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Thread: Vikings and Ravens

  1. #1

    Default Vikings and Ravens

    Okay, it's time for me to be that person. I haven't actually played SC2, despite having seen the plot online (up to ~1/3 of LotV) and thus I don't really have a grip on the units. Given how obsessed I get over the plot, I'm really not going to buy a game if I can't respect the story. So my question is this, as people who have played the game, what is your perception of the units Viking and Raven? How do you use them? Do you like them at all, or are they lame? Howe are they effectively used?
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Is this a question about their place/value in lore and story or about how they function as a gameplay element? Either way, I can only speak for my own experience.

    As for lore, the Viking seems kinda goofy and requires more suspension of disbelief to accept as being Terran tech. It's supposed to evoke the Siege tank transformation but something about it transforming from an air to ground unit and back again feels more fantastical/fake for some reason (maybe because the transformation feels more like a gimmicky "Doylist" reason for it's existence than it's "Watsonian" one?). The Raven feels more like a believable take on the evolution of Terran tech than the Viking, since it's supposed to be replacement for the original Science vessel. It's not that remarkable/interesting lorewise beyond just being a piloted drone with special abilities though.

    I don't play multiplayer (let alone the game itself anymore), so I can't say anything about either being potentially "meta" but the Viking is pretty rad in Campaign/Co-op mode in it's anti-air role due to it's huge range and dps. Ravens are more situational - like most spellcaster units - and I didn't build or use them in Campaign/Co-op mode unless they were given or I was experimenting. Sure the Raven, like the Science Vessel, can be used for seeing through stealth but because Terrans have the Orbital Command for remote scanning of an area, it's rarely ever used for that sole purpose.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  3. #3
    The_Blade's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Honestly, in it's current state, SC2:LotV is becoming the game that was meant to be designed as SC2. I am kind of happy David Kim moved on to something else. The following list includes my favored features:

    -Co-op as a stand alone mode with it's expanded missions and very diverse mechanics.
    -Skins and customization
    -Heavy balance changes (units can be redesigned completely on a season end patch)
    -Pro-scene is very entertaining with variable design (cheese, rush, unconventional meta, heavy macro, all ins, etc)
    -Arcade is starting to show signs of monetization (promised on 2010 lol)

    I mention this because I feel like the Viking has finally been balanced into it's showcase roll of the Terran reveal back in 2009. I like it as a mechanic and a unit, unless I am playing TvT; and it feels very Terran. You can actually raid now, and they will clear a cannon or two in sufficient numbers. It's convenient vs Zerg and against Protoss it will negate most of the very common Void Prism harass. However, in TvT mirror mech matches it's a constant air superiority contest to avoid Liberators from clearing your shit. It's very micro intensive and I can quit a day of playing a set of 3 after the first match if I get this kind of game, regardless of the result.

    On the other hand, the Raven has become a shadow of what it used to be. Its spells are very specialized, and it's been forced to play a role in TvT and TvP. Anti Armor missile is meh on most situations. Interference Matrix can help remove a caster or large unit out of combat, so it can be used well in the mid game. Turrets have been nerfed, so that Vikings have to be used in conjunction to raid; but point defense drone was an overall better synergy with the Viking. It's still a fun troll unit. Build 30 and spawn turrets everywhere if ahead. I've fallen out of the love for its art design. It feels like a random Star Wars droid now, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    As for lore, the Viking seems kinda goofy and requires more suspension of disbelief to accept as being Terran tech. It's supposed to evoke the Siege tank transformation but something about it transforming from an air to ground unit and back again feels more fantastical/fake for some reason (maybe because the transformation feels more like a gimmicky "Doylist" reason for it's existence than it's "Watsonian" one?).
    I'd consider that supense of disbelief as light as zerg propulsion, unlike the Hellbat. The later's transformation makes no sense in my mind or the Thor being a walker.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Blade View Post
    I'd consider that supense of disbelief as light as zerg propulsion, unlike the Hellbat. The later's transformation makes no sense in my mind or the Thor being a walker.
    I forgot about the Hellion/Hellbat transformation thing! It's of a similar "ridiculousness" as the Viking transformation imo.

    And yes, whilst I acknowledge that identifying something as being "ridiculous" in a universe where aliens have magical mind powers or organic bug aliens that can traverse deep space exist, the Terrans were more grounded/limited and "realistic" in their fictional tech compared to the Zerg or Protoss. I'm more accepting/can develop headcanon that Zerg flyers are able to propel themselves in space because they have anti-grav organs (the canon explanation of them farting gas has problems in that it wouldn't be self-sufficient nor practical for the organism in the long-term) because the race is more fantastical by nature. But eh, what do I know?!
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Is this a question about their place/value in lore and story or about how they function as a gameplay element?
    Gameplay, definitely. I can look up lore, but I'm not shelling out money for a game I don't want, lol. I'm just trying to figure out how to use them narratively, but I don't want to say something stupid about them -- like how one writer (I forget who) said that SC1 dragoons were "maneuverable" or something like that. I think we all remember the pain of getting a dragoon up a set of map stairs (see: rescuing Zeratul mission).

    Of the two, vikings definitely look more fun, at least for storytelling. The raven's a bit harder. I'm having it appear in one mission, but now that you guys are mentioning the rather spare/mid game use of it, I'm thinking that maybe it's not the way to go. What's a good air support unit, and (for narrative reasons) is not a viking? Or, I don't know, maybe I'll stick a couple of vikings in there. But is there a unit particularly good at going after one of those nydus wurms?
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    I'm just trying to figure out how to use them narratively, but I don't want to say something stupid about them -- like how one writer (I forget who) said that SC1 dragoons were "maneuverable" or something like that. I think we all remember the pain of getting a dragoon up a set of map stairs (see: rescuing Zeratul mission).
    Goliaths were just as goofy as the Dragoons. It wasn't just pathing but due to the unit size being different when mobile or stationary. It was smaller when moving but larger when still, so when you had to cram a few up a ramp or bridge, the small pauses and movement would cause their collision boxes of the units to bump into each other (or the terrain) and they'd react by fidgeting away to make room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Of the two, vikings definitely look more fun, at least for storytelling. The raven's a bit harder. I'm having it appear in one mission, but now that you guys are mentioning the rather spare/mid game use of it, I'm thinking that maybe it's not the way to go. What's a good air support unit, and (for narrative reasons) is not a viking? Or, I don't know, maybe I'll stick a couple of vikings in there. But is there a unit particularly good at going after one of those nydus wurms?
    The Raven is really just a drone and the only support air unit for the Terrans in Sc2. Might want to consider the Science Vessel or Medivac Dropship instead?

    Any unit that can attack Nydus Worms are "good" against them since they're defenceless (like the Sc1 Nydus Canals). Just gotta watch out for what comes out of the Nydus worm is all....
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  7. #7

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Hm. Well, I need a machine capable of attacking that's also air power. What's good against roaches, in terms of air?
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Hm. Well, I need a machine capable of attacking that's also air power. What's good against roaches, in terms of air?
    Banshees (kinda like helicopters with missile pods) are dedicated Terran air-to-ground units in Sc2. Roaches can't attack air units as well, so yeah...

    In LotV, there is the Liberator (kinda like a gunship). It has a defender mode, which makes it stationary and allows it to bombard ground units like air artillery by laying down an area of denial. Otherwise, it can only attack air-units in its mobile fighter form using an aoe attack like the BW Valkyrie.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  9. #9

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    I'm just trying to figure out how to use them narratively
    How much experience do you have with writing military fiction in general?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Vikings and Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Banshees (kinda like helicopters with missile pods) are dedicated Terran air-to-ground units in Sc2. Roaches can't attack air units as well, so yeah...

    In LotV, there is the Liberator (kinda like a gunship). It has a defender mode, which makes it stationary and allows it to bombard ground units like air artillery by laying down an area of denial. Otherwise, it can only attack air-units in its mobile fighter form using an aoe attack like the BW Valkyrie.
    Thanks, I'll start looking at those to see if I want to use them for the situation. Banshees sound good, but might go with Lib.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

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