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Thread: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

  1. #1
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Old news no doubt, but aside from the retcons and the fact that the writers were afraid of anyone taking the campaign seriously, I've pretty much found the major reason why I consider the SC2 story to be a disappointment.

    Do you guys remember the hype for SC2 before it was announced. Back then I wondered how they would script Kerrigan's interactions with everyone else, or what she would even do. At that point, the end of Brood War, Kerrigan has become the Queen bitch of the universe. She has pissed everyone off, and people would be stupid to trust her a second time. It got to the point where Kerrigan had to die as far as every other character was concerned. What kind of writing magic would the writers have to pull to create a plot where she interacts with others in any meaningful capacity beyond killing them all? How would Raynor live up to his promise to kill Kerrigan? How would Zeratul avenge his Matriarch? This was basically the hype for SC2.

    Of course back then there were no prophecies or deux ex machina de-infestation artifacts in the SC universe, so I was counting on them using clever plot & character development to make this happen. Imagine my disappointment when they took the easy way out and created a prophecy which mandates that kerrigan must live or the universe will explode. What the f*** writers? This is the best you could think of?
    Last edited by Gradius; 12-15-2011 at 08:04 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Why all the hate all of a sudden? I do agree that expectations can be a bitch sometimes.

    I'm frankly not surprised how Sc2's story is turning out. I remember a time back when I had just finished BW for the first time, I knew that they had essentially written themselves into a corner. The only way the story could continue was to create some contrived plot device or retcon. Once that slippery slope starts you can expect the rest of the story to fall by the wayside because "nothing will be sacred". Because of this, I secretly hoped that they would never continue SC.

    When Sc2 was announced I had mixed feelings. I knew instantly that the story was going to be crap but I still had that glimmer of hope. If Sc2 is coming out, the story surely must be be solid, right? It can't just be an attempt to grab money and appease the multi-player masses, right? If only I had kept my hard-line cynicism...

    Finally playing through WoL though pretty much validated my initial fears (contrived continuation of story and all that that entails) and then some (the blatant retconning of past material was galling). I'm sad to say that WoL certainly met my expectations - it's just a pity that I didn't really want them to in this case.
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  3. #3
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    I replayed the campaign. :P

    I just wish they continued where BW left off. The prophecy was an excuse for them to write a totally different story that shared more themes from WC3 than BW. BW was never about prophecy or the races having to defend themselves from a pure evil thats coming to kill everyone. It was about how characters decisions influenced galactic events.

    I would have liked if Kerrigan redeemed herself instead of them using an artifact. Turns out Kerrigan wasnt evil on purpose, the overmind wasnt really either, its all BS.
    Last edited by Gradius; 12-16-2011 at 09:25 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Yeah, I was kind of hyper-excited with the Dark Origin secret mission (and before that, the heart-broken Raynor when his dear friend Fenix got killed by his foolish hope of Kerrigan's return). But then I realized that the story has pushed too far and its chance to be continued (with the same quality of BW) is dim.
    When I saw the "artifacts" that could turn Kerrigan into (kinda) human, it's "wtf" moment, not the spine-chilling thing of BW.
    Oh well, HunterXHunter (anyone read this manga?) is fucked up with the deaths of Netero and the ant king too. Too anti-climax.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    I replayed the campaign. :P

    I just wish they continued where BW left off. The prophecy was an excuse for them to write a totally different story that shared more themes from WC3 than BW. BW was never about prophecy or the races having to defend themselves from a pure evil thats coming to kill everyone. It was about how characters decisions influenced galactic events.

    I would have liked if Kerrigan redeemed herself instead of them using an artifact. Turns out Kerrigan wasnt evil on purpose, the overmind wasnt really either, its all BS.
    I wouldn't say that prophecies are out of place in sc. The Xel' Naga are all about prophecies and such and of course there's the dark origin mission.

    Thinking back about it, as stupid as the disinfection of kerrigan was, it wasn't the first time that something like that happened. Using the Xel' Naga temple on Shakuras was probably as stupid. It's exactly the same idea; collecting a bunch of artifacts, surviving a zerg attack to use them... Really, if you think about the whole story, SC1 is probably as ridiculous/cheesy as SC2.

    The execution is the main problem in SC2 imo. The dialogues are usually really poorly written and the story doesn't take itself seriously enough(stupid news station...). This is all compared to SC1 of course. Compared to other games in general, it's really not that bad.

    The fact is, I believe that we're seeing a Star-Wars social phenomenon here. Fans that experienced 4,5,6 first think that 1,2,3 are crap. Most people who experienced 1,2,3 and who's judgement is not influenced by fans thinks that 4,5,6 are not as good. In the end, 123 story is objectively comparable to 456. 123 is just way prettier and fans are nostalgic about 456. Back to starcraft, SC2 is just way prettier and fans are nostalgic about SC1.

    Lets be fair, most of us fans experienced SC1 11 years ago. Most of us were kids back then. It's understandable that we thought SC1 was the greatest thing ever. It's safe to say that nostalgia plays a big role in our evaluation of SC2.

  6. #6
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment




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  7. #7
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    I wouldn't say that prophecies are out of place in sc. The Xel' Naga are all about prophecies and such and of course there's the dark origin mission.

    Thinking back about it, as stupid as the disinfection of kerrigan was, it wasn't the first time that something like that happened. Using the Xel' Naga temple on Shakuras was probably as stupid. It's exactly the same idea; collecting a bunch of artifacts, surviving a zerg attack to use them... Really, if you think about the whole story, SC1 is probably as ridiculous/cheesy as SC2.

    The execution is the main problem in SC2 imo. The dialogues are usually really poorly written and the story doesn't take itself seriously enough(stupid news station...). This is all compared to SC1 of course. Compared to other games in general, it's really not that bad.

    The fact is, I believe that we're seeing a Star-Wars social phenomenon here. Fans that experienced 4,5,6 first think that 1,2,3 are crap. Most people who experienced 1,2,3 and who's judgement is not influenced by fans thinks that 4,5,6 are not as good. In the end, 123 story is objectively comparable to 456. 123 is just way prettier and fans are nostalgic about 456. Back to starcraft, SC2 is just way prettier and fans are nostalgic about SC1.

    Lets be fair, most of us fans experienced SC1 11 years ago. Most of us were kids back then. It's understandable that we thought SC1 was the greatest thing ever. It's safe to say that nostalgia plays a big role in our evaluation of SC2.
    I honestly believe that James Phinney was the key to SC vanilla's success. Brood War was much worse without him: it had the xel'naga temple, and it introduced the cosmic cycle. The Xel'Naga from SC1 were simply a race of beings who had reached the pinnacle of evolution: the evolution & propagation of lesser species.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    I'm not really in agreement here, at least when it regards following up on Brood War.

    The least interesting storylines after Brood War were the terran storyline. After all, the "greater war" between the protoss and zerg could continue with no terran involvement at all.

    However, Blizzard wanted to deal with Raynor. His greatest remaining connections to the storyline were with Kerrigan and Mengsk. Blizzard had to tie together Raynor, Mengsk, Kerrigan, and at the same time continue the xel'naga storyline. I can't say they did the greatest job on it, but they did manage to have Raynor take place in a shakeup of the Koprulu Sector in a plot-relevant way. Raynor may have been motivated more by his love for Kerrigan rather than Zeratul's prophetic crystal, but in the end he did do something big.

    Now that Raynor's story is mainly dealt with, Blizzard can focus on the xel'naga storyline. It's entirely possible that Blizzard was afraid of choking on the plotline and decided to leave it toward the end, only gradually revealing the xel'naga and hybrid mystery. There were only three hybrid missions in Wings of Liberty, after all, when you consider there was only one thing Raynor could do about them. Which he did. (Although maybe he was fooled.)
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    I wouldn't say that prophecies are out of place in sc. The Xel' Naga are all about prophecies and such and of course there's the dark origin mission.

    Thinking back about it, as stupid as the disinfection of kerrigan was, it wasn't the first time that something like that happened. Using the Xel' Naga temple on Shakuras was probably as stupid. It's exactly the same idea; collecting a bunch of artifacts, surviving a zerg attack to use them... Really, if you think about the whole story, SC1 is probably as ridiculous/cheesy as SC2.
    That's not a very good justification. Any story that is bullet-pointed like what you've done would be forever crap then. SC1 (not BW) relies less on cheap plot-devices and those that do (ie: Psi Emitter) enrich the characters and do not become highly overstated that they dominate the whole story. FanaticTemplar had a good review of this exact same thing somewhere on this forum.

    I agree that the XN temple is a cliche plot-device but there was much more going behind it, such as further characterisation of it's main players, that helped that 'bitter pill' go down easier. WoL tries this but not nearly as effectively such that it's glaring cliche plot-devices stick out like a sore thumb.

    It's funny because I read an interview somewhere with Metzen (I think) where he mentioned something along the lines of people not questioning gaping plot-holes and crappy plot-devices if the story invests you in it's characters. I'm not entirely sure if he's indicating that WoL is evidence of "practice what you preach" because if he really meant that, the irony of what we got with WoL is delicious...

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    The execution is the main problem in SC2 imo. The dialogues are usually really poorly written and the story doesn't take itself seriously enough(stupid news station...). This is all compared to SC1 of course. Compared to other games in general, it's really not that bad.
    This is saying a LOT! You're intimating that all modern games have even more crappy story (in terms of their execution) than SC2? How very depressing if true!


    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    Lets be fair, most of us fans experienced SC1 11 years ago. Most of us were kids back then. It's understandable that we thought SC1 was the greatest thing ever. It's safe to say that nostalgia plays a big role in our evaluation of SC2.
    Only up to a point. Like you said, the execution of the story is the most egregious thing of all about the campaign. It's almost insulting to anyone's intelligence. The wishy-washy telling of WoL story, poor dialogue, tepid pacing, paucity of the story-line and the ultimately meaningless distractions that make up the bulk of the campaign until we get to said story-line really kill any impact the story could have made.

    Also, the argument that you must know/understand SC lore to understand WoL is BS because SC1 - where you'd naturally think more would be needed given you're being introduced to that universe - works fine as a story without any fore-knowledge of the world. Much as a I dislike the heavily cloistered focus on SC lore in WoL - which in itself distracts you from the poor story - I actually do think there is some potential in WoL's storyline. Kerrigan being de-infested (and the events leading up to and especially after) has a ton of mileage and potential but it's a real pity that it had to be buried behind inept story-telling.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 12-16-2011 at 10:46 PM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Why the SC2 Story Was a Disappointment

    One of the things that contributed to the poor pacing and general lacklusterness of the story was their attempt to cash in on having different choices the player could make during the campaign, and letting them play the missions in any order.

    When the branching story mode was announced, I thought it was a really cool idea, because I thought there would be multiple stories to play through. But after the first 'choice point' in the game, I quickly realized that no matter which option I chose, the character who the choice was about would be removed from the game, and the campaign would continue unchanged, regardless of my decision. You can either kill the character or not, but if you don't, they leave anyway, never to be mentioned again. Since the different mission branches could be played in any order, all of the missions had to be written to work with or without the characters, and regardless of whether you had killed them or they'd left in friendship.
    Since I figured this out early on in the game, I knew that none of the characters would matter, so I didn't care about any of them. And it made for a weaker story overall: you can play all the artifact missions first, leading up to what should be a shocking twist of events when Raynor teams up with Valerian. But, after teaming up with Dominion forces and confronting Mengsk via hologram, you can head straight back to Korhal and dick around with the Odin if you want to, and then go laze around in Zeratul's memory.

    So, yeah, the story and characters were all inconsequential because the people making the missions for the campaign were forced to make them around this system of choice that the higher-ups thought would have been cool.

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