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YMMV / StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops

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  • Angst? What Angst?: If you let Delta and Pierce get killed (or don't rescue them), Nova shakes it off with a "They didn't make it". This is particularly glaring if you've read the graphic novels and know that Delta was Nova's friend in the Ghost academy.
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  • Broken Base: Having a sidestory centered around Nova. On one hand, people are happy that she's finally getting her chance to shine after Nova's original game Starcraft Ghost got postponed indefinitely, and that her appearances within the Starcraft 2 trilogy were pathetically Out of Focus, and even fans of Heroes of the Storm is happy that Nova gets more variative than what that game presented her (as a Sniper Ghost, in this game she gets a lot more nifty tools than just a sniper rifle). Others are just sick of Blizzard trying to continuously push this character, and would rather see the company put their focus on something else especially since the other draw of Ghost, playing WITHIN the Starcraft world instead of over it, isn't touched on at all.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: The Reveal that General Davis is the Big Bad isn't too hard to figure out considering A) this character has never been mentioned before Covert Ops, B) this character is the only major character in the mission pack other than Riegel (who is Nova's Mission Control and couldn't reasonably be coordinating the Defenders of Man under her nose), and C) in their every scene up to the reveal, the character has no relevance to the storyline prior to the reveal, so if they weren't the Big Bad then their scenes would be a waste of time.
  • Game-Breaker
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    • Nukes auto-construct at a Ghost Academy over 300 seconds (5 minutes) and for no resource or supply costs. Thus you can just build multiple Ghost Academies and let Nova call down a continuous rain of nuclear fire on the enemy, and her nukes only take five seconds to land so even if she's spotted, she'll probably live long enough to see it drop.
    • Ravens come with their usual Auto-Turret and Seeker Missile abilities, and also get a new ability, a Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone, which creates a mobile drone with timed life that will automatically heal biological and mechanical units. This makes the Raven an all-in-one Medivac and Science Vessel. Oh, and it can be equipped with Spider Mines that are cast for energy and throws out three mines. A flock of Ravens will help shore up base defenses against any enemy force and can help on the offensive too.
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    • Liberators. They're even more effective than in melee play, as the campaign tends to focus on base defense (as Terrans are usually wont to do) while sending out Nova or small squadrons to secure objectives, and you're usually informed of when and from where attack waves are coming. Thus, a force of Liberators will almost always have time to get into position to target the spot the enemy will pass by. And for extra brokenness, they don't require a Tech Lab, letting you build them two at a time with a Reactor, and they can be installed with a cloaking module or a transformation module that lets them switch modes almost instantly.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The 10th Anniversary achievement "One Shot, One Opportunity" requires killing 50 units with a single Nuke in "Flashpoint". (Un)fortunately, the achievement was bugged in that it didn't consider which faction the killed units belonged to, allowing players to obtain the achievement by nuking their own units. This was fixed with Patch 5.0.3.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Valerian abdicating the throne. Many players see this as a tactic, and that he has a plan to turn the tables in the third pack. Sure enough, it was just a trick to bait Davis into a position where he could have her arrested.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The leader of the Defenders of Man, General Davis, crossed it when she decided to actively use enhanced Psi emitters to attract massive Zerg invasions on civilian Dominion planets, killing millions of people, for the sole purpose of discrediting Valerian.
  • That One Level: The fifth mission, 'Night Terrors'. It's basically a redo of "Welcome to the Jungle" from Wings Of Liberty, combined with "Outbreak" with massive hordes of infested Terrans. The map is full of Zerg entrenched around all the terrazine deposits you need to clear out, which include Infested Banshees (who can still cloak) and Infested Siege Tanks (who can still siege), and then the Zerg will swarm the deposit when you begin to mine it. You also need to defend against waves of Protoss that come to lock down the deposit sites or hit your base with a strike force. And don't worry about the Zerg feeling left out, they'll attack your base, too. Finally, you can't reliably nuke to clear out the Zerg in the area, because you risk damaging the harvesting machines.
  • That One Achievement:
    • "Catch Me If You Can" requires the player to finish the seventh mission in four minutes. The player either needs a map or has to know the level layout by heart to know the fastest routes to take, and then you need a specific equipment loadout to take those routes efficiently while also needing to give Nova stimpacks for healing because she'll be too busy running around to the objectives to fight back. The result is a very tight time limit that allows little room for error as you make a mad dash through the level getting shot at from all angles hoping your stimpacks are enough to keep you alive.
    • Also the "Friendly Competition" mastery achievement that requires completing "Night Terrors" without killing any Tal'darim, not to mention that you have to protect several harvest machines that cannot be repaired. Furthermore, there is a scripted Tal'darim attack at the 17 minute mark (which you cannot defend against), and at around the same time they might go and attack a harvest machine that puts them on a direct path to your expansion (which comes with a pre-placed Missile Turret and a manned Bunker, so if you forget to remove them you might accidentally kill some Tal'Darim units and void the achievement).
    • The 10th Anniversary achievement "Curiosity Killed The Zergling" requires killing 200 units with Spider Mines in the second mission. Keep in mind this is a timed mission, your base only has four mineral nodes and one vespene geyser for Reaper production (essentially forcing you to steal Horner's geysers), and the units the Zerg send to attack don't make up to 200, forcing you to assault their bases (that replenish quickly and include most Zerg tech while you are limited to Nova, Marines, Marauders and Reapers; furthermore, what would be the easiest targets - Larvae or Drones- cannot be targeted by Spider Mines) or maximize the efficiency of the side objective Nydus Worms (which eventually stop spawning units) to fill the achievement's quota.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The first mission sees you rescuing three other ghosts from Nova's crew; Stone, Theodore, and Delta. Saving the latter two is optional and they only make a cameo appearance later in the campaign, while Stone appears again just to provide an obligatory boss battle in Davis' compound. The three don't even get unique portraits. This is particularly disappointing with Delta, as she was a recurring character in the Ghost graphic novels, so anyone who recognized her and got excited to see her will be let down.
    • There's not even a mention of Gabriel Tosh, last seen in Heart of the Swarm on the bridge of the Hyperion. Nova has to acquire and consume terrazine to regain some of her lost memories, which would be a perfect opportunity to feature Tosh as just a hallucination or flashback, since terrazine is used to make Spectres and he had previously tried to recruit Nova as one.
    • The leader of the Defenders of Man barely appears until the third mission pack, and only has substantial dialogue in the final mission, and their dialogue doesn't reveal any particularly interesting character traits. For being the Big Bad that the entire campaign is building towards, they make very little impression and play little role in the story directly.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The first mission pack hinted the Defenders of Man were remnants of the Confederacy; they operate out of Tarsonis, have access to technologies reminiscent of the Deceptions map where pirates infiltrated a Confederate research station and hacked their systems, and their plan is to bring down the Dominion by using psi emitters to spark Zerg invasions of Dominion planets, the same methods Arcturus used to overthrow them. This would have paid off numerous hints through the years that the Confederacy was still active and working against the Dominion, and provided a strong plot connection to Nova, who during the reign of the Confederacy was a member of their social elite. Instead, the Defenders of Man turn out to be Dominion insurgents that are discontented with Valerian's rule and want to depose him, and Nova has no history with them beyond their tricking her into working for them.
    • Given that memory wipes and betrayal are major themes in the campaign, there could be plenty of story to be milked from Nova having a crisis of identity about her past actions that she doesn't remember, or the idea that maybe a member of her squadron had actually sided with the Defenders of Man and was faking being memory wiped and tricked by them. However, Nova has no inner conflict over her past actions and lost memories, and her fellow Ghosts barely appear in the campaign and while one of them does turn on her, it's made clear he's Brainwashed and Crazy and was on Nova's side before.
    • Aside from Delta Emblock (who is barely a footnote), no plot elements or characters from the Ghost novels and graphic novel series are included, despite those pieces of media detailing Nova's backstory and time training at the ghost academy.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Warhounds and Cyclones are not normally playable (the closest thing would be Nova's mind control on an enemy unit) and cannot be produced by the player, despite the latter being a new addition to Legacy of the Void's multiplayer, and the Liberator being available.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The wrangler in the first cutscene tells Nova to test her cloak... without having any means of detecting her in the chamber. Really, he brought it on himself. Of course, he didn't expect Nova to put up a warning message to herself before she's mind-wiped, but seriously, a professional who doesn't prepare for any chance of things going awry? Yeah. Summed up nicely in this take by Carbot Animations.
    Wrangler: I cannot see you whether your cloaking device is working or not, as you have disappeared from my sight. Nova, can you confirm that it is working? Nova? Nova? I... did not bring detection, why I'm ill prepared—(neck snapped)
    • Big Bad General Davis tries to give a Hannibal Lecture that if Nova kills her, she'll be no different from her. She is telling this to a Super Soldier Professional Killer who has been assassinating political opponents as her job for years. Predictably, Nova promptly shoots (or whatever attack the player uses) her with a simple "Go to hell".
  • Win Back the Crowd: Many fans not initially interested in the mission pack were won over post-release by the unique and fun mission mechanics and/or the story, which has been hailed as more faithful to the spirit of original Starcraft Terran campaigns than Wings of Liberty.
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