Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby wibod » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:12 pm

Both L4D games make really good use of environmental storytelling.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby GreatGodSajuuk » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:14 pm

DrumsofWar wrote:You just hate strong female characters.

Cannot be more wrong, for reasons I am not sure I can tell openly.

Also Blue Planet: Age Of Aquarius has a pretty good story IMO, It's a freespace 2 mod and it kicks ass.



SPOILER:

The dead earth scene alone makes it amazing

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby Thalraxal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:52 pm

Saint_Kerrigan wrote:Personally, I think the best stories in video games are the ones that are told in a linear fashion. Choice is great and all, but it can backfire when you can have the player do whatever, whenever.


Linear storytelling isn't better, it's just easier. It takes a whole lot less work to tell a strong story with linear story telling than it is to tell one in with non-linear storytelling. There's more variables you have you have to take into consideration to keep things running smoothly. Especially since players can be very unpredictable and love breaking things. Otherwise you end up with situations like the mood (and logic) whiplash you can get if you finish the Artifact and Rebellion missions at the same time.

What Blizzard had hoped to accomplish with WoL's non-linear story is to make it feel like you were a mercenary taking jobs to pay for your crew, your cool ship, booze, and your rebellion against Mengsk. Of course, they kinda messed that up when they made the big payoff and morally dubious mercenary missions be the main story and the actual rebellion missions be the optional side-story. To be fair though, I think alot of the optional parts of the story ended up getting cut, and the four mini-campaigns (Artifacts, Rebellion, Colonist and Special Ops) was all that was leftover for it by the time they were finished. As I recall, one of the early campaign promos hinted that one of the possible storylines included a mutiny on the Hyperion.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:23 pm

DrumsofWar wrote:You just hate strong female characters.



AHAHAHAHAHA

you hit it on the head but not in the way you're thinking
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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby wibod » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:24 pm

They only thing strong about Kerrigan was the raging erection she gave Jim

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby RazorclawX » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:02 pm

Thalraxal wrote:What Blizzard had hoped to accomplish with WoL's non-linear story is to make it feel like you were a mercenary taking jobs to pay for your crew, your cool ship, booze, and your rebellion against Mengsk. Of course, they kinda messed that up when they made the big payoff and morally dubious mercenary missions be the main story and the actual rebellion missions be the optional side-story. To be fair though, I think alot of the optional parts of the story ended up getting cut, and the four mini-campaigns (Artifacts, Rebellion, Colonist and Special Ops) was all that was leftover for it by the time they were finished. As I recall, one of the early campaign promos hinted that one of the possible storylines included a mutiny on the Hyperion.


The problem with WoL's method is there's really no consequence to doing or not doing a particular mission. Oh sure, maybe you lose a tech, but narrative wise you really don't.
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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby DrumsofWar » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:38 am

I tried going in a few times with different approaches. Going all infantry tech worked out in almost every mission whereas going all mech was horrible in some, even on Hard.

Being centered on air might be interesting but Marine spam worked so well for most missions. It might have been nice if they had just made it so you had to choose between Zerg tech or Protoss tech.


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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby johnnythewolf » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:54 am

Meta wrote:Now, on to Blizzard's games, Starcraft foremost among them, Blizzard's plots were never awesome to start with IMO, but they worked really well due to the huge polishment and spectacular cutscenes. In my opinion Blizzard makes its best stories when it keeps them somewhat simple: Diablo, Diablo 2, vanilla Starcraft and vanilla WC3 are good examples of that. A straightforward threat, and in the end the good guys overwhelm their issues and end up saving the universe. SC2 with its non-linear storytelling was just a slap in the face of the players, ignoring previous lore and introducing pointless characters and branching that wasn't really branching since, whatever you do, you get the same result all the same. And in the end everything felt underwhelming to me - HKs and Mesk pointed the reasons why. There was just no direction to the plot.


Oh, but there is a direction in SC2's plot, which happens to be really "a straightforward threat, and in the end the good guys overwhelm their issues and end up saving the universe", it's just that you hated it.

As for Diablo II, the game's fun, but the plot... Apart from the cinematics, which are narrated by some random guy who's not even important storywise, it is almost non-existent. You are just doing quests involving cleaning up Diablo's mess, usually in a non-linear fashion, ironically enough. Even if you like it, it's kinda silly to compare it favorably to WoL; why not comparing Solitaire to Metal Gear Solid, while we're at it?

Lavarinth wrote:As I recall, one of the early campaign promos hinted that one of the possible storylines included a mutiny on the Hyperion.


Which wouldn't have made any sense, as Raynor's Raiders are all volunteers.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby Meta » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:32 pm

johnnythewolf wrote:
Oh, but there is a direction in SC2's plot, which happens to be really "a straightforward threat, and in the end the good guys overwhelm their issues and end up saving the universe", it's just that you hated it.


Not quite. The overall direction of the plot, and of the very name "Wings of Liberty", is that Arcturus Mengsk - a tyrant, a suppressor of liberty and the main antagonist throughout the entire campaign - is going to be deposed by Raynor's Raiders. Most of the campaign is dedicated to this, the artifacts showing up just as a sideshow. In the end Arthas/Ozymandias shows up with the completed doomsday device and the plot takes a complete turn toward facing Kerrigan for 2 or 3 levels. And the entire "Liberty" theme is just left behind.

WoL has redeeming features, such as the awesome map design, but IMO it'd have worked much better in a linear fashion. However, at least so far, the SC background lore remains great and is perfectly suitable for fan campaigns.

As for Diablo II, the game's fun, but the plot... Apart from the cinematics, which are narrated by some random guy who's not even important storywise, it is almost non-existent. You are just doing quests involving cleaning up Diablo's mess, usually in a non-linear fashion, ironically enough. Even if you like it, it's kinda silly to compare it favorably to WoL; why not comparing Solitaire to Metal Gear Solid, while we're at it?


I'll agree that the plot isn't exactly Diablo's strength, but it's straightforward, consistent with the first game and it doesn't hurt the game, unlike WoL which falls short on its predecessor and is full of retcons.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby wibod » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:34 pm

Listen I like MGS as much as the next person but it's story is not very good and relies on a lot of heavy handed preaching.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:23 pm

Sc2's plot has direction? What are you smoking and how much can I sell it for?
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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby Thalraxal » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:31 pm

RazorclawX wrote:The problem with WoL's method is there's really no consequence to doing or not doing a particular mission. Oh sure, maybe you lose a tech, but narrative wise you really don't.


Yeah, that's my other big complaint about WoL. It would have gone a long way even if they'd just done little things: get reinforcements from Haven or Selendis depending on your choices there, have Tosh or Nova help out in The Belly of the Beast. Really, I think they chose not to implement consequences for your actions because they didn't want to "punish" players who didn't make the optimal choices, besides the fact it was easier to do it that way.

johnnythewolf wrote:
Lavarinth wrote:As I recall, one of the early campaign promos hinted that one of the possible storylines included a mutiny on the Hyperion.


Which wouldn't have made any sense, as Raynor's Raiders are all volunteers.


Yes. Tired, underpaid, volunteers with low morale facing an almost impossible task and a commander who can't keep his priorities straight. No one has ever mutinied under those kinds of conditions.

Meta wrote:WoL has redeeming features, such as the awesome map design, but IMO it'd have worked much better in a linear fashion. However, at least so far, the SC background lore remains great and is perfectly suitable for fan campaigns.

That's actually a good point, there's even a lot of good plot hooks in the campaign that Blizzard didn't even touch. Like the whole "Zerg invasion of Dominion Space" thing that goes on in the background for the entire "second act" and the entire Hybrid storyline. There's a lot of room to play in the SC universe right now, if you've got any initive left to do so after playing WoL.

Meta wrote:
As for Diablo II, the game's fun, but the plot... Apart from the cinematics, which are narrated by some random guy who's not even important storywise, it is almost non-existent. You are just doing quests involving cleaning up Diablo's mess, usually in a non-linear fashion, ironically enough. Even if you like it, it's kinda silly to compare it favorably to WoL; why not comparing Solitaire to Metal Gear Solid, while we're at it?


I'll agree that the plot isn't exactly Diablo's strength, but it's straightforward, consistent with the first game and it doesn't hurt the game, unlike WoL which falls short on its predecessor and is full of retcons.


Diablo's always had a heavier emphasis on atmosphere than plot. If anything, its plot lightness works to its benefit. It's Dark Fantasy, that's a genre all about mortals taking on the forces of evil and darkness and losing. All the gains you make in Diablo 1 and 2 only buy humanity a short term reprieve at best and often ends up helping the forces of evil in the long run. I think if Diablo was plot heavy, it's story would be a whole lot less satisfying than it is.

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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:43 pm

diablo is something most people who lack real understanding of writing won't get

Thal pretty much got it straight

btw d3 will ruin it for sure mark my words
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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby RazorclawX » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Thalraxal wrote:
RazorclawX wrote:The problem with WoL's method is there's really no consequence to doing or not doing a particular mission. Oh sure, maybe you lose a tech, but narrative wise you really don't.


Yeah, that's my other big complaint about WoL. It would have gone a long way even if they'd just done little things: get reinforcements from Haven or Selendis depending on your choices there, have Tosh or Nova help out in The Belly of the Beast. Really, I think they chose not to implement consequences for your actions because they didn't want to "punish" players who didn't make the optimal choices, besides the fact it was easier to do it that way.


I know why they didn't do it, but it doesn't make it true. As things go, you can still get punished-- most people have more trouble with All In Air than All In Ground, for instance.

I mean, seriously, as soon as you're allied with the Dominion, some of the story branches should've closed off-- namely the assault on Korhal with the Odin, or on a lesser extent, Tosh should've automatically jumped ship if you hadn't chosen to side with him already (and if you did he sticks with you). I see those as lost opportunities. I know Blizzard thinks it makes the game unfair, but you know, you really don't need to finish either of those missions to win, and that is also by design.

I mean, heck, wouldn't you have liked to have the Odin available to deploy on Char?
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Re: Ret-Conning Greatly Weakens SC2 Story

Postby Alevice » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:24 pm

It's even more aggravating that the story accomodates itself to make you see you always pick the right choice - if you side with Hanson, they are free from infestation, if you side with Selendis, turns out Hanson was infested all the time. If you side with Nova, the spectres are murderous bitches, if you side with Tosh, nova was a liar. I mean, seriously? The story retcons itself so you don't regret your actions.


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