Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
There are two major things to discuss here, and we'll start with the bad news.
Kerrigan getting her ass kicked by a 27 seed nobody was perfect, and reminiscent of just how bad Blizzard has gotten. They, like Capcom, ruin every single thing they touch. They, like Capcom, are blinded by hubris and refuse to adapt with an evolving gaming market and much more savvy consumers. They, like Capcom, think outright theft from their fans are the way to keep making money.
And they, like, Capcom, are going to one day go bankrupt or get bought out by this stuff.
It isn't just Starcraft that they've ruined, but we'll get to that. World of Warcraft's success is the worst thing that could have possibly happened to Blizzard, because they stopped trying. Which I understand, you start out poor with a dream, make it big and human nature takes over. It happens to a lot of musicians, it can happen to other genres as well. I get it. Blizzard's problem was choosing to not accept this and roll with it like a parody. Metallica is a joke, but at least they're self-aware of how bad they are these days (a 3D movie, seriously guys?).
Blizzard actually does think they're as good as they've always been, though. Just read my Diablo 3 review. Don't read it as an accurate gauge of the game itself, because I'm probably a little biased. Just look at the developer's quotes. These people think their s*** doesn't stink and are God's gift to gaming, after all these years of failure. In the irony of ironies, Diablo is probably the one series they have not ruined beyond repair yet. I say this because Diablo hasn't yet suffered from "Blizzard Syndrome", which is taking every proper noun in an entire universe and making something extra out of it. This is how Warcraft's lore was ruined beyond repair. This why we have Infested Alexei in Heart of the Swarm for NO REASON. This is why Blizzard's only hope is creating an entirely new IP to get the creative juices flowing again.
Before Starcraft 2 ever hit shelves, way back when it was announced that that abomination of a video game would be released in 3 parts, and people laughably tried arguing they would all be worth full price, I predicted that all three thirds of the game would suck, that they would all have useless filler trash to pad out the product and dupe really stupid people into spending 200+ dollars on a 60 dollar video game, and that Stockholm Syndrome is about the only thing Blizzard has going for it in its current state. People laughed then, but I was proven right.
Starcraft 2 is hated, just like I said it would be, and gamers being duped is one of the main reasons. If you've bought either one yet instead of just playing it at a friend's house to see how bad it is, you are a sucker and a chump -- the ultimate dream of any con artist salesman. Because those of us with common sense, who have realized how bad Blizzard has been for years and years, all saw this coming. Starcraft 2 is a goddamn joke.
I could rant for hours about this, but I'll only get into Kerrigan's part of the plot since she is the symbol of why everyone hates that series now. Everyone knows her story in the original games; she gets betrayed by Mengsk, becomes infested by the Zerg, and then rules the Zerg en route to becoming Queen B**** of the Universe. Kerrigan was an amazing, if not sympathetic, villain. She was a villain done RIGHT.
Then Wings of Liberty happens. Very long story very short, Raynor frees Kerrigan with some ancient artifact and turns her back into a human. OR SO WE THOUGHT, DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNN. Heart of the Swarm craps all over that in some of the worst retconning I've ever seen, and it's such an obvious attempt from Blizzard to make more money.
I'll actually let our boy Anagram explain this one:
Kerrigan is turned into a straight-up hero so that the zerg will be sympathetic instead of being ravenous space monsters.
Kerrigan isn't just awful in this game, that would be one thing, she's not Kerrigan. Let me explain this: the half of WoL that wasn't filler missions about Tosh and Haven was about saving Kerrigan, and she spends the beginning of this game going back to being infested (by the way, if the infestation was designed by Abathur, why does the primordial zerg pool make her look nearly identical to Abathur's design?). What's the point of this? The only result is that Kerrigan is no longer the Queen of Blades (they even make her forget being her) but still controls the entire Swarm (by the way, you fight exactly one group of non-Primal zerg in the entire game, who then just rejoin you). So basically, my point here is that the only reason WoL exists (besides to make money) is to make Kerrigan sympathetic by making her not responsible for killing millions of innocent people. That's it. WoL serves no other purpose. The entire game exists to make Kerrigan not the same character people liked from SC1 and BW. So to this, I can only ask one question: Why? We know you can have a zerg campaign where you're the bad guy because we already had two such campaigns. I won't go into why BW Kerrigan was so much better than this mockery, but BW Kerrigan states, many times, that she's in full control of herself and just likes being evil, and they retconned that for this. Sure, you can say it's not a real retcon because Kerrigan was infested when she said that so it doesn't count, but the ultimate point is that they killed BW Kerrigan for Crazy Revenge Girlfriend Kerrigan solely to make her more sympathetic and for no other reason. And I mean it - make no mistakes. This is a Kerrigan who goes out of her way not to hurt civilians to a point where it jeopardizes her plans and consciously commands the Swarm not to kill fleeing enemies, who orders Abathur not to experiment on humans. She does exactly one morally questionable act during the entire game when she destroys that one Protoss ship, and even then she goes out of her way to justify it as a necessity (even while using the exact words "I justify nothing," she justifies it to the audience).
And hell, why does Kerrigan even care about revenge this much? Of course Mengsk betrayed her and set her on her horrible path, but revenge is her only motivation in this game beyond rescuing her boyfriend. And ****, Kerrigan and Raynor were not that into each other in SC1, they just flirted a bit.
The other characters are one-dimensional and awful
Just kidding, there aren't any other characters! There are only cardboard cutouts for Kerrigan to talk at. Zeratul has a cameo to say "Hi, I'm Zeratul," Izsha has literally no personality, Zagara exists solely for Kerrigan to rant about "vision" to (by the way, I love how Abathur can weave abstract concepts into DNA), Dehaka exists to say "essence" fifteen times per minute, and I don't even know why Stukov is in this game at all. Not only does his presence raise the question of why Raynor doesn't mention him to that Protoss chick in WoL who said that infestation is incurable, but they inexplicably infested him again off screen. Just... why? What does he do except remind us of a better game? You could literally replace him with a new character named Larry who would say "I was experimented on but escaped, so I psychically called out to the Swarm's leader" and nothing would change.
Mengsk is the worst off. Hey, remember when he was clever, ruthless, and brilliant, but not so strong that he could control the Sector on his own? Neither does Blizzard. Oh, Kerrigan will call Mengsk "the most cunning enemy we've ever faced" and claim that Korhal is her most difficult battle, but really, Mengsk does literally nothing except tell Kerrigan that Raynor is alive after she heard he was dead from the least reliable source possible (the Dominion news) and accepted it without question. **** this guy, the old Mengsk would have installed a gas system in the prison ship to instantly kill Raynor in his cell the moment Kerrigan's ship appeared outside. This Mengsk has a bunch of defenses for Kerrigan to destroy, but that's it. He's just an obstacle Kerrigan creates for herself. What do I mean by that? Well...
This was pointless
What was even the purpose of this game? Compare this fecal matter Chris Metzen calls an ending to the final battles of the other zerg campaigns, where they defeat a Protoss army and take control of Aiur, or Kerrigan defeating three enormous armies on her own (during which, by the way, she didn't care at all about Mengsk because revenge is a ridiculous and stupid motive) and becoming the most powerful force in the sector. What's accomplished in HotS? Kerrigan kills a dictator who wasn't even doing anything hostile to anyone outside of his empire (admittedly he was breeding those hybrids, but even then it's explicitly stated that he's just someone else's minion) and goes to fight Amon, a being she only knows exists because she was told by Zeratul (who was told by an Ancient Prophecy, so you know it's serious) and the Ancient One and about whom she knows literally nothing, not even why she should fight him beyond the vague warnings that he'll probably destroy everything, maybe. I know he's obviously the Dark Voice from WoL, but it's not like Kerrigan knows that or saw Zeratul's visions. Amon has literally no presence in this game. So basically: Kerrigan kills a tertiary character who was no longer important to the story in any way and then goes to fight someone whom she's never met based on the warnings of people she doesn't trust and a prophecy she explicitly does not believe, and she takes the entire Swarm to go do it. I'll admit that's a step up from WoL, which has not one but three storylines that are irrelevant (Haven, Tosh, and exposing Mengsk's crazy speech about destroying what he can't control, which does not come up again ever), but it's not actually impressive, it's just ascending from basement level 3 to basement level 2.
This game is a crime. Starcraft 1 and Brood War were not the best written games ever, but they were infinitely above this mess. Why did Starcraft even need ancient prophecies at all? They ruined Star Wars, they didn't have to ruin Starcraft as well!
So to recap, Heart of the Swarm ruins not only Kerrigan, but the Zerg themselves. It also changes the entire plot behind Kerrigan's original infestation, and basically craps all over the original Starcraft in the process, and makes Kerrigan's personality out to be pointless.
She only cares about Mengsk, ignores Raynor who supposedly freed her, then listens to and trusts Zeratul's ancient prophecies as Zeratul is trying to kill her. Makes sense!
The plot is trash, the gameplay is trash, Blizzard is trash. Maybe if they spent less time trying to turn Starcraft 2 into THREE GAMES LOL and more time actually writing a plot and designing gameplay that was good, fans wouldn't have completely turned on that company. As-is? Every single thing I ever said about Bobby Kotick running that company into the ground holds true.
"The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."
"I'd raise prices even higher."
"In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit," said the redheaded recidivist at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference. "Today, we'll [charge] $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums, you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today.
"And the best of all margins -- the 25% operating margin business -- has the potential as we can see with World of Warcraft to be a 50% operating margin business. What used to be a low 20s return on invested capital business is now growing to a plus 40% return on invested capital business."
The only people still in denial about Blizzard are hardcore PC gaming elitists like joyrock, who believe PC gaming can do no wrong ever. That tells you all you ever need to know about Blizzard, Activision, Bobby Kotick, or PC gaming in general really. Only PC gamers could ever come up with a ridiculous phrase like "PC Master Race", and it's no coincidence consoles started to suck when they began acting more like PCs and less like consoles.
So thanks, Blizzard. Since Kotick came along, you have ruined literally everything you have ever touched.
Oh, and all this stuff added together is why people could not wait to anti-vote the hell out of Kerrigan. Remember when people thought she could beat Vincent? Yeah. Kerrigan's loss here might be the most embarrassing, but well-deserved, loss of the entire contest. Gamers unifying to put Blizzard in its place on a GameFAQs poll may have been a small form of protest, but the message was heard loud and clear here: F*** Blizzard.
The good part of this match was DogFAQs, because this was a hilarious first round blowout that had the best of both worlds. While people were arguing about PC gaming and Blizzard being garbage (not really an argument since the facts speak for themselves), other people were making topics discussing their love of dogs. Missile may be a Pomeranian no one has ever heard of, but who cares? Everyone loves dogs, and Board 8 was very pleasant that day.
I'm a vet tech, so I'll get into a few breeds I like and dislike here. Why not? Everyone else was =p
My favorite breeds are usually the big dogs, but there are a few small ones I like too. Pit Bull, English Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Dachshund, Pug, Chocolate Lab mixes (Labradors by themselves are meh, but when mixed with other breeds they're amazing), Rottweiler, Boxer, Great Dane, Chow Chow, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Doberman Pinscher all kick ass.
Not many I dislike, but there are a few: Pomeranian (odd, given the match here), Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih-Tzu, Mini Pinscher, Beagle, Poodle, Bull Terrier, and Caine Corso. The common theme there is almost all of those dogs are obnoxious as hell, and the latter two are just too mean even for my taste. I like a dog that'll stick up for itself, but Bull Terriers and Caine Corsos are just nasty dogs. The others are either obnoxious, "I'm tiny so I bite everything herpaderpalol", or Beagle. I absolutely despise Beagles.
Oh and if I took only my four favorites from the good list, it would be Pit Bull, Dachshund, Pug, and Rottweiler. One day I want a white female Pit Bull named Cupcake, a brown/white Bulldog named Pork Chop, a Pug named Biscuit, and a Dachshund. Haven't come up with a good Dachshund name yet. I'll probably name it after food like all the rest =p. I'd name it Pickle, but a coworker has a Dachshund with that name and stealing a name is just lame.
I should probably close this writeup at some point, so I'll just mention Crono for a sec. He may have embarrassed himself in round 2, but he got to be a part of one of the funniest upsets ever so it wasn't a total loss. This was also his first win in a contest other than the Rivalry Rumble since 2008.
Seriously, it's true. Look it up.
wow I completely forgot Kerrigan lost to a dog
also what the hell is up with Blizzard character pics? They're universally awful. Like Kerrigan looks a tiny bit better than Thrall but slap some jugs on that orc and they're basically the same pic.
But after a result like this? We're probably never seeing Kerrigan again. That's not upsetting. She's done nothing but disappoint in these contests, and all the people ignoring the warnings that Missile would have the ultimate pic factor, people still took her to get second here.
I don't have much investment in Blizzard, but as you probably may know from Ulti's recent "Blizzard made the two worst games ever" topic, here's pretty passionate about it, so I suggest giving his rant about Starcraft a read: https://bit.ly/2B8yDzs
All I remember about this match was the whining. The insufferable whining all day about Kerrigan losing to an adorable doggy. If Blizzard fans are so passionate, why couldn't they anti-rally Kerrigan past a small canine? Because the Blizzard fanbases suck ass and don't even like each other. Shit, I'm turning into Ulti.
So will we ever see Missile again? Apparently Ghost Trick has a very devoted yet small fanbase, but unless someone gives them a call I doubt they'll rally Missile or Sissel into another contest. It's not like Missile was strong or anything, just that Kerrigan was incredibly weak and that the votals were so low they lent themselves to people tossing a vote at the cute dog.
Crono was here he would later go on to lose to a Pokemon so we'll talk about that when it happens