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Thread: Starcraft reboot ideas discussion thread

  1. #441

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I thought you said Episode 2 was the weakest story (which I, too, have always felt the same as well... in spite of the Zerg being my favourite). This hyperbole makes it hard to treat your position seriously.
    Both are much weaker than the terran campaign. Unhappy Anchovy's analysis judged the protoss campaign as the weakest, but I was biased because I always liked the zerg more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Tassadar had no specific compassion for humanity. He just felt guilty after killing a species that he felt he should be protecting, which in turn, was how he interpreted following the Dae-Uhl. Maybe that's why he got along with Raynor, since Raynor too participated in atrocities (even if it was just passively condoning the use of Psi Emitters/not doing anything like leaving before the Psi emitters were used, he's compromised ethically) before feeling guilty/having his conscience get to him (albeit for a selfishly specific reason in the form of losing a specific individual).

    Also, I'm not here to say Tassadar's actions were "idiotic" as that is an unhelpful, hind-sight biased and reductionist way of observing things. It was a reasoned but compromised decision to not just burn Tarsonis at the time that just happen to also have far reaching and unexpectedly severe consequences he couldn't foresee. But, compared to Aldaris'/the Conclave's original orders of continuing to burn worlds (which was highly effective and had no known objective detriment), Tassadar's decision to not burn Tarsonis would be more unwise of the two options.
    The problem is that the campaigns were written as plot-driven rather than character-driven (i.e. characters act to advance the plot rather than whatever makes sense based on their characterization and the circumstances they encounter) and Metzen clearly didn't know how to get the plot from point A to point B. Thus we ended up with a much worse plot than we otherwise would have if Metzen didn't have to follow such obvious mandates.

    We can see this by comparing Insurrection, which is noticeably better plotted. That does not make it good by any stretch, as the developer clearly had no budget and no understanding of map design. It is just better plotted because it did not suffer the same tumultuous development as Episodes 1-3 did. An amateur writer got the manual and license from Blizzard and spun a plot from that.

    So trying to argue from hindsight is pointless because the plot doesn't make sense anyway. The psi-emitter is a blatant plot device and the zerg conquer planets because of writer fiat rather than any actual work on their part. The setup in the manual is cliche as hell, but it wasn't completely terrible and could have worked in the hands of a better writer. Metzen clearly wasn't cut out for that and he wrote a terrible implementation of what he was given to work with, assuming that the manual was even finished when he wrote the script (and it probably wasn't).

    If I had to rewrite the story, I would take into account that the manual stated Tassadar promised never to glass another planet and that the zerg were looking to assimilate humanity's psychic potential and had to do so subtly. So Tassadar wouldn't glass planets and the zerg wouldn't steamroll all opposition.

    Trying to figure out how the Battle of Chau Sara went down in a rational universe is enough of a challenge given all the conflicting information about it, I don't need plot contrivances turning the story into a farce.

    Speaking of the psi-emitter, I can't work it into any kind of rational plot without adding additional contrivances.

    Rationally speaking, the psi-emitter is a glorified signal beacon that broadcasts on psychic channels used by the zerg. It doesn't seem to be detectable to terrans or protoss unless they are specifically listening on the same channels (telepathy seems to work on similar principles to radio, including having different channels).

    Now, if the zerg are in the sector to harvest psychics in mass like they've done for every other species they've encountered, why would they sent such large detachments to investigate a beacon? We know they understand the concept of beacons because they used beacons to signal both the Gargantis proximae and the unspecified Behemoths to meet with them.

    Liberty's Crusade (which plugs some, but not all, plot holes in Episode 1) still has Mengsk speculating that the Confederacy lured the zerg with psi-emitters while knowing they are actually aliens rather than a Confederate creation. This leads me to suspect the possibility that the zerg's deep space probes might very well have been lured by some precursor to the later psi-emitter experiments. I'm not a professor of meta-neural study, but it sounds perfectly reasonable to me that if you discovered telepathy that operated on similar principles to radio then you would explore its applications for long-range communication including FTL where possible.

    The zerg should be aware of the Confederacy's experiments on them as well, considering their species-wide telepathic network. If zerg are being abducted by terrans, they should logically have some memory of that occurring. From there it makes sense to investigate what the terrans are doing.

    So when the First Contact War starts in a rational universe, the zerg should be aware that the Confederacy created beacons that broadcast on psychic frequencies. Why exactly would they waste unnecessary amounts of resources investigating a trap they used themselves when they could be harvesting psychics from populated areas?

    The explanations I've heard or devised myself are all unsatisfactory:
    1. Investigating obvious beacon just because
    2. That particular message is a telepathic binaural beat (i.e. alien catnip)
    3. The signal obscures individual psychics, like fireflies against the sun

    #1 isn't an explanation at all. Even if it would make sense to investigate unknown signals, that doesn't justify huge expenses when you don't even know what it is.

    #2 is implausible because binaural beats cannot replicate the effects of chemical drugs. It might be possible to transmit a virus or prion through zerg telepathy by taking advantage of the fact that they transmit genes telepathically. However, the xel'naga already had that capability through their psychic link with the zerg and the zerg later adapted around that danger so it is clearly not that reliable a vector.

    #3 raises even more issues because it is jamming specifically terran psychic channels. Not only should it obscure terran psychics from the zerg, but also from each other. It might even obscure reading the minds of non-psychics too.

    These problems come into play because I am thinking about psychic powers rationally. Not in terms of modern science, but in terms of them having consistent rules to avoid contradictions. The rules as I have figured them just operate analogously to radio.

    One of the implications of a rational universe is the concept of arm's races. What this means is that no weapon is unstoppable and no defense is impenetrable. Thus, opposing forces constantly have to race to produce better arms and armor.

    Anything that is functionally unstoppable/impenetrable has drawbacks which come into play if both sides are equivalent. This includes nuclear weapons and sensor jamming. A nuclear war will destroy both sides. Sensor jamming goes both ways, because blinding your enemies' sensors will blind your own on the same channel.

    And I haven't gotten started on other applications of radio like the difference between active and passive sensing, target painting, and so forth. (The scifi series The Expanse regularly uses these concepts.)

    Which also reminds me... if the primordial zerg evolved "psychic sensitivity" (i.e. telepathy), then does that mean they could detect minds (or at least nervous signals like sharks and electric eels do?)? I mean, that would come in handy if you are trying to find a host's central nervous system or something.

  2. #442

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    I was biased because I always liked the zerg more.
    That didn't stop me from recognising Episode II/Overmind being narratively and technically the weakest in terms of storytelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The problem is that the campaigns were written as plot-driven rather than character-driven (i.e. characters act to advance the plot rather than whatever makes sense based on their characterization and the circumstances they encounter)
    Eh, mileage varies. In any regard, Sc1 is way more character-driven that Sc2 was. Rebel Yell is largely a plot that is largely about and driven wholly by Mengsk. Overmind is all about you-know-who. The Fall is all about the consequences arising from Tassadars previous and ongoing actions. For Sc2, WoL was about Raynor being pulled into a shopping list of tasks and then suddenly foisted the task of saving the sector out-of-the-blue. HotS is actually more consistently character-driven but the "revenge" motivation was plot-derived due to the "clarification" of Kerrigan and Raynor having always being lovers that they'd do anything for in death or life. LotV is plot-driven by a huge big-bad that comes out of nowhere and needs to be beaten to avoid galactic ruin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The psi-emitter is a blatant plot device and the zerg conquer planets because of writer fiat rather than any actual work on their part.
    Plot devices, like any trope, are not inherently bad. Only how they're used. The Psi-emitter is actually a decently used plot device since what it actually does is largely less significant/important thematically than the reactions it promotes from those use it or consider the consequences of its use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Speaking of the psi-emitter, I can't work it into any kind of rational plot without adding additional contrivances.
    The Psi-emitter is way less egregious of a plot device than say, the Psi-Disruptor is, in terms of utility in the narrative. Like I said, what it actually does and how it moves the plot is/should be less important than how it influences the characters around it. The Psi-disruptor is more of the former compared to the Psi emitter, which is why it sticks out more as a "bad" plot device.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


  3. #443

    Default Yet another reboot idea thread

    The last thread on this topic went off on a tangent, so I decided to start a new one.

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss wholesale reboots of the Starcraft story, not alternate sequels to BW.

    The basic premise of Starcraft is that the zerg and protoss are fighting over Koprulu with the terrans caught in the middle. That in itself could serve as the foundation for countless stories... in the hands of a competent writer.

    Blizzard obviously doesn't fit the bill.

    My frustration with Starcraft canon and fandom

    A frustration I have with Starcraft is that the story we got in the games isn't anywhere near as interesting as the one I imagined I would get after reading the manual. Sure, the manual's setup is cliche as hell, but in the hands of a competent writer we could surely get loads of interesting stories dealing with the Koprulu's first contact war.

    A frustration I have with the fans of Starcraft is that they seem to care more about discussing Kerry and Raynor than anything else. In my opinion the overwhelming and undeserved focus on them strangles the creativity and scope of the setting. This ruined my experience with the BW custom campaign scene because inevitably almost every single custom campaign involves them in some way. (I have the same problem with Star Wars. It has an entire galaxy to play with, but the movies and merchandise focus exclusively on the Skywalkers and anyone associated with them.)

    Starcraft isn't about, or isn't supposed to be about, Kerry and Raynor. If it was, it would be called The Adventures of Kerry and Raynor. It was all about them, then Blizzard wouldn't have ended SC2 with them both riding off into the sunset never to be seen again.

    The title of Starcraft by definition means "warcraft (crafting of war) among the stars." I will treat it as such for the purposes of discussion.

    I understand that discussions of wholesale reboot seem to be far less popular than discussions of "one true sequels" to BW. This topic is about wholesale reboots and I'm not particularly interested in discussing a true sequel to BW, whatever that is supposed to mean. I don't think BW lends itself to a sequel and that the series has always suffered a terrible case of sequelitis.

    If you want to discuss Brood War 2 and/or The Adventures of Kerry and Raynor, then you can make threads for that. I prefer not to clutter this thread with tangential topics like those.

    My opinion of what Starcraft should be

    In my opinion, the Starcraft setting works best as a sandbox in which there are many different battles occurring simultaneously without any particular theater of operations given writer favoritism over all the others. Just because Raynor and Kerry and Tassadar are fighting on Mar Sara doesn't make their actions any more important than those of, say, Jack Frost and Andraxxus and Syndrea fighting on Brontes. There are perhaps dozens of systems in Koprulu Sector, each of which could have a campaign or series of campaigns written about it.

    In my opinion, plot devices like Queen of Blades, Duran and United Earth Directorate, among others, do not add any anything of significant value. Indeed, I think they are inferior to and distract from plot hooks already established such as the Confederacy's conflict with the Umojans and Morians and Sons of Korhal, the conflict between the genocidal and non-genocidal Khala protoss, and the still unexplored alien culture of the expansionist conquering zerg.

    Starcraft lore has tons of ideas introduced early in the series that were later discarded and replaced with inferior replacements. These ideas include the Confederacy and Sons of Korhal, the Protoss' tribes and political divisions, the Zerg's broods and culture, etc. These are vastly superior to everything that came after and thus I find it a terrible shame they were never explored despite the obvious huge potential.

    I never liked SC2's story because it is shlocky as all hell, but I think some of the ideas it introduced like the tal'darim and purifiers could be salvaged for reboots. I see nothing wrong with the tech trees either, and mods like Heptacraft even reorganized it to give us distinct tech trees and strategies for factions like Khala and Nerazim (though I think the phoenix should have been Khala and the corsair Nerazim).

    What I think of Mar Sara

    I'm not touching Mar Sara with a ten foot pole, even though it was mentioned in the manual as the example theater. I do acknowledge that it exists in my ideas for reboot and that Raynor, Duke, Mengsk, Kerry, Zeratul, Tassadar, Aldaris, Daggoth, Zasz, etc are involved in the Battle of Mar Sara (as the conflict would logically be known). However, the Battle of Mar Sara is merely one battle of many going concurrently and has no particular importance over all the other battles going on. In contrast to canon, Tassadar is fighting to protect the planet as he was in the manual and short stories, not trying to glass it like Aldaris wants (because in this reboot the zerg are at a disadvantage like they were in the manual and don't casually steamroll planets).

    With that over, by way of example...

    If you are on board with constructively discussing the intended topic, great! Let's get started. To provide an example of reboot, I will quote my past suggestion for a campaign about the first contact war. Note that this is just an example and one possible campaign of many occurring during the war; it is NOT the only story of consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Campaign: The Battle for New Texas
    On the planet New Texas, Magistrate Ramirez has her hands full with the invading zerg. The Confederacy is not responding to her distress calls. Everything seems lost before mysterious aliens led by Khoros offer their assistance. These “dark templar” excel in hit and run attacks and provide a much needed respite from the zerg horde. A protoss fleet led by rogue judicator Sahaqal arrives and pledges to cleanse the planet of the “filthy infidels.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    At the same time the terran/nerazim alliance is fighting off the protoss, the zerg are having their own problems. The system has two broods assigned to it to seek and harvest psychics. These broods are ancient beings who have served the swarm for millennia and consumed many species (in contrast to the typical depiction of PCs being literally newborns). Their names given by the Confederacy are Narfi and Vaali, after the sons of Loki in Norse myth.

    Vaali falls for an experiment performed by Project Bellwood (managed by Nova Squadron and Cerberus Program), which attempts to enslave the brood but loses control. Instead, the brood goes berserk and no longer recognizes the swarm's authority. Now it wants to replicate and conquer the universe. Narfi must now exterminate the rogue Vaali before it can build its own swarm.

    Meanwhile, a local detachment of Epsilon Squadron (scientific border patrol and armored corps) lead by Doctor Jessica Wong is monitoring the protoss communications and uses EMP to jam the empire's fleet and deploy mechs to delay them long enough for the New Texas Militia and their nerazim allies to save the planet from annihilation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    In terms of structure I imagine the campaign as being three concurrent, not linear, campaigns from the three races' respective POV. The terran campaign centers on the New Texas Colonial Militia and Epsilon Squadron with the Shadow Hunters as allies, with the Zerg Swarm and Protoss Empire as the antagonists. The protoss campaign centers on the 34th Fleet of the Koprulu Expedition, which is the most political of the campaigns as the leadership argues over philosophy and morality while fighting terrans, zerg and dark templar. The zerg campaign delves into the psychology and culture of the zerg as the broods reminisce over past victories, failures, creations, and wax poetic about the nature of life, the universe and everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    In the terran campaign, Magistrate Ramirez is dealing with zerg infestation planet-side and Doctor Wong is dealing with protoss invasion in interplanetary space. Prelate Khoros appears and offers assistance, since the nerazim empathize with the terrans due to their similarities in thought and their shared victimization by the Protoss Empire. The nerazim have some technical differences from the empire forces because they rely largely on guerilla tactics and mobile buildings similar to terrans: warp prisms instead of pylons, phase cannons from the SC2 beta, and even a mobile battle-ready nexus similar to the Necron monolith in Dawn of War.

    In the protoss campaign, the 34th fleet of the Koprulu expedition is beginning to strain under the weight of the schism between the purifiers and sympathizers. Judicator Sahaqal is a member of the purifier faction and advocates glassing the planets of New Texas. Executor Raziel is a member of the sympathizer faction and advocates fighting the zerg conventionally. Raziel attempts to make overtures to the terrans, but this fails because the terrans justifiably have no reason to trust them after the widely publicized glassing of Chau Sara. When the nerazim show up, the protoss are shocked but Raziel refuses to commit genocide so Sahaqal assumes control of the fleet. Glassing the colonies of New Texas with their current fleet would take far too long to be effective in the time they have, so Sahaqal is forced to make do with conventional tactics.

    In the zerg campaign, the broods Narfi and Vaali are overseeing the invasion of New Texas. They have intercepted protoss communications and learned that the expedition has called off the genocide and planned to wage war conventionally so as not to destroy the terrans. This is a boon to the zerg, but also means they are dependent on a terran presence: if their hive worlds do not have terrans, then the protoss will glass them; although that assumes they can defeat the terrans at all since their current forces were allotted based on logistical calculations. The brood mother Fjori is responsible for spawning their forces, but they will need months in order to collect the resources and spawn the warriors they need for a prolonged conflict. Meanwhile, Nova Squadron uses psi emitters to lure Vaali to their hidden bases and track down the cerebrate to its creche. They attempt to enslave it using drugs and ghosts, and the attempt is seemingly successful. Vaali turns against Narfi and attempts to take over their hives, but suddenly turns against the terran slavers. Unfortunately, Vaali has turned rogue and now intends to form its own swarm to claim the sector. Without the Overmind to regulate it, it is now free to replicate without any restrictions and spawns a half-dozen new broods that spread across the system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    To provide better context for the player, I would use a Risk-style map to represent the New Texas system.
    • The Magistrate begins with militia bases across the inner, habitable planets.
    • The zerg already seeded these planets with spores years earlier and recently received reinforcements.
    • Epsilon Squadron begins with science and military bases across the outer rim of the system.
    • The Koprulu Expedition travels through this region to set up their nexus points.
    • The Shadow Hunters have already set up warp points at strategic locations across the system.
    • Project Bellwood has secret outposts in a number of obscure locations.

    Each faction is driven by their motives, provided in the campaign as objectives:
    • The Magistrate’s, Epsilon’s and Shadow Hunters’ overarching objective is to survive against the alien invasion. They are fighting a primarily defensive battle, but over the course of this conflict they may have to assault enemy bases to cripple their offense.
    • The Zerg’s overarching objective is to harvest human psychics and sent their genetic material to the Overmind for cloning elsewhere. Fulfilling that objective necessarily requires assaulting the terrans and resisting protoss assaults.
    • The Koprulu Expedition’s overarching objective is to purge the zerg from the system. This necessarily requires overcoming the obstacles placed by Epsilon Squadron, whose EMP weaponry impedes protoss communications and technology.

    Multi-choice missions appeared in Enslavers and Retribution, so I am going to use the same idea:
    • Epsilon Squadron receives a distress call from one of the protoss nexus points. The former executor and his loyalists were imprisoned for refusing to assist in the judicator’s plan to exterminate the terrans. If Epsilon frees them, they will help the terrans against the invading protoss and zerg. However, Epsilon may take advantage of this backdoor to deal grievous harm to the fleet’s operations.
    • The zerg detect psychic emissions from different points in the system. During investigation, this turns out to be a trap laid by Project Bellwood. They have captured Vaali and somehow taken control of his brood. Narfi must assault one of their bases and destroy the apparatus enslaving Vaali.
    • The Shadow Hunters have been spying on the terrans and zerg for some time. One of their scientists claims to have a working model of the zerg hive mind. If they target one of the zerg’s “brain bugs,” this will massively decrease their collective intelligence and coordination, making them easy pickings. Alternately, they could capture the brain bug and subject it to a series of experiments and interrogations to get a better understanding of the zerg threat.
    • One of the rogue hive clusters has contacted Narfi with an offer to return to the fold in exchange for protection from nearby enemy forces. Narfi has the choice of either rescuing them, in which case they will be forcibly re-inducted into the swarm, or allowing them to be destroyed and then attacking the exhausted enemy forces.

  4. #444

    Default I'd like to discuss an AU about the first contact war... please? I'm desperate!

    I've been recovering from a car crash and decided to come back here. Those who have listened to me before know that I am very critical of the canon story. So I would like to use this thread to discuss various ideas and suggestions about a hypothetical AU focused on the first contact war as setup by the original manual, eschewing the prophecies and messiahs and space magic of the games.

    Could somebody engage with me? There really isn't anywhere else I can find to discuss this. Nobody seems to be interested. All the discussion forums I could find just keep talking nonstop about Kerry and Raynor.

    I've written dozens of pages of notes of ideas and have tons more ideas that I haven't committed to text. Some of those I've posted here, some to google drive, some on my phone, etc. Most of it is probably redundant...

    Here are few piece ideas I'd like share to start off with.

    Starcraft as a sandbox military scifi

    The canon focuses on a tiny caste of characters and forces the entire setting to revolve around them. I prefer to imagine Starcraft as a grand anthology with many characters fighting in the first contact war.

    The zerg need to assimilate humanity to survive the inevitable war with the protoss, but the protoss get involved prematurely. That's the basic premise of the first contact war. It is a war over the fate of humanity.

    The terrans and protoss have huge political baggage attached. That's where a lot of their shtick comes from. Ultimately it boils down to universal themes like individuality versus confirmity and such.

    I'd be happy to elaborate on demand.

    Overthinking it: purity of essence

    Something that came to me recently is how to reconcile the definition of purity of essence between the manual and SC2. In the manual the purities are purely arbitrary subjective observational constructions of the xel'naga as they try to create the ultimate lifeform. In the SC1 game these were changed to magical complementary traits. In SC2 they become metaphysical parts of the universe.

    The actual definitions are pretty simple, if confusing. In the dictionary, "essence" refers to the intrinsic nature of a thing; "purity" means homogenous or free of sin. In the manual "purity of essence" refers to the zerg maintaining their instrinsic nature as zerg despite their physical diversity, with the overmind/hivemind (because their isn't a distinction here yet) being a prerequisite to achieving and maintaining it. In SC2, it refers to the zerg sharing a single genome and pursuing perfection.

    You could make further arguments about how the SC2 definition is nonsensical but I think that's a waste of time. Now these seem to be completely opposing, since the former is psychological and the latter is physiological, but it makes perfect sense if you take into account obscure details of the zerg physiology.

    As explained in War Stories, the zerg have unique "musical organelles" which are responsible for their telepathy, gene splicing, and telepathic exchange of genes. That's why the xel'naga were interested in them according to the larva biography.

    Although the writers never make use of it, the zerg clearly have an ancestral memory stored in their genes, because of course they do. Hatcheries are stated to contain the complete knowledge of the Overmind, unlocking more of it as they mature somehow. Dead zerg personalities may be resurrected in new bodies, regardless of breed. Fragments of zerg corpses retain their memories. The simplest way to explain this is genetic memory, because of course it is.

    So for the zerg, their biology and memories are part of their genome or "essence". "Essence" is both their genome and their, for lack of a better term, soul. The hivemind, as exemplified by the Overmind "bodiless entity", enables them to maintain the purity of the essence by synchronizing it across their civilization.

    I've been putting a similar amount of thought into other concepts and I'd love to discuss them with others who have second opinions or unique insights I myself lack.

    Protoss politics

    Protoss politics and history are probably the most underutilized and misused in the canon. I have come up with an extremely detailed and complex political spectrum for them. I have thought long and hard about giving them a detailed and believable history that doesn't oversimplify complex issues.

    The Protoss Empire has two major political divisions of conservatives and progressives. In the Koprulu War, the progressives want to protect the terrans whereas the conservatives consider their lives forfeit as collateral damage.

    But the politics go further. The dark protoss exiles introduce further wrinkles. They include isolationists, patriots and more. Of relevance to the Koprulu War are those who either wish to help or exploit the terrans. Zeratul's nerazim ally with terrans to fight oppression, whereas Ulrezaj's taldarim ally with pirates to undermine the empire.

    A key effect of these politics is that they drag the war for far longer that it could have lasted otherwise. The protoss could easily destroy the terrans and zerg with their superweapons, but other protoss interfere with that.

    Again, I could go into more detail if anyone is interested.

    I hope to see comments...
    I think Starcraft needs rebooting. See "Enumerate" for details (links: timeline, full document, original forum thread).

  5. #445

    Default Re: I'd like to discuss an AU about the first contact war... please? I'm desperate!

    Well that's obvious, Mislag. Blizzard made the mistake of focusing them too much on the SC2 storyline, when they were only a piece of the picture.

    Anyways, I'm unsure regarding the dark templar's mentality to fight oppression. They merely disliked the Khalai for how they treated them in the past, made so little attempt to understand them, and so on. SC1 and BW didn't really show they were fond of terrans. Even by the beginning of BW Zeratul saw Raynor was trustworthy and everything, but that didn't apply to all terrans.

    As for Ulrezaj, his hatred for the Khalai is understandable. We see this happen in real life all the time, where there's always the hatred of others who are different from you. However I'm unsure about undermining the empire. Enslavers merely showed how much Ulrezaj wanted to get rid of the Khalai off Shakuras, and was willing to use the zerg for just that. I don't remember how he was viewed by the rest of the dark templar.

  6. #446

    Default Re: I'd like to discuss an AU about the first contact war... please? I'm desperate!

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    Well that's obvious, Mislag. Blizzard made the mistake of focusing them too much on the SC2 storyline, when they were only a piece of the picture.

    Anyways, I'm unsure regarding the dark templar's mentality to fight oppression. They merely disliked the Khalai for how they treated them in the past, made so little attempt to understand them, and so on. SC1 and BW didn't really show they were fond of terrans. Even by the beginning of BW Zeratul saw Raynor was trustworthy and everything, but that didn't apply to all terrans.

    As for Ulrezaj, his hatred for the Khalai is understandable. We see this happen in real life all the time, where there's always the hatred of others who are different from you. However I'm unsure about undermining the empire. Enslavers merely showed how much Ulrezaj wanted to get rid of the Khalai off Shakuras, and was willing to use the zerg for just that. I don't remember how he was viewed by the rest of the dark templar.
    The Empire attempted to exterminate the tribes that refused to join them, and probably succeeded many times. The Protoss Empire calls itself an Empire, a form of government that by definition expands by conquering other nations. The Empire has committed genocide on multiple occasions, against protoss and other species.

    Tassadar personally ordered the incineration of billions on multiple planets because the plot demanded it. He is a bigger mass murderer than Hitler.

    Dark protoss are already close to human by lacking a Khala. I dare say it makes sense they would sympathize with humans and help them fight the evil empire.

  7. #447

    Default Re: I'd like to discuss an AU about the first contact war... please? I'm desperate!

    To me, the way a terran may view the Khala (due to their lack of understanding of it) is merely just your resting place upon death, when you finally get to meet god. After all, it's why so many protoss have said they'd eventually become one with the Khala.

  8. #448

    Default Reboot idea: Arcturus as evil emperor of the Confederacy

    I originally posted this in another thread but decided to move it here.

    My ideas for reboot have changed over the past couple of years. My latest idea is basically a mashup of SC1 and SC2. Arcturus Mengsk is the Evil Emperor of the Confederacy (as the name implies, the Confederacy is composed of an alliance of multiple nation-states, including the Dominion and the annexed Kel-Morian Combine), who is opposed by the Umojan Protectorate (an alliance of independent nation-states formed to counter the Confederacy's aggression, including Umoja and the United Earth Directorate), the Sons of Korhal (a rogue state secretly funded by the Umojan Protectorate), etc. The Sons of Korhal are led by his son, Valerian, who wants personal revenge on Arcturus for the murder of the Mengsk family and the nuking of Korhal. Valerian's BFF is a girl named Sarah Kerrigan, a ghost who was forcibly infested and partly de-infested during experimentation with the zerg by the Confederacy before being rescued by Valerian. Valerian actually intended to kill her because she was the one who murdered his family, but when he realized she was just a brainwashed victim he offered her a place in the rebellion. Things get complicated rather quickly because the Confederacy's disturbing successful experiments have pissed off the zerg, who have decided to wage open war against the terran worlds. This provokes mass revolt against the Confederacy due to the fear, uncertainty, and the Confederacy's blatant incompetence. The Confederacy didn't expect this outcome because their estimates of the zerg population in the sector were low, but they didn't take into account that the zerg apparently know how to use the protoss warp gates scattered across the sector to warp-in broods from the other side of the galaxy. Things get even worse when the protoss, who were believed to be extinct by most of the populace, show up in an expedition fleet (i.e. their actual military is infinitely more terrifying) and incinerate several planets. These include Chau Sara, Antiga Prime, Tarsonis and Earth. Initially it seems like humanity is doomed, but then the protoss expedition fleet suffers an insurrection of terran-sympathizers who disable the planet crackers and decide to rescue the terrans. Not that the terrans are inclined to trust genocidal psychopaths.

    The Protoss Empire is currently experiencing a political schism between conservative and progressive factions concerning how to apply the Great Stewardship. Previously the Empire had been happy to go around conquering and genociding, but with new generations came new modes of thought. A key event was the Kalath Intercession, which went so disastrously wrong that the conservative party attempted to save face by firing on its own soldiers (this is why Fenix dislikes the conservative party). As a result, the Great Stewardship was amended to restrict intervention. That restriction allowed the terrans to expand across former protoss territory without interference. Aldaris and other conservatives see the first contact war as a way to reclaim the sector for the protoss and empower their political position at the same time. Or at least it would be if progressives like Tassadar and Andraxxus didn't interfere. Ain't politics fun?

    There's dozens of systems in the sector with their own independent campaigns and story arcs and what not. But for right now I'm going to focus on the Sara system. The protoss glassed Chau Sara and were about to glass Mar Sara when the local executor, Tassadar, took the reins. He tried to stop the glassing of Chau Sara only to be overruled, and now tries to atone by helping Mar Sara. The Confederacy's incompetence pissed off the local planetary Magistrate, who has revolted and joined the Sons of Korhal. The Magistrate is initially distrustful of the protoss, but slowly relents when s/he learns more about the situation (such as that Tassadar wasn't responsible and tried to stop the genocide).

    All of this civil war is a godsend to the zerg. Far from the space bugs the Confederacy thought they were, they are an intelligent civilization that has spent millions of years preparing for a galactic war with the vastly superior protoss. The final piece that they need, the fabled "determinant," is psychic power comparable to that of the protoss. Which they found scattered in the gene pool of terran psychic mutants. They're in the sector to harvest humanity to create weapons. It's a double-edged sword, as the terrans are also weaponizing psychic powers. An example of how things could go disastrously wrong is when the Incubus brood went rogue after infesting the deranged ghost Atticus Carpenter; his madness spread to the brood and it no longer recognized the greater swarms as its kindred. That wasn't even intentional psychic warfare, as Carpenter was a member of the Fist of Redemption cult of zerg-worshipers spreading across the sector.

    But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the zerg, as with the protoss, is their culture. They're utterly alien to humanity, but not incomprehensible. They're lead by a collective intelligence or "Overmind" (proper name, if any, is Amon, after the Egyptian primordial deity), but the Overmind delegates tasks to specially bred synapse creatures like brain bugs, overlords, queens, infestors and so forth. Synapse creatures are all of at least human intelligence and develop personalities. The Overmind allows this development as part of its plan to marry the strengths of unity and diversity while avoiding the weaknesses. They talk to each other. They develop rivalries, camaraderie, and all the other relationships that characterize social organisms. They can even hate one another, but their hive mind's enforced empathy means that they would never act on it. The zerg by nature are vicious monsters and if it wasn't for the Overmind forcing them to empathize with each other, they would try to eat each other. Even that has limits, as shown by the legendary bloodthirstiness of the Surtur brood and the occasions in which minions kill their own siblings upon hatching, both of which are intentional for breeding better killers. Which is why the first contact war presents new problems. The zerg already deal with mutations that cause breeders to develop free will, often enough that the Fenris brood specializes in hunting them. Now the Fenris brood doesn't have enough time to do that what with the terrans and protoss fighting the zerg. And the terrans and protoss have developed psychic warfare that interferes with the hive mind connection; the entire reason the zerg decided to throw caution to the wind and invade was because the Confederacy was developing successful methods of enslaving zerg. All of this is a recipe for disaster.

    There are also the dark protoss tribes to consider. Having lived in the shadow of the Protoss Empire for countless millennia, some of them have followed zerg probes back to the terran sector. The warrior-priest Zeratul, the vengeful Ulrezaj, the power-hungry Alarak and more have found their way to the sector and they have plans of their own. The Protoss Empire fought wars of extermination against those peoples for reasons that aren't entirely unjustified (why do you think the zerg spent millions of years preparing for war by eating countless worlds and still weren't up to snuff?), and they'll certainly try again.

    Against a backdrop of interstellar war, there are few stories you can't tell.

    None of that garbage about the zerg mindlessly following psi-emitters, Kerry effortlessly taking control of everything, Earth coming out of left field only to get shanked, the xel'naga writing a prophecy of their own destruction, a handful of "great men" controlling the course of history, or any other stupidity. My version of the first contact war is a giant clusterfuck of competing interests that you need a flowchart to track, and there isn't any overarching story where a handful of heroes control the fate of everything. That's not how things work in a realistic universe.

    That's the original post, here's some addenda.

    You can give Raynor, Kerry, Valerian and friends their own campaign, but they shouldn't be the main characters of the war. I've been extremely uncharitable to them in the past, but I decided to let bygones be bygones and lets them have their Mar Sara Revolt as one of the many conflicts going on within the greater first contact war.

    You may be wondering why I made some changes I did. Here's some explanation. Most of these boil down to the canon being stupid and my sensible replacements, or simple expediency.

    I condensed the destruction of Chau Sara, Antiga Prime, Tarsonis and Earth into the opening battles of the first contact war because I don't really see much point in retreading that territory.

    I concocted an explanation for the opening battles of the war because the canon never really bothered to provide an explanation. I also nixed the psi-emitter plot device because it makes no sense. The zerg are intelligent and used psi beacons themselves to lure victims, so obviously they'd think the emitters are traps and wouldn't divert valuable forces to investigate when the humans they need to harvest are right in front of them. So I replaced it with actual psychic warfare that the zerg need to fight in order to get harvesting done.

    I expanded the zerg's goal into the genocide of humanity because that's waaaay more interesting than canon's silly "they wanted one teenage girl all along" nonsense. It also provides a sensible explanation for why they hang around the terran sector, when in canon this had no sensible explanation.

    I concocted an elaborate explanation of Protoss Empire politics because the canon never bothered to. This way their behavior has a context and rationale rather than being a flimsy plot device to justify planet-hopping.

    I made Arcturus always evil and moved his heroism to Valerian. That's because Arcturus has firmly been cemented in fandom memory as a cartoon villain so I decided not to resist that. I rewrote Valerian to have actual reasons for rebelling, like his father being a filthy traitor who killed his own family and home planet.

    Similar logic has been applied to Kerry. Her characterization has never been remotely consistent, so I just picked the "victim of experimentation" part and rewrote her character around that. She was briefly connected to the hive mind, and that experience was so terrifying (after the fact; at the time it was euphoric) that she's not inclined to treat nicely with the zerg. Unlike canon where they are peaceful space orcs, my version of the zerg are vicious monsters.

    I destroyed Earth because that was planned in an earlier draft of Brood War. I made the UED a member of the Umojan Protectorate because they fill the same role: stop the evil empire from oppressing people.

    I merged Amon with Overmind because they're basically the same thing: the big bad evil guy who wants to conquer the universe. What gives it depth is that it does this to maximize the existence of the zerg, not some stupid nihilistic garbage like "I will end suffering by killing everyone."

    I have so more to say, but I'm having trouble articulating so I'm stopping here. Feel free to offer advice, critique, etc.

  9. #449

    Default Re: Reboot idea: Arcturus as evil emperor of the Confederacy

    In many ways I actually did kind of wonder even if we go all the way back to WoL and what would have happened had Raynor never made the broadcast back in Media Blitz, and would Valerian have actually forcibly tried to remove his father for his actions.

    As for the whole stupid nihilistic crap you insist, you'd be surprised how much that's used still, the main Q isn't should you use it or not, but rather if it's done properly. It's only a shame we weren't given info on Amon's past, might have worked if Blizzard provided that.

  10. #450

    Default Re: Reboot idea: Arcturus as evil emperor of the Confederacy

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    In many ways I actually did kind of wonder even if we go all the way back to WoL and what would have happened had Raynor never made the broadcast back in Media Blitz, and would Valerian have actually forcibly tried to remove his father for his actions.
    I don't wonder.

    Remember that cinematic where Raynor and Valerian become best friends by murdering two innocent security guards?

    WoL is a big steaming pile.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    As for the whole stupid nihilistic crap you insist, you'd be surprised how much that's used still, the main Q isn't should you use it or not, but rather if it's done properly. It's only a shame we weren't given info on Amon's past, might have worked if Blizzard provided that.
    I highly doubt that it would have worked. It might have convinced angsty teenagers who see something of themselves in Amon because he behaves like an angsty teenager (I speak from experience, because as a teenager and even now I entertain/ed fantasies of exterminating humanity), but I have actual taste. Trying to make Amon sympathetic makes about as much sense as trying to make Hitler or Voldemort sympathetic. You can certainly try, but it's going to fall flat for most people.

    Amon is trying to exterminate all life in the universe (which is so big your brain literally cannot fathom how big it is) and, at best, replace it with his mindless hybrid monsters. He had billions of years in which to plot this out. That's a time span so huge that your human brain cannot fathom how big it is.

    The overall effect is that he comes across as impossibly idiotic, like Blizzard just shoehorned him into the game as a cheap and lazy way to get everyone to team up just like they did at the end of Warcraft 3.

    Furthermore, he comes across as a bargain bin knock-off of the Overmind. The Overmind had basically the same plan (exterminate all life) but it did so for reasons that, while horrifying and alien, were comprehensible. The Overmind wanted to maximize the existence of the zerg and considered all non-zerg life to be food and raw materials to that end. This motivation is perfectly sensible, considering that it is displayed by virtually all life on Earth from the tiniest virus to the largest whale.

    Therefore, there was never any need to bring in Amon. You could have just resurrected the Overmind instead. The plot of Starcraft runs on bullshit anyway so it wouldn't be out of place.

    On another note, are you actually interested in engaging with my reboot proposal or are you just here to criticize me for not liking SC2? I've made dozens of threads about reboot ideas and I will make dozens more unless you guys actually engage with my ideas rather than constantly regurgitate your talking points about trying to salvage Metzen's druggie ex-girlfriend fantasies. That's the same logic used by a religious apologist. This entire reason I post on this forum and not the official Blizzard forums is because of that kind of apologist behavior being normal there. At least here I thought I'd be able to discuss with people, like how I can discuss fanfiction ideas with the Game of Thrones fandom. Instead, this forum feels like a cemetery where you guys constantly mourn the graves of your hopes and dreams.

    Other forums I've tried haven't been any better. Which is extremely frustrating to me. I can't discuss my ideas if nobody wants to discuss them.

    Whenever I propose introducing a half-dozen original characters into the GoT timeline to throw the plot into shambles, I get applause. Here I get either crickets or chastisement for not toeing the party line.


    If you are going to post in this thread, then please don't waste my time. If you aren't interested in engaging with my ideas, then please have the politeness not to reply in the first place. We've literally done this a dozen times before in all the other threads I've posted. It's like that meme definition of insanity where you do the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.

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