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Thread: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

  1. #21
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    A failed experiment where they retain their sentience and destroy the facility before they kill themselves out of hatred for what they have been turned into.

  2. #22
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    A failed experiment where they retain their sentience and destroy the facility before they kill themselves out of hatred for what they have been turned into.
    Neat idea. If I use it, or something similar, I'll be sure to credit you.

    EDIT: The current mission count as of the most recent stage of planning (IE, right now) is 78. Three more campaigns need to be added to that. I'd say 130 is a reasonable estimate. Note that this is in 15-25 mission chunks, released one campaign at a time, if all goes as planned.

    Oh, and not to spoil anything major, but I promise, promise, promise that the hybrid will be handled more tastefully (and with proper motivation) than they were in Wings. And no Dark Voice. Voice in the Darkness is a maybe, but I can't remember what I'd planned for that entity; I may just cut that out entirely. The plot's already too complicated, and I've been spending the last week trying to fix this.

    EDIT NUMERO DOS: Am stuck on some names for protoss units, weapons, abilities, and upgrades. Anyone willing to help out with that? I'm not good at sciencey jargon (even if it's not correct technical jargon), so any help would be appreciated. PM me if you want, so as to avoid gameplay spoilers for the rest of the board (though I doubt anyone really cares about having a fan-campaign spoiled for them. You never know though).
    Last edited by Sheliek; 12-09-2012 at 05:29 AM.

  3. #23
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Yay!!! DOUBLE POST FOR THE WINZORS!!! It's my thread, and it allows followers to know when I've added things (in case anyone was wondering why I love doing it here and nowhere else).

    Let's talk characters. Yes, there will be spoilers, so I'll be as vague as possible.

    I think the four core characters of the StarCraft experience are Jim Raynor, Arcturus Mengsk, Sarah Kerrigan and Lenassa aj Razmin paydir Zeratul (because I totally got that excessive that I came up with a simple protoss naming system).

    My portrayal of these characters will, in my opinion, be true to the first game, while evolving enough to make them feel different over time. They grow. They change.

    With that said, let's look at some simple, quick characterizations and motifs for each.

    Jim Raynor: in the story of Legacy of the Xel'Naga, Raynor will start out as you'd expect. The hardened optimist. I always felt, however, that this was a bit boring. Thus, I thought 'how could I evolve this character realistically in such a way that he might be completely unrecognizable by the end of the series?' I then thought about revolutionaries, and the general trend with them -- they start out good, more often than not. But do they tend to stay that way? Not always. I want, thus, Raynor to evolve into extremism, much as Mengsk did. Will he take out a whole planet just for revenge? Maybe, maybe not. You'll have to see. By the end of Raynor's story arc, however, we'll have seen him progress from idealist rebel crusader to hardened extremist-bordering-on-war-criminal. Will that be the extent of his character arc? Nope. I've got a lot more in store for this character, none of which has even been hinted at in this thread.

    Arcturus Mengsk: Blizzard's interpretation of Mengsk as tyrannical dictator is childish and annoying, to me. My interpretation is more of a pragmatic (God I love saying and writing that word; I shoehorn it into everything applicable as often as possible) dictator, one beloved by most people. Early on in his reign, Mengsk was very proactive. His years as a revolutionary played, I'm sure, a large part in that. But it became apparent quite quickly that this method would not work very well as Emperor of the Dominion of Humanity (I just came up with that title, and it has a nice ring to it; may change 'Terran Dominion' to 'Dominion of Humanity' or somesuch. God I have a bad habit of going on tangents...), so he took a more reserved approach to leadership. Mengsk makes damaging decisions. He views killing a few thousand for the benefit of a few billion to be something requiring little thought, as the benefits outweigh the detriments to him. I must confess, Mengsk will have little screen-time. But is he evil? No. He's not going to be a villain in this campaign. An antagonist? Obviously; I will be having a campaign devoted to both Raynor and Kerrigan, so that seems a foregone conclusion. What are my goals with Mengsk's character? To show how extremism calms down when no longer necessary, as well as to show my long-held belief that dictatorship is not, in and of itself, a bad thing.

    Sarah Kerrigan: I find the plot I'm exploring with Kerrigan to be something that will be very hit-or-miss for most. Kerrigan's redemption. It won't be through contrived serums or artefacts. It will be of her own will, as was hinted at in Brood War. Will she be evil? To terrans and protoss, the answer is a resounding 'YES!' But her's will be like Mengsk's. Pragmatic. Violent when necessary. This seems a very keen departure from her portrayal in both StarCraft I and II, but I believe it will be handled well enough. It's all in the method. Drastic character change IS realistic, it just depends on the 'hows' and the 'whys', right? Kerrigan's main motivation, thus, will be improving the other races' opinions of her. No easy task, mind you, and one very likely to fail. I will also be exploring whether she can realistically end up as anything other than another Overmind, which I think is an area Blizzard should explore in III.

    Razmin paydir Zeratul: Zeratul has always struck me as mysterious. I still feel he is, though most seem to disagree on that. With that said, I am going to make Zeratul's role in society more apparent. He will be a warrior-mystic. I will be retooling him to be more like a high templar mixed with a dark templar, gameplay-wise (for anyone interested). Story-wise, meditation will be a big part of Zeratul's character. He will receive visions which must then be interpreted by other, more specialized mystics (the Alysaar Clan). These visions will both give Zeratul direction, as well as foreshadow later plot points (as well as be suitably trippy for those who like bizarre visuals). See this for an idea of how bizarre I want these to look. The reason, incidentally, I want these to look so strange and trippy is simple: how would you expect prophetic visions to appear to a psionically advanced species? Simple, blunt images? Hardly. Zeratul's main motivations will be in stamping out the influence of the Hybrid Zeitgeist, and uniting the protoss.

    Oh, and for those wondering what that name I gave Zeratul means, it would translate as 'Zeratul, son of Razmin of Lenassa Clan' (aj meaning 'of', and paydir meaning 'sire' or 'offspring'). Incidentally, if uraj uses a similar meaning, I surmise it would mean, thus, 'of light' or something to that affect, in the Nerazim tongue. But given how unimportant those crystals will be, it doesn't really matter. Mere musings!

    Anyway, thoughts?

  4. #24

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Kerrigan's main motivation, thus, will be improving the other races' opinions of her.
    Uh... Why? Queen bitch of the universe? She has the entire swarm, whose purpose is to assimilate and annihilate. The entire purpose of zerg is to be the embodiment of the pure power of nature and evolution. Why be friendly?

    Also, you're assuming Blizz is going to make SCIII? Let's focus on getting SCII into a good place, first. :P
    Last edited by topsecret221; 01-17-2013 at 03:14 PM.

  5. #25
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    If I explained why, that'd ruin the fun of learning. This change of heart revolves around this line from the end of Brood War: 'Unable to shake the feeling that a great threat loomed just over the horizon, Kerrigan could only stare off into the vastness of space where she beheld a great void. Or perhaps a reflection of a hollow victory and of the trials yet to come...'

    They won't be friendly. Any improvement in the races' opinions of her will solely be to allow them to trust her enough to make an alliance of convenience more realistic and appealing to them.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Are any Heart of the Swarm info going to get incorporated (the Dark Voice has been fleshed out, and at this stage he's set up as the primary antagonist.) And while I can respect the effort you've put in, I have to disagree on a few points.

    Mengsk was pretty obviously a dicatorial monster from day 1. He did the same thing the confederacy did to his own homeworld on a more massive scale, threw Sarah under the bus largely because she called him out on it, and flat out stated that he would rather watch the sector burn than not be able to rule it.

    Raynor: We've had enough "become what you hate" tropes. That's what happened to Mengsk and many other blizz characters (arthas for instance, kael'thas aiden). Why can't the hero finally break the cycle of getting corrupted by revenge?

    Sarah: To be honest, I found the idea that Kerrigan was entirely in control during brood war kind of dumb. She had already remained a moral individual in the Sons despite the abuse she suffered at the Confederacy's hands; having her decide "oh I'm going to be evil" is just stupid. Also, most of her atrocities struck me more as needlessly sadistic (what she did to the protoss). At that point, she was a monster. Brood War had the pyramid so the whole "magic artifact and deinfest" did have precedent.

    Dark Voice and Hybrids: The guy's mo is pretty clear (remake the universe in his image, the hybrids are the instruments of his will. He also fits the "mysterious higher power"), and he is more than deadly enough to be a threat.

  7. #27
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Quote Originally Posted by DarthYam View Post
    Are any Heart of the Swarm info going to get incorporated (the Dark Voice has been fleshed out, and at this stage he's set up as the primary antagonist.) And while I can respect the effort you've put in, I have to disagree on a few points.

    Mengsk was pretty obviously a dicatorial monster from day 1. He did the same thing the confederacy did to his own homeworld on a more massive scale, threw Sarah under the bus largely because she called him out on it, and flat out stated that he would rather watch the sector burn than not be able to rule it.

    Raynor: We've had enough "become what you hate" tropes. That's what happened to Mengsk and many other blizz characters (arthas for instance, kael'thas aiden). Why can't the hero finally break the cycle of getting corrupted by revenge?

    Sarah: To be honest, I found the idea that Kerrigan was entirely in control during brood war kind of dumb. She had already remained a moral individual in the Sons despite the abuse she suffered at the Confederacy's hands; having her decide "oh I'm going to be evil" is just stupid. Also, most of her atrocities struck me more as needlessly sadistic (what she did to the protoss). At that point, she was a monster. Brood War had the pyramid so the whole "magic artifact and deinfest" did have precedent.

    Dark Voice and Hybrids: The guy's mo is pretty clear (remake the universe in his image, the hybrids are the instruments of his will. He also fits the "mysterious higher power"), and he is more than deadly enough to be a threat.
    Yeah, I'm doing my last revision of the plot currently. Finding a good mix with Mengsk is proving difficult. I want him to be a dictator at this point, but NOT Heart of the Swarm evil. More StarCraft I evil. Subtle, manipulative, but not quite a tyrannical Orwellian super-dictator. I also want the player to not feel like a monster for doing what he says, so I've got to make him reasonable. I believe it's entirely possible to make Mengsk a reasonable villain. Hell, I could throw in some regret about Tarsonis later on to make him even more tragic, given he was a hero at one point. But that's just musings, so don't expect it verbatim.

    As for Raynor, I've toned that arc down a tad. He just makes mistakes, like any realistic leader would. Not a terrorist, at least not the blatantly evil kind.

    I prefer to think of Queen of Blades Kerrigan and Sarah Kerrigan as different characters. It's always made more sense to me, with her stating she's no different just self-justification in my eyes.

    And for anyone who's wondering, yeah, still working on this. Took a two month break to focus on original creative pursuits. Don't want to be one-note, now do we?
    Last edited by Sheliek; 03-16-2013 at 05:03 AM. Reason: stupid spelling mistake.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    I thought Amon could work as the guy who sabotaged the Zerg. The idea of him covertly sabotaging the Zerg by implanting a directive that would make them for the most part his slaves. He can even have a believable backstory (he became disillusioned with the xel'naga philosophy following the clusterfuck on Aiur and so decided that the Xel'Naga needed to be reborn "properly".) however, the overmind was able to find a loophole in the bindings enabling him to possibly work around the directive by making Kerrigan. Stukov's revenge on Duran (removing his power sources and leaving him vulnerable) is also a fitting way of earning revenge for his comrades who died to Duran's machinations. Hell you can even have that the artifact was meant to harness the energy to reserrect amon, since it elimantes the taldarim plot hole. Deinfesting Kerrigan could work (HOTS did have the characters react and given that she was still freed of the taint it wasn't pointless). Blizzard's motivation for her situation (on the run, hated by all, torn between a desire for revenge and the chance to atone) were kickass.

    WOL had potential good themes (Raynor facing his doubts and transcending his past.)

    Mengsk already crossed the moral event horizon when he abandoned Kerrigan and caused a worse mass murder than the confederacy ever did.

    HOTS should have focused more on Kerrigan having to face the consequences of her actions (Lassara's original role was to call Kerrigan out, while Izsha was Haley, a terran Kerrigan mindraped to the point she became a vegatable). Sarah would balance the desire for revenge with the real knowledge that she had caused more misery than Mengsk ever did, and have a genuine desire to redeem herself (the artifact I felt simply allowed her human side to resurface, since the infestat/amon's taint amplified the darkness within.)

  9. #29
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Having played HotS, the dark voice makes more sense. I'll reference him, but I can guarantee no direct Xel'Naga characters will appear.

    UPDATE: Got the first music coming in this summer.
    Last edited by Sheliek; 04-15-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  10. #30
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Just a little update: I'm working on the second version of the campaign upgrades and mechanics.

    I'll post up the Dominion, Kel-Morian and Umojan upgrade ideas when those three are done being planned.

    For now, here's a few campaign mechanics I'm looking at for each campaign:

    The Dominion mechanic will revolve around resource management and loadouts for your Spectre heroes. Simple enough, expect something like Kerrigan's system for this, except divided across three units.

    Raynor's mechanic will revolve around mercenaries and hero troops. The basic plan for the mercenaries is that before each mission, you'll pick a faction, such as Mira's Mercs (Kel-Morian), or Hill's Hounds (Umoja). Picking a faction will give you limited access to a variety of units specific to that faction for the duration of the mission. This will serve to augment the relative, and intentional, weakness of Raynor's tech tree overall. In addition, there will be a black market mechanic in which you can load out your infantry with OP drugs and weapons for a given mission, changing their role and abilities.

    Lastly, Raynor's hero mechanic: you will be able to use Swann, Raynor, Tosh, Simmons, Tychus and Hanson at various points in the campaign. Each one will have three unit variations: infantry (usually a marine, but I'll try to shoehorn in firebats and other units if possible and sensible), armour and ship. For instance, Tychus will be a marine, siege tank or Loki (a gunship that RR gets), while Raynor can pilot his marine suit, vulture or wraith. These will have unique abilities, as well as better stats.

    Kerrigan's mechanics will be similar to HotS, with one addition: choosing which brood to do each mission with. As you advance through her campaign, more broods will become available, each with a different tech tree and Broodmother hero unit.

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