In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Shroom Man 777
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In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Just a random morning musing. What if, while certainly a more massive powerhouse (perhaps?), the UED wasn't necessarily lightyears ahead techwise than the Koprulu Terrans? It would be interesting how we have a much more massive and powerful empire with overwhelming logistics but without necessarily having a tech disparity over the people its invading. They do have a few nice toys, but like the discrepancy of "why did they just use mostly Koprulu Terran tech" was always nagging even though we know OOC that it's game engine limits and such.

So the United Powers League and the later UED might've stagnated or even regressed? Development might've backslid, they might've collapsed, who knows. More importantly, there was a reason for the longshot that put Terrans in the Koprulu - namely for some reason they thought it was the most viable prospect for colonies? Meaning the systems closer to Earth weren't as viable. Another factor in why Earth might not have such a tech disparity despite the Koprulu Terrans making a civ from nigh scratch in just a handful of centuries.

If the colony ships had the best tech, if it had mega-STC templates for cutting edge terraforming stuff, even if its crew were mostly undesirables... somehow the adversity of it all just pressured them to keep on pushing? Plus they were composed of dissidents and others deemed undesirable by the Earth regime. Maybe Earth had its own ideological stagnation too.

Still, the handful of centuries isn't enough for say how Koprulu planets in SC2 became freaking Coruscant (or is it just Korhal?). I know there's supertech and overanalyzing a dumb game. We know the Terran Confeds had a shitty classist society. What if that few hundred thousand to a few million max population in the first colony ships resorted to cloning tech? Not unfeasible. Now, extrapolating from how Terran Marines are neuro-brainwashed convict dregs... and how Confed had some aristocracy and classism and Tarsonis lorded over the colonies... What if they repopulated the systems with clones who formed an underclass? Who were designed to be. What if this adds another layer to the use of the name Confederacy?

Aw mang.
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

Post by Siege »

There is some justification for this; the intro booklet of the original SC spoke of a period of serious social upheaval and collapse following the establishment of the UPL and the rounding up of the 'undesirables', some of whom eventually ended up getting sent to the K-sector. Also, a high proportion of the transportees had a mutation for psionic potential, which maybe somehow their societies benefited from in terms of tech development.

Some points though:
  1. The Koprulu sector wasn't the original destination of the sleeper ships. They were supposed to travel only for a year, but went off course and ended up 28 years and 60,000 light years deep into space. If the Koprulu sector was more viable than the original colony location, it was purely so by chance.
  2. Only 40,000 prisoners ended up in the Koprulu sector, and a bunch of those died on impact when the Sarengo crashed on Umoja. So just over 30,000 people were left to build new civilizations on three different planets (Tarsonis, Umoja, Moria). I find it difficult to accept that so few people would outpace the UPL and its who-knows-how-many uncounted billions back home.
  3. The UPL turned into the UED after the discovery of the Zerg and Protoss, "bringing many dissident countries into its fold". So the Earth-sphere can't have been one giant static ball, it still had competing blocks to some (unknown) extent.
  4. The UPL is described as having monitored the Koprulu sector from afar throughout its development. Now granted this may not mean it had total access to all basic research, but certainly when it did show up it had no problems bulldozing everything in its path, so its development can't have been that far behind
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Siege wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:07 pm
Some points though:
  1. The Koprulu sector wasn't the original destination of the sleeper ships. They were supposed to travel only for a year, but went off course and ended up 28 years and 60,000 light years deep into space. If the Koprulu sector was more viable than the original colony location, it was purely so by chance.
  2. Only 40,000 prisoners ended up in the Koprulu sector, and a bunch of those died on impact when the Sarengo crashed on Umoja. So just over 30,000 people were left to build new civilizations on three different planets (Tarsonis, Umoja, Moria). I find it difficult to accept that so few people would outpace the UPL and its who-knows-how-many uncounted billions back home.
Right, I forgot the numbers were actually that small. I remembered them in the hundreds of thousands when apparently not, welp. Yeah, this makes the whole Coruscantified Korhal unbelievable. I postulated the whole "ok the initial generation of colonists started not only fucking like rabbits but cloning an underclass, leading to plantations and tarnations and CONFEDERACY YEEHAW" but even then that's unrealistic.
[*]The UPL turned into the UED after the discovery of the Zerg and Protoss, "bringing many dissident countries into its fold". So the Earth-sphere can't have been one giant static ball, it still had competing blocks to some (unknown) extent.
And this must have happened fairly recently too! Unless they did this even earlier, which is very unlikely. It might be possible that, what, their probes arrived from different directions and thus detected the influx of Zerg towards the K-Sec or other traces of the formerly expanded, now-contracted, Protoss Empire?
[*] The UPL is described as having monitored the Koprulu sector from afar throughout its development. Now granted this may not mean it had total access to all basic research, but certainly when it did show up it had no problems bulldozing everything in its path, so its development can't have been that far behind[/list]
Right, you mentioned that the voyage of the colonists as just a few decades. So it's really not far. And there's no enormous time gulf.

Okay, my theory is half-assed and based on SC's worldbuilding not being so thorough because who cares about pedantic fans :D Fine, maybe their tech bases did stay very similar. Did they develop in parallel or might this mean that not much changed in terms of general tech in all those years? A smaller scale equivalent of how in Star Wars, tech never really changed that much in the decades on film (or even back to the Old Republic).
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:19 am
Right, I forgot the numbers were actually that small. I remembered them in the hundreds of thousands when apparently not, welp. Yeah, this makes the whole Coruscantified Korhal unbelievable.
I don't want to sound like a disgruntled fanboy but there are large parts of the SC2 look and feel that I feel should be disregarded in discussions like this. The discrepancy between the observed and implied technological capabilities of the Terrans are just too vast.

Plus the idea of Korhal as somehow being fully rehabilitated from its apocalypse and now a generic sci-fi city-planet is boring as fuck. It would be far, far more interesting if it wasn't, if it was still an irradiated ruin but Mengsk insisted on building his capital there anyway. The emperor literally living in the nuclear craters of his former home, perpetually in the shadow of the atrocities in his past would say far more about his mindset and that of the Dominion than anything we instead got to see. But really, don't get me started about the treatment of Mengsk in SC2, I'll be ranting for hours. (What the fuck was that constant fucking space CNN bullshit?!)
I postulated the whole "ok the initial generation of colonists started not only fucking like rabbits but cloning an underclass, leading to plantations and tarnations and CONFEDERACY YEEHAW" but even then that's unrealistic.
I could see some form of cloning as a solution to the underpopulation (and maybe it's why so many SC characters talk like inbred yokels!) but honestly the combination of time lost in travel, number of people and necessity of building an entire civilization from scratch (and then having three planets compete with each other for further resources), vs. an established, stable and more or less uncontested UPL makes it very difficult to imagine the colonies developing quicker than the earthsphere.
And this must have happened fairly recently too! Unless they did this even earlier, which is very unlikely. It might be possible that, what, their probes arrived from different directions and thus detected the influx of Zerg towards the K-Sec or other traces of the formerly expanded, now-contracted, Protoss Empire?
It's entirely plausible. Considering the UPL had sleeper ships and the technology to travel 2100 lightyear per year centuries ago, I don't see why they couldn't have sent at least some scouts into deep space to see what's out there. Then again they might not have; perhaps they didn't develop much at all. We simply don't know enough about the UPL/UED to safely say - except they were interested enough to keep monitoring the Koprulu sector, so they were never fully isolationist.
Okay, my theory is half-assed and based on SC's worldbuilding not being so thorough because who cares about pedantic fans :D Fine, maybe their tech bases did stay very similar. Did they develop in parallel or might this mean that not much changed in terms of general tech in all those years? A smaller scale equivalent of how in Star Wars, tech never really changed that much in the decades on film (or even back to the Old Republic).
It's equally possible that their tech bases have diverged so much that the UPL decided to instead just not take (much of) their own tech but work with what was locally available. Hence whey they raided the Dylarian shipyards for the Dominion's battlecruisers - instead of building a new, parallel, superior techbase from scratch maybe it's just easier to take a hit in technological capabilities in return for an established industrial base that you can co-opt.
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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TBH the Terrans as having to make do with such austere stuff, backwater low-pop-density frontier hardtech survivalism style was actually very interesting and aesthetically distinct in a way, whereas yeah the generic sci-fi megapolis crap is so by the numbers and meh - aside from the in-universe bullshittery. The ragtag rednecks in space was even influential, I'm sure SC wasn't the first but it helped popularize this before Firefly, and we see it in stuff like that Love, Death and Robots short with the fringe world yokels pew-pewing a whole load of gauntlinglisks.
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Yes, exactly. The Terran starting levels of SC are seriously good storytelling for its medium, especially at the time. You're a low-level bureaucrat in a colonial backwater that's experiencing some weird wildlife behavior, you try to investigate with the help of your trusty local sheriff Johnny Raynor, but before you know it you're both in over your heads, the Confederate military turns up and refuses to tell you what's going on, then a bunch of space terrorists and their mind-reading lieutenant get involved and Jesus these crazy aliens just glassed the entire fucking planet what the fuck.

Now, in terms of its actual gameplay loop SC2 is most likely the best RTS ever made, especially with how the mechanics change practically every level during its campaigns. But its storytelling is hot garbage compared to its predecessor. Virtually nothing about the setting or frankly the recurring characters and their motivations matches what was established before. The Raynor we saw at the end of Brood War wasn't pining after Sarah Kerrigan, he wanted to put a bullet in the head of the Queen of Blades. Mengsk was a frightening ruthless totalitarian who would've outright murdered anyone that dared question his reign. Kerrigan finally had the power to fucking kill every living thing in the universe. Etcetera. And then we got... Whatever SC2 was. A half-assed Terran rebellion that suddenly segued into some tHe anCiEnT evIl reTuRNs wOoOooO bullshit. SNORE.

It also didn't help that all of the new characters were vanilla as fuck. Matt Horner is a bore. Valerian Mengsk is an eyeroll. I swear to god Rory Swann is the same goddamn dwarf mechanic that's been in every Blizzard game since WC2. And the Protoss and Zerg characters were even worse, somehow.
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Siege wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:58 pm
Plus the idea of Korhal as somehow being fully rehabilitated from its apocalypse and now a generic sci-fi city-planet is boring as fuck. It would be far, far more interesting if it wasn't, if it was still an irradiated ruin but Mengsk insisted on building his capital there anyway. The emperor literally living in the nuclear craters of his former home, perpetually in the shadow of the atrocities in his past would say far more about his mindset and that of the Dominion than anything we instead got to see.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:35 am
TBH the Terrans as having to make do with such austere stuff, backwater low-pop-density frontier hardtech survivalism style was actually very interesting and aesthetically distinct in a way, whereas yeah the generic sci-fi megapolis crap is so by the numbers and meh - aside from the in-universe bullshittery.
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Dubai and Las Vegas took decades to develop, and those are just single cities. Even with sci-fi construction tech, I find it hard to believe that the Dominion was able to rebuild Korhal from a slightly radioactive desert into a planet-city in just four years, at least according to the StarCraft Wiki, which cites a news article on the now-defunct StarCraft Legacy fan site (much of StarCraft Legacy's old content isn't archived in the Wayback Machine, and the domain's apparently been hijacked since October 2019, but I digress). While there's still a lot of undeveloped desert, that's a suspicious amount of urban development for just four years.
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

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Oh man, Starcraft Legacy... Now there's a name I hadn't heard in a decade or so. I have fond memories of that site, and news of its demise makes me feel old :) . Oh well, dust in the wind and all that.

Yeah, developing a moderately radioactive dustball into a city-planet in four years (or forty for that matter) strikes me as ludicrous. Not just because the technology never seemed to be there - there's no demonstrated need for it. Where did the billions of people needed to populate a city-planet come from? Were they resettled? From where? With what fleet? Were there always that many Terrans and what could possibly motivate them to think that it would be wise to put so many resources onto a single planet, given what happened to Chau Sara, Mar Sara, Tarsonis, Antiga and who the fuck knows what other planets got wiped out by the Zerg and Protoss?
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Re: In StarCraft, what if Earth regressed?

Post by wellis »

Worst part is, you'd think, due to the huge numbers of uber nukes used on Korhal, that you'd have maybe giant cities surrounded by large, open expanses of radioactive desert.

I mean literally, the entire planet was carpet nuked. How the hell does that get turned into a Coruscant expy in just 4 years?

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