Headscratchers: StarCraft II
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Heart of the Swarm
Dominion Attacks while Prince Valerian is With Raynor
- Okay, it was stated that Arcturus Mengsk would kill even his own son as long as Kerrigan goes down. However, Valerian was fighting alongside the Raiders, but his father did not brand him a traitor or strip him of his "Crown Prince" title. That being said, he should still have authority over the Dominion Military.
- For example, Nova led an attack on the lab in the Umojan Protectorate, why couldn't Valerian, the Crown Prince of the Dominion just try to have Nova to call off her attack? Nova wasn't even aware or did not expect that Valerian was with Raynor and Kerrigan.
- Or, when the Dominion Fleet was attacking the Hyperion. Sure, the fleet wouldn't listen to Matt Horner even if he said that Crown Prince Valerian was aboard, but what about if Valerian himself tried to call off the fleet?
- Because Valarian doesn't outrank his father so he can't overrule his orders. Anyone else's or someone following vague directions, sure. But a direct order from the Emperor? Nothing he can do.
- But that means that the Dominion soldiers that attacked the facility were technically under Nova's orders, therefore Valerian outranks Nova and could order her to halt her attacks so that all personnel could evacuate. Also Valerian could also tell Nova to cease the lockdown, because Arcturus did not necessarily order Nova to put the facility on lockdown. His father and Nova could care less about the civilians evacuating, because Nova's only concern is getting Kerrigan.
- You're making assumptions on what their orders were. Kerrigan was the primary target, but that doesn't mean she was the only one, Nova has no problems taking out Raynor as soon as she finds him. There's a chain of command, if Mengsk puts Nova in charge and orders her to take out Kerrigan (and likely the Raiders if possible) then the order still comes from the Emperor and Valerian is still powerless to stop it. Liek Valerian himself says, Arcturus will sacrifice anything to kill Kerrigan, so his standing order is to kill Kerrigan regardless of what else must be sacrificed.
- You also don't get how an army works. People in the army take orders from whoever they are supposed to take orders from (usually a few select people), regardless of whether someone else of a higher rank thinks disagrees. Otherwise you're suggesting that if you don't like your orders, you just pick someone else to take orders from - which goes against the very definition of a professional army, even if it's a fictional professional army in space with ludicrous ship designs.
- ...But there's nothing suggesting that Valerian can't reason with Nova, let alone try.
- Why do you assume Arcturus would send an attack squad to eliminate the greatest threat to his reign that could be stopped with a word from someone he knows will be there. Valarians pressence didn't stop the attack on the Hyperion and it wouldn't have stopped the invasion force either. Nova does not answer to Valarian, she only answers to the Emperor and Ghosts are mentally conditioned to not rebel via neural inhibitors, mental conditioning and regular mindwipes. You'll notice Valarian never even tries to call off the attackers, despite him attempting to talk his way out of every other situation during the game, he knows it's pointless to try.
- No, that's the thing I wonder about. I notice that Valerian doesn't even try to call off Nova, so why doesn't he even try? Also, I said REASON with Nova, that's different from stopping the attacks on the lab. What makes you think that the Emperor or Nova knows that Valerian was even at the lab prior to Horner announcing his presence? Valerian may as well negotiate with Nova to minimize unnecessary casualties and allow all civilian personnel evacuate. Or, Valerian could buy Raynor some time by diverting Nova and her attackers with disinformation into a trap. You're also forgetting that Nova overcame her memory wipes by being exposed to terrazine, so she now serves Mengsk willingly. What would Nova try to do if Valerian tried to negotiate with her, kill him?
- The previous poster has already told you: There's no point in trying to reason with someone you know won't listen to you. Valerian had his hands full with getting to a safe place, moreover there is no indication he knew who was in command. Even if he contacted Nova, or his father, Valerian has no leverage - he has nothing strategically important to offer his father, short of betraying Raynor's Raiders. You could argue that he could say, "Hey dad, I'm like, your son!" or say something emotionally significant and hope his father comes around. This would not succeed because 1. Like Valerian himself said, his father will sacrifice any piece on the chessboard to kill Kerrigan and 2. Arcturus orders the attack KNOWING that his son is allied with Raynor and Kerrigan (this was shown in WOL), so therefore, Arcturus has already evaluated the situation and decided that an offensive on the facility is acceptable, even if his son is there while he shoots the place up. As for Nova, you're right about there being nothing to definitively prevent him from convincing Nova to cease fire, but there's also nothing to suggest that Valerian has ANYTHING except his parentage to use to convince Nova into any sort of compromise. Using your logic, I can also say that since that there is no evidence that conclusively contradicts that Raynor is an infested terran, or that Zeratul is moonlighting as a taxi driver, or that Duran killed Prince Valerian halfway into Wings of Liberty and assumed his likeness, or that you can do a barrel roll with the Hyperion, therefore all those things are reasonable possibilities. Something can be technically possible but at the same time be exceedingly unlikely, even if you really want it to happen. Do you see a lot of people go up to the hottest celebrities they have huge boners for and ask them if they'd like to have sex? NO, because even though it is technically possible, and maybe if you "reasoned" hard enough you'd get some, and you'd really really like it to happen, there is probably no reason they would agree. Same story with Nova. Valerian has no hand to play besides "Don't shoot, I'm the Prince lol!"
- Alternatively, Valerian has decided to go all the way: depose his father by allying with Raynor's Raiders (and potentially, the Swarm). It's a huge gamble, but judging from his style of gambling in Wings, Valerian goes for a big win or broke. And both times, he won big.
- Is it ever explained why the Protoss had all those animals on their ship?
- They were colonists. It would make sense that you would carry a lot of different animals with you when you go to an icy planet with plans to terraform (Auir-form? Shakuras-form?) it.
- Something about the mission "In the body of the enemy". Aren't Protoss supposed to be immune to Zerg corruption?
- Abathur explains this after. He congratulates Kerrigan for finding a loophole: Protoss can't be infested, but they can be host to foreign organisms—parasites like the one Kerrigan used. It wasn't actually controlling its host, it was just using her to get on the ship.
- It's basically the same thing as broodlings. No protoss genetics were integrated into the Brood Mother.
- Why does Jim have a gun in prison?
- Perhaps Sarah gave it to him. How does this theory hold? First, Jim's is momentarily stunned and dizzy from Sarah blowing up the door so he may not see things as they should, like her holding a gun. Two, we see Sarah walk in from Jim's not-so-reliable perspective. Three, Sarah told Izsha it wouldn't end well referring to how Jim would react to her transformation into Primal Queen of Blades and so reasoned that he may want to end it there violently, and she'd be fine with that. And four, when we see the gun, it's already in Jim's hands which makes the whole theory possible.
- Or Mengsk let him keep it. A pistol isn't going to do much good against an entire prison full of guards (who he has already proven he doesn't care about in the least), and he would consider it absolutely delicious if Raynor committed suicide before she got there.
- Or even better, if he shot her which he very nearly did. Mengsk might be suffering from Bond Villain Stupidity, but he knows his failsafes.
- Still doesn't explain the cigarettes he's carrying.
Kerrigan's 1v 1 confrontations
- Why does Kerrigan continue to jump into 1 on 1 confrontations despite the fact that almost every one puts her in highly dangerous situations (In particular, thinking Duran and Mengsk, where she was expecting ahead of time to face some very dangerous situations.) Seems a lot less risky top just send in a few units, while controlling from the outside to ensure less collateral damage, and if something goes wrong she still has a large swarm outside to handle things. (I guess blizzard really likes dramatic confrontations.)
- It may be a matter of concentration. Kerrigan seems to display far greater battle prowess when her attention isn't divided trying to coordinate the swarm. (This may explain her superior performance during cinematics.) Trying to herd a pack of zerglings while fending off an Eldritch Abomination would be like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
- Keep in mind also that for dealing with Mengsk, it was personal and considering how she killed him, she probably wouldn't have settled for just letting some Zergling maul him to death. Plus it wouldn't matter how many Zerg she would've brought; the artifact would've incapacitated them too. As for Narud, Kerrigan knew how dangerous he was and probably assumed she was the only thing in the Swarm that could stand up to him.
- Putting oneself into dangerous situations that could kill you is simply the Zerg way, it forces evolution, adapt or die. Plus she had a backup just in case she died, her life/death was part of the gamble, Zagara had specific instructions if she died. In addition to that there's also the fact that, when fighting Narud, bringing an army to fight a shapeshifter that can block your ability to read his mind is a VERY bad idea.
- In Wings of Liberty Stetmann is researching both Protoss and Zerg specimens, and here's one thing I noticed about the Zerg sample: "I noticed earlier that zerg alpha amino acids have unique R groups. I've run a full regimen on some. Results are stunning. Zerg aminos are able to combine dead cell matter with normal proteins to biosynthesize new cells. They don't suffer generational cell degradation. Simply put, a zerg will never die of old age. They can constantly renew themselves, albeit with radically changing cell structure." Fast forward to Heart of the Swarm and Izsha and Kerrigan are amazed that the Primal Zerg don't age. Did I miss something, or is this just another case of Chris Metzen writing lore and then forgetting about it, like what he did with the Draenei from Warcraft?
- I don't believe they were surprised the Primals don't age, they were just noting that anything that survives thousands or millions of years on a dog-eat-dog Death World is going to be unspeakably powerful.
- Normal Zerg don't suffer the effects of aging, but it's possible there's some visual cues that build up over time.
- It might also actually be possible that, being mostly a race of nigh-unintelligent animals, the Zerg simply don't know much about their own biology. They excel at manipulating it, but it's all instinctive. Like how a Zen master might be able to pull off amazing feats of body control without "truly" understanding the physiological mechanisms behind. The only member of the Swarm who likely knows his way around genetics beyond "I will, therefore it lives" (like Kerrigen) is Abathur, and it's completely in-character for him to not tell Kerrigen until she specifically asks ("Initiating conversation inefficient. Information deemed unnecessary. Calories wasted.")
- Actually brought up in story-apparently something about zerg mutation cures the effects of aging. Presumably the cells are recycled.
- "Not dying of old age" and "not aging" aren't quite the same thing. One means you don't keel over from heart failure, the other means you never look like you're about to keel over from heart failure. It's also worth noting that the Primal Zerg pack leaders (save Dehaka) tended to be utterly massive; maybe they just never stop evolving and growing more powerful, unlike vanilla Zerg who tend to stick to their assigned roles, size and power included.
- Who said Stetmann's analysis was complete and accurate?
Odds during Korhal Invasion
- More of a question than a plothole, but who was more likely to win the final battle from the outset? In the Terran's favor, the minced remains of leviathans are raining from the sky all throughout the first mission, and Kerrigan herself claimed that "Korhal will be the toughest battle of my life". She was also reluctant to accept a tactical disadvantage, implying that victory wasn't assured. On the other hand, the Zerg have attacked hard targets like Korhal before (i.e. Tarsonus and Auir) without concern, Zagara dismissed their casualties as being inconsequential, and the Zerg seemed to be winning handily during the cinematic intro. I felt that the (otherwise good) narrative lost considerable urgency and tension by not clearly establishing which side had the clear advantage.
- Part of Kerrigan's problem was in avoiding civilian casualties (really, if she didn't care who got killed she could have just dropped a Leviathan on the palace), something the rest of the Swarm would dismiss, and her personal survival. Every weapon Mengsk had was pointed straight at her, it's the hardest battle of her life, not the hardest battle the Swarm has ever faced. Also it was raining the remains of drop pods, not Leviathans. Plus Kerrigan knows Mengsk will have a few anti-Zerg tricks up his sleeve, something the rest of the Swarm didn't know or factor in, complex thinking isn't really something the Swarm is capable of, or bothers with if they are (as shown with Zagara's development).
- It should be pointed out that the Swarm has been greatly weakened since starting those battles and has not fully recovered. They probably rebuilt their losses from Tarsonis, but a substantial number of zerg were left on-planet and destroyed by the UED. Aiur cost the zerg heavily, and the loss of all sentient controllers on-planet meant that they went into a sort of inactive defense mode instead of replacing their losses. Then a bunch were wiped out by the Xel'Naga temple. Kerrigan rebuilt the swarm substantially afterwards, but her largest single force was sent to Bhelkar Rho and devoured by a Hybrid. During Wings Of Liberty, things weren't going all her own way during the Dominion invasion; while the Dominion were forced back they apparently were still holding the core worlds. Then the Char invasion got a bunch more destroyed even before the primary Hive Cluster was obliterated by the Xel'Naga artifact. With the loss of central control, the Dominion cleaned up with relative ease.
- Further contributing to the Swarm’s weakened state are the internecine wars that took place whenever the Zerg lost a central intelligence; as seen when Zasz died in the original game, any brood that loses its leader will attack anything near it, including other broods. The death of the original Overmind, the Brood War, and the de-infestation of Kerrigan all triggered massive internal conflicts throughout the Swarm.
- In any case however, Mengsk would not underestimate the Swarm a second time, meaning he learned from his own mistakes from being victim to the swarm other times.
- I'd like to point out that the Zerg have never been stated to be low on numbers, after Aiur, Broodwar, or anything. We get a rough idea of Terran numbers and Protoss numbers but it is much more fuzzy with Zerg. For all you know there are enough Zerg forces lying around to conquer half the galaxy that the Overmind was keeping in reserve. Maybe Kerrigan went into the final battle ridiculously overpowered (they do make a point of stating that ALL the brood mothers returned to serve the Swarm) and overestimated Mengsk's preperations.
- There is also a possibility that Arcturus was fighting on a second front, so he could not pull his entire army back to Korhal and hence was not as strong as it could be. If you recall his actions in the second mission, he effectively declared war on the Umojan Protectorate, given that he violated their sovereign territory, killed members of their security forces and attempted to kill three people who had been granted asylum. Who knows what was going on with the Dominion while Kerrigan was busy elsewhere.
- The Umojan Protectorate spans only three worlds. The Dominion spans dozens of worlds, any conflict between the two factions would be finished very quickly, long before Kerrigan would notice a difference and without making a noticeable dent in the Dominion's resources. The Umojans would have to be suicidal to declare war on the Dominion. That the Swarm could destroy the Dominion with relative ease has always been a simple fact of the StarCraft universe, the Dominion only lasted as long as it did because the Queen of Blades 1) liked to watch Mengsk squirm and 2) had more pressing matters than a using up resources on so minor a threat.
Narud's plans make no sense
- So between Heart of the Swarm and Flashpoint (the novel that bridges Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm), we know that Narud (and his Moebius Foundation) reports to, and has the complete support of, Mengsk (while pretending to work for Valerian), and controls the Tal'Darim as the prophet and harbinger of their god. We also know that his primary goal in Wings of Liberty is to assemble the artefact, use it to dezergify Kerrigan, and use the energy to resurrect Amon while disposing of his greatest enemy in the process. With this in mind, let's look at the Artefact missions: In "The Outlaws", Narud hires Raynor to kill the Dominion excavation team which would have sent the artefact piece to Moebius. In "Smash and Grab", he hires Raynor to attack his Tal'Darim servants and steal the artefact piece, thereby weakening them at a crucial moment and increasing the chances of the zerg nabbing the artefact piece instead. In "The Dig", he has his Tal'Darim massacre his Moebius excavation team and sends Raynor in afterwards. In "Supernova", he has his Tal'Darim fight to keep the artefact piece on a planet about to be destroyed by a supernova. In "Maw of the Void", he forces Raynor's Raiders to burn precious resources (which they'll need for the invasion of Char) in the rip tide generators in order to take the artefact piece from his Tal'Darim. In more general points, consider a) the general stupidity of keeping the pieces on a single battlecruiser which keeps being sent into terrible danger - and is under constant threat of being blown up by Mengsk's forces if they find it - and b) the fact that all but one of the artefact pieces start out under Tal'Darim control, and he could just demand for them to be handed over, especially given what he intends to use them for.
- Maybe the Tal'Darim are mere pawns in Narud's grand plan, viz. the revival (and return) of Amon, just as that dark future Tassadar (and by extension, the Overmind) warned Zeratul about, with the Zerg as Amon's pawns.
- Ultimately, EVERYTHING is expendable to Narud (even himself, to some extent). As long as Amon gets revived, anyone/anything can go to hell. It is also likely that the Tal'Darim fell under Narud's sway in between Wings and Heart. In Wings, we see them worshipping the Xel'naga. Narud, once knowing that they exist, chatted them up or mind controlled the lot, and they fell in line.
- Most likely the former; Amon is, after all, Xel'naga—the object of the Tal'Darim's worship.
- It's very likely the Tal'Darim were operating on their own during Wings of Liberty and were only recruited by Narud during the time gap between Wings and Heart of the Swarm.
- Also, an ancient and cunning entity like Narud would naturally be playing all factions against each other, even the ones under his control, in order to weaken them and guarantee that they won't pose a threat to his or Amon's plans.
- I got the impression that the Tal'Darim still have their free will, and are not being mind controlled; this would require Narud to play along with their beliefs to maintain their loyalty, and the loyalty of a fanatically zealous cult is tenuous at best. If Narud had ordered them to deliver their sacred relics into the hands of a smelly drunk Terran, they would have started to question if Narud really is their holy prophet. Thus, by having Raynor take the artifacts by force, Narud lost only a fraction of the Tal’Darim while maintaining the loyalty of the greater whole.
- Confirmed; the Tal'darim are immune to Narud's/Amon's influence, and their loyalty is still conditional in spite of it's intensity. This becomes plot point in Legacy of the Void, where they actually do turn against Amon for "betraying" them, and actually provide crucial support in his defeat. If Narud had ordered them to turn over their sacred relics, they would have refused and likely turned on him.
- Turns out according Alarak that the Tal'darim that Raynor encountered were once part of Amon's Tal'darim. However, since Nyon went insane, he ended up going a different direction, which would explain why he attacked Moebius, which is led by Amon's servant Dr. Narud. Nyon as a result, was a rogue Tal'darim executor.
- As for the dominion forces sacrificed, he needed to sell the deception. The Terrans are all going to die out once Amon takes over, so their isn't much point in trying to maintain them. If the forces in question find out they're being sacrificed, blame it on Mengsk.
- Maybe the Artifact could only be used by terrans. After all, we know they are immune to its effects, but where is the guarantee protoss are?
- The protoss are almost certainly not immune. If you click on the Artifact after the first Prophecy mission, and Dr. Hanson is there, she'll mention that the Artifact was drawing in power from the Ihan crystal nearby. She mentions that the Artifact's tendency to pull energy from the environment around it won't affect terrans, but it might suck the life right out of a protoss. This effect from an artifact that, for most people at this point, isn't even complete.
- Although everything in Wings of Liberty confirm the above, this detail is dismissed in Legacy of the Void, when Protoss scientists inspect the artifact, and declare the theory false.
- So, can anyone think of an in-story reason for why Kerrigan abandonned Niadra and her brood? Sure, it's obviously setting up some stuff for Legacy of the Void but Kerrigan's goal is to bring all the broods back together so she can use the Swarm to crush Mengsk. So why abandon a loyal Brood?
- One speculation I heard was that Kerrigan felt guilty about what was done to the protoss ship. She had to do it to keep the Golden Armada from chasing her, but she's not proud of it, and so once it was done she just discarded the tool she had used and tried to forget about it.
- I think the ship went out of range of Kerrigan's telepathy.
- That's what it seemed like to me as well, since Kerrigan was continuously sending directions until the end of the mission.
- But in the broodmother cutscenes she sends telepathic commands to broodmothers who're light years away...
- The ship's destination was out of telepathic communication range of the planet it launched from, and by the end of the battle it was within escape pod range of communicating. Shakuras is much further away from Kerrigan's location at the time than anywhere but possibly Zerus is from literally anywhere else Kerrigan would be communicating with.
- That's the way of the Zerg. Create a tool for the purpose and then discard it when you're done. We Have Reserves, after all.
- I figured either Kerrigan's ability to communicate with Niadra got screwed somehow, or she just decided to leave her in place for a future operation. At that point, Niadra's brood was still in its infancy, so its potential contribution to the battle of Korhal would have been minimal - besides which they still would have had to actually get the ship out of hyperspace and turned around.
- As the Zerg Hive Mind has shown no limits in range or ability in the past, there seems only one reason for Niadra to go silent. Amon has to get his army from somewhere.
- I think Niadra and her brood are already doomed. The Protoss vessel is heading for Shakuras, if I remember correctly. The Golden Army will probably bomb/shoot that ship and everything onboard to hell once a long-range scanner or something similar picks up the Zerg signatures inside.
- Niadra destroyed the ship's engine, it's either floating in space or has crashed. It's likely pretty close to Shakuras but not on their immediate radar. Close enough to be a threat but far enough away to go undetected. The Golden Armada was only being called in to deal with Kerrigan, not every zerg they come across.
- Before he dies, Mengsk's last words are, "I made you a monster, Kerrigan." Why did he say this? What was this supposed to accomplish? Reminding the victim of your crimes against them doesn't seem like a very effective survival tactic.
- One last spit in the face of a hated enemy. Mengsk is brutally pragmatic most of the time, but when push comes to shove he's just brutal. See also his abandoning Kerrigan in the first place.
- An Ironic Echo of something Kerrigan told him way back in Brood War. Just as how Kerrigan herself borrowed a phrase from Tassadar to taunt Fenix in his final moments in the very same mission.
Abathur's worries of smart Brood Mothers
- Abathur is worried about giving brood mothers too much intelligence, since they may decide to rebel/stage a coup/etc. However, cerebrates (At least in their descriptions) were designed to be clever and skilled at fighting, without threatening the overmind, and Abathur was also involved in creating Kerrigan, who is somewhat independent herself. Shouldn't he have no trouble creating smarter but still loyal broodmothers?
- Cerebrates were also directly subordinate to the Overmind, to the point where they all died shortly after the first Overmind was slain. Objective of broodmother system was to decentralize Swarm in case of Swarm head being destroyed; making broodmothers dependent on head in such a fashion would be contrary to the point of their existence.
- Cerebrates were helpless, incapable of doing anything except controlling their broods. Broodmothers can actually fight back, they can grow and adapt like any other member of the Swarm and therefore pose an legitimate threat to Kerrigan. Kerrigan altered the system when she took over, instead of immortal yet helpless Cerebrates, she created mortal yet powerful Broodmothers. This made the Swarm more independent and less vulnerable to losing broods if their leader should be eradicated. Plus it means if a brood does manage to rebel she won't have to go looking for Dark Templar to eliminate the problem. It's unclear if Abathur could make the Broodmothers both independant AND mindlessly loyal, Kerrigan isn't the Overmind and the Swarm isn't bound to her in the same way.
Future of Raynor's Raiders and Dominion after Korhal
- Ok, the Raiders pretty much accomplished their goal of overthrowing Mengsk by helping Kerrigan enter the palace to kill him herself. So now that they have succeeded in this endeavor, what's next in store for them? They can continue doing mercenary work, which is what they have done to make money. However, the only enemy left is Amon, and I guess they will eventually join Kerrigan and the Protoss against this threat.
- There are more enemies besides Amon and his followers. Remember how remnants of the UED kept being a pain in the pass in BW? The Terran Dominion's remnants may become a problem as well, depending on whether Valerian's rule is accepted. Nova and the Shakuras Protoss may still be gunning for Kerrigan (which means Raynor may be involved) as well.
- Since the next game is centered around the Protoss, they will eventually realize how important it is to keep Kerrigan alive, considering how the Big Bad of the next game will be Amon. That being said, the Protoss may not try to hunt down Kerrigan. Nova, however, might still be a threat to Kerrigan since it was confirmed she will return in the next game; doubtful that Nova will recognize Valerian as the new emperor. Nova may still pose a threat to Raynor, since Raynor has to make sure Kerrigan lives. Also, let's not forget that there are still branches of Tal'darim out there that can get in the way.
- The initial position of the game towards Kerrigan will change greatly depending if the protagonist is Zeratul or Artanis.
- As for the Dominion, there could be a civil war between Nova and Valerian that Raynor may have to deal with.
- I also imagine Valerian will have to prove himself as a ruler to his people. Many of the more hard-line rebels are probably not going to just happily turn over the reins to a Mengsk, even one who has been working with Raynor so far. (We know how it went the last time this happened...)
- No, last time, Raynor was working under Arcturus, not the other around and Raynor was a nobody at first. At that time, Arcurus ran the show before the fall of the Confederacy. Valerian, however, knows that his father is a terrible man, not to mention shortsighted. He stated that he wants to be a better emperor. That was why Valerian refused to hand over Kerrigan, because Arcturus refused to acknowledge the threat of Amon. As a result, Valerian switched sides and joined the Raiders without being branded a traitor by his father. Raynor was the one who ran the show against the Dominion. In fact, Valerian already proved himself a worthy successor by leading an invasion to Char to defeat Kerrigan. He secured peace alright, yet the only remaining major threat to peace in the Dominion was the Emperor himself, because the people know about Arcturus' war crimes. However, where was Valerian when his father unleashed the Zerg? That's right, he wasn't there.
- But the question remains, was Nova loyal to the Dominion or only to Emperor Mengsk? If she is to pose a threat to Raynor (and probably the Protoss during their designated campaign) then it would mean she would want to avenge the Emperor's death.
Protoss and Zerg
- We know that Protoss cannot be infested by Zerg. However, if I remember correctly, the Xel'Naga created the Zerg as the "Purity of Essence" and the Protoss as the "Purity of Form". Protoss and Zerg were supposed to merge and create the next iteration of the Xel'Naga. How do these facts fit together?
- The xel'naga didn't create the protoss and zerg, they merely found the species fit for their designated roles and uplifted them. "Merge" here doesn't mean infestation, but some ill-defined natural process that we haven't observed before. The closest thing the setting has to infested protoss are hybrids, which are a perversion of the hypothetical natural merge process.
- The Primal Zerg were the ones who supposed merge with the Protoss(by eating them). The corrupted Zerg were designed by Amon and the inability to infest Protoss is likely built in by Amon.
Zerg Evolution Missions
- Not really a plothole, but a gameplay issue. Isn't the Ultralisk Torrasque strain basically a reskin of the Thor Immortality Protocol from Wings of Liberty?
- Yes. So?
- Technically the Torrasque coming back from the dead was established long before the Thor even existed, but gameplaywise yes they're very similar. The Vile Roach is similar to the Marauder's slow down effect. And both give the option for have double builder units for the price of one, automatic and more efficient Vespene Gas extractors, automatic supply upon build, etc.. Overlap in abilities was inevitable.
What was Mengsk thinking?
- When Mengsk declared that he'd had Raynor executed, I was already a bit confused. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep Jim hostage and use him as leverage against Kerrigan and Raiders to keep them away from him? Oh, wait, that's what he ends up doing anyway?! Well then what was the point in declaring him dead or at least not telling Kerrigan that he was actually alive?! Why wait until Kerrigan had gathered enough power to become a threat? Ok, he apparently didn't realise that Sarah had a way to rezergify herself, but surely he had to understand that the news of Jim's demise would further drive her to revenge, and why would he want that? I would also understand if he used Raynor as a bait to lure her into an ambush, but apparently that wasn't the plan, and the idea of destroying the prison ship came up rather sponteneously, judging by its haphazard execution. So what was his reasoning?
- The part where he announced Jim was dead was for the benefit of his empire. He's a lot of big setbacks recently, from the Odin's attack on Korhal, the media circus when his crimes regarding Tarsonis came to light, and then the crown prince stole half the Dominion fleet, which was decimated over Char. Sure, he ended up in control of Char, but that's still not a lot. He's scrambling for good press right now; "Look, I caught and executed a famous terrorist!" always boosts the polls.
- That's obvious, but what prevented him from doing that AND telling Kerrigan the truth right away?
- Kerrigan was bouncing around distant worlds Terrans have never seen. He probably just couldn't find her until her forces grew to a sufficient size that she didn't really need to hide any more.
- Well, he knew where she was initially, didn't he? On Umoja. His forces encountered her there. You'd think he'd first send her the message that he's got Raynor and that she shouldn't freak out and do anything stupid when he later declares him executed, and then actually declare him executed.
- She escapes from Umoja just as soon as Jim is captured. Raynor's Fleet then heads to the rendezvous point which is supposedly a different planet. The forces there are wiped out by Kerrigan before they can contact anyone, which is odd seeing as how there was a Dominion fleet in the system that just attacked the Hyperion. Supposedly that fleet left to pursue the Hyperion, but it's never mentioned if that's the case, how they could track the Hyperion, or if the Hyperion had to fight off that fleet. Which doesn't matter as the Dominion forces on the planet were wiped before Mengsk could contact Kerrigan through them and Mengsk was just making his announcement that Raynor was dead.
- In addition to the good press for his empire, broadcasting the news of Raynor's 'death' made Kerrigan go berserk. A raging Kerrigan is a lot more reckless and prone to mistakes than a calm, rational Kerrigan. As mentioned above he didn't know where she was exactly and had no way of knowing she could re-infest herself. She wasn't strong enough to control the entire Swarm until she became the Primal Queen of Blades, something he couldn't have seen coming, allying with the Zerg again would have cost her any Terran support, or so he'd think, and he had both the artifact and the Psi Destroyer to deal with whatever forces she could muster against him. If she instead decided to come for him personally he's got his own Ghosts, including Nova, who would stop her if she tried to infiltrate his palace to get to him. Once he learned she'd returned to the Swarm he had his forces hurl communication devices at the Swarm, Kerrigan just doesn't get the message until after her transformation. Keeping Raynor in secret gave him the perfect surprise trump card to play on her, and if Horner hadn't been willing to cooperate with her she'd have been pretty much at his mercy.
- 0) He couldn't know for sure it would make her go berserk rather than simply more determined to tear his head off. 1) Why would he want her to go berserk? While Mengsk got Raynor, she would not dare go against him at all, or so he expected. If he wanted to lure her into a trap, he would've announced Jim's capture and then leaked the information about his location. 2) He DID know where she was, his men fought her and Raynor on Umoja, and at least he could've left a message with Valerian and Raiders - they were the obvious first choice for her to go to, and anyway Mengsk would want them off his back as well, so telling them the truth was also the reasonable thing to do. 3) If he indeed didn't know where she was, what's the rush to declare Jim dead? After all, when a captured terrorist is just one push of a button away from a dead one, I see little difference in PR effect, while the potential for leverage and negotiations with your enemies differs tremendously. Speaking of which...
- 0) Oh yes he can, Mengsk knows Kerrigan, he knows how she thinks (at least when she's human) since she was his second in command for quite some time and is an expert at predicting his opponents reactions. 1)a berserk Kerrigan is dangerous but a poor planner, easier to manipulate and trick into a trap. Just look at how she reacts to Jim being captured, she had no patience and would have pushed Orlan into making a mistake that would alert the Dominion to their plans if Valerian hadn't talked her down. Berserk Kerrigan is irrational which makes her vulnerable. 2) He did NOT know where she was, she took off immediately after his initial attack and was detected back with the Zerg during her attack on the anti-air cannon they were setting up. Then she shows up with the Swarm on Char. He has every reason to believe she has no further connection with the Raiders once she's returned to the Zerg, because nobody in their right mind would work with the Swarm (and they ultimately only do because they want to find Raynor, and later because Kerrigan convinced Raynor she wasn't back to being the monster she used to be). Remember, the Queen of Blades had backstabbed Raynor and Mengsk before, neither side would trust her if she were really back to her old self. 3) Raynor is a charismatic guy, a symbol of the rebellion, and a magnetic hero that draws people to him and his cause. By declaring him dead Mengsk eliminates that influence. Horner's a good guy but people don't flock to him like they do for Jim. Jim has a hell of a reputation, he's buds with the protoss, has saved countless people from the Swarm, even beat Mengsk a few times. So by declaring him dead he takes away the rallying force behind his opposition and by keeping him alive in secret he has a card to play against Kerrigan, one she can't prepare for. He gets to see how strong she is and then use Raynor as a shield to keep her from moving, maybe even blackmail her into making the Swarm his weapon. Basically he figured she'd run back to the zerg, alienating any human allies she had, and then could control the zerg by controlling her.
- 0) Yeah, that's an important reservation, isn't it. She wasn't a human anymore, and to presume that he could still predict her reasoning would be insanely presumptious even for him. 2) "...was detected back with the Zerg during her attack on the anti-air cannon...", "...she shows up with the Swarm on Char...". Yes and that meant he DID know where she was. Both times were perfect opportunities to deliver her the news and demand to fuck off. "...she has no further connection with the Raiders..." And what does this have to do with anything? Revealing the truth to the Raiders was a completely separate matter - he'd want to keep them on the leash rather than craving revenge for their leader as well. 3) He'd already eliminated Jim's influence by capturing him. Raynor couldn't do anything from prison. Moreover, dead he'd become a martyr, and his memory would've served as a rallying force for people craving revenge, while captured he was a valuable hostage and, who knows, could eventually be broken into submitting to Mengsk. So it's stupid even from the point of PR. "...use Raynor as a shield to keep her from moving, maybe even blackmail her into making the Swarm his weapon." Yeah, except that there's a huge chance that once she runs back to the zerg, she no longer would care about Jim and would just laugh into Mengsk's face should he try that.
Killing off prisoner
- Why the hell didn't Mengsk have Raynor killed, when Kerrigan breached the prison ship? He wasn't even going to retrieve him for futher use, so what's the point in keeping him alive?
- He waited until Kerrigan was far enough in and then triggered the ship's self-destruct, that was him trying to kill them both. Ordering a guard to do it diverts forces away from slowing Kerrigan down and opening the cell gives Raynor a chance to escape. Blowing the ship would have killed them all had Kerrigan not had a way to stabilize that section.
- How does one exclude the other? Whether the blast will even kill Kerrigan or not is an open question, but at least Raynor wouldn't pester him anymore. And seriously? Are you honestly trying to claim that killing one unarmed prisoner would've presented a problem whatsoever? Words fail me. You know there are ways to kill people without direct involvement of other people, don't you? Poison gas, bombs, automated turrets, you name it.
- Mengsk is not afraid of Raynor. Jim is a good soldier and a decent tactician but ultimately his only real threat is that he's charismatic and people flock to him. Mengsk keeps Raynor as a means to manipulate Kerrigan. He's her only vulnerable point, his best defense against the Swarm. On his own Raynor was powerless against Mengsk, he spent four years accomplishing nothing and he and Tosh mention the only reason Mengsk hasn't just had him killed yet is because he needs to destroy Raynor's image to avoid creating a martyr. It's not until the zerg show up that Mengsk loses control of the situation—the Swarm takes priority, so because Mengsk focuses solely on Kerrigan it leaves holes in his defenses for Raynor to exploit. Once the Swarm stops attacking the Raiders apparently become useless again.
- At that point it seems the crew wasn't listening to him anymore. One of the Medics though noted that there were no escape pods in the prison level; they were expected to die if the ship blew up. Mengsk had no idea Kerrigan could stabilize that section of the ship and he no longer had anyone aboard that would listen to him (none of them saw his betrayal coming and what remained were either trying to take down as many zerg as possible before they died OR trying to blast a hole in the wall to find some way of escaping). As for why he didn't have Raynor executed before he decided to blow up the ship: Matt noted that they had to get to the Moro before anyone knew about their rescue attempt or the Moro would prematurely take off, warping to a random location. It's likely that Mengsk ordered the ship scuttled the moment he actually found out what was happening aboard.
How did the Dominion figure out that Kerrigan was in Umoja?
- The Lab that Valerian took Kerrigan to was supposed to be a secret location. I don't get how the Dominion figured out that Kerrigan was there. The only explanation I can think of is that Narud tipped them off. Think back to Flashpoint, Narud betrayed Raynor, and the Raiders fired at Narud's transport, but Narud escaped unbeknownst to them. So the question is, did Narud tip off the Dominion as to the Raiders' next location after the Flashpoint Conflict?
- I get the impression that Kerrigan was at the lab for awhile. The dominion probably used standard spying methods/intelligence work to figure out the Kerrigan was alive and at the lab.
- The opening text says outright that Mengsk has sent his forces to search everywhere for her and it's only a matter of time before they find her. That's why they were leaving when they did, they were just a little too slow.
Kerrigan retaining her personality
- The Ancient One warned Kerrigan that by reinfesting herself, she would have to sacrifice her identity, and later Kerrigan says that she's now tangled with the Swarm much tighter then before, that she has "become the Swarm". So how come she still retains her feelings to Raynor and is much more humane in general? Where does the supposed loss of identity feature in?
- Kerrigan sacrificed her Terran identity. She's pure zerg now, for better or worse. The life she could have had as Sarah Kerrigan is over, forever. Sure, she still retains the name but that's it, now she is the Swarm, they are as one. Think of her as the Overmind, one with the Swarm, but retaining her own identity, as Zagara and Izsha do.
- Well, that's the point. Neither of those (or Dehaka, or Abathur) gave a damn about terran casualties, so it puzzles me that Kerrigan would. It is even more puzzling why she would still care about Raynor in her new state.
- Because the only thing that changed was her body, her mind remained Terran since there was nobody to actively reprogram it this time. She's just Sarah with a massive power boost. She loves Jim, feels empathy and compassion for other living beings, regrets the need to be ruthless and show no mercy. It's the whole point of the story.
- I think both Kerrigan and The Ancient One misunderstand what being a zerg means, considering Always Chaotic Evil is the only path for them. But zerg are about evolution after all, and Kerrigan has chosen to evolve by merging human and zerg moralities, rather than replacing one with the other. It's worth noting that Kerrigan and the Overmind are objectively better people than a great number of the human characters.
- Ok, forget Kerrigan's high heels - stupid as it is, I can at least understand the motive. But why in Amon's name would Dahaka - an 8-feet tall bipedal dinosaur with otherwise no human features - have a beard? What evolutionaty purpose did that serve?!
- No purpose. Swarm evolves zerg in specific ways for specific purposes. Clean, efficient, always with purpose. Dehaka is Primal zerg. Primals mutate randomly, constantly changing. Random, messy, produces useless mutations.
- Along similar lines of thinking, it's also possible that it's vestigal—part of something useful that Dehaka used to have, but no longer does.
- Maybe it's an anemone-like symbiote that filters nutrients from the air (one of the critters on Zerus is mentioned as doing that).
- Another question is why Zerg can get handicapped, the most obvious being Dahaka missing two arms. Can't the Zerg regrow lost limbs? Or at least the Primal Zerg get healed if they absorb enough Essence.
- That's lampshaded in Dahaka's Stop Poking Me quotes. He is bemused that he hasn't evolved a new arm yet. As for an official explanation, there is none. Maybe they just didn't want to make another model of him which would bring up the question WHY did they have his arm cut off, leave the arm in a map as an Easter Egg (it's a place his pack meets up with Kerrigan(, say the arm was still bleeding profusely, and never have him mention how or why his arm was cut off? Well, we know can infer the "why" any ways, but it's still odd.
Poor Communication Kills
- Why is it that at no point Kerrigan at least attempts to tell Raynor she went back to Zerg because Zeratul said it was necessary? You know, Zeratul, the guy who drops in, convinces you that Kerrigan was needed alive to defeat the Greater Scope Villain, and then leaves without explaining further? He'd still be angry, but it wouldn't be as much of an All for Nothing moment undoing all of Wo L's campaign.
- Perhaps she did feel guilty for betraying his trust and undoing his efforts, even if it was necessary, so it didn't feel right to her to seek excuses and shift blame (the last thing they needed was Jim falling out with his other ally). So she left him to think it out for himself and also comitted to prove in action that her reversion was in body but not in mind. If Jim could find it in himself to forgive her, then fine; if not, well, he was alive and that was the important part.
- Simple, because she didn't. Kerrigan makes it clear she doesn't believe his prophecy and refuses to allow anyone to tell her what to do. She chose to return to the Swarm to get her revenge, she chose to go to Zerus because she wanted to get stronger, she chose to re-infest herself to regain the powers of the Queen of Blades. Each step of the way it was her choice and she's not going to push responsibility onto someone else. Hell, her own minions told her not to do it!
- But she didn't even know where Zerus was until Zeratul showed up. Choice or not, it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't told her about it.
Kerrigan surprised at the artifact
- While on Char, she stated that the artifact isn't on the planet, or she would have sensed it. How come she didn't know it was on Korhal when she was a few steps away?
- I don't recall her saying she'd be able to sense it, she knows it's not on Char anymore because the Raiders knew it wasn't there. It's in the opening text. But even if she could sense it normally she wouldn't be able to since Mengsk was using it differently than the others had, keeping it powered down until he flipped his switch.
Flash freeze storms
- Why do the freeze storms stop happening in the second Kaldir mission? You rescue frozen Hydralisks so it's not like the region is never affected by them.
- Simple: the storm system moved on. This is weather we're talking about, after all.
Legacy of the Void
Why does Zeratul have nipples?
- The females seem to have breasts too. The existence of nipples on either sex of protoss would imply that protoss suckle, but they don't have mouths. Do protoss have a larval form that possesses a mouth?
- Could simply be a left over trait from earlier in their development when they did have mouths. Those kind of things can persist a very long time as you don't just lose organs once they're no longer necessary. Or they could be some alien organ we're not familiar with that simply appears where we expect breasts to be.
Why Retake Auir?
- I can understand why your species's homeworld would carry significant cultural and spiritual importance, but it's been made pretty clear in previous games and by the scenery in this one that the infrastructure, capital, and urban centers have all been trashed to the point where it would be less of a hassle to just settle down elsewhere (The Brood War manual states that over seventy percent of Auir's population was lost, to give an indication as to how thorough the destruction was). Given how the Protoss were teetering on extinction prior to the start of the game, why would they waste thousands of lives, not to mention enormous sums of time, effort, and material to retake a target of such little practical value?
- You underestimate the extent of Aiur's significance to the protoss. The Nerazim, even settling on Shakuras soon after their exile, never saw Shakuras as their new homeworld. They have always wanted to return to Aiur. If exiles hold such loyalty to their homeworld, I can hardly expect any less for the custodians of the homeworld themselves.
- True, but they have shown that such devotion has its limits. The Dark Templar were willing to accept exile over annihilation, as were the Khala Protoss in regards to the Zerg. Although the Protoss clearly value the power of legacy and symbolism, they have been shown to value survival more, yet they still committed to an extremely costly undertaking while their future remained uncertain.
- The Nerazim's scenario was not that simple. If they chose to fight to stay on Aiur, they would very likely have to kill their fellow protoss. To them, that was the thing they wanted to avoid. The Khalai protoss left Aiur only under extreme duress. Even so, they promised that they would return and rebuild. Artanis himself did weigh the costs in the backstory. Like Eisenhower for D-Day, he gave the greenlight as their commander-in-chief, and the Khalai protoss went along, all the while knowing the turmoil Artanis went through due to the Khala.
- Another factor in their calculations is that the zerg on Aiur are thought to be leaderless and feral, thus posing less of a threat. By the time they realised that was not the case, they were already on Aiur.
- Upon replaying Hot S, the Protoss were indeed trying to settle down elsewhere, as they going to great lengths to terraform planets as inhospitable as Kalder. If they were willing to colonize such a nasty, dangerous planet, then the number of worlds that could host their civilization must have been few and far between. Note that in Shakuras's official description it clearly states that only a small portion of the planet was habitable, and the Dark Templar only settled there with extreme difficulty. There just weren't that many suitable worlds to choose from. Just because the Protoss can fight on a wide spectrum of worlds dosn't mean they can live there for an extended period of time.
- If you're looking for a habitable world for your species to settle down on, what better environment could there be than the one you evolved in? The temperature, radiation levels, atmosphere, resources, air-pressure, gravity, and countless other factors are all tailor-made to suit your species's needs (or rather, your species was tailor-made for to fit in via evolution). On other planets, any number of criterion could be completely off or barely within tolerance.
How did Artanis muster so many troops?
- The Protoss evacuated Auir in the first place because they were completely outmatched by the Zerg... so how are they able to field enough troops to retake it less than four years later? They never had a large population to begin with, and with such long lifespans, four years would be nowhere near enough time to raise a second generation. (Artanis is considered young at more than two hundred years, while Fenix was well into his six-hundreds during the Brood War). How were they able replenish their numbers or otherwise shift the odds in their favor this time around?
- Fenix is not old by protoss standards. He's less than 400 years old when he died. Next, the game made it very clear that Artanis was reviving every single type of protoss construct ever developed. The mechanization helped immensely.
- He was also most likely spending those years rallying every offworld Protoss faction he could find. While Auir was the center of the Protoss Empire, it didn't represent the Protoss' total holdings.
- The zerg have had several years to become disorganized, cerebrates leading them have been killed, etc. The Zeratul missions in Wings of Liberty implied that the zerg on Aiur were feral/wild. It is likely that after the protoss evacuated, the zerg on Aiur had no leadershp and nothing to attack, so lost the organization or reason to defend Aiur effectively. (The Protoss have also had some time to develope new technologies, which helps a little.)
- The Protoss have had plenty of time to rebuild their ships and war machines and train former civilians to operate them.
- In regards to training former civilians, wouldn't the caste system have prevented that? (It was disbanded during the campaign, not before.) While many Protoss war machines are automated, a good number of them still need a pilot to operate, and almost all of their ships require a crew of some sort.
Why aren't the Tal'darim affected by Amon's mind control?
- Alarak still has his nerve cords, as do the rest of his faction. Yet, Amon seems to have no hold on them. Did huffing all that Terrazine cut them off from the Khala?
- Well, they certainly aren't linked to the Aiur protoss. A Klingon Promotion society probably isn't easy to implement with a Khala like network. So, the Tal'darim either have no cords, or are living without the Khala like the pre-Khas protoss did.
- Alarak mentions in the cutscene after the first Slayne mission that the Tal'darim have no Khala for Amon to exploit. How they managed this is not elaborated on however.
- Reading up on it, what happened was that in canon, the dark archon Ulrezaj got the Tal'darim to take a terrazine-like drug called Sundrop. Sundrop cuts you off from the Khala while keeping your cords intact. So basically, the above guess was correct after all: huffing Terrazine does cut you off from the Khala.
- In addition to the Sundrop and Terrazine, Rohanna mentions that the Tal'darim vanished shortly after the Aeon of Strife began. If so, then they were founded as a faction of Protoss who never encountered the Khala to begin with.
Isn't that a strange way to imprison the Purifiers?
- Aboard a starship with a planet sterilizing Wave Motion Gun, one their leader managed to get control of as soon as he awoke?
- There was a large contingent of protoss on the planet below the starship. Amon's zerg wiped them out. Vorazun did mention that for their sakes, she hoped that their deaths were swift.
- Quite possibly they froze the Purifiers in a stasis field while the warship was operational, and couldn't take them elsewhere without deactivating the stasis field.
Tal'darim squandering warriors
- Although the You Have Failed Me, Bad Boss, and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness tropes are well suited for the Tal'Darim in general and Alarak in particular, those tropes are only really practical if said villain has a large pool of manpowerto draw from. The Protoss are repeatedly stated to be dwindling, and the Tal'darim are only a minority of an already endangered species. Yet, in spite of such low numbers, their commanders and society are extremely frivolous with their lives. The unit lore states that they hunt down those considered "weak" among their ranks, failure is harshly punished, their ceremonial rites of ascension are fatal for the loser, and involve pitched battles which result in hundreds of casualties, and they are perfectly willing to chuck dozens of warriors into a raging firestorm in the slim hope that they might slaughter a few Terrans along the way. This would all make sense if they were a crazed death-cult who felt they had no stake in the future, but since the reveal that they have a stable society that has lasted for generations, attrition suddenly becomes an issue. Although the characterization and personality upgrades that the Tal'darim received were a very welcome addition, this one detail remains pretty glaring.
- Remember that not only were the Tal'darim around for generations, but for almost all of that time, their only enemies were themselves. Both the Light and Dark Templar were unaware of their existence. That means that with just a bit of intelligence, they could keep their numbers from dwindling. Say you're not considered a full adult (and thus allowed to participate in all the death duels and suicide attacks) until you produce at least three children. Combined with long Protoss lives and the addiction to the terrazine drug keeping anyone from defecting, and it wouldn't be too hard to have some very impressive numbers by the time Amon started using them up like cannon fodder.
- Also, when were the Tal'darim noted to be a minority? They had not been in contact with the mainstream Protoss faction for millennia before Wings of Liberty, and their extent was a mystery until Legacy of the Void, so any statement that the Protoss were dwindling would not apply to them.
Zerg on Auir after climax
- The last time the Protoss destroyed the central intelligence controlling the Zerg, the feral broods were still aggressive enough to force them off Auir. After Amon is banished into the void, the Zerg remaining on Auir aren't even mentioned. Why did they continue fighting after their own Overmind was destroyed, but fall apart after they lost Amon's influence?
- Amon only had any presence in the material realm through the Khala, so once he was cut off from that (since there weren't any Protoss that still had the Khala at all), he couldn't control the zerg. Then they were just feral, and between the loss of their guiding intelligence and the damage taken during the final battle, they were easy prey for the combined Daelaam, Dark Templar, Purifiers, Tal'darim, and freed Aiur Protoss.
- Didn't the zerg also become feral after the original Overmind was destroyed? They also took severe casualties during the last battle (enough to "thin the swarm" for Zeratul to sneak in and slaughter some cerebrates) and they were still enough of a threat afterward to force the surviving protoss off the planet. What was different this time around?
- There's a couple of factors. First, the Zerg weren't merely feral, but were rampaging en masse because they had all gotten a huge shock when they lost their hive mind. Remember that when Zasz died, his brood became so vicious that it even became a threat to other Zerg. In comparison, by the time of Legacy of the Void, the Zerg on Aiur seemed to be almost lethargic when there was no one to kill; for example, some of the drones in the first mission aren't even mining available mineral patches right next to them. Second, when they were forced to escape, the Protoss had just barely beaten the Overmind after expending their resources fighting each other, and their military was shattered. In Legacy of the Void, the Protoss had had years since Brood War to regroup, get their military back up and running, replenish their population with reinforcements from Shakuras (I sincerely doubt the Brood War killed more Protoss than there were on Shakuras), and get their morale up with a crusade to retake Aiur. The Zerg on Aiur, on the other hand, were lethargic, and possibly even reduced in number from before from killing each other in their rampage in the weeks/months after the Protoss fled. Once they got a foothold on the planet, it would have been relatively simple (had Amon not been waiting) to slowly push out amd eventually wipe the Zerg from the planet.
Why did Amon keep Ouros alive in the first place?
- Really, why not just kill him? It would have solved most if not ALL of his problems. Did he need Ouros alive for some reason? Was he incapable of killing Ouros? Did Amon just want an audience to gloat to?
- Maybe Amon wasn't as powerful as Ouros (Narud was far weaker than Amon, so the Xel'naga do have a hierarchy in terms of power and ability). Maybe different Xel'Naga had special abilities or talents that made them unique. Maybe Amon compromised some of his abilities when he went rogue, or maybe there were tasks that just one Xel,naga couldn't handle alone. Or maybe Amon just wanted to gloat; he was hinted to be insane by that point. In any case, being a god was reason enough for him to do whatever he damn well pleased.
- For all we know, by Legacy of the Void, there were only three Xel'Naga - Amon, "Duran" and Ouros. "Duran" was busy getting all he needed to resurrect Amon and produce the hybrids, and Amon was... well.. awaiting his resurrection. It's possible they simply didn't have enough free Xel'Naga to ensure Ouros would not intervene - after all, when "Narud" is sent back to the Void by Kerrigan and Amon's back to life, the former almost immediately becomes Ouros's jailer.
How sympathetic are the Dominion Marines?
- Although the Red Shirt Army trope is a time honored tradition in an epic space opera, Blizzard seems to be a bit bi-polar in how we are supposed to react to it. In the very first mission in WoL we are encouraged to wipe them out, and in half a dozen missions after that you're tasked with assaulting them without provocation. In the final missions however, the massive losses they suffer on Char are treated as a tragedy. Then in HotS, we go from slaughtering them reluctantly (along with Warfield) to slaughtering them while they are panicked and afraid (on the prison ship) to slaughtering them with wild abandon on Korhal. Then in LotV, the casualties they suffer are viewed with great sympathy, as Raynor, Valarian, and Artanis mourn the horrid cost of war, even though we've been fighting and killing those same men throughout the previous two campaigns. Although I understand the importance of having Terran enemies from a game-play perspective, the lack of consistency over whether they're bad guys or not makes it difficult to gauge the emotional impact of the scenes the're in.
- It mostly just depends on whether they're trying to kill you or not, with rare exceptions such as the Char missions in HotS - and that's because their leader, General Warfield, was portrayed in a sympathetic fashion.
- There was actually a Dominion civil war at the end of Hearts. Arcturus used his half of the military to crush Valerian's half. Warfield somehow received amnesty and returned to Arcturus's fold. Once Valerian is fully in charge of the Dominion, he obviously began reversing the rot within the Dominion. I guess the sympathy's for the marines under Valerian's charge, who are fighting for a better future. Arcturus' marines get mainly pity, for serving a master who treats them like cannon fodder.
- Well it's classic dissonance. Most of the marines are criminals, and most likely scum with no other option... but so was Raynor once. It's easy to dismiss their lives when placed against galactic events, but the game has always taken time to show things from their perspective and how this universe is really quite horrible to them. Basically... yes, you are a bad person for killing all those people, as even the bad guys likely consisted mostly of conscripts. But did it need to be done? For the most part... also yes.