Favorite SCII Campaign

RJ 17

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Got "the itch" again, and that means it's time to play through the SCII campaign.

Granted, I'm fully aware of the fact that there's a large number of people out there who didn't really like the story of SCII because they felt it retconned a bunch of stuff. Perhaps it's the creative writer in me being able to self-fill-in all the plotholes with (perhaps) stretching "excuses" - most of which I can't think of at the moment due to not being quite sober - but I enjoyed it.

...what with Kerrigan going Super Saiyajin Space Angel and all. >.>

Still, I found each one to be enjoyable. And so, having just wrapped up Heart of the Swarm again, I felt like asking the board which of the 3 campaigns they enjoyed the most.

For me, it's a toss-up. I've always enjoyed the lore and history of the Protoss...and the fact that they got John de Lancie in Legacy of the Void is definitely a huge plus. But in the end I'd have to say that Heart of the Swarm is my favorite. It's mostly tied to the fact that in terms of gameplay: Zerg has always been my favorite race. I'm rather impatient so I like how fast they are. :p

So, which of the SCII campaigns did you enjoy the most?
 

Pirate Of PC Master race

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I prefer the term "Space fairy", Thank you.

I'd go with any Terran mission with Tal'Darim involved. While I love blowing things up, Zerg playstyle isn't just my type.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Wings of Liberty was the only one worth playing. The rest was a desperate, gutless attempt to retcon WoL so blatantly cringe-worthy and out-of-universe I'm surprised Games Workshop didn't get Dan Abnett to write it.
"Oh hey, you know that major character arc we had Sarah go through, redefining her entire world view, relationship with the Zerg, Jim Raynor, the totally not Reapers, and the Protoss, thus adding a brand new twist to the character, gameplay and narrative style for future stories? No you don't, fuck you in your dumb fucking face, go watch Starship Troopers if you want coherent plots and reasonable people, quos for the Quo Throne of Status, Starcraft 3 2020!"

I don't often return games. Really. If I bought it, I keep it, even if I didn't like it. I returned Heart of the Swarm to Best Buy. Fuck that game.
And the other fucker was dumb too.
 

Hawki

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Funny. I just came back from a SC2 1v1 Gold level match where I god a well-earned win (shut up, it was), and I saw this thread. Assuming this thread goes like every other SC2 lore thread, the creep's going to hit the infestation pit very quickly, so I'll make this quick, and summarize in point form:

-I played SC1 back in the day, and loved it. Just happen to love SC2 more.

-SC2 has problems in its storyline, sure, but none that break the story in my mind - a lot of the things people label as flaws I label as strengths. For instance, I can understand why people dislike "space Kerrigan," though I'm not one of them.

-If I had to rank the campaigns, it would be WoL>LotV>HotS>NCO. I'll briefly give my thoughts on each:

-WoL: My favorite. Mission variety is great, captures the feeling of a space western/space opera, has a great arc for Raynor. It suffers a bit from a lack of focus in the mid-game (a lot of the time in WoL there isn't a clear objective), but the campaign as a whole works excellently. Overall theme is "redemption." (yes, similar to Zelda and Star Trek, each SC2 campaign has a theme, deal with it).

-HotS: Flawed by a troubled development cycle, and severe logic leaps (e.g. Zerus). Not that SC2 is without problems in its storyline, but I feel HotS really drops the ball in a number of areas. A lot of the missions didn't feel up to snuff either. Still a net positive, but without a doubt my least favorite campaign. That said, great army customization, and Abathur is a breakout character for a reason, and it does a good job of examining what makes the zerg the zerg. Overall theme is "revenge."

-LotV: This is probably the most solid campaign in terms of plot in isolation, but it's also the least personable, and is easily the 'coldest' campaign in terms of overall style. It doesn't quite reach WoL for me, but the missions remain good, Alarak is Darth "Muthafuckin" Alarak, and it wraps up the trilogy nicely. The Void section is a bit iffy, and I get why some people don't like it, but for me, it's again a net positive. The perfect place to end the overall saga in my mind. We were first introduced to SC2 with the words "hell, it's about time," and Raynor closing the saga with those words is great.

Overall theme is "transcendance."

-NCO: Not bad, but unnecessary. Early missions railroad the player into a certain playstyle, but part 2 fixed things. Suffers a bit from anti-climax. No real overall theme, and Nova is a fine character, but her story here is entirely reactionary, while the previous campaigns had pro-active protagonists.

-On the subject of races...y'know, it used to be terran>protoss>zerg for me in terms of multiplayer gameplay, but I think that's actually reversed. Thing is, with zerg and protoss, most, if not all of my units can be built from a single production tab, or at least, I can easily hotkey between hatcheries. Terran has become difficult for me to play because I have to build numerous units from numerous structures at numerous sites.

...did I say this was going to be short? Well, bleh. ;p
 

RJ 17

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Hawki said:
I agree with everything for the most part, except with your thoughts on HotS. The biggest issue that I have with this one is the retcon in the form of Zerus...but still, I can see why they did it. The Primal Zerg - in my opinion - supports the underlying them of the Zerg, that being assimilation to gain strength. Kerrigan's purpose for revenge remains constant, and considering the turn in the story of Kerrigan being purged of all outside influence by the Keystone, I feel her actions make sense. She is now an independent mind with the full might of the Zerg at her command...of course she's going to use it as a weapon against the person she hates most. With that in mind, it makes sense to me that half the missions would be reasserting her dominance over the shattered Zerg Swarm while the other half would be striking out against the target of her vengeance.

My main issue with WoL is that...I just don't like Terran. :p

In terms of units, there's nothing wrong with them. I do agree that it's nuts how they've become the slowest race. Zerg is...well...Zerg...they've always been the fastest of the races, to the point that "Zerging" an opponent is now short-hand for rushing with large numbers in numerous other games. But Protoss used to be the slowest...now they get to warp in units nearly instantly. Terran can build two at a time...but they have to pick between doing that and being able to build/upgrade certain units. Suddenly Terran - which had previously been the middle ground between speed and strength - are straight-up the slowest/most cumbersome race in the game.

That and I just find the alien races more interesting to play as because they're aliens. Really that's why I like the other two campaigns more than WoL. :p
 

Hawki

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RJ 17 said:
I agree with everything for the most part, except with your thoughts on HotS. The biggest issue that I have with this one is the retcon in the form of Zerus...but still, I can see why they did it. The Primal Zerg - in my opinion - supports the underlying them of the Zerg, that being assimilation to gain strength. Kerrigan's purpose for revenge remains constant, and considering the turn in the story of Kerrigan being purged of all outside influence by the Keystone, I feel her actions make sense. She is now an independent mind with the full might of the Zerg at her command...of course she's going to use it as a weapon against the person she hates most. With that in mind, it makes sense to me that half the missions would be reasserting her dominance over the shattered Zerg Swarm while the other half would be striking out against the target of her vengeance.
Zerus is a mixed bag for me. The basic question that anyone who read the manual of SC1 would ask would be:

1) Why is Zerus a jungle planet?

2) How did Kerrigan get to Zerus and back so quickly, when it took the zerg ages to get to the K-sector under the Overmind?

Question 1 was answered outside the game (planet re-vegetated...okay, fine, weirder things have happened), question 2 hasn't, but it's bizzare that Zerus's status is never even questioned by anyone. What's more is that it would be easy to give an excuse to get to Zerus and back (e.g. a xel'naga warp gate), but nup, it's never addressed.

Still, that said, I actually like the primal zerg, and the reason is that it's a great form of exposition without actually resorting to written dialogue. As in, the primal zerg are a microcosm of the Swarm zerg - survival of the fittest, assimilation of genetic traits from defeated species, an amoral approach to the world, etc. The primals are bereft of the hivemind that links the Swarm, but otherwise, they're the same. I also like the style of characterization they receive - primals like Brakk are beasts, brutes, barely able to string a coherent sentence together. Dehaka can converse more fluently, and is smart enough to join the winning side, but is still animalistic. Zurvan is old and wise, and speaks perfectly. It's a great example of "show, don't tell," of the idea that as a primal gains more essence and experience, they appear to gain wisdom as well.

Kerrigan is also iffy in the story. The thing is, looking at its structure, HotS knows what it's doing. The dream she has at the start is almost certainly precognative, showing her invade Augustgrad from the air, whereas in reality, she lands outside the walls. "Dream Kerrigan" is an engine of destruction, while Kerrigan, by the end of the campaign, has developed more as a character. Yet this is still a character who slaughtered the protoss on Kaldir (and other worlds), and while Mengsk's death is good for humanity in the long run, how many people died for that to happen? LotV addresses this somewhat, but I feel HotS is stuck between keeping the zerg savage, while also making Kerrigan somewhat sympathetic. Thing is, HotS is a story with a person doing horrible things against a man who's done horrible things, and neither are willing to give ground in that area. It's understandable why this puts people off. I never felt SC2 "ruined" Kerrigan's character from Brood War, but Kerrigan there was unapologetic for her actions, and we loved her for it.

RJ 17 said:
My main issue with WoL is that...I just don't like Terran. :p

In terms of units, there's nothing wrong with them. I do agree that it's nuts how they've become the slowest race. Zerg is...well...Zerg...they've always been the fastest of the races, to the point that "Zerging" an opponent is now short-hand for rushing with large numbers in numerous other games. But Protoss used to be the slowest...now they get to warp in units nearly instantly. Terran can build two at a time...but they have to pick between doing that and being able to build/upgrade certain units. Suddenly Terran - which had previously been the middle ground between speed and strength - are straight-up the slowest/most cumbersome race in the game.
Kind of. It sort of makes sense though. Zerg have always been fast, and if you cover the map in creep, they get REALLY fast. The protoss warping in is something I can get behind - it matches their high-tech feel, and also harkens back to the idea that the protoss use small groups of really powerful units, so a small strike force would be viable in-universe. It's especially satisfying when I establish a beachhead with a warp prism and send a stream of units into an enemy base.

As for the terrans, well, have they ever been fast? True, they had the Vulture, but the terrans have always been the race with the best defensive and turtling options, with bunkers and siege tanks. Now we have stuff like the planetary fortress, and a lot of macro focus (e.g. MULEs). It makes it difficult to play them at times, but I think it does fit their overall theme - clunky, bogged down, but able to wield large amounts of firepower. It does make it problematic in a sense though, as LotV's design is meant to encourage quick expansion. The terrans have the hardest time moving units around the map, whereas the zerg have their speed, and the protoss have warp-in and recall.
 

RJ 17

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Hawki said:
--With Regards to Zerus: that's what I meant by the major retcon. Indeed, the original story was that the first Zerg came from a desert planet and expanded from there as they assimilated races from other places. I don't think there's anyway around it..."revegitation" turning a desert planet into a jungle planet - even over thousands of years - seems like a bit of a stretch. One would have to assume that it wasn't a fully desert planet, but rather a mostly desert planet with pockets of tropical jungles. Even so, it's hard to believe that the jungle portions could grow to become the dominant environment considering that deserts are full of sand as opposed to soil...and sand isn't really conducive to growing jungles.

Still, the reason I accept this is because it certainly wouldn't be the first time Blizzard made a massive retcon (just look at what they've repeatedly done with the WarCraft universe), so I guess you could count my acceptance of this retcon as simply being a bit of a sucker for the lore in the universe that Blizzard has created.

--With Regards to Getting To Zerus: well they're not really all that specific in just how fast "warp travel" is. Even back in the original SC, the cinematic for the Zerg invasion of Auir involves a massive wormhole opening and The Swarm flying through it. Wormholes can cross pretty much any amount of space in a single instant (as opposed to, say, the Mass Effect universe where "warp speed" is traveling the actual distance between locations at FTL speeds), so I really I never even considered "how'd she get to Zerus and back in such a short time?" to be an issue...I just assumed that Zerg warp travel involve opening wormholes to jump through.

--With Regards to Kerrigan's Genocide: if you ask me, HotS is indeed mostly about Kerrigan's vengeance on Mengsk, but the other theme is - in my opinion - Kerrigan embracing her destiny. That destiny being that she IS meant to be the Heart of the Swarm. But no longer is she the "kill everything, make the Zerg take over the sector" Queen that she was...the Artifact purged her of that darkness. As I said in my previous post: she's now independent, a "person" who has the full might of the Swarm at her disposal. That said: there's no way around it...the Zerg are killers. Even so: she does her best to limit casualties. She does what she needs to in order to survive (which ties into the whole Primal Zerg storyline of survive-adapt-evolve.

When Kerrigan arrives at Kaldir, she's trying to reform the Swarm. At this point, her Swarm is "weak"...that is: it doesn't have the countless numbers of a unified Swarm. The Protoss were trying to summon the Golden Armada from the very moment Kerrigan sets foot on that world...the full might of the Protoss could have easily wiped her out. So she had no other option in order to survive: she must slaughter the Protoss. Even so, it's displayed at numerous points where survival is not something she has to worry about, she shows as much mercy as she can. When she retakes Char: it is the Zerg homeworld, the biggest piece of reunifying the, she shows mercy to the Terran, allowing those fleeing the planet to escape. When she invades Korhal - the planet that harbors the target of her vengeance - she agrees to show as much mercy as possible, allowing Valerian to evacuate as many civilians as possible...even agreeing NOT just drop her entire Swarm right in the middle of the city AND avoid civilian sectors when she does invade the city.

--With Regards to the Terrans: no, they haven't ever been particularly fast, but in SC/BW they were at least faster than the Protoss. Again, my biggest problem with them is that I just don't like playing as a human race when there's interesting alien races on the table to play as. Still, the fact that they made them the slowest race is a big of an up-turn for me, and further pushes them away from my favor. :p
 

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RJ 17 said:
With Regards to Zerus: that's what I meant by the major retcon. Indeed, the original story was that the first Zerg came from a desert planet and expanded from there as they assimilated races from other places. I don't think there's anyway around it..."revegitation" turning a desert planet into a jungle planet - even over thousands of years - seems like a bit of a stretch. One would have to assume that it wasn't a fully desert planet, but rather a mostly desert planet with pockets of tropical jungles. Even so, it's hard to believe that the jungle portions could grow to become the dominant environment considering that deserts are full of sand as opposed to soil...and sand isn't really conducive to growing jungles.
Zerus wasn't a desert planet, you may be thinking of Zz'gash, where the dune runners were assimilated to form zerglings. Zerus was established as a harsh world with torrential firestorms, left lifeless when the Swarm left the planet.

Anyway, Zerus isn't a retcon, as its revegetation was confirmed in an interview. It's a big stretch, but an explanation nonetheless.

RJ 17 said:
--With Regards to Getting To Zerus: well they're not really all that specific in just how fast "warp travel" is. Even back in the original SC, the cinematic for the Zerg invasion of Auir involves a massive wormhole opening and The Swarm flying through it. Wormholes can cross pretty much any amount of space in a single instant (as opposed to, say, the Mass Effect universe where "warp speed" is traveling the actual distance between locations at FTL speeds), so I really I never even considered "how'd she get to Zerus and back in such a short time?" to be an issue...I just assumed that Zerg warp travel involve opening wormholes to jump through.
We don't know exactly, true, but it does raise some questions. Warp space (see http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Warp_space) is vague in a lot of areas, but at the least, we know that it took the zerg a very long time (over 60 years) to get to Aiur (on the galactic fringe) from Zerus (the galactic core) prior to SC1. Kerrigan makes the trip to Zerus and back in a scale of, at the most, a few months (HotS takes place over about 4 months). Now, the travel time issue can be explained, but the game offers none, and even if we ever do get an explanation, the fault lies with the game itself (same reason not explaining Zerus within the game is also a problem). Now, I can think of a few explanations (and as a creative writer, I'm inclined to do so), but, well, yeah.

RJ 17 said:
--With Regards to Kerrigan's Genocide: if you ask me, HotS is indeed mostly about Kerrigan's vengeance on Mengsk, but the other theme is - in my opinion - Kerrigan embracing her destiny. That destiny being that she IS meant to be the Heart of the Swarm. But no longer is she the "kill everything, make the Zerg take over the sector" Queen that she was...the Artifact purged her of that darkness. As I said in my previous post: she's now independent, a "person" who has the full might of the Swarm at her disposal. That said: there's no way around it...the Zerg are killers. Even so: she does her best to limit casualties. She does what she needs to in order to survive (which ties into the whole Primal Zerg storyline of survive-adapt-evolve.

When Kerrigan arrives at Kaldir, she's trying to reform the Swarm. At this point, her Swarm is "weak"...that is: it doesn't have the countless numbers of a unified Swarm. The Protoss were trying to summon the Golden Armada from the very moment Kerrigan sets foot on that world...the full might of the Protoss could have easily wiped her out. So she had no other option in order to survive: she must slaughter the Protoss. Even so, it's displayed at numerous points where survival is not something she has to worry about, she shows as much mercy as she can. When she retakes Char: it is the Zerg homeworld, the biggest piece of reunifying the, she shows mercy to the Terran, allowing those fleeing the planet to escape. When she invades Korhal - the planet that harbors the target of her vengeance - she agrees to show as much mercy as possible, allowing Valerian to evacuate as many civilians as possible...even agreeing NOT just drop her entire Swarm right in the middle of the city AND avoid civilian sectors when she does invade the city.
It's a fair point as to the overall theme. By the end of HotS, Kerrigan appears to have come to terms with who and what she is. Likewise, Kaldir could have indeed brought the Golden Armada down on her. That said, I've seen numerous fans state that Kerrigan deserves no redemption whatsoever in HotS or afterwards, that she takes the lives of far too many people to make forgiveness or redemption possible. I don't agree, if only because her actions are brought up in HotS and LotV, and that she's willing to sacrifice herself in the latter, but I can get where they're coming from.

RJ 17 said:
--With Regards to the Terrans: no, they haven't ever been particularly fast, but in SC/BW they were at least faster than the Protoss. Again, my biggest problem with them is that I just don't like playing as a human race when there's interesting alien races on the table to play as.
Heh, you're more adventurous than me. Warcraft III? Alliance. Tiberium Wars? GDI. Halo Wars? UNSC. Battle for Middle-earth? Gondor. Usually I tend to gravitate towards the "vanilla race" in RTS.
 

RJ 17

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Hawki said:
It's a fair point as to the overall theme. By the end of HotS, Kerrigan appears to have come to terms with who and what she is. Likewise, Kaldir could have indeed brought the Golden Armada down on her. That said, I've seen numerous fans state that Kerrigan deserves no redemption whatsoever in HotS or afterwards, that she takes the lives of far too many people to make forgiveness or redemption possible. I don't agree, if only because her actions are brought up in HotS and LotV, and that she's willing to sacrifice herself in the latter, but I can get where they're coming from.
To those nay-sayers, I'd argue that Kerrigan isn't looking for forgiveness or redemption. There's a number of lines she says that support this. When she's talking to the Protoss she captured on Kaldir, she says "There may be more blood on my hands than there is on yours, but in the end we're both killers." Clicking on her when she's on the Leviathan will have her say things like "I will pay the price for my choices." And of course there's the line during the ending cinematic of "You've turned us all into monsters." The only person she wants forgiveness from is Jimmy, her only hope is that he understands that she's doing what she has to do.

I'd also argue to those nay-sayers (being careful to specify that I'm not trying to argue with you since we seem to be on the same page with with this) that vengeance is always a selfish motivation. By the end of HotS, she knows full well that there is a greater battle to be fought. Between her encounters with Zeratul and Naruud, she understands what's at stake...yet she sets the greater good aside to continue her vendetta against Mengsk. There's no redemption to be gained from such a selfish act, she just wants to see the man who betrayed her killed. That gives context to her lines about "I will pay the price for my choices." Were she actually interested in redemption and forgiveness, she would have risen above her grudge and begun her campaign against the forces of Amon after her battle with Naruud (she might have gone ahead and rescued Jimmy because she still loves him, but there'd be no real point for her to waste resources by invading Korhal just so she can kill a single man if she were interested in fighting for the greater good). Indeed, as she tells the Protoss captive: she's a killer. There's no way around that. The fact that she shows mercy where she can just shows that she's been freed of the darkness that was inside of her. But by decidedly perusing her vengeance, she shows that she's not interested at all in being redeemed. It just seems that way because the target of her vengeance just happens to be a character who, throughout the series, has proven to be a complete rat-bastard.

What I'm getting at is that, at best, she's an anti-hero...someone who unapologetically does terrible things that just so happen to coincide with the greater good. She's only a sympathetic character in that it was a backstabbing betrayal that turned her into the "monster" that she's become.

Really I only bothered saying all of the above because I like discussing SC lore and such. :p

Heh, you're more adventurous than me. Warcraft III? Alliance. Tiberium Wars? GDI. Halo Wars? UNSC. Battle for Middle-earth? Gondor. Usually I tend to gravitate towards the "vanilla race" in RTS.
Hehe, yeah, for me it's always been along the lines of "I'm a human...why would I want to play a human faction when I could play something else?" That's why for WCIII my favorite race was Undead, never got into C&C or Halo Wars (though if I had played the latter I would have likely preferred playing as the Covenant, assuming that's an option :p), for Middle Earth I always preferred playing as the bad guys...even though in BfME 2 the Elves and their knock-back arrows were hilariously broken.

For the Protoss: I just like their designs/aesthetics much more than the Terrans. And again, for the Zerg I just love how fast they are. Give'em a matter of minutes and they've got a full base with a standing army ready to kick some ass.

All that said: I won't deny the power of the Terran. In many respects they've got some of the best units and combination of units in the game if you ask me. Same with The Alliance in WC. That goes to a notion that I like to call "The Human Bias." That is to say that if a game has multiple playable races in it and human is an option: since the game itself was made by humans, humans will likely be the best race. Just look at the Swann in the Co-Op...Goliaths that can attack air and ground at the same time? Are you frickin' kidding me? Here's how you win any given Co-Op mission. Step 1: Pick Swann. Step 2: Build nothing but Goliaths. Step 3: Toss in some Science Vessels to heal the Goliaths. GG EZ. :p
 

Elijin

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Mechanically I prefer LotV the most due to the ability to swap out the campaign upgrades on the fly without having to slog through another entire campaign to see how other tech actually plays.

I'm completely unable to empathise with people upset about the story directions in of the 3 chapters. I play this for the OP campaign tech and the fun mission designs. There's a story?
 

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Definitely Wings of Liberty. All the campaigns were pretty good, at least in the sense I was able to finish them without feeling like a chore. Raynor however always felt like the most likable protagonist, and the Hyperion felt like the best home base.
 

Zydrate

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I liked Heart of the Swarm, honestly. I liked the occasional boss battle amidst the RTS gameplay and I liked Kerrigan's arc.

Legacy of the Void was good but it didn't hold me. I left it alone for months like halfway in because I found it difficult to care. The campaign itself is fun, though.
 
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:s Oh boy, here we go.

I'm one of those people who basically grew up with the original game, so maybe I'm just having a nostalgia-boner, but...

I thought Wings of Liberty was alright. There was some shoddy writing (Mengsk having total media control, but his media being such a cartoonishly stupid fox-news lookalike that nobody should fall for, etc), but I genuinely liked most of the terran campaign.

Then, the Zerg and Protoss bits just cheesed me off so much that I didn't feel like it was worth the money to buy the other two expansions. Maybe if I get a lot more disposable income or they end up really cheap.

Like, I hated, HATED that they:

redeemed the Overmind. With a corny "What, Tassadar! But you're dead!" "Death has never touched me, but that's a story for another time, now let me tell you how brave and noble the overmind was!"

I hated that Kerrigan (The self-proclaimed "I'm the Queen ***** of the Universe!") turned into a gloomy miseryguts going "the end is coming, I will embrace it, why fight it Zeratul?" and how the main protoss faction seemed to lose their original purpose and act more like Generic Space Mystics. Not to mention I found it dumb that they said "oh, all that evil stuff Kerrigan did? Not her fault, the zerg took over her mind, you can still save her!" which removed all of her previous agency, AND I didn't like that the True Villain's motivation seemed (at least as of WoL) to be "Mwahahaha, snuff out all light in universe mwahahaha".

I mean, let's look at the original game(s). All the factions were understandable with a clear theme. In 1, The terrans were the space cowboys dicking each other over during a crisis as humans tend to do and was a clear lesson in how easily idealists can be twisted and turned into the very monster they fought against. The Zerg, for all their nightmarish mysteriousness, boiled down to the concept of "We have an irresistible biological urge to kill-eat-survive-evolve-improve. We can't help it. This is what we are. Our very nature drives us to consume our Bretheren, the protoss, so that we can truly be the Apex beings of the universe", which is scary but makes them a teensy bit sympathetic too as they can't help what they were born to be. The Protoss were a highly conservative society that had to realize that Change was coming for them, whether they were ready or not, and that they needed to change and evolve, or face extinction.

In Brood war, the Protoss arc was about learning to trust again, learning to unite with old brethren they once hated and put aside their petty concerns for the good of their people (Yes, there was BS plot device magic crystals, but it wasn't so bad I couldn't let it slide). The terrans were about imposing order on a villainous group that had splintered away, and the dangers that come with inflexible orders, and how easily totalitarian thinking can lead to terrible terrible mistakes. The Zerg story was the culmination of Kerrigan as a character, giving a previous hero true power and a shifted mindset, turning her into a truly magnificent villain, whose very fall is tragic but inevitable as Absolute Power can corrupt anyone.

It was a world of a glass always half-full. Where Miracles are insanely rare and there's no happy ending, only avoiding a shittier ending. Where bad things happen to good people and there's nothing you can do but try your best and pray you make it. And that Maybe, just MAYBE, if you give it your all, and sacrifice everything, there's a small chance that a miracle will happen and you'll survive by the skin of your teeth and get to have another shot at fixing your broken world.

So to have the Overmind suddenly be redeemed by BS plot ghosts, and go "Oh, BTW, the Zerg were never supposed to be so evil and monstrous! Someone MADE them that way, and then the overmind let us all kill it so Kerrigan would save them all!" kills the whole zerg plot for me. The Xel'Naga were now not brought down by their arrogant tinkering with lesser races, but rather brought down by a traitor who turned their creation against them, and turned the "We can't help it, we are consuming creatures" angle of the Zerg into "We're not THAT evil, guys, someone just FORCED us to be like this!! ;_;" which isn't as compelling.

Not to mention it seemed to retcon them abandoning their Failed first Race (the protoss) when it was clear the Protoss were broken and turns it into "Oh, hey, they were ready, time for us to leave and make the OTHER half of the races that will succeed us!" ...Which is silly because immediately AFTER that, the protoss fell into brutal and petty infighting. Clearly not "ready". Clearly "failed and broken race that grew too proud and needed to figure its shit out".

Not to mention using "Prophecy" unironically in the Protoss chapter, ugh.

Oh, and that bit where you save that scientist lady's colony and she claims she finds a way to uninfest the colonists, when it's established that you CAN'T. CURE. INFESTATION. LIKE. THAT? No. Just no.

Not to mention I find it incredibly silly that the whole plot of WoL ends on "SAVE KERRIGAN!" with that being the INTENDED goal that goes off perfectly (A truly good deed that goes exactly to plan? IN STARCRAFT?! WHAT?!) and shows that yes, Kerrigan IS only evil because Zerg mind control, all the cool stuff she did before was not ACTUALLY HER...only for her to Re-infest herself at the start of the next game because "Oh, hai, I just want revenge", instead of "No, Jim. I'm Zerg. I WANT to be Zerg. I never wanted you to save me".

That and I can see a way they could have had some of the same elements (the cycle, the traitor, etc) but made them interesting and nuanced.

The Cycle of the Gods isn't a bad idea, but instead of making it a prophecy about how the Xel'Naga reproduce, make it a pattern repeated across history. Where one race eventually gets so strong that it starts meddling with lesser races, creates two that are perfect in different ways, and then gets consumed by them. Have one Xel'Naga survive the zerg attack and go "Shit. What WE did to our father race happened to us. No. I'm going to make the "merge" of our child race work in MY favor. I will not let control slip from me, I will force them to evolve according to MY whims!" and continue the mystical-mad-scientist bent that the Xel-Naga had.

And for Kerrigan, Rather than have the artifact's purpose be to "save" her, make it so that the artifact woudl be used to Purge the Zerg, and that it was a happy accident/miracle that kerrigan survived as a human, something didn't want ("I didn't WANT to be saved, Jim"), and keep her as the villain she was supposed to be the whole way, only begrudgingly becoming a "hero" in the end for lack of other intelligent alternatives. That would have been at least a little more true to the universe.

Hell, I know that Kerrigan goes all "Space angel" at the end and I don't mind that, but I would prefer it if this was something she did only because the alternative was "Everyone either falls under the Surviving Xel'naga's control or is wiped out" and that it only WORKS because she's now the fusion of THREE races instead of just two, and thus has some form of human humility to balance herself out.

*sigh* Anyway, after WoL killed the Zerg and Protoss for me, I didn't care so much about the story anymore. Maybe I'll pick up the other chapters someday, but overall, I don't think I'd enjoy the other two chapters, not from what I've heard about them.
 

gyrobot_v1legacy

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I can definitely agree with you on that SC2's campaign was too Disney movie, but then again SC1 was made during a time where Disney movie style endings are the norm, not the exception back then.
 

mad825

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Not too sure where to start. Using the rubber stamp mark of evvviiill! on Mengsk or the constant on-the-rails/timed campaign missions which made me go back to play SC1 because at least there you can enjoy some satisfaction of defeating your enemy.

I never really got past HoTS as they so shamelessly ripped off starwars with the kerrgan/Mengsk encounter. I still never understood why kerrgan is so pissed at Mengsk, it's like "grrrrrr you've made me stronger and now I hate you, I so don't totally forgive you for that suicide mission that I accepted to undertake even though I knew it was suicide mission before hand Grrrr Ahhhhh"

I would like to make a joke but it's so totally distasteful.
 

Mangod

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Ignoring my problems with the story of SCII in general (aegix drakan shares a few of them), I'd have to say my favorite campaign is probably WoL. I still think HotS is better mechanically, but WoL has the better writing. It's a natural progression from Brood War, Jim trying to overthrow Mengsk for all the crimes he has commited. I just wish they'd done something to make him seem... more concerned(?) for Tychus. I mean, his oldest friend got a bombcollar on him: try and get it off, at least! And the "rescue" of Kerrigan at the end just felt weird. Maybe it's because I still remember SCI/Brood War with fondness, but a central villain needing to be saved in that fashion was just odd.

HotS' turning (or trying to turn) Kerrigan into an actual hero just really bothered me; she's the "queen ***** of the universe", what are you doing dumping this redemption arc on me? She's killed more people than Mengsk at this point, and I'm just supposed to overlook that because "Xel'naga subliminal mindcontrol"?

LotV just left me feeling empty (no pun intended), especially with how overtly "space mystic" the Protoss had gotten. They've basically become 40k Eldar without mouths, and less douchy personalities. Alarak was the only one I ever warmed to: great voice acting, the best lines in the game, and a lot of his contempt for the Templar reflected my own view of how the Protoss were being treated.

NCO... no. Just no. The story didn't need this continuation, especially not after that flaccid ending with Kerrigan turning into one of the Angels from Diablo [https://awaypoint.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/christmas-vision-of-the-heavenly-host-diving-into-sanctuary.jpg].
 

WhiteFangofWhoa

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Probably LotV for both story and interesting missions, plus the fact that Protoss is my main race in multiplayer. I even wrote a story for it before it came out, but the actual product was better.

The attempted retaking of Aiur was something I was looking forward to, made sense to the plot and the Protoss mentality, and they used it to create one of the best opening missions ever. Following that up shortly after with the death of Zeratul by Artanis' own hand really got you into the young Hierarch's shoes as he tries to make amends and save his people from the greatest danger they've ever faced. Others that I enjoyed were the one where both Artanis and Kerrigan are controllable heroes, and most of the missions on the Tal'Darim homeworld. Alarak was an interesting departure from the usual Protoss traits of nobility and honour. In fact, one of my only complaints was Amon was beaten too easily at the end, just another 'defend the relic' mission instead of a new version of 'In Utter Darkness' where you can and must win this time.

Also nearly completely free of the tormented Raynor/Kerrigan romance that came to dominate far too much of the previous two campaigns. This isn't the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Blizzard. You're better than that.
 

gyrobot_v1legacy

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mad825 said:
Not too sure where to start. Using the rubber stamp mark of evvviiill! on Mengsk or the constant on-the-rails/timed campaign missions which made me go back to play SC1 because at least there you can enjoy some satisfaction of defeating your enemy.

I never really got past HoTS as they so shamelessly ripped off starwars with the kerrgan/Mengsk encounter. I still never understood why kerrgan is so pissed at Mengsk, it's like "grrrrrr you've made me stronger and now I hate you, I so don't totally forgive you for that suicide mission that I accepted to undertake even though I knew it was suicide mission before hand Grrrr Ahhhhh"

I would like to make a joke but it's so totally distasteful.
She didn't knew that Raynor wanted to save her but he couldn't and that he dumped her down there because she knew too much. Mengsk could just have left them spend their remaining days as an outlaw couple until Amon completes his plan and they all die except Kerrigan gets to die as a human instead of the queen of blades.

The whole campaign is about doing it right this time, making Mengsk taste his own medicine where he planted psi emitters to destroy the confederacy and establish an actual empire. Raynor may have given up on his revenge mission but for Kerrigan it is to do what Raynor failed to do.