough probes spread around that many bands of both the Firstborn and the Nerazim were able to find them and track them to Koprulu. I would not be surprised if the Zerg had giant space telescopes like the Witness in Gradius' Origins campaign. There is no way that the Zerg would not know where Aiur is.
    Now you're making things up to support your confirmation bias that the Zerg should know the location of Aiur at all times or that it's easy to find/navigate. Also, one shouldn't underestimate the capabilities of the Protoss which you also seem to be doing. Do you assume the Protoss don't and can't surveil their own space - given they're the most advanced alien species there? Do you assume the Tassadar is stupid to allow the possibility of the probes to transmit data while it brings them to Aiur? Come on, now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Furthermore, Enslavers casually mentions that pirate lord Alan Schezar visited Aiur to steal some Khaydarin crystals and kidnap Protoss templars in a span of a few weeks at most. As a canonical side story, this sets the alarming precedent that finding and traveling to planets in the SC universe is trivially easy. (This contradicts the statement in the manual that the Zerg required 60 years to mobilize their forces for the invasion of Koprulu.)
    Seems like you're cherry-picking which parts of the game and which parts of the manual are appropriate for your position. How do I to know which parts of the manual/game you're going to stick with/deem relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Again, the original story was that the Zerg knew where Aiur was but needed a weapon against the Protoss. Metzen forgot this and instead had the Zerg searching for Aiur for a while, but otherwise having parity with the Protoss. This creates plot holes because the premise of the game was built on the former. If the Zerg are just searching for Aiur, there is no reason for them to interact with the Terrans.
    There's some latitude here. The manual states original story is that the Overmind knew where the Protoss were generally. It never states it knows where Aiur is specifically, only that the Protoss "lived near the galaxy's fringe" (which is very broad definition when it comes to space). Also where it states "The Zerg left the lifeless, burning world of Zerus and laid waste to every planet they found along their path towards the Protoss Homeworld", one should note that Zerus is named so, but Aiur isn't! It's just "the Protoss Homeworld". The audience know it to be Aiur but it's unclear if the Overmind knows this to be the case (apparently it wasn't as the game then goes on to reveal).

    The Overmind did not need a weapon objectively in order to fight the Protoss, it wanted/desired one to assuage its fear of fighting them. This was resolved off-screen when it found Kerrigan at Tarsonis. All that was left then was to cultivate the weapon it had found and next, where to assault the Protoss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    According to the manual, the Xel'naga "ruled over thousands of worlds in the galaxy, tens of millions of years ago." Later, the Protoss
    "succeeded in reclaiming an eighth of the worlds." This gives us ~250-1125 Protoss worlds out of ~2000-9000 xel'naga worlds (Source link for calcs). Those numbers are still huge.
    I didn't doubt that. I was just correcting you on specific wording/making light that you were using hyperbole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    That is not what my complaint is about. The problem is that the main storyline was treated as the only story of consequence, rather than one story out of many. While the original SC trilogy campaign and the licensed campaigns Insurrection and Retribution were pretty good at giving the feeling the characters are insignificant in the grand scheme and taking advantage of circumstances to raise their influence, later episodes and campaigns treat Raynor, Kerry and Tassadar/Artanis as mythic heroes who single-handedly save the universe. That is my problem, not having a non-omniscient POV. Tvtropes calls this "main characters do everything" and "it's a small world after all."
    Fair enough. Though keep in mind that Starcraft's story is fondly memorable for the most part because of the characters presented in the game itself. I mean, who else remembers the manual and Insurrection and Retribution campaigns aside from those hardcore fans, hmm?

    And how. In the actual game the Protoss empire has been retconned so that Aiur and Shakuras are the only inhabited planets, aside from research labs and worthless colonies on a handful of others. This is an irreconcilable contradiction, and it isn't even portrayed consistently since other sources still act as though the galactic empire is a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It's absurd and silly for the Zerg to get all they need from one data point. In real life genetic diversity is hugely important, while the Zerg backstory mentions them consuming entire planets to get a handful of useful traits. Metzen simply forgot the manual backstory and decided to bring in Kerry Sue simply because he wanted to keep her around rather than having her die off-screen.
    I hear you but conservation of detail is a very real and important thing in storytelling. This is only but one example of this.

    I suspect that Kerrigan's inclusion in the Zerg campaign wasn't purely for Mary Sue purposes though (if it was at all). They admitted they had trouble breaking the Zerg portion of the story and it shows because by their very nature and unity, the Zerg characters don't lend themselves well to a conventional narrative. Her inclusion in it was a good idea because it allowed a Terran touchstone and voice to bridge the stories together (especially given how short they were). Why create a whole new unrecognisable Terran character or only just refer to psionic Terrans generally in the Zerg campaign when you have a ready character that conveniently fits the Zerg conceit/plot device of wanting to get a psionic Terran? It's a no-brainer really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    That is clearly a retcon and a clear example of the "small world syndrome" I mentioned before.
    I could scarely believe it myself but alas. And that's with Sc2 actually attempting to expand the universe from its smaller origins by having more planets and the Terran colonies actually being in different systems (rather than being in one as originally mentioned in the manual). Maybe they just expanded the definitional area of what the Koprulu Sector meant or generalised it for the entire region that Starcraft universe covers.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  4. #174
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    Default Re: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    This version isn't too good to be honest. Just because you suddenly have access to psi-powers doesn't make you able to go toe to toe with a race that has access to planet destroying weaponry. Unless these new psi-powers are capable of rendering useless Protoss technology or somehow creating weapons of equal strength, it's far fetched to think it would make any difference. And to be honest, even if it would do these things, it would feel really forced.
    You may feel it is forced, but this is exactly what happens in the EN chronology. The battlefields are Protoss planets, which might explain why the Protoss are not spamming their fleet of death stars. The Zerg go through a long process of R&D to create new psychic weapons precisely to counter the Protoss warriors and tech.

    The invasion only begins after the Zerg acquire key military intel that gives them the details of the Protoss empire's strength, coordinates, defenses and so forth from the Nerazim who spent a millenium figuring out the best ways to move freely through Protoss space while remaining hidden; perhaps the Protoss would have won if the Zerg lacked that intel, but this gives the Zerg a huge initial advantage against the Protoss since the Zerg can prepare for the Templar armies and bypass planetary defenses.

    The Zerg harvest khydarin crystals from the Protoss worlds specifically to assist in their psychic/electronic warfare against the Psi Matrix. The Overmind embeds a massive proxy into Aiur's crust to interface with the Psi Matrix, and similar strategies are used elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I'm having difficulty parsing this relative to the "original version" above. It seems to me you're assuming the "original version" as to be what's in the manual and "Metzen version" as to what's in the game, yes? I'm not sure how you qualify/justify that distinction but it also seems to me you're separating out suppositions you like and don't like but categorising them as "original version" (which carries the implication of "better"/"what I like") or "Metzen version" ("what I don't like").
    Yes, I am biased against everything having to do with Metzen. I prefer the EN chronology over the canon as a matter of opinion.
    I think Starcraft needs rebooting. See "Enumerate" for details (links: timeline, full document, original forum thread).

  5. #175

    Default Re: What kind of retcons do you think will justify the plot of StarCraft 3?

    You're gonna try and debate Tura's massive posts? *salues Mislag and runs away*


    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

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