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Thread: Starcraft reboot ideas discussion thread

  1. #201
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    But Duke isn't in his way. In fact, given that there are human soldiers in the facility where Zeratul is, then possibly Duke is either trying to save them (in which cooperation is possible) or trying to flee what he thinks is an unwinnable situation (in which he is more interested in getting away than bothering with Tass).
    If any of those were the case he wouldn’t be issuing ultimatums or sending a fleet to attack them. Tassadar had more information than the player about what was happening and reacted accordingly. Duke is also an a-hole so I’m inclined to believe Tassadar.

  2. #202

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    The EN chronology does not include the circumstances that lead to Duke and Raynor coming into contact with Tassadar. So they end up staying in the core worlds and continue doing what they were planning to. In Duke's case that means fighting the Zerg left behind to exterminate humanity. In Raynor's case that means rebelling against Arcturus' dictatorship.

    We could also bring in characters from other campaigns and stories. Most of the EU stories can be placed within the EN chronology with a minimum of changes.

    For example, Executor Andraxxus and Jack Frost from Insurrection. The Brontes system was lost to the Zerg, but there is no reason that Andraxxus could not have used teleportation to evacuate the 7th Fleet and the New Dresdin Outlaws when it became clear they could not stop the Zerg and fake their deaths in battle using hallucinations to buy time. There is Syndrea's fate to consider, since her last known whereabouts were as a Zerg prisoner.

    If we consider custom campaigns, more options open. For example, the "Corrupted Templar" from the Proditor campaign are still running around, although they are rumored to have joined Ulrezaj's xava'kai/taldarim. The custom campaign Enslavers Redux purports to continue the adventures of the Mar Sara Colonial Magistrate, who was captured by the Dominion and forced into service; he comes into conflict with Ulrezaj and Schezar.

    EDIT: Another thing which I forgot to bring up was that the protoss had ethnic skin tones in SC1, as stated in the manual (emphasis mine).
    Quote Originally Posted by Starcraft Manual p89
    Although the Khala has called upon the Protoss to forsake their ancient Tribal society and embrace the new castes of Judicator, Templar and Khalai, many still cling to the fleeting customs and trappings of the old ways. The various Tribes remain intact only to remind the Protoss of the follies of their past. With the ascension of the Judicator as the ruling caste above all Protoss, the old dilemma of Tribal separatism no longer threatens the greater society. The most distinguishable aspect of the Tribes is that each sect of Protoss has its own unique skin shades ranging from mottled grey to a dark, aphotic blue.
    Canonically, you can tell what tribe a Protoss is from by their skin color. SC2 threw this away, but we can easily ignore that and bring back protoss of color. For simplicity's sake I will assume the "tribal color" applies to both the SC1 game unit color and the ethnic skin color (as seen in the unit portrait). For example, the Akilae Templar have green skin as seen in the zealot, the Shelak Judicator have white skin as seen in the arbiter, and the Venatir Templar have brown skin as seen in the scout. (I suspect the original team was operating from this assumption.)
    Last edited by Mislagnissa; 01-16-2018 at 03:05 PM.
    I think Starcraft needs rebooting. See "Enumerate" for details (links: timeline, full document, original forum thread).

  3. #203

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I know, that's why I threw out the question of whether Tass can really be considered really a hot-head if he never encountered or entered Duke's perceived "Terran space". Maybe Tass just was intending to pass on through and let the Terrans be, but then Duke piped up with a threat. And just like Duke eventually ending up assuming Tass's reply was "a hostile response", Tass probably thought the same of Dukes warning initially. Probably just a common misunderstanding of intent on both sides.
    Tass wasn't a hothead because he approached Duke. He was a hothead because a completely rational response from Duke made him snap irrationally at someone he didn't need to get into a conflict with.

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

  4. #204

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Tass wasn't a hothead because he approached Duke. He was a hothead because a completely rational response from Duke made him snap irrationally at someone he didn't need to get into a conflict with.
    Tassadar claims to "know" Duke well (probably from Raynor's experiences with him) and was just responding in kind. Duke, under a veneer of civility/"Southern sensibility", was really threatening to attack if they didn't leave whilst Tassadar, cutting the bullshit, responded with a threat in unveiled terms that he'd destroy them if Duke proceeded to halt them.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


  5. #205

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    So I found a number of custom campaigns that make more sense within EN than canon.

    A relatively common conceit is a planet or fleet of independent protoss. Essentially Taldarim, of any iteration, before it became fashionable. Custom campaigns have added "isolated" Protoss planets or fleets like Ahman-ro, Artia, Idu'ran, Kharnikha, etc. These really do make more sense with the interstellar protoss empire.

    Frontier Terran terran worlds or isolated independent governments are just as (or more) common.

    Another plot common to SC1 maps are the cerebrates surviving indefinitely and either assisting or rebelling against QoB. Some have new cerebrates created willy nilly without the Overmind. A few have Zerg just showing up out of nowhere: the "Ignos" SC2 campaign (which takes place at an unspecified point when Nerazim are fighting alongside Firstborn) inexplicably has primal zerg on a random planet in protoss space.

    I am compiling a list of existing custom campaigns that could easily fit into the EN chronology. Hopefully I will be finished within the near future.

  6. #206

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    So another detail of EN is that it posits the Protoss fought Zerg even before the glassing of Chau Sara. Ground forces were deployed initially before it became apparent that conventional tactics were not particularly effective against Zerg swarming. This needs some elaboration.

    In the SC beta, Executor Andinunn had been watching Terran activity on the edge of Protoss space for some time before the Great War. The Terrans had been listening in on his transmissions, and decoded a census by Judicator Nuun-Minn. (The beta also suggested that Terrans were looking to exploit the planets of their Protoss neighbors, but nothing came of this in canon.) At the time Zerg were present and being studied by Terrans, including telepathic interrogation (which was apparently painful) in Liberty's Crusade. So we have an opportunity for Andinunn to engage the Zerg before the Koprulu Expeditionary Force arrives.

    There is also the concept of "mutates" in the EU, infested terrans who have undergone nanite treatments to restore their personality and sanity. Examples include Morrik, Sistask and possibly Stukov. Dr. Loew did something loosely similar to hydralisks in the Teacher short story. I think those concepts are interesting and could stand to appear in more stories.

  7. #207

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    So let's talk a bit about the different factions of Protoss, because there are a lot even without trying to account for custom campaigns.
    • The Protoss Empire, or Khala, is the faction everyone is most familiar with. They represent the bulk of the population.
    • The Nerazim are a bunch of nomads who practice circumcision. They share the same proud warrior theme as the Empire, but they are more individualistic, more like humans in that respect. They are not really a faction so much as a confederation of tribes.
    • The Daelaam are the formal attempt by Tassadar to unite the Empire and the Nerazim tribes, with mixed success. While the Conclave spearheaded a civil war on Aiur during the Great War, the massive size of the Empire means that unofficial alliances probably existed ever since the Zerg invaded.
    • The Taldarim are not a faction at all, but a generic term for various extremist groups. These include the Xava'kai ("Fist of Ulrezaj," including both Nerazim and rogue Khala), the Taldarim under "Executor" Nyon, and the Slaynese. (What I found curious about the Slaynese is that all those we see in SC2 had white skin, like the Shelak judicator tribe. Their “chain of ascension” also feels like a perversion of the khala or “path of ascension.”)
    • The Purifiers are mysterious autonomous robots dating back to the First Age that were awakened by archaeologists sometime prior to or during the Great War. Their motives are mysterious and possibly divided between different factions, but it is known that they are connected to the Khala and are able to download the personalities of dead Protoss into robot bodies. (This is my personal interpretation to fit them into EN and give writers more choice in how to use them.)

    Void magic
    Something interesting I found in the EN document is that the author posits a different explanation for how the Nerazim first developed their powers. Rather than Adun teaching them to hide themselves while somehow preventing them from accessing the Khala, EN posits that some Protoss in the Khala were simply alienated from others. They severed their own nerve cords to silence the voices and then ran off from society. Eventually, they encountered the rogue tribes and joined them. When Adun arrived, he tried to teach them to harness their innate psychic powers. While the uncircumcised rogue tribes would just end up connecting to the khala (barring, IDK, taking sundrop?), the circumcised outcasts could not. They developed new powers that Adun would go on to study, ultimately resulting in the psychic storms that ravaged Aiur. The Nerazim would circumcise not only as an insult to the judicators, but as a way to harness the power discovered by the outcasts.

    I like that explanation, since it makes more sense to me personally that connecting to the khala is instinctive and harnessing the void requires suppressing it with drugs (like sundrop), circumcision, or extreme asceticism (like whatever Tassadar did).

  8. #208

    Default Re: Lets discuss Enumerate? (tl;dr AU w/o Kerry, UED, Duran; Zera dies, Tass lives)

    I think I discussed this before but here is a quick refresher.

    The manual introduced the Overmind as a gestalt consciousness of the Zerg. Cerebrates are a breed created to increase efficiency by managing broods. If killed, cerebrates may be resurrected or reincarnated unless they are killed by the nerazim's void magic. In SC2 Kerry is resurrected in the same way, so it may be assumed that all Zerg personalities may be so revived even without the Overmind. (It is not explained where they store their backups, but if this follows the same logic as the Overmind then these personalities are stored within the broods.)

    The EN chronology follows this exactly, but it adds two additional rules: broods are only successfully managed by giant brain-like creatures (e.g. cerebrates, giga-brains, psi colonies), and the broods are instinctively driven to recreate the Overmind after its death by dominating their competition. Aside from psychic power levels, the biggest difference between the cerebrates and the assimilated terran brain monsters is that the latter lack the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the former. Otherwise they are both Zerg monsters driven to consume and evolve.

    Something I am going to borrow from the Flood and Necromorphs is to apply the logic behind the Overmind to the broods individually. The Zerg are organized into a hierarchy of hive minds that follow the same basic logic. The Overmind is the hive mind of the entire Zerg race, while each brood has its own hive mind which is broadcast by the cerebrates like radio towers.

    Zerg have two layers of psychic communion, as originally stated in the manual. The first is a psychic link between the Overmind/cerebrates and all their minions (and possibly between minions?), whose purpose is not explained. The second is the active relaying of orders from the Overmind to the cerebrates, to the overlords/queens/infestors, to the minions. These are not interchangeable functions.

    The Zerg have undergone refinement over the millennia, which includes the equivalent of lobotomizing non-essential higher brain functions that are normally invisible. Since the Zerg operate under a hive mind where brain function is shared, they do not need to be able to function outside of it. Zerg which are unable to connect to the hive mind (such as in captivity) will act strangely and without any self-awareness, regardless of whether their intelligence matches or surpasses that of a human being, since they have essentially lost key brain function: minions will become rabid berserkers, overlords will repetitively follow their last orders, queens will churn out minions that immediately turn feral, etc.

    Normally this is not a problem since the Zerg will naturally commune with other nearby Zerg to make up for their individual lack of awareness. When a cerebrate is killed, their telepathy allows the brood to retain some degree of coordination (albeit vastly inferior) until the cerebrate is respawned. Void magic does not simply sever the brood from the cerebrate's control, but traumatizes the psyche of the Zerg that composed the brood so that they cannot simply restablish the hive mind as they do when cerebrates are killed without void magic.

    EN makes a distinction between feral zerg (broods that have lost their cerebrates) and insane zerg (broods whose cerebrates have lost the overmind), but under the overmind=hivemind logic this distinction becomes mostly a matter of semantics. In the same way that the broods as a whole are driven to recreate the Overmind, broods which have lost their cerebrates and survived are driven to recreate it.

    In Protoss space, where psi colonies and giga brains were deployed in large numbers, these creatures are driven to claim control over the feral broods formerly managed by cerebrates. Since this is a function they were never intended to fulfill, they are not able to easily access the memories or personality fragments of dead cerebrates that may be preserved in the brood.

    Now is a concept of my own creation, inspired by BW custom campaigns: Most broods that are rendered leaderless will destroy themselves. Those broods that survive without cerebrates or assimilated terran commanders will eventually spawn new cerebrates. These cerebrates, or neo-minds if one prefers, operate at a distinct disadvantage because their memories are fragmented by the trauma inflicted through void magic. Like all Zerg intelligences, they are driven to dominate their environment and by extension to recreate the Overmind. They may be more closely compared to the Flood or Necromorphs in personality than other Zerg.

    That is not all. Without the Overmind to regulate the Swarm, there is nothing preventing broods from accessing (or modifying) the genomes for cerebrates, miniature overminds, and other brain-like organisms contained within the larvae. While in practice this will not allow any single brood to instantly win the brood wars by creating an avatar for the Overmind (who is too dead to make use of it), this knowledge is used to resurrect the Overmind. EN posits that after an unspecified period of time, the brood wars are brought to an end when an alliance of broods (a long story in itself) successfully creates the biggest brain monster ever (involving the fusion of many cerebrates in a way that mimics the creation of giga brains from humans) that successfully connects the hive minds of all Zerg in the galaxy at once and allows them to come to a consensus.

    According to EN: the new Overmind is essentially the same person as the previous Overmind, since the Overmind is formed from the amalgamated minds of all Zerg in existence. That said, the trauma the Zerg suffered during the Great War and the Brood Wars has convinced the Zerg and the Overmind to (temporarily) set aside their quest for perfection in order to focus on immediate survival. The Terrans and Protoss, who by this time have enslaved many broods, developed anti-Zerg weaponry and are making diplomatic overtures to one another, present an existential threat to the Zerg. Before the Zerg can become perfect, these threats must be eliminated.

    At that point the timeline for EN simply stops. I imagine that it ultimately ends in either a Zerg victory or the Zerg being destroyed, depending on the plot branch, since otherwise you would end up with Overmind/QoB/Amon/BigBadEvilGuy whack-a-mole.

  9. #209

    Default How could we return the franchise to the SC1 beta status quo?

    The Starcraft lore is stagnant and dead at this point and the modding scene is mostly absent. It is still possible to introduce the UED as the new villain, but once they are gone then there is no way to move the story forward without retconning in another new faction that we have never heard of before. I have seen real suggestions to literally introduce the Burning Legion as the new antagonist. It honestly feels like the plot of Sailor Moon, where every season a new villain came out of the woodwork to keep selling merchandise. I can think of only one way to rejuvenate this rotting corpse of a franchise...

    How could we write the story out of the corner and back into the galactic war status quo teased in the SC1 manual and website but glossed over in the games? Humanity is at civil war between the outer colonies and the authoritarian inner worlds while aliens attack. The zerg need to eat humanity to build psychic weapons of doom to defeat the protoss so that they can become perfect and conquer the universe. The protoss have a schism over whether humanity should die in the crossfire or not. Then the nerazim and taldarim show up to play the sides against each other. Ulrezaj founds his cult and stuff. Insert blah blah timeless themes of freedom versus control and all that shit which Metzen threw out in favor of his stupid romance fanfiction.

    The "plot" of Enumerate, pretty much. How can we write Starcraft 3 to follow that, in what is basically a soft reboot of the series? Kerry's story is canonically finished so you cannot complain she is not in it! I want to see the zerg fuse thousands of human psychics into horrible giant brain monsters that shoot psychic nukes at the protoss. I want the Overmind resurrected yet again to rekindle the quest for perfection by assimilating the Protoss, then killed again to let the brain bugs and other monsters duke it out for control, then resurrected again to reunite the zerg against the evil terrans and protoss who would dare enslave them.

    Fuck continuity because Blizzard never gave a fuck anyway!

    P.S. I found a fanfic which has a similar backstory where the zerg are defeated by the dark templar on Shakuras and then centuries later try to weaponize humanity against them.
    I think Starcraft needs rebooting. See "Enumerate" for details (links: timeline, full document, original forum thread).

  10. #210

    Default Re: How could we return the franchise to the SC1 beta status quo?

    Basically your version is just the nuke option, erase the whole franchise and start all over from the very beginning

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