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Thread: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

  1. #1
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    Default How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    In SC1 we were told that the Zerg had assimilated countless species as they traveled the galaxy. Each cerebrate would develop a personality around their directive and alter the makeup of their brood to better follow that directive. In SC1 the only example we saw of this was that Tiamat breeds were stronger than typical (Jormungand?) breeds; in SC2 the Leviathan breeds specialize in aquatic warfare.

    I think that all the breeds introduced throughout the series could serve a role in the extended swarm. Some of them are so similar that they would need some kind of tweaking to stand out. (A number of differences in army compositions between SC1 and SC2 only make sense in terms of game mechanics rather than fluff.)

    I do not see much difference between corruptors and devourers; funny enough the beta version of the corruptor had the ability to infest enemy air units and turn them into static turrets. Brood lords, at least in comparison to guardians, spawn broodlings.

    The difference between creep colonies and the tumors and crawlers seems minimal, but of course in the SC2 beta the Zerg had a completely difference set of defenses. Neither seems clearly superior to the other due to mutual trade-offs: creep colonies spread creep and defend but cannot move, crawler defend or move but cannot spread creep or survive long outside creep, creep tumors spread creep but cannot move or defend.

    The scourge nest in HotS displays a dramatic difference in the way a breed is spawned; funny enough, in the SC1 beta each Zerg structure produced its own larvae that would morph into the breed the structure was named for before later iterations centralized larvae production at the hatchery while leaving the names untouched (hence why the spawning pool does not spawn anything).

    The queen underwent the most dramatic change between games, to the point where they share nothing but a name; the infestor bears the closest resemblance to the old queen. I suspect this is a casualty of the fluff conflicting the mechanics: in the SC1 game only overlords provide control and queens require a queen's nest to spawn, whereas in the fluff queens control laborers and overlords control warriors. Furthermore, the beta versions of both queens were dramatically different from their final versions (the SC1 beta queen has glaive wurm, dark swarm and plague; the SC2 beta queen built various base defenses).

    In terms of breeds which you could expect to exist in the lore without appearing in the game armies, I can imagine quite a few things. For example, I can think of a few laborer strains beyond the generalist drones that specialize in specific tasks: breeds that dig nydus tunnels, breeds that farm creep (a la the SC2 beta queen), breeds that only harvest resources, and breeds that only plant structures, all managed by the telepathy of the queens.

    I can think of a few different ways to mutate the creep colonies beyond stuff like crawlers. You could have colonies which replicate certain unit attacks like hydralisk spines, lurker spikes, spawn broodling, dark swarm, etc. You could have colonies which function as mini-hatcheries, producing larvae and/or accepting resources. Maybe, I don't know, some kind of bunker colony which can host multiple crawlers, or a expensive siege beast which attacks like a spine crawler without rooting and an impaler colony when rooted.

    What do you think? Is the swarm really more expansive than the games would lead us to believe?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    I forget the name of it, but there was a well-crafted single-player campaign that focused on the UED and what if they had successfully conquered the Koprulu sector. Each mission gave you a different set of upgrades, units and parameters, each particular to a different squadron such as the "UED Science Corps," "Atlas Wing," etc. It did a really good job at differentiating each squadron.

    I would love to see a campaign that put as much emphasis on squadron/brood/tribal identity as that campaign; from Tiamet's quality-over-quanitity, to Balrog's psychological warfare.

    Basically, I would love for the identity of each to be as distinct as the Imperium Chapters in WarHammer, but we know that'll never happen.
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 09-21-2017 at 12:57 PM.
    Aaand sold.


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    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
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    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I forget the name of it, but there was a well-crafted single-player campaign that focused on the UED and what if they had successfully conquered the Koprulu sector. Each mission gave you a different set of upgrades, units and parameters, each particular to a different squadron such as the "UED Science Corps," "Atlas Wing," etc. It did a really good job at differentiating each squadron.

    I would love to see a campaign that put as much emphasis on squadron/brood/tribal identity as that campaign; from Tiamet's quality-over-quanitity, to Balrog's psychological warfare.

    Basically, I would love for the identity of each to be as distinct as the Imperium Chapters in WarHammer, but we know that'll never happen.
    For tribal identity we'll probably need another brood entirely to determine the Surtur Brood's then, since that brood is so bloodthirsty the Overmind only calls it up during emergencies as it ends up killing allied zerg forces as well as the enemy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Looks like you're asking for ideas about Cerebrate/brood based Co-op commanders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Is the swarm really more expansive than the games would lead us to believe?
    Nope. That it has made you think that the possibility of there being more than what is given means that it's done its job well in suspending your disbelief.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Looks like you're asking for ideas about Cerebrate/brood based Co-op commanders.
    Yeah, that's probably what I was thinking.

    Araq/Jormungand is the standard multiplayer, a support force which relies on swarming tactics and occasional special abilities. Any co-op commanders or mods (kerry, zaggy, abby, mass recall, heptacraft swarm, etc) which are largely similar would quality as variants of this.

    Daggoth/Tiamat, as said before, would value quality over quantity and probably favor aerial and space combat.

    Leviathan focuses on naval and submarine warfare, which would need special maps to be represented properly a la WarCraft 2.

    Gorn/Baelrog would have various debuffs to represent psychological warfare. This is not something which to my knowledge has been explored in the games.

    Kagg/Surtur Zerg would have boss battle-like area attacks, charges, artillery, etc to represent being heavy support with little control.

    Zasz/Garm would have fast moving, heaving hitting units with minimal armor to represent being the Zerg equivalent of special forces.

    Nargil/Fenris would probably have lots of mobile structures like crawlers and primal hives to represent being fast nomadic bounty hunters, maybe like Dehaka.

    Kaloth's New Swarm would probably the same as Stukov's co-op army, or incorporate more traditional Zerg.

    Auza/Incubus specializes in subversion, favors defilers and queens and infested terrans (probably similar to infested from Heptacraft mod). Carpenter/Bahamut would probably be a variant of this or Kaloth's New Swarm.

    Zargil/Sennith... honestly he was never more than a melodramatic talking head who told the player what to do. I got nothing.

    Grendel was nothing but a name, so I got nothing there either. The Czech starcraft encyclopedia fansite made up something about it being an incubator swarm which produces troops to be adopted by other broods, so maybe it could produce large amounts of units that could be given to co-op Zerg or something.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Kagg/Surtur Zerg would have boss battle-like area attacks, charges, artillery, etc to represent being heavy support with little control.
    Before the advent of ravagers, I wonder what the zerg had that was analogous to artillery. Did they have something like plasma bugs?
    Aaand sold.


    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.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Before the advent of ravagers, I wonder what the zerg had that was analogous to artillery. Did they have something like plasma bugs?
    From a "non-game" perspective, I wouldn't think that Zerg would need nor have artillery like a conventional army (which is based on ranged warfare nonetheless) since it's not as if they'd be concerned about minimising losses. If they had to siege a heavily fortified position they'd probably use "sapper" like units that utilise burrowing tactics to undermine foundations and such. They could also just get a Nydus worm into the heart of whatever base they wanted to assault.

    If they needed something for the role of suppression and non-specific carnage over a wide area, Defilers could've easily done that with their plagues. Also, they have access to powerful and cheap suicidal units like Infested Terrans and Scourge that can easily be used for a similar role as artillery.
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  8. #8
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Guardians were pretty much flying siege tanks.

  9. #9
    Nolanstar's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    In regards to the colonies vs crawlers. Colonies seem to be much larger then their contemporary crawlers, so serve as more of a large fortification, wheras a crawler is a mobile security unit.

    Sieging a fortified position can be done with guardians in sc1 era (field guide mentions a really extreme splash radius for their attacks, 100 yards I think?), or a combination of brood lords and guardians later. Swarm Guardians (hey, my point on cannon is if it was cancelled, it was prototype or just not used much, hence the grizzly, etc) were described as being almost the size of a battlecruiser, and considering their nature could be an orbital bombardment unit...

    Bile-launchers also serve as a heavy artillery station, but that's post-hots, spore cannons probably also serve a similar purpose, but they are listed as everything from message-launchers to anti-orbital batteries to artillery.


    Anyone think the broods in sc1-era actually had shell colours close to their ingame colour?

  10. #10

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Guardians were pretty much flying siege tanks.
    And then the charon booster upgrade made them less effective on the battlefield, it was a shame....

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