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Thread: SC2 now officially on life support

  1. #21

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Jack Ritschel voiced Sc1 Overmind. Eiding was the voice for the Overmind in Sc2.

    I'm not sure if Sc1 was really made with the intent of a franchise in mind. Sure, Blizz was riding on the coattails of Wc2 success but like I said, this was a new IP at the time (that initially tried to copy WC2 aesthetics at first) and any up and coming developer is just one bad game away from being confined to the dustbin of history. All the stuff in the manual was fluff (by which I mean it as a term of fact, not a judgement) to promote investment; to craft an illusion. All good fiction is designed to compell and pull you into what is ostensibly "made-up stuff". I'm okay with it just being fluff and living in my mind. I don't need "continuations" which are nothing more than just blatant cash grabs.
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  2. #22

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    The problem is exactly that Starcraft was not intended to be a franchise. The sides didn’t get any foundation or ideology, but instead the characters’ personal desires and vendettas carried the story.

    The results were utterly predictable. Sequelitis. Retcons. All around bad writing and world building.

    I’m disappointed and I need something to make me feel validated.

    It’s clear that Starcraft isn’t going to give me the enjoyment I crave. I’ve been searching for years now for some other fandom that could recapture the magic that still draws me to Starcraft in vain. I’m still searching.

    At this point, I’m sure that my only recourse is to write the setting I want myself. The problem is that I have so much writer’s block.

    I have so much bitterness and doubt.

  3. #23

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Jack Ritschel voiced Sc1 Overmind. Eiding was the voice for the Overmind in Sc2.

    I'm not sure if Sc1 was really made with the intent of a franchise in mind. Sure, Blizz was riding on the coattails of Wc2 success but like I said, this was a new IP at the time (that initially tried to copy WC2 aesthetics at first) and any up and coming developer is just one bad game away from being confined to the dustbin of history. All the stuff in the manual was fluff (by which I mean it as a term of fact, not a judgement) to promote investment; to craft an illusion. All good fiction is designed to compell and pull you into what is ostensibly "made-up stuff". I'm okay with it just being fluff and living in my mind. I don't need "continuations" which are nothing more than just blatant cash grabs.
    Not really. Story isn't fluff. It's a big draw for why people care about a franchise over time. The fanbase for SC was huge for years after BW. SC2, while apparently solid enough in gameplay, lacked the story to keep people around or bring in new fans. The problem was the lack of thought and trying.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  4. #24

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The problem is exactly that Starcraft was not intended to be a franchise.

    The results were utterly predictable. Sequelitis. Retcons. All around bad writing and world building..
    Funny thing is, IPs that are intended to be a franchise from the get-go are just as often to be prone to these things rather than not.

    The real problem is that the idea of sequels/prequels/reboots are only and primarily made for profit/money reasons, with creative reasons usually and actually (no matter what a creator says/wants you to believe) being a distant second.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Not really. Story isn't fluff. It's a big draw for why people care about a franchise over time. The fanbase for SC was huge for years after BW. SC2, while apparently solid enough in gameplay, lacked the story to keep people around or bring in new fans. The problem was the lack of thought and trying.
    Starcraft is not primarily known for it's story or the vagaries of such (which is collectively "fluff" because it indulges fanwankery - not that I'm averse to such a thing, mind you, it's why I'm here afterall). Only us (few) nerds care about it. Sc1 persisted, mainly in Korea, because it had refined and skillful gameplay at professional levels and had marketing potential (pro-gamers/esports) that Blizz wanted to emulate on their terms. I'm ok with these facts.

    Sc2 is doing fine and keeping its fans without extra story content. Case in point, Blizz' focus on the Commanders instead of Mission Packs like Nova Covert Ops tells you a lot about what the fanbase actually wants. They've stopped actively supporting it but it's still here after a decade (yes, it's been that long!) of it's initial release. I don't care for it but I'm also ok with that fact.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 11-10-2020 at 02:44 AM.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  5. #25

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    I know franchises are prone to bad writing.

    The new She-Ra show is terrible.

    The key difference is that people actually criticize She-Ra.

    Horde Prime is an even more shallow and poorly written villain than the Overmind. At least the Overmind has goals that, while horrifying, at least make sense. Horde Prime wants to destroy the universe just because.

    I’ll be the first to admit that, even with its sophisticated speech, the Overmind was ultimately depicted little differently than most other cartoon villains. “Rargh! We’re the monsters and we’re here to eat everybody!”

    And yet Horde Prime has way more popularity. He’s at the center of Harem fanfics for crying out loud!

    I’m seriously wondering whether I should do the same for my Overmind expy. Give it a humanoid avatar and netorare the hero’s girlfriend.

    “You didn’t even try to save me when Arturo left me to die. How could you do that Tim?”

    “But I didn’t have a choice!”

    “Like you didn’t have a choice when you stole the Hyperius the day after?”

    “That’s different!”

    “Fuck you and your excuses Tim. You could have at least died trying to save me.”

    “...”

    “But that’s in the past now. I’ve got a new boyfriend, and he’s going to eat you.”

    I feel so pathetic.

  6. #26

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Has anybody here played Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri?

    The ideologies in that still set standards for today.

    I wish that the sides in Starcraft were even a fraction as deep.

    One of my deep-seated disappointments with the way Metzen wrote the zerg is that he setup this shtick about them being obsessed with evolution, but then ignored that so that he could make Kerry their main character. To add insult to injury, SC2 added evolution missions that actually fit way better with the Overmind and cerebrates, but are basically glorified powerups as far as Kerry is concerned.

    He said he added her because he thought the cerebrates were too boring. Well that was his own damn fault for making them literally faceless masses of nervous tissue. If he thought they were boring, then why not rewrite them to be interesting, to have actual faces and memorable dialogue and so forth, rather than sideline them in favor of a psycho succubus?

    Abathur and Dehaka are not well-written characters, but they genuinely hold zerg ideals (albeit hamstrung by the absurd “make zerg good guys to teamup against Amon” plot) and were positively received by fans. The cerebrates should’ve been written to be at least as interesting to fans, while Kerry should’ve never been elevated to their equal.

    Kerry is the zerg equivalent of Keli Quintela. She didn’t become a zerg leader figure because she actually displays zerg qualities or genuinely holds to their ideals, Metzen cheated her way ahead for her every step of the way.

  7. #27

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Has anybody here played Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri?

    The ideologies in that still set standards for today.

    I wish that the sides in Starcraft were even a fraction as deep.
    Oh yeah, I really dug the different philosophies of each of the faction leaders and how that informed their factional pros and cons (loved those Secret Project cutscenes with a quote spoken from one of the faction leaders!). Did you read the backstory to the game? It has the factional leaders on the colony ship prior to landing on Planet/before the game. It's a pretty lengthy read.

    I enjoyed that game on a way different level to Starcraft and to compare the two or say whether one should be more than the other kinda requires you to misrepresent what each was good at doing. Starcraft ain't really about deep musings on human nature and Alpha Centauri ain't really about narrative and plot. They're both compelling but in different ways. I wouldn't want Starcraft to be more like Alpha Centauri nor vice versa. Also, the only factions that are important in Starcraft are the "big three" races with wildly different aesthetics and make-up, whilst in Alpha Centauri, they're all human with their differences being of the mind and how they go about doing things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    One of my deep-seated disappointments with the way Metzen wrote the zerg is that he setup this shtick about them being obsessed with evolution, but then ignored that so that he could make Kerry their main character. To add insult to injury, SC2 added evolution missions that actually fit way better with the Overmind and cerebrates, but are basically glorified powerups as far as Kerry is concerned..
    Sure but this is a "Doylist" position. From a Watsonian perspective, it wasn't ignored. The Overmind was seeking to be "top of the food chain" and nothing it did betrayed that. Just because you didn't like what the "determinant" turned out to be, doesn't mean the "determinant" was not sought after and thought to be of benefit (perceived or actual) by the Overmind nor does it undermine the concept of it.

    Sc2's story is rather utilitarian (not meaning the philosophical sense) in its approach and application. It rarely encourages one to muse on alternatives other than what it presents at face value, so I'm not surprised at its superficiality. (Looking back on what I wrote, I'm not sure if what I just said is an observational fact or is subjective criticism. Heh).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    He said he added her because he thought the cerebrates were too boring. Well that was his own damn fault for making them literally faceless masses of nervous tissue. If he thought they were boring, then why not rewrite them to be interesting, to have actual faces and memorable dialogue and so forth, rather than sideline them in favor of a psycho succubus?
    I thought the issue was more about the perceived difficulty of getting the audience to invest in a single-minded, undiplomatic and xenogenocidal alien race. You know, what with us being humans and all about the "feels" and such.

    Those who like the Zerg, like them more as a concept and esoteric level than anything else (much like WH40K Tyranid and perhaps, early Necron lore). The Overmind and it's race is supposed to be alien and therefore unrelatable in concept (aside from it's pursuit of so called "perfection"). The Zerg are a hivemind and unified by design and to "dumb" them down by making human-like characters out of them to make them "relatable" is just as much as an uncalled-for character assasination as you deem Kerrigan's introduction and subsequent domination of the Zerg to be. I wouldn't mind if Kerrigan was never included nor that she was either. In Sc1, the Zerg still feel like the Zerg with or without her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Abathur and Dehaka are not well-written characters, but they genuinely hold zerg ideals (albeit hamstrung by the absurd “make zerg good guys to teamup against Amon” plot) and were positively received by fans. The cerebrates should’ve been written to be at least as interesting to fans, while Kerry should’ve never been elevated to their equal.
    Abathur and Dehaka only really work as side characters. They're not really "protagonists" that would be interesting nor deep enough to drive a story through. Dehaka might, but he's kind of stupidly single minded and an aberration in that he's a retcon Zerg (the whole schtick of HotS implying the Zerg are not the Zerg but the Primal Zerg are, still irks me).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    She didn’t become a zerg leader figure because she actually displays zerg qualities or genuinely holds to their ideals, Metzen cheated her way ahead for her every step of the way.
    That's ok since I consider Kerry to be feral Zerg anyway. In my mental fanon, the Overmind still lives/never died on Aiur and will find it's way back to reclaim it's wayward children in the Koprulu sector haha!
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  8. #28

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Tura, the reason I like the zerg is because they tried to make the devouring swarm trope somewhat more interesting to read about by anthropomorphizing them enough to make them vaguely sympathetic and comprehensible without exactly attributing them human psychology.

    Warhammer 40,000 does this same thing for several of its races like dark eldar, orks, and daemons. Their psychology is fundamentally inhuman, but you can still see a narrative from their pov and understand it abstractly.

    Since Starcraft has a simpler premise then what 40k applies to a dozen races has to be split amongst just three. Unfortunately, SC’s writing has never really done it well. The most they tried was with the Overmind and cerebrates.

    Rather than try exploring how the zerg and protoss exhibit fundamentally alien inhuman psychology (including dark templar, because severing their nerves doesn’t make them human), Blizzard opted to... not do that.

    It’s impossible to understand how the loss of the khala impacted the protoss because we weren’t shown how it made them different from humans or dark templar, nor how dark templar differed from humans, etc. In fact Blizz seemed to have forgotten that the khala existed prior to the aeon of strife and wasn’t invented by Khas. He rediscovered it and built a social philosophy around it, but we never get any sense of how this differs from the pre-aeon protoss (if at all). It’s never explained how the khala worked during the protoss’ evolution, how it benefited them physically and socially and psychically, the consequences of damage to the connection, how they united the tribes on Aiur the first time, why Amon didn’t take control of it then, how it fractured the first time, whether it was intertribal vs intratribal, how linguistic principles were involved in telepathy/empathy, etc. Was all of this deliberately retconned away or did Blizz just not know their own lore?

    It’s not even consistently explained how protoss survived biologically. They evolved as hunters, and that only happens if you’re carnivorous. Then the lore/gameplay explained they rely on psi from pylons. Then a random community manager said they were photosynthetic when asked how they eat without mouths, and he clearly had no idea how photosynthesis worked. Then Christie Golden’s novel tried to explain this contradiction by claiming the protoss evolved as hunters so they could skin their prey for clothing and other accessories... which is so nonsensical that it doesn’t need explaining if you have even the most basic understanding of natural selection and trophic levels.

    And I’m rambling again.

  9. #29

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Looking back with hindsight, the Starcraft campaigns are... repetitive.

    Ep1: Raynor rebels, gets betrayed
    Ep2: Kerry hunts down her enemies
    Ep3: Artanis fights extinction
    Ep4: Artanis fights extinction
    Ep5: Stukov rebels, gets betrayed
    Ep6: Kerry hunts down her enemies
    WoL: Raynor rebels, gets betrayed
    HotS: Kerry hunts down her enemies
    LotV: Artanis fights extinction

    They’re telling the same story over and over. The terran hero (Raynor, Stukov) rebels against some evil empire (Confederacy, Dominion) and gets betrayed by a perceived ally (Mengsk, Duran, Tychus), Kerry hunts down her personal enemies (Raynor, Tassadar, dark templar, Duke, Fenix, Duran, Mengsk), and Artanis fights extinction by the big bad (Overmind, cerebrates, Amon).

  10. #30

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Tura, the reason I like the zerg is because they tried to make the devouring swarm trope somewhat more interesting to read about by anthropomorphizing them enough to make them vaguely sympathetic and comprehensible without exactly attributing them human psychology.
    That's commendable but to most people, the vagueness of it is enough to make the Zerg unsympathisable and alien enough for them to not notice the difference really. The only aspect of the Zerg that can be anthropomorphised (if you can even call it that) is the Overmind, which is mostly hidden behind a motivation that is largely esoteric and only elucidated somewhat in the manual (eg: that it can feel fear). In the game, the Overmind's anthropomorphism is only ever noticed/realised when one is willing to contextualise it's actions and behaviour (ie: as I have done to explain why and how it lost) otherwise, it just flies over the head of most people. The difference between the Zerg and Tyranid is so minor that it's considered insignificant on a practical (not intellectual though) Doylist level, not to mention that it would still mean nothing for the other races (as in, things will still be the same for the other races whether it was Zerg or Tyranid) on a Watsonian level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Warhammer 40,000 does this same thing for several of its races like dark eldar, orks, and daemons. Their psychology is fundamentally inhuman, but you can still see a narrative from their pov and understand it abstractly.
    I wouldn't necessarily call those races inhuman - they're just a form/aspect of humanity taken to an extreme end. In context to that, the Tyranid are unique and, arguably to some, better off for it because are not immediately relatable, human-like nor do they want/ care if you have such inclinations toward that end regarding them. Even then, the Tyranid motivation isn't really alien but a manifestation of base desire and id - which all animals, including us, have at a base level. So in a way, the Tyranid are actually more easily relatable in a simplistic way than you think; it's just that we find it uncomfortable/don't like to think we can relate to their unsatiable hunger because we consider that a base/sub-human attribute...

    Saying that though, the Tyranid may get a lore update in future. We just don't know enough about them... yet. Doesn't stop one from still thinking up stuff about them though. The Necron were originally in a similar state to the Tyranid before they received their lore update. Now, the Necrons are more relatable and sympathisable (more independent and separate from their original and inextricable association with the C'Tan) which was good for some who wanted more from then but was lamentable for a number of those who preferred the Necron being more (as originally depicted) unknown, implacable and alien.

    The funny thing about WH40K lore is that it's so malleable and accepting of additive retcons in a good way. Due to the nature of the universe, any new piece of lore can be interpreted as truth or propaganda/false and that past iterations of the lore are not inherently rendered incorrect but still true from a certain point of view (like the original Necron depiction still being potentially or actually true but only for a subset of Necron).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Rather than try exploring how the zerg and protoss exhibit fundamentally alien inhuman psychology (including dark templar, because severing their nerves doesn’t make them human), Blizzard opted to... not do that.
    The Protoss are too rooted in human-like qualities to be truly felt as sci-fi alien. In that way, they're more akin to fantasy elves than I like to admit. It's why I prefer the Zerg over them, since their "alien-ness" stems more from them being inhuman in contrast to the "alien-ness" of the Protoss being due to cultural differences/foreign (which is still fundamentally a human aspect at the end of the day).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It’s impossible to understand how the loss of the khala impacted the protoss because we weren’t shown how it made them different from humans or dark templar, nor how dark templar differed from humans, etc. In fact Blizz seemed to have forgotten that the khala existed prior to the aeon of strife and wasn’t invented by Khas. He rediscovered it and built a social philosophy around it, but we never get any sense of how this differs from the pre-aeon protoss (if at all). It’s never explained how the khala worked during the protoss’ evolution, how it benefited them physically and socially and psychically, the consequences of damage to the connection, how they united the tribes on Aiur the first time, why Amon didn’t take control of it then, how it fractured the first time, whether it was intertribal vs intratribal, how linguistic principles were involved in telepathy/empathy, etc. Was all of this deliberately retconned away or did Blizz just not know their own lore?
    The less we talk about Sc2, the better methinks. I like to think of the Khala thematically as an allegory to innocence. It was something fundamental to the Protoss at their conception, that was shunned and turned away from later on because they felt they were better than that (typical growing pains...), only to realise what a detriment it was without it, to realising the importance of regaining it... only to then regress by holding too firmly to it, thinking that it will lead to a repeat of the bad things that happened the first time they let go of it.

    As practical thing, I've always liked to interpret it (the term for "it" only became known as the Khala later on) solely as a psychic communal link (as initially conceived), which one can choose to be a part of or not, that allowed them to sense the feelings of each and all other Protoss individuals. Then, Sc2 would render it into to a plot device, just like how they rendered the Zerg into a plot device in BW. Eh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It’s not even consistently explained how protoss survived biologically. They evolved as hunters, and that only happens if you’re carnivorous. Then the lore/gameplay explained they rely on psi from pylons. Then a random community manager said they were photosynthetic when asked how they eat without mouths, and he clearly had no idea how photosynthesis worked. Then Christie Golden’s novel tried to explain this contradiction by claiming the protoss evolved as hunters so they could skin their prey for clothing and other accessories... which is so nonsensical that it doesn’t need explaining if you have even the most basic understanding of natural selection and trophic levels.
    I'm not as keen as I used to be when it comes to defining the hardness of sci-fi of IPs and whether that is a good thing or not overall. Now, I prefer to condense my overthinking of what is ostensibly fiction and therefore unverifiable into how it may be applicable to other things IRL rather than whether it could happen IRL or not. I find that it's more enjoyable and less frustrating to engage with fiction that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Looking back with hindsight, the Starcraft campaigns are... repetitive.
    BW apes Sc1 structure quite a bit. The first chapter is kinda disparate/separate to set things up, the second chapter is focused on the antagonist gaining supremacy and the third chapter is the mustering of resistance and overcoming of the antagonist (that it's for the moral good in Sc1 and for the moral evil in BW being inconsequential in this context). Sc2 messes this up because the second chapter is superfluous and does nothing to build the antagonist - it's why the third chapter lacks any real sense significance when the "antagonist" is defeated (also disregarding the fact that the first two chapters are more closely linked together and the third chapter feels wholly disconnected).
    Last edited by Turalyon; 11-15-2020 at 12:01 AM.
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