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Author Topic: StarCraft II  (Read 107066 times)
Malakili
Terracotta Army
Posts: 10551


Reply #1680 on: March 23, 2013, 07:05:39 PM

Miasma
Terracotta Army
Posts: 5282

Stopgap Measure


Reply #1681 on: March 23, 2013, 09:36:24 PM

I bought the game out of boredom and knowledge that I would eventually buy it anyways.  The gameplay is very polished and well done, as everyone has pointed out the plotline is rubbish but at least there is one.  I think any rts fan would love this game.  I, myself, get quite anxious since each mission has some sort of new mechanic/obstacle thrown in but normal people would probably eat it up.

I wish I could completely pause the game to issue build/troop orders because of OCD but oh well.
calapine
Terracotta Army
Posts: 4615

Solely responsible for the thread on "The Condom Wall."


Reply #1682 on: March 23, 2013, 09:58:13 PM

That's more because she's got an EVE avatar. Those fuckers are shifty and likely getting knocked up by the devil.

I am not a spy nor do I harbor evil intentions. Else I'd have tried to join Bat country ages ago, no?  Hello Kitty

My take on the story (from youtubing all cutscene, no actual play, admitably):

« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 10:05:47 PM by calapine »

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
Samprimary
Contributor
Posts: 3617


Reply #1683 on: March 24, 2013, 09:05:00 PM

I finished the singleplayer campaign of Heart of the Swarm and immediately thought "I want nachos."

Maybe I was supposed to feel something different.

Well, okay. I'm not being entirely truthful. I was thinking I wanted good nachos, specifically. I wanted to go out of my way to find a restaurant that served nachos that were not going to disappoint me.

I desired this, because the entirety of my experience sitting through Heart of the Swarm made me baffled and irked in the same way I am baffled and irked when I go and pay money to a place that is entirely in the industry of producing food you want to go out to pay and eat — because, seriously? Nachos are a pretty low bar. You have to be dysfunctional in a special way to end up unable to produce nachos.

But they manage to do it anyway. What. How. They yet again serve me shitty fucking nachos and I poke at my terrible nachos for a while and try to get them to sort of work and it doesn't work and I'm peeved and I pout and moan about it a bit and say I'm through with them, but none of it is true because they're the only place near my work and I'll be back again soon even though I could eat at home. I'm a terrible hypocrite and i'll still buy their terrible food and I'm why they exist. Damnit.

I mean, what's going on here? Why is it so hard for them to make nachos? They are a restaurant, so they make sure to address appearances: the nachos are usually really garnished with a lot of stuff that makes it look prettier, and it has an elegant 'surface composition' — I went out to an upscale place recently and got a perfect example of this. All style. Perfect display, with chives and artistic zig-zags of sour cream, but it was all garbage, with a quarter of the cheese it needed, all lumped up on five or six chips, with the rest completely dry and useless. Undercooked beans would simply fall off of any chip you tried to pick up. I wrestled with the few cheese-soaked, soggy chips before I had exhausted the entire plate's potential, and was just left staring at a pile of dry unseasoned why the hell am I talking about nachos.

Oh, right. Because it's all the same question. Nachos, or game plots. An upscale eatery is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making one of the simplest college slumfoods in the history of the universe. Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign. Especially when this is the second in the series and they've had the opportunity to work out the kinks beforehand.

What's going on here is that way too many game studios, even large and well-funded ones with plenty of industry experience, are really seriously starting to suck at something that should be really hard to suck at, and they are not sucking at it for virtue of lack of time and resources. Years go into making these games. The number of game studios which should be producing plots like Heart of the Swarm is approximately zero, but then again the number of restaurants that should be failing at nachos is also approximately zero. Damnit. I want some really good nachos right now. Like with carnitas and refried beans and pepper jack and small cuts of hatch green chile, and a tub of sour cream next to it. I want to talk about nachos so that I keep myself from complaining about a video game.

I keep going over things that happened in HotS and I openly wonder how you can end up with such a concertedly bad product, at the end of what I can only assume to be a process full of gobs of meetings, the production of plentiful product by dedicated writers and gameologists, the talents of multiple fully employed individuals, focus groups, etc.

Blizzard, in particular, seems to have ingrained, corporate-culture-legacy-level issues with writing stories and has degenerated to the point where the people in charge cannot release a game with a good story.

Actually, wait — I need to stress that it's actually worse than that. It's not that they just can't manage a good story, it's that they cannot even manage one which isn't so painfully bad that it manages to intrude on and actively harm the quality of a game which isn't even really big on narrative and story elements to begin with. They cannot even get to the point where the storyline isn't intrusively bad even for games which are hardly reliant on story at all.

That's harder to do. It takes an extra level of complicated dysfunction where you actually end up worse at story than most small scrappy indie companies could ever manage, much like how I already know I can make better nachos at home than the ones I had at TGI Friday, and I am not a restaurant chain, I'm a mook who can hardly make pasta.

They even managed to create an intrusively, painfully bad story for their latest and most impressively funded Diablo. We're talking about a franchise which essentially started with "there is a bad dude in that hole, go kill him" and never needed much more in terms of narrative. But in this iteration, they cram it with so much ambitious, tiresome, eye-rolling bullshit that it constantly busts in and punches the game right in the Fun. By the time I was doing my Nightmare difficulty run, I was skipping literally every conversation in the game, then also ended up muting the volume slider for all voices in the entire game. I did this for two reasons:

1. if I heard the word "Nephalem" one more time, I was going to vomit, and
2. it is the only way just to escape Maghda, Azmodan, Diablo, et. al., as they ceaselessly grind your ears raw with terrible B-movie villain mockery where you, foolish Nephalem, cannot ever possibly beat the next boss, ever, it's impossible, enjoy your death, arrogant Nephalem. Oh you survived? Irrelevant, he was just a useless tool anyway who cares if he even died I certainly don't, no fucks given here, but WATCH OUT you'll never possibly ever beat the next boss, ever, it's impossible. Nephalem. Nephalem nephalem? Nephalem.

How do you do it? Diablo is mindless hack-and-slash. How do you make it so bad that it actively intrudes on and reduces most people's enjoyment of mindless hack and slash? An even mediocre story wouldn't get in the way of that. Why is it so hard, if you are a huge multi-spazillion dollar company in a multi-spazillion dollar industry working with one of the most venerated and well-known franchises of all time, to not produce such a completely dogshit story? How can you fail at nachos goddamnit.

More importantly, how do you go from the insane drubbing you took over Diablo III and then turn right around and release Heart of the Swarm? What is happening in the game developer culture — or the work pipeline — that prevents any of the feedback from DIII apparently being able to impact and positively shape your next release so that it is not equally bad or worse, in terms of plot and writing?

Instead of making your next game a much-needed redemption of the quality of your plot and writing, you enhance its badness fivefold. The tiresome, bludgeoning repetition of certain key concepts — as "Nephalem" was in Diablo 3, or "Corruption" in Warcraft — Got enhanced to parody levels. The dialogue in Heart of the Swarm is drowned in words like Primal and Purity, but most importantly, ESSENCE. Yes. Everyone who has been through what I went through just cringed at that word. And yes, if you haven't played the game yet and care about spoilers, you should stop reading now. But, realistically, you should care about as much as me spoiling the plot to Twilight to someone who hasn't read the whole series (baby eat way out of now vampire mommy. doggie pledges to love baby as mate forever because that how doggies fall in love).

Anyway. Essence! Essence essence essence essence essence. The game sure does like to club you to death with that word. Over the background noise of the constant, childlike simplicity of the Essence refrain, every overarching part of the story sucks. The game goes to ridiculous lengths to make people feel as if the whole of Wings of Liberty storyline was reversed or trivialized, as if the progress in this game is a mind-numbing erasure of the player's prior deeds.

The characters suck. Some hiss at you about essence essencing all the essences until you wish you could tear their faces off. There were plenty of directions the game could have taken to make Kerrigan interesting, but instead they only managed to make her a shallow, ethically drifty "Protagonist?" whose revenge goals make her increasingly more unlikeable and harder for the player to really empathize with or enjoy directing through the story. This is only made even worse by how a love story is idly wedged in the side of her effort to exude arrogant untouchability. Said love story devolves Raynor conspicuously into a two-dimensional, lovelorn puppy. Nothing really adds much depth to her character, and many of the things that do sabotage her status as a protagonist, like conversations with a Protoss prisoner (that she will later murder) about how nobody can claim the moral high ground because the Protoss have killed millions of Zerg too; I guess the idea that these Zerg are mindless weaponized tools that are 100% likely to have been trying to kill and eat them and absorb their entire planet by force all the time always provides a level of moral complexity that I guess we have to think Kerrigan just can't grasp. Everything about the characters and the setting was degenerating into a terrifyingly obtuse, Metzonian megamyth that effectively told me that the game is driving me to the inevitable conclusion of "Like in all my other games, the factions must band together because there's a big ol' megabadguy over there!"

The central core of the story progression is terrible and delegitimizing. Kerrigan must get revenge on Mengsk for turning her into a Zerg. So she'll turn herself back into a Zerg. For revenge! We're sure glad the first game happened, guys. Also the Zerg recover their primal roots and have traded their hivemind structure up to incorporate Primal Zerg mentality, which is effectively about them being Sith that kill to grow. Essence.

The pacing is similarly horrid. You eventually start to almost hear Kerrigan say "Okay, entire swarm. Go ahead and stay here and let me go forth solo, because a cutscene is about to happen. And none of you are in it. And, yanno, I need to get put at risk for the sake of dramatic tension by being completely alone in there without support." Argh.

Tone — one of the absolutely most important part of a story across any medium — is especially butchered. You never know what you're supposed to feel about Kerrigan. Are you supposed to like her? Is she supposed to be a badguy or a goodguy? Is she trying for being good, or did that lose her when she lost her Jimmykins (or rather, when she gormlessly accepted the death of Jim as fact from the news service of a person she knows has lied about pretty much everything ever) and are we supposed to think she's a give-no-fucks type? What's going on? If she's supposed to be a hero, why does she act like a tantrum-throwing angry mess at so many parts of the story? Why does she react so poorly to logical arguments or foresight on the part of others? Why does she straight up stone-cold murder Warfield dead for making a good point? Why is she okay with turning Lasarra into a larval suicide bomber so that it can be ensured that an entire colony of Protoss do not escape alive? Why would she taunt Warfield? Am I supposed to like her and the fact that I don't is an accident, or am I supposed to not like her and the doe-eyed Jimmykins love angle just makes her fail as a badass? What is going on here, seriously. How can you not make nachos, this is like the simplest shit in the history of forever. I am pretty sure nachos were well in use by protohumans before we even saw flint arrowheads, okay.

I think the most important part here — or, at least, the reasoning I'm using to justify how much energy I just put into whinging this noisomely about a computer game I'm certainly not obligated to play — is that these things are Big Deals and games take a long time to come about and there's generally no takebacks or reboots on them; if it's a franchise you care about, then it's a really sucky thing to have it continued in such a disappointing way. Especially when it seems like it so easily avoided. Individually, most writers in the industry can write a better story. What's confounding that? Is there some sort of pressure being exerted to fulfill certain plot points in a weird way? Are these games originally being written much better, but then they get cudgeled into their present state by some consequence of design by committee and focus group? Do they simply get corrupted (Metzen power word!) by repeated testing with groups to ensure that they are comprehensible by any idiot gamer?

Well, some hours had passed, and I was watching the final cutscene. It was a culmination of all the dumb in the entire game, compressed into extra-special form. The entire game has been about Kerrigan's rise to unfathomable power, and at the end of it she walks in (solo, of course, presumably just telling the entire Swarm to just chill outside, maybe have a brewski) to confront her nemesis alone. She could explode him in the blink of an eye, but lets this man — standing right in range of her — taunt her casually about how she is a fool if she thinks she's won (ha ha, arrogant Nephalem). She just kind of stands there and goes "Durr?" through his entire convoluted evil mocking speech, then just lets him slowly and deliberately use a thing she knows he has in his hands that he is obviously going to press, which he presses, and it elevates a relic macguffin out of the floor, that she stands in front of so that it can totally disable her, so that Kerrigan could legitimately fulfill the most epic path to being a Damsel in Distress that any character in the history of gaming has ever gone through. All of that, just to end up helpless before a gloating Mengsk, so that her big strong man can done come in and save her. Oh my god. She flies off with her Wings of Visual Analogy +2. Oh my god.

Please stop reading this. I have to stop. I can't .. what am I doing to myself. Stop reading me whinging about a crappy computer game. I want nachos. Post good pictures of awesome nachos.
Azuredream
Terracotta Army
Posts: 874


Reply #1684 on: March 24, 2013, 09:21:59 PM

*wipes tears from his eyes*

That was beautiful.  Heart

The most important point for me was the 'how can you be THIS bad at making stories?' ..it shouldn't even be possible.

edit: also, nachos

The Lord of the Land approaches..
Malakili
Terracotta Army
Posts: 10551


Reply #1685 on: March 24, 2013, 09:22:53 PM

Quote
Post good pictures of awesome nachos.



In all seriousness though, Blizzard still has a knack for making good gameplay, but their ability to write a story is utterly gone.

Fire Metzen.  Seriously.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 09:24:42 PM by Malakili »
rk47
Terracotta Army
Posts: 6229

The Patron Saint of Radicalthons


Reply #1686 on: March 24, 2013, 09:37:51 PM

Up next in the exciting chapter of Starcraft World: The Flaw of Feminism  awesome, for real

*Still can't believe he read the whole rant*


Colonel Sanders is back in my wallet
Llyse
Terracotta Army
Posts: 1309

Calvin and Hobbes are back to maul the fuck outta you.


Reply #1687 on: March 24, 2013, 10:14:09 PM

Read the whole thing. Thank you so much Sam for vindicating me not playing/buying Hots and craving some good nachos now.  Heart
Trippy
Administrator
Posts: 20564


Reply #1688 on: March 24, 2013, 10:16:47 PM

Needs a cartoon.
Megrim
Terracotta Army
Posts: 2503

Whenever an opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to that player.


Reply #1689 on: March 24, 2013, 10:17:03 PM

Sam, a few things:

1. comic version ploz

2. good nachos are actually really hard to make

3. if or when you come to Aus ill make you some good ones

One must bow to offer aid to a fallen man - The Tao of Shinsei.
Fordel
Terracotta Army
Posts: 8297


Reply #1690 on: March 25, 2013, 12:48:36 AM

Quote
Post good pictures of awesome nachos.



In all seriousness though, Blizzard still has a knack for making good gameplay, but their ability to write a story is utterly gone.

Fire Metzen.  Seriously.


Metzen is never getting fired. I'm pretty sure he's drinking buddies with whoever runs Blizzard.

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
Sjofn
Terracotta Army
Posts: 8286

Truckasaurus Hands


Reply #1691 on: March 25, 2013, 01:08:13 AM

Which is part of the reason Blizzard sucks so bad at nachos.

God Save the Horn Players
Simond
Terracotta Army
Posts: 6742


Reply #1692 on: March 25, 2013, 07:18:16 AM

I finished the singleplayer campaign of Heart of the Swarm and immediately thought "I want nachos."

Maybe I was supposed to feel something different.

Well, okay. I'm not being entirely truthful. I was thinking I wanted good nachos, specifically. I wanted to go out of my way to find a restaurant that served nachos that were not going to disappoint me.

I desired this, because the entirety of my experience sitting through Heart of the Swarm made me baffled and irked in the same way I am baffled and irked when I go and pay money to a place that is entirely in the industry of producing food you want to go out to pay and eat — because, seriously? Nachos are a pretty low bar. You have to be dysfunctional in a special way to end up unable to produce nachos.

But they manage to do it anyway. What. How. They yet again serve me shitty fucking nachos and I poke at my terrible nachos for a while and try to get them to sort of work and it doesn't work and I'm peeved and I pout and moan about it a bit and say I'm through with them, but none of it is true because they're the only place near my work and I'll be back again soon even though I could eat at home. I'm a terrible hypocrite and i'll still buy their terrible food and I'm why they exist. Damnit.

I mean, what's going on here? Why is it so hard for them to make nachos? They are a restaurant, so they make sure to address appearances: the nachos are usually really garnished with a lot of stuff that makes it look prettier, and it has an elegant 'surface composition' — I went out to an upscale place recently and got a perfect example of this. All style. Perfect display, with chives and artistic zig-zags of sour cream, but it was all garbage, with a quarter of the cheese it needed, all lumped up on five or six chips, with the rest completely dry and useless. Undercooked beans would simply fall off of any chip you tried to pick up. I wrestled with the few cheese-soaked, soggy chips before I had exhausted the entire plate's potential, and was just left staring at a pile of dry unseasoned why the hell am I talking about nachos.

Oh, right. Because it's all the same question. Nachos, or game plots. An upscale eatery is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making one of the simplest college slumfoods in the history of the universe. Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign. Especially when this is the second in the series and they've had the opportunity to work out the kinks beforehand.

What's going on here is that way too many game studios, even large and well-funded ones with plenty of industry experience, are really seriously starting to suck at something that should be really hard to suck at, and they are not sucking at it for virtue of lack of time and resources. Years go into making these games. The number of game studios which should be producing plots like Heart of the Swarm is approximately zero, but then again the number of restaurants that should be failing at nachos is also approximately zero. Damnit. I want some really good nachos right now. Like with carnitas and refried beans and pepper jack and small cuts of hatch green chile, and a tub of sour cream next to it. I want to talk about nachos so that I keep myself from complaining about a video game.

I keep going over things that happened in HotS and I openly wonder how you can end up with such a concertedly bad product, at the end of what I can only assume to be a process full of gobs of meetings, the production of plentiful product by dedicated writers and gameologists, the talents of multiple fully employed individuals, focus groups, etc.

Blizzard, in particular, seems to have ingrained, corporate-culture-legacy-level issues with writing stories and has degenerated to the point where the people in charge cannot release a game with a good story.

Actually, wait — I need to stress that it's actually worse than that. It's not that they just can't manage a good story, it's that they cannot even manage one which isn't so painfully bad that it manages to intrude on and actively harm the quality of a game which isn't even really big on narrative and story elements to begin with. They cannot even get to the point where the storyline isn't intrusively bad even for games which are hardly reliant on story at all.

That's harder to do. It takes an extra level of complicated dysfunction where you actually end up worse at story than most small scrappy indie companies could ever manage, much like how I already know I can make better nachos at home than the ones I had at TGI Friday, and I am not a restaurant chain, I'm a mook who can hardly make pasta.

They even managed to create an intrusively, painfully bad story for their latest and most impressively funded Diablo. We're talking about a franchise which essentially started with "there is a bad dude in that hole, go kill him" and never needed much more in terms of narrative. But in this iteration, they cram it with so much ambitious, tiresome, eye-rolling bullshit that it constantly busts in and punches the game right in the Fun. By the time I was doing my Nightmare difficulty run, I was skipping literally every conversation in the game, then also ended up muting the volume slider for all voices in the entire game. I did this for two reasons:

1. if I heard the word "Nephalem" one more time, I was going to vomit, and
2. it is the only way just to escape Maghda, Azmodan, Diablo, et. al., as they ceaselessly grind your ears raw with terrible B-movie villain mockery where you, foolish Nephalem, cannot ever possibly beat the next boss, ever, it's impossible, enjoy your death, arrogant Nephalem. Oh you survived? Irrelevant, he was just a useless tool anyway who cares if he even died I certainly don't, no fucks given here, but WATCH OUT you'll never possibly ever beat the next boss, ever, it's impossible. Nephalem. Nephalem nephalem? Nephalem.

How do you do it? Diablo is mindless hack-and-slash. How do you make it so bad that it actively intrudes on and reduces most people's enjoyment of mindless hack and slash? An even mediocre story wouldn't get in the way of that. Why is it so hard, if you are a huge multi-spazillion dollar company in a multi-spazillion dollar industry working with one of the most venerated and well-known franchises of all time, to not produce such a completely dogshit story? How can you fail at nachos goddamnit.

More importantly, how do you go from the insane drubbing you took over Diablo III and then turn right around and release Heart of the Swarm? What is happening in the game developer culture — or the work pipeline — that prevents any of the feedback from DIII apparently being able to impact and positively shape your next release so that it is not equally bad or worse, in terms of plot and writing?

Instead of making your next game a much-needed redemption of the quality of your plot and writing, you enhance its badness fivefold. The tiresome, bludgeoning repetition of certain key concepts — as "Nephalem" was in Diablo 3, or "Corruption" in Warcraft — Got enhanced to parody levels. The dialogue in Heart of the Swarm is drowned in words like Primal and Purity, but most importantly, ESSENCE. Yes. Everyone who has been through what I went through just cringed at that word. And yes, if you haven't played the game yet and care about spoilers, you should stop reading now. But, realistically, you should care about as much as me spoiling the plot to Twilight to someone who hasn't read the whole series (baby eat way out of now vampire mommy. doggie pledges to love baby as mate forever because that how doggies fall in love).

Anyway. Essence! Essence essence essence essence essence. The game sure does like to club you to death with that word. Over the background noise of the constant, childlike simplicity of the Essence refrain, every overarching part of the story sucks. The game goes to ridiculous lengths to make people feel as if the whole of Wings of Liberty storyline was reversed or trivialized, as if the progress in this game is a mind-numbing erasure of the player's prior deeds.

The characters suck. Some hiss at you about essence essencing all the essences until you wish you could tear their faces off. There were plenty of directions the game could have taken to make Kerrigan interesting, but instead they only managed to make her a shallow, ethically drifty "Protagonist?" whose revenge goals make her increasingly more unlikeable and harder for the player to really empathize with or enjoy directing through the story. This is only made even worse by how a love story is idly wedged in the side of her effort to exude arrogant untouchability. Said love story devolves Raynor conspicuously into a two-dimensional, lovelorn puppy. Nothing really adds much depth to her character, and many of the things that do sabotage her status as a protagonist, like conversations with a Protoss prisoner (that she will later murder) about how nobody can claim the moral high ground because the Protoss have killed millions of Zerg too; I guess the idea that these Zerg are mindless weaponized tools that are 100% likely to have been trying to kill and eat them and absorb their entire planet by force all the time always provides a level of moral complexity that I guess we have to think Kerrigan just can't grasp. Everything about the characters and the setting was degenerating into a terrifyingly obtuse, Metzonian megamyth that effectively told me that the game is driving me to the inevitable conclusion of "Like in all my other games, the factions must band together because there's a big ol' megabadguy over there!"

The central core of the story progression is terrible and delegitimizing. Kerrigan must get revenge on Mengsk for turning her into a Zerg. So she'll turn herself back into a Zerg. For revenge! We're sure glad the first game happened, guys. Also the Zerg recover their primal roots and have traded their hivemind structure up to incorporate Primal Zerg mentality, which is effectively about them being Sith that kill to grow. Essence.

The pacing is similarly horrid. You eventually start to almost hear Kerrigan say "Okay, entire swarm. Go ahead and stay here and let me go forth solo, because a cutscene is about to happen. And none of you are in it. And, yanno, I need to get put at risk for the sake of dramatic tension by being completely alone in there without support." Argh.

Tone — one of the absolutely most important part of a story across any medium — is especially butchered. You never know what you're supposed to feel about Kerrigan. Are you supposed to like her? Is she supposed to be a badguy or a goodguy? Is she trying for being good, or did that lose her when she lost her Jimmykins (or rather, when she gormlessly accepted the death of Jim as fact from the news service of a person she knows has lied about pretty much everything ever) and are we supposed to think she's a give-no-fucks type? What's going on? If she's supposed to be a hero, why does she act like a tantrum-throwing angry mess at so many parts of the story? Why does she react so poorly to logical arguments or foresight on the part of others? Why does she straight up stone-cold murder Warfield dead for making a good point? Why is she okay with turning Lasarra into a larval suicide bomber so that it can be ensured that an entire colony of Protoss do not escape alive? Why would she taunt Warfield? Am I supposed to like her and the fact that I don't is an accident, or am I supposed to not like her and the doe-eyed Jimmykins love angle just makes her fail as a badass? What is going on here, seriously. How can you not make nachos, this is like the simplest shit in the history of forever. I am pretty sure nachos were well in use by protohumans before we even saw flint arrowheads, okay.

I think the most important part here — or, at least, the reasoning I'm using to justify how much energy I just put into whinging this noisomely about a computer game I'm certainly not obligated to play — is that these things are Big Deals and games take a long time to come about and there's generally no takebacks or reboots on them; if it's a franchise you care about, then it's a really sucky thing to have it continued in such a disappointing way. Especially when it seems like it so easily avoided. Individually, most writers in the industry can write a better story. What's confounding that? Is there some sort of pressure being exerted to fulfill certain plot points in a weird way? Are these games originally being written much better, but then they get cudgeled into their present state by some consequence of design by committee and focus group? Do they simply get corrupted (Metzen power word!) by repeated testing with groups to ensure that they are comprehensible by any idiot gamer?

Well, some hours had passed, and I was watching the final cutscene. It was a culmination of all the dumb in the entire game, compressed into extra-special form. The entire game has been about Kerrigan's rise to unfathomable power, and at the end of it she walks in (solo, of course, presumably just telling the entire Swarm to just chill outside, maybe have a brewski) to confront her nemesis alone. She could explode him in the blink of an eye, but lets this man — standing right in range of her — taunt her casually about how she is a fool if she thinks she's won (ha ha, arrogant Nephalem). She just kind of stands there and goes "Durr?" through his entire convoluted evil mocking speech, then just lets him slowly and deliberately use a thing she knows he has in his hands that he is obviously going to press, which he presses, and it elevates a relic macguffin out of the floor, that she stands in front of so that it can totally disable her, so that Kerrigan could legitimately fulfill the most epic path to being a Damsel in Distress that any character in the history of gaming has ever gone through. All of that, just to end up helpless before a gloating Mengsk, so that her big strong man can done come in and save her. Oh my god. She flies off with her Wings of Visual Analogy +2. Oh my god.

Please stop reading this. I have to stop. I can't .. what am I doing to myself. Stop reading me whinging about a crappy computer game. I want nachos. Post good pictures of awesome nachos.
Psycho.

(I'm sorry. but that was crying out for it  awesome, for real )

Slightly more seriously: Hmm, that story seems vaguely familiar. Oh yeah...

(Blizzard cannot write strong female characters. They're either shrews, secretly damsels-in-distress waiting for Their Prince To Come, or go high-diving off the deep end at the slightest provocation. Sometimes all three - Hi, Jaina!)

And slightly more seriously still: Blizzard has about three major* plots total: The Road To Hell (and what it's paved with), and Banding Together to Fight A Greater Threat are two of them. If you honestly expect anything more in depth than that, you're playing the wrong games. The plots are excuses for the gameplay, not the other way around (*cough*Bioware*cough*) so trying to take them seriously is going to do nothing more than give you a migraine. The closest thing Blizzard ever came to anything even vaguely resembling depth was when they were wholesale ripping off classical archetypes for War3 - Thrall is The Messiah, Arthas is The Crusader leading to becoming The Fallen Hero, Illidan is The Anti-Hero and so on.

*Blizzard is actually much better at the small-scale stuff but they don't like doing it - they want everything to be EPIC and EARTHSHATTERING and FACEMELTINGLY METAL and so on all the time. Which is a bit like having Dragonforce on loop - after a while, you just want to hear something acoustic.

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Reply #1693 on: March 25, 2013, 07:25:49 AM

Post of the year?

Or maybe it's just the serendipity that I happen to be consuming a really shitty pizza at this moment.
JWIV
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Reply #1694 on: March 25, 2013, 07:44:42 AM

First post I've opened up in Clearly and well worth it.  This needs to be on the front page.

Ironwood
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Reply #1695 on: March 25, 2013, 07:49:29 AM

That's some frontpage shit right there.

 Heart

Edited :  JWIV posted as I did.  This is not a conspiracy nor a co-incidence, I suspect.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 07:51:08 AM by Ironwood »

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Reg
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Reply #1696 on: March 25, 2013, 08:01:47 AM

Damn, that was the best rant I've read in my entire 15 year history of following rant sites.  Well done!
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Reply #1697 on: March 25, 2013, 08:39:49 AM

Hahaha.. would read it again!

This really belongs on the frontpage.
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Reply #1698 on: March 25, 2013, 10:12:17 PM

i gorged myself on nachos and forgot all my existential video game plot angst oh god they were good nachos

woo frontpage! if it ends up there i will try to cadge together some ridiculous comics once i have a mouse
Goreschach
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Reply #1699 on: March 26, 2013, 10:42:53 AM

I mean, what's going on here? Why is it so hard for them to make nachos? They are a restaurant, so they make sure to address appearances: the nachos are usually really garnished with a lot of stuff that makes it look prettier, and it has an elegant 'surface composition' — I went out to an upscale place recently and got a perfect example of this. All style. Perfect display, with chives and artistic zig-zags of sour cream, but it was all garbage, with a quarter of the cheese it needed, all lumped up on five or six chips, with the rest completely dry and useless. Undercooked beans would simply fall off of any chip you tried to pick up. I wrestled with the few cheese-soaked, soggy chips before I had exhausted the entire plate's potential, and was just left staring at a pile of dry unseasoned why the hell am I talking about nachos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xFiDoOgRTpk#t=69s
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Reply #1700 on: March 26, 2013, 01:40:39 PM


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #1701 on: March 26, 2013, 03:45:45 PM

Quote
Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign.

See, this is where you went wrong. This has never ever been true of Blizzard. The stories have always been shitty. We were just younger and less discerning back then.

The Transcendent One: AH... THE ROGUE CONSTRUCT.
Nordom: Sense of closure: imminent.
Malakili
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Reply #1702 on: March 26, 2013, 04:23:19 PM

Quote
Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign.

See, this is where you went wrong. This has never ever been true of Blizzard. The stories have always been shitty. We were just younger and less discerning back then.

I agree with this.  But I do think they used to be better at TELLING their crappy stories than they are now.  If you look back at some of those Starcraft and Brood War cinematics, they were pretty atmospheric and quite good:

More this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Etq4PArPZOo#t=187s

and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=y8SGFeK-79Y#t=97s


Simond
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Reply #1703 on: March 26, 2013, 04:50:21 PM

Quote
Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign.

See, this is where you went wrong. This has never ever been true of Blizzard. The stories have always been shitty. We were just younger and less discerning back then.
Thank you. Blizzard's storytelling ability has remained pretty much constant since the mid-90s while most of the industry has moved on. Expecting anything more than, basically, retreaded B-movie plots from them is naοve.

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Reply #1704 on: March 26, 2013, 05:12:44 PM

They never expected you to actually pay attention to the stories until about Warcraft III though. It's only recently that the shitty narratives have actively intruded upon the gameplay. Otherwise we still wouldn't care.
Maledict
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Reply #1705 on: March 26, 2013, 05:38:07 PM

Quote
Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign.

See, this is where you went wrong. This has never ever been true of Blizzard. The stories have always been shitty. We were just younger and less discerning back then.

We're just going round in circles now. We've literally done this exact same argument less than 2 pages ago.

Some people believe their stories have gotten worse over time - less depth, less sophistication, less skill in crafting.

Some people believe they have always been shit.

If you believe the former then you can try to figure out why, what's changed etc. If you believe the latter then there's not much you can really say!

I just don't understand why people in the latter group feel it necessary to keep shouting about it and passing around the sly insults - oh you're naive, oh you were just young then, etc etc. it's an argument that's never going to go anywhere or show anything.
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Reply #1706 on: March 26, 2013, 05:45:59 PM

There's no insult intended, and I used "we" on purpose.

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Nordom: Sense of closure: imminent.
Rendakor
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Reply #1707 on: March 26, 2013, 09:46:14 PM

They never expected you to actually pay attention to the stories until about Warcraft III though. It's only recently that the shitty narratives have actively intruded upon the gameplay. Otherwise we still wouldn't care.
This. While none of the older Blizzard games had amazing stories, they weren't so IN YOUR FACE with their mediocrity. Unlike Diablo 3, where you risk breaking your spacebar trying to get the goddamn NPCs to just shut up. Not to mention the stupid recap cutscenes every half hour, in case you weren't paying attention!

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Reply #1708 on: March 26, 2013, 10:23:07 PM

Old Blizzard: There's demons in this church! I'll get them. Where's the prince? Oh he was possessed. I'll contain this evil in my face. Oops it couldn't be contained. Time to wander. Warn the peeps old man.

New Blizzard: A star has fallen. Let's go find it. Hey look it's a bar skank who lost her uncle. I found her uncle. He's old and wise. Barskank thinks he's an idiot. Ooh skeletons and kings. Here's a crown. Find me a blacksmith. Stabby zombie wife. Blacksmith is my smith. Barskank is still talking. Here's a horny butterfly nightmare that wants to make a coat out of some dalmations. Swords and swords and swords. Oops she killed the old guy. Something fat this way comes. My stars, a black man. Barskank wants to burn the old man's books because she can't read. Angel in the desert. Skinny bitch ain't got no clothes. BEEEEEEES! The lord of lies would never betray you! Barskank is still talking. We find her mother in the shitter. This soulstone goes to 11. Zoltun is Kulle. Head, shoulders, bones and blood. Keep it up barskank, I'm almost there. That boy ain't right. Oops he's possessed too. Don't stand in the fire. This castle is under attack even though I got in somehow. Light some fires. Fire the catapults. Destroy the catapults. Free the catapults from oppression. Barskank is still talking. She can't hold it. Slutty spiders make terrible friends. Nipple rings make you look fat. Sewer Mom isn't legit. Barskank gets possessed. If possible she's even more talkative. We have to save heaven. No you can't save heaven, only we can save heaven. Shut down the portals. Don't you recognize your old captain? To the Golden arches! Noone escapes the realm of TEAR-ROAR! Except me. Die barskank! Fin.

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Reply #1709 on: March 26, 2013, 10:58:13 PM

They never expected you to actually pay attention to the stories until about Warcraft III though. It's only recently that the shitty narratives have actively intruded upon the gameplay. Otherwise we still wouldn't care.
This. While none of the older Blizzard games had amazing stories, they weren't so IN YOUR FACE with their mediocrity. Unlike Diablo 3, where you risk breaking your spacebar trying to get the goddamn NPCs to just shut up. Not to mention the stupid recap cutscenes every half hour, in case you weren't paying attention!

I think it started with Beyond the Dark Portal. The HERE IS OUR NARRATIVE stuff is absolutely present in SC and D2.

The Transcendent One: AH... THE ROGUE CONSTRUCT.
Nordom: Sense of closure: imminent.
Ironwood
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Reply #1710 on: March 27, 2013, 07:14:32 AM

Quote
Slutty spiders make terrible friends.

You take that back !  Claudia Black For Life !

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Malakili
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Reply #1711 on: March 27, 2013, 08:33:31 AM

Old Blizzard: There's demons in this church! I'll get them. Where's the prince? Oh he was possessed. I'll contain this evil in my face. Oops it couldn't be contained. Time to wander. Warn the peeps old man.

New Blizzard: A star has fallen. Let's go find it. Hey look it's a bar skank who lost her uncle. I found her uncle. He's old and wise. Barskank thinks he's an idiot. Ooh skeletons and kings. Here's a crown. Find me a blacksmith. Stabby zombie wife. Blacksmith is my smith. Barskank is still talking. Here's a horny butterfly nightmare that wants to make a coat out of some dalmations. Swords and swords and swords. Oops she killed the old guy. Something fat this way comes. My stars, a black man. Barskank wants to burn the old man's books because she can't read. Angel in the desert. Skinny bitch ain't got no clothes. BEEEEEEES! The lord of lies would never betray you! Barskank is still talking. We find her mother in the shitter. This soulstone goes to 11. Zoltun is Kulle. Head, shoulders, bones and blood. Keep it up barskank, I'm almost there. That boy ain't right. Oops he's possessed too. Don't stand in the fire. This castle is under attack even though I got in somehow. Light some fires. Fire the catapults. Destroy the catapults. Free the catapults from oppression. Barskank is still talking. She can't hold it. Slutty spiders make terrible friends. Nipple rings make you look fat. Sewer Mom isn't legit. Barskank gets possessed. If possible she's even more talkative. We have to save heaven. No you can't save heaven, only we can save heaven. Shut down the portals. Don't you recognize your old captain? To the Golden arches! Noone escapes the realm of TEAR-ROAR! Except me. Die barskank! Fin.

This is probably the best comparison I've seen.  I know somewhere (maybe the D3 subforum), I made a similar point about one of the major problems with the D3 story line is the linear way it which is is presented.  Diablo 2's story was really just as linear, but Diablo 3 walks you through EVERY. LITTLE. STEP.  The result is that it wears on you, and furthermore there is no way at all to insert your own imagination into it all, you are just bludgeoned over the head with precisely the narrative they want to tell.  In Diablo 1 and 2 I felt like I was in Sanctuary, in Diablo 3 I felt like I was in a movie about Sanctuary.
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Reply #1712 on: March 27, 2013, 01:25:22 PM

In Diablo 1 I felt like I was in a shitty, depthless graphical Nethack with 5% of the complexity.  why so serious?

The Transcendent One: AH... THE ROGUE CONSTRUCT.
Nordom: Sense of closure: imminent.
Ratman_tf
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Reply #1713 on: March 27, 2013, 02:17:51 PM

Quote
Blizzard Entertainment is an organization I should reasonably anticipate to be able to not suck at making a decent, workable storyline for an over-the-top and venerable franchise and space opera, for us to play around with in a singleplayer campaign.

See, this is where you went wrong. This has never ever been true of Blizzard. The stories have always been shitty. We were just younger and less discerning back then.

I agree with this.  But I do think they used to be better at TELLING their crappy stories than they are now.  If you look back at some of those Starcraft and Brood War cinematics, they were pretty atmospheric and quite good:

More this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Etq4PArPZOo#t=187s

and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=y8SGFeK-79Y#t=97s




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Reply #1714 on: March 27, 2013, 03:22:06 PM

In Diablo 1 I felt like I was in a shitty, depthless graphical Nethack with 5% of the complexity.  why so serious?

I think I said a while back that if I ever reviewed a Diablo game, schild would kill me with his mind.  But if I did, my review would run a lot like that.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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