YMMV / StarCraft

For the SC1 and Brood War subjective tropes, go here. The SC2 subjectives are here.

The series as a whole

  • Abridged Arena Array: There are certain maps online that are only played by Battle.net people. "Big Game Hunters" comes to mind.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Fans disagree on if Arcturus Mengsk started out as a genuinely well-meaning rebel who fell victim to He Who Fights Monsters, or if he was always just interested in personal power and used his rebellion to acquire it. For those that think he started off well-meaning, by the time of his downfall it's obvious he's cast off the pretenses of good intentions behind his evil acts, at which point it's up for discussion when He Who Fights Monsters kicked in. Fans also argue if he's actually Affably Evil or just Faux Affably Evil. Helping to feed the discussion is the fact that the writers who have worked on the game scripts and novels for the franchise can't seem to agree on such things themselves.
  • Broken Base:
    • Examples include elitist "progamers" vs "casual gamer noobs".
    • On one camp, Nova is an Ensemble Darkhorse, a character with interesting personal story arc and Character Development... which was mostly chronicled in printed works thanks to StarCraft: Ghost's cancellation. The other camp, especially those who didn't bother reading her story consider her a wasted space, a tool of Arcturus Mengsk's dictatorial Dominion tyranny, a second rate Ghost compared to Kerrigan and/or 'only there for fanservice on horny gamers'. Debates about Nova's worth in the story can get ugly, and we haven't even getting started on her performance in Heroes of the Storm...
  • Cliché Storm: The series has always been accused of being this. It pays homage to tons of sci-fi tropes and stories and purposefully invokes and copies them in some places.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome/"Stop Having Fun" Guys/The Social Darwinist: Apparently the tactics to playing the game in Multiplayer are set in stone. Trying anything new would result in the game quickly ending for you and/or your allies shunning you. Also, some of the seasoned players do not take too well to being teamed up with new players, even going as far as to verbally abuse the newbie and even bullying the newbie into leaving the game, by means of attacking the newbie's base, despite the newbie being an ally.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Warhammer 40,000. A sane man simply doesn't bring up the two together on the majority of forums. Seriously. It is a huge can of worms.
  • Fan Nickname: "Artie" for Artanis.
  • Fanon: All Zerg can be reincarnated, not just Cerebrates and Tarrasques. This comes up way more than you'd think.
  • Fetish Retardant: As much as Blizzard tries to make Kerrigan into Ms. Fanservice as a Cute Monster Girl, she has Barbie Doll Anatomy with no visible nipples or sex organs, spiked protrusions of bone covering her body, infested tendrils for hair, and overall looks a bit too monstrous to actually be sexually appealing.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The sequel's story has been criticized by a faction of the fanbase for problems such as retcons, plot holes, and cheesy and cliched dialogue. The original game had the same problems in smaller doses (especially when it comes to the Brood War expansion), but fans don't get as upset about it as the sequel's instances.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Competitive StarCraft is absolutely dominated by South Koreans. Of the ten most successful tournament players in the world (as measured in dollars earned via tournament play), only one of them is a "foreigner"—that is, a player who grew up outside Korea. It's something of a Rite of Passage now for a foreign player to defeat a Korean in tournament play.
  • Goddamned Bats: Early worker units become this, especially Probes, who can warp in buildings anywhere instantly and move on to keep running. Terrans can use ranged Marines to shoot them down, zerg and protoss have melee units, so no such luck with them.
    "I'm in ur base, scouting ur tech, disrupting ur mineral line with pylons, stealing ur gas, delaying ur hatchery!"
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some players themselves think No Plot? No Problem!. You do not have to play through the single player campaigns to enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game. Blizzard eventually acknowledged this by making StarCraft II's multiplayer free-to-play while keeping all campaigns bar Wings of Liberty as paid content.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • While Raynor himself is not this trope from a narrative standpoint, he is considered this in-universe by General Horace Warfield:
    Warfield: "You magnificent son-of-a-bitch, heheh, you're the last man I expected to see."
    • A straighter example would be Arcturus Mengsk. By exploiting fear and hatred of the Confederacy he rallies allies to his cause to fight them, building up to ever-more inhumane acts in his war and keeping it from those he knows he can't trust. By the end of a single mission chain, he's shattered the heart of the Confederacy and crowned himself Emperor of the newly formed Dominion, and blames the loss of the Confederacy on the Zerg so most of the remnants of the government will join him willingly out of fear of the Swarm.
    • Infested Kerrigan. The entirety of Brood War is her going from a Blood Knight to an Evil Overlord, and she does so by manipulating every other faction in the game. By the end of the expansion, all of her enemies are marginalized or dead, and she reigns supreme as Queen of the Zerg. And to boot, she was able to accomplish this because everyone either underestimated her or thought she was reformed. Kerrigan herself notes this to Zeratul:
    "[she] made the mistake of underestimating my power, just like everyone else did."
    • Valerian Mengsk. Though some of it is a result of others, the fact remains he instigated and took part in a grand plan that culminated with Valerian sitting on the Dominion throne, and Raynor's Raiders and Kerrigan, previously the biggest threats to Arcturus's reign, are his allies. And it's public knowledge that he helped de-infest Kerrigan and coordinated the evacuation of Korhal's cities during her attack, so he was hailed as a war hero that helped bring peace and stability to the sector. He may be a far better man for it, but Valerian is definitely his father's son when it comes to planning and acquiring power.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    You must Construct Additional Pylons!
    You Require More Vespene Gas!
    Terrible, terrible damage!
    • Refering to all Protoss as Brotoss.
  • Mondegreen: Some of the unit quotes seem to fall into this. For example, the Protoss Zealot's speech when created, "My life for Aiur!", can be heard as MY WIFE FOR HIRE! or "MY LIFE FOR HIRE!"
    • "Nedowoyesca?" AKA "Need a light?" from the Firebats.
    • Also from the Zealot; "SHE... HUNTS!"
    • Hey there Goliath. Wait, who's Tank kong? Sorry, what's this medatong you're locking?
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Kerrigan crosses it when she kills Duke and Fenix, betraying them immediately after allying with them to overthrow the UED, and doing it for little purpose other than they might become a threat to her in the future — a moot point since they were her allies and had no intention to betray her, they just didn't fully trust her. A major point of contention with Heart of the Swarm is that it follows Kerrigan's Character Development from Villain Protagonist to a Noble Demon, when some fans feel that after Brood War she had no chance for redemption for what she did.
    • Mengsk keeps edging up to it until he finally jumps over it by sacrificing Kerrigan so that the Protoss will be unable to save Tarsonis from the Swarm. An early draft for the ending to Heart of the Swarm would have Mengsk torture Kerrigan using a device he implies to have had with him even while she worked for him, when telling her that he always considered Kerrigan "an animal". Might very well be true considering how, in novels, Mengsk specifically recruited Kerrigan because she was the assassin who had (while brainwashed) killed his parents, and he had plotted revenge ever since.
    • Arguably, DuGalle when he sent Duran to kill Stukov. Note that the arguable portion stems from how he was pretty much duped into doing it, and the Alternate Character Interpretation that Duran was subtly influencing his mind.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Minerals.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    "Battlecruiser Operational."
    "Carrier has arrived"
    "Nuclear Launch Detected" (at least, when it's yours)
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: While the series does have a good sized fandom interested in the plot and characters, that isn't nearly what the games are famous for, that being the multiplayer aspects. The fans interested in the story and the ones that play the games for the multiplayer are worlds apart.
  • Porting Disaster: The Nintendo 64 is the only console that Starcraft I has been ported to. Although the effort to put both the original game and the expansion into a cartridge had been respectable, a LOT of concessions were made in order to make it possible.
  • Squick:
    • Remember the Mutalisk portrait? Look at the concept arts, and their appearance in SC2. That is not their face. Also take a moment to read about their method of attack. Yup. They are shitting parasites at the enemy.
    • Upon finding Kerrigan after she's been infested, Raynor is disgusted with himself, as on some level he finds her new form just as alluring as her human form, and maybe more.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A lot of fans see the love story between Raynor and Kerrigan as this. To be fair, the game focused more on the battles and the strategy, so we have no idea of what happened between them offscreen. StarCraft II makes a much better job at fleshing out their relationship.
  • Too Cool to Live: Tassadar, Fenix, Duke, General Warfield and Zeratul.
  • The Woobie:
    • As Mike Liberty points out in one of the novels, Raynor is one of very few good and honorable human beings in the sector. And he keeps watching his friends die or betray him, and he gets to live with the knowledge that the evil overlords of two of the factions got there with his help.
      • There's also the story of his wife and son. Johnny got drafted into and (supposedly) died in the Ghost Program and Liddy died of grief not long after.
    • Also Kerrigan and her fate in general. She certainly didn't originally plan for infestation. Heart of the Swarm confirms this big time.
    • Zeratul is put into basically a living hell in the first game, where almost every single choice he did led to doom for what he cared for the most. His first in-game action was killing Zasz on Char, which while definetly badass as no one thought cerebrates could be permanently slain, it gave the Overmind information on where Aiur was, leading the vast majority of the Zerg Swarm there, while Zeratul was stranded on Char with Tassadar and Raynor due to Kerrigan's presence. He finally arrives on Aiur... only to find out the Conclave wants to arrest Tassadar. After this problem is solved, Zeratul lends a hand in killing some cerebrates and aiding on the Overmind's destruction to send the zerg in disarray... which ends up dooming Aiur, and forcing the survivors to take Zeratul's idea of using Aiur's warp gate and going to Shakuras, the then-safe Dark Templar homeworld... which gets invaded by the zerg due to that plan. After activating the Xel'naga temple, Zeratul does not appear until Kerrigan kidnaps Raszagal to have Zeratul kill the new Overmind in exchange of letting the matriarch go, which he does... only to find out Raszagal was Brainwashed long before he met with her back in Shakuras. As a result, Zeratul decides he would rather see Raszagal dead than brainwashed, takes her back and kills her - something he could not forgive himself for (Even though Raszagal did so). With a remnant of the Protoss fleet that was alongside him, Zeratul finds a dark moon, believing Artanis's forces are there... but Samir Duran and his hybrids-in-development were what his fleet detected. It's as if there had been a Cosmic Plaything on Zeratul in the first game. While the second game is much nicer to him, Legacy of the Void reveals he had a very poor reputation among most Protoss for what he did in the first game - letting the zerg invade Aiur and killing Raszagal - and it's not until his researching of the prophecy turning out to be right that he got some respect. Shame he had to die to an Amon-controlled Artanis beforehand.