EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

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EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:09 am

X-posted from TEO...

One of the noticeable things about StarCraft 2 aesthetic - while I haven't played Heart of the Swarm or Legacy of the Void nonetheless you can still see it - is how... hulked out everything is. The Marines are bigger, the Hydralisks are huger, the Ultralisks are the size of freaking mountains compared to how in the Brood War cinematic they were just a few times huger than Goliaths. On the surface this might just be Metzenification, a medical syndrome when enormous shoulder pads construct bloodflow to the head and leads to disproportionate enlargement of some parts. Kind of like Ultimate Warrior's Disease when tassels around the arms results in altered circulation in the rocket fuel being loaded into the spaceship, leading to controls being seized to take planes into nose dives into parts unknown.

Hoak Hogan

ANYWAY... some of this can be rationalized in-universe, in kayfabe. The sudden sympathy for Kerrigan can't be, though. That's just creative bankruptcy. But let's try to salvage the other things.

The Zerg settled on Aiur and Char, they've already transitioned from the "leaving Zerus, traversing halfway across the galaxy to seek the Protoss" phase. They are no longer nomadic.

Yes, they've always assimilated species, but does the assimilation process entail gobbling down ALL members of a species or just some members, enough to get the genetic template while the rest of the population can persist un-infested? Or do the Zerg go Tyrannid-like, consuming the entire biospheres of the worlds they've touched? Or do they leave behind "legacy" Zergforms (since in Heart of the Swarm there are still Zerg left on Zerus, perhaps also in other Zerg-touched places)?

Anyway, we all know the Zerg have buffets to presumably fuel their next forays, whether or not entire worlds are depleted in that process. But now that they've stopped traveling, I propose that spare energy or the excess biomass or nutrients or metabolic surplus whatever, are now used to roid up the hydralisks and ultralisks. Now we've got those Leviathan creatures. Perhaps some of these enormous monstrosos were always there, lurking in the "heart of the Swarm" for centuries... or perhaps they were just recently grown? Or both - recently reactivated due to the metabolic surplus due to the stationary/static state of the Swarm, unlike their prior "From Zerus With Love" state of transit that's metabolically intense, leading to the "standby mode" of larger more metabolically-intense assets like Leviathans. Especially if combat was relatively light in the transit state, if the Zerg didn't have to fend off operational battlecruisers or arriving carriers (though they definitely did have combat, presumably with "inferior" technological civilizations that they didn't bother to assimilate... nonetheless these encounters led them to optimize their Scourges and Mutualisks and such for anti-ship warfare, the Guardians for anti-surface strike roles, etc.).

The whole question of whether the Zerg eat everything or leave bits uneaten also connect to how despite what one would expect... the Zerg didn't eat all of Terrankind! Yes, they consumed Chau Sara. Mar Sara might've been gobbled up, but the Protoss preempted whatever plans there were. The Zerg settled in Char, which was barely populated (there were outposts there?). But Antiga Prime (IIRC) and Tarsonis were only eaten because Mengsk deployed psi-emitters there. So while the Zerg did settle in the Koprulu Zone, nonetheless a LOT of Terran space was untouched. The Zerg obviously prioritized attacking the Protoss. Terranspace was just a staging ground for their jump to Aiur.

Did the Protoss occupy worlds beyond Aiur? We know that there WAS a larger Protoss empire... And we know it contracted, due to de-militarization, due to the civil war from the Dark Templar schism, etc. We know that the Protoss by the "current" time had a pseudo-protectorate thing looking over lesser species, perhaps without the species' knowledge. Benevolent prime directive style... until of course the Zerg appeared and the Conclave authorized the planetkillings...

One wonders if it was a Zerg ruse to draw out the Protoss and then somehow find out the location of Aiur. And that's exactly what happened. If it weren't for Tassadar's error (Zeratul's assassination of a Cerebrate enabling the Overmind to locate Aiur), the Zerg search for the Protoss world might've taken longer. Though Aiur IS within the vicinity of Terran space, so it would not have taken too long. But, of course, the Terrans were in the K Sector for quite some time and they never knew the Protoss was there - so they were hidden, but they weren't exactly far. It didn't take the UED too long to go to Aiur either.

ANYWAY these projections on Zerg developments may have been different if the Overmind hadn't been slain. Who knows what would've happened if it finished its great project, merging the Protoss and the Zerg's purity of form and purity of essence. Would it have continued its great journey? Stayed and multiplied to devour the universe? Followed the Xel'Naga or Amon or whatever's orders because of lazy Metzen writing and the typical "greater threat that all must unite against" dullness? Or somehow rebelled against Amon, as the Overmind supposedly planned with Kerrigan (oh the humans are SO DIFFERENT and will HOLD THE KEY to defying the GREATER THREAT - yawn)? Would the Zerg have ascended and then shift to the ASTRAL PLANE to do METAPHYSICAL BATTLE?

Whatever.

ANYWAY...

Aside from the steroidification of the hydralisk and the ultralisk, the coming of the Leviathans and other HUEGings... we also see the Queens' transition from the flying brood-spawning creatures into these bulky crawling terrestrial abominations. It fits the fluff of the Queens being these mid-level psi-touched nodes who care for hive larvae, with psionic capabilities and "rank" higher than the Overlords but lower than the Cerebrates. Lieutenants to the Cerebrates' generals to the Overmind's supreme leadership...

AND Kerrigan needed these Queens to replace the Cerebrates. She probably couldn't replicate the Overmind's divine feat of creating the Cerebrates that were metaphysically bonded to it while nonetheless possessing independent intellects. But she just steroidified and uplifted these already capable lieutenants of the swarm. And that had similar effects... though somehow, someway she seems to be more of a control freak than the Overmind. The Cerebrates seemed to have more independence and cleverness IMO.

These are some rationalizations in the changes we see in the Zerg.

UP NEXT: Rationalizations on the Terran Dominion's developments. Roughly in a similar line, their optimization for all out warfare, survival against existential threats, Korhal centralization, ironic increased authoritarianism compared to the Confederacy's looser approach (that was nonetheless tyrannical) that just got by through deploying Marines to crush fringe world yokels and/or nuking rebelling colonies (ala Korhal).
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:09 am

^ I think this actually sums up what the developments were. I don't think there's much more to it than that.

I do wonder if the rapid Coruscantification of Korhal can just be explained due to Mengskist authoritarianism and centralization leading to this weird ass Stalin-style industrialization of the planet, utilizing all the resources relocated to the Dominion throneworld after the Confederacy's disintegration, the exodus to un-infested worlds...

Could they have appropriated some off-screen UED development tech? Like, what if aside from using a Special Forces-heavy operation to use the Dominion and ex-Confed's forces against the natives (to explain why Stukov and DuGalle weren't commanding the Expeditionary Force from within Luna-class or Mars-class or Earthican Star Destroyers or whatever), they also had logistics vessels full of deployable infrastructure? They DID set up shop fairly quick on Char...

And even without the UED, perhaps even civilian Terran tech can also easily just lift-off and land somewhere else? Imagine all of those outlying worlds, colonies, moons around Tarsonis and the Sara system, all around Antiga, like Antiga Secundus or whatever that were next door to Prime's gobbling, all these folks just taking off to the FORTRESS KORHAL system!

EVERYTHING becomes Siege Mode! Yes. The great Confederacy project, which I presume was this widely distributed colonization effort to settle all sorts of fringe worlds as fast as possible - hence all these allusions to guild wars, pacifications, brushfires, whatnot - gets reversed and redirected entirely to Korhal. Or mostly to Korhal. So after this consolidation and super-fortification, North Koreahal ends up slowly re-expanding. When Mengsk sees that Kerrigan ain't gonna murder everyone just yet (for some reason).

This is harder to satisfactorily explain than the Zerg because one didn't get the impression that the Terrans had this level of industrial capability...

Anyway, like the steroidified hydralisks, now we also see Terran Marines become walking tanks. It's because Metzen wanted huge shoulderpads and because everyone wanted to borrow Iron Man aesthetics. But in-universe let's assume that this RUNAWAY DEFENSE BUDGET meant that the Marine couldn't just be "space suit with gun + drugs" anymore...
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Thu May 18, 2017 11:38 am

To me it feels like Kerrigan needed the Queens a lot more than the Overmind did the Cerebrates. Although most of this is probably because the writing of SC2 is just lackluster, the Overmind felt a lot more omnipresent than Kerrigan's control of the Swarm did.

Perhaps that might serve as an explanation why the Zerg never did end up gobbling up all of human space. After Kerrigan's big queen bitch of the universe speech she rapidly found out that controlling the entire fricking multitudes of Zerg all over space with her mind was a lot of effort. And frankly she never struck me as the sort of battle trance psi Jedi who would be able to reach, much less control, all Zerg everywhere in the sector. I think it's pretty well supported by the canon, such as it is, that Kerrigan is a brawler, not a thinker. I don't think we've ever really seen her command billions of Zerg at a time, whereas the Overmind clearly did with some regularity.

So, after the Overmind and the Cerebrates die Kerrigan is the biggest Zerg 'mind' still standing, but maybe she can only really impose her will on Swarm creatures within a certain range, be that continental or planetary or within a system. Anything else requires a lot of conscious effort to 'project' dominance, which wasn't a big deal for the Overmind but Kerrigan can't do that all the time. So the Queens, formerly under the tumb of the Cerebrates, are now mostly left to run things for themselves. When Kerrigan, being the big ol' walking Chrysalis-infused psi-boss, is close enough they naturally fall under her influence, the Swarm being designed that way, but when she's off-planet the Queens do their own thing.

That also might explain why after Kerrigan's take-over we see a bunch of Zerg with individual personalities pop up. I really don't see what use the Overmind would have for a creature like Abathur; the Overmind is the collective knowledge of the Zerg, why would it need a dedicated 'evolutionist'? But perhaps Abathur was formerly just a 'mechanic', a tool who tended the Spawning Pool and did what the Overmind told him to with a bunch of knowledge that was 'downloaded' into him. Then the Overmind dies and suddenly Abathur is the best the Swarm has.

I quite like the idea that even though it might not have looked that way at the time the destruction of the Overmind was really a gargantuan blow to the Zerg. It completely fractured their previously homogenized identity and leadership, and basically broke what was a genuine Swarm of billions of like-minded creatures lead by a pervasive malevolent superintelligence into a bunch of barely-sentient sub-swarms lacking in coherent leadership or focus. It didn't look that way, because still on occasion a million gribblies would descend on a world and it'd be fucking terrifying, but in their own way the Zerg basically went from A-rate superpower to infighting postatomic holocaust scavenger tribes.

Hence why Kerrigan in Heart of the Swarm has to be Thrall and UNITE TEH CLANZ and suchlike. For all her bluster and speechifying at the end of Brood War she's not the Queen Bitch of the Universe at all, she's Kevin Costner in The Postman.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Thu May 18, 2017 12:01 pm

Incidentally both the Overmind and the Cerebrates had a bodiless quality to them. The physical bodies off Cerebrates could be destroyed and they'd respawn no problem; presumably the same was true for the physical manifestation of the Overmind on Aiur. The only way to permanently fuck them up was Dark Templar psi-magic, and even that had its risks.

After the destruction of the Overmind we never see another Zerg mind exhibit the same sense of noncorporeality. And the minds that we do see, Zagara and Kerrigan and so on, seem a whole lot less... shall we say, strategic in their approach to the Swarm. They strike me kind of like colonels who suddenly find themselves in charge of entire army fronts after the general staff has been obliterated in a surprise attack. Their focus is small and they lead from the front, which is all well and good for a field officer but is just dumb from a general staff perspective.

I mean seriously, Kerrigan goes off to personally fight random battles on no-name planets all the time. Do you presume to tell me that as she's leading the charge she's also giving commands to the billions of Zerg throughout the rest of the sector? Did she ever strike you as capable of that level of multi-tasking?

So as Kerrigan is slicing up rando's on Braxis or whatever there's a billionty Zerg tapping their claws waiting for orders, and the whole thing sort of grinds to a halt, until a Queen shows a little initiative and goes off doing her own thing.

Basically the gist of it is that Kerrigan is a terrible Swarm leader. 'Kerrigan values initiative' is bullshit, her Swarm simply cannot function without Queens doing their own thing because she's not capable of leading the Zerg like the Overmind did. She doesn't have the scope of thinking, the mental parallel processing capabilities or the calmness to be an Overmind - she's basically still a Ghost assassin, very scary in a duel, but still just one person doing things on her own, used to thinking on a tactical level, not leading planetary or sector-wide campaigns like a general would. The Confederacy never taught her that, Mengsk didn't teach her that, and the Overmind also only needed her as a pet bruiser, not as a field marshal.

I bet a lot of the overall effectiveness of the Zerg was tied up in the everywhere-at-once spooky essence of the Overmind and the Cerebrates. Anything left to the Swarm now is basically only effective as a leader as their proverbial eyes can see. Which is a huge problem in what purports to be an interstellar species.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:01 pm

Very nice Siege!
Siege wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 11:38 am
For all her bluster and speechifying at the end of Brood War she's not the Queen Bitch of the Universe at all, she's Kevin Costner in The Postman.
Oh my god.
Siege wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 12:01 pm
Incidentally both the Overmind and the Cerebrates had a bodiless quality to them. The physical bodies off Cerebrates could be destroyed and they'd respawn no problem; presumably the same was true for the physical manifestation of the Overmind on Aiur. The only way to permanently fuck them up was Dark Templar psi-magic, and even that had its risks.
This is an incredibly great point. That non-corporeality can't be scoffed at. It's freaking space magic that has all sorts of imbalanced overpowered as fuck implications for the Swarm's capability... pre-Overmind-death. If the UED somehow harnessed that... which they actually sorta did but through lots of super space Prozac... holy crap.

It DOES make sense that in the vanilla SC, your Cerebrate was mostly tasked with guarding Kerrigan but there was always this narrative sense that aside from the special missions (particularly the ones after Kerrigan is left on Char and the Cerebrate is sent to hit those strategic Aiur targets), there was this more massive scope of operations, the feel that the rest of the Zerg with the other Cerebrates were doing all sorts of other things across the K Sector.

Brood War onwards, Kerrigan's personal Cerebrate (and the Queens afterwards, since she had your character killed I presume...) and Kerrigan herself were, as you said, involved in more specific operations and there was no sense of the greater scale of Zerg activities. Because the UED had the neo-Overmind, because of the Psi-Disruptor. Even in the final level of Brood War, it was a half-assed consolidation of Zerg forces on Char. Yes, Kerrigan pulled off tactical coups, but as you said it was her just operating small scale, TACTICAL coups, nothing on the scale of gobbling up Tarsonis and all sorts of Terran worlds, or the devastation of Aiur...

The times we get to see Kerrigan actually run things, in Heart of the Swarm (which I haven't played), as you say it's more like the whole Orc UNITE THE TRIBES shit. And before that, before Kerrigan's de-infestation and other bullshit plot developments, the Zerg were all massive but they weren't doing ridiculous Overmind-led feats as before, barring the campaigns Kerrigan personally led... the Zerg were just fucking around and eating shit, but somehow someway the Terrans and Protoss weren't on the edge of oblivion.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Thu May 18, 2017 9:18 pm

I wonder if Kerrigan perhaps got some sort of push-back against any overriding Swarm-wide commands she issued. Like, the Overmind could on occasion bend the entirety of the Swarm to a singular purpose - like the invasion of Aiur. All of the million thousand gribblies under his command load up on Overlords and Zerg rush the Protoss homeworld because the Overmind decides that's what it wants. But Kerrigan clearly cannot just issue a command like that, because in Heart of the Swarm it takes a long-ass space Odyssey with plenty soul / gene searching just to assemble the Swarm required to invade Korhal.

But if she was gonna go after Arcturus Mengsk why didn't she do it years earlier after her victory over Char, when the UED and the Dominion were essentially wiped out? What the fuck was she doing all the time inbetween when there wasn't a credible Terran force to resist a unified Swarm?

My postulation: the Zerg simply wouldn't obey Kerrigan's commands. She'd issue the order to go all in on Korhal and get nothing but massive resistance from all the queens and overlords and whatever other node creatures who were - without the Overmind - quite content to farm their creep gardens in an essentially semi-feral state, and not answer to her call.

Shit, she basically had to persuade Zagara to team up with her. What kind of Overmind has to persuade a Zerg queen, with oral arguments and shit?

(Incidentally I just remembered that Zagara does respawn in an SC2 mission, but then again so does Kerrigan if she gets killed. I'm not sure we can take this particular map mechanic as a canon ability.)

I mean, I know I'm making excuses and inventing runarounds for the shit writing of SC2 here, but it at least makes a modicum of sense to me. The Zerg were handled terribly, in my opinion easily the worst of the three races.

Incidentally even though I didn't really like a lot of the character writing in Legacy of the Void either, I think the Protoss as a race came off rather well. Their was an appreciable sense that they were a really, really ancient and highly sophisticated species with a ton of offshoots that had been cast out by Khalai orthodoxy in centuries past. It helps that we saw fanatics like Aldaris in SC1 of course, who were happy to instantly found wanting anything that didn't perfectly fit their doctrine but when the Protoss then go around digging up ancient weapons of war and renewing ties with other Protoss factions that as it turns out hang out in deep space, that feels thematically appropriate.

Also I quite fancy the idea of a massively advanced but relatively peaceful elder race being confronted by sudden calamity and basically going 'okay bitches, it's gloves off', and unlocking THE FORBIDDEN ARSENALS to open a can of whoopass on their offenders. Granted Legacy of the Void didn't go quite as far as I'd have hoped with this concept, I'd have liked it better if the Protoss really went into a full ARMORY OF ULTRADOOM hyperweapon mode to ultimately defeat what was essentially one of their god-creators (Gone Mad™, in full cliche Blizzard fashion, sigh). But the thought of them rifling through their storied past to come up with badass tech to throw at their enemies is one that I appreciate.

Also also, it turns out John DeLancie has the superpower of making me forgive an awful lot of terrible writing by his sheer scene chewing prowess. Heart of the Swarm, unfortunately, didn't do that for me. And Wings of Liberty was pretty jumbled as well (also I hate Valerian Mengsk as a character and why the fuck would you start a multi-world revolution just to install the son of your sworn archenemy as Terran dictator holy shit that's so dumb).
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 18, 2017 11:07 pm

Siege wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 9:18 pm

My postulation: the Zerg simply wouldn't obey Kerrigan's commands. She'd issue the order to go all in on Korhal and get nothing but massive resistance from all the queens and overlords and whatever other node creatures who were - without the Overmind - quite content to farm their creep gardens in an essentially semi-feral state, and not answer to her call.

Shit, she basically had to persuade Zagara to team up with her. What kind of Overmind has to persuade a Zerg queen, with oral arguments and shit?
I like all of these.

In addition, I think your postulated resistance and push-back exists in degrees, it's not an automatic on/off failsafe but... like the push-back depends on the nature of the action Kerrigan attempts to will unto the Swarm. It depends on the degree of the action, its significance, its metabolic and psychic cost or investment. "Defend Char" or "protect world" or even "splinter fleet does its thing and gobbles up some random colony to fulfill its metabolic needs" would not be too difficult for Kerrigan. But mass mobilization, the pre-planned reservation of metabolic stores and other preparations, and then the inevitable invasion of a massively fortified planet? THAT would get push-back.

It's not only like how Gazghull in 40K has to do all sorts of things to intimidate the unruly Orks to do his will - like herding cats - but... it's almost like the involuntary nervous system or something. One can through will speed up the heart, speed up the breathing or slow them down, but it takes something more to either make the heart or lungs go past their regular tolerances and either beat superfast or slow down to a standstill. Like those crazy ass free-divers or sea people who can go underwater for 4 minutes plus.

I agree with your sentiments on the Protoss. Like I said in TEO,

"...there were mentions in SC2 that their vaster empire contracted - perhaps in part due to the schism that caused the Dark Templar, or perhaps due to the Protoss abandoning expansionism and deciding to treat "their" territory as protectorates that they benignly and discreetly guard perhaps without the local species/civilizations' awareness (the Terrans might've been seen as one of these things...). The new Protoss tech in SC2 are usually either Dark Templar-Khalai hybrid newtech or ANCIENT PROTOSS SECRET tech that they obtained from off-Aiur colony stockpiles, like old wargear that was just put into storage for future contingencies because the Protoss decided they were too enlightened for such violent ways or something. It's obviously contrived but in a way it's not TOO divergent from the older fluff..."
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Fri May 19, 2017 12:53 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:In addition, I think your postulated resistance and push-back exists in degrees, it's not an automatic on/off failsafe but... like the push-back depends on the nature of the action Kerrigan attempts to will unto the Swarm. It depends on the degree of the action, its significance, its metabolic and psychic cost or investment.
Exactly! When the order runs more-or-less parallel to Zerg natural instincts and desires it's easy to coax them to do it. A hydralisk is naturally going to want to face-eat Marines, so telling it to charge at them is easy when it's already near a bunch of Dominion infantry. But ordering perfectly functional hive clusters to load all their biomass on overlords for a mass attack on some distant world - that's something else, something the node creatures find highly undesirable because it disrupts their neat five year plans for creep expansion and bio-accumulation and adaption to the local environment, etc. You need a lot of psionic muscle or a very persuasive argument to get the Swarm to buy into that - the Overmind could do it, and the psi emitter could (because it's essentially a giant interstellar ALL YOU CAN EAT FOR FREE sign), but Kerrigan can't, 'cause she's just not got the required pull. On Char she could rely on defensive instincts (THE HIVE CLUSTER IS UNDER ATTACK), and to some extent after she beat her opposition twist it in an instinctive predatory chase of the fleeing UED ships, but after that the Zerg basically went back to wherever they came from to do whatever it was they were doing, happily ignoring whatever Kerrigan was trying to get them to do.

"...there were mentions in SC2 that their vaster empire contracted - perhaps in part due to the schism that caused the Dark Templar, or perhaps due to the Protoss abandoning expansionism and deciding to treat "their" territory as protectorates that they benignly and discreetly guard perhaps without the local species/civilizations' awareness (the Terrans might've been seen as one of these things...). The new Protoss tech in SC2 are usually either Dark Templar-Khalai hybrid newtech or ANCIENT PROTOSS SECRET tech that they obtained from off-Aiur colony stockpiles, like old wargear that was just put into storage for future contingencies because the Protoss decided they were too enlightened for such violent ways or something. It's obviously contrived but in a way it's not TOO divergent from the older fluff..."
It does make some sense to me that a species, once it reaches a Protoss-like level of technological development, eventually lets up on the instinctive drive for interstellar expansion that the Terrans are still on. First a species has a self-preservational drive to get off-planet, then off-system, then even at the Terran level it kind of makes sense to spread out, find more worlds, and mine those worlds for whatever materials you need to build your empire, 'cause you're still basically using raw materials do build shit.

Not so much the Protoss though, who construct stuff with, like, pure force-energy and their minds and such. At that level, considering the universe is infinite and you can basically do whatever the balls you like with a sun or two worth of energy (or wherever their psionic whatchamacallit comes from), what's the point of expanding any further? Even if you go full Culture and you build orbitals for a handful of people, how much space would you need? You've solved scarcity, you've basically solved mortality since Protoss are space elves who live for what appears forever, you've got all the technology you need and then some and you're mostly at peace with yourself... So why expand? At some stage you just run out of space to want and stuff to need, so civilization turns inward.

That said I think much of the Protoss stuff could've been handled better. The interactions between Artanis and Alarak were unintentionally hysterical at times.

ALARAK: I SHALL KILL YOU, WEAR YOUR FLESH AS A HAT, AND RULE ALL PROTOSS WITH AN IRON FIST
Artanis: But FRIEND, what if instead we decide to be ALLIES and defeat the god-thing that threatens us both!
ALARAK: ... OKAY, BUT AFTERWARD I'LL KILL YOU AND RULE WITH AN IRON FIST
Artanis: If we live together in peace we can accomplish much!
ALARAK: ... YOU DO REALIZE I'M EVIL AND THE SECOND YOU LOOK THE OTHER WAY THE HAT-WEARING WILL COMMENCE?
Artanis: Friendship between all Protoss!
ALARAK: CARRY ON THEN

I mean honestly. He's the centuries-old ruler of a Dark Eldar death cult who rules from a mountain of skulls and cannot stop himself from rambling about sadistic murder and you just trust him to be your huckleberry?

(Incidentally the Judicators threw the Dark Templar out and hunted them but these guys just zoom around deep space in their giant glowy red carriers of doom, what's up with that?)

Still a better character than Valerian fucking Mengsk though.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:59 am

Siege wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 12:53 am
(Incidentally the Judicators threw the Dark Templar out and hunted them but these guys just zoom around deep space in their giant glowy red carriers of doom, what's up with that?)
I presumed those guys were still Dark Templars who went from Houthis or Kurds to full fucking Daesh?

I only played Wings of Liberty, my body could only take so much LET'S PUT THIS REVOLUTION INTO OVERDRIVE.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Fri May 19, 2017 8:46 am

No, the Taldarim are the Dark Eldar version of the Protoss. Literally: they advance by dueling and killing their superiors, they worship a fallen god, they practice ritual sacrifice, they're hopped up on terrazine, and their homeworld is called Slayn.

Slayn.

I mean fuckin' come on.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat May 20, 2017 3:45 pm

Amon cultists out of nowhere, eh?

That IS the fallen god they worship?

Hurm... but there's nothing explaining or elaborating on where they lie in the Khala or the Void? Where they are theologically between the Khalai High Templars and the Dark Templars?

Bah.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Sun May 21, 2017 2:44 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 3:45 pm
Amon cultists out of nowhere, eh?

That IS the fallen god they worship?

Hurm... but there's nothing explaining or elaborating on where they lie in the Khala or the Void? Where they are theologically between the Khalai High Templars and the Dark Templars?

Bah.
The StarCraft Wikia entry on the Tal'darim, which cites a novel few people read and a short story on Battle.net, says that the Tal'darim do not make use of the Khala. Tal'darim psi blades are stated to draw energy from the Void. Legacy of the Void (which I know you haven't played yet) also offers a few more insights into their theology, like how they guzzle Terrazine in order to help make greater use of Void energies.

But yeah, they pretty much were Amon cultists out of nowhere. Conveniently, they were taken from Aiur prior to the Aeon of Strife and seeded on Slayn and multiple other worlds.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Mon May 22, 2017 4:02 pm

They're basically Dark Templar as far as where they get their mojo is concerned (the void), just instead of being sneaky and stealthy they are murderific assholes.
Lelouch vi Britannia wrote:Conveniently, they were taken from Aiur prior to the Aeon of Strife and seeded on Slayn and multiple other worlds.
But the idea that they had no contact with Khala protoss makes no sense, because in SC2 they operate in the K-zone. Raynor has no problem getting to their drug plantation worlds, so I find it highly unlikely that the Protoss never happened to run into their deathcult cousins. I mean, it's not like they were subtle in any way. Maybe the Taldarim were like the drunk uncle at the family Christmas dinner that all the Templar just pretended didn't exist? Who knows. SC2 writing is shit.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon May 22, 2017 9:19 pm

I don't think the mainstream Protoss never encountered them... if Raynor knew they existed, then there's no way the likes of Fenix or Zeratul didn't know about 'em. They're probably like those Purifiers* and other factions that the mainstream Protoss and Dark Templars know about but just keep at arm's length away, perhaps stepping in when they're out of line but otherwise just can't be assed to finish the job and freedomize those nowhere worlds from the ProtoSSIS or Daesh Templars. :lol:

I would've made the Tal'darim actual Dark Templar offshoots that rediscovered Amon, rather than Protoss that Amon took with him... though I don't think the latter is too crappy. "Asshole Xel'Naga fled with some fanatic loyalists" is still sensible. It's not as lousy as Kerrigan's character switching or Raynor going "Urgh you killed Fenix goddamn you" to being a heartbroken wreck. Pfft.


*Man, Purifiers and those Colossus weapons and those ark-mothership things and everything else are all "so dangerous must be cast off into space/buried/hidden until the MOST DIREST OF TIMES" I bet it's some threat that Protoss parents give their disobedient toddlers or angsty teens "behave or else we'll CAST YOU AWAY AND ONLY BRING YOU BACK IN THE DIREST OF TIMES!" *points to PROPHECY hanging off a fridge magnet*
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Mon May 22, 2017 11:05 pm

THE PROPHECY! :D

I can sort of buy Raynor being a heartbroken wreck in the sense that he pretty much failed in SC/Brood War: the Confederacy is gone, Aiur is gone, Mengsk is solidly in charge and untouchable, and Kerrigan is nowhere to be found (because she's off running damage control on the Swarm, but nobody knows that). Zeratul fucked off on some quest, so basically everyone he knew or worked with is dead or gone.

I can even sort of see Raynor going 'Zerg_Kerrigan isn't my Kerrigan' and still carrying a torch for the woman he left to die on Tarsonis. Sort of like a soppy version of 'Darth Vader murdered your father', except with tentacle infestation instead of the Dark Side. He'd be kinda willfully denying Kerrigan's agency and it wouldn't be a particularly realistic view of a woman who was an elite Confederate assassin before she joined a bunch of freaking terrorists, but I think it's decently in character that in his head Raynor makes a distinction between Human_Kerrigan and Zerg_Kerrigan as two separate individuals. That way he can lift a (to him) dead woman on a pedestal like that whilst also simultaneously wanting to murder the shit out of Zerg_Kerrigan for killing his friends and such. It's a bit schizophrenic, but then Zerg infestation is a real thing in this world and we know it can dominate and twist people's minds, so it's not out of the question.

And then Zeratul comes along from fuck knows where and tells him that Kerrigan is the key to defeating the coming darkness. Raynor, being a broken man lacking any sort of purpose, takes that as a sign of meaning and that maybe the woman he loved is still in there somewhere - again, a bit like Darth Vader. I think that last bit is a stretch, I think his turn away from wanting to shoot her in the face to wanting to save her was too fast but the seeds were there what with Hansen's research and such and I *could* have bought it, had Kerrigan's character writing been any better.

It wasn't of course, because the story completely glossed over the heinous crimes she'd committed as the Queen of Blades in favour of a soppy love story, a pointless deinfestation that completely ignored the gigantic change of personality between pre- and post-Chrysalis Kerrigan (pre- and post-deinfestation Kerrigan are literally interchangeable), the utterly dumb reason for her going back to the Zerg, the awful writing for the Zerg campaign, the ludicrous ascension bullshit afterward - I could probably go on, if I remembered more of the SC2 campaign.

A campaign, I feel I should point out, that attempted to make the freaking Overmind into a tragic misunderstood character. The OVERMIND, the same entity that killed millions (billions?) of humans, consumed countless species, laid waste to the K-Zone, cut a bloody swath through the Protoss empire, destroyed Aiur and was about to turn the entirety of known space into its genetic freakshow had not a single Templar figured out the gym-kata routine of flying a gigantic carrier fused with dark templar energies into its mutoid grotesquery of a body. They tried to pass THAT GIANT MALEVOLENT TENTACLE ENTITY off as misunderstood. Yes. Okay. Well.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 23, 2017 12:33 am

Ye-ah, having THAT delivered by Tassadar, saying that "oh hey we cool now" wrt the Overmind was a shitting upon my cereals. Goddamn it Metzen. These are Zergs not demon-possessed Orcs or whatever.

Siege wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 11:05 pm
A campaign, I feel I should point out, that attempted to make the freaking Overmind into a tragic misunderstood character. The OVERMIND, the same entity that killed millions (billions?) of humans, consumed countless species, laid waste to the K-Zone, cut a bloody swath through the Protoss empire, destroyed Aiur and was about to turn the entirety of known space into its genetic freakshow had not a single Templar figured out the gym-kata routine of flying a gigantic carrier fused with dark templar energies into its mutoid grotesquery of a body. They tried to pass THAT GIANT MALEVOLENT TENTACLE ENTITY off as misunderstood. Yes. Okay. Well.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Tue May 23, 2017 4:06 am

Siege wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 4:02 pm
But the idea that they had no contact with Khala protoss makes no sense, because in SC2 they operate in the K-zone. Raynor has no problem getting to their drug plantation worlds, so I find it highly unlikely that the Protoss never happened to run into their deathcult cousins. I mean, it's not like they were subtle in any way. Maybe the Taldarim were like the drunk uncle at the family Christmas dinner that all the Templar just pretended didn't exist? Who knows. SC2 writing is shit.
From the Wikia: "However, closer examination of their war machines revealed them to be exact duplicates of Khalai designs, with little variation beyond construction materials. This has led to speculation that tales of lost Khalai expeditions and missing patrols over the eons may have been the result of encounters with the Tal'darim pilfering their technology instead." Also from the Wikia: "The Tal'darim typically stayed away from Daelaam planets, and did so for a long time. They nonetheless pilfered Khalai and Nerazim designs, converting them into their own war machines." Citations given for those statements include two Legacy of the Void missions.

The Tal'darim definitely had contact with the Khalai Protoss and the Dark Templars in the past. Being abducted from Aiur prior to the Aeon of Strife meant they didn't have many opportunities to develop their own unique techs at first, so they had to steal shit from their more respectable cousins so they could play catch-up. That's why their unique units in the campaign are just variations on existing Protoss ones. All those centuries, if not millenia, and the Tal'darim couldn't invent new toys of their own?
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Tue May 23, 2017 12:42 pm

I do not recall it being explicitly stated in-game that the Taldarim stole Khala protoss designs. It's certainly possible that it was said and I missed it in a haze of bad writing of course, but honestly it feels like a lame copout. At least the UED had the excuse of having to hastily come across the vast gulf of space with a very specific plan of attack that used the natives' technology against them. It would make much more sense to me that over the long centuries there was a steady trickle of Templar defectors rebelling against strict Judicator-imposed orthodoxy and joining the 'dark side' Taldarim where they could murder to their heart's content.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Ye-ah, having THAT delivered by Tassadar, saying that "oh hey we cool now" wrt the Overmind was a shitting upon my cereals. Goddamn it Metzen. These are Zergs not demon-possessed Orcs or whatever.
It's just one more thing that could have been handled so much better. Like, for example, perhaps the Overmind felt Amon out there in the void (whatever the fuck that actually is, but I digress). Instead of being afraid (seriously, the Overmind, afraid? Did we play the same StarCraft? Fuck off) it decided it wanted to eat his face. I mean, it had done that with all the other Xel'Naga, had it not? That was, like, the first notable thing the Zerg did, ever. They ATE THE XEL'NAGA. Why would the Overmind be afraid of one more?

So instead the Overmind, in proper kill-your-maker-fashion, decides it's only EVOLUTION COMPLETE until it has eaten the face of the last Xel'Naga. But this one has been hiding out in deep space building itself into a pseudo-god for the last couple of aeons. The Overmind realizes it needs to LEVEL UP before it can take on the FINAL BOSS. So the Swarm plots a course for Aiur. Essentially the Overmind decides it'll beat Amon at his own game (that purity of form/essence thing), assimilate the Protoss, implant its noggin firmly in Aiur's psi-crystal-nexus and that'll give it the boost it needs to Zerg rush Amon's handful of advanced hybrid gribblies.

Cue Tassadar ramming a carrier in its face. Whoops. But the outcome is roughly the same: there was a hidden next level to the Overmind's plans that nobody was aware of previously. Except, you know, without the utter character assassination.

Now, to fix the Zerg campaign, I propose roughly the following: Kerrigan, as one of the Overmind's lieutenants, knew that there was *something* out there that the Overmind was fixated on as the next target after Aiur. That's worrying in itself, but more immediately pressing is that the Overmind is reconstituting itself. Building on the idea of Kerrigan encountering psychic resistance and the concept that the Overmind is basically the amalgamated swarm-will of all individual Zerg entities, the (or rather an) Overmind is more or less the innate result of the way the Zerg distributed consciousness is engineered.

Enough feral Zerg in one location will naturally start spawning overlords; overlords spawn queens; queens cerebrates; and so on until, after a critical mass of node creatures forms, an Overmind superintelligence emerges. It's possible to kill a physical manifestation of the Overmind, sufficient use of dark templar energies will even disrupt the swarm-consciousness for a fair bit, but as long as there are enough Zerg creatures left after the disturbance subsides the cycle will inevitably start anew. The UED actually figured this out, which is why they tried to spawn a pet Overmind of their own. It's really the only way to control the Zerg short of a total genocide of all Zerg forms.

This process is hard-coded in the Swarm at a level that Kerrigan cannot modify (she's a brawler, not a Xel'Naga gengineer), so she's caught between a rock and a hard place: she's aware that there's a major enemy out there building its forces, but she cannot simply spawn a trillion Zerg the way the Overmind would have done. The Swarm doesn't naturally accept her as its dominant entity, it's only by sheer psionic will that she can enforce dominance. If the Swarm grows too large the combined pressure of its teeming multitudes will inevitably grow too much for her to handle; she'll be overwhelmed. A new Overmind will form and it'll kick her ass and subjugate her same as the old one did.

Worse, since her control is so fly-by-night and erratic at the best of times there's plenty queens on the ragged edge of Swarm space who are just following their natural instincts to grow the Swarm, thus further imbalancing Kerrigan's grasp on the Zerg. The way things are going she is, barring a miracle, essentially inevitably fucked. That's why she runs off into deep space to find the origins of the Zerg and creatures like Abathur: she really pressingly needs to find a way to re-engineer the Zerg, or build a Swarm of her own that won't inevitably psionically overthrow her mind.

Shit you can even throw in Raynor doing his de-infestation thing on Char but after his Big Damn Hero moment deinfested Kerrigan in her cell proceeds to lecture him on just what a TITANIC MISTAKE he's made as her mental containment fails and the new Overmind rises up from the depths of the Zerg collective consciousness like a monstrous mental leviathan, an organic SkyNet, flexing its muscles as hive clusters on a thousand worlds instantly bend to its psionic commands.

Cue incoming panicked communiques from Terran worlds of a sudden change in feral Zerg everywhere; cue Protoss telling Raynor that they can feel the Overmind stirring. "Raynor... WHAT DID YOU DO?"

Well shit son, you done fucked up now.

(This continues the SC/Brood War theme of Jimmy Raynor genuinely trying to do the Right Thing, but fucking up time after time because he's rash and doesn't have a clear picture of what's really going on.)

So now-human and much-diminished Kerrigan sets off on her quest to somehow regain her mojo and a way to re-establish control over the Zerg. The Protoss decide that humans are dumbasses, playtime is over and OPEN THE ARSENALS OF MEGADOOM, and somewhere in the background Amon CACKLES. Or something.

That's how I woulda done it, I think.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Tue May 23, 2017 1:24 pm

Over the course of Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void we then get glimpses of Arcturus Mengsk dropping nukes on hive clusters and generally being a terrifying but badass and highly effective tyrant.

ARCTURUS MENGSK, EMPEROR FOR LIFE, LAST BEST CHANCE OF HUMANITY

And Jim Raynor, the eternal well-meaning fuckup, who has to live with what he's done. Again.

I'd probably at some point throw in a massive Zerg assault on Korhal. Mengsk is not giving up his goddamn homeworld a second time and goes down fighting. As a last fuck-you to the Zerg blows up the overrun planet in a kind of ironic repeat of the first Korhal holocaust. This could be a cool cinematic and an appropriate send-off for the series' best antagonist.

"This is Emperor Mengsk. Our last defences have been breached. Korhal is overrun. All remaining orbital defense platorms have been ordered to fire on the palace. Survivors have ten minutes to evacuate the planet. This will be my last transmission. May god have mercy on your souls."

(It serves as a poignant reflection of Mengsk's "I will rule this sector or see it burnt to ashes around me" speech. He really does burn it down, but in the service of a purpose greater than just power for its own sake. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!)

Anyway, it then falls to Raynor and the Protoss to salvage the pieces and hold out until, I dunno, Kerrigan figures something out.

I guess that still leaves Amon out there somewhere but honestly that felt like an afterthought anyway.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Tue May 23, 2017 3:17 pm

Also the Moebius Foundation isn't run by Valerian Mengsk but the UED.

I wonder if there's a way to do something interesting with Valerian. I find him so boring and inconsequential as a character that he might as well not exist.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 23, 2017 8:06 pm

Campaign name:

TERRAN ASCENSION

:twisted:
Siege wrote:
Tue May 23, 2017 3:17 pm
Also the Moebius Foundation isn't run by Valerian Mengsk but the UED.

I wonder if there's a way to do something interesting with Valerian. I find him so boring and inconsequential as a character that he might as well not exist.
Valerian could be planning to coup his father (who might be all cyberized and thus an immortal Emperor!) by being sympathetic with the dissatisfied Dominion factions within the LANDSRAAD?

While Arcturus was off fighting his revolutionary war, the young then-teenage Valerian was somehow left on Umoja or something, incognito, and was a "steward" of some Mengsk-sympathizer and Terran histories scholar? Hence explaining Valerian's interest in esoteric shit AND his sympathies for the anti-Mengskists?
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Tue May 23, 2017 11:59 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Tue May 23, 2017 8:06 pm
TERRAN ASCENSION

:twisted:
:P
Valerian could be planning to coup his father (who might be all cyberized and thus an immortal Emperor!) by being sympathetic with the dissatisfied Dominion factions within the LANDSRAAD?

While Arcturus was off fighting his revolutionary war, the young then-teenage Valerian was somehow left on Umoja or something, incognito, and was a "steward" of some Mengsk-sympathizer and Terran histories scholar? Hence explaining Valerian's interest in esoteric shit AND his sympathies for the anti-Mengskists?
That still feels... Really inconsequential, doesn't it? For a character arc? Now, maybe if he were a staunch supporter of his father until he finds out what really happened on Tarsonis, or something... But it still kinda feels like 'suddenly Mengsk has a son who is TOTALLY NOT LIKE HIM'. Well, okay then. How does that make him fit to rule in his father's stead? Because he'd still be a despot. It's not like Emperor of the Dominion is an elected position.

What happened to his mother anyway?

Although I quite like, as a kernel of an idea, the concept of a Mengsk descendant who is a competent administrator but not a military leader. Having to somehow resist your father covertly when he's got all the military plus his killer assassins ready to knock you off, that's an interesting premise at least.

But I guess to make Valerian and the Dominion even make sense we'd have to retcon large parts of it, write out all of that UNN nonsense for one. I mean, did Arcturus Mengsk ever strike you as the sort of person who would allow his motives to be questioned by journalists? Arcturus Mengsk, former terrorist who shattered the Confederacy by unleashing the Zerg on Tarsonis? He might put on the air of a benevolent despot, but he's a despot all the same. He'd have ghosts on you before you could even begin to question him.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed May 24, 2017 1:03 am

Siege wrote:
Tue May 23, 2017 11:59 pm
Although I quite like, as a kernel of an idea, the concept of a Mengsk descendant who is a competent administrator but not a military leader. Having to somehow resist your father covertly when he's got all the military plus his killer assassins ready to knock you off, that's an interesting premise at least.
What about he's not made into the new Dominion leader AND like for all his manipulations, he's not the "lynchpin/organizer" of the anti-Mengsk movement unlike in SC2. He tries to do the "within establishment legal dissent" thing... which is ineffectual. A Man Mothma.

And Raynor kidnaps him. Initially to hostage him and maybe behead him with a Cy-blade live on UNN or whatever. Before they both Stockholm and reverse-Stockholm him?

Have Raynor end up being a Mengsk to Valerian. "But Prince Valerian, despite our differences... it's a chance to save these people's lives!" Raynor says as he convinces Valerian to give him some military secret codes to override Dominion whatevers, so he can go somewhere and save some colonists from Zerg gribblies or whatever.

Yes.

An actual grimdarkified Raynor and not this Metzen Sue shit.
Siege wrote:
Tue May 23, 2017 1:24 pm
I'd probably at some point throw in a massive Zerg assault on Korhal. Mengsk is not giving up his goddamn homeworld a second time and goes down fighting. As a last fuck-you to the Zerg blows up the overrun planet in a kind of ironic repeat of the first Korhal holocaust. This could be a cool cinematic and an appropriate send-off for the series' best antagonist.

"This is Emperor Mengsk. Our last defences have been breached. Korhal is overrun. All remaining orbital defense platorms have been ordered to fire on the palace. Survivors have ten minutes to evacuate the planet. This will be my last transmission. May god have mercy on your souls."

(It serves as a poignant reflection of Mengsk's "I will rule this sector or see it burnt to ashes around me" speech. He really does burn it down, but in the service of a purpose greater than just power for its own sake. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!)
I can't believe Kerrigan wouldn't know about the brain taser (seriously, a brain taser? not a brain bomb? whatever FINE maybe it's some low-key bioelectric cell cluster that's harder to detect than an actual sliver of Space C4).

Sheesh. It would've been great if Mengsk nuked himself out of spite.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:24 pm

I was thinking that the whole game mechanic of extracting resources and using 'em for on-site fabrication of stuff makes sense for the Zerg, because they eat things and shit out spawned-broodlings and such. Likewise for the Terrans if we go with the whole 3D printing CNC stuff inside their mobile facilities, for independent remote operations that can't count on orbital resupply and such.

But for the Protoss? They warp everything in from Aiur or from Shakuras or from whatever logistics worlds they've got (I presume aside from Aiur and Shakuras, they've got moons dedicated to warehousing these facilities)... so why do they need Probes to mine resources?

Aside from the obvious game mechanics requirements...

Maybe, presumably, the warping process isn't "for free" and both ends need to expend certain amounts of power or something. So harvesting minerals and gas might be part of this. We know vespene can be combusted for power. The mineral crystals might also generate energy? Like, we know "minerals" is just a game mechanic abstraction and we know some crystals can be used to build armor/carapace, so others might be used for power generation, emanating radiation that can be tapped... radioactive crystals might also be used for ammo and armor purposes once depleted, like uranium.
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Re: EVOLUTION COMPLETE! - musings that revisit StarCraft

Post by Siege » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:55 pm

I think it's pretty much impossible to rationalize game mechanics as an actual thing. I've never read them but I heard some of the SC books tried to do that and failed miserably.

I guess you can use 'Vespene' the way 40K uses 'Promethium', i.e. as a catchall term for some futuristic high-tech combustible. And maybe minerals are Space Tiberium / Space Unobtanium, some fancy rare substance that's sold off for cash / facilitates Zerg neural networks / is valued for its crystal psi resonance Protoss new age bullshit. And the game mechanics are like an abstraction of that. But any more literal and you're spiraling into silliness where everything is built out of crystals and gas, even things that look like metal.

Also why would the Protoss Empire demand you mine minerals during an important quest to save their species from extinction. Yes, Executor, we pressingly need you to save this ancient artefact from the Zerg. What? No, we're not going to send troops with you, you first need to pay us for them in crystals! Anything else is space communism, and we Protoss do not go in for that sort of thing!
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