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Thread: Q & a #4

  1. #1

    Default Q & a #4

    :_)

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/771...t_4-10_29_2012

    Forget all you know. I thought Brian Kindregan was an abomination... but now I'm moved by the creature's... courage.

    I'm sincerely pleased with this last one. Loved it.

    My comments:

    First... ok, I just ruined my cover. Have you ever seen Brian Kindregan and TcheQuevara at the same room? That's because I am Brian Kindregan. He's saying what I've been saying for months, that maybe all the elements were there for a good story, but it was just executed poorly. Feels nice to have nailed it, or at least, share the exact same diagnosis with big people


    So I'd ask the community—what do you think? Should Jim have been in the same spot emotionally that he'd been in four years earlier? Or was the evolution a good idea, but poorly executed? Or was it a good idea and it worked fine for most of us? Or should it have been a whole different idea?
    I don't think people are in the same spot 4 years after something big. Because if it is something important or traumatic, people are definetively have to digest it, deal with it, or get broken by it. They won't be the same person that witnessed tha first event, or the same person that had the first reaction.

    I agree no one should expect Raynor to be in the same place. But there are expected outcomes, and unexpected outcomes. Raynor becoming a freedom fighter and a drunk are both expected outcomes. He's seen too much. That's ok. Now, Raynor admiring Sarah's photo with painful nostalgia, that was unexpected.

    And I don't mean impossible to happen: just unexpected. So at a first glance it didn't make sense. If before the first scene - or even better, after it, during the game - we had known the reasons of such change, or at least witnessed him during the different stages of his grief that eventually led him to the place where he stands at WoL's first mission, everything would be OK.

    Also, it really seems like Raynor is simply in love with Kerrigan. There nothing weird about he having complicated feelings about her, but that was not as I felt it - and I really wanted to feel like things were more complicated them they seemed. It was really like Raynor, instead of developing from losing her at Tarsonis, than seeing her transformed in Char, than fighting her endlessly, then being allied and betrayed, then vowing to kill her and then developing into other emotions again, just took an emotional shortcut from losing her at Tarsonis straight into missing her/regretting his failure in WoL. That was two-dimensional.

    And it's not just about Raynor himself. Other people around him compose who he is, and the same happened to those people. I am, then again, talking about unexpected changes that feel like no changes at all. For the same reasons that act in Raynor's character, those character's in WoL are not where we expect they would be, and this, by Kindregan's words, disconnected us from the story.

    The (collective) characters I'm talking about are:

    - Hyperion's crew

    - Mengsk's Dominion

    Both seem unscarred and unaffected by the BW. Matt Horner and at least some of the crew were expected to be as Koprolu-savvy as Raynor, because they did the same things, fault in freaking Aiur along Fenix just like they did, etc. Don't even get me started with the Dominion. I admit, then again, that Dominion's recovery was possible. But it was completely unexpected. I wasn't prepared for it and it felt weird. Aditional detail about its transition should have been given.

    The impression I have with Hyperion's crew and the Dominion is that they, too, took a shortcut straight from SC1 to WoL.

    About Fenix, I agree with Brian that not everything can be told in the game media. It is not a film or a book. Maybe there was no place for Fenix in WoL. But definetively, the story should had exposed how Raynor's emotions changed from murderous anger to something else completely different. And you know, a Fenix reference wasn't that hard to get... maybe an object to interact with, a commentary with Ariel Hanson. I agree with Brian that interrupting a mission briefing to talk about a twice dead character would be too much, but just figure Raynor interacting with some piece of Fenix's armor, for example, or talking about him with Matt between Prophecy missions. Bam, there's the opportunity to expose how Raynor's feelings transitioned between different things.

    Also I don't agree at all that nothing that was introduced damaged the lore: there's no excuse for the Ecumenopolis.
    Last edited by TcheQuevara; 10-29-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    ...ugh.

    Bad move Brian, bad move. I'm all for constructive feedback, but it's getting dangerously close to a "choose your own story" feel with this. I've said it before and I'll say it again - fans should NOT dictate lore/story in media unless the media in question is set up from the start with that in mind.

    Like the artwork though.

  3. #3
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Q & a #4

    I think this is great. +rep for Kindregan. Archer summed up my opinion in the comments:

    Sarah Kerrigan: What are you worried about, Jim? He died the way all Protoss hope to: in combat!
    Jim Raynor: He died because you betrayed him! How many more noble souls do you need to consume before you're satisfied?! How many more innocent people have to die before you realize what you've become?!
    Sarah Kerrigan: You don't even know what you're talking about, Jim.
    Jim Raynor: Don't I? I'll see you dead for this, Kerrigan! For Fenix, and all the others who got caught between you and your mad quest for power!
    Sarah Kerrigan: Tough talk, Jimmy, but I don't think you have what it takes to be a killer.
    Jim Raynor: It may not be tomorrow, darlin', it may not even happen with an army at my back. But rest assured: I'm the man who's gonna kill you one day! I'll be seeing you!

    This was one of the most defining moments in Starcraft history. It was the moment Jim Raynor laid aside his love for Kerrigan and took up arms with the rest of the universe. I can understand the decision to reverse this pivotal moment but in my heart of hearts I did not, and do not, agree with it. Kerrigan is a monster and Jimmy is the one who is going to kill her. To deny Starcraft that justice in my mind is to abandon everything that the players have fought for.
    Well, at least I'm more optimistic for HoTS now.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    I think this is great. +rep for Kindregan. Archer summed up my opinion in the comments:

    Sarah Kerrigan: What are you worried about, Jim? He died the way all Protoss hope to: in combat!
    Jim Raynor: He died because you betrayed him! How many more noble souls do you need to consume before you're satisfied?! How many more innocent people have to die before you realize what you've become?!
    Sarah Kerrigan: You don't even know what you're talking about, Jim.
    Jim Raynor: Don't I? I'll see you dead for this, Kerrigan! For Fenix, and all the others who got caught between you and your mad quest for power!
    Sarah Kerrigan: Tough talk, Jimmy, but I don't think you have what it takes to be a killer.
    Jim Raynor: It may not be tomorrow, darlin', it may not even happen with an army at my back. But rest assured: I'm the man who's gonna kill you one day! I'll be seeing you!

    This was one of the most defining moments in Starcraft history. It was the moment Jim Raynor laid aside his love for Kerrigan and took up arms with the rest of the universe. I can understand the decision to reverse this pivotal moment but in my heart of hearts I did not, and do not, agree with it. Kerrigan is a monster and Jimmy is the one who is going to kill her. To deny Starcraft that justice in my mind is to abandon everything that the players have fought for.
    Well, at least I'm more optimistic for HoTS now.
    While I don't feel nearly as strongly or as insistent on that outcome, what I will say is that given how memorable and emotionally charged that scene was, I think showing us, the audience, how and what led Raynor to have a complete about face regarding Kerrigan is somewhat important in order for us to understand the character and his evolution. It's not something that can be simply accepted simply by the game telling us that it is so.

    After all, as Blizzard has said time and time again, the Raynor-Kerrigan relationship is one of the most central and important parts of the story in Starcraft. So, to completely skip over a major development in the relationship is to skip an important part of Starcraft's narrative. You can't say that Raynor and Kerrigan are the heart of Starcraft's story and at the same time say that a pivotal moment in their relationship is unimportant to said story.
    Last edited by mr. peasant; 10-29-2012 at 04:40 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    I think this is great.
    I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    +rep for Kindregan.
    Minus rep. It's gone from an actual Q&A (populations) to 'clarification' (the prophecy and the Overmind...stuff that I already suspected/knew/never considered) to the point where this isn't a Q&A any longer but a whole "well the fans have spoken, so let's stop doing a Q&A and indulge their every whim." We're on the brink of "okay, how would YOU write the story, because we're beholden to the fans, and the fans know best." That's why we effectively retconned WoL in these Q&As because damnit, nothing can change from the SC1/BW era. Terrans will always be weak, Kerrigan will always be the Queen Bitch of the Universe and while we haven't started on LotV yet, rest assured we'll do it as YOU want.

    Ugh. This may seem sudden, but it's rather a manifestation of the disturbing trend I've seen in these Q&As, how they've started bowing to fan entitlement. I don't think this was planned - if so, the appologies would have come at the start. Instead, they've altered the essence to cater to...well, I'd rather not use such terms.

    If I were to sum up this thread, it would be what one of the Blizzard posters said, how fan entitlement is becoming more manifest. But hey, we have to go with Raynor's 'defining moment.' Okay, I never saw it as that, I can appreciate the view that it was. But I guess it will be now because it's what the fans want. Woe betide we should be able to interpret character development ourselves.

    I had misgivings about HotS before, but if these 'Q&As' are indicative of what we can expect, then my misgivings have increased. But hey, I can always fall back on Spoony's Ultima IX quote - not that the series has reached the point yet, but hey, it can happen.

  6. #6
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Q & a #4

    It's silly to treat the product as some fine piece of literature being despoiled by ignorant fans, and that we should instead shut up and "respect the artiste". If multiple people independently come to the conclusion that "hey, this segment was crap," then it's probably true. It only goes to show that relativism counts for very little in the end. I've never heard of fan entitlement when it comes to books or movies. Certainly, people had no problem talking about how Prometheus was crap. If we're going to pay 40-60 dollars for this game, then it's not "entitlement" to give feedback, though I guess it does depend on the attitude.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    If multiple people independently come to the conclusion that "hey, this segment was crap," then it's probably true. It only goes to show that relativism counts for very little in the end.
    Right…so, Citizen Kane and The Thing were crap? After all, multiple people thought so when they were first released. What about divergent metacritic scores, such as Diablo III or the latest Ghost Recon game, how fans and critics are on the opposite ends of the spectrum? What about, say, Avatar – beloved by critics, but as far as I can tell, disliked by the everyday man?
    You’ll have a hard time finding ‘truth’ in literature. Even stuff that’s universally revered (e.g. Shakespeare) may not have the same following in another 500 years’ time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    I've never heard of fan entitlement when it comes to books or movies.
    A Song of Ice and Fire and The Avengers respectively.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Certainly, people had no problem talking about how Prometheus was crap.
    Your point?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    If we're going to pay 40-60 dollars for this game, then it's not "entitlement" to give feedback, though I guess it does depend on the attitude.
    I agree.

    I think, looking at the above posts, my point was kind of missed (hah, irony). There’s a difference between entitlement and, for lack of a better term, analysis. I have no problem praising/criticizing whatever. Fans are allowed to do that, and hopefully from the crucible, something better can result. What is an issue is when fans dictate the direction of it, believing they have the ‘right’ to. It’s what this ‘Q&A’ strikes me as – bowing to fan entitlement for no reason other than “because it’s what the fans want.” There’s things I want in the creative world. To use the above examples, I want George R. Martin to write the next book in ASoIaF. I want Scott to do a better job with a sequel to Prometheus. But I’ve never said “you owe me/us this.” They don’t owe anyone anything.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    meh .

  9. #9

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. peasant View Post
    While I don't feel nearly as strongly or as insistent on that outcome, what I will say is that given how memorable and emotionally charged that scene was, I think showing us, the audience, how and what led Raynor to have a complete about face regarding Kerrigan is somewhat important in order for us to understand the character and his evolution. It's not something that can be simply accepted simply by the game telling us that it is so.

    After all, as Blizzard has said time and time again, the Raynor-Kerrigan relationship is one of the most central and important parts of the story in Starcraft. So, to completely skip over a major development in the relationship is to skip an important part of Starcraft's narrative. You can't say that Raynor and Kerrigan are the heart of Starcraft's story and at the same time say that a pivotal moment in their relationship is unimportant to said story.
    Can't agree more here.

    I would like to +rep this but it won't let me so I guess this comment will have to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    What is an issue is when fans dictate the direction of it, believing they have the ‘right’ to. It’s what this ‘Q&A’ strikes me as – bowing to fan entitlement for no reason other than “because it’s what the fans want.”
    Where in the QA does it give you the sense that Blizz/ Brian K is bending/kowtowing Starcraft's lore to suit the fans whim? As far as I can tell in this QA, Brian K seems to still have a solid grasp on his (and Blizz's too I assume) particular direction for Starcraft's story. Just because his clarifications do not happen to coincide with views that you have (but rather coincides with your opposition) doesn't mean he's suddenly a victim of fan entitlement. The shoe can easily be on the other foot as well. On the flipside, if one looks at the example of WoL making the Terrans not weak (which you are in favour of and advocating for back then - like many others would have no doubt), especially when they were really portrayed as nothing more but weak from the beginning, this can be viewed as an end-result of fan entitlement, too.

    If I were so inclined I wouldn't accuse them of being victim to fan entitlement now of all times. If one looks at the conception and state of SC2 in general, it is nothing more than an exercise in fan entitlement itself anyway - the game is hardly ground-breaking or novel and its success is largely because fans wanted more of the same/ what was already there the first time around. It could have been vastly different from SC1 but nooo, the fans wouldn't like that because then it wouldn't be Starcraft, would it?

    Besides, isn't this what all the QA is about anyway - to clarify the most asked questions about WoL's story? He's doing just that. In any case, the apparent need for clarification at all, which I commented on elsewhere, is just evidence that WoL really is poorly executed (the single biggest issue with WoL bar none IMO). That he comments at all about the possibility of the overall execution of the thing may have been the cause of all these questions in the first place, is to be commended at the least.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  10. #10

    Default Re: Q & a #4

    Yes, Hawki. Release your anger. Only through hatred you can destroy us. (Wel)Come to the Rant side.

    I think you're mixing two different things. You previously said Blizzard is "nerfing Terrans" in lore because of the fandom. It is debateable if such really happened but I agree with you that if it did, this wouldn't be good.

    Now Kindregan is (at least) saying that everything they did in the story was a good idea, but maybe something went wrong in the execution.

    He's agreeing with you that there's nothing to be changed in WoL! And about the execution not being perfect... myself, I do believe in relativism. Actually I'm quite radical about it. But when a large portion of your audience didn't get what you meant, you objectively failed to communicate. Regardless of our subjective opinions, that's a fact, and he's apologizing for it.

    I really want them to start talking about Protoss reproduction and such things. But the as Turalyon said he's literally answering fan questions. Go check the questions thread: at least in the US forum, a third of the questions are about criticism.

    ----

    Now back to Kindregan's question: do anyonw really think that Raynor should be the "same person" after 4 years? I think no one does. That's really not what people were ranting about. Raynor wasn't a drunk nor a anti-Dominion guerrilla fighter in BW, and people were ok with it. But Raynor's vow against Kerrigan was a big moment; if he's going to feel the opposite of it, the lack of exposure or mention to the transition hurt the narrative.

    But yes, going from hate to grief is a good thing, that made Raynor a better, more complex character.

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