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Thread: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

  1. #1

    Default Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/game/lor...old-symmetry/1

    Next short story is up. And...can it be...yes! Protoss! Thank ye to Tassadar!

    And focussed on the zealot rather than a zerg unit seemingly. Huh. Go figure.

    Edit: So, having done a quick read, found it to be...okay.

    I admit, protoss are difficult to write for. Like all 'space elf' species, one has to strike a balance between formality and flowing writing. Still, I felt Colossus and Mothership did a better job of finding that balance. This however, got a bit too close to the formal side of things. Had some nice ideas, and I have a feeling it's kind of acting as a foreshadow of Legacy of the Void, considering how they've failed to retake Aiur, yet it's implied something is controlling the zerg there that isn't Kerrigan (Dark Voice anyone?) Still, as bright as Saalok is, the writing could have been better IMO.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-08-2013 at 12:48 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    I liked that story, and that formality is one of the main reasons I do. It felt focused, and for once it gives the feeling that the commanders are actually competent (that is, apart from when they give full battle gear to their scouts except for the emergency teleport). Showing the Zerg were sentient by creating a pattern and let the fleet observe how they predicted the next point was good thinking.
    Last edited by Telenil; 03-08-2013 at 09:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Probably my favorite from the batch. But only because I think terran stories are boring by comparison.

    Still, I felt Colossus and Mothership did a better job of finding that balance. This however, got a bit too close to the formal side of things.
    The more formality the better. Mothership was ok, but Juras was inconsistent. Colossus was forgettable, I don't even remember what happened besides them finding a colossus. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    yet it's implied something is controlling the zerg there that isn't Kerrigan (Dark Voice anyone?)
    No, it's obviously queens since this takes place right after Kerrigan gets deinfested.

    and I have a feeling it's kind of acting as a foreshadow of Legacy of the Void, considering how they've failed to retake Aiur
    Like I said before, I think retaking Aiur would be a mistake. It's not a realistic thing to do, especially when the hybrid threat is looming and even this story demonstrates that they can't even take back the moon. The writers need to realize that you can't go ahead and do everything just because it would be cool.
    Last edited by Gradius; 03-08-2013 at 10:32 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Probably my favorite from the batch. But only because I think terran stories are boring by comparison.
    Some terran/human you are.

    But for me personally, it would have to be my least favorite so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    The more formality the better. Mothership was ok, but Juras was inconsistent. Colossus was forgettable, I don't even remember what happened besides them finding a colossus. :P
    While Colossus was a bit forgettable, it still actually flowed well, and the characters talked like actual characters with the protoss flavour mixed in. This took that flavour and little else. It wouldn't be so bad in some other scenarios, but when your characters are fighting for their lives, they tend to crack a bit. Even if they are protoss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Like I said before, I think retaking Aiur would be a mistake. It's not a realistic thing to do, especially when the hybrid threat is looming and even this story demonstrates that they can't even take back the moon. The writers need to realize that you can't go ahead and do everything just because it would be cool.
    I'm mixed about this right now. The story's made it clear that whatever is controlling the zerg on Salook (and presumably Aiur itself), it can coordinate itself effectively - a farcry from the feral zerg seen in the DTS (come to think of it, maybe the Aiur zerg in WoL were acting on more than just game mechanics - maybe the same force was controlling them as well?) So retaking Aiur is no longer the given it once was.

    On the other, if it is the Dark Voice, then defeating him kind could kind of make Aiur retaken by default. I'd imagined the last mission(s) of LotV to take place on Ulnar, but Aiur could be another choice.

    I dunno. On one hand, right now, it's hard for the protoss to retake Aiur. On the other, there needs to be a better excuse for not taking it bar feral zerg, and both HotS and LotV will at least weaken the basis for queen and DV control respectively. I'd rather retake it in-game rather than learn by SC3 that "BTW, the protoss took back Aiur."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    I sort of liked this one. I like the author's use of vocabulary; the zealot refers to protoss spiritual energy as arias, and the beacon's psychic signal as a paean -- musical terms applied to psychic concepts. Pretty interesting. It's also worth noting that, according to this author at least, psi blades are composed, at least in part, of pions. Does this mean psi blades somehow influence the stron nuclear force? Do the pions break down into deadly gamma rays?

    An intriguing exploration into the mind and equipment of a protoss. I approve.
    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.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas
    It's also worth noting that, according to this author at least, psi blades are composed, at least in part, of pions. Does this mean psi blades somehow influence the stron nuclear force? Do the pions break down into deadly gamma rays?
    Missed that part. IMO, it's unnecessary. Psi-blades were always said to be psionic energy channeled through the power suit's gauntlets. There's no need to bring anything more into it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Eh, the concept of the story wasn't too bad at all, just wish it was written better. I agree with Hawki somewhat in that there was perhaps too much pedantic and inane descriptions of certain things in the story that bogged down the natural flow of the narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    On the other, if it is the Dark Voice, then defeating him kind could kind of make Aiur retaken by default. I'd imagined the last mission(s) of LotV to take place on Ulnar, but Aiur could be another choice.

    I dunno. On one hand, right now, it's hard for the protoss to retake Aiur. On the other, there needs to be a better excuse for not taking it bar feral zerg, and both HotS and LotV will at least weaken the basis for queen and DV control respectively. I'd rather retake it in-game rather than learn by SC3 that "BTW, the protoss took back Aiur."
    I can't see Aiur being retaken by the Protoss by themselves. Even if the Zerg on Aiur were controlled by the DV and then subsequently defeated (the DV that is), how do we know that the Zerg won't just revert back into the control of some other power, like Kerrigan or the Queens? The Zerg Queens wouldn't want to give up Aiur and I woudn't think the "new" Kerrigan would start killing off all the Queens in her quest to regain full control over the Zerg since she would be sabotaging her own plan to free them/give them independence, right? If Kerrigan were to regain full control of the Zerg as HotS seems to suggest, then the only way I can think the Protoss can take back Aiur is if Kerrigan was "reformed into goodness for real" and then just hands Aiur back to them as a peace offering. It'll be a bit of a cop-out though...
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  8. #8
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    It's also worth noting that, according to this author at least, psi blades are composed, at least in part, of pions. Does this mean psi blades somehow influence the stron nuclear force? Do the pions break down into deadly gamma rays?
    Apparently pions are created by high-energy cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere. This would fit in well with my old hypothesis about psionics: http://blizzforums.com/showthread.ph...-Energy-Matrix

    I wonder what warp blades use though. Too bad pions don't have an anti-particle because then it'd be easy just to point to that. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Missed that part. IMO, it's unnecessary. Psi-blades were always said to be psionic energy channeled through the power suit's gauntlets. There's no need to bring anything more into it.
    This is supposed to be sci-fi. Psionic energy is supposed to be a pseudonym for something yet unknown in science. I don't have enough contempt to just pretend that it's magic. IMHO, the more we steer away from this "space-elf" garbage, the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Some terran/human you are.
    Terran short stories consist of the same recycled and generic themes as the other hundreds of sci-fi's about humans that I've read. I can't take Mengsk and his empire seriously, so I don't really care about them anymore. Terrans in SC2 are just not that interesting to me, or at least not as interesting as Duke and Dugalle/Stukov were.

    Protoss still have some mileage in that they can still invoke the sense of awe and mystery that I crave in sci-fi. This story, with a multi-hearted alien running around on a geometrically perfect moon, trying to send a message to his fleet about the intelligence level of a hostile alien species by activating beacons in a certain pattern, well, it's not the type of thinking that you normally see, and this story hit that sweet spot just a little bit.
    Last edited by Gradius; 03-09-2013 at 12:35 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Turaylon
    I can't see Aiur being retaken by the Protoss by themselves. Even if the Zerg on Aiur were controlled by the DV and then subsequently defeated (the DV that is), how do we know that the Zerg won't just revert back into the control of some other power, like Kerrigan or the Queens? The Zerg Queens wouldn't want to give up Aiur and I woudn't think the "new" Kerrigan would start killing off all the Queens in her quest to regain full control over the Zerg since she would be sabotaging her own plan to free them/give them independence, right? If Kerrigan were to regain full control of the Zerg as HotS seems to suggest, then the only way I can think the Protoss can take back Aiur is if Kerrigan was "reformed into goodness for real" and then just hands Aiur back to them as a peace offering. It'll be a bit of a cop-out though...
    The zerg on Aiur weren't under Kerrigan's control pre-WoL, so there's no reason to assume that they'd automatically come under her control post-HotS. The only reason the zerg on Salook are a threat (according to the story) is that something is directing their actions. If it's the DV, his days are pretty much numbered by the dictates of the story. If it's a brood mother, then she could probably be taken out. How Kerrigan would react is another matter, but the point is, without that force, and without any reason for Kerrigan to assert her control over the zerg over Aiur, it could easily be retaken at some point in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Apparently pions are created by high-energy cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere. This would fit in well with my old hypothesis about psionics: http://blizzforums.com/showthread.ph...-Energy-Matrix

    I wonder what warp blades use though. Too bad pions don't have an anti-particle because then it'd be easy just to point to that. :P
    Psi-blades have been sullied already. Don't bring warp blades into it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    This is supposed to be sci-fi. Psionic energy is supposed to be a pseudonym for something yet unknown in science. I don't have enough contempt to just pretend that it's magic. IMHO, the more we steer away from this "space-elf" garbage, the better.
    Psychic powers can operate however an author wants. Psionics is a pseudo-science, so any application of it is at the whim of the fiction. And in preceeding fiction, it's been well established that psi-blades are manifestations of psionic energy. Psi-energy has always been part of the setting, has always been part of the protoss 'essence,' and has always leant itself well to that essence. Psionic energy made manifest is much more in keeping with the essence of the protoss rather than laser swords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Terrans in SC2 are just not that interesting to me, or at least not as interesting as Duke and Dugalle/Stukov were.
    Not sure how Duke would ever qualify as an interesting character, and the UED is easily the least interesting human government in the setting to me, but to each their own I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Protoss still have some mileage in that they can still invoke the sense of awe and mystery that I crave in sci-fi. This story, with a multi-hearted alien running around on a geometrically perfect moon, trying to send a message to his fleet about the intelligence level of a hostile alien species by activating beacons in a certain pattern, well, it's not the type of thinking that you normally see, and this story hit that sweet spot just a little bit.
    If one's going for awe and mystery, it's usually best to have a viewpoint we can relate to. The DTS is a good example - we learn about the protoss, but through a human's eyes, so we learn with the character, the knowledge remains relevant to the plot, and it doesn't become bogged down.

    Obviously it's still possible to write from a protoss POV, or other similar races in sci-fi, but of the other protoss-centric short stories, Mothership did it the best IMO. We get insight into the protoss mindset and culture through Juras, but it never bogged down the plot, whereas in this one, we're constantly beaten over the head with it. I wouldn't mind it so much if it remained an initiation under the moon as it was at the start, but trying to combine that mystery with action isn't a good combination.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-09-2013 at 05:18 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    The zerg on Aiur weren't under Kerrigan's control pre-WoL, so there's no reason to assume that they'd automatically come under her control post-HotS.
    It's so nice to see how the games makes this so patently obvious.

    If she is so supposed to be so powerful as to be the Overmind's true successor as ruler of the Zerg, then how can she possibly be not in control the Zerg on Aiur? Seems like a case of convenient (read: contrived) blindness on the part of Kerrigan if you ask me...

    Even so, if she had no control over the Zerg on Aiur, wouldn't Kerrigan want to take the responsibility of wanting to help them out being a "Zerg lover" and all? I'd doubt she'd want the Protoss to exterminate them given that she's supposed to free them. As I said before, the only way the Protoss can conceivably retake Aiur is if they're thrown a bone, ie: by Kerrigan gifting it back to them out of kindess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Not sure how Duke would ever qualify as an interesting character, and the UED is easily the least interesting human government in the setting to me, but to each their own I guess.
    Just because Duke isn't likeable doesn't make him any less interesting as a character.

    Any human government is boring really. What sells them, if at all, are the characters that inhabit it. Dugalle and Stukov are way more interesting than WoL's Mengsk and Warfield.
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