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Thread: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

  1. #21

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticTemplar
    In Reign of Chaos, the Horde (I'm not including the three missions with Blackrock Orcs, since they're explicitly described as not being part of the Horde) only appears in its own campaign and in the Sentinel campaign as part of a joint force with Jaina's followers. Even in the Horde campaign, they mostly fight against Creeps, Alliance or other Orcs. There are only two missions where they fight the Sentinels. Those two missions, about taking down Cenarius is the Horde's only solo involvement in the story of Reign of Chaos.
    I'm not entirely sure what the problem is here. Why is it required for the Horde to fight the Sentinels for the campaign of be meaningful? The Sentinels only appear in the Horde campaign and Sentinel campaign too, so are they being marginalized? Arguably even less, since the Horde gets two campaigns in the game. Every time they fight the Alliance it's a means to an end, something that Thrall doesn't want, but his hand is forced. In contrast, saving the Darkspear, allying with the tauren, these are ends. It's a rewarding pair of campaigns because it shows the Horde being formed into what it will later become. It no longer has to be tied to the Alliance to justify its existance.

  2. #22

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I'm not entirely sure what the problem is here. Why is it required for the Horde to fight the Sentinels for the campaign of be meaningful? The Sentinels only appear in the Horde campaign and Sentinel campaign too, so are they being marginalized? Arguably even less, since the Horde gets two campaigns in the game. Every time they fight the Alliance it's a means to an end, something that Thrall doesn't want, but his hand is forced. In contrast, saving the Darkspear, allying with the tauren, these are ends. It's a rewarding pair of campaigns because it shows the Horde being formed into what it will later become. It no longer has to be tied to the Alliance to justify its existance.
    The fact that the Night Elves appear so little is also a problem, but a different one. The game climaxes around the Night Elves. Everything that happens in the game - the Scourge, the invasion of Lordaeron, Quel'thalas, and Dalaran, the Orcs being ushered across the sea, the corruption and atonement of Grom Hellscream, Thrall and Jaina's alliance, it's all about the new ancient war between the Legion and the Night Elves, so the Night Elves aren't being marginalised. The fact that they essentially never show up in the game should just be a testament to how little the setting needed them. (Also that Medivh's plan was terrible.)

    The Horde, on the other hand, figuratively doesn't show up in the overarching story of Reign of Chaos. (They literally don't show up in that of The Frozen Throne where we get some Outlands Fel Orcs and a Rexxar RPG for their private story.) You could remove the Horde from Reign of Chaos entirely and it would have very little effect (You'd have to remove Cenarius, basically, which isn't much of a problem since he was introduced for this game). They were included in the game because they're a fundamental part of the franchise, but this new story didn't involve them at all.
    Zeratul: I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities...
    Aldaris: Did not! That doesn't even make sense!
    Zeratul: Shut up, I totally did!

  3. #23

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Wow, a topic about storytelling in Starcraft III somehow morphs into a topic about storytelling in Warcraft III. I'm not going near that one given that story-telling and writing was never a high point of Warcraft in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentian View Post
    Also by admitting that the story of in the end is about intergalatic battles does that not mean that RTS are about battles? That telling too personal stories muck with the RTS format?
    Not quite, the question here is how much focus the story should put on one thing, whether there's leeway for one to look at either the personal angle of the story or the larger picture (both being equal in importance to some degree) and how/where it fits together. I've gone on at length in the past about the personal angle/focus before for certain characters in Sc1 because although the game's story may not be, on the surface, about the personal angle there is plenty of meat there if one was inclined to search for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    In WoL, RaynorxKerrigan is always in the story. Arguably, it's at the forefront of the story, which some people may dislike. But it's always in the context of something larger.
    The problem here is that the "context of something larger" is very distinctly secondary and somewhat feels perfunctory to what is forefront: the personal story. Kerrigan is saved, Raynor is redeemed and we can delve into the personal side of it (whether one deems it vapid or deeply profound is another matter entirely) but the the whole context of how it fits into the larger picture is quite blurred for anyone but the initiated.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 03-25-2013 at 12:41 AM.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  4. #24

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticTemplar
    The fact that the Night Elves appear so little is also a problem, but a different one. The game climaxes around the Night Elves. Everything that happens in the game - the Scourge, the invasion of Lordaeron, Quel'thalas, and Dalaran, the Orcs being ushered across the sea, the corruption and atonement of Grom Hellscream, Thrall and Jaina's alliance, it's all about the new ancient war between the Legion and the Night Elves, so the Night Elves aren't being marginalised. The fact that they essentially never show up in the game should just be a testament to how little the setting needed them. (Also that Medivh's plan was terrible.)
    Except the night elves' were just the latest part of a plan to get an army large enough to stand against the Burning Legion. They're not that much more important than the Alliance or Horde forces in Kalimdor, and both those forces were set to arrive there early on in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticTemplar
    The Horde, on the other hand, figuratively doesn't show up in the overarching story of Reign of Chaos. (They literally don't show up in that of The Frozen Throne where we get some Outlands Fel Orcs and a Rexxar RPG for their private story.) You could remove the Horde from Reign of Chaos entirely and it would have very little effect (You'd have to remove Cenarius, basically, which isn't much of a problem since he was introduced for this game). They were included in the game because they're a fundamental part of the franchise, but this new story didn't involve them at all.
    True, but I don't really see this as a problem. The Horde does its own thing kind of in both games. Both stories of both games are relevant to the Horde as a whole. And it's reinforced in the Sentinel campaign again when Thrall faces down Archimonde.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-25-2013 at 12:41 AM.

  5. #25

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Except the night elves' were just the latest part of a plan to get an army large enough to stand against the Burning Legion. They're not that much more important than the Alliance or Horde forces in Kalimdor, and both those forces were set to arrive there early on in the game.
    Well, the test is simple. If you remove the Sentinels from the game, does the story still make sense?
    Zeratul: I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities...
    Aldaris: Did not! That doesn't even make sense!
    Zeratul: Shut up, I totally did!

  6. #26

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    You have to be a bit more specific in your scenario. But if I take something out and the story still makes sense, then that something wasn't that important. I could easily take out the captain of the Alliance campaign and have an identical story. If you're asking whether the story could be told without the night elves existing, then I could probably frame it in a way so that they don't exist and the Alliance and Horde still make it to Kalimdor, or maybe I could replace Hyjal with the Sunwell or something, but every story ever told has a potential alternative. It's subjective as to whether it's better or not.

  7. #27

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    You have to be a bit more specific in your scenario. But if I take something out and the story still makes sense, then that something wasn't that important. I could easily take out the captain of the Alliance campaign and have an identical story. If you're asking whether the story could be told without the night elves existing, then I could probably frame it in a way so that they don't exist and the Alliance and Horde still make it to Kalimdor, or maybe I could replace Hyjal with the Sunwell or something, but every story ever told has a potential alternative. It's subjective as to whether it's better or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticTemplar View Post
    My problem with the WarCraft III new history isn't so much with the Burning Legion, which as you say had some basis in existing lore, as it is with the Night Elves. Now, granted I am far less invested in WarCraft than I am in StarCraft, so I have different standards, but if the new history had been about the Orcs being the Legion's pawn in their schemes to get something from Dalaran or Quel'thalas, then I'd have been far less annoyed about it. The notion that the Alliance is only involved in the story because, as I previously mentioned, Kil'jaeden couldn't find a way to open the Dark Portal on Kalimdor and are historically irrelevant should be insulting to Alliance fans. The Reign of Chaos campaigns themselves, in which the Orcs fail to make any significant appearance distinct from the Alliance should be insulting to Horde fans.
    But here I wasn't saying 'adapt the story so it doesn't involve the Night Elves', I meant literally remove the Sentinel Campaign and their appearances elsewhere and leave everything else unchanged. You can do that with the Horde win WarCraft III. Just as you can do that with the Protoss in StarCraft II. It'll be obvious that something was removed due to broken conversations, but you'll still be able to get the entire Reign of Chaos story out of it.
    Zeratul: I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities...
    Aldaris: Did not! That doesn't even make sense!
    Zeratul: Shut up, I totally did!

  8. #28

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Well, when you put it like that, I could really do the same for any RTS campaign in any game. In Generals and Zero Hour, I could remove the Chinese and US campaigns respectively and get the same end results. In Brood War, I could remove the protoss campaign, have the protoss still be on Aiur for the UED mission, replace Talematros with some city on Aiur and Raszagal with another character, and get a similar story. The same applies to RTS campaigns that run parallel to each other, such as Tiberium Wars or Winter Assault. Playing more than one campaign can give a bigger picture, but each campaign is able to stand on its own.

    So yes, I could remove the Sentinel campaign completely, have Grom be corrupted off-screen, and then replace the Sentinel campaign with a mixed Horde/Alliance one. I could remove both Horde campaigns, focus on Jaina's trials in Kalimdor, and keep night elf/"outlander" tensions intact. There's a lot of things I can do. But I could remove the terran campaign of SC1 also, just say the Overmind found a psionic that we didn't need to know, then carry on the story from there, as the fall of the Confederacy/foundation of the Dominion is never mentioned by the zerg or protoss themselves. If this is a problem, it's one that applies to the RTS genre as a whole.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-26-2013 at 01:10 AM.

  9. #29

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Damnit, I tried to stay away and munch quietly on my popcorn...

    Hawki, I think you're getting there finally but you're trying way too hard to misunderstand FT's point. Simply put, the Orcs can be largely excised from Warcraft III with the overall story being easily capable of continuing on. As such, the Orc campaign is actually unnecessary.

    And yes, you're right that this syndrome has affected Sc before in terms of BW's Protoss campaign, The Fall. There is absolutely nothing in that campaign that is essential to the forward momentum of the other campaigns that follow. Contrast this with the Terran campaign, Rebel Yell. It too is largely redundant if not for the plot string that is Kerrigan, who goes on to have further involvement in the Zerg and Protoss campaigns. Not only that, being the first campaign and the very first entry into that universe, it is to provide the luxury of being posed as an "establishing shot" since the the Terrans are the most relatable, grounded and least fanciful (at least in SC1) of the three factions. This may not be evidence against it not being redundant, but it is at the least more justifiable.

    The Night Elf thing I'm still a little hazy on but I assume that FT finds that their mere existence is manufactured to be important (I guess we call this lore) so that they are obliged to appear and have some involvement in the story, but due to their lack of representation throughout the game's story and that they appear at the end, one can just as easily replace them with something else and still find a way to get to the same effect of the story's end (ie: Demon's vanquished).
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  10. #30

    Default Re: StarCraft III - Story and Storytelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Damnit, I tried to stay away and munch quietly on my popcorn...

    Hawki, I think you're getting there finally but you're trying way too hard to misunderstand FT's point. Simply put, the Orcs can be largely excised from Warcraft III with the overall story being easily capable of continuing on. As such, the Orc campaign is actually unnecessary.
    I'm not disputing that point. What I am disputing is that that's a negative. I could say the Scourge campaign is meaningless because I could have the Alliance campaign defeat the Scourge, only for the Burning Legion to invade anyway. I could say the Alliance campaign is meaningless because much of what you fight to save ends up being destroyed. I could call the Sentinel campaign useless because Alliance and Horde forces are already in Kalimdor. This is just plain semantics.

    I'll go out further on a limb that as per the storytelling involved, such a technique is only bad when it feels like nothing is accomplished overall. E.g. in SC1, the terran campaign at least sets the stage for Raynor's further appearences, and ends with the Dominion replacing the Confederacy, with all the good and bad that entails. In contrast, I again point to Generals and Zero Hour, where everything (and I mean everything) in the first of each campaign trilogy is undone by the GLA, only for the third campaign to save the day, the only difference being the US saves the day in the first game and China in the second.

    But of course, that's part of RTS/RTT games in general. There'll always be someone whining their preferred faction is being marginalized, whether it be because the developers choose a canon path for the sequel (GDI wins First Tiberium War by story edict, Alliance wins Second War by story edict, etc.), where the story only contains a single perspective (e.g. Dawn of War and Halo Wars only have a Space Marine and UNSC campaign respectively) or where the campaigns occur simultaniously but people will still feel jipped (e.g. Tiberium Wars, where the scrin campaign you play as basically has you running damage control rather than being the unstoppable alien force the scrin are portrayed as in the GDI and Nod campaigns).

    Looking back, this is kind of a rant. But the whole "my faction is being marginalized" thing feels so trite in regards to the genre I have little patience for it. SC2 is just but one other example, how everyone complains how the protoss have been marginalized. I can guarantee you that if the protoss were kicking arse and taking names back like in SC1, people would complain about them being overpowered in light of the Brood War. Terrans were arguably marginalized in SC1 and its expansion packs bar Precursor, how they never came out as an overall victor and likewise in SC2, where a Dominion victory on Char is turned to yet another overall defeat, with humanity being put back in its place. Hardly something I feel worth complaining about though. It's just the way the story goes, and unlike some other examples (again with Generals/Zero Hour...wish I had something else, but I'm stumped), the campaign isn't made irrelevant by default. And lazy writing could easily make it, where campaign/faction a gets to a point, only for campaign/faction b to roll every accomplishment of faction/campaign a back.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-26-2013 at 05:33 AM.

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