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Thread: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

  1. #1

    Default Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    It's late, but the Q&As are finally arriving.

    Hey all,
    I'm going to attempt to answer as many of these questions as I can within my time constraints. (Trying to get Heart of the Swarm done!)

    We’ve received many great questions. I'd like to point out that in some cases I am responding with insider knowledge, such as how Broodmothers work. In the case of questions about the plot or character motivations in Wings of Liberty, my answers are based entirely on clues, subtext, and events in the game, so these answers can be deduced directly from the source. In a few cases, the clues are there, but we were probably too obscure in the way we layered them in.

    There are a number of questions about the lore justification for the inclusion/exclusion of various units. Rather than take them one at a time, I'd like to give a blanket answer.

    Certain types of units fall in and out of favor with military leaders, while and the supply of various components makes some units more or less available. A unit might be discontinued in the field while it undergoes additional R&D, or it might be retired for the foreseeable future. Sometimes an enemy discovers a great countermeasure to a unit, and so commanders will discontinue its use until they figure out a solution.

    In the case of multiplayer, I would suggest thinking about it in these terms: Fighting in various locations, military commanders rarely have all the resources and assets that they would like. They must use the equipment they have. This is the case on a multiplayer map. A Protoss, Zerg, or Terran force has certain units it can build, but it doesn't have the ability to produce every unit its race has ever made. The selection in multiplayer is that race's pre-made task group. So when the Terrans (for example) send a force to a planet, that army has a standard load-out of equipment and units.

    Question: How did the Terrans enjoy such rapid population growth and colonization of the Koprulu sector when all they had to work with were four broken-down ships? According to the lore, four ships containing 40,000 humans crash-landed and established three colonies in 2259.The events of StarCraft 1 occur in ~2500.Yet it seems like the Confederacy/Dominion are full empires with many worlds and billions of residents. For instance, Tarsonis had at least two billion. No matter how I figure survival and reproduction rates, I just can't see how it makes sense.

    Answer: This is an excellent question, and one that has been discussed internally for several years. I've always said that these were four crashed colony ships. So while much of their technology was lost, there were certainly means to ensure a foothold on a new, hostile planet – frozen embryos, frozen fertilized eggs, certainly extensive cloning. There were also methods of boosting food production to support explosive population growth. Mmm, tasty nutrient paste! One tablespoon does you for the whole day!
    Because this tech was harnessed by survivors who only had a fraction of their intended equipment, it was lost 50 or so years after planetfall. But that was enough to swell the starting figures quite a bit. Let's suppose those starting figures get us up to 400,000 within 30 years of crashing. (Ambitious, I know, but a civilization that can build massive interstellar ships could certainly create such tech.) We should assume that for the first five or six generations, there was enormous social pressure (if not legal) on all fertile adults to spawn as many offspring as possible. Families of ten or more children. By the third or so generation, infant mortality rates might have risen a bit as the old tech broke down, but they would have dropped again as the colonists rebuilt their technological infrastructure. Now the numbers start to make sense.

    Question: In StarCraft, the Queen of Blades told Mengsk that she isn't interested in revenge. Why is killing him suddenly her life's purpose, according to the most recent trailer?

    Answer: The Queen of Blades and Sarah Kerrigan are not quite the same person. The Queen of Blades is essentially Sarah Kerrigan under the influence of some devastating forces: incredible power, a dominating level of psi energy, and the presence of Zerg mutagen from the cellular level up.
    To be clear, the Queen of Blades is not a separate entity that possessed Kerrigan. Kerrigan is (certainly in her mind) responsible for the terrible things she's done. She has immense guilt for those actions, but she was not completely in her "right mind" in Brood War.

    All of that is a roundabout way of saying the Queen of Blades felt no need to kill Mengsk. She did not see him as a threat. Sarah Kerrigan, on the other hand, knows that Mengsk wants her dead, and she very much holds a grudge for his abandoning her on Tarsonis.
    Source: http://us.battle.net//sc2/en/blog/7493439
    StarCraft wiki; a complete and referenced database on the StarCraft game series, StarCraft II, Lore, Characters and Gameplay, and member of the StarCraft II Fansite Program.

    "Do you hear them whispering from the stars? The galaxy will burn with their coming."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Well its nice to know not everyone at Blizzard is completely useless.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Well, Brian Kindregan was acquired from BioWare. That's gotta say something.
    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.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Well, Brian Kindregan was acquired from BioWare. That's gotta say something.
    All it says to me, is if he had stayed at Bioware, DA2,ME3, and SWTOR might have been half decent.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    I was under the impression that DA2 and SWTOR's "issues" (only going by what I've heard) were more along the lines of gameplay than story. With ME3, obviously the original ending was completely wretched, but from what I've read/seen, the story itself was decent overall.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    I was hoping people might discuss what was said, rather than the source.

    Having to write for 12 year old lore had to be harder for Kindregan.
    StarCraft wiki; a complete and referenced database on the StarCraft game series, StarCraft II, Lore, Characters and Gameplay, and member of the StarCraft II Fansite Program.

    "Do you hear them whispering from the stars? The galaxy will burn with their coming."

  7. #7

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Great. Like that explanation for the population growth.

    All I need now is them to explain their industry for Terraforming, how Warp Space/Sub-Warp differ, and how Protoss reproduce/birth rates and I'll be a very happy lore fan.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Having to write for 12 year old lore had to be harder for Kindregan.
    Dude, I doubt it. C'mon, I'd love to write Avatar: The Last Airbender lore. Wouldn't you? Not saying that he worked on Avatar, just....


    Now, on population rates. I'm not entirely sure I buy it, at least some of it. (Though I always figured there had to be a place for cloning.) Reproductive rates would have had to have been huge. Was there a large number of Catholics on board? Possibly, given that the UPL was heading in an atheistic direction; differing ideologies may have been enough for incarceration durign the purges.

    But it would make sense for families to feel pressured into having kids. The more you have, the more hands for your moisture vaporator farm. They'd be an asset, and probably continue to be. On more advanced worlds like Korhal, however, they'd be a drain, seeing as how children wouldn't contribute so much as consume; send them to college, etc.
    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.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Now, on population rates. I'm not entirely sure I buy it, at least some of it. (Though I always figured there had to be a place for cloning.) Reproductive rates would have had to have been huge.
    They could have been.

    Was there a large number of Catholics on board?
    With only 40,000 people to go, split over 4 planets (so about 10,000 each, since 8,000 people died when one of the supercarriers crashed), the gene pool would have been ... limited.

    The best way to dodge that is, frankly, to breed quickly. Frozen eggs and embryos would help with this (the second generation would be more diverse than expected, assuming there's no forced-growing, if so, the first generation would be more diverse), but the cloning would have made things worse.

    People generally dislike the fast growth rate because the human population has never increased that rapidly. Humans have had very high birth rates previously, it's just that infant mortality was high. By the time Louis Pasteur and the Green Revolution came along, Earth was pretty heavily populated, so while infant mortality began to drop (and in some countries infant mortality is extremely low), there was already no incentive to breed quickly. Contrast with the Koprulu Sector terrans, who had advanced medical technology (beyond what we have here now), and entire empty but livable planets. Kindregan was kind enough to toss them some super-advanced nutritional abilities as well.

    And then came colonization, which in real life can result in rapid population growth, and in the K-Sector it can happen even faster since there's no native who want you gone.

    As for the Catholics... well, in that situation, priorities were more toward "survival" and less toward "birth control".

    But it would make sense for families to feel pressured into having kids. The more you have, the more hands for your moisture vaporator farm. They'd be an asset, and probably continue to be. On more advanced worlds like Korhal, however, they'd be a drain, seeing as how children wouldn't contribute so much as consume; send them to college, etc.
    Even though Korhal was wealthy, that was probably "on average"; there must have been poverty there. Somebody had to do the lame jobs (while the terrans do have "workbots" many people still employed servants and menial laborers).
    StarCraft wiki; a complete and referenced database on the StarCraft game series, StarCraft II, Lore, Characters and Gameplay, and member of the StarCraft II Fansite Program.

    "Do you hear them whispering from the stars? The galaxy will burn with their coming."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Official Q&A 1: Terran populations, and the Queen of Blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I was under the impression that DA2 and SWTOR's "issues" (only going by what I've heard) were more along the lines of gameplay than story.
    Meh. Not sure about DA2, but SWTOR fell into the typical MMO trap of having characters with godlike powers in the lore used as low-medium level dungeon bosses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    With ME3, obviously the original ending was completely wretched, but from what I've read/seen, the story itself was decent overall.
    If we imagine that the last five or ten minutes were excised from reality, ME3's story ranged from below average to excellent. The first two levels are quite the drag, and the ending level is, well, okay.

    As for the actual lore we've just been handed, I wonder if basic resocialization equipment was used to educate and socialize the children grown from stored eggs. That might explain the huge criminal population that was the lifeblood of the Confederate military.

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