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Thread: SC2 now officially on life support

  1. #11

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Blizz is too large now to consider going back to being "creative". It's all about money now and appeasing the lowest common denominator to sustain itself. Why you should think otherwise even with Metzen leaving is beyond me...

    I can (and often) consider SC as standalone and doing well/acceptable enough on it's own merit really(even without BW). As such, I don't mind huge status quo changing things like what you described since I usually engage most things with the expectation there isn't going to be more, that it's a one and done sort of thing. Having things change hugely and giving a sense that "shit is real!" and "happening" rather than some languidly imposed status quo that defies reason seems to work better for game stories when they can't guarantee the possibility of future entries. I know you like the prospect of this sprawling protracted thing that can go on for considerable time but the momentum of Starcraft's fictional universe didn't really lend itself to that imho. The fulcrum of the story is the three races colliding and having lasting consequences arising from that and Sc1 does that well enough on it's own.
    What I meant is that the war as depicted oneshot in SC1 could have feasibly been expanded into an arc spanning multiple games. The period depicted in episode 1 where the three sides fight over terran space could have been expanded into multiple arcs spanning multiple games.

    Instead Blizzard just breezed through every possible plot point that the writers had world built at that point, forcing each game to basically make up a bunch of new stuff to keep the story going.

    I agree with you that it works better as a standalone and that the sequels were unnecessary. On the other hand, I still think it suffers from being an RPG/movie/comic plot crudely transplanted into the RTS format.

    The common problem I see in the Blizzard RTS titles is that they're telling RPG stories rather than RTS stories. RPG stories are better suited for much smaller scales than the ones in RTS games. RTS titles are better suited for political thriller and military fiction, which have a different set of standards than your typical drama.

    In SC1, the myopic focus on the four recurring terran characters (Raynor, Duke, Mengsk, Kerry) comes at the expense of the greater terran, zerg, and protoss organizations. A successful rebellion (as opposed to "silly humans infighting, leaving them vulnerable") doesn't fit with the two alien invasions going on. The zerg focusing all their efforts on Kerry Sue doesn't fit with their shtick as an aggressive hegemonizing swarm hellbent on eating everything.

    But, again, hindsight 20/20.

    There's a bunch of new Warcraft clones in development. Amber, Liquidation, Edge of Chaos, Immortal... I'm keeping my eyes on those.

    Sadly there's no scifi RTS titles that capture what drew me to Starcraft. Honestly, space marines vs aggressive hegemonizing swarms vs Tribal-Wizard-Warrior-Poet-Scientists is not a premise unique to Starcraft. Atrox, Natrolis, Starfront, and Helldivers all touched it. Not to mention there are a bunch of games about bug wars in the vein of Starship Troopers.

    The three race thing is basically Starship Troopers plus a third side. Ancient aliens, white angels, sapient robots, whatever. Even Aliens vs Predator counts.

    There is an SST RTS in development, but it doesn't look like the bugs will be playable. Sadly.

    Speaking of SST, apparently the Roughnecks cartoon gave them the ability to engage in gene splicing like the zerg and tyranids do. Between that and the addition of the God Bug, the Pseudo-Arachnids are now pretty much the pre-Kerry zerg but without the personalities that characterized the Overmind and cerebrates.

    We live in strange times if the Pseudo-Arachnids are better at being zerg than the actual zerg.

  2. #12

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Blizz is too large now to consider going back to being "creative". It's all about money now and appeasing the lowest common denominator to sustain itself. Why you should think otherwise even with Metzen leaving is beyond me...

    I can (and often) consider SC as standalone and doing well/acceptable enough on it's own merit really(even without BW). As such, I don't mind huge status quo changing things like what you described since I usually engage most things with the expectation there isn't going to be more, that it's a one and done sort of thing. Having things change hugely and giving a sense that "shit is real!" and "happening" rather than some languidly imposed status quo that defies reason seems to work better for game stories when they can't guarantee the possibility of future entries. I know you like the prospect of this sprawling protracted thing that can go on for considerable time but the momentum of Starcraft's fictional universe didn't really lend itself to that imho. The fulcrum of the story is the three races colliding and having lasting consequences arising from that and Sc1 does that well enough on it's own.

    I respect your mindset here (particularly the one-off part), but I do think SC could have supported a larger universe. The potential was there. All Blizz needed to do was show off more KMC/UP, show how the Dominion works and maybe a competition of power with Mengsk, create more personalities/characters within the swarm, enrich and deepen Protoss lore...it's all there, ready to be set up. It looks to me that Blizz simply couldn't see where to go with it.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  3. #13

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    I respect your mindset here (particularly the one-off part), but I do think SC could have supported a larger universe. The potential was there. All Blizz needed to do was show off more KMC/UP, show how the Dominion works and maybe a competition of power with Mengsk, create more personalities/characters within the swarm, enrich and deepen Protoss lore...it's all there, ready to be set up. It looks to me that Blizz simply couldn't see where to go with it.
    I agree to an extent. I donít like the way Mengsk was centered in the terran lore and prefer an actual confederation like they described on the 1996 website.

    I donít like Raynor and Kerry for the same reason. They shouldnít be the main characters of the entire universe. Metzen transplanted a small scale RPG plot into a much larger RTS setting where it didnít make sense.

    This goes back to Turaís statement that SC was written as a standalone story without room for sequels. If you want a larger universe, then you have to build it from the start. You canít go off ad hoc from canon SC1. Among other things, the ending leaves the infrastructure of all three sides in ruins.

    If you want a larger setting, then you have to write it holistically. Setup the terrans as an interstellar confederation, the zerg as an interstellar swarm, and the protoss as an interstellar empire. Explain their cultures, why theyíre fighting, etc. Explore the distinctions between the terran colonies, zerg broods, protoss tribes, etc.

    Then and only then should you start writing characters and stories. And you shouldnít make a small cast of characters the center of the universe. Donít dilute the thematic distinctions of each side by making the zerg good guys or human or the protoss weak wimps who need humans to save them. Donít introduce lazy plot contrivances. Donít be myopic. Etc. Itís not hard. Iím not expecting Shakespeare, just something serviceable. Look at Westwood games for pointers.

    The terran campaigns should be about how they handle the two alien invasions. Studying the zerg infesting their planets. Invading protoss space for resources and revenge. Allying with the dark protoss. Standard infighting between colonies jockeying for power. Etc.

    The zerg campaigns should be about how they fight the other races. Invading terran space to abduct people by the millions and study the various psychic mutations. Fighting off the cerberus cyborg lobotomized enslaved zerg. Sending forces to protoss space to study ancient ruins and run interference. Etc.

    The protoss campaigns should be how they handle their side. Invading terran space to halt the zerg infestation. Defending their space from terran space. Reclaiming terran space for their empire. Fighting between the light and dark protoss. Etc.

    But this is a moot point anyhow because the lore is already screwed beyond repair and canít be fixed even if Activision was ever so inclined as to try, which they donít seem to be.

    Weíre better off writing an original universe. Anybody want to restart my old thread about an original universe?

  4. #14

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    SC1 could have feasibly been expanded into an arc spanning multiple games. The period depicted in episode 1 where the three sides fight over terran space could have been expanded into multiple arcs spanning multiple games.
    Seems to me that this is an issue of unrealistic expectations, whether at the time or retrospectively. I like to take things in regard to what they were able to do at the time. Stories for games (especially RTS) were not prone to such standards as the scope and quality of a game's fictional world-building like most games are today. Starcraft was perhaps one of the first that bothered to do it all when it could've been easily deemed largely unnecessary back then. Coupled with the fact that no-one had any idea if it was going to be a hit or not, the production of the thing would've been about getting the best product they could out there rather than considering franchise potential. Most modern stories (whether it be games or television even) these days are usually designed to have continuation/sequels or some such rather than focusing on telling a good story in one hit largely because it's a commercial no-brainer to do so. So while yes, it's nice that we "could" have had those things, it's a pretty entitled and indignant belief to condemn it because no-one had foresight to include it back then when we "could" have easily gotten even less than we already did...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Instead Blizzard just breezed through every possible plot point that the writers had world built at that point, forcing each game to basically make up a bunch of new stuff to keep the story going.
    I don't know. Is it better that they actually resolved those plot points than potentially not having the opportunity to resolve them at all/be forever open? You keep forgetting that there was no guarantee that a sequel would ever be feasible or possible at the time. Besides, every continuation of a property (sequel, prequel or even disconnected entry in the same universe) is really just a blatant attempt to make more money/to keep the story going. It's not exactly a revelation...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The common problem I see in the Blizzard RTS titles is that they're telling RPG stories rather than RTS stories. RPG stories are better suited for much smaller scales than the ones in RTS games. RTS titles are better suited for political thriller and military fiction, which have a different set of standards than your typical drama.
    There aren't many good examples, so it's really hard to say there's a standard that should be applied. I guess you could say C&C would fit what you're looking for but then again the most memorable thing about those stories are still the individual characters (ie: Kane). The narrative's in those stories are rarely ever compelling on their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    In SC1, the myopic focus on the four recurring terran characters (Raynor, Duke, Mengsk, Kerry) comes at the expense of the greater terran, zerg, and protoss organizations. A successful rebellion (as opposed to "silly humans infighting, leaving them vulnerable") doesn't fit with the two alien invasions going on. The zerg focusing all their efforts on Kerry Sue doesn't fit with their shtick as an aggressive hegemonizing swarm hellbent on eating everything.
    Thing is, I see it a bit differently. To me, I see the characters as just being representative and symbolic of the traits of their respective organisations or themes the story is trying to convey. For example, Raynor is the dumb/ignorant idealistic everyman, Kerrigan is the naive optimist, Mengsk is the pragmatic realist and Duke is the stubborn instititionalist, covering/representing the broad spectrum of what it is to be a Terran/human.

    As to your hang-up with Kerrigan being a "Sue" in Sc1 (BW's a different matter...), it's important to note that that's tied to her status of being the "determinant", which in itself is a Watsonian (in-universe explained) "Sue" conceived by the Overmind. Kerry specifically being the "determinant" is less relevant to me (especially so since although she is considered powerful and a blowhard - she is actually shown to be an abject failure in Sc1) than that the story ultimately seems to be also telling me that the "determinant" itself is irrelevant. In fact the "determinant" is really, if you look close enough, just a psychological coping mechanism employed by the Overmind to assuage it's own fears. Once it got it, it no longer feared - as the story in Overmind campaign goes to show us right from its beginning. Furthermore, it can be said that the Overmind's fixation on a "determinant" and achieving it, is the real reason it lost. Overcoming it's fear through a false pretense (the "determinant") gave it overconfidence and made it prone to hubris, unwittingly exposing itself a weakness that then got exploited. What's especially great about this, is that the writers likely did not intend this or even consider/comprehend this aspect when writing it, yet it is present and can be interpreted that way from what we've been given.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Sadly there's no scifi RTS titles that capture what drew me to Starcraft.
    Universe at War is pretty cool and somewhat in the vein of Starcraft. It may feel a bit more superficial than most in it's lore, but their three-way is kinda dynamic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    I respect your mindset here (particularly the one-off part), but I do think SC could have supported a larger universe. The potential was there. All Blizz needed to do was show off more KMC/UP, show how the Dominion works and maybe a competition of power with Mengsk, create more personalities/characters within the swarm, enrich and deepen Protoss lore...it's all there, ready to be set up. It looks to me that Blizz simply couldn't see where to go with it.
    It's that or it was just there as "fluff" to give off the illusion of a universe greater than what it is (a made-up fantasy/fiction). It's stuff that could/would makes things more interesting, but you don't have really have to delve into it. It's better off firing away in one's own imagination, which I think was possibly the intent with it's inclusion. I'm fine with that honestly.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  5. #15

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    It was a stupid idea to shoehorn sequels after a story that was never intended to have sequels or support a wider universe. If you want sequels or a wider universe, then you need to prepare for that from the start.

    Starcraft has garbage storytelling/lore right now. The three races have become ugly stupid parodies of themselves. Itís impossible to fix without a reboot, and thatís assuming Activision can ever hire competent writers.

    Most lore fans have long since jumped ship when it became clear the lore was falling apart, and those who remain are... talking to them is like bashing my head against cinderblocks.

    The fanfiction scene has long since degenerated into ďKerry this, Raynor that.Ē Dear God, I hate those stupid characters so much now. Their soap opera took over the franchise to the exclusion of everything else.

    I just want a SC setting that isnít stupid crap. A military scifi with the three Cís: Confederations of Colonies, Conclaves of Tribes, and Cerebrates of Broods. Is that too much to ask for?

    Anyway, Iím part of an SC Discussion discord where we sometimes discuss starcraft stuff. Itís more responsive than this forum. If you want to join, then send me a PM and Iíll get back to you with a discord link.

    You can also visit the Unofficial SCLegacy discord. I posted the invite to the other SC Discussion discord on there too. https://discord.gg/CyUvEBy

  6. #16

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Eh, what the heck. Hereís the link to the SC Discussion discord Iím hanging out at. https://discord.gg/hMZHQcDRFz

  7. #17

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It was a stupid idea to shoehorn sequels after a story that was never intended to have sequels or support a wider universe. If you want sequels or a wider universe, then you need to prepare for that from the start.
    While I somewhat agree, I think this opinion is also partly misguided consumer privilege (don't take that as a dis, I'm vulnerable to it, too!) and misrepresents what the main appeal of Starcraft is and the reasons for it having a sequel. Starcraft's appeal and longevity is its gameplay and mechanics first and foremost. The story/universe was only fleshed out and developed much later, squeezed into what was already produced to "explain" what we're seeing/playing. The game came first and the story was secondary, not the other way round as your opinion suggests. In that light, it's a wonder it's cohesive and compelling enough as it is really.

    Unlike today, games back then didn't have the widespread and generalised appeal nor the luxury of relying on stories to sell themselves/to reach a wide audience. The development of Starcraft1 was never about creating a franchise or thinking about the future, but to make a game that people will want to play (and hopefully, a lot) in the now to pay back the hardwork they put into it. Back then (and now still is), sequels primarily were only ever considered after the fact and if the original did much better than expected, not because of any desire to continue a story/develop lore. I don't mind this in one way, because it forces developers to make an outstanding single standalone product but equally and in an opposite manner, it's partly why I'm leery and cynical of ALL sequels/prequels/continuations/reboots (to an extent) since the justification for their existence is almost always commercial than anything else. In the same vein, I don't inherently trust new IPs that tout longevity or sequels as part of their "thing" since that lends them an excuse to drag things out unnecessarily and purposefully deny resolution (which is kinda part of that distasteful commercial aspect I was talking about before). Since there's no guarantee that sequels are possible (unless it's fully funded/confirmed in advance - a rare thing in and of itself!), it's difficult to invest/trust such a thing.

    Confirmation bias aside, Sc2 indeed seems to be a testament to what I've just said. I've always been passively against (yet hopeful!) a sequel ever since BW only to be, expectantly and disappointedly, vindicated in my opinion when it came out. Having said that, I still enjoy Sc2 in terms of its gameplay and I've replayed it just to experience it but never to the same extent and number of replays I've had for Sc1, even in all it's ugly/outdated graphics and gameplay, just for the story/dialogue being so darn compelling.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  8. #18

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    To expand on that a bit more...

    I donít think a story mode was ever needed. The brief lore on the classic battle net starcraft strategy compendium was plenty sufficient. The manual lore was a nice bonus.

    But the story mode was unnecessary. And, with the benefit of hindsight, ultimately detrimental to its own integrity.

    Compare Helldivers, which has counterparts to terrans, zerg, and protoss. It has extremely barebones lore and no story because itís purely a multiplayer game. It hasnít setup any integrity to destroy. The four sides fight and thatís it. The Illuminate and Bugs donít have their civilization arbitrarily destroyed without ever developing it enough for us to care if it gets destroyed in the first place. They donít team up against Earth or the space devil. The Bugs donít become lackeys to the heroís girlfriend.

    In my opinion, you should either write a non-stupid story or donít write one at all.

    But you would expect that the fanfiction scene would offer something for anybody with reservations about the canon. Well, not this time.

    Starcraft has dozens of potentially interesting licensed fiction that nobody cares about, as well as plenty of stupid stories. The fanfiction scene is completely overwhelmed with ďKerry this, Raynor thatĒ and thereís pretty much nothing I can enjoy because all the people with similar tastes to my own left years ago.

    A plot as simple as ďactually explain why the light and dark templar are opposed in the first place and how they reconcileĒ is completely absent. In canon they team up because plot, despite the eon of strife and discord. It makes about as much sense as Israel teaming up with the Fourth Reich. No fanfic writers left have enough critical thinking skills to actually interrogate this either, or else are too slavishly loyal to ďmuh canonĒ to bother interrogating despite their better nature.

    The same thing goes for simple plot hooks like ďterran politicsĒ or ďzerg with initiative.Ē The terrans are always organized into monolithic dictatorships under Mengsk, Raynor, or the King of Earth. The zerg are always the mindless lackeys of Kerry.

    The fanfiction scenes for childrenís cartoons from the 90s have more depth than that. Sadly.

    I know the Starcraft lore has always been barebones. It went through several revisions before release that I can discern. The manual was a barebones pitch intended to get a reader pumped about the actual game.

    The website/manual pitch was tropey as hell. The terrans are every 80s/90s scifi combined: space cowboys, cyberpunk dystopia, confederation politics, arbitrary environmentalism, etc. The zerg are tyranids and nurgle daemons combined, with some possible influence from the Vang novels. The protoss are a mix of The Predator, Eldar, Imperium/Adeptus Astartes, the ancient astronauts conspiracy theory, and the jedi/sith schism.

    But with proper execution it could have been enjoyable, or at least sufficient to be built upon by later writers. Instead, Blizzard did their typical mediocre writing.

    Itís all garbage now and thereís no other fandom for me to switch over to or a group of people with like-minded tastes to talk to. I canít get into 40k because the tyranids donít have an Overmind voiced by Paul Eiding. I canít get into Halo because Gravemind is... insane and directionless, has no pov stories, no playable campaigns in the RTS. The Vang novels give the vang pov chapters but thereís no fandom for the series. The bugs in Starship Troopers donít have pov stories, or any apparent culture, or playable RTS campaigns, or any fans like tyranids do.

    For a very brief period of time, Metzen stumbled upon a really interesting formula by pulling together various aspects of other works to produce a new synergized whole... and then immediately fucked up by throwing it in the garbage in favor his girlfriend insert. He completely stripped away what little culture and distinctiveness that he world built up to that point, left the zerg completely directionless and lacking in initiative, and finally to add insult to injury he turned them into peaceful space hippies.

    Iíve been trying to brainstorm and write an original scifi setting recycling the ideas I liked... without success... for I donít know how long. Two, three years now?

    This has become so frustrating for me that itís interfering with my ability to focus on other things. I donít know if I have chronic depression or what.

    I wish I had never heard of this Starshit franchise. Itís burned into my brain and I canít stop being butthurt over Blizzardís bad writing.

  9. #19

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    It's that or it was just there as "fluff" to give off the illusion of a universe greater than what it is (a made-up fantasy/fiction). It's stuff that could/would makes things more interesting, but you don't have really have to delve into it. It's better off firing away in one's own imagination, which I think was possibly the intent with it's inclusion. I'm fine with that honestly.
    Some of it definitely was fluff (khaydarins, uraj/khalis), but frankly leaving entire factions to the imagination is nonsense. I mean, stuff like that works for one or two games, but if Blizz wanted a franchise, they should have built themselves a narrative foundation. Creating worlds by nature automatically creates potential storylines.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  10. #20

    Default Re: SC2 now officially on life support

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Some of it definitely was fluff (khaydarins, uraj/khalis), but frankly leaving entire factions to the imagination is nonsense. I mean, stuff like that works for one or two games, but if Blizz wanted a franchise, they should have built themselves a narrative foundation. Creating worlds by nature automatically creates potential storylines.
    Yep.

    The manual included short bios for six factions for each race. (Modeled after the Alliance nation and Horde clan bios in WC2 manual.) Did this ever play a role in the games? Nope!

    WC2 was about the war between the alliance and the horde. Most of the manual lore didnít feature in the game, but it did give the impression of a larger universe. This was expanded on in WoW.

    WC3, oddly, didnít include anything like that in its manual. The story in WC3 was also far more character-driven and less war-driven.

    The story in SC1 seemingly treated the three-way war as an afterthought, with the main focus being the character drama.

    Thereís a reforged mod that remakes WC2. It includes unique skins for each of the factions in the manual. Thereís no corresponding skins for Mass Recall, because nobody gives a fuck. Everybody who gave a fuck jumped ship years ago.

    Itís such a frustrating waste. I donít know why I care so much. My monomania is interfering with my ability to enjoy other things.

    Complaining about it is unproductive. Would you guys like to hear my ideas for rebooting SC or doing an original setting loosely inspired by it? Youíre the only people who seem to remotely care what I think

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