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Thread: What we would have done instead

  1. #1

    Default What we would have done instead

    So we all whine like little babies over various aspects of Starcraft 2. That said, what exactly would we have done differently? Do we have ideas that would have made the game better?

    The thing I want to point out is that the end of BW was a very hard place to start out anew. The basic convention of a trilogy is that the second addition of the trilogy is the darkest, so Blizzard brought the story to a tense place with all the good guys and should be good guys shattered and weak. Not to mention that they killed off so many characters, that any sequel would hinge on the addition of creative, interesting characters that don't feel tacked on. Blizzard really did have a hard job ahead of them.

    My solution to this (admittedly a hindsight improvement), is for there to be another expansion set before a true sequel. One of the complaints I hear most about SC2 is that the gameplay isn't really progressed enough, yet the story is completely unrelated to the original games. The solution to this is to allow there to be another expansion set, one that goes Zerg-Protoss-Terran, and closes out the trilogy storywise while allowing the potential of the characters to move on and do other things, in other types of games. Like the first person shooter SC Ghost Nova was supposed to be. This would give the company time to find ideas to revolutionize the RTS, or freshen it up in a way that would calm down the complainers.

    I have some other ideas, but I'm not as confident about them.
    - Redeem Mengsk, and have him perform a thematic circle wherein he rescues Kerrigan. He dies later.
    - No Valerian, or other direct heir to Mengsk.
    - No clearly established leader or solution to the existence of the Terran Dominion. Things end optimistically for humans in general, but the leadership of the Dominion is uncertain until solved in later games.
    - Establish more details about Khalai and Judicator Protoss, including adding interesting characters. The Judicator is nothing like Aldaris.

    I'll probably think of more things later.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    One of the complaints I hear most about SC2 is that the gameplay isn't really progressed enough,
    This is a big deal for me. Literally nothing but visuals separate SC2 gameplay from something that could exist in the WC3 engine. (well, better pathing) Of course, there are new features like physics, but they're only used for visual flair. Not saying I want physics-based stuff happening and affecting gameplay, but... Everything about the maps based around artificial-looking plateaus of very specific heights with artificial-looking ramps is basically taken as-is from SC1, with no advancements. Not saying I want maps that look like something from Halo Wars... well, actually I would kind of have been fine with that. You can see that all the standard high ground low ground stuff still works in this style, and they were being made at the same time.



    Basically every area where they could have innovated they didn't. Halo Wars wasn't a good RTS, but it had interesting features like Warthogs (the jeep things) bouncing around and making wide turns like cars have to, like they do in regular FPS Halo, even though they were really fast. I know quick responsiveness of units is a big deal in Starcraft, which is why all but the slowest units turn around basically instantly, but it might have been cool if a part of microing hellions effectively involved moving them in paths that worked with their turn radiuses (err, radii) to maintain maximum speed, whereas tighter turns would make them have to slow down. I don't know, I just thought of that after typing this post, maybe it would be bad.

    But I know your focus for this thread was meant to be story—

    I think starting off with a Human campaign with UED forces set in the vicinity of Earth would have been a cool place to go. Like you said, the ending of Brood War is a tough place to go anywhere from in the Koprulu sector, but back in the Sol system eventually people would notice the lack of word from the Expeditionary fleet, debate what to do, and I could see some cool infighting between humans happening with TvT missions on Mars or whatever. Have an uprising against the UED. Then out of nowhere a ragtag Protoss fleet could appear, and report on the bleak situation in the Koprulu sector after some years have passed. Have a bit where the Protoss got Earth's coordinates from some derelict UED ships, and they can fill us in, already a quarter of the way into the game, on what's been happening to the old SC1 with Kerrigan completely dominant. Raynor and some terrans and Protoss seek the help of Earth, knowing that they allied with DuGalle in the end and that the Earth is in danger too if the Zerg continue to expand, but... blah blah blah more infighting and shady deals and uncertainty because that's what Starcraft is about, not prophecies and saving the universe.
    Last edited by Robear; 05-05-2015 at 09:11 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Actually, the focus of the thread isn't story. Story is just the aspect of games I understand the most. By all means, talk about gameplay advancements. Besides new/refining units, terrain affects on players, and zooming in and out, I have no idea how to make the game genuinely new. I'd love to hear gameplay ideas. Gameplay and story are intimately entwined anyway.

    I'd see any UED based story as being more separate from the RTS aspect of Starcraft. Like, it would be a separate game rather than a campaign within the game. However, the idea of straggling Protoss survivors reporting to Earth what happened in the K Sector is a great sounding idea, particularly if we don't get to see what happened in the K Sector for a while.

    My thing is, I want the game to end on Terran missions. Like we get our act together and, beyond anyone's expectations, enable the day to be saved.

  4. #4
    DonnyZeDoof's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    I'm still sticking to my old idea that Mengsk should have formed an alliance with the Protoss. As long as they help him re-establish power in the Dominion, he'll help the Protoss retake Aiur. True the Dominion was weak and the Protoss were weak by the end of Brood War but if they joined forces then I think they would be able to make a substantial fighting force.

    I think this would be an interesting place to take the story. The Dominion-Protoss alliance can work well with Mengsk's propoganda. He can say that only he can bring peace to the Koprulu Sector and that's why everyone should obey him. Also I'm not saying this should be a firm alliance. Instead I do think there should be doubts and stuff like that but I'm certain Mengsk can pull the , 'I lost my planet to nukes; I know how it feels' card to convince the Protoss to work with him. Of course Protoss like Zeratul and Aldaris would be reluctant but the possibility of retaking Aiur might be too tempting even for them. This will obviously strain their relationship with Raynor.

    I'd also like to bring the UED back at some point, with DuGalle's son as the leader, but at which point I'm not entirely sure yet.

    There are only 2 things I'm lost on:

    1. I'm not sure what more I can do with Kerrigan than get her to invade more planets and fight the Terran and Protoss. I was thinking that maybe have an arc of her selecting an heir to the Zerg Sawrm? I mean the Overmind could survive for so long because he has respawning cerebrates but Kerrigan only has 1 life.

    2. I want the Xel'Naga to be more than a Burning Legion/Reapers-replica but I'm not sure what more to do with them.
    Last edited by DonnyZeDoof; 05-06-2015 at 02:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Kerrigan felt the looming threat of Duran, so I always expected her swarm to get hit first by the hybrids, bringing her down to everyone else's level. Or if not, the protoss should have been able to devise some new technology that would have crippled the swarm.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Ooh, this is gonna be fun. I'm going to restict myself to Nissa's idea for it being just another expansion, that the order campaign order being Zerg-Protoss-Terran and I'm mostly going to keep all the strife locally based (so no outsiders like the UED or Hybrids). Also, no "big bads", too. Oh and sorry for the walls of text in advance.

    1) The aim for the Zerg campaign is to put some limitations on Kerrigan's omnipotence and to give the Zerg some internal conflict. To do that, I'll make Kerrigan's control over the Swarm slowly dissipate and become more difficult to maintain over time with the reason that there's only so much one psionic person can do and maintain over time without eventually burning out. So, she's forced to attack the other factions a few months out from BW not to test their resolve like she wanted but more of a need to find a solution for that problem/maintain power and control over the Zerg.

    I would have her main goal of capturing psionic individuals (ie: targeting Ghost academies) and only partially finding a solution to her dilemma. She attempts to test her prototype creation and expand her numbers by forcefully recruiting the feral Zerg on Aiur but they surprisingly resist. In turns out that the feral Zerg are not so much feral anymore and have found a way to evolve... The campaign ends with Kerrigan having to beat a hasty retreat and losing but not without being able to find some Khaydarin crystals to help further her experimentation.


    2) The aim of the Protoss campaign is to show a better side to the Aiur/Khalai based Protoss and to not make them chumps. It will continue from the first Zerg campaign by focusing on a group of (formerly Khalai) Protoss on Aiur who had survived the Zerg invasion, rallied together and refused to leave Aiur. They are survivors who have made little progress in reclaiming and holding out portions of Aiur when taking advantage of the Zerg feral nature and have become embittered. The remaining Judicators lament their role in creating the state they are in now, but they have reason to be proud for staying on Aiur and fighting for their homeworld and see that as penance for their past sins. However, because old habits die hard, they now feel resentment for those who left Aiur.

    They witness Kerrigan's defeat at the hands of the Aiur Zerg and wonder as to why it's happening. They begin investigating and encountering more coordinated resistance from the supposed feral Zerg. They discover that feral Zerg have gradually overcome and evolved past their deficit due to continued exposure to Khaydarin crystals. The Protoss continue to cripple the Zerg evolution by destroying or stealing away crystals via guerilla tactics eventually confronting a Terran "prospecting team" at one particular site. Things are not what they seem and the Terrans seem to be capable of warding off and even control some of the Zerg here. After a final battle with the main Terran base and their pet Zerg they survey the wrecakge of the Terran base and discover evidence of experimentation on Zerg but also, to their horror, Protoss. They resolve to spread the word of this development and advise their wayward brethren on Shakuras of a potential new threat...


    3) The aim of the Terran campaign is to give them more complexity, to involve them in the 3-way conflict and for them to put their foot down as a dominating force. Mengsk remains as Emperor of the Dominion but unbeknowsnt to the all, it is only because he is now beholden to the KMC. After his defeats in BW, Mengsk had no way to pay his debts or find the capital on his own to rebuild in any significant extent and had to make a crushing deal with the KMC. So while the Dominion exists with Mengsks at it's head, it's in reality a subsidiary to KMC and subject to its whims rather than its own. As such, in accordance to the KMC's wishes the "Dominion" to go out and reclaim old worlds and annex new worlds, aggressively. It is also to recoup the financial loss incurred by the Zerg's earlier raids on their Ghost academies.

    There is a measure of success in reclaiming some of the worlds occupied by Zerg due to Kerrigan's waning control eventually leading to a head-on confrontation between Mengsk and Kerrigan. There's a stalemate. Given their individual situations - Mengsk being under the thumb of the KMC and needing victories to buy him time/ influence to extricate himself from them and Kerrigan racing against time to maintain control over the Zerg without being distracted - they decide to come to a truce of sorts without revealing each others problems. Kerrigan treatens to destroy Mengsk like she is now doing to the Protoss (she's lying but Mengsk doesn't know this beyond noticing that the Protoss have a reduced presence these days) if he persists in attacking her holdings but gives him one more chance to focus his attentions elsewhere and "wait his turn" properly (Kerrigan's trying to buy time to sort her own problem out). Mengsk agrees for now.

    Given Kerrigan's notice about the Protoss being weakened, he convinces his KMC superiors to investigate the worlds in Protoss space because they might hold technology they can salvage (he's hoping to find some leverage against them, too) and new worlds for expansion. They allow him to do so, but knowing that the Umojans have a keen interest in the Protoss and want Mengsk to feel some pressure, they contact the Umojan discretely to stir trouble up between the Dominion and the Protectorate. On the outskirts of estimated Protoss space, Mengsk encounters Umojan prospectors wanting to learn more about the Protoss and who have made attempts to contact the Protoss to make a formal alliance. The Protectorate, having been informed of Mengsk's intent by the KMC, move to resist Mengsk's takeover and pillaging of their claim. Mengsk is able to take and start exploiting a number of worlds until a Protoss flotilla arrives to investigate the Terran incursion on their worlds - they are a taskforce assembled on Shakuras by Artanis to enable them to continue serving the Dae'Uhl in what limited capacity they can and were alerted when they stopped receiving transmissions from the Umojans which Mengsk had killed earlier.

    The Protoss do not wish to fight and neither does Mengsk, but the UP decide to force a fight between the two in order for them to escape. Mengsk is forced to use scavenged Protoss tech from the worlds he pilfered to defend himself long enough for the Protoss to relent and discover the treachery by the UP. The Protoss demand justice in handing over the UP taskforces leader to them, Mengsk appeases them by telling them it's a Terran matter and will deal with them himself. The Protoss don't seem to want to leave but have no choice since they don't want to incite further bloodshed and read Mengsk's intent is true. When they leave, the leader of the UP taskforce reveals himself to be Duran who reveal that he had been working on Aiur earlier and offers his insights on the aliens (Hybrids) in exchange for Mengsk's protection. He agrees. The end....


    I've left a lot of plot points purposefully unresolved mainly because they would then be used as launching points for the proper sequel. I didn't talk about Raynor or Zeratul because I'm trying to keep with BW's prologue that they had not been heard from since.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 05-07-2015 at 08:47 AM.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  7. #7

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    You have some interesting ideas Turalyon, and I especially like the idea of the feral Zerg evolving, but it borrows heavily from the Enslavers campaigns. I like the idea of the Zerg beginning to resist psychic control, revisiting the old idea of Kerrigan's metamorphs -- Zerg who control their own evolution (this idea was later supplanted in HotS by the Primal Zerg in order to give Kerrigan that stupid power boost).
    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.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Ooh, this is gonna be fun. I'm going to restict myself to Nissa's idea for it being just another expansion, that the order campaign order being Zerg-Protoss-Terran and I'm mostly going to keep all the strife locally based (so no outsiders like the UED or Hybrids). Also, no "big bads", too. Oh and sorry for the walls of text in advance.
    It wasn't necessarily my intention for no UED or hybrids. Though you can go that direction, if you prefer.

    Wall of text? Bring it on!

    1) The aim for the Zerg campaign is to put some limitations on Kerrigan's omnipotence and to give the Zerg some internal conflict. To do that, I'll make Kerrigan's control over the Swarm slowly dissipate and become more difficult to maintain over time with the reason that there's only so much one psionic person can do and maintain over time without eventually burning out. So, she's forced to attack the other factions a few months out from BW not to test their resolve like she wanted but more of a need to find a solution for that problem/maintain power and control over the Zerg.

    I would have her main goal of capturing psionic individuals (ie: targeting Ghost academies) and only partially finding a solution to her dilemma. She attempts to test her prototype creation and expand her numbers by forcefully recruiting the feral Zerg on Aiur but they surprisingly resist. In turns out that the feral Zerg are not so much feral anymore and have found a way to evolve... The campaign ends with Kerrigan having to beat a hasty retreat and losing but not without being able to find some Khaydarin crystals to help further her experimentation.
    Internal conflict? Sounds good. Only I'm not sure about Kerrigan's slow weakness. Sure, it's fine for her to have to fight for control, but the Overmind managed to control all of the broods, so it seems logical that Kerri would find some way of controlling the entire swarm. I like the basic idea, but I would want it framed a bit differently. Either Kerrigan isn't as strong as the Overmind, or some outsider (hybrids, most likely) is interfering with her control.

    The rest of it I love. I think it's brilliant for her to get "cerebrates" from ghost academies. Though I question Kerrigan's willingness to forcefully bring people into the swarm. She doesn't seem like the kind of person that would subject someone to something she went through, revenge aside. Since most ghosts have done nothing to her, I'm not so sure about Kerrigan stealing them right out. Maybe she would accidentally or unknowingly do the things that were done to her, but I doubt she would intentionally choose that kind of thing.

    It may work if she asked the psychic people if they wanted to be Zerg. That would definitely add a new angle to things.

    2) The aim of the Protoss campaign is to show a better side to the Aiur/Khalai based Protoss and to not make them chumps. It will continue from the first Zerg campaign by focusing on a group of (formerly Khalai) Protoss on Aiur who had survived the Zerg invasion, rallied together and refused to leave Aiur. They are survivors who have made little progress in reclaiming and holding out portions of Aiur when taking advantage of the Zerg feral nature and have become embittered. The remaining Judicators lament their role in creating the state they are in now, but they have reason to be proud for staying on Aiur and fighting for their homeworld and see that as penance for their past sins. However, because old habits die hard, they now feel resentment for those who left Aiur.

    They witness Kerrigan's defeat at the hands of the Aiur Zerg and wonder as to why it's happening. They begin investigating and encountering more coordinated resistance from the supposed feral Zerg. They discover that feral Zerg have gradually overcome and evolved past their deficit due to continued exposure to Khaydarin crystals. The Protoss continue to cripple the Zerg evolution by destroying or stealing away crystals via guerilla tactics eventually confronting a Terran "prospecting team" at one particular site. Things are not what they seem and the Terrans seem to be capable of warding off and even control some of the Zerg here. After a final battle with the main Terran base and their pet Zerg they survey the wrecakge of the Terran base and discover evidence of experimentation on Zerg but also, to their horror, Protoss. They resolve to spread the word of this development and advise their wayward brethren on Shakuras of a potential new threat...
    You won me over with the very first sentence. The cultural aspect of those remaining on Aiur was exactly what I wanted from Blizzard, primarily because it's the most logical. The issue here is trying to find a way to make infested Protoss interesting and relevant, and also distinctly different from hybrids. Also, be careful of the word "evolution" becoming as generic and plot-hole-excusing as "prophecy." Because evolution by its nature is hands off, it's technically just mutation and breeding on the part of the Zerg.

    Oh, and what are the Protoss on Shakuras doing at this time? How much do they know about what's happening on Aiur? I'd imagine that some would have left Shakuras in between BW and SC2 to join in the fight on Aiur with those that remained.


    3) The aim of the Terran campaign is to give them more complexity, to involve them in the 3-way conflict and for them to put their foot down as a dominating force. Mengsk remains as Emperor of the Dominion but unbeknowsnt to the all, it is only because he is now beholden to the KMC. After his defeats in BW, Mengsk had no way to pay his debts or find the capital on his own to rebuild in any significant extent and had to make a crushing deal with the KMC. So while the Dominion exists with Mengsks at it's head, it's in reality a subsidiary to KMC and subject to its whims rather than its own. As such, in accordance to the KMC's wishes the "Dominion" to go out and reclaim old worlds and annex new worlds, aggressively. It is also to recoup the financial loss incurred by the Zerg's earlier raids on their Ghost academies.
    Might I suggest Umoja, or one specific guild of the KM instead. The guild system of Moria fractures the nation, and by making one or two specific guilds have power over Mengsk, we also make the KM side of things more interesting. Not that that would have too much affect on the campaign, but implied storylines and potential plot is every bit a valuable as actual plot in making the audience interested in a work. People like it when it feels like every character or unit has a backstory, even when they don't.

    There is a measure of success in reclaiming some of the worlds occupied by Zerg due to Kerrigan's waning control eventually leading to a head-on confrontation between Mengsk and Kerrigan. There's a stalemate. Given their individual situations - Mengsk being under the thumb of the KMC and needing victories to buy him time/ influence to extricate himself from them and Kerrigan racing against time to maintain control over the Zerg without being distracted - they decide to come to a truce of sorts without revealing each others problems. Kerrigan treatens to destroy Mengsk like she is now doing to the Protoss (she's lying but Mengsk doesn't know this beyond noticing that the Protoss have a reduced presence these days) if he persists in attacking her holdings but gives him one more chance to focus his attentions elsewhere and "wait his turn" properly (Kerrigan's trying to buy time to sort her own problem out). Mengsk agrees for now.

    Given Kerrigan's notice about the Protoss being weakened, he convinces his KMC superiors to investigate the worlds in Protoss space because they might hold technology they can salvage (he's hoping to find some leverage against them, too) and new worlds for expansion. They allow him to do so, but knowing that the Umojans have a keen interest in the Protoss and want Mengsk to feel some pressure, they contact the Umojan discretely to stir trouble up between the Dominion and the Protectorate. On the outskirts of estimated Protoss space, Mengsk encounters Umojan prospectors wanting to learn more about the Protoss and who have made attempts to contact the Protoss to make a formal alliance. The Protectorate, having been informed of Mengsk's intent by the KMC, move to resist Mengsk's takeover and pillaging of their claim. Mengsk is able to take and start exploiting a number of worlds until a Protoss flotilla arrives to investigate the Terran incursion on their worlds - they are a taskforce assembled on Shakuras by Artanis to enable them to continue serving the Dae'Uhl in what limited capacity they can and were alerted when they stopped receiving transmissions from the Umojans which Mengsk had killed earlier.
    Startin' to lose me here. If Mengsk owes the Morians money, they're not going to interfere with his ability to pay them back. That, and the owing of money doesn't necessarily make the Morians literally Mengsk's overlords. Mengsk just has to tiptoe around them more carefully and try to to instigate any issues against them. That, and if I'm not mistaken, the Umojans and Morians aren't that close either. Mengsk is more fun when he's independent, anyway. I would prefer to see him acting on his own, and the player is a general working for Mengsk, putting up with his crazy whims. Sort of like when we were the Executor under Aldaris, except worse and longer. Besides, being as full of pride and ego as Mengsk is, I don't see him being KM's boy toy.

    I also object to any sort of truce with Kerrigan. Kerrigan is his motivation, and Mengsk should pursue her the way he pursued Raynor in SC2 -- a huge media campaign/series of propaganda against her. The reason why it didn't work with Jim in WoL was because Raynor isn't guilty of anything truly awful, so far as the Dominion citizens know. A campaign against a Zerg monster is much easier to pull off. Not to mention that the history between Kerri and Mengsk is personal, and to the both of them, personal problems are the biggest problems. Kerrigan should be directly involved in the climax of a story with the two.

    One thing I imagined for a beginning of a sequel, especially one set a year or more after BW, is that Raynor is quietly helping the outer worlds of the Dominion, because Mengsk is spending his money primarily on Korhal and the core worlds. Mengsk leaves Raynor alone only because people like him, and the instant Raynor starts forcing official Dominion convoys to distribute their goods to less fortunate worlds, Mengsk nabs him. They argue for a bit, and then a guy comes in and states that Kerrigan is back (say, attacking ghost academies, why not?). Mengsk then allows Raynor to go, knowing that Raynor is the only one who hates Kerrigan as much as he does. Raynor then later shows up as a side plot in the Terran campaign.

    The Protoss do not wish to fight and neither does Mengsk, but the UP decide to force a fight between the two in order for them to escape. Mengsk is forced to use scavenged Protoss tech from the worlds he pilfered to defend himself long enough for the Protoss to relent and discover the treachery by the UP. The Protoss demand justice in handing over the UP taskforces leader to them, Mengsk appeases them by telling them it's a Terran matter and will deal with them himself. The Protoss don't seem to want to leave but have no choice since they don't want to incite further bloodshed and read Mengsk's intent is true. When they leave, the leader of the UP taskforce reveals himself to be Duran who reveal that he had been working on Aiur earlier and offers his insights on the aliens (Hybrids) in exchange for Mengsk's protection. He agrees. The end....
    It feels unrealistic for the UP to be able to force the Protoss and Mengsk to fight each other. In this situation, it seems like Mengsk would ask the 'Toss for help. Also, if the UP is going to be involved in Protoss matters, it'd be more interesting if they had simply scavenged from the 'Toss themselves. Or if Mengsk scavenged some 'Toss stuff after a battle, and Artanis (or whoever) is all like, "Dude, seriously? Give me back my stuff." Or something like that. Huh, or maybe when Mengsk is scavenging, he runs into a badly hurt Zeratul to find out about the hybrids, then suddenly realizes he's not the biggest fish in the universe. I dunno.

    Actually, I'm not sure if scavenging from Protoss is a plot point worthy of more than one mission. It's just not interesting enough, and hardly worthy of a climax of a trilogy. Starcraft's story should come to a "soft" ending, where many plot points are resolved, but not enough to permanently remove all hope of a sequel. Like, the UED and hybrids are still on their way. Also, Kerrigan's plot really should come to some kind of head. She and Mengsk need to confront one another, with serious consequences.

    I've left a lot of plot points purposefully unresolved mainly because they would then be used as launching points for the proper sequel. I didn't talk about Raynor or Zeratul because I'm trying to keep with BW's prologue that they had not been heard from since.
    I feel ya. Though since Raynor is less of a mysterious character than Zeratul, he really should show up at one point or another. Zeratul, likewise, should be off studying the hybrids, but only show up for a couple of cutscenes and maybe one mission briefing to give some information about the hybrids. His presence will work best if it is brief, important, and leads up to future plot points. None of this following along with Zeratul as he discovers prophecy stuff.

    As for the basis of your ideas, I like them, and they're a generally good foundation for what happens (Terran campaign aside). What it needs is more characters, characters with their own issues that must be resolved in one way or another, and add spice to the general issue of what's going on. Your Protoss ideas leave a lot of potential for this.
    Last edited by Nissa; 05-07-2015 at 01:02 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I especially like the idea of the feral Zerg evolving, but it borrows heavily from the Enslavers campaigns.
    I haven't played the second Enslavers campaign (which I assume is where it came from?), so I didn't know I was plagiarising. The only way I can see the Zerg evolving without outside manipulation by 3rd parties or the Overmind guiding them, is very slowly. Khaydarin Crystals are nice out since they were used to power the Xel'Naga's initial evolutionary projects and because Aiur has tons of that stuff and the feral Zerg are just sitting there, quicker evolution wouldn't be so much of an arsepull.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I like the idea of the Zerg beginning to resist psychic control, revisiting the old idea of Kerrigan's metamorphs -- Zerg who control their own evolution (this idea was later supplanted in HotS by the Primal Zerg in order to give Kerrigan that stupid power boost).
    Yeah, I wanted to differentiate that Kerrigan was controlling the Zerg, that it had some kind of cost on her and that it was somewhat unnatural for the Zerg to experience in contrast to the Overminds more natural way of willing the Zerg. It also allowed me to reduce her overpoweredness but still keep her a threat and give her a goal other than destroy everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Only I'm not sure about Kerrigan's slow weakness. Sure, it's fine for her to have to fight for control, but the Overmind managed to control all of the broods, so it seems logical that Kerri would find some way of controlling the entire swarm. I like the basic idea, but I would want it framed a bit differently. Either Kerrigan isn't as strong as the Overmind, or some outsider (hybrids, most likely) is interfering with her control.
    Well, I'm expecting there to a be a matter of months of quiet before this happens with the idea that Kerrigan is slowly fatiguing because she isn't the Overmind (and was not made to be one - an Overmind replacement that is - no matter what people say) and doesn't have the resources or power to control the Zerg indefinitely. The reason it wasn't apparent in the beginning was because she was just starting out with a smaller brood and was at her "freshest" then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Though I question Kerrigan's willingness to forcefully bring people into the swarm. She doesn't seem like the kind of person that would subject someone to something she went through, revenge aside. Since most ghosts have done nothing to her, I'm not so sure about Kerrigan stealing them right out. Maybe she would accidentally or unknowingly do the things that were done to her, but I doubt she would intentionally choose that kind of thing.
    There's a sort of irony in this though because sometimes, in real life, victims of abuse often go on to become abusers themselves. Given that her mental trauma is all about having no sense of power/control and being misused by others who had power/control over her, the fear of losing what perceived power/control she has would be so terrifying (since she would equate this to being vulnerable and being hurt again) that she'll do anything to avoid it. It's not so much that she can't empathise, it's just that her trauma goes too deep such that it's putting her in "self-preservation mode" above all other considerations. She could easily rationalise that what she's doing is for their better - whether they die or not. Besides, in BW she is unnecessarily cruel to everyone and the lack of any social interaction from the time after BW would also make her somewhat less empathetic to others in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    The issue here is trying to find a way to make infested Protoss interesting and relevant, and also distinctly different from hybrids.
    Was thinking about including infested Protoss somewhere but couldn't find a way to incorporate it or, as you said, make it interesting since "infested" is just a euphemism for zombified really. The experiments that the Protoss find are somewhat meant to allude more to Hybrids than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Also, be careful of the word "evolution" becoming as generic and plot-hole-excusing as "prophecy." Because evolution by its nature is hands off, it's technically just mutation and breeding on the part of the Zerg.
    Yeah, I was just using the term in broadstrokes that the Zerg found a way to "get over the hump". The cause of the change is gimmicky (Khaydarin crystals) but not completely unwarranted/overpowered. It gives the Zerg some agency of their own back, is a fairly neutral development (not overpowered) and provides something potentially different from both Kerrigan and the Overmind Zerg without being something like the out-of-nowhere HotS Primal Zerg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Oh, and what are the Protoss on Shakuras doing at this time? How much do they know about what's happening on Aiur? I'd imagine that some would have left Shakuras in between BW and SC2 to join in the fight on Aiur with those that remained.
    I purposefully left them out but I imagined that Artanis would be itching to find a way back but was forestalled by lack of manpower and the Dark Templar not wanting to make risks being pragmatic as they are. Also, given the damage incurred on Shakuras, they'd be more interested in building up than assisting Artanis on a fool's errand. Also, they'd probably don't want to open that portal in case they find themselves in the same situation as they did in the The Stand (Episode IV, BW) again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Might I suggest Umoja, or one specific guild of the KM instead. The guild system of Moria fractures the nation, and by making one or two specific guilds have power over Mengsk, we also make the KM side of things more interesting. Not that that would have too much affect on the campaign, but implied storylines and potential plot is every bit a valuable as actual plot in making the audience interested in a work. People like it when it feels like every character or unit has a backstory, even when they don't.
    Yeah, why not? There's plenty more that could be fleshed out with the KM but I thought I'd give them a bit of a spotlight in general since it would be ripe opportunity for them after what Mengsk has gone through in BW. The Umojans I decided to keep secretive and perhaps a little sinister - they wouldn't have the power or resources to make Mensgk indebted to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Startin' to lose me here. If Mengsk owes the Morians money, they're not going to interfere with his ability to pay them back. That, and the owing of money doesn't necessarily make the Morians literally Mengsk's overlords. Mengsk just has to tiptoe around them more carefully and try to to instigate any issues against them.
    It's another system of control from the KMs. If they make Mengsk lose forces that they essentially own, they can blame him for incompetence, add those losses to the bill further indebting him and threaten to expose him or cease backing him publicly - it's all in their favour. It's a bit like baiting with a carrot but also beating him with it as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    That, and if I'm not mistaken, the Umojans and Morians aren't that close either.
    Which is why the KMC is manipulating the "Dominion" into attacking them. The Kel-Morians benefit because they don't like the Umojans but don't get the political heat because their front, the "Dominion", will instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Mengsk is more fun when he's independent, anyway. I would prefer to see him acting on his own, and the player is a general working for Mengsk, putting up with his crazy whims. Sort of like when we were the Executor under Aldaris, except worse and longer. Besides, being as full of pride and ego as Mengsk is, I don't see him being KM's boy toy.
    We've seen him be all indepedent and all from Rebel Yell and even before that, with his time creating the SoK. I thought it'd be an interesting change to have him, of all people, to finally feel what it's like to be under someone else's thumb and not be able to wriggle out so easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    I also object to any sort of truce with Kerrigan. Kerrigan is his motivation, and Mengsk should pursue her the way he pursued Raynor in SC2 -- a huge media campaign/series of propaganda against her. The reason why it didn't work with Jim in WoL was because Raynor isn't guilty of anything truly awful, so far as the Dominion citizens know. A campaign against a Zerg monster is much easier to pull off. Not to mention that the history between Kerri and Mengsk is personal, and to the both of them, personal problems are the biggest problems. Kerrigan should be directly involved in the climax of a story with the two.
    The "truce" is only a truce because each of them are being "leashed" by their own problems. They can't afford to fight a protracted war because in Mengsk's case, he operates only under the KMC whims and they want to make money not waste resources on war especially against a force that is the Zerg. Kerrigan doesn't want to fight more because she still hasn't worked out her problem yet of her diminishing control - having to exert more energy to fighting and possibly losing all her control even quicker instead of fixing her problems is what she's facing. The "truce" is only one of convenience. They're lying to each other and not fully buying into it from either side but because of their own problems, they can't act immediately and accordingly to what they really want now - which is tearing into each other's throats! Was trying to layer that dynamic in to make their relationship more complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    One thing I imagined for a beginning of a sequel, especially one set a year or more after BW, is that Raynor is quietly helping the outer worlds of the Dominion, because Mengsk is spending his money primarily on Korhal and the core worlds. Mengsk leaves Raynor alone only because people like him, and the instant Raynor starts forcing official Dominion convoys to distribute their goods to less fortunate worlds, Mengsk nabs him. They argue for a bit, and then a guy comes in and states that Kerrigan is back (say, attacking ghost academies, why not?). Mengsk then allows Raynor to go, knowing that Raynor is the only one who hates Kerrigan as much as he does. Raynor then later shows up as a side plot in the Terran campaign.
    I had it in my mind that Raynor had disappeared and not being heard from since the end of BW... it'd be odd if he popped up everywhere in Dominion space only a few months later. Course, if he was incognito or something, I don't mind him necessarily being there. I didn't want to include him just for the sake of a cameo. Couldn't think of a story for him, so I left him out - doesn't mean he can't comeback for the sequel afterall. I saved him for that I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    It feels unrealistic for the UP to be able to force the Protoss and Mengsk to fight each other. In this situation, it seems like Mengsk would ask the 'Toss for help.
    Mengsk and the Protoss are amicable at first. The idea is that the UP attack the Protoss using hijacked Dominion weapon or disguised as Dominion. Heck, they could just attack as themselves since to the Protoss, all Terrans look alike. They do this, to try and save their skins - if the Protoss wipe out the Dominion, the UP can always comeback and petition the Protoss again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Also, if the UP is going to be involved in Protoss matters, it'd be more interesting if they had simply scavenged from the 'Toss themselves. Or if Mengsk scavenged some 'Toss stuff after a battle, and Artanis (or whoever) is all like, "Dude, seriously? Give me back my stuff." Or something like that. Huh, or maybe when Mengsk is scavenging, he runs into a badly hurt Zeratul to find out about the hybrids, then suddenly realizes he's not the biggest fish in the universe. I dunno.
    The thing is, the Protoss don't want to invovle themselves with the Terrans (no matter which faction they're from) and what to keep them at arms length which is why the UP keep trying but find no success. I did consider the Protoss asking for their stuff back and Mengsk being open to the idea (as I said, they were amicable to begin with) - I didn't really elucidate it since my descriptions were getting too long already. The the Umojans decided to enact their escape plan and things go to hell quick. Also, I couldn't have Mengsk hand over the tech and then have a conflict between the two, because realistically, the Terrans would've been steam-rolled without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Actually, I'm not sure if scavenging from Protoss is a plot point worthy of more than one mission. It's just not interesting enough, and hardly worthy of a climax of a trilogy. Starcraft's story should come to a "soft" ending, where many plot points are resolved, but not enough to permanently remove all hope of a sequel. Like, the UED and hybrids are still on their way. Also, Kerrigan's plot really should come to some kind of head. She and Mengsk need to confront one another, with serious consequences.
    It was admittedly hard to make this ending the way it was because I wanted Protoss to be the last enemy you fought to show how wily, crafty and dangerous the Terrans could be. I think I got my point across about making the Terrans a worthwhile adversary moving forward by ending it this way though. Besides, when restricting oneself to not having "big bad", the story is not going to have the big and usual cathartic moment as you would when you focus stories around such things. The climax would be the "aha moment" of seeing Duran in the end and that all the stuff earlier on Aiur was tied to him and his Hybrid plan. Now that he's also in league with Mengsk proper, you know that some real trouble is just around the corner in the sequel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Though since Raynor is less of a mysterious character than Zeratul, he really should show up at one point or another. Zeratul, likewise, should be off studying the hybrids, but only show up for a couple of cutscenes and maybe one mission briefing to give some information about the hybrids. His presence will work best if it is brief, important, and leads up to future plot points. None of this following along with Zeratul as he discovers prophecy stuff.
    It'd feel like making cameos for the sake of cameos. I didn't want the feeling of adding them just because I was beholden to do so and what little I could tell of them would've seemed fairly irrelevant to the stories I was presenting so I was better off just cutting them. The funny thing about you wanting a Zeratul cameo but not wanting the Zeratul prophecy stuff in WoL is due to the dilemmas I just mentioned. In WoL, Zeratul's presence is somewhat brief (especially if you don't do any or all of the missions) and leads up to future plot points but it is not important to the current story at hand. It's a cameo for cameo's sake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    What it needs is more characters, characters with their own issues that must be resolved in one way or another, and add spice to the general issue of what's going on. Your Protoss ideas leave a lot of potential for this.
    Yeah, I know but that would need a lot more thinking and time than what I had when brainstorming this out of nothing. Was only just trying to put out a generic outlay of how the thing could work.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  10. #10

    Default Re: What we would have done instead

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Well, I'm expecting there to a be a matter of months of quiet before this happens with the idea that Kerrigan is slowly fatiguing because she isn't the Overmind (and was not made to be one - an Overmind replacement that is - no matter what people say) and doesn't have the resources or power to control the Zerg indefinitely. The reason it wasn't apparent in the beginning was because she was just starting out with a smaller brood and was at her "freshest" then.
    Well, since we don't know what the Overmind intended for her, it's possible that she does have the ability to control the Zerg. However, that's not necessarily the case, so your idea works fine. I'll go with it.

    There's a sort of irony in this though because sometimes, in real life, victims of abuse often go on to become abusers themselves. Given that her mental trauma is all about having no sense of power/control and being misused by others who had power/control over her, the fear of losing what perceived power/control she has would be so terrifying (since she would equate this to being vulnerable and being hurt again) that she'll do anything to avoid it. It's not so much that she can't empathise, it's just that her trauma goes too deep such that it's putting her in "self-preservation mode" above all other considerations. She could easily rationalise that what she's doing is for their better - whether they die or not. Besides, in BW she is unnecessarily cruel to everyone and the lack of any social interaction from the time after BW would also make her somewhat less empathetic to others in general.
    I don't know...everything Kerrigan has done in BW is based on her emotional needs, and she was dissuaded when Raynor called her out after she killed Fenix. Kerri is the sort of person who pretends she's alright when she's not. While certainly Kerrigan may end up being a hypocrite in certain ways, her emotional core isn't going to disappear, and infesting ghosts is too literal a reference to her own past. She wouldn't do it. However, if she offers the "opportunity" to the spectres, let's say, then many of them might directly choose the Zerg. If they're Mengsk's experiments, she might see it as a way to free them, rather than a return to her past.

    Basically, I like your idea, it just has to be sold well.

    Was thinking about including infested Protoss somewhere but couldn't find a way to incorporate it or, as you said, make it interesting since "infested" is just a euphemism for zombified really. The experiments that the Protoss find are somewhat meant to allude more to Hybrids than anything else.
    Yeah, I tried to write a story with infested Protoss once. Did not work out.


    Yeah, I was just using the term in broadstrokes that the Zerg found a way to "get over the hump". The cause of the change is gimmicky (Khaydarin crystals) but not completely unwarranted/overpowered. It gives the Zerg some agency of their own back, is a fairly neutral development (not overpowered) and provides something potentially different from both Kerrigan and the Overmind Zerg without being something like the out-of-nowhere HotS Primal Zerg.
    I like your use of the Khaydarin crystals, though. They disappeared in BW, and yet they were supposed to be something the Overmind really wanted. Emphasizing them makes perfect sense.

    [quote]I purposefully left them out but I imagined that Artanis would be itching to find a way back but was forestalled by lack of manpower and the Dark Templar not wanting to make risks being pragmatic as they are. Also, given the damage incurred on Shakuras, they'd be more interested in building up than assisting Artanis on a fool's errand. Also, they'd probably don't want to open that portal in case they find themselves in the same situation as they did in the The Stand (Episode IV, BW) again.[quote]

    While I don't mind that the perspective is primarily on Aiur 'Toss (flows well with the Zerg campaign), there needs to be some indication of what the Shakuras 'Toss are doing and what their issues are. While they would want to build up Shakuras, they aren't emotionless automatons. One of the most insulting things about the Dark Templar Saga was that it had Artanis never try to rescue the people left behind on Aiur.

    Now, I'm not saying that the Protoss should try to take Aiur back. There should be scouts to monitor what's going on with the Zerg, people who want to rescue Aiuran survivors, those who would rather fight for Aiur than stay on Shakuras, and suppliers willing to help those on Aiur. Things that would happen whether or not Artanis directly authorized it. Because Artanis is such a sweet little puppy, I image that Shakuras under his rule is primarily governed through factions, despite being led by him in name. Artanis has to navigate these factions if he wants to get anything done.

    Yeah, why not? There's plenty more that could be fleshed out with the KM but I thought I'd give them a bit of a spotlight in general since it would be ripe opportunity for them after what Mengsk has gone through in BW. The Umojans I decided to keep secretive and perhaps a little sinister - they wouldn't have the power or resources to make Mensgk indebted to them.
    If you want to go that way with Umojans, okay. My basic point here is that the Combine can't act as a "whole" based on its system of government. If one or two guilds has influence on Mengsk, it would make for interesting conflicts when lesser guilds don't have the same pull.

    It's another system of control from the KMs. If they make Mengsk lose forces that they essentially own, they can blame him for incompetence, add those losses to the bill further indebting him and threaten to expose him or cease backing him publicly - it's all in their favour. It's a bit like baiting with a carrot but also beating him with it as well.
    Yeah, that's my problem. While Mengsk having to play pretty politics with KM is fine, I don't want to see Mengsk become some puppet to the Combine, or anyone else. Mengsk naturally resists people controlling him, and he generally finds ways to get use out of situations where he's at the disadvantage. I want a sinister Mengsk who is doing insane things, not simply owing an army to the Combine.

    Which is why the KMC is manipulating the "Dominion" into attacking them. The Kel-Morians benefit because they don't like the Umojans but don't get the political heat because their front, the "Dominion", will instead.
    When one political entity deals with another, it's because they get benefits from it. If the Combine really wanted Mengsk out of the way, they would simply allow his Dominion to decay, and possibly set up some embargoes. They would not negotiate with him or loan him money. Because you had Mengsk getting money from them, obviously the Combine gets some sort of benefit from the Dominion, whether it be goods, protection from the Zerg (the Dominion has taken the brunt of the Zerg thus far), or the potential for economic profit. If the Combine negotiated to get benefits from the Dominion, they are not going to sell out their chance to gain from those negotiations.

    We've seen him be all indepedent and all from Rebel Yell and even before that, with his time creating the SoK. I thought it'd be an interesting change to have him, of all people, to finally feel what it's like to be under someone else's thumb and not be able to wriggle out so easily.
    We have not seen Mengsk really and truly in power. Mengsk is just a rebel until the end of the first Terran missions, he got dominated by the UED, and then was under the thumb of Kerrigan. Let us not mention SC2. What we have not seen is a powerful emperor negotiating with outsiders, dealing with threats, and planning attacks. I want delicious dialogue, dang it! Mengsk is not the sort of person who would allow himself to serve under another, anyway. He'll negotiate, but he'll get himself into a position of power before long, and would never genuinely take orders from an outside body.

    The "truce" is only a truce because each of them are being "leashed" by their own problems. They can't afford to fight a protracted war because in Mengsk's case, he operates only under the KMC whims and they want to make money not waste resources on war especially against a force that is the Zerg. Kerrigan doesn't want to fight more because she still hasn't worked out her problem yet of her diminishing control - having to exert more energy to fighting and possibly losing all her control even quicker instead of fixing her problems is what she's facing. The "truce" is only one of convenience. They're lying to each other and not fully buying into it from either side but because of their own problems, they can't act immediately and accordingly to what they really want now - which is tearing into each other's throats! Was trying to layer that dynamic in to make their relationship more complicated.
    Oh no, Mengsk cannot operate under the KMC's whims, precisely for this reason. Kerrigan is his ultimate enemy. Extending their relationship through artificial means, especially when the Terran missions are going to consist of the ending of this expansion, is a weak way to go. This is the final set of missions to complete a trilogy, which means something big has to happen. Watching Mengsk suffer under some other government, and then nothing really happening with the person he wants ultimate revenge on is anticlimactic. Kerrigan and Mengsk's conflict ultimately is what needs to spark the ending of the campaign.

    Besides, we've already had Kerrigan steal his ghosts and secure the Khaydarin crystals. Mengsk is going to need to take a stand against Kerrigan whether he wants to or not. This is also a good place for Protoss/Terran negotiations, because the Protoss know what the Khaydarin crystals really mean.

    I had it in my mind that Raynor had disappeared and not being heard from since the end of BW... it'd be odd if he popped up everywhere in Dominion space only a few months later. Course, if he was incognito or something, I don't mind him necessarily being there. I didn't want to include him just for the sake of a cameo. Couldn't think of a story for him, so I left him out - doesn't mean he can't comeback for the sequel afterall. I saved him for that I suppose.
    Trouble is, Raynor is basically the main character of the series. It's hard to tell because of SC1's format, but when you think about it, you realize that Raynor was present in every single set of missions. Raynor is the more or less normal guy, without lofty ambitions or massively important obligations. While his story would ultimately hinge on the greater events of the Sector, he needs to be there, doing stuff.

    Also, by adding him to the Kerrigan/Mengsk conflict, we can spice up the ending missions. One of my favorite things to do as a fanfiction writer is to create dialogue between these three characters, because they all hate each other to varying degrees, and for various reasons can't take each other out.

    Mengsk and the Protoss are amicable at first. The idea is that the UP attack the Protoss using hijacked Dominion weapon or disguised as Dominion. Heck, they could just attack as themselves since to the Protoss, all Terrans look alike. They do this, to try and save their skins - if the Protoss wipe out the Dominion, the UP can always comeback and petition the Protoss again.
    Again, I'm not sure how interesting this is as the penultimate conflict in a trilogy of three games. While I'd like to see Mengsk negotiate with the UP and make some inspiring speech that will get them to pay more attention to Zerg matters, the UP isn't well established enough to have this kind of conflict. Because this is a trilogy with SC and BW, we have to work with those games as the backstory for our plot. Thus, we have to establish Umoja now, because they were never truly established as an entity in the previous games. There's thus a limit to how much we can use them.

    Hey, I just had an idea! The point of the Terran campaign is for Mengsk, instead of using his own men so much on the Zerg, to figure out ways to get the Combine and Umoja on his side to bring Kerrigan down. So he'd be using them instead.

    The thing is, the Protoss don't want to invovle themselves with the Terrans (no matter which faction they're from) and what to keep them at arms length which is why the UP keep trying but find no success. I did consider the Protoss asking for their stuff back and Mengsk being open to the idea (as I said, they were amicable to begin with) - I didn't really elucidate it since my descriptions were getting too long already. The the Umojans decided to enact their escape plan and things go to hell quick. Also, I couldn't have Mengsk hand over the tech and then have a conflict between the two, because realistically, the Terrans would've been steam-rolled without it.
    For some reason I'd always had the KMC closer to the 'Toss. Dunno why.

    Uh, if the 'Toss were amicable with Mengsk, they'd surely ask Mengsk what the deal is with an attack if the UP pretended to be the Dominion in an attack. That, and 'Toss read minds. I'm not willing to believe there isn't even a single UP soldier wouldn't have a mind weak enough to stand up to Protoss interrogation techniques. Such a deception would not work. That, and getting the 'Toss to hate Mengsk more won't necessarily make them trust the UP better. The Protoss might just go, "meh, humans are dumb" and avoid further interaction with any.

    Elucidate what you mean by "tech." I don't think I'm getting your point there.

    Also, as I mentioned, Kerrigan's secured Khaydarin crystals, and depending on how much Raynor has blabbed about his past, the Protoss possibly know how much Mengsk hates her. Besides, the 'Toss have worked with Mengsk before, so alliance is more likely than not.

    It was admittedly hard to make this ending the way it was because I wanted Protoss to be the last enemy you fought to show how wily, crafty and dangerous the Terrans could be. I think I got my point across about making the Terrans a worthwhile adversary moving forward by ending it this way though. Besides, when restricting oneself to not having "big bad", the story is not going to have the big and usual cathartic moment as you would when you focus stories around such things. The climax would be the "aha moment" of seeing Duran in the end and that all the stuff earlier on Aiur was tied to him and his Hybrid plan. Now that he's also in league with Mengsk proper, you know that some real trouble is just around the corner in the sequel.
    Hm...talk a little more about Duran and the climax of what he intends. What's the penultimate moment of the Terran missions?

    It'd feel like making cameos for the sake of cameos. I didn't want the feeling of adding them just because I was beholden to do so and what little I could tell of them would've seemed fairly irrelevant to the stories I was presenting so I was better off just cutting them. The funny thing about you wanting a Zeratul cameo but not wanting the Zeratul prophecy stuff in WoL is due to the dilemmas I just mentioned. In WoL, Zeratul's presence is somewhat brief (especially if you don't do any or all of the missions) and leads up to future plot points but it is not important to the current story at hand. It's a cameo for cameo's sake.
    That's because of the way it was handled. They gave Zeratul really stupid lines (I literally laughed out loud when he said "I bring tidings of doom."), and gave him really tedious, dumb missions by means of the memory crystal. There's better ways of getting Zeratul to do stuff.

    Besides, just because it's hard doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. Raynor, as I said, is an important character. Zeratul, likewise, is the one remaining Protoss who was in SC. Ignoring him would be a mistake, particularly since we pretty much know he was investigating the hybrids since BW. I think it would be funny if Artanis were negotiating with Mengsk, but Zeratul, who was closer to Raynor and knows more about Senior Arcturus, is horrified at the idea. Actually, I'd like to see Zeratul and Mengsk interact. Particularly if Zeratul calls him out on having created Infested Kerrigan.

    Yeah, I know but that would need a lot more thinking and time than what I had when brainstorming this out of nothing. Was only just trying to put out a generic outlay of how the thing could work.
    Hey, you had a lot of great ideas. I think it could actually work. It makes me sad you weren't involved in the Sons of War mod. You probably could have done good work there. What your campaign needs is new characters, and just by adding those new characters, conflict automatically appears.

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