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Old 10-11-2015, 05:04 PM
Undeadprotoss Undeadprotoss is offline

Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 32


Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
I think all the problems with SCII's story stem from lack of effort. The manual didn't just provide a foundation for the story, it forced the writers to be coherent, clever and engaging.
So I actually read through the manual recently after you mentioned that, the same night actually (I didn't do so the first time I experienced Starcraft, namely when I was a kid, because, you know, I was like 6 or whatever) and while it really is impossible to know what would've happened without a manual, I think in some ways you're absolutely right. For instance, I was reading the Blizzcon transcript a while ago, and they mentioned this:

"Much like the samurai of ancient history the Protoss live by a code of honor, they have a strong sense of justice and strive for glory in battle; and over the course of this game, the player will take this mighty race across the galaxy righting wrongs and smiting Amon's evil where it's found." (

I agree that the "warrior/tribal" identity is a part of who they are, but I now notice that what was also a huge aspect of their identity, the meticulous/self-aware/principled/withdrawn/etc side hasn't been effectively communicated. Coming back to the manual, references to the Protoss as being studious, cautious, and otherwise elevated. Here are a few excerpts to illustrate:

Observatory (observer building perquisite) background:

"History is of vital importance to the Protoss, as they believe that great events echo across space-time and serve as lessons for those wise enough to study them. Even during the Aeon of Strife, Protoss scribes recorded the wars and their heroes for future reference. The Observatory is a modern refinement of the ancient scribe library, and it is here that the data gathered by the robot Observers is recorded and catalogued for study by future generations of Protoss."

Citadel of Adun, leg-enhancement upgrade/prerequisite to Templar Archives:

"The ultimate goal of all Protoss warriors is to achieve the highest level of
Khala. To this end they spend much of their time in deep meditation and
sparring with each other in the floating Citadels. Named for one the greatest
masters of the Khala, the Citadels of Adun are centers of learning and research for acolyte warriors"

Protoss History Section:

"Following the ancient traditions of the Xel?Naga, the Dae?Uhl called for the Protoss to protect and safeguard the lesser races that lived under their shadow. Unlike their predecessors, however, the Protoss refused to manipulate or interfere in the evolutionary processes of the lesser races under their protection. Ever vigilant against xenomorphic threats, the Protoss kept a close watch over their unsuspecting wards. But, much like the Xel?Naga many millennia before, the Protoss kept their presence hidden from the lesser races in their care. Many hundreds of species grew and thrived on the various worlds within their space, never knowing that they were secretly guarded from on high"

(you can find the manual here)

That's whats so frustrating about the Protoss now, you can see it in Zeratul and Selendis, for instance. They seem to be more focused on the warrior aspect of their race, on the part of their civilization which has incredibly advanced technology, unwieldy psionic powers, etc. But they don't seem to reflect what brings it all together, that is, the part of Protoss civilization which deals with general scope and knowledge of the universe, with protecting other life-forms and studying the nature of the universe. Things like the doctrine of Dae-uhl in the original Starcraft, they come across as less self-aware and wise to me as a result. Not to say that all members of the species are like that, namely the conclave, and to some extent, Aldaris (I feel like, at least sometimes, on some level he knows he's wrong or feels doubt. He did lapse back into prejudice against the Dark Templar, but that was at least largely because Razagal, the woman who played a role in swaying him, seemed to allied with and was controlled by Kerrigan.) But it all took place within the context and the prism of a larger society concerned with all of the aforementioned attributes, the flaws and villiany of Protoss antagonist factions like the Conclave seem to mostly stem from arrogance (although I feel like members of the Conclave being corrupt, greedy, or otherwise dishonest is implied, at least by Tassadar) , and from strident and rigid religious beliefs/tradition.

I think Blizzard has the passion and the effort, but, as a couple of the WoW devs mentioned, they have this tendency to sometimes swing the pendulum too far, like when Chris Metzen mentioned that he didn't like WC3 being too "top heavy" with so much time spent on communicating story to the player. He even mentioned in an interview that he always wanted to communicate more story but that he (and I guess the team at large) felt that people pick up the game to play as the hero and to fight, which is true to an extent, but they seem to prioritize gameplay over the largey story, even though people who play the campaign typically do play mostly for the story and not just for the, admiringly great, single player experience.

Beyond the continuity of the Protoss' backstory which I went into in the beginning (and which you got into earlier), I think you were also right when you said that it forced them to make the story interesting and consistent. I think building a strong, written base for the different species and factions helped them grow out characters that were unique and yet fit the mold of what would be conceivable for a Protoss. I believe a lot of this goes back to my original point though, all of this nuance and detail isn't communicated properly when there isn't a proper avenue to do so. You can't experience and feel the identity of the Protoss, Zerg, and Terrans when you don't have that, at least not as well.

Now of course, that's not to say there aren't problems with the art-style, rendering, overall plot line, etc which are present in all games, that don't detract from SC2's story, there are, but the infrastructure from which fantasy is delivered to the player, I think, needs to be considered before much of that. Still, thanks so much for taking the time to respond, more people should really come to the SC sub-forum.

Last edited by Undeadprotoss; 10-11-2015 at 05:27 PM..
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