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Thread: Creative Development Q&A 6

  1. #31

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel
    Wow. That is interesting.
    Wonder if the answer would be cosmological (I:E Supernova explosions and gamma radiation bursts are less likely out toward the fringes of the galaxy) or another Ancient Evil.
    Or a young evil. Ancient evils need to give generation y a chance you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Anyway, the second part of the question I believe was asked in the early 2000s before all this extra lore when it was less obvious, since it looked like Fenix never contacted Shakuras to learn about Kerrigan, Earth never learned about the UED's fate even though Dugalle sent a message, and even the swarm seemed to always stick together i.e. tarsonis->char->aiur.
    Adding more food for thought, my guess is that DuGalle was counting on the message being delivered or something. I assume the UED had some means of contacting Earth along the way, but lost the ability to do so post-Char or something (possibly set up signal boosters ala HD on Char for their report). As for the zerg, only on Char I'd say they stuck together. Tarsonis and Aiur simply experienced massive invasions. At least in the second case it's known the zerg were assaulting other protoss worlds as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Wasn't that explained in the manual though? The Xel'Naga seeded their regions of space with life, because they were actual scientists at the time, instead of a "mysterious" civilization that did nothing useful besides leave artifacts behind.
    Implied, but not confirmed IMO. Admittedly it's a weak question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    I'd like to know as well, but my personal theory is that DTs are also protected, since we already know that their energies are harmful to the hive-mind?
    Ditto. Again, it's a question I'd be hesitant to ask if put on the spot as it's one that an answer can be extrapolated from with relative ease.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    I like to think that the zerg are the organic versions of the replicators from stargate. It's hard to destroy them with DEMs, because they just adapt too damn fast.
    Except in both cases, they're vulnrable to blue waves of death.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Blade
    Swarm assimilation is not possible, because the Protoss and the Zerg are both high experiments of the Xel'naga. Something biological should prevent them from merging through the Zerg virus. Some sort of DNA encryption ^^
    Could be part of it, but not all of it. Assimilation is harder than infestation seemingly, e.g., how Kerrigan was the first succesfully assimilated human rather than a run of the mill infested terran. Could be the difference between a sapient and sentient species for instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas
    Which made me wonder if the Khala was contrived by some agent of the Dark Voice to further ensure that a natural convergence of Zerg and Protoss would be impossible.
    Could be. On the other hand, the Khala undoubtedly led to the protoss regaining their strength as well, something the DV wouldn't want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimera757
    I still think the Dark Templar are giving up something too. (Then again, I kind of like the "light" protoss more. The Dark Templar seem like superhumans rather than aliens.)
    Come over to the dark side Kimera. We have cookies.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    About what protects Nerazim from being infested:

    Ok, Gradius explanation makes sense. But what about Nerazim who aren't controling Void energies well enough? What about the Tal'Darim?

    The infested zealot in Frontline may be a sign of what happens to a Protoss who doesn't have neither to protect'em.

    About the Xel'Naga being originally "scientists":

    Hyper nit picking mode on. Just because they did experiments, you call them scientists? It's the same saying just because the Conclave had a religion they were Catholic priests.

    "Science" and "scientists" are things very, very specific to Westen society culture. They would never have originated in other civilizations. It's not because other civilizations weren't smart enough to create science... it is that science isn't the apex of human inteligence. It is just an specific and very pragmatic way of knowledge gathering, like many others that were born in Human history.

    Think of how many forms of adquiring knowledge humanity has created:

    the scientific method
    reflection (like in Ancient Greece)
    meditation
    study of traditional sources (very strong in the Church and in University))

    We possibly could think of more. What I mean is that "science" is awesome, but it is not the ultimate form of knowledge. It is just a form like any other.

    Now, do aliens necessarily have to gather knowledge through reflection at some point of their history? Of course not. The same way, aliens don't have to ever develop "science" as we understand it to be highly technological.

    Our science is based on a method, but also in a lot of ideologies. For example, the same way we have some restrictions (how to do experiments, etc), and that's ideology, we also don't have other restrictions ("would we be teleporting gases with this experiment? oh noes, heresy, only solids should be teleported"), and this is also ideology.

    And just like our science has many traditions and symbolisms (degrees, prizes, journals, PhDs, white jackets, a language), Xel'Naga "science" could have many ideologies, restrictions, non-restrictions, traditions and symbolism our culture doesn't have.

    So, re-arranging the words in my original nit-picky question: were Xel'Naga western and human scientists just because they did experiments to achieve an objective like we do?

    What I mean with all this jazz is that they could be both "scientists" and a "mystic race". In Starcraft manual we had an impartial source talking about them. In the most recent novels and in WoL, we have Protoss treating them as "gods" just like they did in SC1.
    Last edited by TcheQuevara; 11-30-2012 at 11:00 AM.

  3. #33
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara View Post
    reflection (like in Ancient Greece)
    meditation
    study of traditional sources (very strong in the Church and in University))
    ^---none of those things are going to help you unlock how the universe works, let alone steer the evolution of races. Semantics and ideologies aside, all advanced civilizations will use some form of the scientific method for one simple reason: it's the only thing that works, which is what makes it the ultimate source of knowledge.

    So, re-arranging the words in my original nit-picky question: were Xel'Naga western and human scientists just because they did experiments to achieve an objective like we do?

    What I mean with all this jazz is that they could be both "scientists" and a "mystic race". In Starcraft manual we had an impartial source talking about them. In the most recent novels and in WoL, we have Protoss treating them as "gods" just like they did in SC1.
    They can be both "scientists" and a "mystic race", but the latter mainly started in Brood War. The xel'naga were very different in SC1 before the retcon. The zerg history in the manual begins with:

    "Driven to perfect their science of proto-genetic evolution, the ancient, enigmatic race known as the Xel’Naga traveled to the distant fringeworld of Aiur."

    Indeed, this pretty much defines them as "scientists". They had reached the pinnacle of evolution: creating and propagating life across the universe for its own sake. Lesser races may have referred to them as gods, but that's because it's a label they rightly deserve as the progenitors of entire races. The manual also refers to their efforts as "experiments". Now after the DT saga we learned that they were doing this not to advance their knowledge, but to ensure their own survival. We also learned that this process has happened many times, and Zamara views it as a natural process, much like breathing is to us. Now, the artifacts, instead of just being the last remnants of a long-dead civilization, are "mystical" relics meant to preserve the "balance of the universe" and save us from an "ancient evil". The "natural cycle" must continue because if it doesn't, the universe will plunge into darkness. In SC1, when the xel'naga died, it was just "oh well, tough break, life moves on". In SC2, if the xel'naga die, then everything we know is in jeopardy, the galaxy will be destroyed, etc. etc.

    Of course this retcon really doesn't answer why they're doing this, but raises more questions. Why do they have to create a new civilization every time instead of using existing organisms? Why can't they reproduce and live like every other race, as it was assumed they do in SC1? Why haven't they been able to store their consciousness into machines? Just what is the point?

    In SC1 the answer was simple: they're just scientists. That's it.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Don't want to get into semantics, but I think the whole "natural cycle" thing is being exagerated here. The xel'naga can easily die-out and nothing will change. The problem is that the DV is still around, and can cause bad things to happen. The xel'naga aren't the propagators of a cycle bar their own, but their actions could lead to disaster.

    Which, honestly, I like. In SC1, the essence of the xel'naga was "BTW, this happened, tough break." In the SC2 era, there's more connection with the xel'naga, as in we're seeing what their actions have allowed to happen. If the protoss and zerg are to face their demons in HotS and LotV, and Raynor faced his demons in WoL (and perhaps the terran race as a whole depending on Mengsk's fate), then it fits thematically that the xel'naga have to take responsibility for their own actions, even if how they'll do so is up in the air (whole "save or destroy" issue).

  5. #35
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Don't want to get into semantics, but I think the whole "natural cycle" thing is being exagerated here. The xel'naga can easily die-out and nothing will change. The problem is that the DV is still around, and can cause bad things to happen. The xel'naga aren't the propagators of a cycle bar their own, but their actions could lead to disaster.
    Unfortunately conveying this notion isn't helped by the prophecy cinematic which literally shows space turning black and the stars going out when the dark voice wins. Or dialog such as "The fate of creation hangs in the balance. The artifacts are the key".

    The clincher is the dark voice as you said. Without him and his "I want to kill everyone so that I can clone myself" garbage, I guess it would be more realistic and I wouldn't have an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Which, honestly, I like. In SC1, the essence of the xel'naga was "BTW, this happened, tough break." In the SC2 era, there's more connection with the xel'naga, as in we're seeing what their actions have allowed to happen. If the protoss and zerg are to face their demons in HotS and LotV, and Raynor faced his demons in WoL (and perhaps the terran race as a whole depending on Mengsk's fate), then it fits thematically that the xel'naga have to take responsibility for their own actions, even if how they'll do so is up in the air (whole "save or destroy" issue).
    I take issue with this notion that everyone should be allowed the chance to confront their demons, as if life is perfect or something. But I'll save that for another thread.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Unfortunately conveying this notion isn't helped by the prophecy cinematic which literally shows space turning black and the stars going out when the dark voice wins. Or dialog such as "The fate of creation hangs in the balance. The artifacts are the key".
    The cinematic only shows the world going dark. The rest of it is more a fade to black.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    The clincher is the dark voice as you said. Without him and his "I want to kill everyone so that I can clone myself" garbage, I guess it would be more realistic and I wouldn't have an issue.
    I think the problem with the Dark Voice is more how he's presented than being a character in concept. In terms of presentation, there's nothing to suggest anything other than "BTW, I'm evil, watch as I show how much." Motivation is still potentially up in the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    I take issue with this notion that everyone should be allowed the chance to confront their demons, as if life is perfect or something. But I'll save that for another thread.
    If life was perfect, there'd be no demons to confront in the first place. But even if the demons aren't confronted, then I expect them to be given due relevance.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    The cinematic only shows the world going dark. The rest of it is more a fade to black.
    Hmmm... one can certainly see it this way if they were inclined to. Show it to a layman and general SC neophyte though and I'm sure the general gist of that cinematic certainly implies the DV wishes to extinguish everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I think the problem with the Dark Voice is more how he's presented than being a character in concept. In terms of presentation, there's nothing to suggest anything other than "BTW, I'm evil, watch as I show how much." Motivation is still potentially up in the air.
    You have a point but I don't think the reveal of the DV's motivation will do anything to improve or impress more upon us beyond what it basically is: a two-bit villain. First impressions do count and the DV's introduction is a pretty lame and hammy one at that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    If life was perfect, there'd be no demons to confront in the first place. But even if the demons aren't confronted, then I expect them to be given due relevance.
    I don't think Gradius is railing against the opportunity to confront "demons" but rather the whole contrived and convenient way in which that opportunity happens to fall in their laps. The Xel'Naga now being defined as literal Gods in that universe (you can deny it all you want but all the EU stuff belabours this point) is just a license for justified DEM and possible "everything will be OK in the end" moments. I'd hope that one can easily understand how off-putting this could potentially be.
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  8. #38

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Hmmm... one can certainly see it this way if they were inclined to. Show it to a layman and general SC neophyte though and I'm sure the general gist of that cinematic certainly implies the DV wishes to extinguish everything.
    Could be his wish, but whether it's put into practice is another matter. But hey, suppose Ulnar is the centre of creation. Suppose its fall dooms the entire universe.

    ...if that's the case, feel free to shoot me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    I don't think Gradius is railing against the opportunity to confront "demons" but rather the whole contrived and convenient way in which that opportunity happens to fall in their laps. The Xel'Naga now being defined as literal Gods in that universe (you can deny it all you want but all the EU stuff belabours this point) is just a license for justified DEM and possible "everything will be OK in the end" moments. I'd hope that one can easily understand how off-putting this could potentially be.
    Disagree, but there's so many different takes on godhood in sci-fi that it'll get too OT. Basically, wouldn't classify the xel'naga as gods in a general or specific-setting sense, and the only being we've ever seen come close to godhood in the setting is the Supreme Watchmaker, a being whose existence is probably nothing more than a terran fantasy.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Disagree, but there's so many different takes on godhood in sci-fi that it'll get too OT. Basically, wouldn't classify the xel'naga as gods in a general or specific-setting sense, and the only being we've ever seen come close to godhood in the setting is the Supreme Watchmaker, a being whose existence is probably nothing more than a terran fantasy.
    Deciding whether or not the Xel'Naga are indeed gods is something of a luxury on the part of us as an audience member experiencing what's going on. However, in the universe itself, all the EU material (and somewhat WoL to an extent) now point to them to being literal Gods - one just has to look at their grand scheme, allusions to their majestic power, magical artifacts and whatnot. Whether you agree or not, all of this points to us that Blizz seemingly wants us to think of them in that way.

    The Xel'Naga originally being nothing more than "scientists" is not only simple, it also serves as a ready made explanation for why they did what they did. And what, pray tell, could that be i hear you ask? Well, it's just because they could and wanted to and nothing more - much like real-life really. Also, they're not gods as you seem to agree with, so there doesn't have to be higher meaning to what they do anyway, right?

    Besides, from Sc1 POV, the Protoss and Zerg are not particularly tied down by their past to the Xel'Naga but are rather informed by it. Both grew beyond their constraints and became something more independent and different to what the Xel'Naga (originally) hoped them to be. From this perspective, one can see how SC2 potentially limits them by forcing the issue of the Xel'Naga back into proceedings.
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  10. #40

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Deciding whether or not the Xel'Naga are indeed gods is something of a luxury on the part of us as an audience member experiencing what's going on. However, in the universe itself, all the EU material (and somewhat WoL to an extent) now point to them to being literal Gods - one just has to look at their grand scheme, allusions to their majestic power, magical artifacts and whatnot. Whether you agree or not, all of this points to us that Blizz seemingly wants us to think of them in that way.
    Um, how? Unless there's an in-universe definition of what counts as a deity, we're left to our own observations. So, going by some hallmarkers, the xel'naga aren't omnibenevolent, because they put their own needs above others. They're not omnipresent, because they have a distinct point of origin. They're not omnipotent, because the zerg were able to wipe most of them out. They're not omniscient, because they were again caught unaware by the zerg. They're not immortal either. By the same markers, the Voice in the Darkness fits the definition of a god better in that it's at least potentially omnipotent.

    I know the defintion of what counts as a god varies, but the points you raise could be applied to any hyper-advanced race (Clarke's Third Law) bar the "grand scheme," which boiled down to a steady cycle that was botched, and now they're left to pick up the pieces. If anything, the 'essence' of the xel'naga has gone from "scientists doing stuff because we can" to "scientists doing stuff because we want to, nevermind the consequences." Come SC2, there's more of a sense of consequence for the xel'naga's actions far more than in the past when they were a loose plot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Besides, from Sc1 POV, the Protoss and Zerg are not particularly tied down by their past to the Xel'Naga but are rather informed by it. Both grew beyond their constraints and became something more independent and different to what the Xel'Naga (originally) hoped them to be. From this perspective, one can see how SC2 potentially limits them by forcing the issue of the Xel'Naga back into proceedings.
    "Forcing" isn't the word I'd use. The fact that the "greater whole" of the xel'naga were consumed by the zerg speaks for itself, along with the hybrid example. Now if you want to make the point about the protoss and zerg not being tied down by the xel'naga in SC1, yet are being tied down in SC2...well, I'll entertain the notion. 'Zerg pride,' if such a thing exists, may have taken a beating, what with the Dark Voice, and that Kerrigan's motivation for sparking the Second Great War is obtaining the artifacts. Indeed, the zerg broke free of the xel'naga long ago, and didn't have the xel'naga hanging over them when they assaulted Aiur and the like (as far as we knew at the time). The protoss as a whole I wouldn't say have the xel'naga lording over them. The Tal'darim clearly have that setup, but the Daelaam as a whole are relatively free.

    But let's get back to your original point, of the zerg and protoss growing outside the xel'naga's constraints, and that the xel'naga's presence (if only referenced) in SC2 is detrimental. If the whole 'breaking out of chains' thing was done in SC1 itself, I'd agree with you. The problem is that in both cases, we were told about it, not shown. We were told the zerg rebelled against the xel'naga, but not shown it. We were told the protoss came to grips with their failed creation status, but not shown it. Stating the obvious here, but show is always preferable to tell. Ergo, I like the idea of being shown how Kerrigan leads the zerg to...whatever HotS leads them to (which she didn't in BW - the zerg change leaders, but don't change themselves). Ergo, I like the idea of being shown how the protoss come to grips with their existance. And there's an excuse for it because 'protoss pride' has taken even more of a beating than the zerg (in-universe), because we've got Khalai and Nerazim at each other's throats (carried on from BW), and Tal'darim who'd be quite willing to let the shadow we've been referring to hang over them forever. I like the idea of the xel'naga plot point finally being utilized, because it fits in with the overall theme of the trilogy. Said this before, but again, for terrans, we have Raynor overcoming personal history*. For the zerg, we have Kerrigan doing the same, and also leading the zerg to...whatever. For the protoss, we'd ideally have them be shown escaping the shadow of the xel'naga and coming to grips with who and what they are. For the xel'naga, whatever their motives, and hopefully they won't stick around, they can be given proper closure bar "well, most of them died, have fun writing fanfics."** Whatever their motives, they created this mess, now it remains to be seen how they deal with it.

    So yeah. Long post short, show is preferable to tell. And in regards to Gradius raising the point of how demons shouldn't always have to be confronted...well, I'll put it this way. The lack of confrontation of demons is usually a hallmark of a static universe in the fictional sense.*** Not exactly my cup of tea, but maybe we can agree to disagree.

    Footnotes

    *And arguably terrans as a whole, but I don't think it needs to be covered. Or at the least, if Valerian can lead the Dominion to something better than his father, it deserves more than lip service in LotV. And as I've said elsewhere, something I don't want is a "big team up" at the end. WoL focussed on terrans, so HotS and LotV should give their races the same courtesy.

    **Which I haven't, actually. Unless the DV counts.

    ***An example would be W40K, how demons will never be confronted. Humanity will always be religious zealots, perverting the Emperor's original vision. The eldar will always be on the brink of extinction, the promise of Ynnead never being fulfilled. The necrons will never obtain their independence from the c'tan. And for for all the talk of how grim the stakes are, let's face it, they'll never actually change.

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