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Thread: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

  1. #91
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    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Not quite. I'm saying that the writing leads one to make this presumption a potential viable reason. I wasn't going for "he was a dick and here's proof", it's more like "he seems like a dick based on these circumstances".
    I guess I can agree with that. But I still donít think he was actually omitting information.

  2. #92

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    Regardless of the plot and story, can we have an appearance by some of the client races under the Protoss' Dae'Uhl protectorate?
    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.

  3. #93

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Regardless of the plot and story, can we have an appearance by some of the client races under the Protoss' Dae'Uhl protectorate?
    Sure. But which version of the Protoss history are we going with?

    Protoss history
    The manual states they developed various god-like technology on their homeworld during the First Age, nuked themselves into the stone age, then rebuilt and presumably reclaimed their heights while expanding into a galactic empire. There is no indication of any decline.

    Then the multiplayer maps come and claim that the Aeon of Strife covered multiple planets, suggesting that the protoss were expanding into an interstellar power before and/or during the Aeon.

    Then BW claims the protoss had an interstellar empire in the past which has since declined and lost its territories (explaining why Aiur and Shakuras seem to be the only protoss-inhabited planets in the game). Based on the previous two pieces of info one could conclude this is the pre-Aeon empire rather than an empire after the Aeon and prior to the present. (Given the inconsistencies regarding the determinant and the relative military might between the zerg and protoss between the manual suggestions and the game implementation, it is difficult to make predictions.)

    By SC2 the protoss became generic declining Tolkien elves in space, with their empire declining after the Aeon. The term for this is "lost age" or something.

    The version seemingly used by Enumerate (it doesn't include a backstory so I had to make the connections myself), combines these different interpretations by moving the "lost age" to before the Aeon of Strife and having it end by nuclear war rather than a Tolkienesque decline, followed by the protoss rebuilding and currently in the middle of renaissance (which jives with them sending expeditions to explore areas unclaimed by the empire in the manual, like Tassadar's "famous" expedition prior to the koprulu wars). This isn't just idle lore, as a key plot point is that the zerg fear what the protoss will do when they reclaim or exceed the tech of their ancestors so various zerg crusades are launched to investigate archaeological sites to keep them out of protoss hands (and maybe exploit them for zerg benefit too).

    The Determinant
    Since we are talking about a reboot and the not the game canon, I would like to suggest that we keep the manual statements about the zerg needing the determinant to fight the protoss' constantly growing modern galactic empire. I think making Kerry the determinant is lame and that it should be armies of horrible zerg monsters created using terran psychic genes.

    Like, I don't know, the footsoldiers, psychic creep colonies and giant brain structures from Enumerate along with whatever else you could think up. Like, I don't know, variants of the footsoldiers with wings that function like jetpacks, a refluff of the otherwise worthless aberrations as having psychic powers since that was the point of the determinant, and other ways of enhancing the zerg with psychic powers to counter the protoss.

    I actually thought of a few different ideas in this vein. Like, I don't know, the zerg create their own equivalents of pylons and the psionic matrix and plant god bugs on key protoss planets to hijack the psionic matrix to keep the protoss from casually travelling across the empire.

    Basically, anything that is more impressive than Kerry chasing a dozen ninjas in circles on Char.

    Protoss physiology (and some culture)
    We also need to tweak the protoss' art design to make it clear that they are not just humans in makeup. Their heads are shaped like flattened cones if the artwork of the swarm queen holding a protoss skull is any indication, and they do not actually seem to have distinct skin, muscles and bones since the skull looks identical to a living protoss head aside from bleaching. In the comics, one panel shows a character with a chin that resembles an elephantine trunk. In the SCR art, the zealot has a massively elongated head seen nowhere else. (In fact, prior to SC2 the protoss did not seem to have a consistent art design. Much SC1 era art of zealots does not include the nerve cords.)

    The canon descriptions of their physiology (many collected in the Field Manual) are nonsensical and needlessly complicated, like the fact that they are photosynthetic despite having wildly diverse skin tones, their psychic powers have a different power source from their photosynthesis, they are or were hunters despite lacking any apparent digestive system, they have hearts and apparently blood but no actual circulatory system, they inhale/exhale and sometimes wear gas masks without any lungs or orifices or while standing in outer space, they somehow have eyes which do not count as orifices, they have breasts and nipples and belly buttons, blah blah blah.

    It took me about five minutes to come up with an alien physiology for protoss that does not sound like it was made by someone who has no concept of anatomy. My idea is fairly simple: the protoss do not have organs or even a cellular structure, and their physiology simply could not function without their psychic powers filling the gaps. Instead of all the organs and cells that make up terrans and zerg, the protoss are colonies of virions (similar to Jenova from Final Fantasy). A virion is similar to a virus, except that its protein coat is a prion. Prions can form long chains which turn the brains of infected organisms into Swiss cheese, eventually killing them. Protoss bodies are composed entirely of prions, with some genetic material telling the prions how to fold to replicate some of the functionality of tissues. Among other things, it means that they don't have a distinction between tissues like skin, muscle and bone. You could describe their bodies as being composed of nothing but blue blood and clay without being far off.

    Protoss have sex by physically and mentally fusing together, like the Asari from Mass Effect and the Babyeaters or Superhappies from Three Worlds Collide. When couples reproduce, they do so by biologically manufacturing their child before separating. This process was the foundation for the fusion that creates archons. (This is intended to be a sex joke, so please laugh internally.) Archons, which are technically a further evolution but currently unstable, are even weirder and I cannot describe them beyond them basically being miniature sentient stars composed of exotic matter.

    Not everyone may agree with this idea, but I posit that protoss have three genders. Male, female, and a third gender which resembles a male but is biologically female. (This is supposed to explain why Syndrea and Edullon look masculine but have feminine voices.) More genders may exist, but I have not thought about them.

    As for things like sustenance, I figure that the protoss are psychic vampires because that doesn't require further explanation. The khalai derive their nourishment from the khala, psionic matrix or whatever powers their psychic powers, though they might feed on plants or animals for pleasure (or desperation once the zerg start attacking the khala/psionic matrix/etc). The nerazim are nomadic because their dark matrix cannot provide sustenance so they migrate between different feeding grounds. They built permanent nexus points at the places they migrate between, but these are the only permanent settlements they build. Presumably they are advanced enough to build food replicators, but by this point being hidden and highly mobile is ingrained into their culture and resistant to change.

    I do think protoss should breathe, but I won't pretend to explain how they do that would any orifices. It's space magic, it doesn't have to make any frigging sense. Corsair pilots, for example, wear gas masks for some reason (although this might actually be the interface for their neutrino gun thing, whatever). Their shields or whatever are advanced enough to serve as space suits, so they cannot actually breathe in space and will eventually asphyxiate. Alternately, they actually respire psychic energy or whatever so eating/breathing is the same thing to them, in which case they will asphyxiate if they are cut off from pylons (or victims) for too long and their internal batteries or whatever run out.

    Whatever explanation is the simplest and doesn't raise further questions. The KISS principle exists for a reason.

  4. #94

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    It took me about five minutes to come up with an alien physiology for protoss that does not sound like it was made by someone who has no concept of anatomy. My idea is fairly simple: the protoss do not have organs or even a cellular structure, and their physiology simply could not function without their psychic powers filling the gaps. Instead of all the organs and cells that make up terrans and zerg, the protoss are colonies of virions (similar to Jenova from Final Fantasy). A virion is similar to a virus, except that its protein coat is a prion. Prions can form long chains which turn the brains of infected organisms into Swiss cheese, eventually killing them. Protoss bodies are composed entirely of prions, with some genetic material telling the prions how to fold to replicate some of the functionality of tissues. Among other things, it means that they don't have a distinction between tissues like skin, muscle and bone. You could describe their bodies as being composed of nothing but blue blood and clay without being far off.
    No, it took you 5 minutes to come up with something that doesn't make any more sense but sounds 'cool' to anyone without grade 10 biology... You can't make a functioning organism out of viruses. A virus doesn't do anything other than attaching itself to a cell and injecting it's DNA for replication. It can't replicate itself. It can't have specialized functions. etc. If it could, it wouldn't be a virus. You're right in saying that they'd be like a pile of clay(no clue where your blue blood fits in this?) and just like a pile of clay it wouldn't move or do anything.. let alone be sentient.

    Photosynthesis, even if it doesn't make sense, makes a lot more sense than what you just came up with so congrats.

    Not everyone may agree with this idea, but I posit that protoss have three genders. Male, female, and a third gender which resembles a male but is biologically female. (This is supposed to explain why Syndrea and Edullon look masculine but have feminine voices.) More genders may exist, but I have not thought about them.
    There's no point in having genders if they reproduce by mentally fusing together plus it doesn't help your aim of differentiating them from humans.

  5. #95

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    No, it took you 5 minutes to come up with something that doesn't make any more sense but sounds 'cool' to anyone without grade 10 biology... You can't make a functioning organism out of viruses. A virus doesn't do anything other than attaching itself to a cell and injecting it's DNA for replication. It can't replicate itself. It can't have specialized functions. etc. If it could, it wouldn't be a virus. You're right in saying that they'd be like a pile of clay(no clue where your blue blood fits in this?) and just like a pile of clay it wouldn't move or do anything.. let alone be sentient.
    I'm not stupid. I know all that because I studied biology in college and you clearly skimmed it because I answered those complaints preemptively. I said viroins, which are different from viruses. Viroins do not exist in reality. I fully acknowledge that my suggestions are biologically impossible, which is why I explicitly stated that their biology does not work even in-universe without their innate psychic powers filling in the gaps. The overall implication is supposed to be that the protoss have radically simplified their biology to only those components which are absolutely necessary, even then there's a bit of space magic involved that nobody understands.

    Where canon gets things wrong is that it references real science and gets it wrong, rather than using magical explanations with no basis in reality. I used magical explanations with no basis in reality because you cannot prove fictional magic wrong using real science.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    Photosynthesis, even if it doesn't make sense, makes a lot more sense than what you just came up with so congrats.
    If two things have zero sense, it is impossible for either to make more sense than the other. Their amounts of sense are always equal to zero. In other words, please stop being flippantly dismissive and disrespectful of my suggestions while elevating the bullshit that is canon. Unlike the random forum mod who first invented the photosynthesis retcon while knowing nothing about photosynthesis, I studied biology in college and know how impossible it is. That's why I liberally invoke space magic.

    I don't mind if you have a legitimate criticism of my suggestions, but please stop pretending that canon is anything other than bullshit or that it is arbitrarily better than my bullshit. Bullshit is bullshit.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    There's no point in having genders if they reproduce by mentally fusing together plus it doesn't help your aim of differentiating them from humans.
    Fungi and many microrganisms reproduce by fusing together. Protoss have different genders because they cannot reproduce with the same gender; that is the definition of a gender.

    If we still want to consider this starcraft, the protoss need to be recognizable. If you want radically inhuman then refer to my suggestions for a new universe loosely inspired by starcraft a few threads back.

    I feel like you are being contrary and disrespectful for the sake of it. If my impression is wrong then I apologize, but I really don't want to get into a debate over whose made-up space magic biology is better. As far as I am concerned, it is better not to explain protoss at all or to rely entirely on magical explanations then to be an ignoramus who invokes real science only to get it wrong.
    Last edited by Mislagnissa; 06-28-2018 at 03:15 PM.
    I think Starcraft needs rebooting. See "Enumerate" for details (links: timeline, full document, original forum thread).

  6. #96

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    I made a typo. I was trying to say "virinos," not whatever I said.

  7. #97

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    To put it in the simplest terms:

    Mutalisks fly through space by flapping their wings. Scientists have no idea how this is possible, it just is. They donít bother to rationalize it with bullshit science.

    Protoss donít have distinct skin, muscles or bones. They eat/respire undefined energy from their environment. Scientists have no idea how any of it works, it just does.

  8. #98

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    I answered those complaints preemptively. I said viroins, which are different from viruses. Viroins do not exist in reality.
    But you didn't... ctrl+f viroins or virinos and the only mentions of this are in your last posts. You said virions which is the same thing as a virus.

    Where canon gets things wrong is that it references real science and gets it wrong, rather than using magical explanations with no basis in reality. I used magical explanations with no basis in reality because you cannot prove fictional magic wrong using real science.
    Then why mention virions or prions at all? Why say that you know anatomy? Seems like you wanted to reference some real world science to me. Honestly, you could have just said "protoss are made of magic particles that only exist in the starcraft universe and they are controlled by soul like entities existing as psi energy" or something. Then, yeah sure I'd agree.

    If two things have zero sense, it is impossible for either to make more sense than the other. Their amounts of sense are always equal to zero. In other words, please stop being flippantly dismissive and disrespectful of my suggestions while elevating the bullshit that is canon. Unlike the random forum mod who first invented the photosynthesis retcon while knowing nothing about photosynthesis, I studied biology in college and know how impossible it is. That's why I liberally invoke space magic.

    I don't mind if you have a legitimate criticism of my suggestions, but please stop pretending that canon is anything other than bullshit or that it is arbitrarily better than my bullshit. Bullshit is bullshit.
    3 bricks don't make a house but it's closer to being one than a single brick

    Anyways, my point was that you complained that canon is bullshit because it misuses science and then came back around with something that also misuses science. That's why I was dismissing you. Now you're saying that it wasn't supposed to be interpreted as using real world science and if that's the case then I retract the criticism.

    Fungi and many microrganisms reproduce by fusing together. Protoss have different genders because they cannot reproduce with the same gender; that is the definition of a gender.
    That's not the definition of gender, that's the definition of a sex. In any case, we're back to my prior criticism. You're putting real life science into the specie again. Why give them sexes or genders at all? I personally prefer my protoss as they were in SC1, without any mentions of females or even males. Just protoss. You have answered the reproduction question by saying they meld their minds and bodies and out of it come a toss baby. cool. Why not leave it at that? You raise more questions by adding these details.

    If we still want to consider this starcraft, the protoss need to be recognizable. If you want radically inhuman then refer to my suggestions for a new universe loosely inspired by starcraft a few threads back.
    I'm not the one who wants to change them. I'm fine with them being humanoid. I think adding breasts and what not to show different genders/sexes is a bad idea.

  9. #99

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    Yes, great, you are right about all those things. Letís say that protoss are made of psychic goo that holds it shape by willpower until they die and burst into flames and gibbets, and they donít have sex/gender except what humans ascribe to them.

  10. #100

    Default Re: Reboot the franchise? What direction would you go?

    My attempt to explain protoss physiology in terms of genomes and protein analogues may have been ill-conceived, but I am not entirely opposed to at least mentioning real science exists in Starcraft even if other aspects of physics are different from reality. Tvtropes refers to this idea as "Minovsky physics." Basically, the fictional world is assumed to function according to real physics but a few additional physical laws are added to allow things impossible in reality; these new laws are consistent and predictable. The difference from technobabble is that technobabble is meaningless buzzwords that exists solely to justify a solution to the problem of the week without actually explaining anything.

    Starcraft has a huge technobabble problem. Most of the descriptions of zerg biology are outright meaningless, often using real scientific terms in contexts where they make no sense. For example, the upgrade "gamete meiosis" causes broodlings to grow faster by inseminating their hosts, but that makes about as much sense as a human impregnating a tree by ejaculating on it and contradicts the description of broodlings as parasitoids which eat their hosts from the inside out. This is different from the protoss technobabble, because the protoss technobabble is easy to complain about because it is less ridiculous. It is easy to complain that photosynthesis cannot support animal metabolisms and so forth because laypeople do not understand how it works, but even a layperson knows where babies come from.

    Starcraft doesn't devote much effort to explaining how psychic powers work, beyond buzzwords like "alpha waves," "psionic emanations," "psi disruptors" and so forth. From the evidence available, psychic waves seem to function in a manner similar to electromagnetic waves such as radio and radar. Where the comparison to real physics breaks down is telekinesis: the closest comparison would be to directed energy weapons (e.g. lasers), except that directed psychic waves can levitate objects (telekinesis) or create combustion without an ignition source (pyrokinesis). This is an example of Minovsky physics, however vague.

    Originally mutalisk wings providing thrust by flapping in space were described as an unknown phenomenon, and considering that mutalisks scream "tekeli-li" I think it was meant to be a reference to the sanity shattering alien science of the Cthulhu mythos. This displays a surprisingly degree of humility on the part of the writer, and I would have preferred similar explanations for the protoss. Some later stories tossed out that detail in favor of claiming the mutalisks produce thrust by farting, and their farts literally do not stink. I prefer the former explanation. Similarly, the fiction cannot agree if overlords produce thrust by farting or telekinesis. Real world cephalopods have siphons so it is not impossible to have biological ramjet engines, a la Darwin IV's jetdarters, either.

    By far the most interesting technobabble, mentioned in the Blackstone fiction, is the idea that zerg have "singing cells" or "musical organelles" which they use for communication and genetic engineering. In the original manual the primordial zerg were mentioned as characterized by "genetic versatility" (they can splice genomes) and "psychic sensitivity" (they are telepathic). But Blackstone goes further and connects the two, which I thought was novel and fairly sensible. If the zerg have telepathy and gene splicing, it makes perfect sense they would use telepathy to quickly communicate gene splicing between individuals and cells within the same individual.

    If you have any advice or criticism then I would like to hear it.

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